New Venture Journal Entry I

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Emic Lai
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Re: New Venture Journal Entry I

Post by Emic Lai » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:06 pm

Thirty-seven minutes of listening to a Nautolan freak out as he first touched the Force. Emic had seen this song and dance before, when she was working for Vesper. It was growing ever tedious, and as soon as the Taskmaster declared his new assignment, she took her unit and began to set to work acquiring transport to the objective the Hopefuls had been assigned.

As the Hopefuls go about their task, Emic would send her probe droid in after them, to see if any of them distinguished themselves, and perhaps, demonstrate that they were worthy of her help in certain unsavory tasks. After all, a Sith is only as powerful as their resources, and having a friend in the special forces was certainly a major boon to any Hopeful.
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Kell Sangros
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Re: New Venture Journal Entry I

Post by Kell Sangros » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:40 pm

OOC: Sorry this is short

Warvanus watched as the Nautillan emptied the contents of his stomach. Through the Force he felt such raw potential. The War-Bringer was genuinely impressed by far this being was the one among these others who had the most potential. Warvanus would keep his eye on the Hopeful. H gave the taskmasker a knowing glance, he saw and felt it too. Of course he did he thought to himself. He would not be much of an Instructor if he did not.

He listened as the taskmaster gave their next exercise. It was his right to offer praise or criticism or even advice but he would offer none at this time. He would observe and evaluate. He could if he wished to even interfere but that would only cheapen the value of this hopeful.

He peered into the Darkside for guidance and it was silent. Its silence told him to continue his path which was observing. He did step away to take a communique from his apprentice. He had told her to depart without him, the Magnetar had to deliver the supplies to his domain on Karza, Sojourn’s Primary.
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Lord Warvanus
=Sith Lord=
-=The War Bringer=-
-=Master of the Warhound Battlegroup=-
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Pfllamr Mharro
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Re: New Venture Journal Entry I

Post by Pfllamr Mharro » Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:31 pm

(OOC: Enjoy this, because this took way too long to make. Also, I’ll be starting my graphic novel right after posting this, so my replies won’t be this crazy for a while. Sorry for the wait, I hope you enjoy it.)
IC:

New Venture Journal Entry III

I don’t know what this place is, but I want out of here. I don’t want to be here anymore. They’re doing something to me, I know it! It has to be some sort of new poison or drug that they’re testing. I’m not force sensitive, and if I am, it’s enough to qualify to be a sith! A sith! Of all the things in the galaxy!

There had to be something on that chair. Something that activated with the food I ate. Something they put into their food. I’m going to investigate further when I have completed this assignment.

Speaking of, the next task set before us last nine of twenty, is to eradicate a tuk’kata infestation in the sith knowledge vaults and bring back the alpha’s head. I have no idea what a tuk’kata is, but it doesn’t sound very cuddly. Last thing I need though, is to get back in a ring with a better trained sith hopeful. I barely won the last time…

Well, if there’s one thing my father taught me, it was, ‘Why put off tomorrow, what you can do tonight?’ I’ve contacted my new ‘friend’ here, and he has approved of my ‘can-do attitude,’ by giving me the room locations to my teammates I am to be working with. I still don’t know their names, but I’ll update when I do.

As always, good hunting.

P’fll



Pf’llamr put his ‘contraband’ datapad away. It had been hours since he left the taskmaster’s office, and returned to his room for contemplation. He had meant for them to leave fresh tomorrow, but Pf’llamr was restless. He couldn’t stop thinking about what he had felt when he sat on that stone chair. It was terrifying. It was exhilarating. It was pacifying. It was many things, and yet it was none. That scared the Nautolan. He was brought up in practicality back home. Things were, as they were, and not as they might be. Sure, there was potential for growth, but growth in a way that-

It didn’t matter right now. There was work to be done, and contemplation or whatever rubbish the sith had planned for their curriculum could wait until the job was done. Pf’llamr checked his wrist blade to see if it was properly affixed to his arm. It was. He checked for the addition bacta supplements he had C0L-745 bring to him. He didn’t like lying to his new friend about still feeling sick. He did, however, need as much supply as he could get to deal with a threat he knew nothing about. Pf’llamr had tried to look for data on the tuk’kata, but could find nothing on the holonet beyond several untrustworthy sources talking about old rites and ceremonies of the sith, and burying these creatures in the tombs of great sith lords. They were incredibly difficult to study from a position of anatomy and fact, he ascertained. These creatures may as well have been myth. Lastly, he checked for addition bandages he fashioned from the old shirt he wore that had been shredded from a duel with a Rodian recently. He hand cleaned the clothing after his experience with the throne. He no longer trusted the hospitality of the sith. With this, his checklist was complete, and it was time to depart.

His first stop was to the Sullustan’s quarters, where he was greeted by the short, sleepy-eyed face of his fellow conscript. Pf’llamr explained the plan, and with some ‘convincing’ on the Nautolan’s part, the Sullustan was just as eager as he was to head out and complete their task. The Sullustan’s name was Nibb Wiudek, Pf’llamr found out. He was part of a wealthy merchant family, when it was discovered the Nibb had an affinity for sales. It wasn’t until the local Moff had been visiting and noticed there was a large demand for two week old produce. He called in a force sensitive, and had Nibb recruited for hopeful the next business day.

Pf’llamr was sure the academy was filled with stories like this, where the children of officials or wealthy subjects were told that they would train to be the most powerful force in the galaxy, only to find out that this is not the posh environment that they were lead to believe.

The young woman who had went before him in the trials was next. As they approached her quarters, she was already geared and walking out, when she noticed the Nautolan and the Sullustan. She was going to complete this assignment without them! Pf’llamr appreciated the ambition, but knew it would have led to finding her corpse in the morning just barely deep enough into the vault.

“Another go getter. Fantastic. Try to keep up,” she flatly stated, as opposed to said to Pf’llamr and Nibb. She was ambitious for sure.

Then Pf’llamr asked, “Do you know which vault you’re going to?”

She froze only for a moment, before turning to Pf’llamr and Nibb. Annoyance was painted on her face.

“Are you going to tell me now, on the way, or are we going to play a guessing game? The longer we wait, the greater a lead everyone else will have looking for the right vault.” Her voice was monotone, but filled with exasperation already. With that, the young woman continued to walk towards the vault site. Pf’llamr smiled.

“Wait, do YOU know where the correct vault is?” inquired Nibb, starting to catch up to what just transpired.

“No.” Pf’llamr replied between chuckling. He relished in making those who thought themselves more important than they were know their place. “I do know how to find it quick though. Come on, she’s right. Other hopefuls will also be searching tonight, trying to curry favor with the taskmaster.”

The two caught up with their other conscript, and made their way to the vaults.

After some deflection, dodging barbed comments, and a little help from Nibb probably, she let her guard down enough to engage in fellowship briefly with her involuntary comrades. Her name was Joyais Silemot, but in the Moff academy, she was given the nickname ‘Killjoy’ which seemed to stick, even for her. It didn’t take a master of perception to know why. She didn’t come from money that she would divulge, but Pf’llamr had never heard her family name before, so he decided to believe her. The Moff academy history explained her shortly cropped, brown hair, and Killjoy didn’t exactly have a bulky body, but she was petite. An officer’s training was just strenuous enough to provide such results, so that seemed true as well. What stuck out most to Pf’llamr about Killjoy was her heartbeat back in the chamber with the throne. It was afflicted with arrhythmia, firing different than the most common of her species. Pf’llamr remembered some of the propaganda the Imperial military advertised when he was back home. Free training, free healthcare, all a person could reasonably ask for in life if only they became part of the Imperial military. Killjoy’s heart condition must be dire, if she was training to be a Moff. That is, until she happened to be found.

Nibb was definitely a shining example of the Sullustan people, if only by looks, now that Pf’llamr was looking. He shared the same features of his kind, of course. The giant eyes, the large ears, the jowls… all picturesque of a modern Sullustan merchant trying to build rapport with his fellow Sullustan. “Did he think he’d go back to his people after his training?” Pf’llamr wondered. Then, as the dim light grew around them, making their way to the vaults, Pf’llamr noticed the tattoos marking Nibb’s neck. If he didn’t know better, he suspected that Nibb’s tattoos covered his body! The designs were sharp and thorny, and it almost blended too well with the Sullustan’s skin tone. It explained why Nibb only showed his face at the door when Pf’llamr came to get him, and why he kept his body covered most of the time. Pf’llamr was completely wrong about the Sullustan. Nibb was all too familiar with how the sith academy worked.
“How did they get you Pf’ll?” Nibb asked, almost too charismatically.

“We revealed our humble origins. We may as well have our own dossiers.” Killjoy further inquired monotone.

Pf’llamr relayed to them the journey to the sith academy. He told them how his father and he ran a kelp farm and how he used his talent to find the best plots of soil to farm on. He said that this was how the jealous farmers in competition with them came to call for force sensitive searchers, which lead to his recruitment. Truthfully, he had just gotten back from a ‘harvest’ when he was taking some time for himself and hunting the ‘vermin’ affecting his actual little plot of kelp. He must have taken the wrong trophy, and a self-important merchant was furious.

When there’s no actual hopeful to be found when a sith force searcher is deployed, it usually ends with the location turned burning embers. His recruitment, was not actually a cover-up for his ‘farming’ career choice. That much was true. It had happened completely by accident.

Killjoy looked up at him with piercing dark brown eyes. She knew what he was, or pretended to. He didn’t know how, but there was something else she knew that no one else had caught onto, or were too smart to. Pf’llamr was all of a sudden aware of how much bigger he was then his companions. He was a giant, trying to sneak with two smaller humanoids into a vault to accomplish a mission. The other students would be privy to their strategy sooner, rather than later.

They arrived, to at least thirty separate vaults, in which one had the tuk’kata infestation, according to their briefing. Now, it was time for them to find WHICH vault, and exterminate the vermin.
“Now that we’re here,’ Pf’llamr started, “What is a tuk’kata?”

Nibb turned to Pf’llamr, struck dumbfounded by the absolute ignorance of his question. Killjoy started moving to each entrance, and testing door of every vault.

“You didn’t think to ask on the way here? We don’t have time for questions now. It’s time to get to work,” she stated with no emotion. It reminded him of something his father would say. This annoyed Pf’llamr, but she was correct. Work needed to start, despite his ignorance. He began to focus.

Pf’llamr felt out with his talent, looking for the connection with all things. It was great here, but not as great as it was in the throne chamber. He began to walk among the vault entrances, listening for heartbeats, looking for warmth, tasting for anything through the force. His focus was interrupted by Killjoy, who had moved quietly up to him.

“Picking a random vault and ransacking it, is a great way to get killed when you’re not with the rest of your team, Pf’llamr. Stay with the group. We have a logical way of finding-”

“This, is not a logical test, Killjoy,” Pf’llamr interrupted. “It’s a hunt. A hunt has logic and creativity woven together to make a tapestry that leads to the prey. I’m looking for that tapestry now.”

Killjoy shook her head disapprovingly. “What nonsense do they teach ‘farmers’ these days? Very well, Nautolan. I’m going to complete our mission with or without you. Try not to linger. These vaults are forbidden to hopefuls any other time.”

Pf’llamr went back to concentrating. He replied, “If the rules were so important, we would not be here tonight, would we? Try not to get too upset Killjoy. Hearts have stopped for less! If you do end up finding the beasts before me, whistle quietly. I’ll be there with haste.”

Killjoy’s mask of control was maintained, but the color in her face turning red betrayed her frustration. She was probably used to having control after so long at the Moff academy. She left him, returning to Nibb, without another word.

Pf’llamr continued to check the vaults from the outside with the force. All of the vaults had been more or less, equally boring. The air was stale, the tomes were musty, and the sand from the outside had accumulated in some of the vaults, leading to a terrible taste in Pf’llamr’s mouth. He didn’t want to move too far away from the group. He was bold, but he wasn’t stupid. Killjoy was right in that being separated from the group was a great way to find yourself dead… in any situation, really. He returned to the group, to find that Killjoy had managed to open one of the vaults.

“Great work, Killjoy.” Pf’llamr said earnestly. “Do you think it was this one that was meant for us to venture into?”

Nibb was obsessing over a contraption he had packed, as Killjoy looked over the contents of the vault. There were shelves of tomes and even a few weapons hanging from the walls of the vault. She shook her head.

“No,” Killjoy commented. “This has the hallmarks of a trophy room. I suspect some sith lord simply forgot to lock his bragging rights back up.”

Pf’llamr looked around and agreed. The room had an air of arrogance to it. It was something someone wanted to be found. He ducked in, and looked around for a name that linked this vault to someone. Nibb came in behind him, and scanned a plaque with the contraption he held. It had the look of a homebrewed analyzer. Some of the other ‘farmers’ back home dabbled in such tech. The results filled Nibb’s screen, which brightly lit the room.

“This all belonged to a Lord M’hlancal,” Nibb reported, proud of his contribution.

Killjoy and Pf’llamr looked at him with great displeasure. Nibb cowered instinctively at the two looming over him.

“Nibb. Kindly cut the light brightness, or dim it immensely. If our position is given away by your device, I’m going to be very vexed,” Killjoy threatened Nibb, who nervously complied chuckling nervously. He hid away his homebrewed analyzer, as Pf’llamr began to concentrate harder for these ‘mythical’ beasts, while Killjoy sealed the vault, activating the lock this time.

It was ten minutes into searching for another open vault, when the three noticed another group of hopefuls enter the archive. A crestfallen Nibb began to panic exponentially, as the group grew closer.

“What do we do? We should have trapped the last vault we were at! We wouldn’t have competition if they were dead!”

Pf’llamr actually had to agree. The taskmaster stated that they couldn’t outright murder their competition, but if they fell into a trap… His brainstorming was cut short.

Killjoy reasoned, “That’s enough Nibb. We’ve covered more ground so far, and that’s the truth. If they want to catch up, they’ll have to retrace our steps, or think as logically.”

Nibb chuckled nervously, but wasn’t reassured. “Of course, how hard could it be to hunt sith hounds that feed off the force itself?”

Pf’llamr’s head perked up. “They what?”

Killjoy and Nibb were caught up in trying to keep calm, when Pf’llamr changed his methods. He now started to look differently for these beasts. Instead of looking for the details within the vaults, he simply looked for the absence of senses. He found one closer by, but there was another that may as well have been pitch black. Pf’llamr came up with a plan.

“I found them,” the Nautolan said with an air of confidence. Both fellow conscripts stopped their bickering, and turned to him.

“How can you be so sure?” asked Nibbs, fatigue setting into his voice.

Killjoy’s eyes narrowed, as if looking through his soul. She answered, “He knows.”

Pf’llamr led them to the chamber of the lesser force absence. Surely, this will be where the tuk’kata aren’t as focused. The vault, however, was locked. It only took a moment before Nibb reconfigured his scanner to ascertain the correct combination, and the vault had been unlocked. Pf’llamr began to value this sort of expertise! Killjoy, turned to him.

“Will you not be joining us?” she asked flatly.

“Of course I will be. Why would you ask?” Pf’llamr responded, pretending to be wounded by placing both hands to his chest.

Killjoy punched Pf’llamr in his midsection with a surprising amount of force. When he bent over, she grab one of his tendrils, and brought her sword up to his throat. The calm monotonous voice of Killjoy was gone.

“Listen carefully farmer! If you have led us into a death trap, we will end whatever is waiting for us in there, and then we will end you.”

Pf’llamr realized now that Killjoy’s talent was that of a lie detector. He would have changed his strategy much differently had he realized sooner. He spoke with labored breath, a now alarmed Nibb armed with a sword pointed at him. This whole night was starting to weigh on his patience.

“You want the truth? Fine,” the Nautolan muttered. “This is a chamber where I felt the least presence of tuk’kata. I figured I’d give you both something lesser to fight, while I looked for the alpha.”

Nibb lowered his sword, placated. Killjoy was not swayed.

“Fine. What makes you think you can take on an alpha yourself?” Killjoy questioned, her blade still at Pf’llamr’s throat.

“Which one of you have taken on a fully grown Krayt Dragon and lived to tell the tale?” Pf’llamr only fractionally boasted. It had actually been a horrifically humbling memory for him.

Nibb chuckled at the boast, but it was Killjoy’s face that turned white. She removed her blade, and moved to the entrance of the vault. Nibb wasn’t sure what to make of her reaction.

“Come Nibb. Let’s finish this so we can finally get some damned rest tonight,” she quickly said moving past him. It didn’t take the force to know, that Killjoy was reaching her limit.

Pf’llamr made a small nick in the door frame where Killjoy and Nibb entered. He wanted to double check their work when he had finished… if he finished. All he knew of these beasts were that they were hound like, and they fed upon the force. He made his way to the other vault.

The other vault looked ancient, if not more dusty then the others. This meant to Pf’llamr, that it wasn’t touched hardly ever, if at all. It was an older model for sure, using more durasteel, than the now more economical plasteel. Each chamber where the vault door was placed had an arch above it, before leading into the mechanism that served as the lock for each vault.

Pf’llamr thought about how odd it was to organize the vaults in such a way. If you took the doors away, and replaced them with regular doors, these could have served easily as apartments back home. No, instead, the sith put the hopefuls in janitor closets, and put their storage in the apartments. His distaste for sith hospitality grew.

The Nautolan’s first inclination was to check for traps. It wasn’t beyond the sith to trap forbidden knowledge. It was a great way of weeding out those who existed in between servant of the sith lords, and the lords themselves. It was also a difficult lesson he learned when he was still learning to ‘harvest.’

He grabbed a couple fingers full of sand, and threw it at the door gingerly.

Nothing.

He then found a clump of sand rock, and tossed it at the door.

Nothing.

Lastly, strapped for time, he wrapped his hand in the bandages, and reached for the door. It was locked.

It was plain the vault was older, but perhaps…

Pf’llamr entered in the combination for new locks. It was the universal code used before something more permanent could be entered. It was a long shot, but he had encountered far worse incompetency.

The code failed. He was running out of time.

Out of frustration, he slammed his fist into the door frame. It dented. Pf’llamr’s curiosity was more piqued then his relief present at the outcome. What would cause what could be assumed to be three inches of solid durasteel to crumple at the hand of a stronger than average, admittedly, Nautolan? The curiosity in his head grew to a crescendo, as the questions surmounted. He grew desperate.

Pf’llamr punched through the durasteel with his wrist blade. It was like opening an antiquated kelp container. Inch by inch, he began to open the door by cutting through the frame. The sith would be angry with him, when they found out. He would have to figure out an excuse later. With a powerful kick, the door flew off the remaining flash of durasteel, and onto the ground before him. The Nautolan was very much not prepared for the room before him.

While the chamber itself and the walls, floors, and artifacts within were covered in a thick layer of rust, what stuck out to Pf’llamr the most was the lack of smell, sound, and the limited amount of light. The door itself didn’t make more than a small thud when it landed, despite the mass still attached to it. Whatever was here, wasn’t just feeding off the force, but life itself. The remnants of the tomes that were lined on the wall were barely legible, making it very difficult to decipher just how long this chamber had existed. The accompanying holocrons had not only rusted, but completely blackened with rot. Some even laid shattered, knowledge of the way of sith, lost forever. Even through the soles of Pf’llamr’s thick combat boots, did the rusted stone floor feel sharp and rough. This particular vault felt like a rotted corpse. If Pf’llamr didn’t like the sith training halls before, he welcomed them with open arms now that he had stepped through this vault.

“This must be one incredible tuk’kata alpha,” he thought, trying to humor himself from being outright terrified. He stepped deeper into the archives, making his way down the stairs. When Pf’llamr finally made his way down to the lower level, he began to think how bad he thought the upstairs were. This, was more akin to a cave filled with rusted shapes. Deeper within the room, however, there was a stone slab untouched by the corruption. Once again, curiosity ruled instead of reason. The Nautolan approached the slab, avoiding the stalagmites of rust that had started to form closer to his goal. He thought about bringing back a sample to study of the rust, but decided he wasn’t nearly prepared for such an endeavor. He didn’t want to risk skin contact with something so out of place. Besides, where would he study it, his room? No, best to inspect the slab and if there’s nothing here, rejoin with the group.

Pf’llamr approached the slab, slowly. It seemed to glisten unnaturally, as if covered in a slick oil that reflected the limited light from above.

The Nautolan touched the surface slowly, and found the rush of senses that he had experienced back in the throne chamber. The rust, was now a deep, saturated red, with swirls of dark purples running through it. The artifacts within the vault were very much obviously ruined beyond recognition. This wasn’t the quick work of tuk’katas. No. This was something that occurred over millennia.

Pf’llamr rhetorically asked himself, “What are they even keeping in here?”

“Me,” replied a voice, both ancient and aided by machine-like respiration. Nevertheless, it remained the most powerful voice Pf’llamr had ever heard.

The Nautolan turned around to find the voice, but could not. He panicked, which increased the detail every sense he was taking in. He could hear his companions in the vault some parts away fighting the tuk’kata. He could see them now. Not physically, but could see the area around them as it began to gradient away into a void that was their form. Pf’llamr began to hyperventilate.

“Stop,” the voice commanded. Slowly, Pf’llamr found himself coming back into control of his panic. Who was this?

“Do you always stay so unfocused, hopeful?” the voice asked Pf’llamr, who was now starting to question his circumstance, as opposed to combat the anxiety it brought. Pf’llamr looked around again for the voice, but could not find it. He spoke anyway.

“Sith guidance at the academy isn’t exactly the best education you can find in the galaxy,” Pf’llamr replied, trying to lure the voice to him.

“Very well,” the voice began, “let this be a first in sith history. A dread lord of the sith will teach a hopeful how to see.”

“A dread lord of the sith?” muttered Pf’llamr, under his breath. “This must be a test.”

The voice became loud to the Nautolan, “This is no test, and do not doubt me a second time, hopeful!” This entity, had gotten his attention completely. “Close your mind off to the sources that would distract you, but do not shut yourself out from the force. Let the force flow, but deny all else but what you wish to focus on. You will find the environment much more… suitable.”

Pf’llamr tried to comprehend what the voice meant by ‘denying’ all else the force, but letting it continue to flow. He began to sever connections with the environment around him.

“No, not sever! Think of a dam. Let the river flow, but control how much you let out at once. Instead of just letting the water flow from the dam, direct it where to go. All life contains the force, and wants to provide you with it. Let it. Use it. Do not dishonor all that lives by denying them their gift,” the voice lectured to the Nautolan. To the voice’s credit, he was an excellent teacher. Pf’llamr closed his eyes and began to follow the direction, focusing on the voice itself.

When he opened his eyes, a very translucent red figure just barely shorter than he was standing on the other side of the slab, his visage ending in wisps disappearing into the air.

“This a nightmare made real,” Pf’llamr thought to himself, so much so he had almost lost his connection with the force. Then, curiosity caught up, and he took in the figure before him. He could understand now what was before him.

It was another giant of a man, but covered with the sith’s life preserving armored devices seen on other more powerful sith lords. He wore a terrifying helmet that hid his face. The eye goggles were set within their respective sockets and glowed in ‘T’ shapes. The mouth respirator which resembled a large macabre smile, reaching ear to ear also glowed, resembling sharp predatory teeth. The helmet top was a segmented, dome-like cap that connected down into the rest of the mechanisms of his respirator. A stripe separated the cap into two halves, and was met by a cut diamond shape on his forehead. Down from his head, he was dressed in armor that had the silhouette of a bell like shape. He appeared to have a floating look to him, thanks to the long coat that just barely reached the ground. All the armor plates covering the ghost were layered, moving upward, in a very traditional sith way. They were stitched together to form a sort of lamellar pattern in what Pf’llamr thought would have been done back in ancient times. The voice broke his concentration.

“Good. Now you can see me, it seems,” the ghost approved. “I was once called Lord Pridhr, a Sith to have reached a level beyond that of Dark Lord. That was more than three millennia ago, and while my body has long since decayed, my spirit lives on through the force, in the form you see. You can call me, Pa’sen now.”

Pf’llamr stood stunned, unable to comprehend what was before him. Pa’sen began to circle the slab, walking about the lower chamber with great familiarity.

“Not everyone can see me, let alone sense me. You’re very special, hopeful,” Pa’sen explained as he studied Pf’llamr, before walking about his chamber. “I’ve watched you since you’ve first arrived here on Moraband. The way you killed the Rodian, the great prolonged viewing in the testing chamber, all were able to catch my notice! There’s something very different about you, I can tell,” Pa’sen continued, gesturing to show enthusiasm. “You have questions. Make them quick, your companions have found their prey, and others are waiting, ready to take advantage of their fatigued state.”

Pf’llamr remembered suddenly his mission. “Oh no!” he thought. “Killjoy will surely think he let them do the dirty work! She will not be pleased if he comes out empty handed.”

Pa’sen turned his head slightly, making the helmet seem to smile more. “Don’t fret hopeful, I will guide you. First, your questions.” He reached his ghostly hand out to Pf’llamr, beckoning the questions to come.

The Nautolan thought of what to ask such a being. If this wasn’t a test, and this was real, then why could only he see Pa’sen? Why did this ghost decide to dwell here in a vault of knowledge, of all places, and not an actual catacomb? Pf’llamr decided to start with a first step, instead of jumping into this mess with random questions.

Pf’llamr began, “My name is Pf’llamr Mharro. It seems rude that I would only know your name.”

“It’s refreshing to meet a student with manners. You’re off to a great beginning, Mr. Mharro,” Pa’sen replied conversationally. “You have a few minutes of time, and you choose to be polite. I can respect that.”

Pf’llamr continued, “You said you have been following me since I arrived here. Why? Why not Killjoy or Nibb over in the vault a ways over?”

“As I mentioned,” Pa’sen took a deep breath, making the stalagmites seem a little more colorless. When he exhaled, the color seemed to only slightly return. He continued to inspect his chamber a bit more. “You’re the only one in a very long time that has had the talent to be able to see me. To further add to this condition, you’re also the only one I’ve cared to meet in a very long time.” Pa’sen stopped to turn his gaze to Pf’llamr. “Congratulations, you’re the first gray soul to land on Moraban in almost three millennia.”

“But why did you want to meet me?” Pf’llamr asked.

Pa’sen gestured to Pf’llamr, “Because you’re a gray soul. You’re not here to become what sith are advertised as, by their actions. You’re here to see what being sith REALLY is. I can tell you with great certainty, that this emotionally controlled hierarchy of sith isn’t at their full potential. Emotion can power your prowess with the force, but it only creates waves…” Pa’sen turned away from Pf’llamr, looking at something far off. “…not currents.”

Pf’llamr knew exactly what he meant, having lived in an ocean planet, but wasn’t sure how it applied to the force itself. He knew though, that the ghost was avoiding his actual question.

“I see. Perhaps another question is in order,” the Nautolan chambered for his next query, “Why are you here, as opposed to a crypt or catacomb? Why is everything here the way it is?”

The ghost, chuckled. “Where else do you keep old relics?” he asked. “As for the state of this vault,” Pa’sen gestured around the chamber, as if giving a grand tour, “it is bound to look this way when you suck the very life out of anything you can to maintain your presence on a planet, looking for a new apprentice to show the old ways.” The red apparition moved to the slab next to Pf’llamr, and leaned on it. “It’s a small miracle that taskmaster of yours finally assigned someone to take care of those tuk’kata. They were starting to eat at my own essence.”

Pf’llamr was left clueless what any of this meant. He wasn’t sure he had the lifespan to spend understanding what this ghost was prattling on about. No, he had to get back to his companions. He needed to leave.

“You probably have no clue what I’m talking about, and I can understand your confusion,” the ghost guessed correctly. “Sith were not as they are now when I was alive. Back in my time, we actually cared about our students’ training. There’s a lot of context you’re probably missing.” Pa’sen got up, and stood in front of Pf’llamr. “If you are looking for the training we taught back millennia ago, practical sith training, then here’s what I propose.”

The Nautolan was listening now, the prospect of practical training being a valued commodity to him.

“Swear to me first though,” Pa’sen began. “Become my apprentice, then when it comes time to pick a living master, pick one. Serve him during the light, but in the shadows, serve me. Serve me, and I’ll grant you the knowledge that the modern sith lords can never know in this lifetime. With it, you’ll grow more powerful than you can ever know.”

Pf’llamr checked his wrist blade, tightening the wraps that kept it secure. He then began to make his way to the stairs. “No thanks. How can I get training if I can’t reliably see you? Every time I need training, I can’t keep coming back to this slab.”

Pa’sen turned around, making one last offer. “What if I said you didn’t need them? What if I could show you how to see without them? No more thrones, slabs, anything. Whenever you desired to see, you could.”

Pf’llamr stopped. He turned to the red apparition, who was now starting to fade now that he was away from the slab. The allure of being able to see as he had in the throne chamber whenever he wanted was tempting. “How?” the Nautolan asked.

“I could teach you to find the power to see true,” the red apparition promised. “You only need follow my instruction, and I’ll explain everything.”

If this was a test, Pf’llamr knew he failed. He walked back down to the slab, where the apparition manifested clearer.

“What do I need to do to swear to you?” the Nautolan asked.

“Come to one knee, and repeat after me,” instructed Pa’sen.

Pf’llamr found an area that wasn’t as pointy as the rest of the floor, but still not quite as comfortable as he would have liked. He knelt, and Pa’sen began to chant.

“I, Pf’llamr Mharro,” Pa’sen started, and Pf’llamr repeated, “hereby offer my allegiance to Pa’sen, formally Lord Pridhr as his apprentice.” They continued, “To follow the rule of two, as was and is the custom of the law of two.”

“Rise Pf’llamr,” Pa’sen instructed. Pf’llamr obeyed, wondering if he had made the right choice. “I will not name you, as is tradition in these times, but I will follow you, and instruct you when you seek my guidance. Do not hesitate to do so, especially during these times. Go and join your companions now.”

Pf’llamr began to rush up the stairs, when he stopped again. “Wait Pa’sen. How do I communicate with you?”

Pa’sen made a gesture, as if suddenly remembering one small detail. “Ah yes! Simply look for the flood in the force. It’s much easier to do away from here. Places like above is still surrounded by life. Let their force into you, and channel it into your senses. You will find me. You cannot see or hear me otherwise.”

Pf’llamr didn’t like that instruction one bit. Alas, he had wasted enough time here, and it was crucial that he join his comrades.

“Just a word of advice,” Pa’sen recommended with a rotten sweet voice, “keep our interaction to yourself. Wouldn’t want the sith to think you’ve gone crazy now, would we?”

Pf’llamr was already up the stairs, done with this entire exchange when the cackling of Pa’sen faded from his ears. As soon as he crossed the threshold of the door, the noises of Moraband were deafening. He must have gotten used to the sound dampened chamber in such a short time! He made his way to the vault where Killjoy and Nibb were.

The Nautolan could hear the fight long before he had visuals on it. He silently approached, using his newfound control of his talent to learn more about the situation.

There was another group who had ambushed his already exhausted team. Nibb laid dead, his gear taken by a Twi’lek from the competing group. Killjoy had slain one of the members of the opposing faction. Another human by the looks of it. Male, judging by the bone structure. In one hand, her sword was dyed red with blood, while the other held the head of what Pf’llamr thought was the tuk’kata alpha. She was cornered by a bigger Zabrak, with something more than murder in his eyes. Her jacket had been torn into, exposing a tough under armor plating beneath. Her face was flushed red. Pf’llamr could hear her irregular heart beating from where he was. No doubt she had reached her limit.

“That crafty dullard!” Pf’llamr thought. “Here I was happy to have my datapad, when she came in with Imperial armor hidden right under her clothes! I might have to make some friends in the military.”

He witnessed the Zabrak raise his sword, readying for a killing blow. The Twi’lek readied his sword as well, knowing now she wasn’t just some pushover. If Pf’llamr didn’t act fast, they would murder Killjoy and take the head for themselves, and all of this would be for nothing. It was now or never.

The Nautolan allowed the force around him in, letting it flood into his senses more. It occurred to him, that his feet would make noise as he launched from his position overseeing the skirmish. He wondered if he could ‘take’ the energy of the sound that would inevitably occur. “Only one way to find out,” he told himself, tensing his muscles to spring out.

The effect, in any other setting, would have made even the staunchest stone-faced sith lord smile. However, what transpired was just enough to be considered by a handful of critics as heroic. Pf’llamr’s legs were strengthened beyond what he was used to, enhanced by the small boost of energy he absorb through the force, and he leapt much higher than he meant to. He landed squarely on the Twi’lek, utterly crushing him beneath his weight. Unlike where he started, he didn’t think to absorb the sound of the impact of the landing. The loud, bone crunching, sound of the Twi’lek’s death caught both Killjoy and the Zabrak off guard.

Pf’llamr moved quickly, not because he was calm, not because he was trying to be heroic, but because he was afraid of squandering this otherwise unnatural opportunity that a mistake had granted him. Having landed on his shoulder, essentially, he rolled into a crouching position, allowing him to pass the blade mounted on his forearm through the Zabrak’s neck, severing the head from the body. He caught the head with the other hand. His legs, began to feel numb.

“How much a few words have gotten me tonight,” thought the Nautolan, as he studied the head of the Zabrak hopeful. The pain in his legs began to throb. He played it off as a new muscle worked out for specifically one stomping targets to death. When he looked over to his fellow conscript, she was motionless, staring back at him, not as an allied soldier, but a monster.

Killjoy was speechless. Filled with a look of awe, contempt, jealousy, and rage, she wasn’t quite sure how to handle Pf’llamr’s rescue. Pf’llamr moved the Zabrak’s head to the other hand, and offered her a welcoming hand.

“I’m sorry,” he said, genuinely. “What I found in that vault, was not the tuk’kata alpha, as I thought. I wouldn’t blame you if you were mad at me, but I can’t let you kill me either. Let’s go complete this mission, and get some rest.”

Pf’llamr knew she would be lie detecting his words, so he had to choose carefully what he said. Killjoy’s color started to return to her, years of self-calming methods starting to kick in. She moved in closer, but didn’t take the Nautolan’s hand.

“If we did all the work, killing that pack of tuk’kata, and you were in another vault, what did you actually find, Pf’llamr?” Killjoy interrogated, looking for justification to run him through.

Pf’llamr looked over to Nibb laying lifeless, stripped of his useful contraptions, which were now crushed with the Twi’lek’s bloody mess. He muttered under his breath, “I can’t tell you. You wouldn’t believe me anyway.”

Killjoy pointed her sword an inch from his face, growing emotional again.

“Try me,” she said, almost too coldly for her demeanor.

Pf’llamr looked over to Killjoy, her eyes red with anger and fatigue, only to spot an all too familiar translucent crimson specter seeming to laugh to himself. The Nautolan must have reacted, because the woman’s face changed upon his discovery. Pa’sen walked next to Pf’llamr casually taking in the scene as if choreographing it.

“This is the part where you kill her, apprentice,” the once ‘dread lord,’ instructed to his student. “Her heart is weak, you hear it as I do. Focus the current around her heart and…”

“Let’s just go back now, Killjoy,” Pf’llamr calmly negotiated, “I can explain it all later-”

“Tell me what you found that was so important that four other hopefuls are dead, Nautolan,” Killjoy interrupted. “Why did Nibb and I kill nine tuk’kata, and an alpha by ourselves when a behemoth like you was away? You don’t even have a scratch on you, just red dust.”

“Grant her mercy, Pf’llamr. Her heart is weak, and she will never make it through the trials, let alone tonight when she returns,” Pa’sen argued. “She will report what happened, and both of you will be killed. Kill her. You can live, and she doesn’t have to live with a defective heart.”

Pf’llamr closed his eyes, and focused.

Killjoy made a low grunt of pain before collapsing to the ground in a heap. Pf’llamr opened his eyes and was stunned with the result. He had always worked to fight against the target’s will to live, which always provided some serious resistance. Through melee, through a fire fight, Pf’llamr we used to a two way exchange of blows. He was used to ‘work’ when it came to killing someone. This… this was too easy. Pf’llamr regretted this kill immediately.

Pa’sen cackled, “Well done apprentice! You learn so quickly! Any sith would be very apprehensive to have you as a student, given the prowess you’ve shown tonight!” Pa’sen praised, throwing his arms in the air.

“Pa’sen seemed almost too happy about this,” thought Pf’llamr. “Why is he so happy I killed an ally? Her questions were completely reasonable. Do sith not know the value of alliance? Still, she was ready to run me through...”

Pa’sen’s laughter died down, as he analyzed the post mayhem mess strewn about. “You experimented with some really abstract theory before this fight, you know. Absorbing the very energy of sound into your body was a very risky thing to do. You’re very lucky you’re naturally a walking tank, otherwise you wouldn’t be standing right now.”

Pf’llamr’s legs were throbbing with increased pain now. Pa’sen was right. The Nautolan decided to simply deny the sense of pain coming from his legs for the moment, and deal with it when he returned to his quarters.

Pa’sen grew serious. “Either let life give you their force, or deny it. Never take it. Even the most powerful sith lord knows this. Every sith tries this method though,” Pa’sen gestured to his own body, showing all the mechanical assistance in his suit as a way to strengthen his point. “Eventually, a sith lord knows that a jedi is right on one thing when it comes to using the force, and that is that you should either accept the force as it’s given to you, or deny it. Never take it. Your body will come to depend on it, and it will fail you rapidly. Do not use that method again, if you value your life.”

Pa’sen waved his hand to Pf’llamr, “You’ve cultivated a very resilient form. Take pride, and take care of it. The dark side of the force has a way of contorting our very being, IF we channel ourselves through it. Part of your training will require you to do so, using your emotion as a power source. This is powerful, but as I explained about taking the force into your body, imagine what it does when you draw from it! It is better not to create waves in the force, simply let the current flow.”

Pf’llamr thought for a moment. He thought about the vault, and about the slab he found Pa’sen in. “So the vault you were in...”

“Very astute Pf’llamr, very astute!” Pa’sen chirped, moving away from the Nautolan, and kneeling near the human male’s corpse. “When the sith found out I had moved on as a spirit in the force itself and was drawing upon the very dark energies of the sith corpses in the catacombs where I was laid to rest, some found that as… anathema. So, my remains were relocated to somewhere they thought didn’t contain life,” the ‘dread lord’ explained, as he drew what little life was left from the corpse, strengthening his corporeal visage. The effect grayed the corpse quite a bit, from what Pf’llamr could perceive.

“So they moved me to a vault,” Pa’sen explained, standing up, “where they placed the other powerful relics from time past.” The red ghost walked to Pf’llamr, “What they didn’t realize is that I understood what makes the jedi so powerful. I understood why they were so emotionally objective about everything. They let everything else provide the strength they desired, and left themselves intact. The jedi let the force around them do the dirty work, while the sith depend on their own power. So, I took a lesson from their history, and did the same, boosting my own spirit form. In time, the objects of great power I was stored with became husks, and the life that was poured into making those artifacts became dust. I had received all that they were willing to give. Even the walls became thin from rust and rot, that someone of his strength could have opened it bare handed,” Pa’sen signaled to Nibb’s body.

“You’re took that man’s life force,” Pf’llamr pointed out to Pa’sen. Pa’sen looked over at the grayed, somewhat shriveled corpse, as if not realizing that was a person once.

“Him? He was practically dead. All I did was ease his pain,” Pa’sen clarified. “His soul can now pass to the afterlife, whatever he chose that to be, and I’m just a bit livelier to teach my star student! It’s a win, win really.”

Pf’llamr had serious reservations about this, but was very careful not to show them, lest he anger his new master. A master, who can steal the life energy out of others to maintain his spirit form. What had he gotten himself into? He walked to Killjoy’s crumpled body, and grabbed the alpha tuk’kata head. It was time he got the shut eye he craved.

“Oh Pf’llamr, one last thing,” his new master beckoned, “It’s sith custom to bring a gift to their betters when they return from an assignment. Perhaps the taskmaster would sleep better tonight if he knew just exactly who tried to kill each other against his wishes?”

Kill trophies. Pf’llamr knew this practice all too well. There were the initial instructions, then there were the unsaid instructions to all of his past ‘harvests.’ Those who followed the initial instructions were awarded their accolades. Those who followed their unsaid instructions, were ‘disciplined’ but given advantageous opportunities to rise. Those who did both, got their own houses. Getting kill trophies and presenting them to commanding officiers were almost always part of the unsaid instructions. This was the practical training he was craving. It was a shame he was too fatigued to enjoy it.

The Nautolan returned to his quarters, covered in blood, and a rucksack filled with trophies. He stripped down and began to wash up, when he noticed his legs seemed slightly atrophied. This was a lesson for Pf’llamr indeed. The sound absorbed had strengthened his jump, but had also come at a high cost. He would work on building his legs back up in his spare time. For now, he let the pain through, letting it scold him for tonight’s folly in dabbling in abstract force theory. He hadn’t wanted to jump higher, or be stronger, he had his own strength for that. No, he simply wanted to stay silent. There had to be a way to accomplish this, but it would have to wait until tomorrow.

Pf’llamr took out his datapad. It had created a new entry automatically titled, “New Venture Journal Entry IV.” He laid there uncomfortably, looking at the screen. He decided to delete the entry, and edit a previous entry. He opened, “New Venture Journal Entry III,” and put a direction in the footnotes.

To be continued in, “My Life From The Dark Side, Entry I.”


When Pf’llamr returned to the taskmaster’s office early next morning, he had the tuk’kata alpha’s head, but he also had one of the Zabrak’s horns, the tip of one of the Twi’lek’s head tail, and the ear of the male human. He also took the rucksack Nibb carried his contraptions in, and the plated coat Killjoy wore. This was a subtle way of showing that the companions he travelled with were hiding contraband gear, but also to show they were no longer hopefuls at the sith academy.

Jacobi Wylcott
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Re: New Venture Journal Entry I

Post by Jacobi Wylcott » Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:07 am

The eve of the trial had brought the moon of Moraband to loom high above the sands and ancient buildings. Silence was something that this world was very much accustomed - silence was not to be this night as two of the three teams of Hopefuls had gone out in search of glory and victory while the third team had remained to study their prey and devote their bodies to rest for a swift start at dawn. The two that had ventured out hadn’t broken rules in doing so - technically there were no rules exactly to see how capable these potential students could be. In truth the two teams that had gone forth into the unknown were exactly the ambitious sort that the Sith were looking for.

As Killjoy, Nibb and Pf’llmar moved into the vaults and began their searching, they were tailed by a lone soul who was content with observing their actions in that very same silence that the night granted. In steel armor devoid of color save for the shoulder pauldrons which were faded yellow, the left of which beheld a sigil of a Great Clan of Mandalore. The warrior was not perfectly silent, he was no expert in the field of stealth, but the un-noise in the vaults were enough to hide his presence as he watched and learned.

The nautolan, human female and sullustan moved into the corridor - tracking this trio was child’s play - one was as big as a house. Remaining out of sight from them was also quite simple as the lighting in this area was extremely poor and the gloomy coloring of the Mandalorian’s armor made this task hardly difficult at all.

Likewise he could see everything. His helmet visor flickered from typical night vision, to thermal, to finally the white hot settling and from the shadows he did nothing more than observe. Unfortunately it seemed these youngsters didn’t hardly come prepared at all for this task as they fumbled around in the dark and to observe this entire ridiculous search was incredibly boring. Lo and behold something occurred and this apparent revelation brought the huge nautolan to his fellows where he delivered his plan and in payment for his thoughtful plot the woman disabled him and threatened his life. The Mandalorian smiled beneath his mask but otherwise offered no further emotion nor sound. He cared little for their scuffle and if they decided to kill one another the Mandalorian still would not act, he was not here to interfere, he was here to simply observe.

No blood was to be shed however and the group continued on their way, this time splitting up, yet the Mandalorian’s gaze crooked in the direction of Pf’llamr - his interest piqued.

When the second team arrived, once again the Mandalorian remained in silence. There was no need to show himself and should the two teams converge or otherwise never meet, it was of no concern to him. There was something he wanted to see here and there was so much to see indeed.

Killjoy and Nibb went into the chamber and soon thereafter came into contact. The sounds of battle were fierce and both Hopefuls truly proved themselves not only capable fighters but also daring strategists as there was no possible way the two of them could have possibly overcame such dire odds without being able to think on their feet. It also pointed well to their ability to work together and look past their own competitiveness and concern themselves with survival. They were the picture of Sith potentials, able to adapt and overcome despite the uphill battle.

Being fatigued and wounded and on their last legs only to have victory wrenched from their hands by another team was nothing short of a shame. But this was the way of the Sith. The Mandalorian knew what was going to happen but Killjoy still surprised him when she was able to slay one of her foes and force the remaining two to give her a cautious look.

But it was not these events that had the Mandalorian’s greater attention. His visor reflected the vault the nautolan had entered and it never left it. What transpired in that chamber would ever remain unknown to all save the one living soul who had entered and the one soul from beyond. Though the events within that chamber echoed through the Force and did not only remain in the realm of sight. Again the helm of the Warrior of Mandalore cocked to the side as he looked on. Perhaps there was indeed plenty to be seen from the Mandalorian’s perspective.

Still he remained silent.

Finally the nautolan took this newfound power and brought it to the field of battle. He was impressive. Lethal. Dangerous. Impressive. But it was not truly his own movements that the Mandalorian saw, it was something more and he knew it.

Still he remained silent.

Killjoy cautiously lifted her blade to the nautolan, her physical strength was spent but she was still willing to stride into battle, the Mandalorian could appreciate this, but he remained silent. His eye narrowed suddenly as the nautolan seemed to flinch and the Dark Side of the Force claimed a life. Killjoy collapsed to the ground and Pf’llamr retrieved his trophies.

The Mandalorian did not remain silent.

“Then they were weak.”

He turned and departed the vaults.

“And they deserved to die.”
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Emic Lai
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Re: New Venture Journal Entry I

Post by Emic Lai » Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:43 am

The three members of the Aurek-112 made their way to the wilds where the taskmaster would send the Hopefuls come morning. Instead of resting and perhaps missing some of the more eager students, they decided to stay up late and see what they could see from their camp.

As they settled in, a fire started and cigarras lit and hanging from mouths, the Rattataki officer brought up a suggestion.

"Should I play some music?" Luce asked, to the hidden dread of the other two members of the taskforce. Emic strongly expected that the upbeat and cheerful Lieutenant Dunwich would play some equally cheesy and glitzy music. Put simply, not to the taste of the Zabrak; however she did not have a datachip with any music she preferred, so she silently nodded and permitted the Rattataki to start the show.

Emic's expression turned puzzled as she was greeted with very loud and heavy-hitting bass vye riffs with equally crunchy drums backing it up. Her brow only contorted further once the 'singer' started screaming the lyrics. She turned to Luce and inquired. "What, are you joking?"

"What?" Luce simply replied.

"Luce Dunwich, connoisseur of optimism, who has never lost her temper, who once told me to be careful with scissors lest I cut myself-- that Luce Dunwich-- listens to Herglic rage-metal?" Emic said, her puzzled expression turning to a jester-like smirk.

"Oh, yeah?" Lieutenant Dunwich responded in kind. "And what did you expect from the connoisseur of optimism?"

"I don't know, Trixie Fluff? Some Zeltron boy band?" Emic teased with a chuckle as she returned to relaxing in her portable chair.

Luce scoffed and rolled her eyes dramatically. "As if I would listen to that sparkle-bop nonsense. I do have some class, you know."

"Paragon of high society, clearly," Emic cut back with a grin.

"If you two are done flirting..." Senior Operator Moore cut in, directing the attention of his comrades to the approaching band of three with the hand holding his smoke. A few Hopefuls, come to prove themselves the go-getters of the class by making their approach in the dead of night. Emic tapped a few buttons on the probe droid she had brought with them and signaled for it to trail the Hopefuls.

As they sat around the image feed from the probe droid, they quickly found themselves bored as the Hopefuls meandered about looking for whatever sign of which vault they were supposed to enter. SOP Moore became very intrigued by the Nautolan as he seemed to punch a hole in a durasteel door. Emic voiced her doubts, however. "No way that's durasteel. Even with the Force, no way that kid punched right through a durasteel wall."

The probe droid followed the two who entered into the tuk'ata lair, instead of the Nautolan, though. The fight that ensued was glorious.

The first wave did not faze the Hopefuls much. Their skill with blade was rather adept against these runts, and three tuk'ata lie dead. However, the true challenge lie even further.

From the dark, four more tuk'ata appeared, pouncing on the two. The human woman dealt fairly easily with her share of the enemies, but the Sullustan ended up requiring her help to deal with the tuk'ata that had gotten the better of him. He had survived the encounter, however barely.

"Thanks," he muttered to the human, barely eking out the word before a massive beast thrust itself forward from the umbra, gripping the Sullustan in its maw and shaking him harshly before casting him aside like naught more than garbage.

The ensuing fight came through on the video feed, and the heavy music playing through Luce's datapad made for a compelling soundtrack. Emic nearly found herself giddy at the combination of a driving beat and the death of weaklings. She watched with great intent and curiosity.

The tuk'ata alpha was impaled through the side by the human woman's sword, but did not falter. She was thrown across the room by a forceful leg of the beast; fortunately, her vibroblade came with her. The tuk'ata pounced upon the fallen woman and was only held back by an elbow as the here-pathetic-looking human held her blade across the underside of the monster's neck. In desperation and rage, she twisted her arms to cut into the beast's flesh.

As blood began leaking from around the wound, the tuk'ata kept up it's attack, delivering several cuts with sharp fangs. The woman continued to struggle, relying on the ultrasonic vibrations to break through the skin. In this way, the sword acted more like a chainsaw than a weapon, continuing to rip through flesh, until finally, the momentum was gained, and the blade sliced through the remainder of the monster's neck, severing its head and painting the desperate human with its blood.

"Good show," Luce commented.

Emic nodded in agreement. "Gruesome. What's this band called anyway?"

"Festering Fleabitten Fury," Luce answered, nonchalantly. She began to whistle along to the tune.

Emic focused on the feed from the droid, noticing a new group of arrivals. A fresh squad, here to take credit for the kill, by slaying the only remaining member of the first team. Devious, indeed.

The woman stood to her feet as she was rushed by the other human before the others could back him up. His rage was sloppy, as though he had just heard today that emotions granted power, and didn't think about that any more than that. He raised his sword above his head and screamed, but soon found himself screaming due to the sword through his chest.

He fell off the blade and crumpled to the floor and the soldiers watching wondered with glee at just how this woman would choose to end the remaining two attackers, giving no thought to the Nautolan that appeared suddenly on the feed, smashing into the Twi'lek and splattering bits of him on the floor underneath. Now this was interesting.

There was no opportunity to relish the expert jump of the giant, as the Zabrak's head was evicted from the rest of him. Now this was really interesting.

The two exchanged words and the threat of the blade was brought upon the Nautolan. Then, inexplicably, the woman collapsed.

"Did he do that?" Moore exclaimed.

"Probably," Emic said, watching with intent.

"And who's he talking to? Life scans show only he's still living."

"The Force is weird, Slag."

They watched the Nautolan exit. "I'll bet that Nautolan's the winner at the end," Slag offered.

Emic paused. "Revive her," she ordered the droid through the datapad. With a shock of the shock arm, the recently-dead human woman stirred once more.

"Then I'll bet she's the victor. She's crafty; from what I can tell, our Nautolan's just a healthy cut of bantha steak," Emic counter-offered. "On the condition that we make sure they're the last two standing. 500 credits on it."

"Deal," SOP Moore chuckled, before starting to pack up.

In the morning, the three would meet with their Nautolan friend, and... encourage him to accept their help.

Outside the taskmaster's office they waited, and when their new pal approached, they circled him like sharks on the hunt, with grins to match. Emic was the only one who spoke.

"Pf'llamr, is it? Pleased to make your acquaintance," she growled. "We're your new best friends. You'll die here without some outside help, and fortunately for you, we've taken a bit of an... interest in your success."

"Surely you don't care about the Sith's rules, right?" Emic said, stopping her circling maneuver and standing still, arms folded across her chest. "After you so callously murdered several of your fellow Hopefuls, and on tape no less!"

She turned around and continued. "And of course, you're clearly unstable. In the middle of an abandoned vault talking to someone inside your own head. Wouldn't want that truth to get out, would we?" A not-so-veiled threat if ever there was one.

Emic tossed Pf'llamr a small comlink, easily hidden and portable. "We'll be in touch, wannabe." She cackled as she left with her teammates, confident in the first impression she had made.
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Re: New Venture Journal Entry I

Post by Kell Sangros » Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:44 pm

Warvanus had not watched or had any assets in the field to monitor the hopefuls, Though he did feel the deaths of the other hopefuls they were weak and did not deserve to live let alone to stand out to be a possible sith. Warvanus before Pf’llamr returned to the taskmaster’s office, he wanted to have a few words with the Mandalorian taskmaster. Mainly his thoughts on his potential. If this was any Sith Lord he would not be afforded this, but Warvanus was no standard Sith Lord. He was a being with clout, and if he was going to claim this nautillan as his apprentice he had to be sure. He knew he had killed the others. He felt their deaths in the Force as he was certain that the taskmaster had as well. This act pleased him, told him he was not timid or weak like some of the others who were allowed to be apprentices in the glorious Sith Empire. The apprentice of the War-Bringer had to be a strong being. He would accept no less, all of which he had told the taskmaster.

During the wait they had discussed it, and Warvanus would wait in the office with the taskmaster for the Nautillan to return and then the Dark Side would reveal its’ will
===========================================
Lord Warvanus
=Sith Lord=
-=The War Bringer=-
-=Master of the Warhound Battlegroup=-
===========================================

Pfllamr Mharro
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Re: New Venture Journal Entry I

Post by Pfllamr Mharro » Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:43 pm

(OOC: As of this post, Killjoy will be written under Emic’s care. She’s an amazing character, and I can’t wait to see what you do with the joyless, heartless*, moff turned sith!)

IC:

Pf’llamr looked at the small commlink that was so freely tossed to him by the group, he learned later to be, Aurek-112. He wasn’t sure what to make of them. They were clearly spying on him last night, as he knew someone would be. He didn’t exactly expect this troupe in particular though. He inspected the commlink, which sat in his hand like a small bronze insect in a yellow marbled sink basin.

“Haven’t you somewhere to be, my young student?” an ancient modulated voice hummed into Pf’llamr’s keen sense of hearing.

The Nautolan looked up from his concentration to find the ghastly helm of his new tutor’s ghostly visage staring back with eyes in the shapes of glowing ‘T’s.’ It was getting easier to see the utterly terrifying face, but he still flinched a tad when he made eye contact after a while. Pf’llamr darted his eyes to a dark corner away from the office before walking towards that direction. Pa’sen followed. Pf’llamr made sure to cover the microphone segment with his meaty thumb.

“Did you see that exchange just now?” asked Pf’llamr, maybe a bit too nervously than he would have liked. “They think I’m talking to myself!”

Pa’sen stood silent for a moment, his helmet bearing straight into Pf’llamr’s soul. Pf’llamr didn’t know what to expect next from the red apparition.

“…are you not?” simply replied the ‘dread lord.’

“No!” Pf’llamr denied, growing annoyed. “No, I speaking to you!”

“If I remember correctly, student,” began a now equally annoyed dark side teacher, “I told you to keep our interactions a secret. If someone were to see me, then try to communicate with me, AND I chose to respond, I’d say I didn’t know you either. That’s the arrangement we have, Mr. Mharro. You serve me in the shadow. If you go about proclaiming you’re the disciple of the Dread Lord Darth Pridr, you’re going to have a bad time.”

Pf’llamr looked down, realizing how common sense this was. Of course he’s going to look crazy. This is all crazy!

The student looked to his mentor, “What should I do if someone important should witness our chats?”

“You do what all great men have done. You lie. Or, at the very least, tell a very good cover story,” Pa’sen instructed.

Pf’llamr nodded, understanding. He held out the communicator, his thumb covering the microphone, “And what of this? What am I supposed to do with this?!”

Pa’sen chuckled, “That, will be your greatest weapon! Cherish it. Make sure it hears exactly what you want it to hear.”

Pf’llamr was suddenly reminded of a lecture he and his father had, when he was just a child. It was about controlling intelligence, and how to let others know exactly what you wanted them to know. His heart grew heavy for a moment, but he quickly steeled it. It was time to move forward into the taskmaster’s office.

“Thank you for the mentorship, Pa’sen,” Pf’llamr muttered, stashing the communicator away. Pa’sen shrugged before vanishing.

The Nautolan approached the office, when yet another familiar voice caught his attention. This one he didn’t mind as much.

“Greeting: Good morning and congratulations! It would appear your mission was a success!” C0L-745 chimed.

Pf’llamr was genuinely glad to see the droid who patched him up after his first duel. They had gotten off on the wrong foot at first, but became quick friends afterwards. Pf’llamr smiled.

“45, thank you! I couldn’t have done it without your help!” the hopeful said, his day already getting better. “I didn’t get a chance to use your spare bacta after all. If you need those back, I have them in my quarters.”

The protocol droid seemed visibly relieved. “Reprieve: That’s good to hear Pf’llamr. Of the six that left, it’s hard to believe only two made it back alive! I’ll definitely need that spare bacta.”

“Two?” thought Pf’llamr, his anxiety reaching hyperspace speed. “Two came back alive?!”

C0L-745 turned away, as if taking a message. He returned to Pf’llamr just as quickly. “Regret: I’m sorry Pf’llamr, but I must be going. I’m needed with setting up the wing for new recruits. Congratulations again, and you should find your luggage in your space when you get back!”

Pf’llamr watched his friend hurry off to prepare for his next duty. The revelation of ‘two’ returning from the mission last night could only mean one thing.

Pf’llamr embraced the force, seeking the heartbeat that had been the signature of Killjoy’s presence. He didn’t hear it. He wondered if it was someone else who had survived, someone he didn’t meet while out. He let the force go, letting the rest of the world desaturate, letting the rest of the world deafen around him. There was nothing he could do at the moment. He could only move forward.

Pf’llamr began to once again head for the office when a dull female voice turned his skin white in fear.

“I’ll be waiting Pf’llamr,” Killjoy’s voice stated flatly behind him. How could he not sense her?! Where was her heartbeat?

Pf’llamr began to turn, but found a sharp point in his back. He managed to find her in only his peripheral vision. The red in her body seemed to have fled, leaving a grayed skin tone to an otherwise unchanged Killjoy. “Were her eyes always this dark?” he thought.

“I’ll be waiting to finally hear what you found in that vault. It must be good, since it was worth killing me for,” she passively threatened.

Killjoy removed the sharp point, moving quickly. The last thing Pf’llamr heard from her was, “We’ll be in touch, farmer.”

Pf’llamr moved quickly, but she had already vanished. Pf’llamr would petition C0L-745 for some anti-anxiety meds later. This morning was turning into a real circus. He marched to the office of the taskmaster, making no more stops this time.

Pf’llamr ducked through the doorway, and entered the office of the taskmaster. He noticed immediately another sith in the office holder’s company. He greeted them both respectively.

“Lords, to what do I owe the pleasure of this meeting?”

(*: Oh yeah, now she has no heart.)

Jacobi Wylcott
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Re: New Venture Journal Entry I

Post by Jacobi Wylcott » Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:03 pm

Immediately once Pf’llamr entered the room he was met with the scornful look of the Taskmaster who had clearly been grinding his teeth at the news of such a terrific loss of manpower in a single night. Typically such a class of promising students would have lasted the better part of four to six months before the final few were standing before him. Now, he had one victorious Hopeful and one team of three remaining that hadn’t returned yet. Simply put - he was livid.

Even as such, the Taskmaster didn’t say a cross word to the Hopeful, apparently he had been speaking to Lord Warvanus before Pf’llamr had arrived and the Sith Lord had stilled not only his reprimand but a potential execution of the nautolan. Instead the zabrak instructor lifted his nose at the Hopeful, swallowed his pride and flashed a toothy smile that was very clearly forced. “Pf’llamr,” he growled, “approach.” With a motion the Taskmaster visited that the nautolan should come and stand before the desk.

At that point Pf’llamr delivered the trophies of war and instantly the vexation of the Taskmaster was apparent, but the slightest glance from Warvanus silenced the subordinate just as fast. Despite the furious emotion pouring from Sk’har, he was unable to avoid acknowledging the victory itself and as well the massive accomplishment that engaging and killing multiple foes in single combat all while receiving minimal injury to himself. At the end of the day even though it was a massive loss of potential - it was the perfect example of only the strong would prevail above the weak.

Instead the Taskmaster moved forward with Pf’llamr’s advancement. “The task is complete and with the alpha dead, whatever is left of the pack will either kill each other as they attempt to assert dominance or simply scatter and fade into irrelevance. As such the vaults are now secure and the archiving and studies may resume.” He walked from behind the table, examining each trophy as he moved, “Not only have you proven your usefulness you’ve shown yourself to be extremely capable.”

“Impressive.” The comment was dry, but Sk’har did mean it truthfully.

At that time from the entrance of the room came the Mandalorian who stopped as he stepped inside, starred at the nautolan for a moment before moving forward again and moving towards Lord Warvanus’ side where the audible click of the helmet’s speaker clicked on and in a low gravel tone the Mandalorian spoke, though the words were for Warvanus alone. Finally the Mandalorian turned around and faced the nautolan and yet again fell silent.

“My Lord,” Sk’har broke in, “if you’ve nothing further to add I shall task this Hopeful with his next trial.”
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Kell Sangros
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Re: New Venture Journal Entry I

Post by Kell Sangros » Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:49 pm

Warvanus studied the Nautillan hopeful, he knew the taskmaster was livid. By rights he should have been reprimanded and possibly even executed but that would be a more tragic waste of a hopeful especially as one as this Nautillan. He said nothing for a long moment. He had done his task well, but even a hopeful pitted against a tu’kkata especially one so strong who had feasted on hopefuls in the past. Something in the back of his mind was not adding up, The Dark Side’s whispers in the mind of the War-Bringer as it often did. He looked at Sk’har and spoke for his ears alone.

If he declines you have my permission to execute him

Then Warvanus took a step towards the Nautillan. He was clad in his full battle armor, minus the helmet, hair black hair in a ponytail, his iris’ not their usual blue but radioactive yellow. He studied the nautillan before he spoke.

You possess a ferocity I have not seen in a hopeful let alone an apprentice for some time” he began “I am Lord Warvanus” he continued as he circled him as if studying him for the first time “What I am going to offer you will only be offered one time and one time only. I can show you the path to power” he began “With the right training you could be a powerful weapon against your enemies and the enemies of the Sith, If you join me I will train you and guide you to your full potential, in short you will become my apprentice” He paused letting that sink in for long moments before continuing. “Refuse and you will be released into the hands of the taskmaster, you must choose and you must choose now
===========================================
Lord Warvanus
=Sith Lord=
-=The War Bringer=-
-=Master of the Warhound Battlegroup=-
===========================================

Pfllamr Mharro
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Re: New Venture Journal Entry I

Post by Pfllamr Mharro » Thu Oct 08, 2020 7:02 pm

Pf’llamr brought himself to one knee, to accept this sith lord’s offer. He knew that opportunity in this case wasn’t just knocking once, but demolishing the estate afterwards. He wasn’t going to get away from the responsibility of so many perished hopefuls. That would be on his hands, despite only killing three. Two of which were on purpose. No one would know, nor care at this point. It was time to commit.

Pf’llamr made sure the device handed to him by stranger in the hall earlier, was activated secretly before taking his vows. He wanted others to know that he would be swearing to a sith lord this day, and that he would not be an easy target moving forward. Hopefuls seemed to disappear all the time. Now, he was moving into the role of a sith apprentice, physically now. He doubt that Lord Warvanus would tolerate anyone trying to assassinate his new student. This was a psychologically tactful move, he thought to himself.

It was a little awkward being so tall, during this particular ceremony. Lord Warvanus completed the ceremony almost at eye level with the Nautolan. It gave Pf’llamr an opportunity to take in the human’s features. Pa’sen was right. The toll the force was starting to take on this man’s body was starting to manifest in his face. The way the eyes seem to glow a faint yellow, as darking grayed purple spread from the eye sockets and faded into the pale skin on the master. The subtle glint of silver marks around his face from the glow of his eyes and the dim lighting of the room told the Nautolan much about this warrior. They described battles won, some at great cost, and others at great ease. Behind the menacing figure cloaked in dark robes and metal plate armor, was the faint, translucent figure of a red apparition with a horrifying helmet, laughing maniacally, albeit silently. Pf’llamr tried not to focus on Pa’sen taunting him from the great beyond. Instead, he needed to learn to better control his focus.

The ceremony was coming to a close. Pf’llamr’s thoughts had been interrupted by something that was said almost too quickly.

“…and from here forth, your past self shall be cast into oblivion. When you arise, an apprentice of the Sith Lord Warvanus, you shall be named Stelkhur, with the title of initiate. You will walk forth with your new name with the honor and privilege that comes with being a member of the Sith Order.”

The Nautolan wondered what was included in that privilege part. Sure, sith got the best of everything when they would visit assigned fields. They were addressed with honorifics and respect to their face, but cursed and feared when not in sight. All the farmers respected each other, despite their feelings toward one another. Would this be the case within the sith empire? Time would tell.

“Arise Stelkhur,” a voice had beckoned.

Pf’llamr’s experience of the sith academy flashed before his eyes. It was brief, but bloody. He couldn’t help but feel bad about Nibb and Killjoy, though he worried more about how to handle Killjoy, as opposed to guilt. Nibb might have been a victim of circumstance, and not the power hungry hopeful Pf’llamr eventually labelled him. It was hard to tell. Few Sullustan’s had body tattoos, but the ones that did, tended to be unsavory in general. That wasn’t Nibb though. Nibb was helpful, and was willing to please. Wasn’t he? It was behind him now. He deactivated the sound device just as stealthily as he started it.

“This,” thought Pf’llamr, rising as the newly named Initiate Stelkhur, “has been an interesting venture indeed. Let’s see what the future will bring.”

Pf’llamr stood, towering over Lord Warvanus, but completely obedient to his new master’s whims.

“What is your first task, Master Warvanus?”

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