Temple of Sorrow
Sepros, Orian System
The dimly lit room looked much the same as any other belonging to the Journeymen within the Clan of Naga Sadow. What set it apart was the touch of personality attributed via the belongings of the Hunter occupying it. A personal collection of books filled a bookshelf in the corner, while the corner desk was covered by scattered datapads with direct access to the Shadow Academy material. The Hunter herself sat at the desk, her yellow-green eyes looking tired beneath half-closed eyelids as she leaned forward. Her forehead rested against her hand as her dark brown and red hair hung like a curtain around her face.
Her self-imposed mission to maintain the light within her husband, Janos, had grown more taxing of late — especially with his recent Knighthood. With that rank came access to new materials and resources that she lacked, and he was on his way to places she could not yet follow. Even still, she was loyal to the Clan and the myriad of friendships she had formed in her time there. It was only a matter of time before she would be beside her husband once more. The long, painted nails of her right hand danced along the datapad in the center of her desk. A small smile tugged at the corner of her lips as yet another acknowledgement of her knowledge flickered along the screen in the form of another completed course. Beyond her abilities as a healer, her greatest pride came from her performance within the Academy. Already she was moving on to yet another course when a familiar light began blinking on her terminal.
It had been weeks since she last spoke to her master, and finally he was making contact once more. Lilith pulled the commlink from her terminal with a swift movement and moved to the center of her room to link it to the main holo-projector. She took up a meditative position and allowed herself a deep breath before the flickering, ghostly blue image formed before her. Her master stood tall within the room, and she knew his height wasn’t a case of embellishment by the projector. His hood was raised, casting a shadow over the majority of his face while the dark fabric wrapped around him. Only his bearded chin and a short ponytail could be seen outside the shadows. “Good evening, Master,” Lilith intoned respectfully.
“An assessment best left for later, Lilith,” he replied with the faint lilting accent she had come to expect training under him. He had been adverse to the title of his role at first, as evidenced by his own aversion to calling her ‘apprentice’ but she still fell upon the formality from time to time when addressing him. “The Rollmaster is on his way to retrieve you. You will accompany him without question.”
The Hunter raised an eyebrow though it remained hidden beneath the strands of her hair. Always playing in the shadows, that was her experience thus far under his training, and yet she had always felt the light in his presence. Their relationship had been standoffish at first, but that sense had helped her in falling into a sense of eventual comfort with him. “Of course, when should I expect him?”
A sudden knock rapped against her doorway. “Now.”
The projector faded from existence as the commlink connection was severed, leaving only the dim light once more. Lilith rose quickly and took several long strides towards the entrance. She keyed the access panel beside the opening and set her gaze firmly upon the scarred face of Mystic Marcus Kiriyu as it opened. He gave a quick glance over her before a nearly imperceptible sigh escaped his lips. “I expect you’re ready to go?” he asked.
Lilith shifted her weight upon the pads of her feet, her curvy frame leaning to the side as she affixed him with a questioning gaze. “I don’t even know what I’m supposed to be ready for…”
Marcus’ mouth formed a tight line. “Yeah, you’re ready. Come on.” He gestured with his head and lead the Hunter through a winding series of corridors. It didn’t take long for her to lose her bearings, which was somewhat worrying considering how much time she had spent within the Temple of Sorrow. However, the constant changing of direction by Marcus robbed her of that comforting sense of direction even though he seemed to know exactly where he was heading. Eventually they came to a set of older doors that caused Marcus to abruptly stop and turn towards Lilith. “After you,” he stated with a tone that didn’t leave room for discussion.
The Hunter nodded, a wave of apprehension passing over her before she closed her eyes and centered herself. She reached out and pressed her palm against the cold material of the door, pushing her way inside. Lights flickered on as she made her entry, revealing the cloaked form within. The Rollmaster slipped in behind her, easing the door closed in his wake. The solid thud that signalled the doors closure caused the cloaked individual to turn and lower his hood in the same motion. “Master Atra,” Lilith acknowledged with a bow of her head as the man’s pale features came into view.
Marcus slipped his arms across his chest as he watched, not particularly pleased at the theatrics he was party to, however understanding the necessity as Atra was still considered killed in action by the Clan at large and that seemed to be the way the man wanted it. Lilith had followed along herself for the most part, never stopping to judge the situation beyond face value. It was a credit to her character.
“You have been quite busy in your studies, my apprentice,” Atra stated. His tone was cold and even as she maintained eye contact with his grey-gold eyes. A sense of understanding replaced Lilith’s apprehension as she processed his use of formalities. “Kneel.”
The Hunter’s mid-calf boots shifted on the stone surface beneath her as she moved to kneel, her gray leggings protecting her knees from the rough material. She respectfully lowered her head and waited for what was to come, not without some excitement. Lilith couldn’t help but flinch in response to the snap-hiss of a lightsaber igniting. She couldn’t help but glance up somewhat, seeing the white tip with pale blue sparks working along it.
“Lilith Stormwind, as your master I have taught and guided you along your chosen path. My part in that path has reached its final end.” The Seer chose his words carefully and unrushed, maintaining an even rhythm as he raised his saber. “In acknowledgement of your accomplishments, it falls upon me to confer upon you the title of Knighthood within the ranks of the Brotherhood.”
While she couldn’t feel the heat she knew the weapon was capable of, the constant hum of the blade fell beside Lilith’s left ear, then drifted to her right. “As your master, I declare you a Knight, with all the rights and privileges bestowed upon that rank.”
“As Rollmaster for the Clan of Naga Sadow, I recognize Hunter Lilith Stormwind’s promotion to Knight within our ranks,” Marcus finally spoke from behind her.
Still kneeling as she was, Lilith felt the excitement surging through her and could even sense her master’s nod in acknowledgement to the Rollmaster. “Now rise, Lilith,” Atra stated at last, “rise a Knight.”
The woman rose with confidence, grinning wide as she looked between the men. “Thank you,” she stated with confidence, assured in the knowledge that she had earned her title. She needed no further confirmation or words from either of the men. She was a Knight, in full, and had gotten there under her own power.