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Myriad Reckonings



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Thu May 09, 2024 3:24 pm
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ChieTheWriter says...



The moonlight glistened on the surface of Atoa's moon. It was cold, the planet and her moons were so far from their sun that they were forever cold. But there was little moisture on this moon to freeze.

It was even colder at night, but Sirejj preferred the shadows. His bright green eyes could see well in the dark. And this exploration must be quick and silent, for he was being hunted. Hunted by two or three this time, he supposed. They had somehow discovered that magic wasn't the only power he could wield. Magic was a part of the force, but it was not the brutish, violent Dark Side to which these crude Sith were accustomed. It was a delicate, beautiful, but dangerous strength that destroyed the minds of an opponent rather than snapping their neck. The Sith seemed to enjoy that practice specifically.

Imperials. Always poking their noses where they don't belong. This was a sacred place, where magic flowed from deep within the moon. But it wasn't a power that the Empire understood, only one they'd heard of. He knew these inquisitors, being the mindless lurker hounds they were, knew nothing of the beauty of this moon, no. They were after their target. After him.

The wielders of magic had been stamped out almost has fiercely as the Jedi since the beginning of the Empire's reign, even before. Anything that the Empire could not control, it eradicated.

It had been close to a decade since the appearance of the inquisitors, but their numbers had exploded. Never in all of his knowledge of history could he think of a time where so many Sith crawled around the galaxy, hunting and killing by order of their master. So much for there only being two. Though if he remembered correctly, there was never a number mentioned in their code of conduct.

When the shadows had become long and dark enough for his liking, Sirejj moved from his hiding place and headed out on foot. He could feel the turmoil beneath his feet. This entire system had a history, and not a kind one. Even the moons remembered the battles that were fought here. But deep in these caves was said to be great knowledge of magic, and perhaps relics and items of power to add to his collection. Though he rarely took sacred items, there were some things that were not meant to be taken. All he needed was a few moments, and then he would be out and back to his ship and gone from Imperial sights once again.

~~

"I've got eyes on him. He just entered the caves."

The inquisitor stood up and stretched. They'd been laying there some time waiting for Sirejj to enter the cave. They'd scouted and discovered that this small cave system, used in ancient days as a sacred place for the priests in the system, had only one way in or out.

"Get up." He turned and delivered a kick into the side of one of his companions, who'd dozed off on the rocks. With a snarl he rose.

"You'll get a saber in your ribs if you boot me like that again, you hear?"

"Enough fighting." The third inquisitor stepped forward and leapt over their small rocky hideout and began walking towards the caves. "Let's go have a talk with our new friend." She laughed. "I'll wager he'd make a better inquisitor than the both of you combined."

"If you'd like to test that theory, Sister, feel free to face him alone." The first hissed.

"He doesn't even carry a saber. He knows nothing of our power. We'll easily take him down if he puts up a fight."

With that the three of them took off at a fast clip, making their way to the cave.

Spoiler! :
Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King




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Thu May 09, 2024 4:29 pm
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Ljungtroll says...



It was too quiet here.

Tarkin was not one to pass up a noiseless moment, of course, but the silence of this glittering moon was unnatural. At least on his Star Destroyer there was the hum of power through the overhead wires and the faint voices of soldiers as they marched by his office. He had been seated on a flat-topped crystal growth for the better part of ten minutes and the air was so still that all he heard was the sound of his own heart thudding a steady beat. Such a sensation should have been reassuring, but frankly he found it demoralizing.

He was sitting across from the remains of a grand cathedral, or at least he supposed it had been grand; architectural feats were usually lost on him. The whole thing had collapsed in on itself, crushed by the roof and then cracked at the foundations until it sank into the cave systems below. Crystalline forms had long since snaked their way up the noble pillars and become one with the stained glass; the ruins were almost sculptural in their poised beauty.

Tarkin leaned forward and rested his arms on his knees; there was nothing here for him now, of course. The bodies had been removed and the cathedral would bring him no leads. His contact, however, had been adamant that he return to Atoa and see the damage again. So here he was, sitting in silence and eyeing an empty monolith.

Thus far the trail had been fruitless. His pursuits were limited, given the nature of his suspicions--couldn't have Lord Vader or, stars forbid, the Emperor asking questions about why he was digging up these old ghosts--but even with his and Thalassa's efforts combined there had been nothing. Why would there be? Then one of the Treacle operatives had turned up something of use--not intentionally, but when Thalassa was informed of an Atoan living somewhere on a backwater Outer Rim planet, she took it straight to her husband. The Atoan had not been forthcoming with information.

And so Tarkin came to the moon, reasoning that if one Atoan had survived, perhaps there were more still here, scraping out a meager existence in the ruins of their world. For the moment, his plan was to stake out the cathedral. Being a formerly holy place, it was sure to get a visitor or two.

The catch, of course, was that this was not an easy place in which to be present. It was a reminder of failure: his, Garoche's, and Vader's, and with only the beat of his own heart to focus his thoughts on he found himself drifting back to the pointless anger and confusion he'd felt the day they pulled the boy's body from the ruins. Mistakes, miscommunications, ignorance. He should have prepared Garoche better, been harder on him. He shouldn't have trusted Vader to find him.

And then there was the woman.
"I’m thinking about the aurora borealis. You can’t tell if it really does exist or if it just looks like existing. All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured." --Too-Ticky

Formerly RavenLord; GrandWild
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Thu May 09, 2024 5:38 pm
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ChieTheWriter says...



They were coming.

Sirejj heard the crunch of steps on the crystal dirt and froze. Turning from the runes inscribed on the walls, he listened. His eyes glowed in the dark and his dark hands, traced with dark yellow markings, took his staff from his back and retreated into the shadows. He had locked away the memory of the spells inscribed on the walls. There was so much more these ruins and caves had to offer, but the inquisitors had no appreciation for such things. The ancient Sith perhaps, but not these fools. A mockery to all Force users.

As he heard the footsteps get closer he whispered a few words under his breath and stepped back into the shadows. If they wanted to hunt him, they would have to play his games.

~~

"It's a dead end." The sister inquisitor lit up her saber to shine a light on the shimmering walls. "He's got to be here." There were only two of them this time. Their companion was elsewhere in the caves.

"Pleased to make your acquaintance, servants of the Dark Lord." Came a voice from behind them. The two whirled, igniting their sabers and filling the cave with a red glow, contrasting the green from Sirejj's eyes.

In front of them stood the Zabrak, or at least, what appeared to be him, his eyes glowing, his lips curled back into a smile, and his arms open in welcome. "I see we finally get a chance to talk."

"The pleasure is all ours," the sister smiled, replacing her saber on her back. She glared at the others to do so. "We've been tracking you for some time. You are of great interest to our cause."

"By interest, do you mean, a threat?"

One of the brothers growled. "Depends. If you are interested in serving Lord Vader for a greater cause and learning of all the power you could ever desire, then perhaps not. If you have sided with another entity then..."

"I have little interest in grovelling at the feet of a Sith who destroys all that he touches." Sirejj's form stepped forward, walking towards the inquisitors, with his hands clasped behind his back. The inquisitors looked at each other, unsure if it was the time to attack or reason further.

"Then I believe it's best you come with us to...further discuss the matter." With that, the brother brought his saber to Sirejj's neck. "Surrender."

Sirejj laughed, and the laugh echoed through the chambers of the cave. The form of his melted away before the brother's blade and disappeared into smoke.

"There!" the sister turned, just in time to see Sirejj leap from a ledge in the ceiling and dash for the exit, still laughing. The confusion on their faces. Priceless.

As he ran, he cast more shadows of himself, lighting up the walls with a green hue. He could hear the confusion of the two behind him as they struck at the walls, hoping to bring him down but only striking air. This would be no different than all of the others-

Without warning, the third figure seem to appear from nowhere and a red blade nearly took off his head. He dodged, and brought up his staff to catch the second strike, sparks flying. He ignited the electric currents that turned his polearm into an even deadlier weapon. Three? This may not end well.

"What's the matter Zabrak, outmatched this time?"

Sirejj said nothing. For the first time he agreed with The Inquisitor. He may very well be.

As the other two rounded the corner Sirejj fought to get past the Inquisitor in front of him, but his opponent had the high ground. He was soon surrounded, but did not take defeat as an answer easily. However, he was outmatched and soon disarmed with a blow to the head which sent him sprawling.

"Pretty weapon you have here, but it's nothing against our sabers." The sister picked up his staff and looked it over. There was not a scratch on it.

"You know nothing of weaponry, your sabers are abominations, made from stolen crystals you did not rightfully earn." Sirejj spat.

"We will have to agree to disagree." The sister took the blunt end of his staff and struck him, sending jolts of electricity through his body. Satisfied, she nodded to her companions. "Pick him up. We'll take him back to the ship. If the Grand Inquisitor has no use for him, I call his head."
Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King




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Thu May 09, 2024 11:15 pm
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Ljungtroll says...



She'd been half-crushed under Garoche when they pulled the section of ceiling away. Crumpled, the both of them, blood coagulated under their shattered bodies. His arms had been wrapped around her.

Vader, visibly shaken for days afterward, later claimed that she had attacked them both and destroyed the cathedral in an attempt to bury herself and the two imperials. An act of martyrdom on behalf of her people. Tarkin, having settled into a state of functioning stupor, accepted the explanation without question. He perhaps willfully overlooked the fact that she had clearly been with child. The Atoans were easy to blame; he took vengeance without hesitation. Everyone burned; the planet shimmered with flames for two months after the star destroyers left. Still, the serenity on the bruised face of the dead priestess stirred him in a way he didn't care to think of.

It was only in the past two years that he acted on this half-thought, this wondering. Tarkin had always had trouble letting his curiosity stagnate; he needed to know everything at once. It was only the shock of his son's death and the rush of obligations to the Empire that had stopped him from investigating before. Now he had some time on his hands. Thalassa's enduring grief and anger at the loss of her only child had spurred him on; she had even more questions than he did. Now, with the regime more fully established, they could both sort out what exactly Garoche had been doing on this moon.

A scuffling and the sound of--oddly enough--lightsabers stirred Tarkin from his perch upon the crystal, and he shot to his feet. One hand clasped the blaster at his belt, and he stepped toward the ruins. There were voices below; whoever had been fighting was near the cave-in. He approached the crystallized cathedral, crouching near one of the walls to listen.
"I’m thinking about the aurora borealis. You can’t tell if it really does exist or if it just looks like existing. All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured." --Too-Ticky

Formerly RavenLord; GrandWild
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Thu May 09, 2024 11:37 pm
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ChieTheWriter says...



Three figures appeared, the largest of the three dragging someone behind them by the back of his armor. They were laughing amongst themselves as they made their way towards the landing platform where they had left their ship. The figure they were dragging was cuffed and would twitch every so often, as if fighting the unconsciousness that held him helpless.

"What metal can withstand sabers?" One of the brothers asked, twirling Sirejj's weapon around.

"There are several metals. Beskar is one of them, but this is not Mandalorian steel." The sister hissed. "The handle is what interests me. Such crude construction of bone and wood like a primitive species...I've heard such about the men of Dathomir."

"They're also notoriously rebellious. I wonder if he'll come to his senses once we introduce him to the Grand Inquisitor or if we'll have to do away with him." The inquisitor dragging Sirejj said.
Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King




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Fri May 10, 2024 2:14 am
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Ljungtroll says...



Tarkin slipped behind a fallen pillar as the trio passed, peering at the group in surprise. Inquisitors? Here on Atoa? For a moment he thought Vader had caught on to his snooping and sent them after him, but soon the captive came into view: a Dathomirian. He thought they'd exterminated the Nightbrothers and Nightsisters years ago...what was one doing here, of all places?

He had to be a Jedi or Sith, if the Inquisitors were paying him any heed.

Tarkin stepped out from behind the pillar, taking care to stay out of sight and doing his best to mute his presence. Vader had tried to show him how to do that, to hide himself from Force-sensitives, but it was a mental exercise that he'd never quite succeeded at. He hung back to compensate, staying within earshot to try and determine what crimes this Dathomirian had committed. Who knew what use this information might later be?
"I’m thinking about the aurora borealis. You can’t tell if it really does exist or if it just looks like existing. All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured." --Too-Ticky

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Fri May 10, 2024 2:45 am
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ChieTheWriter says...



The sister slowed her step for a moment and looked around, but soon resumed her pace.

"What's the problem? Seeing ghosts?" One brother said.

"Thought I heard something." She muttered. This moon didn't feel...still. For all the quietness, there was a presence there, or perhaps just a memory. The system's history was clouded.

She shivered, the coldness in the force being even colder than the icy surface of the moon..

Sirejj groaned, the scraping of his light armor against the sharp crystals stirring him. His face was mere inches from the ground. His hands were bound behind him. But he did not yet have the strength to move. All he heard were the mutterings of the inquisitors and the whispers of something...or someone else. He had not had time to learn all he wanted of this moon before being so rudely disturbed. There was great magic here, but also a terrible disturbance.
Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King




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Fri May 10, 2024 3:42 am
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Ljungtroll says...



Tarkin stilled as the Inquisitor turned--their senses truly were unnatural. He'd not be hiding from them for very much longer at this rate--it was probably better to reveal himself sooner rather than later anyway. It aroused less suspicion if he was forthcoming.

There was a ship not too far off. If he circled around and met them at the landing platform, there might be fewer questions raised. He could get answers from them there, too, but for the moment he was curious what they would say without the knowledge of a military superior's ear curbing their tongues.

Tarkin started maneuvering himself in the direction of the ship, listening all the while to the conversation. The Dathomirian appeared to be half-conscious; they'd done a number on him. The fact that there had been a fight at all suggested that this creature was quite formidable--three Inquisitors were next to impossible for most Jedi to take down.
"I’m thinking about the aurora borealis. You can’t tell if it really does exist or if it just looks like existing. All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured." --Too-Ticky

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Fri May 10, 2024 4:00 am
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ChieTheWriter says...



"You think the Grand Inquisitor can really convince this one to join us? Does he even use the Force?" One of them said.

"Yeah, all he threw at us back there were just tricks. Illusions."

"The Grand Inquisitor would not have sent us after this one had he not been important. You two question too much." The sister said.

"Well why bother bringing him back alive? They never have us do that with any of the Jedi." The one dragging Sirejj said, becoming more and more displeased with dragging a body around.

"Perhaps he knows something valuable." The sister hissed. "Our master would not have sent us after him for no reason."

"It's a waste of time, we're just going to have to kill him later. Would have been easier to just do it back there don't have to drag the rest of him around." The one inquisitor said.

"Well maybe it will do you some good to actually do your job once in a while. When is the last Jedi you killed anyway?"

"This... This is why you two will never move up in rank..." The sister was almost seething now. She quickened her pace. Once they to get to the ship and inform the Grand Inquisitor perhaps these two would be silent.

Sirejj's senses so very slowly became clearer. Bickering. And here he was missing out on his favorite activity. Typical Sith. Any more than two and they begin to squabble. If only he could hold his staff he might find the power to escape. He was swifter than these three brutes under normal circumstances.
Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King




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Fri May 10, 2024 4:13 pm
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Ljungtroll says...



Tarkin's eyes narrowed. Interesting. Knowledge of what? Perhaps something about this moon...

He reached the landing platform ahead of them and positioned himself in front of the ship, hands clasped behind his back and feet planted firmly on the ground. He would contact the Grand Inquisitor a little later, he decided--best not to take custody of the Dathomirian without speaking to him first. That would be bad politics on multiple levels. If there was any trouble, Tarkin had no doubt Vader would clear it right up.
That said, if he ended up speaking with Vader then he would have to come up with a convincing lie for why he was here on the moon.
"I’m thinking about the aurora borealis. You can’t tell if it really does exist or if it just looks like existing. All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured." --Too-Ticky

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Fri May 10, 2024 4:37 pm
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ChieTheWriter says...



"Hey! Who's that?" The second Inquisitor took his saber from his back and pointed at the ship. In the near distance they saw a tall, slim figure standing in front of their ship.

The sister paused and looked for a moment. "An Imperial Officer. We're fine. Keep moving." This was unexpected. Who was this? She couldn't recognize him from this distance.

They made their way up to the ship and stopped. The third and last inquisitor drug their prisoner forward and shoved him to his knees. He still has an iron grip on the back of his armor to keep the Zabrak from falling on his face.

"Announce yourself." It was dark. The sister could not yet see his face from the shadows and she didn't have the slightest inkling of who would be meddling in their business.
Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King




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Fri May 10, 2024 5:54 pm
Ljungtroll says...



Tarkin stayed where he was, tilting his chin down to fix the sister with a cool, self-assured gaze. "That's awfully presumptuous of you." Her voice was lofty; dominance would have to be established swiftly if he was going to get what he wanted. He glanced purposefully at the Inquisitor with his saber out. "You can put that away; I pose no immediate threat to you." Always so hasty to attack, these Inquisitors. The protocol and grace of combat had been forgotten after the rise of the Empire.
"I’m thinking about the aurora borealis. You can’t tell if it really does exist or if it just looks like existing. All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured." --Too-Ticky

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Fri May 10, 2024 6:10 pm
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ChieTheWriter says...



The sister straightening, recognizing his rank. "My apologies." The other two swiftly put their weapons away and stayed silent.

"You must forgive us," the sister said, scraping some of her pride off the ground. "We were not expecting company, especially of such high esteem." Her words were two-toned, while she spoke with the protocol and formality of a loyal imperial, her words were shallow.

"We are on a mission for the Grand Inquisitor, our master has sent us to collect another Force-Sensitive." She motioned to Sirejj, who still appeared mostly unresponsive. He was much older than their usual targets, the younger and weaker were usually easier to convert to their cause. "We were not aware of any other missions taking place on this moon."


(Would they recognize him by name or just rank? I imagine most are familiar with who he is. And what's his specific rank at this time)
Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King




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Fri May 10, 2024 6:34 pm
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Ljungtroll says...



(He's a Grand Moff at this point. They'd probably recognize him by name and rank since he's the only one. And his appearance is distinctive enough to set him apart from other imperial officers)

"Must I forgive you?" Tarkin asked dryly. He stepped out of the shadows and approached them, stopping about six feet away to examine the Dathomirian from a distance. He kept an expression of detached interest, gaze slipping over the Zabrak's tattoos, the confiscated weapon, the impressive horns. He was a fine specimen.

"And of what particular interest is this Zabrak?" he asked after he'd sized him up. "He seems too old for indoctrination into your program. What was his purpose in coming here, of all places?"
"I’m thinking about the aurora borealis. You can’t tell if it really does exist or if it just looks like existing. All things are so very uncertain, and that’s exactly what makes me feel reassured." --Too-Ticky

Formerly RavenLord; GrandWild
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Fri May 10, 2024 6:56 pm
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ChieTheWriter says...



"The Grand Inquisitor has his reasons. Reasons that he does not always share with his...loyal apprentices." She said.

"However, we intend on finding out." Said the Inquisitor holding Sirejj. "Once we contact the Grand Inquisitor for further instruction we will know better what to do with him."

Their tones, though still harsh, became ever so slightly more respectful. They knew of the connections this man had with some of their direct superiors. Though they answered in the end to Vader and him alone, an ill report of their behavior would mean consequences for all three of them, and Sith consequences were never pleasant.

"Once we have questioned him and brought him before our master, if he proves useless, he will simply be disposed of." The third Inquisitor said, giving Sirejj a rough shake.

The Zabrak growled, a primitive sound that sounded like it shouldn't have even come from a sentient being. He was beginning to regain control of his body, though every so often he would flinch as if his muscles were still firing from the sheer overload of electricity they had recently experienced. His bound hands clenched into fists. He was calling to his weapon, but it was still held fast in the crude, filthy hands of the Inquisitor.
Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. - The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King







The human heart has hidden treasures, in secret kept, in silence sealed...
— Charlotte Bronte