Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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Ashira Is My Witness (Raid on Kaeshana)


Storm of the Force
Dawn is coming....

Kaeshana, the former homeworld of the Eldorai. Since the planet had been conquered by the First Order the flow of information to their cousins on Tygara had not been cut entirely. The reports were mixed, often confused and garbled. Some reported positive steps by the First Order to restore the planet’s atmosphere, build homes for the Forsaken and generally try to mend the world. Other stories were less complimentary, speaking of repression, enslavement and worse.

Regardless of the veracity of these stories, one location kept coming up as a place to dread; The Spire of Eternal Night. Even its name was a bad omen, and the garbled stories coming off world about it were grim, even horrific. They spoke of a terrible tower being raised over the ruins of the Citadel of Dusk, far in the west of Kaeshana’s single continent. They spoke of people going there never to return, they told dire tales of monsters and abominations in a heartless tower of steel.

Rumour being what it was, Firemane could neither prove nor verify these stories. They could not ignore them though. Proof of such sinister experiments would undermine the First Order and especially their connection with Sith such as Kaine Zambrano. Getting that proof though…that was another matter.

Firemane had friends though. And so a plan was hatched for a raid. Firemane’s own fleet combined with their allies waited out of system to move in if needed.

A more cunning raid though was already being assembled. Using two the magnificently strong Oraruliik transports acquired from their friend @Draco Vareen a strike force was inbound. Stealthily, the two transports emerged and headed to the western hemisphere. An approach over the western sea, far from Santaissa, Garrison Base Fenris or the other large settlements of the planet, should attract little attention due to the perpetual storms.
Reversion sensors or the usual early warning systems would likely be unable to detect these ships as they slipped into orbit.

The planetary shield was unlikely to be online as that would prevent normal ships coming and going at a time with no threat. If it was online though for whatever reason, the Oraruliik could easily pass through the shield with barely noticeable impact, especially as it would be doing so over the sea.

Aboard Phoenix 1 was Tempest, Mistress of the Fire Order. With her were some of Firemane’s Fire Acolytes, many Angelii, and some technical and demolition experts. Each transport could hold 50 persons with their equipment, and still leave room for a handful of witnesses or escapees who could spread their testimony.

The plan was for the stealth ships to land in the rocky terrain and approach quietly on foot to scout and infiltrate the Spire. The remoteness of the Spire would give them some time before the First Order’s forces elsewhere on the planet could arrive, so they should have a window of time after detection to cause havoc and then slip away.

[member="Kaida Taldir"] [member="HK-36"] [member="Nima Tann"] [member="Joza Perl"] [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"]
[member="Rolf Amsel"] [member="Darth Carnifex"]

(Any PMs should be directed to my main account as this is checked more regularly than this alt.)

It was not rocket science to figure out that a place given a name as terribly unsubtle as the Spire of Eternal Night had not been constructed with benign intentions. Kaida had experienced the First Order's idea pacification first-hand, along with that of their Sith allies.

The Eldorai Exodites had not forgotten their lost sisters and brothers. The Seraph certainly had not. She was not here for the Queen - she cared not for the Monarchy or the myopic aristocracy - or Ashira - she'd long lost faith in the Goddess. No, she was here for her people. They would not be abandoned and forgotten this time. Not again.

The images of the Exodus, the devastation of Santaissa were firmly imprinted upon her mind, as was the battle with the First Order when they came to subjugate the planet under the guise of a humanitarian mission. Her soldiers had found the crucifixion sites in Santaissa before the retreat.

Today, was not the day when Kaeshana would be liberated from the foreign oppressor. But the First Order's control would not go uncontested. It was first and foremost, a recon mission, ideally with the option of sabotaging whatever vile machinations might go on in the Spire.

Having been erected upon the grounds of the old Citadel of Dusk, which was well known to the task force, the Spire lay on the far west of Kaeshana, which ought to help the task force in its mission. So the Mandalorian stealth ships began their approach over the western hemisphere.

Kaida was alongside Tempest on Phoenix 1. Outwardly, her posture was rigid, still as statue. Inwardly, she was furious, burning with a cold fire as she looked upon her world. Through the Force, her aura resembled a blizzard. Her phrik armour covered her like a shell, mirroring the ice that encased her heart. She looked upon the small team of Fire Acolytes and Angelii who'd joined the mission. Silent communication that needed no words. The time for those had passed.
[member="Kaida Taldir"] [member="HK-36"] [member="Nima Tann"] [member="Joza Perl"] [member="Tempest"]
[member="Rolf Amsel"] [member="Darth Carnifex"]

Taryuc stood within the hull of the Ora'ulik silently. She wore her newly fashioned armor, and bore her sword and bolter. She was travelling lightly, and for battle. Her mind was not on the softness of her partner, for that would have been entirely too distracting, though far more pleasant. Instead, her mind was on all of the things she and her partner had been working on since meeting, training wise. Taryc was a far more adept pyromancer now, far mor efficient at generating, directing, and consuming heat and fire. Along with the augmentations built into her new armor, Taryc had never been more ready to wreck some stuff.

Her left hand, formerly ruined by her own doing on Mustafar, had been healed with gene spliced gobbledy gook that some Firemane scientist had told her about, but that she didn't truly remember. Her hand was fully functional, and that was all that mattered to her.

Breathe in

The waiting was always the worst part. They traversed a great distance in a short time, but as it was within the hull of a stealth transport, it still felt unbearably long.

Breathe out

She longed to be able to stretch her legs out and her pryomantic self. Longed to let battle be joined.


The Iron Lord Protector (Neutral Good)
[member="Tempest"], [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"], [member="Kaida Taldir"],

HK was along for the ride with the team of Phoenix One, one of the warriors selected specifically for the mission. He was clad in his Vanir Tech armored biot, a layer that dampened the effects of the Force on him, while providing additional protection against high energy weapons like lightsabers, although that did not matter much to the machine being forged out of Phrik and all. HK brought with him also an assortment of weapons and gadgets he grew used to during combat, the Gloves of Gravitational Mastery, Magnetic Revolvers, his lightsaber, just standard layout for missions like these.

The machine also brought with him his Greycloak team to support Firemane, his own copies serving as honor guard, one of which already faced Kaine in combat, breaking a durasteel chair over his back after dealing with the Red Cloaked cultists escorting the Dark Lord, which in turn gave Siobhan an opening to end the fight.

They may have been outnumbered and outgunned, but that never stopped HK in a fight, and if FO was not already about how much damage a lone droid can cause to them, moreso when he's part of a team, then he would give them a painful lesson on that day.

"I am ready."

He informed his teammates,

"And so is a group of Droid Lords hidden in the Deep Space off of hyperlanes, should we need reinforcements, or a diversion."

The Lords HK referred were of course the Metal Lords, his newfound allies as after the incident on Mechanus when the machines evacuated the planet along with their facilities, various droids and cyborgs begun to band together, pooling more and more resources.

While they usually stayed away from the notice of more powerful factions in the Galaxy, they were not above a raid here and there on those they deemed to be "jerks" especially if it would allow them to capture more ships to be assimilated into their makeshift fleets, and HK promised them that FO had plenty of vessels to prey upon.
It was risky to enter First Order space like this.

Risks were how you ended up with prosthetic limbs and scars across your back. Every time you put yourself out into a dangerous situation, there was a chance that you weren’t coming back. But you had to not think about that in order to focus up and get the job done properly—or the best you could, anyhow. Sometimes life threw curveballs, messed up your neat little plans and forced you to improvise. Later on after the adrenaline had worn off and you were alone, that’s when you started to think about everything that could have gone wrong, every little reason that you could have died.

Anxiety was the damn worst and tended to make you an awkward liability in battle. So Joza learned how to block the nerves out and save them for later, leaving behind her congenial nature for something more stern and focused. It had to be this way—this was the only way she could work.

Here she was just outside of Kaeshana again, back to the planet where she’d dueled with the Sith who’d skewered her friend Dax. Her opponent had fled in the end, distasteful but evidently necessary. Knowing when to pursue and when to fall back was a quality she could respect.

The Zeltron had joined up with Firemane and friends to investigate the conflicting reports coming out of the Eldorai’s former home, specifically the spookily named Spire of Eternal Night. Some of the talk she’d heard had been disturbing. In the case that the worst rumors were true, she’d enlisted the help of the Heka Healers—a unit of combat medics conditioned to work in hot zones.

The group was milling about in the hull of one of the stealth ships, preparing for their venture onto Kaeshana soil once again.

[member="HK-36"] [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"] [member="Kaida Taldir"] [member="Tempest"]


Storm of the Force
[member="Kaida Taldir"] [member="HK-36"] [member="Nima Tann"] [member="Joza Perl"] [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"]

The remarkable Oraruliik had such sophisticated technology for the purposes of concealment that they were able to hide from any sensors they might pass by. Certainly, directed sensors might be able to unstitch the web of disguises, but that would require the enemy to know to something was up. So far, so good.

As the ships skimmed over the perpetually stormy sea in the dark of night, Tempest studied the layout of their target. The Spire of Eternal Night, though they did not know it was called that, could be identified in the distance.
What little they knew about the place was that it was tall and screamed ‘Investigate me!’. No one who had entered, it was said, had returned, and none of the residents of Kaeshana were allowed near. Yet they could see it, and through their channels had reported it.

Tempest studied the map they had. Though they did not know the layout of the Spire, they did have excellent maps of Kaeshana.
“Phoenix One will land to the south, about two kilometres from the tower. We’ll approach quietly on foot and recon. Phoenix Two will hold off in this dead ground about ten kilometres to the north. If we are revealed it can move in and provide support, otherwise provide a distraction if needed.”

“Kaida, HK and Taryc, try to get up onto this spur here and try to get more information from afar. Nima, Joza and I will move forward quietly towards the gates. The Angelii and Fire Acolytes will stay a little ways back and provide assistance if needed. Watch for snares and traps, ladies and droids.”
[member="Nima Tann"], [member="HK-36"], [member="Joza Perl"], [member="Tempest"], [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"]

Suffice to say the tower was a sodding dark, malignant and tall spire that screamed evil. None of the residents of Kaeshana could enter it. Those Eldorai partisans who still resisted the First Order's chokehold had been unable to penetrate it. It was enough for Kaida.

"I'm glad you're all here," she said quietly, close to animated as she could be. Unlike certain members of her kind, Kaida was not the type to mope about foreigners and blame them for all the defeat. Those who were here with her had shown their dedication.

She gave a nod towards Tempest. "If any of you have tech or abilities to camouflage yourself or move stealthily, make use of them. We only have a limited window of opportunity. Eliminate hostiles quietly, without fuss," she added. The Angelii and Fire Acolytes had been taught appropriate techniques to conceal themselves. Their elemental powers would also be useful, when the time came.

Giving a look towards HK and Taryc, she exited the stealthy vessel after it had landed, finally setting foot upon the once hallowed, now desecrated ground of Kaeshana. Everything felt wrong - tainted. Focus, she chided herself sternly. Her people demanded she pull herself together. So she found the ice deep inside her soul again and began her approach.

She moved almost silently through the dark of the night. She could have used the Force to fully cloak herself, but that was a taxing ability, so she settled for silencing her steps and masking her Force aura from detection. Luckily, [member="Coryth Elaris"] had taught her both. Moving surreptitiously, she made her way across the rocky, mountainous terrain towards an outcrop, from which they'd be able to get a good look on the Spire. Right now, the group was about 2km away from the towering structure.
[member="Nima Tann"], [member="HK-36"], [member="Joza Perl"], [member="Tempest"], [member="kaida taldir"]

Though she rarely used stealth abilities anymore, preferring to be as Fire and shine brightly, she had been taught them as an Inquisitor of the Primeval. She employed those techniques now as she followed Kaida off of the transport. The ground seemed significantly different to Taryc, though she had only been here once before. A foul aura had been spilled over the land like a slick of oil, and had spread to touch everything.

The aura gave the night a haunted demeanor. Animal noises were negligible, and the feel of the place was sickening and dark. Taryc longed to ignite the fire within to cleanse the area of the darkness, but she restrained herself and focused on silent, stealthy movements.

They reached an outcrop, and Taryc knelt beside Kaida as they looked out onto the Spire. While the dark, sickening aura was pervasive, she could sense it getting stronger, deeper, and darker closer to the structure. She slid back a moment, putting the outcrop fully between herself and the spire, then drew her sword. Then she slid back up next to Kaida. The blade felt ready for this, and Taryc shared a grim smile with it behind her helmet before turning to look at Kaida.
Unknown ICly At the Moment

Alexandra sat in her ready room, reviewing reports from the Alliance concerning the First Order incursion on Skor. She tried to focus on the report, but other thoughts intruded. In the aftermath of the Alliance withdrawl from Mustafar's hex, Lexi had been a very busy woman. She had finalized the formation of Phoenix Fleet, utilizing her status with Naboo's peerage, as well as contacts throughout the galaxy to put together funds to start her private fleet.

They were currently waiting in deep space, beyond the sensors of the First Order installations. They'd react to a signal sent via a prototype communication system, one the Alliance had been able to replicate only a handful of times, but offered a one time one bit signal. That signal would just be to go, once it was tripped, and they would jump into the system ready to fight.

Weeks Earlier

Alexandra Morrow, daughter of the Countess Kaadara of Naboo and Admiral in the Galactic Alliance Defense Force, was not used to approaching someone hat in hand. She'd had anything money could buy growing up, and she had the power to requisition ships and materiel from the GADF, but this was a project that only tangentially related to the others. After being ordered to withdraw from the battle in Mustafar's hex, with the battle at Asmeru all but won by the Alliance forces, she had firmed her resolve and began to incorporate Phoenix fleet. She'd started it years ago as a way to provide training to system militias, and she had plenty of personnel to throw into the fleet, and a single line of ships being produced at a shipyard her mother had signed over to Phoenix Fleet, but she needed more.

That brought her to the court of [member="siobhan kerrigan"]. She was known to be generous to her allies, and harsh to her enemies. Firemane ships made up part of Alexandra's command, and she was assured by those Captain's that she'd be received. The fact that she planned to use this fleet to strike out at enemies that she and Siobhan shared should help her case.

She had been directed to a ship, she had brought PFS Cygnar Mk I, the lead ship of her currently sole line of ships. She been granted access to Siobhans ship, and was shown to an office within the hulking menace's hull.

"Admiral Alexandra Morrow, The Honorable Lady Morrow, daughter of Countess Amara Morrow of Kaadara, Naboo. She wishes to speak to you, milady." A very dangerous looking chatelaine said as she spoke into an intercom on the door to the office. The sheer variety of emotions in the statement were astounding. Respect was evident in the military title, followed by unveiled disdain for the noble titles. Lexi couldn't help but smile, for she often felt the very same. She had earned her place in the military, and had merely been born in the right place to be named an Honorable Lady and heir to a Countess. She'd trade on the title to get her fleet, but she didn't have to like it any further than that.

-Firemane Marines
-Firemane Deep Cover Operatives


The Iron Lord Protector (Neutral Good)
[member="Joza Perl"], [member="Tempest"], [member="Kaida Taldir"], [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"],

HK jumped out from the transport with the rest of his team, hitting the ground of the rocky outcropping and rolling on it to absorb the impact, wrapping himself up in his cloak as he did in expert practiced maneuver and engaging its stealth systems, disappearing from Sith.

He looked across the land of Kaeshana at the big looming tower of obvious doom in the distance, the ruins of the Citadel where they fought so recently were still visible as well, scattering the ashed and ruined land.

"Wow, that thing is like the equivalent of Kaine as a building."

The droid muttered out to his companions in a hushed voice as he looked over the black spire,

"Void of subtlety, obviously nefarious, but yet at the same time completely predictable and bland."

HK quipped, keeping low to the ground for now, waiting for the rest of his team to be ready to move further in from their initial landing position. He reached to his back, unslinging beneath his cloak an SR-1 shattergun rifle, silent long ranged weapon he choose for the mission in case there was need for some sniping to be done, he also had a couple of his Magnetic Revolvers, but he would keep them holstered until a more dynamic firefight erupted.

Whether the droid knew that the building belonged to Kaine or not was not certain, but he never passed a chance to make jokes about Sith!


Storm of the Force
[member="Kaida Taldir"] [member="HK-36"] [member="Nima Tann"] [member="Joza Perl"] [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"]

Now on the ground, Tempest and her forces advanced slowly until they reached a point that the ground was more open. There they took cover, about half a kilometre from the gate of the tower.

To cover them and provide some distraction she called on the Force to aid her. Nothing fancy, for sure, but a light mist started to rise, a common thing in this part of the western shores at this time of year. The mist filling the lowlands and plains would hide them from unfriendly gazes and also lower the temperature a little to make it harder to spot them.

“Kaida, what do you see?” she asked softly into her commlink.

From down here there was little to be seen. She had a grim feeling that she’d have to end up going up there herself if there was no way to see all that was needed from the outside. She noted warily the heavy cannons she could perceive. They would be dangerous.
[member="Tempest"], [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"], [member="HK-36"], [member="Nima Tann"], [member="Joza Perl"]

Being a cryomancer, Kaida was adept at lowering her body temperature, in order to avoid projecting a heat signature that could be detected by certain technical devices. She did not respond to HK's quip. She was not in a humorous mood. Indeed, she had never been as grim as now.

There was a sickening, dark aura in the air. It seemed all-pervasive and grew stronger with each step towards the towering spire, though there was still a hell of a lot of distance between it and the outcrop she and her two teammates had sought cover behind. It was good that the Metal Demon and Taryc were with her. She knew the latter by reputation - and Elpsis' constant fangirling.

She produced a pair of macrobinoculars, scanning the broken land, the ruins of the Citadel of Dusk and the big ominous tower that screamed evil and malevolence. Her jaw tightened. Until the very end of the battle, this Citadel had been held by the Eldorai. Luckily, all the refugees had been evacuated.

"I see an array of turbolasers. Military grade," she responded quietly, gaze turning towards the imposing cannons. "Guards on patrol and standing sentinel at the gates. They're too far away and it's too dark for me to identify them."

In the dark, one stormtrooper looked like the other since she could not get a good look on insignia and so on. "Whatever's in there, they don't want word to get out. There appears to be a large garrison devoted to protecting it. The tower looks like something a Bando Gora built." Anger rolled off her like the wave of a sea. She kept the flood contained - for now. "We'll need a distraction to get inside."
[member="Alexandra Morrow"]

Weeks earlier, far away from Kaeshana...

The location chosen for this meeting was a Firemane Star Destroyer deep in the cold, black void, as opposed to an office in a corporate buiding. The choice had been deliberate: Firemane was at war. This was one of the reasons why the Morrow Scion's request for an audience at the court of 'Queen Siobhan' had been granted in the first place.

"Admiral Alexandra Morrow, The Honorable Lady Morrow, daughter of Countess Amara Morrow of Kaadara, Naboo. She wishes to speak to you, milady." the imposing chatelaine's voice crackled slightly through the intercom on the door to the office, getting the Fire-Maned Lady's attention.

"Enter," a cool voice that bore the hint of an Eldarai accent mixed with Rimkin spoke from the inside. The door suddenly opened, as if pulled by an invisible hand, and Morrow was led into the room, which was dominated by a majestic desk overflowing with file folders and datapads. Instead of being seated in her throne-like chair, Siobhan was standing. The Lady had been studying what seemed like the holographic projection of some new type of ship, but switched it off with a lazy gesture when her guest was led across the threshold.

Her eyes fell upon Morrow, scrutinising her. They were flat and cool. Siobhan wore an immaculate Firemane uniform, numerous medals, pins and ribbons were neatly aligned on her left breast. The insignia on her shoulder displayed her rank as a general officer. Her most prominent valorous decoration was the bright scarlet ribbon of the Star of Ashira around her neck. Her long red hair, faintly touched with silver, was done up. Her feet were tucked into black leather boots. Behind her, a holographic galaxy map covered the wall.

"Admiral Morrow, welcome. I heard of your actions at Kaeshana and Asmeru. The officers I assigned to your task force speak highly of you. I trust there were no complications during your journey to us," she gave the woman a thin, sort of smile, and stretched out her hand.
Vibrant appearance fully sealed inside armor, the Zeltron shifted to flank Tempest on her right as they advanced towards the tower. With mist providing cover, she could do little more than follow along and listen to the feed in her ear. Her lips twisted with idle irritation at the mention of the structures armaments…she could produce a shield that would absorb a few turbolaser shots, but would be defenseless against cannons.

Whatever was going on inside the former Citadel of Dusk had to be important, given how heavily guarded it was. They wouldn’t be here if all signs pointed towards standard military base—and that thought caused her stomach to twist.

She pushed past the typical nausea that came with a dangerous situation and ran a hand along her utility belt—tiny stun and EMP grenades that worked better in a small range fight, and normal sized heat grenades that could melt through durasteel and permacrete within seconds. Useful if they needed to get to a specific area quickly, but the group didn’t exactly know what they were looking for. “Any blind spots?” She murmured into the com.

[member="Kaida Taldir"] [member="Tempest"] [member="HK-36"] [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"] [member="Nima Tann"]


The Iron Lord Protector (Neutral Good)
[member="Tempest"], [member="Kaida Taldir"], [member="Joza Perl"], [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"],

“Any blind spots?”

"Good gods woman, did you really just made a joke about-"

HK asked as he went to glance around under his cloak,

"Oh, right, I forgot Elpsis is not with us for this one."

Apparently the machine thought Joza was making a poke at Elpsis' lack of foresight, or aftersight, or any type of sight as she was blind, which honestly was something the droid would probably make fun of, especially lately.

Either way, going back to the mission he scanner over the compound once more through his computerized scope,

"I could sever a kneecap in one of the guards from here, it would get the others alerted but also distracted."

The machine offered, it was actually how he took one of FO's officers prisoner on Kaeshana,

"Or I could yank one aside, integrate their voice, and then impersonate them over their comms, or put their armor on and do the same."

HK added,

"But we would need to get much closer than this."
"Necessity overcomes morality. Never without regret, and never without shame. Yet, even immoral victory must outweigh moral defeat. The victor will have the chance to atone, if conscious demands. The vanquished, lose any such opportunity."
-Roboute Guilliman , Attributed from the pages of 'The Master of Mankind."

Dawn had come for the sundered world of Kaeshana, slowly rolling across its salt-scorched earth, and bathed the surface with the ochre radiance of the system’s primary star. It was a process that happened with the turning of every cycle and would continue until the fusion-fire within the luminous orb feasted its last - shrouding the entirety of the system in darkness. This world had been visited by the graces of their yellow-sequenced star for many generations, gifting the people that adorned its altered plains with the benevolence of light, warmth, and life itself. It was only fitting that they would inevitably come to worship this flaxen orb of sickly oxidized gas. From the words that were spoken in the streets, and of the small snippets of culture that had been gleaned, it was believed that this wistfully spinning ball of sun-fire was named after the chief goddess of the local populace’s pantheon, Ashira. While religion was a delicacy for the soul, however as what could be recovered from the broken annals of history had suggested, it was one that spoiled instantly upon the tongue. If the ideals remained on paper and were taken as metaphors by those that read the test, they would inspire entire generations of people that desired to live in relative peace and tranquility.

That being said, such were the dreams of the naive and the foolhardy, as more often than not - sentient creatures fell upon their more primal instincts and herded themselves towards those that deigned to speak vile heresies in the name(s) of whatever gods they preached were real.

Such was the truth behind many species that populated the galaxy. They flocked towards those that would sate their spiritual desires, and deny them the stinging agony of guilt. It was a delightful sensation, to be tricked into the absolvement of one’s sins, as that meant they would believe that their souls were pure - that they would transition into the folds of the afterlife to be lovingly embraced by the creatures that dwelled beyond the veil. Sadly, their tainted souls, repressed by mortal-skewed testaments - penned by the most zealous or penitent souls, depending entirely on where one stands on the matter of religion - would find themselves deprived of their ideal afterlife. There would be no pearlescent gates that awaited them after the nerves within their eyes had flared white. There would be no endless sea of fire that would ceaselessly devour their souls for eternity. Instead - as the partially figure seated in the courtyard had experienced firsthand after he was pulled from his carbonite coffin - there was nothing that awaited the passing of the slain but an eternity of silence.

This was where the belief in secularism had begun taking root. The belief that there were no gods who populated the stars and plucked at the myriad threads of destiny and fate.There was only science. There was only reason. For a time, as empires began spreading their wings over fertile worlds and claiming them as their own, there was peace amongst the stars. That was until one star-kingdom met another upon their path of manifesting destiny. Some had cordial relations, recognizing the merit in their Xenos cousins, and the achievements of their Imperium. Others had less than friendly relationships. Spurred on by the most petulant of desires to become the crowned and conquering child, these ancient civilizations waged terrible wars that devoured entire solar sectors with fiery fangs. Wars that had once been fought in the name of whose God was more righteous had eventually shifted towards being waged over resources - another spiritual fixation that was easily compared to one’s pantheon.

Water and Land were the essential building blocks to sustain life, just as those pre-spaceflight peoples had believed worshipping their gods was paramount to their survival. It was a foolish notion, but one that was entertained by the most enlightened scholars for centuries, long before the coming darkness that engulfed the galaxy for four-hundred years. While most of their musings had been lost in the degradation that ensued as the lustrous glow of civilization flickered and all but faded, there were those sacred texts that survived the dying of the light, bringing forth the stimulating prospects of enlightenment and secular illumination. It was upon the manuscripts of those that had not survived the coming of eternal night that civilization was reborn anew - but shrouded with the same desires as those that had come before. Such was the folly of sentient life. They believed themselves masters of their own fate and destiny, when in truth their prior beliefs, the ones of gods and demons, was the truth.

Many names bathed this power in idolatry and preyed upon the emotions of those who could wield its power. Be they dung-smeared shamans, or those who crafted the very elements through their thoughts alone; this omnipresent force governed everything that its energy touched. It was, for the lack of a better word, the Primordial Truth. Where the conflicting natures of sentient life gave shape to reservoir of mystical potential that awaited their souls beyond the veil. This power, matched with the innate desire to better one’s self through the acquisition of more, had more often than not corrupted those who sought to learn of its many mysteries. Those that had been enslaved by their own wants and desires often visited their sins upon others forcing them to either comply with their words or die in the vain attempt of conversion. Thus, as dimensional travel across the stars engulfed the galaxy, so too did the ancient tenets of religion visited in the same manner by those with power, against those who held none.

Lording over their lessers with delusions and grandeur these gifted creatures began the cycle anew. Spreading their concocted lies amongst the stars, and forming empires around their myriad beliefs. However, as time wore on - like the great enemy of us all - the fluidity of events began to bend in accordance with the galactic design. Such was the grand design, an unwritten set of guidelines that had existed long before the spark of sentience ignited in the endless sea of darkness. Those that had learned of this cosmic paradox often found themselves shriven with grief, or stained by the maddening echoes of laughing, imaginary gods. Such was the irony of those that pursued the truth; they often found themselves denied the answers they seek - and harrowed by events that brought them to such a revelation.

Thus, the path of the former Imperial Knight was set, as the muted whispers that somehow slipped through the Imperial’s benevolent fingers reached his ears. He had heard the hushed stories of those that dwelled within the township of Fallan’Au, where those less resentful towards their new protectors made their homes. They spoke of a newly erected tower in the wastes, one that was forged of obsidian and wrought from the blackest metals known to sentience. They whispered of how those taken there, never returned and how the bowling winds carried forth the cries of unspeakable agony and horrors unknown. With the funneling of Imperial troops and various other landers being a regular sight in the cinnamon-dusted skies above the broken world of Kaeshana, it was unsurprising that those who had little grasp of the truth filled in the darkness with creative assumptions and lies. Though he could not see as a mortal could having had his sight stolen from him by the sickness of hibernation, this imposing tower held little in the way of secrets. Styled in a similar fashion to the Temple of the Sith that had once adorned the Alliance-held world of Mustafar, before it was liberated by the forces of the First Order, it was only natural that there were those amongst the populace who believed that heretics had despoiled their soil. And also, that those lost to the machinations of outsiders and pirates would never return.

There were even reports of local insurgents riven amongst the populace, who would take the lives of those that either sought to chase after the fever-dream promised by those that had left them to rot and die, or those who tried to align themselves with the First Order. They could only bite the hand that feeds for so long, before succumbing to the motions of mortality. Though Imperial soldiers continued to die upon the surface of Kaeshana, this world had become a part of the Empire - and even though many of the people adorning the planet's crust had denied the altruism of the First Order on a daily basis. They believed that they were better off without the outsiders and their charity, but as the Biodomes of the Spire of First Light had slowly risen atop the ruins of the Citadel of Dawn, such staunch faith began to weaken. They could, for the first time in their lives, live without the breathing apparatus permanently attached. Provided their bodies could acclimate and process the freshly recycled atmosphere. As great of an enemy as time was, there would come the point in the newly transcribed history of the Eldorai, that would see them living in splendour as they once did - whilst the First Order soldiered on - revitalizing this slowly dying world.

He smiled as the thought drifted through his mind, where the world and people ruined by the plucked threads of fate, would find themselves standing proud once again. Rather than foolishly denying the sickness that festered within their belly.

That was when a cramp had seized the former Imperial Knight’s legs, forcing him to rouse himself from the dust-strewn courtyard of once polished obsidian. The man had been seated for several long hours, with nothing more than the howling wind as his companion. Due to the nature of the architect’s style and its material composition, it was no wonder that the blighted populace believed they heard the screams of the lost and the damned. It was nothing more than mere figments of their imagination given form by the stinging pain of loss. Something was unsettling about this place, however, as the aether was rife with the frigid sensation of fear - one of the pillars that formed the foundation of the darkness. It lingered in the repurposed ruins like a palpable miasma and had taken him by surprise when he first sighted the towering basalt edifice.

That was enough to warrant his investigation. Though he had come across a fortress, with its gates unbarred and unguarded, there was something that remained behind. It was imprinted upon the walls of this visually striking bastion, having been forged from the darkness that stained the soil in the wake of the Imperial’s pyrrhic victory. He could feel it, pulsating from the very heart of the planet itself - or at least atop its continental shelf, as his connection with the mysterious energy field beyond the veil of reality was still weakened by the lasting effects of his revival. Nevertheless, the darkness that enveloped this Spire was of those that had cowered beneath the encasing shield as the world they knew, began to change. Their fear and hatred seeped into the salt-scorched earth and began to fester as time marched on. It was little surprise how others who trusted their eyes saw lasting echoes of those that had come before.

Having roused himself from the weathered obsidian tiles Amit Nykoan, a man that was once an Imperial Knight - before the dreams of civilization and enlightenment were torn asunder by the ravages of the plague - had found himself in service to another. Though this man dared not fall prey to the sin of vainglory and adorn himself with the mantle of Emperor, the Supreme Leader knew that the errant and misguided peoples of the galaxy needed a Ruler - someone to shepherd them towards the path that was long thought lost. To restore the balance that dominated the galaxy, and bring peace, order, and security to every corner of the universe. The Knight had known full well what chaos that sentient life would bring, should they not be guided. He had seen it first hand. But that was then when the galaxy itself fell prey to an otherworldly virus. This was now. The light had been smothered, but beneath the cupped hands of darkness lay the promise of a resurgence.

Like the endless cycle of axial rotation, the light of dawn would rise once more.​
| [member="Tempest"] | [member="Kaida Taldir"] | [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"] | [member="HK-36"] | [member="Joza Perl"] |​


Storm of the Force
[member="Kaida Taldir"] [member="HK-36"] [member="Nima Tann"] [member="Joza Perl"] @Taryc Ap’Irae

Tempest considered matters.
“I bet they don’t let civilians near here. Get some of our Angelii to commandeer a speeder and drive around noisily just near the perimeter. They’ll move in to arrest them, and they can give them a chase. Then, our best slip in via the top and investigate. There’s too many to fight, and we don’t want that anyway, but our best Mistresses can slip in and find out stuff. The Angelii and Acolytes can stand by if needed.”

It was a fairly simple plan. Tempest, Kaida, Joza and HK were all skilled combatants and each had some means of concealing themselves. Taryc could also come with them to assist, or stay to command the ground forces and extraction.

It was an improvised plan, but it might just work. Especially as they had jetpacks which would allow them to reach the upper levels and move through the fortress from there.
[member="Tempest"], [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"], [member="Joza Perl"], [member="HK-36"], [member="Nima Tann"]

Once this had been the Citadel of Dusk, located in the far west of the planet. By contrast, the Citadel of Dawn lay in the far east, a few km away from what was left of Santaissa. In other words, on the other side of the planet.

Regardless, Kaida nodded after some brief thought. The plan was simple, but few battle plans survived first contact with the enemy. She glanced towards HK, then Taryc for a moment. "Impersonate one of the imperialists to draw them away when we're inside. Good way to scout. Try to get a map, if you can. My knowledg of the layout is dated," she said quietly, pointing towards the ominous tower. As far as architecture was concerned, it reminded her of a Bando Gora's wet dream. Or Vader's Castle on Mustafar. Neither analogy was benevolent.

"We can jetpack to the top of the middle section." The area before the spire actually began. Kaida herself could use her cloaking powers to terminate guards without much fuss or scout. Tempest got a simple ping in response, which informed her that Kaida was on board. The less chatter, the better. Presumably those members of the strike force who didn't normally carry jetpacks had been equipped with these toys for this mission.

A few moments later, a speeder bearing Askari and some other Angeli made an awful lot of noise by dashing around just at the edge of the perimeter. It was enough to get the attention of some guards, who gave pursuit when the speeder dashed off in a dramatic fashion, what with this being a restricted zone and all that. There was noise, blasterfire and so on.

"Go," acting quickly, she fired up her jetpack and shot through the air. There was naturally the risk of detection, but she was prepared through that. Like the wings of a wrathful angel, her jets carried her through the dark of the night until she finally hovered above her target and landed, getting solid ground beneath her feet. Quickly, she assumed a crouching position, searching for some cover.

Where there was once silence, and an abandoned, sombre citadel of hewn black stone; there was now a battlefield amidst the cinnamon-dusted wastes. Though the conflict would not reach the chaos that had once besmirched the plans of this broken world, there was surely blood to be spilled.

With Amit being the only guardian that presided over these darkened halls, there were no able-bodied souls to rush forth into the fray, let alone investigate what was a painfully obvious ruse. Instead, only muted silence had greeted these raiders, as Amit stood his ground. He knew, from a prior investigation, and from the visuals described to him by those that dared to venture near this obsidian obelisk, that where he now stood - was the only viable entrance into the spire. The ancient symbols of the Jedi and Sith order(s) would find it difficult to carve their way through the volcanic glass. Should that ever come to pass, the former Imperial Knight was certain in his martial prowess to gather the energies of the force about his fingers, and yank them down from their lofty roost.

As the noise beyond the walls became an orchestra of chaos, with the addition of churned earth beneath anti-gravitic plates and errant bolts of coalesced lightning discharged into the dust-choked air, Amit’s ears were assailed further by the sounds of roaring thrusters and the sounds of feet impacting carved stone. They sought to deny the fortress of its defenses by taking to the skies on howling jump jets. Were there defenders manning the parapets, they would’ve shouldered their weapons and stitched the skies with magnetically sheathed particle bolts with the intent of slaying those that dared to trespass on these ‘hallowed’ grounds.

Instead, nothing but the gaze of the Sightless Knight turned towards the heavens and the Invaders that sought to defile this tainted monument. His lips soured into a disappointed frown as they attached themselves to the exterior of the Spire - depriving him of the chance to talk with whoever had ordained to storm this ebony-hewn barbican. That was a shame. He would’ve enjoyed a pleasant discourse with these people, might’ve been able to divine their names and perhaps even their purpose here upon the blighted world of Kaeshana. Rolling his crimson-clad shoulders in a clatter of loose-fitting plates, the former Imperial Knight slowly shrugged, knowing that the hope of conversation before violence was in vain.

Conflict was all the mortals of this era knew. Diplomacy was no longer done at the table of civilization, but through the aggressive negotiations at the plasmatic edge of the Lightsaber. What had this galaxy come too? Did the plague truly wipe away everything, leaving nothing behind but the more savage and ferocious natures of those that populated the stars? So many questions, and sadly, so little time. He would have to move quickly if he was to intercept them, though it was doubtful that they’d find what they were looking for, Amit couldn’t allow these figures to roam unchecked.

Pulling his weathered half-mask, and tightening his black-dyed blindfold, the Servant of the Supreme Leader turned about and began his timely ascent through the vacant tower.

| [member="Tempest"] | [member="Kaida Taldir"] | [member="Taryc Ap'Irae"] | [member="Joza Perl"] | [member="HK-36"] |​

Jorga the Hutt

When life gives you Mandos, make Mando'ade

Droids had crucified these elves, and droids cared nothing for money. Callous as his conscience had grown over the past century, even Jorga the Hutt hesitated to rob the crucified - but not for long. It helped that scavengers, the elements, and cleanup crews had done their best to erase the atrocity, the densely-packed rows of crosses and the bodies that had hung from them. What remained - which was plenty, given the scale of the slaughter - wasn't recognizable. It also helped that the locals looked pretty much like humans, and who really cared what happened to humans anyway?

From the bridge of his yacht, Jorga watched as a small army of Rodians, Gran, and Weequay went over the ground with metal detectors. Already a stream of petty loot was flowing into the good ship Lean and Hungry Look. Individually, each take was nothing, but as a great philosopher had said once, one raindrop raises the sea. Soon enough, they'd have found sufficient baubles - jewelry and so forth - to justify the fuel expense incurred in getting here.

Humming mightily to himself, Jorga kept one eye on long-range sensors and the other on the cargo bay holocams. It wouldn't do to be robbed by one's own graverobbers.

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