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

[CNS] Awakenings Runon






The shattered world of Dentavii lies before you, a great calamity having shattered its surface into many loose, but stable, asteroids, several hundred miles in diameter. Several of the larger chunks house ruins of old, housing shards of the crystal world, Ombus. These ‘Shards’ reflect a user’s power back onto themselves, increasing their power dramatically.

Marcus desires them, so he can gain enough power to challenge his Consul, Darth Vexatus needs them, so he can perform his arcane ritual. Locke wants these artifacts secured, so they cannot be abused.

Now, with all the pieces on the board, it is time to roll the hard six. Who will triumph, who will fall, this is for you to decide. Good luck in Awakenings!

Rules of the game:

  • Your team’s goal is your first priority.

  • You do not need to interact with the other teams unless you both want to work together.

  • The Warhost forces assigned to each team provide you with NPC opponents if you do not want to interact with other members’ characters directly.

Please remember that each post must be a 250 word minimum to count and double posting is not allowed.


Objective (Week 1)

Using the shuttles on the Absolution, proceed to the asteroids of Dentavii with all haste and procure as many of the Shards as possible. To achieve an advantage over Locke, Marcus will need at least two Shards. Intel indicates mostly military forces en-route to the relic-sites, so you should have little to no resistance. Should you encounter any Force users, subdue them and return them to the Absolution for questioning and conversion.

On the bridge of the Absolution, Marcus stands vigil over the efforts of his fellow Sadowans. Marcus has seen the Prophet, Vexatus, collecting old relics known as Shards. If Marcus can collect enough of them, he will be able to usurp Locke and take his place as Consul.


Objective (Week 1)

Find the Shards and return them to Darth Vexatus’ base of operations. The ancient rite will require at least two Shards to begin. Vexatus has foreseen that several teams of military personnel, mixed with Dark Jedi, will be searching for these fragments of the crystal world Ombus that are spread across the Dentavii asteroids as well. Avoid prolonged conflict if possible, your strength will be needed for the final ritual.

Darth Vexatus has foreseen the events unfolding here on Dentavii. He knows that if he is to gain the advantage, he must collect as many fragments as possible so that he can start the ritual before the bulk of the forces from Locke and Marcus can interfere.


Objective (Week 1)

Recover the fragments of the crystal world Ombus that are scattered across the Dentavii asteroids before Marcus or Vexatus can secure them and secure the relic-locations from hostile forces. With at least two Shards secured, Locke will be able to stop both the ritual and Marcus’ attempts at power. Initial flyovers from the Turmoil’s shuttles indicate the enemy is out in full. This is your chance to decimate their limited resources. Engage any military forces and make their numbers dwindle. If you encounter any traitors, subdue and return them to the Turmoil to face justice.

Aboard the Turmoil, Locke seeks to return the Clan to its former whole before exterior forces realize the Clan is divided. He must secure both the Shards and the relic-sites where they come from, so that both Vexatus’s ritual and Marcus’ plan can be stopped before it is too late.


Low Orbit within the Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

The contained asteroid field that made up the shattered remnants of Dentavii’s earthen surface drifted in eerie silence within the somehow stable atmosphere of the planet. The Turmoil moved like a wraith amongst the fractured world, as cold and dead as the space around it while permeating an almost menacing feel due to its insect-like design. The sounds of machinery echoed softly upon the thin air, a subtle hiss that signalled the depressurization of the Turmoil’s assault doors.

Small openings appeared in the hull as the doors slid way to reveal the armor clad spacetroopers that remained loyal to the Consul — as they should. The glossy finish of their armor glinted ever so slightly as they dropped towards the ground below. With practiced grace their jetpacks controlled their descent just enough for their knees to absorb the force of landing, buckling slightly. The small group of troopers levelled their weapons in a semicircle, looking for potential threats before signalling the all clear.

It never hurt to be careful.

A dark shape dropped out of the Vibre-class ship, a blur of black and pale flesh. A ripple of Force energy announced his arrival, the Quaestor of Shar Dakhan steeling himself for the sudden stop moments before landing, his momentum forcing him down to one knee upon landing. Atra rested his right palm against the dirt at his feet, steadying himself for a moment. Lightning-like tattoos glowed defiantly across the flesh of his arm, fading from his flesh and disappearing entirely as the Umbaran closed himself off from the Force once more. With a heavy sigh, Atra rose to his full height while shifting his weight from one foot to the other, raising his right hand to the collar-like communicator adorning his throat. “Fireteam Bravo on the move, Lieutenant Bachtan,” the Battlemaster stated rather flatly.

“I need you focused, Ventus. We can’t afford for you to go it alone on this one.” Locke replied in Bachtan’s place, his voice distorted over the commlink’s frequency.

The Snow Dragon rolled his eyes ever so slightly before muttering, “yes mother.”

“Your comm’s open,” came the deadpan response from his Consul.

Atra growled to himself, making sure to deactivate the commlink before glancing back up towards the Turmoil and the others that had chosen loyalty over so many pretty words of prophecy. Each had their own reasons for what they were doing here, of that there was never any doubt. For Atra, this ordeal was a matter of honor. If not for the efforts of Locke and Methyas, the Umbaran would have more than likely died hidden away among Macron’s endless experiments — or at least wishing he had died.

A life, as they say, begets a life.


A Few Days Earlier

Tasha sat back, her head in her hands as she racked her brain over the events of these last few days. Everyone seemed to be in chaos over so called visions: Locke attempting to keep order in Naga Sadow, Marcus seeking power by attempting to usurp Locke, and Darth Vexatus working on a ritual to endure this whole outcome.

“Why must it come to fighting against each other over matters that seem so insignificant to me. There is so much more we could prepare against!” Tears came to her eyes, it was as if the very clan she loved was being ripped apart from the inside by meaningless squabbles.

“How can I choose a side and be in it wholeheartedly knowing I’m stabbing another member in the back. It is exactly like my grandfather’s war he when he fought alongside the echani. It was a civil war with echani brethren against each other. According to my grandfather, it was one of the worst and bloodiest wars they faced. In the end, one clan rose to govern the rest, but they lost so many people. And those people were their own families torn apart by the greed and want of power.” She pulled her grandfather’s blade out, and turned it over in her hand as she looked at the beautifully handcrafted carvings etched along the hilt.

“Grandfather, what am I going to do? I promised to protect my clan, not to fight against my fellow Sadowans. How can I raise a hand to strike against my clanmates?” She sighed deeply.

At her core she was a warrior sworn to protect her clan from others wishing to destroy them but this was different. She had to make the choice as to who she would follow, however in her heart Tasha didn’t even want to make such a choice.This was going against everything she stood for. Sheathing her blade, Tasha began to gather up her lightsaber, blaster, and sword. Holding them tightly in a bundle against her chest she began a slow march down the corridor. As she ran her hands against the cold pale walls, she let out a frustrated cry. “Why does this have to be!”

She couldn’t cope with the reality of coming to blows against the others. “I just can’t do this. It is wrong, there is no way I can lift my hand just to glorify Marcus and give him some ill-begotten means to rule.” She took a deep, shuddering breath. “I must withdraw from this. There is no better alternative,” she grimaced.

Tasha sprinted back toward her room. Once inside she began to gather up a few days worth of clothes and hastily throw them into a bag. As she darted back toward the door, she caught a sight of herself in the mirror. She did not like what she saw. She needed to get out of here quickly.

As she stepped out of her room, she glanced down the hall. Thankfully nobody was there to impede her retreat. Nobody would know that she had slipped off until it was far too late. This way maybe she could avoid getting mixed up in matters until after they had blown over. Taking large strides, she began her frantic run toward the hanger.

Once there, she saw her rugged old HLAF-500. She didn’t have far to go. Maverick had always treated her well. The old ship would at least get her a couple of systems away. As she opened the hatch and climbed inside, she jammed a thumb down on the side of her commlink, bringing it to life with a crackle. “Tasha’Vel to docking bay, I need you to open the doors.” As she waited on the doors to open she began to power up the ship.

“Tasha, what are you doing?” An angry voice crackled over her commlink. Inwardly she groaned.

“What do you want,” she growled.“I am leaving and none of this concerns you.”

Bentre paused for a moment, before she heard a laugh, “Seriously, you are going to chicken out? I never took you for a coward, Versea. I mean, come on, the fact that you fought me a second time doesnt’ seem like a girl who backs out of a fight just because things are a little tough.”

“Shut your mouth! Do you think it’s easy to fight against my own people? I have seen what happens when there is inner conflict within a clan. You have no idea how much it hurts; you don’t understand the wounds you endure by backstabbing your own friends.”

An angered snort came in response. “I know a lot more about betrayal than you understand, litlte girl. You have to remember though you made a choice. We both swore an oath, and especially being arrayed against the rest of Naga Sadow, we have to protect each other. Given the nature of our oath, are you seriously still considering cowardice?” Bentre let out a disgusted grunt.

After a moment, Tasha began to power down the ship. She hated to admit it, but he was right. Bentre had recruited her from the beginning and Marcus had trained her. It was her duty to protect them because she chose to do so out of love. As she lifted herself out of the cockpit, Tasha saw Bentre approaching, his arms crossed over his chest. “If you are done wrestling with doubt, come on. We have a ride to catch.”


Aboard the Absolution

The Corellian pulled on a strap, securing some of the light armor plating into place. He was finding himself reminded of their engagement on the pirate moon, and oddly again of when they had fought in the sunken temple against the Draedan. The fight against the Red Fury Brotherhood and the illusions and beasts of the temple paled in comparison to this.

I really had hoped to find a family of sorts here, The thought was both painful and sombering. Unfortunately this wasn’t the first time doubt had held him in its fierce grasp. Still the pirate moon had been much different; he had been a part of Sapphire Squadron then. In the Sunken Temple he’d been fighting alongside his comrades, including Marcus. The kicker was that here he was being pitted against his brethren.

He had taken up arms with Kiriyu and served as a divisive element in his own Battleteam. Lexiconus and Jades had watched as he left his post to follow the path he had been so sure was right. He had found himself thankful when his Sergeant had chosen to stand with him. One question kept repeating his head though. What manner of BTL am I to drive such a wedge?

“So here we are,” he spoke the words haltingly, turning to face his old Master after a moment. “I have to confess that when I joined the Brotherhood I ever saw it bringing me to a place like this.”

The slightly older man looked back at his brother-in-arms from the corner of his eye. “Sometimes the Force brings us to places we never expect. Sometimes we just have to act on what we think is best. Sometimes you just have to stand firm against the storms.”

Bentre could see the wisdom in the words. I suppose that is much the same way that I have been leading Devil’s Shroud up to this point. We will see how long that lasts after this is all over. He couldn’t ponder long on this though. If he did it would drag him into depression.

“So Tasha,” he called over his shoulder as he turned his lightsaber around in his hands. “I hope you are feeling a little more steady than you were before.” The Obelisk began to meticulously disassemble the weapon, inspecting it thoroughly for wear and ensuring everything was in prime condition. “I really don’t want to have to swoop out of the sky and rescue a princess while we are out there. If I can help it.”

He almost thought he could feel the Twi’lek’s eyes piercing into his back. “I don’t know about you Bentre but this princess can handle herself just fine. Or do you need a reminder?” Her tone was cool and biting.

“So the kitten has claws.” He chuckled, inwardly comforted by her quick cantor. It looked like she would not be as easily breaking down when things went to hell. She was holding herself together well.

The Corellian found himself still trying to figure out exactly why he had chosen Marcus. Do I feel a debt is owed because he brought me out of Nar Shadda? Is it because he brought me to the Brotherhood? As he began to slowly reconstruct his familiar weapon, he thought back.

So much had changed from when he first arrived at the Shadow Academy. He was no longer a wide-eyed Acolyte. He had been seasoned and tested by the fires, and emerged a Dark Jedi Knight. A feeling of unease settled over him as he continued to gently slip and nudge parts into place with the Force. The high point in this all was that once again, he was going to be fighting side by side with his old Master. He was going to be fighting to protect the others from the wrath of Locke and the so-called Prophet. This time he was going to have to stand stronger than ever before.

“Force sustain us all in the times to come,” he muttered as he placed the final casing into place. Turning the lightsaber over in his hand, his finger found the well-worn activator switch. With a wry smile, Bentre activated the weapon, casting a sapphire glow on the equipment in front of him. The light glinted off the visor of his helmet and gleamed off of his vibroknife. At least one thing works, Stahoes grumbled inwardly. I just hope this man proves as well suited to the mission as his equipment.


Days before
Terra Do Gelo
Orian System

Sebz looked out to the barren landscape before him. Reports had come in that the clan was separated on its true leader. He didn’t understand why the wizard Xanos or Marcus wanted control over the clan. Their roles as a whole were more powerful then usual. Sebz questioned the true motives behind the attempts at power, especially Marcus’s. The Krath already had the initiates in his power, what could a stupid ritual do?

As Sebz got up to return to base, his comlink beeped up. The voice that met his ears was a pleasant, yet cold sound to his ears.

“I hope you haven’t forgotten I exist.” His former master, Jeric was on the line. Sebz couldn’t remember the last time he had talked to his teacher, much less seen him face to face. “That Locke better not have made yo weaker ever since I last saw you. There will be no rescue next time…” That lingered in Sebz’s mind. He had been saved by his master so many times under so many circumstances. Sebz chuckled at this.

“No master, at least not in your standards.”

“I believe you have heard about what is going on at the moment. The clan is separated. The weak will be eliminated and I hope you haven’t chosen the wrong side. As of all, I will have your head mounted on my belt if I ever get the chance.”

Sebz missed this. He knew what his master had in stake knowing they had gone their separate ways after his apprenticeship. If reports were true, he would have to face his former master on the battlefield.

“Well, that time may come sooner then you expected. I will see you out there, whether we’re under the same banner or not. Sebz out.” Anger plagued the Dark Jedi Knight. Why couldn’t the clan just get along. He remembered training with so many as they prepared to go against their enemies, now he had to turn his back against them. Sebz didn’t want this to happen, but he had no choice.

His comlink beeped again.

I hope you’re ready, we don’t have much time. His former Battle Team Sergeant said as he saw most of Shadow’s Bane load up the transport to meet up with Locke. DarkBlade stood out the most as he stood still looking up at Sebz, curious as to what he was doing.

“Yeah, I’ll be their in a few. Everything I need is in the docking bay. Sebz out.” The Knight got up of the rocky landscape and began his descent to the ship.

An hour ago
Aboard the Turmoil
Orian System

The Knight walked out of the training area feeling up to par with his abilities. His lightsaber was still hot to the touch, a yellow afterglow still hidden in its chassis. Energy sizzled through his body. His Black Guard tattoo glowed giving it a shiny look. He enjoyed having the Force within him.

No wonder Mac loves it so much…

Sebz’s thoughts were interrupted as he ran into his former Roll Master, Atra.

“Ah Sebz, long time no see.” Anger was held by his voice, the Force giving him a dark aura behind him. “I assume you’re here under the true calling of the Clan.” The Knight wondered how the new Queastor slept at night

“The Clan is weak at the moment, I wish to restore its power as soon as possible.”

“It’s good to have on board.” A familiar voice came from Sebz’s back. The Consul Locke walked toward the duo, his stance showing authority, ready to hold his home and clan together.

“Sebz, welcome. If you’ll excuse us, we have matters to attend.” He flicked his head towards the armory that was behind him, the opposite direction the Knight had planned on going.

“As you wish.” Sebz tilted his head ever so slightly. He didn’t want to seem as a pawn of Locke’s, but he respected the Krath. Having to go against some of the people he called brothers must be difficult for him and Sebz’s respected that. He turned around and repeated the procedure with Atra, having great admiration toward the Umbarian.

Sebz entered the small armory, enough to equip 100 soldiers suitably. Workers went around cleaning blasters, charging energy cells, and fixing the like all around the tiny establishment.

“Dark Jedi Knight Sebz Janren, Armory Master Ju’sic Cluen, at your service.” The Trandoshan saluted the Knight.

“At ease solider.” Ju’sic relaxed and reset his posture.

“I assume Master Locke sent you here?”

“Indeed. I believe he wanted me to test something? Or just to get out the way.”

“He does have something for you, but not for any sort of testing.” The Trandoshan stepped aside revealing the infamous Long Barrel Short Shelled Sniper Rifle Sebz always carried with him. “Master Locke said he wanted you equipped with this. I have personally heard your shot is something out of the ordinary.” Sebz stepped up to the rifle and picked it up. It was heavier then usual, something he wasn’t expecting.

“I am assume you’ve made space modifications on this?” Asked the Knight, impressed by the craftsmanship.

“Indeed sir. If you’ll excuse me, I must attend my duties.” Ju’sic saluted and returned to helping his crew.

Sebz had a huge grin on his face, something he hadn’t had on for some time. He strapped the rifle onto his back. He picked up two blaster pistols and a set of hidden wrist knives from the equipment rack. He looked around the explosives and found his standard load out already waiting for him, along side a partial zero-g suit, one that fit Sebz’s taste. Picking up all his gear, he made his way to his resting chambers to prepare for what lied in store.

Same place
Resting Chambers

Sebz opened his eyes angrily as he was interrupted from meditating. He found that the exercise restored him not only mentally, but physically. The Knight placed his ear piece in and answered the call, only to be met by his old ally, Daedric Turelles.

“Don’t tell me you’re with Locke?” His old friend seemed annoyed by his decision to join the Consul. Last time the Knight had checked reports, Daedric was on Marcus’s side. He knew his old friend would be after for him, knowing he would not be swayed in loyalty.

“I did what I must. All this talk about power is useless and won’t get anyone anywhere. I’ve made my decision and I will stick by it.” The Knight was upset that his most trusted friend would go against him like this.

A sigh was heard on the other side of the call. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you when I come for your head out there.”

“I will see you on the battlefield, Sebz out.” The Knight ended the call. A rage of Dark Energy pulsed him, knowing that Daedric had smashed his comlink in frustration and anger. He didn’t want this to happen, but he knew he would meet his old ally on the battlefield, this time as enemies.

Sebz breathed and lowered his aura being emitted. He wanted to save up all the energy that he could on the battlefield, knowing that this would be a tough fought battle. He hated that he would have to do this, but he knew it was for a good cause.

Why I have to do this, I don’t want to go against my brothers, I just… The overhead speaker buzzed delaying Sebz’s pent up rage.

zzzzz… Sebz Janren report to the bridge at this time, Sebz Janren to the bridge… zzz

Sebz sighed as he got up. He picked up his lightsaber and made his way to the bridge.


Aboard the Absolution

Daedric sat beside his Apprentice, Bentre, staring at the now destroyed communications link laying on the floor. A spark would show every now and again signifying that it could no longer be used. He studied it, for some reason such a small insignificant piece of metal caught his attraction.

“You okay, Master Turelles?” Bentre questioned sitting back down beside him as he finished testing his equipment. He glanced down at his communications link lying on the ground. “I’m going to take it as a no?” He asked rhetorically. Daedric leaned back, a small smile etching its way on the corner of his lip.

“Yeah, I’m fine. My mind is right where it needs to be.” Daedric replied. So many around him seemed distraught over fighting their fellow clansman. This was a sentiment that Daedric didn’t share with them. He knew this was coming for so long. Ever since the Consul decided to do a way with the Dlarit Armed Forces and create this…Warhost…he knew his days were numbered. Daedric despised the Warhost for it was no true military. The Summit has allowed lower races to fill the ranks so they can get numbers. Eh, numbers. That’s all they care about.

Daedric peered across the shuttle bay, watching platoon after platoon fall in line as their sergeants made sure they were fully equipped for the potential battles to come. Bentre traced his Sergeant’s eyes to see exactly what he was looking at. Daedric knew what Bentre was doing, he could feel him reaching out with the Force trying to feel what was out there.

“Fascinating site isn’t it my young friend?” Daedric stated as he moved his helmet from the floor to his knee as he leaned back against the wall. “The site of an army mobilized for battle, it’s majestic in it’s own way.” Bentre said nothing, but just watched along with his Master and Sergeant. AT-TE’s were being moved into locations where they could be used if needed, AT-STs followed suit. The LAAT/i and LAAT/c’s where checking their engines and running over countless pre-flight checks making sure their equipment worked properly. A low hum was felt to their right, as both of them turned to take a look at the source, a pair of AT-AAs rolled past them with their gunner walking in front, guiding them in the active bay. “This was what I signed up for, battle. The true test of once abilities. You see Bentre, we do not fight our fellow clansman, we fight our enemies. Those who stand against us, be it friend or foe, are now your enemy. You hesitate once on the battle field and you’re done. There’s no second chances… You see that guy there?” Daedric stated as he rose his hand to point in the direction of a platoon of troopers formed.

“The guy standing in front,” Daedric stated. Bentre gave a slight nod as to acknowledge he followed. “That is Captain Scott, he served under me during my time in Bravo Company years ago. He’s a trustworthy man. I took the liberty of speaking with him earlier, and should you want it or need it, he is yours to command. He will -” Daedric stopped in mid sentence and he sensed a familiar prescience. A Son of Sadow. Macron.

He looked further out into the bay, searching with the force to find his Master, and then he found him. A cold void, like a vacuum in the ripples of space. Daedric felt warm inside, such darkness that surged from master reached out and touched him, like a faint kiss of death. Daedric stood, followed shortly by Bentre, and Tasha. They knew someone was coming, but not exactly sure who at the present moment. Bentre reached for his saber, followed by Tasha. Daedric extended his left hand, making a motion to go at ease, as Macron emerged from the sea of white.

From years of training via the military system both in the Dlarit and the Warhost, he knew one thing above all else. Respect. Something he tried to instill into Bentre during his trials, though sometime it worked, and other times it didn’t. As Daedric spotted the Sith Elder marching through the bay, an overwhelming since of pride struck him, for his Sith Master was one who has trained countless. Daedric watched as the man dressed in solid red, carrying his helmet in his hand walked unimpeded through the countless regiments forming into battle formations. He could hear the distinctive clank of Macron’s sabers, above everything else. As he got closer, Daedric knelt, bowing his head, but reaching defensively out with the force, touching Macron ever so softly with his telepathy so he knew what his intentions were, in the event he to attempt a strike, Daedric could have a better attempt to react. Seeing his Master kneel, Bentre followed, taking a kneeling position to his left, and Tasha to Bentre’s left. As the foot steps stopped mere feet from Daedric, only three words could be heard above the deafening chatter.

“Welcome, my Master.”


Orian System
The Shattered World, Dentavii
Temple Ruins

The Dark Prophet had turned his attention away from his followers, instead resuming his careful inspection of the ruins, a hunched figure bathed in twilight. Sildrin Sadow hovered nearby, as silent and as beautiful as an alabastine statuette. Shi Long had taken Xanos’ place beside the pedestal bearing the Clan’s sigil and patted it almost reverently as he stole a protective glance behind him, ensuring the Falleen’s safety as he always had. Atop it, the shard reflected the faux-star’s shine, almost expectantly.

When he turned back to face the small assemblage, the Korun began to speak, his baritone low and modulated through his rebreather.

“They come for us.”

The simple statement reverberated with consequence, and the gathering shifted slightly where they stood. The surface of the devastated planetoid rumbled in seeming response as the surface of Ombus rippled in the distance.

Shi looked his fellow confederates over, then approached them with heavy, sure steps. “Steel thyselves!” he admonished, his voice growing stronger with every word. “For it has all been foretold! ‘And of them who hunt us…in our darkest hearts, we know this. Out of fear we are hunted; out of ignorance, we are hunted. Like predators in the cattle, we are to them their young wonder; their Master’s fear’!” Shi recited from the Book of Doom. “Yes, their ‘fear’. Those who would call themselves our captors were given a chance,” he reminded them, a strong arm gesturing in Xanos’ direction. “And our offer of salvation was dismissed out of hand; our generosity, cast aside, as so much offal." His lips curled in a contemptuous sneer. "Out of fear. Out of ignorance!”

Shi began to pace, his zealotry beginning to percolate. “They come with their plans, and their shackles to bind, and their vainglorious titles. ‘Consul’,” he scoffed. “‘Grand Master’. ‘Elder’.

“Their determination to cling to what was will be their undoing! They are themselves bound by their plans, by their fear!” The Long stopped in front of Lexic, clasping the Zelosian’s shoulders, his swirling mercurial eyes scanning the Warrior’s own. “But, we know, there are only those with eyes to see, ears to listen…and those without.” Lexic nodded his understanding, hanging, as were the others, on the Primarch’s every word.

The Long patted Lexic’s shoulders and released him, continuing his address. Jade’s head craned to follow him, as did Maelous’. “We, my brethren; we have the eyes to see, the ears to listen! The Prophet himself has been touched by the Great One’s strong arm, has touched our hearts because we have sought him; yes, brethren, his will has never left our side!” The words of the Book of Doom flowed freely now, Shi caught in an almost fanatic grip. “For we alone know of the ‘doom that will touch our shores, and that a great wall will rise to fight the approaching storms’! Those that would stop us are that doom, and we are that wall! They do not understand that we have come, not to destroy them, but to save them; lo, even from themselves! What was is done; what remains is what will be.” Shi stopped, his chest heaving as he let his words wash over them.

“But how,” Jade asked, her voice fearless and strong, but concerned, “when they are so many, and we are but few?”

The Long smiled, Ombus backlighting him so only his impressive silhouette could be seen by the gathered. “It as Vexatus has said, and as I have said: it has been foretold.” Just then, a Theta-Class T-2c shuttle - the Aurora - screamed overhead. All but Shi and Vexatus flinched at the sudden disturbance and whirlwinds of dust that were kicked up as the shuttle touched down. The cargo hatch opened, white plumes of vented atmosphere briefly obscuring the opening. Members of ERT Bravo - specialists from Orian’s police force - began to stream out, with Jeric Cyrin being the last.

“Even now, our numbers grow,” Shi assured them. “More will join us still. There is a gathering maelstrom, brethren; will you watch it run unchecked over our galaxy? Or will you fight?” the Primarch roared.

A determined silence met the Long’s challenge, rhetorical though it was. Their very presence on Dentavii was all the assent he needed. Each one there knew the gravity of their decision…and of the consequences their inaction could have on the whole of the Clan.

Satisfied, Shi nodded tersely. “Very well. You know what you must do. Now, go!”


Low Orbit within the Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Betrayal, lies and scheming.

The Clan was rife with it. The darkness within the soul controlling so many, a stark counterpoint to the purifying flame within him. The Umbaran was always so quick to strike, wanting to prove his loyalty to the Consul and his Clan. It was expected of him, but not so of the Jedi sitting quietly within the Vibre-class ship. No, he was never trusted, not because he was untrustworthy, but because of who he was. A Jedi, the fabled enemy of the Sith and their other cultist offshoots.

A well of calm serenity dwelt within him, fuelling his mind’s eye. Some betrayals struck harder because of who they were. Some were expected, like his maliciously Machiavellian Aedile, Maelous. Others were more of a surprise, like one of the main architects of this contention, Marcus Kiriyu and his student, Tasha’Vel Versea. Both of them were of his line, Marcus having been trained by Sanguinius’ first student, Inarya.

Those three were foremost on his mind as Sanguinius stood and walked towards the uninviting abyss outside of the craft. Nodding towards the officer of the Fireteam assigned to him, the Anaxsi simply dropped out of the hole to land deftly on the ground below in a crouch. Sanguinius was never one for a flashy show, unlike his counterpart. The spacetroopers followed him, landing in a circle around the Quaestor, their guns pointing outwards at the emptiness surrounding them. Rising up, pushing himself up with his right hand, the Jedi scanned the horizon before transferring his attention towards Atra.

“Needless bloodshed should be avoided,” Sanguinius rumbled, mostly to himself as he knew Ventus would not heed his words. “They know we’re here.”

Atra simply raised his eyebrows sarcastically as he replied in his most annoyingly deadpan voice. “I’m sure they’ve already got afternoon tea ready for us, Blood.”

Sanguinius frowned, the unsought nickname given to him seemed distasteful. It irked him and the Sith knew it. “Maelous is mine to punish, remember that,” the Entar reminded his companion.

“I’ll try not to forget that when he’s trying to kill me.” came the retort.

The Exarch, another title he hated, switched his attention to the Lieutenant leading his fireteam. “Lieutenant Sovay, you know your business.”

“Yessir, Fireteam Delta are locked and loaded.” the armour clad officer saluted, before being waved to cease his action by Sanguinius. “Let’s not make it too formal, Lieutenant. Don’t want any snipers picking off valuable officers.” the Jedi smiled warmly, “Watch out for your men, Sovay…”


Hangar Deck
Dentaavi Orbit

“Rise, Dark Jedi” chuckled Macron as Daedric knelt. The Elder nodded at the Twilek Marauder Knight Tasha’Vel and Shadow Knight Bentre, gesturing for all of them to stand. “Though you appreciate formality- and so do I- there is no time or need for it in our current situation. Our enemies have already moved towards the Shards.”

“I understand,” commented Daedric crisply as he stood with the others. “Are we all the Dark Jedi that stand with Marcus?”

“There are two more, Sith Knight Turelles.” Macron stated as the shuttle ramp opened. “We must move with all possible speed and secure as many Shards as possible.”

As the quartet of Dark Jedi walked up the gangplank, they were greeted by two figures. One, a relative newcomer to the Clan. Ingram Thorpe stood. “Guardian Thorpe here. I am Marcus’ Apprentice.”

“Well met,” replied Tasha’Vel as the others looked at Ingram and stared him down. “Don’t mind them. They are a hard lot to get to know.”

“Indeed. We need all the help we can get,” said Bentre while breaking the silence. “I heard you are good with traps and scoundrelry. I hope you know how to use that DL 44 you’re wearing.”

“I do,” said Ingram with a thin smile. “I’ll honor this team and my Master with it.”

“Good.” Daedric turned towards Macron. “You mentioned two, Master?”

“Yes.” The Sith Elder sat down at the shuttle controls. “Adept Malik Sadow will be joining us down there at his own discretion.” The madman gestured at the copilot’s chair. “I’d be honored.”

Daedric nodded as he sat down in the copilots chair. The shuttle wasted no time in joining a host of it’s other brethren in hastily debarking the Absolution. “May I ask what your own motivations are in this Master?”

“Certainly. Many would think it a typical Sith betrayal or power grab. And they would be wrong. Although it humors me to thwart Locke the Usurper, that is not my primary motivation.” He touched his scarred face and replacement Sith-spawned eye briefly. “Vexatus is my Sith Master as you well know. He cannot be trusted. I do not trust him or anyone else blindly anymore. And if Marcus does indeed get the Shards, they will twist his mind and body in ways that are horrible to contemplate. I cannot let that happen. I’m not here to kill my Clan mates or even former Apprentices in the other factions. I’m here to stop a tragedy.”

Tasha spoke up next from behind them. The Twilek braced herself against a handhold on the bulkhead wall. “Have you seen any of these shards, Elder Sadow?”

“I have, Sith Knight Versea,” spoke the Alchemist as the shuttle began to slow in its descent to the surface. “Master Travarus Caerick had one. It drove him mad. It was very powerful indeed but also quite dangerous. Artifacts are like that, you know. The more power they have, the greater a trap they become. Power of that sort gained from without is a chain to be broken. It is far better to turn within and find your own power inside of your passion and heart. The Echani knew this, and that is why I mastered their fighting art.” He turned and winked at Tasha’Vel. “I understand from the personnel files you have an interest in their culture."

“Buckle up folks. We land in five,” noted Daedric over the intercom as the atmosphere glowed around them. “Looks like there may already be trouble brewing down there.”


A few days prior….

Jeric had been away from the Orian System for a few weeks now. He was on a mission for Shadow’s Bane, collecting intelligence on a group of extremists that opposed the tyranny of the Sith. While walking through the crowded streets of Desevro’s capital city, seemingly invisible to everyone, Jeric was stopped cold. A shiver came over his body as the force rippled for what seemed like minutes. As the Sith stood there focusing on the shift, trying to pinpoint its source, he dropped to one knee as the ripple suddenly became void.

For a few seconds after it felt as if Jeric had been disconnected from the force. Slowly his senses returned, quickly he stood and began marching towards the city’s spaceport. The nexus of the force, it’s equilibrium, had been altered and Jeric caught a glimpse of the source….Ombus.

Theta-Class T-2c shuttle Aurora
Just outside the Stygian Caldera
Esstran Sector, Outer Rim

Jeric sat in silence next to the pilot he had hired to replace his late wife. Could this have been what was foretold in that ancient text I read a while back? Jeric thought to himself as he sat there pondering the events that had transpired hours ago. What was the name of that text? It was in the Sadow Archives, looked like it hadn’t been touch in a few years. Chronicle of Dark… Jeric’s concentration was broken by the chirp of his comlink. The former noble thumb the switch but said nothing.

“Master Cyrin you there, it’s Maelous.”

“How can I help you my disciple.”

“You were not present for Conclave, something has awoken within the force.” The Aedile’s voice was deep, almost distressed sounding.

“I have no desire to be present for those anymore. I have felt the disturbance in the force and I fear life as we know it is about to change.”

Jeric’s former apprentice agreed with him and explained what had happen at the Conclave, how Darth Vexatus appeared, spoke of coming events and offered answers. How Locke was quick to dismiss the prophecies of the oracle and tell those who are supposed to follow him not to worry. And how the clan’s Rollmaster had envisioned himself standing before the clan. Maelous explained how we was going to travel to the Dentavii asteroid belt in search of Vexatus and seek the answer the Sith Lord promised. Jeric concurred, he too was not about to ignore the prophecies and let his legacy or that of the clan’s be forgotten.

Temple Ruins
The Shattered World, Dentavii
Orian System

As the dust settle around the Aurora the elite members of Emergency Response Team Bravo fanned out forming a defensive wedge. Jeric Cyrin emerged from the cargo ramp, his stride evoking in those he approached the dauntless and confidence that he possessed. As he drew closer to the small assembly of Dark Jedi the light from Ombus revealed some familiar faces.

The Aedile of Marka Ragnos, his former apprentice stepped out of the crowd and gave a slight bow out of respect.

“Master, I knew your choice would be that of preservation.”

“It was the only choice to be made in my eyes.” Jeric responded, his voice modulated by the Sith Mask covering his face. “Any of the others here?”

“No, apparently they are still too young or too blinded to understand what it is that Lord Vexatus speaks about.” Maelous said referring to the Sith Master’s other two apprentices, Sebz and Vyrim.

“In time they will understand,” Shi Long stated from atop the pedestal.

Jeric looked up at the former Consul, one he respected, and nodded in acknowledgment. He then turned to his disciple so that Maelous could bring him up to speed, the two then began planning their attack.


In the gravity of the broken,
With the heresy that was stolen,
The lost, hated, seekers find their prize,
Power mistaken for pride and lies.
Fall into those depths.
Never to rise.
Never to rise.

Low Orbit within the Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Atra sneered at the whole affair. The soldiers fanned out, trying their best to make use of the cover that they could find, slowly covering the ground towards their objective. Somewhere, out in the shards of this shattered world, he felt them. His prey.

The young knight was brash, brutal, calculating, but sloppy. The power he was toying with would light a beacon so bright that everyone would be able to find him. Atra just hoped that he would be the one to get to him before Vexatus and his men did.

Sang watched the darksider move, eyes darting across the horizon, from peak to peak, shadow to shadow. Pockets of twisted atmosphere corrupted the space, warbling and making his eyes see motion when there was none. He grumbled to himself. This would have been easier in pure space.

Another pocket glimmered in his eyes, and he wanted to rub his eyes, but knew better. Focus came to him, staring at the miasma, the snarl of air in the broken ruins of this place. It seemed to grow larger as he stared at it, and he let his mind grow calm as he felt along it’s edges.

It blurred ever larger, darkening and purple, stretching out along the ship as the cloaking device deactivated. Eyes widened as he recognized the ship, fingers tapping furious messages back to the Consul.

The Turmoil
The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Locke paced the deck, listening to the reports as the men made their way into the wreckage, hunting for the Ombus. He hated this, the constant interplay between people back and forth, always grasping at power. What power they were afforded, at any rate. He would have spat, if he didn’t care about the ship. Vexatus was always at the edges of the periphery, always teasing the edges of their sanity with his doom, with his illusions. It was always another scheme for the man, always some new way to achieve what had been forever denied him.

Locke hated him for it. He already had so much, and wasted it on the hunt for more. The Sith were fools, always ignoring the power they already had because they wanted more. And to what end? The clan was divided, broken in three because of their foolishness. Locke stopped, looking out through the viewscreen at the floating bits of the world that once was.

He stared at it. It was broken, torn apart by the same search for power.

Like it threatened to do to Sadow.

He punched the console, sparks and metal bits screaming at the impact. Locke curled his lip as he looked down, a trickle of blood dripping down his knuckle, battered metal and duroplast display cracked beneath.

He brought it to his face, letting the copper waft into his nostrils. He said a silent oath, a prayer to whatever Force or Gods there were in this desolation, then flung the blood to the cold steel of the floor.

The click of boots behind him turned his head.


“Priority message from the Entar, sire.” The messenger’s uniform was crisp, new. Locke wondered how many missions the young woman had been on.

“Yes, and?”

“The Fallen Spear just decloaked a few clicks from their location.”

Locke’s head spun, eyes widening.

Low Orbit within the Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Fifteen soldiers stared as the ship’s bay opened. They had expected some air support, but this was a big bloody ship. Sinclair grunted as he tried to find the AA missile, wondering to himself if it would do the trick, or if the beast had countermeasures. The others just leveled rifles, scoping the front, eyes peeled for whatever might come screaming out, speeders, fighters, shuttles.

One man stepped to the edge of the bay, Wind whipping the long black leather that hung across the back of his armor. The helmet turned, looking down at them, acknowledging their presence with a sharp nod.

“Friendly?” Sinclair bellowed the word, and it didn’t sound much like a question.

“Pretty sure not.” Davis spoke back, talking through gritted teeth as the vocoder crackled.

“Light him up, then.”

The rifles erupted, bolts of energy searing up a hundred feet, peppering the air around him. Hands made quick movements, and the bolts scattered against a translucent barrier, screeching off into space harmlessly. He shook his head at them and stepped off from the bay.

“Foxtrot Uniform!” Sinclair bellowed. “We need an ID!”

He hit the ground like a mortar round, head inclined toward the ground. Rifles clicked and whirred as they raised against him.

The snap of lightsabers coming to life echoed behind them. Burning bright in the coldness of space, they hovered without a hand to hold them. A few turned to see their deaths before it came. Sinclair watched as the weapons tore through his men, the pitiful scream of blasters firing in fear, the howls of his soldiers coming across their commlink, a direct feed to his helmet.

Yet he could not move.

Sinclair tried to twist, to watch them fall, but his muscles ignored the orders of his mind. He was held captive in his own body, his eyes staring at the black helmet with the stylized head of a beast adorning it. The screams subsided, the breathing stilled save for his own. The man stepped closer to him, head tilting in a mockery of curiosity.

The thud of boots hitting the ground sounded from behind him, then a laugh, garbled as it was through a rebreather.

“You couldn’t leave a few for me, Onee?” He stepped around into Sinclair’s field of vision, eyes smiling as he regarded him. He knew of this man, a Dark Jedi Master who once sat on the Dark Council. That meant…

“The sooner we are done here, the better.” He turned away, and Sinclair’s eyes caught the glint at the man’s left hand, the sigil of the Lion of Tarthos.

If he could have screamed obscenities at the fates, he would have.


Dentaavi Planet
Heading towards the surface

At the mention of Echani, Tasha turned her gaze to Macron. “Why yes Macron, I am interested in the Echani because my grandfather had been a part of the Echani Civil War and had given me this after the war.” She showed Macron the Echani vibroblade at her left side.

“This blade is special to me as my grandfather used it during their fight for freedom. He had obtained it from one of his good friends who fell in battle. It was then passed onto me to use for protecting my clan. After this, if you didn’t mind I would like to discuss more about the Echani and perhaps learn some of their battle techniques.”

Macron smiled a bit while staring at the young Twi’lek. “I think that can be arranged later.”

“Tasha, that is an amazing sword! You think that perhaps I might be able to get one?” Ingram inquired as he admired the blade.

“That depends Ingram, you would either have to inherit the blade or be friends with the Echani.”

“Well couldn’t I just simply take it from you?” He replied boldly.

“I think you would find yourself in some trouble if you tried that route. It would be in your best interest if you didn’t try to take my weapon.” Tasha answered just as the ship began to shake violently.

Bracing herself, Tasha gripped the handles above her to try to keep from falling. The ship continued to sway as it descended through the rough atmosphere, while harsh turbulence began making the entire hull quake. Tasha held on tighter to the handles, hoping the ship wouldn’t rip apart in the atmosphere. “I sure hope this holds together.” She said trying to sound confident. Suddenly, the ship banked a sharp left causing her to accidently fall into Daedric. She attempted to steady herself and quickly got off him as she made her way back to the seat.

“Now Tasha this is no time to be putting the moves on my former master, we are in the middle of a war zone.” teased Bentre.

“In your wildest fantasies Bentre. Its not my fault the stupid ship wants to eject me from my seat.” She snapped back as her emerald eyes glared at him.

“Hush kids, I don’t want to have to separate you two now so play nice.” remarked Daedric as he smiled amusingly.

Tasha shut her mouth and re-focused her attention to the current situation. A huge jolt from the craft indicated it had landed.

“Alright everyone, we have landed now be careful out there. We are after the shards, but we are not the only ones. I am sure there will be others arriving. Stay alert for Locke’s and Vexatus’s people. Should you encounter them, convert them or neutralize them,” Daedric ordered. “Let’s move out!”

The hangar doors opened up and a whoosh of hot air blasted the interior. Tasha quickly rose, marched out the door and onto the planet’s ground. Looking around, there seemed to be battles going on. Several blaster rifle bolts sounded from nearby as smoke filled the air. Great, just what I wanted, to engage in battle right after landing, she thought. But we are here and don’t have much time. So let’s get this show going.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Sang visibly winced as he felt the loss of life through the Force; ripples emanating like sorrowful cries through the delicate fabric that connected all things. Each silent cry was a dagger twisted in the Light sider’s back as the Keibatsu made their presence known. They were being slaughtered already, the soldiers that had served the clan for so long. And for what reason? Why did they die?

Hubris… So much came down to that one constant.

The Quaestor of Marka Ragnos felt a hand tap his shoulder and spun to face the source, his brown eyes locking on the mismatched gaze of his fellow. “What you’re looking for isn’t that way,” Atra grumbled with a glimmer of compassion.

Frankly, it caught the Jedi off guard, considering the source. Still, the Entar was a man of principles and nodded his thanks. He could already sense the threads of fate pulling him towards his goal, through the dilapidated landscape and the ruins that pockmarked the fragments like fungus sprouting from decaying flesh. These fragments were a reminder of the scars the darkness would ever leave in its wake.

“Watch your back, Sanguinius,” Atra continued as he strode ahead, his fireteam leading the way. “I suspect I won’t be able to.”

Surprises abound this day, and what more could be waiting in parts unknown?

Atra tapped the controls on his commlink as he walked, his arm’s tattoos seeming to pulse within his flesh as his sixth sense pushed beyond the confines of his skin, snaking through the battered landscape. Finally managing to lock onto his desired frequency, the Umbaran pressed a finger to his neck and activated the device. “Shi, I know you can hear this… It’s not too late to chose another path.”

At first there was no response, the empty static saying more than words ever could. Then, like a creeping vine, a rich and throaty chuckle punched through the static with ever growing intensity. “Ah, xiâodì… so you still aren’t ready to stand with me.

Atra — no, Xue — allowed himself a long sigh before responding to Shi. “You could forge your own path, you don’t need to follow the others.”

Another infuriating chuckle.

This is my path. Would be best if you didn’t keep forgetting that. Embrace your nature, join us,” Shi’s words slipped over the radio waves like mercurial silk.

The Snow Dragon didn’t bother to answer, it would be impractical at that point. Instead, he answered by releasing his finger from the switch at his neck and cutting off the connection before reverting to Locke’s designated frequency. His shoulders sunk ever so slightly, giving the Umbaran an almost resigned appearance in stark contrast to the usual smug aura that carried his steps forward. Still, he carried forward, the mission taking precedence over personal matters after all. He could already sense them at the fringes of his awareness, those that Sang sought. The familiarity was a natural thing to the Rollmaster emeritus, as he had been the one that oversaw Tasha’Vel’s progression to Dark Jedi Knight alongside her master, Marcus.

And now, thanks to Locke’s ever so kind command, they became those that Atra sought.

“Are you… well, Ventus?” Sang called from behind, needing far less than the Force to perceive the state his compatriate was in.

Atra actually snarled as he shook his head, rising to his full stature once more as if casting a great weight from his shoulders. “We have the scent now, Blood… and it seems they have a prior engagement.” Atra glanced over his shoulder at the other Quaestor. “Care to crash a party?”

“Just remember: no matter how practical it may seem do not kill our clansmen,” Sang almost wheezed the words out in a stream of pure exasperation, signalling Lieutenant Sovay to advance towards the blaster fire they were rapidly approaching. “You’re not an animal after all.”

“Aw,” Atra’s mouth spread into a toothy grin, “you just say that cause they let me out of my cage before you showed up.”


Temple Ruins
The Shattered World, Dentavii
Orion System

Jade stared at Shi Long as he talked. Something inside of her was stirring, it felt like a dark storm, cold and malevolent. It drew her closer to power. Perhaps it was part of the reason she chose the side she did. Seems hard for her to believe she’d pick a side associated with a once betrayer. But something spoke to her, drew her in to the visions and prophecies. As she stood there listening to Shi Long, she was surprised by their low numbers. The Clan truly had been split up. She had expected more people though. Her eyes shifted from Shi’s mount to Lexic, Vexatus, and to Maelous, their colour fading from purple to near black as she shifted her gaze. If anyone had noticed it may have simply looked as though the shadows, cast by their surroundings, were playing tricks.

The sound of a shuttle approaching filled the air and made her jump. She cursed at it. Something so simple shouldn’t have put her on edge. She had to focus on the now, not whatever was taunting her, tempting her. As the troopers filled out of the Aurora, she couldn’t help but wonder, in all of this, only one would be right, and there would be two victims. What would happen to the those who hadn’t followed Vexatus and his visions? How would the Clan heal and survive this three way separation? She smiled as Jeric stepped off the shuttle, though sad Macron had not seen the light, she knew they were all in for one hell of a time.

Jeric and Maelous moved off to the side, heading towards the ramp of the Aurora. Maelous sat on the ramp with Jeric standing next to him.

Jade turned to Lexic. “So, you’re our honorary medic?”

Lexic wasn’t too sure what to think of the dark Kraths comment. Her body language was somewhat open, with her hips facing him, her toes pointed slightly out, but her arms were across her chest.

Jade smiled at his paused. His eyes scanning her body. He could have been looking for an obvious injury, but she guessed he was more cautious of her. In a situation like they were in, it was quite possible one of them could be a mole for one of the other sides. For all he knew she could be working for Locke. The tips of her fangs poked out from under her top lip. Her eyes darted as she felt a shiver of power wash over her. She figured Vexatus, or even possibly Shi, had sensed her thoughts about a possible mole and we’re making sure her presence was of her own free will. She couldn’t help but raz the kid a bit. “If the force can heal, why do we need a medic?”

Lexic looked at her. She caught him a bit off guard. Normally he might be pissed at the comment, but she hadn’t said it as though he were nothing but a fly on the wall. Blinking, she smiled back, and matter of factly said, “because the force doesn’t have a bed side manor.”

Jade laughed and touched his shoulder. “I’ll remember that.” She looked up at Shi Long, her eyes still seeing him as Sai, and remembering his guidance. Though he was different, and at the moment almost lost in his word of battle, she would always give him loyalty.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

A flick of the wrist. A simple gesture and the spark of life could flutter before dissolving into the fabric of the galaxy. However, time was of the essence and the younger Keibatsu knew his brother could break the grunt. Gentle, electric sensations crawled along the Elder’s neck to break his concentration for something more urgent. Shikyo spun on his heels and extended his will with the Force, clutching the throat of an unfortunate survivor and tightening his grip. The soldier’s voice filter echoed the man’s pain before a sickening crunch emitted through the speakers and the armor went limp.

Sasuke looked up and saw the form of his sister-in-law watching from the hangar bay before taking the plunge to the asteroid’s surface, the Dokugan-Ryu standing watch over them all. Ashia moved towards the Lion as the Dark Jedi Master looked over the bodies of the fallen, searching for anything that could help them. Shikyo recognized the rank insignia adorning the various armor. He started with the higher echelon at the same time he heard an electronic yelp of pain. The cries grew louder and more frantic with each passing second yet the Herald couldn’t find anything more than the basic equipment every trooper needed.

Shikyo slowly stood up and turned his attention back to the remaining soldier. The form stood tall as if on display for all to see but the posture appeared pained, forced. If he could collapse, the man known as “Sinclair” would have found peace lying on the asteroid’s surface. Muz raised his hand slowly and he could see the soldier’s arm move with it. As his fingers danced to a silent beat, the man’s arm began to snap and contort with each wave of the Sith Lord’s fingers. Sinclair wailed breathlessly, seemingly exhausted from the pain.

A silent moment passed before the Lion of Tarthos brushed away the air before him and the trooper’s helmet spun violently in the opposite direction it had been facing. The elder Keibatsu turned towards his family, pulling a holodisc from his robes as they gathered around. Reaching out with the Force, the three looked over the image of the asteroid while the Grand Master projected his words to their minds.

According to Sinclair, they were tasked with searching this asteroid for a shard. Their initial reports were coming back negative however there’s a squad nearby that’s picking up abnormal readings.

Ashia turned towards her husband. Did they confirm it was a shard?

Muz shook his head.

But you reached out and confirmed it, yes? Shikyo questioned.

The Sith Lord nodded. It’s small but noticeable. Let’s move fast.

Engine thrusters ignited around them as shuttles began to glide through the asteroid belt, scanning for the shards or deploying more troops. The Dark Jedi Master could feel the presence of others nearby; soft, tempered, yet faltering. They weren’t strong in the Force but their will was set on holding their ground against the three Krath.

Shikyo turned towards the disturbance and snarled with a smirk. “We have company.”


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Another set of boots thumped against the rock behind them as Muz, Ashia and Shikyo turned their attention towards the disturbance.

“That drop’s higher than it looked,” muttered the new arrival, his voice a low grumble. Palming the two sabers through his belt, the man they called Dokugan-ryu rolled his shoulders to loosen them up, a smirk creeping across his face. “You two are just lucky you got down first.”

Shikyo’s own face twitched with mirth and he shot back at his older brother, eyes and senses still scanning the distance.

“Not my fault you’re getting old, Onii-”

The scream of another engine nearby cut his words short. Muz raised his hand, gesturing in the direction of a shuttle setting down on the other side of a nearby rock formation.

There, he projected. The shard lies yonder. Move.

All humour and joviality dispersed immediately; the Keibatsu moved as one towards the rock formation, advancing with the practiced ease forged by lifetimes of war. The Lion led the way, Ashia close beside him; Shikyo and Manji followed behind, spread out and scanning the surroundings for any impending threats. As they advanced up a rocky hill just before the shuttle’s landing point, Manji could feel the tension growing, the Force gathering around them. It was intoxicating, entrancing- it had been a while since he’d gone into battle with the other Keibatsu, and he’d almost forgotten how satisfying it felt.

At the lip of the hill, they paused briefly, dropping to the ground and leaning out to survey the landing site before them. The shuttle had dropped down behind what looked like the site of an old temple or sacrificial ground, rudimentary pillars spiking up into the sky in a regular pattern. A squadron of fifteen soldiers, identically garbed to the ones that Muz had dispatched so swiftly, were spread out amongst the ruins, searching the ground and inspecting the ancient stone. As they watched, several soldiers emerged from a small cavern beneath the structure, one of them holding aloft a crystalline shard that sparkled with arcane power.

“This time you’ll leave some for us, right?” Manji muttered, his tone of voice mock-accusatory. Muz let a wry smile cross his features, turned cruel by the darkness boiling in his eyes.

On this shattered ground/I strive to restrain my blades/But shall not falter,” he replied, the Kyataran poetry spilling easily from his lips. The Dark Side boiled as the Lion of Tarthos stood upright, revealing himself to the soldiers below.

“Always a bloody poet…” Manji chuckled as panicked shouts echoed from the ruins, the solders reacting viscerally to the appearance of the Sith Lord. As Muz dived down from the outcropping towards the enemy, the other Keibatsu followed suit, the snap-hiss of igniting sabers cutting through the air.


Dentavii Asteroid
Orian System

As the bay doors swung into motion, troopers loyal to Marcus exited setting up a defensive parimeter. A battle could be faintly heard in the distance as stray blaster rounds flew out into space. Daedric exited down the ramp scanning the immediate area searching for signs of trouble, followed by the remainder of the Dark Jedi within the shuttle.

“Commander Turelles, Alpha and Bravo Company have landed. Heading to the ridge to our 12 to survey the battle up ahead.” A familiar voice sounded over his helmet. Daedric gave a quick acknowledgment as he motioned for the troopers around him to move out.

“Master,” Daedric started as they began walking over the barren terrain heading to the ridge line. “I feel a massive wave in the force. Emitnatting ahead, it’s like nothing I have ever felt before. So dark…so powerful…ins intoxicating.” Daedric hung off of every word, feeling the power from ahead pulling him inward.

“Careful, Apprentice. I can feel the same as you, you must control yourself.” Macron replied knowing that the power of a shard could tear a young Knight apart.

“It’s so much power…” Bentre muttered to himself. Macron looked back to Bentre, knowing the same power would suck them both into an abyss. As the group approached the crest of the ridge over looking the landscape below, they could see the full scale battle raging. The two sides couldn’t be readily identifie as the group was to far away to see any sign of an emblem.

“Absolution, Turelles.” Daedric announced over a direct secure line back to their ship. “Turelles, Absolution. Go with your traffic.” A voice crackled over the communication link. Daedric looked back down to his holomap which was located on his left wrist. He began swiping left and right, seaching for a suitable location to land the armor elements to give a good advantage on the battle below. After finding a suitable location to land the units, he rotate his wrist to show Macron.

“Here?” He questioned. Macron gave silent nod. Daedric quickly keyed his mic to relay the coordinates.

“Location received. Sending the armor.” The voice from the Absolution called out. Daedric keyed his mic up to speak with the two companies stationed around them on the ridge line.

“Move in, occupy their time while we find what we came here for.” Daedric ordered. As the companies acknowledged their orders, the assault force of Marcus began to move.


Orian System

Sebz walked past the blast doors into the bridge of the Turmoil. Locke stood in the center ordering commands and looking out of the view ports to what awaited him and those still true to Naga Sadow. The Knight sensed something was wrong as he approached the Consul.

“Ah Sebz, welcome. I see you’re ready.” The Krath said this without even turning around to look at Sebz, but the Knight didn’t even bother with asking how he knew. “I sense that Atra and Sang will be in need of some help soon. I do not wish to lose my two Queastors to some unfortunate events.” Locke picked up a holopad and swiped through the latest reports.

“I just wish for this to be over, and for Naga Sadow to be unified. I will depart toward the duo immediately, if you so wish.” Locke waved him off, preoccupied by conflicts hovering in his face. The Knight took the message and proceeded to go to his resting chambers.

Resting Chambers

Sebz grabbed his helmet for the partial zero-g suit he had gotten earlier. He wasn’t ready. The young Knight didn’t know why. He was at a prime time for his age, he wasn’t suffering from any mentally disturbing phenomenons like his former procounsul Macron experienced, nor was he missing anything. Sebz took a deep breath and checked his saber.

Do we really need to fight over this stupid argument? Why does this always happen?

His thought process was cut short through a banging on his door. Sebz walked towards it and opened it, met by his former battle-team sergeant, DarkBlade.

“You ready. 3rd Squad of commandos is about to roll out to Sang and Atra’s spot. Locke wanted me to join you. You in?” The Anzat was ready for battle, his armor looked fresh and his weapon belt carried all sorts of nasty concoctions.

Sebz picked up his rifle and strapped it onto his back. “Yeah, let’s go,” the Knight said reluctantly as he stepped out of his chambers. “I assume a transports out of the question? This ship doesn’t have a hangar.”

“You forget, two ships can connect to each other. Our transports waiting. Come on we’re late!” The Anzat raced down the corridor. Sebz sighed and sprinted after him, hoping to not lose track of his ally. As Sebz rounded the corner, the Anzat was already waiting for him in the ship next to a squad of commandos.

“You joining us or what?”

Sebz stepped on board and waited to be rocketed off into the chaos that stood before him.


Temple of Sorrows
Orian System

Two technicians from the Warhost were busy lifting an R8 astromech droid into the waiting XJ3 X-Wing starfighter, it was the last thing they had to do in order to prepare the fighter for launch. The one manning the controls for the lift looked around to see if anyone was within earshot and then looked up at his colleague, “I’ve heard rumors saying that several ships including the Absolution has set course for the Dentavii asteroid belt. What do you think they’re doing out there? Another drill?” before the other technician had a chance to answer they heard a voice behind them, “Foolishly wasting energy and manpower, that’s what they’re doing.” They turned around in surprise, the voice belonged to the old Neti, Malik Sadow so they quickly saluted, Malik nodded at them and then looked at the X-Wing. The second technician got down from the fighter, “The X-Wing is ready for takeoff as ordered, sir.”

Malik muttered a “thank you” as he got in the cockpit and settled in as he began the startup sequence. As he was done the fighter lift off of the ground and flew out the hangar. He heard some beeps and chirps from the R8 droid as it inquired about their destination. “Yes R8, we’re going to Dentavii, it is my duty to Naga Sadow to participate in the foolish conflict.” He plotted the coordinates for a minijump to Dentavii into the navicomputer and entered hyperspace. He spent the few minutes in hyperspace to ponder on his choice to support the young Rollmaster, the Adept had experienced similar visions to the ones Marcus had clearly seen, he wasn’t entirely sure about the possible outcome, should Marcus be successful but for now he was determined to see how it would play out and just hope that the Clan wouldn’t tear itself apart in the process.

As he exited hyperspace he could see both the Absolution and the Turmoil in the distance and almost right in front of him he recognized the shape of Muz Ashen’s own ship, The Fallen Spear, on the surface below he could sense Muz as well as at least three other Force users as well as a group of what he assumed would be soldiers of the Warhost. As he flew in closer he could see the Force users beginning their assault and figured he only had one chance to rescue the soldiers. He aimed the blasters at the Grand Master and squeezed the trigger, well aware that the Keibatsu could most likely deflect them with relative ease. After he made the pass he came back around and slowed to a hover allowing himself to jump out the X-Wing, “R8, take the fighter back to Sepros.” He yelled mid-jump.

He landed between the soldiers and the Keibatsus, hoping the soldiers would have their wits about them and use his distraction to flee with the shard. He looked up at the unscathed Grand Master, “Four Force users versus a dozen soldiers hardly seems fair, Muz.”

As he took a step towards the quartet he thought to himself “I should have stayed in the X-Wing.”


The Dokugan-Ryu threw back his head and laughed as Malik settled in between them and the soldiers.

“You honestly think you can take us all? Even without our big brother, the three of us are more then a match for you, Malik.”

A sneer crossed the Adept’s visage. “You are making a big mistake.” He started. He was trying to buy more time, but for what he didn’t know.

“The young Rollmaster’s visions should not be taken lightly. You of all people should know this, Ashen.” He addressed the Grand Master informally, though he was not sure if this was wise or not.

“You’re on a fool’s errand, Mal.” Shikyo turned slightly and lowered his center of gravity.

The three of them stood in silence for a moment. A silent conversation passed between the Keibatsu. The Grand Master’s head lifted ever so slightly and screams penetrated the air behind the Neti.

Malik chanced a glance behind him and saw five of the Warhost hovering in the air, their heads contorted at odd angles. Suddenly their bodies flew at him. As he turned to deflect, Manji ran at him with sabers screaming.

He dodged the bodies as they were flung to the ground and flipped around to parry the Keibatsu’s blades as they sang through the air. Silver light danced in a fiendish frenzy as the two lunged at and evaded one another’s attacks.

The soldier’s watched in disbelief for a moment before coming around and resuming their attack. Blaster fire rang through the air as the two Force users battled each other.

Shikyo’s hand flicked upwards. With that slight gesture, blue bolts of power ruptured from his finger tips and into the fray of soldiers. The electricity danced across their armor.

Slipping to the shadows, Ashia wrapped the Force around her, sliding away from the combat, forgotten in the clash of blades. Silently, she moved towards the cavern where the shard had been felt.

Slipping effortlessly between the pillars she kept low and moved with purpose until she found the military detail that was guarding the shard.

As quick as light she moved in behind one of the guards and snapped his neck, pulling him down and behind one of the pillars in a calculated move she’d performed a hundred times. The Pontifex moved in stealthily on all fours, pulling the Force Cloak around her even more and rose up behind the rest of the guards.

A snap-hiss is all they heard before she attacked; the cloak falling from her like a wave. A maniacal smile creased the Zabrak’s face as she slid her twin sabers through the garrison; slicing through them before they even knew what happened.

Ashia retrieved the box they had been guarding. The power the emanated from it was unmistakable, but she opened it anyway for confirmation. The shard lay within. She gathered it up and moved to return to her family.


Temple Ruins

Shi gave the side of the idling Aurora a heavy pat as the last of the Warhost squad that had accompanied the Ragnosian Aedile filed in. He began to make his way to an adjacent shuttle - the one that had brought the squadron - and one of the soldiers made himself heard above the customary noises of weapons being checked and gear being stowed.

“Commander, Lady Sadow and Commander Aurelius are awaiting your council,” the soldier called, causing the Primarch to slow his pace.

“There is no need to call me that; I stopped ‘commanding’ anything the minute I set foot on this rock, just as Maelous ceased to be your Aedile,” he replied patiently, turning and pointing at the Warrior who, having received his instructions, boarded the shuttle as step behind Jeric and joining the awaiting members of the ERT that had come with him. Maelous hesitated a moment as if he’d heard Shi say his name - impossible, given the din and distance - but, hesitate he did, and the Long chuckled as the bay shut and the craft lifted off towards a predetermined destination. “Yet he is here.” Shi whirled to the men in the hold, while behind him, the skeleton crew of support staff had begun to disburse within the thick dust left in the departure of the shuttle, holding only what they could carry.

“And so are we. Why?” he asked. He craned his head, waiting.

The original soldier responded. “Because we are loyal! Maelous has brought us victory time and…”

“Wrong.” Shi’s voice was fatherly as he interrupted. “Once you give your loyalty, it can be twisted into something that is expected of you. That makes you a slave. No, you are here because you are committed. You’ve made a choice, knowing that you are free to forge your own…” He faltered, the thin angry scar of a healing lightsaber wound, surgically drawn against his right cheek and ear puckering as his lip twitched.

Then, the Primarch’s demeanor…changed. Shi didn’t exactly mean to rattle the squad. If asked, he would’ve said that he genuinely thought his intent was as innocent as could be, given the circumstances. What was in question was his tone, which, given Shi, could just as easily been sharpened into the easy menace of a sociopath by his agitation at missing the start of the battle to end all battles…

But speaking with family can sometimes have that effect.

“You’ve been loyal, yes, and any man’s man can see you’ve been around.” Suddenly gone was the evangelist, the absence of fervor punctuated by an easy lean against the jamb of the hatch. “But I can tell you this.” He nodded out towards the direction of the departed shuttle. “This Clan, on occasion, has had to exert her considerable might many times over, and though the end results may have been disputed in the annals, what was and is clear was her consistency in the decisive brutality in which she responds.”

“Our choice has helped to set that machine in motion. And our critics are…particularly harsh.” He bowed his head slightly, introspection dimming his already grayed eyes. “She wants to excise what could be considered a ‘cancer’.That her Sons, Daughters and other noble children could possibly kill her themselves in doing so makes no difference. She’s efficient that way.”

He bit his lip appreciatively, relishing the thought as much as he seemed to the words themselves. A heartbeat, then he straightened, his intensity a palpable thing within the shuttle.

“I don’t think you understand,” he began. “Even if you don’t consider the sheer numbers at Marcus’ and Locke’s command, beyond that is something that is unlike anything - anything - you or anyone you know has ever heard of, much less seen. These victories in wars that you boast about in your cantinas over your lukewarm mugs of piss? You truly aren’t close enough to witness what really happens. All you know is that one day,” he snapped his fingers, causing two of the men to jump. “It’s over. A man in a hat and a jacket with ribbons tells you to go home, and you do.”

“Until now, you’ve been lucky enough to not have to try to unknow the how behind it…or actually see who’s capable - willing - to pull that off. To end a war, just like that. Glassed a planet to do it. Who has that kind of power? And there is a very real chance that you’ll have to, and sooner than you ever thought and let’s not forget that this knows…who…we…are.”

“And, despite all of that, you made a choice, because you know that if Vexatus does not succeed something worse will come and destroy us all. That is just…remarkable.” Shi shook his head in open admiration. “That conviction, that strength, is rare. You can’t just expect that from someone, or their ability to see the big picture. The Clan will need you - all of you - to do what you must to succeed.”

“What happens if we don’t?”

Shi started towards where Jade and Lexic were waiting and paused; “Then, she’ll die.” He moved on in silence, marching to the nearly abandoned command center, his impatience growing as sure as the skirmishes were to blossom into battles. His favorite season. On his way to them he snatched the fragment from atop the pedestal, cradling it protectively.

He calmed himself by recalling his conversation with Xue, the call not entirely unexpected but no less…jarring. Always bigger pictures. Always, promises to keep.

He moved past Vexatus, tirelessly inspecting some rune on a dilapidated wall. He moved past Sildrin, ever silent and still, so long as it pleased her.

There were always promises to keep.


Lexiconus watched the Primarch from a distance, seeing him lecture the new dispatch of soldiers on the calamities of war and bravery. The Zelosian was new to the Brotherhood, but he wasn’t a greenhorn in war, there was very few scenarios that the Krath-turned-Sith saw the horrors battles can leave. Shadowed companies can invade and destroy your defenses, blow your cities into dust and murder any in their path. The Zelosian saw younglings fall to the blaster bolt many times, as the old districts of Selen were bombarded by the One Sith faction. He already had a taste at improbably odds against his own side, as hordes of Rhag Ghouls once littered the streets he devoted his time to protect. Lexic knew there would be a time to make the right choice, and it would depend on him being a team player. This was something the Zelosian felt he would struggle the most in displaying, that hint of true strength in order to choose between saving a dying ally, or silencing the enemy once and for all. Lexic had to swallow his contemplation and look for his partner in which he’d share a two hour shuttle ride with. From a glance around the ruins, darkness blinded his vision but the juniper glow coming from a table in the distance led him to believe his associate, his Ally, would be there. The Sith Warrior walked over to the light and could see small holograms standing out and animating across the flat platform.

Whilst looking over the emerald glow of the council table, Lexiconus saw the casting shadow of Jade approach from opposite the holograms. Her own sharp vision scanning the miniature movements of their numbers in the Temple ruins. She seemed pleased at the hologram for some unknown reason, as if her motives were falling into plan. Lexic frowned and crossed his arms as he monitored her, as if observing a matriarch watching her pack. He wondered whether she actually cared about the members, who were about to willingly give their life for this ritual. Indeed her name holds some high standards, and much higher than he ever did as a Krath, yet she was still unknown to him. In a way, he felt a demand for the female to prove her powers to him only, a showing of the court if you will. Jade then looked up at the Zelosian and he raised a brow in concern.

“You look perplexed by the tracking devices on this table.” Lexiconus said to her, eager to pry into her subconscious for some potential skills.

“I am,” Jade announced as she bit her lip, an orb of her crimson fluids formed on her lip before it disappeared, Lexic swallowed his nerves, “we’re all leaving this place empty, someone could come in here, read this and then just track us to our locations! It’s all a waste of technology without security.” Astonished, she actually had a point.

“Um, yeah i’d of hoped someone with technological grasp could place a security program in here?” Lexic saw her face was lighting up, more than usual under the mint glow, and her fingers began to weave across the table-top as if by second-nature. “No need, i’ve got it.”

She nodded in confirmation as the glow of the hologram was distorted for a second, before returning back into normal parameters. Lexic didn’t believe this humanoid female has a use at first, but it seems she knows her technology as good as the leaders here. Before he could quote on the scenario, Shi Long approached from the side and nodded to the two by the table. His expression left some questions for Lexic; it was a mixture of seriousness in his eyes and forehead, yet his mouth was curved into a smile of satisfaction and a hint of delight. Shi walked around the table and patted the Zelosian’s shoulder.

“Are you ready, disciples?” His authoritative tone rang their minds with a great confidence, his ability to frighten them wasn’t needed. Together, Jade and Lexic nodded and then walked with the Primarch to the shuttle just outside the temple ruins. As the two got to the ramp, Lexic grabbed a loose robe that hanged inside the shuttle personal area and tied it around himself. He pulled the hood over his head and used some loose cloth to hide his lower face, and pushed his lightsaber and tools into the waistcloth in an effort to hide them too.

“Lexic why are you dressing like an assassin from Nar Shaddaa?” Jade giggled to herself as she crossed her arms and the smirk on her face awaited an answer.

“If I hide my intentions, I can penetrate their minds to do my bidding. Much easier if they do not know who I am first. Also any soldiers out there shouldn’t recognise their former Quaestor.” Lexic tightened the cloth around his waist and face, then strode into the shuttle with confidence.

As the duo entered the cockpit of the shuttle, two military attired men immediately stood and saluted the Dark Jedi. They then returned to their seats and began the preparations for the launch into the asteroid fields. While Lexiconus appreciated the awareness of their arrival, he wasn’t a military man and expected to be treated as such. From that moment onwards, he was but a servant on a larger board of chance. Lexic wondered whether this scouting mission would find them thrown into a tough collaboration from two sides of conflict, and they would see themselves on the brink of death. The Zelosian was unsure if the Krath could stand her ground, as he certainly couldn’t against the Elders and other Dark Jedi in the conflict. Sure, his Lightning abilities were strong, and the powers of the Dark Side festered in his Mind Trick abilities. But the Zelosian was not a strong fighter, all the time and experience he used in his Clan, was spent on the learning of Medicinal practices, the heavy reading of philosophical debates, and the secrets of Force Healing passed down from the legendary Jedi Masters. Lexic found an alcove with a bench on the shuttle, he sat down and strapped himself in the case of a crash.

At least if I die, I’ll have some company.

Fragments of Dentavii,
Orian System.

As the pilots hovered the grey and unmarked shuttle around the asteroids and passing pieces that represented the graveyard of Dentavii, the Zelosian and the Human Dark Jedi sat in the back very casually. Both had their eyes concentrated fully on their own datapads, completely in silence and flicking their thumbs through the information. The pilots too busy in their scanning devices and dodging the pieces of rock and ice were silent in their own duties. The air had a sense of boredom; as the two passengers felt no sensation of nerves, fear or anger. Then Jade tossed her datapad down, stood up from her activities and looked at Lexic.

“So you’re seriously dedicated to Medicine? What is the point in this when the Force holds far more knowledge than your books and scrolls?” She stated, her face flared and his hands digging into her thighs as fists. Lexic stared for a moment and wondered what her intentions or her strong anger was for, before he slowly sat up and looked into her eyes.

“As I said, bedside manner. Does there need anymore explanation?” The Sith replied, as he felt on the spot for his career choices. Then their conversation was interrupted as a bleep on the short-range scanners bleated throughout the shuttle in a quick and high tone. Lexic quickly stood and rushed over to see the interruption himself, with Jade shortly ahead of him. The Warhost pilot pointed out of the window and onto a large fragment, on the right side of a dark canyon, a squad of soldiers were in full sprint with all their gear and instruments on their backs. Lexic smirked slowly, the soldiers were drained from their sprint with the heavy materials, there was a sense of fear and despair. Clearly something happened recently, and at the back of the line the Zelosian saw a soldier was carrying his comrade. He patted the pilot’s shoulder and nodded.

“Set us down infront of them, let’s capture them and bring an answer to their retreat. Warhost soldiers do not retreat for anything.” Lexic stated firmly, his knowledge from his own Proconsul and Consul confirmed this. Without hesitation the pilot swinged around the canyon gap, crossed the soldier’s path and extended the ramp in mid-air, whilst slowly landing. Jade rushed to the ramp with her lightsaber ready and in a defensive position, her eyes sharply glaring at the lead soldier who was already aiming his rifle at her. Lexiconus inhaled sharply in order to meet the men and slowly strode behind Jade and carefully past her defensive stance, his own blade hidden from sight.

“It’s alright men you can drop your weapons, we are no threat to you. But if you want your friend saved, you’ll drop them now and get in.” Lexic stated loudly, as he waved his hand infront of the lead soldier. Confused and now feeling safety, he dropped the rifle and motioned for his company to do the same as he rushed inside the shuttle. Their clipping marching boots and the rattling of their cargo echoed inside the shuttle, as the injured were led to the benches and settled in semi-comfort. Jade walks back to the pilots and signals for take off whilst the Zelosian field medic walks to the injured man who was being carried and kneeled by his leg.

“Blaster wound. Wasn’t directly aimed at him and isn’t cauterised fully, possibly a deflection. But from a lightsaber?” Lexic monologued to himself, despite the soldiers hearing him.

“Yessir, we saw our comrades were in deep trouble as a quartet of Dark Jedi appeared and fought. I rescued my brother before he was killed, then escaped. They were after the shard sir.” Lexic sighed in disbelief as he slowly ran his palm over the bleeding wound and the wound healed and closed with proficiency.

“There, that didn’t hurt huh?” Lexic softly stated, as he let go of the wound, only the stained brown blood remained.

“That was quick. Ha!” Jade giggled to herself as she stood herself up, and Lexic followed suit. “See, bedside manners do help. Wouldn’t touch a patient without their permission, the Force doesn’t give you that choice.” Lexic grinned and winked at the Epis. The connection between the two was growing, a strength in friendship they needed right now as only half the battle was done. The real test was chasing this invaluable shard to the Keibatsu’s, and for the true test of strength to begin.


Newly elevated to Krath Priest, Armad conducted on last equipment pat down before their recently ‘acquired’ freighter touched down. They had acquired it from a suspected smuggler in Anta Kinan, it was chosen because it was fast and armed, something that would probably be needed for this mission. He had brought two teams with him; a squad of Shadow Commandos, and a normal trooper squad charged with piloting and guarding the freighter until a member of the Consul’s group returns with a shard and needs to get off planet fast.

Giving the freighter squad another reiteration of their orders, Armad turns and heads in the direction of an unremarkable pull of the dark side, which had to be the location of a shard. After the squad had formed a diamond formation around him, Armad pulled four black spheres, three inches in diameter, from an inside pocket of his modified black armorweave duster. Tossing them in the air, Armad rapidly pressed a command on his forearm controller, and the four spheres sped off to their pre-programmed locations fifty meters away from their assigned Shadow Commando. One directly ahead, two to either flank and one that flew backwards to watch our six, each was feeding a live view of that area into the HUD of each commando. One of his earlier creations, recon spheres, three inch balls that flew ten meters off the ground and feed a live feed back to its controller or trooper so they could scout ahead while on the move. These recon droids have been infused with very little sentience, and while he can now control them with far more ease, they act as satellite sensing receivers, giving Armad an extra bit of Force warning. Armad had one more little creation on him that he was hoping to try out on this mission, a retrieval sphere, a five inch ball that was capable of retrieving and carrying small objects. They should all work in theory, they worked perfectly during testing in his lab, but in a battle situation, they have not been tested.

As soon as each commando acknowledged they were receiving a signal, they picked up their pace, looking to make up time from being late to the party and to get to the shard before someone else does. Knowing that both Quaestors were already on the ground, Armad signaled them both, letting them know that he was here and headed towards a shard piece.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Darkblade gave the go ahead to detach and head to the battle down below on the surface of the planet. As the shuttle headed for Dentavii the Krath looked towards Sebz. Mulling his thoughts, the Anzat couldn’t help but wonder if the Sith was nervous or just not looking forward to the battle. Knowing from previous encounters with Sebz, the human would want to sit back and pick off opponents from afar, providing sniper support where needed. Turning back to the squad of four commando’s accompanying them the Krath spoke: “This battle is going to be tough, we are support for Sanguinius Tsucyra Entar and Atra Ventus. It seems they are in need of support. We will deploy a sniper squad, consisting of Sebz and X-93. We will be dropping you off one click from where Sang and Atra are, near a rocky outcropping to provide for cover. X-93 will be your spotter Sebz.” the Krath nodded towards Sebz. “The rest of the squad will be landing with me, providing cover fire and reinforcement. Understood?”. The four commando’s and Sebz acknowledged the orders and turned to grabbing their respective gear and making a final check on everything. “Sir, we are approaching LZ one.” the pilot said. Darkblade turned towards X-93 and Sebz, “Alright guys, hit the ground running and seek adequate cover. If you can’t get a clear line of sight let me know and proceed to move to better ground. I need to know you got our backs out there. Good luck and raise hell boys!”

As the transport descended to a lower altitude, the landing ramp opening, Sebz and X-93 waited a few seconds before they could see the ground. At about 3 feet above the ground, the two departed the shuttle, Sebz out front and X-93 following closely behind. The transport immediately lifted again, closing the ramp and proceeded to head towards the last known location of the two Quaestors. Turning to the three commando’s Darkblade spoke slowly and clearly. “Protect the Quaestors at all costs, should they die on your watch i will see to it personally that you will wish you had been the one that died.” To emphasize his words he let his proboscises slither out from the pockets on either side of his cheek and breathed in deep. Retracting them he turned back towards the landing ramp, preparing for the moment he was waiting for since he joined Naga Sadow. Darkblade shared no love for the Quaestors, but he knew that were they to fall the Houses would weaken considerably. This would not bode well for the Anzat’s future plans.

“Form up behind me.” The Krath shouted as the ramp started to descend for the second time, the sounds of battle echoing far off in the distance. As the ramp fully descended he spotted the Obelisk and Sith up ahead. Breathing in deeply one last time, Darkblade jumped out and sprinted towards the duo with the three remaining commandos from 3rd squad raced behind him in protective formation.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.

The tendrils of fate pulled him onwards, wrapping themselves around his limbs as he took step after step upon the surface of Dentavii. Already many had died, their souls sent screaming into the abyss. Their sacrifices wasted and worthless. They had left so many behind who would mourn them when this conflict was over, but there would be no one to mourn him.

The Jedi strode ever onwards, implacable and unbending towards the firefight in front of him. Too many had died, he would allow no more. Uncoupling his lightsaber from his belt, the Entar raised it to his face and begged the blade’s forgiveness for the destruction that would come. To turn a item of such beauty into a weapon of death, that was a Sith’s way. The Jedi would protect, they would save and if death came, it was not sought.

The wounded cried out for someone, anyone to help them. Blaster fire screeched all around them, cutting down those too slow or too shell-shocked to seek cover. The Sith and their pride had damned these men and women. Too proud to fight their own wars, they sent others to do it for them. It had always been the same throughout the millennia. Those who created war often sent others to die for them. Hubris claimed their lives and death welcomed them with open arms.

With a running leap, the Jedi landed in the middle of the combat and unleashed a Force aided shout, demanding that the enemy give up now and end this firefight. For a few stunned moments, the blaster fire ceased, before what Sanguinius thought was a familiar voice, commanded the soldiers to open fire and kill the accursed Jedi.

Sanguinius fell back on the well of calm within him and became the rock, the rock that disrupted the tide of war. His blade screamed as it cut through the air to bat bolts of plasma into the ground, defending the soldiers around him as they unleashed a flurry of stun-fire in return. “I want them alive!”, Atra bellowed as he moved forward.

Atra, the jokester prince of Shar Dakhan, joined Sanguinius, his cerulean blade deftly deflecting what bolts he could not sidestep or avoid. Darkblade, the enigmatic Knight, brandished his own amethyst saber. Sadly, Darkblade was not as restrained as Atra, who was disarming and knocking out the enemy instead of killing or maiming them.

Several well placed shots came from behind Sanguinius, putting down enemy soldiers as Sebz made himself known in his hidey-hole. The fight was over quickly, but seemed to last for eternity. Without a well trained Force User to confront the four Sadowans, the mundane troopers quickly surrendered and were wire cuffed by the special forces fire teams and the wounded attended to by what few medics were with them.

Deactivating his saber, the Guardian dropped slowly to his knees and closed himself off to the locale. That voice at the start had been familiar, but it had not borne fruit. It was one that haunted his dreams of recent. A mistake that he had made and allowed to fester and corrupt.


The crunch of a boot impacting the ground beside him brought the Jedi out of his reverie. He looked up to see Atra holding a small holo-link. “He wasn’t here, just made you think he was.” His wry smile faded as he held out an empty hand for Sanguinius to grasp and pull himself up. The pair looked at the cuffed troopers, who looked back at them rather sheepishly. “Well, I think we’ve saved Locke a few credits keeping these poor di’kuts alive.”

Sanguinius sighed at Ventus’ remark, the Sith was clearly trying to make him think about something other than Maelous. He was thankful for it, the Umbaran just seemed to be full of surprises. For too long, he had thought of Atra as nothing more than a wild beast. Perhaps he could be saved too…

Sebz and Darkblade joined the two Quaestors, nodding in mocking deference to Sanguinius and respect to Atra.

Sanguinius rumbled, ignoring the subtle disrespect shown. “Armad has contacted me to report that he is heading in the direction of a shard. We have saved these men from death and I would like to save some more. I’m not going to order you to come with me, but we owe our soldiers this much at least…”

The question was left answered as his mind raced. Sanguinius would protect as many as possible, and if the Force willed it, he would bring his errant Aedile to task.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Atra barely had a chance to breathe before the Force snaked its way up his spine in the most chilling of ways, sending a rippling wave of goosebumps across his pale flesh. Duriel hissed to life firmly in his grasp, his wrist snapping to the side and sending the contained plasma of the weapon streaking through the air to deflect a quick series of shots from the side. “No rest for the wicked,” he muttered with a toothy grin.

“No killing,” commanded the nigh broken record that Sang had become.

“Say it again,” Atra exclaimed as he stepped to the side of another spray from the group of troopers coming at them from behind the nearby ruins. “I’m sure they’ll listen this time.”

“They are trying to kill us, are they not?” came Darkblade’s all too sensible question.

“And they will be suitably addressed through the proper channels, but alive,” the Jedi’s words were clipped, as if each were followed by a period. It granted a finality to his statement that was hard to argue. Beyond that, Atra couldn’t shake the sense of foreboding clawing at his thoughts. As cliche as it would be, it was difficult for the Umbaran to contain the phrase, ‘I have a bad feeling about this’. After all, such a statement was a challenge to whomsoever guided the strands of fate, not that he put much stock in such things — better to be safe than sorry.

“Side note, if you will,” the Dakhani Quaestor mused aloud as he glanced back over his shoulder, “but wasn’t Sebz here not a second ago?”

Darkblade and Sang turned their heads in kind, following the mismatched gaze of their fellow to the empty space where the Knight had been moments ago. They couldn’t dwell however, as the fresh assault wave was still crashing down on them with an almost fascinating array of contrasting colors between their own trooper’s pulsing blue stun blasts and the deadly red plasma of their foes.

In position and ready to go,” Sebz’s voice crackled over their comms, as if in reply to Atra’s question.

Naturally, assuming the role of sniper, Janren would have sought higher ground, not to mention some cover. At least it wasn’t cowardice that drove the young Knight into hiding. Darkblade rushed past Atra, delving into the oncoming troops. The Umbaran could feel the Force emanating from the young — by Anzat terms — Krath following in his wake, giving himself over to its power. Not exactly a bad plan that one. Glancing at Sang, Atra gave a quick nod before throwing his metaphysical self towards the icy lake at his core. As his mental representation crashed through the surface and fell into the darkness therein, so too did the icy fire of the Force wash through his flesh and sinew with an unparalleled hunger. A roar of sharpened fury escaped Atra’s lips as he all but galloped across the uneven terrain. His charge was brought to a sudden halt, however, as his sense of foreboding developed into the mental equivalent of warning beacons and klaxons.

“Ventus!” a voice bellowed from above, turning the man’s gaze towards the source.

Macron Goura Sadow, quite literally one of the last things Atra needed to be setting eyes upon just then, came crashing down with a single, furious crimson blade in hand. The Battlemaster planted his feet hard, his boots digging into the dirt as his momentum was absorbed. Stance wide, the muscles of his arm bulging with anticipation, Atra gripped his saber with white knuckles and brought it across his field of view with a horizontal guard. The Force seared through his body, filling his arm with added strength just as the blades came into contact in a shower of sparks and the unmistakable whine brought on by the clashing plasma and force fields. The added momentum of the Adept’s leap of faith helped drive Atra down to his knees in order to completely absorb the ferocity of the strike.

The Alchemist cackled in his trademark manner, a sound the Dakhani was all too familiar with. Macron’s head jerked to the side suddenly, even as he pressed against Atra’s defenses, as if listening to something unheard by his opponent. “Yes, yes, I agree. What a troublesome experiment he has become,” the Son of Sadow answered himself.

“Macron, must we always meet like this?” Atra’s sarcasm was a force unto itself, and ever present.

“Atra!” Sang called out, not far behind the pair.

“What the—” Darkblade’s voice was added to the mix, “—where did he come from!?”

“All it means is the others are close by, Sang! I got this—” I really hope I got this, “—do what you came here to do!” Atra’s response was clear as ice.

Darkblade’s amethyst blade spun in a blurred arc, severing the rifle held in the hand of the trooper before him effortlessly moments before a stun blast knocked the man out. At his back, another trooper was already in the process of squeezing his finger against the trigger of his weapon and putting the Anzat down like a common animal. Pain seared through the soldier’s flesh, exploding out from his knee that was in the process of disintegrating into so much meat and bone. The gunshot’s echoing ring came a half second after the slug passed through his flesh.

Sebz was flat on his belly atop a nearby building, or at least the ruins of one. The position afforded him elevation and the clearest vantage point he could have asked for. He was already priming his second shot when he saw Darkblade spin around and throw out his palm, the Force coalescing there for a moment before pulsing outward in a telekinetic blast that sent the injured soldier to the ground. Sebz let out a long breath, emptying his lungs of air and steadying his heartbeat, all while opening himself completely to the guiding hands of the Force. He squeezed the trigger once more, a shell casing launching from the chamber as his shoulder absorbed the recoil that fought to push the weapon back. He hit his target once more, the slug decimating the preferred shoulder of yet another trooper that sought to take Darkblade out of the equation.

Through his scope he could see the leader of Shadow’s Bane trigger his commlink before the words came. “I hope you don’t expect a thank you,” the man’s voice managed through Sebz’s earpiece.

“Uh huh,” the young Knight muttered, not bothering to trigger his own commlink as he moved on to picking another mark.

A full on laugh kept Atra’s focus on the tattooed flesh of his creator’s face — well, that and the whole arcing blade of pure energy deal he had going on. “Oh you got this, do you?” the Adept shouted over the ever ringing din of the ongoing conflict.

“Oh for sure,” Atra’s words dripped sarcasm, almost visibly so.

Macron threw his right hand to the side, starting the motion just as a second lightsaber flew into the air from its clasp. He caught the weapon mid air in one fluid movement, its sanguine hue snapping to life and arcing with deadly intent towards Atra’s left side. The Battlemaster reacted quickly, the Force sliding with mercurial grace through the conduit that was his body as he reached out with his cybernetic left hand. He willed his power into a solid mass inches from his open palm, the barrier halting the advancing lightsaber. Atra’s eyebrows furrowed out of concentration, sweat beginning to pockmark his flesh. Without the added force of momentum, Macron’s strength alone wasn’t enough to push through the Quaestor’s guard, though both arms wavered in space as his sinews cried out in protest.

Pushing hard with his left hand, Atra’s barrier pushed back against Macron’s saber, then he rolled to the side, ducking under the blade and out of the way of Macron’s downward slash. The Adept giggled to himself, staying where he was as Atra rose to his feet. The uneven, rocky terrain scraped at the Umbaran’s exposed flesh, leaving riblets of ruby blood along his arm and face. He wiped a hand across his forehead, tossing the beads of sweat to the dirt at his feet. “You could do me a solid and sit this one out, you know,” Atra muttered, “that would be great.”

Again, the mad alchemist’s giggles echoed clearly through the sounds of conflict.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

The One-Eyed Dragon bounded sideways, arcs of energy captured by his blade and parried off center. The power pulsed through his sword-arm, the bolts increasing in intensity as the Neti looked on dispassionately, the cerulean of rage incarnate casting non-euclidean shadows across the stoic bark of his face. Manji shunted the attack aside as if it were blood on a steel blade, the twist of the blade bringing the furious tip of the weapon back toward his opponent.

The crack of electrified atmosphere was replaced with the dull bass throb of the world responding to his touch, the neti’s outstretched hand pushing the Pontifex backwards, his feet dragging trails in the dust.

The snap of Shikyo’s sabers echoed as he stepped forward, menace in his eyes. “My turn.”

The neti moved not an inch, his hand closing now that Manji was out of striking distance. The saccharine slurp of his saber blade deactivating filled the air as he placed his hilt back on his belt. “I surrender.”

Shikyo’s eyebrow went up, eyes darting to Manji, then to Muz, seeing Ashia standing next to him, a small ornate box in her hands. She had found the shard. He turned back to Malik, eyes narrowing as the remaining soldiers scrambled away from them, bolting toward somewhere, anywhere away from here. “Lost your taste for the fight?”

“It would be a waste.” Malik stood taller, stepping out of the combat stance he had dropped into. “A waste we can’t afford.”

Muz nodded, the stars shining down on them reflecting off of his helmet. Shikyo tilted his head curiously for a moment, then let his sabers power down, stowing them at his sides. Malik stepped toward the Grand Master, careful to keep his hands visible and away from his lightsaber.

“I did not expect to see you and yours here.” Malik paused, looking at the man. “I don’t really see your part in this.”

“And I don’t see why you’d throw in with a Knight’s visions and abandon the Consul.” Manji snapped back, chuckling as he moved toward them, his sabers still in his hands.

“You don’t know what I have seen.” Malik cracked a smile. “Besides, why would I back a consul who couldn’t stop this…division?”

Shikyo sneered beneath the mask. “And a Knight with a bunch of crystals could have?”

Muz turned slowly. “Power would not have stopped this.”

“You don’t know that.” Malik shook his head. “It might.”

“Power is not a solution.” Muz’s voice came sharply through the helmet.

“That’s all too easy for you to say, Grand Master.”

“Because I know what that kind of power does to a person.” Muz paced, his head tilted down. “It takes all that you are. It burns away what you thought you were and replaces it with a hunger for more. And along the way, you forget what you wanted that power for, why you sought it. Look at what it did to Xanos, look at what it did to Trevarus. Look at what it did to…”

Muz stopped abruptly, turning to look at the Neti. “Power is a cancer.”

Manji and Shikyo turned slightly, eyeing their brother. Ashia slowly reached out, handing Muz the box. He looked at it for a brief moment, contemplation seeping through him before taking it from her. “These should be destroyed, all of them. Stop this madness before it ensnares more of us.” He looked up at Malik. “But I won’t, because Sadow asked me to keep them safe.”

Malik stared at the man, thoughts running through his mind, considering his words. Muz turned away from him, stepping back toward an outcropping of rock. Shikyo pulled a commlink from one of the pockets of his duster, the holo showing Locke’s face in vibrating blue light. “Shikyo reporting. One shard in custody, also one tree.”

Locke’s head nodded, hands tapping on something that the holo did not pick up. “Thank you. I’m sending you a little more intel for the next stop. My men are a bit under seige.”

Shikyo nodded. “We’re en route.” A flick of his wrist, and the holo was off and stowed in the same pocket it came from. He looked up at the rest of them. “Ready, then?”

Muz twisted his arm, the display sliding open, light reflecting from the prosthetic across his dark armor. A holocomm display lit up as he nodded at them, bidding them to start, that he’d be only a few steps behind.

Temple Ruins
The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

He stood outside, the stellar wind tearing at his hair, his robes, cold across his face. He reached out with his mind as much as with his eyes, feeling along the edges of this shattered world for something to hold on to. There was more here than what the prophet promised, more than what had ever beat in his chest, more than the grasping talons of the Dragons could ever hold.

But did he want it?

It wasn’t such an obvious answer anymore. Maybe it never was. It seemed that the whole of his life had led him here, to the Dusts of Dentavii, to bathe in the ashes. And yet, here he was, staring fate in the eye. It felt less like the ending that he thought it would be, and much less than the beginning that he had lied to himself it could be. He always knew how this would play out. What his part in it was, and where that road led.

Yet he knew they were out there. There was hell to pay, and it came with them. And for once in many many years, he did not know how this would end.

A pouch at the back of his belt vibrated, a dying chirp reaching for his ears in the half-void. It was foreign to him, more confusion than startled. He reached back, snapping the item free, eyes resting on it, feeling the cool metal in his hands. The old commlink, keyed into a specific frequency that very few knew, beckoned for his attention.

Shi Long frowned, as something deeper within him smiled.

For once, he did not know how this would end.


Theta-Class T-2c shuttle Aurora, Rear Hold
Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Maelous sat with the Death’s Grip troopers in the rear hold. He glanced around at the beings that sat around him as they made final checks. The squadron had proved its loyalty to Aedile many times. He knew these men would prove useful in the coming chaos. It’s only a matter of time before they turn on you, the familiar voice in his head intoned. He ignored it.

The Sith looked down at the datapad mounted to his armor, and keyed into the encrypted comms the frequency he and Jeric had agreed on. The unit’s Sergeant, Fel A’meer, stood and moved to the seat next to Maelous and sat down. “Do we know what kind of resistance we will be encountering, sir?”

Maelous’s yellow eyes looked the human over from behind the lens of his helmet. “No, unfortunately we do not,” his voice like rusted iron scraping against stone, “I expect death though.”

The Sergeant grinned, “It’s a good day to die.” he said.

“As good as any!” came the familiar reply from the rest of the squadron.

The Sith nodded his approval as he went inside himself and began to draw on the Dark Side.

Theta-Class T-2c shuttle Aurora, Cock Pit
Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Jeric sat next to his pilot and watched as the landscape shifted. Those that had shown up to work with Vexatus had decided that this would be the best path to take. The followers of the prophet had hoped there would be ruins in this direction that may contain one of the shards. Now all they could was do is hunt.

The Battlelord reached out through the Force hoping to sense one of the powerful relics they sought. “Five degrees port,” he said flatly. The visual receptors of the mask used the Force to supply him with a visual of what was before him.

“There,” he said as he pointed.

The pilot followed his finger, “Sir, I don’t see,” the man cut off as he caught the glint of light reflecting off of something, “I see it Sir.”

Ruined Structure
Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

The two Sith stood between the Aurora and another vessel as the members of Death’s Grip poured in and gathered behind them. “Any idea which side this may be?” Jeric asked in his modulated voice.

Maelous looked over the ship, “Corporal Seinri,” the Sith Warrior called over his shoulder.

One of the soldiers, a green skinned Twi’lek, ran forward, “Yes sir?”

“Who’s this ship belong to?” Maelous asked.

Seinri looked at the ship and pulled a small pad from a pouch mounted on his chest armor. He tapped at it for a moment then waited. “Uh, looks like it’s on a BOLO list.”

Maelous nodded, “It belongs to Marcus’s faction more than likely.”

Jeric looked at his former apprentice, “Looks like we’ll get to have some fun while we get this shard.”

The Aedile drew his saber, but left it disengaged and began to walk towards the ruins, “Let’s claim what is ours.”


Temple Ruins

The Long stood motionless, all excepting his mane, whipped by the winds as some unruly battle standard. His gaze was absently fixed on the distant battles that made the horizons light up as if new metropolises were crying out against the savagery of the void, order struggling to be birthed against chaos, begging him to join. Within the camp, the hustle and bustle of earlier had died down considerably, and except for a few troopers working around the periphery of the site, he was largely alone.

Shi held the communicator in his hand a long time after the the transmission died and the azure ghost of his past faded from his sight. The timing of it was infuriating, as was the call from his brother. He’d known that they were attempts to stem the violence, to end this latest threat to the Clan…but in doing so, they’d shown their hands.

Mistake number one was moving too quickly to fill in blanks to a problem, using the solution as the proof, after a fashion. Vexatus was a convenient target, one that would justify the death and destruction currently washing over the devastated planet like a warm, familiar blanket.

And, whether Vexatus was too obstinate or unreachable, they’d reached out to him. Shi’s fife and drum had sufficiently motivated others to join Vexatus’ cause, so he could only assume that they’d contacted him as a way to get the confederates to stand down.

Which is where the second mistake was made: the assumption that, once the ball had begun to roll, that the Long would actually care. The bigger picture held his patronage, now.

Though Shi was suitably distracted by the conversations, he’d already taken steps in anticipation of such a thing. Jade, Maelous, Lexiconus and Jeric were all well trained. Self-reliant. Set to the cause. He reminded himself that he’d personally given them their directions and they would follow through, without fail. They would meet him at the predetermined destination.

Or, they wouldn’t. And, he would find them. That surety allowed him a moment or two with…other thoughts.

Reflecting on the conversation, he ambled towards the Temple and the Falleen and the sorceress, still in their respective poses of inspection and vigilance. Shi looked more a casual sightseer than the war-mongering fanatic of a few hours ago.

“…last chance: come in, or we’ll come get you.” the voice like iron on iron had ordered, every word a vow to be solemnly fulfilled.

“I expect no less,” Shi had replied, taking a decidedly familiar tone that the man on the other end had not heard in a very, very long time, either in his voice or someone else’s. “Send who you will; for I am the sinister Shade of Death, menacing the weak, too cowardly to seek the freedom from the ignorance of their Masters; I am the Spirit of the Earth, the root of all that will be built, of all empires to stand in the glory of the Dark Side for a thousand generations! Your words have no dominion over me.”

There was a pregnant silence before the caller spoke again. “You really don’t believe that.” A dismissive indictment peppered with curiosity, more than a question.

Then, it was Shi’s turn to be silent. After a moment a chuckle, then “It does have a nice ring to it, admit. But, of more import is this: whether you, or I, ‘believe’, matters not. What matters is that someone believes; someone who holds influence, and is acting accordingly.”

Snapping back to the present, he’d found himself at the terminus of the barely visible causeway leading into the Temple. But he did not enter, instead looking at Vexatus, still - still! - pouring over a rune-adorned wall, and Sildrin, his alabastine guardian.

Looking over at Sildrin, the Stone Dragon spoke, as if answering an unspoken question. “Yes, that was him. Yes…yes. We can expect them within…yes, of course. I know, but…” A pause. Then, he turned towards Vexatus. “No, it is under control. You will have your…one is nearly found, and I have the oth…you just concentrate on your end. I will deliver! Now, get out of my skull.”

Shi’s sigh of exasperation was harsh and reeked of a deadly impatience. He whirled, walking away from Vexatus and Sildrin, and placed the communicator on the plinth that the Fragment of Ombus once occupied. He’d left it on, so that those with the technology to track - or stumble upon - such an esoteric signal would be led straight there. Those who didn’t need to rely upon tech for such a thing…well, they’d find him anyway. It was merely a question if he as a prize would be worth the cost.

He’d reached the edge of the camp. The men who’d been working there all rushed over, their party leader speaking up. “All is as you’ve commanded. Anyone walking in here is going to have a really hard time walking out.” He handed Shi a small device.

“Very well,” replied the Stone Dragon. “Head west, report to the designated coordinates and to your units, and hurry. We haven’t much time; I will be there in due course.”

“What about them?” he jerked his head towards the Inspector and the Sentry, as the mundanes had begun to name them. Why on Sepros had they not moved from their places the entire time there?

“You leave them to me, and never speak of them so flippantly again. They are the ones responsible for your salvation, and they have names. Use them, or I make sure your children never forget mine,” Shi warned, menace wrinkling the corners of his strange eyes as he spoke.

“Aye, aye!” the leader stammered, and he and his comrades scampered into the darkness, fear lending them speed but no attention to their equipment. Shi watched them go, then pressed a button on the device which, in turn, activated the motion-sensors ringing the site.

Behind him, dozens of mines activated simultaneously, ready to erupt if one of the electric-eyes were to be disturbed by any of the Clan’s would-be defenders. And the visions of Vexatus, ever hunched, and Sildrin, ever watchful, simply vanished, mirages conjured and now unneeded by the Clan’s would-be saviors.

Moving southwest, Shi knew his circuitous route would take him back to join them, albeit somewhat delayed. But, as his mind replayed the last of the conversation, he knew it could be no other way.

“…you know how this plays out. How it ends.” Again, statements of fact, the tiniest shred of finality - or was it regret? - tempering the iron.

“Maybe.” Shi Long had replied, allowing for other possibilities, his finger hovering over the deactivation stud. “But, what a ride!”

Shi’s steps lengthened and his smile grew as he jogged away from the now-abandoned temple towards his destiny.

What a ride, indeed!

Dentavii Prime
Unknown Location
Twenty-five Klicks from Temple Ruins

Vexatus stood knee deep in a lumen-ringed crater, looking much more spry than his illusion had made him look back at the temple. Indeed, it was by design; with him seeming to be lost in study, and Sildrin’s seeming to be as disinterested as anyone could possibly be in anything, their specters soon were filed away by the men and other Force Users around the camp, their brains eager to shunt them to the background of the proceedings.

Shi was electrifying, his presence a dynamo at the camp and adding to the distraction. The Elders watched from afar and marveled at how artfully the man had maneuvered their faction. In another lifetime, he would’ve made an excellent politician.

But, it was this lifetime. And, they had need of a warrior.

“He comes.” Xia intoned at the lip of the crater. Behind her, the command station that had been established buzzed with activity. “Indeed,” came the Falleen’s response. “He is working out quite nicely, wouldn’t you agree?” He suddenly bent down, his hands clawing furiously in the dirt.

Xia cocked her head, the tattered end of her blindfold cascading over her shoulder to mingle with her carmine tresses. She seemed either unsure of how to respond, or unwilling to, lest she regret the words that would come. A bell, after all, cannot be unrung.

Vexatus smiled, sensing his apprentice’s trepidation. “Fret thee not, Blind One,” he said as he struggled with something buried in the dirt. “Any worries you have will soon fall away,” he grunted, wresting his prize from the soil.

His clawed talons held another shard, this one nearly as large as the Fragment of Ombus. “And upon Seven Pillars shall burn the heads of Seven Princes, burning on the rays of the dawn. The light of truth shall be their undoing, each revealing a sacred mystery in their burning. Woe to the princes that bear the Sacred Crowns, for it is the dawn that shall be their destruction.” Sildrin’s lips, rouged to match her hair, mouthed the words moments before the Falleen, then curled in satisfaction. Vexatus’ recitation was even more flawless than Shi’s; where the Stone Dragon had been indoctrinated, the Prophet was born to it.

He held up the shard, turning it reverently in Ombus’ light. The innards began to glow, a violet of a thousand dusks…kith and kin to the twin orbs burning behind the gauze of a blindfold.


Fragments of Dentavii,
Orian System

Like a bird in the night sky, the silent wings of the shuttle flashed across the asteroid sky and effortlessly soared through the passing pieces of rocks and ice. The coldness of space began to coat the shuttle as the glass edges frosted over and the ice cracked at their speed. With a great haste, the Warhost pilots astutely chased their targets with precision. His scanners gave off a dot on the immediate range, yet not visible with the naked eye just yet. Lexiconus gripped the shoulders of both pilot seats and glared out the window, piercing the darkness the best possible way a Zelosian could. The purpose was to chase this transport of the quartet and shoot the vehicle from the sky. With the enemy pilot unaware from what they perceived, the Sith prophesied they had the advantage in this battle. The pilot tilted clockwise to miss a large and spinning asteroid, then clockwise again to duck under another zooming piece of rock, nearly caught Lexic off guard. Jade who sat in the back, waited impatiently and huffed to herself.

“Seriously, what is this point in chasing them? Are we prepared to be outnumbered!?” The Krath shouted out, her temper coming out slightly. Lexic turned to look at her for a split-second, before he locked his eyes back out the window in the chance the enemy was in view.

“If we take them down, we can retrieve the shard and race back to Vexatus at the new location. It shouldn’t be difficult, come up from under, shoot the belly and collect the bodies from space.The pilots with a tractor beam should do the rest.” Lexic nodded to the main pilot who thumbed up in return, he seemed quite happy to shoot something. Indeed, the quartet here were quite bored of being stuck in this grey hull for many hours, along with their current company of broken soldiers. They eventually confessed that the Dark Jedi were very experienced, had a infamy sense about them and were against a single Neti. Later, Jade and Lexic both agreed the Neti could of been Malik, as any others the Clan knew of were not aware of this conflict. The wounded soldier eventually confessed he saw five of his own comrades sore into the sky and their necks broken like twigs, this petrified Lexic immensely. The idea someone so powerful was out there, could only mean two things. Firstly, the Dark Council may have caught wind, and in turn either sent the Justicar or the Grand Master himself. Or something much worse could be on the horizon, there was no debate the Lion of Tarthos was a God in the Force. This company of four was strongly believed by Jade to be the Keibastu, and she has stood by her word ever since. There was no debate needed to discuss their fear spread throughout the Clan, if anyone got on the Lion’s temper they were disposed of.

“If this is indeed who we think it is. Are we really going to waste our time here? Or should we turn around?” Jade rushed as she was being pressed down by a sleeping soldier, she sent her elbow strongly into his ribs and he soon awoke.

“Yes, we need to find this shard it is our duty to this ritual and to Shi Long. The best pilot would be Malik and I doubt he’s anywhere near-” Lexic was shortly interrupted as the high-pitched bleep on the scanner caught him off guard.

“The transport sir, it’s stopped and landed.” The pilot immediately snapped, Lexic nodded and patted his shoulder firmly.

“Nice and easy, Lieutenant, don’t surprise them. Just watch from afar.” The Sith whispered and the co-pilot nodded in confirmation, inputting the codes to intercept from high above.

Closing in on the shuttle’s nearby location, they saw the grey hull of the vehicle that was nestled inside a crater, but the grave news hit Lexic like a battering ram when he noticed a small symbol on the side. The Lion was truly stalking his prey, and he was hungry. Lexic’s face went pale, as he slowly backed away and looked dead into the wondering eyes of Jade. She caught the notion and swiftly looked out the cockpit view, her own expression entering a new realm of shock and worry. Then as if from nowhere, a small figure appeared on the asteroid horizon and with his arms extended, an ordeal that can only be described as indescribable and heart-stopping. Flashes of indigo and electric blues invaded the cockpit view, as extended fingers of the Dark Side energy entered the shuttle and snapped at the soldiers. The hull quaked and jolted about as pieces of glass and the wings were torn apart, the pilots already collapsed over the consoles. Lexic rushed to the locker the best he could, he grabbed two breathing masks and passed one to Jade who snapped it on instantly. However another flick of kinetic energy caused his own to be sent from his hands and out the window, as the Zelosian choked for breath. Gravity and control of his body ceased immediately while the shuttle dropped and pivoted out of control, then spun into a frenzy. The Sith rocketed across from one wall to another, thrashed and tossed about inside like coins in a purse. The last thing Lexic heard was the loud crash against stone, as he disappeared into darkness.

Several hours later,
Unknown location,
Orian System.

Flickered his sore eyes against the sticky recesses left in them, the Zelosian felt nausea and weak whilst he tried to free his hands and feet from some cold steel around them. His mouth was dry and ensnared with something distasteful as he struggled to breathe or move his head. Then suddenly a large dose of what could only be described as pure heat in a liquid form drenched the Zelosian’s entire body. He took one smell and knew instantly; Sugared water, the cowards want me drunk. His eyes however were now clean, and yet stung with an intense throbbing sensation.

“Wake up, beast! Your time of rest is over, you will answer to your heresy ways and tell us where Vexatus is!” Lexic knew that familiar voice, that deep and strong tone could only belong to one man from his lifetime. Someone who was an adept in Valtiere’s teachings.

No one has called me beast, in a long time.

He slowly looked to his left, and saw the tattered body of Jade strung like his own by the limbs. There didn’t seem to be life in her as she was still, even in her breathing. Then a shadow emerged from the darkness and into the stinging light that pierced the Zelosian’s eyes mercilessly. A short and built man, dark in tone and tattooed with the history of his bloodline. A small emerald glinted from his eyes as he stared into Lexic’s own.

Oh please, not Cethgus.

“I demand to know, beast!” Ceth roared, with teeth snarled in disgust. Was this worse than the Lion’s grasp?


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

“Sit this one out? I think not sir,” chuckled the madman as Atra stood up. “There’s entirely too much at stake. And far too much fun to be had.” The madman frowned. “Unfortunately, I am not here to kill anyone today if I can help it.” The Adept shut down and holstered his red lightsaber and thumbed a switch on his other one, turning the hue of the blade to a hot orange as it began to whine at a higher pitch. An almost invisible puff of whitish gas drifted from ports in his armor towards Atra. “You really should stay down.”

Atra chuckled himself as he regained his composure and re-ignited his silvery-blue weapon. “It’s uncharacteristic of you not to strike when your opponent is down. Is this my lucky day, or have you lost your touch?” The Quaestor smirked as he steadied himself. “Like you, I have a duty. To this Clan. You, one of the most stalwart Clan supporters and one of the only Elders that always answered the call, have allied yourself with a traitor. Can you explain this?” He raised his weapon in a guard position.

“I can.” The madman giggled. “Do you really think Marcus- Locke- Vexatus- or ANYONE- can handle these shards safely? I can tell you the answer and it is a resounding NO. I’ve seen what just one did to Master Trevarus. I intend to make sure no one gets them.” He shut down his remaining lightsaber and confidently placed his hands on his armored hips. “Right about now, you should be feeling the chemical.”

Atra’s fingers began to numb, along with his lips and nose. “What the hell did you do, you lunatic? Poison me?” The Quaestor’s knees began to buckle as his body refused to cooperate with his brain. He sat down, the lightsaber slipping from numbed fingers. Drool began to slide from his bottom lip as he tried to speak mumblingly. “Aba feeby flubba… fthak.”

“Not at all. A powerful contact anesthetic that entered your system through the scrapes. I already took the antidote two hours ago. There will be no lasting effects, and I am sure with some effort you can purge it from your system like any Force-user. I really do admire your leadership, you know.” Macron looked around and then quickly checked Atra’s vital signs. “You’re reacting normally to the drug. Good. It will, however, keep you from slowing any of us down. You’ll be fine in a few minutes. I’m truly sorry, but I cannot stay and play.”

The Alchemist touched his helm and opened a com channel to Daedric. “Daedric, you have to get the Shard we targeted with your team! Lead the others. You are a far better natural leader than I. I will do my best to provide distractions. We are at a disadvantage- the other teams have more Elders, more Dark Jedi, and more Equites. I’ll join you soon. Macron Out.”

The Alchemist closed his eyes and felt with the Force. Shi Long… Betrayer Sildrin… Vexatus… they blazed with the proximity of a Shard. Grandmaster Muz, Pontifex Ashia, Master Shikyo… and Adept Malik. Malik had been captured. “Sonofabitch,” growled Macron through gritted teeth as he watched Atra fumble about. “I have no other option. Risking myself against either team is suicide. Even so… I must keep them busy as Daedric, Tasha, Bentre, and Ingram complete their mission. There is one consolation. Glorious combat.” The Adept began to trek towards the others, a gleam in his one normal eye. “Guerrilla warfare is an option.”


Bentre knew he did not have much time. Macron and the others could probably hold back Ventus and his lot for a while. The Corellian had long realized that his fellow Sadowans were full of all sorts of sick surprises. Daedric was no push over and he felt mostly confident the Sith would keep Ingram safe after he had slipped away with his old rival.

Hell, Macron’s gift was never something I expected after what Anima did. He had to restrain himself from tracing the scarring along his eye. It still caused him to wince a little every time he reflected on that particular battle. Macron’s work was far from painless for that matter.

That was the only bad part about skulking about on the asteroid. While he tried to concentrate on keeping himself cloaked in the Force his mind had always managed to wander a little. Maybe that has something to do with how often I get caught.

It is of little consequence in any case. Bentre could feel the inaudible hum of energy growing closer with each step. That was the closest that he could approximate the sensation to. It is almost like the Force itself is a great heart, and I feel it beating with mine. It is both wonderful and terrible in its scope.

The Obelisk paused for a moment, throwing his body against a rock formation. He struggled to catch his breath. He used the break to take a mental stock of his surroundings. After panting for a few minutes, he keyed his commlink. “Hey guys, looks like the way so far is clear. Versea can I have you move forward from rock formation to rock formation?”

Two clicks, the sound of Tasha’vel keying her commlink provided a curt affirmation.

The Assassin watched as the Twi’lek bound from place to place, moving quickly and carefully until she was crouched behind the formation beside him. By the movement of her shoulders and her body language it appeared she was getting a bit winded herself.

“Come on now, Tash’. No time to dawdle. There is a shard out there waiting for me.” He winced behind the visor of his helmet. It had been an innocent slip of the tongue. It’s not like I really want to keep that thing anyway. He jerked his head to the side while he motioned with his blaster. “We can’t let those others get ahold of it. Don’t tell you have gotten soft in recent months.”

The Obelisk-turned-Sith made a rude gesture, her normally lively eyes hidden behind the tinted visor. With a renewed vigor, she pushed off the rock face back to her feet, and began to take off into a full run.

“Hey!” the Corellian barked over the commlink, “Keep moving from place to place! Keep yourself silent! Move with discretion.”

His words did little to abate her unfortunately. The once she has to take my competitive nature too seriously. Stahoes shook his head, and gave chase. I have to stop her before she gets the wrong kind of attention out here! The last thing I need is someone big coming after both of us.

He gave chase for several minutes. He was losing his sense of direction. It was almost like the whole asteroid was vibrating and it caused his head to ache. It wouldn’t be too much longer though. She was almost within arm’s length now. Just a little more.

Without warning, the Marauder quickly changed direction and peeled off to the left.

What is she- It did not take long for the egotistical Human to realize why she had changed direction so quickly. As he tried to stop quickly, he found his footing slip.
With an unceremonious crash, Bentre found himself painfully lying against hard stone.

There was a ringing in his ears. He had landed harder than he thought. Or is that a humming? What in the Nine Hells? Looking around, the Assassin took a quick account of his bearings. He had fallen into a crater, no larger than ten meters from side to side. If he had to guess, he had fallen down ten or eleven meters from the top.

A rough landing, but the incline can probably be climbed with some assistance.

The thing that drew his eyes was what lay at the crater’s bottom. “Tasha’vel, come back this way. I think you will want to see this,” he whispered over the comm, his voice full of awe.

When the Twi’lek Sith poked her head over the rim of the crater, the Human held up his prize. The crystalline shape, about the size of Bentre’s fist, glinted in the light. “I found one.” The female Dark Jedi Knight could hear the barely contained excitement in his voice. “Give me a hand,” he urged. “Get me out of here.”

Without hesitation, Versea reached over the edge of the crater, offering her hand. The Human let out a huff, and then leaped forward, his prize clutched tight in his right hand as he reached out. She caught his hand easily, and with a grunt pulled back. Her strength combined with his momentum carried the two backward and clear of the crater.

Tasha’vel rubbed her rear end as she lifted herself back up from the ground. She saw that Bentre had removed his helmet, and was looking wide-eyed at the shard. “Don’t touch it,” her words were hushed but urgent.

“But Tash’ you don’t understand. It is so pretty,” his words were barely a whisper as his fingers traced its outline. “The power is so vast that it is unbelievable. Something so small-” his words broke off into an overwhelmed sigh.

“So we have it,” the Sith Knight’s words were impatient. “Let’s get it back to Marcus.”

“It is so powerful. Something so simple, so small. A spark becomes…” His words trailed off for a moment. He looked up at his long-time rival and his eyes were wide-open and full of intensity. “Don’t you see, something so small, so simple as a spark,” his lips twisted in a frightful grin. “could become a storm.”

Tasha’vel’s eyes became wide at these words, not out of excitement but fear and realization. As she watched the Obelisk trace a finger along shard hungrily, she saw a spark errupt from his hand. The spark flickered across his skin and the shard, back and forth. As she marveled the spark became a cascade of lightning running along his arm.

Bentre’s face was twisted in a crazed laughter. “You see, this is what Kiriyu wants to use us for!?” The arm was quickly engulfed in forks of light as his laughing continued.

The Twi’lek could barely believe what was happening before her. Laughter was replaced by screams. The momentary joy was replaced by shock and screams as the smell of burned flesh came through the air filters in her helmet.

“Bentre!” she had to restrain herself from outright screaming as the Human fell to his knees. The Shard dropped from his fingers, and the Assassin clutched at his arm. His eyes were still wide open despite the tears flowing down his cheeks.

For several minutes, the Marauder could not wrap her head around what had just happened. She had to get him away from this thing. She had to call Macron or Daedric or somebody to come and get this thing. She dreaded the thought of picking the object up. She had to get it contained before it could do any more damage.

There was no time. She had to take her container. She would have to carry it away from here. It was for everybody’s good.

“What are you doing?” Bentre hissed. He motioned to the container in her hands, poised to scoop up and secure the shard. “Are you really bringing that back to your Master like a little dog?”

Tasha’vel Versea, for all her training and for all her spunk, was not prepared for what happened next. With an inhuman speed, Bentre threw himself up to his feet, and thrust out his left hand, grasping at the Twi’lek’s throat.

“Do you really expect that I am going to let you skulk back to him that easily?” his voice was practically a growl as his muscles tensed. The girl felt her feet leave the ground as she was lifted her throat tightening under his grip. “You seem to have forgotten the wolf for the sheep, kid. You have spent too much time away from playing the hunter.” His voice was becoming more animalistic in tone than human.

Her mind rushed. He was pulling heavily on the Force in a way she had never seen before. That shard had done something to him. It was a poison in his blood. Power flowed through him like water through a creek. A power that flowed through them both.

It was a power now flowing through her.

Struggling for air, Tasha’vel placed a palm against Stahoes’s chest. Pulling on her every reserve of the Force both within and without, the Journeyman channeled the energy straight into her attacker’s chest. The Assassin was blown back like a leaf in the wind. In the wake of her desperate tactic, his grip had slipped far from her. She never saw the Human land though. The efforts coupled with a lack of air had proven too much, and she lost consciousness.

Elsewhere on Devaanti

Sanguinius felt a jolt through the Force. It was like a scream echoing through the Force. Or a cascade of water hitting rock. It was unrestrained and uncontrolled. It was angry.

He felt another thing though. He felt a small cry through the Force. It was like a small child caught in the waters was crying for help. It was an all-too-familiar presence. His Blackguard was in great distress and it was as though her mind was instinctively calling out to the first person that came to mind. Sang please help me. Her voice called to him through the Force.


Unknown location
Orian System.

Jade mentally groaned. Her mind flashing all kinds of images through her memory. Her body was sore, heavy, and felt stretched but she couldn’t figure out why. She tried to breathe but pain shot through her so fast and hard she used the force to slow down her body’s natural processes. What had happened? They were on a shuttle…chasing something…then blue lightning…she could still feel being tossed around the shuttle like a rag doll. She retreated further into her mind. They had to have crashed. The reason why she could remember later. Jade felt the cold darkness that had been growing inside of her start to swirl, it was almost as though it too were assessing the damage. She hated to admit it, but part of her believed whatever the darkness was, it was responsible for keeping her alive.

It moved with her as she used the force to seek out her pain. Her left arm was broken, her shoulder dislocated, her left leg was broken in two places, but the most concerning was her spleen was bleeding and filling up her abdomens the blood. She could hear muffled voices in the distance and knew they were in trouble,but she had to conserve her energy and heal her body to the point she could fight back, before she could actually fight. She’d just have to hope in the meantime, playing dead, would work to her advantage to whomever was behind the murmured voices.

Lexic glanced at Jade, her motionless body made him wonder if she survived the crash, or if she had died refusing to give up Vexatus location. He couldn’t feel her in the force, so he was sure she had already passed. “Like they would trust me to know Vexatus actual location.” Ok bold faced lie, but he had to try it.

“I know it’s been a while, but how stupid do you think I am?!”

Lexic couldn’t help the slight smirk on his face as he thought about answering that. “About the same as a Nerf.”

Cethgus glared at him, making a fist he punched Lexic hard in his stomach knocking the wind out of him. He laughed as Lexic choked and coughed.

Lexic had visions of the shuttle flash through his mind. The mask flying out of his hand as he choked and gasped for air. “That…the best…you…can…do?!” He wanted it to sound stronger than it was, but his lungs were damaged from the space fight for oxygen, and it was taking longer for him to recover from the punch.

Jade felt the darkness swirl around her abdomen, an almost death like grip as it forced pressure to stop the bleeding and allow her to heal it. It would be a minor quick fix, but it would be enough to help get her back up on her feet for now. She moaned as the voices got louder and stronger. She craved to rest, but that wasn’t an option. As the darkness creeped through her body, she opened her eyes, blinking at the light. Her head rolled as she looked around. that explains the stretching feeling she joked with herself, seeing the bonds holding her limbs out.

Cethgus took a step back from Lexic looked him up and down. “I just thought I’d start out easy on you, seeing how we are old friends and all.” He chuckled.

Jade groaned, spitting blood onto the ground. “Lexic, you need to get some new friends.” Lexics head snapped to the hanging body of Jade. He had to make sure it wasn’t a trick. Her purple eyes seemed darkened as she stared back at him.

Cethgus grinned and signalled one of the men to go to her. “About time you joined us sweetheart, now the real fun can begin.”

Jade glared at him, if she had the strength to get out of the bonds she would pin him to the ground, rip out his heart and force his dying body to choke it down as she asked, ‘whose the sweetheart now?!’ She put the imagine in the back of her mind, it would have to happen another time. She could have sworn she heard a voice say it would be done. She shook her head. Her body still in pain, her abdomen, still filled with her blood, was heavy as she healed the more severe injuries to the best of her ability.

Cethgus leaned in close to Lexic as he gained control of his breathing. He pointed behind him, making sure Lexic looked over Cethgus shoulder at Jade. “You see, she’s a Sadow. She’ll die if she believes whatever it is will protect her Clan, before she would talk.” He grinned back at Lexic. “You however, I figure will squeal in no time.”

“What makes you say that?” Lexic was rather offended and made a fist, pulling at his restraints just in case they hadn’t tied him securely, hoping he would be able to knock the grin off Cethgus face. Unfortunately they had.

Cethgus nodded to one of the men near by. He walked up to Jade and just looked her up and down. She already looked worse for wear but he knew she was still deadly. Something caught his eye. He reached behind her and pulled the black dagger from the small of her back. “She comes equipped with her own torture devices.” The man laughed then flicked his wrist, slicing across her left side. Blood instantly ran from the wound down her leg to the ground. The wound allowing some of the internal blood from her injuries to escape.

Lexic may be the groups’ medic, but he still couldn’t stand the sight of blood. At least when it came to someone being injured because of him. He looked at Jade, somehow she hadn’t screamed at the cut.

Jade looked back at him, his face was wavering. The man took the blade and sliced across her right abdomen. Jade bit her lip, she refused to give him any satisfaction. Her torturer took the tip of her blade and moved the torn material from her stomach, revealing a star shaped scar.

“Looks like she might hold a few more secrets. I’m guessing she’s been tortured before.”

Jade wasn’t sure if the man seemed saddened by the fact that he possibly wasn’t the first to inflict pain on her or not. “I got that defending my Clan, asshole!”

“You could die for them if you like.”

He stared at her, Jade looked past him to Lexic. His eyes were following the blood now staining her pants and boots, leaving a mark on the ground. They were wavering. “Lexic, if you say anything, I swear I’ll come back as a force ghost and haunt your ass.” She looked back at the man in front of her and spit blood into his face. The man screamed in shock and rage as he took a step back to wipe his face. “Not to mention Shi Long, Xia, and Vexatus, won’t be very forgiving.”

“Enough of this! Tell me where Vexatus is NOW!” Cethgus looked at Lexic.

Lexic looked at Jade. Her body still limp, but her face showing she still had fight left, and wasn’t going to give in. Hearing her muffled screams, and watching the crimson red blood flow out of her all because he wouldn’t talk though…he glanced at Cethgus. Cethgus roared and pointed towards Jade.

The man laughed “I’m going to enjoy this.” He took the dagger and plunged it deep into the right side of her chest. Jade gasped, the blade puncturing her lung and collapsing it as he slowly slid the blade from her body. Lexic couldn’t help himself as he saw the blade swing and connect with her chest, he yelled out, “NOOOO!”

*Ruined Temple
Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Maelous felt pain rush over him as he looked at his saber. He was about to head into battle, this pain wasn’t his…it had to be Jades. He took a breath, she would be fine she could handle this. He took a few more steps, following Jeric. Red flashed before his eyes, and a stabbing pain coursed through his chest. His heart raced, he needed to get to Jade and Lexic. Something was wrong. Jeric looked at him and signalled him to follow him. Maelous looked back at Marcus men’s shuttle, then back to Jeric.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Sanguinius and Darkblade watched as the duel between Atra and Macron unfolded itself before them. The wind started to pick up again, creating a swirl of dust particles and slightly blocking visual sight of the two. It seemed that the the power of the Dark Side that was being drawn upon by both Atra and Macron that the mini storm swirled around them, leaving them unaffected.

Sang tensed when he realised Tasha was in some sort of danger. The retired Blackguard needed his help and he would not leave it unanswered, despite their current affairs. The Quaestor turned towards Darkblade with a stern look and addressed him, “I need you to come with me. No questions.” Knowing that neither the Human nor the Umbaran males would kill each other, the Obelisk felt confident that he could move to help his former Blackguard.

As Sanguinius started to move towards the location he felt her presence, he mulled over the fact what could have made her call out to him, knowing that she had betrayed him by choosing Marcus’ side in the ongoing conflict. Taking Darkblade wasn’t something he relished at the moment, knowing that the Anzat didn’t restrain himself as much as Sang or Atra. Having backup however was more pleasing, in case things were really bad at the location they were headed to. As the Anzat jogged behind the Human, the Quaestor picked up pace and moved quickly across the barren landscape. Hold on Tasha, im on my way he thought to himself.

He looked behind slightly towards the Krath, still wondering if this was a good idea. Feeling the energy building in the Knight. Chaotic, unstable, untrained and capable of deadly things should he chose so. What bothered Sang the most was if the Anzat would be able to control himself in this turmoil. Emotions unchecked and unhindered the young assassin could succumb to the infamous feeding habits. Extremely loyal to Locke, Darkblade would not be forgiving of others mistakes and choices. Unless he had direct orders from Locke not to exact punishment in his own way, Sang felt that the Anzat would embrace the Dark Side in full and become a monster that would become unstoppable.

As Darkblade sprinted behind the Obelisk, he couldn’t help but wonder what was so important to leave Atra alone with Macron. However, being a former Blackguard, and having vowed to keep his Quaestors safe, leaving Sang alone didnt seem like a viable option. Leaving Atra behind with Sebz felt comfortable enough. Adrenaline pumped through the Anzat’s body, excitement coursed through his nerves. Reaching for the comforting hilt of his saber tucked into his robes, the Anzat felt his hunger begin to grow. One that he hadn’t felt since his first feed so many years ago.


Dentavii Prime
Unknown Location

The eyes of the red-haired were halfly closed; lost in concentration. Her hair floated halo-like around her - serpents with their own minds. Some may have considered this sight as if she was a Goddess - oceanborn. But those would not know the truth behind The Betrayer Xia Long.


A title she had unjustly been given; at least in her line of thought. There had been many others who had betrayed. Their family, their Clan, the Dark Council, the Dark Jedi Brotherhood or even the Force itself.

Her eyes remained closed when her telepathic message reached her Master as well as Shi.

Jade and Lexiconus are in the hands of… Cethgus. And he is attempting to make them talk.

Vexatus still cowered over the piece of shard, his claws dirty from the digging. His face was clearly showing the strains of the past years; his cheeks were sunken in, his eyes often restless with a nearly obsessed look in them. And now they were fixed at the shard on his palm. His voice was nearly a faint hiss: “It is… preciousss.”

The Stone Dragon watched with a mild discomfort the scene. Reality itself around the shard felt as if it was bended. His grip tightened on his saber hilt. He was unbendable, his dogma was War, and nothing would ever change that. His gaze turned to a more comely sight; to Xia Long.

I cannot allow Cethgus to do harm to Lexiconus nor Jade.

Her senses reached out with ease. Years of having been blind had sharpened her senses into mastery. She followed the threads of the Force and found… Cethgus. Still he was in range of her telepathy.

Primarch Cethgus Tiberius Entar.

Her mental voice lilted within his mind.

Fragments of Dentavii
Unknown Location
Inside a shuttle
Kilometers away Cethgus twitched from surprise, but only for a moment as he regained his composure. He watched the blood run from the wounds of Jade Sadow in front of him. A growl escaped his lips from the mental intrusion; inside his mind he shouted back: “Get out of my mind!”, but he was a warrior at heart - not a mentalist. Still he felt as if the one who contacted him was easily able to sense or even read him.

You are willing to let others abuse you as a tool?

Cethgus’ fist punched into Jade’s abdomen, making her gag and try to breath with a coughing sound. Her nor Lexiconus’ suffering meant anything to him. His lean muscles tensed and his voice was as hard and cold as the steel that it was reflected from. “I am a warrior.”

Are you so unwilling to look at the end of the road you follow? Such an easy plan of the Clan Summit to get rid of you. Allowing you to lay hand on a Daughter of Sadow. What if she died?

“I will decorate the walls of Sepros’ temple with her innards!”

Such a perfect plan - to get rid of a Daughter of Sadow and an Ex-Arconae. They will charge you for murdering one of Sadow’s blood. And you will end up rotting in a prison.

Cethgus stiffened at the words from the voice within his mind. Would they? Would Locke? Would the Summit?

You have already betrayed Arcona. Why should they believe you not to ever betray Naga Sadow?

He once had been Arcona’s most devout member. He would have given his life. And yet… he was now in Naga Sadow. His mind began to crumble from doubt. His eyes stared at the feline-like woman in front of him.

Neither Jade, nor Lexiconus do know much - it would make them easy subjects for interrogations.

How much has Locke involved me in his plans? Cethgus suddenly wondered. With a frustrated growl he realised the voice spoke the truth; he turned on his heels, leaving the room. The doors slammed shut behind him.

The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System
The stars were blinking all around them. Peaceful, cold, eternal.

Could they really vanish? Macron wondered himself. For once it was an unusual philosophical question for such a madman as his. Once more his senses reached out to the radiating emanations of those he wished to find and to neutralise. But there was… nothing. His head perked up. Had they left the system? He wanted to spit out, but remembered that spitting into his helmet was not a good idea. His eyes narrowed. “Sithspit! I can’t sense them anymore!”

Dentavii Prime
Unknown Location
Xia Long was sitting on a rock, her hands folded and placed on her lap with her eyes fully closed. Her emanations within the Force were bent, rippled - the same as Xanos’ and Shi’s. Rarely the powers of a Defender were used on the Dark Side. But here it was the case as Xia made use of her synergy power to conceal the connections in the Force of herself and those around her.

A faint twitch in the corner of Xanos’ mouth was the only reaction to the doings of his apprentice.


The Force was teeming with power, unchecked power. Something was happening directly ahead of Armad and his team. Something very wrong. Armad tapped a few commands into his wrist controller and the recon droid in front sped ahead to get a visual of what was going on.
“A pair have found a shard, a male is holding it in his hand, and the female is holding a box.” The Shadow Commando stated, presumably as the droid arrived on scene.

Not immediately knowing the pairs identity, Armad ordered the group to get there as fast as they can. He couldn’t risk the shard falling into the wrong hands.

“The male has picked up the female by her throat,” the commando stated after a few seconds. “I have identified the female, it’s Dark Jedi Knight Tasha’Vel Versea.” With the start of just saying her name, Armad disappeared from the group as he sped towards that location, the Force fueling his haste.

As Armad was rounding a rock outcropping, he watched as Tasha put her hand on her attackers chest, and with a Force aided push, shoved him away her. Shoved is a bit of an understatement, as he was violently thrown away. Before he was able to hit the ground, Armad was hit with what he could only assume was the same Force aided shove or blow back, and it knocked him on his back. He was just regaining his feet when the rest of his team arrived, “Secure him, and take his weapons.” Armad commanded as he was able to finally notice who the other was. Bentre. He was not surprised, but he was glad that he was disarming him, as he knew that he was quick and deadly with that blaster on his hip than the lightsaber.

Seeing that Tasha was still on the ground, presumably unconscious, he moved to go check on her, when he noticed a glint on the ground next to her. The shard. Still feeling its power calling to him, and still feeling the effects of that Force blast, Armad was reluctant to pick it up himself. Pulling out the retrieval sphere from his coat, he tossed it in the air and activated it. Controlling its movements with his wrist controller, Armad deftly picked and secured the shard piece. Wanting to minimize its effects some, he moved the sphere to rest on top of a large boulder about fifty meters away. Once that was done, he went to check on Tasha. She was alive but unconscious. Reaching out with the Force, Armad called her lightsaber to him, he knew better than to touch her sword, lest he lose that hand. Armad stood over her for a moment, wondering why she had chosen Marcus over Locke. His contemplation was interrupted by a feeling, a sense that someone was drawing near. Familiar, but it seemed different, it was Jedi like, Sang, he was headed here and fast, and there was someone else with him.

“Give me his weapons and provide overwatch.” Armad commanded as he held out his hand for Bentre’s weapons. Knowing that is would probably not look good to be standing over either of them when his Quaestor arrived, he walked over to a small rock nearby and sat down and waited for his guests to arrive.


Ruined Structure
Fragment of Dentavii
Orian System

Usurper…we all are in our own way. Jeric thought to himself as he and Maelous followed Corporal Seinri and three other Warhost soldiers into the crumbling ruins of what Jeric believe to be a former temple. It was one of many scattered across the fragments of Dentavii.

Marcus was the true usurper, he was using the unrest within the clan and the unbalance in the force to take advantage and seize control over the clan. The Sith continued to think as he scanned the corridors looking for any sign that Marcus’s men had already been through there. The ruins were vast and it was possible that whoever was here under Marcus’s flag entered a different way or turned down another corridor.

Locke’s reign needed to end, everyone but his loyal dogs agreed there. But Marcus was not the answer. Legacy was one thing, personal pride was another. The thoughts ran through Jeric’s head as the group moved forward. Lord Vexatus understood legacy and he nor his followers were about to let the clan’s legacy or their own be erased from history. Jeric looked over at his former apprentice who was in clear pain, not his own either. Sergeant Fel A’meer, who was in the rear with the other five members of Death’s Grip, heard what sounded like movement coming from a corridor on the right.

“Hold up,” the Sergeant said over the group’s internal comms.

The group stopped and the soldiers naturally took a knee and raised their weapons. Maelous twitch then placed his hand over his stomach, Jade was in pain and there was nothing he could do about it right now. As the Sith Warrior approached the Sergeant he let out a series of painful coughs.


“Movement down that corridor we just past.” Sergeant Fel A’meer replied.

Maelous leaned around the corner, seeing nothing at first, then lights and lasers typical of Warhost Shock Troopers. They had just rounded a corner less than twenty meters from the intersection.

“We got company.”

“Everyone against this wall now,” Jeric’s modulated voice commanded as he motion to the wall on the left covered by a natural shadow.

“Remain perfectly still as they pass.”

Maelous joined his former master and questioned his command. “Are we not going to eliminate them?”

“They don’t know we are here, I assume they also don’t know where in the ruins the shard is. We do, that gives us an advantage and I’d rather not waste time getting to it,” the Battlelord said abruptly.

As the element of Warhost troopers entered the interchange of corridors, Jeric reached out with extreme concentration Ghosting the entire group. One of the Shock Troopers pointed his weapon down the corridor, his light eliminating the shadow that Jeric and the other where hiding in. Nothing happen, no shots, no screams for backup. As the last trooper passed the intersection he quickly scanned down the long dark hallway. One of Maelous’s soldiers shifted, causing a shimmer in the cloak that Jeric was mentally struggling to maintain for the whole group. The trooper paused, the shimmer was noticeable and resembled a military grade cloaking device. In the blink of an eye, before the trooper could signal to his comrades ahead of him, Jeric removed the cloak and closed the six meter gap between him and the trooper. Grabbing the trooper’s helmet with both hands the Sith gracefully, but swiftly, snapped his neck and lowed the limp body to the ground.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

“Sithspit! I can’t sense them anymore! I cannot feel…” The Alchemist frowned. His face wrenched into a mask of hideous anger beneath the helm. “GOD DAMN!” Talented as he was, the person shutting down his Force sense was more skilled in such matters and of equal power. “Interference. Heh heh. No matter… though the Force is powerful, there are other ways. Someone is wasting a lot of energy on me and that is a good thing. It will keep them busy.” As he leaned against the rocks, he keyed a sequence into a gauntlet interface.

The Absolution shuttle’s sensors linked with his own armor systems, and he began to seek the well-known biosignatures of those he had taught- or had modified. “Jade… no. Bentre… Armad….” The last two seemed to be in rather close proximity both to him, and each other. His tongue touched an internal control stud in the helmet. “Protocol alpha one-three-eight-two-three omega.” Seven poison canisters contained within his armor suit cycled as the connections between them and dispensers changed. One was already empty, but the one designed specifically for Umbaran biology slid into place.

The madman broke into a dead run towards the location of the biosignature. He ran often, and his body was familiar with such efforts. It was not long before he closed on their position. The Shard was a raw beacon of power some fifty meters away on top of a rock, and he closed from that vector. As his armored hand closed over the Shard, he could see Armad in the distance start visibly. The Shard went into a sealed quadanium-lined belt container.

The madman sprinted and burst over the rise between them. His weird eyes quickly took in the situation. Armad, Shadow Commandos, and Bentre and Tasha on the ground. He quickly keyed his helm comm. “Daedric. I need backup. I have a Shard, Bentre and Tasha are down. Moving to intercept Armad. I’m sure he’ll have backup of his own on the way. I just hope Atra hasn’t recovered yet.”

“No time like the present,” chuckled the lunatic to himself as he leapt over the rock and screamed. “Raaaargh!” Rage hit him like a whirlwind as he lit a tangerine colored blade and accelerated between the troopers. Echani strikes with his off-hand, feet, knees, and elbows crippled the nearest ones, hitting vital nerve placements that caused them to gag or go weak in the knees. The others targeted him with blaster fire which was deflected by his screaming orange lightsaber or simply absorbed with the Force. Ironically, he had killed no one. Not yet, anyhow. The Adept screamed as he barreled towards his newly elevated Apprentice. “ARMAD! FACE ME!”


A few days earlier
The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

“Package secured and stowed, containment holding, transport you are clear…” the voice stated before a guttural roar interrupted the order, filling the private channel with noise as a trio of figures came into view on the horizon.

“We require aid, now. Bring containment and medical immediately. The Librarian is in possession of another artefact,” the woman’s sweet voice rose up with an almost fluid quality to her words as they flowed into the next. As she continued, you could hear the strain in her voice from helping shoulder the nearly limp man, her accent accentuating the near hard stops in her speech, “Repeat, get containment and medical to our position, now!”

The two men nearest the small stealth craft moved without a second to waste, they knew better than to anger the Togruta more than she already seemed to be, and the Wookiee who was helping shoulder the one designated the Librarian didn’t look any more pleased that he had been told to share the burden. As the pair grew closer, they could see a warm glow emanating from between the two, a ball of energy containing a crystalline shard suspended between the Librarian’s clawed hands. Sweat soaked the man’s clothes and visibly cloaked his skin as the team approached, a medical kit quickly coming forwards before the Wookiee bellowed again and nearly shoved the pair aside trying to find a place to set down the Librarian, “Fools, don’t get close to energy or artefact! Reciprocating loop of energies, that’s why I not carry him alone!”

An almost disgusted snort escaped the Wookiee again as he knelt near a sloped stone, waiting for his Togruta companion to slip away so he could lean the Librarian back against the stone and follow suit. Before either of the response team could respond, it was the Librarian who spoke, his long hair hanging loose around his face as his words came with ragged breath, “Containment, now.”

With the precision of a well oiled team, the one man removed the case from his belt, stepped in close and swiftly snapped the case shut seconds after the Librarian stopped his own containment. With a huge sigh, the Librarian slumped back upon the rock, his hair tossed back as his eyeless sockets cast a glance towards the stars above them, a jagged scar running from his hairline towards the edge of his jaw on the right side, clawing through his right eye socket. His beard had grown out as well during his time alone, although still neatly maintained.

“Librarian? Where did you find this, we thought this sector was clear,” came the containment officer’s voice as the medic began to check their employer’s vitals.

“Ruins nearby, and this wasn’t the only one. Alexis, we need an update on Clan movement and actions from Taiki.”

The Togruta nodded quickly before she started towards the waiting vessel, Alexis only took a glance back as she started to patch into their long-range communications. The containment officer took no time in asking the important questions, “How many more, Librarian, we’ll need to order more containment…”

“We don’t have time, Lieutenant,” the Librarian’s voice interjected firmly, “When I reached this artefact, Alexis had only touched it. She wasn’t herself, more aggressive, more jumpy…her mind just didn’t seem to understand what was happening. She wisely dropped it, but its effects had started to take hold. So I stepped in, contained it as best I could…but you saw, my powers just seemed to be amplified even without touching it. It took more of my being and fiber simply to contain whatever this artefact is than I would wish upon anyone.”

The Wookiee shifted slightly, seeming a little uncomfortable before he cleared his throat, “There was more, Librarian, yes?”

“Yes, Kuma. Thank you, once I had the artefact contained, it amplified my powers as I said. That’s why Kuma and Alexis had to support me back here, I was overcome by a vision. Not unusual for those of us tied to the Force, but this one…” the Librarian just trailed off as he seemed to get lost in the vision once more.

“Librarian?” Kuma asked, despite all his mind could comprehend, the Force was still beyond him despite its whispers.

“I’m sorry, it was just darkness descending upon these fragments, a lust for these artefacts, and betrayal. I had thought I was past this after the War, but apparently I can’t escape it.”

The medic was the one to respond this time, “There was nothing you could have done about it, sir. We weren’t expecting to be infiltrated by the Organization, at least there was no lasting damage and you prevented them from accessing our resources.”

With a nod and a gesture from the medic, the Librarian rose to his feet, gesturing to his scar as he spoke, “At least I’ll have something to remember it by. Let’s abscond this field. We’ll dispose of what artefacts we have, then I’ll need to speak to Taiki, and you have some work to do if I’m to return to duty, Kuma.”

The Wookiee smiled and had a little hop to his step as he started towards the waiting craft, “Ready you’ll be, Librarian, I’ve got loads of gadgets for you. First, Orian is hungry for artefacts!”

Present Day
The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

“Coming in low and fast, Librarian. We’ve got a small window before the Fallen Spear starts tracking us; drop window in five, four, three…” the Pilot’s voice digitized in the man’s ear as the small stealth craft screamed through the air as it passed over the ruins of this Dentavii fragment. As the loading ramp descended the small crew finished the countdown on their fingers and gave the green light, watching as the Miraluka who had commanded them in secret leapt headfirst from the craft without a second thought.

As he fell towards the ground and chaos below, the Miraluka’s robes fluttered serenely around him, as did the loose ends of the white silken scarf wrapped about his eyeless sockets. Instead of being tossed about by the wind, his hair had been tied back into a tight bun, so as to prevent any distractions on this incursion. With a subtle nudge, the Force had given him his signal, and the Miraluka spun himself about so his feet were facing the ground. Without moving a finger, the Jedi grasped the Force about him, minor uses of his telekinetic mastery steadily slowing his fall as he manipulated the unseen forces around him. Approaching the ground like a mortar shell, loose debris, dust, and dirt all cast themselves up as he made his final telekinetic burst to slow himself enough to land safely, taking a knee as his feet touched the ground to help kill his momentum.

As the small sandstorm dissipated, the Librarian started towards his destination, chastising himself as he moved methodically forward for being late as well as sticking to his old cybernetics instead of trusting in Kuma’s new model cybernetic leg. The din of combat grew louder as he made his approach, and the Force itself spoke in hushed whispers to the Jedi as his earthen robes gently flowed about him. A group of soldiers spotted him, keeping their eyes focused forward towards another group they were firing upon, and in the middle of the chaos lay a sedated Umbaran. A smirk crossed the Miraluka’s face as he called the Force to his aid, slipping into the familiar embrace like that of a lover, he allowed his mind to touch that of Atra’s only for a moment, “Poor place to take a nap, old friend.”

As the words echoed in Atra’s head, the Miraluka moved swiftly, his movements aided by the Force, as he deftly hurdled himself over the group of soldiers and into the fray. His saber was in his hand in an instant, the blade flashing to life intermittently to bat away shots from both sides of the field harmlessly. A few would occasionally strike near the troops, but never at them, as other shots at the Miraluka seemed to refract at awkward angles or vanish in a flash of light as he maintained a state of deflection. Without straying from his path, the Miraluka moved to stand beside the body of Atra while he continued to defend himself.

He could hear to shouting from the soldiers he had just passed, orders to tighten their field of fire to avoid their commander. Had it really been so long that these soldiers had forgotten who he was? Or were these soldiers just so new that they had never met him? Regardless, it wouldn’t take long to rectify the situation. Kneeling slightly, such that he was practically sitting next to Atra, the Miraluka spoke a few hushed whispers into the microphone at his collar before a unit upon his waist chirped in response. With an almost pleased chirp shortly following it, the Miraluka spoke quickly, “Short-range broadcast to loyalists in the immediate vicinity, I obtained this channel from Atra Ventus. This is Methyas L’eonheart, requesting that units at my location stop firing at me so that I can aid our comrade.”


Unknown location,
Orian System.

Jade looked at Lexic. Her body was healing, not as fast or as efficient as she would like, but, she was feeling stronger. "What did you ever see in him? She joked, trying to make him feel better. His eyes were looking from the blood on the ground to the wound in her chest.

Lexic shrugged, “our paths crossed, he was convenient at the time?” He wasn’t sure what to say. Her injures were because of him. He chose to chase the pilots. He held back the where-a-bouts of vexatus.

Jade took a breath and rolled her head around. “These bonds are really uncomfortable!” Jade was tired, and really didn’t want to be hanging.

“Cethgus isn’t known for his hospitality.” Lexic kept looking at the dark Krath. He couldn’t believe she was still fighting. Had he been in her shoes…well he wasn’t so sure he would still be alive.

Jade looked at him, her eyes going black. Tapping into the force the darkness inside of her grew. She kept looking at Lexic. “Think it’s time we get out of them.”

Lexic felt a shiver run down his spine. Like a prey animal knowing there is a predator lurking in the shadows, hunting it. Her eyes looked soulless. As he looked at her he noticed the steel around her wrists started to click. He suddenly felt his own restraints fall apart. Jade growled, using telekinesis to unlock their restraints. Lexic suddenly fell to the floor, he looked at Jade whose body crumpled into a ball as she hit the metal floor. Lexic rubbed his wrists and ankles, still feeling the steel that had been around them. Should he go to her? Would she try to kill him? He normally wouldn’t be afraid, looking at someone in the state she was in, but she just released their restraints. She just proved he didn’t want to risk it.

Jade sighed and slowly sat up, leaning against the wall. She brought her knees up to keep from sliding down the wall. She looked around and saw the door Cethgus had gone out of. “He will come back soon.”

Lexic looked at the door. Though he owed his “friend” some pay back, it wouldn’t be the best time. He looked back at Jade taking a cautious step towards her. She looked at his feet but didn’t try to stop him so he took another cautious step. “Probably.” The toe of his boot nearly touched the pool of her blood. He looked down almost mesmerized by it. The deep red life force just lying still, as though it too had kept her secrets. He blinked and then leaned against the wall, slowly sliding down. Waiting for Jade to hit him, or use the force to throw him across the room.

“Where you do you think we are?” Jade looked around again, adjusting her body as the force healed the broken bones. She placed a hand over the wound in her chest.

“With my luck, onboard the Turmoil.”

Jade smirked, the tips of her fangs showing in amusement. “This just got interesting.”

“Interesting?! Interesting?! We didn’t get the shard, we get tossed through space in a shuttle like a game of kick the can, interrogated, and left in a room waiting to see what Cethgus has planned next?! Interesting?!..How could you say that?”

Jade looked at him, each second she took to relax and not fight, she gained strength with the force. She blinked at him, Lexic could have sworn her eyes went black for a split second. "Relax. You didn’t give up Vexatus location."Jade could feel someone in the back of her mind. They were pissed, swore vengeance. She shook it off. “And if we’re on the Turmoil, we have an even better opportunity to locate a shard.”

Lexic noticed her breathing was a bit laboured as she looked around the room, he still felt responsible. “What about Cethgus?”

Jade scowled and grinned evilly as she pictured him on the ground, screaming as she clawed out his heart and fed it to him. “Don’t worry about him. We have to get out of this room first, and I doubt they are going to make that very easy.”


An alarm started chirping from his wrist controller. Someone was tampering with the retrieval sphere. Armad snapped his head up to look in that direction just as his Master came flying over the boulder the sphere had been sitting on. Jumping up, Armad pulled his lightsaber from his belt as he watched the Adept incapacitate each Shadow Commando in turn. None of them had died, which perplexed Armad to no end, as he knew his Master relished in killing. Armad was snapped out of his confusion when Macron screamed for his to face him as he barreled forward. An Adept Juggernaut was NOT something you wanted rushing towards you, especially if it was your Master, who was known to dabble with Sith Alchemy and poisons.

Not knowing how much of the shards influence had effected Macron yet, Armad did not want to face him alone. Expanding ability the best he could, he tried to feel how far Sang was, luckily he was close, so he only had to distract his Master long enough for additional help to arrive. Realization struck Armad enough at that same moment, his recon spheres were still hovering around the commandos, he typed a few rapid commands on his wrist controller. The spheres quickly started to zip around Macron’s head. Which seemed to be only a minor nuisance to him, and it probably enraged him further, as the Adept sliced punched on from the air, sliced two in half, and crushed the last one after catching in with his left hand. A smirk touched his face at that, which looked dangerously close to a sneer, as he dropped the crushed sphere. All this only slowed him by a step or two, so this was going to hurt some. A couple of steps later, as he was passing Bentre, Macron’s lightsaber flicked down and deftly freed Bentre from his bonds.

Armad estimated that he had roughly twenty meters and a few seconds at most before the full force of the Juggernaut was upon him. Trying to think quickly, Armad saw that he only had one option to delay his Master, reclaim the shard that was taken from his sphere, and not die. A tall order, but one that if pulled off correctly would probably leave him wide open to attack. The Warrior hoped that Sang got here in time before that happened. Tapping a few quick commands into his wrist controller to call the retrieval sphere over, Armad set himself for what he was going to do.

The anger of letting himself get caught unawares and alone against a superior opponent fuel himself in the Force, Armad pulled heavily on the Force. Taking a defensive stance, Armad focused on Macron, waiting for him to get close enough. He knew the moment was right through the Force and conjured the image of Anaxela to appear in front of Macron instead of his apprentice. It caused the desired effect that he was hoping it would. Upon seeing the image of his sister, Macron’s anger rose to new levels and his first strike with his lightsaber was a power strike meant to cleave a being in two. Knowing that this was a possibility, Armad had already started to jump to his right, bringing his own lightsaber to connect with a container on Macron’s belt where the shard was stashed in. As the shard started to tumble out of the container, both Master and Apprentice felt the Force surge through them, an intoxicating power that threatened to consume the Warrior with immense power. And in those fleeting moments before the retrieval sphere swooped in and resecured the shard, Armad’s connection to the Force was amplified immensely. During that moment, Armad was able to sense that Sang had arrived with what felt like Darkblade, though he had no idea what either was doing. But within that same flash of pure power, Armad could sense that his own Apprentice was very close, concealed and cloak from everyone that she did not want to see or know she was there. He also saw Bentre jumping to his feet and calling his seized weapons back to him.

Knowing that there was precious little time before Macron’s follow through ended and he once again turned his wrath towards him again, Armad needed to get the shard moving towards the waiting freighter and Locke. With time seeming like it was frozen for nanoseconds, Armad tapped commands into the controller, sending it towards Scarlet’s hiding place. Spinning around to face the next attack from his Master, Armad yelled out, “Get that to my freighter, it knows where to go!” A stunned Knight looked at her Master in disbelief, most likely wondering how he had known that she was there or where she had been hiding. “I will buy you some time, but you need to….” Armad yelled as Macron’s armor released a puff of whitish gas. This is not going to be good, Armad thought as it entered his system. A follow up blast of Force energy knocked Armad to the ground, where he started to feel a little unsteady and woozy. He watched in weird slow motion as Macron raised his lightsaber to deal a killing blow to the now dissipating image of his sister. As it was coming down, a blue hued lightsaber stopped his Master’s red one, and that is the last thing he remembered before unconsciousness took him.


For Lexiconus the plan seemed simple, they just need to escape from this brig, then make there way down the corridor without being seen and silencing anyone who’s in their path, then finally take a shuttle out of there. Unless the plan caused for them to invade the bridge and commandeer the ship, however that also had it’s own problems and obstacles. It didn’t take Lexic long to realise this was the ship the Proconsul resided and this also meant the Consul commanded it himself.

“Locke is on this ship, Cethgus would never leave him alone.” Jade turned to Lexic in a confused notion, while she panted heavily and kept her bloodied palm against her side. A smile slowly crept across her face as she sat there with some extensive wounds, he could hardly believe a smile could be forced out from the excruciating pain.

“So how do we get out of this cage? Knock? We don’t have any weapons, as they’re all taken. The Force could be used but you used all of yours trying to heal and get us out of those binders. So what now!” Lexic’s fist slammed against the wall of the cell as he felt infuriated, the numbness in his hand didn’t last long as pain set into his skin. His hands weren’t built for combat, but they were built for intricate surgery. Then he had an idea, almost came to him like second nature, as surgery is similar to engineering. The Zelosian slowly stood from the blood pool and crossed to the door, their only hope of escape landed on getting out before Cethgus returned. He kneeled by the metal and stared at the lock of the door for a good few minutes, while he hands began to induce the Force into tool-like abilities against the mechanisms. He felt deep inside the systems of the door, feeling for the slightest of cogs, electronics and latches to understand how the door was alive.

“What are you doing? I thought we were waiting.” Jade said to her prison partner, her voice was becoming weak as she healed.

“Quiet! I need to feel for the lock, its here somewhere.” Lexic whispered back, his patience running thin as his whole body wished to be out of this cell, then a click.

The door almost instantly slid open and gave way to the dark hallway of the ship, with various beeps and chirps coming from down the hallway, Lexic peered outside as he assessed the scene and scouted for danger. The Zelosian slowly got to his feet and crouched as he sneaked out and down the hallway, looking nervously for guards or the Dark Jedi that protected Locke. Tension rose in Lexic’s actions as he finally reached the end of the detention hallway and peered out and around the corner at a desk. There sat a sleeping guard, his feet slewn across the desk as he was completely ignoring the beeping sound on his desk, the signal of Lexic’s cell being opened. Lexic slowly stood and looked around for something to take out the guard, sneaking past him with a wounded Jade will not be easy. He walked around the side and behind the desk, then noticed the guard possessed a DL-44 blaster, lodged neatly into the holster on his leather belt. That was it, the key to their escape and his end, Lexic needed that blaster. The Zelosian kneeled once more back on the cold and painful grating, painful to his knees, and carefully reached at the holster. The blaster was secured by a small and thin belt, which fastened with a button. However the scope on the blaster prevented Lexic from just slipping the belt off, he needed to make some noise and undo the button. Careful and nervous, Lexic’s shaky hands slowly reached to the blaster and felt at the belt button, it wasn’t a simple button but one that clicks out of a nip. He needs to balance the pressure carefully in order to avoid awaking the guard and causing a riot, then the guard’s arm suddenly fell from his chest and around Lexic. That was enough to cause Lexic’s nerves to be sent over, the nip came loose and the blaster was dragged out of it’s holster, then hit the guard hard in the rib. The sleeping man immediately woke up with a loud and painful yelp, jumping from his chair as he grabbed the blaster and pointed it at the Zelosian.

“You! Get back now!” The man shouted, his voice in a high pitched panic as his hands shook.

Without a second though, Lexic launched himself at the guard and grabbed the blaster. He gripped the weapon tightly as the Zelosian tried to point it away from him. A struggle between two trained men continued on with each losing their footing and falling into the desk multiple times, Lexic securing the blaster above their heads while the guard tried to secure the trigger in his hand. Then a surprise shot was fired by the guard as he finally got his finger on the trigger, but it was quickly halted when the Sith fell onto the desk and pulled the guard with him. The blaster hit the corner hard and caused both men to drop the weapon, as it fell to the ground and slid towards the hallway. In a struggle of body power, the two men were locked in an arm wrestle of sorts to see who could restrain the other. Lexic bending and twisting the guard’s hands, whilst the guard tried to overpower his prisoner and wrap his legs around him. Finally Lexic gained the upper hand as his arms overpowered the guard’s, twisting the joints behind his back and restraining the man. The Zelosian failed to notice the guard’s legs were already locked around his as they both fell to the ground with the guard on top. Lexic lost his grip on his arms and tried his best to retrieve them back, as the guard went to strangulate his prisoner, in another battle of arm strength. The Sith felt himself become weaker and lost his breath while the weight of the guard crushed his chest, he saw this as the end. Then a bright red shot burst through the air and penetrated the helmet of the guard, and he fell limp.

“Get up, Lexic! We don’t have time for hot and steamy wrestling.” Jade stood at the hallway, with the blaster firmly in her hands as she smiled and approached Lexic. He grumbled in protest and shoved the body away, before standing and looking at the elevators before him. There were two choices here, one that led to the shuttle bay where they could escape the clutches of Locke and his loyal dogs, or an elevator to the bridge and straight to the cause of this civil war, where they could end it. Confused, Lexic turned to Jade for her consultation and assessed the injuries on her body.

“So, where to now?” Lexic looked at her as he pointed at the elevators, he left the choices to the leader this time.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

“Stand down, Macron.”

The order was firm, laced with threat. The ‘madman’ looked up at the Vanguard standing beside him, his lightsaber stopping the Adept from disarming Armad. “Jedi…” Macron spat, his mind already designing a way to deal with the new threat.

Sanguinius gestured Darkblade towards Armad, the unspoken order of removing the Warrior from the vicinity. “I’m here to stop this fighting. I know you, Sith. You are no kin-killer.”

The Juggernaut growled and turned to face the Entar. “No, I’m not. I’m here for the shard.”

“There’s no shard for you here, Goura,” the Sentinel rumbled. “Take your fallen and go.”

A sickened laugh erupted from the Elder’s mouth, “You don’t give me orders, Jedi.”

“Take your fallen and go, Macron.” Sanguinius repeated himself, his voice inflected with the power of the Force.

The Adept looked at the two fallen Knights, both clearly in bad shape. Darkblade was next to them, making sure they were okay. “The shard is gone, Macron. It goes to Locke to keep it from being misused.” The Entar continued. “Tasha and Bentre need help. Marcus, damn his hide, has few enough supporters as it is.”

Sanguinius pleaded, “Tasha called me here, Macron. She wants me here for a reason. Let me find out what that reason is.”

Macron eyes narrowed, as he moved his attention back to Sanguinius. “She betrayed you, turned her back on you. What do you care?”

The Anaxsi shook his head, “Everyone deserves a second chance, a shot at redemption. No one has done something so terrible as to not deserve forgiveness, Macron.”

Deactivating his lightsaber, Sanguinius left himself open as he walked past Macron towards the inert pair of Knights. “Do the right thing, Goura.”




Currently, our forces have engaged Marcus’ on Asteroid Delta, in a significant brawl over one of the Shards. This Shard must be secured. Since the Turmoil is on an intercept course for Dentavii Prime, the corvette Hyperion has recently arrived in the system, and the shard must be taken on board it. In addition, part of our forces must secure the outer part of the main temple on Dentavii Prime, in preparation for Locke and Cethgus’ landing. Scans show a significant amount of traitorous troops guarding these ruins. We also have a report that another shard has been secured by the Keibatsu family and is enroute. This shard must be taken to the Hyperion, where it will be safely out of enemy hands.

Objective 1: Secure the shard on Asteroid Delta and bring it to the Hyperion.

Objective 2: Head for Dentavii Prime, establishing a beachhead at the outer temple in preparation for Locke and Cethgus’ arrival.

Objective 3: Bring the second shard to the Hyperion.


Our battle for the shards continues, but it is far from over. The Absolution’s scans reveal that the corvette Hyperion has recently arrived on the opposite side of the area. We don’t know what Locke plans for this vessel, but it should be captured before they can use it. Sensors indicate that it’s turbolasers are currently occupied with defending against the local asteroids, and it’s shields are weak. In addition, the Turmoil appears to be heading for Dentavii Prime. Marcus will be personally heading to intercept the Turmoil, and so we must have a foothold established on the surface of Dentavii Prime before he arrives. We must also secure any shards we can find, as they are essential for Marcus’ power base.

Objective 1: Capture the Hyperion

Objective 2: Secure a foothold on Dentavii Prime

Objective 3: Secure any available shard and bring to Dentavii Prime, where they will be ready for Marcus to use.


Time is running out for the completion of the ritual. The Prophet has already completed the first step and made Ombus shudder, but more shards are needed. Our resources indicate that that those loyal to Marcus and Locke are fighting over one of the shards on Asteroid Delta, and should be an easy target. In addition, we know that Maelous and Jeric are close to finding another shard on Asteroid Tango, while a third is enroute to the Turmoil. Finally, we know that at least one is already secured onboard the Turmoil. These should be retrieved and brought back to Dentavii Prime, before they can be secured or used by the enemy. Furthermore, we know that our enemies will soon strike at Dentavii Prime, so we must prepare a defensive perimeter and do whatever we can to stall them so that the ritual can complete.

Objective 1: Secure remaining shards.

Objective 2: Establish defenses at Dentavii Prime and hinder enemy forces from reaching it or establishing a foothold there.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

“Do the right thing, Goura.”

The words echoed maddeningly in the madman’s head briefly. But they came… from a kriffing Jedi. Aside from his own indoctrination into the Sith mysteries, Macron held a very serious personal hate for Jedi from his youth. They had abused him, lied to him, called him “freak” at the Academy, and ultimately expelled him for delving into books he shouldn’t have read. Of course, beating the padawan that teased him about his synthetic body to death might have been a problem. The lunatic grinned and the scars and tattoos on his face stretched as he remembered how good it had felt at the time. Fear began to radiate from his body, unnerving the lesser before him.

“Oh. Oh yes, I will. What I will do, is teach you a badly needed lesson in respect. I’ve been Consul of this Clan three times and I bear the name of Sadow. Your Jedi mind tricks will not work on me.” The madman turned to Bentre and used telepathic pressure. “You’ll do no such thing. Get your (redacted) up and fight!” Macron turned back quickly to Sanguinius, who had ignited his own azure lightsaber in a guard position.

“We don’t have to do this,” stated the Jedi confidently. “There is another way.” Sanguinius’s feet shifted slightly to seek a solid stance, and he turned his body in a defensive manner. The Sentinel kept his body loose, ready to react to incoming attacks with alacrity. The Quaestor reached deeply into the Living Force, seeking hints of the attack he knew was inevitably coming. “I’m sure we can reach a reasonable solution before someone gets hurt. I know of your long history with the Clan.”

“Soresu,” spat the Alchemist as his helm faceplate closed. “Form of cowards.” His own stance changed and tightened up. The Alchemist raised a single lightsaber hilt and it snap-hissed to life with a tangerine colored blade as the Adept swept it up, forward, and down in a duelist’s salute. No time was wasted as his off hand pointed at the Jedi. Twisting bolts of crawling blue lightning snaked forward, caressing Sanguinius’ blade as the pressure of the electric fury threw his hand up.

To his credit, the Quaestor took the lighting deftly on his blade and suffered no ill effect as he valiantly deflected the evil charge… Unfortunately the troopers around him could not say the same as the bolts sprayed from the target to caress others. The troopers around him went down as the Elder Storm hit them, numb but not dead. Not yet. Now there was no backup. Only the Force Users stood in this area.

Macron licked his lips in anticipation and seamlessly accelerated into a full-on frontal attack. “NOW!” The Dark Side filled his body with speed and strength. He cannonballed into Sanguinus’ guard like a rocket from Hell.

Sanguinius, true to his training, channeled the Living Force with experienced skill. His Soresu blocks and redirections were deftly placed as his blue blade spun and redirected the orange one that sought his life. his feet were perfectly placed, and his parries were efficient. The Jedi showed serious skill with the form of Soresu that would make his teachers proud. He kept himself alive, and the madman at bay as he moved swiftly within the Force. “You… don’t… this is not the Way!”

Macron screamed in frustrated rage. He would not use tricks here, or chemicals. No, this was a matter of pride. Sanguinius was god-damn good, and he needed to seek that passion within himself that would lay this Jedi dog low. A telekinetic blast ripped forth from his outstretched off hand- one of massive pressure. Sanguinius deflected most of it with a hastily erected barrier of pure Force energy but it still rattled him. it would have been a death blow for anyone unable to protect themselves that way. As he recoiled, the Alchemist was almost instantly on him.

“RRRAGH!” screamed Macron as his blade slipped and lunged. His target was not Sanguinius’ body- but rather, his blade. Makashi was characteristically known to destroy an enemy’s weapon and that was exactly what happened. A precise strike skewered Sanguinius’ lightsaber hilt at exactly the point between the generator and focusing crystal, and then swept down onto the generator crystal proper. It sputtered out as the Jedi held the ruined hilt remnants.

The Sith Adept’s off-hand crackled with barely held hungry blue lighting as Macron chuckled menacingly. His other hand held a fully lit and able high-tuned orange blade. “Now. I’m not going to kill you. You fought well and I have respect for that. Jedi. You are beaten. Take your men and leave this place with your lives intact. Hesitate, and I cannot guarantee your safety.”


Scarlet felt a an oddly but familiar feeling .Than it came to her much stronger and she realized it was her former Master calling out to her.She marveled at the fact he was even aware she was there.

Go Scarlet. Get the shard and yourself out of here while you still can. Scarlet saw the container holding the shard approaching quickly. Reaching out to lay her hands upon it, she glanced back to her Master,She watched the brutally short combat, and saw the form of her Master hit the ground. She watched as Sang turned to face Macron, and heard the sound of their weapons striking together as she ran down the hallway.She fast as her legs could take her. As she kept running, she thought she heard Bentre in the distance.

Oh no I can’t let him find me, I must get this to Locke,she thought as she tried to run even harder. The Zeltron kept running, her heart racing quickly, beating so hard almost felt like it was coming out of her chest. After running for some time, she came to a point in the corridor where it broke off into two directions. “ Which do I go? “ Scarlet whispered to herself. Feeling increasingly uneasy, the Zeltron turned around quickly, but she saw nothing. She could not shake the feeling of someone following her.

One path looked more lit up than the other, it appeared a battle was fought on the one that looked dark. She decided to take the light up one, hoping not to run into anyone. Scarlet was cautious, but all sudden heard a loud noise in front of her and stopped. She heard Bentre make what appeared to be a screaming noise of pain inside her mind. Hearing how hurt he was made her heart about stop. She could tell he had been injured badly. “Bring me the shard!” he demanded. Scarlet shook her head but, look what it has done to you. She began to walk backwards slowly, trying to retrace her steps, holding the shard container tightly.

The zeltron tried to find her friend Bentre, “where are you?” she said to him. She knew he needed help badly. Finally she found him in a ball like appearance. He laid on floor holding his head. Scarlet ran over to him quickly. setting down the shard container, “Bentre ! what happened?” she shouted, she heard a man’s voice laughing evilly. Now what she thought. Bentre began to get slowly, she helped him to his feet. He was feeling a bit dizzy from the pressure to his skull from Macron. what am I going to do? She tried to focus and call out to someone to help. She heard the laugh again ever louder.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

He watched the Madman spread himself along the ether, the barely restrained electric hatred seething in his hand, the crackling of it leaving carbon scoring along well worn gauntlet plates.

Sanguinius stepped away from Macron, careful not to turn his gaze, careful footsteps backwards amidst the rubble and stone. Something tickled the edges of his understanding, a faint echo of something both familiar and foreign. He let his eyes unfocus, then focus again, never dropping his gaze from the seething alchemist.

There it was. Sanguinius smiled.

“I said leave, Jedi.” Macron lifted his sword hand a touch higher, the orange blade all but growling at him.


It crept across the back of Macron’s heart next, the veil of understanding teasing nerves he had almost forgotten about. His eyes narrowed, and he turned his head slowly.

The Lion of Tarthos stood there, looking down on their fight, a dispassionate observer. He shuffled the small and ornate case into a pouch at his side, the black leather of his warcoat obscuring it from view. Macron could feel it from where he stood, corrupting fingers reaching to his heart, beckoning him in ways he wanted and yet did not.

He ignored the others. His master bounded down the hill toward the others, the Wolf pacing behind him, the dark lady vanishing into her own shadows. None mattered to him now.

He turned toward him, his golden eyes rimmed in fire even beneath the helmet, saber twisting in his hand as if it were a leashed animal, begging to be loose.

The scream of energized adegans filled their ears as the Lion’s claws burned into being.

There were no words.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

The sounds of destruction and chaos echoed behind her. She took a deep breath of artificial air through her rebreather and disappeared into the rock face; her lithe form blending uniformly into the smooth cool stone of the asteroid.

Ashia moved away from them heading towards the last known position of one of the shards.

‘Now where’d you go, sis?’ The voice echoed inside her skull. Shikyo’s voice caused her to stop abruptly.

‘I’m going for the other shard.’ She mentally answered back as she crouched down further and moved to the next rock.

Suddenly there was movement to her right. The Nightsister froze. Drawing the Force around her like a warm blanket she masked her signature and reached out along the tendrils to see without her eyes.

Two patterns crept their way back towards the Keibatsu. She felt along those lines, testing them ever so slightly until she was sure.

Shikyo and Manji moved forward on her right just ahead of her slightly. She moved up behind them letting her cloak fall slightly so as not to startle them. Regardless, Shikyo spun on his heel, his sabers in his hands and stopped short of igniting them.

“What the…?!” was all he got out before she silenced him.

‘Do you want to let everyone know we are here?’ Her mental admonishment rose in both their heads. ‘Perhaps you’d prefer to just run in with sabers ignited and make a grab for it then?’

An irritated look crossed the Wolf as he holstered his sabers. ‘Bring it on! I prefer a fair fight to all this sneaking around!’

Ignoring the comment, Ashia darted forward, pulling the cloak around her again and moved through the shadows of rock once again. She wasn’t used to working with others on these assignments and despite the fact he outranked her, it was hard for her to not think of him as a little brother.

‘I hate it when she does that.’ Shikyo crouched down and moved in the direction she was headed. Manji chuckled and moved to follow him.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orion System

Darkblade couldn’t help but contain his laugh. He felt the power of the shard, even through the protective box, calling out to him. Take it, use it. It will give you power unimaginable. Think of the power you will have after using the shard. Feeding on even the Masters of the Force will be an easy task. Granting even greater power and becoming almost immortal.

The greed for power overwhelmed his rationality, reverting back to his basic and primal instincts. He had to feed. Bentre was an easy target, already weak and barely able to stay conscious. With Sang occupied, Darkblade would only have to deal with Scarlet. As he stepped out behind Scarlet, the Krath focused on concealing the immediate area around them in complete darkness. The sudden pitch black surrounding confused the Zeltron, who immediately sensed something was unnatural. The Anzat could see clearly, unaffected by the unnatural source of pitch black. He watched as Scarlet grabbed for her lightsaber, struggling to keep Bentre up as he was still too weak to stand on his own. Darkblade slithered up behind the Human, silent as a snake and thumped Bentre on the back of the head with the end of his saber. As Bentre once again succumbed to unconsciousness, he hit the ground like a sack of potatoes.

Scarlet was pulled down by the sudden fall of Bentre barely able to keep herself from hitting the ground. Using the downwards momentum the Zeltron quickly realizing someone was behind her, rolling forwards out of the affected area. Being able to see again, she let out a silent scream through the Force. MASTER! HELP!

She turned white in fear as she realized she didn’t hold the shard anymore. Her fear turned to shock as she recognized the person standing before you. “YOU!?” she spat out. Immediately reaching for her saber, she switched it on and watched as the crimson blade came to life. Planting one foot in front of her and placing her weight on her back foot, she readied herself for the attack. The Anzat gave another laugh, and dispersed the little remaining blackness that surrounded him. Darkblades proboscis waved around madly in the air around his face as he leered at Scarlet standing in front of him. “You’ll make a nice meal Zeltron, and i even have dessert.” Darkblade said as he pointed towards Bentre laying on the ground.

“Oh, also thanks for the shard. You should really be more careful with these sort of things.” the Anzat kicked the box towards the fallen Human, failing to notice it break open as the shard rolled out and stopped just a few inches from the unconscious Human, chuckling slightly and taking a step towards Scarlet, the assassin summoned his own lightsaber to his hand. In a single fluid motion he lept towards the Zeltron, igniting his blade midair and brought it down in a two handed strike, meaning to beat Scarlet down to the ground and into submission. Blocking the first swing, the Zeltron stood her ground as Darkblade rained down blow upon blow, slowly causing Scarlet to lose ground. Thinking fast, Scarlet anticipated the next blow, and instead of blocking it directly she redirected the blow to slide downwards towards her left side, diving towards her right she watched as the saber carved its way through the ground. Now that they had some much needed distance between the two Scarlet had bought some time to breath.

Realizing that Darkblade’s predatorial and feeding instincts had taken over, there would be no other way out of this then fighting. Scowling, spitting out a curse she charged the Anzat, catching him off guard and turning their duel into a contest of skill, endurance and speed. A long series of overhead strikes, low sweeps and counter attacks kept the two busy with each other, as they both tried to find openings. Scarlet blocked a low strike aimed towards her feet, quickly following up with an uppercut slash to sever Darkblade’s arm. Barely twitching back in time, instead of losing his arm, he only received a mild cut. Barely feeling it the Anzat pressed his attack, wearing Scarlet down. The only disadvantage was that Scarlet was not looking to kill, merely to survive and injure if absolutely needed, whereas the Anzat was looking to incapacitate and feed. Relishing the battle and finally able to test his skills in battle, Darkblade let out a laugh as he watched Scarlet begin to slow and falter. Not knowing what was happening the Zeltron fought on, gritting her teeth to no avail. Her mind seemed to lose focus, no longer concentrating on the battle she was engaged in. As she slowed down even more, their battle lost momentum and the Anzat moved in for the final blow.

Darkblade swung his blade towards her middle at first intending to chop the Zeltron in two, he watched as Scarlet took the bait and turned her blade upside down, hilt pointing upwards to deflect the lethal blow. He pivoted on his feet, twirling his body in a tight circle to move beside and inside her guard before coming to a full 360 degree turn and reaching out with the pummel of his saber, smashing it into the backside of the Zeltrons head. Scarlet grunted, and for a second the Anzat feared she would stay standing. He smacked his lips as he heard her fall to her knees, her blade extinguishing itself as it clattered to the floor beside her. Turning around, grabbing her by her hair he pulled her head back, and looked her in the eyes. “Are you ready to die?” he growled. Seeing the fear in her eyes only gave Darkblade a deep feeling of satisfaction. Giving himself fully to the Darkside, letting his predatory instincts take over Darkblade howled with glee as he felt a rush of excitement flow through him, his proboscis slithering towards Scarlet’s face, feeling their way around her nose, before finding the entry point. Finally, i will be able to feed again!


Dentavii Prime

There was never real trust between them.

Not “trust” in the traditional sense, the kind that some of the other Sadowans were employing. Purposefully placing themselves in harm’s way, knowing that their comrades would be there to pull their pelts out of the fire. Giving an order, then concentrating on another task, knowing full well that the appointed would fulfill their wish.

No, “traditional” had never fit Shi Long, Sildrin and Vexatus, at least, not to the human’s mind. His fragmented memory had given him flashes of past dealings with the Falleen, and with Sildrin, and more often than not, Shi had found himself on the opposing side of Vexatus’ wishes.

Though those days were long gone, and just as they had given way to new dawns, so too did Shi’s definition of trust had changed. He knew that he could, after a fashion, trust Vexatus, but only for the Prophet to be him. Vexatus was refreshingly consistent in that vein, which made Shi’s decision to follow him on the quest to save the Clan all the more easier.

But now, as Shi stood at Vexatus’ back, the dirt and debris cascading off of him in fine clouds with every movement, the Stone Dragon had his doubts.

In all of Vexatus’ past dealings, patience had been his hallmark. To never move unless the endgame was a foregone conclusion. The failed attempt - “proof”, he called it, that more shards were required - seemed exploratory. Premature.

It smacked of inexperience. Of someone dealing in forces they had no knowledge of…and that was assuredly not like Vexatus.

Something was wrong. Terribly wrong. And, they were coming.

Shi’s thoughts strayed to the forces of Locke and of Marcus, and knew that Vexatus’ display would be as a bright, shining billboard announcing where the jackals could find slaughter. And, for better or worse, it was Shi’s stock in trade to ensure that slaughter would be visited upon them, should he be properly loosed to do so.

It was then that a pale, delicate hand caressed his shoulder. Shi cocked his head to regard Sildrin’s fingers dancing across his ever-present bandages. “My noble protector,” her voice slid like liquid glass into his ear. “You’ve served me - us - well, but do not waiver; your loyalty will provide you with battles the likes of which have not been seen for a thousand years. Continue to follow, and I shall lead you to glory!”

What Shi thought was, ‘Dearest Sister, why would I depend on you to bring me what I can provide for myself?’

But, what he said was, “I’ll protect you; watch your man,” the knowing glance cutting through her blindfold before the Long strode away to prepare their defenses.

‘I will protect you,” he silently promised,“even from yourselves.”


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

And so the star fractured.

There was not much else Atra could do but lay within the confines of his anesthetized shell of a body as the event unfolded. His attention had been on other matters at the onset, of course. The Quaestor had opened himself completely to the Living Force, guiding the threads of power through his body as he fought to accelerate the metabolization of the foreign chemicals that had invaded his system. It was in this vulnerable state that the cataclysm washed over him. Liquid fire, invisible to the eye, seared hungrily through him as if his skin had been peeled away leaving his nerves raw and exposed. If he could have moved, even a single muscle, the Umbaran would have screamed until his lungs gave way.

Ventus knew Methyas was there, he had heard the familiar sensation of the Miraluka’s thoughts entering his own, even if he was unable to truly focus on the message. It was through this shroud of pain and exhaustion that Atra began to stir. He rose slowly at first, long and ragged breaths escaping from his chapped lips.

“Careful now, your fireteam might get twitchy again and shoot us both.” Methyas’ voice somehow managed to keep the familiar warmth Atra had grown so accustomed to during his training. Though, to be fair, most of that occurred in the field. Such a whirlwind of activity had consumed them both upon meeting that it never truly felt like a master and student relationship, merely comrades in arms. “It’s not like you to be so shaken up. Did you pick a fight you couldn’t win again?”

Atra grimaced as much as he could and shook his head, steadying himself internally. “I know you felt it. You’re kriffing blind, not dense,” he managed to state between breaths. The Grey Jedi nodded while his eyebrows contorted in a way that came across as concern.

“I must say, this isn’t what I had in mind when I brought you back here,” Methyas stated quietly.

“Yeah well, I was meant to re-infiltrate the Clan and make sure it remained focused, always providing an enemy when needed to keep it in balance,” Atra’s words were utterly monotone as he raised a single eyebrow towards his former master. “Your plan worked real well didn’t it?”

The Augur helped Atra to his feet before pressing his thumb to his chin, thinking for a moment. “Admittedly, I didn’t foresee this… at least not with enough time to truly alter the course.”

The Umbaran’s chest heaved as he took in a long breath before exhaling heavily, wiping the sweat from his brow as the grogginess further cleared from his sinews. A cheshire grin spread across his face as he fixed his mismatched gaze upon Methyas’… well, where the man’s eyes would have been if his species had anything of the sort. “It’s not all bad though,” Atra’s words bore an excitement that was usually void from his tone, “now we know where they are.”

Turning his back on his comrade, Ventus pressed his finger to the activator on his commlink once more. “Blood, if you’re still able to hear this, I won’t be home for dinner. Don’t wait up.”

The crunching of stones at his side revealed that Methyas had moved position, the Miraluka’s hand tracing his own prosthetic leg. “I highly doubt he appreciates your choice in nicknames.”

“Kind of the point,” Atra quipped.

“Fair enough, my transport should be back in range soon,” the Son of Sadow commented in response.

“It always comes full circle doesn’t it, Methyas? Once more, I’m off hunting Tsainetomo,” the Quaestor muttered as his grin reformed itself. “To Dentavii Prime, eh?”

Transport Shuttle en route to Dentavii Prime
Orian System

“So… ‘The Librarian’?”

Methyas groaned as he glanced towards Atra, who was once more sporting an uncharacteristic cheshire grin that was obnoxiously visible even to the Miraluka’s unique vision.

“Oh please, don’t let me stop you from using it. It’s adorable,” Atra made some vague motion with his right hand as he spoke, some variant of a salute the Miraluka didn’t recognize, “honest!”

“What is your intentions for our arrival?” the Augur questioned as they drew nearer to their destination.

“Fair question,” the Quaestor muttered as he turned to gaze out the viewport. “I did what I had to in service to Locke, in that I’m sure. Now… now it is time to allow personal business to take the fore.”

“You think that wise?”

Atra twitched slightly as memories flashed through his thoughts, his right hand sliding to his left side where the relatively new saber scar marked his flesh. “This would not be our first fight since my return,” the Umbaran stated with a grim note to his tone, “and yet I still don’t understand him.” His hand began to clench into a fist before sliding away from the permanent reminder of the bout with Shi Long. “As far as the Clan is concerned, we’re going to secure a landing zone in advance of the others. That’s all they need to know.”

“And if he kills you, old friend,” Methyas mused aloud.

The Quaestor’s hand moved to his medallion for the briefest of moments, “can’t kill what’s already dead, now can he?”

The Son of Sadow eyed Ventus — as much as a Mirluka could at least — then let out a soft breath and turned towards the bow of the shuttle. “Alert the Turmoil and the Hyperion of our status, preferably before the fighting starts,” Methyas ordered with a firm tone of command in his voice.

I will save you from your path, even if it you have to find your peace in another life, Aniki. Xue Long thought to himself, as if he were speaking directly to Shi.


Sanguinius looked from Macron, to his ruined lightsaber, to his comrades, and back to Macron. It was a little difficult to take at face value. The Mad Alchemist claimed they would be safe if they left now. The Jedi would have liked nothing better than to believe that they could leave relatively unheeded. It just seemed a little too clean a deal though. The Quaestor still needed to secure the shard beyond the hold of the Sith and his entourage.

His attention was pulled from Macron as the primal cry of the Anzat struck his ears. Whirling about, the Defender saw the sphere of darkness. He could feel the Dark Side rising in the Force from within with only the slightest of samplings. Without giving it another thought, Sang threw out a hand and poured his concentration into trying to dull Darkblade’s connection to the Force, if only for a moment. He didn’t need one of his own wrecking this uneasy truce. Nobody needed to die today, especially not at the hands of their Clansman.

As the darkness began to fade, he could see the Seeker was poised over the form of a female Zeltron. Proboscis gently caressed her face, seeking out their place. The Anzat let out a hiss and plunged his tendrils into Scarlet’s nostrils, he heard a disgusted cry.

He recognized the anguished call of his former Blackguard. It appeared that in the midst of all the chaos, the Marauder had come to. Seeing her friend about to become lunch, Versea threw out her hand, catching the Anzat in the chest with a hammer of Force-driven momentum. Given the wide-eyed expression of Darkblade, surprise and anger were evident in his features.

Tasha’vel was not going to let this affront stand. Her lightsaber was not in sight, but she would have to make do without it. This was a matter an urgent matter, and her eyes glanced about for any makeshift tool. Her gaze fell upon Scarlet’s weapon. Reaching toward the ornate handle, she called the weapon toward her through the Force. As the weapon hit her palm, she ignited the crimson blade before leveling it at her fellow House member in silent warning.

The Anzat did not even consider the warning. He was too enamored with the thought of the meal and the kill. With a wild cry, he brought weapon down in fierce swing, determined to batter through his challenger’s defenses. Over and over he made light strikes, trying to wear down his battle-seasoned opponent. Versea tried to keep him at bay however, carefully choosing her strikes and parries, watching his attacks carefully.
This seemed to frustrated the Seeker deeply. “Don’t give me that junk. Stay still.” Reaching out in a burst of anger, the Anzat pointed at the Twi’lek’s leg. The Marauder faltered for a moment, but that was all he was looking for. With a sound akin to a proud bark, the Anzat drove his weapon home, ready to cleave into Tasha’vel’s soft flesh.

White tendrils lanced through the air, catching Bladedark in the chest, and causing him to drop his violet-bladed weapon in surprise. Sang looked back to the source of the attack to see a very wearied Stahoes, his hand splayed out with three fingers in a threatening gesture. Clenched in his other hand, the shard was glowing a gentle purple. “Not today, buddy. If anybody, she’s my kill.” Bentre smiled wryly.
“Get it out of here!” the Twi’lek Marauder yelled to her comrade. “Get the shard to Marcus.”

Her rival let out a grunt. It was obvious he still wasn’t at one hundred percent. “Consider it done, nechaska.” With a smirk, the Corellian snapped the fingers of his good hand. Without warning, a flock of colorful birds swirled around the Assassin, obscuring him from view momentarily. As the birds scattered however the Human was nowhere to be seen.

“You always have to be flashy with your illusions, don’t you?” Tasha’vel sighed, and turned to face the others. She gave the borrowed weapon a flourish, and scowled at the others. She was going to have to give Bentre a little time to escape. She wouldn’t let their efforts be for nothing.

“Things don’t have to be this way,” Sang reached out a hand, motioning for the former Blackguard to lower the weapon. “Nobody else has to be hurt.”

“So you would rather talk this out?” the Twi’lek lowered the blade slightly as she spoke.


Sanguinius eyed the marauder as he started to approach her. “ I would not mind talking to you Tasha, if it saved us from this use of senseless violence.”

Just then Darkblade let out a growl. “Twi’lek, you will not stop me from feeding on your soup!” Still hurting from the previous attack from Bentre, the Anzat clutched his chest as he glared at Tasha.

“Darkblade, stand down she is willing to negotiate. You do not need to continue this violence.” Sanguinius ordered.

Unfortunately, reason was still not to be taken by the Anzat, he had not shaken his primal instincts of feeding from himself. Seizing an opportunity, Darkblade vanished from sight and began to approach Tasha from behind. Steadying himself, the Anzat leaped at his prey and uncoiled his proboscises. He grabbed Tasha from behind and turned her to face him as he reappeared. “I will feed!” Horrified, Tasha saw his proboscises feathering their way towards her nostrils. She began to struggle and tried to free her hands from his vice-like grip.

“Darkblade, let her go!” Screamed Sanguinius as he rushed over. “Don’t make me have to hurt you.”

“She is my prey now.” snarled Darkblade as he gazed at the fear in the Twi’leks eyes. “Mmm, I can sense her fear. It makes her soup even more irresistible than I hoped.”

Charging at full speed, Sanguinius rammed his body into the Anzat’s side, knocking him back from Tasha. “Stay away from her, Darkblade!” He yelled as he faced the Anzat. “I will not have anyone killed today if I can help it.”


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System
39 ABY

The Anzat stood up, dusting himself off, wincing slightly from the pain in his chest and eyed Sanguinius eerily. “So you’d rather save a traitor then go after the person bringing the shard to Marcus? It seems to me you might not have your priorities straight, Jedi.” Darkblade spat the last word with contempt. “Are you willing to give Marcus what he wants, but saving one of these very people who have forsaken their allegiance for power? If anything, I’m doing you a favour by showing them the error of their ways, since you will not.” The Seeker jumped towards Tasha, driven by adrenaline and the Force, the sudden movement and burst of speed caught her by surprise as he punched her in the stomach, causing her to double over. Grabbing her lekku hard enough to cause her pain, the Anzat pulled her forcefully to the ground, making sure to kick her in the stomach for good measure as Scarlet’s saber clattered to the ground beside them. “Stay down.” he growled as he bent down and picked up the fallen weapon. Sanguinius grimaced at the sight, but did not interfere. Without a lightsaber he would have unnecessary trouble combating the crazed Knight. Words seemed to have no effect, and with time racing the Human Jedi had to make a choice.

Save one, or save many rang throughout his head. Disgusted with the obvious choice that lay before him, he tried one more time. “Darkblade Bladedark, please. As your Quaestor, leader and comrade do not go down this path. It will only lead you to darkness from which you cannot escape.” The Anzat looked towards the Vanguard, almost with pity in his eyes. “I have made my choice, now make yours and lets be done with it.” he said as he strolled to his fallen lightsaber. Igniting it, he fell into a neutral stance, arms lowered, his feet planted squarely under him. Whilst not in a threatening position, Sang realized that this would only end in a fight if he wanted to save Tasha from her fate. Even Anzat have to feed, however gruesome that is the Sentinel thought. Looking at Tasha, he felt pain run through him as he left her to her fate. “Give me Scarlet’s lightsaber, I will go after Bentre and stop him before he gives the shard to Marcus. You can show her the error of her ways, but refrain from killing her.” Darkblade grinned, and cackled madly. The instinct to feed started to take over again, and before he succumbed fully to it he tossed Scarlet’s lightsaber to Sang and watching as the Jedi sprinted off in the direction he could feel the weak signal of Bentre.

Tasha tried to get up, knowing that this would be her final moment. She wanted to stand tall, proud and look death in the face. Clutching her stomach, she focused on the pain, embracing it, controlling it. It fueled her anger and as the Anzat came within striking distance she lashed out, catching him unawares and landing a solid blow to the chest. Knocked back a few steps Tasha was able to kick out and score a blow to the stomach. At least, that’s what it seemed like. Darkblade was able to throw up a barrier, blocking the blow and grabbed her foot. He pulled her towards him, causing her to hop on one foot. “Hop hop little bunny. There is no place for you to run now.” the Seeker cackled aloud. Having to focus on staying balanced she lost her concentration and the pain from the previous blows surged back across her body. With a final tug, Darkblade pulled the Twi’lek into his arms, gazing intently into her eyes as lust and hunger flashed across his own eyes.

The intrusion into her mind, telling her to relax, calm down and let it happen was sudden. It caught her off guard, and the lull immediately grabbed hold of her. She wanted to struggle, in her mind she screamed out, begging her body to move. She started to feel suffocated, panic gripping her mind as she watched in absolute horror as the proboscis uncurled and twisted towards her face. Images of her grandfather flashed before her, the sadness of not being able to fulfill her dreams of becoming the best warrior, the failure of not upholding her promise of protecting her grandfather’s blade.

This is the end she thought to herself. As she felt the proboscis reach her mouth, and tantalizingly claw their way to her nose cavities, Tasha’Vel Versea of Ryoth accepted her fate. With what little strength she had left she eyed the Anzat and defied him as long as she could. She felt the proboscis enter her nose, slithering their way up to her brain. Then the pain hit her. It felt like nails scratching a chalkboard, the screeching sounds filled her head as the proboscis made their way along her brain. The pain intensified as she started to feel her life force begin to drain, her “soup”. Id did not take long before darkness consumed her. As she fell limp in the Anzat’s arms she cursed him, screaming in her mind how much she despised him for taking everything from her whilst she was only just beginning her journey. Hate boiled over, and in her last conscious moment she blasted a telepathic thought towards Sanguinis I won’t forget your abandonment, JEDI!

Versea Estate
27 ABY

Tasha stood before her grandfather, holding his hand as he lay on his bed. Trying to be brave but failing as tears streamed down her face. Her grandfather reached up towards her lekku, stroking it and whispering, “My dear Tasha, you have a great destiny ahead of you. Do not be sad about my passing. Instead, honor me and my ancestors by taking my Echani vibroblade and continue its legacy. Make me proud, young one.” As his final breath left his sick body, she felt his spirit join the Force and she knew he would always be there, watching over her, guiding her, protecting her.

The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System
39 ABY

The Twi’lek groaned as she felt coldness seep into her body. Opening her eyes she tried to blink to clear the cloudy vision she had. Her heart stopped as she saw a ghostly image fade away in front of her. Welcome back to the living world, young one she heard a voice say. “Grandpa?” she whispered. She rolled onto her back, recalling the gruelling events that had taken hold. Looking around carefully she saw the crumpled form of Scarlet a few feet from her. Carefully, she slowly stood up and walked towards the fallen Zeltron and tried to wake her up. Fearing for a minute that she had become the main course of the Anzat’s feeding frenzy, she let out a gasp of relief as Scarlet moaned. It seemed they both had escaped a gruelling fate on miraculous terms. Reaching down and pulling her fellow Clan member to her feet, they started to walk towards safety. Wherever that was on this blasted rock Tasha thought. “We need to be careful, i don’t think we will run into much trouble anymore though. It seems the fighting here is done and we have moved on to bigger problems.” the Twi’Lek whispered to Scarlet. As they stumbled forwards, the thought of seeing her Grandfather kept coming up, and she couldn’t help but wonder if he had protected her from her fate. With no lightsabers they were both in a peculiar situation in this war, but Tasha felt a renewed confidence knowing that someone close to her dark Sith heart had been watching over her, although she could no longer feel his comforting presence no matter how hard she searched within herself.

The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

Darkblade sprinted towards Sanguinius, his force signature a bright light in the darkness of the Force on Dentavii. Having satisfied his hunger, he felt empowered, his mind clear and finally able to think straight again. He wondered if Tasha would ever figure out that he had consumed the life force of her grandfather as he had sacrificed himself in her place. Invading his mind like a plague of visions, the Anzat had struck a deal with the old man. Darkblade would spare his granddaughter, in exchange for the old man’s essence. Agreeing and keeping his end of the deal, the Anzat left just enough essence for the old man to say his goodbye’s.

Up ahead, he could make out the form of his Quaestor. Slowing down he prowled behind him, wanting to watch the events unfold before his own eyes. Having his doubts about the Jedi’s true intentions, Darkblade felt it necessary to keep an eye on him.




Events have come to a head. Xanos has begun something, and it must be stopped. A strange anomaly has enveloped this sector. We no longer have time for searching or to worry about securing the shards. The armies of our enemies gather at Dentavii Prime, and we must meet them and stop this ritual once and for all!

Objective: Get to Dentavii Prime. Neutralize the forces of Marcus and Xanos. Engage and neutralize opposing Force Users where appropriate.


Something is happening. We know Locke is heading for Dentavii Prime, and Marcus moves to engage him. Our power has been altered by whatever Xanos has attempted, and now is our time to strike! We must take advantage of this ritual to move on Dentavii Prime, neutralize our enemy’s troops and their Force Users, and assist Marcus in seizing power!

Objective: Get to Dentavii Prime. Neutralize forces of Locke and Xanos. Engage and neutralize opposing Force Users where appropriate.


The ritual has begun. Soon, security will be assured, but there are still those who seek to end the awakening. They must not be allowed to do so. Even now, the forces of Locke and Marcus approach Dentavii Prime, coming ever closer to our centerpoint. Our actions here cannot be stopped. Our names will be immortalized in the tapestry of the Force!

Objective: Fortify Dentavii Prime. Neutralize the forces of Locke and Marcus as they land. Engage and neutralize opposing Force Users where appropriate.


The beginning of the ritual and the effect it has had on Ombus has caused the Force in the area to fluctuate wildly, affecting every Force user in the area. Those of the Journeyman and Equite level will find their powers magnified to that of Elders, while Elders will find theirs pushed to the extreme of their abilities.


The Fragments of Dentavii
Orian System

As the titanic struggle between the mad Alchemist and the Grandmaster played out to a mutual understanding on on a hoodoo hill above, things began to happen in space.

Bits of the broken Star of Ombus had drifted in gravitic orbits around the remnants of Dentaavi ever since Lord Orian had blown the place apart. the Shards were powerful, but the remnants of the Broken Star were horrible. They were attracted to Force usage- of course. The awful things careened nearer and nearer to the fought over asteroids. The waves of energy from the ritual Xanos was enacting combined with the Shards, and reverberated out from each crystal.

Suddenly, all the Dark Jedi in the Clan found themselves rolling with seething power heretofore unknown to them. Macron seethed with power even beyond that of an Adept as he and Muz parted. The madman staggered for a second as he keyed a command into his vambrace interface. “What the frell? Force fluctuation?”

“It appears that way,” came the reply from Daedric via comlink. “We feel it here too. I feel more personal power by far.”

“Careful then, my Sith Apprentice. Such bonuses never come for free- there is always a hefty price,” giggled the Alchemist. “It looks like the party is breaking up down below. Tasha was down but Scarlet is helping her. Bentre departed. I have no idea what happened to Ingram or Malik.”

“Copy that. You fought Lord Ashen?” came the incredulous crackling reply. “And you live?”

“Not by choice ironically. He chose to… spare me and remove Sildrin’s block. We do not think differently, it appears. Those Shards are dangerous. Again, Xanos is up to his old tricks with a ritual using them. Sorcerers and their rituals,” Macron groaned in disgust. “In any case, they must be stopped.”

“Bentre made it to the Absolution with a Shard. Recon intel says a lot of ships are headed to Dentaavi Prime. I’m reading several capital ships, including the Consul’s.” Daedric’s voice continued to crackle over the interference. “Your signal was relayed to the Absolution. Your personal ship should be almost to you by now. I’ll try and gather as much of the team as I can and meet you on Dentaavi Prime. Turelles Out.”

The Sith Adept mumbled to himself as the Nachzerer landed nearby on remote droid pilot. Macron strode towards the ugly beetle-shaped transport and stomped up the gangplank. “R5, get us to Dentaavi Prime as quickly as possible. We have a foolish ritual to stop. Invariably, I will be beset upon by multiple foes, but I relish the thought. Today is a glorious day for personal combat,” giggled the lunatic. “Just because I’d rather not kill anyone doesn’t mean I can’t break their bones and beat them to a bloody pulp. How satisfying. Heh Heh.”


As she was standing up, Tasha looked around her. She no longer could feel the warm presence of her grandfather beside her. Then she remembered the dream, it was her grandfather who had reached out to her telling her goodbye, but why? What made him decide to leave?

Thinking over what had taken place recently, Tasha looked over at her blade and grabbed Vishra’Reyal. She carefully strapped the old Echani blade to her side and began to search for her lightsaber.Unfortunately, it was nowhere to be found. “Darkblade, must have taken it."

While she gazed across the vast expanse of rocky landscape, Tasha spotted Scarlet nearby her. “Sang and Darkblade must have gone after Bentre.” A chill ran down her spine as she remembered Darkblade. “That miserable Anzat tried to feed on me, but yet I am still alive. He will pay for what he’s done someday.” She vowed.

Just then the communicator lit up and Daedric’s voice came on. “We need to get to Dentavii Prime, Darth Vexatus has started a ritual.” The communicator then shut off. “So that is where they are all headed then. I guess I better send Macron and Daedric a message.” Concentrating her mind and focusing her thoughts, she began to speak using her mind to contact Daedric and Macron. “I will be with you shortly and headed for Dentavii prime. Darkblade may have jostled me up a bit, but he was not able to kill me.”

Turning around, she was face to face with Scarlet. “Where did everyone go?” Using the opportunity, Tasha went over to the confused Zeltron. “They have all left me to go after Darth Vexatus and it seems your team has just left you here as well. So Scarlet I feel I must ask you, do you really think that Locke had your best interest in mind. Just look around you, your team has abandoned you to a supposed enemy. What do you think that says about them? Can you still lie to yourself that they care what happens” Tasha’vel extended a hand. “So I shall give you a choice, come with me and join my team. I can promise I will not leave you behind, or if you prefer I can just bind you up and take you with me as a prisoner. What happens next is purely your decision.”

Without even a hint of hesitation Scarlet looked the Twi’lek in the eyes. “You saved my life Tasha by sacrificing yourself to the Anzat’s feeding. That is a debt I now owe to you. How can I turn away? I will join and fight alongside you.” Tasha smiled as she then switched her communicator on. “Tasha’Vel to team. I have a new member converted to our our cause. Scarlet has decided to join us. We will be taking a shuttle and meeting up with you on Dentavii prime. See you there, Tasha out.” Pressing a second button on the side of the communicator, she activated the remote transponder… Within a few moment’s a shuttle landed before them, and a grim pilot motioned for them to board from the small transport…

Smiling a bit, Tasha turned to Scarlet. “Let’s go, we have a ritual to crash.”


Ruined Structure,
Fragment of Dentavii
Orian System

From deep inside the structure both Jeric and Maelous could feel it. The force rippled, pulsating as the Star of Ombus shudder. They were getting close Jeric could feel the shard’s presence. Corporal Seinri lead the group, having studied the layout of these ruins with great detail, he rounded a few more corners before stopping in front of a stone slab. Jeric reached out, the shard was behind it but they were not the only ones that had found it.
“The vault is behind this slab, down a flight of stairs milord.” Corporal Seinri said over the coms speaking to Maelous most likely.

“The Shard is in there, but we have company closing in. Maelous help me get this open.”

The Aedile made his way over to Jeric who was now standing directly in front of the barrier that separated them from the vault.

“Sergeant, set up a defensive position. Once I am through with Master Cyrin give us a few minutes, then we will need a direct path to the shuttle, we have no time to waste.”

Sergeant Fel A’meer nodded and began giving orders to the members of Death’s Grip. Maelous stepped next to his former master and raised both hands. The stone slab began to crack and shifted as the two Sith focused their energy. Seconds later Maelous opened his eye and pushed his hands forward with great force. At the same time Jeric release the coil of force energy he had been collecting into the slab. With the sound of a mini explosion the slab shattered and its fragments thrown down the stairs that lay behind it.

Down the corridor and around a few turns Marcus’ men heard the faint sound of the slab exploding. They swiftly turned around and made their way towards the unknown disturbance. Maelous and Jeric both sensed it but were not worried as the two Sith hurried down the stairs to the vault. At the bottom of the stairs was a large room and in the center a pedestal. Atop the pedestal was the shard, lying dormant and untouched by the light of Ombus. As Maelous approach it he extended his arm, the shard began to flicker with a violet hue. Jeric knew the shard was to dangerous to handle and quickly snatched the shard out of the pedestal with the Force and placed it in a protective case. Maelous turned an looked at his former master, a fire was in his, eyes but seconds later snapped out of it.

“Lets go,” Jeric simple said.

As the pair moved back up the stairs the sound of blaster fire echo off the walls. Jeric and Maelous ready their lightsabers as they came to the top and entered the corridor. Members of Death’s Grip were engaging Marcus’ men to the left. Sergeant Fel A’meer was too the right with two other members of Death’s Grip.

“This way!” Sergeant Fel A’meer yelled out above the sound of blaster fire.

The two Sith quickly followed their escorts and minutes later emerged from the crumbling ruins.

“Your shuttle is just around the corner milord.” Sergeant Fel A’meer said to Jeric. He then turned to head back into the structure with the two other soldier ahead of him.

“Where are you going?” Maelous demanded.

“To get my men! Leave without us Sir, we will take their shuttle,” Sergeant Fel A’meer said. “They won’t need it anymore,” The Sergeant replied with a smirk.

Ritual Site
Dentavii Prime
Orian System

The Theta-Class T-2c shuttle Aurora roared over the ritual site. The Prophet did not break his concentration and his two protectors didn’t bother to look. They knew it was Jeric and Maelous and they also knew they were in possession of a shard. As the two Sith exited the shuttle Jeric handed the shard off to Shi Long.

“Good work, we need to set up a defensive perimeter. The ERT is already building up some position but both of you are needed.”

“I assume Locke knows where we are?” Jeric asked.

“Yes, now get to work.”


From a vantage point atop a crumbling structure, Shi Long overlooked the site. His critical eye took in the remaining soldiers and light artillery ringing the area surrounding Vexatus and Sildrin. The Elders’ combined chanting was tinny and artificial sounding over his comm unit earpiece, but he knew the potency of the spells did not depend on the clarity of their equipment. Jeric and Maelous were setting up their defensive positions, commanding their scant forces with alacrity.

The Long cast his gaze skyward and towards the not-so-distant horizon, counting shuttles’ running lights as they carried Locke’s and Marcus’ forces ever closer to them. His breath quickened and the corners of his mouth upturned behind the rebreather in anticipation of the carnage he knew - he hoped - would follow.

Many of those that had followed them to Dentavii would perish. Sadowan savagery demanded it be so, but if Vexatus could complete his ritual, none of the destruction that had been wrought earlier would matter. They all would be saved within the Ark of the Force.

The Prophet needed time. Precious time.

Shi would provide.

As he began to pace the remains of the structures roof, the Long looked again at the shuttles. Who would come for him, he silently wondered as he fingered his lightsaber hilt. Would it be Nekura, or Musashi himself? Would Locke attempt to command him to stand down, or would Ashia try coaxing him from the precipice, succeeding where the Dokugan had earlier failed?

Or, would it be his brother, Xue, playing his role in their cosmic game of Dejarik once more, and again?

Shi beamed as he was filled to brimming with the sudden influx of the Dark Side, Ombus’ death throes renewing them all. Visions of Kintan striders danced behind his eyes.

Considering all of the players involved, the irony was…delicious.


VAC Turmoil,
Above Dentavii Prime,
Orian System.

“Well causing chaos is why we’re here, and you do seem eager to cause chaos with the prison guards. So why not trespass onto the Consul’s Bridge and unleash yourself there?” Jade managed to pant out, Lexic could tell that her strength was weakening by each breath, as the blood loss was severe to her.

With no hesitation, Lexic limped along with Jade as they approached the elevator that would take them to the control stations of this ship, and towards their primary goal. There was no time to waste here, the duo were on a mission only spoken by Shi and not even themselves could discuss it in covert. Lexic checked the Battlelord’s internal wound spouting from her stomach, the cut was open massively and boiling fluids rained outside with a ruby tint.The Zelosian Doctor could tell she was in trouble if he couldn’t get her to safety and inside a place to relax, so his smashed his hand repeatedly on the call pad for the turboshaft. Lexic doesn’t lose patients and he wasn’t going to lose another now in the middle of the war, especially one given the honour of Daughter of Sadow. Jade was a great leader in his eyes, a devoted member of the clan who had the strength of the Lion of Tarthos, she feared no enemy and showed the Warrior whilst inside the torture chamber. Finally a light beep from the upper frame of the turbolift warned the duo the doors were opening, the Zelosian rushed inside with Jade firmly in his arms and he lay her down on the floor of the lift. The Battlelord wasn’t speaking much and her effort to cover her sensitive bits were apparent, but Lexic needed to clean the wound immediately.

“I’m sorry, but we need you to keep your shirt open. I promise it won’t take long and this will not be spoken of. You can have faith in me, let’s get this over with.” the Warrior tried to comfort her with buffering words, to which she could understand and it seemed to work.

She allowed the Zelosian to see the wound that stretched from her hip and jagged up to her central stomach area, close to where her diaphragm and stomach actually sat. The bleeding was already slowing as her skin became pale and frail, her breathing was becoming short as her eyes darted at the lights. With a sense of dedication, Lexic pressed his hands against the wound and concentrated his best as he closed his eyes. He channeled the vast mysteries of the Dark Side into his open palms, against the skin of his patient as a vibration came from his hands. The vibrations pulsed against her skin and slowly began to isolate and cut off her nerves in a swift and strong move, decapitating that section of her abdomen. With a heavy sigh, Lexic then began to push his hands deep inside the numbed wound and feel around for the cut, with the cool warmth of blood embracing his skin and arms. A small snake-like feeling scraped across his arm as he investigated.

“Seems an artery was cut, I need to attach it quickly before I can heal this up.” The Zelosian affirmed himself as he grabbed the artery with the Force, then guided it back to where it belonged. He used his other hand to mend and repair the skin on the artery which allowed for clean bloodflow once more.

Lexic slithered his bloodied arms out of her wound and began to use the rest of his time closing the wound, careful of causing any pain to the Daughter of Sadow. She seemed to be in a trance of sorts as the new blood began to flow smoothly through her body once more. Their time was cut short however as the turbolift doors opened at the bridge level of the ship, with several troopers looking at the duo in concern. Weaponless and feeling quite afraid of the group of well-trained warriors now facing them with rifles in hand, he took the intiative.

“Can someone help us! She’s dying and needs to get to safety!” Lexic screamed out, faking the tears in his eyes and shaking his body in order to feel weak and scared. To which the troopers began to rush over and carry the body of the woman out and down the hall. Then as if someone was stabbing his body repeatedly, Lexic fell to the floor and gripped his head, screaming in agony. His eyes blacked out as he continued to scream and curl into a fetal position, which confused the soldiers looking on and carrying Jade. The Zelosian was blinded and swarmed by the Force in his mind, he saw the flames of power coming from the core of Ombus in a vision. A massive surge of input stormed his mind and body and rattled his spirit immensely with the pure festering of the Dark Side. Thousands of souls and their life essence intruded his thoughts, pounding and slithering between each and every part of his subconscious, picking at memories of his training and of his time studying the Dark Side. They looted valuable practice memories and rearranged the words of his Master to make more sense to them, in a foreign language altogether. Lexic’s eyes now began to burst into ruby flames, flickering and sailing above his head as they emanate raw power of the Sith. The Warrior felt good, he felt god-like and capable of anything. With one look at the confused trooper his fragile neck was snapped into two, he looked again at the convoy of soldiers who began to run with Jade and they were catapulted away and slammed into the walls repeatedly.

“Isc ek’inaeer duxli farri’ngh! Onk duug spl’agnhi xyl’od gul Force!” Lexic chanted as if a thousand voices were doing so simultaneously.

Jades suddenly lifted from the floor and raised the right way to stand while Lexic slowly walked towards her, her eyes also emanating a crimson fiery glow. Her hands waves over the wounds on her body and the cut was sealed with little effort. She lowered herself to the floor and walked in tandem with the Sith Zelosian towards the bridge doors, the pair stone-faced and unlike themselves. They lifted their hands at the blast doors to the bridge and slowly closed them into a fist. The metal on the doors began to violently shake and crunch together, their frame of the door pushing and curling down into the centre, then finally snap from the frame and roll to the side. The emanated duo jogged inside the bridge as the surprised crew began to panic and fire at them. The Zelosian rushed ahead and lifted his hands, deflecting the blaster shots back at the members with ease. Jade approached the bridge command controls, with fingers of cerulean electricity flickering from her hands. An officer foolishly decided to approach her.

“Halt in the name of the Consul of Naga Sadow! This-” His confident speech was cut short as Jade screamed out and slammed her palm into his soft face, the sapphire energy enveloped his entire skull and shattered the bones into dust. The Battlelord slithered up to the command console and reached out to the other consoles, inputting coordinates into each one flawlessly. Her destination was unsure, a remote location in the far reaches of the shroud and beyond that area. Lexic helped with some of the consoles once the officers had died from their own blaster bolts, complying completely with the co-ordinates, as if they both knew the plan without saying. Below on the surface of Dentavii Prime, the sensors picked up the small life force signals from the shuttles below. Jade slowly smirked and activated the Tactical command console, then aimed the heavy ion cannons below and began a series of firings on the small shuttles. Her mind entranced by the extensive and rushed input of Force abilities, her emotions were heightened extremely and rendered them into motivations. Like a heavy showering of emerald death, the ship unleashed it’s weapons on the helpless shuttles below who danced around in distress at the large ship’s attack. With Lexic facing the Navigational console, he put an automatic sequence in which turned the ship closer to the ruined temples and hovered above the flock of shuttles.

“Sn’elk xum eliy numos bu’hk!” The Zelosian chanted as he smirked, while the ship fired another round of emerald death upon the shuttles.


Ritual Site
Dentavii Prime
Orian System

'It is madness for sheep to talk peace with a wolf.’

Disappointment. Failure. Anger…

The Quaestor stood silently, seething. The ritual had begun, already he could feel the power flowing through him. The flare of Ombus influencing his connection to the Force. He had failed in his mission, he had allowed Bentre to escape and had acted against his own morals in allowing Darkblade to feed on Tasha.

The Anzat stood several steps behind him, able to sense the emotions of the Entar. Unused to such things, it confused Darkblade, made him warier of the Anaxsi. Sebz and a recovered Armad stood beside the Sergeant.

Sanguinius stared up at Ombus, his mind calculating a plan of action. Tasha and Scarlet had escaped in the furore, Tasha, one whom had betrayed him and he had betrayed in turn and Scarlet…the Zeltron was a surprise to the Defender. The Entar had ordered a shuttle to collect the Ragnosians and the troopers injured by Macron’s rampage.

For too long, he had allowed Marcus, Xanos and Maelous their fun. All three were his responsibility. Xanos was one of his, despite his hermetic lifestyle. Maelous, his machiavellian Aedile and a general troublemaker and Marcus…one of his line and a severe disappointment to the Jedi. All three deserved punishment and the Vanguard was determined to deal it out.

The furious Anaxsi had ordered the pilot of the shuttle to drop the Ragnosians off near the ritual site, confident in the new found power that coursed through the four of them. He had sensed Maelous’ presence at the ritual site. The call was too hard to ignore.

Turning his head slightly to look at the trio of Ragnosians, Sanguinius said two words, his voice rumbling. “Punish them.”

Darkblade nodded, his piercing stare trying to search for something, anything that could confirm his fears about the Jedi. Finding nothing, he bounded off in the direction of the temple, followed by the Warrior and the sniper.

Sangunius held a red and silver hilt in his hand, the metal chill and unfamiliar. He had taken Scarlet’s lightsaber to replace his own and the lightsaber felt tainted and alien to him. The Vanguard put it out of mind, hiding his distaste within a locked box in his mind. The taunting presence of Maelous ate away at him, beckoning him into what would probably be a trap. Yet, the Defender could not care less. He had been kind for too long, offered too many chances to the Marauder.

He strode forward, Scarlet’s lightsaber in his hand, following the trail laid out before him through the Force. Troopers ran towards him, their guns raised, demanding his surrender. Sanguinius simply ignored them and hurled them backwards, drawing upon the raging torrent flowing through him.

“MAELOUS!” he roared, issuing a challenge that echoed across the ritual site.

Emotions billowed from the normally calm Jedi, his demeanour affected by the power of Ombus and the ritual. The challenge was heard, acknowledged with glee and returned.

Maelous stood before him, the Sith smiling at Sanguinius, bemused at the obvious rage being shown.

“You seem to be put out, Sang. Is it something I did?” the Warrior laughed.

“Silence, traitor.” the Quaestor demanded, his voice inflected with anger. He brandished Scarlet’s lightsaber and ignited it. The crimson blade that erupted from the hilt visibly shocked Maelous and made him take a step back. The momentary surprise was quickly covered as the Aedile smirked at Sang.

“Someone’s been a bad boy…”

Fury flowed through Sanguinius and exploded outwards, enveloping Maelous.

“I’LL KILL YOU!!!” screamed the Jedi, teetering dangerously on the edge of sucumbing to the Dark side.


Ritual Site
Dentavii Prime
Orian System

The purple glow of the shards cast an unnatural light on the location of the ritual. The shadows grew long and demonic faces appeared from within, their eyes empty and hollow from a hunger that had lasted for an eternity. The shards hovered in the air, above the heads of those who wished the ritual to be finished. The shadowland was a twisted version of the real world, mostly staying unseen by mortals. But now the veil between these worlds was slowly cast aside. And the shadows from within stepped forth to take what they had been denied for thousands of years.

All close enough to the Force felt the boon of their elevated powers, but none ever questioned the reasons. In this case the shadows and souls of the past felt drawn to those strong in the Force; willingly merging their essence with those who were foolish to summon them in order to once again feel the warmth of the sun on the skin, the cool breeze brushing along the cheeks… to feel alive again. Only a few ancient tomes ever described this ritual and even fewer described the dangers. Because what if the host was to be overwhelmed by the shadows?

Xia Long lowered her head, her lips moving restlessly as she chanted unholy words to keep up the ritual. Her Force senses were heightened and sharpened to a point she never had reached before. It was impossible for her to distinguish between her Force senses and her Force seeing. It all had blended into one.

And she saw the usually invisible fingers of spirits crawling over her skin with her own eyes. How much could she take until madness would take over?

For a moment she directed her senses to Xanos Sadow and all she saw was a whirling vortex of shadowy spirits with her Master in the center. But before any worry had reached the surface of her emotions, something different stirred within her. Slithering in the darkness of her soul.

You, she whispered in between the chants. It was your plan after all, wasn’t it?
We are content, was the sole reply.

No. Her hands reached up against her temples. She had to keep up the ritual, but if … she would lose the battle within. A decision had to be made and it pained her.

The last arcane formulae shaped within her mind, rolling from the tip of her tongue to finish her part of the ritual. She whispered: “If I could change the fate’s design…”.

Behind her blindfold glowing orbs of purple burned.

Consul Locke Sonjie strode determined towards the ritual location; consorted by loyal troops. Nothing would stop him from ending this ritual of blasphemy. That what was not allowed to be.

He clenched his fist, still feeling the wound on his knuckles from hitting the console after his men had given him reports about the ritual. It would have been easy to get it quickly healed. But he did not want to forget the oath he had sworn that moment. His eyes shortly fell on the bruises, and he reinforced his steps.

Shadows moved from the rocks and sabers were ignited. Of course they were prepared, he thought.

“It is not too late!”, he yelled as he strode closer. “Vexatus! Give up your foolish cause and I will promise you and your men fair judgement!”

Orange light flickered, as Shi Long stepped into Locke’s way. Mercurial eyes stared at the Consul. Dust moved, gathering in little swirls ending up in small tornadoes that danced across the surface of the ruins. An unnatural wind picked up.

Locke gave the Long a hard stare: “Even you, I offer fair judgment.”

The Primarch replied: “You cannot judge me, for I am Strife.” Purple forks of lightning began crackling above the surface of nearby stones and rocks. A smell of ozone spread in the thin atmosphere; filling their nostrils.

“Then so it shall be…”, the Consul’s reply a sign for the combat to start. Locke’s men, guided by Cethgus and others from his team swarmed out to take over the place. This was now the playground of Shi Long. And he would make good use of it.

A movement in the corner of the Long’s eyes made him jerk his head. “What…” And it appeared as if time had slowed as his eyes witnessed a scene so surreal he could not believe. Someone leaped past him with a snarling sound - two sabers appearing in a violet flash. And the purple fire arced downwards at the Consul.

The Consul was taken back by surprise and just managed to turn his body and bring up his bright yellow saber to defend himself from this vicious assault. Crimson violence was upon him and even Locke could not believe what his eyes saw. He stared at his opponent that encircled him.

Long sanguine hair trailed the motion and purple orbs were glowing from behind the blindfold.

Xia Long - or was it someone else? - grinned in feral delight as she raised a saber above her head. Shi Long’s attention had completely shifted from the Consul to his Matriarch. Entranced.

Her voice - filled with cold rage - snarled “We are the Hurricane. We shall devour your soul!”

Locke took a deep breath as his saber answered the raging crimson storm with a song of staccato notes that were his Sokan.

“Who… are you?” His saber captured the blow of the attacking purple sabers that flurried in front of his eyes and he redirected them aside to dissipate the energy of the Vapaad attack. For a moment the attack stalled and their faces were close enough to feel each other’s breaths on their cheeks. Purple fingers of lightning danced across her blazing red hair.

We are Thunder.”

A grin spread across Shi Long’s face. Strife and Calamity - side by side. Together the Longs would give Vexatus the time to finish the ritual.


Ritual Site
Dentavii Prime
Orian System

It felt like the moment before a thunderstorm. Raw energy danced in the air, potential floating in the space between breaths, each movement tingling the senses and twisting their minds. Peaceful and erratic, calming, and yet maddening.

Blades sang their dirge as they tested against each other, their baleful cry belting out with every evasive swipe, every tentative thrust. Locke belted backwards, using the very earth against the two, even as lightning nipped at his heels, reaching from the will of the Blind Dragon.

Locke panted, ducking beneath a well timed blow, his ability to just barely avoid the shimmering heat of the Korunnai blade being sorely tested under Xia’s coordination. It shaved a bit of cloth from him, tasting, but not deeply of his flesh. Reflexively, he rolled away, wide velocities guarding his retreat, buying himself more time. He wondered briefly if they would actually carry through with it. To murder a consul.

“Not very sporting.” The voice came from behind her, and both of them turned quickly, giving Locke a moment to lick his wounds. He grimaced at the sight. Cethgus in his armor stood immediately behind the Dragon, his blade poised at her heart. The fool. He had to stop the ritual, not intervene here. If he would survive this…

They could all feel it for a moment. The power pressurized all of their eardrums, and then cracked away, leaving the serpentine hum of energized adegans and the crack of crystals as one of the Shards was pulled towards somewhere else. Eyes tracked quickly as they traced the path towards the hand of the Lion. Fingers closed around the shard, and the throb of power pulsed again in their ears and hearts, the energy muted as it was placed with its brother in that accursed box. There were no words as the others moved from his position, His Herald, the One-eyed Dragon, and his Queen fanning out along the battlements, picking their way across the tops of the ruins, positioning themselves.

A second shard screamed toward him, a third, as Xia and Shi stared, feeling the rite struggle to find it’s feet, the resonance of the ancient Sith power retreating backwards, toward the Falleen. His brow creased in concentration, trying to hold the threads of the tapestry together, the net of the damned growing weaker with each passing moment. He needed to hold on, needed more time. He was closer than he had ever been to his goal. He had to muster the strength to combat the Grand Master.

And yet didn’t.

Muz closed the lid on the fourth shard, leaving only two hovering in the air around them. He stepped down the battlements, moving with sure feet as he made his way to where the Prophet stood, ritual robes twisting with energy as though gravity and physics did not quite apply to him at that moment.

Xia reached back within herself, shoving past the boundaries of her connection to Shi, digging for something she could use, through the memories, the images that screamed past unseen eyes, deep beneath the cracks within the both of them. It had been too long, she let him focus on the battle, his heart full of joy as he tested his blade against both Cethgus and Locke, the copper blade wavering in intensity as his strokes flew from one to the other. It was a wonder to behold, but she was after more.

Vexatus tethered the ritual to his heart, the incantations repeating themselves over and over in his head. With every shard taken, the time he needed to complete amplified. He snarled at the predicament, feeling along the fabric of reality to build, to destroy, to garden.

Muz stopped, a few paces away, his helmet dropping to his feet with a clatter.


Vexatus raised his head, letting a smile creep in from the corners of his mouth as he twisted to look at him. Long fingers and blackened claws held something in his hand, a relic of bygone ages, of sins long past. The howls reached his ears, the twisted umber spirits answering his call and becoming as flesh, a thousand drowned souls screaming out toward his brother, leaving a trail of ruin as it wrapped itself around him. There wasn’t time for her to scream, flesh rent from bone and sinew evaporating under spectral claws. It left behind a pile of torn fabric and burnt blood.

“Curious.” Vexatus smiled. “I’m the heretic, but he was no dragon.”

He couldn’t tell if the man’s eyes were wide or not. He just stepped forward slowly, blades held loosely in his hands. Vexatus turned his head slightly, letting the sickening cloud of rage seethe toward his Herald, a phantasmagorical whirlwind of carnage and gore.

“Let’s see if the Wolf is.”

The cloud surged forward at the man, warded off by sabers as a torch kept away the night. Vexatus smiled at Muz, eyes glinting in the power of the ritual, the bourgeoning force of dead Ekind flowing into him, even slowed as it was by his interference.

Xia slipped behind the vision, seeing something she had missed. She tested the waters of his mind, and let it show her what she wanted to know. There was nothing but ash and death, a brown world scorched grey and left barren. And he at its center. There would be nothing left if he kept on his path. If Vexatus convinced him of their death, it would be the end of them all, of the clan. Her breath caught in her throat, her mind screaming as she tried to seek out Vexatus’ mind, deep beneath layers of camouflage and lies.

Muz stepped forward again, the thud of his boot echoing in the chamber as the swarm started to gain purchase in their flesh, thin lines of blood appearing across exposed skin and torn robes. They didn’t scream, they didn’t cry, they just sweated as they battered away the onslaught, blades seething through their immaterial fangs and claws.

Shikyo fell, his body sloughing down the battlements, the stones leaving a trail of blood and detritus as he collapsed. The ichor flung itself toward Ashia next, a cloud of rage. Vexatus blinked, seeing the horde of Ekind trapped in his net, lining up against their will to be bound to his. To his desire, to his fear. Stones lifted from the ground, wobbling against each other as they rose. He had too much to lose, the clan had too much to lose against what was coming.

Metal fingers crushed his throat, bringing the Falleen down to eye to eye with his own predator glare as the illusion fell away, His brothers and queen still standing, keeping silent vigil over them, not interfering, but available.

“Wareware wa doragon no musukodesu.” The words came through clenched teeth, before he discarded him, tossing him aside as the ekind screamed in his ears. It was too close now.

Shikyo snarled from the battlement, blaster in hand as he watched the stones hover, the purple of the grave soaking everything below them, saturating the very earth with their old energies. He watched as Muz tossed the prophet aside, watched as the purple soaked through his tall form, righting him in the mist of dead souls.

Muz stepped again, a saber lit in his hand as he stalked the Prophet. “All of your sight, and you still couldn’t see what happens next.”

Vexatus curled a lip as he looked at what the Grand Master was talking about. Marcus cleared the entryway, the shards in his hands burning into his palms as the souls screamed toward him, detonating within his spirit, a forcewave of violent energy screaming out from his heart.

It swept over them like a monsoon, the rocks shattering and splintering, shards flung at them like grenades, withering flesh and denting armor. The spirits howled as they lifted Marcus from his feet, smashing him into the sides of the ruins, his willpower holding only a fraction of the power as it tore through his spirit. Muz stepped toward Vexatus once again, looking down at him as he watched the Knight bloody the walls. Vexatus suddenly became aware of him, looking up at him. At his blade.

“I told you it wasn’t what you thought.”

The screams started to come, the power literally burning through Marcus as he managed to slow his body down. Light poured from him, from his eyes, from his fingernails, from his mouth.

Join us.

The spirits pulled from him, tearing bits of his spirit as they raced away from his grasp, screaming wordlessly at them all. Ekind faces and broken thoughts drank deep, seething between them all as the sky began to cry tears of stone.

Join us.

They beckoned them all closer, speaking with a thousand gibbering mouths and Marcus’ voice, sounding strangled and underwater. The world shuddered as the dead screamed into being, pulling down bits of the ruined planet onto their head.

Join us.

Vexatus turned to watch as the meteors grew in size, smashing apart bits of the ruins as the Herald bolted away. Ashen walked away from him, the beam of his blade a beacon even in the swirling power that seemed to swarm them all. And yet, she was there. He looked to his side, seeing the Blind Dragon, at his side as she always was. Everpresent, helping him up to his feet. She looked at him and nodded. This, whatever it was, was not as bad as what could have been.

It is time.

He couldn’t tell if she said the words or if he thought them. She pulled him up, helping him find his feet even as he found himself without words. A simple nod would have to do.

They passed Locke and Cethgus in the entrance, juking past bits of falling architecture as they made their way into the temple. Locke ignored them, bolting through, narrowly avoiding a meteor the size of a speeder that crashed directly in front of him. He bolted sideways, carbon scoring at his shoulder and wrist from his dealings with Shi. He rounded the corner, eyes falling upon the Lord as he stood, arms outstretched as he pushed the spirits back, away from Marcus, the light pouring from him fading, showing the blackened skin and bleached hair left from the travesties of a million curses as he fell to his knees, cold sweat evaporating from him.

Locke moved to him quickly, helping him back up, looking at his face, his mouth working without sound.

“Serves him right.” Cethgus growled.

Locke ignored the words, spinning to look at the Lion, standing and straining under the barrier he held between the living and the vengeful dead. “Will he be okay?”

Muz tilted his head slightly, his dark hair plastering itself to his head and face with sweat. Locke nodded, slipping the rollmaster’s arm over his shoulder and all but dragging him out before more of the world collapsed around them. In a moment, they were gone, running between bits of falling rock and meteor toward a transport that hovered a few hundred meters away.


Muz let the Force flow backwards, having received the signal from his queen. All seemed clear of the area. It slipped back into his waiting hands as he stepped back through the entrance, watching as the spirits tore through the remnants of the barrier, greed and lust and hate sharpening their teeth as they watched him leave.

Join us.

“Not today.”

Muz turned and walked away, letting the Meteors scream down through their rotting spirits, tearing away the vestiges of the old chantry. They poured through them, following him, but it was already too late. The throb of Autoch engines filled the air as the Lion returned to his den, stepping aboard the Fallen Spear as it rose away from the wreckage, meteors testing the deflector shields sorely. He felt the other transports leave, rocking from the damage. Today was an expensive lesson. He watched the site, as the sky grew darker the further into the sky they rose, black eyes fixed on the swarm of souls.

“Not today.”