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A Month In Paradise: Dxun Training


Smug Slug
Day 1
Somewhere in the jungles of Dxun...

The oppressive heat complemented the stifling humidity. They bothered Darth Orcus little as he crashed through the jungle undergrowth. The massive Herglic was more concerned with staying alive, as he had been for the past seven hours since his arrival on the Demon Moon. Good name for such a planet. If the rainforest teeming with poisonous planets and voracious predators did not kill you, the weather would. Already, Darth Orcus had encountered two of the famed Dxun rainstorms. Water still drenched his cargo vest and pants.

He continued his charge, ripping aside plants and bushes in his way. Few things could stand in his path and remain there. But Orcus well knew the history of this place. If Mandalore the Indomitable could be slain by these beasts, then anyone could. Save him. He would not perish upon this moon. The galaxy had need of him yet.

Though he could not see his hunters, he knew they were out there. Maalraas. Nighthunters. He had felt them in the Force upon his arrival. It was daytime yet, though when darkness fell... they would come for him. And darkness was falling quickly.

Without warning, a vine wrapped around his leg. He collapsed face first into the fauna. Several more vines wrapped around his legs and began to haul him backward. Dazed, Orcus shifted his enormous bulk, twisting and turning, but with each twist he wrapped himself more firmly into the grip of the vines. They began lifting his enormous form up, up, yanking him into the trees. Black eyes widened.


Struggling wildly, the Herglic continued to entwine himself further into the predator's vines, slowly but surely ensuring his fate. The panic soon turned to rage as he pulled and strained. But his vast strength availed him little here. Even his immense lungs were growing taxed, though he did not heave for breath quite yet. He ceased his struggles, remembering Balaya's instructions before she sent him to the Demon Moon.

"Every predator is a lesson."

What was the lesson here? Panic and he failed. Rage and he failed. Patience was the answer he sought. He drank in a deep breath of the humid air and sought the weakness of the Crasna. He surmised it quickly. Doubling over, his still pudgy white stomach barely enabling him to curl upward, he grabbed onto a single vine with two hands and pulled with all his might. Straining, he tore the vine in half. He had been going about this wrong. Fight all the vines and he would lose. But fight them one by one, with patience, and he could overcome them. He began tearing the vines apart until with a final rip, he tore the last one free.

And then he fell.


Pain pervaded his body as he lay sprawled upon his back. Eight hundred pounds did not fall easily, even with the Force to strengthen him. He lay upon the ground, knowing he should rise, but the wind had been knocked out of him. He wheezed for breath, but the humid climate choked his lungs. He blinked, staring up into the leafy canopy. Fading light streamed down upon the jungle floor below. Daylight was fading quickly. If he did not rise, he would die.

Something sprang upon him. It was small, to him, with a pale body. A row of pointed needle teeth jutted over its lip. Orcus' black eyes stared. The lession he had just learned was one of patience. He would not ignore it. But what would this lesson teach him? Suddenly, another jumped upon him, then another, then another. Orcus felt a sense of fear grow inside him, but quelled it, bringing up the rage instead. He dived into the safe, familiar waters of anger and submerged himself in their dark tides. Anger. Anger at the Jedi for betraying his trust. Anger at the lives he was forced to take because of others foolishness. Anger at the predators here who reminded him so much of politicians on Coruscant.

One of the small creatures bite him suddenly. Sharp teeth dug deep into his blubber, tearing away a large glomp. Orcus roared in pain and rose in a towering rage. He tore the creatures off of him in one tremendous swipe of his flipper, breaking bones and scattering them. Now on his feet, he began literally stomping them out. Each fall of his immense feet shook the ground and crushed the stalk-eyed creatures beneath his heel. Bones cracked with wet snaps. Blood stuck to the bottom of his shoes, mixing with the mud. An endeavoring little bastard leapt at him, jaws opened wide to grab at his thigh. Orcus caught it out of midair in one flipper and squeezed. He could feel as its ribs caved in and its organs burst. The stalk eyes bulged. Hoisting the creature, Orcus promptly opened his toothy maw and bit it in half. He munched upon the beast for a bit before unleashing a triumphant hauum that sent shivers through the trees.

The rest of the Cannoks scattered.

Lesson learned? In the face of raw strength, numbers served but to weaken.

A shriek sounded in the distance. Orcus tossed the half-bitten corpse aside and ran. He needed to find shelter before nightfall, or he would end up like that Cannok. Someone else's meal.


Smug Slug
Day 10

Orcus sat in a clearing, a stream on his right, the forest on his left, a waterfall at his back. He had hobbled together a shelter of wood that kept the rain away. He sat beneath it now, munching on roasted cannok. He had managed to build a fire earlier. Several roasted corpses of cannoks gave evidence to his catch of the day. They were the ones who came too close to the Herglic. The foolish ones. Now they would be food for his famished stomach. He tore voraciously into the haunch of Cannok meat.

The unseen hunters were out there somewhere. They still stalked him, though he had not seen them. Occasionally, he thought he saw shapes. Especially in the rain. Like now. Black eyes squinted into the haze of rain at the jungle's edge. A drop of water suddenly splashed atop his head. Ah, apparently his roof had a few leaks. It did not perturb the Herglic. He loved water, as any Herglic should. However, his food would not do well soggy. Nor would his clothes. He checked the bandage he had made for the Cannok bite. His vest had been sacrificed for material. It appeared to be doing well, but soak it in rain and roll in the mud and he would easily get an infection. Best to keep it dry.

The rains continued to fall down, much harder now. Winds tore down his shelter. He had to run for the trees, else risk being swept away by nature's wrath. Preparing himself for whatever waited for him in the jungle, Orcus charged. His large feet sunk deep into the rain soaked mud and grass with loud squelching as he lumbered forward. He burst into the jungle, expecting to be assaulted.

Instead... nothing.

Black eyes peered around. Just as Orcus was lowering his guard, he spotted a rustle of leaves and a shape made distinct by the rainfall. Without hesitation, he bellowed full force.


The concussive power of his shout tore up underbrush and splintered a tree in its path. It also sent a strange creature flying through the air. The cat-like predator smashed into a tree before falling limply to the ground. Orcus stomped over to stand over it. It had stealth abilities. Intriguing. Perhaps- his thoughts got no further as he was suddenly assaulted on all sides. Claws sliced through his pants legs and deep into his calves. Trilling ferociously, Orcus stomped with enough force that the ground shook. Then he bellowed once more, pivoting as he did so to clear the entire area. More of the creatures yelped and died, their hissing turning to mewls of panicked pain before death.

The living predators fled. He remembered them now. They were known as Maalraas. Stealthy hunters, but even stealth could not bring him down. He stood tall and proud despite the blood dripping from the lacerations upon his leg. The dice rattled in his head as he played with fate, feeling a thrill of exhilaration.

"Is this all Dxun has to throw at me?" He bellowed into the jungle canopy. The unsteady fall of raindrops splashing on his face was his only answer.

While he stood, reveling in the glorious power of his might, two large, green animals burst through the underbrush. Their squat faces betrayed the singular emotion of hunger as they rushed furiously toward Orcus. The Sith stood his ground, watching the oncoming rush with dispiteous black eyes. The hurricane of his emotions drew the Dark Side in. He sucked in a deep breath.


A third Boma he had not seen slammed into him, bowling him over and knocking the wind out of him. Wheezing, Orcus struggled to get to his feet. He found blood leaking from his side where the animal had gored him. Black eyes found all three creatures, not particularly immense, but still quite big. They charged him simultaneously.

Flipper balling into a fist, Orcus punched the first one full in the face. Bones broke with a wet snap. The Boma fell over, face caved in. He swept his flipper again, smashing the next Boma in the temple and sending it sprawling. But the third one bit him deeply in the ankle, tearing something out with its vicious teeth. Orcus trilled once more and batted the beast aside. The power of his blow was like the strength of ten human men. He easily knocked the Boma aside, snapping its neck. In a matter of moments, he had slain all three of them, but he could feel the throbbing in his ankle. Orcus swayed unsteadily and attempted to put weight on his injured leg. He almost fell over from the pain it caused him.

Limping over to a tree, he put a flipper out and rested against it. He did not know how long he had stood there, blood leaking into the mud, before he heard a very loud snort just behind him. Slowly, he turned around. An immense, black behemoth faced him. Its hide was like an amalgamation of razor rocks. Wicked teeth overlapped over greedy lips. Two horns jutted from its reptilian-looking head. Orcus swallowed, his own breathing labored after the fight. The two enormous beasts squared off. Orcus' black eyes watched the Zakkeg with an unwavering gaze. His bellows and blood must have attracted more predators. Where he could he run to now? He certainly could not outpace this mammoth. He would have to fight to survive.

Orcus' smile was terrifyingly huge. Black lips peeled back over a wide mouth, revealing rows of big, white teeth stained with the blood of Cannoks. Pain throbbed in his ankle, the newest of his many hurts. He sucked in the pain and the ever-present anger. He remembered the Sith Code. The Jedi's mewlings about peace were a lie. There was no peace, only the passion of a galaxy in chaos. He gathered that passion into him. Anger at the Jedi's lies fueled him, coupled with an instinctual will to survive. Primal motives coursed through his body and he let them take their course. Through passion he gained strength. His vision tinged red and the veins in his arms rippled and pulsed as his muscles seemed to suddenly enlarge. Through strength he gained power. Flippers curled tight until the joints popped. The pain in his ankle lessened, dulled by the Dark Rage he was entering. He pushed off the tree and began lumbering toward the Zakkeg. Through power he would gain victory!

The Zakkeg charged.

The two beasts collided with a colossal thud. Orcus had both flippers wrapped around the Zakkeg's head, attempting to stop it from goring him. The Zakkeg thrashed and spun, breaking free of Orcus' grasp. It turned around and charged him again. Contact was unavoidable. Orcus was tossed onto his back, blood streaming from a new wound in his side. The Zakkeg's horns had pierced his side. Still filled with empowering rage, he attempted to rise, but the Zakkeg was on him in the blink of an eye. It pressed one foot atop his chest, pinning him, while its maw opened wide as it prepared to rip out his throat. The Darth scrabbled desperately before his flipper wrapped around the Zakkeg's tail. With strength to rival Darth Bane, Orcus tore the creature off of him; flinging it by its tail. The armored beast smashed into the ground with a screech, but rose swiftly. Once more it charged.

Feeling the Rage flowing through him, Orcus felt godlike in his powers. None could stand against him, not even this feared beast. He sidestepped and connected a brutal knee to the Zakkeg's face. The beast's head snapped up, but then its teeth clamped a hold of Orcus' knee. It began to squeeze. Blood spurted as a vein was severed. Orcus trilled in agony. The Zakkeg shook its head wildly, hoping to snap Orcus leg off. The Herglic remained standing, but only due to the sheer amount of Dark Side energy rolling through him. Gripped in a frenzy of pure adrenaline-fueled anger, he reached down and grabbed the Zakkeg's upper and lower jaw, one in each flipper, then he pulled violently, putting all his hideous might into yanking the Zakkeg's jaw in two different directions.


The beast's lower jaw tore away in Orcus' flipper and it floundered away from him with a ghastly cry. But the rage filled Orcus. Through red-misted vision he saw the Zakkeg attempting to flee. Grinning madly, he stomped forward, despite his ruined legs, and grabbed the beast by its tail. He hefted it through the air and began whipping it about like a club, smashing it repeatedly into the ground until it thrashed about in death throes, broken beyond recognition and soaked in its own blood.

Exhausted, Orcus released his hold on the beast and stumbled back. Then he bellowed triumphantly into the canopy above. Who could best him, mightiest of all the Sith?!

A winged shape burst through the canopy. Rainwater sheered off its long, deadly beak. Orcus stared in disbelief as the Skreev skewered him right through the chest. Blood sprayed into the air, cartwheeling to dance amongst the raindrops. In a dreamlike state, Orcus reached down and broke the Skreev's neck almost casually. He slowly pulled the Skreev's beak out of his chest, inch by inch. Numbness overcame the pain. A slow black chill was settling over him, as if he had gone to the deepest of ocean's. Crimson spurted from the open wound as he drew the beak out. The red rivulets ran down his chest in torrents as heavy as the rain. Exhaustion swept over him as the Dark Rage faded. He swayed, his legs unable to support him. He glanced down. His knee was shredded and torn. Large sections of his blubbery flesh were completely gone. A shuddering breath left him and he collapsed into the mud and undergrowth of the jungle.

Black eyes stared wildly, full of fear. He did not want to die out hear. He had tempted fate and fate had dealt him the harshest of hands. Darth Orcus would not meet his end slain by wild beasts upon the Demon Moon. He was stronger than Mandalore the Indomitable. He had a purpose. That purpose kindled a spark of hope in a near-lifeless body.

Losing buckets of blood by the minute, Orcus crawled through the underbrush. He had to make it to safety, before something else decided to eat him. He could barely breath. The Skreev must have punctured one of his lungs. Vision fading fast, he managed to crawl out of the jungle and back into the open grass near the waterfall. The waterfall. Water. If he was to die, it would be beneath water. Even in the rainfall, the humidity swallowed him. Rain fell heavily on his form as he dragged himself meter by meter across the terrain, leaving long, bloody smears in his wake. At last, he reached the waterfall. The deluge washed over him. Immensely powerful, but blissfully cool in the oppressive heat. Gasping what he thought were surely his last breaths, he dragged himself farther into the waterfall. Suddenly, he passed through the deluge and into a dank, musty cave beyond. Darkness swallowed him up. The stone was slick beneath him. Sinking down, he collapsed, breath ragged. Here would be the final resting place of Darth Orcus. Herglic Sith Lord.

Orcus closed his eyes. Suddenly, a thousand soft clicks filled the cavern. Orcus' eyes flung open. He felt hundreds of somethings crawling across him. Then they began to bite him.

The last thing he remembered was a blood-curdling trilling.

Oh, that was his scream, wasn't it? How odd.