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

[Run-On] Half Past Midnight


Hangar Bay,
South-Eastern Tower
Castle Tarentum
Yridia II

Intrusive, deafening, and quite annoying - a loud, drawn out buzz rang through the room. Fading in and out, prompting warning for anyone in the docking chamber to clear out to safety, the warning alarm continued for another fifteen seconds before the hatches were locked; sealing the chamber and fate of those foolish enough to be trapped inside. Immediately upon the locks’ activation, water began spilling into the chamber; pouring with such ferocity that the chamber, large enough to house a full sized shuttle, was quickly filled within a minute. Only Castle Tarentum could have such efficiency - a testament to past times and the marvels they had inspired.

A single maintenance viewport caught the action inside, while usually occupied by the crew chief or a traffic controller instead, for today, they had been replaced by Tarentum’s Rollmaster. The bearded, pale skinned man waited patiently for the water to climb the viewport and within the last few feet witnessed the viewport’s cover climb to lock in place as well so the chamber could pressurize. No matter how many times Farrin Xies witnessed the procedure, he couldn’t help feel slightly in awe of the fact that only a few feet of durasteel separated him from the depths of the ocean world of Yridia II.

Built on the ocean floor of Yridia II, Castle Tarentum was a product of architectural genius designed when Tarentum was in infancy as a House - a time before it had risen to Clanhood and then fallen back to House status. With three towers, one of which just barely broke the ocean’s surface, and a central keep; any Tarenti could take in the variety of aquatic life around the Castle while strolling through the shielded walkways and also marvel at the inky blackness of the sea around them known as the Death’s Abyss. It was a fitting structure for the Clan of Life and Death, and it offered such unique wonders as the hangar Farrin waited patiently in for the arrival of one of the Castle’s converted crafts.

“Traffic control says they should be docking any moment.” A voice behind the Rollmaster creaked. When Farrin glanced over his shoulder at the newcomer, his eyes fell upon the grotesque being that was Samael Ozriel.

“They are already in the interlock.” Farrin confirmed while looking back to the display screen above the viewport, he had troubles keeping eye contact with the decayed Umbaran - especially with that damn red crystal mounted in Samael’s left eye. “Should be just a few moments and the chamber will begin emptying.”

“And we shall meet the new Consul.” Samael croaked, no doubt he had saliva dangling from his jaw - he always had saliva dangling from his jaw. It’s just the kind of thing that happened when you don’t have lips.


Much had changed at the conclusion of the war on Korriban; a new Grand Master, or rather new bodied Grand Master Pravus, had risen to take control of the Brotherhood and with that change Tarentum had been rocked to its core. Official decree from the Iron Throne removed Scion Altera and Hades from their posts, a likely consequence of their support for the rebels of the war - considering Odan-Urr and Taldryan had both changed summits as well. Neither had taken the order particularly well, but Scion seemed to be the most impacted by the turn of events; and before departing the Castle he could only been seen ranting and raving in the lower levels while he amassed a mechanical collection of toys he was preparing to take with him into self-imposed exile at the Sword’s Sheath.

The rest of the Tarenti had been enraged at the news, but no more so than the Tarentae - a fraternity of the unit’s most loyal and decorated members. Open challenges to the Iron Throne were made, some with particular detail of what was to be done to Pravus’ corpse upon conclusion and others being slightly more noble, while calmer minds worked to regroup and reorganized the unit in defense of further Iron Throne plots. The last thing the Tarenti needed right now was more disruptions or challenges to their power base, yet one Tarentae had been noticeably absent from the cause.

“It’s suppose to be Korras docking. “ Farrin turned to face the Umbaran, looking past the rotten hole that had been Samael’s nose and into the ghastly white eye. “And shouldn’t you mean Quaestor?”

“No, Priest.” The words left the Umbaran’s tongue with a cheerful tone. “Pravus has just sent word to expect the arrival of a new Consul. The Tarenti have gathered in the main hall.”

“A Consul appointment means a return to Clan status.” Dumbfoundedly stating the obvious, though suspicion brew from the thought. “That should at least make the Tarentae happier.”

“It did,” Samael chuckled, “Until I told them what the dead were saying an outsider was coming. They stand ready to cut down the ‘Darth’s agent’.”

Farrin’s jaw tightened, he hated that the Umbaran risked so much by openly announcing his practice of Sith Alchemy and Magic. Not since before the time of Ronovi Tavisaen had Necromancy been allowed to be performed within the Yridia System, and much of what the Archpriest dabbled in had crossed the line - his saving grace had been the blind eyes the recent Tarentum summit had turned upon him. Farrin wasn’t even sure he believed in what Samael could do, but who knew what the new Consul would do with the information.

“Mind your tongue, and keep your hokey practices to yourself for the time being. It’ll be no good to Tarentum to have you executed.”

“Hokey? You should have more respect for dealing with the dead, Priest.” Samael barked as the maintenance cover dropped beside them, allowing the pair to see the chamber had pressurized and was emptying. Both moved to the chamber’s entrance hatch and waited the final seconds before the seal disengaged before moving into the chamber to greet the new arrival.

Despite the chamber having been filled with the ocean just minutes ago, not a puddle could be seen inside the chamber due to the grated floor. Only the drops falling from the transport provide evidence that the sea had been in here, their echos cut out by the hum of the shuttle’s ramp descending. In mere moments, the ramp connected with the Castle’s deck and two hooded figures descended from the craft in quick strides. The head of the pair, choosing to acknowledge only Farrin; addressed him quickly before the pair moved forward.

“Join us in the throne room.” The familiar, yet cold, voice of Korras stated.

Egregious had seen this before; the fury and bloodlust. This was Tarentum after all, even in their weakened state they were defiant and would continue to be until the last Tarenti fell. Behind the masses, placed on a raised platform, stood the seat of their power; a throne entitled to the Sith King and his trusted servant - titled the Prince of Yridia. With the removal of Scion, it now sat unoccupied waiting for the new Consul of Tarentum and the title that came with it. Yet, never had it been sat upon by a non-Tarenti.

Tension filled the room and it grew silent, word had been delivered to them that the Consul that Pravus had appointed had arrived. Egregious wondered whom among the armed Tarenti would be the first to strike at the invader, though readied his grip on his hilt should the opportunity be presented to him. Why should the Tarentae have all the fun?

Seconds felt drawn out into years. Yet, Egregious’ heart pumped heavily at the sound of footsteps approaching. Multiple sets of footsteps, actually, which brought sweat to his brow. Beside him, the Sith known simply by “MERLANCE” between to growl and rock on his feet. Without a sign of warning, when the footsteps closed on the hall’s entrance, the Battlelord launched himself forward igniting his purple blade while in motion.

The bloodcurdling roar of the Battlelord ceased immediately after it began, failing to produce the chorus of support behind him that he likely imagined would happen. Instead, his lightsaber clang to the ground and rattled as it rolled away while the weapon’s owner scratched at his own throat. A hacking, panicked cough sounded from the Battlelord while his gaze settled on the hooded figure in the door - whom stood with an outstretched, clenched fist pointed at the Battlelord. Fruitlessly, the Battlelord kicked at the ground below him for support; yet failed as the hooded figure held him high in the air.

Before the masses could gain their senses, the Battlelord finally dropped to the ground. Attention switched from the battered Battlelord and back to the newcomer, just as the man threw back his hood and stared coldly at his fellow Tarenti. A single word left the Dark Jedi Master’s mouth.


One by one, the members of Tarentum withdrew to create a line from the entrance to the throne. Striding through the pack, as if not phased by the sequence of events, the Sith Lord and an unidentified figure moved side by side and in sync up to the head of the hall. Behind them Farrin and Samael, unsure of their stance, fell into the crowd as it filled in the line. When the pair made it to the top of the platform, it was the hooded figure who took seat in the throne while the Sith Lord stood at his side. Immediately, the new Prince’s hood was cast back and revealed a face familiar to all of the Tarenti.

Raiju Kang.

“What is the meaning of this, Korras?!” Maxamillian von Oberst-Tarentea was the first to ask, his voice filled with anger; causing his words to be bellowed.

“Korras is no more. And you will listen, this will not be repeated.” Aeternus looked around the hall. Those with the strength to look in his eyes saw something had changed. A fire seemed to burn there, fueled by anger. It was clear that this indeed was not Korras anymore. “Tarentum has been broken by the war. The Dark Council is of a mind to use this opportunity to do what has been attempted before; end Tarentum’s existence. The new Grand Master did not agree with this, but he does not yet have a full grip on the council. He has delayed them, but we have to move now to rebuild, to be strong enough to resist them and dissuade the rest of the council.”

Ignoring him, Oberst seemed ready to attack what appeared to be the new Consul. In a flash the infamous batton of the Marshall was produced in Oberst’s hand, his grip held so tight the Dark Adept’s knuckles had whitened. “The Sith King will not stand for this. This is a mockery of his charge in us. Get out of that throne, heretic!”

Aeternus stepped between the Marshall and the seated Consul causing a chill to fill the room. Yet, Oberst did not press the advance.

“The Sith King has not been here for a very long time.” Aeternus stated firmly, directly to the Marshall, before addressing the crowd. “This decision has been made by the Grand Master. My new apprentice will be our Consul, and you can either accept this or leave this hall. On this there will not be a discussion…This goes for you all; you can work with us to save Tarentum, or leave now.

“We have been here before. We will resist.” Hades this time.

“No.” The finality of the word caused the Battlemaster to withdraw into the safety of the crowd. Not even the boldest of the Tarentae held eye contact with Aeternus as his glare passed over them. Finally, the Sith Lord continued with unwavering nerve. “We will not. I have seen the force arrayed against us - We would be like a mynock to the rancor if we do.”

“Now, who will stand with us to force this storm to an end?”


Force the storm to end?"

The voice was soft, little more than a whisper, and yet, seemed to echo throughout the hall. Though none specifically turned, eyes glanced in the man’s direction. Some moved out of his way in deference, others simply moved because some unseen hand seemed to suggest they do so. While Aeternus was a dark spot, a well of hatred, this man always seemed to ignite the room with an internal conflagration. His absence had been very palpable for years, and then, had simply become a part of things; his was no longer a voice that shook the Clan, his hand no longer the guiding force behind Tarentum.

“The storm of our destruction,” intoned the Lord and Proconsul, who seemed to hold the attention of all gathered. “We all know the fate that awaits us. It is on the horizon, and beckons us, as it did with Aquillas, Alvaak, Exar Kun and Satal Keto.”

“And Revan,” someone whispered unintentionally, yet was heard by all.

“Or Ar’Kell,” Oberst’s meaning was probably lost on most.

“But why would we want the storm to end?” Though hooded and seemingly cloaked in shadows, Bloodfyre’s presence was known by many within, and his voice had certainly not fooled Aeternus. But Sith had earned the ear of any Tarentae years ago, and Korras allowed him to continue with a slight nod. “Why should we cease the momentum, the energy, that can not only destroy us, but whip us into a frenzy? Do we seek to placate the Dark Council? Do we seek to pacify their tempers, and have their gaze turned elsewhere? Or would you care to see deeper into the storm, and ride the ferocious winds, until you become a part of it, until you become the very entity of death and destruction that the Council wishes us to become?”

“Are you suggesting the Council threatens us with oblivion as a means of turning us into a weapon?” Scion’s face was curious, perhaps puzzled by the prospect, but he had moved into a flurry of possibilities in his mindscape, as only a grizzled veteran can. The rage he had felt was now tempered by his officer’s nature to plan for the next battle.

“I can make assurances that Pravus does NOT want to end Tarentum here,” Raiju stood from his new throne, stepping slowly to join his new mentor, the dark Lord now known as Aeternus, who seemed to only look like Korras Tarentae. “The Grand Master has spoken his wishes to me directly, and we are to live, to grow.”

“I have known the entity we see as Pravus before,” returned the Grand Chamberlain, “and it is in his nature to shape any bit of steel into a blade, or whittle away the useless outer shell of a simple branch into a spear. This storm, the approaching inferno of our doom can instead be a refiner’s fire, and can purge us of our failures, and leave behind the glistening weapon of death we once were; that we ought to be.”

Bloodfyre had continued through the gathered faithful, had mounted the steps of the raised dais, and had stopped upon the last step below the platform upon which the Clan Summit now stood; it would be a sign of disrespect to ascend further to join them. And while Korras was a friend and ally, a brother Tarentae for years, there was something darker, more menacing about this reborn Darth Aeternus before the gathered Tarenti that even the infamous Sith Bloodfyre would at least give deference to–if only in public. Aeternus looked directly into the face of Bloodfyre, and though the Sith Master had his hood pulled low, covering his eyes, both men knew their gazes were locked, as though their minds were linked in a pivotal moment. Aeternus turned, but not to end the seeming contest between them, but to draw in his new apprentice, the new Consul.

“I believe we can all agree,” Raiju began, “that Master Bloodfyre speaks the truth in this. The Grand Master is perhaps offering us the incredible opportunity to be re-forged into the sharpest of blades, and reinvented as the Clan of Death.”

“We have among us dedicated officers, brilliant strategists and tacticians, and warriors of every bend,” Aeternus followed along, looking out upon Oberst, Scion, Egregious, Caesar, Archean and all, “and this will be our moment to stand up and reclaim our destiny. We will not lay down in our graves just yet, but our souls rise now.”

“Like the dead who still serve us,” Samael probably had a grim smile upon what passed for his lips.

“Those arts were banned,” Raiju countered, though all were sure to remember the command that had been given some time ago.

“Since when has anyone been able to tell us what mysteries of the Dark Side we can, and cannot pursue?” Hades seemed to regain his determined, or perhaps defiant tone.

“If you wish to believe the darkest of arts is dead, you would do well to avoid my Asylum,” Bloodfyre said more to the new Consul than anyone. “There are more there than Steiner and myself.”


He stood and watched the drama unfold. Egregious looked casually around watching reactions in the room. He listened to the speeches, to the mumblings around him. He listened to the rants and the scuffling. He could sense that change was coming to Tarentum. It was thick on the air in the castle. Fear of change filled the room.

Seeing his old master choked out on the dias was pleasing. It is not every day the Tarenti swung their blades and used magics against each other. He shook his head. In fighting would not solve the problem, and would eventually lead to a greater weakness. Egregious kept to the back of the crowd, making sure his back was near a pillar or a wall as not to be ambushed. This was Tarentum after all, anything could happen when the group got worked up.

However ‘dominance had to be shown’ he thought. Like voskarls fighting over scraps. The Grand Master taking a defensive role was interesting.

His fingers ran over his hilt clasped to his belt. They always felt comfortable there. Tracing the lines and dents lovingly. A smile crept over his face as the group broke and went their separate ways.

He found himself walking down a corridor in the castle to his quarters. The vast history in the clear walls of the underwater castle. He took in the seascape. He centered himself and focused on the past present and future. He could feel the life outside the walls. He could feel the future.


For all of his stature afforded to and earned by him, Anshar remained more quiet and observing than anyone else. Everyone’s reaction was markedly predictable to those who knew the players well: MERLANCE’s foolhardy attack, Oberst’s militant, yet simultaneously reserved, objection, and Bloodfyre’s hidden messages were just the tip of the iceberg: so normal to the long time servants of the Sith King, yet foreign to the newer servants. Aeternus and Raiju both had a presence of authority, one that could cement their roles, while their appointments seemingly placated the Tarentae. Anshar could only scoff at that notion. Raiju may have been part of Tarentum once, so he was not truly an outsider. Aeternus once proclaimed the Tarentae name, but no longer wore it, though he had not truly discarded it, either.

No, the appointment of these two individuals was for one purpose: to keep Tarentum alive and to grow. Anshar knew this all to well, for he had once been in their position, brought from the outside to keep the clan growing. And, in historical fairness, Tarentum had been vibrant during Anshar’s second tenure as Consul. It had remained vibrant for some time after that, guided by Oberst and others. If Raiju and Aeternus had that success, or even greater, than then, it would be a good choice.

Anshar's mind turned to the changes to come, more to ensure that he could continue along his designed path, rather than have it undermined by the machinations of the new summit. No matter how good their intentions, Anshar could not have Raiju or Aeternus interfere with Messina: to impose bureaucracy, levy taxes, or try to undo what had been, and what was, being done. Anshar would argue and fight as needed. Messina was his, granted to him by the Tarentae, to do with as he pleased. And he pleased to turn it into a functioning, stable state. 

“If you wish to believe the darkest of arts is dead, you would do well to avoid my Asylum,” Bloodfyre said more to the new Consul than anyone. “There are more there than Steiner and myself.”

Bloodfyre’s comment brought Anshar back to the present situation, his thoughts discarded for the moment. Bloodfyre had revealed what most knew to be true, but in that idiosyncratic manner of his that carried both the threat as well as the invitation. How Raiju and Aeternus responded to it would be most interesting.

‘Keep their attention,’ Anshar thought to himself, careful to shield his thoughts from any prying minds. Anshar had his own research, his own techniques that only barely qualified as necromancy in the minds of many, including Anshar himself. It was not research that was meant to be shared: certainly not shared in the way necromancy had originally been revealed to the entire clan so many years ago. Anshar was a Krath Master, a former Headmaster, and he would not be forced to share what he learned.

Anshar was certain that at least Aeternus was aware of his experiments, but also that they presented little danger to the clan. True, there were ghost stories told in Messina about the haunted mountains in the east, where a strange man lived in a house atop a cliff over a river, but most dismissed those as simple fantasy. And, truthfully, all but one or two stories were just that: fantasy.

Anshar watched as the assembled began to dissipate. There was a glimmer of the future, a darkly bright future, for Tarentum. And, yet, the air was thick with uneasiness. For some, it was the change of the leadership. For the leadership, it was like walking into a sleeping gundark nest. But, for Anshar, the uneasy feeling that something, unintentional or not, was about to go wrong.

As the saying went, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Anshar muttered to himself.


The hall’s dark energy pulsated through every being. Hate, anger, uncertainty, put together like a puzzle… Having heard the news from the Grand Master, each Tarenti knew the task at hand and the result if they failed. This angered the young Battlemaster. He was not there when the Clan needed him the most and it was a feeling that has dogged him every day since leaving. Familiar faces and new ones abound, Archean needed his home more than ever. The Castle felt different this time around. It was quieter, colder, darker. As if the Life it once had was slowly being extinguished by some mysterious power.

Raiju, followed by Aeturnus stepped off the riser and headed towards the doors of the hall but before they could, Archean intercepted them.

“When has Tarentum ever bowed to outside pressures, especially from the Dark Council?” Spat the blind swordmaster.
“We are NOT in a position to bargain with what we can and cannot do, Battlemaster.” Retorted Raiju.
“Then where are your TRUE values to this Clan, “Consul”?” Archean’s sarcastic tone pierced.
“I’m back to steer us from the brink of extinction. Isn’t that why you’re back?” His demeanour became more agitated.
“To be labelled a hero? The great Raiju did what no other Dark Jedi could?” The Sith moved a little closer. “Scion could have, but his was removed as we were flourishing.” Aeternus’ focus shot to the young Sith.
“Back away, Battlemaster.” Through gritted teeth Aeturnus declared.
“You may not like me, Archean, but you will respect me!”
“Respect is earned, Raiju! You would do well to remember that.”

“ENOUGH! Enough of your bickering, we are here for Tarentum’s survival not your petty personal issues.” Aeturnus’ pushed the swordmaster back. “And that goes for anyone, if you’re not here for Tarentum, then leave.”
“Anything you have to say to me can be said in private, Archean. Next time, it won’t be so pleasant.”

The Tarentum leaders motioned to a group of Journeymen who lingered, they nodded and followed the pair outside the hall.

“You’ve been back ten minutes and are already on their bad side.” Bloodfyre stood, gently resting against the wall behind the blind one, his hood covering his eyes.
“I had to see it for myself.”
“Come, we’ve got a lot to talk about.” The Sith stepped ahead of Archean, determined, the Corellian followed.


The Tarentum Rollmaster’s eyes followed the two Tarentae, Archean and Bloodfyre, as they walked out of the chamber together. It was a safe assumption based on what had transpired over the past few minutes - really, since Farrin and Samael had met Raiju and Korras - that they, along with the other Tarentae that were sure to join them, would be arguing over whether to even support the Dark Council’s choices for Clan leadership. Though he had been popular with the rank and file - of which Farrin had been a part of at that point - when he had served as Tarentum’s Aedile, Raiju hadn’t found universal support among the Elders and Tarentae, let alone now having replaced the fairly popular pair of Scion and Hades. Of course, the rocky relationship the Tarentae had with everyone was likely one of the reasons the Dark Council’s attention had turned so sharply on them in the first place.

Farrin shook his head, almost imperceptibly, to clear the idle thoughts and chatter from his head. As he scanned the room and those still within it, he caught sight of his friend and Master, Hades… and, past him, Raiju and Aeternus, walking together. The Krath Priest took a step towards Hades when the newly-instated Tarentum Consul and Proconsul turned to him.

“Farrin, with us.” The command from Aeternus was softly spoken - just loud enough to be heard over the din - but there was an undercurrent of steel in his voice. Hades, who had been close enough to hear, lightly snorted - drawing a blank stare from the Sith Lord, though thankfully nothing more - before walking off in the direction of the hanger bay (no doubt to hop on a shuttle back for the Sword’s Sheath). As he filed in behind the Consul and Proconsul, Farrin idly wondered when the next time he’d see the Sheath, his home since Hades had taken him in, would be.


“Well… frack.” Hades muttered to Scion who had taken up a leaning position next to him on the far side of the throne room’s wall. Scion shrugged.

“I have never felt so betrayed and so… relieved at the same time.” Scion said finally after both of them watched the new Summit disappear down the hallway. Hades raised a brow at him.

“I am serious. This Ho… Clan, was showing the Brotherhood what we are capable of.”

“Until we were cut off at the knees, so to speak.” Hades added. Scion nodded a bit then continued.

“I believe we would have suceeded in leading Tarentum out of this mess. But now, that responsibility does not rest on our shoulders. At least not solely.” Hades pulled out his datapad and held it up between the two of them.

“So, I guess we aren’t going on an extended tour of Aurora Prime any longer?” Once news had reached the two of the new Grand Master’s decision from informants inside the Dark Council they had made plans to leave Yridian space for awhile. At least until things had calmed down. They had planned to return to Aurora Prime, the seat of the Emperor’s Hammer Strike Fleet where both men kept residences of varying extravagance. But something had changed in his friend’s eye.

“We can go play with the TIE Corps another day. We have both put too much into Tarentum for years. You especially. We cannot leave when we are needed the most. Even if we are not leaders of the Tarenti any longer.” Hades nodded. He hadn’t really wanted to leave in the first place, but the sting of rejection still bore strength in his soul. Instead of burying it, he would have to use it against those who wish to end the only real home he has had since leaving the EH so many years ago. As he met Scion’s eyes he nodded once more, holding on to the pain even more so.

“So, what’s next?” Scion asked.

“I think we are going to be very busy. I think the Sword’s Sheath will be very busy in the near future. We need to prepare it for new guests.”

“What guests?”

“Tarentae are appearing out of no where suddenly. If there are to be members returning I am sure a lot of them will be former members of House Gladius. We should make sure there is a home ready for them when they return.” Scion smiled and nodded eagerly.

“Tarentum Forever.” Hades said loudly as he glanced back towards the hallway the new Summit disappeared into.

“Tarentum Forever.” Scion repeated.


Samael closed his eyes as he listened to the others leave the Throne Room. His mind quieted as he focused on what was to come, voices of the dead singing in his ears as they foretold a future of growth. The skin of cheeks perked and what remained of his mouth stretched into a smile, prying himself from his chair as he departed as well. The emotions of the assembled floated in the air, raw hatred swimming with pure fear. Raiju the Departer was to become Raiju the Redeemer. Ozriel nodded at the idea, liking the sour taste it left in his mouth.

His padded moccasins made no sound as his feet pressed upon the polished obsidian that made up the floor. He could hear conversations kept low as he walked through the door that led to the hall. Various Tarenti whispering of what would become of them or more hot tempered Tarentae discussing a coup. The darkness in their hearts was misplaced he thought to himself, better directed at ensuring their survival was intrinsically linked to their newly dubbed Clan.

Castle Tarentum had become his home, his quarters on the deepest level and kept tucked away from everyone else. It wasn’t like that at first, but the smell of rotting corpses and various levels of excrement and waste made certain it was like that now. Samael didn’t like the smell either, but his experiments did have tendencies of voiding their bowels at some point or another. Experiments, he smiled at that word. Others would have called them victims, but now his use of Sith Magic and Alchemy made him define them another way. He casually opened the door and allowed his eyes to take in the scenery.

Corpses infested the room, all positioned in various activities. Some had crystals and sigils carved into their bodies, others had the instruments of their demise still sticking out of them. The colors of their flesh fascinated the Krath, various putrid greens and rotting yellows adorned his living room because of it. He approached one corpse with a crystal and touched the shard gently, a spark of energy departing his fingers and entering it. The corpse moved, standing up and turning around to face Samael. It’s eyes had a glimmer of remembrance, and it made noises as if it were trying to speak. That act, however, was made impossible after the Arch Priest cut out its tongue and made a necklace for it, sewing up the mouth for good measure.

“Seems like we may be moving. The new Consul and Proconsul might not like what they find here.” he said as looked around,

The awakened corpse moved towards Samael, raising its hands up to the Krath’s throat and gently pressing them against it. Its eyes, once filled with murderous rage, now remained lifeless and cold. The Arch Priest smiled as he removed the hands and walked away, making a mental note about lingering memories. It was not long after that when the Tarenti noticed his commlink was buzzing on the table, an event that made him slowly walk over to it. He loathed the instrument, always having to wipe away saliva from it after every use.

“Hellooo.” he cooed into it, white noise and crackling joining in after.

“We need to talk.” said the voice of Bloodfyre, “Come to the Asylum at midnight.”

Before Samael could say anything else, he knew the connection had ended. The Krath shook his head and got ready for his departure, deciding to check in on a few more experiments at the Asylum before his new meeting. Just once, he thought to himself, he’d like to play with his toys, patting one of the corpses on the shoulder as he left the room.


He stood still but his mind raced. His eyes were closed and his mind opened, letting in the flashes of the past, present and future flow throughout his mind and body. His feet rooted into the floor and felt as if they became apart of the castle itself. He let the Dark Side wash over himself and fill his need to explore the past.

He first glimpsed far into the past, as he was looking at a younger Master Zero. He was being followed by two unrecognizable others. They were holding plans as droids and what looked like locals were scrambling to complete the project. He was executing orders in a harsh manner, refusing excuses and not tolerating examples of bad behavior. He also mentioned secret projects. The hallway blurred.

His mind flashed and pulled him forward. The scene was worse for ware. There were random sparks and fissures in the transparisteel. Cracks and fissures were letting water fill the hallway. Alarms were sounding, and there were vibrations of explosions in the distance. The smell of death and decay filled the air. There were guards freed of their limbs and heads strew at his feet in a procession down the hallway. A few dark figures rushed past him as he was jerked into the past.

Two guards carried a slumped figure down the hallway. His feet dragging behind him. It was unclear who it was but it did look familiar. It felt familiar. “MERLANCE wants this one for his own, why do we always have to deliver the heavy ones?” he over heard. He was then abruptly pulled once again like a yo yo to the future.

There were two beings talking in what looked like a secret meeting. One passing something to the other. It was clear he heard murmurs of plans but nothing was definite. “Bomb, and make sure your timing is correct” were all he could pull from the conversation before the room spun again and cleared into the past.

Now it was closer to the time of the present, but still the recent past. Scion and Hades walking together towards the main hall. One stopped and turned to the other. They were discussing something important. They looked somber but relived. The hallway spun in his mind.

It cleared to just after the news of the removal of Scion and Hades struck. The hallway was empty but for one watching from afar. Egregious did not recognize this one. He seemed different and it was strange for strangers to be unaccompanied at this level of the castle.

With a quick breath he found himself sweating and back where he had began. He needed to find someone to trust. There was meaning in this. A meaning he had to meditate on, and quickly.


Archean was still seething.

The Sith Master had diverted his friend and comrade away from whatever conflict might have arisen. Though Korras was one of the Tarentae, there was something different about him. While perhaps it might have arisen from being named a Sith Lord, or maybe even from sharing in whatever secret troves were stored away for those who were “elect” in being named so; madness sometimes followed some of the darkest “secrets” the Council kept for their sycophants. But Korras? Was he now among the circle of–

That kind of thinking had to stop. Sith shook his head a bit, such a slight movement. Archean noticed it nonetheless. Sightless though he was, Archean still had eyes in the Force, he still had his senses. In that regard, the two were incredibly alike, Sith and Archean; though Bloodfyre had eyes, the two relied upon sight in the Force, just as equally. There was a kinship herein for the two, not bound by eyesight. Yes, they were Tarentae, but beyond that, they were friends.

Like Korras.

“You need to accept this,” Bloodfyre broke the silence. “I recognize that Korras is different, that now, we have ‘Darth Aeternus’ to join with us, but he is still Tarentae. He supports Raiju. The pair of them, and with Farrin, now lead us. And if we are to survive this, they will need the bond of both Tarenti and Tarentae to heal this place, to ensure our survival.”

“Why should I just accept it?” Archean didn’t need to turn, the two kept walking. “What has Raiju done to earn my alliance?”

"Because of what he will do,"Bloodfyre said simply. At this, Archean stopped and turned. Sith was a dark spot in the eyes of the Force, a well of blackness in the sight of his friend. He radiated blackness, almost seemed to drain the energy of all living things around him, as though the well of the Dark Side was a veritable black hole. And within, Archean studied the future. Visions assailed the Battlemaster, reshaped his reality. And within that new sight, buried within those images…

“You don’t really believe all that, do you?”

“I do, Archean,” Sith replied. “Indeed, I truly do. And if it is to be, if that future is to come to pass, we’re going to need your help.”

“What do you need me to do?”

“Call Scion,” the two men turned and resumed walking, “and gather the Tarentae. He is to be welcomed, as we also bring in our newest brother.”

Sith grabbed a comlink from his robes, as Archean did the same. An almost amused coo answered, eliciting a small head shake from the Master.

“We need to talk. Come to the Asylum at midnight.”

Archean relayed the same message through the network that the Tarentae used. Additional dispatches were sent among the Restless and unseen servants of the Clan of Death. Some of the legends of Tarentum’s past were already well beyond the Veil, and preserved with the rest in Oblivion. They were not mere servants, but still allies and warriors tied to the Death Clan, and would pass on word, or would attend the gathering if able, as all were still welcome, even beyond the Veil of Oblivion. When the lot gathered in the depths of the Asylum, a final decision would be made.

Tarentum would be whole, united, and would return to the darkness that it had been borne from. And, as they had cut themselves from Death’s rotten womb before, so would they now tear their way from her belly yet again, and feast upon the flesh and power of Oblivion, and rise to their proper place yet again.


Scion stopped in his tracks as he pulled out his comlink and inserted his ear bud and stood silent for a moment. Hades frowned a bit after turning towards his friend. He waited patiently until his friend looked at him and winced.


“I have a meeting at midnight I must attend.” Scion lowered his head to avoid looking at Hades. The slightly taller man
tilted his head in puzzlement for just a moment, then he understood.

“Right.” Tarentae business. Hades took a breath and nodded at the unspoken.

“Ill catch a shuttle to the Sheath and meet you there later.” Scion gave a nod and turned around and disappeared from sight. Hades stood there for a moment, seething. His emotions were torn in two different directions. He was proud of Scion, his former student, for succeeding so well in his path. Completely surpassing what Hades had accomplished in twice the time within the Dark Brotherhood. And now Scion was a Tarentae. A title that had eluded his grasp at every turn.

Hades continued walking towards the hangar bay where he boarded the next shuttle to Altera Station, the orbiting space station that was a mandatory last stop for all persons arriving to and from Castle
Tarentum. He sat in silence at the entrance to the bay, considering his options. The bay was currently receiving a
shuttle and Hades could feel the aquatic life forms on the other side of the wall. A scared fish moving in erratic patterns as the shuttle moved into the bay.

“Greetings, Battlemaster.” Hades was lost in thought and almost jumped when Garloaf gave his greeting. He turned towards the Jedi Hunter and nodded, his mind lingering in the nothingness of the previous few moments. Maybe ignorance is bliss. Hades thought as face the young Cathar.

“What can I do for you, Garloaf?” the elder man inquired.

“I just wanted to offer my condolences, sir. I know all of this was sudden.” The Jedi Hunter looked to his hands as he spoke. Hades nodded a bit.

“Thank you. But I believe the Clan is in good hands. There is a lot riding on the shoulders of our Consul and Proconsul. Besides…” Hades leaned in close, “…if Raiju fails, Korras will separate his head from his body.” Hades cackled much to the dismay of Garloaf as the elder man began to walk to Castle Tarentum’s Operations center.
Hades’ loyalties lay solely with the survival of Tarentum, no matter the cost. He just hoped Raiju would be of assistance, and not a blockage that needed clearing.


Eden City was a jewel on Yridia IX, a planet that was otherwise as desolate as Tatooine. The only notable outposts besides Eden were pockets of smugglers who had banded together to build small dwellings or hangars to hide, or the crime syndicates who had claimed territory and had built up their own oases where no others wanted to be. Yridia IX had no atmosphere, and only under the dome of Eden was life normally sustainable, except for the money of the syndicates that could afford to build up their own life support systems. There was no discovering the smuggler outposts if you didn’t know how to find them, and if you found yourself knocking at the doorstep of the syndicates… a blaster barrel in the face was generally the warmest welcome you could hope for.

All this was why Eden thrived. It was an outpost on the edge of the system where goods were passed along, bought and sold, and people passed through, either on their way out, or in farther towards Tarentum’s grasp. Eden was certainly not the safest place, since all manner of slimeballs passed through, but it was clean and well-lit. The Yridian Civil Defense Force patrolled the streets regularly, and the crime lords and their goons stayed to the shadows and alleyways. All things considered, Eden wasn’t a bad place to be in the system.

And yet, as hospitable as Eden was, there was one place that wasn’t. No matter how well-lit the place was, nor how many torches or lamps were ablaze, the Asylum was entirely dreary and uninviting. Anyone walking near would describe that feeling of cold fingers tracing lightly and slowly down their spine. There was such a palpable sensation of fear to the place, that even the most hardened gangster could hardly tread past a few steps into the grand courtyard that surrounded the palatial building, barely within the old rusty gates that seemed to keep out everyone else. No curious children ever wandered too close on accident; no missing dogs wandered around looking for scraps, nor feral cats that called the dark, yet strangely clean and almost glowing building home. If not for the lights that always seemed to be glowing brightly from the windows, the place would have looked abandoned.

And though apparently empty and abandoned according to the exterior, within, there was always business, ever a fast-paced existence as experimentation and research for the Clan of death continued with a head of steam. Inside, the Asylum was very much alive; though, like with many of their experiments, the existence within was perhaps a dark, twisted vision of what others would call “life.” The place looked dark from the outside, twisted and evil; within, the place was a freak show. Most of the servants within were disfigured, Frankenstein-like creations of any form, borne from the imaginations of Tarentum’s Equites and Elders. There was no doorman, no greeter, nor even security; if you could make it into the place, you certainly belonged. Or, if you did not, ever foul creation and denizen within, both subject and creator, would ravage you, but leave you alive to the point of becoming the newest experiment.

Throughout the halls of the Asylum, various men and women walked quickly from one area to the next; few beyond the eldest Tarenti leisurely strolled through the complex. Most within were researchers who had been employed for many years, some were guests of Arcona, who also had a stake within the happenings herein. Even then, only the Tarenti seemed at home among their creations. The Arconans preferred their own shadowy creations, which were sometimes combined with the wild and fanciful creatures of the Death Clan, living (or unliving) embodiments of entropy, disease and darkness. Some few of the creations within quite literally looked as though they were mostly man-like creatures, with various portions that had been torn away, and now bubbled over with living shadows that filled in the facial gaps, or became a missing limb, or held a bisected body together at the now-viscous shadowy torso. In some ways, it almost looked like bubbling little pools of oil that took on the shape of a body part or region. It was freakishly beautiful in its nightmarish elegance. It was sublime, serene, and awful to behold.

In the depths of the Asylum, in the absolute darkest and most terrific pits of the Asylum were the personal labs and domain of Sith Bloodfyre, a Master of his Order, and one of the last beings that had ever truly called this place home. Here, along with the rest of the original eight Mystics of the Black Arts – Ciara Tearnan, Aari Nikus, Jaya Cypher, Telona Murrage, Deathlord, Kidouses and Kryndath Del’Chanar – Bloodfyre had not only given into his demons, but all eight of the Mystics had mastered them, and had gained in phenomenal power. Here, insanity had reigned supreme, darkness had evolved, shadows grew, and the Veil to Oblivion had become incredibly thin. The bowels of the Asylum was a place of the Restless, of specters, ghosts; and even the Risen dwelled here, as what remained of the Aptrgangr and the fearsome Draugr were chained herein. What few hadn’t been destroyed had been rounded up, and were now under the direct supervision of one of the few beings who had been key in their creation. Here, Sith was surrounded by the faces of his past. And here, now, he was surrounded by the present.

Each of the Tarentae was here, each had answered the summons to meet. There was no circle of thrones, no ritually-assigned spots to stand, or anything of the sort. Each claimed ground as they chose, gathered with others as they chose, and either conversed with others or not of their own accord. They had come, they had entered freely, and had waited patiently, until now, as the great obsidian doors to the Grand Chamberlain’s chambers slid open with a low, rumbling, grating sound. The Sith Master stepped from his sanctuary, flanked on either side by one of the Draugr, each held in thick chains of glimmering durasteel. The chains dragged across the floor, and it was easily visible that the fearsome killers were not attached to anything, that the chains, attached to the collars around their necks, lead to a clattering end that was entirely unbound. Perhaps the creatures, known for their cold, cruel intelligence were well aware that the gathered people would end their unlives without hesitation. Or, perhaps their power was held in check by the combined arts of the Tarentae. Or, because the Draugr grew in power and cunning intellect as they aged, maybe they even realized it was far better to serve these dread masters gathered before them.

“Welcome, brothers,” the Sith Master intoned. “I appreciate you answering the call so readily. First and foremost, a welcome to Scion. Your voice adds to this chorus, your power strengthens us all, and it is an honor that we have been glad to bestow upon you.”

Scion nodded slightly. “The pleasure is mine.”

Scion was not verbose, his answer was sincere, but brief, which he knew others in the gathering would appreciate, and likely reciprocate.

“There are grave tidings, and we must not only give attention to them,” Sith continued, “but we must also act. We cannot stand idly by while our home crumbles around us.”

“While everyone has been bickering about the shift in power, a rebellion has been building, and Raiju and I will not stand for it.” Korras, now known as the Sith Lord Darth Aeternus, glanced at each gathered within. His tone wasn’t entirely accusatory, but it was clear that he was sharing the blame across the entirety of the gathered body. “The populace is rising up because we’ve been bringing their family and friends back in body bags, or we’ve returned them as shells of the people they used to be.”

“Blame the Council, not us!”

“We never chose the wars!”

“This is not productive.”

“I’ll see you in Oblivion before I accept the blame for your lord Pravus’ actions!”

“And I will send you to that hell one piece at a time, worm!”


The boom of the Sith Master’s voice shook the chamber, and even the Draugr jumped back into a crouch, loud growls of warning rumbling deep in their throats. Several of the Tarentae had hands upon their chosen weapons, but none had truly had any desire to draw arms against their brothers.

“I will not tolerate this affront to Tarentum,” Bloodfyre said firmly, looking at each in turn, ending with Aeternus. “By whatever name you choose to be known, you are Korras Tarentae, and you and Raiju have been called to lead. I will tolerate no further challenges to their leadership, but neither will I accept any further threats to my Clan, my home, and our family. Each of us has answered the call of ultimate servitude to this Clan. Do not forget that.”

“What of this rebellion, Aeternus,” Anshar began, “what exactly befalls us now? I have seen no signs of malice or ill will from my people.”

“Then it has not spread yet,” Aeternus answered, “but it thrives among the people of Yridia II, and there are signs that it is here, as well. The syndicates seem willing to oppose our will, and are refusing communication with the Castle at all turns. There is also disease spreading across Yridia II, and it seems to be either due to, or spread by, the flow of bodies being returned to their families. Everything we have heard of thus far suggests high fevers, coughing blood, blackened limbs, fingers and toes, and in some cases, maggots gushing forth from living, breathing people who die within days.”

No one spoke, all lost potentially deep in thought. Intent glances, curious glares, looks of all manner passed between each. Oberst stepped forward, his mouth opening to speak, when a soft shimmering interrupted the room. All within were intently familiar with the Restless, with the sudden appearance of a Force spirit. Some of the Tarentae looked up curiously, but others… their eyes went momentarily wide with recognition. Whether in uncertainty, curiosity, or blatant surprise and shock, no one seemed to have voice to greet the specter before them.

“I felt the call,” the feminine voice of the robed figure echoed slightly within the chamber that almost seemed suddenly welcoming to her. “I have information that can help, and I have no doubt that Tarentum needs all of us.”

“We gladly accept whatever help you might have,” Sith stepped forward, bowing slightly in sincere respect, “and we will hear what you have to say, Ciara. Your brother Tarentae have certainly missed your wisdom.”


Throne Room,
Main Complex
Castle Tarentum
Yridia II

The sight was unsettling, but what more could be said of a pile of corpses. It was quite literally a pile, as no respect was given to the dead’s former vessels. Dragged by their feet, sometimes with hooks pierced through the bodies’ ankles to ease the task, one after another they were brought in to the foot of the throne’s staircase and toss upon one another - leaving them in awkward positions as they draped over one another. Almost all of them had their eyes wide open, and the way they months and hands were clutched open it seemed clear that the dead’s final moments were spent in complete agony - likely a sudden end to the screaming and thrashing they had been going through.

The witness reports had made it clear these weren’t peaceful deaths. What started as a high fever evolved, and quickly, into bloody coughing fits that maintained until the body seemed to decay from within - blackening the limbs of the victims while they throbbed with pain - only to be relieved by death. In the rarest of cases, maggots and other unpleasantries emerged from the victims bodies just before death; with no explanation of where they had been produced.

Fear had overtaken those the plague had spared.

The Yridian government had approached Tarentum countless times asking for explanations, demands later followed for a planet wide quarantine after so many of Yridia II’s islands had been infected. Yet the Tarentum Summit was hesitate to cut off their capital planet from the rest of the system. Time had to be bought, but the question was: how?

“Is that all of them?” A voice came from the throne, yet the seat remained empty and the voice carried from the Nautolan who stood leaning on it’s side. A large, seemingly genderless body suit nodded back to the Consul before stepping back from the pile…as if distance who spare the individual after having handled so many of the bodies.

“I would have prefered you keep them separate and documented which island series each sample is from…” Raiju began with a frown, his gaze at the person in the body suit seemed to suggest the Nautolan was addressing them.

“The dead can’t really infect the dead.” A mechanical voice buzzed back, its owner’s voice distorted by the helmet they wore.

“Yet, samples can be tainted…” Raiju sighed. For once he actually wished Steiner was here. “Please arrange the bodies in a single line across the room and start your examination. Should you need anything, send a request to me and I’ll get it to you immediately. I don’t want you to leave this room until you have completed all the samples, but should you find anything interesting report to me immediately. I’ll have the room sealed off.”

The Nautolan’s feet barely touched the stone steps as he quickly trotted down them and made his way to leave. Blocking the exit, Farrin stood patiently waiting with a large datapad in hand and worried look upon his face.

“My Prince…” Farrin began with a bow, but quickly was stopped with a wave of the Nautolan’s hand and a fierce growl.

“How many times do I have to tell you, Farrin.” Raiju began as grabbed the datapad from the Rollmaster. The Consul shook his head the entire time he lectured. “I am not using that title. I will not be Prince of Yridia. Discard it.”

“Apologies, Raiju.” Farrin awkwardly stated with downcast eyes. “It’s habit.”

“And bad habits are hard to break, which should tell you it’s bad to call me that.” Raiju paused the conversation as he quickly scanned the document in front of him. “Now, what am I looking at?”

“It’s another report from the Yridian government. The number of infected or dying are still climbing and refusing to plateau despite the government’s best efforts.” The man paused as he looked back in the direction Raiju had came and watched as the medical examiner heaved a body to the ground at the far end of the throne room. It hit with enough force that a sickening splash erupted from the body’s side as its liquid inners stained the stone floor.

“Yes, yes. I know. That’s not news.” Raiju sighed impatiently. “We have thousands dying, with no real explanation. But there is nothing I can do about that at the moment. I’m more concerned about the rebels reported in the north-west island chain. Has there been any progress?”

“There’s been no signals.” Farrin finally looked the Consul in the eyes as he delivered the news.

“So they are refusing to respond still?”

“No, I mean there’s been no signals at all. Since the transmission last night they haven’t even tried contacting each other. The whole island chain has gone silent.”

A shiver ran down the Nautolan’s spine. He had been informed late last night that the rebels had been under attack but Tarentum hadn’t mobilized under the assumption the Yridia government was finally acting but nothing in the report could confirm it. If neither Tarentum or the government had struck the rebels…

Immediately the Nautolan’s thoughts broke as movement to his side caught Raiju’s eyes. Stupidly, the Nautolan found himself staring at the lifeless body of woman who laid sprawled out on the stone floor. Farrin caught the look of concern in the Consul’s eye and the pair cautiously moved toward the body. Hands slowly made their way to each of the Tarenti’s hilts, and when the pair were close enough to the corpse it was Raiju that stuck out his foot and nudged the skull of the corpse with his toe.

Embarrassment washed over both of the summit members when nothing happened, and the medical examiner cleared his throat from over their shoulders.

“If you jerks are done kicking the dead, I have work to do.”