A read-only archive of discourse.darkjedibrotherhood.com as of Sunday May 01, 2022.

Clan Plagueis: Vacation on Dagobah Run-On


Vacation on Dagobah RO - Instructions

Furios may have taken you to a less than ideal vacation spot, but you make the best of your situation anyway. While stuck on the murky mud ball do what you do to have fun while you’re here.

As this is an official, competitive Run-On for all members of Clan Plagueis, you must follow all the general rules for Run Ons available here.

Run-On Details

Posts should be 150-650 words but the upper cap is moderately flexible.
Open to all members of Clan Plagueis and its sub-units.
Running competitively from January 7, 2018 until January 22, 2018.
Double posting should be avoided until crunch time. I’ll try to be available to help with separating posts.

Bonus points may be added if your character has fun in an especially creative or impressive way considering the locale.


Nebula Strider - Bridge
36 ABY

TuQ’uan Varick stood still on the turbolift, contemplating how best to talk his way into staying on the bridge. When the captain announced that they’d be exiting hypserspace soon, the Kel Dor decided to go see Teylas about the surprise. Ramar was one of the few people who knew where Furios was bringing Clan Plagueis and as one of the three individuals who had planned the trip, was the only one aboard who could give the Kel Dor permission to stay on the bridge and see the planet before anyone else. The mastermind behind this vacation had ordered durasteel panels bolted over all the viewports.

The lift doors opened and the Aedile stepped onto the small bridge. The swirling, blue tunnel illuminated the faces of the captain and crew through the main viewport. The Falleen he’d come to see stood at the front, looking into the vortex as most Sith did when commanding a vessel.

“Come here, Varick!” he demanded without turning his head.

The Professional approached the Warlord, careful not to glance toward any of the navigational screens on his way. The authority of both his Quaestor and a powerful Force user were more than enough to keep his eyes forward. In his experience, Sith could be touchy about their schemes, even for something as insignificant as vacation plans. He stopped a few feet behind the di Plagia’s shoulder.

“So you want to know where we’re going, eh?” asked the Equite.

“I was hoping to convince you to let me stay up here when we leave hyperspace,” TuQ’uan replied. “Maybe try using my position as his Aedile to convince you that I should be in the loop.”

“That depends. Can you keep it a secret? Can you act surprised for the big reveal?”

“Of course, easily. You gotta know how to lie in my line of work.”

The Warlord considered the circumstances for a moment before responding. “Then you can stay, but see that Furios doesn’t find out. You never know what’ll set that giant fool off and I don’t count fighting him as particularly relaxing for my vacation.”

Moments later, the captain announced their arrival and the hyperspace tunnel dissipated into star-lit blackness. From the viewport could be seen a (redacted) planet that was unmistakably familiar from the Shadow Academy.

“You’re kidding?” TuQ’uan asked in moderate disbelief.

“Nope, this is the place,” Teylas confirmed with a grin.

“But it’s a mudball, nothing but swamps,” the mercenary protested, following the Sith back to the lift. The GR-75 cruised down to the planet, preparing to enter the atmosphere.

“That’s what happens when you trust an Obelisk die-hard with vacation plans. But don’t fret, Azmodius and I made sure there was something planned for everyone so it won’t be all that bad,” the Falleen explained. “He’s been there with a work crew for three days preparing a site for us.”

The turbolift doors opened and closed for the pair before starting their descent. “I figured that’s where he’d gone. I wonder how many of them died in the process,” TuQ mused. “I’ll bet at least two.”

“I’ll take you up on that,” Ramar responded. “I’ll bet fifty credits that two died from natural causes and one was killed for incompetence.”

The mercenary pondered for a short moment. “He already told you, didn’t he?”

“Just before you entered the bridge.”

Nebula Strider - Loading Bay
Clan Vacation Landing Site
36 ABY

The chatter was at a dull roar as the Plagueians crowded around the retracted boarding ramp. Many talked about their possible location while others spoke of the things they were hoping to do wherever they were. Some made threats about what they’d do if the locale wasn’t to their liking and a few didn’t speak at all, preferring to wait in silence.

With a hydraulic hiss, the ramp began to lower to the ground. A wave of air scented with decay blasted the members of the Ascendant Clan as they exited the transport. They each stepped onto the mossy, muddy ground in a clearing nearly an acre in size. Groans, grumbles, and even some laughter could be heard as everyone realized where they were. All over the area they saw tents and other portable structures filled with various activities. There was a temporary building labeled Pazaak, open tents with assorted games, closed tents that indicated food and drink. In the distance could be seen parts of obstacle courses and other more rigorous exercises, all surrounded by trees and swamp, marshes and wetlands. And in between the unit and their vacation stood Furios, ready and waiting.

“Welcome to Dagobah!” the Quaestor announced with a grin.


He’s…he’s kidding, right? He doesn’t honestly think Yoda’s hiding hole is an ideal resort property, does he?

It appeared that Furios was not kidding, and so Ronovi Tavisaen was beginning to heavily, heavily reconsider her decision to humor the Karness Muur Quaestor by going on this little vacation. Despite being six foot nine, she still had to stare up at her fellow Epicanthix, who beamed as if he had just revealed utopia to the rest of the Plagueians. Standing at a distance from her was a Pantoran she had grown familiar with over the past few weeks: Laren Uscot, who had been appointed Proconsul much to the chagrin of those who were more purist regarding non-Force sensitives in positions of power.

As far as she was concerned, Ronovi was not the only skeptic standing in the humid biome. But Furios, of course, couldn’t have looked more proud of himself. She should have known - he was always the type who liked this kind of environmental. It catered to his impulses, to his desire to be active rather than too pensive. The Quaestor had always been the type to act first and think later - sure, he had improved over the years since Ronovi knew him, but there was always going to be that streak of recklessness in his eyes.

“My fellow Plagueians!” he announced. “Here you have everything you need for the perfect outdoor vacation and adventure! Please, make yourselves comfortable. Games on your left, victuals on your right. And remember: The planet is yours to explore!”

“How long is this trip supposed to be again?” Ronovi heard a woman mutter nearby. This was someone new to her: Tahiri, who had recently joined Plagueis but still maintained the honorable Tarentae name - a name that Ronovi had once held herself.

“Can’t remember exactly,” grunted a Zabrak she did recognize. Kul’tak Drol.

“Is ‘too long’ a good enough answer?” chuckled Tahiri.

Kul’tak snorted in reply. His eyes were already trained on the wild brush and shadowy trees of the swampy landscape. Ronovi smiled. The Warrior, from what she had observed, was a keen assassin, and someone who prided himself on his hunting skills. She could tell that, like her, he was not one to simply sit back and be leisurely. He needed something to do. So did she.

“Any questions?” Furios suddenly asked, and when none were provided, he simply nodded and let the group disperse. Some went straight for the Pazaak building or rations; others merely stood where they were, looking puzzled as they scanned the roughshod vicinity.

Immediately, Ronovi felt her hand grope around for her flask. The metal vessel was already growing warm from the temperature of the planet, and she gulped down a few mouthfuls of whiskey before it was no longer cold. She looked over to one tent where some of the more…booze-addled members had already convened, and from what she gleaned, it appeared to be rather well stocked. A climate-controlled booze area was probably Furios’s best idea to date - and it would make sense, considering his own alcohol problem. Still, she wasn’t sure it would have Whyren’s, and even then, she wasn’t exactly in the mood to socialize. Not now, anyway.

She let herself settle on the stump of a toppled tree, being mindful that insects of strange varieties and unusual sizes could potentially burst from the bark. As if on cue, Laren meandered over to the Epicanthix’s post, staring down at her and letting the air whistle through its nostrils.

“Shouldn’t you be back on Aliso?” demanded Ronovi, her voice husky from the brunt of the alcohol.

The Pantoran smiled. “Considering that Selika’s already been giving me the cold shoulder, despite being her second-in-command? Even Dagobah can be considered a nice break.”

Ronovi rolled her one organic eye. She was beginning to notice even more interesting venues and entertainment spots that had been erected around their “campsite,” so to speak. A wooden sign read, “MILD AND FURIOUS” in sloppy handwriting near one of the so-called obstacle courses…and was that a wrestling pit close by? Filled with mud?

“Okay.” She lifted herself up from the stump with a loud groan. “I’m not sticking around here all day. Want to go for a walk?”

“A walk?” Laren raised one eyebrow. “There’s fine print written somewhere, isn’t there?”

“You know it’s always exciting with me,” sneered Ronovi. “Nancora was just the tip of the iceberg. I’m just gonna see what this ‘legendary’ planet’s all about.”

“What are you going to do?”

She shrugged. “Who knows? Maybe it’ll surprise me. I read that a tribe of cannibals used to live here. Maybe there are survivors we can have some fun with?”

She knew that Laren, despite serving a rather dark clan, wasn’t always the torturing or overtly violent type; however, he was good with a blaster, and she was sure that he’d want to show off his marksmanship, given his sad attempt to rival her drinking some time back. Dagobah was no Sand Pit; that was for sure.

After a moment of contemplation - and perhaps some mental cursing and grumbling - Laren sighed. “Sure. Why not. Lead the way, oh, great adventurer.”

Ronovi grinned. Maybe this vacation wouldn’t be so bad after all.


As the Plagueians slowly stepped off the ramp and began to spread out around the landing area, a loud alarm sounded before an intercom clicked on and a broken recording filled the air.

Crzzck - Mayday! Mayday! - Crzzck - No Power! - Crzzck - Going Down! - Crzzck - North of your position!” Many turned at the sound and began looking around. When Tahiri spoke up.

“That sounded like Master Night-Thorn.” She moved to activate the intercom when suddenly a ship came careening across the sky, billowing inky black smoke. Those watching, followed the line of smoke as it traced its way to the horizon before embedding itself in the swamp with a loud thud. After a painfully long silent the comm clicked on again.

Crzzck - I’m alive. - Crzzck - Ship sinking. - Crzzck - Leg may be broken. - Crzzck - Send assista-” Suddenly the comm clicked off and the area was rocked by a loud fiery explosion. Without another word Tahiri took off running in the direction of the crash.


Dagobah, of course, it was karking Dagobah. Where else would an oaf like Furios find fun? It was bad enough having to be around him when they both had to report to Selika, now that he had dragged her and the rest of the clan to what amounted to pretty much nowhere certainly did nothing to improve the Left Wing of Dread’s view of her Karness Muur counterpart.

As the rest of the clan continued to file away to the various cobbled together structures, she stood still. Closing her eyes and quieting her mind, the Dark Jedi saw things through eyes that were not her own. A presence stood out among the crowd of Plagueians, it was Taranae. The pair had secretly married on Naboo after the war ended but Kelly’s duties more often than not kept them apart.

Luckily for Kelly, she hadn’t worn one of her more expensive outfits, for if there was one thing Dagobah was not, it was the place for fine clothing to be worn. No, this planet was for hermits, those who didn’t want to be found. Sure there was plenty of Force energy, whether dark or light, but Kelly didn’t care about that. Mendes just wanted the world to fade into the background and be forgotten about.

She glanced at Taranae, who looked back into the Quaestor’s emerald green eyes. Kelly ran over to Taranae as fast as she could, took her by the hand and dragged her into a makeshift with ‘Pazaak’ scrawled above the entrance. Once inside, she found herself to be uncharacteristically dismayed by the pazaak cards sat on the small table, it wouldn’t be useful for much else.

“So, I know I’ve not been around as much as you’d like, but we both knew that’d happen when I took over as Quaestor from Laren. And how long have we been doing this in secret? I’m not suggesting we broadcast our bedroom to people but I’m sick of hiding you. You’re not something to be ashamed of, you’re an inspiration, the thought of being with you again is what keeps me going when we’re apart, my whole life revolves around what is best for us. If I need to kill someone, they’re dead, if I need to lie, I’ll do it. I think I’ll move you up to my quarters when we get back to Aliso. But for now, I have an idea about how we can make pazaak more fun.” Kelly didn’t get many chances to say how she felt, but she spoke with real passion as Taranae sat across the small wooden table from her. After she finished talking, she whispered something into Taranae’s ear. It must have been well-received because the Nabooian giggled upon hearing it.

The two remained in the building, playing pazaak, with a fun little twist devised by Kelly, for a length of time neither could say, their love for each other wiping out a sense of time. Only it was darker than when they arrived when they emerged from the building. They came across an empty hut with what would hardly pass for beds anywhere but Dagobah lined up next to each other. The pair lay next to each other and drifted off peacefully.


“Hey, wait up you giant brute!” Laren called to Ronovi.

The Epicanthix ignored him. She had seemingly chosen a direction at random and set off at a brisk pace, not bothering to wait for the shorter mercenary. Laren suddenly realized that the camp Furios had set up had already been swallowed from view, hidden by thick bushes and ancient trees thick with uninterrupted growth. They were fully immersed in the bowels of the deep natural expanse of Dagobah, and though Laren knew the camp was still relatively close by, he couldn’t help but feel a deep chill run through his bones that had nothing to do with the moist fog that surrounded them.

“So…” Laren began slowly, catching up to the Warlord and assuming a brisk walk beside her. “Any particular direction in mind?”

She shrugged, organic eye regarding him for a moment before turning to the near darkness ahead. The trees above really were thick, it seemed. “You don’t usually find any excitement by planning it. For example, if we hadn’t walked into that trap on Nancora, how much fun would it have been then?”

“Do you not remember the part where the ship was ripped in half?”

She nodded. "Yeah, that’s true.

“Or how about the part where you and that other giant fought like wild Krayt Dragons, all the while the rest of us were barely holding onto our lives - let alone my leg.”

“Silent Drake. Shame about his kids, I suppose,” Ronovi mumbled.


“Nothing. You were saying?” She stopped walking taking out her lightsaber, slashing a fallen tree that had been leaning against another down the middle. The pieces severed, then collapsed, allowing them to continue single file through a small gap. " Plans falling apart and all that jazz."

“Right. What about the time we barely escaped in a freighter that should have been a garbage heap, only to nearly be ambushed by Collective fighters?”

“We didn’t know we were about to be ambushed then, either. Besides, surprise fights are always a treat.”

“Are you trying to say you like ambushes?” Laren asked as he dodged a rather think branch heavy with what appeared to be a brown, spherical fruit.

“Kind of. More that I like a good fight. Whether a bar room brawl or a drawn out bout with -”


“Shut up,” Laren hissed suddenly.

A long, serpentine reptile perhaps a few hand spans wide and unknowingly long slithered along thick branches above them. Before Ronovi could activate her twin blades, Laren had plastered three cerulean bolts into the body of the beast. The acrid smell of burnt flesh razed his nostrils, and the thing slowly slipped from its perch above, falling to the muddy ground below with a loud thud.

And then they waited. Patiently they waited for what felt like an eternity, standing absolutely still with hands primed on weapons. Besides the faint sound of churning water and the distant calls of various wild beasts, they heard nothing else. The jungle that surrounded them returned to its natural state, still near the foreign beings that perused its mysterious underbelly.

“Oh frozen, bloody hells, why didn’t we choose the wrestling pit? I’ll take you on head-to-head any day over this -”

Suddenly Laren squealed, and Ronovi turned to regard him with crossed arms and an amused smirk, her organic eye regarding him without any pity. What appeared to be the remains of a large cobweb surrounded Laren, and he was desperately clawing at its remains on his body and spitting out its contents. Once the Pantoran was satisfied that the silky substance had been removed to his pleasure, he looked up to see Ronovi was still staring.

“What?” he barked.

“I’ll take a fight,” Ronovi began smoothly, taking slow, methodical steps toward him. “Three rounds in the ring. Perhaps this will be your chance of making up for a poor showing at the Sandpit?”

“I wasn’t exactly serious, you know.”

“True. But I was. Don’t you want some more secrets out of me, Uscot?” She raised the brow over her organic eye mischievously.

Oh frozen hells, what have I done now, Laren thought with a groan.


TuQ’uan wandered the makeshift campsite Furios had set up for their two week vacation. It seemed the group so far had a pretty mixed reaction to the whole situation, many stood around and simply complained about various things from the chosen location, to their accommodations. The one thing nobody was complaining about was the alcohol situation. Well nobody but TuQ’uan, but the antiox mask made it rather difficult to partake in that particular activity. Upon further inspection it did seem that more people were making be best of the situation than not. Even Kelly had convinced someone to play Pazaak with her but the Aedile couldn’t quite see who.

By the time he was halfway around the perimeter of the campsite he had come to the conclusion that it was too blasted hot to be outside getting exercise. There was only one logical place to go now, the tent that worked as their excuse for a cantina.

Immediately upon walking into the tent the Kel Dor was met with a wall of cool, refreshing air. This was more like it. The place was packed, it seems like most of Plagueis had made their way in here. It’s a good thing Furios had planned for this and got what appeared to be the largest tent space available.

Pushing through the throngs of people TuQ’uan was able to find an empty table up against the far wall. This is where he decided to post up. Taking a seat, the Aedile pulled his datapad out of the pocket he kept it in and began reading a novel.

Hours passed by unnoticed by the mercenary, he wasn’t sure whether he had shared the table at any point or not, his eyes never left the datapad. The datapad remained in his hands until the novel had been finished. Letting out a deep breath, TuQ’uan set down the datapad and glanced around the “cantina”. It had emptied out almost completely, a few still drank, more had passed out.

The night had cooled the campsite off a moderate amount over the last few hours, now it wasn’t unbearably hot, just ridiculously hot. Having finished reading for the night TuQ’uan needed to mentally digest.

When they first arrived the Kel Dor had decided that he was going to have a terrible time here, whether by choice or not, but reading about a group of people making the best of a bad situation had opened his eyes. From this point out TuQ’uan decided was going to lean fully into the planned activities and support his Quaestor fully, and not just because the Epicanthix could easily crush him.

As light began to creep through the trees surrounding the camp the makeshift obstacle courses Mild and Furious became visible. An idea dawned on TuQ’uan, today would be a good day.



Kul grasped at the the space she’d been standing, but the Togruta’s concern for her old master had spurred her to haste, and his hand closed on nothing. He watched as her disappearing form slapped aside the clawing branches at the edge of the forest and he sighed heavily.

Always on the move.

Regardless of the sudden excitement, Kul’s senses were tuning to the creatures that preyed at the camp’s edges. Whether it could sliver or fly, they were a beacon in the Force that Kul felt as if it were his own being. The sheer number of minds he could touch was a nice change from the barren fields of Aliso. He probed the feelings passing through them, his connection showing him their inner joys and pain. The sensation of their knowledge gave him an idea. He closed his eyes and let the wave of emotions and instinct wash over him. They passed quickly as he turned his focus from each spark of life to the next, probing for any minute detail that would reveal his true goal. The answer came in a small trigger as one of the local aviaries caught a whiff of smoke in its flight path. The chemical imprint was unclear to the creature, but as the signal entered into Kul’s conscience he recognized it for what it was: fumes from a flaming exhaust. That had to be near where Solas went down.

The exact location was fuzzy, but Kul had a general direction and that was enough to go on. First, however, he would need to catch up with Tahiri and let her know. Her energetic romp into the swamp put her a ways ahead of him, but Kul was confident in his ability to catch up. He disentangled himself from his cloak and set it aside near one of the closest tents, marking the location so he could retrieve it when he came back. He’d have preferred to keep it on, but it would only slow him down in the tangled vines waiting to tear at it. With only his fitted armor remaining, he launched himself into the swamp as well. The branches scratched at his exposed face, but he ignored the tingling sensation. He had gotten used to most pain some time ago. The Plagueis torture chambers had seen to that.

Progress was slower than he had originally planned for, but that was not too surprising considering half the planet was a sucking mire. His steps were slowed by the suction and he found himself having to wade in a few spots, but he pushed forward with determination. Tahiri’s master was in trouble and Kul would never forgive himself if something happened while he could make a difference. He knew his heart was tainted with a darkness he had never desired to fight, but the thought of seeing her broken by loss would be too much even for his iron will. His muscles strained with renewed vigor as he drove forward into the swamp. He stumbled over a root that was protruding underneath the muck and nearly choked on the mouthful of swamp water he suddenly inhaled.

Alright, next time I’m just taking Tahiri to somewhere like Naboo.

When he finally hit a drier portion of land again, he broke through a thick layer of brush. The scene he found gave him pause and he blanched at the destruction. The civilian-style Star Courier Solas had crashed in was embedded in the swamp rather deep, the cockpit barely resting above the surface. It appeared to have torn a good portion of the trees in the way with it as they lay scattered around the area. Kul spotted Tahiri amongst a couple of thick logs as she used them to try and reach the cockpit. She must have felt his arrival because she turned in his direction. The look of dread on her face drained whatever excitement he may have felt.

Don’t tell me I’m too late…


Aliso System
The Pinnacle
On the floor, somewhere, halfway inside a maintenance panel

Vivackus slowly drifted into consciousness as a thousand Ewoks smashed poorly-constructed drums inside his head.


He tried to roll over, and in the process hit his forhead, which somehow increased the volume of the the worst musical group in the galaxy currently performing inside his temple.

Vivackus decided to remain still until the Ewoks finished their encore. He needed some time to review the life decisions that got him to here. Wherever here was.

Two hours later

Vivackus wasn’t getting anywhere with the self-reflection. Last night was a black hole after about 18:00. He hadn’t the slightest idea how he had come to fall asleep wedged in this ridiculous position. Slowly, arduously, he began to extricate himself from the maintenance panel, a task harder than it should have been, given the circumstances.

Only as he pulled himself out in the hallway and regained his bearings did he notice that something was wrong.

Where is everyone?

He was on the third floor, in a hallway by one of several tactical briefing rooms, and as far around as he could sense, Vivackus was alone. Everyone in the clan had just gone.

This seemed to be the most immediate concern, and Vivackus resolved to find out why he was alone -

His stomach lurched

Right after a trip to the medical bay.


Ronovi grinned. Despite the warmth and the imposing canopy of the jungle, she was enjoying this little exchange between Laren and her tremendously. Seeing his facial expression - as he was most likely regretting every decision he had ever made, from what she sensed from him - made the adrenaline rush through her body like an electrical current on a long and steady wire. It made her feel good.

The Epicanthix had a history of brawling, all the way back to when she was sixteen on Yridia IX. Deep in the bowels of District IV - Or “District Sin” - in Eden City, she was the master of her own fate. She knocked down opponents over two hundred pounds heavier than she was - though not necessarily taller than her - and had maimed others who had tried to best her outside the ring. Sure, she hadn’t killed any of them - the murders were saved for later. After joining the Brotherhood.

Laren wasn’t responding to Ronovi’s challenge, so she reached over with a bare hand and swept another lingering strand of cobweb from his face. She was grateful to be dressed appropriately for the weather - her bodyguard uniform would have been too stifling. Instead, she wore her standard sleeveless tunic and breeches, and that meant that the Pantoran got the full perspective of the impressive muscles on her arms and shoulders.

“What’s the matter?” she asked, not being able to help the taunting lilt in her voice. “Too scared to take me on?”

“You sort of have the advantage here, you know,” mumbled Laren, his eyes averted to the green, grassy floor.

“Why? Because I’m built like a…what did you say earlier…a wild Krayt dragon?”

This time, the Proconsul looked up at Ronovi, his eyes blazing with both annoyance and amusement. “I mean the whole choking me without touching me sort of advantage? Or the zapping me with electricity until I’m a barbecued blue shish kebab advantage?”

“Ah. Yes. That advantage.” Ronovi let her tongue dance across her teeth. “All right, then. I’ll make you a deal. We fight back at the camp - maybe get some spectators taking some bets on the outcome - and I won’t use the Force against you at all. Easy peasy.”


“Uscot, I was a minimalist when I joined the Brotherhood,” scoffed Ronovi. “I relied on my brawn and my brute strength. Hell, I preferred pushing someone with my actual weight rather than relying on space magic.”

“‘Space magic?’ That’s what you call it?”

“The Force is a tool, my good man,” Ronovi replied, shrugging before turning back in the alleged direction of Furios’s “resort.” “I’ve got plenty of other stuff in my arsenal.”

"Yeah, but - "

“Do you want a chance to needlessly interrogate me or not?”

She had him there, and the Pantoran was silent as the two maneuvered through gnarled shrubbery and patches of wizened trees. As the darkness became more intense due to the thickening canopy, Ronovi was beginning to wonder if they were actually returning to the camp at all. Normally, she’d be able to sense her fellow Plagueians nearby, and quite easily - she could detect the heart palpitations and anxiety emanating from the man behind her, as he no doubt contemplated the amount of surgery he might need after getting his face bashed in and his nose flattened into a rubbery paste. But everything else was murky. Conflicted. It was almost as if her Force perception was becoming muddled.

Almost as if someone’s interfering with it. Or something.


Ronovi didn’t stop walking. In fact, her pace became more hurried. “Yeah?”

“Are you sure this is the way back to Furios’s camp of fun and good times?”

“Yeah. I’m sure.”

She was lying, of course. She wondered if Laren could tell. And he could, with or without the Force. “Tavisaen.”

“I’m figuring out our way back, okay? I think we’re not going south enough.”

“South enough? We were going south to begin with!”

Ronovi rolled her eyes. Despite the situation, Laren was more frustrating than the sheer idea of getting stranded on Dagobah. “Look. Just let me use my uber special navigation skills, okay? I got this.”

“Oh, yeah. How’s that Force compass of yours doing?”

The brush was getting denser and denser. Nearby, Ronovi could hear the scuttling of feet across a tree trunk. Was it a reptile? An insect? An amphibian? She couldn’t see it from here. She wiped a stubborn rivulet of sweat from her brow before it leaked onto her cybernetic blue eyepatch.

“It’s…not doing so hot, actually.”

“What?” barked Laren, his blue face turning a tinge of purple. “Why?

Ronovi inhaled. It was getting worse. Now she could barely sense Laren through the Force, and he was right behind her. It was official - the dark side was palpable here. And it was pretty damn strong.

“Because,” she exhaled, “I think we’ve got some company. And not wild animal company, either.”


Dacien Victae di Plagia stood with the rest of the assembled Plagueians as the Nebula Strider’s ramp descended, revealing the fetid, overgrown morass of Dagobah. The odor was impressively oppressive.

“Huh.” Dacien grunted, glancing over at the young Sith standing next to him. “I thought he’d surprise us by taking us somewhere nice. This is pretty much…typical?” The other man said nothing, but watched the adept with what appeared to be a combination of fear and awe, mouth slightly agape. “Yes, please carry on,” Dacien said and walked down the ramp shaking his head.

Furios stood a few meters from the ramp, ankle-deep in muck, an enormous smile on his face. He said his introductions and waved everyone over towards the “entertainment pavilion.” As the mostly-dumbfounded Plagueians wandered over to drink, play Pazaak, or get lost in a jungle full of unfathomably toothy animals, Dacien, grinning, walked up to Furios and clapped him on the shoulder.

“Furios, you’ve outdone yourself. This is the worst vacation destination I have ever seen, and I recently spent a leisurely week on the sandblasted hellhole Nancora.” Furios nodded enthusiastically. Dacien looked around at his befuddled clanmates, most of whom were deeply out of their element. Some appeared to be wandering aimlessly, muttering to themselves. He turned back to Furios and added: “Make sure no one is hiding on the ship, it would be a pity if anyone missed out on this.” With that, he turned toward the cantina.


“See… Look how fun this is,” Areticus says in monotone as his eyes follow a bug that zips slowly past them. His arms were folded and his brow was narrow to give off an unamused expression. He was glad to have dressed in his field boots, but the idea of being in an environment such as this with a three-piece kept him on edge.

Lo-Kain huffed, looking around the landscape with a pitying chuckle, “Where I lived as a child was more hostile. There is little fun here.”

“I beg to differ!” called a voice from behind them. As the knight and his apprentice turned, they saw a chiss covered in camouflage. He was dressed in field gear, with camping and hunting equipment loaded on his person and in a large rucksack on his back. The two sith exchanged glances before sharing a laughter at his appearance.

“Laugh all you want,” Iios said with his beginning steps into the marshes, “But I’m going to catch me a Dragonsnake while you two just sit and wait to leave.”

“A Dragonsnake?” Lo-kain asks curiously.

“Correct! One of the most vicious of creatures that makes this world it’s habitat, and I’m going to add it to my collection,” Iios replies.

“How large is it?” Lo-Kain asks with enthusiasm.

“Very,” The chiss says with a smirk, noticing the interest sparked in the Zabrak’s eyes. Those very same eyes then turn to his master in a silent plead.

“Oh alright,” Areticus says rolling his own, “Lead the way then.”


Gaius flickered his eyes open and shut rapidly as he began to wake up from the nap he decided to take after the long, cramped flight. His back to the lawn chair, the old man took a peek around him to find dozens of his Clan mates sitting at the bar inside, and another half dozen or so out playing in the swamp.

This could be worse. Gaius thought to himself, noting that Dagobah was at least shaded, so there was no reason for ridiculously applying sunscreen. Besides, I deserve a nice relaxing vacation. He continued to ponder.

“DINNER!!!” A loud yell came out of the Karness Muur Quaestor as he summoned the Clan for their first official Clan meal of the trip. The younger Sith found their way towards the front of the line, while the older, much slower Plagueins meandered their way to the back. Despite the horrible stench, no one was going to turn down one of Furios’ famed meals.

The line moved miserably slow, as is the case with most Clan events. Gaius seemed to enjoy the “hurry up and wait”, as he stood towards the back, showing off his brand new bathing suit. The white shorts were quite a few inches above the old man’s knee caps and covered with what could only be described as miniature banthas. Nonetheless, Caesar was proud to show off some legs, as he had worked hard to maintain such peak physical shape for someone who was sixty one years old.

Finally inside the meal tent, Gaius grabbed a plate and took a peek down the buffet table laid out with plenty of treats. Prior to the news of the vacation, Caesar had committed to a strict diet, one which would not last much longer. He took helpings of various foods, but a carving station towards the end of the line had caught his eye early on. He desperately tried to leave a spot open, but his plate was quickly filling up. He sidestepped one of the other Plagueins in line and took a direct path towards the carving station, brightly illuminated with a heat lamp.

“What do we have here?” asked the curious human.

The server brought his tools down onto the board, and sliced a few pieces of meat. “This evening, Quaestor Morega has provided the finest imported roasted Porg.”

Gaius’s mouth began to salivate as the server placed a serving onto the Commander’s plate.


At Ronovi’s warning, Laren had reached for the sidearm holstered on his hip and was smoothly scanning the fettered area around them with a keen stare and a creased frown. He didn’t understand how Ronovi could sense that something - or someone - was near, but what he really didn’t like was how it had suddenly just happened. Still, he figured that the Warlord, for all of her boisterous outward character, was also quite careful. If she wasn’t, she likely wouldn’t be alive by now. She didn’t seem the type to make a situation known until she had confirmed her own suspicions.

They continued forward cautiously. Jungle critters of every size bounded across muddy paths underfoot, while various reptilian species perched in the low canopy above glanced at the duo before averting their gazes, intimidated and unwilling to pursue foreign prey with such an air of danger. The thick jungle gradually began to gave way to murky swamps, equally thick with overgrown vegetation in their own right.

Laren had taken the lead, navigating slowly between small pools of water at the larger edge of the swampy wastes that they had entered. Brief glances behind him at Ronovi’s pained expression told him that she was distracted, warring with some growing presence he could not even begin to comprehend. The Force, it seemed, was just as much trouble as it was worth. But by the frozen wastes, I would not bloody want it, anyway.

In the distance, perhaps a few hundred meters away, Laren spotted a collection of sparse, gnarled trees surrounding a larger bog. One tree in particular caught his eye - not because it looked any different, but because of the large opening at its base. Not only was it fascinating, but Laren also swore that the opening was calling to him. He heard faint whispers in the back of his mind, and his thoughts were dampened. Hope, it seemed, was fading from him. Another moment, and then the feeling passed, and he returned to gaping at the unspoiled landscape.

Both he and Ronovi had stopped to admire the sight, though they also contemplated how far lost they truly were. The vast expanse of watery wasteland had not been on their scopes when they had landed near the site of the Plagueian camp. For all Furios had completely blustered his choice of location for this mandatory excursion, he had chosen an adequate campsite based on the circumstances of the terrain.

Ronovi’s breath suddenly caught, and Laren turned to see the gargantuan woman pale, her body tense and her organic eye closed. She clasped the grip of her DH-17 blaster pistol so tightly that her knuckles were a pale white.

“Is it getting worse - the feeling?” Laren asked.

Ronovi nodded. “Whoever it is, they’re close. And not exactly a walk in the park if they decide to come at us, either.”

“Another Force user, you think?”

“Absolutely. Someone who can use the Dark Side, no less.”

“This is all your bloody fault,” Laren grumbled, turning away and looking outward among the brush. “First lost, now hunted.”

Ronovi stepped up beside him, shrugging. “You wanted fun, Uscot. You got it. Now, this way. Our new friend is waiting for us.”

Sure enough, at the base of the tree with the peculiar opening, a figure dressed in tall, shabby robes stood with a cloak enveloping all but his dark boots, a deep cowl hiding his features. Upon further inspection, all Laren could see among the torn garments was a slender hand sticking out near the waist, a lightsaber of a spartan, metallic design deactivated but grasped in firm and confident fingers. Another cocky Sith or something, the Pantoran surmised, though something seemed amiss here. Why hadn’t the lithe fellow - for it surely was a man, now that he was close - attacked them earlier? Dark Side users weren’t known for doing battle under honorable circumstances.

The figure looked up, and under the hood of his cloak, Laren could see a pale, slender face. A pair of glowing, cybernetic eyes looked from Laren and back to Ronovi, the man’s level emerald gaze clearly measuring the strength of his opponents. The subtle gesture unsettled Laren immensely, coupled with the growing feeling of dread and darkness that this place seemed to rub off onto him. He heard Ronovi’s breathing suddenly quicken, then just as rapidly slow down to a leisurely rhythm, though her stance was no less coiled. She was ready to strike the man down at a moment’s notice, if the need arose. Laren backtracked a few meters away from Ronovi and the stranger, where his blaster would be of better use, not willing to be in the middle of a potential duel.

“Seems neither of us actually died,” Ronovi, unprompted, growled at the stranger.

Laren blinked in response to her comment. The cloaked man shrugged, shifting his stance but saying nothing.

“Are you here to kill me?” asked the Epicanthix, as if more to the open air than to the man.

Us, you bloody giant of a woman! Laren thought angrily. The man will kill us! It was anyone’s guess as to what would happen next.


Fixated on the dangerous stranger as he was, Laren nearly missed the whirr of small treads rushing him from behind. The blue man spun in time to dodge an astromech droid which the generous might describe as “a bit of a fixer-upper”, having been constructed of varied spare parts and reinforced steel. A small tray sat above its domed head, held up by a flimsy stand, which clattered with three small, tin cups and a beaten up carafe. It gave a chirp of disappointment and spun its domed head around to glare at Laren with its optical sensor as it continued to barrel on towards its owner, Dralin Fortea.

“Ah, just in time,” the wayward Plaguian said in a mocking tone. “The tea I had asked for two hours ago.”

With a practiced motion, Dralin lifted the tray from his droid’s head, and then promptly smacked the dome with the tray stand.

“What part of ‘afternoon tea’ don’t you understand? It’s tea you drink during the afternoon, otherwise haven’t we rather missed the point?”

Ronovi and Laren both took a moment to blink their three eyes as the red-haired man threw them a plaintive expression and a “what am I supposed to do with this” gesture toward the cobbled-together assistant.

The tension between the old friends turned from a boil to a low simmer, and Ronovi approached slowly. “So, tea in the woods of Dagobah, huh? This your new routine or something?”

“Tea anywhere is my routine, Ronovi,” he said as he poured a dark tea into each of the cups. “How you savages can go without is beyond me.”

“You know what I mean,” the Epicanthix growled. “How did you know where we were going?”

Her oldest friend looked at her questioningly. “You mean, how did a Dark Jedi, of all people, know that someone was going to land where he was stranded and that he’d be better suited to wait for rescue than to bother with a messier solution?”

It was the tall woman’s turn to roll her eyes, and she put far more energy into it than Dralin had. Clearly, he hadn’t lost his touch.

The mercenary Proconsul of Plagueis stared as he approached; he hadn’t expected his boss’s bodyguard to be the type to banter with old friends in the woods.

“But how did you know we’d need three cups?” the Pantoran asked the contradictory tattered-yet-proper Dark Jedi. Even he knew that the Force wasn’t that accurate.

“I imagine there are three cups because R3-D9,” Dralin explained while waving a hand in the droid’s direction, “was waiting and spying on you in the swamp instead of doing what I told him.”

The droid gave an indignant series of whistles, followed by a harsh beep, as he rocked left and right in-place.

“It’s not tactical information, you dolt.” Dralin rolled his eyes as he handed Laren a cup. “I know it’s not the best introduction, but I’m Dralin Fortea, and my droid wants to fight you.”

Dralin handed another cup to Ronovi, and they waited patiently as she took out her flask and poured an unhealthy amount of whisky into the tea. Laren looked at R3-D9, and the droid projected a small hologram of a rude gesture when his owner wasn’t looking. The junk pile of a robot was certainly fierce, and Laren raised his cup in the droid’s honor.

“Ronovi, if I knew you needed surgery, there are proper anesthetics on my ship,” Dralin muttered, and Ronovi only responded with a glare as she screwed the cap back onto her flask.

The Coruscanti man lifted his cup in a toast, and the other two looked at each other before reluctantly following suit.

“To old friends,” Dralin said as he gestured toward Ronovi with his cup, before turning to Laren. “And, perhaps, to new.”

Just as the cups touched their lips, however, Dralin gave an annoyed grunt and lowered his. Ronovi and Laren found their own cups lowering of their own volition as their would-be host gestured with his off-hand.

“R3, what have I said about poisoning the tea?” The droid’s head spun toward Dralin in surprise, and a rapid-fire string of sounds protested R3’s innocence.

With an exasperated sigh, Dralin dumped out his tea with a swift motion. “I do apologize, R3 hoped it would be the easiest way to kill you both. He’ll warm up to you, I’m sure.”


Ronovi felt her face grow hot at Dralin’s words. She stared at R3-D9, and the droid seemed to stare back. She looked down at her cup of toxic tea and then jabbed a finger at the Coruscanti.

“So,” she declared, “you’re telling me this hunk of junk made me waste a quarter of my flask of Whyren’s on this poison?”

Dralin sighed. “Like I said, I didn’t think you needed to numb your senses right now. The fact that you didn’t sense the problem yourself is on you.”

The Epicanthix couldn’t argue with that. She also couldn’t help lobbing a fierce punch against the droid’s frame, sneering as it wobbled back and forth from the impact. R3 screeched in response, hurling a cavalcade of beeps, whirs, and whistles in the angry woman’s direction.

“R3, please,” muttered Dralin, “don’t bring her mother into this. She’s been dead for a decade.”

“So,” uttered Laren as he, too, proceeded to empty the contents of his cup onto the ground. “I can’t be the only one wondering about why you’re here. And I don’t have the history you two obviously have.”

“Oh, it’s very simple,” Ronovi sneered. “We were lovers.”

Laren arched an eyebrow as the woman laughed. He knew she was joking; he and every other member of the Brotherhood knew all too well of Ronovi’s tastes toward more…feminine individuals. Dralin, however, said nothing. Instead, he stood up and gestured toward the open swampy landscape, the light beginning to fade across the horizon.

“I was going to explore this cave,” he explained, “but I think some fresh, untainted tea takes priority. Care for a walk to my ship?”

Ronovi and Laren exchanged bewildered looks, but at this point, there was no reason to say no. Sure, perhaps they could eventually make their way back to the camp, but Dralin, despite being lower in rank to Ronovi, was very much in tune with the Force. If anything, he could be their ticket back to the rest of the gang. Curious to see Dralin’s ride and even more curious about where he had been and what he was up to and why he had essentially started a tea party on Dagobah, Ronovi obliged to his request, and the three began to walk further into the bayous, the marshy waters stagnant due to the lack of wind.

“I recruited this titan to the Brotherhood thirteen years ago,” Dralin began, swaying his head in Ronovi’s direction. "We were both in Tarentum. House Gladius, when it was still a thing. Then we were both in Arcona, and after that…well, we sort of went our own ways.”

“How did you wind up here?” Ronovi demanded, as Laren scanned the nearby trees for large snakes or angry lizards.

Dralin smirked. “I didn’t exactly plan on it,” he retorted. “You don’t tend to crash your ship on purpose, last I checked.”

“Okay, fine. But before that. Where were you?”

“Ah, yes,” breathed the Coruscanti. “Where have I been, indeed? The vast unknown. Uncharted territories filled with worlds that I never once dreamed of visiting. The unexplored territories of the galaxy. All waiting for adventurers and dreamers and scholars alike to traverse its borders.” He winked at Laren before beaming at Ronovi. “Space. I’ve been in space, Ronovi.”

Laren snorted; he liked this guy. Ronovi grinned and shook her head. The two may have been disconnected for years - being in stasis for four of them certainly didn’t help - but talking to Dralin again felt no different than it had since they last interacted in Port Ol’val. Still, despite their conversation, there did seem to be something off. The man had changed, in a way - his shabby appearance certainly lent itself to that theory - though Ronovi was only beginning to figure out how and why.

Her thoughts were cut off by R3’s shrieking as it sped toward the trio, clearly frustrated about being abandoned at the cave. Dralin chuckled as the droid whirred beside him.

“I knew you’d catch up, R3 - don’t worry,” he said. Then, despite the artificiality of his eyes, a warmth emanated from his face as he looked at Ronovi. “It’s good to see you again, by the way. Glad to know you’re actually alive.”

Actually alive? Had Dralin thought that Ronovi was dead, just like everyone else? She didn’t ask, for she saw the curve of a ship’s hull, resting on the incline of a slope leading from the shore of a marsh. It was a fairly bareboned vessel, from the looks of it - and certainly not in any state to fly. She heard Laren click his tongue behind her, and soon, the three were standing in front of a Star Courier.

“Ronovi. Laren,” announced Dralin. He ignored Laren’s raised eyebrows as he said his name, and Ronovi understood how he knew it despite the Pantoran never saying it to him. “Say hello to the Bad Idea.”


Iios smiled and began to rumage through his pack.

“Not alot is known about dragonsnakes, other than the fact that they are carniverous and attack anything that enters their swamp. I have found out from watching the smaller wildlife in the area, that they never approach from, or toward, the southern swamp area. I recommend we start our search there.”

Iios smile grew wider as he pulled his arms from his pack, revealing a large cylindar with small worm-shaped items on it.

“What is that,” Lo-kain asked, “and how will it help in this hunt of yours?”

“I’m glad you asked, Lo-kain. This is a portable compressor with attached balloons. You see, dragonsnakes will try to eat whatever comes into their territory and, sometimes, they eat things that they cannot digest. My plan is to wait until the beast tries to devour my device and”

“Fill the baloons using a compressor via remote, causing the dragonsnake to surface. Clever.” Areticus finishes, “Take point, my young apprentice. I may not enjoy the idea of exploring swamps, but this does peak my interest.”

Iios led the party through the thick and dense landscape of dagobah, passing through dense forests of gnarltrees surrounded by small bogs. The environment inside the forest quickly became devoid of natural light due to the dense foilage and the party had to resort to the glow sticks that Iios had packed to see more than five meters in front of them.

“Did you get us lost?” Lo-kain said from behind Iios, “how can you be sure we are going the right way?”

“Not at all. We landed on the northern hemisphere of this planet, so I know that I’m going the right way as long as the few trees that we have seen in the open have moss facing us. Moss grows on the north side and we are going south.”

Iios stopped abruptly, causing Areticus and Lo-kain to bump into him.

“Sith-spit!” Iios hissed as he, Areticus, and Lo-kain began sinking into the earth, “Well boys, if you ever wondered what sinking in quicksand was like, wonder no more.”


Areticus looks down at his boots and the tails of his coat with disgust. Mud and grass stains coat the majority of his boots and latch on to the ends of his pants and coat. With a groan he looks to his apprentice, “The vines,” he says pointing to the various trailing plants that curl around the trees; both around and above them.

Lo-Kain looks to them and nods, reaching out with the Force to wiggle one that is sturdy and long from it’s resting place on a branch. The vine responds, causing a rustle of a few leaves that fall nearby. The vine swings between the hulking Zabrak and his sith master. Shortly after, the three noticed that other vines begin to loosen and slither along the branches around them.

“It seems I am greater with the Force than I had thought,” Lo-kain says in a sudden surprise, yet with also a slight confusion in his tone. A smile of pride came upon his face when multiple vines began swinging lower towards them. His smile however faded shorty after from the ignition of his master’s crimson blade.

“Vine Snakes!” Iios shouted at he drew his vibroblade and vibrodagger in an attempt to swing at the creatures who came nearby in attempts to bite him. Lo-Kain followed suit with his master, and the two whirled their lightsaber blades at the creatures, who’s severed corpses dropped into the quicksand alongside them.

“An odor snakes detest?!” Areticus shouts while waving his blade at the serpents.

“Uhh… Uhh… Sulfur!” Iios responds.

“Hold your breath!” Areticus shouts as he taps into the Force to produce an intensely powerful odor of sulfur. In doing so, the vine snakes begin to retreat back into the trees and further away.

Looking down, the three were now thigh deep, and seemingly out of vines to utilize. Lo-Kain then looks to Areticus for further suggestions, who points to a thick branch attached to a tree.

“Use it to push yourself out, and pull us once you are free. You have the strength,” Areticus tells him.

The Zabrak draws his blade throws it at the bark ridge of the branch, causing it to sever and fall to the ground. With quick work of using the Force, he returns his lightsaber and brings the severed branch into the quicksand with them. With it, Lo-Kain pushes it further in, pulling him closer to the edge till he is able to pull himself out. Areticus and Iios then grab hold of the branch as Lo-Kain pulls it closer towards him with the Force. Once they too came close to the edge, Lo-kain was able to pull them out.

Areticus tried to wipe off as much mud and dirt off his outfit, “It’s ruined. I’ll need another. No amount of dry cleaning will rid myself of what has occurred here.” He says with a sigh.

“It’s just clothing,” the Zabrak mutters.

“That cost me a good amount of credits,” Areticus finished. He then sighed and asked Iios to carry on with their trail, “And do keep an eye out for quicksand, if you please.”


Somewhere Muddy

Zuser Whuloc cut away a curtain of hanging moss with his wrist blade as he traversed the thick gnarled and giant tees of the mudball of a planet Furios whisked Plagueis to. He chuckled to himself as he leapt from a particularly thick tree branch to another one, mynocks scattering loudly as he landed on the wood. Maybe Furios had really lost his mind, bringing them to this place. To be entirely honest he would’ve preferred to be back on Aliso tuning his new ship and tweaking it to his liking. Below him he saw a few other members meandering through the muck and foliage but paid them no mind.

However, as filthy and muddy as this planet was, there was an ancient power present. In the ground, the very trees and branches he was scaling, even the murky muddy water he dared not even fall into. It was everywhere.

Taking a running leap from the tree branch and landing across a gap in the trees to a somehow even more gnarled tree than the last, the Mystic caught sight of a familiar face below him, currently trying to lift a ship out of the ever-present muck and standing next to an unfamiliar Togruta girl who seemed worried about something. The maverick’s eyes flicked to and fro as he analyzed the ship and sighed, seeing the problem was an easy fix. Looking down he stepped off the limb and dropped to the wet ground with a splat.

“Y’know, Drol, there is another way to go about this.”

Zuser spoke as he strode forward, hands in his pockets, unfazed when both Dark Jedi whipped around with lightsabers in hand. The pilot merely stood there, head tilted to the side, unamused.

“Long time no see, Drol.”

He resumed walking, stepping past the two as if they weren’t about to cut him in half.

“Zuser Whuloc. It’s been ages! What have you been up to?!”

Kul’tak Drol turned, clipping his weapon back to his belt. The girl kept her weapon out, looking at Zuser incredulously.

“Wait, you’re Zuser Whuloc? The crazy pilot who keeps buzzing Aliso City? That Zuser Whuloc?”

Zuser’s grin spread, threatening to split his face in half as he turned to look over his shoulder at the Togruta with a slightly mad gleam in his eyes.

“The one and only.”

The Mystic turned, his body following the movement of his head and tilted his head quizzically at her.

“And you are?”

“Tahiri. Tahiri Thorn Morte Tarentae.”

“A pleasure. Now, your problem here is an easy fix. And, no Kul’tak, it doesn’t require Force usage.”

Leaving a grumbling Kul’tak and a worrying Tahiri behind him as he approached the hull of the ship.

“There’s an emergency release hatch right here.”

Zuser turned to face them as they stepped up behind him before slamming his fist into a panel and out sprung a lever which he grasped and pulled, the air from the shuttle emptying out into the rotting and hazy air of the swamp with a sharp hiss. He raised his free hand to the new doorway and gave the two of them a wide grin.

“Please, after you.”


Lo-kain looks upon the chiss hunter and says with openly-expressed sarcasm, “Great navigating, genius.”

“It would be best to stop for the night. Iios, find us a campsite.” Areticus orders.

Iios nods, then takes off his pack and pulls out his electrobinoculars. He then procedes to climb up an ancient gnarltree and scan the surrounding area.

“Got it. There is a small opening surrounded by trees around eighty meters east of here.” Iios says as he hops out of the tree and nimbly rolls upon hitting the ground. The roll was timed upon landing as to spread the impact from the fall to his entire body, rather than just his legs.

“Shall we?” He says as he walks onward. They continue forward for sixty meters before Iios puts up his hand in a ‘stop’ motion. He looks around while whispering, “There is something waiting ahead of us. The tracks of animals that went this way just stop about ten meters in front of us.”

Areticus points upward in a nearby tree, “There, a python if I’m not mistaken.”

Iios looks up, “Hmm. We should wait until it is distracted by jubba birds and then head in. It would stop other predators from approaching from this way.” Lo-kain moves past Iios and positions himself just outside of the python’s reach. He stares at the python and manipulates the creature’s mind with the Force. The creatures vision of Lo-kain changes to that of a massive, flaming demon. In utter terror it slithers away from them, up to the tree’s canopy.

Iios chuckles, “Or we could do that.”

“We?” Lo-kain replies, “I think not.”

Iios rolls his eyes and begins gathering whatever dry wood he can find upon entering the clearing. Lo-kain cuts a massive downed tree into three cylinders using his lightsaber, then wills the Force to move them around an area that Areticus cleared for a campfire. Iios returns with a small bundle of wood and arranges it in a cone with kindling forming its inside. Upon lighting the kindling with his blaster, Iios sits down on the log across from Lo-Kain and Areticus’ logs and hands out some yarum seeds he had collected earlier in the day for them to eat.

“So, Lo-kain, thanks for the save back at the quicksand.” Iios mumbles.

Lo-kain looks to the Chiss with a surprised face, “Yeah, well…Good work noticing the pythons hunting ground.”

Areticus looks to them both and chuckles inwardly.


“Ladies, you’re both pretty,” Areticus remarks to the passive aggressive bantering of his students.

Lo-Kain looks to his master and grows a mischievous grin, “I know very well the woman you are fond of, my master.”

Areticus snickers and looks away from both of them. His reaction caused Iios to raise a brow, and looking back and forth between the two sith, “Wait what… really?”

“Indeed. Yet she is out of his reach,” Lo-Kain replies.

“We will speak no more of this, for it matters not,” Areticus growls, “and just for that you can have first and last watch, my apprentice.”

A few hours later

It was in the dead of night, and the air gave off a slight chill that kept Areticus awake. He was use to the comfort of a memory foam bed, not the ground with only a mundane sleeping bag. He noticed that Iios too was unable to sleep, keeping close to the campfire while cooking porg meat.

“Where did you get that?” Areticus asked

“The porg meat? I took it from Karnassus Murr’s Quastor’s kitchen. I’ve seen him cook. He doesn’t do these critters justice. Plus there’s no way I’m eating the wildlife out here,” Iios replies.

That made Areticus laugh louder than he expected to, “Well put, I’m certain they won’t notice the loss in supply. However, I must ask, why so late for a meal?”

“I can’t sleep, Areticus. Something about this place is off. Everytime I tried to sleep, I feel as though I am being awakened by something calling to me. Something wanting me, drawing me closer, you know what I mean?”

Areticus beamed at the Chiss before him, “This place is dense in the Dark Side, Iios. Master Yoda used the presence here to hide himself from the Emperor. Perhaps you are becoming sensitive to its energy.”

IIos looks to Areticus with an awestruck expression, “You think so? You think I have a connection to the Force? Like you and Lo-Kain?”

Areticus rises from his resting area and beckons Iios to follow, “We can certainly find out. Come.”

Lo-Kain wakes from his nap leaning against a tree as Areticus and Iios begin to leave, “Where are we going?” he asks.

“You are going nowhere,” Areticus says sternly, “You will stay here and do nothing, it is what you are good at. We will return.”

Iios looked a bit worried at Areticus’ harsh command, and could feel the hatred of jealousy radiating from the Zabrak. It filled him with fear, but also curiosity. He waited until he was certain they were out of earshot before asking, “Why did you say that? He was rather helpful in the quicksand.”

“Lo-Kain’s potential resides in his anger. It is his most powerful emotion, matched only with his procrastination. So I piss him off, and he directs that anger into channeling the Force. He will become a great warrior, but nothing more than a tool. If he, however, got off his arse and fought his own personal distractions, he would make a great Sith.”

“This trip then, is to just motivate him?” Iios asked.

“No, where we are going is for you. Worry not about Lo-Kain, for I will handle him.”

After crossing a few trenches, they happen upon a small cavern shrouded in vines. The wind grew colder, but it came from the inside. There was a pressure within that was dense, and Iios trembled uncontrollably as they stood before it. He looked to Areticus, surprised at how at ease he was, despite the weight on their shoulders this place brought.

“Go in,” Areticus directed, “I will follow, but this is your path.”


Iios stared into the cave. He had hunted creatures that were bigger, stronger, and faster than himself. He had been in situations where he was certain he would die, but the cave in front of him scared him more than anything else. Iios, realizing he had been staring for a good three minutes, took his blaster and checked it once more; a common hunting habit of his before engaging his prey and the best way he knew to readjust his focus. Iios began slowly walking into the cave, carefully stepping over several gnarltree roots that projected from the ground.

Upon passing through the threshold of the cave, Iios began to see a three figures in the opening. Two of these figures stood to either side of Iios, their faces covered by masks. The figure on the left dressed in a black robe and his counterpart was dressed in the same garments of white. A third stood between and behind them, face and garb hidden by shadow. Iios approached the left figure first. The unmistakable sound of a lightsaber activating, caused Iios to pull his blaster and aim it at the figure. The figure stood motionless and gave no signs of agression. Iios relaxed a little and looked toward the figure’s armament. As Iios began to stare at the crimson blade, he was reminded of his own feral instincts and pride. Aspects that were necessary for him to survive as a huntsman, but he also found anger and fear. Aspects that would gain him incredible strength at the cost of control.

Iios turned and approached the right-side figure. As he walked closer this figure, too, activated his lightsaber. Upon focusing on the yellow blade, Iios saw patience and control, the aspects that allowed him to stalk his prey and study them for days, learning their strengths and weaknesses. Along with those aspects, he saw mercy and calm. Iios touched the scars that lined his face. Though he could sense great focus through those aspects, he had learned that mercy often carried a hefty price.

Iios stepped away from the white-robed figure and approached the final figure. This figure’s lightsaber sprung forth a pearl white color. Iios percieved the aspects of instinct, pride, patience, and control. A being that could become the apex hunter, never as strong as the black-robed figure and never as composed as the white-robed figure, but gaining a great power that could only be gained through a tentative balance.

Iios looked back up to the figure in front of him, now illuminated by the light of the lightsaber and saw his own face, older and showing an abundance of experience in his eyes. Iios looked to the other figures as they removed their masks and saw his older face mirrored on them as well, before they dissappated into the fog. Iios turned back to his white-sabered doppleganger and nodded to him. The figure nodded back before also dissappearing into the fog. Iios moved further into the cave with a new sense of purpose in his heart.


Fuzzy vision greeted Taranae as she awoke. She stretched and yawned quietly and rolled over to put her arm around Kelly. She wasn’t there. Sitting bolt upright. she glanced around the sleeping area and found to her dismay that the Quaestor was nowhere to be seen. Sleepily rising from the bed, Taranae quickly slipped into her clothes, some loose-fitting attire she could wear and not be hampered by the swamps and boggy areas on this damned planet. Whoever thought this was a good vacation spot needed therapy for sure. Her head buzzed painfully and she clutched at it. Something was firing on all her senses but she couldn’t make out what it could be. She tried to focus and zeroed in on a large concentration of Dark Side energy emanating from somewhere nearby.

She had heard the tales of the planet’s history and the role it played in hiding individuals from the Empire, but had no idea that the Force here was so strong. She risked sticking her head from out of cover and looked both ways, her senses screaming at her. she was being drawn to a region to her right; an area that seemed to be nothing but swamp and she sensed other individuals in the same direction. Grabbing her weapons, she holstered them and ventured towards the direction of the pull.

As she trudged, she glimpsed movement to either side of her. Instinctively, she reached and flipped off the safety catches of her blasters, ready for any attack. Creatures flitted around her head like so many flies and she lazily swatted them away as she walked through knee-deep water, ever keeping her destination in mind. Eventually, the pull became so strong that she had to stop and rest, clutching her head in her hands. Something here was richly steeped in the Dark Side of the Force and it was her duty to discover what it may be.

continuing when the pain lessened, she stepped out of the water onto a dry patch of ground. Off to her left, she noticed a small pile of rounded stones, ranging from large at the bottom and gradually decreasing in size as they rose upwards to six stones high. Each one stacked perfectly on top of the one below. She sensed forces at play even here and as she glanced around, the source of the pull became apparent. A cave was set into the rock face covered in vines and two figures stood before it, gazing into the depths. She instinctively reached to her lightsaber holster but as one of the figures turned, recognition dawned on Taranae’s face.

“Areticus,” she said, greeting the Knight. "I didn’t realize you had come this way. How did you stumble across this? I was drawn by the huge forces at play."
She glanced at the other figure. “And Lo-Kain I believe? Have you seen the Quaestor? She wandered off during the night and I’m trying to find her, but all I can sense is this damned cave.” She motioned to the darkness.


The Shi’ido as old as he was often had a bad knack of shape shifting during his naps, though no one else but his bodyguard Abaven seemed to notice the Warlord shift into the very seat he was sitting in during the flight. After everyone had already left, the Kaleesh gently shaking what he hoped was his masters shoulder awake.

“Master we have arrived and everyone else has left the ship.” Abaven said

Instantly returning to his formal charcoal black skinned pure Sith blood form, he looked around and shook off the sleep.

“Even better now Abaven, now I can surprise them all with my new swimwear!” Silent spoke

“My lord I was against the new fad, and still am.” Abaven replied carefully

“Oh please, I grew up wearing less as a child, plus we are here to swim in what ever oceans await us outside!” Silent said

“About that part my lord….”

The Kaleesh never finished as his master had already disrobed sporting a black speedo and was quickly reaching the ramp, with his hands out to his sides he shouted “Hellooooooooo Clan Plagueis check out my………Where the hell are the oceans!!!” the snickers and some shocked awes from fellow clan mates had the Shi’ido quickly don his usual everyday robes that he kept within his body for moments like these. Abaven came up behind him with a very rare smile.

“As I was saying my Lord, welcome to Dagobah.”

“Could have warned me sooner Abaven.”

“Sorry master.”

The Warlord thought hard for the next few seconds and decided that since he would be stuck here for the next two weeks he would work on his shapeshifting by getting back at those who laughed. He had put all their faces into his memory, burning with hatred that they dared laughed at his look. Turning back into his original Shi’ido, with a flat face, and pale skin, his mouth becoming wider. It seemed that not many people have seen what a Shi’ido looked like without shapeshifting.

“Yes, I think this will do for now, tomorrow I will start hunting my prey, Abaven you have permission to enjoy the rest of your time here off, I have a few people to tend too personally.”

“As you wish master.”


Azmodius found himself awaking to the scent of roasting meat and distant chatter. It was sunset and it seemed the rest of the clan was called to mealtime. Scraping the crust from his eyes he lifted himself up as he felt his head pound hard enough to knock him back down. He groaned as he turned between two stools and propped his back against the bar with a deep thud. Pulling on the pouches of his boots he retrieved his pipe and a small bag of spice to pack the bowl with. As he lit up, he turned to acknowledge two of the clan’s foot soldiers who had taken notice of the Aedile’s loud awakening.


As if their lives depended on it, the two averted their gaze in an instant. “Thought so," he muttered before noticing a familiar presence nearby.

“Far be it from me to tell you how to spend your vacation, but is this really what you want to be doing?” Azmodius turned towards the entryway to see his master, Furios, standing arms crossed and shaking his head. “You know, I would think you’d be enjoying Dagobah more so than most of the others, seeing as how similar it is to Dathomir. While I am all for the drinking, as my former student I had hoped I had left more of the Obelisk teachings in you. This place is perfect for honing your skills as a warrior.”

“I know it’s just…”

Furios grew furious “You know I hate excuses! If coming here just turns you into 10 pounds of sad in a 5 pound bag then you were never worthy of becoming Aedile or having been my student! Deal with it, or the summit will deal with you.” With that, the towering Epicanthix turned and left the bar, leaving Azmodius to ponder his master’s words. Azmodius put away his spice and pipe and got up, turning towards the only others in the bar to see they were unconscious. “When did he do that?” he thought to himself as he left to go on a hunt, thinking the best way to deal with his past would be to immerse himself in it.


The Bad Idea represented the sum of Dralin’s habits and experiences, bound up inside the only intact hull some junkyard in the back end of nowhere had to offer: a Star Courier. If the exterior ever had any paint, it had long since worn away completely to reveal bare metal. The ship looked as worn out as Dralin’s suit.

The swamp seemed to press in around the ship as the trio circumnavigated its long bow and one of its shield-like wings. The spherical main compartment sat at the ship’s rear, with a thin ramp extending directly backwards, like a tail hanging from behind the haunches of some great animal.

“Honestly,” Ronovi began with a skeptical raise of an eyebrow, “I expected something more…”

“Humble?” Dralin supplied with a mock flourish of his arms, as if framing the view of his ship.

“Classy,” Ronovi finished with a smirk. The giant of a woman shouldered her way past the two men and stomped up the ramp.

Laren followed Dralin and R3-D9 up the ramp, and he was struck by how the ship seemed as much a cave like any other in the fading light. The interior didn’t do much to dispel that notion, which looked like a lair for bored spacers and university professors instead of bogwings and butcherbugs. Every nook and cranny in the poorly-lit vessel was covered in unfinished mechanical projects, half-read books left laying open, datapads with technical readouts, and various sewing projects.

The lift to the upper level of the main cabin appeared to have been ripped out some time in the ship’s haphazard past, but a sturdy ladder of pipe-like protrusions bolted to the inside of the shaft provided swift access as Dralin beelined for his treasured tea stores. He selected his favorite blend, a strong Togrutan Deychin, and hopped back down the empty lift shaft to coerce R3 into brewing it for them.

“Right, then,” Dralin said as he clapped his hands together, spinning to face his guests after issuing his droid fresh orders. “The quickest way back to your camp is to fix my ship.”

Ronovi rolled her organic eye. “Yeah, I remember that time I went to starship engineering college.”

The rogue Plagueian looked at her blankly. “You don’t know how to work on ships at all?”

“Nope,” she replied bluntly.

“Even though your father did it for a living?”


“And your brother?”

“Learned it from him, yes.”

“And what did you learn?”

“He didn’t like pointy swords.”

The Proconsul was somewhat taken aback by the exchange. Years separated these two, but their banter flowed as if practiced ahead of time. When R3 approached with fresh tea, Laren waited for his host’s “all clear” before taking a sip of the dark, bitter liquid.

Dralin gave an exasperated sigh and rubbed his cybernetic eyes with the palms of both hands. “Okay, how about you just lift the heavy objects like the support beam you are?” Before Ronovi could verbally retaliate, he then turned to Laren. “And how did you find the tea?”


The end of the cavern opened up into a small circular room, with walls coated in vines with bioluminescent sacs along each vine that gave a low blue hue. In the center of the room was a single stone stalagmite in the center. It was flat, holding aloft an onyx black bowl.

Iios approached it and looked into the waters of the bowl.

“What do you see?” Areticus asks from the corner of the room.

“I see nothing, at least, not at the surface,” Iios replied.

“Do you feel anything?”

Iios lets his hands rest in the waters, “I do not. Should I?”

“Reach deeper,” Areticus commands.

Iios sends his hand lower to the bottom of the bowl, only to be surprised to find his entire arm to his shoulder to be submerged, and still finding no bottom.

Areticus starts to pace around the room with his arms folded behind his back, “You seek a balance between the dark and the light, yet you understand neither. The light is the surface, it is limited and shallow. The dark is that of the depths, seemingly endless, spacious, and only ventured by the brave. The light and the dark is not tied to good and evil, rather it is much like positive and negative charges in magnetism, simply different. Attempting to balance both will keep you too close to the surface, where there is nothing but shallow waters. There is much more in the depths, and it is in the exploration in the dark side, the true nature of the Force, is where you will grow and prosper. Your own moral code hinders you. Jedi to not perform alchemy, arcanic rituals, or gain everlasting life. The undertow of the Force will only promise you a handful of mundane abilities. Embrace the way of the Sith, and see how deep the waters can become.”

Iios withdraws his hand, takes a moment in silence and reflection, and nods to Areticus before making his way to exit the cavern. Areticus then ends his illusions and follows behind him.

As they come out from the surface of the cave, they are met with a stunning woman. Iios turns to look at Areticus, who doesn’t hesitate to bow in courtesy.

“Areticus,” she said, greeting the Knight. “I didn’t realize you had come this way. How did you stumble across this? I was drawn by the huge forces at play.”

She glanced at the other figure. “And Lo-Kain I believe? Have you seen the Quaestor? She wandered off during the night and I’m trying to find her, but all I can sense is this damned cave,” she motioned to the darkness.

“Madame Rhode, it is an honor,” Areticus says politely, “This is my next in line, Iios Singuard. My apprentice Lo-Kain was left in our previous campsite. Iios, give us a moment and retrieve Lo-Kain for me, please?”

Iios takes his bow and leaves the two. There is a moment of silence before Areticus motions to the cave, “This place is dense in the Force, and as such amplifies the capabilities of those sensitive to it. I was here to see, if under these conditions, Iios showed signs of sensitivity and potential in training. As for Lady Mendes, I must unfortunately report I have not seen her since my departure from the Nebula Strider. I couldn’t see any concern in her absence. She is a remarkable woman; capable, strong, intelligent, and a respectable leader.”

His face loses it’s composure to show a bit of concern, “Why? Have you news of something? Is she alright?”


Tahiri stared in amazed embarrassment as the hatch opened. She couldn’t believe that this grinning Plagueian before her, showed up out of the blue, or well rather the green muddy swamp, and nonchalantly opened the hatch. Well, you don’t have to tell me twice, she thought as the smell of burning metal and fuel came wafting out of the opening. “We must hurry and get Master out before the ship blows up,” she said quickly, clipping her saber back onto her belt and rushing pass Zuser, nodding to him. As she entered the ship, there was panels and exposed wires all around the corridor. The fumes that were accumulating in the ship stung her eyes, blinking the tears away Tahiri started searching for Solas.

“Master?” she cried out. “Master, can hear me?” Tahiri reached out with the Force. Feeling for the familiar dark coldness that was her Master.

“Tahiri, I don’t feel anything,” Kul was right behind her, along with Zuser. Tahiri turned to see a sad and worried look on the Zabraks face.

“Aye, I can concur,” chimed in Zuser, wiping his eyes. “We should get out of here before we get cooked as well.”

“No, he’s here,” she replied. “And he’s alive. You just have to know how to look for him.”

“Tahiri, I…” Kul tried to reason with her.

“This way,” Tahiri interrupted him. “I know where he is.” She headed towards the starboard lift, only to find that it was not working. “Kark, the lift is out.” She looked at Zuser, and asked desperately, “Are there any panels that can help access cockpit?”

Zuser stepped forward, lifting the panel to the lifts controls, “There is no power to the lift, and this will probably take too long to repair.” Shaking his head, he looked at Tahiri and Kul. “There is no other way up to the cockpit, except from the outside.

The ship all of a sudden gave a groan and tilted toward the starboard side, slipping slowly back into mud. The tilt was enough to send all three of them careening against the lift door.

“Sithspit, it’s slipping back in,” exclaimed Kul, as he caught himself.

“Okay then, plan B it is,” as Tahiri gritted her teeth, unclipping and igniting her saber. She pushed herself away from the lift and braced herself for leverage. Her red blade sparked as it went through the metal. The metal gave way easily, and in a few moments she had a big enough hole cut through, for them to go through.

“Come on, we have to get to the cockpit,” she urged, slipping into the lift, and then began to cut another hole in the top of the lift. Kul squeezed through and help her finish the hole. As they both extinguished their blades, Kul quickly pulled Tahiri to him, as the thick piece of metal began to fall towards where she had been standing.

“Whoa, that was close,” Zuser let out a low whistle, peering through and looking up the new hole.

Kul and Tahiri looked at each other, and then up at the hole. Kul let her go, gathered himself and then jumped up to the edge of the hole, pulling himself up and through. Tahiri quickly followed suit, jumping to the and then gave her a hand up. Zuser shook his head, but followed them up as well. Kul cut the hole into the bridge, while Tahiri used the Force to gently push the newly made doorway inward, and propped it against the inside wall.
Once it was there, Tahiri jumped through and looked around. “Master!” Tahiri sprang over to where Solas lay unconscious on his side. Solas’ right leg was caught between a fallen panel array and the doorway into his lavish redesigned cockpit.

“Kul?” Tahiri called, as she checked Solas’ pulse, while gently cradling his head. The familiar darkness that usually surrounded Solas was slightly weaker than normal, but he was alive. A hand on her shoulder, told her that Kul was already beside her. Looking up at the panel and then at Kul. Kul followed her line of site and nodded.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got him,” he replied, stooping down and bracing himself slightly, gripped underneath Solas’ shoulders. Tahiri stood and readied herself. “Zuser, get ready!” he shouted over to the lift as Zuser came through. “When we get him out from under…”

“Say no more, I got you, Kul’tak,” interrupted Zuser, with a smile and a nod.

Working almost in unison, Tahiri concentrated hard as she lifted the panel up, enough to let Kul drag Solas out from under. Then he gently handed the injured Solas down to Zuser, who was waiting down on the lift, as both men tag teamed on getting Solas out of the ship.

While Kul’tak and Zuser took Solas down and out of the ship, Tahiri took a quick look around. The control consoles were totally screwed up, as was the rest of this side. Hearing a screech, she turned and looked over the fallen panel into the other side. It was Solas’ hawk, perched awkwardly on top of a grand chair, that Solas had installed in the center of the room. Tahiri raised her arm, while also sending encouraging thoughts to the bird. Looking at her for a moment, the hawk screeched again and then flew over to land on Tahiri’s raised arm. Stroking it’s wing feather and smoothing some of the birds more tousled feathers, she spoke to it in a soft voice. “It’s okay. I’ll get you out of here, and back to Master.”

The ship groaned again, as this time a shudder ran through the entire ship. Tahiri fought to keep her balance, as the ship sank deeper into the muck of the swamp. The hawk screeched again, flying up and then around the room. Tahiri reached out and calmed the hawk, giving it mental images on how to get out. Carefully making her way to the lift, she watched as the black hawk flew once more around the room, and then dove down into the lift and headed down. Tahiri followed suit. Jumping down, she made it to the bottom and got out of the lift.

She was about to leave, when she felt a distant, but strong Dark side energy emanating from her Masters’ quarters. “Tahiri, where are you? Tahiri!” Kul called her. She could feel his anxiety rising. Knowing that Kul was worried about her, she sent reassuring thoughts his way, and shouted back to him, ”Don’t worry, I’m fine, just need to check the quarters real quick.”

Kul and Zuser had set Solas down on the dryest piece of land they could find. Moments later, the ship began to sink even faster into the swamp. The fumes were getting stronger. Kul called for Tahiri again, this time there was no answer. Zuser almost had to stop him from running back into the ship, when Tahiri finally came out of the hatch, followed by a black hawk.

“Tahiri, what were you doing?” Kul asked in stern tone.He was mostly relieved, but also a bit worried and angry that she had stayed in the ship for as long as she did. “You could have been hurt, or killed if you had stayed in there much longer.”

“I know Kul, but I had to retrieve a few of Master’s possessions that he would be very angry about losing,” Tahiri explained, wearily sitting down near her Master’s broken leg, not even really minding the muck and grime. “I also grabbed the medical kit,” she said as she took it out of the satchel that was on her shoulder.


Under normal circumstances, Arden would have gone on “official business” the shuttle that had been set aside for his use. However, for this particular occasion, Arden had decided to take out his personal Gozanti-class freighter, the 22nd Rule. The name seemed appropriate as it drew on an old Muun philosophical text on the acquisition of profit. Among the rules presented in that text, the 22nd was that a wise man could hear profit on the wind. But then again, Arden had no desire to hear the wind on Dagobah, hence why he’d brought his own ship. The Upsilons were good for short trips, but they weren’t exactly fit for a vacation and he intended to enjoy himself.

And make some money.

“Sir, I’ve moved the fifty thousand into the Corellian grain futures as you requested. I also sent the firmly worded denial to our factor on Bothawui.” Arden’s droid assistant Karra’s voice was silky as she looked. Arden didn’t really care about the droid’s looks, but others did, and that’s why he invested in a BD-3000

“How many curse words did you include?” Arden asked as he keyed a command into his console.

“Only 7,” Karra answered. “But I did make sure to impugn the honor of Mr. She’lan’s mother.”

Arden nodded in satisfaction. “That’ll do I suppose, he does still owe me 40,000 credits.”

“42,619 after the latest interest rate changes,” Karra corrected him, as she had been programmed to.

Arden smiled and then looked down at the comm panel in his quarters that was blinking. Looking to Karra, Arden grumbled. “Who the kriff is that! What part of ‘do not disturb’ wasn’t clear.”

“Mister Silent, sir.” Karra replied.

Arden shook his head as he pushed the blinking key on the panel. “Go away. The markets are still open.”

“We’re supposed to be on vacation Karn.” The Shi’ido was only stating the obvious.

“You’re supposed to be on vacation,” Arden replied. “I’ll be on vacation when we’re on a beach in Canto Bight or something.”

“The Dread Lord said…” Silent was trying to make a point, but Arden cut him off.

“Roh said I had to come to this muddy slimehole, she said nothing about having to leave the ship.”

“I think that’s implied, Karn,” Silent replied in an insistent tone. “ Besides, Furios has plenty of booze out here.”

“Only cheap swill, and there’s at least as much in here. Now leave me be before I decide to vacation by shooting you.”


“The tea is fine.” In truth, he had never had a taste for the finer things in the galaxy, tea among them. More like boiled grass, in his opinion. Raising his cup for the second time since meeting the quirky Dark Jedi, he added, “Much appreciated.” He was never one for glamorous toasts, either.

How did I find the tea? Laren thought to himself, slightly exasperated with the entire ordeal. He dare not let his feelings true feelings be known, though he couldn’t help but wear a blatant look of annoyance. Neither seemed to notice, or if they did, neither cared, revelling instead on being in the presence of one another. Caution still hung in the air akin to the thick fog common to the swampy wastes of Dagobah, but it was less palpable than before.

“Considering the classy surroundings, it is the least I could do,” Dralin replied, eyeing Ronovi with a slight smirk.

Before the Epicanthix could reply again, Laren cut in. “But this tea, as delicious as it is, does not get us back to our camp. And neither of us can fix this ship. So we seem to be at an impasse.”

Ignoring the Pantoran, Dralin turned to Ronovi.

"You should have attended - how did you put it?”

“Starship engineering college,” she replied seamlessly.

“Yes, indeed. What a child you must have been. Surrounded by starships, and yet no interest at all?”

Placing his exasperated face into his hands as they went on, Laren muttered, “Oh, no, not again.”

“I wasn’t nimble enough. Always breaking things and such,” Ronovi shot back with a dangerous grin. She gnarled a fist and slammed it against the hull with a loud, reverberating thud. She hadn’t even flinched! There was no sign of pain at all, and there was a significant dent where the impact had been. “It’s a shame when support beams suddenly fall on your ship.”

Laren looked up; Dralin had leaned toward him and began speaking in a low voice, though still loud enough to be heard by all. “You must forgive me for Ronovi. She never did know when to play nice.”


“Always resorted to fists first, questions later,” he went on, clearly goading her.

“I tried my hand at questions, and ended up as Headmaster -”

“If memory serves, the Academy was nearly turned into a pile of ash?”

“I was just getting to that part…”

“Yes, something one just glosses over, thinking back on it.”

“It’s clear you’re not a lightie; patience is definitely not a virtue of yours.”

Laren coughed gently and managed to gain the duo’s attention amidst their amicable back and forth. “If I may?”

“Just get on with it, Uscot,” Ronovi replied before Dralin could take control of the conversation. “Start talking, or we won’t stop.”

“Now, I think that’s just -” Dralin began, but Laren cut him off.

"None of us are mechanics -”

“Well, see, I am. I just need the parts.”

“Okay, you’re a mechanic without the parts you need, and we’re all lost. Same story. Except we have this droid, here. May I suggest we send your lovely droid to track down our camp, accompanied by a recording of my orders, and the droid will return with the spare parts you need?"

“And while we’re waiting, we’ll have dinner! Splendid idea, Laren, splendid!”

“Uh, not exactly what I had in mind.”

But Laren’s protests went unheard. Dralin was up and about, dashing from this corner of the ship to that, ordering the droid about briskly.

“I always keep a set of good Corellian porcelain in here somewhere. R3, before you go, find the set of silverware we bought on Ord Mantell.” The droid chirped back, and Dralin reddened. “Ah, right. Well, the ration cutlery will do, then.”

“So wait, are we having dinner with you, then?” Laren asked.

Turns out they were.


“Never again!” boomed Caesar as he made his way back into the ship in a hurry, clenching his stomach. Shoving some of the journeymen out of the way, he rushed to safe place where he could finally relieve himself. The restroom was cleared out, thankfully.

Three knocks could be loudly heard throughout a small distance. “Gaius!” someone had shouted, surprisingly in an angry tone. Caesar had made countless trips to the restroom in the morning since the famous Porg roasting. Apparently, the Commander had eaten a rancid meal, which wreaked havoc on his intestines.

“Get out here and enjoy yourself!” the voice screamed once more, apparently coming from his Quaestor.

“My Lord, I don’t think that last nights dinner is sitting well with my stom-” grumbled the old man, cut off by the need to vomit.

“You need to suck it up and come join the party, this is our last night on Dagobah!”

Tears started to roll down Caesar’s face as he slowly made his way back to join the rest of his Clan.


There were no tables or chairs in the cargo hold, but there were plenty of other things to sit on. Dralin had certainly made a work station of the area. There were astromech parts strewn about, sewing materials stacked in corners, towers of books, and a well maintained bench for…something? Ronovi wasn’t quite sure, though the bench was the most pristine piece of furniture in the space. It was obvious that Dralin was the kind of guy who ate little while multitasking. Still, there were plenty of crates and boxes to make use of, and so, resigned to their dinner date, Laren and Ronovi hunkered down and formed a small, makeshift dining room.

Ronovi sighed as she propped herself against an empty crate. Her stomach was beginning to growl. It was most likely dark out, but the heat or humidity hadn’t abated. Being both warm and hungry was not a good combination for her.

Laren sat across from the Epicanthix, perched awkwardly on a box. The blue hue of his skin was strangely muted in the dim lighting of the hold. Just hours before, the two had been discussing potentially going head to head in a fight. Now they were waiting for their host - a Coruscanti man in a tattered suit with a sadistic droid - to have them eat Sith knows what.

It took some time - R3 had already taken off on his mission, whirring and beeping as he disappeared from the ship - but Dralin eventually collected some metal plates and cutlery. He looked bedraggled and a bit crestfallen.

“My apologies,” he muttered, shaking his head with a thin smile. “It seems that we, er…lost our Corellian dishes during the crash. So these will have to do.”

He set everything out on the group’s “table,” and Laren cleared his throat loudly.

“So, um…Dralin.”

“Yes?” replied Dralin, almost sounding a bit too chipper.

The Pantoran shifted uncomfortably, eyeing Ronovi as if he wanted the two of them to just bail and try to get back to the Plagueian camp on their own. “What will you be serving us while we wait for your droid to return?”
Dralin paused, his brow furrowed, as he examined the hold. His cybernetic eyes blazed, their green tone creating an odd contrast with everything else.

“Let’s see,” he said. “I know R3 brought back something edible recently. Now, what was it?”

Ronovi arched an eyebrow. “‘Something edible?’”

She was met by a dismissive wave. “Oh, it’s simple, really. R3 has his predatory instincts, so I sometimes let him go out and about, sating his carnivorous urges. So he’s zapped some critters before.”

Laren gulped. Ronovi could tell that his appetite was fading; truth be told, so was hers. Whether or not she liked to admit it, the woman was a snob when it came to cuisine. She had quite the soft spot for seafood - Lambro shark and Berbersian crab were two favorites of hers, and she occasionally indulged in some Fanteel steak when she could get it imported from Kamino. Whatever R3 had to offer would pale in comparison - in fact, it may not hold any color at all compared to other food. She said nothing, however, not quite feeling up to her typical snarky self when Dralin seemed so willing to house the two.

“Ah, yes!” Dralin suddenly exclaimed. “I remember now. R3 just caught some this morning, so they’re certainly fresh. We’ll have to cook them outside, though.”

“Outside?” repeated Ronovi.

“Of course!” retorted Dralin, grinning. “I can’t imagine cooking with fire inside my ship. On purpose. Come, now. You can help me prepare the spit.”

Before Laren and Ronovi could say so much as “Easy, spaceman,” the Coruscanti was shoving them out of the Bad Idea back into the sticky air of Dagobah. The croaking and shrieking of native amphibians and birds didn’t exactly add to a friendly ambiance. Ronovi kept her hand on her utility belt, remembering both her saberstaff and her DH-17 pistol. Laren, on the other hand, paced as if designating a perimeter, all while Dralin disappeared back into the ship to get their supposed dinner.

“Tavisaen,” Laren uttered.


“Please tell me you don’t have any other secret friends like him.”

Ronovi exhaled through her nostrils. “He wasn’t always like this.”

“Oh, yeah? What, was he slightly more hygienic?”

“Look, Uscot,” Ronovi snapped, “he apparently needs our help, so we’re going to help him, okay? The man’s not a pushover. He was Third Hero of the Eleventh Great Jedi War, for crying out loud.”

“Oh, okay,” chuckled the Proconsul. “That makes me feel so much better.”

“He’s a friend of Plagueis.”

“And another thing…why in the name of the galaxy do you lot have so many wars?”

Ronovi wasn’t going to answer that question - not that she had time to, anyway. At that moment, Dralin burst out of the Bad Idea, beaming as he held up the catch of the day. The Epicanthix’s one organic eye narrowed into a slit, and from her peripheral vision, she thought she saw Laren retch.

“All right,” declared Dralin. “Who’s up for some barbecued sleens?”


Kelly wasn’t exactly sure where she was. It was Dagobah for sure, but other than that it was fair to say she was lost. This wasn’t the type of situation the Human enjoyed being in. But she had to be brave like she had been all those years ago when her heart was shattered. But she hid it well then and would have to do so now. The murky conditions were far from ideal for many things, including navigation.

Kelly reached out, with her mind not physically, that would be stupid. As she probed the Force, she saw two presences, one closer than the other. She couldn’t quite tell which was more powerful, something was affecting her ability. Was that burning? Who would set a fire on Dagobah of all places? It was a smell Kelly had never experienced before, but it intrigued her enough to draw her in its general direction. As the Quaestor moved closer, the smell grew stronger. Her mind wandered to wondering what could be the cause of such a sensation in her nose. The low hanging branches, difficult weeds and native wildlife were proving difficult obstacles to overcome, but Kelly hadn’t eaten since before getting to Dagobah. She needed that burning to be of food.

Hacking her way through some hastily assembled foliage, Kelly entered a clearing that was rather bizarre. There was a ship here, as well as a blue man, a man who seemed to have made enemies with time and a giant woman all sat around it. The blue man stood out. Of course, it’d be Laren, as if Kelly didn’t see the Pantoran enough, whether she be working for the Headmaster at the Shadow Academy, or on Aliso at summit meetings, he was everywhere. The other man seemed familiar, but Kelly couldn’t quite place where she had seen him before. The Quaestor’s mind was drawing a blank on the woman, but just from looking at her Kelly could tell this wasn’t one she wanted to make angry.

“Hey Uscot, mind introducing me to these strays you seemed to have picked up?” Kelly was well aware this wouldn’t go down well with Laren’s seating companions, but they hadn’t jumped up to kill her just yet. She looked at them nervously before Laren stood up.

“Ah Kelly, smell the food, did you? Well, it’s not mine to give you, it belongs to one of these, as you called them, strays. One of which is a member of your House, though they tend to do more important things than sit around on that ship I let you have.” Uscot seemed to be enjoying himself. As much as he saw Kelly, he liked to keep her on her feet with regards to how he’d treat her. He may have also been showing off for his new friends, but who’s to say?

“Wait, there’s food here? I was just taking a leisurely stroll when I came across this little campfire. When do we all hold hands and parse out a coherent, working peace treaty that installs Plagueis as the rulers of the galaxy?” Kelly played down her interest in the food, though it was a miracle she hadn’t started licking her lips. It appeared to be the meat of some kind of animal, but how would the trio react to her arrival?


Iios began walking down the path previously tread by himself and Areticus. Iios started thinking of what this newfound discovery, his innate Force sensitivity, could mean for his future. Endless hours of training and study, sure, but those kind of requirements were part and parcel of being a hunter already. Iios played the part in the cave for Areticus, knowing he would need to learn the dark side of the force in tandem with the light to become the Jedi he wished to be. He also suspected that Areticus knew of his plan already and that the Knight believed that the lure of the dark side would be too addicting to not fully immerse oneself in. Iios check his blaster once more thinking, This is a dangerous game you’re playing at, Iios.

Iios continued down the path toward Lo-Kain. Using the tracking experience and knowledge he had accumulated over his long career, Iios could see his tracks as if they were brightly illuminate. Iios stopped for a moment next to a moss covered tree, taking a swig from his canteen to quench his thirst. He thought for a second of where he could find a light-side user to mentor him in its use. He pulls his vibrodagger from his sheath and turns it over toward in his hand, looking at the blade, Living on a knife’s edge.. He snorts, thinking of all the exciting, and frustrating, changes in his life that had occurred in the past hour and plunges the dagger into tree. All of a sudden, the tree started lifting up and a loud trumpeting thundered through the swamp. As the tree descends, Iios dives out of its impact area just in time and pulls both his blaster and a thermite charge on instinct as he looks upward to see a collosal Elephoth, dagger still stuck in its leg, staring with pure rage at the Chiss hunter. As the creature charges toward Iios, the Chiss drops a flashbang grenade and rolls behind a tree in the hopes to hide from the massive beast. He quickly thinks back to his readings on Elephoths. Usually calm creatures, but will brutally stomp or skewer upon their tusks any creature they see as a threat to either themselves or their young. Tough hide, but not impenetrable. Eyes are the weakest point. Have an incredible sense of smell…oh. The hunter dives to the prone position just in time as the tree he hid behind explodes from the impact of the Elephoth’s tusks. Iios hops up in an instant and races away from the creature, throwing his three thermite charges at the closest trees along his retreat path. The Elephoth begins charging toward his aggressor, building up speed as he goes. The first charge explodes, angering the beast further, but slowing it down as the shrapnel batters its hide. The beast, having recovered, begins its charge again, to be blasted twice more with the expertly-timed charges.

Iios, having gained some distance from the beast, exchanges his blaster pistol for his rifle and takes careful aim at the Elephoth’s left eye. I will only get one shot at this, the Chiss thought to himself as the creature reached its maximum running speed. Iios takes careful aim and fires. The energy projectile scores a deep mark directly above the beast’s eye, but does not deter the beast from it’s course. Iios pulls his vibroblade and exhales sharply before whispering beneath his breath, “This is going to hurt.” As Iios yells a battle cry and begins his run toward the creature’s underside, the unmistakable sound of a lightsaber is heard and a red blade whizzes into the Elephoth’s eye a mere second before Lo-kain jumps onto its head and yanks the blade upward, spliting the creature’s head into two uneven pieces.

As the creature falls, Lo-kain maintains his balance and rides the snout to the ground.

Iios laughs from the nerves and says, “I will say one thing, you know how to make an entrance.”

“I was sorely tempted to just watch, but then… where is the challenge in that?” Lo-kain replies, deactivating his lightsaber.

Iios shruggs, “Regardless, I’m grateful. Areticus requests your presence. Follow me.”

Lo-kain moves past the Chiss hunter, “I don’t need a guide.”

Iios remembers the hunter’s golden rule as he approaches the giant beast’s corpse, Only he/she who makes the killing blow can claim the kill. He grabs his vibrodagger from the Elephoth and sighs, “Guess I can’t claim this trophy. What a waste.” He then follows Lo-kain through the swamp, back to Areticus and Madame Rhode.


It had been a few days since the Shi’ido bothered to bother the Roll master, he figured he did his one nice thing for the next one hundred years and was not set on hunting down some fools who laughed at him. This is why the Warlord had been in shape of a local tree on Dagoba for the past day, he had watched Zuser from a distance, watched him leave a ship with Kul and put down another life form on the ground as a ship sunk deeper into the swamp. Shortly after all that Zuser went on and even started to train, Silent had watched him for a day taking in his tree hoping exercises and knew what he had to do.

As on cue it was early morning as far as anyone could tell, with a dense fog covering the ground floor, Silent watched as Zuser climbed up a tree and started bouncing from tree to tree, only using the force if his jump come up short or he over shot it, when finally he landed on what he though was another tree. The moment his foot landed on the branch, vines quickly shot out binding his hands, legs, and mouth and wrapping around his body, then dropping him over the branch hanging over the dense fog. Zuser muffed a shout as the tree trunk began to form into a face.

“Hello Zuser….having fun this morning?”

Another muffed shout

“Oh yes of course.”

Removing only the vines around his mouth

“What the Kriff is wrong with you Silent!”

“I been watching you Zuser, I have to say catching you should have been harder as I am an old man.”

“Why are you shaped like a tree and why did you have to capture me?”

“Don’t you remember laughing at me when I left the ship…the speedo.”

“Really? This is why you are doing this because I laughed?”

“Of course, I am a Sith, and I do not take kindly to well anything”

“Come on man, this is just stupid, put me down already.”

“Say you are sorry Zussie!”

“Ok Silent I am sorry for laughing at you, now can you please put me down.”

“Sure thing.”

Bending his branches in a unnatural way, he fling the young Sith across the swamp into a deep pocket of muddy water. Slowly returning to his formal self he looked over to the dirty smelling boy.

“Should of said where to put you down.”


As Tahiri lept from the ship, the metal gave a great groan as the swamp swallowed the last of the ship. Panting lightly, she walked over to where her associates had lain her master. Kneeling next to him she finally got a clear look at him and she was caught completely off guard. She knew him by presence alone but the face that rested in front of her was not the same face that had seen her off before the war. Gone were the thick black tattoos that covered his face, in there place sat three deep scars cutting across his left eye and over the bridge of his nose. His once wild snow white hair was longer and pulled back into a tight low ponytail. His skin a ghastly shade of pale white.

Shaking her head she focussed on his leg. Moving down she began looking it over. It did not take more that a quick examination to determine that, while damaged, it wasn’t broken. Quickly wrapping it and applying the medigel, she stood up and began to look around. As she was approaching the edge of the bog a deep baritone warble split the air and the pair spun around weapons drawn. Two saber blades were pointed at the treeline as a pitch-black IG-100 Magnaguard emerged. It ignored the pair and walked over to where Solas lay before taking up a post just to the left of his head. Tahiri sighed.

“It’s alright that’s just Master’s droid Gordon. He must have sent him out after the crash.” She looked the droid over and realized that he was carrying a small crate under one arm. As she walked back over to her master she could feel the Force tightening around his body. Instantly recognizing the technique, being disciplined in it herself, and began applying her own power to his healing.

After only a few minutes the Sith Warrior coughed and rolled onto his side until the fit passed. With a groan the man sat up and rested his head in his hand. His voice came out clear and deep.

“Gordon, the crate.”

The droid set the box down next to him. Solas got to his knees and opened the box. Lifting out a set of black and red robes with gold accents. He dressed quickly before drawing the hood up over his head. Removing something else from the box before standing. Tahiri stood in awe, she had seen the tomes and holorecordings, those were robes belonging to the ancient Sith Empire. She began to speak when she saw him place something on his face. Kul’tak broke the silence.

“So you are Solas Night-Thorn? Tahiri’s master?” The warrior chuckled as the hawk came to rest on his shoulder with a cry.

“Once, once that was who I was. Now I am Wrathus.” The last word coming out with a hiss. He turned to the pair revealing not his face but a black Sith mask with two glowing, fiery orange orbs staring out from behind it. Tahiri knelt before him.

“Master. Thank the Force you’re alive. But I must ask, where is Salinas?”

“Dead.” He answered her in a matter-of-fact tone.

“Master?” She was unclear on his answer.

“The child is dead apprentice. By my hand.”

“What? Why?” She looked up in shock.

“In life she showed that I could still feel love, and that made me weak. In death she is my greatest strength, blowing air on the embers of my hatred. She was a liability, a weakness. Know this apprentice: to be Sith one must abandon those emotions that make one weak. Love, sympathy, compassion, the way of the Sith does not abide these things. Now grab my things and follow me. I would like to meet my new clan.” With that the Sith now known as Wrathus, turned and walked in the direction of the camp. Leaving Tahiri and Kul’tak standing there in disbelief. Before she collected his things and followed the Sith.


R3-D9 moved through the swamp at a respectable speed, despite his treaded means of transportation. Avoiding upraised roots and deep puddles, the droid focused single-mindedly on his objective: hunting a hydroconversion relay and a gyroscopic stabilizer. His prey would be small, but they were vital to the ship’s operation.

The Creator had provided directions to seek the lair known as “our camp,” which name was translated from the inane barking of The Blue One. The astromech had been far more interested in hearing the exploits of The Tall Mean One, as his sensors indicated she had likely killed many, many beings. The Creator impressed upon R3 the importance of this mission, however, and the rough-hewn droid would never disappoint him.

The plan was to convince a superior hunter of ship components to share, a notion that distressed R3’s circuits. With this in mind, the droid kept himself open to new solutions that did not require as much of this sharing business. As he drew nearer the camp, however, one of his favorite scents activated his olfactory receptors: scorched ship!

As no other being was in the immediate vicinity to witness, R3 allowed himself a single twirl of his dome in excitement, and he chirped a small victory tune that he hoped The Creator would appreciate after an evening of killing. His treads rolled him into a clearing, splashing brackish water as R3-D9 spun through some puddles. In the middle of the clearing was a vessel of remarkable similarity to The Creator’s ship, though some might complain about the smoke billowing from the cabin. To a droid, however, the atmosphere and its contents were simply a piece of trivia, or an interesting factoid.

Elated that he could avoid meeting more potential rivals at the camp, R3 quickly ransacked the Star Courier. Various furnishings and accessories about the ship suggested that its previous inhabitants were similar to The Creator, though more numerous. And possibly on fire. With a quick trip to the engineering access hatch, R3 was able to find a small box with a switch on it, and a tiny gyroscope, perfectly steady and spinning inside a transparent orb. Based on technical readouts of the Star Courier, these were his prey. His fine manipulator placed these items into a small satchel crudely bolted to R3’s side.

Amid the smoke, another small victory tune played, and the flames danced agreeably.

While Dralin wouldn’t say that he had missed watching petty power dynamics at play, he found that he could appreciate them. It reminded him of his childhood, and the bored hours spent in his father’s office watching the aquarium. The big fish in the tank pulled rank while the shark at the desk chased blood in Imperial Coruscant’s legal waters. In a strange way, serving food to murderers and war criminals felt nostalgic.

He pulled one of the skewers off of the fire, about the length of his forearm and nearly overburdened with cooked lizard. Somewhere in the back of Dralin’s memory, there was a vague recollection a Rollmaster welcoming a young woman named Kelly Mendes to Plagueis, but it faded into the haze of the past. This would be a fresh meeting, for all intents and purposes. Judging by Laren Uscot’s greeting, she had clearly come up in the galaxy.

“Quaestor,” he said as he offered the skewer to the newcomer with a slight nod of respect. The Force told him that she was ravenous, but she accepted the sleen-stick with dignity. Truly, she had become something to be reckoned with.

Dralin passed the rest of the skewers out to his guests, and all three of them looked at each other, then at their meals. Kelly, for her part, had waited until everyone had been served, but had already ripped a piece out in the time it took Dralin to sit down. Ronovi and Laren both stared down their sticks as though they were unpleasant blind dates, but after seeing their host join Kelly in gleeful consumption, they each shrugged toward the other and took a tentative bite.

Ronovi’s eyes began to water. What…is this?! She slowly shook her head. “It’s…it’s…”

“Very good!” Laren said around a mouthful of roast sleen.

“Why is it so good?!” Ronovi protested in between bites. “It’s a swamp lizard! It’s supposed to be disgusting!”

Dralin tried to hide his enjoyment. It wasn’t every day that he got to pop out of the bushes and surprise his oldest friend with better cuisine than they had expected. Then again, it wasn’t hard to cook a creature that practically spent its whole life seasoning itself with a diet of bizarre swamp insects. Tea being the only meal Dralin took his time to enjoy, he quickly found his skewer bare and his need to sustain himself satisfied. He was hardly the creature of comforts he once was. Several other sticks held lizards by the fire, and he hardly needed to say anything about seconds before the others had new skewers in each clenched fist.

A whistling from the tree line announced R3-D9’s return, followed closely by the smell of soot and fuel. The droid had new scorch marks covering half of his chassis, but he held up the satchel with his manipulator claw like a proud cat returning with a kill. Dralin grinned and approached, clapping his hands together and praising the astromech’s hunting skills. He knew better than to ask how R3 had gotten the parts, but, judging by his impromptu poetry slam, it involved a lot of fire. The droid’s domed head gave a single spin as he congratulated himself, and he followed Dralin into the ship to assist with the replacement jobs. By the time Ronovi, Laren, and Kelly had eaten their fill of sleen, The Bad Idea had only misfired once, and R3 was given his customary fifteen minutes of mourning after being forced to put out the fire.

Dralin ushered each of his guests up the ramp of his ship. Ronovi ducked her head to avoid the frame of the hatch. “We could use a good cook on Aliso, Dralin,” she said with a teasing smirk. “Any plans to tag along?”

“You’ll know if I feed you again,” he quipped half-heartedly, but he knew that he was coming back. The company, the comradery, drew him like the gravity well of a black hole. He had passed the Brotherhood’s event horizon long ago.

Laren followed Ronovi into the ship, eager to get out of the swamp. He gave this strange man a respectful nod; however strange he seemed, it appeared to be working for him. Kelly was the last to ascend the ramp, and she lingered a moment.

“Your huge friend isn’t wrong,” she said grudgingly. “You should think very hard about which House you join. Mind your manners, and you might be allowed to serve me food again.”

Dralin rolled his cybernetic eyes as he pulled up the ramp. “R3, fire up that ignition sequence. We’ve got a camp to crash.”


With the markets closed for a Muun “holiday”, Arden had taken to watching the proceedings outside from the 22nd Rule’s cockpit. It wasn’t much, but since he’d caught up on his favorite vids and had recalibrated his rifle twelve times, there wasn’t much left to do. Well, aside from going outside, but what was fun about that? This swampy hellhole would get his allergies going in a heartbeat with all sorts of mold and fungi and who knows what else. Some had tried to get him off the ship with some lines about “the Living Force” and “this is a big deal to any Force user” and stuff. Maybe, but Arden didn’t care about Force lore any more than he cared about the latest season of Klatoonian Idol.

Besides, something that actually got his interest was happening just outside his window. Apparently Silent had gotten the idea to use Zuser as a plaything of source. While Zuser was a valid source of amusement, Arden wasn’t exactly ok with the activity. Throwing unsuspecting people into muddy water was just not appropriate behavior, especially Zuser. It was Arden’s job to humiliate Zuser and he was not particularly fond of his turf being usurped.

“Fours,” Arden said over the comm to his his droid bodyguard, KX-444, “get the 19 and meet me at the dorsal service hatch. I’m going outside, kind of.”

“At once sir.” The droid replied succinctly.

A moment later Arden was at the narrow but sufficient service hatch that allowed access to the dorsal surface of the Gozanti. Using the droid to pass up the DLT-19X rifle, Arden then made his way to a position near the front edge of the ship. After adjusting the filter mask he brought to make sure he didn’t breath any of the spore laden Dagobah air, he settled in and located Silent in his scope a few hundred meters away. Shooting him, as much as Arden might want to, wasn’t the answer. However, after surveying the area, the Overseer got an idea.

This was going to be good.

Arden’s first shot would have appeared to be a total miss, impacting a series of vines a couple meters behind Silent, but it had the desired effect of getting him on edge, getting him to notice Arden, and, most importantly, moving some of the vines. Before anyone could really react, Arden had raised his rifle, taking aim at a nearby tree limb. With a perfectly placed shot, the massive limb came crashing to the ground, causing Silent to jump back to avoid being crushed. As planned though, he jumped back into the vines, which had been repositioned to cause him to lose his footing which caused him to tumble backward into a muddy pit. A muddy pit that Arden had happened to notice a number of vine snakes crawling around. As the serpents started to slither over Silent, Arden smirked beneath his mask.

Turnabout was definitely fair play.


After a long and uncomfortably quiet travel through the swamp Lo-kain and Iios approach the location where Areticus and Madame Rhodes had spoken. Areticus stood up from the log he had been sitting on. The logs top mossy bark layer had been sheered off, revealing a smooth layer underneath. Areticus looked upon the Zabrak and Chiss, both covered in the blood of the Elephoth.

“What did you… No, on second thought, I dont want to know. Iios, lets find this dragonsnake and get back to camp. I am quite through with this uncivilized, murky planet.”

Iios smirked and started them down the path that led toward the southern swamps. Light showed through the trees today, making avoiding quicksand and other dangerous creatures child’s play for the Force-sensitive Sith and the experienced hunter. As the sun reached its zenith in the fog-filled sky, the trio stopped less than 50 meters from a massive swamp. The trees on the other side were barely visible from where they stood, but most eerie of all was that there was absolutely no activity on its waters. Not even the insects dares disturb its surface, leaving an undisturbed, murky mirror reflecting one’s last moments as they wander into the dragonsnake’s territory.

“Welcome to the southern swamps,” Iios said to his companions, “The last vacation spot you’ll ever see if you underestimate what we are about to face.”


Ronovi was as surprised as everyone else to see the Plagueis camp still active so late at night. Then again, maybe she shouldn’t have been surprised - Dark Jedi didn’t necessarily follow strict curfews. True, quite a few members of the gang had certainly wandered off, similar to what Ronovi and Laren had done. But as it was, artificial lights that had been installed cast the entire area in an eerie glow, and from the viewing portal of the Bad Idea, Ronovi could see the shadows of younger recruits as they darted through the Mild and Furious obstacle course.

“Is…is that a knobby white spider in there?” she asked more to herself than to anyone else. She could see a large white root-like lump scurrying past a series of rope swings and tunnels in the course. She couldn’t hear any screams from here, though.

The Star Courier haphazardly landed around the rest of the docked ships, and as the group of four stepped out into the warm night air of Dagobah, Ronovi saw a groaning older man - Gaius Caesar, she believed - heading toward an outhouse. She looked at Laren with a smirk.

“Guess we got lucky with those sleens.”

Laren stared blankly back. “Bet they were serving porg.”

Kelly Mendes - a Quaestor who Ronovi hadn’t exactly cared to get to know more - was already moving quickly away from the Bad Idea, actively searching for something or someone. That left Ronovi, Laren, and Dralin watching the nightly activities from afar. As Plagueians doused their throats with rum and ale and others disappeared into the erected mud pits, Dralin decided to head back into his ship for something. When he returned, he was gingerly cradling a steaming cup in his hands.

Ronovi raised an eyebrow. “More tea?” she asked. She would never enjoy the taste of Deychin. Now, space iguana - that was curiously appetizing.

Dralin winked at her. “I think I’ll take it easy here for now,” he said. “Spend quality time with R3. I’m sure you two have some ‘unfinished’ business to tend to.”

"How would you know - "

“Ronovi.” The Coruscanti grinned. “I know you.

“So we’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Perhaps. No promises. No guarantees in this existence.”

The Epicanthix shrugged off what she cynically deemed to be Dralin’s pseudo-philosophical comments, and she followed Laren off the ramp of the Courier, edging their way back to the set up tents and hovels. The Pantoran seemed much more pacified now - with food in his belly and his feet settled back on the main base, he was certainly acting calmer and more casual. Ronovi would take tremendous advantage of that.

“So,” she uttered simply, folding her arms across her chest. “How about that Dralin guy.”

She half-expected Laren to groan or laugh, but he did neither. Instead, he just smiled thinly. “Okay, I guess he’s not too bad. You have weird friends, but he’s at least a decent chef.”

“And a powerful Dark Jedi.”

Laren gaped at her. “So complimentary! I didn’t expect that from you.”

The two had walked over to one of the mud pits, the sludge having filmed over and resembling a strange, rubbery membrane. They stared out toward the crazed growth of trees and shrubs that they had traversed while it was still light out. Ronovi chuckled.

“I don’t make comments like that lightly,” she explained. “Dralin is…quite possibly the only person I trust anymore.”

“What, you don’t trust me?”

“Of course I don’t,” snapped Ronovi, sounding more bitter than she intended. “I don’t trust many. I’ve been burned too many times. If I can work with them, fine. But that doesn’t mean I view them as anything but useful to my own needs.”


“Factual,” retorted the Epicanthix. “But as I said, if you prove to me you’re worthy of hearing what I have to say, then perhaps I’ll take a different perspective.”

Laren blinked. Somehow, Ronovi figured he knew exactly what was going to happen next.

“We had a deal,” she sneered. “Remember?”

The Pantoran had little time to react before he felt Ronovi’s elbow slam into his side, like a jab from a pike. He toppled, sprawling, into the morass of the mud pit before them, his weight sending up bursts of dirt and moss and decay. As he righted himself, rubbing his torso, he saw the Warlord marching toward him, her boots becoming more and more caked with grime.

“No Force use - as I promised, Uscot. Now, make my day!”

Laren winced before remembering his Echani training. This fight was either going to give him answers - or kill him before he had the chance to ask questions. He paid no attention to the eyes of Plagueians who had witnessed his fall and now gathered like curious rodents around the perimeter. He simply raised his fists.

And then the two converged.


Ten minutes later

“What do you mean no lightsabers?! Are you mad?!” Areticus says diving out of the Dragonsnake’s attempt to grab him.

“If I can get a clear shot at it’s soft spot, we can preserve more hide that way!” Iios calls back.

Lo-Kain threw himself at the large beast and wrapped his arms around its neck. The beast roared and swung its head high and low, left and right, in attempts to shake off the Zabrak. The apprentice roared and laughed at the Dragonsnake’s attempt in vain, until it decided to roll on it’s back. Lo-Kain cursed as he too crashed into the muddy waters with the huge salamander.

As the dragonsnake raised back up and turned to bite at Lo-Kain, it had difficulty deciding which Lo-Kain to attack. The small multitudes of Zabrak scattered in multiple directions as the dragon attack them at random. Areticus grinned at seeing the monster swipe at his illusions in vain, allowing for his apprentice to circle around behind it. Areticus then dropped the illusion and caused one in particular to grow in size. The dragon raised itself on two legs in response and to bite at the growing Zabrak image, only to have it immediately vanish in seconds.

“Now!” Areticus shouted to Iios, as the Dragonsnake was raised to expose it’s soft neck. Iios took a calm breath, waited for the moment between breaths, and lightly squeezed the trigger of his E-11. The bolt hit true, but the dragonsnake was unaffected. Iios’ eyes grew shock that the calibur of his rifle could not harm the beast, and saw that Areticus was angry.

“Lightsabers?!” Areticus shouted.

“Lightsabers…” Iios loudly replied in defeat.

“Lightsabers!” Lo-Kain roared in laughter. At hearing his voice, the Dragonsnake turned it’s long neck and beowed a massive predatory roar at Lo-Kain. The Zabrak Sith in kind replied with a roar of his own and the ignition of his lightsaber. He leaped with aid of the Force to the side and began to circle towards Areticus.

“Scissor cut!” Areticus shouted to his apprentice with his own crimson blade drawn. The Zabrak drove his heels and stopped in his tracks as the Dragonsnake came down to chomp at him. Diving to the left, he amplified himself once again and dashed towards the beast, with Areticus dashing towards it as well from the opposite side. The master slid low on his knees and slashed upward while the apprentice leaped over and slashed downward on it’s neck. They both rose and turned to see the carterized severed head slide off it’s body.

Lo-Kain, while in a pant, cheered in victory, “I can’t wait to eat this thing!” Then the two Sith turned to see the approaching Chiss who had a look of disappointment about him, “I should have thought better than to use something issued to me.”

“My lightsaber was issued to me,” retorted Lo-Kain.

“Yes, it was. As will be the lightsaber Iios is to wield… As my new apprentice.” Areticus says patting Iios on the shoulder.

“What?!” Lo-kain says in anger, gripping his still ignited blade.

Areticus raised a brow and walked up to the Zabrak, leering up at him dead in the eyes, “Lo-Kain… I have nothing more to teach you. You have learned all that you need to know to be a Sith. Staying as my student at this point will only hold you back from the potential your fury brings. I have nothing but pride from how far you’ve come since I first took you up from Iridonia. You are strong, wise, and powerful in the Dark Side. I would find it an honor to fight at your side, not as your master, but as your fellow warrior. So please… kneel.”

Lo-Kain took a pausing moment. He looked at the surroundings around him and then back to Areticus, contemplating what was happening. For the first time for anyone, Lo-Kain took a knee, and bowed his head.

Areticus held his blade to Lo-Kain’s right shoulder, “Peace is a lie, there is only passion.”

“Through passion, I gain strength” replied Lo-Kain.

Areticus raised his blade, “Through strength, I gain power.”

Lo-Kain said with a prideful boast, “Through power, I gain victory!”

Areticus lowered his blade to Lo-Kain’s right shoulder, “Through victory, my chains are broken.”

“The Force shall free me…” Lo-Kain whispers.


Aliso System
The Pinnacle
Medical Bay

Vivackus had made it to the medical bay, only stopping once to expel the meager contents of his stomach; a victory as far as he was concerned. Now, with a saline drip attached to his forearm, he upgraded his status from “feeling like death” to feeling like one of the other Four Horsemen, Pestilence, probably.

His appearance had not surprised the medical droid. When Vivackus had stumbled through the door, the droid had told him “I was wondering when you’d show up.” As the Warlord rehydrated, at least one of the last night’s mysteries had been dispelled. The droid showed him the security camera footage from last night, where Vivackus - accompanied by what looked like two Gammoreans, all in a state of severe inebreation - had spent several minutes pounding on the door of the medical bay, repeatedly yelling, “Open up and give us the good shit!” When their drunken requests went unanswered, they accosted a passing astromech droid into overriding the lock, and made off with several thousand credits’ worth of medical-grade drugs.

As the droid explained the differences in metabolism between Gammorean and Miraluka, Vivackus transferred credits from his personal account while apologizing profusely. This would be the last time he tried to keep pace with a species more 4 times his body mass.

As he punched through is datapad, sitting on the medical table, Vivackus noticed a message from Clan leadership, dated some twelve hours prior.

Official: Clan Plagueis Vacation. Participation Mandatory. Location Secret.

Whoops. At the very least, Vivackus thought he’d be able to plausibly explain to Furios his absence. And it didn’t seem likely that this vacation could have been less pleasant than the ordeal he’d been through anyway.


Somewhere Even Muddier

The thick muddy water gave a dull ‘splat’ as the Maverick fell into the murk.
After a second of flailing the Mystic broke from the surface with a gasp and spit out mud before looking up at the trees.

“Damn you Silent, you old bat!
Gugh, it’s in my kriffing teeth.”

Zuser violently spat out the offending substance that managed to get in his mouth as he waded towards the bank. He suddenly stopped as he felt his danger sense start spiking. Turning, and spitting out more dirt, the pilot pulled out his DL-44 and watched the water. He saw a large mass move just close enough to the surface to shift the muddy liquid and without even blinking he pulled the trigger, the bark of the blaster scattering mynocks from the trees. He paused and waited for the mass to show again.

“Stupid kriffing mudball of a planet.”

The mud caked Maverick turned and waded out of the swamp, holstering his blaster as he started climbing out.


Plagueis Campsite

Zuser stalked into camp, covered in dried mud. He stormed into the Bad Idea and grabbed a cloth, cursing to himself as he went. Around him various members were either trying not to laugh at him, drinking themselves silly, or just counting the seconds till they could go back to the ship. After getting the cloth wet with hot water he cleaned his face, enjoying the heat.

“Note to self: find a way to get back at Silent. Aaaafter I find a refresher.”


Azmodius found a quiet place some distance from the camp to meditate. Reaching out with the force, he could sense the multitudes of creatures traversing the swampy lands nearby. Determined to take on the biggest and baddest predator, he spent the next few hours studying the planet’s various inhabitants and their place in the food chain.

Night had fallen when Azmodius finally found what he was looking for, a large reptilian creature who made its home in the swamps where it lay in wait of its next meal. Upon reaching the edge of a particularly large patch of swampland, he took to the trees to continue. As he leapt, climbed, and swung deeper in search of his prey, the surrounding landscape blurred into that of Dathomir.

A flood of memories invaded Azmodius’ mind, the shock of which caused him to loosen his grip on a vine and tumble into the waters below. Just as he wiped the slime from his face, a scrange emerged from hiding with its sight set on the Aedile.

The towering beast lunged towards Azmodius, Its legs effortlessly skittering through the waters. The Aedile could see he was outmatched in the water and, holding his breath, dove down as the beast swung at him. Using the swamp floor, he then propelled himself between the scrange’s six crustacean legs and grabbed onto the spines of its tail. He held on as the beast flailed about, letting go at just the right moment to be flung towards the shore. As he turned to look back, he could only see the bioluminescent patches along the scrange’s spine as it sunk back, waiting for its next victim.

Azmodius fell to the ground as he was, again, bombarded with a flood of memories. When the feeling subsided, he looked up to see a massive gnarltree before him and a very dark aura radiating from beneath its roots.

“Is this It?”, he thought to himself.


The past two weeks had dragged on for TuQ’uan, it was hot, humid and there were fraking bugs everywhere. But that hadn’t stopped him from enjoying himself, at least to some degree. Fortunately for the Kel Dor this dream vacation was quickly coming to an end and the first thing he planned to do was expel the oxygen from whatever room he could and get his antiox mask off.

He would however miss this spot just a little bit, the chaos around made for some interesting stories and a lot of mud caked Plagueians. Though he was glad that the antiox mask meant he couldn’t eat Furios’ roasted porg.

The Aedile had decided to spend the last day on Dagobah wandering the busy camp with no real destination in mind.

“Hey! Watch where you’re going!” a young Plagueian yelled. TuQ’uan had been so lost in his own thoughts that he had almost walked right into the obstacle course Furious. Taking a step back he watched as the young Plagueian scurried past him dipping and diving as quickly as he could over the obstacles. The Kel Dor had realized that he had spent a good chunk of time encouraging others to run the courses but hadn’t done it himself. It was settled, he’d run it next.

With a confident swager, TuQ’uan cut into the front of the line for Furious to cries of frustration from those behind him.

“Let me show you all how it’s done,” TuQ’uan proclaimed to the onlookers.

TuQ’uan took off down the course.

Vaulting over the first obstacle was easy for the mercenary. Next he had to slide under a large tree, a little bit harder for TuQ’uan and a tight squeeze. The Kel Dor made it through but his trademark hat wasn’t so lucky, but he persisted.

Next up was the wall, by the top of the climb TuQ’uan was starting to feel the exhaustion.

He jumped from the top of the wall and landed with a wet plop into the mud and continued to the next obstacle. With a combination of misjudging the height of the tree limb and his exhaustion TuQ’uan jumped, caught his foot and went face first into the mud.

He would never live this down.


Kul did not know very much about Tahiri’s master, except from what he had been told by her and could scounge up through his Inquisitorius channels. The man was an enigma as far as his presence on Dagobah, though and Kul was not one to consider such an event a mere happenstance. The Zabrak’s trepidation was only increased when the man had proclaimed he had killed someone named Salinas, who, according to Tahiri’s reaction, was someone she must have been close to. The nonchalant tone that Solas—Wrathus–used was something cold even to Kul’s ears and he was no stranger to taking life. His hands clenched as he felt his anger rise, but he forced it down and turned his attentions to Tahiri. Her shock was evident, even while she tried to hide it while walking, which only gave him more fuel. Sensing his discomfort, the hawk which had perched on his shoulder lifted off while caw’ing at him in annoyance.

“Tahiri? Who is Salinas?”

As the Togruta’s face shifted and he could see her clearly, Kul noted the lines of sadness that were shadowing usually cheerful features.

“She is…was my master’s daughter.”

This new revelation gave Kul much to be concerned about. Grunting he reached down and tugged at Wrathus’ belongings. Half understanding, Tahiri let go of her grip on the bags while she made sense of what had happened to her master. Kul tossed the bags over his shoulder before speeding up his stride to catch up with Wrathus himself. Seeing the Zabrak walking evenly beside him, the masked Sith sped up as well to stay one step ahead. Kul’s predatory instinct ached to return the favor, but he set aside his pride for the moment in lieu of reading this man and his intentions. From his years of providing his services as an infiltrator and assassin for Plagueis, Kul was usually good at reading the potential of a target and what sort of threat they might pose. However, with Wrathus there was a heavy cloud of dark side energy that was hanging about the two Sith. It made getting an accurate read that much harder, but Kul was certain the man held a large amount of power at his disposal. That was tempting and sobering all at the same time.

“So. You want to join the clan? Tahiri’s mentioned you, but it would seem you’ve made some changes recently.”

The mask’s glowing orbs flashed as the man turned his head slightly, never slowing pace.

“Yes, my apprentice had mentioned she had met another beastmaster. That must be you. I must say I’m rather underwhelmed. I won’t stand for her being influenced by someone who pursues the weaker side of the Force. I’ll have to have a word with her about this later.”

Kul’s entire body bristled at the remark. His temper was continuing to rise even while he tried to calm himself.

Stay calm, Kul. This is Tahiri’s master and it wouldn’t do to alienate him right to begin with.

Wrathus waved a hand and lifted a small, rotted tree out of his path. It fell to the swampy earth just ahead of Kul. Instead of simply climbing over the trunk, the Zabrak heaved the wood aside with his bare hands, straining a bit since he refused to used the Force to amplify himself out of stubbornness. Wrathus, though amused at the game the two were playing, continued on as if nothing of concern was happening.

“I can sense your wavering loyalty to the Dark side, Zabrak. You stand on the verge of embracing weakness, when you could just as easily grasp true strength and stand amongst the worthy.”

Kul’s eyes became slits and his very presence darkened. The swamp welcomed the hate flowing through him and the cloud of energy permeating the swamp grew thicker.

“While I accept that the Dark side is now a part of who I am, I also cannot ignore the feelings that I’ve become reacquainted with since meeting Tahiri. Strength guides me in all I do, but that does not mean acknowledging an ideal that is unusual for a Sith makes me weaker.”

The man once named Solas huffed at the response, shaking his head in disappointment.

“If your clan is full of weak-minded fools like yourself, then clearly I’ve been getting faulty information.”

Turning around suddenly, Wrathus faced his apprentice.

“Tahiri, for your own good it would be best if I rid you of this hanging weight. He will only slow down your ascent.”

The human raised a hand and Kul responded by grabbing his lightsaber. Both warriors squared off, waiting for the first move to be made. It never came though as Tahiri threw herself inbetween them.

“Master, Kul, no! This is not the time for petty arguments. Plagueis is home to those who use the Dark side, yes, but they do not pursecute their members as long as they are loyal and serve the clan’s interests. Kul does his part, as will you when you’ve officially joined. So for now calm down, both of you. We still have to get back to camp before the clan leaves, you know.”

Both males recognized the truth of her words and slowly relaxed their bodies. Wrathus turned and began walking again.

“You will face your reckoning eventually, Zabrak. The weak always do.”

Kul grimaced, but moved to stand with Tahiri again.

“I look forward to proving you wrong.”