"For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories."
Tsavong sat in the back of a merchant's starship. He had been hired for security, another odd job to make ends meet and to feed his stomach. Even for a creature as grotesque as Tsavong was, one could not deny his physical stature nor his intimidating visage. The Myrshavong looked down at the Qah'sa of Artemis Obauldi, the last remaining known relic of this man's history.
He failed the galaxy, Artemis had said, among other things. But he never explained why.
Tsavong didn't understand, but knew it was necessary that he understood. Obauldi was attempting to speak through him across the vast time of nearly eight hundred years... and Kraal knew it was important. But why speak in these riddles? Why not just come out with it. If exoneration was what this ancestor sought, there were plenty of other more direct ways to seek it.
Tsavong pressed his finger against the Qah'sa once more, and sped through much of the speech. He paused at a particular point that was of interest to him.
"Regnum in Potestas," Artemis's gravelly voice spoke again.
"A powerful group of Sith, these self-proclaimed Horsemen approached me prior the Battle of the Fallen. I offered my leadership and guidance towards seeking their ends, if they would but help me find mine... one of blood... and smoke."
Tsavong played it back again.
"One of blood... and smoke."
Tsavong played it again.
The Supreme Overlord never quite explained what he had sought from the Regnum. What was he referencing?
He reached in his bag for the ornate tablet he had pulled from the temple, when the Hydra Queen had been born.
He read the words again, in the language of the Yuuzhan Vong.
THE UNPURGED IMAGES OF DAY RECEDE
A GOD'S LUST FOR WAR FULFILLED
NIGHT RESONATES ONCE MORE
AFTER THE GONG OF THE OBELISK
THE STARLIT MOON DISDAINS
ALL THAT A MAN IS
ALL MERE COMPLEXITIES,
BOTH PAST AND PRESENT
CONVERGE IN BLOOD AND SMOKE
OF THE VEIN AND OF THE HEART
Tsavong sat back, cradling the Qah'sa, staring at it.
Was this all some elaborate game?