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Author Topic: Hide and Seek  (Read 869 times)
Lord_S_Gray
Knight Lance Corporal
*

Force Alignment: 2
Posts: 59



« Reply #75 on: October 12, 2017, 02:45:52 PM »

Jedi Temple....great minds think alike perhaps....but things are bit different 600 year before Karmack is snooping around.

Any way the idea of the imbalance with the crystal was something I was thinking about...in line with Yoda in the Episode 2 saying "the shroud of the dark side has fallen", this imbalance could work with that in that I can imagine Palaptine upsetting that balance to make he force more turbulent on Coruscant so he can work more freely without the Jedi noticing his powers - hence the shroud has fallen.

Anyway I liked that bit at the start of your last chapter with Arnor, she's a character I'd like to see more of personally, her trust in Karmack is obviously beyond doubt but sometimes I wonder what she would be thinking to herself at times especially in the last few chapter with Karmack going off on some strange dangerous trips.
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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
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 125
Posts: 825


Guardian Blue is more than a color; it is my life


« Reply #76 on: October 13, 2017, 04:37:27 AM »

Thanks guys! 

On the details of the Temple/Palace - I pulled a lot of this from the Wookipedia.  According to that source, the Temple is built around and over other shrines that have been there for millenia.  The mountain it encases has been a holy site / force focal point for multiple sects of force-sensitives. Honestly, the first character that sprang to mind when I first read the entry was the blind force-sensitive from Rouge One.  :-)  A force-user, a force-worshipper, but not a Jedi.  Or like Mans in TFA.    Other clues are that the site is riddled with caverns and caves, and during the Sith occupations of Coruscant there was a Sith temple there, which the Jedi deconstructed and built over when they took over the site at the foundation of the Republic.  This Sith influence is sited as the reason the Jedi's ability to use the force was slowly eroded, a circumstance that Palpatine used to his advantage.

My order of Grays, the Mak'Tor, originating there is my own invention.  It gave me a plausible way for Karmack to know more than the average person about the place. 

As for the curse...  Well.  You'll just have to wait.  ;-)
Wookiepedia is a fantastic resource (as is SWFanon IMO)  Cheesy. Karm, excellent melding of canon and creativity my friend!  It really enriches your story  Grin  Oh and GOOD way of avoiding a "Deus Ex Machina" with the origin of the Mak'Tor Gray Jedi  Wink
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“I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

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Karmack
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 311
Posts: 1548


Light side points please.


« Reply #77 on: October 13, 2017, 06:45:31 AM »

Jedi Temple....great minds think alike perhaps....but things are bit different 600 year before Karmack is snooping around.

Any way the idea of the imbalance with the crystal was something I was thinking about...in line with Yoda in the Episode 2 saying "the shroud of the dark side has fallen", this imbalance could work with that in that I can imagine Palaptine upsetting that balance to make he force more turbulent on Coruscant so he can work more freely without the Jedi noticing his powers - hence the shroud has fallen.

Anyway I liked that bit at the start of your last chapter with Arnor, she's a character I'd like to see more of personally, her trust in Karmack is obviously beyond doubt but sometimes I wonder what she would be thinking to herself at times especially in the last few chapter with Karmack going off on some strange dangerous trips.

LSG, Arnor is not the happiest with her husband sometimes.  :-)  These last couple of stories I've written are flowing in a first-person format that I haven't used much in other writings.  I like the feel and flow of it but it does limit me a bit, in that I can't actually get inside the heads of the other characters.  But I appreciate this feedback because there IS a way to find out what's up - dialogue!  Something I need to work on.  :-)
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Karmack: Sentinel of the Red Jedi Order

Karmack
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 311
Posts: 1548


Light side points please.


« Reply #78 on: October 13, 2017, 09:42:25 AM »

The song was jumbled and confused, melodies and counter-melodies tumbling and twisting around dark, hammering cadences and screaming atonal cacophony...  Only with difficulty could I locate and isolate the threads of melody I sought...  Only long practice at sorting through the threads and isolating the melodies and harmonies of myself and those around me allowed me to finally find and settle on those threads, tracking them through the growing confusion and chaos of the Song...

"This one is very strong in the force..."

I spun, my eyes widening in startled amazement to find two figures standing behind me.  One was dressed in the formal garb of my Order, a Kage of great age and rank based on the sash and markings, but his face was veiled and the robes were familiar but ... odd somehow.  His companion was also utterly unfamiliar to me, but he wore the robes of a Jedi Master from the Republic era, his long hair and beard silvering with age and had piercing blue eyes.  It was the Kage who stepped forward and spoke however.

"This one not only hears the song but can sing it.  It is a rare gift indeed, even among the Mac'Tor.  No one has sung the song on Coruscant in eons." 

I stood and faced the pair.  "Master, may I know your identity?  Who are you?"

The Kage stepped forward and pulled his cowl back revealing a wrinkled, scarred and wise face.  "You know of me, young one, but that is of no account. Do you trust the Song?  Can you read the signs?  Are you wise enough to understand?  Or are you cursed?"

I felt my brow knit in confusion. "I want to understand, but  ... what?  What am I to understand?  What are the signs?"

The Kage did not speak.  Instead he spread his hands out to each side, as if attempting to embrace something or someone.  I felt my eyes widen as his finger-tips and forehead began to glow a bright, pale blue.

"Beware! You are cursed, Karmack of the Mak'Tor!.  You are not the One!  But trust the living force ... or as you would say, listen to the Song.  It can save you!  Listen, or the Curse will be your ending.

I nodded at the words of the stranger, but was drawn forward, toward the Kage.  Instinctively, I matched his pose and felt the influx of power surge through me...

Suddenly the Kage's eyes popped open.  "No!  Only the One!  You are cursed!"  He rasped.  I gaped as a skewer of fire pierced my torso.  I looked down and saw the fire of an aqua blade extending from my chest...


"AHHH!"   I sat up, drenched in sweat.  The threads of the ... dream?  Nightmare?  Vision?  I wasn't sure how to classify the experience. 

Arnor stirred beside me.  Her eyes were concerned.  "Again?"

I just nodded.  "Yes."

I swung my legs out from under the covers and sat on the edge of the bed, staring out at the lights of the city beyond.  Slim, warm arms slid around my waste and squeezed while a cheek wet with tears pressed against back and shoulder.  "Karm, don't go."

"My love..."  I lifted her hand to my lips and kissed it.  "You know I must.  You know why...."

I felt the spike of pure fury that pulsed from my wife at that moment: it hit me like a shock wave in the force, making me breathless.  Arnor released me and sat up straight behind me as I turned to face her.  Her eyes were ablaze with a blue fire I rarely saw.  It was a look only her enemies generally saw - and they rarely survived it.  "No!  I DO NOT understand!  You know about the curse.  You know how its going to end.  You've SEEN it, not just "heard" it.  So why?  Why go?  When you KNOW what is coming?"

I reached out and cupped her cheek, and her fury dissolved like smoke, replaced by sorrow and loss and fear.  How can I explain...  "Arnor, I love you.  More than anything, but part of that love is a commitment to the Song, and over that to the One who Sings."  I looked into her eyes, locked her gaze.  "Do you trust Him?"

Her chin trembled, but her eyes were clear and steady as she responded.  "Yes."

"And will you trust Him and his Song, even if it means I, or you, or both of us must give our lives to fulfill His purpose?"

Her tears stopped now.  For a moment I saw the stubborn streak rise behind her clear green eyes, but it just as quickly faded.  "Yes.  Though it cost my life, I will trust Him."

"As will I."  I said.  For a long time I just sat and studied her eyes.  Her hair was dark but tinged in a deep auburn, and her eyes were sparks of green fire, laced with pale gold. 

Maker, I loved those eyes.  Why?

Do you trust me?  Trust the Song.  It can still save you...

I started.  It was the voice from my dream!  Or a voice similar to it.  It had the deep tones of the Kage without the rasp of age and abuse.  Pure, deep, musical...  A singer's voice...

"What?" Arnor leaned forward.  "What was it?"

I blinked and shook my head slightly to clear it.  "The voice from my dream, or one like it...  Arnor, we must trust the Song.  The vision is a warning to me, not a predetermination.  I must go ... but I cannot be the One..."  I shook my head again.  "I don't fully understand it, but there will be a sign of some kind.  I think ... when I see it I will know it."

"Well, that's so helpful!" Arnor retorted, throwing her hands up in frustration.  "And if you don't get it just right, you die?  Maybe we all die?"

"Maybe.  But the Song calls us to the Temple, to the ancient shrine."

"The Song.  Always the Song."  Arnor's voice was without bitterness now.  I could feel her releasing her fear, anger and pain, letting them dissipate.  Holding only to her trust in the Maker, her trust in me, and her love for both of us. "So we will go."

"Yes."

"OK" she replied, then opened her arms.  "But not until morning."

Logged

Sabers I Own:   Aeon V4 Emerald/Obs V4 "Reverse LE",  Dark Ini V4 w/ Obs Lite in FO, Dark Apprentice LE Stunt in FO, Dominix V4 LE w/ Obs Lite in SRD, Sentinel LE Stunt in BR, Dominix V4 Obs Lite in AG.    Wish List:  Scorpion w/ Obsidian V4 and Emerald, Dark Malice Staff w/ Emerald


Karmack: Sentinel of the Red Jedi Order

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 125
Posts: 825


Guardian Blue is more than a color; it is my life


« Reply #79 on: October 13, 2017, 12:17:49 PM »

I think everyone who is married can appreciate the relationship betwen Karm and Arnor  Wink  Of my own experiences, my wife and I have an anecdote that we often cite whenever we're doing something for one another so the OTHER one doesn't have to: "The Gift of the Magi."   Grin

I really like this "sect" of Gray Jedi that you've made (Gray ForceSingers?  GraySingers?  Hmmm).  It's a facet of the Force that I can see being truly expanded upon, or maybe an aspect of each Side of the Force.  Either way: this TOO should be canon  Cheesy

I have to say Karm: I wish that I could write as quick and as deftly as you  Wink  It takes me forever to get story to page  Tongue

Until next installment friends  Smiley
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“I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

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Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 481
Posts: 2885


Lord of the Force


« Reply #80 on: October 13, 2017, 12:48:01 PM »

Again, an great post. It has a lot of depth, but is not hard to read or understand. I definitely agree with TD on the "singing should be canon" thing, it is awesome. I am also a bit jealous that you can write as quickly and easily as you do. Me, I'm still trying to figure out how to get chapter 3 to work. It is indeed very good.
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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

[_((((((((_o_((((|=|   Current saber: Dominix v4                         

l l l l l l l l l_o_lll__|   Current saber: Dominix v2                          

|_[[[[[[[[[_o_|-|   Current saber: Dark Apprentice LE v4         

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(LS points appreciated)

Karmack
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 311
Posts: 1548


Light side points please.


« Reply #81 on: October 13, 2017, 03:15:20 PM »

LOL  Thanks guys.  This story is rolling out nicely, but in all honesty its really the core that sparked "We Are Gray" in the first place.  The crystals were originally noted in my little notebook as "singing crystals", and I may still develop that, but the story is only coming as quickly as it is because the overall arc was already in place, and my "Karmack" Gray Jedi character has been marinating in my imagination for a while now.

More to come.  The fateful day is fast approaching.  Stay tuned! 
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Karmack: Sentinel of the Red Jedi Order

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Lance Corporal
*

Force Alignment: 2
Posts: 59



« Reply #82 on: October 15, 2017, 03:09:44 PM »

Another good instalment, Arnor frustration is understandable...she can't see the visions he's having after all...
Really interesting how Karmack is constantly on about trusting the song and his visions...maybe he trusts it a little too much....
Can't wait to find out what this curse is all about!
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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
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 311
Posts: 1548


Light side points please.


« Reply #83 on: October 17, 2017, 12:25:26 PM »

"Shouldn't we be doing this at night?"

I looked back at Talia and smiled brightly.  "You'd think so...  Two reasons we're not.  Look around, what do you see?"

Talia stopped and scanned the crowd around them.  I watched her eyes roam across Monument Plaza, taking in the smattering of brightly colored outfits and the noise of people visiting the last exposed earth on the planet.  The Monument was always popular, with crowds coming to see the last exposed mountaintop on Coruscant, to touch it and connect to the bones of their encased planet.  It was a nice place, with gardens and vendors of all types.  The air was crisp and clean, cool and dry.  But the crowds were thinner than normal, and they were not alone.

As I watched, Talia looked beyond the crowds to the Home Guard troopers, backed up by Imperial Storm Troopers now after the riots that had swept this and most other open plazas and venues on the planet.  There were blackened areas where vendor booths had been destroyed and burned out, usually because of some display of loyalty to the Empire or Emperor.  There were also other damages from exchanges of blaster fire and explosives where some of the initial riots had turned into out-and-out urban warfare.  "I see families, tourists ... and a lot of security."

"Good.  Now, reach out.  What do you feel?

I glanced at Arnor and caught her slight smile in return as Talia stopped, closed her eyes, and unconsciously raised her right hand slightly, as if reaching out to literally feel what was going on.  It was a common thing, that gesture, and it took years of training to reach a point of not using them.  Master Chillum had drilled it out of me with a zealous fervor boarding on obsession which I had fervently hated as his Teidowan and only reluctantly submitted to initially as a young Koawan.  It was only later that the benefits of having control without any props, particularly waving your hands around in the air, became apparent to me.  My grin threatened to escape as Arnor gently reached out and pulled Talia's hand down.  The grimace and eye-roll were becoming predictable, but she just took a deep breath and resumed her search through the force, listening to the songs of the area and concentrating on sorting them out and understanding them - this time with her hands folded together in the arms of her robe, out of site and still.

"I feel ... tension.  A LOT of tension."  She answered after over a minute of concentration.  "There's the normal ebb and flow of people doing fun things, but underlying all of the normal joyful noise of a place like this there's a very deep tension and suspicion."

"Exactly.  Which means?"

Talia made a face.  "Well, with the crowds around we have a pretty good chance of blending in, but even then there's an increased security presence.  They're on edge, so ...  Oh."  I saw the comprehension bloom on her face like a flower.  "After dark there wouldn't be a crowd here, or if there were it would be a protest.  Either way, we'd stick out like a Wookie in a room full of Mon Cal."

"Exactly.  During the day we can move about feely.  Thanks to the unrest and declaration of Martial Law, any activity at night isn't just suspicious, its illegal."  I nodded at the troops arrayed around the square.  "They're tense now and suspicious, but anyone out here at night is just a target."

Talia was nodding now.  "I get it.  But how are we going to get into the Temple?  Its way over there..." She gestured with a head toss toward the distant Imperial Palace, formerly the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, "...and we're way over here."

"That, as they say, is the million credit question." I replied.  "Fortunately, we..."

I was interrupted by a sharp whistle followed by a series of low and very rude-sounding chirps.  "Ok, ok, Two!  Fortunately TWO has found us a still-active but rarely used service conduit which we can access from one of the food courts.  This way..."  I held out my arm and Arnor linked hers through it.  Illian offered his arm to Talia and they drifted slightly away from us while Two followed closely behind Arnor and I.  Within seconds we were just two more couples out to forget a little of the troubled times in the Plaza.  It took several minutes to cross the square and we entered one of the largest of the eateries around the Plaza and took the opportunity to share a meal.  As we ate, chatting around the table, I caught Arnor watching me with anxious eyes, remembering what I had told her of the vision and worried about what was coming.  Listen to the Song.  It can save you...

I shook off the vision's echo.  I needed to focus.  Wool-gathering now could be deadly quite apart from an ancient curse that might or might not be in place around our final destination.  "Its time.  Two, where's that service portal?"

The droid gave a short whistle and led the way toward the rear of the place.  There was a long hallway which led to public restrooms, the kitchen areas, and ... a droid service corridor.  Two drove through that portal and into the corridor as if he were just another service droid moving from place to place.  The four of us followed, moving just as quickly if with less aplomb and panache as the diminutive droid.

The corridor ramped downward, dropping about five levels in a gentle slope that spiraled into the bowels of the infrastructure below the Plaza and adjoining "Triangle".    I found myself on edge, this environment more alien than any we'd encountered yet on Coruscant.  Everywhere else we'd gone had at least been "biological" territory, places where people were expected and welcome.  This was ... different.  A mechanical world populated by droids, built for droids ... and rarely if ever seen or entered by a biological.  Here we were the outsiders.

But even more disconcerting was the lack of music.  Droids, for all their cleverness, personality, and even genius, did not sing.  There was no Song here...

More wool-gathering.  I shook it off, opening myself to the flow of the song, listening ... and hearing it.  Still muted in that odd way that seemed to grow the closer we were to the Palace/Temple and the ancient force nexus it was built around and over, but there to be heard.  The direction was clear...  Two directions.

I waited until we'd reached the transit corridor, where two cars awaited us.  Each was designed to carry two or three droids and could easily accommodate and R3 unit and two humans.  Once again I toyed with the idea of taking Two with me and sending Arnor with Illian and Talia, or simply going alone.  The cars were big enough to carry three people and the droid with only a little crowding.  But ...

Listen.  Trust.  Follow the path...

I sighed.  "Illian, you'll take Talia and Two in the first car.  Your job is to get to the ship and prepare it for immediate departure.  Two has our beacon frequency.  When we're ready to leave we'll activate our beacon.  Your job will be to get airborne and pick us up as quickly as possible.  The holding area where Wayfarer is docked is lightly guarded and not far from here, but we're probably going to be on a short string when we do decide to leave."  I looked Illian in the eye.  "This is non-discretionary: If our beacons go dark, do NOT attempt to land and recover us.  Just get into space and head for M'Tzigon.  Two has the coordinates and can plot your course.  Report to the council what has happened here."  I opened a small pouch on my belt and withdrew a chip.  "This is a copy of my report to date.  Pass this along.  There is also a ... personal message for Master Chillum and ... others of import to Arnor and myself.  Master Chillum will know how to open those messages and direct them to the right places."

Illian took the message chip but his face was anything but accepting.  "I don't like this, Master.  Not one bit.  I ... have a bad feeling about this."

"I know, but this is the way.  Arnor and I will be moving with stealth but we will need to leave in a hurry.  The only chance we will have is if you already have Wayfarer ready to launch."  I looked at my wife and smiled a wane smile.  "We both know the odds of succeeding are slight, and the likelihood of survival is low, but if it works..." 

"WHAT?  If what works?  What is worth your lives?"  Talia interjected suddenly.  "How can stealing something from the Imperial Palace be so important?"

I looked at Talia, then Illian, then back to Talia.  Illian's face had hardened to impassivity but his emotions were a boiling cauldron below that still surface.   In contrast Talia made no effort to hide her confusion and pain.  Tears shone in her eyes, eyes pleading for answers.

Answers that, even now, I wasn't comfortable sharing.  Arnor knew, she knew the legends and understood what we were attempting, if imperfectly.  I knew more, Master Chillum had been a student of the ancient legends of the Mak'Tor and had shared many of them with me, though he had been less successful creating the same love of the ancient stories as he himself held.  An oversite I now wished I could revisit and correct, and which I vowed to do ... if I survived.

... a gleaming green-blue blade thrusting through my torso...

Arnor noticed the slight tremor in me as I blinked the end of the vision away.  Its a maybe, not a for-sure...   I reminded myself, then addressed Illian and Talia.  "Trust me in this: It is important.  Worth even two lives, if it works.  What it is, I cannot say.  When you get to M'Tzigon find Master Chillum and ask him to explain.  He will do so in great detail, I guarantee it."

"As you say, Master Karmack.  May the force be with you." Illian replied, bowing.

I returned the bow, with Arnor.  "And with you, Illian, Gray Knight of the Mak'Tor."

Two whistled his own farewell, mixed with his own electronic sounds of impatience to spur them along.  "Agreed, Two.  Safe journey and we should hurry, we've tarried her to long already." 

I stood with my arm wrapped around Arnor and watched them go, then we climbed into our own car.  "And now we're off as well."  I turned and kissed her.  "To balance."

"To balance."

Logged

Sabers I Own:   Aeon V4 Emerald/Obs V4 "Reverse LE",  Dark Ini V4 w/ Obs Lite in FO, Dark Apprentice LE Stunt in FO, Dominix V4 LE w/ Obs Lite in SRD, Sentinel LE Stunt in BR, Dominix V4 Obs Lite in AG.    Wish List:  Scorpion w/ Obsidian V4 and Emerald, Dark Malice Staff w/ Emerald


Karmack: Sentinel of the Red Jedi Order

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 125
Posts: 825


Guardian Blue is more than a color; it is my life


« Reply #84 on: October 18, 2017, 05:07:52 AM »

No, NO!  Karm, the curse!  *shakes head  Shocked

And is the reference to a "green-blue" blade SRD?!

On a serious note, I remember reading Timothy Zahn's "Hand of Thrawn" duology about 15-20 years ago and remember it referencing a mountain or mountain range but then also remembering in Phantom Menace that Coruscant was a planet wide city.  You perfectly addressed that AND to the point that it WOULD be significant!  I enjoy not only the unique aspects of your world building but also when you seemlessly add in canon materials as well  Smiley

Karm I really like learning more about the Mak'Tor Order (and by extension Master Chillum) so this installment is that much more enjoyable  Cheesy

If only not for that curse...

Until next installment friends  Smiley
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“I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB
Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG
Sentinel LE v4, EG

Wish List: Dark Sentinel, BR
               Fulcrum&Lost Gray, AS&SY
               Emporer's Hand, VA

Karmack
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 311
Posts: 1548


Light side points please.


« Reply #85 on: October 18, 2017, 06:56:46 AM »

No, NO!  Karm, the curse!  *shakes head  Shocked

And is the reference to a "green-blue" blade SRD?!

On a serious note, I remember reading Timothy Zahn's "Hand of Thrawn" duology about 15-20 years ago and remember it referencing a mountain or mountain range but then also remembering in Phantom Menace that Coruscant was a planet wide city.  You perfectly addressed that AND to the point that it WOULD be significant!  I enjoy not only the unique aspects of your world building but also when you seemlessly add in canon materials as well  Smiley

Karm I really like learning more about the Mak'Tor Order (and by extension Master Chillum) so this installment is that much more enjoyable  Cheesy

If only not for that curse...

Until next installment friends  Smiley

Yes, the curse.  Now, you have to know that any kind of ancient, "haunted" cave-shrine HAS to have some kind of curse on it, right?  ;-)

I have to give a nod here to the Wookipedia.  I've pulled a LOT of info from there about Coruscant, especially about Monument Plaza, which actually appeared in the extended scenes at the end of RotJ.  One of the big celebrations after the death of the Emperor happened there.   Followed, per the Wookipedia, by riots and clashes with crowd control and Imperial troops. 

Another great source has been a simple google search.  If you search for "Jedi Temple on Coruscant" and then scan the images you'll see some cool cut-aways of the Jedi Temple, including the mountain peak its built over.  :-)

Honestly, though, I have to admit the idea of the Monument Plaza, a national park built around the last exposed mountain peak...  Yeah, that's kind of cool and very sad all at once.  I have this image in my head of the Jedi Temple perched on K2 with the tip of Everest poking up through the mega-city, the last exposed piece of earth....

Not my idea of a good place to live.  :-)

Anyway, ONWARD!  I think this one is coming to a head.   Curses!  ;-)
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Sabers I Own:   Aeon V4 Emerald/Obs V4 "Reverse LE",  Dark Ini V4 w/ Obs Lite in FO, Dark Apprentice LE Stunt in FO, Dominix V4 LE w/ Obs Lite in SRD, Sentinel LE Stunt in BR, Dominix V4 Obs Lite in AG.    Wish List:  Scorpion w/ Obsidian V4 and Emerald, Dark Malice Staff w/ Emerald


Karmack: Sentinel of the Red Jedi Order

Karmack
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 311
Posts: 1548


Light side points please.


« Reply #86 on: October 18, 2017, 09:55:48 AM »

Amazingly the ride in was utterly uneventful.  I could only surmise that Two had cleared the way for us with his usual efficiency.  I further surmised that he had neglected to tell me because he had a low and base sense of humor, particularly for a droid.

I might need to adjust that...

Entering the Imperial Palace was anti-climatic.  The droid service ways were monitored but thanks to our little friend the scanners accepted us as just more droids.  I flexed my right hand inside its cybernetic glove in sympathetic awareness that we were still in alien territory as the car came to a stop and we entered the service corridors of the Imperial Palace itself.

I was struck by the .... immensity of the place.  And the malevolence...  Even with Two's directions we were both open to the force, listening to the songs twisting through the sheer power of the place.  Most were the sickening screams of evil, and my mind shied away from them instinctively, the way you might flinch away from any extremely loud or badly clashing sound.  But buried deep down were the melodies and harmonies of Good, still struggling against the twisted songs of Evil that had overlaid this place.

I knew from its history that the site had always been a focal point in the Force.  Orders like the Mak'Tor and Jedi and Sith had always been drawn to it.  Some had literally started here.  The main-stream "Gray" Jedi order had started nearly 150 years earlier when the Seven had formed the order on Daghobah with Leor Danal as Kage.  That order had maintained contact with the Jedi and the universe at large, before disappearing after order 66 took effect.  Exactly where and how they had managed to disappear were matters of great debate, a debate I had chosen to simply avoid.  They went wherever they went.  They would return when they returned.  Until they did, the rest of us were on our own.  The Mak'Tor had long been on its own....

We came to the end of a corridor and stopped.  There were portals to the left and right but just a blank wall ahead.  Unfortunately, the tracker Two had given us indicated we should go straight ahead.  I laid my hand on the wall, probing.  This was definitely the way... "Well, this is ... a puzzlement."

Arnor grinned at me.  "No problem."  Her saber ignited, bathing the corridor in its aqua glow, and she plunged it into the wall.  In a matter of seconds she had carved out a portal we could easily pass through.   A slight push dislodged the plug and we hopped through ... and landed on bare rock.  We were under the infrastructure, among various foundations and supports, but woven through the fabric of the buildings were pathways worn into the very face of the rock.  I put the tracker away: the pathway was suddenly clear.  I could feel the shrine, the ancient cave where our order had been born.  I could hear ... singing ... coming from the place.  I gestured for Arnor to follow as I headed up the path, weaving around and under the ancient and modern foundations that sank into the face of the mountain.

There were no lights here.  I pulled out a palm lamp and passed another to Arnor so that she could close her blade down.  In the stabbing beams we could see opening after opening: ancient caves, mostly sealed or simply enclosed with a small shrine.  Most of them were anonymous, either through the ravages of time or the deliberate defacement of opposed occupiers.  Some carried prominent Sith or Jedi markings.  A few, mainly those with Sith markings, showed signs of recent visitation.  The song, the ancient song of our order, was strengthening.  I shared a look with Arnor.  She could hear it as well.  It was a song both familiar and alien.  The melody twisting through the rock around me now was subtly different than what I had grown up within.  That made sense: This was Coruscant.  The song here had been sung by the ancient Mak'Tor, before the Jedi or Sith came, before light-sabers, before even easy interstellar travel.  I knelt down and laid my hand on the rock.  I could feel the power flowing in the rocks themselves.  Not a song: More like a wide river flowing, still and calm but massive and unstoppably powerful all the same.  "Arnor, imagine it.  No one of our order has set foot on this rock face since Kage Pollar sealed the shrine against the Sith over a thousand years ago..."

"And like him, you will never leave iot, Jedi."  growled a gravelly voice just off the trail. 

I killed my light, taking the time to drop it back into a belt pouch as I drew my saber hilt.  I did not immediately ignite the blade, taking a few steps to my left.  Arnor, her light also doused, was moving to the right, moving to a distance that allowed us to move freely while still within mutual support range.  "You have nothing to fear from us.  We simply wish to ... pay our respects to our Founder and depart in peace." I called into the darkness.

A laugh echoed back.  "You expect us to believe you, Jedi?  This is the second time you've intruded into our hidden place.  The last was our refuge, our home.  But this is our sacred place.  Our place of communion and power with the Dark.  It is the last intrusion we will tolerate." 

I could feel the twisted hatred of his very soul and the hammering drumbeat that I had pushed into the background came to the fore.  In my attempts to screen out the chaos and confusion of this place of power I'd also ignored the very close and real threats of these sith.  I felt the song of battle rise in my breast as red blades sprang to life around us.  We were outnumbered.  Badly.

Balance.  Always balance...

I wrapped the song of battle around myself and Arnor like a shroud and reached out.  The power here was amazing...  In the force I scooped up a group of boulders and hurled them down the side of the mountain, mowing down three of our attackers on the far side of Arnor with the heavy rocks.  Arnor hurled herself into the gap I had created, her saber igniting as she flew through the air, her own cry of battle ringing in the void.

I reached out for more rock ... and felt the strong parry in the force from my opponent.  I wasn't the only one tapping into the power focused by the mountain...  My own blade sprang to life in my hand as I closed with the nearest of the sith to me.  Despite the power flowing here, he was not expecting me to be so close: the appearance of my yellow blade briefly betrayed his look of surprise before the arcing sweep separated his head from his body.  The body fell in place, but the head rolled down-hill and out of the space lit by our clashing blades.

That was the only quick kill I was going to get today, however.  A shoulder-roll brought me into close contact with another sith and we nearly tumbled together on the rough ground.  I managed to keep my feet and pressed my attack with a flurry of powerful blows, seeking to batter his defenses aside.  I succeeded, but not quickly enough.  Even as my final stroke took his hand off at the wrist I felt the prompt to tuck and roll forward.  The move saved my life, but I felt a white-hot streak of fire score across my lower back where the tip of a saber cut across the skin.

Desperately I shifted my song to a song of healing, drawing the power of the place into myself to seal the damage and quell the fire in my back.  The pain eased and receded to a point where I could set it aside even as I regained my feet and turned to face the remaining sith before me. 

Two against one.  There were no words exchanged, no banter.  Just red fury and raw, unfiltered rage...

The song of battle rose in me again, augmented now with my own anger and fury.  Threaten me?  Threaten my wife?!?  Not today.  Today, you've made your final, fatal mistake.

We are Gray.  We are Mak'Tor.  We are NOT Jedi...

I wrapped my own anger and rage into the song and whirled into battle.  Golden fire swirled and danced on the mountainside as I dropped into the modified Soresu form that was my first love and favored combat form.  Swirling, turning, probing...  And finding the weaknesses in my opponents.  A flickering, lightning fast strike slashed across a foot.  Another stroke a moment later gouged a thigh.  Three hammering strokes against a blade created an opening and my blade pierced the exposed shoulder, before withdrawing into another whirl-wind of blocks and parries.  I shifted my position and sent a strong force push against the wounded sith even as I countered his partner's athletic strikes and moves.  Already weakened, he couldn't resist the push and slammed against a large boulder, the sickening crack of his back breaking lost in his scream of agony...

Three down...  I looked down-slope at my last opponent, my own fury the full equal of his own.  With a snarl he launched himself up-slope at me, striking at my head.  It was a futile move.  I deflected the blow and simply extended my parry upward - and his somersault took his right shoulder through the blade, the arm knocked wide by the parry before it was completely severed.

The sith warrior landed on his back with a howl of mixed agony and rage.  Before he could do anything I was upon him, my blade hovering at his throat.  Helpless now, his eyes were still filled with rage and he rasped up at me.  "What are you?  No Jedi channels their anger like that...  But you're not a sith..."

"No.  We are Gray."    I reached out, reached into his throat...  And stopped.  I could still feel the rage twisting within me, fueled by the edge of pain still present in my back.  Righteous anger was a useful tool.  Fury was a potent weapon. 

Murder...  That was evil.

"We are Gray." I repeated.  "Sleep..."

The sith's eyes went wide, then blanked as the suggestion, augmented by the immense power of the mountain, drove him into unconsciousness. 

"Well, that's a new trick for you."  Arnor said.  Her own opponents were gone.  In the haze of the battle song I had an impression of my wife separating both from their weapons ... at about the elbow.  "You've never been one for those kinds of mind-tricks."

"I know.  But here..."  I looked around at the mountainside, lit by the glows of our blades.  "Here I think I could do almost anything."

"Maybe.  Come on, husband.  We're close.  Lets get this over with."

I could feel the spike in my wife's emotions.  Anger, fear, and sorrow.  She expects you to die, now...

The insight startled me into speaking.  "Arnor, I am not about to die."

She turned on me, and the look was the one she usually reserved for her opponents.  "Why not? How can you say that?  You told me what you saw!  You go into the cave!  And then ... you die!"  She held out her blade.  "You die on THIS blade!" 

There were tears in her eyes now, streaking down her cheeks.  I stared at her blade.

Her blue-green blade.

Her blade?!?

"The curse isn't just kill you, Karm.  Its going to kill us." Arnor gestured toward the fallen sith.  "He was right.  We will never leave here."

I stared into my wife's tear-filled eyes and I had no words.  "Arnor..."

The song....   Sing the song....

I looked at her.  My wife...  "Arnor.  I love you."

"Sing with me."

Logged

Sabers I Own:   Aeon V4 Emerald/Obs V4 "Reverse LE",  Dark Ini V4 w/ Obs Lite in FO, Dark Apprentice LE Stunt in FO, Dominix V4 LE w/ Obs Lite in SRD, Sentinel LE Stunt in BR, Dominix V4 Obs Lite in AG.    Wish List:  Scorpion w/ Obsidian V4 and Emerald, Dark Malice Staff w/ Emerald


Karmack: Sentinel of the Red Jedi Order

Taegin Roan
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 481
Posts: 2885


Lord of the Force


« Reply #87 on: October 18, 2017, 10:50:35 AM »

Okay, that is a bit of a twist. I honestly thought it was going to be Illian's blade that he saw stabbing him through. I love how this battle was almost "easy" compared to some of the other ones he has faced, but then he decided not to kill that last one. Seems like he might be starting to come back to who he was at the beginning of "We are Gray...". Very well written post, and I am anxious to see how it all pans out.
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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

[_((((((((_o_((((|=|   Current saber: Dominix v4                         

l l l l l l l l l_o_lll__|   Current saber: Dominix v2                          

|_[[[[[[[[[_o_|-|   Current saber: Dark Apprentice LE v4         

[_((((((((_o_|=|   Current Saber: Dark Initiate LE v4 Emerald 
(LS points appreciated)

TheDutchman
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 125
Posts: 825


Guardian Blue is more than a color; it is my life


« Reply #88 on: October 18, 2017, 08:04:27 PM »

Okay, that is a bit of a twist. I honestly thought it was going to be Illian's blade that he saw stabbing him through. I love how this battle was almost "easy" compared to some of the other ones he has faced, but then he decided not to kill that last one. Seems like he might be starting to come back to who he was at the beginning of "We are Gray...". Very well written post, and I am anxious to see how it all pans out.
Yes!  Well put TR^^  I see the duality in Karm reasserting; but that's not a bad thing.  Indeed, righteous anger IS potent; but you bring up the perfect caveat: murder (not " killing ") IS wrong.  But that's one of the reasons Karm is a maenowan and not " just" a koawan: Balance, made even more so poignant with the Song.

It's Armor's blade?! Excellent twist!  I did not see that coming  Wink. And this is exactly why I love reading this ever-expanding universe!  ESPECIALLY with the cliffhanger you left us with Karm  Grin
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“I do not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Graflex SE w/Obsidian, GB
Archon v3 (modded w/ activation box) w/Obsidian, CG
Sentinel LE v4, EG

Wish List: Dark Sentinel, BR
               Fulcrum&Lost Gray, AS&SY
               Emporer's Hand, VA

Karmack
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: 311
Posts: 1548


Light side points please.


« Reply #89 on: October 18, 2017, 11:11:03 PM »

The song flowed around us ... and through us.  I opened myself to Arnor's song, and she to mine, and together, we didn't just listen.

We sang...

Melody and harmony, entwined with the rhythm of the moment. Following the symphony that was the path before us.  Singing out parts in it.  Engulfed by the music of this place, this moment, this task...

I never remember, afterwards, if we actually vocalize the song or if it is just something we share in the force.  In the moment it doesn't matter.  I can hear Arnor.  She can hear me.  We sing together and blend our voices with the great song, following the lead of the Singer, the Maker of all.

I do remember her eyes.  Clear.  Pure.  Full of love and peace as the worry and fear and doubt are washed away...

I gasp...  The song is interrupted by the vision.  Again, I see the portal, the glowing form...  Only this time...

This time Arnor stands in the portal.  Her hands are outstretched, touching specific points on each side of the door frame.  There is a faint blue-green glow...

My blade is live in my hands.  The imperative rolls through me: PROTECT THE SANCTUARY!  I raise my blade to strike... 

No.  The glow flares and fades under her fingertips and the urge and impulse dies.  I lower my weapon and watch amazed as the door, barred to me, lifts.

Lifts for Arnor...


I gasp in pain.  The singing leaves me drained, the pain from the saber wound on my back unblocked.  With a groan I fall to my knees, collecting myself and reforming my focus on the healing song.  Slowly the pain fades.  Only when I am back in control do I look up.  Look into her eyes.  "Did you see it?"

"Yes.  Only..."  She sinks down next to me.  "It was different.  I went forward this time...  And you were going to..."

"But I didn't.  The impulse came but passed."  I shook my head.  "The curse ... doesn't apply to you!"

"Why not?"  Arnor stood up, hands on her hips. 

I laughed at the defiant pose.  I couldn't help it.  "Really?  This offends you?"  I asked her.

She stamped her foot.  "It doesn't make sense!"

"Not yet.  Maybe its all an elaborate trap.  There's only one way to find out."  I gestured up the hill.

The journey was short.  We were less than 100 meters from the entrance to the Cave of the Mak'Tor.  The outer shrine had been long desecrated with Sith iconography, most of the small chapel destroyed.  Nothing remained but a small inner vestibule ... and a doorway.

A doorway sealed shut with no visible way to open it.  A door apparently made of stone.  But it was there.  Suddenly I could hear it, faintly.  A chiming sound I'd heard before.  Inside the chamber there was one more crystal...

Without realizing it I had already moved forward, reaching for the contact points, when Arnor gripped my arm.  "Karm..."

I followed the beam of her light.  Scattered around the vestibule were bones.  Lots of bones.  Mostly human.  Enough bones for at least a dozen individuals.  And from what was visible, many appeared to have been cut in half by a high-energy cauterizing weapon. 

Like a light saber...

"The curse." 

Arnor only nodded and set her jaw.  She stepped up to the door, reaching out...

I was hit by a wave of pure force energy.  I staggered back, but suddenly I was only watching, a passenger in my own body as my hand reached down and drew my saber.  I saw Arnor's shoulders tighten as the blade ignited behind her, but she kept going, pressing her hands against the contact points on either side of the door.  Offering herself...

I felt my hands raise the blade, preparing to strike. A clean cut across the torso, then a self-inflicted stab to the abdomen.  I knew what was coming.  I could do nothing but watch it happen.  I tried to say something to Arnor.  Warn her.  Tell her I loved her.  Nothing came from my lips but a slight hiss of preparation...


The panels flared and just as quickly as the wave had come it was gone.  I was standing behind my wife, my blade poised to strike...  I lowered it quickly and deactivated the blade. 

The stone before us moved backward.  Arnor followed it into the portal, and I followed Arnor.  We walked for a good twenty meters down a smooth corridor before the stone finally pulled back into a room.  We found ourselves in a circular chamber...

"No.  No way..."  I spun around.  There in the chamber was a simple stone monolith, flanked by a pair of flickering lamps.   For a moment I was back in the crystal cave, far below, at the base of this very same mountain.  But this cavern was different.  It was circular, mimicking the central shrine far below, but there was no upper area in this shrine.  Nor was the monolith in the center.  The massive stone plug had retreated across the room and depressed into the far wall about 30 cm before it stopped, but it would have bi-sected the room as it withdrew.  To one side was  the monolith and its lamps. To the other side...

It was hard to tell, there was little left but dust, but the skeleton across from the monolith appeared to have died sitting in a lotus.  In his lap was an ancient light saber.  And in front of him, a box.  I called the saber to my hand, trailing the light over it.  It had some distinct markings...  "Arnor.  I think this is the same script used in some of the earliest records.  I'm not certain, but I think..." I looked down at the bones, all that was left of a man revered by the Mak'Tor.  "This is Kage Pollar."

Arnor didn't hear me.  She was opening the box, all of her attention focused on it. 

When the lid opened, light filled the room.  The crystal inside just poured out energy!  It was a brilliant blue-white and it sang...

"Karm, open the monolith." Arnor said.  I blinked and turned back to the alter, scanning it with the force. Like before, the mechanism was hidden inside where only a force-user could find it.  I pulled the tab, half expecting to see the two crystals from far below still nestled inside.  In that I was disappointed.  Inside this monolith there was only a single nitch....

Only.  Like that word applied to anything anymore...

Arnor lifted the crystal from the box and carefully moved it over to the monolith, placing it into the niche.  I again felt the wave of force energy when she touched the crystal, but this time it passed almost instantly.  For a long few seconds we just stared at the crystal, shining in the monolith, until it suddenly closed ... and sank out of sight.  Dust filtered down from the ceiling, followed by some good-sized rocks.  "Arnor..."

"Agreed!"  She called, not resisting as I grabbed her hand and sprinted down the shaft.  The massive plug seemed to follow us down the passage-way, and we hurled ourselves out of the opening just before it slammed back into place, again sealing the site. 

I groped into my belt pouches and withdrew my palm light.  In the dim light of the lamps we just sat and caught our breath for minutes.  Finally I turned to my wife.  "What just happened?"

Arnor's eyes widened.  "Didn't you hear it?"

"Hear what?"  I asked, puzzled. 

"The crystals...  They sang to me.  All three of them."  She whispered.  "It was ... amazing...."

I was dumbfounded.  Arnor was strong in the force and sensitive to the song, but it was rare that she could hear something I could not.  And this apparently hadn't been subtle.  How had I missed it?  "What did it sound like?"

Arnor smiled.  "It was ... like a crystal wind-chime, only there was more structure.  All chords, but moving in a pattern and rhythm, but one so subtle and complicated that it almost sounded random.  It was amazing..."

I sat back and opened my senses wide.  I wanted to hear this song!  But before I could reach for it I noticed something else.  "Arnor...  Listen for a moment.  What do you hear?"

Arnor closed her eyes and cocked her head to the side in a gesture indicative of deep concentration on her part.  For over a minute she sat that way, unmoving, before her eyes opened again.  "I don't hear anything, Karm.  What is it?"

"That's just it.   Nothing.  There's ... nothing.  Before, there was a swirling cauldron of chaotic sounds and melody fragments, good and evil.  Just a ... jumble.  White noise blocking everything else, making even simple concentration hard.  Now, nothing.  Just that deep well of power and peace."

"You're right!  Could it have..."

That's when the surviving sith warrior, the leader of the group that had attacked us earlier, lurched into the circle of light created by our lamps.  "What have you done?Huh"  he croaked. 

The warrior, tears in his eyes, collapsed.  "You've driven it away...  Opened the crypt...  As the prophecy foretold..."

He collapsed, but there were other voices in the dark, wailing.  And the rustle of many more people moving around, beyond what our lights could reveal.  I looked at Arnor.  "I think we should leave now..."

"I'm right behind you."

Logged

Sabers I Own:   Aeon V4 Emerald/Obs V4 "Reverse LE",  Dark Ini V4 w/ Obs Lite in FO, Dark Apprentice LE Stunt in FO, Dominix V4 LE w/ Obs Lite in SRD, Sentinel LE Stunt in BR, Dominix V4 Obs Lite in AG.    Wish List:  Scorpion w/ Obsidian V4 and Emerald, Dark Malice Staff w/ Emerald


Karmack: Sentinel of the Red Jedi Order

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