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[What Lies Beneath] Team 2



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The Great Hall
Lion’s Tooth
Seng Karash

Hushed voices filled the meeting space, with an air of tension and disbelief. The council members that surrounded the oval table all conspired their own thoughts before speaking to the person next to them. It wasn’t long before the double doors at the end burst open, with Galleros and Inarya jogging into the meeting section. Their eyes focused yet their expressions gave off a distant and blank emotion. Once they reached the table, Galleros threw a Holoprojector onto the surface which shows the Aeotheran islands map. Galleros paced slowly around the group before speaking.

“The members of Devil’s Shroud and others of the House have been surprised, by something we never expected. Submerged under these islands in our control, was the last known location of the team then an unexpected radio silence. The casualties are expected to be high, and the predicted losses are higher still if we allow this disappearance to linger unsolved.”

The map then zoomed in on the topography of the islands, to a small region isolated in a calm eastern sea. Sharp structures spear from the water and beaches covered in kelp and other sea plants. Galleros then stormed to the shuttle.

Sand and seawater spirals out of control when the shuttles unfold their landing gear and settle on the warm white beaches of the islands. The team of Jedi jump out onto the beach along with their own platoon of soldiers behind them. In front of them was the jungle of the island, along with a corridor of tribal pillars and broken statues.

Objective: You must secure a base-camp near the temple and track down their shuttle, as well as the flight recorder. Then you must track their last steps inside the temple. Your optional objective is to find all the texts you can about the previous owner of the temple, and bring it back to the shuttle for analysis.


The tallest of the group of jedi stopped and looked around the area, he had spent a considerable amount of time on Aeotheran since Clan Naga Sadow had claimed the system 19 years earlier but he couldn’t recall ever visiting this exact place and knowing that it was the location of an ancient structure he couldn’t think of a reason why the Clan hadn’t explored it sooner, in the end he put it down to the many wars and skirmishes they had been part of in that short, at least to him, amount of time.

The soldiers of the Warhost Army that had accompanied the team of jedi were already fanning out to secure the immediate area, not requiring any orders to do so. As soon as they’d finished that they began to setup a temporary base camp, while most of them were setting up a defensive perimeter a small group got to work setting up communications and a table mounted holographic map indicating the suspected last known locations of both Devil’s Shroud and their shuttle.

Malik took a moment to consider his two team mates for this mission, Shirai Dupar he had worked with before, mainly in the capacity of Shirai being a Quaestor while he himself was Consul, so he was fairly confident in the Battlemaster’s skills. The young Epicanthix however was unknown to the Neti who had spent most of his time since handing over the Clan to Locke in solitude which meant he hadn’t actually met many of the recent additions to Naga Sadow. He had done his homework on their short shuttle trip though and knew that the young Jedi Hunter was slated to lead Devil’s Shroud. That of course depended largely on the other members of the team being located alive, otherwise there wouldn’t be much of a team for Marcus Kiriyu to lead.

The Neti walked over to them at the map table just as one of the soldiers had finished setting it up, as the trio looked at the map Malik said “It would appear that the lost shuttle is located in the jungle not far from here.” as much to himself as to anyone else. At the same time Shirai pointed at what looked at what appeared to be the overgrown remains of an old procession path or road leading into the jungle, according to the map data it was lined with pillars and statues. He spoke up, “This would appear the easiest and most direct route to our target but it also seems like the perfect place for someone to prepare an ambush for us.” The others merely nodded. The Neti mumbled something to himself before raising his voice enough for the others to hear, “Walking into a potential ambush does seem to be our only option for now, otherwise we’d have to spend twice the time hacking our way through the jungle.”

The commander of the soldiers shouted out some orders and most of the soldiers set out on the overgrown path with the trio of jedi right behind them, a small group of soldiers stayed behind to secure the camp.

As they walked into the jungle the Adept shook his head and mumbled to himself, “I’m getting too old to explore old ruins and looking for lost kids.”



The trees and dirt were plenty, to some this would be a beautiful sight. To someone like Shirai however, it was an eventual burial ground. He had seen to many wars, to many bodies to see anything else. There was no beauty in the galaxy except the destruction its inhabitants released upon it. They passed through with relative ease. He had been the Governor of this planet before and hadn’t gotten around to exploring every inch of it.

Which was strange why there would be someone intercepting the troops of Naga Sadow. Devil’s Shroud lost radio signal but there was a signal reaching back to an area where they were last seen. With his two team members. Malik Sadow a newly crowned Elder, it was rightfully earned he had been strong in the Dark Side for quite some time.

However they were also paired with the new Battleteam Leader of Devil’s Shroud. A Jedi Hunter by the name of Marcus Kiriyu. It was highly unfortunate for him to take control of a team as soon as it goes missing. “You really have the luck of the draw Marcus.”

“What do you mean?” Marcus replied.

“We’re searching for your team, and you lost it already.” There was an ugly rasping noise that came from Shirai’s mouth which could only be confused with laughing.

“I noticed.”

Shirai walked up on the beaten path, that led past a number of broken tribal pillars. The weather was windy but bearable for their adventure today. The route they took was indeed in a good position for a ambush. Which was the reason Shirai had already extended his Force presence out as much as he could. If there was a chance he could catch anything before it happened it would be beneficial.

They were almost there anyways. The three man Jedi team had been walking for a short time following the route. Until they could see the temple faintly through the trees. It was a large temple but they were confident they would find the team alive and well. They were hard to kill off. Shirai was sure they were probably not in good health but still kicking. The trio walked into a totally beaten opening that led to the temple. It was towering and bigger than Shirai had originally thought seeing as he judged it from a distance.

“Spread out,” Dark Side Adept Malik ordered. “We have objectives ourselves. Marcus see what clues you can find on the shuttle they came in. We need to start retracing their steps into the temple as well.”

The Sith Battlemaster nodded, “I’ll try and get the texts they were supposed to get while we’re inside.” He pulled out a holopad as well.

“However there is a reason Devil’s Shroud went missing. Try not to get yourselves killed and keep those eyes sharp.”

This prompted an involuntary tapping of Fenris, Shirai’s custom lightsaber. How eager was he release his rage upon any unsuspecting victims. The power of the orb had elevated his lust to new angles. Which gave him flashbacks of actually wielding. Something he plans on stealing back soon. Another reason he needed to save Devil’s Shroud.

They would prove useful in his little favor.


Marcus, being the least experienced of the group, brought up the rear and was unable to comprehend why his two compatriots were so gloom. They were on a beautiful planet, in a lush and thriving jungle. Sure there was mud and the fact they were looking for an entire team that went missing but that shouldn’t mean they couldn’t enjoy themselves a bit. He was fairly interested in his two superiors though. One of them, the eldest named Malik, looked like a tree so he must be a Neti. His presence in the Force was formidable, which was expected of an Elder of course, but Marcus wondered why he’d never seen him. Despite his strength in the Force it was strange seeing a humanoid tree walking and talking. The other one, Shirai, was younger than he was but already exuded a strength much like Malik did. His features were harsh, as if hewn, and his movement told Marcus that he was a warrior.

They arrived at a clearing and the elder, who was their leader, barked out his orders. Raising a dismissive hand to indicate he understood he headed for the shuttle. The shuttle. Because an entire battle team going missing means they’re hiding in a broken shuttle. Marcus’ thoughts betrayed him slightly as he mashed the buttons on the keypad for the shuttle’s access ramp. It slid open smoothly, nothing out of the ordinary there. Taking the pilot’s seat, Marcus keyed up the shuttle’s logs. Drivel. More drivel. Nothing. Just as he was about to shut off the display, his eye caught something irregular in the power output for the starboard thruster. That’s odd. That shouldn’t be there.

Hitting a few buttons Marcus enabled the shuttle’s systems maintenance mode. Just as he keyed in the sequence to open the external maintenance hatch at the back, the entire shuttle went dark, only a sliver of daylight was cast into the shuttle through the access ramp’s opening. “Well that’s not supposed to happen,” he mumbled to himself. “I found something,” Marcus reported through his comm-link. “I’ll need a few minutes to sort it out but it looks like there was some form of sabotage involved. The reply came swiftly. “Alright, find out what it is and report back. We’ll be heading into the temple.” Marcus nodded to himself and quickly slid from his chair and ducked under the console to try and bring the shuttle back online.

After several minutes the shuttle sputtered back to life and Marcus got up with a grunt of happiness. Grabbing the maintenance kit from below the seat, he moved for the door. Once outside he pried open the hatch, taking a peek inside. Alright, looks fine in he- hello. You’re not supposed to be there. A small cylindrical object was attached to the engine housing, dotted with status lights and with a small cable running into the power distributor behind the engine. A tracking device and a damned good one too. “Malik, the team was followed. I found a tracking device in one of the engine housings.” Marcus ran his fingers along the cable’s length, looking for the exact attachment point. “I think I can pry it loose…” Reaching behind the engine housing with a micro-probe, he tugged at the cable trying to expose it’s affixation point. “Wait, don’t remove it.” Malik’s reply came, just as the cable gave way and broke off. Immediately all the lights on the device went out. Panicking slightly, Marcus keyed his commlink. “Uhh Malik. I think they know we’re here.”


War Room
The Lion’s Tooth
Seng Karesh, Aeotheran

Galleros sat before a long metal table, the electronic surfaces lying dormant as it had done for many hours now. A sudden silhouette of a Twi’lek cast its long shadow on the wall behind him, light flooding the room from the newly opened door and burning the man’s eyes.

“Kiriyu has made contact,” Inarya let her fingers fly over the console at the far end of the table, bringing the glass surface to life. A holographic map of Aeotheran flared to life, a small blinking red dot marking the location of the recon team.

“Then we move out.” The seated figure that was the Quaestor rose to his feet and strode out of the room, followed immediately by the Aedile.

Devil’s Shroud Landing Site
Team 2 Base Camp
Seng Karesh, Aeotheran

The silence of the entrance to the small cave was broken, Marcus was right, something did know they were there. The sounds were distant at first, then the vibration of hundreds of feet on hard floor echoed from within the cave, like the beating of a drum. Slowly. Cautiously, the three Jedi took their first steps inside the temple, the blades readied, the shaft of light holding the darkness in front of them at bay, faint flickering of force signatures. Before any of them had time to react a force was upon them. Like a swarm it attacked, each of them feeling claws, daggers, anything that this mass had at hand scratching and piercing their skin.

Beams of red hot photons shot through the air around Malik and the others. The screeching of blaster fire cutting through flesh echoed around them. Inhuman screams filled the air, the metallic smell of blood assaulting their senses, driving back the swarm that had pinned down the small group. The faintest glimpses were all they saw; silvery green flesh with red eyes and webbed appendages still lingered in their memories.

Once the dust and the chaos of the blaster fire had cleared, the House Shar Dakhan forces now dug into the entrance of the cave. The ground troops, who had laid down the suppressing fire, moved aside allowing the Quaestor and his Aedile entrance.

“Kill them all. No survivors, no loose ends. This vermin threat ends today, whether by you or myself.” Galleros said with an uncaring demeanor to Malik.

Inarya looked at each of them indifferently, Marcus grinned slightly seeing his Master had come to his aid. He opened his mouth to address her, but the Twi’lek lifted her hand, cutting him off before he had the chance to speak and walked deeper into the cave. Her ears caught the sound of a low groan, like a wounded animal coming from in front of her. Rocks falling caught her attention as a pile moved. Walking to it the Aedile saw the half buried figure that was Anima, the soon to be former leader of Devil’s Shroud after she was done with him.

“Try aiming next time, you missed me…” Anima winced as he fought to maintain his weight upon his arms. Inarya moved some of the rubble from his frame before bringing her boot down, pressing against the male’s stomach.

“How does it feel?” She said coarsely, the starburst scar on her stomach burnt a little from the memory of how Anima had gifted it to her.

“I imagine yours burnt more.”

The female ignited her saber.

“Oh, we can compare…”

The interaction was cut short. Something wasn’t right.

“The Madness comes first… Have fun with that.” Anima muttered as he focused on closing the lesser of his wounds through the Force. The vague warning was all he could manage while focusing on the whole staying alive thing.

Objective: Your team is beset with the horrors and madness that spring from an affliction of Force Terror. Work through the tricks of the mind and find your way to the center of the temple. Be on the look out for the denizens found therein, the Draedan


Malik felt the subtle intrusions on his psyche and took a deep breath to steel his mind against the mental attack, he could sense his companions doing the same to varying degrees of success. This could mean only one thing, there were well trained force users hidden somewhere within the depths of this dank temple. For now the mental assault didn’t feel too strong but the Neti surmised that this was mostly due to their opponents being quite a ways further in in the temple.

Suddenly the Elder sensed another presence, he had been too preoccupied when it arrived with the Quaestor and the Aedile considering the group had been under attack at the time. He turned to see human male with fairly long dark hair and a blaster in his left hand, Malik could not recall having seen him before and turned to the Zelosian Quaestor, Galleros did not look comfortable in the gathering darkness of the temple which was understandable as his species was completely blind in the dark, the Quaestor spoke, “Bentre Stahoes recently arrived from the Shadow Academy, we decided he should accompany you on your rescue mission.” He turned and walked back to the entrance of the temple and the comfort of being able to see clearly again in the light of day.

Malik looked at the new arrival again, “Well, it looks like you joined us at the perfect time young one, judging from the assault we just experienced and the ever present mental attacks I’m sensing I’m guessing we will be facing a rather large group of enemies here so you’re right on time to join us as we march to our possible deaths.” The Neti sighed and set off down the hallway where their attackers had fled down, he knew his pessimistic outburst would probably be unsettling to the others especially the two newest members of the Clans but Malik had not survived the many centuries which had included both the New Sith Wars, the Clone War and the jedi purge by being an optimist, he always expected and prepared for the worst, that was his secret to long life, well that and being able to hide in the woods if need be.

Shirai followed right behind the Elder, Marcus and Bentre were not far behind, Marcus looked like he was struggling more than the others to keep his mind sharp he kept looking around as if he was seeing something out of the corner of the eye, to distract himself he decided to speak up, “Did any of you see who attacked us? They didn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen before.” Malik shrugged, he had never encountered this specific species either but he didn’t really care who or what they were, he just wanted to rid the Orian system of them. Shirai on the other hand had apparently got a better look at them it seemed as he said, “Short and scaly, silver to green skin and it looked like they had webbed hands, no wonder they decided to live in an underwater temple.”

Malik halted as he heard a noise further ahead.


Bentre tried to keep pace with the others. It was not too hard, thankfully, but they kept a good pace.
He kept stealing glances at tall one. He had plenty of questions, among them about what precisely he was looking at. The rough-skinned Sith obviously had other things on his mind, and no time to devote to answering stupid questions, he was sure. Bentre couldn’t help but smirk a little at the line about marching to their deaths though.

“Are you sure about that?” a whisper hit his ears, echoing quietly in the chamber. The Corellian
allowed his eyes to wander, but he saw no reaction from the others.

Surely, he’d been mistaken then. He had fled that past a long time ago. He would be the first to admit that they did not part on the greatest of terms.Well, that was putting it mildly. He hadn’t done any lasting damage, though. Well, not enough for him to feel sorry about, anyway.

He bit his lip, and shook his head. There had been a mention of mental attacks. He just had to keep his mind focused, and his eyes on the goal. There was nothing they could bring against him that he had not faced before. He had left that life behind, and there was no reason to dwell on things he couldn’t help.

“That was always your way,” a familiar voice cooed in his ear. “You never cared so long as you achieved your goals. So long as you sated your desires, it didn’t matter who you stepped on. It didn’t matter who was caught in the cross fire. Just as long as Bentre was happy.”

The voice wasn’t going away any time soon, he realized. Just had to keep focused on the mission, he repeated to himself. This place felt all wrong, and the hairs on the back of his neck were on end. Even as one of the others mentioned something about scaly creatures in the cave, he slowly reached out in the Force, trying to get a sense of his surroundings. To his surprise, he didn’t feel much of anything, not that he could make sense of, anyway.

“Of course, its not like you can trust them.” the voice mocked, and slowly, the Obelisk recognized the voice. “They don’t know the kind of a man you are. They wouldn’t trust you any further than they could throw your kriffing corpse when you show yourself for who you really are.” the voice hissed. “But you and I both know what a coward you turned out to be. You wouldn’t ever let anybody in. You always had to be the lone wolf. And soon enough, you are going to die like the sad little mutt that you are.”

The tall one stopped abruptly, and Bentre turned his head briefly to steal a glance behind himself. The feeling of unease was getting greater. His eyes met with nothing, though. He shook his head, and drew a deep steadying breath.

“But don’t worry, Bentre,” the voice giggled, raising in volume ever so slightly. “You see,” a scuffling drew his attentions forward, toward the enveloping darkness. “Unlike you, we only come after those who deserve it.”

A sharp chill ran down his spine, as he heard more scuffling. “I guess that is just a little unfortunate for you.”


Center Temple
Seng Karesh, Aeotheran

Shirai had been besieged before by afflictions such as this. During his fight against the Yuuzhan Vong toxins and Jonaleth Isradias meddling with Alchemy on his mind and body. He could fight the madness that threatened to overtake him. But it could not be for long. He was starting to relive moments of past wars. Dead faces he killed and ones he should have saved. The walked down a long corridor that was eroded with time and now behind them, expired humanoid amphibians.

Malik was able to tell that the rest of his team was beginning to waver under the constant wave of Terror emitting from the temple. Without a word he opened his mind to the Force and manipulated it to become a meld. Using a form of battle meditation he created a Force meld in which he extended the conscious to the other three.

Shirai an avid user of the Force Meld joined it quickly and he could feel his mind ease slightly from the Terror. “Join the meld quickly. Trust us to push through this madness,” Malik ordered.

The team wasted no time as their own minds were fading to the madness, the help was sorely needed. After feeling all of the Dakhanians join the meld the Dark Side Adept strengthened the meld and he could also feel them ease up.

All of sudden though Malik stopped at a noise ahead. The only real light came from their lightsabers. They heard hissing coming from an opening. They had reached the center of the Temple. Shirai felt his head buzzing with the constant attacks but still was able to walk forward with a smirk on his face. “They are trying to drive us mad. But they do not know. I’m already mad.”

Marcus and Bentre nodded hoping the slight of mind infected Battlemaster would be enough as they pushed forward ready to face more enemies. Though dark opening led to a center of the temple, the Dark Jedi walked out and they weren’t met with any immediate forces. “Where are they,” Bentre muttered who seemed to be having an internal battle with himself still.

“They are here. I can sense them.” Shirai said his mind barely able to pinpoint how many or where the reptilian creatures roamed.

Then he felt them attacking. A shriek went through the air as a bunch of assailants darted from their hiding positions in the vast temple. The four backed showed their backs to one another as they covered each other from all angles. The Force meld held them together fight as one entity so that’s what they did. The first one showed himself was met by blaster fire to the chest as Bentre notched one on the kill count. Just as Shirai weaved his blade and cleaved two that tried to jump him. The other began to fight for their lives as well. Malik could be seen ripping through a pair of the creatures with his red dual lightsaber blades. Even Marcus was unyielding to the force that threatened to overwhelm them. He heaved his lightsaber up and parted a Draeden in half.

“Good fight my friends!” Shirai roared and powered through his foes with the style of Vaapad.


Despite the bond the Equite’s set up that steeled his mind against the oncoming onslaught, Marcus could slowly feel his mind slipping. Voices kept intruding on his mind, whispering falsehoods and half-truths. Would the Adept actually aid them, or was this all a setup from the battlemaster? Even the new prodigy Bentre, who he found on Nar Shaddaa and had been progressing faster than any other student, kept giving him glances of mistrust.

The Force nudged at his mind just long enough to pull him out of his mad reverie. “More are coming, stay together!” His instincts took over as he telepathically slammed another scaly alien into a wall, seemingly dispelling the encroaching madness he felt upon his mind with each alien that was killed. There seemed to be no end to the waves of green-silver attackers.

Meanwhile Shirai and Malik were ravaging through groups of the aliens as if they were nothing, blurs of light the only thing that distinguished them from the darkness around them. They made this seem easy in comparison, then again they were veterans of many conflicts.
Bentre and Marcus were having a much harder time keeping up, their skills not as honed by years of conflict as the two Equite’s had been, cutting heavily through each individual enemy.
As suddenly as the attackers had appeared, they vanished. Bentre sounded off first.

“Who were they? Was they all of them?” Marcus, panting slightly from the physical exertion, opened his mouth to retort but no sound came out.

His world disappeared in darkness, he could not see, hear or sense anything beyond his own terror. Monsters leapt at him from the darkness, clawing at his flesh. His friends appeared and turned into horrible monstrosities before his eyes, beings warped by alchemy and torture. His father and mother sprung to life before him, only to be ripped to shreds by the beings that were once his friends.

Malik felt it first as Marcus’ mind fell from the link they’d formed. Spinning about to the young Epicant, he could see the Jedi Hunter sinking to his knees amidst the multitude of corpses that had piled up around all of them. He called out to Shirai to have him secure the perimeter but no answer came, the Battlemaster was exhausted from his foray with the aliens. The new prodigy would have to step up while he attended to Marcus.

“Bentre, you check the entrances, see if there’s any more coming.”

Still unable to discern anything but the horrors and his fear mounting, Marcus pulled his saber into his hand, igniting the crimson blade. The rough metal from the armory saber felt comforting, encouraging him to attack the vile demons that plagued him.

Before Malik could get to the future team leader, Marcus ignited his saber. His face contorted in fear, his eyes were completely blank. He wasn’t part of this reality now, Malik realized. Before he had a chance to do anything however, Marcus charged in rage, fully succumbed to the mental attacks that plagued him.


Central Chamber,
Sunken Temple,

The hordes of evil and twisted abominations have not stopped for several hours now. Each wave of the spawn comes an even stronger resistance to the Dark Jedi’s forces and soldiers. It feels as if the creature understand their weaknesses and exploited them fully. Together, the resistance have secured a small corridor which prevents the Draedan reaching sea level. However to Malik who was instinctively the father of the group, sensed something was amiss with this faction. He took a group of soldiers with him past the resistance line and deeper inside the central chamber. The pitch black darkness echoed with the screeches and scratchings of the fearless creatures, who seem to be constantly watching you. Further into the ancient chamber, was the flurried flashes of ruby light was all Malik and the soldiers saw from Shirai who relentlessly fought. Malik crept closer as his soldiers fired upon the scaled vermin and with a sweep of his hand the creatures were pushed back into the darkness. Then the laughing flooded their ears.

“Malik!” Shirai rushed back to the Elder, gasping with breath and pointed towards the shadows.

Both Malik and Marcus looked into the darkness to notice a white robed Draedan, smirking from ear to ear. He held an ancient designed sword firmly in his strong hand whilst striding over to the Dark Jedi. His blood shot eyes were heavily focused on the Neti, as he raised his hand which caused the torches of the chamber to fire up. A large circle stained brown in the blood of enemies surrounded the white-robed Draedan as he invited the Dark Jedi inside. The intelligent creature paced the edges and impatiently waited, with the same manic grin permanently on his face.

Objective: The Draedan are a foul race, that you have noticed fully. However their leader has displayed a sense of talent and perception. The invading forces upon the temple have their concentration fully on on the grunts of the enemy and have chosen to instinctively prevent your escapades. Using the reserves of your talent, defeat the Draedan leader and bring your Quaestor his head. The only support objective is to make sure the temple is secure from further Draedan attack.


Malik looked at the newly arrived amphibian, who was clearly the leader of the unwelcome guests on Aeotheran, he did not look like much of a fighter but the old Neti knew well enough that looks could be deceiving. The Adept took a quick glance in the direction of Marcus Kiriyu, the young Jedi Hunter seemed to have regained control of his mind again, at least for the moment being he could become a problem later if the enemy decided to launch more mental attacks at the group though. Malik decided that the best way to prevent this was to go on the attack, no more waiting for their enemy to make the first move.

More Draedan flooded into the room, armed with blasters, blades and in some instances just their claws and sharp teeth. At the same time the soldiers of the Naga Sadow Warhost were taking up defensive positions where they could lay down covering fire to help the quartet of Dark Jedi. Three lightsabers were ignited and bathed the room in hues of red and blue from blades of Malik, Shirai and Marcus, Bentre had taken up position with the soldiers and were aiming his blaster at the enemy.

Malik reached out with the force, gripping the nearest Draedan and pulled him towards his lit blade, as the amphibian made contact with the blade he was neatly sliced in half, before the body parts had hit the floor the Neti pointed his free hand, electricity already building up around it, at another Draedan and unleashed a barrage of lightning which left the pitiful creature cramping on the floor for a few seconds before dying.

After the initial shock of the Elder’s attack had left them the remaining Draedans charged ahead, blaster fire crisscrossed the room, one of the Draedan charged at the Neti slashing its knives at Malik while at the same time dodging the lightsaber blade of the Dark Jedi, clearly these amphibians knew that their weapons couldn’t block a lightsaber so they’d been trained to stay out of the way of them instead. After cutting some more holes in the air Malik became annoyed by the fight and resorted to grasping his second lightsaber from his waist using the force, but instead of summoning it to his free hand it flew behind the Draedan and hung in the air for half a second before the sound of the blade igniting could be heard, the lone Draedan was now being attacked by a lightsaber both from the front and from the rear which his training clearly hadn’t prepared him for as he was grazed by a handful of superficial cuts within the first seconds as well as a few that had cut deeper, severing tendons and muscles. Malik finished the fight by cutting off one hand just above the wrist and the other arm above the elbow before telekinetically throwing the mangled amphibian to the side.

The Elder then set his sights on the Draedan leader who up to this point had been staying back and observing, he stood out from his followers by being taller and looking stronger but even so the Neti towered over him, as Malik swung a lightsaber blade at the Draedan leader he didn’t react the same way the other one had, instead he brought up his sword blocking the crimson blade surprising the Neti.


Bentre was shaking a little, he had to admit. This assault was a little more than he had expected. The words and accusations swirling about in his head continued to dull his concentration. He had to summon every bit of his will to keep his focus on the task at hand. He would do anything to dull her words.

He had been picking his shots carefully, trying to help turn the tides against the waves of grey flesh and clashes that threatened to overtake them. He felt like a child trying to fell a tree with a stick though. He was using the wrong tool for this job, he realized. Shaking his head, he holstered the weapon in its familiar place, feeling the hot energy cell against his chest. He could keep throwing stones from the sidelines.

“The same cowardice you always showed,” her voice hissed. He bit his lip, watching as the large Draedan met a blow with a blow. He saw the look of surprise on the towering Neti’s face, and he realized about how serious things were getting.

Pulling back slightly from the soldiers, Bentre took a breath and ignited his lightsaber with an electronic crackle. The blade hummed, giving everything near him an icy hue. He saw more than a few eyes turned his way. The Protector was not going to back down now, though. Throwing caution to the wind, he charged.

Things quickly became chaotic as he found himself being assaulted by more of the monsters than he could begin to count. His blade seemed to move of his own accord though. It seemed that the intense training he had been enduring had taken root. He became more confident as he began cutting his way closer to the Neti.

“So, this is where you chose to die, huh?” a gruff, male voice snarled in his ear. The voice was one he had not heard in years. Those words brought a rush of emotion, and he felt his footwork falter. The amphibians took quick advantage of the mistake though, and the Corellian felt his feet slip as one of them drove a claw into his chest. “Would have thought you would have been smarter, worm.”

As he hit the ground, he heard his weapon clatter across the floor, likely doing a lot of damage but quickly disappearing from sight. He heard the voice continue the words to a monologue he already knew. “You never could leave things alone, could you.” Bentre struggled to his feet, pulling his blaster from his jacket again. “You always had to be in the middle of things.”

Taking careful aim, he fired as the nearest of the Draedan, trying to backpedal as he did so. The creatures were not about to let up, though. Another of the beasts jumped atop his shoulders, claws tearing into his back as it did so.

“You always had to feel like you were something great.” the voice continued. “Even if it meant that somebody had to end up dead.” Pulling at the creature, Bentre felt as though razors were tearing into the soft meats, finding a place to embed themselves. If he didn’t do something, he didn’t want to think of what would happen next.

“Of course, next time that somebody could be you.” the familiar words purred menacingly, and Bentre felt a cold overcoming him. He was losing blood quickly now.

“No.” he whispered. He tried to steady his breath, and brought back to mind one of the philosophy books he had read in the Academy. He drew upon the springs within, and felt his muscles relaxing. The pain was great, but he only needed a moment. With a grunt, he grabbed one of the scaly arms wrapped across his shoulder, and gave a great pull. With a surprised shriek, the grey creature went over his shoulder, bowling over several of the others.

With the element of surprise, he quickly drew back several steps. He had to watch his back, though. He couldn’t keep running too much longer. He was feeling weaker and the Draedan wouldn’t let him survive another mistake like that. His eyes darted, searching frantically. Now, if only he could find his lightsaber again.


Marcus quickly scanned the scene while making sure no other Draedan interfered with the Elder’s fight. Malik was trading blows with the Draedan leader, the alien matching the treelike Elder with difficulty but keeping up despite his disadvantage. The initial surpise had worn off and Malik was slowly but surely overtaking the Draedan elder.
The Equite, Shirai, stood next to him, waiting for an opening to enter the fight, occasionally slicing a Draedan in half if they ventured near him. His eyes following every move, absorbing every detail, Marcus could feel the rage building inside him. If the Equite saw an opening, he’d unleash his rage at the opportune moment.
Behind them, the new Protector was struggling. The gash in his chest was slowing his movements and he’d lost his saber which had skittered to a rock a few feet from it’s owner. Marcus had to give it to their new addition; his skill with a blaster was extraordinary for a student of his level.

Mentally weighing the outcomes of the battle, Marcus quickly made a decision. The Protector needed some help, as did the troops near him. Malik and Shirai could probably hold their own against the last few stragglers and their prodigiously skilled leader. Reaching through the Force into the Equite’s mind, he relayed his intent to Shirai. There was no real reply, just a sense of determination and focus. I’ll take that as a yes.

Shifting his focus away from the Elder’s battle Marcus stretched out his hand, the Protector’s saber neatly landing in his palm within seconds. A few quick paces and he was within throwing distance of the young student. Bentre, catch! The Force guiding his thoughts into the Journeyman’s mind, he threw the saber towards the younger Jedi who neatly caught it in his empty hand.

His lightsaber quickly replacing his blaster, Bentre quickly rejoined Marcus. The combined blue glows of their sabers casting icey shadows on the walls, they stood back to back, decimating Draedan after Draedan, slowly moving to stand before the troopers defensive line. Here they stood, parallel to the stream of Draedan that still poored into the larger chamber, each Jedi slashing their respective sides. The few Draedan that managed past them were easily picked off the Warhost’s troops.

Meanwhile Shirai was still scanning the Elder’s fight, reaching through the Force, desperate to find an opening and unleashing his fury. Suddenly his mind felt a pull and he exploded forward, saber in an upward swing, catching an unexpected parry that would’ve sliced the Neti in half.

“Thanks Shirai”, came the forced reply. The Neti was clearly having issues keeping his focus on the fight, what with a second blade he had to control mentally. Shirai didn’t ackowledge the social nicety, he was too busy raining brutal blows down on the outclassed alien.

Burn after burn, graze after graze, injury after injury, the Draedan suffered under the combined assault of the two experienced Dark Jedi. He was backing up in increasing speed now, unable to withstand the combined attacks of four lightsabers.


Central Chamber,
Sunken Temple,

The link between him and Malik was still present but with each brutal stroke of his blade he felt himself sliding into a familiar dark part of his mind. Shirai bounced around the Draedan leader keeping him off balance while throwing unpredictable strikes from the vicious form of Vaapad. However though the Elder and the Equite were fighting in unison, the Elder had his mind slightly distracted keeping up the amazing ability of fighting with his lightsaber without his hands. Such was the prowess of the Adepts use Telekinetic Combat. So the Battlemaster thought this was his opportunity to steal the glory.

Finally giving in to the raging desire to let loose, to destroy everything in his path which had been nagging him in beginning of the battle. The Sith went into a Rampage, he broke his connection to the Force Meld from Malik and went on his own. He jumped in front of Malik and begun to take on the Draedan leader on his own. The Dark Side Adept frowned slightly before decimating a group of Draeden charging them from behind with a single horizontal stroke. Using Force Lightning and Telekinetic Combat while maintaining the Force Meld was indeed very taxing. He began to focus as on what seemed to be an endless hive of Draeden. “Just don’t die on my watch.”

Better to cut the head of this beast before they continued to overwhelm them. However it seemed to an endless supply of energy for Shirai. On the contrary he felt even more revitalized than before. The Dark Side of Force flowed through every portion of his body clouding his mind with a single thought. To kill this amphibian leader. There was room for other thoughts in his mind. His rampage had taken completely over.

The Draeden leader had already been worn out by the exchanges from Malik and Shirai. This more brutal Shirai would not be denied. Shirai grabbed his blade with two hands and swung it downwards at his opponent who threw up a full guard to block it. The Battlemasters might proved far greater as he batted the blade downwards pressing the Draeden leader to scramble backwards to recover his footing. Clearly he was trained by someone possibly a Dark Jedi, as he pretended to be harmless and he sent a wild backheel kick straight into the abdomen of the Dupar.

Shirai shrugged the hit off like a fly, unfazed by the attack. The Draeden hadn’t shown fear till that point but it was felt through the Force and the Sith fed off of that. He retaliated by also sending a large boot into his chest, crushing his chest in. He flew off his webbed feet and rolled backwards a few feet and attempted get back up before his brushed his feet again, this time by a deafening blast of Telekinetic force that sent the Draeden leader flying backwards until he came crushing into the temple wall. Bones fully cracked after that last attack, blood began pouring from its mouth.

The final thing it saw when its eyes tried to regain focus was the Battlemaster flying through air towards him and driving home his crimson red blade into his chest. He screeched with what air he had left before his lightsaber burned through. Shirai with a maddened look bore his eyes into the dying light of the Draeden leader. Right before he died, Shirai took his blade out and swung it at its neck.

The head held its pathetic dying impression before Shirai caught it with his free hand. He immediately held the head up in the air so the rest of the Draeden could see. The Battlemaster let loose a mighty battlecry that called the attention of all the remaining lizards. Seeing their leader beaten and beheaded struck the last chord of defeat into their hearts and they abandoned their assault and retreated.

Shirai was breather incredibly hard still feeling the effects of his rampage but his fellow Journeyman were no worse for wear, a little bit more than they thought would happen but they pulled through spectacularly. Malik called his blades back to him and said, “Well done team. And I guess to Shirai who’s having a little bit to much fun.”

“To…much…must…calm down,” Shirai replied exasperated and exuberant at the same time.

“While he does that, you two have proven yourselves worthy of advancement by surviving this ordeal though not totally unscathed but still in one piece. Well done.”

The two Journeyman replied with a bow in unison.

“Now lets bring Galleros this head, Its beginning to stink,” Marcus said to Shirai who still hadn’t regained control.

“I hear you on that,” Bentre backing away from the Battlemaster.