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Thread: Phantoms of a Forgotten Age

  1. #1

    Closed Phantoms of a Forgotten Age

    The armada descended on to the homeworld of our enemy, like black spires falling to strike against the metal world. Their territories would be ours. The Sith Empire would consume them.

    We watched.

    Our forces returned battered, with morale forever damaged. The survivors fought among themselves. Sadow and Kressh. Kings fighting over ash.

    We waited.

    The Republic followed, emboldened by their victories. They were out for blood, and we were too busy spilling our own. We could not withstand them. We could not withstand ourselves.

    We hid.

    While our capital burned and our kin died in the millions in the space above, we gathered our remaining troops, those still loyal to the Master, and we buried them beneath the jungles of Ch'hodos to wait for a better day.

    I slept.

    The Empire was undone. Torn to pieces by our enemies. We had awoken a sleeping giant who's wrath we could not withstand. Our people were annihilated and scattered to the winds. Our worlds occupied and discarded.

    I slept.

    Our worlds became nothing but empty tombs on barren surfaces. Nature reclaimed them. Their environments collapsed. Many becoming wastelands. Ch'hodos sun expanded and it's slow heat death ravaged a once lush world.

    I slept.

    Above me the world became barren and hostile, the home of renegade sithspawn and mutated fauna. A world of monsters. The river that hid us dried and it's bed cracked. Thousands of years passed and our shelter fell away, revealing the edges of the hidden facility.

    I slept.

    One by one the suspension tubes around me failed, and with each of them the life inside grew cold and died. They would never wake. Their dreams turning to nothing. The light in my tube flickers and wanes, growing fainter. I exist on the edge of a razor.

    And still I sleep.

  2. #2
    TheHolo.Net Poster Nadgkema Siron's Avatar
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    Cycles came and went, crashing upon personal and communal consciousness, as the Goddess willed it, and as its followers responded. Nadgkema was no seer; and felt no lack in her skill sets, for her forte resided elsewhere. That was the beauty and strength of the Ember of Vahl, and what had sustained them centuries after most of them had been wiped out. They all gave their everything and pushed themselves, without trying to be who they weren't meant to be.

    There was always a seer among the three High Priestesses that presided over the spiritual leadership of the cultists; and High Priestess Da'antesh had called upon the alchemist a month ago. She was reaching her eldest age and knew herself to soon be welcome in the beyond by the great Vahl. Even though her fellow High Priestess, Ekora, was back to a sane state of mind, partially thanks to Nadgkema's hard work, there were whispers and silent understanding that these two would need successors. Another seer was evident among the Priestesses; but the other spot was more open. Yet Da'antesh believed it was Nadgkema's destiny to take place among them.

    The old seer had shared vision of a deserted world that encased unearthed power, that only a powerful servant of the darkness could claim. The community knew of her Sith knowledge acquired through her mother, foreign teachings and stories that had become waved into the cultists' tapestry over the recent decades, as every foreigner had done in the past centuries. Da'antesh had prayed with Nadgkema until they had a destination's name.

    Ch'hodos.

    Nadgkema had traveled there without delay, relishing the challenge. She had never allowed herself to become complacent back at the temple; but she had felt the call to the stars coursing through her veins many times. She had kept her faith in the goddess, knowing another trial awaited her somewhere.

    She had only traveled with a pilot aboard the humble freighter taking her to the desolate planet. Karun was quiet and had left her to her own device for most of the trip, which she appreciated. She had done the research she could on the planet; but it didn't give her much to go from, and she had spent time meditating on the seer's vision.

    As they reached the planet's atmosphere, the readings indicated the radiation issues, and the dangers of whatever abomination still crawled above ground. It didn't unsettle Nadgkema, for she knew she had to go below the earth to find whatever awaited her there. She left her senses guide her as she directed her pilot to a large opening into a canyon, and then a fissure big enough to accommodate the freighter in the opening of caves towards the bottom. Erosion indicated ancient construction of whatever she would find underneath. The place was thick with darkness, echoes of bloodshed and sombre history.

    This gave life to Nadgkema anew, piquing her curiosity like little before.

    The underground facility was safer than the surface and soon the brunette disembarked alone.

    Death inhabited the place; but there was still something alive down there. Its presence was unmistakable, and dangerous. Without hesitation, Nadgkema let the darkness guide her as she pressed forward through a half crumbled halfway, leading her to whatever awaited ahead.


  3. #3
    Walls built with purpose now lay weakened and cracked. The upheaval of the world had collapsed many and filled the passages with earth. Creatures stirred here in the damp hallways of stone and steel. It felt more tomb than laboratory. Rooms packed with equipment and supplies, all rotten and worn away thousands of years ago. Little remained but their shadows. Once the walls hummed with the coursing of power. Now silent. The pinnacle of the science of it's age brought low. Ground to nothing by time and nature.

    At the very back of the facility was a long narrow room. Reinforced and protected, it is the last to survive untouched. It's walls lined with a thousand standing sarcophagi; their stone etched with the form of Sith Warriors, their faces resembling heroes of ancient history. Histories are scrawled into their surfaces, and across the walls. The history of the Sith people. A final testament so that it may never be forgotten. Even after all these years the lines are still visible. Their edges have only softened. The air is stale. Old. Dead. Once the sarcophagi glowed from the eyes, lighting the room with the light. Now they sat in the dark. Their heavy stone faces contained a treasure only coveted by vultures. Only one sarcophagi still remained lit, a faint, flickering glow escaping from it. It stood out among the others for it's smaller size, and for the highly ornate coffin it stood beside. The only two of the entire room.

  4. #4
    TheHolo.Net Poster Nadgkema Siron's Avatar
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    Desolation wasn't foreign to Nadgkema, for the planet where her people had settled had been abandoned before they claimed a corner of it. The rest of the world was still quite inhospitable. Yet it was different from what she now encountered. While the place felt as if it could continue crumbling at any seconds, there was no tremor in the rocks surrounding her and while keeping her guard up, the priestess carried on, feeling the unmistakable pull luring her forward.

    The silence was a deafening sort of its own; but even there she still felt the power of darkness pulse in the depth of her soul; and she knew she was where she was supposed to be, whatever was awaiting her.

    Reaching a long and narrow room, she felt the whispers grow more vibrant, more pressing, even beckoning. She felt only death and decay around her as she passed through a multitude of sarcophagi. She watched them as she moved ahead. She recognized Sith inscription from some of her studies and some of her travels, as well as many stories her mother had said. Her mother had been no seer but had experienced fascinating places and ruins in her travels, some Nadgkema had never been able to visit herself.

    She felt the presence grow stronger as her eyes fell upon the only sarcophagus still lit. She was surprised that it was a much smaller one compared to the others. It wasn't lost on her that it stood next to the only one highly ornamented, indicated the master or mistress of the place eons before her time.

    Standing before the short sarcophagus, she reached out to rest her hand on its top, feeling the dark current press closer around her.

  5. #5
    At her touch the sarcophagus shuttered, the light extinguished as an internal lock noisily released from deep beneath the stone face. With a sound of great anguish the door swung back on it's ancient hinges revealing the small creature within, pressed into a form fitting cushion that held it's frail body in place. It's Gray-green skin was sickly and thin, dotted with tubes and wires that connected it to the life support system of the sarcophagus. Deep set eyes flickered opened, the yellow pupils shifting wildly from side to side. Searching but not seeing. There was no recognition in his eyes. His lips peeled back to reveal jagged teeth as he whispered in the old Sith tongue;

    <"Is anyone there? What has happened?">

    It tried to pull itself from the cushion but it's thin arms could not even budge itself more than a few inches before it fell back into the sarcophagus. With a thin arm it reached up and laid it's fingers on it's bare chest, where a metal plate framed an object embedded there. A strange triangular shape. It almost looked like a Sith holocron.

    <"I can feel you. Who is there? Lord Uron? Master?">

  6. #6
    TheHolo.Net Poster Nadgkema Siron's Avatar
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    Nadgkema stood still as she watched the sarcophagus open, revealing the small creature inside. While it didn't look scary in stature, its power and strength remained tangible in the Force. She knew not to judge by appearance, and the fact that this one survivor had been set by the Master's side for centuries spoke volumes of its importance.

    The creature was trying to make sense of the situation; but his diction was still accurate. The priestess recognized the old Sith language. While she didn't speak it per se, the old dialect of the Vahla had been preserved and it was originally close to the old Sith language for what the Ember of Vahl knew. She got confirmation for she could understand the creature in front of her.

    Instead of Basic, she chose her mother language to reply.

    "The darkness called me here. You are the only survivor."


    Her lavender gaze traveled upon what looked like a Sith holocron on the creature's chest.

    "I am Darth Ognevikha. Who are you?"

  7. #7
    A voice called back from the darkness. Soft. Feminine. She spoke strangely. Her words lacked the finesse and proper pronunciation he had come to expect in the court of Lord Uron. An uncouth servant, perhaps? There had been many entombed here alongside the Lord's other vassals. Whoever it was, they had clearly abandoned their station to address him in such a way. None were to address the Hand of Uron directly, save the master himself. Slaves were not worthy of such distinction. He wished he could see so he could identify the speaker, but his sight eluded him. There were vague shapes in the darkness, but he could not be sure if they were real or not. Something had gone horribly wrong for him be in such a weakened and blind state.

    you are the only survivor...

    Squirming within the cushion that held his exhausted body, he strained to look to his left, to where he knew his master's stasis pod sat. The Eye of Sadow burned in his chest like indigestion, but he could not feel the familiar presence of his Master. The whole room was quiet. Empty. The only light in the darkness was the person standing in front of him, and the background noise of the planet beyond. It felt different. Empty. Only the primeval energies and inherent, necessary evils of nature. Where are all the people? Where are the Sith?

    His own pod gave out a distraught whooooob before a surge of fluid pushed through the transparent tubes into his body, causing him to convulse for a moment before settling back down in place. With new found energy and strength he reared up in the pod, finally lifting his head and looking straight back at whomever was speaking.

    <"What has happened? Is the war over?">

  8. #8
    TheHolo.Net Poster Nadgkema Siron's Avatar
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    While there was power rippling from the creature before her, Nadgkema had no intention of lifting a finger to help it. The fact it was the only survivor among dozens if not hundreds of dead was remarkable, but if it couldn't handle a return to normal life, so be it. Darkness favored the strong after all.

    She noted how it looked towards the ornamented sarcophagus, which had likely belonged toe the Lord Uron mentioned moments ago.

    As she stared at the creature, and sensed it regain a measure of energy and focus, the alchemist in her recalled old texts she had read that her cult kept as well as some of the stories her mother had shared with her when she was a child. This creature had been forged by a dark hand, and wasn't mere miracle of nature. Its master must have molded it to his liking.

    That explained why out of others, the priestess was the one to uncover it.

    She didn't flinch as their eyes finally met after it stepped outside of its pod at last.

    "Your war ended centuries ago. Other wars followed in between eras of peace. Force users are scattered across the galaxy whether in plain sight or concealed in shadow."

    Casting her senses further and deeper into the faint echoes that she could find in this abandoned place, she mused over how old this creature could be. But the design of the holocron shape on its chest as well as the sarcophagus and various inscription indicated millennia before her time.

    "You are stronger than a mere pet; but what are your abilities?"

  9. #9
    With shaking hands he gripped the wires and tubes connected to his body and pulled them out. The wires came out effortlessly. Nothing more than sensors for monitors. The tubes in turn were ripped from veins and muscle groups and left behind gaping holes that dripped green blood for moments before the wounds sealed up with bubbling scabrous tissue that blossomed from within the wound. The action gave off a puff of steam from each wound, the air simmering with a jet of heat. The pain was intense, but he had long lived with the consequence of his abnormal body and it was a familiar sensation that served to anchor him within this strange moment. Even as the rest of his world was reeling in this darkness.

    <"I am no pet. I am The Hand of Uron.">

    Drawing himself up to his full height of four feet, he tried to hold his naked body as rigid as he could. His atrophied muscles screamed in resistance but he would not accept the weakness. His other senses were becoming more aware. The sound of the empty chamber, the absence of the murmuring voices of the mystics and the hum of machinery made the space feel entirely alien. The air was dank and stale, and smelled of dirty water sealed away from the sun. There was other smells in the air, of soap and perfume. It brought a some reprieve from the foulness of the chamber.

    <"I am sithspawn, created by Kel Uron himself to serve him and the Lord of the Sith; Naga Sadow. My entire purpose is to contain the Eye of Sadow.">

    He cupped his hands against the foreign object wedged into his chest, running his fingers across the pointed surfaces, over etched runes and chips in it's surface that aligned with scars across his torso. His entire body was covered in the markings of pain and war. Scars and burns from sword and flame, and long stripes across his back from whips and canes.

    <"With this I can feel the force. I can feel you, there. Even though my eyes betray me. With it I can achieve whatever my master wishes... except I have no master now. Do any of the Sith still remain? Did the Republic destroy us all?">

  10. #10
    TheHolo.Net Poster Nadgkema Siron's Avatar
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    Nadgkema watched with utmost interest as the creature regained some strength, which was a good sign, especially after how many centuries it had been dormant. She sensed the pain coursing through it and liked how it helped it sustain itself, like a true creation of the darkness. This pleased her and gave her ideas about the potential this being had.

    The slightest grin curved her lips as it responded to her statement. It had spunk and she appreciated such things. Doormats were only useful to an extent. And she hadn't traveled across the galaxy for one.

    "Well, Hand, you need a new master," she replied sternly.

    She found the fact he was created to keep the Eye of Sadow utterly fascinating and quite a purpose. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for her, and she wouldn't pass it up.

    "Some of us remain; but we are scattered. The Republic could never fully exterminate us, regardless of their persistent attempts."

  11. #11
    The haze of his great sleep still clung to his head like lead but some new thoughts still managed to bubble from the depths of his mind, causing his blind eyes to look sharply toward the origin of the voice. Realizations that should have occurred to him sooner, that he could be being manipulated now. His master had many enemies within the court of Naga Sadow. He would flagellate himself later for his loose tongue.

    <"What are you, Darth, who knows so much? You are no Massassi or Zuguruk. I can sense your power. It is not unsubstantial. Be you Kissai, or perhaps a heretic?">

    If only he had his vision to properly ascertain the truth. It was no matter, for his hide was callous to the sorcerer's flame and the warrior's blade alike, and even in his weakened state he could feel life coming back to his limbs. His hearing was never sharper, growing in the absence of his sight. In his short lifetime in the service of Lord Uron he had undertaken far more challenging circumstances than battling a single woman while blind and feeble.

  12. #12
    TheHolo.Net Poster Nadgkema Siron's Avatar
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    Nadgkema was already pondering all the possibilities being the new creature's master could open. This was a magnificent opportunity and one she wasn't going to pass on. She also liked that he spoke more freely than some molded pets or guards could, based on what she had read. That had potential. She preferred having to reign a beast in than have to prod a doormat to think for itself.

    "I am a Kissai of the Ember of Vahl, and an alchemist,"
    she replied without flinching, her purple gaze still taking in every movement of the creature.

    She didn't fear mind games and the more he expressed curiosity and pressed for whatever advantage he thought he may possess, the more she learned about it.

    "Where are your Massassi and Zuguruk now, hm?"

  13. #13
    <"Lord Uron trusted neither.">

    Kel Uron had been a secretive man, one who preferred to stay out of the light and allow others to fight among themselves while he continued his work; collecting powerful artifacts from ages long past so that he might better create new weapons and objects of power. While he served beneath and benefited from the support of Naga Sadow, he still never trusted him or any of the other members of the Sith elite. Uron was an alchemist, which made him infinitely valuable in Sith society, but even he found himself lost outside of the boundaries of the caste system. He had risen above the station of a Kissai but he was not an engineer, nor a warrior. He had rambled about his loss of identity many a night while sharing company; a crisis that Skalk could easily identify with.

    The realization that he would never again have those conversations with Kel Uron was slowly sinking in. The Lord is dead. His entombed army is gone. The Empire in ruin. The people scattered, or annihilated. Was he the only survivor of that age? It was not supposed to end like this. Why was he the only one to remain? What was he supposed to do now? Lord Uron had not given him any commands for the time that was to come. His last instruction had been the order to enter the pods, to be preserved for a future after the dust settled. He knew they would not survive the Republic's revenge, and that their only chance was to lie in wait until it was over and rebuild after. He had been the architect of the plan. Undoubtedly he had a plan, but it was all lost with him.

    <"Forgive my suspicion, Lady Ognevikha. I am but a confused and blind servant; unfettered from my master. He would not have desired that I stay in this place. I was designed with a purpose, Allow me to continue that purpose, to continue his legacy. Take me into your employ so that I may continue to serve the Sith, as I always have.">

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