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The Crucible of a Dark City

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#1
Reverance

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His hand flexed, repeatedly, as he stood in the tower with a vacant expression. Time on Maena had been all but spent, filled with activities that ran the gamut. Killings, dancing, investigations, favors, pain. But throughout his wondering, meandering movement just below the skin of New City, something struck him as off. A crescendo of power, or the shadow of its potential, that threatened to bow and bend the planets crust.

 

This placed was born from otherworldly auras and eldritch machinations, the Gulag Plague and the Netherworld crisis ravaging a once prosperous world. It was now little more than a festering wound, beautiful and breathing as replete corruption welled towards the surface, promising to form microcosms of decay that stretched outward from the center. He was convinced that such was reasoning for the slums and barren wastelands, an indication of spiritual depletion that extended far beyond the understandings of his sadistic mind.

 

As he had wandered through the bowels of this place, through underground tunnels and gateways, he had found a certain fascination in the culture of these people. Like old world dwellers, preceding the proliferation of star travel, they communicated in oral histories and scripture along the walls. Songs and screaming, vibrating far below, led the curious to subterranean chambers that glowed green and pink and red in the dark light. Some surfaces wore simple instructions across duracrete, indication of direction and vice. Others were muraled with symbols and emblems that served as warning. One, in particular, had caught his attention.

 

The image of a spider, splayed against the wall, with needles struck through the legs and abdomen. In the more hyper-realistic depictions, it even appeared as if the flesh was being flayed from the carapace. And that flesh was human.

 

Haste would have led him to believe that it was simply another gang forming, one in direct contradiction to her. But time and independent research had led him to believe that it was something far more nefarious, breeding beneath the breathing surface. Something that went directly against his philosophies. Through death, a group would seek to restore order. And order negated entropy.

 

And entropy was his purpose.

 

Having moved from her Tower, he now stood outside of the door that led to this other world, living and pulsating below. Forever shrouded in the silhouette of the sun, the inner chamber existed in the heart of New City, location emphasized by buzzing street lights and suspicious loiterers. Fists bloodied with carnage of weaker men, he had parsed out several words from split lips and bruised egos. With nothing but a lightsaber across the small of his back, dressed in casual clothing, he moved forward and knocked several times - a pattern he was given, afforded through broken teeth, that offered code in the form of hollow cadence.

Carach



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#2
Jairus Starvald

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Sometimes Carach felt like the ancient grandmother of the group, if there was even a group to speak of.

 

Not in the sense that his edge had worn-off or his killer instinct had failed him, but just in the sense of... proportions. He was associated, friends and family to some of the worst Sith in the Galaxy. Worst in the sense of morality and urges, not in the sense of their quality, of course. But the Sith Lord never truly felt as one with them. He enjoyed a greater sense of proportion, of common sense, of neutral to grey morality where his plots bore fruit and profit reigned. It was difficult to group that together with the tendency of some of them to annihilate worlds, massacre their populations and the sort just for the sake of it.

 

Oh, they had their purposes, but Carach never truly understood them.

 

But that was where family came in and his status as the ancient grandmother of the group. After all, you didn't necessarily need to understand or approve, to support your family in their efforts. It was for this reason that the Sith Lord had started to investigate the rumors of corruption running through the lower-ranks of Maena. The more he uncovered, the more amused Carach became. 

 

Why?

 

Because if it hadn't been Matsu the Sith would more than likely have supported this group in its efforts.

 

The soft whisper of order, of an oppressive rule of law that allowed a bend, but not a break... the demands of stability? All of this appealed the Sith, but blood ran thicker than ideologies. And the two of them had spilled more than their fair share of blood together. So he hunted them and eventually... Carach managed to track them down. At least, he thought he had.

 

A place within the underworld of Maena that contained at least a hint of what he sought for. 

 

Carach approached, but then stopped in his tracks. Heavy brows furrowed in thought as a familiar sickness crept in the air the closer he came to his target - now... where had he tasted this before?

 

Strong, pulsing with pain, but with the mild discipline of insanity. 

 

He knew this pulse.

 

But what was it doing here... what was it doing here in the now?  The Sith Lord decided to move slower, simply to not be touched by surprise at the worst of times.

 

Reverance


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#3
Reverance

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No answer.

 

He knocked again.

 

Turning his head, he caught what he thought might have been a familiar presence. Wrapped in the arms of a God, or in the presence of a being amidst critical change, he was often struck by the recollection of a time that preceded Maena. That preceded Point Nadir. To a being who's rapport was left in the ashes of Selvaris - left to pick up the pieces of the mania that drove the former Wrath. Reverance did not think of him directly, but more related to a sensation. Akin to associating a smell with an activity, but having trouble placing the origin of the smell. It rested just at the tip of his mind.

 

He shook off the feeling, an alien to the notions of regret or remorse, as he looked back towards the door with renewed anger. Selvaris was a crowning achievement, not something to mourn. Knocking one more time, he bared his teeth with an inflection of his power. With the cybernetics kicking on, he kicked hard towards the door. The hinges buckled inward as the door sheared off from the frame, sending it flying down the set of stairs. With every bounce, a loud echo chimed out that signified metal against stone.

 

Stepping in, he pulled a hood over his head and began to step slowly inward. He was sure there were multiple entrances, each one spanning outward and beneath the surface of New City. Veins, blind to those who weren't looking, hid in plain sight. This one just happened to be the most convenient, set arrogantly close to the abode of Matsu Xiangu. As he moved down, his fingers stretched out and caressed stone. Here, the images were depicted not with paint but with hard etchings made with chisels and crude carving tools.

 

Deeper below, he heard the muffled tones of regimented dialogue, mixed with the scent of burning essence. For the moment, he had the distinct impression that he was walking into a drug den.

 

Carach



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#4
Jairus Starvald

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The blip of sickness only spread once violence hummed through the Force.

 

It didn't take long for Carach to catch up with the destruction - a door blown out of its hinges, laying collapsed down a set of stairs that led deeper into the complex of the building. Then the flare of action seared itself into his mind, causing the Sith Lord to support himself by the wall, before he could trip and fall from the shock. From curiosity and possibility the situation turned into recognition and deeply embedded understanding.

 

"Lord of Pain, it's been a while." Carach's voice whispered into the void, before violence erupted under his feet. The sound of his boots clashing against the old durasteel stairs. One by one lifes were sniffed away like chaff before the wind. There was an art to it, Carach could almost taste the pain laced into the waves.

 

"I wasn't aware you still walked amidst the living."

 

Well, technically they were surrounded by the dead now, but that was a moot point.

 

Half a minute later Carach pushed open the slightly ajar door and stepped on through. Half a dozen corpses spread across the room in macabre shapes, most of them trying to get away from the carnage.

 

"I assume we are here for similar purposes." Something told him that Reverance wasn't the ring-leader of this little cult spreading up in the depths of Maena. It wasn't his style and he had always loved Matsu in his own way. No, he did not see the Lord of Pain controlling this particular group.

 

Investigating the same cult at the same time.

 

What a coincidence.


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#5
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He had descended the steps with an ever quickening pace. The rattle and cadence brought the small group to a clamor. But it was clear from the beginning, clear that they had been struck by a high. The subtle paraphernalia, the hazy expression, were all that was needed for Reverance to know what was going on. After all, he had spent enough time with Matsu, and enough time on Coruscant, to know the joys of casual drug use.

 

But nothing to this extent. This was the sort of thing he could fund but never understand. Largely because pain was his drug, substances often paling in comparison. 

 

They came at him but in a slow sort of rhythm. When the dam could have been opened, instead it cracked here and there. Slow and lackadaisical, they pressed upon him a mediocre attack that failed from the very beginning. Somewhere, along the way, he had found a knife and put it to good use.

 

In his gaze, as he pushed burning air through his lungs, he pictured himself an artist that spanned multiple mediums. The screams echoed through the room, the blood spattered across the beige and dimly lit walls, and the bodies contorted into unnatural positions. Some were left to die, removed of their ability to scream, while others drifted aimlessly into the void quickly. But all shared a commonality - they were not among the living for much longer.

 

As Carach moved into the room, Reverance was blinded by the strikes and blood and violence - so much so that the greeting and aura were missed. As he moved across the room, in anticipation of an ambush, the blade struck out towards Carach's chest. Just at the point of penetration, should it make it that far, it would stop as the former Wrath caught his breath.

 

Breathing heavily, once clean clothing and hands now spattered with blood, the blade would lower in sudden realization of what was occurring. 

 

"Making assumptions..." His gaze drifted from target of the knife point to the chiseled visage of an old friend. "That never seemed to be a practice of yours." He let out a sigh, flipping the knife over to catch the blade as he flung it towards one of the crawling cultists. The sound of the strike was wet before piercing wood below, pinning the mans leg to the floor. "Good. One survived. Maybe he knows a bit more about this cult."

 

He openly admitted to what he was doing, no desire to hide mission. Though, in truth, this was closer to a vocation or passion. People needed hobbies.

 

Carach



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#6
Jairus Starvald

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Reverance

 

Carach remained silent and suspended in pause.

 

No move made to protect his chest from the impeding doom of the blade sweeping through the air. Not even when the brush of minds showed the distinct pleasure of blood-letting and the red covering pain's vision. It would not have ended it, merely inconvenienced the inevitable. After all, Carach did not possess a heart anymore. Not one that pumped blood, circulated it around his veins and with each push granted him breath.

 

Other things were at play there by the name of Graush.

 

"Haste makes a bad bedfellow for patience." Carach pointed out, before his focus shifted towards the leg impaled and the soft, gibberish cry of pain following soon after. "I see your death was greatly exaggerated."

 

The Sith bend through his knees, crouching down next to the crying cultist.

 

Long fingers brushed past the skin of the face and explored the contours, before nails dug into soft flesh. Soliciting more cries. Panic and mania following soon, but the lad could not go anywhere. Trying to pull away only caused him more harm than good. Such was the way of things.

 

Sometimes... you needed to go through more pain than you could imagine to escape even worse fates.

 

Freedom in its own right, yes?

 

Already his mind was attaching to the frayed ends of the crashing and trashing mind. 

 

"Vrag?" There had always been a special... bond between her and himself. From the first moment they met on the battlefield of some such planet to beyond. It seemed strange to him that neither had ever sought him out - but then again, perhaps they simply assumed his loyalty for the Dark Lord weighed heavier than loyalty to blood.


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#7
Reverance

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Bad...bedfellow.

 

A backstep moved him out of the mans path, just enough to allow him to step towards the victim. Crimson eye traced Carachs form as he plodded forth, kneeling by the cultists who would invariably be interrogated. Whether through physical pain or mental anguish, such remained to be seen. "The Sith have always been ones for...hyperbole." He stated as such with a modicum of placid tone, gaze burning into the mentalists back as heavy feet moved him to a nearby table.

 

Despite the smell of drugs in the air and the sound of ritual preceding their descent, this was a place of commune. Holy ceremonies, wines used to wet the tongue and drown the senses. It was far easier to manipulate those who stood beneath the veil of influence, it seemed. Sliding over a wooden chair, he sat down and kicked his feet up on the table. Reticent in his lingering expression, voxyn hand plucked a ceramic decanter from the table. Lifting it to his nose, he swirled the item before pouring a bit into an empty cup. And then into another, sloshing to the point of overfilling the rim and splashing the wooden table.

 

Closing his eye, he sipped from one of the cups as his listened to the melody of the anguish. The wine wasn't particularly good. In fact, he would go as far as to say that it was terrible. With only the slight notes of muscadine, it was far removed from what he found in the high towers of New City. Or Coruscant. Or Point Nadir.

 

Just as the name was spoken, he caught a bit of wine against his lower lip with his free hand. "Vrag is dead. What remains...is everything but the name, freed of One Sith subjugation." Narrowed and sharpened expression turned towards Carach, amidst most important work. "It's quite the coincidence that we should both arrive at this conclusion...at the same time." Tonguing his cheek, he laughed into his cup. "And yet here we are, falling back into the very same rhythm. As if the time between then and now was so minuscule." Which it was.

 

This meeting wasn't nearly as disruptive as he had imagined, moments of idle time wondering over reuniting and ruination. After all, they had all but abandoned their faction and allies. But in many ways, it was the most Sithly thing they could have done. He wondered if through prodding, he could find the reaction he desired.

 

Carach



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#8
Jairus Starvald

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Reverance

 

The first response was a grunt as fingers shifted to claws digging into flesh and the truth.

 

"Ain't that the truth." He mumbled out a bit later, before closing his eyes, the amber extinguished for a moment and giving the shadows nearby a chance again. Conscience split into two - one following all the dreams and thoughts of the manic moving corpse, the other scrutinizing the Lord of Pain in the newly acquired seat. "Save me some, will ya?"

 

There wasn't much there.

 

But it was enough to keep him occupied, while Rev acknowledged that which Carach suspected from the moment his senses had recognized him from a distance away. 

 

That he had been duped, played for a fool, betrayal

 

None of those feelings had any worth in this situation. They were locked down tight, pushed away and compartmentalized for further inspection later. "Good friends, old friends, the best of friends... they may be separated by distance, time, opportunity and chance for years."

 

A shrug.

 

"But they will always find their way again." Finally Carach pushed himself off, leaving the now-definite corpse laying. Much of its face was now unrecognizable. "A drink? I have our lead, but it will be a few more hours, before we can properly utilize it to our advantage here."


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#9
Reverance

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"You put trust in things that are undeserving..." The statement came quietly but with an assertive confidence. Perhaps, in some ways, it was an admission thrown into the realm of anonymity. A judgment applied to a circumstance in which he lived, without every attaching the judgment to himself. But in the end, it sung true - common sith and their ilk could not be trusted to return home. 

 

So it went without saying that those who were gathered remained uncommon in their link.

 

He took another sip from the cup of wine and narrowed his vision, turning towards Carach as he spoke of information. Leaning forward, he grabbed the other cup and offered it forward, hovering over a nearby seat. "You assume their way involves a return. Which isn't always the case."

 

After all, in this circumstance, it was chance and not plan that brought the two men together. Reuniting under the banner of luck, drawing the curious into the same space. But that wasn't enough for the former Wrath. Taking a sip from his cup, he spoke into the wine.

 

"If we would have told you of the plans. To destroy Selvaris, to abandon and betray the One Sith for economy, would you have come with us. Would you have fought alongside us, as we took payment from the Galactic Alliance to root out the withered husk of the One Sith from Coruscant?"

 

It had always been his opinion that weak and damaged were never synonymous. The former retained his anger, the other his admiration. And as the One Sith trended towards weakness, it found itself beneath his indifferent gaze. And given the chance to receive commerce in order to inflict harm, he would have had to been crazy to say no. "Or would you have tried to stop us?"

 

Carach

 



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#10
Jairus Starvald

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The wine elicited a reflex of mild distaste. 

 

It wasn't bad, but it certainly wasn't good either.

 

Yet.

 

Yet, in this very moment the soft creeping dull of the edge was what Carach needed, because what would have occurred otherwise was not something he would have liked. But Reverance pressed on, he tested, playing, poked and prodded, trying to elicit a reaction from the former Voice. 

 

"What does it matter?" More firmly and brusk than he had wanted, but right after it was punctuated by the drain of the wine and the glass placed back on the table. "Maybe I would have joined you, maybe I would have left you to your own devices, maybe, maybe, all of that in the past."

 

Eyes squinted as amber started to fill the sharp blues.

 

"Why waste our time with what could have been?"


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#11
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Crimson gaze pivoted from the interior of the cup to the man sitting next to him. Carach liked to believe that he held his emotions close to his chest, hiding them away for no one to see. Matsu was similar in the fashion, something potentially learned or perhaps a critical component of being a master mentalist. In many ways, mentalism seemed to come with the prerequisite of inflection and control. Just like everything else.

 

"I died. Or so they say. I have no obligations. No empire to guide, no individuals that require execution or some derivation of Sith justice." He laughed at that last bit, recalling the kangaroo courts that were held, in mockery of standard justice systems. Admittedly, he felt like a ship without a rudder, destined to run wherever the wind took him. There was a certain freedom in living without need for glory or schemes. "...Maybe it doesn't matter. You are probably right."

 

He set the cup back down on the table, rocking it around the rim of the base.

 

"...But we have hours to burn. Should it be wasted in silence, instead?"

 

Carach

 

 



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#12
Jairus Starvald

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His glance could have burned holes, but instead they were fixated on Reverance.

 

Drinking in the details, fury, anger and resentment boiling just underneath his skin. It was there. Easily accessible, because part of being Sith was living with constant betrayal, pain and... wrath. Funny how that went. But then the mention of hours to burn followed and Carach tilted his head, slightly. Measuring, wondering if even in this they could continue on without breaking the beat.

 

If they could pick it up.

 

"Not in silence, no." Fury was still there, but whereas Reverance was pain, Carach was hunger.

 

It defined him.

 

Every move that was taken was to feed, to gorge himself on one or the other - be that power, knowledge, be that suffering or heat, be death... or life. "But we have ways to resolve conflicts, have we not?" Blue eyes had already taken a shine of amber, but now it seeped in fully, filling, dominating, it was not right to say that Carach was controlled by his emotions at these times.

 

But sometimes... sometimes it was good to let go and let yourself be the medium of the channel.

 

Reverance


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#13
Reverance

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Pain often times spoke from the lens of consequence, the touch of an addiction that serves as fallout for a deeper hunger. It crawled through him like an insatiable craving, an endless well that could never be filled. Not until numbness took over, silence towards the very end. Reverance knew hunger and he knew it when he saw it.

 

He looked over as he set the empty cup on the table. The wine was worthless beyond the alcohol content, flavor washed out by the sickly burn of ethanol. It would have served better to clean wounds and maybe, in some ways, that was how it was working now. Stepping up from the chair, his gaze followed the form of the mentalist.

 

Time had passed since their last meeting, both showing the passing of age in hair tone and subtle wear. Though the darkside coursed through them, each donning the corruption differently, it was clear that some form of youth found preservation in the aura. And with that, a certain lust for aspects of life.

 

Reverance moved around Carach, his left hand tracing across the broad shoulder of the figure as he circled. His mind flashed to memories of corded muscle, those burning pools of amber, and the way once repressed embrace could run the emotional gamut - from passionated to placid . He recalled tracing the contours of muscle and flesh, noting just where kiffar ended and rybcoarse began. He recalled fleeting moments where he felt smaller and weaker than the presence that enveloped him.

 

"If you can admit to the presence of conflict..." He looked down, now standing behind Carach, as fingers clutched the back of his chair. "I can surely acquiesce to it's resolution...far removed from silence." Just then, his gaze shifted to the bar where a dead man laid, sprawled across the top. Standing upright, he tongued the side of his cheek as he felt the inflection of a force presence. Not when particularly of note, but more a presence that dictated quantity.

 

He thought he might have heard the sound of wind. But it was clear now that the draft was subterranean, carrying the tones of moaning and ritual. "Perhaps we will find a better time and venue...for this conclusion."

 

It seemed that there was more than a few select activities available for the coming hourse. And those activities seemed to lie behind a hidden panel, nested in the wall of the bar.

 

Carach



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#14
Jairus Starvald

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Reverance

 

Touch inspired memories.

 

Smoke curling up the rafters, familiar weight against him.

 

The pain was sharp, but pleasant in all the ways fiery lines were at the height of ecstasy. It was often like this - sharp edges brushing past, breath choked out until lights flick in and out. Pressure rising, until the breaking point was reached, touched and brushed against, until it was relinquished once again in a fit of subjected dominanceSuspended movement... holding, forcing them into submission, the roles switched back and forth, until both were sated.

 

That was just the touch, but the beat of the heart sunk again into silence once Carach sensed what Reverance heard- he had always lived in between worlds compared to the more physical appropriate Lords of the Sith. Body trained, honed, but the mind always wandering and searching.

 

"Pleasure must wait for duty." The hard rumble of the voice agreed, before rising himself and wandering over. 

 

A large hand brushed the rusted steel that made up the wall of the bar. Behind it the whispers - not the ones heard, but the ones they could feel - grew louder with the touch hushing against skin. He sought the memory, the one deeply ingrained from repetition and finally long fingers trailed, until they found a hidden button under one of the frameworks. Nothing happened for one moment, two moments, but as Carach felt Rev looking at him? 

 

Click, hissssssssssssssss.

 

The panel slid open and paved way for darkness, but bright amber eyes saw plenty - a set of stairs looming down into the oily shadows.

 

"After you."

 

The enjoyment of perspective was not lost in this opportunity.


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#15
Reverance

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It might have been the sort of gaze that could be felt. Beneath the focus of a magnifying glass, heat could be traced to a single spot. A tickle at the back of the throat, the shiver at the spine. The ever palpable notions of hunger. The sort that was being tempered by alternative purpose, the sort that demanded resolution and was given mission in the void. Where a wall could be used for pinning, it instead fell through to lead towards an entirely different conclusion.

 

A secret panel. Of course.

 

He took a deep breath as he stopped just shy of the panel, realizing that it was a crawling scenario. As he pressed fingers against the rock above, he also realized that that notion wasn't changing any time soon. Giving a tilted expression to the former Voice, his vision narrowed as he looked through the tunnel. Though narrow at first, it seemed to flare outward with a meager distance.

 

"Letting me go first...convenient." His expression was painted with a tone of mockery, skepticism abundant towards the reasoning of being allowed to go first. Hand over hand, he moved in and shook his head. "Bit snug in here." Other thoughts led towards more vulgar forms of innuendo, but he was distracted as he crossed entirely into the tunnel. The sound of drums thumped across the walls with such intensity that he could feel it with outstretched arms. 

 

The inky residue of darkness took over, drowning out the ambient light of the bar top and previous room, as he felt the rhythm in his continued crawl. Looking over his shoulder, the flash of a crimson eye searched for his current counterpart. He was now getting to the point that if needed, he could prop up on his knees. Several feet ahead, the tunnel dropped off into a set of stairs that were lit by pale torches. With flames flickering in listless winds, Reverance moved to sit on the ledge at the mouth of the tunnel with feet dangling below. Propping himself up with his hands, he looked over, as he waited for Carach to make it through.

 

"You gonna need some help...squeezing in?"

 

Carach



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#16
Jairus Starvald

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Reverance

 

Carach smirked, eyes lighting up ever so slightly against the cadence of the dim candle light behind them.

 

"Clearly Wrath must pave the way for Voice to be successful." There was deep pragmatism underneath the obvious allure of perspective, of course. After all, if he got stuck in there and those cultists came back? Sitting duck was one way to describe that particular situation, but with the Wrath paving the way?

 

There would always be room to maneuver around.

 

It was this musing that was interrupted when Reverance looked over his shoulder, one single eye slumbering red in the dark. "That depends, did you bring any lubricants with you?" Carach mumbled, while squeezing in as deep as possible while trying to avoid one sort of friction burn.

 

Difficult with his size.

 

But steadily the large Sith managed to push his way through until the very end. The closer they both came to the antechamber the louder the voices of the cultists became. Maybe cultists was a generous word, at least as far as Carach could determine from the disembodied memories of the last one in the previous room.

 

Oh, they had ambitions.

 

But greater men had choked on their aspirations and there had been nothing great of what he had seen in that small, small room.


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#17
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Reverance shook his head at the comment, knowing full well that Carach have never been one for subtleties. As pointed as the statement was, it was fleeting in lieu of the sound of chants and ritual that echoed below.

 

No, I left that in my other pants…” He stated, quietly, as he looked over the edge towards the contained spiral stair case. Pressing off, he landed with a huff, as the impact sent waves of air towards the burning sconces. The flames licked and scorched the walls, giving breath to carved engravings. While the original symbol of the flayed spider was apparent throughout, others were there as well.

 

Indications of a far more extensive ritual were shown. Symbols that exceeded the former notions of simplistic offering, a more calculated system and expanse. The sort of process that also exceeded Reverance’s current capabilities for understanding.

 

Stepping forward, crimson gaze skittered up the wall, only to find Carach at the hole they exited from – ten feet above. “What sort of information did you extract from the interrogation above?” He pressed fingers across the surface, looking for readings through psychometry. He lifted no impression, a seemingly odd occurrence. “It seems the symbol of the spider might have been prolific for this planet, but it is hardly the only one.


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#18
Jairus Starvald

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Reverance

 

Carach smirked, but left out the obvious reply. 

 

Oh, the Sith Lord could be subtle when he wanted to be, but in this moment? There was no need for it. No intrigue or political games to play, no spoils to pursuit, there was just the dialogue, just ten years to make up for while investigating a mystery. The markings made him pause though.

 

He knew them.

 

Of them.

 

Carach had always been a collector, perhaps even transcending the nature of his creator in the past. His library, wherever in lay in secretive wait, spanned huge distances and were filled to the brink with scrolls, books, 'crons of this nature or that. In his youth, when things had been more simple?

 

It had seemed to be the most obvious thing to do.

 

Search for knowledge, take the knowledge, store the knowledge.

 

The Sith Lord still visited that place every once in a while, but its spoils had little of the old hold on him. "Little," Carach replied in a mumble, while brushing past Reverance and studying the symbols. The spider, yes, but there was more here. Much more and some of them resembled things straight out of ancient, bloody flimsiplast. 

 

"He knew little, because he was little. Whatever lies behind those doors? He was scared almost as much as he was hungry." He pointed towards one of the markings. 

 

A leviathan.

 

But only one eye, it cried blood.

 

"I know this one, I have seen it before."


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#19
Reverance

Reverance

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He looked on with interest as Carach moved past him, studying the details of the canvas that pressed in stone. Despite his time as the Wrath of the One Sith, serving as judge, jury, and executioner, he had rarely ventured into studies that drifted so close to the esoteric. At least, not in regards to ancient lore that couldn’t be tied to vong-shaping and enhanced interpretation of pain. His interest had never truly leaned towards traditional studies of Sith History or archaic runes. Though, based on his casual experience with holocrons and old scriptures, this reminded him of it.

 

He moved forward, standing shoulder to shoulder with Carach, as the fingers of his blackened hand moved across the emblems. The nails, sharpened, found the divots of the indentations and pressed in, following the small canyons. His movement implied some sense of reenactment. If he could relive the creation, perhaps he could determine the history and cause. His movement stopped at the leviathan, circling the single eye that wept tears.

 

I would say, then, that he was worthless. But I’m hesitant to find no value in fear.” He looked towards the large hybrid, side eyed with a crimson gaze. “So almost worthless. I imagine it would not have taken much to rouse fear in such a person.

 

Steps echoed in the distance as the ambience of a fire light began to shimmer further down the spiral staircase. Reverance craned his neck as he looked down the spiral. “Though I am curious as to why markings on this wall bare similar physical conditions to…myself.” He removed his hand from the wall as he approached a step and looked down. “Afterwards, maybe you can tell me where else you’ve seen it…and what other markings you recognize.

 

The fire opened up just past the center column of the stair case as robed figures ran up, holding torches and sharpened archaic metal weapons.

 

Carach



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#20
Jairus Starvald

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Reverance

 

"Possibly a coincidence." After all, one-eyed nature was not an unknown quantity in the Galaxy, but for some reason Carach had a creeping suspicion there was more to it than that. Coincidences did not exist in a reality that was tied together by the Force, a lattice of energy spinning threads from one direction to the other, depth deepening as more complexity was offered into the web by design. Whose design? Even throughout his extensive studies Carach had not been able to determine that answer. There were hints, of course, always hints. But they were written by man and if there was one perspective as self-limiting in its pursuit, then it would have to be mankind itself.

 

But before they could continue the discussion the cultists already approached.

 

Their harsh and crude footsteps echoed by way of the ancient duracrete, giving them forewarning. It and the light of their torches flickering the shadows away. Carach followed the former Wrath, looking casually over his shoulder to their quick-snappy run.

 

"Almost worthless indeed," At the sight of their crude weapons and lack of discipline. There were several options ahead of them: but the Sith Lord preferred the simple wait, the tightness of the spiral would ensure they could only approach by pairs of two and- now.

 

Just before the first two could reach their target Carach raised his hand and pushed.

 

The Force coiled in distress as the Sith Lord took command, energy distorting from passive complacency towards action, the friction heated up and caused afterglows in the air as its molecules suddenly accelerated past its normal velocity within the span of a single breath. The momentum crashed into the first row of the cultists, causing them to barrel back into their allies, who had no room to maneuver with so little room to their sides and behind.

 

From one moment to the other the cultists shifted from a rabble of violence to clinging heap of limbs, clutching swords, screaming where jagged metal nicked them out of habit.

 

How was that for subtlety?

 

"Your turn."


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