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General Chat => Fan Fiction and Art => Topic started by: PsychoSith on February 20, 2020, 12:17:58 PM



Title: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on February 20, 2020, 12:17:58 PM
I
    
     The Acolyte paced in the spacious chamber, kicking up small plumes of dirt with his impatient shuffling. Blood steadily dripped from his nose, his smell all but consumed by the scents of iron and dust. He cursed his luck quietly, running over the events that lead to him standing in front of a stone wall in a cold cave on a dead world.

     “Pretentious” his master had labelled him. “Pretentious and impatient”. He had thusly been instructed to go acquire a lesson in humility from “an old sorcerer”. He asked his master if the sorcerer was Sith, to which his Master laughed.

     She calls me pretentious yet laughs when I do not know what she has failed to teach. The Acolyte stewed. He was strong in the force, assuredly, and his Master wouldn’t get any younger. His time would come, but not today. Today, he must conquer a stone wall.

     Go to the world I have shown you. The Dark Side is not strong everywhere there – and thus the oasis it gathers in will be all the more apparent. Go there. Do not return until you have learned all there is to learn. These had been his Master’s words, vague as always. He followed the instructions, landing on the night side of the planet, and found himself in a deep valley. Nothing lived here but rats and roots, the surface air was thin and cold. He sensed his surroundings, the Dark Side pouring from a crag in the naked rock. The crag opened into a cave, void of light and twisting for miles; anyone else would surely have been fatally lost in such a place. The Acolyte followed the Dark Side upstream, gaining ever closer to its source.

     That is, until, he stopped at a dead end; a sheer stone wall blocking his path. The lack of light made it difficult for one to navigate, resulting in his discovery of the wall by the way of a broken nose. He swore, and brought himself to his feet, searching the force and gliding his hands over the cold stone, finding no mechanism or opening. The Acolyte scowled.

     Thinks she’s clever, does she? A lesson in humility…she knew there was nothing here! If she thinks such an insult will teach me anything besides contempt, then she’s truly more senile than I thought.

     No sooner did the Acolyte spin on his heel when he felt the cold air rush past him, a dull warmth on his back. He turned to witness the first light he’d seen in hours, emanating from a large, vaulted chamber before him. The stone wall was seemingly gone entirely. He stepped into the room, failing to find the source of the faint orange light that permeated the chamber. Runes lined the walls and floors, and atop and elevated stone platform sat a figure surrounded by scrolls, books, and carved stone. The Dark Side filled the room, ever-present and permeating. The Acolyte approached the figure, reaching out to touch its’ stone surface. It was a statue bearing the figure of a kneeling man, clad in robes bearing strange symbols; spirals and fractals erupting from the edges. In lieu of a face, the statue bore the carving of a simple mask, with no visible openings. The Acolyte chuckled, must everything here be made from stone? He thought. He was startled when he received a response.

     The wise do not assume the obvious, much less twice in a row.

     The Acolyte spun around, his amber eyes frantically darting between every surface to locate the source of the voice, but finding only more stone, as if to taunt him. He turned around to witness the stone figure had vanished, in its’ place stood a man; of the same visage of the stone statue. The figure stood upright, his V-shaped mask glinting softly in the room’s glow.

     “You must be the sorcerer then. Paltry tricks won’t frighten me, if that’s what you want.”

     The figure tilted his masked head, his voice thick but gentle, “Tricks? I don’t much like tricks.” The voice suggested a sense of almost innocence, “who are you? You who are averse to trickery?”

     The Acolyte allowed his tone to convey a fraction of the annoyance he felt, “I am Czeq Kiath, Apprentice to Darth Ricane. I was instructed to receive a lesson from you.”

     “Oh? Your Master – are they a graven sort with a cruel streak and a penchant for unhelpful advice?” The man asked quizzically.

     Kiath chuckled, “I see you’ve met her.” The man laughed – though this laugh disarmed the Acolyte; a bright and honest giggle, not the low and cruel cackle to which he was accustomed from his Masters.

     The man regained his composure, “No boy, I haven’t the faintest clue who your master is, but the near infective unimaginativeness of the so-called Sith will never cease to amaze me. What lesson would your Master have you learn from simple me?”

     Kiath was struggling with the man – was he not taking him seriously? “Humility.” He scoffed, “she calls me pretentious and impatient. Truthfully though? I think she just fears me.”

     Another bright chuckle, “Oh and I suppose you fail to see the irony there? No matter, no matter. Of course, your Master is right, arrogance cloaks you, and I could deliver you pain if I pleased, bring you to your knees like that.” He stated, snapping his fingers, “but more pain would teach you nothing but further disdain. Oh, how boring that would be. What to do what to do?”

     Kiath’s expression was somewhere betwixt a scowl and utter confused defeat. “You know – I think I must’ve found the wrong cave. I was told I’d learn from sorcerer but all I see here is an insane jester and entirely too much rock for my liking!”

     “Ah!” The man turned suddenly pointing his finger into the air, “I’ve got it! Tell me child!” the man rushed forth and grabbed Kiath by the back of his head, bringing his mask to the Acolyte’s ear, his voice quieted to a whisper, “Tell me what you hate.”



[[Hope you guys enjoy! Be a little gentle, it's my first foray into fanfiction since middle school. Dont know when Ill have the next part up by, should be within like a week]]


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: Lord_S_Gray on February 20, 2020, 02:12:48 PM
Nice job Pyscho, solid descriptions that set the scene e.g "Nothing lived here but rats and roots, the surface air was thin and cold. " and into action opening, a the apprentice clearly showing key traits from the get go, some mysterious goings on and a great ending line - Tell me what you hate - that begs to be answered. Very well started.


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on February 21, 2020, 07:22:37 AM
Nice job Pyscho, solid descriptions that set the scene e.g "Nothing lived here but rats and roots, the surface air was thin and cold. " and into action opening, a the apprentice clearly showing key traits from the get go, some mysterious goings on and a great ending line - Tell me what you hate - that begs to be answered. Very well started.

Thanks! Hope its interesting enough for y'all  :)


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: rosaferri on February 21, 2020, 08:26:23 AM
Point to you. Well written. I’m curious to see where this ends up.


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: Karmack on February 25, 2020, 12:57:11 PM
Ohhhh    I like....

Nicely written and a GREAT hook, PsychoSith!   This one is well begun. Echoing LSG: the scene is well set and vivid.  And I am intrigued by this scenario.  Really looking forward to more!


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on March 05, 2020, 01:52:56 PM
Thanks for the kind words! I have zero clue where to cut off chapter two right now hence me taking a hot minute posting  ::)


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: Lord_S_Gray on March 05, 2020, 04:09:51 PM
Thanks for the kind words! I have zero clue where to cut off chapter two right now hence me taking a hot minute posting  ::)

If you can generally always try and finish on a cliff hanger of some kind, e.g. door about to open, question posed (like you did in the first, tell me what you hate), character suddenly being attacked or falling or similar, doesn't need to be huge, just enough to leave a sense of anticipation in addition to the main narratives mysteries. Doesn't always work for every chapter of course depending where you are but might help you out a bit in future. 


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on March 06, 2020, 01:54:54 PM
  II   
     
     Kiath instinctively grabbed at his lightsaber, not expecting the sudden burst of movement from the man, but his arm was brought short as the man grabbed him by the head and wrist, pinning himself to the side of Kiath’s body where his saber hung. Kiath was no weakling, and his straight gait, broad shoulders, and confidence reinforced this, yet he was nonetheless unable to move. The man’s grip was surprisingly strong, and his command of the room was undeniable. The man’s physique was impossible to tell under the layers of robes that clad him. Indeed, even the odd segmented mask he wore was over layers of cloth, not a single inch of exposed skin was visible. He hadn’t threatened the Acolyte though, he was a captive audience now; all he could do was answer the question. What did he hate? Images flashed before his mind, Kiath swallowed and gritted his teeth.

     “I hate her – my Master. I hate her disregard of my power,” the words spilled straight from the Acolyte’s mind, unfiltered and repressed, talking faster with each word “I hate her two-faced pleasantries, her false adorations, her sick glee she achieves from watching me fail, and most of all, I hate the power she has over me! I am a Sith! And Sith bow to none! Masters exist for their students to triumph! Through my victories I will free myself from her!” Kiath was shouting and recovered from his tirade breathing heavily. Kiath’s coal-black hair hung in strands before his face, his amber eyes burning.  The man released his head and backed away slowly.

     “Oh? You hate her then? Truly?” The man began to pace in front of Kiath, studying him from behind his mask, “Tell me then, Sith Apparent: what is her favorite color?”





     What? The man spoke plainly and seriously. The Acolyte stood, mouth agape, eyebrow cocked at the ridiculous question. Did this man, this supposed teacher, elucidator, ask me what her favorite color is??

     “Why should that matter!?”

     “Yes! Of course it matters, why shouldn’t it? Don’t you know?” The man continued, his pace quickening, “Her favorite color? Food? Memory? How is her relation to her family? How does she feel about current affairs in the galaxy? Come now, you can’t expect me to believe you apprentice to her and don’t know anything about her?”

     “I’m her Apprentice – not her spouse! Why should I know – or care – what her favorite color is?” The man stopped pacing.

     “Because,” he said, voice flattening, “you said you hate her. Hate is not something that comes easily,” his voice sharpened with a flavor of aggression, almost cheerfully bitter, “You dislike your master, detest her, but you do not hate her. Hate requires effort, it requires intimate knowledge and sharp focus. If you know her favorite color; you know what gift to fool her with. Her favorite food; what to poison her with. Her family; who to target. You do not hate this woman because you haven’t made the effort to.” The Acolyte ruminated in the silent moment afterward, realizing the mistake of his outburst. His embarrassment fueling his growing irritation, his patience thinning. The Man continued.

     “You do not hate, child, but this is not the only way. Tell me, Acolyte,” The man outstretched his arms, “what do you love?”

     The Acolyte scowled, a foolish and simple question, “Love is a fool’s passion! It leads to such emotions as compassion and empathy. Weak and useless tools! To sacrifice one’s power is not the way of the Sith!” He proclaimed, proud of his response. Kiath had been oft commended at the academy for his understanding of the Sith code and had been fast-tracked to apprenticeship for it.

     Yet, the man remained unimpressed. Indeed, a sense of defeat was palpable in his tone when he responded. His arms slumped to his sides.

    “Ah. Yes. Sometimes I do forget the dramatically boring rhetoric the so-called Sith are known for. The contrived excuses to act so totally self-interested that men are pushed to act like spoiled children, and for spoiled children to act so wholly insufferable. I fear you may be a hopeless case, indeed.” The man sighed, and turned his back to Kiath.

     Kiath had enough. His blood boiled, his mind raged. His weak master sent him to a dead planet to receive a philosophy lecture from a lunatic. Even this hooded wraith of a man will deign to disrespect me. To insult me. To call me weak and foolish. No. More. Kiath drew his black and metallic grey hilt, gripping it at the choke. He activated his weapon, seething in his contempt. The man turned his head slightly.

     “Before I kill you, old man, for the crime of wasting my time, at least tell me your name. Then I can tell my master while I gut her like a fish that you too fell by me, and me alone. Tell me, rambler, what do I call your corpse?” Kiath gestured with his crimson blade, a grimace cutting his face. The man turned around, silver hilt in his hand, drawn from one of the many folds in his robe.

     “Name? I haven’t a clue what use a name has to one such myself. But if you insist on knowing the pointless;” An energetic blade the color of faded embers erupted from Vansi’s hilt, sparks fired from the blade, striking the ground around him. Vansi drew the tool up to what Kiath recognized as a simple Shii-Cho stance, one hand on the pommel, the other resting just below the blade. The room between them glowed the hue of a dying fire,

     “Vansi, Darth Vansi to you, neophyte. And you wont forget what I teach you.”


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: TheDutchman on March 06, 2020, 01:59:08 PM
Alright PS!  Nice to see you delving into the literary side of the SW 'Verse  ;)

This story just grabbed my interest immediately and didn't let go!  For the most of us here in the FanFic Forum, we tend towards Gray Jedi (Mak'Tor, Vhal'Dan), gray moralities (Aethans, some Templars), or even Inquisitors-come-Jedi (Darth Rowan/Teagin Roan).  But you have written a pure Sith story, one that is well within the Dark Side.  And it's a pleasure to read!  I cannot wait to see where this leads us...

I have to say that I'm reminded of the game "SW: The Old Republic" where armies of Jedi and Sith were at constant odds with each other, even within their respective orders.  From aberrant Jedi to benevolent Sith, the game had such a diverse range of characters...well, with the inclusion of Czeq Kiath (great name!) in the Forum reading list, you have brought an untapped perspective that I am eager to know/read more about  :)

And LSG is right: you really can't go wrong with a well-thought cliffhanger (certainly keeps me coming back for more  ;)).  Honestly: the best examples come from Karm and LSG for storywriting innovations and logistics.

PS: welcome to the Forumverse and keep it coming!


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on March 09, 2020, 07:41:14 AM
Alright PS!  Nice to see you delving into the literary side of the SW 'Verse  ;)

This story just grabbed my interest immediately and didn't let go!  For the most of us here in the FanFic Forum, we tend towards Gray Jedi (Mak'Tor, Vhal'Dan), gray moralities (Aethans, some Templars), or even Inquisitors-come-Jedi (Darth Rowan/Teagin Roan).  But you have written a pure Sith story, one that is well within the Dark Side.  And it's a pleasure to read!  I cannot wait to see where this leads us...

I have to say that I'm reminded of the game "SW: The Old Republic" where armies of Jedi and Sith were at constant odds with each other, even within their respective orders.  From aberrant Jedi to benevolent Sith, the game had such a diverse range of characters...well, with the inclusion of Czeq Kiath (great name!) in the Forum reading list, you have brought an untapped perspective that I am eager to know/read more about  :)

And LSG is right: you really can't go wrong with a well-thought cliffhanger (certainly keeps me coming back for more  ;)).  Honestly: the best examples come from Karm and LSG for storywriting innovations and logistics.

PS: welcome to the Forumverse and keep it coming!

Hearing you, LSG, and Karmack give praise on writing is somethin else. Thanks for sayin so!


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: Lord_S_Gray on March 09, 2020, 02:03:44 PM
Good follow up, I like the back and forth in this, the clash of ideologies in a way, the contrast between the wise old Vansi who has seen it all it seems and the impetuous Kiath who can't see an inch from his face but thinks he knows it all, it's like a fight scene with words and Vansi is just toying with Kiath, but he doesn't know it because he's actually too foolish to realise...the contrast also in Kiath being so clear in what he wants and Vansi a total unkown...makes me wonder just what this Vansi wants...if anything, or is he beyond 'wanting'?


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: janx on March 24, 2020, 07:18:50 AM
This is reading well.  Catchy.  I think Vansi helps with that, since he's the more sympathetic character.

It wasn't egregious, but I might try to shave off a few more was's (passive voice) and -ly adverbs.

https://datayze.com/passive-voice-detector (https://datayze.com/passive-voice-detector)

http://adverbless.com/ (http://adverbless.com/)

There's other tools for that kind of thing, but these are free and a good way to see how much you have.

If you didn't do a clean-up, I'd still be happy reading what you wrote and look forward to reading more.


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on March 24, 2020, 07:23:52 AM
This is reading well.  Catchy.  I think Vansi helps with that, since he's the more sympathetic character.

It wasn't egregious, but I might try to shave off a few more was's (passive voice) and -ly adverbs.

[url]https://datayze.com/passive-voice-detector[/url] ([url]https://datayze.com/passive-voice-detector[/url])

[url]http://adverbless.com/[/url] ([url]http://adverbless.com/[/url])

There's other tools for that kind of thing, but these are free and a good way to see how much you have.

If you didn't do a clean-up, I'd still be happy reading what you wrote and look forward to reading more.


I probably wont retroactively correct the first couple parts, but ill use this going forward - thanks!


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: janx on March 24, 2020, 10:20:54 AM
I probably wont retroactively correct the first couple parts, but ill use this going forward - thanks!

Good plan.  I didn't find them too prolific that it hurt the piece, but it's an easy check to improve writing.  You'll still have to think about each one, and some are harder to "fix" than others (also don't just delete the adverb, change the verb to be better).  Worst case, leave the hard ones alone, because it's not a crime to use them. :)



Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: Karmack on March 24, 2020, 10:22:53 AM
LOL   I love the tools!   Honestly, I didn't notice, the story had me engaged, but I also can suffer from this failing so I am adding these to my tool kit!  Thanks!


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on May 01, 2020, 10:20:35 AM
III    

 Kiath made his attack first, leaping from the far side of the room with his saber overhead. Vansi stepped to the side, allowing the red blade to strike the stone, charring it. Kiath remained aggressive, lashing out in a flurry of infuriated strikes, many aimed for the man’s mask. Vansi again dodged the first two, and on the third stepped back while bringing his saber in a downwards arc, searing the stone in front of him, creating a noxious pale cloud that smelt of burning sulfur. Kiath coughed and covered his eyes, keeping his saber up across his chest. His lungs and eyes burned like fire, but he focused his rage, his body a mere vessel for his attack. It was then Vansi’s voice once again shook Kiath to his core, the cheerful tone from earlier undercut by an unmistakable malice.

     “I wonder did your master ever teach you to fear old men, where men die young?”

     Kiath had barely the time to dodge the incoming thrust from behind him, telltale footsteps nearly silent, the pulsating blade missing the length of his arms by mere inches. Yet despite the lack of contact, his arm’s exposed flesh seared and blistered.

     “Next lesson, boy! Passion burns as a fire! Where’s yours!?” Kiath forced his eyes open just slightly to see Vansi quickly passing, stepping forward and turning to face him, his searing saber being brought down. Kiath brought his blade up in a horizontal block, the bright flash of the sabers colliding illuminating his surroundings bright as daylight, and in time to witness Vansi’s second hand, free of the hilt quickly brought to bear palm-first into Kiath’s nose. Kiath staggered as fresh blood replaced the dried wound from his less than graceful entrance. He felt the warm liquid and fell further into his rage.

     “JUST SHUT UP OLD MAN!” cried the Acolyte, his lungs spasming from screaming through the miasmic fumes. He adopted a push-pull strategy; stepping forward to attack then leaping back creating distance, only closing to strike. Vansi parried the incoming strikes, giving little ground. Again and again their blades met, Kiath’s pained eyes locked to Vansi’s unreadable visage. Following each parry, Vansi’s blade spun back to a neutral position, striking the stone ground each time, producing more of the burning fumes. Vansi’s figure gradually vanished into the toxic yellow haze. Kiath distracted himself from the pain by further taunting the man, trying to lure out a mistake that could be exploited.

     “You speak of passion, magician, yet I’ve seen a livelier fight from a mongrel. Where’s that fire you spoke of?” A quiet ruled unopposed, leaving only a gentle hiss of gas, and the ever-present hum of the Acolyte’s weapon. The response that eventually came was almost ethereal; a whisper in the dark.

     “What… do… you… hate…. acolyte? Oh I wonder… I wonder to wander the depths of your powers realized and mind awoken… to embrace hate and love, that skybound chasm separating the light and dark, the disparity and motion of the universe…. disparity begets passion and passion begets such strength. This is the way of the Sith… free yourself Acolyte…”

Kiath was struggling to breathe, now. His lungs wheezing and failing to fill, his eyes aching, his sight blurry and indistinct, his mouth was bone-dry and tasted bitter, a crust formed on his lips. He could only see the yellow haze of the miasma and the glowing marks from where saber melted stone.

     Damn that old wizard…using poison to win, how weak. Can’t… even fight me… like a warrior. It was getting hard to think, Kiath knew he was on the verge of blacking out, scanning the marks in the stone to try to locate the glow of Vansi’s deep orange saber. Try as he might, the only thing to permeate the sickly gold fog was the glowing saber strikes. His vision began to fade, and the dull glowing lines on the ground occupied his final lucid thoughts.

     They… why… why are they… all circles?
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

     “Absolutely perfect.” She said, contentment radiated from her white and red face, gold adornments shining in the soft light. Reclining in her luxurious couch and sipping on the finest Corellian Tea, “and you say no word from him since?”

     “Yes, M’Lady,” the aide replied, bowing his head, “Apprentice Czeq made planetfall forty-five standard hours ago, with the harsh daytime conditions and the planet’s fifteen-hour day, it is unlikely his craft is still spaceworthy.” The aide paused, “Though, I must ask: why not just kill him? Surely there’s an easier method than going to all this trouble.”

     The Torgruta woman sighed and lowered her cup, standing from the couch,  striding close to the aide, well within his personal space, “Do you know why I like you, pet?”

     The aide fidgeted, the Lady’s reputation too well known, “Erm – no M’Lady…I did not. I was not speaking to offend…” She laughed.

     “Oh calm yourself! You’ve done nothing wrong. I like you because unlike so many in the universe, my wayward apprentice included, you know your place.” She smiled and walked to the window overlooking a burning world, far below. “You understand your place is to do as I say politely and quickly.” She paused, contemplating the suffering and chaos below, “So many fail to understand that they are mine. When they fail to understand this they must be taught, and they can’t learn of their mistake if they die too quickly. Do you understand pet?”

     “Yes M’Lady, I understand, thank you.” The aide replied as he bowed his head and exited the room. The Mad Lady sighed in contentment.

     He may not be bright, but at least this one has a spine. She thought to herself. I’ll give the mongrel and the old fool another day before I send someone to clean up whatever’s left. She chuckled, planet-wide infernos reflecting in her gaze. I do so love it when the trash takes itself out.


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: TheDutchman on May 02, 2020, 05:09:36 AM
And so the plot thickens!

Kiath is learning one immutable fact: that youth and vigor will always lose out to aged experience and treachery  ;)  Let's just hope that Vansi allows him to learn from his mistakes...

...And if the Mad Lady will suffer either of them to live  :D  I have to admit: I like this new character (chalk it up to my fondness of Togrutans  ;))!  Excellent scenes: certainly leaving me wanting more, with more questions than answers!

Oh and I love the visuals of the hell planet that they're on, reminiscent of Crematoria from "The Chronicles of Riddick."  ...Now I wish that I'd've thought of that  :D

Great job PS!  The next chapter if you please...   ;)


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: Lord_S_Gray on May 03, 2020, 04:19:57 PM
And so the plot thickens!

Kiath is learning one immutable fact: that youth and vigor will always lose out to aged experience and treachery  

Spot on Dutch, all that fury of youth wasted, Kiath should've been more cautious...but then he wouldn't be Kiath would he! Just what is this woman, presumably Rancine, relationship with Vansi....


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on May 04, 2020, 07:14:11 AM
Glad to hear you guys are enjoying! Sorry that chapter took awhile, things have been crazy lately but are starting to calm down again, so I should be back to my more active self!


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on May 07, 2020, 11:42:43 AM
Small Disclaimer: Part IV will contain darker topics than average fair, as Sith training is not exactly a happy relationship between master and student. I figure most of y'all probably dont mind either way but I'd rather be careful rather than causing issues.


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: Lord_S_Gray on May 07, 2020, 06:20:14 PM
Small Disclaimer: Part IV will contain darker topics than average fair, as Sith training is not exactly a happy relationship between master and student. I figure most of y'all probably dont mind either way but I'd rather be careful rather than causing issues.

Yeah that's cool, it's all about context, if it is part of the story do whatever you need.


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: janx on May 08, 2020, 01:15:11 PM
Story still looks good. You've managed to find enough clever points for the old man to reveal to the student.  It can be hard to come up with "profound" teachings, but you've smoothly come up with them.  Which I think help keep interest.  Klaith on his own in a "I'm so evil" story would tripey.  I am looking forward to seeing if Klaith evolves from a cut-out villain to somebody with real reasons and understanding to be Sith.



Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on May 08, 2020, 01:24:55 PM
Story still looks good. You've managed to find enough clever points for the old man to reveal to the student.  It can be hard to come up with "profound" teachings, but you've smoothly come up with them.  Which I think help keep interest.  Klaith on his own in a "I'm so evil" story would tripey.  I am looking forward to seeing if Klaith evolves from a cut-out villain to somebody with real reasons and understanding to be Sith.



Glad youre still engaged! I have a lot of plans for Kiath going forward and suffice to say, I fully intend for every character to have a third dimension - no cutouts here  ;)


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: TheDutchman on May 09, 2020, 01:07:32 PM
Small Disclaimer: Part IV will contain darker topics than average fair, as Sith training is not exactly a happy relationship between master and student. I figure most of y'all probably dont mind either way but I'd rather be careful rather than causing issues.

Again to credit LSG: it's all contextual.  Besides: if you read LSG's/Karm's/TR's/TDC's/LR's/my own stories, we've tackled some very heady topics (one that immediately springs to mind is LSG's incredibly poignant "Dark Jedi I&II" beginning here: http://www.saberforum.com/index.php?topic=36209.msg633121#msg633121 (http://www.saberforum.com/index.php?topic=36209.msg633121#msg633121)  If you haven't read it I HIGHLY suggest that you check it out).  Not only does this make for good reading but indeed helps us as writers.

But appreciation for the warning  :)

I'm really looking forward to your next chapter!


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on June 30, 2020, 11:35:58 AM
A lot of outlining later, Chapter IV will be up soon.


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on September 25, 2020, 11:19:43 AM
A lot of outlining later, Chapter IV will be up soon.

I'm not a liar, I'm just scatterbrained, I promise.


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: TheDutchman on September 25, 2020, 02:20:15 PM
I'm not a liar, I'm just scatterbrained, I promise.
No worries, PS; whenever you are able   ;)


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on November 12, 2020, 11:19:17 AM
IV

Five years ago.

   “Again!” Kiath’s training saber sparked as he ripped it from the destroyed training droid, falling onto the pile of broken metal before him. His palms dripped with blood as his grip tightened around the metal hilt, the metal “blade” of the device flickered, dented and slightly bent, sweat fell from his brow. He waited for the next droid, but none came. The room was filled with silence, yet to Kiath, it was cacophonous.

   “Again, I said!” Kiath demanded. A thousand micro-sounds filled his mind; his heart thundering, his ragged breath echoed like roaring wind, the incessant buzz of his damaged weapon, the gentle creaking of his weight on the floor bore into his ears. Yet no sound rang louder than that of his own mind, recalling the words of his master.

   You won’t surpass me, not for lack effort – we’re simply cut from different cloth, Acolyte. I don’t seek to destroy you, you’re safe enough here. The sooner you accept this, the sooner you’ll find your true place in the universe. In my universe. Kiath gritted his teeth, every element of that conversation served to irritate him. The false pity in her voice, the confidence of her words, the lush furniture, quiet atmosphere, and the ample food on the table, a whole event constructed to placate his frustration through pure and practiced manipulation. The Acolyte snapped back to the here and now. “Like hell, your universe.” Kiath threw down his broken weapon and exited the dojo, stepping on broken metal and machinery, scuffing the lacquered wood. He spun from the doorframe grasping the attendant droid by its arm. “Why,” Kiath panted, “did you ignore me?”

   The chromium droid cocked its’ head, “Your training sessions have been limited to one-hour maximums, four times a day.” The tone of the thing’s mechanical voice displayed willful ignorance of its’ arm being very nearly crushed by the angered apprentice.

   Kiath tightened his grip, “and what living creature claims to have the right to tell me when I can or cannot train?”
 
   “Lady Ricane herself made the adjustment to your permissions.”

   “Fine,” Kiath muttered, letting the droid go, leaving subtle indentations on the droid’s metal arm, “then I’ll find my own damn partner.” He turned away from the dojo, walking the length of the long hall. His footsteps echoed as reinforced boot met polished tile. No expense was spared in the construction of the Lady’s compound, all the attendant droids were advanced models clad in chromium and electrum, capable of high-level social function as well as their simpler routines. The walls were imported Alderaanian marble, and the floors were a polished obsidian, pillars of white Wroshyr wood stretched to the vaulted ceilings, and floating chandeliers of blue-green crystal illuminated the vast halls. Schedules, permissions, and appointments were kept through a common datacenter that routed to the personal holos of every Master, Apprentice, and guest. No-one would ever be unaccounted for in this place. The droid called for him from the far end of the opulent chamber.

   “Compensation for the destroyed equipment will be deducted from your credit account. Have a pleasant day, Apprentice.” Kiath ignored the droid, credits were of no consequence to anyone within his Master’s inner circle. This hadn’t been the first time in recent months that his Master had intentionally vexed him; she seemed to be making a campaign of convincing Kiath he had little worth. Kiath was determined to prove otherwise. He roamed the corridors toward the common areas, where acolytes, apprentices, and hopefuls would congregate. This group included battle-hardened Acolytes apprenticed to Sith Battlemasters and war veterans, unlike Kiath’s own political and diplomatic Master.  His own partner, indeed. Today, Czeq Kiath would make himself known.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

        The Lady paced about her lounge, swirling her tea, fingernails etching into the fine crystal. She tapped her index finger against the cup, she was lost in thought, eyes locked straight forward. The room’s gentle turquoise light reflected off the polished walls, and the lush carpet softened her footsteps. Her breath even, but forced, her tongue pressed against the inside of her teeth, and her core was afire with impatience and irritation. She paused for a moment, finished her tea, inhaled, and stretched out her hand, the door to the lounge sliding open in response. Her eyes darted to the bloodied and battered figure in the door.
         
        “Good evening apprentice,” she spoke through her teeth, “I’m to understand you found yourself an…altercation.” Her injured charge remained mute. She could feel a fury radiating from him. She could sense his body struggling to remain upright, though she didn’t need to, the bloody contusions and occasional exposed bone told that story well enough. His anger was bright, but hers was brighter. She relaxed her shoulders and began to put the cup down toward the quartz table beside her.

        “Apprentice,” she spoke with in a motherly tone, “you must be pained, please sit. Allow yourself some rest.” Kiath straightened his back as much as possible, the Lady held the cup just short of the table.

        “I’d rather stand master,” Kiath spoke, trying to suppress a cough, and opened his mouth to continue, but found himself back on the ground in a new searing pain as shards of clear crystal covered his face and carpet around him. He wanted to shout but found no sound in his voice.

        “I. Said. Sit.” The Lady hissed, her arm outstretched from the forceful throw, “but you still seem to be utterly incapable of following the most basic instructions,” she scowled, “so you want to stand? Then stand.” She reached out with the force and it answered, hauling the Acolyte by his throat. An expression of seething sadism told through the language of the Dark. She had him just high enough to be supported by his toes, but not so supported to allow him to breathe normally. Her free hand twitched. She held him there for a moment as he coughed and sputtered, fading to just the edge of his consciousness, then threw him to a nearby chair. She walked over to the cabinet and pulled a cloth and two more glasses from the drawers, filled the cups with fresh tea, and walked back to her ragged Apprentice. Kiath wheezed as the room spun around him. He strained to lift himself from the chair, but the Lady pulled him back with a hand on his shoulder, nails digging into skin. A full glass of tea and silken cloth floated to his hand. She sat on the chair opposite to him and sipped on her drink. Her eyes focused sharp on his. She sighed.

        “Why do you feel the need to break yourself, Apprentice? What drives you to this foolishness? Foolishness that breaks you, and disappoints me?” Her voice was even-tempered and pitying.

        Kiath wiped some blood from his face. He winced from the pain, several shards of what was formerly a cup still burrowed under his skin. Broken ribs stabbed at his wheezing lungs. He would need medical attention if he wanted to ever walk on his own legs again. He spoke in a voiceless whisper, all he could muster from his bruised throat, “You.” He paused, unsure of how to properly convey his hatred, “You tell me I’m weak. Use me as an errand boy, as a puppet.” He emphasized his words to give them a bite, an aggression with each syllable. The Lady found herself amused, Kiath continued, “I’m stronger than that. And nothing you can say will stop me from trying.” He raised his hoarse voice and gritted his teeth, “If you want me to stop then you’d better just kill me.” The Lady allowed herself to smile.

        “Spoken like a true Sith, Acolyte. But I have no desire for your death.” She let the aroma of the tea calm her senses and improve her temperament. “You need only follow my direction and I will give you the power you crave. But when you strike off on your own agenda you only do damage to the delicate latticework of my rule. I’ve spent much of my evening attempting to make excuses for your actions to Lord Sciro’os. You’re lucky of your resounding loss of your petulant ‘duel’ with his apprentice, as the Lord found more amusement from the affair than offense.”

        “He’s actually seen combat. If all I can do to whet my skill to attack training droids, then I will always lose.” Kiath growled.

        “But don’t you see Acolyte?” Ricane chirped, “I don’t need you to win. I need you to execute my will, and you’ll never have to answer with your blade ever again.” The Lady stood up, walked to Kiath and kneeled before his broken body. “I treasure you far too much to let you be so foolish.” She stood from him and returned to her desk as the medical droid entered the chamber, perfectly on time.

        “Now go,” she commanded, “Heal.” The Lady paused. “And don’t ever make me look like a fool again.”


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: Lord_S_Gray on November 15, 2020, 02:56:51 PM
LOL my universe, what  little world Ricane has, and no doubt conspiring to expand it. interesting characters for sure, a lot of sith politicing behind the scenes I think!


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on November 16, 2020, 07:14:18 AM
LOL my universe, what  little world Ricane has, and no doubt conspiring to expand it. interesting characters for sure, a lot of sith politicing behind the scenes I think!

A sad, strange little world to be sure.


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: TheDutchman on November 17, 2020, 09:42:35 AM
"The female of the species is deadlier than the male."

I believe that this is an axiom that Kiath is about to learn ad nauseam.  Funny how these training scenes make for such excellent story settings, and this chapter is no exception.  Again: I like the fresh perspective coming from the Sith along with the deeper characterization of Lady Ricane.  Interesting in that she seems so much more...invested in Kiath than would most Sith Masters (of course, we have yet to see a POV from her perspective so her exact motives remain obscured). 

I'm reminded of The Old Republic where the lines separating Jedi from Sith were VERY tenuous much of the time, where Jedi could be violent hardliners as dark as any Sith while Sith could express compassion even love, blurring the lines between "Black and White" morality.  THIS story evinces me of just that temperament: we have NO idea what is driving Racine, only that she and Kiath share a very...complicated relationship.  PS, I'd love to see more of the interplay between these two!

Glad to see that you're continuing this story, PS.  I hope that the next chapter is forthcoming  :)


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on February 03, 2021, 12:54:28 PM
Small update: Chapter V is progressing smoothly and I've fully finished the outline for all 10 chapters so I should be able to crank these out a bit faster :)


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: TheDutchman on February 16, 2021, 10:00:12 AM
Small update: Chapter V is progressing smoothly and I've fully finished the outline for all 10 chapters so I should be able to crank these out a bit faster :)
No worries; Real Life seems to have asserted itself vehemently this year  ;)

Whenever you can post^^


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on February 18, 2021, 09:40:49 PM
No worries; Real Life seems to have asserted itself vehemently this year  ;)

you dont say, lol. Ive got the chapter in my head ive just gotta type it out



Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on May 18, 2021, 01:17:38 PM
V

     The acolyte’s eyes snapped open as he lurched forward, sitting upright. His stomach lurched and his head spun, prompting his falling back to where he laid. Kiath’s head made a quiet rustle meeting soft fabric, though to him, it may as well have been duracrete. Groaning, he gently propped himself to his side, letting the dizziness subside and observed the room around him. It was small, personal quarters craved from stone, flat shelves sculpted into the walls held up a few of Kiath’s personal items; his battered armor, comlink, and his lightsaber. Something else nearby tested the limits of his extrasensory perception. Kiath took inventory of the situation.

    Well, I’m not dead. Kiath winced at the pain seemingly pushing against his skull. As if those tricks could kill me. With some effort, he lifted himself to his feet. His body screamed in rebellion, his lungs burned, his vision blurred, but he stood nonetheless. Kiath closed his eyes and steadied on his breathing, commanding his flayed nerves and scarred skin to obey his focus. The pain subsided to a tolerable level as he opened his eyes to the being he had sensed outside the doorway.

     A girl, scarcely younger than the acolyte himself. She was human, taller than Kiath, with light blonde hair and amber eyes, and wearing a coarse cream-colored tunic. A large, seemingly damaged lightsaber hilt hung at her waist. But it wasn’t what Kiath could see that struck him. He could feel it, palpable in the force, like a javelin from her eyes to his core. Judgment. An unmistakable resentment, and an ephemeral sense of curiosity – no – it was harsher than that; he could feel her mind scouring his, looking for anything and everything she could gleam. For a moment, Kiath felt fear, but only for a moment. He quickly brought his mind and body into unison gathering a presence, a root, to the moment. He spoke first.

     “Normally, I understand why someone might take irritation to me, but I cannot honestly say what I have done to slight you. Nor why I should care.”

     “You haven’t slighted me.” Her voice was flat and cutting, without accent. Though the response acknowledged Kiath words, it was said so quickly the acolyte was left with disbelief if she had even fully understood the meaning, “Not yet. But you will. It’s written all over your mind.” She walked out of the doorway and down a hall, “we’re expected, I believe.”

     Kiath stood a moment, processing the bizarre exchange before quickly clipping his lightsaber to his belt, following the strange woman at a distance. The halls appeared carved from a type of sandstone, too smoothly for hand-tools, yet tiny imperfections in the angles of the walls, doorways whose entrance was just shy of parallel, and the lack of harsh angles discounted the idea of modern machinery. Faint etchings depicted curving patterns that repeated at odd intervals, producing a sort of visually dissonant cycle. Light was present enough, but seemed to emanate from the air itself, no source making itself known. Kiath reached the end of the hallway, reaching a large chamber Kiath instantly recognized – and the associated man kneeling on a raised section of floor in the center of the chamber. The unfamiliar woman stood before Vansi, arms crossed, glaring at the acolyte from the edge of her vision. Kiath kept his distance. An upbeat voice boomed.

     “Acolyte, welcome. You’ve nothing to fear here, please come closer.” Vansi stated, his hand outstretched. Kiath approached out of curiosity as much as obedience. “I apologize if our first meeting left you pained, but you needed to provide me answers that you were unlikely to divulge with words.”

     Kiath sighed, more riddles from a madman, “Well I’m happy that pathetic excuse for a beating brought you your precious answers.” His sarcasm elicited another icy look from the strange woman. Vansi answered the look first.

     “Indeed it did. I see you’ve met your newest compatriot. Czeq Kiath, Rilee Amorte. Rilee has rested here for a short while now, but I am giddy to accept you into my home as well.” An uncomfortable silence permeated the chamber, Kiath pondered on his situation, his original purpose here becoming more complex by the moment. He thought on this woman, and her lingering yet clear animosity; he wondered of the source nearly finding some kernel of truth, until his thoughts were broken by Vansi’s unsettling laughter.

     “Yes, Acolyte, your senses serve you well,” Vansi said, rising from his perch, “Rilee, your new compatriot, is indeed a Jedi…that will not be a problem for you, will it?”

     Kiath scowled. He had entertained this vague game long enough, his time, his body, and now his mind had been at the mercy of this puppeteering. He focused his built rage from his chest and into his vocal cords, producing an inhuman timbre as he spoke. He made his declaration.

     “Enough!” A fine layer of dust shook from the walls, the sound echoing, Rilee’s face twisted in disgust as Vansi’s head tilted curiously at the enraged Acolyte, “Not one more riddle, duel, half-truth, or unspoken judgement! Too long have I tolerated subtext and manipulation from so-called masters and Darths. I demand the whole truth. Spoken plainly. Do you hear me wizard!?”

     The room quieted and the dust settled. Rilee’s disgust had turned to guarded curiosity, and Vansi walked to the acolyte, facing him directly from an arms-length away. Kiath could only see his warped reflection in Vansi’s mask as the man spoke. He could not feel emotion from the man’s spirit, but Vansi’s motions spoke of pride.

     “Indeed Acolyte,” Vansi spoke deliberately, “you, more so than most perhaps, deserve clarity. Sadly, no such thing exists. However, I can give you some small reprieve.” Vansi walked back to his perch and sat, gesturing Kiath and Rilee to sit before him. Kiath exhaled and approached the man, kneeling as indicated. Rilee followed suit, Kiath could feel the tension in her being.

      Do the Jedi truly fear us this much? He mused to himself. He focused attention to the enigmatic man as Vansi spoke once again.

     “You both sit here before me because you have been lied to. You have been twisted and directed by the wills of uncaring masters.” He regarded Kiath, “I tell you acolyte, your Master sent you here to die. For the world to ravage your body and leave your mind alone to shatter. The fires and winds day brings have surely left your vessel irreparably damaged and it is questionable if your Master even suspected you would be able to find me. She surely suspected that even if you did discover me, I’d be of no help to you.” Kiath gritted his teeth but said nothing. Vansi continued, “However, she underestimated you. Your connection with the force is an unfocused dissonance, but undeniably strong. Stronger than she accounted for.” Vansi turned to face Rilee.

     “Padawan Amorte, fresh from your trials and already questioning the word of your elders. Your Master was perturbed by your unconformity and sought to correct that. He travelled with you to this desolate place hoping to “teach” you of the Dark Side. In truth, he did not hope to teach, he hoped to terrify you. He hoped your fear would galvanize you to the light - how hypocritical of those who claim their fear does not control them, no? And what did that bring you?” Kiath noticed as her expression turned pained, absently touching the saber at her waist. Vansi stood and outstretched his arms.

     “Acolyte. Padawan. I strip you of these titles and of the shackles of manipulation forced upon you. No longer do you answer to dogma and games. Today, you are for the first time, free. And while I cannot provide the means to leave this place, nor can I replace your grand temples, I can lift the fog of the world around you. I bestow upon you only the title of ‘Student’.” His arms turned inward, “I am no master but I would be humbled if I could be called your Teacher.”

The room turned dead silent, and the two students turned their thoughts inward, searching for some insight and wisdom in the chaos the universe had thrust upon them. They raised their heads to greet Vansi.

“Yes, Teacher.”


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: Lord_S_Gray on May 19, 2021, 03:32:51 PM
Nice there are all kinds of games going on here, even in Vansi's 'explanation' of callous masters you can tell amidst the undoubted truth there much not being said - he frees them - emphasis on the fact it is Vansi assuming the authority to do so - then asks to be their teacher...very round about and subtle.  I like this conniving take where everyone has an deeper agenda, except perhaps these two young pawns. 


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on May 21, 2021, 07:18:10 AM
Nice there are all kinds of games going on here, even in Vansi's 'explanation' of callous masters you can tell amidst the undoubted truth there much not being said - he frees them - emphasis on the fact it is Vansi assuming the authority to do so - then asks to be their teacher...very round about and subtle.  I like this conniving take where everyone has an deeper agenda, except perhaps these two young pawns. 

Glad you enjoyed! And dont worry - there's plenty more mind games where that came from  ;D


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: TheDutchman on May 21, 2021, 09:47:43 AM
LSG actually hit upon a point that I was thinking about when reading: how EVERYONE has their own singular motive where, at least for the moment, they have a common target.  That said, I can also see how even a slight deviation could set up further conflict when Kiath's, Vansi's, and Rilee's agendas turn to cross-purposes.  But this also opens up the question: what kind of relationship do/will the three of them have?  We have two (obvious) Sith who (I THINK) are NOT of the Banite mindset of "Only 2" AND a disenfranchised Jedi whose grievances are still ambiguous.

In other words: and EXCELLENT mix of pathos for conflict in this story  :)

I have to admit that the way that I read Vansi, he sounds more akin to a "benevolent Sith" from SWTOR, that and I've always found such...shall we say, "morally cryptic" characters a pleasure to write/read^^ 

I cannot wait to hear more about all of this group; there's SO much potential for storytelling with them  ;D


Title: Re: The Mad Scholar's Tale
Post by: PsychoSith on August 10, 2021, 09:38:54 AM
LSG actually hit upon a point that I was thinking about when reading: how EVERYONE has their own singular motive where, at least for the moment, they have a common target.  That said, I can also see how even a slight deviation could set up further conflict when Kiath's, Vansi's, and Rilee's agendas turn to cross-purposes.  But this also opens up the question: what kind of relationship do/will the three of them have?  We have two (obvious) Sith who (I THINK) are NOT of the Banite mindset of "Only 2" AND a disenfranchised Jedi whose grievances are still ambiguous.

In other words: and EXCELLENT mix of pathos for conflict in this story  :)

I have to admit that the way that I read Vansi, he sounds more akin to a "benevolent Sith" from SWTOR, that and I've always found such...shall we say, "morally cryptic" characters a pleasure to write/read^^ 

I cannot wait to hear more about all of this group; there's SO much potential for storytelling with them  ;D

Good to hear! Sorry theres been a lull but i do hope to continue this in short order. But to address the morality point i can only say that i have a personal distaste for moral "black and whites". The universe both real and fictional is so much more complicated than that, and GOOD guys and BAD guys do the fascinating complexities of life a disservice.