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Author Topic: Schisms: The Vhal'Dan Civil War  (Read 15363 times)
Lord_S_Gray
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Force Alignment: 163
Posts: 1091



« Reply #225 on: July 27, 2019, 04:40:11 AM »

Now it seems we move to the final act...I agree with D'Alyanna such a hybrid really shouldn't survive long...but then it's wasn't just Twi'lek and Anzat was it....Twi'lek physical desire plus Anzat feeding instinct and strength combined with a touch of Aethan primalism from the healing that made Saani fertile again... there are a lot of ways that could go very very badly - losing Galtea and thousands of Vhal dan in the war is sounding like a warm up...another strong step forward in the narrative Dutch.
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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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Master of Ceremonies
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Force Alignment: 887
Posts: 4333


Light side points please.


« Reply #226 on: July 29, 2019, 09:47:30 AM »

Agreed.   I have a suspicion on what is coming, but I will keep it to myself.  But you're right, that could be a very bad combination.
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signature picture by DarthScrub

Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

TheDutchman
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Force Alignment: 752
Posts: 3058


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« Reply #227 on: August 14, 2019, 09:33:04 AM »


Chapter 34: A Knife to the Heart

[Kage, the transports have successfully arrived and the prefabricated structures are going up surrounding the Old Temple]. Ryshhk announced as he entered Kazic’s office in the Temple of Balance.  

“Thank you, Speaker.” Kazic said in clipped tones.  His head was killing him, the migraines the worst they’d ever been.  Still: it was the best news that could be expected.

After months of argument, bickering, and concessions, the Vhal’Dan had finally agreed that Galtea was lost to them, the symptoms of the Lus’phor Holocaust now drastically affecting every Force-user, from teidowan to koawan to maenowan—indeed from initiate to Kage—in the worst possible ways.  Migraines, horrific visions, and nightmares were endemic.

And those were just the “standard.”  Some complaints of a more serious conditions had surfaced: a wasting sickness that was now associated with the vergence affected every 1 in 16.  Many admitted to suffering from paranoid delusions.  Still others had fallen into comas.  But the real impetus driving the migration from Galtea were the three deaths that had occurred as a direct result of the Thought Bomb’s backwash.

The three casualties were as disparate as could be: one a koawan human female, another a Verpine maenowan, and the third was the 6th Speaker himself, Candurous Eriston.  One and all they’d complained of symptoms, none of them particularly more severe than any other…until it was too late.

In the hours preceding their deaths, they’d lost their vision, capacity for speech, and finally their mobility, followed by violent seizures.  After a couple of hours, they would lose consciousness…dying shortly thereafter without any further display.

Congress had been quick to accept Kazic’s evacuation plan and on that same day, once again he instituted Bellicose Protocols.  But unlike his wartime implementation where he’d hope to safeguard the planet, Kazic now fought to save the remaining Vhal’Dan Jedi.  His people…

…What I should have done from the start… Not for the first time did Kazic damn himself a fool, once for being intractable in the face of Anson’s opposition, twice for becoming the architect of the destruction of much of the Order… Oh, no one had ever accused him of doing so…at least not when they thought they would be overheard…but…

But Kazic condemned himself for such.

However, as much as he castigated himself, he knew that he still had a job to do, one that he would not foist upon anyone else.  The responsibility was his, he would do everything to rectify the situation.  And on that point, he’d sent out several detachments in order to find the Vhal’Dan a new home.

Thank the Maker they had, and with no time to spare.

“Speaker, please instruct the Collegium that every master, maenowan, and koawan is to assist the teidowans and initiates with their preparations.  I want everyone off-planet by the end of the week.” Kazic knew that his people would do just that; they all had compelling motives for alacrity.  Unconsciously he began to rub his temples.  “Any other news?” He added after a moment.

Ryshhk’s low rumbling reverberated through the room.  [Yes, Kage.  Both good and bad].  He paused, consulting the datapad engulfed within his enormous hand.  [The good: there have been rich mineral deposits detected within the mountains adjacent to the Old Temple.  Not as abundant as those on Nux’x but still more than plentiful for the Order’s needs; several centuries by the most conservative supply estimates].

“Truly good news indeed…” Kazic’s monotone voice was incongruous with his excitement. …Damned migraines… He cursed.  “…And the bad?” He asked, slowly inhaling as he took his hands from the sides of his head and began to stroke his black goatee.

[All attempts to open lines of communication with the rebel Vhal’Dan have been rebuffed.  Indeed, the channels previously used are no longer viable].  Controlled anger seemed to radiate from the large Wookie.  [We do not even know if anyone is listening…]  Kazic could feel the frustration that came off of Ryshhk in waves.  He could empathize; he had tried time and again to bring them back into the fold.  But, to a being, they refused to accept him as Kage.

Kazic had had a thought concerning such but wasn’t given the opportunity to explore it further.  Instead, he continued upon his path thinking to spare anyone else the trauma of the office.  “It’s not your fault, Ryshhk.” He closed his eyes, running his hands through his hair while absently fixing the leather statim holding his topknot.  “It’s me that they refuse to listen to.  Damned fools…”

He said the last in whispered exasperation.  Kazic knew that the rebels were suffering the same effects as his own people.  Would that he could make them listen… But even as such thoughts circled his mind, he could not fault them—at least not entirely—for their reticence.

“‘Maker, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.’” Kazic intoned, reciting the old Shifalan axiom that his teacher and mentor Master Stryka Annix had taught him.  It helped him to regain his center and instead of focusing on the negative, emphasized the positive…at least for him.

It also reminded him of the two pieces of great news that he could hold onto.  The first was the Vhal’Dan’s new home.  Already properly terraformed, Ossus and its moons were home to many ancient Jedi structures and artifacts.  As for the Order’s new planet, Kazic had decided upon the moon of Kewda…for many reasons.  In addition to the nearby mineral and ore mountain veins, there was an old temple that had been abandoned during the Mandalorian Wars…along with a true rarity.

The Guardian.

Made after the Hundred-Year Darkness, the Guardian protected the Old Temple on Kewda by disrupting any and all Dark Force energies within a 17 kilometer radius from the enormous statue.  And like the Jedi of old, the Vhal’Dan would be more than welcome in the Temple, a home to give them succor and respite…especially after Galtea.

Kazic also desperately hoped that the Guardian would help with those suffering from the symptoms of the Lus’phor Holocaust.  With that, unfortunately, only time would tell…

But the source of Kazic’s happiness (despite his migraines) was the newest addition to his family: his and Saani’s son, Lor-Riou.  Even thinking of him now made the Anzat smile, his headache abating…at least a little bit.

“Sorry Speaker, I didn’t catch your last…?” Kazic’s attention returned fully to the present.

Ryshhk made a deep bass sound as he exhaled while he eased his shoulders from the formal posture that he always adopted when addressing his Kage.  [Kazic…] He said quietly, his demeanor familiar as he addressed the Anzat by name, […How is your family]?  He took a seat in front of the Kage’s large yet informal desk.  The Wookie Speaker began to absently rub at his head, his own pain evident.

Kazic smiled wistfully.  “Good…no, better than ‘good,’ Ryshhk.  Saani has been resting exclusively at home since getting home from the hospital and Lor-Riou…well, he’s growing quickly.”  That last was especially poignant.  As Kazic had never even heard of any Anzat/Twi’Lek offspring, he didn’t really know what to expect…not to mention just what it was Aresaea had done to Saani and whether or not it would be passed on genetically.  But all of that fell by the wayside; his son was happy and most importantly healthy.  “Saani couldn’t wait but…she already tested him.  He’s Force-sensitive, not that it surprises me.”  Other things most certainly did but to Kazic, as a happy father, he was content to allow both Saani and himself the luxury of just being a family.  In fact, he’d spent the entire last week practically sequestered at home, corresponding via holofeed for any business.  It was the only time that he’d allowed himself a vacation away from the office.  Kazic was able to nurture Saani and Lor-Riou, both wanting for nothing.  Besides, Ryshhk was able to handle everything during that time.

Sadly it was the quickest week he’d ever spent, one of the happiest in Kazic’s life.  And altogether too brief…

[Congratulations my friend]. Ryshhk’s tone was sincere and friendly.  [May the Trees always offer you and yours solace].  He crossed muscular arms over his broad chest.  [Have you and Saani determined where on Kewda you shall reside]?

“Initially: the Temple proper.  But…well, I haven’t talked to Saani about it yet—I would like to surprise her but—I was thinking of a home by one of the lakes a kilometer from the Temple.”  Lost in thought, Kazic grinned.  “When I think of Lor-Riou growing up there, surrounded by the beauty of nature…well, it mitigates the loss of Galtea…” He suddenly soured.  “Maker-dammit…” Kazic sat forward, barking a laugh.  “And just when I thought I was used to the idea…well, at least that is one thing that I’m grateful for: since Saani’s been recovering at home—not to mention too busy with Lor-Riou—she hasn’t been disheartened by having to witness the mass exodus of our people…” Again he became wistful, thinking of the morose looks he’d witnessed on everyone’s faces as they left the Vhal’Ulhadv spaceport, the longing stares as the Jedi looked upon the city one last time before boarding their transports.

[I wouldn’t worry about her, my friend; Saani is one of the strongest persons I’ve ever met.  Even as she saw those leaving…like refugees searching for a purpose, she remained stoic]. Ryshhk’s tone was contemplative.  [I feel for them…Galtea has been my home for decades.  Thank the Trees that I’ll be able to bring the Lineage Tree that my Uncle Yshhrk gave me as a sapling].  Ryshhk gave a small smile.  [I think that I’ll go visit him, it’s been years since—]

“Forgive me, Ryshhk…” Kazic quietly interrupted, “…but what do you mean that she’s seen them?”

Ryshhk blinked.  [Exactly that.  Just three days ago I’d seen her down by the spaceport.  I must’ve surprised her: she looked as if she’d seen a ghost-wight].  Ryshhk suddenly grinned.  [For a moment, I thought that she was going to ignite her lightsaber and attack me, by the look on her face].  The Wookie’s deep rumbling laughter shook the Kage’s Office.  [Please, I apologize, I didn’t mean to ruin her surprise for you].

Kazic smiled.  “Think nothing of it.” But something still didn’t sit right; Saani had told him that she’d not left the apartments since returning from the hospital, that she’d been busy seeing everything ready and packed from their home…

Pain throbbed through his forehead.  …Maker-damned Thought Bomb… Gritting his teeth, Kazic stood.  As paranoid as he felt, he knew he could attribute it to the vergence.  Couldn’t he?  Looking back, little things that he’d ignored or had thought he’d imagined suddenly came to the forefront, a hyperawareness scrutinizing everything.  

“Ryshhk, would you please excuse me.  I just have some last-minute things to do before we’re ready to leave…” Without waiting for an answer, Kazic hurried to the hyperloop, boarding and taking his seat in a daze.

Pain and nausea rolled through him as he closed his eyes.  The week that he’d spent together with Saani and Lor-Riou had been glorious…but now, upon retrospect, Kazic questioned what before he’d summarily dismissed.  Flashes of almost-anger that were gone as quickly as perceived…a strange look in Saani’s purple eyes…a twist of her blue lips…the vagueness in the tone of her voice…why would she lie…or…

Or was he being foolishly paranoid, pain, exhaustion, self-castigation getting to him?

Kazic tried focusing on the details…only to stray to those happy memories spent with Lor-Riou, the unexpectedness of being a father…especially after what had happened the first time Saani had gotten pregnant…

…She’s lying…

Kazic shook his head, as if doing so would negate the nagging suspicions that kept plaguing him.  Immediately, he regretted the action, his migraine made worse as a result.  Squeezing his eyes shut, he tried to focus again on his son.  Like when he’d unexpectantly taken his first steps the day after they’d gotten home from the hospital…

…She’s lying…

Teeth grinding, Kazic obstinately tried to ignore the small voice in the back of his head.  He must think, focus instead on Lor-Riou, already having spoken his first utterance in Basic and Twi’Leki, both times the same word: “father.”  He smiled, unshed tears blurring his vision as he blinked.

…She’s lying…

His smile disappearing, Kazic’s cheeks were wet as tears slid down his face.  Lor-Riou…

…She’s lying…

She’s lying… Conviction filled his mind, Kazic willing his eyes to stay open, to see, to really look

And there, where he knew they’d be, where they’d always been, were the daen nosi, undulating wildly just a fraction beyond his peripheral vision, virtually invisible except…

…Except when Kazic stopped ignoring them.  Now, it was all that he could do not to see them, as obvious as the flared nostrils on his own face.  Feeling simultaneously better and worse, he was impatient to arrive home.  And while he tried to pass the remaining time with pleasant memories of Lor-Riou, Kazic could no longer focus on anything other than Saani…well, her and the daen nosi.

Before he knew it, Kazic’s home appeared, the doors to the hyperloop opening onto the vast balcony that led invariably to the door of the Kage’s Apartments.  Rushing from his seat, he was soon through the doors leading into the apartment atrium and up the stairs to the bedroom that he shared with his wife.  “Saani?  Saani!” His voice echoed through the now empty rooms.

There was no one here; not Saani, not Lor-Riou…no one.

…THINK…! Kazic berated himself.  He slowed his breathing, closed his eyes, calmed his thoughts… Everything—even the migraine that he’d suffered since morning—seemed to dissipate, tense muscles relaxing as agitated thoughts gave way to rational explainations.

Of course…no one was there; Saani had been seeing to their own excursion plans.  Naturally, she’d taken Lor-Riou with her.  

Understanding and relief flooded Kazic’s mind, further alleviating his anxiety.  It seemed that the vergence was fueling his paranoia, like so many others.  Grimly he smiled.  He knew that he’d been under severe conditions but he’d somehow hoped to avoid the worst of the symptoms; clearly he was mistaken…

Slowly, he walked down the wide staircase leading to the solarium, its tall walls completely transparent.  Through it, Kazic was able to look upon the heart of Vhal’Ulhadv.  Even now, the sky was filled with traffic, hovercars and ships dotting the airways as the mass exodus continued.  Whereas before the vista awed the Anzat it now served as a stark reminder of what he was once again losing…

“Kazic.” Saani’s voice came from behind him, startling him from his ruminations.  Turning, he faced his wife, a grateful smile spreading across his lips.  One that faltered as soon as his eyes fell upon Saani’s face.  Rather, as soon as his gaze looked into Saani’s eyes.

The eyes of a stranger, filled with contempt, cruelty, and antipathy.

“…Kanp’a…what’s going on?” Kazic asked warily, his own heart hammering within his throat.  He now saw that she had her armor on, both lightsabers held within her hands.

“I know what you’ve done, what you have planned.” Saani’s voice was hard, accusatory.  “I won’t let you do it.”

Kazic moved slowly towards her, his hands spread to show that he was unarmed.  “Saani, what are you talking about?  Do?  Do what?  Please…what is wrong?”

Saani adopted a defensive posture, lightsaber held at the ready if still unignited.  “Don’t come near me.  I know.  I know.  Was it your plan from the start?  Or was it only afterwards?”

Exasperated by both confusion and pain Kazic scowled.  “Saani, what in the Maker-damned hell are you talking about?” He took another step forward.



Fast as thought, Saani’s purple blade sprang into existence, the snap-hiss of the lightsaber the only warning that Kazic got.  Either by luck or the will of the Force, Kazic was able to avoid the plasma blade but he stumbled backwards.  Before he was able to recover his wits, he felt his body seize as Lightning engulfed him and he was suddenly lifted a meter into the air.

“I told you not to come near me…” Saani whispered.

In agony, Kazic stared down at his wife, bewilderment helping to galvanize his lucidity as he fought to remain conscious.  When he could finally speak, his voice was harsh, pained, and raspy.  “…Saani…what…are…you…doing…?”

As she approached, Kazic could finally see in fine detail his wife’s face.  It was blank, devoid of any love or affection.  But Saani’s eyes belonged to that of a zealot.  And when she spoke, Kazic’s spirits froze in horror.

“What I should have done as soon as I knew what you planned to do to Lor-Riou.  I knew that you’d take him from me…” Her face suddenly filled with anger, her brow furrowed with pain.  “…But what I would have never guessed is that you—YOU!—would raise him…as…a…Sith!”

Kazic couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  But even as he opened his mouth to deny it, he realized that anything he said would be dismissed; clearly Saani was suffering deeply from paranoia.  He had to help her…

“Saani…please, you’re…you’re not well.  We…we need to get you to Kewda, to the Guardian…I…I can help you; I can fix you!” Kazic pleaded, his voice full of emotion.

If Saani had looked angry before, rage now consumed her.  “‘Fix me?!'  You…you bastard.  Yes I should’ve known.”  Conviction filled her voice.  “I should’ve known that the vergence had poisoned you…but no matter…”

She brought her lightsaber up to the ready.  “I will not let you ever have the chance to complete your fiendish plans…” Kazic felt the pressure holding him in the air constrict all around him.  “…And you will never, ever threaten Lor-Riou again…”

Kazic—veteran of countless battles in dozens of wars—felt pain the likes of which he’d never thought possible.  Not from the Force powers now crushing him or the heat of the plasma blade that drew ever closer.  No, this pain was worse than all combined.

He’d lost Lor-Riou, he’d lost Saani…and it was Saani that would now kill him.
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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

Karmack
Forumverse Loremaster
Master of Ceremonies
Knight Commander
************

Force Alignment: 887
Posts: 4333


Light side points please.


« Reply #228 on: August 14, 2019, 12:40:24 PM »

Wow...    I kinda knew it was coming, but not like that!   Kazic is about to die at the hands of the one he loves the most.

But we know he didn't die...

Which means someone or something intervened....

Will Saani be killed?

Will the baby survive?

Will inflation ruin your summer vacation plans?

Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion to....   
*smacks computer*

Darned old-timee radio show recordings....     

Sorry.   Dutch, that is a horrible moment, and well written.   I make light because it is just so heavy and tragic.  Poor Kazic.  He's in the ultimate no-win...
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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 163
Posts: 1091



« Reply #229 on: August 14, 2019, 04:11:43 PM »

Agree with Karm...piece by piece its all coming apart, I suspect even the Guardians effects wouldn't cure all the ills...but as it stands the chances of everyone even getting there...How much of this paranoia is the vergence, how much is something worse. Perhaps it doesn't really matter now things have come to a head.
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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."

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