MOTF Book II: Ascension Chapter 11

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MOTF Book II: Ascension Chapter 11

Post by Emperordmb on Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:34 am

It had only been a few seconds after Mother Veliya’s scream that the Army of the Dead began to swarm the Jedi. Fortunately, just as that was happening, half a dozen more Jedi Knights also joined the engagement, combining their forces with those of the Jedi already there. With hundreds of undead Nightsisters swarming them from all angle, the Jedi were forced to raise their blades in retaliation, ready to cleave each of the undead sisters to pieces. It was then that Jaira realized just how well suited her weapon was for this particular engagement. Constructed two years ago on Ilum, Jaira’s blue bladed saberstaff had served her well in the war, striking a similarity to the electrostaff she had wielded back on Innamorta. Now it served as the ideal weapon against the zombified Nightsisters and Nightbrothers, with its two blades providing more surface area for offense and defense than a standard lightsaber. Utilizing her the versatility of Niman, Jaira adapted to the needs of the moment, spinning the hilt of her saberstaff in her hand. The blue blades twirled around her body like a buzzsaw, cutting through the undead flesh of any zombie that came her way. Every so often, the Lightor Padawan would thrust out her hand and hurl a cluster of zombies away from her with the power of the Force. Jaira glanced over at her master, only to see the great Sagemaster Nalaniel standing perfectly still, a calm and peaceful expression on her face, as the Force arms protruding from her back thrashed around her body dismembering any and every undead Nightsister foolish enough to come within three meters of her. Several meters away, Jaira saw Terro, hacking away at the undead Nightsisters around him with a combination of Shii-Cho and Djem So strikes, cleaving them apart with simple but effective moves and sequences.

Distracted by watching Terro, Jaira failed to notice the zombie running up behind her until it was already in the air, leaping towards her back. Suddenly, the zombie flew backwards with great velocity, striking half a dozen other undead Nightsisters and hurling them straight to the ground. Glancing to her right, Jaira saw Arthur several meters away, one hand holding his emerald-bladed lightsaber and the other outstretched in her direction. His brilliant green eyes sharpened in focus as he spun around to dismember an undead Nightbrother charging towards him. Arthur’s tactics were ever changing based on whatever suited the moment, sometimes applying the fast paced sequences and graceful acrobatics of Ataru, other times falling back on the tight blade work of Soresu, and occasionally adopting a more balanced Niman approach of constantly shifting technique and several telekinetic thrusts integrated into his lightsaber sequences. Arthur’s master fought with a similar technique, but whereas Arthur’s approach seemed more calculated, the Mongooku almost seemed to move as a force of nature, sometimes a destructive whirlwind, and other times the calm eye of the storm. The Grand Master shifted between these approaches so smoothly and naturally that Jaira was sometimes unable to distinguish which approach he was using, each of his sequences flowing into the next with utter harmony. Behind the elemental drive of the Grand Master’s sapphire blade, the venerable Jedi unleashed several blasts of Force energy, each one carving a swath of destruction through the waves of the undead Nightsisters, blasting them to pieces.

But while the Grand Master’s sapphire blade seemed to be guided by a force of nature, Amoye Ilu’s amethyst blade seemed to be nature itself, unrelenting it hewed through countless undead Nightsisters. It was violence and serenity made manifest by the will of the Force in perfect technique and blade work. His blade moved and changed directions around him so fast it appeared to be liquid, tracing a violet path through the air that seemed to move like water. From her friendship with Terro, Jaira knew that each movement of Amoye Ilu’s blade was precise to a thousandth of a centimeter. Many of the other Jedi marveled at the blademaster as he put down scores of undead Nightsisters at a time.

As the Jedi continued to fend off hundreds undead Nightsisters, they were plagued with several illusions as Mother Veliya and her coven of crafters began to chant once more. They took the shape of several things, nightmarish demons and unsavory creatures, spikes jutting out of the ground, thorny vines shooting from the ground ready to ensnare Jedi, green flame rolling over the landscape, and things Jaira couldn’t even begin to describe with words. At first, these illusions caught the Jedi off guard, allowing the zombies to tear one of the Jedi Knights apart as they swarmed him, the other Jedi protected by the immense powers of Mongooku, Nalaniel, and Amoye Ilu,  the three Jedi masters seeing straight through the illusions with their advanced senses and experience. Though the numbers of zombies began to thin out the Jedi began to cluster closer together, trusting the Order’s three greatest Master’s to defend them from these spells and protect them in their clouded vision. Masters Mongooku and Nalaniel dissipated several of the illusions with blasts of pure light from their hands and fingertips. Jaira began to probe outward with the Force, taking advantage of the lower concentration of enemies in her vicinity to focus on extending her senses towards these illusions, to determine that they were in fact, not real. A dragon wreathed in emerald flame soared from the sky straight towards Jaira. Through the Force, Jaira sensed that this creature was no more real than the Hero of Umbara, and she barely paid it any attention after that point, dismembering a Nightsister zombie with a quick twirl of her saberstaff as the illusory creature flew straight through her body. A serpentine tentacle shot out from the ground and lash out between her legs. Sensing this to be nothing more than an illusion as well, Jaira ignored it as it moved straight through her groin, though she felt slightly violated, despite the lack of any actual physical contact.

Suddenly, a cluster of thorny briers broke the surface of the ground and began to crawl towards Jaira, several thorny stems and tendrils lashing out in her direction. Just as Jaira dismissed them as nothing more than illusions and began to turn away, she stopped. Something was different this time. She could… feel them. Suddenly, Jaira spun back around and held her free hand forward, exerting her will on the surging brier, causing its thorny tendrils to stop a few inches away from her body. After she constructed her lightsaber on Ilum, her master had taught her the discipline of Consitor Sato, more commonly known as plant surge. Over the past couple of years, Jaira had developed the ability to bend and manipulate plant life with the power of the Force. The brier thrashed as Jaira forced its thorns and vines away from her. She could feel something fighting her power. One of the crafters atop the fortress wall was clearly fighting for control over the cluster of plant life. Jaira drew upon the plant’s life energy, drawing it out as she poured her own power and will into it, merging her mind and will with its life Force. Jaira pressed with her will and the vines and tendrils of the brier began to twist and thrash around as they wrapped themselves around each other, drawing the entire brier closer and closer together, almost imploding it upon itself as the very thorns of the brier stabbed into various parts of itself. With one last push of her mind, Jaira sent the brier’s life energy exploding outward as she simultaneously blasted it with a surge of Force energy. The thicket of thorns and stems exploded into thousands of dead pieces. In a couple of other places, large briers shot out from the ground, flailing green tendrils of thorns around as they lashed out at the Jedi. Jaira reached out to the plants through the Force, straining heavily as she tried to contain them, causing them to twist and writhe upon themselves rather than the Jedi, who quickly dispatched their immobilized thorny opponents with a blade or the Force.

Suddenly, Mother Veliya’s coven of crafter began to bend and flick their fingers, weaving  intricate patterns in the air above their head, chanting as they did so. After a couple minutes, Mother Veliya thrusted her hands out. A web of crisscrossing green strands of Force energy flew from the sky, spreading out and expanding until its area encompassed a square kilometer in front of the fortress. Jaira suddenly realized it was a Nightsister control web. As the web fell towards the ground, Grand Master Mongooku threw up a barrier of Force energy to protect them. The section of the web above the Jedi broke upon that barrier, dissipating and dissolving before it could even touch them. The rest of the web however, remained intact as it fell all around them. Suddenly several animalistic cries filled the air as dozens of creatures poured out from the tree line and rushed towards the Jedi. Jaira recognized several of them. Among the creatures were several poisonous voritor lizards and Kodashi vipers, swarms and swarms of spark flies, scissorfists, and shear mites, and even a rancor, quite large for its size. Jaira could feel each of their minds through the Force, and each and every one of them was under the control of the Nightsisters. The Jedi twirled their blades around them and unleashed blasts of Force energy to hold the attacking wildlife at bay. One unfortunate Jedi Knight fell to a swarm of shear mites, screaming and writhing in agony as they chewed through his body with their acid-laced mandibles. Another Jedi collapsed to the ground, this one electrocuted to death by the sting of a sparkfly as a cluster of scissorfists latched their claws onto his flesh. Though the minds of these creatures were under the control of the Nightsisters, Jaira realized she had to do something. She reached out, perceiving each of their minds through the Force. Then, systematically, Jaira began to impose her own will on the creatures one at a time, staggering, confusing, and off-balancing them as her mental commands conflicted with those of the Nightsisters. One by one, each of the creatures fell as the Jedi took advantage of their confused states. Amoye Ilu sliced through lethal insect after lethal insect, his blade tracing a violet sphere around him. Nalaniel lifted the Rancor off of its feet, each of her four Force arms wrapping around one of its limbs, then with a mighty heave, the Jedi Sagemaster smashed the Rancor into the ground, breaking its body and killing it.

Mother Veliya and each of her crafters extended their hands forwards as a green mist flew forth and enveloped the corpse of the fallen Rancor, the mist seeping into its very flesh and bones. Suddenly, the Rancor clamored back up to its feet, reanimated with the magic of the Nightsisters, now towering over the battlefield as it stood thirty meters tall. Its body and musculature had been enlarged and enhanced by the power of the Nightsisters. With a loud roar of fury, the Rancor swept one massive arm out, catching two Jedi Knights in its grip before they could move out of the way, before casually crushing them within its hand. The Rancor charged towards the rest of the Jedi, its stomps shaking the very ground beneath it. Before it could kill any more Jedi however, Master Mongooku took a single step forward and extended his left hand, his fingers splayed wide. A golden rays of pure blinding light shot out from the palm of his hand and struck the Rancor square in the chest. Mongooku continued to pour the power of the Light side into the beast’s body until it exploded into a shower of fleshy chunks and blood, green mist filling the sky as it dispersed. A chill ran down Jaira’s spine as Mother Veliya cried out in fury, and the Nightsister archers returned to the edge of the fortress wall, ready to rain fire upon them as another horde of undead warriors suddenly emerged from the fortress gates, the sides of the fortress, and the edges of the forest to meet them.

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Than Rostu charged at the dark haired Sith Acolyte just as the Acolyte charged at him. His green blade met the Sith’s red blade as they exchanged a flurry of blows, Rostu striking at the Sith with his mastery of Juyo. The Acolyte fought furiously, raining a ferocious Juyo sequence of his own upon the Jedi Master. Though his skills were not quite as refined as Than Rostu’s, the Korun could not deny his opponents considerable level of skill and talent with the seventh form of Lightsaber combat. He also noticed the Acolyte making sure he was interposed between Than and the female Acolyte at all times, his yellow eyes blazing with hatred and fury as he fought to protect her. Surprisingly, this Sith appeared to harbor a strong affection and attachment to the female Acolyte. Indeed the feelings Than Rostu were perceiving from the young Sith from the Force went beyond simple lust, and could only be described as love, a shocking and unusual emotion to come across in any Sith, and yet here it was, in a Sith whose emotional state was otherwise steeped in a focused fury and hatred. No- there was one other emotion Than could feel in him; fear. He feared to lose her, and so he was fighting desperately to defend her. Than glanced over at his twin brother, Staz, who was struggling underneath the combined might of the two other Acolytes as they maneuvered around him, harrowing away at his defenses from opposite flanks. Than then realized that he could use the dark haired Acolyte’s love for the female Acolyte as a tactical advantage.

Than pressed the boy back towards the girl with an offensive barrage of ferocious strikes and slashes, each one randomized and unpredictable. The Sith Acolyte suddenly altered his technique, countering Than’s sequence with an impressive display of Soresu as he retreated towards the temple and the girl he loved. Without warning, the Sith utilized a Djem So strike, sweeping Than’s blade to the side with a blow as forceful as it was lightning fast before unleashing a blindingly fast series of vicious stabs at the sudden opening in Than’s defenses. Now it was the Korrun Jedi Master forced on the defensive, countering the Sith’s Juyo offensive with his own defensive, a combination of deft parries and evasions. After a few seconds and a couple of feet given under the Sith’s offensive flurry, Than parried the Acolyte’s blade to the side with his own blade held in his left hand as he punched the Sith square in the nose with his right fist. Continuing to drive his arm forward with the momentum of his strike, Than Rostu threw his elbow forward, catching the Sith in the throat, before spinning around and driving his foot into the Sith’s chest, sending him staggering back several feet. Than unleashed a blast of Force energy as the Sith struggled to regain his footing, driving him to his knees. The Sith’s yellow eyes flashed in fear for a brief moment as he realized how close to the temple Than had Forced him. Then, after a split second, the pupils of his eyes contracted as he gathered his hatred. Acting in desperation, the Sith drew upon the power of the temple itself and unleashed it in a forceful blast at the Jedi Master.

Than raised a Force barrier, absorbing much of the blast as he flipped backwards through the air towards his brother and the other two male Acolytes, moving back with the momentum. Though he had anticipated, even hoped for the Sith to draw upon the power of the temple to drive him back, the power behind the Sith’s blow still surprised him, even accounting for the power of the temple.Than watched as the Acolyte drew upon the temple’s power one last time before unleashing it in a blur of motion, charging towards him with the velocity of a missile. The Sith Acolyte reached Than Rostu, unleashing a devastatingly fast sequence of blows with what remained of the power he had siphoned from the temple. Than fell back under the Sith’s assault, straight towards… his brother. That had been his plan the whole time. Confront the dark haired Acolyte with the threat of his love dying so he’d lash out in his rage. Then Than allowed himself to be driven back towards his brother and the other Acolytes, which was exactly where he wanted to be. He and his brother fought better as a team than they did separately, and his brother was struggling against the two Acolytes he was facing. Than was making his own tactical goals for location congruent with the Acolyte’s, and the young Sith didn’t even realize it.

When Than and the dark haired Acolyte reached his brother and the other two Acolytes, the five combatants quickly converged into one fight, two on three, Jedi against Sith. Than and Staz quickly adapted to each other’s presences, working in perfect conjunction and coordination with their skills in Juyo. Surprisingly to Than, the three Acolytes adapted in a similar fashion, working together in various attempts to outflank the Masters, or overwhelm their defenses at a single point depending on the circumstances. Even more surprisingly, Than could sense a certain amount of love between these three Sith, bonds of friendship forged between them long before this battle. Than and his brother always considered the Sith’s lack of compassion to be their greatest weakness. To take advantage of that weakness, the Rostu brothers always fought in perfect coordination, playing off of each others strengths and covering their weaknesses, killing each of their enemies as their allies failed to protect them, but that did not seem to happen with these Sith. These three Acolytes always seemed to have each other’s backs, defending each other whenever one of them became vulnerable, and combining their offensive approaches. Such a thing was very uncommon to find amongst Sith, but then again these Sith were unusual in more ways than one. Than had expected three Acolytes to be an easy challenge for him and his brother, but despite only looking to be around fifteen, each of these Acolyte’s were excellent swordsmen, and exceptionally powerful in the Force.

Than matched the graceful and aggressive offensive flurry of the saberstaff wielding Acolyte with his own offensive, fighting back against the Sith’s fast paced Ataru sequences and acrobatics with a ferocious flurry of Juyo strikes, before spinning around to catch the blade of the brown haired Sith wielding Djem So at the same time his brother did, both driving the Sith’s blade back with their combined strength. Then, Than was forced to raise a Force barrier to absorb a telekinetic blast from the dark haired Sith before twirling his blade to counter a lightning fast Juyo sequence. All three of these Sith had highly advanced abillities for their age, but it was becoming quickly apparent to Than Rostu that the dark haired Acolyte was definitely the most dangerous. While all three had amazing skills as swordsmen, the dark haired Acolyte was far more cunning and unpredictable than his friends, working a steady balance between interposing himself between the Rostu brothers to keep them separated by a few feet, but not staying there to long to avoid falling beneath their combined offensives. Anger, hatred, and fury, the staple emotions of the Sith ran through all three of these Acolytes, but they ran in the dark haired one deepest, most focused, and most tempered. The Dark Side of the Force surged through the dark haired Acolyte at a power and intensity surpassing many of the Sith Lords Than and his brother had fought, and even some of the Sith Masters. There was no question about it, this Sith Acolyte was a prodigy in the Force, as were the other two, though to a lesser extent. Than suspected his age was the only thing keeping him a mere Acolyte.

Without warning, the dark haired Acolyte charged at Than unleashing a sequence of blows that were both powerful and fast, most of them Juyo, with the occasional Djem So power blow thrown in at random intervals to off balance him. Than fought back, overcoming the young Sith’s offensive with an even faster Juyo sequence of his own, forcing him to rely on Soresu. Than kicked at the dark haired Sith’s groin with his right leg. This time however, the Sith did not fall victim to his physical strikes. This time, the sith lifted his leg a bit, catching Than’s foot on his right thigh before jumping up, pushing Than’s leg up and backwards, unbalancing him. The Sith immediately followed up with a blast of telekinetic energy, staggering Than backwards even more before returning to his Juyo offensive, this time interposing himself between Than and his brother as his allies moved to intercept Staz. With a growing horror, Than realized that this Acolyte intended to separate them, realizing how good their teamwork was, and remembering that his friends had held a slight upper hand against his brother.

Than suddenly felt the growing desperation of the Jedi scattered around the planet as their battle meld continued to fail them, meanwhile regaining his balance and beginning to drive the Sith into a quick retreat with an offensive Juyo sequence, ending with a kick to the face that sent the young Sith sprawling backwards. Staz must have felt the desperation of their allies as well, because Than suddenly saw a slug moving at great velocity shoot straight through the stomach of the female Sith, flying out her backside and showering the area around her in black blood as she cried out in agony, her entire body convulsing as an electric current raced through it. Than suddenly felt a profound cry of agony through the Force, but it was not the girl. He glanced over at where his brother was fighting the other two Acolytes. His decision to fire upon the female Sith costed him dearly. As he fended off the saberstaff wielding Acolyte with one hand and fired upon the female Acolyte with the other, he had opened himself up to the brown haired Acolyte, who had pierced Staz’s gut with his blade. Staz was now staggering back, desperately defending himself against the two Acolytes now that he was injured.

Than had only glanced back for a brief moment, but that brief moment costed him everything. Than turned back towards the dark haired Acolyte just in time to see him with one hand outstretched and clawed, his eyes blazing with far more fury and hatred than Than had seen in them so far. Before Than could bring his blade up, several blue forks of lightning flew from the Sith’s fingertips, and the entire right side of Than’s face exploded into pure agony. Than fell to the ground, clasping at his face as he looked up just in time to see the dark haired Acolyte charge towards his brother and the other two Acolytes. The other two Acolytes stepped out of the way as the dark haired one charged forward and threw both hands in front of him. Staz was injured, and the Sith was driven by blinding hot rage, leaving Staz incapable of defending himself against a telekinetic blast that slammed him into a nearby tree, causing the lightsaber to drop from his fingers. The Acolyte’s charge did not stop there however. Than Rostu’s heart broke as the dark haired Acolyte leapt forward and drove his blade straight through the center Staz Rostu’s chest. Through his Force bond with his twin brother, Than Rostu felt Staz Rostu die.

Suddenly, an explosion hurled the two other Acolytes off of their feet, with only the dark haired one being able to completely absorb the blast with a Force barrier. Than realized with some small bit of joy that Bado and Jaya had thrown the explosive at the Sith. “Run!” Than Rostu cried at the two Padawans. As Jaya scooped Bado up in her arms and ran towards the tree line, Than charged towards the dark haired Acolyte, calling upon all of his fury and hatred as he charged at the young Sith. Immediately, Than assaulted his brother’s killer with a sequence of furious Juyo strikes, battering away at his defenses relentlessly, despite the searing pain still running through the side of his face. Than threw a kick to the back of the Sith’s knee, causing him to fall forwards on his knees. Then, pinning the Sith’s blade to the side with his lightsaber held in his left hand, Than wrapped his right hand around the Sith’s head and jerked it forward, just as he thrust his knee out. There was a loud and painful sounding crack as Than’s knee struck the Sith Acolyte’s face. He didn’t stop there, he kneed him again, and again, and again, wanting him to feel the same agony he felt. At last, after kneeing him in the face four times, Than kicked the Sith as hard as he could and hurled a blast of Force energy straight into him, slamming him into a faraway tree and causing him to collapse in front of it, his face leaking black blood. Than wanted to slaughter him, but as he sensed the other two Acolytes rising to their feet, he realized that he could not leave Bado without an Master too, he needed to be there for him. His compassion won out over his hatred, and he spun around and raced after the Padawans, but not before reaching out with the Force and collapsing the tree upon the dark haired Acolyte as hard as possible, a loud boom resounding through the area as the tree smashed and shattered upon his brother’s killer. Then and only then, did Than Rostu make his escape, vowing to live on for his Padawan.

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Arthur twirled through the air, perfectly executing a graceful Ataru maneuver as he swung his blade in an aggressive flourish that took the head of an elite Nightbrother. Then, Arthur transitioned into the sequences of Niman, applying whatever techniques and approaches suited the moment as a swarm of a dozen undead Nightsisters raced towards him. In less than three seconds, Arthur had dismembered half of them with his emerald blade before blasting the other half dozen apart with a wave of telekinetic energy. As another large Nightbrother raced towards Arthur with an enchanted pike, Arthur transitioned into the defensive moves and sequences of Soresu, blocking the exceedingly powerful thrusts of the Nightbrother while simultaneously deflecting a dozen plasma arrows. Transitioning back into Ataru, Arthur snapped his leg upward, catching the muscular Nightbrother square in the chest while simultaneously knocking his pike right out of his hands. Arthur then hurled him to the ground with the force and plunged his lightsaber through the man’s chest as he dropped down, narrowly evading a poisoned dart that flew a few inches above his head.

When more of the undead Nightsisters and Nightbrothers had arrived, several living ones had also emerged, each the elite of their order. Every Nightbrother the Jedi encountered here had been physically empowered by Dathomirian magic, their muscles enlarged, and their horns much larger. Arthur had seen two of the Jedi Knights cut down by these rage filled brutes already. Many of the hunters among the Nightsisters began to crawl down the fortress wall for a better aim, their hands and feet fixed to the wall by the power of the Force as they fired arrow after arrow upon the Jedi. Yet most curiously of all, some of the Nightsisters were hiding among the clusters of zombies, rendered invisible by Nightsister Magic. These shadow killers snuck up on some of the Jedi, preferring to strike them with poisoned darts before closing in for the kill with their daggers. Three of the Jedi Knights had fallen this way.

The Nightsistser’s greatest warrior however had set her sights on Amoye Ilu. Invisible like the shadow killers and physically enhanced like the transformed Nightbrothers, this Nightsister had initially fired upon Amoye Ilu from a distance with her energy bow, which had a far more intricate and advanced design than the other bows of the Nightsisters. As soon as Amoye noticed her however, he deflected every arrow she fired and immediately closed in. Mother Veliya conjured a green mist near this Nightsister, forming it into two blades in the Nightsister’s hands, glowing green with Nightsister magic. Her crafters continued to empower her with the force, granting her greater speed, senses, strength, and a powerful regenerative capability as Amoye Ilu drove her back into a desperate retreat with his violet blade. Arthur had seen her regenerate from several otherwise fatal wounds as she fell back under the raw might and precision of the Echani Jedi Master’s technique.

Arthur continued to fight the Nightsisters and Nightbrothers, alive or undead, as they continued to converge upon him, utilizing all of his abilities to strike them down. A Nightbrother ran at him, Arthur cut him apart with a graceful but aggressive Ataru sequence. Hunters fired upon him, Arthur deflected their arrows with Soresu. A shadow killer tried to pierce him with a dart, Arthur stopped the dart in midair with the Force before advancing upon them with a Niman approach, adapting to the needs of combat against these tricky foes, and occasionally pulling them upon his blade with the Force. In but a few minutes, Arthur and the other Jedi had killed almost every last Nightsister and Nightbrother on the ground. All except for one. Arthur turned his head just in time to see Amoye Ilu slice his blade in intricate patterns aimed at various parts of the Nightsister’s body, forcing her to whip her blade around desperately to parry all of his blows in time. Finally, she slipped up, and the great blademaster Amoye Ilu separated her head from her body with one efficient slash.

“Ventress! NO!!!” Mother Veliya cried out in fury. “Jedi! I will show you true power! UNLEASH THE ASPECT OF THE STORM!!!” Suddenly, Mother Veliya and her crafters chanted and waved their arms furiously, pouring every ounce of power they had into one final spell. Suddenly, a howling gale swept across the battlefield, knocking Arthur off balance for a moment before he was able to regain his footing. That howling gale quickly concentrated in the center of the battlefield in front of the fortress, the great winds twisting and twirling around each other. Rain began to fall upon the Jedi in a downpour as the winds transformed into a massive tornado, their currents becoming visible as they picked up speed. Lightning flashed in the sky, and before Arthur knew it, a howling gale and a drizzle had transformed into a fully fledged hurricane, the entire air glowing with a blue-black hue. The winds swept down to carry the Jedi into the air. The remaining Nightsisters managed to keep themselves secured to the fortress wall with their magicks, while most of the Jedi were swept into the air by the raging winds of the hurricane. Arthur himself was torn off of the ground and tossed and turned through the air by the raging winds, his robes soaked with rain. As Arthur flailed his limbs through the air, he managed to maintain a tight grasp on the hilt of his lightsaber. He watched with great sadness as one Jedi Knight was hurled into the wall of the Nightsister fortress at a great velocity, breaking his body upon the stone wall, which remained untouched by the raging hurricane. Another Jedi was hurled through the air far away, and inevitably fell to his death.

Arthur slowly began to regain his orientation, and using the power of the Force, managed to right himself, just in time to see a hail of plasma arrows pierce the hurricane, fired upon the Jedi caught up in the great tempest. Arthur, falling back on a combination of all three of his preferred forms, twisted and twirled through the air with the acrobatics of Ataru while deflecting the arrows with the defensive movements of Soresu, the versatility and hybridization of Niman holding his strategy and techniques together. Arthur looked down, only to see the ground falling away from him as the winds carried him higher and higher into the sky. Only three of the had Jedi managed to stay rooted to the ground. Master Nalaniel plunged three of her Force arms deep into the ground, anchoring herself to the ground as her fourth arm held Jaira down. Arthur watched Jaira and her master wrap their real arms around each other, protectively and compassionately as they protected themselves from harm with Force barriers. The only other Jedi rooted to the ground was Terro, who had one hand pressed to the dirt beneath him, somehow holding himself to it through the power of the Force. Glancing back through the sky, Arthur saw four other Jedi. Master Mongooku had righted himself long ago and was now utilizing barriers of Force energy to deflect the hailstorm of plasma arrows. Amoye Ilu had also been swept up and was allowing the wind to carry him wherever it would, twirling his blade around his body to intercept every plasma arrow that came his way. There were two more Jedi Knights in the sky with them. One managed to deflect several plasma arrows utilizing Shien or Soresu. The other was not so lucky, his corpse pierced by dozens of plasma arrows.

That’s when the lightning started. Blinding white bolts of lightning surged down from above, lashing out upon Arthur and the three other Jedi in the sky. Arthur watched his master absorb the bolts with a barrier of Force energy, as Amoye Ilu cocooned himself behind the violet barrier of his own blade tens of meters away. Arthur and the one remaining Jedi knight simply avoided the lightning. “Arthur!” the Grand Master cried out from several meters above. “I need your help! Defend me from this lightning so I can bring down their fortress!” Arthur turned towards the Jedi Knight and nodded as they both began to propel themselves upwards through the wind and rain with the power of the Force. A couple of lightning bolts flew down upon them. Arthur and the Knight twisted out of the way of the first one, and Arthur dodged the second one, but the other Jedi was not so lucky. The second bolt of lightning struck him, swatting him out of the sky and smiting his charred corpse upon the ground over a hundred meters below. With a renewed determination, Arthur thrust himself upward past Mongooku, and stopped his ascent once he was above his master. He held his lightsaber in both hands at the ready as he began to feel his master gathering energy. A bolt of lightning struck at the Mongooku, but this time, Arthur threw himself in the way catching the bolt of lightning on his blade. The force of the bolt send Arthur flying and twirling through the air until he was able to right himself. Then, Arthur continued his task, stabilizing himself in the air with telekinesis as he caught bolt after bolt of lightning on his blade, his muscles shuddering and groaning under the force of each bolt.

Finally, Master Mongooku extended both hands in front of him, and unleashed a wave of devastating Force power. Mother Veliya and her crafters tried again to block this wave, but with so much of their energy spent conjuring their hurricane, they were unable to stop the wave before it struck their fortress. The front wall immediately exploded into a shower of stone, immediately before the rest of the fortress collapsed to the ground in a resounding boom louder than the thunder in the sky. Arthur, Mongooku, and Amoye Ilu slowed their descent to the ground with the force as the storm around them began to dissipate. When they finally reached the ground, they found Nalaniel, Jaira, and Terro. They could sense no living Nightsister in the area, and they were the only Jedi survivors.

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Darth Umbravon awoke to the sight of Ignus’s face as his friend lifted several portions of a tree trunk off of his body. “Thank you Ignus!” Umbravon cried out in gratitude, seeing the look of relief in Ignus’s eyes as he saw his friend alive. “But I can do the rest myself.” After waiting for Ignus to take a few steps back, Umbravon unleashed the power of the Force from his body in all directions, shattering what remained of the fallen tree and hurling the pieces off of his body. Umbravon stood up and began to limp towards Sangara, who he last remembered seeing get shot through the stomach.

“Are you alright Umbravon?” Ignus asked, a tone of concern in his voice.

“I’m fine,” Darth Umbravon replied, immediately before he doubled over and started coughing up black blood. “Just fine…” Unwilling to be subjected to more questions about his health, Umbravon ignored the pain of his injuries and raced towards where Sangara laid on the ground as fast as he could. “Sangara?” he cried out as he collapsed to the ground next to her, lifting her up by the shoulders. “Sangara!” He could feel tears beginning to well up in his eyes and roll down his cheeks.

“We did it!” she gasped as she opened her eyes. As soon as he heard her voice and caught a glimpse of her eyes, a smile of joy and relief stretched out from ear to ear across Darth Umbravon’s face. “I completely disrupted the battle meld, even after the Jedi shot me. Almost every Jedi on Dathomir is dead! We won!”

“Thanks to you,” Darth Umbravon said as he leaned in for a hug and threw his arms around her.

“I couldn’t have done this without you and the others,” Sangara replied as she returned his sweet embrace. Her hair felt so soft and smooth against his cheek. He wasn’t sure how he was doing it, but Umbravon began to pour some of his power and energy into Sangara, lending her some of his own strength as she struggled to sit up.

“How did it feel Sangara?” Darth Umbravon asked. “All of that power? What you did was amazing!”

“It felt amazing,” Sangara replied as she pulled her head back and stared into his eyes. “But not as great as having a friend like you by my side.” Part of Umbravon recoiled as she said “friend,” but the other part of him melted in happiness beneath her statement. Suddenly, Nighthawk walked over with a case held beneath his right arm.

“Where were you?” Umbravon asked his approaching friend.

“The Jedi left their medpack behind,” Nighthawk explained as he took a bacta syringe and injected it into the hole in his left arm, which was covered in purple blood. “I retrieved it.”

Nighthawk set the medpack on the ground as he began to bandage up his arm. Darth Umbravon called a couple of bacta syringes and bandages to his hands with the power of the Force. He cradled Sangara in his arms as he injected her with bacta, and delicately rubbed bacta salve over her wounds. Then, still holding her close, he bandaged her body. He didn’t even care that Nighthawk or Ignus were watching. Despite the pain of their injuries, this moment seemed magical to him.

“Huh! Look at that!” Ignus exclaimed as he observed the other three Acolytes attending to their wounds. “I’m the only one of us who didn’t get injured.”

“Yeah well,” Nighthawk began, “Unlike you, I managed to score a hit on one of the Rostu brothers.” Umbravon and his friends had quickly recognized the legendary duo as they engaged them in combat.

“Oh whatever,” Ignus replied. “You didn’t even kill him! Umbravon did!”

“Speaking of which,” Darth Umbravon began as he and Sangara rose to their feet. “You wouldn’t happen to have a lighter on you, would you Ignus?”

“I always carry a lighter on me!” Ignus explained as he pulled one out of his pocket and passed it to Umbravon. “I like setting things on fire okay?!” he defensively explained as Nighthawk looked at him oddly.

Darth Umbravon walked over to the fallen body of Staz Rostu, a gaping hole in his chest from where his blade had pierced his heart. Umbravon lifted him up with the force and set him on the pile of splintered wood from the tree Than Rostu had collapsed upon him. Then, Umbravon pressed a button on the lighter and watched a flame spurt out the end. Eyeing the flame for a few seconds, Umbravon leaned over and set fire to the wood.

“What are you doing Umbravon?” Nighthawk asked, confused.

“He fought well,” Darth Umbravon explained as the fire spread across the Jedi’s corpse. “He deserves a proper funeral.”

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