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#21
Adrian Vandiir

Adrian Vandiir

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Faces emotionless the Voss, and Jairdain, nodded in acknowledgement to his answers. One by one he answered, and one by one they were accepted without comment. Then, as the last answer was given and subsequently accepted, the Voss merely faded away, leaving him alone in the room with his fellow human.

 

This was not, however, the time for any lengthy discussions. As she guided him towards the golden door, he nodded confidently while mentally preparing himself for the uncertainty ahead. "Then I will see you on the other side."

 

Pushing the doors open, he stepped through, only to be blinded by a sudden flash of light. When his eyes opened once more, he found himself in a small clearing of some kind, though the golden light from before pervaded everything. In the centre were a pair of Voss, seemingly cowering in fear. As if on cue, beasts which he recognised as native to Voss rushed forth from the underbrush, only to be met by his lightning, the few that got through the barrage being finished off with his crimson lightsaber.

 

As soon as the last beasts fell, they started to fade, as did the pair of Voss. Eyes narrowing slightly, he pushed his way through the underbrush, only to find himself back in the shrine. At the centre of the room stood a shapeless horror of some kind, while around it stood a quartet of... himself? They looked like him, but that is where the similarities ended. One glowed red, its body covered in Sith war armour. Another golden, its clothing rich but its eyes like a pair of cold gems. A third glowed purple. its body swathed in a shapeless cloak that concealed all but its face. The fourth and final kept to the back, its glow green and its expression fearful.

 

As one, they turned towards him, each shouting out, though their voices were garbled and confused. Then, they attacked. Unlike the beasts, they fought back with blade and lightning, not tooth and claw, but they were weaker, far weaker, than him. At least individually. Still, their disharmonious assault managed to force him backwards, though the lack of cooperation quickly became their doom.

 

As the last one fell, the horrid beast in the centre stirred, before rushing towards him. Its shape was hard to pin down, and yet he saw things in it. Things that looked oddly like some of his own failed experiments. Pushing away the distraction, he dodged and spun, blasted and cut. A few times it came close, dangerously close, to skewering it with its twisting claws, but finally it fell. As the beast fell victim to a burst of bright purple energy, it began to dissipate like the foes before it, until only the room remained. Only the room and a door, a door which he had somehow failed to spot during the fight.

 

Pushing it open tentatively, he found himself in another great hall, this one reminiscent of the one near the entrance in which he had first tried to touch the crystal.

 

 

Jairdain



#22
Jairdain

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Even if Adrian could not sense it, he was being observed through his trial by the three Mystics. When he reached that hall, a figure appeared to be waiting for him in the middle. If he chose to approach it, as he got closer it would be seen to be Jairdain. Since she was the Mystic that guided him through the trial, she was the one that appeared here. If he looked closely, he would actually see through the image.

 

Behind her stood a tall obelisk and in front of that was an alter. She stood in front of both. Other than her being semi-transparent, she appeared whole. If he tried to touch her though, his hand would pass through the image.

 

"Why are you here?"

The first series of questions one could study for. Not these though, what happened behind the closed doors of the trial remained there. What happens next depends on his answers. At this point of the trial was where most of the applicants failed and died.

 

Adrian Vandiir


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#23
Adrian Vandiir

Adrian Vandiir

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Gaze scouring the hall, it was immediately apparent that while it looked the same, its contents were anything but. Rather than the crystal from earlier, there was a black-haired figure standing before an altar and an obelisk. No, not any black-haired figure, but Jairdain, the Mystic who was no Voss. She did not glow like the threats before, but he remained wary as he approached her. So far, this had been a trial of combat, and he had no intention of being caught off guard.

 

As he got closer, she appeared slightly transparent, almost incorporeal, though he stopped half a dozen or so metres away from her rather than test that assumption.

 

Her question, however, did catch him a little off guard. So far, none of the questions had been personal. A more deceptive person might have tried to answer what he thought was right, but Adrian had never been one to lie; not due to any unflinching code of honour or other absurdity, no, he simply prefered to tell the truth, or at the most stretch it.

 

"I seek the greatest of all treasures; Knowledge." Not that there was any point to lying; his thirst for knowledge was, and always had been, out in the open.

 

 

Jairdain


Edited by Adrian Vandiir, 22 July 2018 - 05:02 PM.


#24
Jairdain

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It appeared the image of Jairdain grew thoughtful as the answer to the question was heard. This was more than an image though, more of a projection. A part of Jairdain was present in the image, but this entity was not her. A small sigh was heard and a subtle head movement was seen.

 

The tilting of her chin and then a nod. Her hands had been clasped in front of her, now they rested at her sides. She took three steps close to Adrian, but was nowhere close enough to touch and glided over the floor like a spirit. It was the familiar voice of Jairdain that spoke, but it carried the accent and inflection of a Voss.

 

"What will you do with this knowledge once you gain it?"

 

If Adrian reached out with the Force, he would not sense what this figure was. Voss were neither light or dark, they followed their own code of ethics. This code was far different than any other Jairdain knew of, but it was one she liked. It may have been a contributing factor in how she passed this part of the trial. As the Mystics observed him, they remained silent and stoic. He still would not sense them.

 

Adrian Vandiir


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#25
Adrian Vandiir

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As she considered his answer, Adrian's eyes roved over the Mystic's spectral form. It felt different from the beings he had been fighting, and yet also different from Jairdain in her normal form. Even her form when shrouded in golden light like earlier. He still did not know what that had been, but this was entirely different. This time, he was fairly sure she wasn't here. Not in person. The only question was whether this was a mere projection, or something more dangerous.

 

Even so, he stood calmly as Jairdain-that-was-not-Jairdain came closer. Perhaps he would only face more questions, or perhaps there was a surprise attack coming; either way, there was no reason to display even a hint of weakness.

 

Shrugging slightly, he smiled wryly. "The typical Sith answer would be power, no? Truth be told, I seek knowledge for knowledge's sake; anything else I gain or accomplish is merely a bonus."

 

Just like before, he spoke the truth. That was not to say he didn't thirst for power with the best for them, but not in the same way. Where some sought the ability to dominate their lessers, he would much rather elevate them. Through a coldly calculating application of the Force, he was confident that he could create perfection. That was not, however, why he sought the secrets of the Voss. He had no idea what he would learn, whether it would even be useful. The only thing he knew was that he was curious, intensely curious, and that he had never been able to resist the urge to learn something new. Especially something related to the mysteries of the Force.

 

 

Jairdain



#26
Jairdain

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Again there appeared to be a sense of thought from the figure before its face took on a slightly sorrowful look.

 

"Like people with the best of intentions, you fail to see what is best. You want knowledge to have and to hold. To use it for your own goals, but you don't know control​."

 

All the studying and lessons he could have taken from the Voss would not have prepared him for what he faced now. That spectral vision changed, altered and became something from a nightmare. Worse than any sithspawn he might have created.

 

Tentacles reached out for him and a gaping maw waited to swallow him whole.

 

Control... Fear... Fight... ​Submit...

 

The choices were endless and this single decision would decide if Adrian lived and gained the knowledge he sought or died in the trials like countless others before him.

 

Adrian Vandiir


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#27
Adrian Vandiir

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As she rejected his answer, his eyes narrowed slightly, narrowing even further as she accused him of not being in control. As if. Compared to many of his Sith brethren, he was the epitome of control. Not only that, but his talent in sorcery and alchemy alike had given him control over reality itself, slowly but surely allowing him to reshape the natural order in his image. Or so he believed.

 

Even so, he could not deny his own fears. Could not deny how much he worried about losing that precious control of his. The subtle mention of that fear, so deeply buried from the eyes of casual observers, was enough to fill him with suspicion. Eyes narrowing to a slit, he allowed energy to build within his form. She had assured him she would stay out of his mind, so either she had made an excellent deduction... or she had broken that promise. Or this was not her, not in the earlier sense, but another part of the trial.

 

It was for that reason that he was not caught entirely off guard when her form moulded into one of, if not the vilest horror he had ever laid his eyes on. It was not merely the visual impression, no, its very presence stank of terror and death, worse yet that even his Amalgafiends. It was horror incarnate and yet he was Sith and a sorcerer at that. Few survived delving into that vile art unless they had the ability to act unflinchingly in the face of horrors beyond the comprehension of the common man.

 

Leaping backwards to avoid the grasping tentacles, he pushed his right hand forward, the flesh writhing into a horror almost as vile as the one he faced as he attempted to force his will upon the monstrosity. Attempted to bind it with metaphysical shackles formed from the vilest darkness.

 

 

Jairdain


Edited by Adrian Vandiir, 26 July 2018 - 01:20 PM.


#28
Jairdain

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This was the only other entity in the room besides Adrian. He would not need to worry about watching his back from anything else interfering in the trial. As the figure morphed and changed into a nightmare in front of his, it should be clear this was in no way the Jairdain he knew. The nightmare was a manifestation of the trial and was the final step before he could be considered a Voss Mystic himself.

 

He avoided getting pulled in by the tentacles and sent out an attempt to bind the entity. The tentacles retreated and a low growling came from the maw that wanted to eat him. An echoing voice howled through the hall.

 

WHAT MAKES YOU THINK YOU CAN BIND ME?!?​

 

Sudden silence filled the room. It seemed on envelop Adrian and shut him away from everything. Like a sudden barrier came up around him and was trying to suffocate him. This wasn't the case. He could breathe and move freely. Even the entity was separate from him. As the echoes from the voice faded, new ones came into being.

 

The voices of what would be familiar to him. Trials of his past. Friends that had fallen, family that had been taken from him. Lastly the figure of a hutt appeared to him. A grotesque version of the one in his mind that took his parents.

 

What does he do now? ​

 

While he was being observed by the Mystics, this question travelled between them. They were cut off from him, but watched the whole thing.

 

Adrian Vandiir


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#29
Adrian Vandiir

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Voice like rolling thunder, the thing spoke. As the echo faded, silence enveloped him. A silence that was quickly broken by a cacophony of voices, voices from his past. The voices of the people he had lost; those taken by circumstance and those he had failed to protect. As these impressions washed over him, he gasped slightly, then his gaze fell on a familiar figure. The damn thing appeared even worse than when last they had met, which shouldn't be surprising, since Adrian had taken oh-so-much pleasure from killing the slug, slowly.

 

For a moment, a familiar hatred blossomed, then the young Corellian bent his head backwards and laughed.

 

"Fool me once..."

 

Closing his eyes, he embraced the pains of the past, intermixed with the joy of fond memories and the anger he felt at being manipulated. Forcing that energy into a swirling maelstrom of energy, he reached upwards, hand closing to a fist as he once again attempted to enforce his will upon what threatened him. This time, however, his target was not the "being" itself, but rather the ambient energy that filled the place.

 

He had never experienced anything like this before... but he had triggered traps left behind in the tombs of long-dead Sith. The time for subtlety was over, now he would attempt to throw a metaphorical hydrospanner right in the cogs of the test itself. His skills with the Force were varied, but one thing with which he had always excelled, one thing that had always come naturally to him, was the manipulation of energy.

 

 

Jairdain



#30
Jairdain

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The choice he made brought about a sense of acceptance from the observing Mystics. By him taking in and not rejecting his past, Adrian passed the test. What he did though interested them. When attempted to force his will on the entity, it did succeed. However, it would not be bound to him. In defeating it, the thing faded away into nothing and just disappeared.

 

In its wake, Adrian would certainly feel alone. There was hope though, the trial was almost complete. Almost like a trail of breadcrumbs, there was a lighted doorway in front of him. The golden hue now something familiar to him.

 

As he walked through, there might be a sense of loss felt by him. An unknown weight that had been holding him back was lifted and now he could see like a Mystic did. The Force spoke to him differently, neutrally and it was all natural. If he continued to hone this new skill of prophecy within him, he would truly become a Voss Mystic even though he was an outsider like Jairdain. The knowledge he sought was now open to him.

 

She was waiting for him on the other side. Not a facsimile of Jairdain, but really her. No golden aura was on her and if he reached out to touch her, she was solid.

 

"Follow me please, Mystic Adrian."

Not waiting for him to reply, she only took a few steps and stood next to a tablet. Motioning for him to kneel in front of it, she waited.

 

"Here you will be granted your first vision as a Mystic. Take the time you need and I will be here when you are done."

 

Adrian Vandiir


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#31
Adrian Vandiir

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When the trial ended, he had known. He had known because he suddenly felt different, as if his very way of seeing things had shifted, though certainly not for the worse. It was an odd feeling, one which he was sure would take time to get used to.

 

Having felt how it was to be a Mystic, he was perhaps even more curious about what was to come than he had ever been. About the first vision he would receive as a Mystic, and indeed the first vision he would ever receive. He was gifted with some limited prescience, of course, but that was both situational and vague. He could feel the hint of impending danger, but he had never been able to peer into the fabric of the future. Could not even imagine how it would feel, though he would soon know.

 

"Thank you, Mystic Jairdain."

 

Kneeling before the tablet, the young Corellian allowed his breath to slow, then closed his eyes. Focusing inwards, at the change that had so recently come from within, he allowed himself to slowly ease off his control. Allowed himself to be guided wherever it would take him, to see whatever it would show him.

 

---

 

Flashes of red and green. A diving sensation. Glittering blue and drab grey.

 

Suddenly, he could feel it. A familiar darkness, intermingling with an unknown one.

 

Worn leather, drabbed in shadows. A surge of power, at the summit of an unknown mountain.

 

---

 

With a start, Adrian's eyes shot open. That was... unexpected. Unexpected, but not unwelcome. He did not know what it meant, but he had his suspicions. Suspicions which would have to be verified, though that time would come later.

 

Rising to his feet, he turned towards Jairdain, eyes glittering with excitement. "That was... strange. Strange, yet also enlightening." A wry smile. "think."

 

 

Jairdain


Edited by Adrian Vandiir, 11 August 2018 - 07:10 AM.


#32
Jairdain

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What vision he was granted was for him to know. If he wanted to, he could speak to an interpreter if the meaning wasn't clear to him. However, as a Mystic, in the eyes of the Voss he was correct no matter what.

 

His eyes opened and he stood up to face Jairdain. She could feel the excitement within him and he admitted it was strange, but enlightening.

 

The two of them it seemed were both allies and enemies at the same time. Depending on the situation around their meeting. 

 

"There is one more thing I can gift to you. Do you remember that crystal in the hall? The one you could not get to? It is open to you now."

 

In a way accessing that crystal was one of the final things granted to somebody that had just gone through the trials. It would invigorate the person and give them a benefit they hadn't had before.

 

Adrian Vandiir


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#33
Adrian Vandiir

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First, the altered state of mind that came from being a Mystic, then the vision, and now the crystal from before? If it was anything like the previous two, it would be an interesting experience indeed. An experience that would blend with the others in changing him in ways that he did not yet understand, but that he had no doubt would take him closer to his ultimate goal. The goal of any self-respecting shaper of lives. Perfection.

 

"Indeed? Before the trial, I would have asked how it recognised Mystics, but now? Now I can feel the difference, in myself and how I perceive things. It really is quite... curious."

 

Walking alongside the Mystic, no, his fellow Mystic, he made his way towards that first hall. It was interesting, how quickly things had changed. When he had entered, he had been a stranger, and probably a disapproved of one at that, considering what his fellow Sith had so recently done. Now, however, he was one of their honoured Mystics and would be treated as such. He could see it in the behaviour of the Voss he met, and would no doubt see it in those he met in Voss-Ka as well, once the news had spread. Still, he suspected the changes within would be far more noticeable. They always were, especially to someone as focused on the self as himself.

 

 

Jairdain



#34
Jairdain

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It wasn't the access to the crystal Jairdain was going to gift Adrian with, but a token more or less. While he was changed by the trial, not all Voss would know what he was just by looking at him. Depending on how much time he spent within the Shrine after today, he may be requested to show this token any time he wanted to access the secret records.

 

The walk did not take long and she once again motioned to the crystal. Before he would go there, she placed a hand on his arm for just a moment.

 

"Once you have touched the crystal, it will grant you one further enhancement. It might be strength (in a physical sense), intellect, fortitude...for me it granted me a little more wisdom because at the time it was what I lacked in most. Go on."

​That sense of humor that hadn't been present before showed just slightly when she said what the crystal had given her. This had occurred before they ever met each other and at a point in her life when she did need that extra wisdom. She could guess what it might do for him, but she couldn't know until he told her...if he did.

 

When the crystal did whatever enhancement it was going to give, it would only take a few moments and she would be waiting for him in the same spot. One of her hands was in a pocket and it held the token she could give to him. No matter how he was affected, he would come around to his senses if it done anything to him and Jairdain would once again hold out a hand for him to take.

 

If he took it, she would place that token in it with her other and close his fist around it.

 

"That will allow you access to these archives. As time progresses you will learn many things, Adrian and I look forward to working with you at times. At other times, I have the feeling we might meet under different circumstances."

That harkened back to th​e meeting on Coruscant. Alike they may be in many ways, but they were still enemies in others.

 

Adrian Vandiir


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#35
Adrian Vandiir

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Just like that, they were back where they started. They were back, but he was different. This time, the crystal would not reject him. This time, it would gift him with something. What exactly it would give him, how exactly it would change him, was hard to tell. It would have made him suspicious, had he not been certain the Voss would not create a trap for their own Mystics.

 

Reaching out as before, he allowed his fingers to slowly descend towards the crystal, feeling the surge of energy as the connection was made. As quickly as it began, it was over. While not as noticeable as the end of the trials, there was still a change. A certain sense of clarity, perhaps, that had not been there before.

 

Having recovered quickly from that strange experience, he turned around towards Jairdain, finding that the woman was holding out an arm for him to take. After a moment, he did just that, watching curiously as she placed a small object, a token of sorts, in his hand then closed his fist around it. As quickly as it had come, his surprise evaporated. It made sense that there would be an identifier, a means of proving his newfound position. The changes within might be noticeable from within, but there was no guarantee the same could be said for his presence, let alone his persona as observed by non-force sensitives.

 

"Most appreciated, I'm sure there is much to be learnt." A slight pause. "Then let us hope that when next we meet, it is under equally favourable circumstances." A wry smile. "Our first encounter, after all, marked a rather unpleasant affair for everyone involved." Rather unpleasant, of course, was putting it mildly. On that day, he had been horrified by the wanton slaughter of civilians, subjected to a nasty form of mentalism he had been practising to use on others, almost had his head chopped off, and to finish it off had left with only a useless datacron to show for it. Not his proudest moment, that.

 

 

Jairdain



#36
Jairdain

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"I couldn't agree more."

 

He had been the first enemy she had encountered on Coruscant. After she had disabled him, her own attention had been drawn elsewhere and they had never met again. They might have been enemies, but Jairdain was glad he had survived.

 

Giving him a small smile, she nodded and would hold her hand out to him one last time.

 

"You have been granted a great honor Mystic Adrian. Use it wisely. I do feel my welcome on Voss is waning and I should be leaving. Unless you are going to do your sith duty and attempt to take me captive."

She did not suspect he would, but wouldn't make it easy on him if he tried.

 

Adrian Vandiir


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#37
Adrian Vandiir

Adrian Vandiir

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For a moment, Adrian did his best to adopt a stern expression. A form of faux-grimness. Then he chuckled merrily and took her hand, shaking it firmly.

 

"Why, I can't imagine what you are talking about. As far as I'm concerned, neither the Saaraishash nor the Empire at large have any qualms with the Mystics. Still, you might be right in that not all will see it that way."

 

Of course, that was putting it mildly. Had she merely been a neutral force user, she would likely have been fine. That, however, was not the case. What he had seen on Coruscant had made it clear enough that she was an enemy of the Sith, or at the very least a firm ally of certain Jedi. Both of those would carry with them harsh penalties in the Sith-Imperial justice system... if she even made it to the courts, that was.

 

"Until we meet again, Mystic Jairdain. May the Force serve you well."

 

As she made her departure, he would return to the Shrine, though his stay would not last for long. There were things that needed to be done and experiments to continue. Even so, he would most certainly return, from time to time. After all, the culture of the Voss had grown on him, as had the Mystics and their esoteric ways.

 

 

Jairdain