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Author Topic: The Mad Scholar's Tale  (Read 8430 times)
PsychoSith
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Force Alignment: -372
Posts: 1758


« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2020, 10:20:35 AM »

III    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     He may not be bright, but at least this one has a spine. She thought to herself. I’ll give the mongrel and the old fool another day before I send someone to clean up whatever’s left. She chuckled, planet-wide infernos reflecting in her gaze. I do so love it when the trash takes itself out.
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TheDutchman
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Force Alignment: 1044
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2020, 05:09:36 AM »

And so the plot thickens!

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

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

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

Great job PS!  The next chapter if you please...   Wink
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Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

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

Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 334
Posts: 1689



« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2020, 04:19:57 PM »

And so the plot thickens!

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

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


« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2020, 07:14:11 AM »

Glad to hear you guys are enjoying! Sorry that chapter took awhile, things have been crazy lately but are starting to calm down again, so I should be back to my more active self!
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PsychoSith
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: -372
Posts: 1758


« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2020, 11:42:43 AM »

Small Disclaimer: Part IV will contain darker topics than average fair, as Sith training is not exactly a happy relationship between master and student. I figure most of y'all probably dont mind either way but I'd rather be careful rather than causing issues.
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Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 334
Posts: 1689



« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2020, 06:20:14 PM »

Small Disclaimer: Part IV will contain darker topics than average fair, as Sith training is not exactly a happy relationship between master and student. I figure most of y'all probably dont mind either way but I'd rather be careful rather than causing issues.

Yeah that's cool, it's all about context, if it is part of the story do whatever you need.
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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
Knight Lt. Commander
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Force Alignment: -21
Posts: 481


Vote for Neutrality!


« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2020, 01:15:11 PM »

Story still looks good. You've managed to find enough clever points for the old man to reveal to the student.  It can be hard to come up with "profound" teachings, but you've smoothly come up with them.  Which I think help keep interest.  Klaith on his own in a "I'm so evil" story would tripey.  I am looking forward to seeing if Klaith evolves from a cut-out villain to somebody with real reasons and understanding to be Sith.

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PsychoSith
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: -372
Posts: 1758


« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2020, 01:24:55 PM »

Story still looks good. You've managed to find enough clever points for the old man to reveal to the student.  It can be hard to come up with "profound" teachings, but you've smoothly come up with them.  Which I think help keep interest.  Klaith on his own in a "I'm so evil" story would tripey.  I am looking forward to seeing if Klaith evolves from a cut-out villain to somebody with real reasons and understanding to be Sith.



Glad youre still engaged! I have a lot of plans for Kiath going forward and suffice to say, I fully intend for every character to have a third dimension - no cutouts here  Wink
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TheDutchman
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 1044
Posts: 3898


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2020, 01:07:32 PM »

Small Disclaimer: Part IV will contain darker topics than average fair, as Sith training is not exactly a happy relationship between master and student. I figure most of y'all probably dont mind either way but I'd rather be careful rather than causing issues.

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

But appreciation for the warning  Smiley

I'm really looking forward to your next chapter!
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Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

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

PsychoSith
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: -372
Posts: 1758


« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2020, 11:35:58 AM »

A lot of outlining later, Chapter IV will be up soon.
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PsychoSith
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: -372
Posts: 1758


« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2020, 11:19:43 AM »

A lot of outlining later, Chapter IV will be up soon.

I'm not a liar, I'm just scatterbrained, I promise.
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TheDutchman
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 1044
Posts: 3898


Avatar courtesy of For Tyeth


« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2020, 02:20:15 PM »

I'm not a liar, I'm just scatterbrained, I promise.
No worries, PS; whenever you are able   Wink
Logged

Sig courtesy of DarthScrub

Cataphract Triarch of the Vhal'Dan

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

PsychoSith
Knight Commander
*

Force Alignment: -372
Posts: 1758


« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2020, 11:19:17 AM »

IV

Five years ago.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        “Now go,” she commanded, “Heal.” The Lady paused. “And don’t ever make me look like a fool again.”
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Lord_S_Gray
Knight Commander
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Force Alignment: 334
Posts: 1689



« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2020, 02:56:51 PM »

LOL my universe, what  little world Ricane has, and no doubt conspiring to expand it. interesting characters for sure, a lot of sith politicing behind the scenes I think!
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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


« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2020, 07:14:18 AM »

LOL my universe, what  little world Ricane has, and no doubt conspiring to expand it. interesting characters for sure, a lot of sith politicing behind the scenes I think!

A sad, strange little world to be sure.
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