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Objective II - Iego
Study the locals
She had always wanted the chance to study the native beings of Iego, never having the time when she was visiting Aurora's secret facility in the system of a Thousand Moons. The synthetic Sianium created here had helped catapult their energy research, and its continued operation would now be safe under the auspices of the approaching Sith Empire. Which now left Taeli with plenty of time to devote to a more... biological set of experiments and tests.
Her Adepts were with her, and while others might be interested in why the planet made those on it never age or hunger, she wanted to study the mysterious Angels and Demons. Most especially the demons, and their legendary song would be the perfect test for a new technology Aurora was developing.
She and her team had landed a short distance from the Choir Alignment, and were busy setting up their mobile camp... and their containment cells. If even half the stories were true about the denizens here, the Lady of Secrets was fairly certain she would be taking specimens with her back to Amaltanna.
Dropship, launching from the Cathedra.
After all her social greetings and carefully constructed conquests, it was good to finally be back at the one thing that truly drove her: War. Clad in the Imperator's Raiment, she stood among her legionnaires and stared at the door of her dropship as it sailed through the skies, piercing the ammonia clouds to assail the Gand settlements and force the Findsman out of hiding.
Behind them, the Sith-Imperial was laying seige to the floating trade-hubs in the sky, with the towering, pyramidine shape of the Cathedra blocking out the sun and unleashing a storm of smaller ships. It looked as though it brought with it a plague of TIE-fighters whose laser incisors were ready to gnaw and gnash the cities apart.
While the trade hubs were important, they were but one part of the plan. While the planet's armed forces attempted to repel the Armada, the Legion would knock down the door and overrun the ground settlements.
Find the findsmen, capture and subdue. Kill anyone who would raise arms in rebellion.
Joycelyn's heart was beating with adrenaline as the ship touched down and opened up. The light pierced through the hangar bay as legionnaires rushed forward with weapons at the ready. The black dog, Darth Vornskr II, marched out and crouched to exit. She towered over the legionnaire and enemy alike, with the red eyes of her hound-faced helmet aglow.
The silver shaft in her hand vomited its crimson blade as she thrust it forward and yelled at the top of her lungs
"Imperius! Nyashjontû Wo!" "No quarter!"
The blasters sang.
Objective II: MEET THE FAMILY
The observation station was just the first step. The powers of the abyss consumed. The metamorphosis complete.
Now that Drizoth had his visage, a vessel terraformed with the powers that had been absorbed, the demon sought his next prize; whilst being ever so certain of himself and sure that everything was achievable by his own merit-- A new taste had slipped onto the tip of his tongue. Having watched the sheer power of the Emperor of the Sith Empire and the legions that he had at his disposal, Drizoth could not help but feel a sense of intense jealousy and hatred towards one that held much more power than he and it would be from this jealous and spite that would breed a new desire to be sated; the desire of power, of majesty-- To feast eternal was one thing but to sustain a realm so that it could be made eternal? That was the dream of Gods, of masters. So it was that the demon that had left their anchor to his own peril sought his first hints of subjects, instruments of his will and his will alone. For all his merits, Drizoth was blatantly unoriginal, perhaps swayed by his lust to rub his victories in the face of that of which was much better off than he; hearing that the Sith Empire had set its sights on another series of worlds, the demon was made aware of Iego, a planet of angels and demons-- Bah, illegitimate spawn but perhaps they were like-minded like he and perhaps that was enough to provide Drizoth with the foundation of his grand vision.
It did not take him long to relocate himself to the planet, such as it was that the incident on the station was nothing more than a snatch and grab and having to quickly escape before anyone or anything could stop to question the demon or why it was there... Or by chance bring up the fact that a whole compound of Sith Legionaries had been slain by his hand during the retrieval of his host. Regardless, either slipped away or having to try and dodge and slide out of the spotlight of the Sith Empire's wrath, Drizoth had successfully stepped foot onto the starting point to which he would gather his flock of murderous intent. It was a race, to find those of which were most viable to begin his collection and his rivals? Those that sought to gather them for the interests of the Sith Empire? Hatred burned like a raging inferno, a rush and a race to grab the attention of these so-called 'demons' first was to begin.
For that, he would need to go underground.
Edited by Vaeril Ievos, 04 December 2018 - 09:28 AM.
Objective II: Iego
Er'in was not, in a strict sense, supposed to be here. She was after all not a member of the Ancient and Obtenebrated Order of the Sith in a formal sense, although she had been taught by a Darth and followed it's Code. The Sith Empire had... strict requirements for membership, and she had strict requirements of it as a geopolitical entity.
So the two were... exploring one another, courting, you might say. She had been permission to 'accompany for observation purposes' by Kaalia Pavanos, the Triumvir of Strength. But Er'in's interests fell rather more into the Triumvir of Power's territory, and they... didn't know each other yet. Which meant she was very much here to watch and not get in the way, but it beat the offer to go fight on Gand.
So she stayed quiet, she stayed at the back of the mass transports descending to the surface of Iego and she studied the records of these 'angels' and 'demons' - she thought one would make quite a good bodyguard, if you could apply the right alchemy to it. It didn't seem to have been done, according to her notes. So she'd need to find a volunteer or a captive. She flicked forward a few pages through the tattered notebook as she walked through the disembarking acolytes, looking completely incongruous in her revealing violet robes with a pair of wire-rimmed data-glasses perched on her nose as she read, using the Force to navigate the streams of people without any attention to the outside world.
"Hrm." She announced suddenly to no one in particular, perhaps not even aware she was talking. "I think, if I'm reading these notes right, the 'song' is simply a wave-form energy projection through trans-spatial means. Acoustic dampeners won't help, but a correctly tuned energy field should reduce it to managable levels."
Edited by Erin Tenel, 04 December 2018 - 07:04 AM.
I e g o
Objective II - Are you an angel?
Little more than a lab rat himself, Thyne was hardly suited for anything more than protection detail among those more inclined to science than the sword. At best, he was a glorified box mover, working alongside the droids as he moved equipment with as careful a hand as his wandering mind allotted. And when it seemed he'd be more a hindrance than aid, he was cast out into the world with a comm and instructions to explore until called upon.
There was a sensation of mysticism that permeated the air and silenced even the blade at the boy's side. Thyne himself, with his untameable strands of hair sticking out from every which direction, was entranced by it all. From the rocky terrain to the afternoon sky, he found his gaze drifting everywhere, never once lingering for more than a few seconds. He could hear something - or maybe feel would be a better descriptor - calling to him, beckoning he follow.
Thyne wasn't one to disappoint.
The fog surrounded the young acolyte, it was immense. You could barely see a few feet in front of yourself, though Nidus continued on. A golden ceremonial dagger and a lightsaber strapped to his right thigh. His face covered in a cloak and beneath that, a gas mask which would aid him in resisting the ammonia-filled air.
Nidus found himself scaling a rocky cliff, a rope attatched to the top with him climbing slowly up it. His hand would slip here and there, though he didn't find it too challenging to find his way up. Once at the top, he still couldn't see much. Luckily he had brought a set of thermal binoculars, he was able to see where his targets were exactly. He was hunting them.
Once he had located his targets, he sent a transmission back to the agent handling this operation. He had the go, and he began making his way down the hill, his feet firmly clamped to the ground as he slid down in various places. Finding himself eventually at the bottom, with a sigh of relief exiting his mask. "Horrid place." He stated to himself, continuing on.
Krkkk. A sound would burst out from the fog, Nidus unable to determine where or what it was. Withdrawing his hilt, though keeping it disignited he reluctantly continued on. He had a feeling he may have been detected. After all he was hunting Findsmen.
Objective: I- Handle the Findsmen
As the shuttle flew through the skies of Gand, Amseth scowled as he followed the reports, then let out a heavy sigh. "They're not going to make anything easy for me, are they?" he asked no one in particular.
"Not all the sects were willing to cooperate, sir," his assistant explained. "We gathered as many responsible leaders as possible and military officials have agreed to grant us an exemption when it comes to marking areas of operation. We're safe."
"Yes, yes, but the sounds of slaughter do make my pitch a bit harder to pull off. It's easy to sell people on participation in an Imperial military project when that military isn't slaughtering their people around them. They tend to get upset over that." He went back to reviewing his pitch notes. "I can fix this, I think. Though at this point it's more 're-do' than 'fix'..." He didn't really know why he was so irritated. This was what he wanted, right? A challenge. Getting the Gand Findsman to participate in Project Clemency and act as agents of the Court would be a valuable opportunity, doubly so when it would deny the Inquisition a resource. But that was tricky enough, getting them to surrender their sovereignty and handing over the brains of their compatriots. Having them do so while his companions were hunting and killing them, that would be even harder.
But Amseth could do this. He could do anything he put his mind to, right? Right.
Objective: I - Cleanse
Location: Gand, attacking settlements
Allies: Joycelyn Zambrano | Nidus
The cacophony of battle and Imperial progression took its toll upon the unfortunate inhabitants of Gand. To them, it appeared that their home was being violated, beset upon by devilish beings whom care not for life's value, but only the blood that can be spilled. But they were simply ignorant, misguided away from the truth and stuck in their ways.
There was a necessity to all of this bloodshed. It was what the foundation of the Sith Empire called for, what its future path shall be paved with. And Darth Eversor sought to make that reality fact.
Stoic and utterly unwavering to the yelps and pleas of the scum that dwelled this disgusting planet, Darth Eversor marched triumphantly through, cutting down each and every morsel of life with relentless cruelty. Their lives were disregarded, thrown away like mere garbage that would be forgotten. None would ever find it pulling at their heart strings that such a pathetic species was brutalized and massacred for the sake of expansion.
The reality was rather simple here. Only the strongest deserve to survive, and the weak will suffer what they must. A vicious cycle, but factual.
"There is nothing that will make it stop, and all of you will become subservient. Welcome your new masters, embrace your saviors."
Darth Eversor mocked the natives as he walked among the multitude of Sith infantry, observing as they swept through like a raging fire.
"Glory to the Empire..."
Location: Gand Settlement
Nidus Darth Eversor
The legion scattered in to squads with the drum of armoured feet upon the ground.
Streaks of red plasma darted off and crashed with the backs of fleeing civilians as often as it crashed with the fronts of aggressive opponents. She had ordered extermination of this settlement, as with a few others. They were not going to cleanse the planet, of course. No, her legion was just going to leave a mark in the population and send a ripple in the Force to lure the Findsmen out.
Heroism would be their downfall.
Meanwhile, Joycelyn was more than happy to take out some of her aggression on the helpless villagers.
And while her legionnaires had gotten a certain head start on the slaughter, she quickly overtook them with her massive strides. With a skip forward of her back foot, she planted her sabaton on the back of a fleeing Gand, just as he pushed his wife and newborn out of the way. Bones cracked under her weight as she jabbed forward with her spear. The pronged sabrestaff tore through the female and knocked her off her feet, but not to the ground. Joycelyn hoisted her up into the air with the base of the spearshaft. Then, with a nonchalant flick threw the little body off to the side.
She stepped forward, a crunch underfoot, and looked over her shoulder at the one she had kicked to the ground first. He was scraping his way forward with fistfuls of dirt, each breath further collapsing his lung. Joycelyn turned her back on him and moved on.
Hydraulic steam hiss and pooled around the Emperor's ankles as he descended the Crestfallen II's boarding ramp, his eyes squinting as he entered the harsh arid environment of Iego for the first time. A shawl of thick material clung to his body as the blistering wind attempted to rip it from him, one of the Emperor's attendees, unfortunately, losing theirs to the wind as it gusts up from beneath. As the servant moved to recover it, he was suddenly seized in his tracks as a haunting melody wafted out from one of the many cavernous openings dotting the landscape.
Though the Demon's Song disturbed and even petrified those among the Emperor's party, he himself was not affected by its sweet sonnet.
He had heard it before.
"The Maelibi sing beautifully, don't they?"
No one answered, nor did they have to. The Emperor approached one of the entrances to the underground labyrinth and uttered a single command, "Guard the ship." Then, without warning, and jumped into the opening and slid down the sloping gravel ground until he reached more solid footing.
And onward he traveled.
Objective II - Iego
Study the locals
"My Lady, we have detected a small group of the Diathim species at the nearby landmark," one of her Adepts reported.
"And the bait for the others?" she asked, not looking up from her display. She and her team might not have captured any subjects yet, but they had obtained samples of the reeksa plant. It was an interesting plant, and not just because it was the cure for the Blue Shadow Virus, itself a potential field of study, but the plant itself was carnivorous. It had actually eaten one of her scouts when they stumbled upon the plant, but a few lightsaber strokes and stasis fields had been sufficient to gather plenty of samples for the Lady of Secrets to examine.
As for the bait, well she knew the stories of the Maelibi.
"The prisoners have been placed in a field near a system of caves and tunnels we detected from orbit," the Adept stated. "We have forces positioned to intervene if the creatures surface."
"Excellent, proceed with capturing the Diathim," she said. "They may prove to be... fascinating subjects."
Within a modified SI/AIT aircraft
Objective: (III) Provide reconnaissance, assess terrain and possible threats
Friendly Assets: Remainder of Onyx Squad
Nostalgia, reminiscence, dread. A trio of feelings that varied from each member of Onyx as they sat on the transport's passenger area. Their helmets between their feet and their expressions hidden by the sternness of their commitment to the Empire. Their uniformity regarding their armor was astounding, only major differences were the weapons and equipment they carried. And as for the four out of the twelve, their appearance under the helmet.
But what of the absent leader, who has now returned a captain of Battlegroup VI? Captain Fancelo felt all three of these feelings. Nostalgia, to represent the last of the Sovereignty once more. Reminiscence, for the victories of his deployments in the past and the camaraderie that was born out of it. Leaving with dread, to return to the fear of witnessing the possible deaths of his comrades, as he did on Ession. Now without the influential presence of his former leader, Thumahra who is gone for reasons Anden has not discovered. Perhaps it's for the best.
The silence within the shuttle was brought to a stop, as a soft pinging sound came about on the Rattataki's commlink. The squad looked to each other, and Anden provided the pale squadmate a curt nod.
"Go ahead Vaak, accept the transmission." Fancelo stated softly.
Vaak reached over, tapping onto his commlink and reaching over his pack. From within, he'd take out a small portable holo-projector to which he'd lay out in the middle of the room and activated it. The room started to have a blue tint thanks to the lighting projected from the small device. The planet of Toong'L was projected, and a region of it was highlighted. Zooming into the highlighted area, a marker designated as LZ 'Able' was put down on it. The projector started to emit audio, which shadowed the slight hum it made from the mechanism that projected the hologram. A voice was heard, that of a woman who seemed to have adopted a Rishii accent. It was Major Martha Fulton.
"Onyx Squad, if my accuracy with time is correct... welcome to Toong'L. A planet that seems to be suffering from the terminal illness of rotten luck as histories of battles long past and of recent have occurred on it's surface. Toong'L has come onto our crosshairs for the reason of expansion, and we must establish the Empire's presence here. But before we do that, you have been tasked with tidying the place up. Assessing the area and spotting any possible hostiles within the vicinity. And if necessary, engage and eliminate. Any questions?"
"Who might we be shooting at here ma'am?" Asked Haktan.
"Could be natives, scavengers or something else. On that regard we don't know the specifics." The Major said calmly, finishing with silence. After a moment she'd speak again. "Any other questions?" After a moment of silence, she acknowledges. "Good, you've been provided with long travel equipment if this takes more than a day or two. We'll fill you in on any updates. Fulton out."
The projector ceases transmission, Anden slowly looked over his datapad and reached over for his helmet, putting it on. "We're reaching the LZ, helmets on and stand by."
Onyx gave their reply in obedience, preparing for the trek outside of the shuttle. Awaiting the light to be green.
Edited by Anden Fancelo, 07 December 2018 - 12:01 AM.
In the neighboring system of Jubliar, close to Toong'l laid the Hutt-controlled world of Jubilar. Where Jandarra and barbaric gladiatorial arena events were the kings. It was certainly no place for a prim and proper admiral. Let alone, Fiolette Raaf but there she was with a cut on her upper lip and a rather nasty gash that scored across her forehead, the bridge of her nose and down to her cheek. Her hair was matted and she wore pieces of torn armor taken from the dead. She and a few of the brass from the Empire had been caught off guard while speaking to the Hutts in person. They had been rerouted from Bnar VII to Jubilar in the hopes of securing another planet without force. Sotta the Hutt's Ramesh Clan controlled the world and insisted that if they wished to prove their worth. They would do so in the arena, weakness would not be tolerated. So far, things were looking pretty good. So far, the crowds jeered the Imperials but it only spurned them forward Fiolette held in one hand a sword and in the other a dagger. Blood sport was not unknown to the Galidraani.
For all the protocol and discipline her homeworld boasted, they were just as barbaric and cruel as any other in the galaxy. Aristocracy did not take place in such things, but betting on them? Yes. Fiolette had seen but one fight in her life and participated in others once she had joined the Atrisian Empire. Even now as she stood back to back with General Malakath, a cyborg, she could feel the blood lust in her veins. Her opponent made for a bull charge, Fiolette side stepped and took the opportunity to jab him in the side with her sword. The tip of the blade ripped through cloth and leather with ease, and she followed up with a powerful stab. The dagger dug deep into flesh and its serrated edges tore through muscle as it exited.
General Malakath hooked his trident into a second opponent while head butting a third. "IN THE EMPEROR'S NAME!"
Fiolette turned on her heel and threw her dagger, the flick of her wrist and the follow through sent the weapon on its course. Lodging into the third opponent's neck while she rushed forward and leaped from the back of General Malakath. Her sword found purchase in the third opponent's chest, the sound of metal crushing through armor was undignified.
Sotta the Hutt laughed, clearly these were not challenging enough for such a lauded pair of Sith-Imperials. The arena floor opened up and blood spilled into Fiolette's left eye, mixing with sweat and dirt it stung enough to force her to shut her eyes. All the while the 7th Fleet readied her cannons and troops, Group Captain Sentongo knew Darth Arcanix's orders. Bring the Admiral back alive, the General can die - but the Admiral must be saved at all costs. Unless Jubilar and Sotta's Hutt Clan be made to pay the price of Arcanix's wrath. "Easy Rear Admiral, steady," General Malakath remarked he took a piece of cloth from his ragged uniform and wiped the blood from her eye. "Here, your sword has been hard to dislodge from his body. Take this."
He handed her a dory, "they've opened the floor, three fire pits, rotating spikes and a rancor pit."
"Thank you, General."
"How much longer do you suspect until the troops have landed?"
"Not much, but this was only the second wave. We'll have to do more, the others died too easily."
The General looked over at the bodies of their fallen comrades, and without remorse he commented. "They were weak, and we cannot afford such weaknesses in our military. Their sacrifice has been noted, and their families will be compensated greatly. Come, before they sound the horn." He led the pair to the center of the arena, as the horns ofbattle sounded once more and the third wave of opponents was unleashed.
Edited by Fiolette Raaf, 12 December 2018 - 01:38 PM.
Location: Gand Settlement
Nidus Darth Eversor
As the Legion pushed forward, the Gand retreated to the one structure they could fortify: A tall and sheer-walled block of metal with small windows through which blasters now peeked to shoot back at approaching threat. The great door was still open as the masses pushed through, but the guardians were soon forced to close. The crowd was parted like a too-long noodle being chomped off before it could be swallowed. Some of the refugees fled to the sides, seeking side doors, while others hammered against the metal and screamed their pleas.
Red blasterfire cut their cries short as the bodies fell against the metal wall. Fire focused on the door as it closed, making bodies into corpses that had to be pushed aside for it to close.Joycelyn's arm stretched out, and her fingers curled as the Force curled around the door. Metal screamed under the pressure as she gritted her teeth within the enclosed great helm.
"Grenade!" A voice to her left cut through the din.
Two thermal detonators flew at the gap, each tossed by their respective carrier. One bounced off and scattered the mass before it exploded and left the slowest in pieces. The other slipped through the gap and sent the door flying back open accompanied by the screams of its defenders.
"Seize the door!" Pointing forward, Joycelyn encouraged her troops before marching in herself.
A squad of marked legionnaires ran in front, carrying a mobile turret and a one-sided shield to seize the choke-hold. Already then had the Gand inside begun to return fire from above and within in a desperate attempt to hold the bottleneck
The towering shape of Joycelyn grew like a dark shadow behind the team. One of the legionnaires was downed by a blaster shot right before another managed to raise the shield. A third one claimed the position behind the turret and unleashed a torrent of plasma into the crowd inside.
The kitten occupied a meditation sphere.
Floating in mid-air, the young Cathar might have been mistaken for a statue but for the intermittent movement of his tail, which trailed through the air. Gathered in a circle around the boy, Prophets of the Dark Side uttered incantations to the immortal gods of the Sith.
Raising his head up, the youngling seemed to have been roused from his dark introspection of the Force by some preternatural sense of timing. A display on the wall became illuminated, as an image of the bridge of the star destroyer flickered into view.
"Ah, Commander tol Powl."
Commodore Herod. The Sith Imperial officer was looking up into the camera, as though surprised that the communique had gone through so quickly. To his credit, he recovered from the initial surprise quickly. "The fleet has moved out lightspeed. We have entered the Toong'L System."
At the news of their arrival, the boy gestured off to the side of the room. One of the dark acolytes activated a holo-projector, displaying a layout of the system as Herod continued, "Imperial forces are already deployed to the planet's surface and appear to have encountered resistance."
The boy gave the lay down on forces a cursory review. The planetary system stretched before him like a chess board. One on which he needed to move his pieces. "Move our planetary assault ships into orbit of the planet," the kitten stated, in a matter-of-fact notation. "And then coordinate orbital strike support to reinforce our position on the ground."
By his estimation, Anden Fancelo and others would be on the ground. The ability to summon aerospace support would doubtless contribute greatly toward the rapid establishment of Sith superiority on the planet.
Even after he had acknowledged the kitten's opening move, the commodore lingered. "We have interdictors at our disposal," the man noted, as though inviting the youngling to give what he so obviously felt was a missing piece to his orders. "Shall I employ them?"
It was a valid strategic consideration. Limit the ability of your enemy to run, least they return to fight at a day or time of their choosing. And, yet, the boy couldn't help but consider the educational value of fear as a precaution of sorts. A warning that might inspire any who considered pulling another stunt such as they had seen at Ossus to think twice about what they were doing. "Those who flee from Toong'L run in terror before the Sith," the boy noted finally.
"Let them run, that they may share that fear with others."
Objective: I- Handle the Findsmen
The shuttle set down in an underground bunker. The airlock door sealed above it, and the hangar airlock began to cycle, impure ammonia being filtered out. Of course, it made no difference for the shuttle inhabitants. Amseth donned his armor with its built-in rebreather, and his assistant put on her own rebreather hood. "Out of curiosity, sir, couldn't we have just used holoprojectors to teleconference?" she asked. "We would have more options to work with in terms of overall presentation."
"This is technically an invasion," Amseth reminded her. "That means a communications disruption. Besides, in-person contact establishes a better relationship of trust, and trust is going to be key here." The shuttle doors opened, and the stench of ammonia wafted up into the rebreather. Amseth frowned as he grabbed his notes. It smelled like the lavatory during the midst of a drought. He didn't begrudge his peers for wanting to cleanse the planet at all. "Trust and patience, that's the key to all of this."
Stepping out of the shuttle, the Adjudicator and his assistant were greeted by a senior findsman. Formalities were exchanged, and the diminutive alien lead them down a long hallway with a ceiling not too low to impede humans, but low enough to make them feel uncomfortably cramped. The conference room itself was not that larger, and the seats at the table were so small as to be unusual. Amseth scowled behind his helmet.
"Gentlemen," he began as he affected a benevolent air. "On behalf of Project Clemency and the Imperial High Court, I come bearing good tidings. First, I would like to announce that you have my personal assurance that this entire 10 mile radius is exempt from the ongoing Sith-Imperial Area of Operations. For all intents and purposes, this room is the safest place on the planet." There were murmured drones and clicks in their own tongue, and Amseth deduced from his limited understanding of conversational Gand and his own empathetic sense that the clan leaders were relieved. Evidently most had the foresight to bring their clan with them, and they were equally joyful that they would have minimal casualties. "So in that sense, I would like to congratulate you all: by the end of the day, you will probably be the most powerful clans on Gand. You have already gained much by agreeing to this meeting. All I ask is that you keep my generosity in the back of your minds as I go over our proposals today." There were more drones and clicks. Amseth smiled. From what he already knew of psychology, he had already put the idea in their minds, even without the Force. This would be a walk in the park...
The lightless caverns beneath Iego were a haven for those who drew their power from the wellspring of the Dark Side of the Force. Insects scurried away from his stalking gait, and leathery things of gnashing teeth and rending claw huddled in darkened corners or squeezed themselves through narrow openings as he approached. Though he held no light, natural or artificial, he moved as if he instinctively knew the exact path to take through the pitch black labyrinth.
Which, of course, he did.
For the Force, stronger than anything crafted by civilization; was his ally and his tool.
But there were other things in the dark with him. Things that had been born in the shadows, had known nothing else by the oppressive darkness through which he so brazenly traveled. They observed him from afar, not as timid or instinctively frightened by his presence than the creatures of lesser thought, but they did not impede his progress even as he neared their home. Light dimly illuminated the tunnel ahead of him, and the Emperor of the Sith knew he had found it.
Turning the corner he arrived on a ledge overlooking an impossibly large cavern. At its center was an equally massive lake, shimmering waters pristine and unfettered by refuse or pollution. On top of it sat a city of stone far more grand than anything that could be discovered upon the surface world.
Maeliban, the hidden city of the Demons.
From the walls emerged two beings of mythology and folklore, their skin like interwoven rivers of molten copper and gold. In their hands they held pikes made from glossy obsidian, the spear-tips jabbing accusingly at the Sith Lord but never moving to actually strike him. Carnifex stopped, unafraid of the towering monsters before him.
"Dark trespasser! You shall go no further." spoke one of the Demons in basic, his accent causing each syllable to come across as rough and grating. "You intrude upon sacred ground, state your business before we cut you to ribbons!"
Though an obvious threat, the Emperor only smiled and very slowly produced a small holo-projector. Holding it out in front of him, he activated the device and projected a sizable holographic image of a Maelibus dressed in the dark robes of the Sith. The guards lowered their weapons a fraction of a degree, but their body language was still tight and on-edge regardless.
"Tell your master that one who knew Shara has come to speak with him."