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Cruelty is a Desirable Trait

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#21
Valeska Daeranthe

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"Am I going to want to take these bandages off." The girl made the snarky remark though in truth, she was slightly worried about the scaring or wounds that may have now ruined her tattoos, she worked so hard to earn those.  

Slowly she moved the blanket and began to stand, stretching slightly and breathing deeply, she looked up to her new master. At least that point had been established, she wasn't beaten to hell and back for nothing.

Looking to her side she noticed the mangled clothing she had on during the fight. Ugh, Minx will have to fix those.

 

"Is my ship here, along with my, cargo?" She paused for a moment, trying to put slaves in a slightly more well mannered way, after all the ones on her ship were treated far better than the ones she sold. "Or perhaps just the cargo. The ship was sad and worthless." On her ship also resided all of her weaponry, her possessions, things shed appreciate in the coming weeks surely.

Darth Carnifex



#22
Darth Carnifex

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"Remove them if you wish, but be quick."

 

Like the old adage, there was no rest for the wicked, the Emperor did not tolerate a moment's reprieve where there were more lessons to teach. Valeska had now learned the first reality of tutoring under him, that she was not as powerful as she had thought; and that her pride could be broken down into nothingness. He expected that she still had quite a ways to go on that front, but he could sense that she understood just how wide the gulf of strength was between them.

 

"For time is not a luxury that you can afford, apprentice. You still have much to learn." He gestured for her to follow him as he and his two guards turned to leave the room, his cape billowing behind him as they entered the hall and began to walk at a brisk pace. "Your ship has been dismantled, it was inadequate for your new purpose, and your cargo has been relocated to a more secure location when you are ready to pick them up."

 

The Emperor would gift his apprentice a new vessel, one far worthier for her position as his chosen student. 

 

The scenery around them changed as they rose through the palace, taking on a more relaxed atmosphere as more of the Emperor's kin could be seen milling about the halls and commons. Art and other valuable trinkets became more frequent as they passed corridor after corridor, a seemingly endless labyrinth of doors and antechambers that comprised the Emperor's inner sanctum. However, they would finally reach a door that was, unlike the other doors around it, unmarked. 

 

"This will be your room, apprentice. Familiarize yourself with it."

 

Valeska Daeranthe



#23
Valeska Daeranthe

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Following behind him, Valeska slowly pulled bandages off as they traveled. Fearing the worst, she was pleasantly surprised her tattoos and markings stayed in place, undamaged, remarkably.

"And you keep two guards with you at all times for what purpose? I'm rather sure they are useless in comparison to your power and would play no more a role than a shield, no offence." The girl eyed them up and down, thinking all that they could really do. Maybe deter lesser attackers though if something of equal measure to Carnifex came along? They would be a snack.

As they approached her room, she familiarized herself with the location at least, best she could. The only unmarked door around, so that was rather simple. Slowly she pushed open the door to peer inside, likely before dragged off on some other training escapade. 

Darth Carnifex



#24
Darth Carnifex

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The room itself was sparsely decorated, featuring only several banners displaying the Empire's symbols that hung from the light gray walls. Against the far wall was a single bed, large enough for one person of average height and built to sleep in, and next to it was a wooden table outfitted with a holonet terminal, several stacks of flimsiplast and a smattering of archaic writing utensils. There was also a small chest at the foot of the bed for small belongings, and a larger wardrobe for clothes. A small recessed door led to a refresher.

 

There were no windows.

 

"I assume that you will convert this chamber to your likings, apprentice." It didn't take long for those that studied at the feet of the Emperor to transform the blank canvas of their quarters into a mirror image of their personality, their quirks, and oddities imprinted upon the surface. 

 

He scoffed at his apprentice's inquiry about his guards, "That is a lesson that you have yet to learn." Though the Emperor was perfectly capable of defending himself in the case of danger, the guards served as a symbol of his authority and simultaneously impressed and intimidated visitors with their silent presence. "But you will understand soon enough, apprentice." The Emperor immediately switched gears, "Tell me what you know of our history, the history of the Sith."

 

Valeska Daeranthe


Edited by Darth Carnifex, 11 June 2018 - 08:29 AM.


#25
Valeska Daeranthe

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In the time of her separation from Darth Imperia, Valeska had spent time striking out on her own, yes, however she also spent time learning to fill in the blanks. While she was instructed in combat, so called business, and individualism, she was never really instructed much on the history of their kind. 

 

During this break between masters, she took her own time to learn and fill her brain with as much knowledge as possible, skimming archives and stealing history locked away by their enemy, artifacts, holocrons, absolutely anything she could get her hand on. Most of this covered all the bases, and maybe a little more.

Within about half a second she began spatting a long detailed history of the empire, the Sith, and everything leading to its creation, and unless stopped, she would state everything she knew. For anyone it may have been considered impressive, though it was nowhere near perfect, she could only read so much in two years, and it could always be expanded. Valeska wouldn't mind spending another two years skimming the galaxy, she craved the chase of knowledge. 

Darth Carnifex



#26
Darth Carnifex

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"You know our code, you know our history. That is more than I can say for others of your skill, they tend to bypass our legacy and fixate on whatever power they can accumulate. But knowledge is just as powerful as the energy your conjure through the Dark Side of the Force." The Emperor had made it essential that those that studied under him knew the history and philosophy of the Sith as well as they could know its creed, drilling it into their skulls through rigorous study and repetition.

 

"But tell me, apprentice. What is the philosophy of this current generation of Sith, and how does it differ from those that had come before in history?

 

Carnifex prided himself over his careful blending of old Sith ideology and the Rule of One, creating the Rule of Order that had thoroughly infiltrated every aspect of the New Sith Empire. Devoting one's self to the preservation of the Empire and the Sith, as well as unity in a collective vision of Sith galactic rule, was paramount to keeping the Sith from destroying themselves by infighting, lest everything that Carnifex had meticulously built with the aid of his fellow Sith brothers and sisters come crashing down all around him. The Emperor had vowed that the Sith would no longer run and hide from the Jedi, they would create an ideology so resilient and so powerful that they could eclipse the light entirely.

 

So far that plan was coming to fruition, the Galactic Alliance was no more and there were few in the way of the galactic powers that could contend with the Sith Empire.

 

Valeska Daeranthe



#27
Valeska Daeranthe

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"I cannot say many specifics, for it was something I could not find in my own studies."

The girl paused for a moment, thinking over her teachings with Imperia, and in truth, her training ended before the new empire truly began. She was masterless for two years in time and spanning the galaxy for its duration, and while she may not have been knowledge hungry, she did try her best to put together the pieces. After a brief moment of thought, she began to speak again.

"In a rough summary, we devoted ourselves to no longer showing weakness and hiding. Now conquering while also maintaining the culture and society we have created. We no longer wish to be considered the background of the galaxy and we are to leave our mark while destroying those who oppose us, and preventing internal destruction."

She couldn't have been sure if it was all right, after all it was simply backhand knowledge, though it really covered the basics of general desire many in the empire held close. Valeska, simply put, agreed in no longer hiding, and hunting down rebels and others of opposition, that was always fun.

Darth Carnifex



#28
Darth Carnifex

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"Hrm."

 

The Emperor grumbled as he listened to Valeska recount what she knew about the philosophy of the Brotherhood of the Sith, which was very little by the sound of it. However, he was content that she knew their code and their history at the very least, both were crucial aspects of their identity as a Sith. Not only that, but it was vital that the Sith understood where they had come from, what their predecessors had done, and exactly how they had failed in their mission to supplant the Jedi and create a galaxy-spanning Empire. From those failures the modern Sith could learn and adapt, striving to avoid the same pitfalls that had been the doom of so many of their ancestors.

 

"You are partially correct. The Brotherhood of the Sith is an order centered around my own philosophy, one where the Sith are united in a common goal of galactic domination. I've drawn heavy inspiration from the pre-Banite Sith Orders and Darth Krayt's Rule of One, stripping away the weakness of both while keeping the greatest strengths. Krayt made the fatal error in cementing obedience to a single individual, which in this case was himself. I have shifted that obedience away from a sole person and instead on the Sith Order itself, eschewing archaic Sith traditions like Kaggaths. Likewise, there can only be one Dark Lord of the Sith, a title which I alone possess alongside the title of Imperial Emperor."

 

He pointed a finger at her, "Survival of the fittest, the shedding of weakness, obedience to the Order, and unity in a collective desire to mold the galaxy... That is what it means to be a Sith in my Empire, apprentice. I will instill in you a fierce devotion to my teachings, teachings that you will pass on to your own apprentices when the time comes. The generations that come after will know only my vision."

 

Valeska Daeranthe


Edited by Darth Carnifex, 13 June 2018 - 04:44 PM.


#29
Valeska Daeranthe

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"The first two are the way I have always lived, as was how I was raised. The second two are ones I have adapted to in my own life and have taken on in life. There is no room for weakness."

Flashbacks for a moment highlighted the events after she failed her first proving. The beatings, the training, and all the fights to come after, she would never be called weak again.

"Any teachings you can bestow on me I would be highly grateful of. My last Master, while she tried so very hard, I don't believe she was ready to take on an apprentice. There was not enough knowledge to pass on, and while I have the teachings, books and other things of her previous master passed on to me at her death, I haven't been able to decode them."

Pondering for a moment, she remembered looking over those books and notes for hours, days at a time. She gifted me her knowledge on the ways of immortality, somewhere here, I just never was able to understand. The words of her previous master creeping into her head. 

"I will pass on whatever you teach me, and assure the Empire has at least some decent apprentices to follow in my suit."

Darth Carnifex



#30
Darth Carnifex

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"I see the beginnings of a powerful Lord of the Sith in you, apprentice."

 

He had not seen such potential since his most promising student, Darth Pyrrhus, who had become one of his proudest disciples and a fervent adherent of his philosophy. Carnifex reached out and grasped Valeska by the shoulder, his gloved fingers digging in painfully as dark energy coursed from his animus into her being. The transition was painful, agonizingly so, but as his strength washed over her body a new sensation began to creep along her forehead. A symbol, similar to the one that the Emperor wore upon his brow, began to take shape from her existing tattoos, the skin reforming itself into a new design.

 

Once it was over Valeska would feel as if she had been drained of energy, possibly falling to the floor once the Emperor had relinquished his grip. "I have marked you with the symbol of my authority, apprentice. Wear it proudly and know that I accept you as my protege, and will teach you what I know so that you may pass it on to the next generation of Sith Lords."

 

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Several months later...

 

The training arena was home to the sounds of exertion and the clashing of lightsabers as the Emperor and his apprentice sparred ferociously, their lightsabers left on at full-power as they traded blow after blow with little more than training tunics to protect their vitals. Carnifex held both of his sabers, connected together at the hilt in the form of a saberstaff, in both of his hands as he twirled both blades back and forth to parry and deflect Valeska's strikes.

 

"Feel the Dark Side flowing through you, apprentice. Let it become the conduit for your anger!"

 

They conjointly fought in the style of lightsaber combat commonly referred to as Strong Style. It was the Emperor's preferred style as it allowed him to best utilize his immense physical strength and the energizing drug of anger to overpower and dominate his opponents on the battlefield, his blows strong enough to crack armor or shatter bones if blocked by another blade. For now, he held back a small percentage of his lethal strength as to not inadvertently kill his apprentice, but it was still quite a harrowing scene as the Emperor reacted to every attack with an immediate and vicious counterattack. 

 

Valeska Daeranthe



#31
Valeska Daeranthe

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For countless hours she had been stuck in this thousand degree room with a man towering her in size, strength, and utter power. Given no breaks, she was dripping like a faucet, taking deep breaths with every swing, her patience dwindled until about nothing was left.

Between several strong strikes, she growled out a few words, being sure to hold her guard as they both continued.

"We have been at this for hours, I'd at least appreciate a twenty second break. Not like I am ever going to surpass your guard."

Waiting for a response, she continued on, full blown swings of anger and rage as her mind and body sought even a moment of rest. The training now reminded her of home, the days she spent not a moment doing anything but sparring, fighting for her life lest she be a disappointment to her family, her ancestors, and all those to follow after. 

Taking another deep breath she continued on, the dark amber of her eyes shimmering every so slightly as she kept up the endless dance between them.

Darth Carnifex



#32
Darth Carnifex

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In contrast to his exhausted apprentice, the Emperor hadn't even broken a sweat. 

 

These movements were so natural to him, so ingrained into his body's subconscious that they practically required any energy to carry out. Beyond that, he recognized that this was no life-or-death struggle, no bout to the bitter end against his mortal enemies; the Jedi. So he did not exert as much as he would have otherwise, his movements were controlled and precise while still carrying that unflinching ferocity that was characteristic of his style.

 

"If you have enough strength to talk, you have enough strength to fight."

 

He caught her blade, locking it against his as he pushed it to the side and delivered a meaty whack right to her face, the sound of the back of his hand connecting with the side of her face reverberating across the training hall.

 

Valeska Daeranthe



#33
Valeska Daeranthe

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It was true, if she had enough strength to talk, she had enough strength to fight. Covered in sweat and dirt, she was just tiring. The pointlessness of the activity rolled through her mind up until he caught her blade. Throwing it to the side and then the slap.

WACK.

 

There was a pause for a moment as she put a hand to her face. No tears, not yell, no reaction but to look to the floor for a moment with a hand on her cheek. Her red skin shinning just a bit brighter where the mark was definitely forming. And as she looked to the floor her eyes began to glow darker, much darker than normal. Her other hand cast to the side to call her saber back, and reaching down the hand to her face called her spare saber to hand. 

For a moment her body shivered slightly, and in the span of but a millisecond she was back in front of the man before, a blur of movement as she delivered blow, after blow, after blow, of relentless strong slashes against his saber staff, and even possibly aiming to hit him if he weren't expecting the onslaught. 

Feeling the power coursing through her it was as if she couldn't stop herself, the building anger of the moment catching her off guard as she continued to swing over and over again like a train run out of control. The longer she continue
d, the darker her eyes grew, the darker her eyes grew, the more potent her connection to the force itself. 

Darth Carnifex


Edited by Valeska Daeranthe, 16 June 2018 - 07:25 PM.


#34
Darth Carnifex

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The Emperor, ever vigilant, reacted quickly to his apprentice's renewed onslaught, momentarily taking to the defensive as he kept his saberstaff close to his body while using small, minimalistic movements to quickly deflect each attack away from him. He'd never seen this side of his apprentice before, and the raw anger that had broken to the surface in a split-second of hatred so pure that it had rivaled the Emperor's own constant seething darkness.

 

He couldn't help but crack a smile, his eyes glowing darkly in delight.

 

"There's that fire, that fury. It had always burned brightly within you, my apprentice, and I have finally coaxed it out." Maintaining the facade of total defense, the Emperor took several paces back as he baited his apprentice into following his movements. "However, you've let it control your actions, instead of the other way around. And that makes you..." He caught another of her attacks, his footing strong as he pinned her in that hold and with deftness detached the lower half of his saber staff. 

 

"Sloppy."

 

Without hesitation the Emperor swung his second blade up in a cleaving arc, intending to amputate his apprentice's sword-arm right at the forearm. 

 

Valeska Daeranthe



#35
Valeska Daeranthe

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(x)

 

There was that light in her eyes, that burning bright amber light that only seemed to grow darker while it shined, her body pouring in a dark aura as she continued on in her movements. 

She knew what he was doing from the start, Carnifex wouldn't let her get away with this for long, and there it was. The second Val saw the shift in his guard to assault, a blade was brought up to block herself, the second trapping his arc between both sabers. Looking up to meet his eye, he'd see the darkened color for a moment, her pupil small, lengthened. 

Shoving back against his saber she would duck and spin to the side quickly, letting the saber staff swing to nothingness. 

As she spun around she would bring one saber across and attempt to swing into his leg, meanwhile keeping the other prepared to block another strike.

Darth Carnifex


 



#36
Darth Carnifex

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Instead of slicing through flesh, sinew, and bone, his blade squarely connected with his apprentice's second blade, and they were temporarily brought to a standstill. 

 

"Impressive, my young apprentice!"

 

A compliment was rarely given by the Emperor, as he preferred his students to claw and scrape for any shred of encouragement and praise so that when it was given to them they had truly earned it. However, he was not ready to let Valeska even think about dwelling on his praise, quickly moving into the offensive as he now utilized both of his lightsabers with deadly efficiency. Carnifex struck with both simultaneously at different and varying angles., each swipe as fast as a viper's bite that threatened to cut the younger Sith to ribbons should her guard slip.

 

Carnifex easily blocked the strike at his legs, redirecting the momentum into a vicious whirlwind of crimson blades that struck out at Valeska's limbs, specifically her tendons. 

 

Valeska Daeranthe



#37
Valeska Daeranthe

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Moving from offence to defense in the span of half a second, the thought of dwelling on praise hadn't even come to mind. Praise was meaningless, and this compliment? She didn't even hear it. 

Slashing with both blades she barely managed to keep up the onslaught aimed against her. With eyes gleaming the young Sith, backtracked slowly, efficiently holding her guard. 

 

For all of her life until now, Valeska clawed her way through endless hell to receive praise, though in the end, she realized it hadn't mattered the whole time. When so many around her learned, trained, focused on impressing others with their skill, it wasn't for themselves. It was like a card trick learned for a party. When Valeska realized there was nothing to be gained from this, she no longer did it for them, she trained for herself. 

There were years before even now filled with admiration, praise, many impressed by the young woman's combat prowess and ferocity, those were among the non sensitives of the galaxy. The way the Empire functioned, outside of her home, those who held the same connection she had, people only wanted more, they were never impressed, especially enemies. 

As the fight continued it was almost as if she lost that general anger, the way she fought, it became more natural and natural as they continued, he would see she no longer panicked to block a strike, the movement came as easy as breathing. Soon she began taking steps forwards, trying to find an opening in his strikes. Her mind filled with determination, ferocity, and the only goal she had was to get him to stop in any other way but her defeat. The opportunity had to present itself eventually. She wasn't useless.

Darth Carnifex



#38
Darth Carnifex

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Valeska would be hardpressed to discover a flaw in his form, a gap in his defensive and offensive screen that was exploitable. The Emperor had spent decades perfecting his style of warfare, fine-tuning and honing his execution of violence in a way that was excessively difficult to unravel by his enemies. He'd studied deeply of the tomes and datacrons left over by ancient swordmasters, Lords of the Sith, and even Jedi Masters that had focused on the more physical aspects of the Force. The Dark Lord considered the ancient Jedi Battlemaster Cin Drallig an exceptional source of information and education on the seven forms of lightsaber combat and routinely turned to a datacron with copies of his lessons during training.

 

Carnifex had incorporated almost every lightsaber form into his own hybridized style, though he primarily relied on Djem So and Juyo to take advantage of his natural strength and imposing stature to dominate fights. An experienced practitioner would notice bits of Shii-Cho, Makashi, and Ataru in his movements as he danced around with his apprentice, crimson blades flashing and clashing to show both of them in ember sparks.

 

"Quit using the standard attacks, use the unorthodox!"

 

The basics of lightsaber combat were good for a foundation, but dueling wasn't about following a set of rules explicitly to the letter. It was an art that flourished when a duelist experimented with their skills, delving into areas unfamiliar and strengthening one's self as a duelist wholly separate from their master. The Emperor did not want a copy of himself, he wanted Valeska to become herself and explore her own powers and abilities. 

 

Valeska Daeranthe



#39
Valeska Daeranthe

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There really was no opening, at least not one the knight could see before her. Swinging her sabers to keep up she continued to block, and block, and block. Over and over again she bashed away his strikes but it mattered little as he continued on, never tiring.

The fight would be continuing on until a real attempt was made by the Emperor, something that Valeska should be right to fear. 

In the back of her mind rested the endless fights she had been through, being sifted around rapidly as another attack was trying to be planned, though it all came to nothing, everything stopped at a dead end as she calculated possibilities, outcomes, and mostly, what would come to the end of the fight in her loss. 

 

Darth Carnifex



#40
Darth Carnifex

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The fight continued on for several more minutes, them fighting back and forth as the Emperor tested the limits of her offensive and defensive capabilities by routinely disengaging and re-engaging infrequently and with different styles. However, he knew that his apprentice couldn't maintain this rate of battle, she just wasn't as attuned to prolonged conflict as the Emperor was. So after another hack and slash counterattack, Carnifex pushed Valeska away with the Force and then deactivated both of his lightsabers.

 

"Enough, apprentice. You have fought well."

 

A side door opened to allow a single protocol droid carrying a plate of water containers and simple protein rations, fuel for his exhausted apprentice so she didn't drop dead from dehydration or overexertion. The Emperor deigned to not partake, for he expended little energy throughout the fight and was content with letting what energy he did use to replenish itself through the Force over time. 

 

"I believe we have finally tapped into your true potential, apprentice. There was a definitive shift during our fight, one that I am eager to explore.

 

Valeska Daeranthe