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Author Topic: The Mad Scholar's Tale  (Read 6819 times)
PsychoSith
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Dark Side Scholar


« on: February 20, 2020, 12:17:58 PM »

I
    
     The Acolyte paced in the spacious chamber, kicking up small plumes of dirt with his impatient shuffling. Blood steadily dripped from his nose, his smell all but consumed by the scents of iron and dust. He cursed his luck quietly, running over the events that lead to him standing in front of a stone wall in a cold cave on a dead world.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

 -PO "Inferno"   
 -CG Aeon v5

Lord_S_Gray
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Force Alignment: 306
Posts: 1659



« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2020, 02:12:48 PM »

Nice job Pyscho, solid descriptions that set the scene e.g "Nothing lived here but rats and roots, the surface air was thin and cold. " and into action opening, a the apprentice clearly showing key traits from the get go, some mysterious goings on and a great ending line - Tell me what you hate - that begs to be answered. Very well started.
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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."

PsychoSith
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: -372
Posts: 1758


Dark Side Scholar


« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2020, 07:22:37 AM »

Nice job Pyscho, solid descriptions that set the scene e.g "Nothing lived here but rats and roots, the surface air was thin and cold. " and into action opening, a the apprentice clearly showing key traits from the get go, some mysterious goings on and a great ending line - Tell me what you hate - that begs to be answered. Very well started.

Thanks! Hope its interesting enough for y'all  Smiley
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Through passion, I gain strength

 -PO "Inferno"   
 -CG Aeon v5

rosaferri
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Darth Lamia Octavia [Dark/Grey Force Assassin!]


« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2020, 08:26:23 AM »

Point to you. Well written. I’m curious to see where this ends up.
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Karmack
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2020, 12:57:11 PM »

Ohhhh    I like....

Nicely written and a GREAT hook, PsychoSith!   This one is well begun. Echoing LSG: the scene is well set and vivid.  And I am intrigued by this scenario.  Really looking forward to more!
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PsychoSith
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Force Alignment: -372
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Dark Side Scholar


« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2020, 01:52:56 PM »

Thanks for the kind words! I have zero clue where to cut off chapter two right now hence me taking a hot minute posting  Roll Eyes
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Through passion, I gain strength

 -PO "Inferno"   
 -CG Aeon v5

Lord_S_Gray
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Force Alignment: 306
Posts: 1659



« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2020, 04:09:51 PM »

Thanks for the kind words! I have zero clue where to cut off chapter two right now hence me taking a hot minute posting  Roll Eyes

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

PsychoSith
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: -372
Posts: 1758


Dark Side Scholar


« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2020, 01:54:54 PM »

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

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

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





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

     “Why should that matter!?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     “Vansi, Darth Vansi to you, neophyte. And you wont forget what I teach you.”
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Through passion, I gain strength

 -PO "Inferno"   
 -CG Aeon v5

TheDutchman
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2020, 01:59:08 PM »

Alright PS!  Nice to see you delving into the literary side of the SW 'Verse  Wink

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

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

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

PS: welcome to the Forumverse and keep it coming!
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PsychoSith
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: -372
Posts: 1758


Dark Side Scholar


« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2020, 07:41:14 AM »

Alright PS!  Nice to see you delving into the literary side of the SW 'Verse  Wink

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

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

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

PS: welcome to the Forumverse and keep it coming!

Hearing you, LSG, and Karmack give praise on writing is somethin else. Thanks for sayin so!
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Through passion, I gain strength

 -PO "Inferno"   
 -CG Aeon v5

Lord_S_Gray
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Force Alignment: 306
Posts: 1659



« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2020, 02:03:44 PM »

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

janx
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« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2020, 07:18:50 AM »

This is reading well.  Catchy.  I think Vansi helps with that, since he's the more sympathetic character.

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

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

http://adverbless.com/

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

If you didn't do a clean-up, I'd still be happy reading what you wrote and look forward to reading more.
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PsychoSith
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: -372
Posts: 1758


Dark Side Scholar


« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2020, 07:23:52 AM »

This is reading well.  Catchy.  I think Vansi helps with that, since he's the more sympathetic character.

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

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

http://adverbless.com/

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

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


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

 -PO "Inferno"   
 -CG Aeon v5

janx
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Posts: 476


Vote for Neutrality!


« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2020, 10:20:54 AM »

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

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

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Karmack
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Light side points please.


« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2020, 10:22:53 AM »

LOL   I love the tools!   Honestly, I didn't notice, the story had me engaged, but I also can suffer from this failing so I am adding these to my tool kit!  Thanks!
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Master Singer of the Mak'Tor

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