MOTF Book I: BOTE Chapter 3

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MOTF Book I: BOTE Chapter 3

Post by Emperordmb on Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:07 am


The great war of the age… A war that lasted for a thousand years… A war that had no foreseeable end in sight… A war that spread out across the entire Galaxy. All of these things described the Deadlock War. As its name suggested, it was a complete deadlock between the Sith and the Jedi.

It began almost a thousand years ago when the One Sith joined with the Lost Tribe of the Sith in an effort to destroy the Galactic Federation Triumvirate once and for all. Forged by fire and united by hatred, these Sith became the first generation of the Sith Collective.

The first Dark Lord of the Sith Collective was Darth Ombre. He was a large black furred Wookiee chose to rule the Sith with the same tribal passion and ceremony of the Lost Tribe of the Sith, but at the same time centered it around himself as something akin the fanatical devotion the One Sith had for their leader.

Ombre was bold both on the battlefield and in the bedroom. The men of the Order in his time were devoted to him to the point of following him into battle with blind obedience. The women on the other hand would throw themselves at his feat with nothing more than the desire to please him. The Sith who served under him, both men and women alike would often fight each other with words and violence alike. The perpetrator usually attacked out of jealousy for another Sith’s devotion for Ombre.

Eventually Ombre died in an attempt to invade Coruscant. An attempt that was almost successful. He led a march all the way into the Jedi temple, leaving only destruction and death in his wake. The Jedi would’ve tasted nothing but ashes that day if the Grand Master hadn’t sacrificed his own life to end Ombre’s. With their champion defeated, the Collective quickly retreated from Coruscant and withdrew back to Korriban.

Though he was only the Dark Lord for a decade, in that time he had unified the Sith, and laid waste to hundreds of Star Systems. Ombre’s reign had been short, but glorious. A fitting reign for one who united the Sith and left his successors a legacy to carry on.

The Sith Collective had taken many forms, each leader shaping the order in their own image. Some preferred more complex hierarchies, while others preferred more simplistic arrangements. Some ruled through leverage and manipulation, some ruled through power, and some had their followers worship them as some sort of dark god, similar to the One Sith founder Darth Krayt.

One of the most recent Dark Lords, Darth Erix, had transformed the Sith Collective into a militarized Sith Order. Sith Warriors were turned into soldiers, each Lord and their soldiers being one squad in an army, one drop in a storm. A storm that continued to grow with Darth Erix at its apex until he had amassed one of the most powerful fleets in Galactic history.

Erix had been a military genius. The Jedi were unable to stand up to the might of Erix’s fleet, but behind the hull of Erix’s flagship, a different conflict was stirring. Just when Erix had taken an edge in the war, his heart was met by the blade of his own apprentice, Darth Odious. Ambition and vanity had gotten the better of Darth Odious, so he betrayed his master to his death and claimed his place as Dark Lord of the Sith.

For the next few centuries, Odious ruled as the Dark Lord of the Sith and reformed the Order to his own liking, but there was a great cost. As Odious reformed the Order, the Jedi had time to recuperate from the fury of Erix’s attack, and the War had been a stalemate ever since.

Darth Odious had reformed the Order with a similar tiered structure to Vitiate’s Sith Empire. Odious served as the Dark Lord of the Sith, and beneath him was a Sith Council of nine, with each of the nine Councilors heading their own respective Sphere of influence.

And in the Council Chamber on Korriban, the Council of Nine congregated to discuss the current issues posed by the war, the room filled with silent scheming and not so subtle hatred.

“Lord Odious is demanding more drastic results on the battlefield,” The Zabrak Councilor known as Darth Slazer reminded them. “As such, it would be in all of our best interests to grant the Sphere of Dueling more support  and resources as we continue to press the Jedi on the front lines.”

Darth Malvot, head of the Sphere of Magic was the first to speak up. “Just one thing Slazer, why? Why would we provide your Sphere with even more resources than it has already been privileged with?” She coyly asked as she stroked the red facial tendrils common to her species.

“My Sphere has provided Odious with more warriors then any other Sphere, and contributes more to the war effort than any of yours,” the Zabrak blademaster responded, a tone of challenge in her voice.

“Your sphere has been provided with the most resources and followers already, and still it fails to achieve satisfactory results in this war,” Malvot calmly responded. “Even before you became head of the Sphere of Dueling, it still received more resources than any other Sphere and continually failed to bring the war past a deadlock with the Jedi.”

“My Sphere has been the only thing keeping this Order from annihilation at the hands of the Jedi!” Darth Slazer indignantly responded, her orange eyes now blazing in outrage.

“You are a fool if you believe that the light of the Jedi will be extinguished at the point of a lightsaber blade,” Malvot derisively scoffed.

“My warriors are out on the front lines severing the Jedi’s heads from their bodies, while you and your sorcerers sit back on Korriban burying your faces in long forgotten books and preaching philosophy!” Slazer cried out in a shrill voice, no longer able to contain her outrage. Her red skin was now even redder with fury, and her horns suddenly looked a tad sharper to the rest of the Councilors.

“Ha!” laughed a Weequay Councilor. “You and the rest of your sphere lack discipline and self control. Your warriors charge recklessly into battle flinging themselves  into battle at every opportunity they get. I teach my warriors in the Sphere of Martial Arts restraint and focus.”

“You’re one to talk about being reckless Darth Cha,” Slazer responded to her fellow Councilor with a tone of annoyance. “You and your Sphere would suggest that we go up to the might of the Jedi unarmed, and attempt to beat them down with our fists, hoping that they don’t have enough common sense to carve you up with their lightsabers.”

“Yes, well be that as it may Slazer, you still throw all of your resources at the Jedi in a reckless attempt to overwhelm them, and sometimes that proves, well… less than fruitful,” Malvot said, returning to the conversation.

“And I ask again, what have you and your sorcerers done?” Darth Slazer impatiently asked a second time.

“I am not nearly so careless with my the lives of my followers. While you throw away your warriors on the front lines, I am conserving my resources,” Darth Malvot explained. “I understand the Dark Side of the Force in ways you never will! As you fumble in your attempts to scrape an edge in this war, me and my disciples are delving deeper into the mysteries and secrets of the Dark Side. We grow nearer to powers so potent, the Jedi will not even be able to stand before us without us smiting them from existence.”

Noticing the hand Slazer had placed on one of the many lightsaber hilts on her belt, Malvot merely sneered. “For all of your skill, you have only scratched the surface of the true power of the Dark Side. The art of lightsaber combat is a lesser derivative of a greater power. Your singular devotion to it means you will never be my equal.”

Before Slazer, who was now glowering with hate, could respond, another Councilor stepped in. A Councilor who’s appearance and race were hidden behind a suit and a mask; Darth Holos.

“Excuse me ladies,” the head of the Sphere of Infiltration chimed in. “I hate to interrupt this lovely little debate the two of you are having, but my spies have just discovered something that we would be wise to take advantage of.”

“Intelligence reports that the Jedi have mobilized their armies in a frontal assault on our base on Zygerria, but in doing so, they have left Felucia relatively unprotected. If we strike now we can seize Felucia from the Triumvirate’s grasp,” Holos continued.

“What strategic value does Felucia hold for us?” Darth Avion, head of the Sphere of Flight inquired.

“Archives indicate that Felucia is in close proximity to the junction of the Perlemian Trade Route and Shaltin Tunnels, and is home to the farming of Nysillin, one of the rarest and most valuable healing herbs in the Galaxy,” Darth Stovar explained. “There is however a threat posed by the native Felucians. Many of them are strong enough in the force to aid the Jedi, though if history suggests anything it’s that the Felucians’ allegiance shifts along with their planet,” The Kiffar head of the Sphere of Archives continued.

Darth Malvot fought hard to veil her sudden interest in the planet as her tendrils twitched, and her ears perked up.

“What if this is a trap?” Darth Slazer asked cautiously. Slazer was now suddenly very hyperconscious of the threat to the lives of her followers, after Malvot’s comment about how careless she was had struck a little too close to home.

All attention turned to Darth Angelo, the Iktotchi head of the Sphere of Farsight, as he slipped into a trance and began to caress the crystal ball in his hands, staring into it with unwavering focus for several seconds before looking up. “I see the future,” Darth Angelo began. “And the Jedi do not expect us coming. It is certainly not a trap.”

“Well that settles it then,” Darth Slazer said as she stood up from her council chair, the rest following in suit. “I will send my followers to Felucia to win a decisive victory for the empire, because we actually intend to accomplish something for the Order,” she continued, tilting her head in Malvot’s direction in a not so subtle manner.

“Yes. Have fun playing your little dueling games Slazer, it’s about the only thing you know how to do,” Malvot retorted.

Slazer glared back at her. “Be wary you never get mixed up in them.”

“I would never dream of something so tasteless,” Malvot responded as she grimaced.

Malvot, Slazer, and Holos were the three most influential figures on the Council. Malvot and Slazer were easily the most dominating of the Sith Councilors, with Malvot possessing an unmatched understanding of the Dark Side, and Slazer possessing the strength of a warrior and more resources than any of the other councilors. Holos however influenced matters more subtly then either of his fellow Councilors. Holos manipulated events through secrecy, knowledge, and the leverage that knowledge gave him. All three had plans for Felucia.

Slazer, furious at being humiliated, now hoped to cling to her prestige and credibility by seizing such a decisive victory for the Sith Collective. She hoped to crush the Triumvirate’s forces, and establish her servants as the greatest warriors in the Galaxy, the true wielders of the Dark Side.

However Malvot didn’t intend to let that happen. After striking such a verbal blow against Slazer, she intended to validate everything she said with proof of Slazer’s failures and her own superiority. There were also certain things on Felucia that interested Malvot.

Darth Holos, who had cleverly manipulated the whole series of events leading to Felucia serving as the crux for this little altercation between Slazer and Malvot, honestly couldn’t care less about the outcome. Either way one of them was going to suffer a blow to their prestige and power base, and the hatred and rivalry between them would only grow like a cancer. With the two other most influential members of the Council focused on tearing each other down, Holos could more easily manipulate things to his own liking.

What was actually going to happen on Felucia? Which Councilors would reap the benefits of the War and leave the others in the dirt? Only time would tell.

——————————————————————————

As Darth Nash, head of the Sphere of Channeling wandered back to her Sphere’s base near the Valley of the Dark Lords, she couldn’t stop thinking about something. Something that had been on her mind throughout the congregation of the Council of Nine.

She was so perplexed by the puzzle before her that she had failed to say anything at all in the Council meeting. Luckily for her, everybody was too enthralled by the incessant bickering of Slazer and Malvot to notice, but she wasn’t sure how much longer she wished to keep her discovery a secret.

The dark strips of cloth that comprised her robes fluttered behind her in the nighttime breeze of Korriban. The planet was strong in the Dark Side, stronger than it had been in Bane’s time. By the time Korriban had been reclaimed by the Brotherhood of Darkness three thousand years ago, much of the dark power the planet had once held had faded away.

The Sphere of Channeling had been responsible for restoring Korriban’s nexus to what it had once been. Though the passive effects of a nexus were negligible to a Sith Lord’s prowess in combat, the presence of the Dark Side helped the apprentices and acolytes become more used to it as they advanced in their studies and transformed into true Sith.

The nexus Korriban housed also served as a beacon for both Jedi and Sith alike. The Sith rallied behind it as their capital and a symbol of the power of the Dark Side, while the Jedi stood against it, some wavering and faltering before the awesome might of the Dark Side.

That was the purpose of Nash and his Sphere of Channeling. To perceive the concentration of the force in people and places and alter it. Whether it be empowering fellow Sith through battle meditation, suppressing the powers of Jedi with dark power, or outright sucking the very essence of the force from their bodies leaving them an empty shell devoid of all life.

None were as in tune with these currents as Darth Nash, and that was why she had sensed it. That was why she had sensed a tremor in the force unlike any she had ever felt before. The tremor carried an intense feel to it, as if the force itself were warping the very fabric of space in time at one singular convergence of its power.

A tremor this significant should’ve come to the attention of others as well, but that was one of the strangest parts of all. The tremor had somehow hidden itself behind a veil of concealment. Minimizing itself in the minds of all those attuned to the force to a point at which it was barely noticeable.

But Nash who had attuned herself specifically to the flow of the force for her entire life had picked up on the peculiarity of this tremor, and extended her senses through the very essence of the force itself to pierce this veil of concealment to see its magnitude for what it truly was, and it took her breath away.

She wondered if she could pinpoint its location through the force. She extended her force senses, glanced around herself, and paid special attention to the senses of her red and black striped montraals. She felt, saw, and heard nobody.

Satisfied that she was alone, Nash dropped to her knees and slid her feet forward into a cross-legged pattern. Closing her eyes, she reached out with her senses into the depths of the force, searching for the tremor she had stumbled upon earlier, but she felt nothing.

For several long minutes she sat on the ground, reaching out through the force, but not finding the response she was looking for. Right when she was about to give up however, she found it. A rush of wild power swept across her body. A surge of excitement permeated every synapse in her body. Her body felt cold, as if the magnitude of what she had just felt had made the heat of her blood pale in comparison.

Nash had heard stories of some apprentices, Jedi and Sith alike, recoiling and withdrawing from the force because their minds could not grasp something so infinite. Only now did she understand the meaning of the word and she was completely awestruck. Momentous forces were rocking the very fabric of reality and somehow disguising themselves as unimportant, waiting to reveal themselves until the proper moment.

Briefly overwhelmed by the magnitude of the event, it took Nash a few minutes to recollect herself and return her focus to the task at hand. She took focus of the tremor in her mind and extended her senses and presence out across the Galaxy. As her senses grew closer and closer to the location of the tremor, she could feel its magnitude growing in her mind. She tried to ignore the quivering of her body and pressed on.

As her presence extended outwards even further, her body began to tremble and shake, hear heart began to throb, and her very bones began to ache. She felt her presence extend past the primary territory of the Sith, and began to dread that perhaps the Jedi were responsible for this.

Her senses soon enveloped some of the core worlds. As she passed Coruscant and did not sense the convergence of the powers she felt, she let out a sigh of relief, meanwhile blood began to trickle out of her nose and her vision began to fade in and out.

She soon felt her presence extending back into the outer rim of the Galaxy, as her conscious was drawn to its very edge. When she felt her presence slipping into wild space, the trembling her body had recently begun transformed almost into a full blown spasm and her vision left her entirely, her head and heart now pounding with the force of a hydraulic jackhammer on Apatros as every part of her body screamed for her to stop.

But she pressed on even further, and just as her presence was sliding into a long forgotten system, an explosion of psychic energy shook her mind as her vision erupted into one large flash of blinding light.  She could feel her focus and senses violently snapping back into her own body, the force of which hurled her back and sent her body sprawling and her mind reeling.

She took a few seconds to grasp what had happened. The tremor had violently rejected her and hurled her mind away from it. Still, she had been able to ascertain that this unusual occurrence had originated in Wild Space. Much to her surprise it had not been on some world historically known for great strength in the force, or one claimed by the Jedi or Sith, but rather a system in the unclaimed unexplored regions of space.

Now Nash began to grasp the true importance of her discovery, and could not decide what to do with it. On one hand, she wished to explore this occurrence on her own to see if there was any great power to be gained from it. On the other hand, not telling Darth Odious of such a momentous event might be considered treason, and Nash had no wish to be on the receiving end of Odious’s fury.

Though she was unsure of what to do, she knew one thing for sure. Whatever emerged from that pocket of space would change the fate of the Galaxy forever.

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Emperordmb
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