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[GJW XI] Tarentum: Team Hard Cider Run On



  1. Teams must have a minimum of 4 participants, and a maximum of 6. For a team to qualify for placement, all posts must meet requirements in these rules and all members of the team must meet post number requirements. However, for participation alone, any individual meeting minimum post requirements will count towards his or her unit.
  2. Any member posting twice in a row will disqualify his team from placing - but not participation credit (e.g. if an entire team is dead, Johnny McDarthman can post twice in a row to get his own participation at the end of the event)
  3. Members must make 3 posts throughout the duration of the Run-On.
  4. Posts must meet the following requirements:
    • Minimum post length: 250 +/- 10 words words
    • Maximum post length: 2000 +/- 10 words.
  5. Points from placement are awarded to the unit of the placing team, irrespective of number of members on each team. E.g. if CNS Team A takes first place, and first place is worth 50 pts (example only), CNS gets 50 points, regardless of number of members on the team.
  6. Edits may occur on a post until a follow on post has been made (follow on posts include “reserving” a space). Edits may only be made by the posts original author (as in, if you have Forum Administration Rights, you cannot edit another member’s work).
  7. Members may reserve post, but no posts can occur until after the reserved post is written.
  8. Judging will follow the Fiction Rubric.

Team Members

  • Scion (9335)
  • Egregoius (12800)
  • Aynar d’Tana (8075)
  • Samael Ozriel (8343)
  • Caesar (10484)

Fiction Prompt

Civil War has befallen the Brotherhood. The Clans have split into three factions: the Loyalists, who have rallied behind Grand Master Ashen; the Rebels, following the banner of Jac Cotelin; and the New Order, led by the mysterious Sith Lord Esoteric. Each faction has stormed the surface of Korriban, establishing impressive fortifications and moving towards the Valley of the Dark Lords. Loyalists, Rebels, and the New Order clash across Korriban’s surface, all three attempting to gain control of the Valley of Dark Lords and the secrets it holds.

The Valley of Dark Lords has erupted in carnage, forces from every unit in the Brotherhood streaming into the ruins and temples, establishing makeshift defensive positions behind virtually every wall. Blood is spilled over every inch, each of the three sides gambling the lives of thousands of Jedi in an attempt to put an end to this conflict once and for all. The Loyalists, following Ashen’s command, seek to break through to the Tomb of Marka Ragnos, where the Disciples of Ragnos once sealed a chamber with writings on the Rite of Immortality. To open it, Ashen has sent three of his most skilled advisors in ancient dark rites and alchemy, but the way is not yet safe or clear for them, as the One Sith were originally entrenched in the Valley and still maintain a strong control over most of the area. Esoteric’s forces have a base of operations at the Tomb of Ajunta Pall, a fortified location that allows them a great deal of mobility throughout the Valley, which they use to harass any operations by the other two sides. The Adept Dantella Novae reluctantly commands Esoteric’s forces in the region, though she seems more interested in stealing the secrets of Marka Ragnos than in defending the Valley itself. Cotelin is seeking to contain and control whatever the Tomb of Marka Ragnos holds, through any means necessary… and before Ashen’s forces can reach it.

You and your team have found yourselves just outside one of the few entrances to the Valley of the Dark Lords. You know that inside the Valley, death and destruction have overtaken the ruins, but you also know that ultimately, victory for one side of the other is likely to come within the walls of the ancient tombs. Your runon should detail the battle within the Valley, and must illustrate (either through success or failure) at least one of the sides in the conflict - this will play a major role in your Story grade.


ISD II Magnus Kaerner
In Orbit Around Korriban

The space around Korriban was crowded. When the Magnus Kaerner lurched out of hyperspace the collision alarms began blaring immediately. The view from the bridge was cluttered with ships. Turbolaser fire ripped across the flagship’s bow within moments and the CIC had burst into a maelstrom of activity as the crews prepared to identify targets and return fire.

Within moments the crews had identified the nearest ships, finding the Arconan and Taldryan fleets hopelessly intertwined with one another. They were picking up comm chatter that indicated the Arconan fleet had mistakenly jumped into the system too close to the enemy fleet and mass chaos had ensued. Tarentum had coordinated with the Arconans in an effort to scramble their fleet more quickly, and thus ended up compounding the problem.

As the three fleets disentangled themselves from one another, the Magnus Kaerner’s long range reconnaisance teams were hard at work scanning the system for the presence of other fleets and potential points of opportunity on the planet itself.

Scion Altera, Maxamillian von Oberst-Tarentae, Frosty Tarentae, and several other of Tarentum’s top admirals and generals were sequestered away in a conference room aboard the flagship, reviewing strategies and troop movements for the upcoming action on Korriban. The discussion was progressing earnestly, interrupted only occasionally when the ship shook from an incoming torpedo or a sharp evasive maneuver.

“Hey, who is that? What are you doing here?” One of the generals asked, before grasping his throat with both hands and collapsing to the floor.

Scion turned to find himself face to face with a blond haired, blue eyed, older man in exquisite black and gold trimmed robes. At least, it was an image of the man. Scion could barely make out the wall behind him and his outline shimmered slightly. He had never met the man before, but he recognized him instantly based on description alone. The Prince dropped to his knees without hesitation, and bowed his head in respect. Everyone else in the room did the same.

“What is thy bidding, my King?” Scion uttered the traditional question, his voice trembling slightly. His mind conjured up images of the multi-tiered throne room at Castle Tarentum. Even as Prince he had never set foot on the highest tier, much less sat in the largest throne. The Prince of Yridia was afforded a smaller, much less ornate chair on the next tier down. He had never witnessed it, but when the King was present the Prince’s chair would be removed and he would have to stand in its place on the second tier.

Grand Master Khyron’s voice was harder than durasteel. He spoke clearly, and each word drove itself into his mind as if to be etched permanently across his soul.

“Ashen must not be allowed to perform the Rite of Immortality. Tarentum will see to it that he does not succeed.”

“Our allies in Arcona-” Scion’s breath stopped mid-sentence.

“…are none of my concern. You will do as I command.”

“It’s a real mess down there,” the scanner technician said. “All the armies are converging on the Valley of Dark Lords. Probably the only saving grace is that there are so many ships in the sky. None of them can hold position long enough to set up orbital bombardment before somebody else starts taking pot shots at them.”

Hades furrowed his brow, looming over the tech’s shoulder to look at the scanner output himself. “I see Arcona, Taldryan, Plagueis… Find the best LZ candidates and send them to the Marshal. We have to get our forces down there before anyone else shows up. The objective is the Tomb of Marka Ragnos. Right here,” he pointed at the map. “Get us as close to that as you can.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Tarentum’s largest ships, the ISD II Magnus Kaerner and the RSD Orion, descended on Korriban. The pilots did their best to wade through formations of primarily Arconan vessels, avoiding the largest pockets of the Taldryan fleet as the three fleets intermingled. Entering the atmosphere as briefly as possible, the two ships deposited Tarentum’s armies via MAAT and many various shuttles some distance outside of the Valley of Dark Lords at one of the locations the scanner teams had identified as being the least immediately dangerous.

Farrin stepped off his shuttle into the blistering sunlight of Korriban. All around him troops, equipment, vehicles and sand swirled. Some distance away, he could make out the spires and edifices of the Valley of Dark Lords, which he knew had become little more than a massive diabolical meat grinder for Dark Jedi. As places often do when they hold treasures like what was supposed to be in the tomb of Marka Ragnos.

“Sir, our scouts captured this man nearby. He doesn’t seem to be affiliated with any of the other Houses or Clans. He demanded to speak to someone. Apparently he has some kind of an offer to make. Do you want us to just shoot him?”

“No, I’ll talk to him,” Farrin said, grinning. “Then I’ll shoot him myself.”

The man was a tall human with a messy shock of dyed blonde hair. He wore a white shirt with a thin black tie, and one of the troopers guarding him carried his long brown leather coat draped over his shoulder. He looked to be around 50 years old, his face deeply creased and his features sullen. His arms were bound behind his back and he squirmed under the trooper’s firm grasp. When he saw Farrin his eyes lit up and he smiled broadly.

“Hottern’ a fracked fox in a forest fire out here, ain’t it brother?”

“I’m not your brother, but yes it’s hot. In more ways than one. What are you doing out here? Trying to get killed? Cause I hear it’s a great day for that.”

The two men sized each other up over the next few minutes, exchanging poison-barbed pleasantries and exclamations about the heat. Farrin’s amusement at the situation was beginning to wane when the man’s expression changed suddenly and he became serious.

“Look. I’ll give it to you straight, son. My name is Connor. I’m a treasure hunter. Been rifling through the Valley for years, turning up trinkets of all shapes and sizes. I know the nooks and crannies of this place better’n anyone in the whole galaxy. Only thing I don’t know is why y’all are here, but let me take a stab at that and see if I hit somethin’.”

“You know this valley better than anyone?” Farrin interrupted.

“That’s what I said,” Connor replied. “I was fixin’ to say I think y’all are lookin’ for somethin’. And that you’ll find it faster if I help.”

“What’s your price, treasure hunter?”

“Lemme out of these cuffs so we can negotiate. It’s no fair if one of us is tied up.”

Farrin nodded to the troopers. One of them released Connor’s cuffs. He rubbed his wrist gingerly and shot a sideways glance back at the trooper that somehow made Farrin wonder if freeing him had been a good idea.

“And gimme my coat back,” he snapped, grabbing it out of the other trooper’s arms and hastily putting it on. He fished a cigarette and a lighter from one of the pockets and lit it up. After taking the first drag, the big grin returned. “My apologies, friend. I get cranky like a Hutt when I have to go without.”

Without what, exactly?, Farrin wondered. Don’t think he’s talking about cigarettes.

“Okay, Connor.” Farrin crossed his arms and stare intently at the treasure hunter, who was still flanked by several heavily armed troopers. “Tell me what you know about the Valley. Why should I believe you can help us?”


ISD II Magnus Kaerner
In Orbit Around Korriban

Klaxons blared through the passageways of the ship as Egregious found his way to the flight deck. There was a sergeant there with the duty roster. He could see the mess of a battle in space beyond the retention shields on the aft deck.

Egregious approached him, dressed in his battle dress. His saber hilt was clasped to his utility belt, and his blaster was holstered on the opposite hip.

“Dark Knight Egregious reporting for duty, Sir!” The knight stood at attention and the man ran through the list.

“They want you down side, Sir. Grab a MAAT and hitch a ride.” The sergeant tapped some commands into his datapad and briskly walked away.

Egregious strode across the flight deck and joined a group of troopers. “Who is in charge here?“ he asked.

A trooper came trotting up and spoke with a salute, “Johanson, Sir!”

Egregious shrugged. They all looked the same. “Fine. I need a ride dirt side. We leave now.” He then hopped aboard and waved the troopers on. “MOVE IT!” He pushed with the Force and the squad loaded into their positions within the craft.

Egregious pushed his way up to the cockpit and reviewed the landing area. “Is that the LZ?” he asked the captain.

“Y.Y.Yes sir…” the captain stammered. It happened a lot being Falleen.

“Good get me as close as you can to Farrin’s craft. I have to link up with him.” Egregious stood with his hands clasped behind his back standing between the pilots.

“Uhhh, Sir. You might want to strap in. It’s going to be bumpy on the way down,” the co-pilot stated.Looking up at Egregious over his shoulder.

“No need. Just get this bucket to the dirt, Captain. I’ll take care of the rest.”

The MAAT lifted off the deck and tuned with the others. It was then cleared to proceed through the force field and a few minutes later was descending into the upper atmosphere. The knight closed his eyes and settled into a brief battle meditation. He connected with the troopers in the craft and the pilots. It was like being everywhere but no where.

There were two craft ahead of them. His mind raced. The first exploded and the wrecked hulk careened into the other making it explode. Several T-65 X wings blurred past as the pilot slowed the craft.

The pilot pushed the craft into a dive to miss both clouds of debris. The men in the blister gun fired forward in unison.

He broke his connection with the meditation and looked to the scanners to his left. He pushed a data card into the slot and dumped the sensor data into its files. He made sure to get vectors of the assault craft and let the droid brain of the ship make calculations of the X-Wings’ vector of origin.

He pointed out the view window and motioned to the Captain “There! Put her down there then get on with your mission.” He snapped the card out of the data slot and put it in his pouch.

“Yes sir!”The craft veered off quickly, keeping its vector above the forward operating base. He didn’t wait for the craft to land, he just jumped out as it came low enough.

Egregious arrested his fall with a precisely timed Force-assisted roll then took a quick jog over to the group assembling around Tarentum’s Rollmaster. “Farrin, Sir! I just made it down, Reporting!” He now noticed the man in the trenchcoat. He gave a sideways glance at him as he handed the data card over to Farrin.

“What’s this, Knight?” Farrin turned it over in his hand.

“The MAAT convoy was attacked on the way down.I had the computer run coordinates on their approach vector.” Egregious took a breath. “They had the insignia of Odan-Urr and were coming out of the south. I am sure they have seen our landing zone.”

Connor scoffed. “Jedi? On this planet? Come off it, son.” He just took long puffs from the foul smelling thing in his mouth. Egregious turned his head and kept up with his report.

Farrin said nothing, but loaded the card into his reader and examined the information it spit out to the display. He turned to Connor and pointed to him. “You say you’re the expert. What is south of here then?”

The man blinked and reached into his jacket. Something heavy shifted in his pocket. He Jammed his hand inside to grab it. He quickly pulled his flask out, and in one motion uncapped it and too a nice long pull on the drink.

Egregious then looked to the man and spoke in a calm manner, “You do not need to use your weapons, we are not a threat to you.” His voice was calm, but had an icy edge to it. His mind was concentrating on the fact that the man seemed reasonable. “You will assist us. You will be our comrades. You need us.”

The man rubbed his forehead. “You guys aren’t a threat. I want to help you.” He returned the flask to his pocket, and his hand came out of his pocket empty. “Besides I kinda need you guys…” His eyes were glazed over a bit, but he had a slight grin on his face.

Egregious pressed on, “Tell us what is in the south then.”

The man then stammered, “Just a low mountain with a plateau. Some caves.” His voice wavered, Egregious got the impression that he was trying to hide something. He made a mental note to keep an eye on the new arrival.

“Seems like a good place to stash some X-Wings, I would think,“ Farrin added. “Take your new friend and link up with the others.” He pulled out a map and marked it where the team was assembling.” Take a team and investigate the caves to the south. See if you can find where Odan-Urr has landed.”

Egregious turned to Connor and said, “You heard him. Let’s go.”


En Route to Surface

The ship rocked back and forth, explosions and clouds of debris causing the transport to duck and dive around them. Samael Ozriel looked around and saw the soldiers that were accompanying him, predators of men, ready for the bloodbath that would ensue the second they hit the ground.

The Sith felt a vibration in his pants pocket, fishing it out and activating it. A blue image of his Quaestor shone in his eyes, the short human grasping the attention of the Umbaran the second he burst to life from the communicator.

“Samael, when you touch down on Korriban rendezvous with Farrin Xies. He will have already been on the ground and began coordinating with forces in the Valley of the Dark Lords.” said Scion, his image flickering briefly.

“Understood, Scion. It’s my understanding the sands are red with blood, is that true?” said the Umbaran with a gleeful smile.

“Stay focused.” said Scion before he vanished from sight, the blue light of his hologram disappearing with him and returning the inside of the ship to darkness.

“It’s true!” cackled Samael.

Surface of Korriban
Valley of the Dark Lords

Samael watched as the team led by Egregious departed, the Umbaran’s eyes never wavering from them. The Sith smiled as he watched the Dark Jedi Knight, his comrade never losing sight of the new addition named Connor. Behind him, he could feel the presence of Farrin Xies and other troopers planning their next move.

“I’m going to follow them.” said Samael, looking at Farrin for his approval.

Truth be told, Samael would have followed Egregious even if that went against what the Tarentum Rollmaster wanted. The Umbaran had a need for blood, a yearning for death, and the itch to feel someones life slowly ebb away as he tasted their last seconds was growing to be too much for him.

Following Egregious gave him an opportunity to try his skills against Jedi, see if they died differently.

“Good, keep in radio contact. Egregious must return alive, Samael. Remember that.” said Farrin.

The Umbaran bowed with a smile, but the warning or veiled threat was an unnecessary one. If no better target arrived, normally the Sith would have just butchered the Knight. Tarentum or not, Samael could not deny his dark urges for long. But this was war, and Egregious was a valued member of his House. Everyone was needed, and no amount of bloodlust made him forget that.

The Sith made his way towards the group, one of the troopers turning around and seeing the Horned Battlemaster approaching. The soldier gave no salute, no pleasantries, and that was how the Jen Kaari Battle Team Leader liked it. When Egregious saw Samael, he offered a salute and stood at attention. The Umbaran smiled, bowing to his subordinate and gesturing forward.

“I have come to make sure everything goes smoothly,” said Samael with a smile “After you, friend.”

The group pushed forward, slowly and methodically. Every nook and cranny, every possible hiding spot was checked and investigated for any hidden threat. Samael may have wanted death, but it was not his own that he craved. He wanted to feel the last moments of someone’s life slip away slowly as he felt their beating heart in his hand, and because of that yearning he ensured that things went smoothly. Egregious still held a purpose, and though the Umbaran had no qualms with the Knight and knew he was useful and even skillful, he drawn the short straw in the mind of a killer.

“Y’all got tense real quick.” said Connor referring to the change in attitude when Samael arrived, taking another swig from his flask and placing a new cigarette in his mouth.

One of the troopers went to hit the man in the back of the knee, but Connor saw it coming and dodged the blow. Movement had been detected further up on the path, and forcing the treasure hunter to his knees was easier than vocalizing the command. Samael frowned at the trooper, noting that if the trooper survived the battle, he wouldn’t survive the ride home for being so rude to a guest of Tarentum.

“Connor, please get down.” said Samael, “If he does that again, go ahead and kill him. Egregious, go ahead with two of the troopers. Stay hidden and only engage hostiles if absolutely necessary. If the coast is clear, hold the talk button on your comm link for a second and we’ll advance behind you.” said the Umbaran, his commands being taken without hesitation.

As the trio left to carry out their leaders orders, Samael could feel Connor sizing him up. The eyes on the Umbaran made him uneasy, not used to being prey. He slowly turned towards the Treasure Hunter who had his hands deep in his pockets, and that was when Samael realized that no one had frisked him.

Samael’s commlink began to buzz. The coast was clear and so the group pressed forward, all the while the Umbaran couldn’t help but try and give himself some distance from Grey. When they united with Egregious, perhaps then something would be done about their companion. For now, Samael deemed it best to continue watching him.



En-Route to Surface


Caesar sat in the transport looking at his team. Cane is the cool but shy person. Johnson is calm and reflective. Peterson was always cool under pressure. Last but not least was Haven, the pilot calm and very cool at his controls. Caesar looked at the team once more and gave a smile and thumbs up.

Haven gave every-one a heads up.The transport began its lift off. The engines began to roar into action, as they did so the transport began to shake and rumble everyone held on to the handrail above them.

As the transport began its journey upwards and forwards every-one could see the ground below rushing past them. Haven looked and his panels and stated “We be about 34 clicks, and then we be at the surface”.

As the transport carried on there was a bump and a roll to the left then right, Haven shouted “Hold on Boys, we are going down!”

The transports rolled once more left and right, rumbled loudly and began its fast descend to the right, going down faster.

Haven shouted once more “Buckle up now!”

The team all did as Haven told them, as they trusted his judgment.If things were going to happen it would. The transport began to go through the Planet’s atmosphere with a rumble and loud noises coming from the engines they began their journey to the surface, sparks flying everywhere around them inside the transport.

Haven began to scream “Hold on”

Surface Korriban

Valley of the Dark Lords

Reaching the Planet’s surface with a huge bump on the ground, and large skid marks on the ground the transport halted with a bang, the team leader looking around him unsure at first saw that he was ok and looked at the other team members Cane ok, Johnson ok, Peterson ok.

Then a thought of Haven. Caesar unbuckled his seatbelt ran to the cockpit of the transport. As he did so, Caesar noticed a pain in his right shoulder, but it was alright he was worried about Haven.

Caesar continued his joinery towards Haven in the cockpit was a mass of wires, and the glass was broken.

“No” Caesar shouted. He saw that Havens head was hanging to the left side, Caesar put his hand on Havens neck no pulse.


On the surface
Plateau of the low mountains to the south of the Valley of the Dark Lords

Aynar had landed with 30 Tarentum soldiers. The cobbled together group included 10 scouts, 10 infantry soldiers, 4 medics, 4 engineers and a communications specialist. They had all been aboard the Magnus Kaerner when MAAT Gunships began launching toward the surface. Aynar originally received orders to head down to the planet with Samael and the rest of Jen Kaari. But after looking at the tactical map the former mercenary realized the entire House was putting themselves on low ground.

The newish member of Tarentum went right to the Aedile Hades and made his case for a team to move into and occupy the high ground near where the house would be landing. Seeing the wisdom in that advice, moments later several squads from different areas of the Tarentum Army were quickly chosen to be part of that team. Not long after that the Coynite entered the attack gunship where those squads were already assembled, in order to be brought down to the planet below.

The team that Aynar was calling Tarentum Overwatch descended from orbit in a MAAT and landed on the low peak, just south of the Valley of the Dark Lords and disembarked. The MAAT flew off without much fanfare. The scouts which doubled as five separate sniper spotter teams, quickly dug hasty fighting positions and began standing watch; the infantry soldiers with the engineers assistance began building deeper defensive positions to be able to hold the ground if the team was directly assaulted.

There on the peak, the scouts would be able to support the house with long weapons like X-45 Sniper rifles and the infantry would be able to support the house with heavy weapons like MiniMag PTL rocket launchers. Tarentum Overwatch would also be able to observe friendly and enemy movements on ground and in the air and communicate those movements to the House, so they couldn’t be flanked or surprised.

‘Theoretically’ Aynar thought wryly to himself. ‘Theoretically that is how it would work’.

“Specialist! Get this POS up and running,” Aynar barked at the communications specialist as he lightly kicked the damn machine. The young soldier scurried at the Obelisk Exarchs command. The explosion earlier had knocked out the ad hoc teams comlink and the group was now on high alert. Tarentum Overwatched communicated their position to higher before losing the coms but Aynar wanted to reestablish communication with the rest of House Tarentum in order to more effectively protect them from the high ground.

“Sir” the senior scout said to Aynar as he walked over, in order to get the ape like figures attention. “A group of Tarenti is headed this way on foot from the other side of the Valley.”

“Tell your scout sniper teams to keep an eye on them and support their movement with fire as needed, while we work to restore communications,” Aynar said is a somber but commanding tone.


Surface of Korriban
Southern basin, Valley of the Dark Lords

Egregious put the binoculars to his eyes and scanned the far rock wall as he watched two X-Wings land. The touched down just in front of a large cave. He and the rest of the team were crouched by some smoldering rock formations. The area had recently been pounded by orbital bombardments.

“Seems that’s where the X-Wings were coming from.” The knight commented, mostly to himself but aloud none the less. Samael was to his right. The watched the movements for a bit. Keeping behind their cover, the troopers were preparing for battle. Egregious then heard a loud whine from a straining repulsor engine.

He looked to the west as a MAAT was falling from the sky in a controlled strained decent. The craft collided with the harsh sand of Korriban and skidded to a halt just a few meters from their position.

“They are Tarenti, I can feel them inside.” Samael stated.

Egregious was the first to make a move. He jumped over the cover and used the MAAT to cover him as he ran to the downed vessel. He then ignited his blade, and cut a harsh shape in the door and let it fall away.

Samael and Connor followed by the troopers followed and reinforced the position as Egregious peered inside. The vessel was a wreck. Ceasar could be seen, as with the rest of vessels crew. All but one were okay.

Ceasar exited the craft and winced when Samael put his hand on his shoulder.

“Your hurt. “ Samael commented.

“It’s nothing. We lost our pilot. Kriffing Jedi shot us down.”Caesar was furious, his hand clenching his lightsaber as he spoke.

Egregious just pointed “They are over there, seek vengeance with us. “

The Obelisk Templar then leaped over the smoking wreck and charged over the battlefield. His saber lit and held to his side as he ran. Some figures on the hill in front of the base started to fire.

Then a strange thing happened. There were two loud cracks and both weapons ceased firing. The sound came from above and behind them.

There was a crackle from the comms “Covering your arse as usual. I do not know how long this thing will work. It’s been cu…” Came the Voice of Aynar over his ear piece. The sound cut in and out. Then was gone once again.

Egregious then followed suit. He charged and ran to the base of the Udan-Ur’s landing area. Caesar just kept running up the small slope. He jumped and slashed at the engines of the one parked X-Wing as he flipped through the air.

Samael and Connor joined Egregious. The first X-wing Exploded. Caesar was already to the next one plunging his blade deep into the fuel cells. He leaped free as it overloaded and similarly exploded.

The troopers then assembled a firing line and opened up. The Udan flowed out of the cave. Some were taking sniper fire, as it caught them off guard. The rest found cover and were taking shots at the Tarteni.

Connor was first to state the obvious “ Where are the Jedi, I only see troopers.”

Cesar then threw a few devices into the cave. The hot white explosion then ceased most of the incoming fire for a few minutes.

Samael then lit his blade and cursed. “ He is not leaving anything for the rest of us. Attack!” He then charged with his blade held high, with the troopers close behind following.

Connor turned to leave the Tarenti. That was when the sand at his feat scorched. The sniper’s shot reminded him that he was in the fight, like it or not. He pulled out his blade and ran with the rest. Keeping back and keeping low.


Surface of Korriban
Southern Basin,Valley of the Dark Lords

Caesar shouted at his team to try and push the group forward and try to pick off the troopers, if need be one by one. The Obelisk looked at Egregious, gave a nod and said "We better get looked after.” At Connor’s back, Johnson and Cane will provide cover for him as he pushed on. “we will see how this goes.” He said to himself.

Egregious gave a nod, Cesar looked at his team and using rocks as cover ran over to his team avoiding the troopers fire, laser fire was flying over Caesar’s head looking like a whirlwind of blue and green.

Seeing that he was reaching his team, Caesar slowed his pace and kept his head down. He reached his team by the skin of his teeth as the laser fire was intent on hitting him in the head.

Lowering his head further down and crawling on the hot sand he reached the team. Looking at Johnson and Cane he told them both “Guys you two need to go and help Connor he can’t do this by himself, and guys that’s get these karking Troopers for Haven okay”.

Both men looked at the leader and gave a nod and said in unison “Aye.Aye Sir!”.

Then Caesar crawled a few hundred clicks further to Peterson. Ceasar then gave a nod and looked at Peterson gave a nod and said “Johnson and Cane are looking after Connor you and me are going back with Egregious and Samuel we need to work together and get out of this situation!”.

Peterson and Ceasar carefully crawled back to where Egregious was avoiding the laser fire from the troopers, Ceasar looked at Egregious and said “How’s it going Sir, the boys are helping Connor I think we should push on and get out of this place”.

Egregious gave a nod as Caesar reached inside his bag and pulled out so more devices and nodded to Peterson and Egregious they both nodded back. Then Cesar gave a loud “Grrrrrrr”.

He then threw the devices further into the cave. More white flashes flew around the cave stopping the fire once more the group of Dark Jedi began their journey forward into the fight.

The team began their journey towards the end of the cave towards the fresh open air and onwards their goal.


“Samael’s team has entered the Valley, Sir.”

“Thank you, Jeth,” Scion looked up from the data pad he was studying over Maxamilian von Oberst-Tarentae’s shoulder. “Is Aynar’s Overwatch squad in position yet?”

Jeth hesitated a moment as he looked up the information. “Yessir, they just got set up. He reports several Odan-Urr heavy weapon emplacements within range, and one destroyed so far, Sir.”

“Great news. That should stop anyone following our teams into the Valley, and keep Odan-Urr busy for awhile. Hopefully that gives Arcona enough of an edge to hold off everybody else.”

“Tell Samael’s team to head straight for the tomb,” said Oberst. “No distractions. Every other team’s primary objective is to protect them. Tell them to use Arcona’s forces as a buffer as much as possible.”

Scion nodded in agreement. “We need them to get in there first and retrieve the relic. I must be the one to present it to the Lion of Tarthos. Personally.”

Oberst’s eyes narrowed as he unfolded his large, muscular body from chair where he had been seated. He turned a dangerous gaze on the Prince of Yridia.

“With respect, Prince. I believe we have other orders.”

“You heard my order, Marshal. That’s the only one you need.”

Oberst drew closer to Scion, looming above the shorter man by more than a head. The buttons on his shirt nearly touched the older man’s nose, but the Prince did not flinch. He could feel the whorls and eddies of the Dark Side gathering around them as Oberst’s ire grew.

“Khyron himself appeared to you. To all of us.” Oberst’s voice was the calm before the storm of the century. The only reason Scion still stood unharmed was his title as Prince, and he knew it. “You told him we would prevent Ashen’s ritual. Do you think yourself above the Grand Master? Above the Sith King?”

“Only above you, Marshal,” Scion said, his voice low. His neck was craned back almost as far as it would go as he looked up at the bald-headed Tarentae.

Oberst growled and brushed Scion out of his way with a massive hand. The Quaestor did not resist, but simply squared his shoulder and hit the wall with a thud. He kept his feet and scowled after the Tarentae.

Voivode,” Scion’s voice was level, and firm. “The Marshal is not to leave this room.”

Without a word, Frosty Romanae Tarentae moved in front of the door. A trio of his guard moved in unison with him, all four with hands on their lightsabers. Oberst spun on his heel.

“Do not test me, Scion,” he spat. “My allegiance lies with the Sith King.”

“And it is his will that I represent him and his wishes,” Scion interrupted. “Tarentum cannot survive if we break the Estle-Eden Axis. She cannot survive if we do not retrieve the artifact from Marka Ragnos’ tomb before the others. Blind obedience will not protect us today.” Scion pointed at Oberst’s overturned chair. “Sit down, Oberst. Win this war for Tarentum. For the Sith King.”


Cave, Korriban

The smoke cleared the cavern as the last of the explosions ignited. “That should be the last of them,” Cesar commented. The group was now considerably smaller since the run and gun fighting that had occurred through the cave.

He motioned with his hand and the smaller group then stormed the small antechamber.
The rock here was not like the cave. It looked smooth and polished. There was the distinct outline of a doorway, or more like an arch built around a rock.

Connor came forward. Lighting a cigarette and puffing on it, he ran his hands over the carved arch. “Seems like this is the way into the tomb. No way to tell what is on the other side though.”

Egregious sighed, “well none of the explosives moved it a bit.”

Samael then commented, “It is different isn’t it. I can feel the Dark Side within it. Calling an opening.”

The four then surrounded the arch and closed their eyes. Caesar, Connor, Egregious and Samael then together focused on the dark with great trial and error; the rock began to move.

There was now cool air rushing past them as the chamber pressure equalized. Egregious motioned for Connor to go first. Following suit, the small group then started their way inside behind the treasure hunter.

Connor whistled as he looked around the new chamber. “It seems untouched for centuries!” His tone and manner clearly changed.

“Well, eyes and ears up boys. There could be surprises here,” Caesar commented as he walked around behind Connor.

Samuel and Egregious hung back covering the rear. “Does it go anywhere or is it another dead end?” Egregious asked.

Connor just kept studying the walls and carvings as he walked further into the new hallway. The chamber led deeper into the rock. There were more archways, but all seemed to be sealed. Here and there there were skeletons along the walls. Devotees. Loyal to the death. They seemed to have died waiting, or protecting what was inside.

The hall filled with a unified snap-hiss of blades. The red glow filled the room. The ancient beings stood up slowly and took positions of defense. They pointed to each member of the group and called them out in a form of challenge.

“Well this is very unusual.” Egregious stated.



“Unusual, but oh so exciting!” said Samael with childlike glee.

He grabbed for his blade, hands scouring all over his body as his excitement made him forget where he last put it. He heard the slow shambling walk of his enemy, the sweet sound sending slight startling chills down his spine and causing him to shiver. He shook his head to focus, his hand resting upon the hilt of his saber and unclasping it from his belt. It activated with the usual sound, welcomed by the usual greeting from Samael.

“Peek a boo, old friend.” he said as he looked into the eye on his hilt, “Care to end some lives today?”

The Umbaran rushed towards his enemy, the reanimated skeletal corpse of an old devoted soul. Nothing of its former self remained, no flesh or skin to denote gender or race, no organs, nothing that Samael enjoyed playing with from his victims. He frowned slightly, but the memories of previous kills slowly sauntered silently in his mind. Like a warm breeze, they covered his thoughts as he mechanically blocked the slashes and strikes of his enemy. A parry here, a riposte there, nothing too challenging.

Around him, the Sith Battlemaster could hear his allies engaged in combat. Caesar and Egregious, members of Jen Kaari, seemed to be fighting well. Egregious was vacant of emotion, any stress the Falleen was experiencing clearly tucked away so he could take care of business at hand. The Umbaran could hear lightsabers striking against each other, the humming and thrumming seeming to create music. Rhythm had been established, and the Battle Team Leader refused to not keep up with it.

He hummed to himself, his voice rising with each strike and falling with every parry. For an old bag of bones, the devotee could pack as equally powerful a swing as any training droid or freshly graduated Equite. Perhaps Samael had drawn the short straw when choosing his prey, perhaps he picked the runt of the litter. The thought left as quickly as it came when his opponent rapidly began striking, an attempt to throw the Umbaran off balance whilst deep in thought. It was working, the Umbaran having to back up and give himself some room to get back into the musical rhythm of battle.

He scurried over to Egregious, using the Force to hasten his movements. He stood behind Egregious and nudged him slightly. The Falleen didn’t react, just continued to focus on the enemy in front of him. The idea, however, didn’t need to be expressed in words. Samael would watch the Falleen’s back and he would watch the Umbaran’s. Caesar continued to fight his own enemy, until an opening presented itself and he delivered a quick kick to his ancient enemy. It stumbled, tripping over a small group of rocks and landing face first on the floor. The skull of the reanimated corpse shattered, causing the bones to seemingly convulse and stop moving.

Caesar scurried over to the others and placed his back towards them, creating a nice tight knit defense.

“Their heads.” said Caesar, nodding his head towards the fallen foe, “That should stop them.”

Samael groaned loudly, exhaling and snorting as he stomped a foot forward with the delivery of a broad strike.

“How cliche! Always the head! Why can’t it be the coccyx just once?!” the Umbaran said, “When I make my reanimated devotees, their coccyx is gonna be their sweet spot.”

They focused their efforts on removing the heads, but it was harder than they thought it would be. The longer the corpses were alive, the more skilled they became it seemed. Samael could almost feel a hint of sentience sparking to life deep within one of them, but it became snuffed out with every one of his attacks. Samael continued to hum and whistle with every strike, the music in his head blabbering outward as the fight continued.

“Every opening seems to snap shut right away!” said Caesar angrily.
Before the last words even left his mouth, the sound of a blaster pistol burped into the air. The stench of ozone filled the room as the sound of its discharge repeated itself again and again. One blaster bolt left a massive crater in one of the corpses skulls, bringing the beast crumbling to the ground. None of the trio looked at where the shots originated from, but they all knew. Connor had helped them out, but his aid came with a horrible realization. He could have taken any one of them out just as easily.
In unison, the corpses turned to where the blaster fire came from and started to shamble towards the man. Angered by them forgetting him, Samael severed one skull from the shoulders and grabbed it before it could fall. He smashed it into another corpse, sending it forward and having it crash into Caesar’s blade. The skull seemed to make a hiss as the plasma cut through it. The others continued to shamble towards Connor, who fired off another shot. It was deflected, but it didn’t stop him from continuing his barrage.

The trio quickly ran up behind them and severed the spinal cords of the remaining corpses as the treasure hunter distracted them. Samael stomped on their remains when all was said and done, muttering something about never being forgotten. When he looked up, the others were giving him an odd look. He shrugged and began to look around.

“Where to next?” said Caesar.

“If this chamber is anything like the other chambers on this planet, there’s a hidden door.” said Connor, taking out a cigarette and lighting it. With that being said, the team began to scour for some kind of mechanism.


On the surface
Plateau of the low mountains to the south of the Valley of the Dark Lords

The group consisting of most of Tarentum slipped past Aynar and his teams perch at the top of the hill.

Perfect’ Aynar thought to himself. ‘They are heading to the objective and now we only have to keep anyone from following them’ the Equite worked out in his head.

Communications had not been reestablished but Tarentum knew where they were and the team had been able to help their Housemates from being flanked or overwhelmed. The group was in pretty good spirits but Aynar began to feel weird.

First he felt like he was surrounded by power and then he noticed the soldiers he was commanding looking at him strangely.

A mutiny is afoot’ a strange voice that was not his own, whispered in what must be the Coynites head.’

But why would they mutiny?’ Aynar thought, arguing with the voice in his head.

Esoteric’s ways are mysterious and we must be on guard against them,’ the voice replied in hushed tones in the back of his mind. The voice sounded feminine but carried with it great strength.

Aynar looked cautiously about and found the soldiers all taking peeks at him. Not long looks or stares, just furtive glances. It was as if they were all in on a joke, that Aynar wasn’t.

Maybe they mean me to be the punch line,’ Aynar thought to himself.

ba-dum tsh,’Aynar thought as the first soldier spun around and pointed his blaster at the Obelisk Equite. Not waiting for the soldier to fire Etah quickly gathered the force around him and then snapped it like a rubber band, which had the effect of flinging him into the air. Stepping on to a tree branch and balancing himself at about a hundred feet above the group, he looked down toward them and tried to collect his thoughts.

What the freck! What in the hell are they doing?’ his mind lashed out. ‘Get a hold of yourself man. Get a grip!’ he admonished himself.

There’s no way they are turning on me, I am just having some sort of psychotic break and if I calm down it will pass’ Aynar thought loudly, trying to make sense of the situation. But when a blaster shot rang out and grazed the bottom of his boot, his face fell flat and resolve welled up in his chest.

Gathering the force around him he manipulated himself forcefully to the ground, and then sent the force violently outward knocking all the soldiers which were surrounding him and moving toward them, off their feet.

The soft sizzle of an activated lightsaber cut through the tension which was building around the group. Aynar managed to quip “You guys are going to wish you held out for more credits” as he disemboweled the first soldier. The lightsaber sank right through the soldiers’ military grade body armor and past the lining of the stomach. The Obelisk watched as the man died, not from the actual strike, but from his bodies internal bleeding.

As the Obelisk Exarch watched the light fade from the man’s eyes, a medic who Aynar had previously thought of in a friendly way, he noticed they looked hollow. Not hollow like he was turning cold and dying but hollow like he was a million miles away. The lights were on and the factory was running but nobody was home.

“Oh shiiiiiiiii!” Aynar started to exclaim as all remaining twenty eight soldiers opened fire. Without even realizing it he leapt forward, in fact, straight up. He soared above the trees and that is when she first allowed him to notice her. Standing a terrain feature down the hill on the side away from the caves was a single woman, an amber-skinned Ikotchi bearing a vicious-looking long handed lightsaber.

Landing on the ground, harder than he had intended, most of the men were dead or dying as they had been forced to shoot each other. He observed their expressions which ranged from blank and emotionless to surprised and abjectly terrified. They did not matter anymore, the Obelisk noted. Soon he would have to deal with the woman. Her presence was terrifying, suffocating. He wanted to run but he didn’t understand why because he had never run from anything in his life.

“Lay down your weapon Obelisk,” the scariest voice has had ever heard rang out loud and in the most private depths of the back of his mind.

“Come with me and do the bidding of Grand Master Mooze or you die here” the woman said starkly as she reached out with the force and snapped the necks of the soldiers not yet dead.

Aynar wanted to resist but he felt crushed, he felt defeated. It was as if he was merely a puppet and disobedience wasn’t an option. As soon as Aynar realized this he had instant understanding. She was there for Muz, she was to retrieve the relic so that possession of the relic didn’t kick off a civil war. He understood that her directive was to kill as few loyal Dark Jedi as possible, so he would be used to introduce her to his House.

“Darth Necren” Aynar said the name he had never heard before out loud as he began to guide her down the hill and toward his compatriots.


Cave Korriban

The Dark Jedi were looking for an opening around the cave. The Jedi were trying to get to the main part of the tomb. Ceasar grabbed his saber to act as a light to help him search. His eyes searched for anything that looked out of place carefully.

The Obelisk looked and felt with his fingers. He could feel some odd cracks. This could be a clue to an opening of some sort or another.

Ceasar said “Found anything yet?If so say so now.”

There was no answer. Still continuing the search the group was, looking for the opening.

Using the Force, Ceasar searched his surroundings. Feeling his senses and closing his eyes for minutes. At the same time trying to get to an opening somewhere. The Obelisk, still with his eyes closed, gave a frown deep in thought.

Egregious looked at Ceasar and shouted “Wake up!”

Caesar looked at Egregious still frowning but not saying a word. He pointed to the right hand side of the cave.

Caesar gestured to the others to follow him. Connor looked at Ceasar as if to say “He is going crazy.”

Connor thought that it was just the Force flowing through the Obelisk.

Because Caesar could control the dark and evil spirits, with him.

Seeing that the group was following Caesar he bent down and looked at the floor, he placed his right hand over an area of about 2 klicks.

Caesar began to sink more deeply into thought placing his fingertips, the Obelisk felt the surroundings Caesar said in a soft voice, “Here it is, the thing we need to get to our goal”.

Once this was said Caesar slumped to the floor and placed both hands out to stop his fall.

Falling happened once Caesar was with the Force he was in its graps.

Caesar sensed that he was falling, even with his eyes closed in deep thought, it was a gift he was given, so the Obelisk would have you believe.

Still with his hand on the ground Caesar searched the earth,grabbing handfuls and throwing it on the ground where it once lay before, “Here” Caesar said in a quite humbled voice the Dark Jedi opened his eyes and looked once more at the group.

“See?I have found what we are looking for.” Caesar felt with his hands and lifted a thin wire. As he did so the wire become more exposed, and led to the cave wall.

Seeing where the wire led deep inside the wall. Caesar reached inside a hole in the wall and pulled hard down, on a lever.

And a rumbling could be heard in the cave. Things began to shake, the group’s feet were unsure of themselves as they began to rock to and fro.



Aynar walked in front of the powerful Dark Prophet, leading her to his compatriots. No words were spoken, but there was a rapid exchange of images between the two Dark Jedi’s minds. He briefly wondered if he was betraying his House and if this powerful woman would just slay everyone, but the Dark Prophet literally pushed those thoughts out of his head. The process was invasive and left him feeling like a venerable child, instead of the powerful warrior he has been his entire life.

The two made their way down the hill without effort and much quicker than an observer would have guessed. They turned toward the caves and then followed the path of the Tarenti that had already made their way into the caves. The pair slowly crept up on the cave where they heard a great clatter, and the expression on Necren’s face changed and Aynar began jogging toward the cave, as if someone pressed the fast forward button.

Of course Aynar knew who was making him move faster. The Obelisk looked over at the Dark Prophet and imagined her as a puppet master controlling the entire Brotherhood as if they were so many marionettes, for the enjoyment of a very amused Grand Master. That thought popped in his head and disappeared as if it were a balloon. The Coynite looked up and realized they had reached the cave where the rest of his house was gathered.

Egregious looked toward the Obelisk Exarch as the Equite began speaking; “This is Darth Necren, personal servant of the Grand Master. She means to leave the cave with this relic and we cannot stop her.”



Samael stared at Darth Necren, the slimey presence of the dark side radiating off of her. Her eyes were lifeless, years of commanding the Force and witnessing atrocities deadening them. The Umbaran liked her, tasting the power she commanded with every breath she took. He nodded at Aynar, knowing he spoke the truth about not stopping her. He wasn’t sure, however, if those were his true feelings or the manipulations of the acolyte of Muz Ashen.

“Hand over the relic.” she said plainly.

A shiver ran down Samael’s spine as the words smacked his ears. Power lived in every word she spoke, and the Umbaran felt giddy with the pain she could give him. He could not help himself, couldn’t resist the pleasure disappointing her might bring.

“We don’t have the relic.” said Samael, “Not yet.”

Necren looked at him, silence coming from her. The Jen Kaari Battle Team Leader smiled as he felt her slithering around his mind, probing for information and honesty. Pain sizzled briefly as she dug deeper, breaking any mental shields the Umbaran had placed in his mind. She saw everything, his past, his misdeeds, his abominable actions, even the truth in his words about not having the relic. When she left the Sith’s mind, Samael reflexively grabbed his forehead and rubbed it, the pain giving him a thrill.

“Before you arrived, a switch had activated a massive shifting of the walls. It felt like the place was going to cave in, but I am almost positive what you seek is in the next room.” said Caesar, unable to stop himself from speaking.

Egregious stared at her, keeping his feelings in check as the servant of Muz progressed further into the caves, his allies doing their best to negotiate the encounter with such a powerful tool of the Grand Master with their lives in tact. The look in Aynar’s face told them it would take a concerted effort to truly stand any kind of chance against her.

“Smart move, leading her to the trinket without resisting. No sense getting killed after coming this far.” whispered Connor to the Umbaran.

“I’m not so sure it’s going to be that easy.” muttered Egregious as they progressed further down the cave, the change in the air palpable.


“My Lords, Samael’s team is reporting they have entered the tomb and are near the relic.”

Scion and Oberst stopped glaring at one another momentarily at the welcome news.

“Excellent,” said Scion. “Prepare a shuttle. Inform them that they are to secure the area and stand by. I will retrieve the artifact personally.”

The Prince of Yridia stood from his seat and walked toward the door. Before exiting he looked back at Oberst with a smirk.

“Well?” he asked. “Are you coming or not?”

The far wall of the cavern in which House Tarentum had gathered was smooth finished rock. At some time there had been an ornate archway with massive double doors, but it had since been sealed up by skilled artisans and the surface was smooth. The outline of the door frame and its ornate decoration was plainly visible, and the stillness of the cavern had preserved the carvings well.

Several men from the 2nd Combat Engineers were already hard at work studying the edges of the archway, scanning for any weak points or defects within the rock that they could exploit with explosives. Darth Necren waited for a few moments, tapping her foot and making a show of examining her fingernails until her short patience had been exhausted.

“Time’s up!”

Without any further warning, she strode toward the blank face of the door. One of the engineers looked over his shoulder and gestured to his companions. Sensibly, they dropped their equipment and scampered away from the Dark Prophet’s path just as a massive shockwave emanated from her. It crashed into the wall, sending a spiderweb of cracks surging through the masonry. The wall held, but it was clear to Caesar that it would not stand much longer.

The Templar pushed his way through the ranks of Tarentum soldiers that were still filing into the chamber, locating the commander of 2nd Legion.

“We have to stop her,” Caesar said as he reached the Army commander. “The Quaestor was very clear in his orders that we were to deliver the relic directly to him. I want you to open fire on her with everything you’ve got.”

“That’s outstanding, son. Who are you again?” The commander’s tone was not at all pleasant. “Why exactly am I supposed to take orders from you?”

Caesar scowled, “because I’ll kill you where you stand if you don’t.” The Army commander looked down to where Caesar’s lightsaber hilt was pressed into his stomach. A mere flip of the switch would disembowel him instantly.

“You make a very convincing argument, Sir. It just so happens that I agree with the course of action you have suggested. Let’s see how much blaster fire a Darth can really take.”

Darth Necren had plunged her lightsaber deep into the wall and was deftly slicing large sections of rock out of it, so she didn’t see as the commander issued a quick set of hand gestures to his captains. Within seconds every blaster in the chamber was trained on the woman. Something in the Force must have alerted her, because before the first shot had been fired she had already leapt into the nearest clump of soldiers and cleaved several of them to pieces.

Chaos broke out. The order to fire had been given, but many of the soldiers hesitated to fire on their own comrades. Any soldier within range of Necren’s lightsaber was doomed as it seared through flesh and armor like a wire through cheese. She flew through the ranks with unnatural speed and terrifying grace, eviscerating each soldier systematically as the rest watched in utter shock. Caesar’s heart sank in his chest. There was no stopping her.

Scion stepped through the narrow entrance into a large chamber filled with many of Tarentum’s army. The inimitable cacophany of battle reverberated through the chamber, and the old soldier’s gaze was immediately drawn to the whirlwind of Darth Necren’s lightsaber spiraling unobstructed through the bodies of the woefully unprepared. The Prince turned to the cadre of figures that had followed behind him.

“Stop her,” he said.

Maxamillian von Oberst-Tarentae, Frosty Romanae Tarentae, Sith Bloodfyre-Tarentae, and Darth Aeternus all waded into the room, pushing through the awed soldiers to get to the devastating whirlwind on the other side. Frosty was the first to reach her. The Voivode shouldered his way through the last rank of troops and blocked a flurry of attacks with his tangerine blade. The brief respite was enough for the crowd of soldiers to draw themselves away from the onslaught, but as they turned they came face to face with Oberst. He was barking orders and grabbing commanders by their collars in an attempt to get his troops organized and effective.

Frosty was on the defensive now, parrying and dodging furiously as Darth Necren pressed with unmatchable agility. She seemed to probe his defenses from every angle simultaneously, and it was all Frosty could do to hold his position. He allowed himself a sigh of relief when Sith and Aeternus finally joined him; the three Tarentae forming a triangle around the Prophet.

By this time several platoons had formed up around Oberst, who was still shouting orders. Ranks of troops were beginning to form up around the trio, but Oberst had ordered them to hold their fire. Necren focused her attacks on Frosty, sensing him as the weakest of the three, but each time she turned her back on Aeternus or Sith they would strike and force her back to defense.

Scion had made his way towards the group of engineers and had ordered them to blow the door open. They were scanning the sections that Darth Necren had damaged, and soon began placing their charges.

Sensing that she had lost control over the situation, Necren deftly removed a thermal detonator from within her robes and armed it. She dropped it on the floor and jumped straight up, pushing off the angled ceiling and ricocheting like blaster fire into a heavy weapons fireteam that was setting up their gun near where Oberst was standing.

The team were all killed in a moment, but the Tarentae were not far behind. Oberst moved into Necren’s path, his crimson blade flashing in an efficient series of slashes and stopping her advance. An arc of electricity erupted from her hand and enveloped the Marshal. He winced for a moment, then sent the broken metal shards of the heavy gun flying toward the woman from all angles. Her body twisted incomprehensibly to avoid each shard, but Korras and Sith had closed in and surrounded her again.

A deep boom erupted as Scion’s demolitions team activated their charges. Many of the soldiers in the chamber fell to their knees as the rock shook, but as the dust cleared Scion could see that they had broken through to the next room. Scion was the first to duck through into the pitch black. He cracked a few chemical lights he had borrowed from the engineers and tossed them in to illuminate the room.

At the center of the room was a large stone sarcophagus covered entirely in ancient Sith runes. Scion moved toward it, tracing the writings gently with a finger.

“Open it. Gently,” he commanded the engineers that had followed him inside. “We don’t want to damage its contents.”

The engineer nodded in agreement, and he and his team went to work. Outside, Scion could make out the sounds of heavy weapons and blaster fire. Necren had again escaped from the trio of Tarentae, but Oberst had gotten his soldiers organized. They were concentrating their fire on her whenever she was in the open, and it seemed to almost make her prefer the 3 to 1 odds.

A small whumf was all the noise the explosives made as they broke the seal on the tomb. With some effort and some crowbars, the team was able to lift the lid off in one solid piece and set it gently on the floor. Inside, an ancient corpse had decayed into dust and a few small fragments of bone. Marka Ragnos’ grinning skull was the most recognizable remaining piece of his body. Inside where the chest cavity would have been was a small metal box covered in writing.

“A holocron,” said Scion. The image of himself opening the holocron and learning its secrets flashed through his mind. He saw himself kneeling before Lord Ashen himself under a blood red sky. Tarentum’s soldiers and his fallen brethren surrounded him. The crashed husk of the Magnus Kaerner burned in the distance.

“Destroy it,” he ordered. “Cave in the entire room. Nobody should have this.”


The engineer’s scrambled without question to set charges, all they had, around the room. Scion then grabbed the detonator from one standing next to him and shoved him down as he stepped back into the battle strewn chamber. Without hesitation he pressed the button.

The white heat filled the room and the cavern was filled with smoke. Everyone stopped and turned to look. Necren was holding her blade high. Oberst was in mid swing. Frosty looked like he was about to crush her. The rest were just looking at the fallen arch as Scion stepped into view from the smoke and dust.

“Betrayer, you foul beast what have you done. You have defied the Iron Throne!” She hurled her blade towards him with fierce anger in her face. The blade then stopped as the Masters raised their hands to stop it. It deactivated and clattered to the floor and bounced to his boot.

Scion calmly scooped it up and spoke “Surrender, and live. Continue this and die. Nothing matters anymore it is done. The holocron is destroyed. You have failed your Master.”

Korras stepped forward. “Scion what have you done!” His lit blade in his hand. Oberst put his hand on his shoulder, and he turned his head.

“He did what he had to Brother, for the best of all of us. Can you not see. This would have been the end of it all.” Oberst then started to rally his troops with orders. Telling them to secure the area but not to leave the room.

Necren was not convinced. She tried to recall ber blade to her hand. The action was swift, but true. The remaining Tarenti attacked as a unit. As one being and sliced her down before she could move a foot. Her limbs and head fell to the stone floor.

Their blades deactivated. There was a somber silence. Korras then stepped towards her limbless body and kicked her with his foot. He cleared his throat and spoke “This is not good for any of us. Secrecy is the only way to survive this.” He coughed as dust was drying his throat as he talked “Oberst how loyal are these men?”

Oberst shrugged and lit his blade and began to slice down the troops that he did not know. The others followed suit, Samuel being the most eager, and had to be stopped from going too far.

It was Frosty that spoke next. “What about Arcona? What about the Throne? It is not like we can just lie to the greatest Grand Master of the history of the brotherhood? Is it?”

The standing Tarteni just looked at each other. Then they decided after much debate to say nothing. That if they survived this war, maybe they would survive this perceived failure of Grand Master Muz.