One week after the events of the Ziost Invasion...

The Dark Wonosa Cult gathers on the streets of Kaas city to mourn the fallen, and pay homage to the brave volunteers that attempted to free New Adasta from GA occupation...

There had been an even greater turnout than Alisteri and his priests had expected. More people had shown up to the mourning than usually came to the sermons, people that weren't in the cult but had been helped by it and wanted to pay their respects. Their presence was welcome of course, this was an event for the community after all. A group funeral, for those that never made it back from New Adasta.

The masked acolyte stood back away from the main crowd, them having gathered in a side street with small altars that had been set up with various pictures and items from the lives of those they now remembered. The bodies couldn't be recovered, not after the battle that New Adasta had been subjected to, so they made do with the altars as coffins and with pictures as the cold faces of the dead. A total of seven cult members had fallen, all of those that had volunteered to help liberate the people of New Adasta, but the relatively small number did little to soothe the hearts of those that now held back tears and comforted others before their little places of memory. The cult itself was small, and as a result was close. Everyone knew everyone, even if they didn't always get along, so everyone knew the seven that had died.

The priests were intermixed in the crowd, some paying their respects to the makeshift altars while others gave short sermons to comfort the assembled mourners.

Alisteri watched the funeral with a solemn expression, idly feeling the first few sprinkles of rain drop onto the top of his hood. It rained regularly on Dromund Kaas, but thus far the weather had held up thankfully. Not that anyone here minded standing in the rain if it meant honoring their fallen family. He counted the members that he recognized as literal family of the seven, the spouses and children that all seemed to be huddled close together. As if displaying the comradery that their now lost family had believed in before they were cut down. His hand tightened into a fist at that.

War had casualties, of course he knew that. He had been on the frontlines for many months now, he had seen more death than any normal person his age should. Even still though, the deaths weighed heavily on him. I should've been there...I should've been watching over them. They died because of my negligence...they deserved better.

His gaze lifted to the sky, feeling the rain finally begin to fall. It was light, for now.

The entire mood of the congregation was almost silent, even the sermons were whispered amidst the sounds of people holding back sniffles and tears. They had been here for nearly two hours now, mourning and trying to put on a brave face. Alisteri hadn't spoken once during the event, not to his priests and not to the cult as a whole. No one had bothered him either, and other than the occasional glance and nod of respect it was as if no one knew that he was there at all.

Now though, he decided to break the silence of the funeral.

Slowly and methodically, he made his way through the crowd. He didn't even bother waiting for a path to become clear, weaving in and out between the assembly with almost no effort or trouble at all. The ones that had spotted him did step aside, but he didn't expect them to. By the time he made it to the front of the crowd everyone had fallen silent, the priests ending their sermons and turning to face their superior as he positioned himself slightly ahead of the crowd. He had yet to speak still, his back turned to the congregation as rain pelted them all. His gaze ran over the seven altars and all of their decorations one final time before he spoke.

"I...I wish to apologize to each and every one of you. I wish to apologize to these brave souls that died fighting for what they believed in. I...I have failed you all." He turned to face the crowd, the surprise on their faces only growing as his mask was held in his hand. This was the first time that the young High Priest had shown his face to anyone within the cult, his yellow eyes full of emotion as they regarded everyone before him.

"When I gave my blessing for these seven to go on their holy mission, I assumed that they would be fine. In my own naïve hope, I allowed them to march to their demise. My vision of an entire city up in arms and throwing off the chains of oppression blinded me to reality." Of all that Alisteri had done, not once had he ever regretted a single action. Everything he did was with clear purpose and intent, there was no room for regret when all he had done was full of certainty. But now, his words were filled with nothing but regret. "I...I would like to make a promise to all of you. If you would allow me, and forgive me for my mistake, I would like to teach all who would listen a new lesson from the Dark Side." Not a soul moved, the crowd watching him and listening with bated breath.

His gaze shifted downward, to the mask in his hands. The 'eyes' of the mask stared back up at him emotionlessly, his own reflection in them feeling a bit hollow to look at.

"Kerstas. By far the most common sentiment in the Sith as a whole. Kerstas, it means revenge. To take one's pain and anger then turn it into action. To avenge a misdeed, or bring justice for those that have died. This is Kerstas."

He looked back up, seeing a couple members of the crowd murmur the word either in confusion or as an attempt to remember it. He could idly recall them doing the same with Wonosa when he had taught them about it. "My congregation, my friends, it is not enough that the Sith Empire secures your freedom. For someone must secure the Sith Empire. That is my duty, as a servant and member of the Sith. It is the duty of any enlisted member of our glorious military, no matter what rank or station. I know that I am in no position to ask anything of you now, but I would ask that if any of you wish for revenge; if any of you long for Kerstas, I will now be recruiting."

His voice grew louder as he looked over his cult, a mixture of emotions running through his congregation as his words sank in. "To all those that wish to safeguard your new lives, and the lives of those you hold dear, I ask that you tell me. No matter what skills you possess, no matter how devout you are or how blessed you are, I ask that all of you that wish for revenge come tell me now." The gazes of many in the crowd hardened, the priests exchanging surprised looks amongst themselves.

"Do you wish to defend your home, do you wish to defend your family?" Alisteri began to slowly pace in front of the crowd. "Do you wish that you could achieve justice for these seven that are not with us now, and for the many hundreds that lay dead on Zygerria? On Ziost? On any planet that has been tainted by the presence of the enemy?" Several cries of 'Yes!' sprang up in the crowd.

"Then I ask that all of you stand with me now, I ask that you shout to the sky so loud that the Dark Lord himself hears you! Kerstas! Revenge for the fallen!" No sooner had the words left his mouth than the chanting of 'Kerstas!' began. "Kerstas! Kerstas!" More and more voices joined until not a single person was silent. The High Priest had even joined in the chanting, his priests already shouting the word at the top of their lungs.

"Kerstas! Kerstas! Kerstas!"