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Author Topic: Shadow of the Outcast  (Read 13501 times)
Karmack
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« Reply #120 on: January 04, 2019, 01:12:32 PM »

Hey Teagan!   Awesome chapter!  And easier to read with the smaller paragraphs!  :-)

But now poor Rowhan is stuck, in more ways than one.  I think he's crafty enough to get off the planet despite the Ithorians.  But that's the least of his problems!  He's caught and killed his prey at last and learned that there was nothing there for him.  He's dead inside.  Empty.

And the song.  It is still there.  It may be quiet for the moment, but that won't last.

And there's always a chance that T'Risha might just come back to haunt him....
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Lord_S_Gray
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« Reply #121 on: January 04, 2019, 08:35:16 PM »

Amazing stuff...once more the real battle is inside Rowahn, he's pushing and pulling, twisting and turning.  In the end it seemed like being who he was, and being who he could be were both too much for him...so he just cut it down, ended it, made himself numb - I think killing Jord had nothing to do with the Inquisitions orders, it was just to make the tension she had wakened in him go away, similar to Caedon...but the difference this time is now he doesn't have the fiery rage anymore...he's got nothing - he almost had so so much, he saw the gray in between felt the balance and...cut himself from it.

Where he goes from here...wow that will be interesting.   
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

TheDutchman
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« Reply #122 on: February 14, 2019, 04:09:54 PM »

I think that Rowahn is a poignant example of what an anti-villain SHOULD be.  Yes, his conflict is an ever-present part of his character, but more importantly, it shows that what should be Rowahn's greatest victory has left the ashes of defeat and the pain of despondency riddled throughout.

THIS is how an angst-ridden character should come across as.  But now: where will Rowahn go?  What experience will FINALLY grant him the catharsis that he so desperately is searching for?  And is Jord truly dead, or is she now One with the Song?

BTW: I LOVE how both you and Karm have the Song within your various narratives and how disparate they are.  Indeed, while the concept is similar, Rowahn sees the Song as something MUCH different than the Mak'Tor.  Further evidence of some great writing!

I can't wait for the next chapter, TR!
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Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Taegin Roan
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« Reply #123 on: May 30, 2019, 09:47:10 PM »

And once again, it has been a very very long time since I posted a chapter. I did not intend for it to be so long, but last semester was extremely busy for me. Since I started working again, I have slowly been working more on this. Hopefully I can finish the book before school starts again in August. I feel like I should be able to, but seeing how fast this year is going already, I don't know if I will. Anyways, here is the next chapter. It is a shorter chapter, but hopefully still enjoyable.



Chapter 13
[/b][/size]

   
Getting off the planet had been relatively easy. All he had had to do was signal Fourty-Three to come pick him up, and then leave before the ithorian authorities had been able to do anything. Despite the ease of exit, Rowahn did not enjoy the trip very much. With Caedon’s freighter, they only had to make one stop on their return journey to the Core worlds. And though the travel was not more than three days, it had felt like weeks. He had completed his mission, but what had he gained? The words that Jord had said haunted him the entire journey.
   
“You are nothing more than the young traitor that everyone said you were” his thoughts echoed, “What a disappointment”.
   
He found no joy or feeling of completion and pride in what he had done. “Is is truly what the One would have you to do?” That question haunted him perhaps the most. Who or what was this ‘One’? He felt like he should know, yet he had no idea. And was it truly what he had wanted? Rowahn didn’t know why, but he felt like this ‘One’ was a he.
   
The feeling of numbness had not subsided, so he had no way of searching his feelings. Like all Inquisitors, he had been trained to not give in to pain, but rather draw on it and to let it fuel you. However, he could not help but remember the promise Vader had made to him all those years ago. One that until now, he had not realized had not been kept.
   
The weakness was humiliating. The great Darth Rowahn, feared by even the High Inquisitor, and right now he was nothing. He was not a Sith, he was not an Inquisitor, he was not even a wayward Jedi. He was something else. Something he could not understand. That frightened him.



Rowahn arrived at the Prakith citadel, and strode through the halls. As normal, the other Imperials and Inquisitors avoided him. His reputation was too well known. None of them would be able to tell that things were not quite right within him. None of them except perhaps Gaetana. She did not seem to be in the citadel however. At least he could not sense her sickly presence. Though right now he could not sense much of anything.
   
Quickly he moved toward the lifts to the lower levels. He needed to deposit T’Risha’s saber in the vault before reporting back to Vader and Yiaso. They had already been alerted of his return, but he needed as much time as possible to collect himself before facing them again.
   
The saber vault was not much more than a storage and packing room where retrieved hilts were taken and stored until they could be transported away. Rowahn had never learned where they went or what happened to them. Nor did he ever care.
   
There was one guard standing outside the storage room and another two inside. Rowahn was known to them, and he was let in without hesitation. It seemed that they had removed a large number of hilts since the last time Rowahn had been in there. He set Jord’s saber down and turned to leave, but something caught his eye. It was an older hilt, cylindrical and fairly simple in design. A black and silver hilt with rings engraved in the body of the hilt to provide grip. Other than that there was a choke point and some more rings near the emitter, but nothing else. Simple, elegant, and beautiful in many ways. Rowahn did not know why it had caught his attention, but his pause had drawn the guards attention.
   
“Sir, it is time for you to leave.” They said as they started toward Rowahn.

Rowahn did not resist at first, then he realized why he recognized it.

“No, I’m not done here yet.” Rowahn replied passively.
   
The two guards stepped forward, one of them putting his hand on Rowahn’s shoulder.
   
“Do not resist, Inquisitor!” He spat out in disgust.
   
Rowahn was angry now. How dare they touch him. With a flick of his arm, he had caught the guards hand and removed it from himself. With a Force enhanced twist, he broke the man’s arm and threw him across the room.
   
The other guard attempted to Rowahn, but he was not close enough. Before he could cross the room, Rowahn grabbed him with the Force and slowly, angrily squeezed. He could feel the man’s bones cracking inside him as the Force overpowered his feeble body.
   
The guard outside heard the ruckus and burst into the room. Rowahn hurled the now limp guard into the new guard before he could figure out what was going on. All three guards were down, but the halls were blazing with the sounds of sirens, putting the entire citadel on high alert. They most likely did not know what or who the alert was about, but that would not stop them for long.
   
Rowahn pulled the saber to his hand and quickly left the room. It was now time for him to meet with Yiaso and Darth Vader. He moved easily through the halls until he reached the prescribed meeting place. He could sense the dark presences of the Sith Lord and High Inquisitor within. Rowahn barged into the room in a state of barely controlled fury.
   
“What are you doing?” He yelled at Vader, flashing the saber he had retrieved. “I need answers, NOW!”
   
Yiaso spoke in his stuck-up, nazaly voice. “This is your Lord and master, and you will show him the respect he deserves!”
   
“I don’t care who he is. He made me a promise, and now he needs to fulfill it!”
   
“Lord Vader needs do no such thing.” The Zabrak retorted.
   
“Silence, Inquisitor. The boy is right.” Vader said. “The Emperor is building a weapon using the Kyber from the fallen Jedi’s lightsabers. That is all you need to know.”
   
“It’s not enough! I need to know that what I am doing is right!. I need to have some purpose to my tasks, or else they are meaningless!” Rowahn replied in a desperate, pained voice. “I have nothing left.” he muttered.
   
“Your purpose is to serve the Empire and do the bidding of Lord Vader and the Emperor. Nothing else. And you do so without question and without hesitation. Your debriefing will begin shortly. Until then, perhaps you will explain to us why you attacked three guards and stole a possession from the vault.” The Grand Inquisitor lectured.
   
“No.”
   
“What? You dare disobey a direct order from your superior? Hand over the saber Inquisitor!”
   
“No.” Rowahn’s thoughts were becoming clearer now.
   
“Give me the saber now, or I will have you arrested and thrown in th. . .”
   
“No!” Rowahn replied with force.

He understood what was going on. He realized now what the Empire was. He realized what it was that T’Risha Jord had been trying to tell him. It wasn’t about blocking out all pain, or being a perfect soldier. It was about doing what was right. Doing what needed to be done no matter the cost. It was about accepting the pain, and letting go, not ignoring it in hopes that it would go away. He knew now that killing Ti’Rell, killing Jord, killing the countless others he had over the years was not done because the Empire had told him to, but rather so that he could hide. Run away and hide, and not face the decisions he had made, and the past that he had once lived. He just needed an excuse to run, and that is what the Empire and the Inquisitorius had provided.

Now, Jord had provided him with something else. Something he had long been searching for, though he did not know it. A reason to stand and face his fears. To face his worries, and to face his past.

As Rowahn opened himself back up to the Force, and to the Song, he realized that the Song was not something to be frightened of. Not something that would corrupt his soul. That had already been corrupted by Vader and the Dark Side. Through the Song he could cleanse his hands and purify his heart. No, not the Song, but rather the one who had created the Song. He could be rid of his hate, his anger, his rage. He could understand why someone like Jord could be at peace. He understood that the pain he had felt was a necessary part of life. Without it, it is impossible to know what the consequences of your actions might be.

Rowahn let the pain out. It had been bottled up for so many years that it came out on its own. Pain, guilt, sorrow, sadness, distress. Everything welled up inside him giving him strength. He felt the pain of Jords death more acutely than he had anything else in his entire life. But he didn’t suppress it. He listened and drew from it. The Song was one of mixed emotions. Good as well as bad, but not evil. He had thrown those aside. Never again would he return to them. His new life had began, and he knew what he was.

Standing up tall, Rowahn removed his saber from his back, and pressed the activation button.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"We are the spark that will light the fire that will burn the first order down." - Poe Dameron

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TheDutchman
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« Reply #124 on: May 31, 2019, 11:29:20 AM »

First off TR: you take whatever time that you need.  After all, Real Life>writing  Wink   Having said that...

This chapter was a real prize!  Rowahn's conflict is a roiling sea of emotion, especially after what he's gone through.  Now that he's returned to Prakith, it seems that he can no longer avoid looking in the mirror and--especially&appropriately--into his own soul.  I have to say: I really enjoy how Rowahn finally listens (REALLY listens) to the Song.  And in doing so, is able to see the Dark Side for what it is, what it has molded him into, and what he can be once free from it.  After all, what person is beyond redemption?

And we've got two of the Big Bads in attendance: Grand Inquisitor Ja'ce Yiaso and the Dark Lord of the Sith himself: Darth Vader!  Not to mention the other Inquisitors (that Gaetana: GREAT descriptor for her, especially post "Dark Pheonix!"...although she's like a bad penny: ALWAYS turning up when you least want for her to  Wink).  I cannot WAIT to see what happens next, ESPECIALLY given this next and IMO one of the BEST lines in the Forumverse:

"Standing up tall, Rowahn removed his saber from his back, and pressed the activation button."

OK, when I read this, I swear that I could hear "Dual of the Fates" as the perfect accompaniment for that scene   Grin
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Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Lord_S_Gray
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« Reply #125 on: June 02, 2019, 03:48:53 PM »

I have to say: I really enjoy how Rowahn finally listens (REALLY listens) to the Song.  And in doing so, is able to see the Dark Side for what it is, what it has molded him into, and what he can be once free from it.  After all, what person is beyond redemption?

Indeed, Rowahn is changing however painfully...though I doubt he's at the point of an profound change - the scene with the guards, his willingness to just toss them aside, at best he seems to have realised the Empires promises are hollow, and perhaps is looking for the Song he's found to replace it, and i wonder if the source of the Song (the 'One' he thinks about) isn't his past self, the part of him that was once a child with Jord and still exists somewhere beneath the fear...and by listening to said song he is reconciling who is is with who he was as a full person.
Still reminds me of the Scene with Caedon where he tried to claim he was showing him mercy, Rowahn seems to take two steps forward then one step back every time, exactly where he's headed I don't think Rowahn really knows yet, just trusting what he feels in the moment - though he may not live long enough to find out where that path leads.
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

Karmack
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Posts: 4401


Light side points please.


« Reply #126 on: June 03, 2019, 07:13:35 AM »

Sweet!  That was a great chapter!  I won't re-hash the great comments from LSG and Dutchman except to say I am in full agreement.   Rowahn has a long way to go, but he took that critical first step.  I loved the imagery of that, btw.  Nicely done.  :-)

Now all he has to do is survive Grand Inquisitor Ja'ce Yiaso and Darth Vader...   
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« Reply #127 on: July 07, 2019, 05:35:03 PM »

Well since this next week is going to be super busy, and the week after I will be fishing, I figured I'd post this now before I get too busy to post it. And I succeeded in doing what I was hoping too. I tried to not have so much time pass between posting chapters. So anyways, here you guys go.




Chapter 14


The light-red blade sprang into existence with a woosh and Rowahn launched himself towards the Grand Inquisitor. Ja’ce Yiaso barely had time to bring his own saber up before Rowahn was upon him.

Rowahn’s speed and skill was unrivaled within the Inquisitorius buy all except possibly Gaetana. Once upon a time Yiaso might have been able to compete with Rowahn in single combat, but since the Inquisitorius had grown, Ja’ce had not kept up his skill set. Though he had a brilliant mind for tactics, his abilities with a saber were nowhere near where they once were, and it showed. Within a few short strokes Yiaso would have been down had it not been for his quick thinking when Rowahn had disobeyed a direct order.

High Inquisitor Gaetana, the Eleventh brother and Fourteenth sister, along with a squad of stormtroopers burst through the door. Immediately the Stormtroopers started firing upon Rowahn causing him to break off his attack on the Grand Inquisitor. The momentary distraction was enough for Yiaso to regain his composer and get out of the way. Rowahn reached into the now flowing river of the Song, feeling each of the Stormtroopers, as well as the Inquisitors and Vader. His saber flashed through the air deflecting the blaster bolts back habitually while simultaneously splitting his consciousness between the physical and metaphysical realms.

As his saber launched the bolts back at the Stormtroopers, his mind was searching for a way to make them disable them without killing them. There! he thought, but it was too late. His skill with a lightsaber had already dispatched each one of the Stormtroopers. So fast had the troops fallen that the Inquisitors had not yet made their first attack. Gaetana led the charge as the other two followed closely behind.

The only one that Rowahn “feared” was Gaetana, but even then, the other two could provide an annoyance if not taken out of the picture. So Rowahn reached out and threw Gaetana across the room. She would be recovered in a moment, but that was all he needed to dispatch the other two. Bringing his saber up, he blocked the attack from the Eleventh Brother, then with a simple flourish of his blade simultaneously sliced the brother in half, shoulder to waist, and parried the strike of the Sister. She had obviously expected him to be unable to avert her attack , and the surprise was evident in both her face and the Force. With a quick slash, her head was rolling towards Ja’ce Yiaso. 
Rowahn spun just in time block Gaetana’s attack, and then the battle really began in earnest. Gaetana was fast and, like Rowahn, did not use the rotating saberstaff that most Inquisitors did. In the relatively close quarters this gave her a pretty strong advantage over Rowahn’s spear. However, over the past few weeks he had defeated two Jedi who were both excellent warriors as well as Caedon Ti-Rell and T’Risha Jord. All of whom had had some form of advantage over him. He was not worried too much about Gaetana’s advantage.

The conference room was relatively small, and was already littered with the bodies of the slain Stormtroopers and Inquisitors but Rowahn and Gaetana were not bothered by it. The easily matched each other stroke for stroke for a few minutes. Then as Rowahn had been trying to do the entire battle, he let the Song flow through him. Not just taking over his body and doing whatever it wanted to, but rather allowing him to use the knowledge and skills he had gained over the years to create an opening for him.

The opening was nothing more than Gaetana and himself being a few steps away from each other. Normally this would do nothing for him, but with the Song flowing through him, it was enough. Rowahn reached his hand out and did something he had never done before, and had only ever heard about it. He used Force Lightning. However, it was different than all the accounts he had heard of it. His lightning was not a blueish-purple color, but rather golden. It struck Gaetana and threw her into the wall. Rowahn could tell that it was not powerful enough to kill, but the effects of it were still noticeable. Gaetana writhed on the floor as he let her drop, then he turned back towards Vader and Yiaso.

“Your "protectors" have failed you Grand Inquisitor” He mocked. Even the great ‘High Inquisitor Gaetana’ has fallen. I think it is time we finished what they interrupted.”

“Silence, my apprentice.” Vader spoke, his voice resounding through the room. “These were your allies, it was wrong of you to destroy them.”

Fear and power emanated through his voice. So much so that Rowahn took a step back. There were stories about how “forgiving” Darth Vader was. Not that Rowahn was looking for his forgiveness. Not anymore. He no longer craved the attention and praise he had once been given by the Dark Lord. Now he needed answers, and it was plain to see that Vader would give him none. Still, the power in his voice was almost more than Rowahn could bare.

Slowly he deactivated his lightsaber, and started walking backwards towards the door. But then the Grand Inquisitor spoke for the last time.

“You have not been dismissed, coward!” He spat out. “Lord Vader is not don…”

Blood gurgled out of his open mouth. Rowahn had in the blink of an eye, pulled Yiaso towards himself and impaled him on his bright red blade. Grand Inquisitor Ja’ce Yiaso had annoyed him for the last time. Rowahn deactivated his saber again, and the once great Inquisitor flopped to the ground.

Rowahn turned to leave once more but this time Vader spoke. “You have changed.”

“Yes.” came his reply. He could feel Vader moving closer.

“You have forsaken that which once made you strong. Now you are weak!”

Vader’s saber sprang to life as he attacked. The ferocity in his attacks was stunning. Even though Rowahn had practiced with simulators many times, they did nothing to prepare him for actually facing Vader. Rowahn had never truly seen Vader fight, and he had never realized the full extent of his power.

Rowahn was pushed back at Darth Vader’s advance. He was barely able to defend against the mighty onslaught. It was said that there had never been an opponent who had stood against Vader and lived. Let alone won the battle.
They were soon out in the corridors of the Imperial Citadel, and even with more room to maneuver, Rowahn still had a hard time keeping up. None of his strikes made it through the Dark Lord’s defenses, and even his feeble Force attacks were anticipated and deflected with ease.

Vader reached out his hand and picked up Rowahn, then threw him across the corridor with the Force. Rowahn slammed into a wall and crumpled downwards, but before he could even make it to the floor Vader had picked him back up with the Force, and began choking him. Rowahn’s saber clattered to the ground as he reached up to grab at the non-existent hands. He could feel the life leaving his body as he desperately searched for an answer to his problem.

“You have failed for the last time. You failed your Emperor,” Vader said, his voice booming. “And you have failed me!”

Rowahn was still grasping at air when it came to him. The song. Closing his eyes, Rowahn listened. He relaxed at opened his mind. If ever he needed an advantage it was now. He had found it. Hidden within the song was something. Rowahn could not even describe what he felt. He enveloped himself in this “hole”, making him nearly invisible to Force users. Rowahn dropped and breathed in deeply. Though Vader could still physically see Rowahn, he was no longer able to manipulate him with the Force.

If Vader was surprised, there was no way of knowing. The black monolith just strode towards Rowahn as he regained his composure.

“You are nothing now. You are less than an outcast!” Darth Vader said.

“I know.” Rowahn replied coolly. “I am nothing but a shadow of what I used to be.”

Rowahn moved. He could not stay in his “hole” while fighitng or else he would be unable to use the Force, but he was ready for Vader. The Song was fueling him, but more than that, Rowahn was fueling the Song. He wrapped himself in it’s flowing embrace and attacked. Though he could still not break through Vader’s defenses, he could at least keep up with him. The battle had been balanced. Slowly they moved out into an opening, Rowahn could sense the presence of other Inquisitors and soldiers, but they all knew better than to interfere with a battle between the most powerful Inquisitor, and the Dark Lord.

As the battle continued stroke for stroke, Rowahn came to an understanding and realization of something. He may not know what or who he was, but he did know what he was not. So he spoke.

“I will not longer be Darth Rowahn,” He said the continued with the rest of his title,  “Member of the Imperial Inquisitorious and Apprentice to Darth Vader. That is not who I am.”

As he said this, he thought about the past few weeks. The battles he had fought, the foes he had faced. He started to understand Jord. Though the Jedi Order may have failed her, the Empire was even worse. More than this though, he thought about his fight with Jord. She had done things he had never thought possible. Broken traditions that he did not realize where just that. So he followed suit.

Reaching out with his mind he gathered the Force around him. He knew Vader could feel the swell in the Force, but he also knew that Darth Vader would expect him to give physical tells as to when and where the Force blast would be projected. It was almost too easy. Rowahn released the power, and Vader was thrown backwards.

The various Imperial troops began firing at him, but he stopped the blasts with his mind. They would not hurt him. They could not hurt him. He had unlocked something within himself and within the Force that he did not quite understand yet. But somehow, instinctively he used it. The blasts that were frozen in mid air disappeared, and the troops around him fell dead. No one else attempted to fire upon him after seeing their fellow soldiers drop inexplicably.

Vader had risen up again, and they were soon back at it. The Sith’s fighting style was not one of the Seven Forms that were taught to Jedi or Sith, but rather something of his own. It was said that he had created his own form because his armor did not allow him to fight like regular humans. It was probably true, but that did not matter. What mattered is that Rowahn did not know or understand the form. Though he could defend against it, it was not the most effective way possible. But it was the best he could do.

As he had heard said, the Force was a powerful ally. Rowahn understood this, and believed it to be powerful enough to help him defeat an opponent that had never been beaten. The two red sabers flashed in brilliant and mesmerizing patterns as the two warriors danced through the room. Had either of them been fighting any other opponent, the battle would have been long over. But Vader was the most powerful Force user alive, and Rowahn had access to things Vader did not understand.

Though many soldiers and a few Inquisitors pretended to be busy with other tasks, they were really watching the battle. This was something they had never seen before, and probably never would again. Then it happened. Rowahn found an opening. He spun and leaped over Vader’s head, disorienting the Sith, then running along a wall, opened Vader up for an attack. The thrust was quick a precise, and the Dark Lord fell.

Rowahn walked forward and toward Vader raising his saber above his head, but before he could bring it down, he gasped. An orange blade protruded out his chest. He felt no pain as he dropped. Rowahn was already dead.
Standing, Darth Vader spoke.

“Well done, my apprentice. It seems you have succeeded where many have failed.”

“Thank you my master. It is all because of your teachings.” Came the reply as Taegin Roan nealt before his Master.


The End
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"We are the spark that will light the fire that will burn the first order down." - Poe Dameron

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Lord_S_Gray
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« Reply #128 on: July 07, 2019, 07:24:46 PM »

Wow...what a twist! The assumption from the start is Taegin Roan in the prologue was Darth Rowahn...it was hinted at but never explicitly stated...of course those hints could be read two ways and readers like me chose to make that assumption...very clever writing TR, a brilliant twist at the end following the explosive final battle, Rowahn finally reaching his peak in power it seems, albeit still wrestling with his identity, what he might have become, how he would've resolved that will never be known, but perhaps he did find something in the end, knowing what he was not  -not an imperial or inquisitor was an achievement for him I think. Great story and brilliant final twist.
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

Karmack
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Light side points please.


« Reply #129 on: July 09, 2019, 01:43:37 PM »

Yup, he had me, too.  Nice!  Now we get to find out more about who Teagan is!   :-)
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TheDutchman
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« Reply #130 on: July 10, 2019, 10:45:29 AM »

WHAT

A

SURPRISE!!


Wow TR, that was an amazing conclusion to your story!!  That was truly an excellent narrative device, one that epitomizes how to PROPERLY do a "twist ending"  Smiley

It's true: Rowahn was never explicitly stated as being "Teagin Roan."  Of course, this is the perfect set up to (hopefully) answer this question:

"Who is Teagin Roan?!"

TR, I tip my hat to you my friend  Smiley  Wonderful writing!
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Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 1833
Posts: 6078


Lord of the Force


« Reply #131 on: August 06, 2019, 08:57:44 PM »

Oops, looks like I posted the wrong Chapter 14. Here is the real one.




Chapter 14


The light-red blade sprang into existence with a woosh and Rowahn launched himself towards the Grand Inquisitor. Ja’ce Yiaso barely had time to bring his own saber up before Rowahn was upon him.

Rowahn’s speed and skill was unrivaled within the Inquisitorius buy all except possibly Gaetana. Once upon a time Yiaso might have been able to compete with Rowahn in single combat, but since the Inquisitorius had grown, Ja’ce had not kept up his skill set. Though he had a brilliant mind for tactics, his abilities with a saber were nowhere near where they once were, and it showed. Within a few short strokes Yiaso would have been down had it not been for his quick thinking when Rowahn had disobeyed a direct order.

High Inquisitor Gaetana, the Eleventh brother and Fourteenth sister, along with a squad of stormtroopers burst through the door. Immediately the Stormtroopers started firing upon Rowahn causing him to break off his attack on the Grand Inquisitor. The momentary distraction was enough for Yiaso to regain his composer and get out of the way. Rowahn reached into the now flowing river of the Song, feeling each of the Stormtroopers, as well as the Inquisitors and Vader. His saber flashed through the air deflecting the blaster bolts back habitually while simultaneously splitting his consciousness between the physical and metaphysical realms.

As his saber launched the bolts back at the Stormtroopers, his mind was searching for a way to make them disable them without killing them. There! he thought, but it was too late. His skill with a lightsaber had already dispatched each one of the Stormtroopers. So fast had the troops fallen that the Inquisitors had not yet made their first attack. Gaetana led the charge as the other two followed closely behind.

The only one that Rowahn “feared” was Gaetana, but even then, the other two could provide an annoyance if not taken out of the picture. So Rowahn reached out and threw Gaetana across the room. She would be recovered in a moment, but that was all he needed to dispatch the other two. Bringing his saber up, he blocked the attack from the Eleventh Brother, then with a simple flourish of his blade simultaneously sliced the brother in half, shoulder to waist, and parried the strike of the Sister. She had obviously expected him to be unable to avert her attack , and the surprise was evident in both her face and the Force. With a quick slash, her head was rolling towards Ja’ce Yiaso. 
Rowahn spun just in time block Gaetana’s attack, and then the battle really began in earnest. Gaetana was fast and, like Rowahn, did not use the rotating saberstaff that most Inquisitors did. In the relatively close quarters this gave her a pretty strong advantage over Rowahn’s spear. However, over the past few weeks he had defeated two Jedi who were both excellent warriors as well as Caedon Ti-Rell and T’Risha Jord. All of whom had had some form of advantage over him. He was not worried too much about Gaetana’s advantage.

The conference room was relatively small, and was already littered with the bodies of the slain Stormtroopers and Inquisitors but Rowahn and Gaetana were not bothered by it. The easily matched each other stroke for stroke for a few minutes. Then as Rowahn had been trying to do the entire battle, he let the Song flow through him. Not just taking over his body and doing whatever it wanted to, but rather allowing him to use the knowledge and skills he had gained over the years to create an opening for him.

The opening was nothing more than Gaetana and himself being a few steps away from each other. Normally this would do nothing for him, but with the Song flowing through him, it was enough. Rowahn reached his hand out and did something he had never done before, and had only ever heard about it. He used Force Lightning. However, it was different than all the accounts he had heard of it. His lightning was not a blueish-purple color, but rather golden. It struck Gaetana and threw her into the wall. Rowahn could tell that it was not powerful enough to kill, but the effects of it were still noticeable. Gaetana writhed on the floor as he let her drop, then he turned back towards Vader and Yiaso.

“Your "protectors" have failed you Grand Inquisitor” He mocked. Even the great ‘High Inquisitor Gaetana’ has fallen. I think it is time we finished what they interrupted.”

“Silence, my apprentice.” Vader spoke, his voice resounding through the room. “These were your allies, it was wrong of you to destroy them.”

Fear and power emanated through his voice. So much so that Rowahn took a step back. There were stories about how “forgiving” Darth Vader was. Not that Rowahn was looking for his forgiveness. Not anymore. He no longer craved the attention and praise he had once been given by the Dark Lord. Now he needed answers, and it was plain to see that Vader would give him none. Still, the power in his voice was almost more than Rowahn could bare.

Slowly he deactivated his lightsaber, and started walking backwards towards the door. But then the Grand Inquisitor spoke for the last time.

“You have not been dismissed, coward!” He spat out. “Lord Vader is not don…”

Blood gurgled out of his open mouth. Rowahn had in the blink of an eye, pulled Yiaso towards himself and impaled him on his bright red blade. Grand Inquisitor Ja’ce Yiaso had annoyed him for the last time. Rowahn deactivated his saber again, and the once great Inquisitor flopped to the ground.

Rowahn turned to leave once more but this time Vader spoke. “You have changed.”

“Yes.” came his reply. He could feel Vader moving closer.

“You have forsaken that which once made you strong. Now you are weak!”

Vader’s saber sprang to life as he attacked. The ferocity in his attacks was stunning. Even though Rowahn had practiced with simulators many times, they did nothing to prepare him for actually facing Vader. Rowahn had never truly seen Vader fight, and he had never realized the full extent of his power.

Rowahn was pushed back at Darth Vader’s advance. He was barely able to defend against the mighty onslaught. It was said that there had never been an opponent who had stood against Vader and lived. Let alone won the battle.
They were soon out in the corridors of the Imperial Citadel, and even with more room to maneuver, Rowahn still had a hard time keeping up. None of his strikes made it through the Dark Lord’s defenses, and even his feeble Force attacks were anticipated and deflected with ease.

Vader reached out his hand and picked up Rowahn, then threw him across the corridor with the Force. Rowahn slammed into a wall and crumpled downwards, but before he could even make it to the floor Vader had picked him back up with the Force, and began choking him. Rowahn’s saber clattered to the ground as he reached up to grab at the non-existent hands. He could feel the life leaving his body as he desperately searched for an answer to his problem.

“You have failed for the last time. You failed your Emperor,” Vader said, his voice booming. “And you have failed me!”

Rowahn was still grasping at air when it came to him. The song. Closing his eyes, Rowahn listened. He relaxed at opened his mind. If ever he needed an advantage it was now. He had found it. Hidden within the song was something. Rowahn could not even describe what he felt. He enveloped himself in this “hole”, making him nearly invisible to Force users. Rowahn dropped and breathed in deeply. Though Vader could still physically see Rowahn, he was no longer able to manipulate him with the Force.

If Vader was surprised, there was no way of knowing. The black monolith just strode towards Rowahn as he regained his composure.

“You are nothing now. You are less than an outcast!” Darth Vader said.

“I know.” Rowahn replied coolly. “I am nothing but a shadow of what I used to be.”

Rowahn moved. He could not stay in his “hole” while fighitng or else he would be unable to use the Force, but he was ready for Vader. The Song was fueling him, but more than that, Rowahn was fueling the Song. He wrapped himself in it’s flowing embrace and attacked. Though he could still not break through Vader’s defenses, he could at least keep up with him. The battle had been balanced. Slowly they moved out into an opening, Rowahn could sense the presence of other Inquisitors and soldiers, but they all knew better than to interfere with a battle between the most powerful Inquisitor, and the Dark Lord.

As the battle continued stroke for stroke, Rowahn came to an understanding and realization of something. He may not know what or who he was, but he did know what he was not. So he spoke.

“I will not longer be Darth Rowahn,” He said the continued with the rest of his title,  “Member of the Imperial Inquisitorious and Apprentice to Darth Vader. That is not who I am.”

As he said this, he thought about the past few weeks. The battles he had fought, the foes he had faced. He started to understand Jord. Though the Jedi Order may have failed her, the Empire was even worse. More than this though, he thought about his fight with Jord. She had done things he had never thought possible. Broken traditions that he did not realize where just that. So he followed suit.

Reaching out with his mind he gathered the Force around him. He knew Vader could feel the swell in the Force, but he also knew that Darth Vader would expect him to give physical tells as to when and where the Force blast would be projected. It was almost too easy. Rowahn released the power, and Vader was thrown backwards.

The various Imperial troops began firing at him, but he stopped the blasts with his mind. They would not hurt him. They could not hurt him. He had unlocked something within himself and within the Force that he did not quite understand yet. But somehow, instinctively he used it. The blasts that were frozen in mid air disappeared, and the troops around him fell dead. No one else attempted to fire upon him after seeing their fellow soldiers drop inexplicably.

Vader had risen up again, and they were soon back at it. The Sith’s fighting style was not one of the Seven Forms that were taught to Jedi or Sith, but rather something of his own. It was said that he had created his own form because his armor did not allow him to fight like regular humans. It was probably true, but that did not matter. What mattered is that Rowahn did not know or understand the form. Though he could defend against it, it was not the most effective way possible. But it was the best he could do.

As he had heard said, the Force was a powerful ally. Rowahn understood this, and believed it to be powerful enough to help him defeat an opponent that had never been beaten. The two red sabers flashed in brilliant and mesmerizing patterns as the two warriors danced through the room. Had either of them been fighting any other opponent, the battle would have been long over. But Vader was the most powerful Force user alive, and Rowahn had access to things Vader did not understand.

Though many soldiers and a few Inquisitors pretended to be busy with other tasks, they were really watching the battle. This was something they had never seen before, and probably never would again. Then it happened. Rowahn found an opening. He spun and leaped over Vader’s head, disorienting the Sith, then running along a wall, opened Vader up for an attack. The thrust was quick a precise, and the Dark Lord fell.

Rowahn walked forward and toward Vader raising his saber above his head, than after a brief pause, decided against it. Turning he walked towards the docking bay. One Inquisitor, the Fifteenth Sister tried to attack him. Rowahn did not even raise his hand, and the Inquisitor fell to the ground. Her legs giving way to the Force’s grip.

Before leaving the room, Rowahn looked back at Vader, then detached the hilt extension from his saber, and dropped it on the ground.



Caedon’s ship was still in the docking bay when the young man arrived. No one had tried to stop him, though they had considered it. There were already rumors going around that he had killed Ja’ce Yiaso, High Inquisitor Gaetana, and nearly killed Lord Vader. With Gaetana and Rowahn gone, the title and rank of Grand Inquisitor would go to the First Brother, a Pau’an. For now, the young man did not care. He had things he needed to do, to learn, before he could take the fight back to the Empire. Someday he would be back, but that was not today.

The YT-2400 freighter took to the skies, and was soon traveling through hyperspace. The young man did not know where he was ultimately headed yet, but for now, he needed to get out of the Core. Maybe Hutt space until he got a lead. At least there the Empire might leave him alone for a little while.



Through the numbness he could hear voices. Many voices speaking at once, indistinguishable from each other. Slowly they faded and one stood out.

“Death and pain, a natural part of life they are. Hmm?” The wise Master said, “Wish to remove them we do, yet without them, grow we would not. Pleasant, they are not, but as necessary as the air we breathe they are."

It was an old lesson. One he had heard many times at the temple. One taught to each youngling, but never fully understood by any of them.

“Though pain is necessary for our growth, it should not rule our actions. When pain dictates our actions, we end up making the choices without paying heed to the consequences. We should, as much as possible, consider what reactions our actions will cause, and think through them before making a decision. The Jedi Code states that ‘There is no emotion, there is peace’. Though many interpret this to mean that the Jedi cannot and should not feel emotion, that is incorrect. Emotion is as much a part of life as anything else. What this means is that we should not let our emotions control us. They are indeed useful at times, but they can also cloud our judgment. As such, we must consider our actions from both the point of view of our emotions, and our logical mind.” Another master had once said.

His path was becoming clearer, and he was beginning to understand these lessons.

“Emotion, yet peace,
Ignorance, yet knowledge
Passion, yet serenity
Chaos, yet harmony
Death, yet the Force.”

As the younglings finished reciting, the master spoke.

“The Jedi code does not forbid the feeling of emotion, nor does it condemn it. Rather, it instructs us to look past our emotions about something and really think about what is going to happen. But, you will not always be able to think about something before you act. Sometimes an action is required immediately, and as such, emotions can be a great way to quickly make a decision. However, you must be prepared to take responsibility for your actions, and accept any consequences. Emotions should not be feared, but they also should not control your life.”


Another lesson. One designed to be understood by children, yet applied to even the eldest Jedi.

One last voice sounded before all was silent.

“Join me young padawan, and I will teach to never know pain again.”

It was the voice of another Master. But one that was far different, far darker than any of the others. One full of emotion. Rage, anger, guilt, despair, fear, and pain. Not just physical, but of a far more dangerous kind.

He understood now. Pain was an important part of life. Without it, there could be no joy. He had felt it many times. The first was during the purge, but most recently had been with the death of the only person he could have called a friend since his master had died. That of T’Risha Jord. He realized this now, and only now. Before, he never would have accepted it. Now, he realized he needed it. But unlike Vader, it would not . . . could not rule his life. He would feel pain again, of that he was certain. But now he was at peace. He did not need to fear it.

He now knew what he was. He was no longer Darth Rowahn. He had cast that off on Prakith. However, he did not then know who or what he was.

Now he did.
Logged

"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"We are the spark that will light the fire that will burn the first order down." - Poe Dameron

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TheDutchman
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 779
Posts: 3136


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« Reply #132 on: August 08, 2019, 01:05:03 PM »

And just when I thought that "Shadow of the Outcast" couldn't get any better...

TR, I have to say that after your twist ending, I couldn't wait for what came next.  Once again, you surprised me...and I have to admit, I REALLY like the possibilities that this new Ch.14 opens.

Seeing Rowahn able to utilize the Song was a great moment, one that was perfectly organic in the narrative (especially after fighting himself for much of the story).  VERY cathartic, culminating in the fight against Vader... Excellent scene  Smiley

I really enjoy the trajectory of Rowahn and your interpretation of "the Hero's Journey."  But...

...I hope that you're able to write more  Wink  Maybe Rowahn's path (and eventual Jedi name?  Cheesy).
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Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Maenowan Nexu Master of the Vhal'Dan

My sabers:Zearic's Aldrnari, Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, AS; Zearic's shoto, Initiate v5 w/Obsidian, AS; Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB; Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG; Dark Sentinel v4 w/Obsidian, BR; Sentinel LE v4 w/Obsidian, GB; Apprentice v4 w/Obsidian, AS; Sentinel LE v4 stunt, EG; Aeon LE v4 stunt, FO; Dominix v4 stunt, BR; Aeon v3 stunt, SY

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 164
Posts: 1104



« Reply #133 on: August 08, 2019, 04:46:53 PM »

Have to admit I kinda liked the first chapter 14 - it wrapped up Rowahns story and character trajectory nicely, there is a lot more impact to the sudden death of a character at the cusp of something new, had a more epic finale quality to it, and it provided a very strong and shocking (in a good way!) twist on all our expectations and assumptions since the prologue, it was the kind of emotional ending and jarring twist that so many movies and books try and fail to achieve.  Rowahn surviving opens up new possibilities for sure, so lets hope it can prove better than the other ending by acting as a new beginning. 
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Lord_S_Gray

Surik: "Kreia, what are you—are you a Jedi, a Sith?"
Kreia: "Does it matter? Of course it does, such titles allow you to break the galaxy into light and dark, categorize it. Perhaps I am neither, and I hold both as what they are, pieces of a whole."

Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 1833
Posts: 6078


Lord of the Force


« Reply #134 on: August 08, 2019, 09:31:43 PM »

Honestly, I've been planning to do alternate endings since about chapter 3 or 4. And that is really what this is. If you follow the one path, Rowahn dies and is killed by Taegin Roan. If you follow the other path, Rowahn dies and is killed by Rowahn. Either way, Rowahn is gone. Though we will see hints of him in the future. Being something for 13 years is not easily changed. Especially when those are arguably his most formative years. But if you noticed, Chapter 14 (official) is not technically the end of the story. There is one more part to come before Shadow of the Outcast is finished.

I actually really like the twist ending as well, but there is more for this character in the future, but of course I can't say what it is. However, there is nothing wrong with preferring one version to the other. I specifically wrote this chapter to be similar to the (alternate) ending(s) of The Force Unleashed II, and much inspiration was taken from that game.

There is one passage in this chapter that is really really important, and is symbolic of something, but I want to see if you guys picked up on it or not. If not, I will add in a sentence that I purposely left out to see if it would be caught. Let me know if you found it.
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"I am the Outcast's Shadow" - Taegin Roan
"We are the spark that will light the fire that will burn the first order down." - Poe Dameron

Avatar by DarthScrub

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