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The Heart

- - - - - Sith Training Lightsaber Construction

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#1
Adron Malvern

Adron Malvern

    King of Illyria

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Location: Ilum

Objective: Teach

Tags: Alden Akaran Xobos Yakieer

Thoughts: "It's been almost twenty years..."

 

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The journey through deep space had taken some time. Ilum, a planet on the other side of the galaxy, was not as safe to visit as it once had been. Rather than arrive in force, Darth Malphas had taken his apprentices and a small number of Magnaguard to act as an escort. As the shuttle slowly descended onto the icy planet's surface, Malphas finally opened his eyes. His amethyst orbs looked from one apprentice to another as he took the two in. He had told them that they were going on a trip for their training, yet that was all they knew. It was a common practice that he gave the apprentices no more information than they needed, and only as much as they had earned. Still, this was sure to be a day they would remember forever. 

 

Two of the Magnaguard stood at either side of the loading ramp. The dark shuttle was overtaken by a bright flash as the rear door slowly rose to reveal the icy planet. A frigid rush came through the shuttle, bringing with it a cold that cut directly to the bone. "You'll learn three lessons on this world. Do you understand me?" He looked to them both intently. "Fail any of them and your training will only be that much slower."

 

The cold winds still rushed into the shuttle. Adron had not told them they were headed for a planet covered in ice, so they had no cold weather gear, nothing to protect them from the frozen winds. "Right now we're on a lake that has been frozen for centuries. It's almost ten miles to your destination. Most people's lungs would freeze in two." Adron held a hand out to the void, smiling softly as he looked to the two apprentices. "The first technique you will learn is one called, Tapas.

 

"Everything is tied to the Force, including your body heat. If you meditate on the Force, draw it within you, you can create a barrier that will keep your body temperature at a level state so you can cross this lake. If your focus wavers for too long, your lungs will freeze and you'll die. If you are unable to conjure the barrier at all you won't even be able to leave the shuttle.

 

"Remember, draw on your emotions. Hate this cold as you hate your enemies and use that to fuel your resolve. Now is your time to show me I made the proper selection for my apprentices." He spoke surely, yet softly as he stepped down the ramp and into the frigid winds of Ilum. As the Force gathered around him he could feel the icy winds pushing against his skin, but they were unable to chill him, the Force yet preserved him.


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#2
Xobos Yakieer

Xobos Yakieer

    Three Voices, One Mind

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Location: Ilum

Objective: Learn, be warm, don’t die

Tags: Alden Akaran Adron Malvern

Mental state: Unfortunately, chatty

 

              Xobos supposed that she would get used to this eventually, how quickly things with her new master moved. Not 72 hours ago, she was boarding a ship to rescue a raven haired prisoner, barely more than two days after being taken from the horrible planet that was Roon. It seemed as though they were constantly moving, and the Miraluka couldn’t help but wonder if that was how it was always going to be with this new group. It didn’t annoy her, though she did wish that she could get a moment to breath and take everything in.

 

              What did annoy her, however, was the constant chatting and seemingly endless arguing that had been going on in her head for the entirety of the trip to this cold wasteland of a planet. Amburs and Ora had been arguing over everything from Xobos making the wrong decision to join up with Alden and Adron, to if she should have declined to go on this lesson, to how heavy a coat she should have worn to this planet. What it ended up sounding like in her head was a constant buzz of rising and lowering voices that practically had her head in her hands the entirety of the trip.

 

              When the finally landed, everything seemed to quiet down a bit, which she couldn’t help but be thankful for. The second the door to the outside opened, however, and the cold wave of freezing temperatures filled the cabin, that annoyed attitude returned. Xobos stood slowly from her seat, voices quieted, but head pounding with a headache from hours of having to listen to them, and slowly approached the shuttle door with Alden.

 

              Even in her weakened mental state, the Miraluka had no ideas of failing any of the lessons today. She wasn’t going to get behind even more than she already was at this point. As she listened to what the master had to say, Xobos could feel the cold slowly seeping through her jacket and chilling her very being to the soul. It was unlike something she had ever felt before, and doubt began to slip into her mind that she could survive it. Obviously, the voices took advantage of this, making their presence known once again.

 

                “Is the cold too much? Perhaps you should have stayed on the planet, like you banishment stated master..” Ambrus growled in her head, “Maybe we should stay in the ship. Surely nothing could be worth going out in that cold..” Ora whined over the growl, and the voices continued to speak these negatives loudly.

 

              This, again, caused Xobos to put her head into her hand, moaning lightly as the voices got louder and louder. “Shut up..shut up..shut up..” The annoying buzz, the biting cold, having to adapt as much as she was, caused the hate within her to boil higher and higher. Even the cold of the mark of her forearm dissipated as the hate boiled within her, beginning to warm her body to a point where the cold was no longer a factor.

 

              After a few moments, with the hate of the voices inside her head still raging within her, she flipped the hood of the jacket over her head and followed Adron out of the shuttle, ready to fight through whatever lesson might be ahead of her.

 


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#3
Alden Akaran

Alden Akaran

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Location: Ilum

Objective: Survive the dastardly cold

Tags: Xobos Yakieer | Adron Malvern

 

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The first thing that crossed Alden’s mind as the ramp descended to the planet’s icy surface and filled the once cozy cabin of the ship with its frigid caress was a string of incomprehensible curses and slurs. The weather here was miserable and if this was the way the Chiss liked to live, they must have been a race filled with masochists. They must have loved to just torture and torment themselves here. Ice, snow and rock as far as the eye could see. Thick clouds that lofted high above threated to extinguish the abysmal warmth the planet’s sun struggle to share with the surface. Times like this were what often caused Alden to seriously question his acceptance of the Exarch’s teachings. The lessons were often difficult and appeared almost spontaneous. And now his next lesson for them was for them to figure out without any kind of guidance the Force ability of Tapas in order to stay warm in these unbearably bleak conditions Ilum offered to them. The only words of wisdom that had been showered upon them was something about how everything was connected to the Force.

 

It was true though. In Alden’s limited time studying this Force that before a few weeks ago he didn’t even know he possessed, he’d come to learn a great deal about it. What he had chalked up to his own reflexes and instincts for years as a fighter pilot, had actually been strongly influenced by his unknown precognition of events through the Force. It was still astonishing to him that he possessed such a connection to the Force and his amazement often proved to be a small, yet noticeable distraction. That couldn’t be allowed to happen here. Not if he wanted to stay alive.

 

It wouldn’t be long before the temperature within the cabin had dropped enough to induce an uncontrollable chattering of his teeth. He tucked his fingertips beneath the pits of his arms and used that palms of his hands to rub his chest as he struggled to find warmth. It was proving increasingly difficult to concentrate on meditating in the Force to truly discover this ‘Tapas” Adron had spoke to the two of them of as the cold seemed to now seep down into his bones. However, he wouldn’t allow it to remain a distraction as he snapped toward his military bearing and focus. Within a few seconds he found himself in his meditative state, searching longingly for this barrier of warmth he had been told of. Somewhere in the Force, he would find this ‘Tapas.’ Somehow, he would learn to control his warmth. He would not die here. He could not allow it.

 

Finally! There is was! He’d found it, down deep in himself, his emotions driving him deeper and deeper into somewhat of a trance. Frustration, anger and pain were at the forefront early on, but those emotions had been taken over by a single emotion that was quite the opposite of what the Exarch had told him to exploit. It was love that finally allowed him to discover the talent amid the chaos. The love he held for his family and his friends. The love he held for life and for people. It invoked a deeply warm feeling from within him that seemed to combat the bite of the cold and push it away. A tear even began to trickle down his face, freezing as it made its way to the collar of his jacket.



#4
Adron Malvern

Adron Malvern

    King of Illyria

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Xobos Yakieer Alden Akaran

 

He stood a few feet from the shuttle, amethyst eyes gazing out at the two apprentices he'd brought within this icy hell. His lips formed the smallest of smiles, yet it did not reach his eyes. They were colder than Ilum dared to be. Still, he was impressed to see the two moving out from the shuttle. He sensed how they delved into the Dark Side, pulled from the Force as if they were it's master. Damn it all, he was a bit proud. He said nothing though, and simply led the way through the frigid lake. The winds picked up, flowing over his being and daring to test his own abilities. Easily shrugged off. Adron had grown up in the coldest mountains on Serenno. As a young Jedi he had learned Tapas before any other technique, just as his apprentices would. 

 

As they marched forth, Adron would distract their minds, pulling them away from the deepest of meditations. His voice would echo out, absent the use of his lips. No, it would call to them in their hearts and their minds. Even Xobos would likely hear his own voice over the others that plagued her.

 

'Peace is a lie.' The voice began, reciting a piece of the Sith Code he fervently believed in. 'There is only passion.' The final word would echo for what felt like hours before it finally ceased. When he took the duo as his apprentices, marking them with the Sith Rune that held his essence, he'd forced them to repeat the statement, the first line of the code. In Alden there was doubt, and still something within Xobos, perhaps hesitation. Adron was eager to see which apprentice would surpass the other. Perhaps they would both fail. Only the Force knew. 

 

The trek through the icy lake was long and grueling. So much more so when the winds finally picked up against them. It was as if the trio were climbing a mountain as sand was being poured against them. Yet, the tribulation seemed to be coming to an end. When next Adron's amethyst eyes rose they were met by an all too familiar site. From the distance it seemed they were marching towards some mountain, that dared to reach to the heavens. No, from a closer look what they had seen in the distance was a mighty obelisk. The tower was large and stretched into the clouds above, making it seem like one of the many other ice mountains that surrounded them. At a closer look it was a structure built of an obsidian-like material that had long since been covered in a thick layer of ice and snow. A single, snowy path led the way. 

 

The moment they stepped onto the path, the harsh winds would come to an abrupt halt. Adron's lips came into a knowing smirk before he turned to the two who he'd led through the jaws of hell. "Tapas is an exceptional ability, it can keep your body at a certain temperature for a limited amount of time. Learn to control it and you can make that limit indefinite." He led them to the height of the path where they were met with a wall of ice. His hand rose, slowly but deliberately he would tap into the Dark Side of the Force. All around them, the trio would feel....Warmth? Through Adron's power the ice that laid before them began to slowly melt away, as it did an obsidian door was revealed. The door seemed to shimmer, as if it was reflecting the power that the Sith was forcing towards it. Through the shadowy metal, an emblem would begin to appear. For Adron it was like looking at his own being, however the apprentices would recognize this as the same Sith Rune that was branded onto their arms. In fact, those marks would begin to emit a heat of the Dark Side, bordering on a burn.

 

The emblem on the door would pulse before finally the metallic structure began to quake, opening itself to the trio. Adron paused to look into the hall before them. It was strikingly plain, no more than a black hall of Obsidian with deep, barely visible runes. "Let's go." He finally said, glancing back at his apprentices. The inside was a surprise, as they stepped within it almost felt as if the cold winds returned, cutting straight to the bone. Even the ability of Tapas was no help in the dark halls they moved through. "Have you considered the words I taught you?" He finally spoke, clasping his arms behind his back as he moved through the halls. "You'll learn your own interpretation of the Sith Code, however it is my duty to reveal the code to you in the way I see it."

 

"Peace is a lie. It's a simple fact. There will always be war, destruction, and havoc. So to strive for peace is to strive for a lie. Peace drives no man, it is his passions. Love, hate, sadness, joy, fear, disgust. These are what cause people to react. Everyone is difficult in which ones they use and when, but we all use them."

 

"Xobos." He said sharply, glancing back to the Miralukan. "Your voices have been driving you to anger, right? That is what you used to move through the frozen winds. It was....shaky and in need of focusing but you did well.

 

Next, his eyes fell on Alden, whom he arched a brow at as he spoke. "And Alden. Your passions did not steer you to anger, it brought you to love didn't it? Your love for what you care for drove you to keep going, face your enemy. In this case, the winds."

 

"You did good as well." The man's steps fell hollow until finally he stopped before a large, metallic door. It seemed pristine and untouched and vaguely warm, in comparison to the chilled walls that surrounded them. "Anger is a powerful emotion. It is volatile and can fuel your most powerful abilities. Love is an emotion of focus and consideration, it can strengthen your resolve far after you would have given up yourself." Each of Adron's hands rose in an example of balance. "You must learn to use both. Xobos if you do not temper your emotions to a certain focus, then eventually you will become lost in your rage and be no more than a mindless beast. Alden, your love is strong but it's power is not endless. Rely on it alone and you may find you do not hold as much power as you could, and eventually you will fail." He promised the two of them, crossing his arms over his chest.

 

"For years the Sith have been viewed as mindless beasts unable to control our passions. Here, you will learn to release your passion into a weapon and you will also learn how to wield this weapon with control. Am I understood?" He asked, gazing from one apprentice to another. Finally, once their answers would satisfy him, he would turn back to the door that blocked their path. With a simple wave of his hand, this door too would quake and open to them. What laid behind this door was a room, covered in ice. Hundreds of meters wide, the room had pillars of ice that flowed from the ground to the ceiling that stretched far above, to the unseen skies. Adron took a step forward and gazed out silently at the room before him. To the apprentices it may have simply been a room of ice and cold winds, yet he could see the thousands of crystals that stretched over the ice. He wondered just which ones would call to his apprentices. 

 

"Today you will do two things. First, you will find a crystal. It will become a powerful weapon that will amplify your powers and give you an understanding." Adron walked over to a nearby wall, pressing his back to it, yet scoffing at the ice that coated his blazer. "To find these crystals you must hear their call. You will only hear it if you are both empowered and focused. Draw from multiple emotions and bend them to form power!" He ordered them, before sighing softly. "Once you've found your crystal, come back to me and we will move on."


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#5
Xobos Yakieer

Xobos Yakieer

    Three Voices, One Mind

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Location: Ilum

Objective: Learn, be warm, don’t die

Tags: Alden Akaran Adron Malvern

 

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              Now, Xobos was used to having voices plague her mind at this point. She didn’t have memories from when Ambrus and Ora had not been speaking constantly in her mind. Every single day filled with their voices in her mind, speaking, chiding, and annoying her to no end. Even when they were helpful, that helpfulness didn’t last long, or was only there to make sure she did something. But even then, hearing Adron’s thunderous voice ring through her mind with that singular phrase did cause a few moments of lost concentration, causing the cold to come blasting through her being. It chilled her to the bone in mere moments, but eventually she was able to fight back, the hate bursting through the respite to bring warmth to her body once again.

 

              Even if she was warm once again, they still had to continue the long and arduous trek through the ice and snow across that lake. It felt like hours that they were constantly walking, pushing their way against the icy winds as the trio trekked together. There was no speaking, as that would have just cost them energy. Energy that was heartily being conserved to keep them all warm in the subfreezing environment.  

 

              Xobos almost missed the structure that jutted into the sky. Her eyes were closed, using the feeling of the other two people in the force to guide her steps, that once she opened her eyes for a moment, she was taken aback by the size of the structure. It didn’t seem natural at all, like it was man made. But the material seemed like it naturally carved, creating a juxtaposition in her mind that was quite interesting. From that point on, the Miraluka kept her eyes open, as to not miss anything like this again.

 

              They all continued their walk until they finally made their way onto a path, that seemingly looked untouched against the winds and snow. The moment Xobos’s boot hit the stone, the winds ceased, making it seem as though everything around them was forced away by some sort of protective barrier. Even though the cold lasted, not having to fight the wind was a nice change.

 

              What wasn’t a nice change, however, was the burning sensation that came from her forearm as Adron unlocked the door to the tower. It somehow managed to overcome the rest of the cold completely, yet the heat was different that the one she was providing for herself with the Tapas. It was though the Rune was something completely different than her own power, and the heat emitting from it was much hotter than what she was producing herself. For the first time since they had started their journey to this planet, a voice actually spoke something interesting, and not down right annoying to the Miraluka. However, who the voice was that was speaking caused her a moment of pause. It was Lagos, speaking to her in Ambrus and Ora’s unified voice. “If that rune is so much more powerful that we are now…is it possible to become this powerful..” Typical nonsense, yet it seemed as though they were talking not to her..but to themselves. An interesting phenomena that she had few memories of happening before.

 

              Adron speaking to her caused her to swiftly bring her mind back to the present, as he dissected what she had done to be able to tap into the Tapas power. While he did criticize her for being shaky with, the slight praise at the end did have smiling lightly, knowing she had done decently well enough. Decently well enough being not dead halfway across the frozen lake.

 

              When the trio made their way into the metallic tower, Xobos could feel her boots begin to shift as the ice and practically melt off of her boots. As they walked, she could feel the cold begin to get through her personal Tapas barrier, and even as she desperately attempted to gather more heat around herself, the cold still made it’s way into her body, leaving her hugging her arms against her jacket tightly. She tried to distract her mind from the cold, and as her eyes roamed over the halls that they walked down, she noticed that the rune that was on the front door was carved into the wall as well, along with others. That rune…was the same was as the one on her arm. Her eyes glanced toward Adron, wondering why all these runes were seemingly connected to him, and why this place, at least in the force, also felt remotely like him as well.

 

              These thoughts lingered in her mind as she continued to follow her new master through the dark hallways, until they reached a massive set of doors that finally emitted some heat, unlike the walls. When he began to speak, Xobos couldn’t help but nod slightly, knowing that he was right. Even though the anger was enough to create a spear or even use Tapas, she knew, deep down, that there was more power that could be reached within her. And anger alone would not suffice in this way.

 

              So when he asked if he understood, Xobos nodded, speaking in a clear tone. “I understand. Even if I don’t know to draw on these other emotions, or even hone them right now…your power demonstrates that it can be done. Which means I can accomplish it as well. I will find out how to do so, and wield this weapon that you speak of, master.” With a grin, she stepped back, allowing Alden to get in his answer.

 

              Xobos had seen some amazing things since being taken off Roon. The massive starships, the holonews she had been banished, and many other smaller things. Even then, watching the doors be opened into the massive room covered in ice was breathtaking. To have something so gorgeous hidden deeply in the towers confines was truly awe inducing on its own. It made sense why the walls were still cold as well.

 

              Her boots crunched lightly against the icy floors as she entered the cavern, eyes gazing over the massive mounds of ice. Their master made his way over to one of the walls, leaning against it as he gave their new instructions. It was..interesting to say the least. To find a singular crystal in this massive cavern seemed like an impossible task. Even if it was supposed to call to her, how was she supposed to hear it’s call?

 

              The key must’ve been in what their master had said. Empowerment and focus. Both, together, working in tandem to hear a crystal’s call. And Xobos was lacking the focus. She had the emotion to draw off of, but she needed to focus on it. But how..

 

              Her useless eyes gazed over the glacial structures for a moment before spotting exactly what she was looking for. A flat surface, that with one bend of her knees, she leapt up to, digging her heels in to keep from slipping. Slowly, with her hand bracing as she slowly knelt down, the Miralukan began to slowly breath deep, long breaths as her eyes closed. A meditation technique that the elders had taught all of the village children when they were young.

 

              It was supposed to be used if they ever got lost. They could kneel down, begin breathing deeply, focus their mind, and find exactly where they were looking for, or broadcast a distress signal of sorts. Perhaps this could be used to find the crystal as well. For now though, she took her time, breathing in…and out…in….and out….

 

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#6
Alden Akaran

Alden Akaran

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Location: Ilum

Objective: Survive this insanity

Tags: Adron Malvern | Xobos Yakieer

 

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The cold was bitter and fought with every fiber of its existence to consume him, only to inevitably be held at bay as it was thwarted by Alden’s new-found ability of Tapas. Even so, the ever present knowing of the sheer chill continued to linger in his thoughts, biting away at the strings that held his focus those very thoughts that had allowed him to discover this feat in the first place. There was the faintest fear the began to spurn from within and seemed to grow no matter his attempt to suppress it. This was insanity! Utter insanity. It didn’t make sense, but what had he really expected when he accepted the Exarch’s generous offer weeks ago back on Geonosis? Weeks before his new master had plucked this conflicted Miraluka from her exile on Roon. Had he really suspected it was going to be something different? After all, the Exarch had told him the training was to be long and difficult. That much pain – and even suffering – would accompany it. No. He knew very well what he had gotten himself into when he accepted, although at the time he felt words has come as an offer simply to resemble something reminiscent of courtesy. In truth, to him, the offer was a charade as it was not an offer at all. It was an order, or so he thought at the time. He continued to believe it, even now.

 

He grimaced as his grasp of Tapas slipped momentarily with Adron’s thunderous entry into his mind. His teeth grinded together heavily and his arms hugged his chest tighter than they already were. But this pain and shock were merely fleeting in nature as they were pushed away as he regained his hold of the ability he had only just learned. A comforting warmth came over him once more as his thoughts slipped back to what meant most to himself throughout this vast galaxy. Back to everything he loved and held dear to himself. To the very things that made him who he was today. It allowed his arms to loosen from around his chest once again and this time he would appear more relaxed than he had prior. Something that could have been chalked up to a number of different reasons, most notably his ever-increasing confidence in his own ability to use and execute the ability.

 

The trek across the frozen lake seemed to take ages and the ice blanketed cliffs and mountains peaks didn’t seem to be getting any closer. Alden shook his head, and the crescendo of his frustration with all of this began to appear across his face and his reactions. The exasperated sigh he released carried with it a heavy sense of suppressed anger. Of frustration and an underlying malaise. Doubt as to whether the cliffs and peaks that dotted the skyline were real or not began to surface. But again, these feelings were pushed from his mind for they were mere detractors from what Alden had found was adequate enough to fuel his ability to use Tapas. It was made an easier feat to accomplish as the trio came upon the ice laden obsidian structure. A door that barred them from an escape of Ilum’s unabating cold. A gate leading to another passage on their unnerving pilgrimage through pain and despair. A moment more would pass before the burning sensation would begin to take hold on his arm where Adron’s brand, which he called the Mark of Malphas, had been placed.

 

He grimaced and clinched his teeth as his left hand darted to caress the area which burned. To where the Sith brand had been placed. It held about it a discomfort that never seemed to fully go away. It was supposed to allow Alden to draw on Adron’s power, and perhaps it did, but the symbolism it represented to him was something of a demeaning nature. A longing reminder that he was below the Exarch. That he belonged to the man who had taken upon himself the title of his teacher. No, his master. Where Adron was the Master, Alden had seemingly become the slave and carried the brand to prove it. Though it may not have been intended to be seen as such, it is was Alden felt. In a sense, it aided him in reaching to the anger and hatred that Adron wished of him.

 

Passing through the blandness of the tunnels, a time passed before the three came upon yet another door. With it, there seemed to be a cold the Tapas he embraced could not stave off. Something fueled by more than just the planet’s volatile extremes itself. Something that seemed to be amplified by the power inert in the Dark Side of the Force and as the door opened, it revealed to them a room with striking columns the drove themselves from the floor through to the chasm’s roof. Ice continued to blanket everything in this hellscape that was Ilum, and this place was no exception. The way the dull light refracted through the walls and columns was peculiar and appeared almost supernatural to naked eye.

 

Then came the next oration of the Exarch, his words demanding an affirmation in response, to which Alden gave a nod of his head, tucking his chin down to his chest. When he spoke, his lips would not move. Instead, he reached out with the Force, a test he levied on himself to see just how much he could do before he lost the control he held over his very own abilities. <<Understood, Sir,>> he began, his military etiquette showing strongly, <<our passion can be forged into a weapon which we can control. Which I can bend to my very will.>> He purposefully neglected any mention of the Sith in his response for he whole-heartedly disagreed with the foremost tenet of their code. Peace and passion could be one in the same. He failed to understand why it was so inconceivable for the Sith to grasp that peace could be attained through passion. One could not exist without the other. To accept one yet deny the other was a fallacy in it own right. And one Alden would not fall into if he could help it.

 

Soon, their orders were given. Breathed from Adron’s mouth. So, this was a crystal cave and Alden was to use everything he’d learned and understood thus far to discover the crystal within the cave that resonated with him. An interesting proposition for sure. Even in his time before learning of the Force, he had heard rumor and legend of the sentience that was innate in crystals. They seemed to be imbued with the Force in a sense of speaking and held a will of their own in several cases. Should one be able to discover a crystal that was attuned to their very will, it would carry about it a different level of power over the crystal that refuted the will of its master. It seemed slightly farfetched, but it was a practice that had been done for ages. And it wasn’t only done for the Sith, but the Jedi as well. It was done by any of a number of different cults that delved into what the Force was.

 

He took a final brief look to Adron before turning his attention to the chamber in which they stood. It was only now that he could see it. Only now that he was able to notice the myriad of crystals that protruded through the ice and even the crystals buried beneath it. They were all around. The clung to the walls, stabbed through the various columns of pillars and fought to free themselves of the ice that blanketed them along the floor of this place. That is perhaps why this very room had that seemingly supernatural appeal that Alden had felt before. This cave was what people had come to call a crystal cave and this very cave, he could only assume that the Exarch had laid claim to years ago. Perhaps even having been passed down for generations.

 

He took a few steps forward and centered himself in the room as best as he was able, giving one final surveying glance around the area, taking it all in. He slowly lowered himself to the ice-covered floor, sitting into a cross-legged position. His hands were cupped on his knees, his head bowed slightly and eyes closed. A moment would pass before he fell into a deep meditation where he would attempt to fully immerse himself in the full grasp of the Force. Only at that point did he feel he would be able to fashion its power to his will. Deeper and deeper he dove as the world around him seemed to melt from existence, yet Adron, Xobos and the crystals all remained. The ice was gone. The stone, gone. Next Xobos would fade and Adron would become but a speck on the horizon of his conscience. A prism of color enveloped the area as his mind continued to dive deeper and deeper.

 

As he continued to further immerse himself in the power of the Force, his body began to lift though the sensation was unknown to him. However, when one levitated during meditation, it was often a sign that they achieved a truly deep meditation. To have reached this point at such an early stage in his training under the Exarch was not common, but it happened. And it all happened beyond Alden’s knowledge. The rune encrusted on his forearm even seemed to glow in a vibrant amethyst now in the physical world. However, in the deep state of meditation he had achieved, Alden saw something completely different. As he embraced the Force and what it allowed him to see, his vision brushed over a see of color. The very auras of the crystals were awash with a brilliance of color. Each crystal seemed to pulse in its own hue. The blues. The greens. The reds. The yellows and everything in between.

 

But after an instant more, those colors faded to a dull wash over the background and he reached out. Searching. For what? He didn’t entirely know yet, but he fully believed he would know it when he found it. And then there it was! Buried beneath the ice that wrapped the central column just behind him. A dazzling violet pulsed brighter than all the others. He found it, and he didn’t even know how he’d done what he’d done.

 

He reached out with the Force, and his body, still levitating spun in place so that he now faced the column squarely. His palms turned skyward, yet the hands still crested the top of the knees. The Force was channeled through him and he reached out, gripping at the ice the hugged the column and applying such a strength to it, that the ice faltered and cracked. It began to fall in small chunks, sliding away in various directions as it careened with the hard floor. Soon, the pillar was bare and the crystal breathed in the frigid air the filled the chamber for the first time in what one could only assumed was years. A smile carved its way across his face, but was short lived there as he too quickly sprung from his deep meditation. The levitation he had unknowingly accomplished slipped and he feel the foot to the ground with an audible thump coupled with a groaned with the impact. Still, though, he regathered himself and brought himself to his feet once more, stepping close to the pillar once he had. Reaching out, he grasped at the crystal, yet withdrew, caught off guard by its warmth. He didn’t understand why, but the crystal, once buried beneath a sheet of thick ice, was warm to the touch. It was unlike anything else he’d come across since his arrival here.

 

It forced him to regather his senses a moment before reaching out once more. He caressed the lustrous violet crystal in his hand a moment, closing his eyes as he did, before exerting a little extra effort to free it of the column. The smile returned to his face for a moment before it was pushed away once again with the realization that he’d stepped away from his Tapas in doing so. The cold chilled him to the bone and he jumped back with a start, quickly regaining his hold on the ability and then turning back toward the Exarch and approaching the man. He held his hand in front of him and turn the palm upward, opening it. In his palm, lay the splendid violet crystal. His eyes bore down own it a moment before they rose to meet those of the Exarch’s. He bowed his head, but this time did not speak. Instead, he simply awaited the Exarch’s next address.



#7
Adron Malvern

Adron Malvern

    King of Illyria

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Alden Akaran Xobos Yakieer

 

The two apprentices were on their own. He had little doubt they would each find a crystal, they would merely find it of their own merit. He had no intention on aiding them in this. The marks they each wore would suffice as a learning tool, for the time being. Everything he had explained to them, every word, even his instruction on the ability of Tapas was meant to strengthen their bond to the Force. They were like newly birthed babes who had not yet felt the suns warmth, where a true Sith Lord commanded the infernos to bend to his will. The amethyst hue of his eyes slowly washed away to a sea of azure as he watched them piddle about. First his eyes hovered over Xobos. She had fallen to her knees in a stance of meditation. Not the wrong path, for her. When he looked up Alden was also lowering himself to the ground below. 

 

The Sith Lord said nothing, instead his eyes slowly closed as he turned his focus inward. The Dark Side wrapped itself around him as he himself went into a place of meditation. From here he could feel both of his apprentices. Xobos' mind was slightly calmer than usual which was a welcomed change from the frey that usually screamed out to her. That woman would have a rough time focusing if she could not bring those damned voices to heel. Yet, her meditation did not falter. 

 

The Sith's eyes shot open, he looked to the center of the room to see Alden. The man was uplifted from the icy surface, hovering a few inches in the air through his own focus. The Force surrounded itself around him and created a small field around him. The Exarch's lips pulled into a slight smile as he watched with some interest. He was doing it. He was disconnecting himself from the world around him and taking hold of an entire new reality, The Force. Adron's hand brushed over his chin while he watched the man's eyes turn to the column that had sat behind him. It was through Alden's own hand, extended through the Force that the ice would crack and melt away until only the crystal remained. To Adron's eyes it was a pristine shade of white. No different from any other, yet as it lingered closer to the man he would see the amethyst hue reach out to the ice surrounding him. 

 

When the crystal was in hand, Alden made his way to the Exarch. Adron looked at the crystal within Alden's hands. He still held a rather proud smile on his lips but it would soon wash away as it always did. He nodded, before speaking simply. "Next, you will learn to bind the crystal. It will be an exhausting experience and could take you an hour or a year. However, you will not leave this chamber until it is done." He promised the man with a sly smile, pushing himself off of the wall. Adron looked to Xobos, eager to see how long it took the woman to find her own crystal. "Now let us see how your sister fairs." He said, curiously. 


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#8
Xobos Yakieer

Xobos Yakieer

    Three Voices, One Mind

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Location: Ilum

Objective: Learn, be warm, don’t die

Tags: Alden Akaran Adron Malvern

 

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                “This is taking too long, y’know. Maybe we should just give up..” Ambrus’s dark, unwavering voice broke through her mental barriers and flooded her mind, causing the Miraluka to grown allowed and rest her face in her hands. She wasn’t able to keep the voices quiet long enough to find this..crystal, which meant that she would inevitably fail. This whole trip, this whole time leaving Roon, would be for naught and just be a failure.

 

              Deep breaths began to fill her lungs as she could feel her mind beginning to calm once again. She wouldn’t fail this task, she wouldn’t let these voices keep her from completing what had asked of her, and she wouldn’t fail on becoming powerful enough to avenge those that she had killed. None of these things would be held back by the voices in her head, and they certainly wouldn’t be held back by the likes of Ambrus, or even Ora.

 

              It didn’t take long for her to reach her meditative state once again, clearing her mind into a deep and dark void, free of any distractions. Mentally, she began to reach out into the cavern, moving through it as to find anything that might be calling out to her. A blip, a tiny call, began to emanate from one of the mounds of ice frozen to the floor of the cavern. As she got closer and closer to the call mentally, she found that tiny call became a loud roar, one that echoed throughout the cavern and even through the entire tower.

 

              It rocked Xobos out of her trance, but not enough that she didn’t know where it came from. Standing quickly, not wanting to lose the source of the call in her mind, the Miraluka hopped down quickly from her frozen vantage point and practically sprinted to the source, careful not to slip and fall from the ice covered floor.

 

              The call eventually lead her to the massive ice block sitting near the edge of one of the walls of the cavern. It looked as though it had been frozen for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years. There was no way her spear would penetrate or even slice into this block, as all it took was knocking a few times on it to find how solid it truly was. It was another obstacle in her path that just seemed immovable.

 

              Her thoughts were not helped by whine of Ora, saying, “It’s quite cold in here…you wouldn’t mind just failing already so we could go back to the ship, would you master?” More discontentment and more nagging..that suddenly lead Xobos to look back to where the call of the crystal came from, glancing over at Adron as she did so.

 

              He was able to create a heat around the two apprentices much larger and warmer than they had, and it wasn’t just restricted to herself. Maybe if she could focus that energy, she would be able to melt the ice away and find this crystal of hers. To do that, however, she needed to find that emotional low she was in on the ship, concentrating on that. Returning to her meditative state seemed the best way to do that.

 

              Dropping to her knees once more, Xobos began the same breathing motions that had let her find the crystal in the first place. This time, however, the Miraluka tried to focus on a certain emotion, or feeling, as if she was making herself easier to find. It was a hard connection to make, as she had only ever done this meditation to find or be found by someone, but eventually that dark void in her mind was centered around a singular emotion. Then another, then another, all bouncing around in the dark void. Anger at not being able to control her emotions better, sadness at the losses she had endured, frustration from not finding her crystal first, all making themselves known.

 

              Continuing with the slow, deep breaths, the emotions slowly began to settle in her mind, forming together into one powerful focus. From this, she could feel herself begin to emanate more heat, much more from within and less so from the mark on her forearm. Reaching out, Xobos began to focus the heat toward the fingertips of her gloves, pressing them against the ice. Moment by moment, the heat fought against the ice to see which elements will would win out. The heat grew stronger and stronger the more the Miraluka focused her emotions on a singular will, to not fail.

 

              The ice slowly began to give way to the heat, melting away thousands of years of frozen liquid, to eventually reveal a small open space near the middle of the pillar. When Xobos opened her eyes to see the space, she realized that she had pushed her heated fingers and hand though an almost elbow length of ice. Inside that little opening rested the crystal, pulsating in her mind. She grinned widely to herself as she reached in, plucking the crystal carefully from it’s resting place.

 

              The crystal rolled around in her hand as she observed it from every angle. Eventually she let it rest in the center of her palm, in awe of how such a tiny thing could create such a loud roar in her minds eyes. This ogling, these thoughts were suddenly halted by the sight a small sliver of a crack running it’s way through the middle of the crystal. Slowly it made it’s up the tiny crystal, eventually settling it’s way through the top. Before the Miraluka’s very blind eyes, the crystal split into two even pieces.

 

              Xobos was horrified, not knowing whether or not this was something normal or supposed to happen. Clutching the split jewel in her fist, she returned to where Alden and Adron stood. With a slightly shameful look, she opened her palm to him, a worrying look crossing her face. “What happened..? Did I cause this..?”

 

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Edited by Xobos Yakieer, 19 March 2019 - 05:38 PM.

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#9
Adron Malvern

Adron Malvern

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Alden Akaran | Xobos Yakieer

 

The Exarch turned his gaze from Alden to Xobos and as he gazed up to the woman who sat in silent meditation. Xobos was a different breed from Alden altogether, even the way she went about finding her crystal spoke to her place in The Force. Within deep meditation, Adron could feel the soft shifts in the Force as the woman's inner voices disrupted her. He chuckled dryly, gesturing to the woman as he glanced over to Alden. "She struggles with maintaining focus." He muttered, before crossing his arms over his chest. This could prove to be a very large problem for the Mirilukan, especially if these voices grew more vocal. When Xobos did finally break her meditation, it was with a set mind. There was some amusement there, to watch the woman follow the Force with a determined mind. It reminded the Exarch of when he was in his early days of his Jedi training.

 

Xobos disappeared for a moment, and as she did the man could feel the Force echoing out from the woman. Though his apprentices could not feel it, the joining of the host to the crystal was a powerful moment. When Xobos returned, there was a mark of shame about her, something that caused her master to arch a brow at her. She held her hand out to him and the man gazed at the crystal for a moment with a slight chuckle. He held his hand over hers, allowing the Force to flow through him. The crystals in the woman's hand were not merely two shards of a single whole, they were two distinct pieces of the woman before him. 

 

"Yes, you did." He said, before glancing to Alden, to make sure he was paying good attention to what the man said next. "The crystal is a reflection of your being within the Force. Your being is divided. It makes it no less powerful, but only you can decide when and if the crystal will become one." Adron lowered his hand and gestured for both of his apprentices to follow him to the center of the room. "Now it's time for the both of you to imprint yourselves on these crystals."

 

 


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#10
Xobos Yakieer

Xobos Yakieer

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Location: Ilum

Objective: Learn, be warm, don’t die

Tags: Alden Akaran Adron Malvern

 

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              Xobos was more confused than anything else. Having been told that her very being was divided in the force was not something that she had been expecting to hear. Sure, her mental state was..less than desirable, but her entire being in the force? It was a much more worrying aspect, one that she intended to explore and find out more about in the future, before it got too late. The thought of joining her crystal into one was interesting as well. Again, one for the future, as it seemed as though the shared apprentices master was proceeding toward the center of the room.

 

              She was quick to follow at his heel, not trying to seem overeager, even if she was feeling a sense of pride and excitement at receiving her crystals. Though the next part of the trial could be just as taxing or hard, it was something that she could do, now having the split crystal in the palm of her hand giving her confidence to get the job done.

 

              As the trio proceeded toward the center of the room, her eyes looked over to where her fellow apprentice walked. She assumed he has a much easier time getting his crystal than she did. He seemed as though he was much more composed and sure of  himself than she was at the moment, and it would be an incredible coincidence if he too had voices bouncing around in his head. Who, speaking of which, decided to pop up just as she was thinking about them. Ambrus’s voice filled her mind as she walked close to adron. “Well, now you’ve got your precious crystal. Even learned a new trick with that tapas heat…now what?”

 

              Xobos couldn’t help but mentally shrug. She had no idea what was next for her in this adventure to this frozen planet. As long as her new master was there though, she assumed she would be alright.

 

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#11
Alden Akaran

Alden Akaran

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Location: Ilum
Objective: Imprint Crystal?
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Even as things seemed to unfold accordingly in their remote trip to this remote ice-box called Ilum, Alden couldn’t help but wonder if there was some kind of larger unwritten plan behind all of this. Surely there was some kind of underlying motivation that drove Adron to push he and this Xobos here on Ilum. Something other than their training which he’d claimed long before their arrival here. But then again, perhaps this was just the cold pushing Alden’s thoughts toward darker pastures. Perhaps he was beginning to lean in the direction that Adron so repetitiously harped about.
 
Anger. Pain. Lust. It was all things that had befallen the lips of the Exarch at some point. These negative and dark emotions that were may have been powerful in their own sense, but would inevitably prove volatile and unwieldy in the end. It had to be true. If anything, his years of training to be hardened in the face of conflict had taught him to remain calm in the trials presented in war. Anger and rage presented uncalculated risks that need not be taken. They made a man predictable through the unfocused pursuit of an end goal. All his training had taught him this. The way in which he’d been raised so long ago on Rendili had told him that anger and rage left unchecked would only damn the soul. And Force knows he felt enough pain and grief that he’d be lucky if his soul wasn’t already. Still, though, that wasn’t the reason they were here.
 
Alden still held the purple crystal in the palm of his hand, clutching it. His eyes shifted from Adron to it for a moment, before inevitably shifting back to Adron as he spoke a final instruction yet offered no guidance on how they would even imprint themselves up these crystals in which each had received just a few moments before. 
 
A moment passed as Alden jostled with his mind, trying to simply scrounge around for something...anything...that might queue him on just what he was supposed to do here. Just how he was supposed to imprint himself on the crystal even as it continued to call out to him.
 
His gaze and focus flashed once more to Adron, only briefly, and returned fully to the crystal in hand as he lowered himself into a cross-legged, seated position once more. He allowed his wrists to sit idly upon his knees, palms facing upward and fists closed. His knuckles took on a white capped appearance with the intensity of each balled hand. His eyes fell shut and his fell limping toward his chest as he attempted to once more immerse himself in the Force as he had before. 
 
Before long he found himself right back in that moment, the world seemingly melting away around him and the crystal glowed a luminous purple. Rays of purple pierced through the folds of his hand, fighting with all its might to break free of the deathly grip which held it. He had no idea what he was doing here and only hoped that it would allow him to do as Adron asked, but there wasn’t any way to truly be certain.

Edited by Alden Akaran, 10 May 2019 - 08:49 AM.