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Let the Games Begin (The Moross Crusade)

Crystal

Active Member
Writer
Exocron...

The trip to the coordinates that Cameron had provided was quick and uneventful. The Sith Princess meditated on her former husband's words throughout the trip. Reinvent herself.... she had a number of ideas about what that might entail, but wouldn't know for certain until she arrived at the mysterious destination's temple.

As the Luxury Yacht made its descent to the space port, she found herself wondering if the temple was the mystery. Of course she'd assumed it would be a Sith Temple, but this certainly wasn't a planet that she'd been to in her over four hundred years in the galaxy.

Crystal's eyes opened as the Luxury Yacht set down in the spaceport. As she stood from her seated position, she shook away any notions that she'd had during the trip. It was better to walk into the situation with an open mind, especially if she was to reinvent herself as Cameron had suggested. The Princess certainly couldn't do that with any unwarranted prejudices or skepticisms.

And so she stretched her legs, and her presence in the Force as she moved through the Yacht and into the spaceport. It was always good to see who was around, and if there were any friendly faces nearby. Like a box of chocolates, as she'd heard in a holofilm forever ago...

The Sith Princess was not escorted for this trip, but she certainly looked and carried herself as the Royal that she was. Cameron had instructed her to speak to the officials at the spaceport for directions she supposed. Or perhaps they would announce her arrival? Who knew...

But at least she was met before she'd gotten too far from her ship. Before the official could say anything, she spoke. "I will be going to the Temple." That pretty much summed it up. Hopefully no one had a problem with that....

@[member="Cameron Centurion"]
 
A male of average height was working in the spaceport that day. The Crusade seemed to have a rather continuous influx of Pilgrims, and he was told to be expecting another large group late in the morning. However, the arrival of Crystal's vessel had not been previously scheduled. Wearing the pink and yellow accented purple robes of those devoted to the God(dess) Hali, the man replied to Crystal with a jovial tone. "A new Pilgrim!?" Clapping his hands together, the man smiled incessantly before motioning rapidly with his hand several times for Crystal to follow. "Come, come! You are the very first to arrive this fine day."

Stopping abruptly, the man leaned in and nudged Crystal slightly with his shoulder. "You must be very EXCITED!" Motioning again with several rapid hand movements, the man resumed his swift, bouncing pace. "Here we are. I welcome you upon your journey to enlightenment. May the Pantheon smile upon you and the Flame of Moross burn ever vigilant in your soul!" Stepping to the side, the man indicated the large, glistening Temple that sat upon the top of a hill in the distance. The main road of the capital lead directly between the spaceport and the Temple. It was a clear path for those ready to make the transition and commitment to the Moross way of life.

@[member="Crystal"]
 

Crystal

Active Member
Writer
Crystal blinked at the strangely dressed man at the implication that she was a pilgrim.

What's he on about? She thought. I should kill him.

And he touched her. Her head turned to confirm the ridiculous notion that he was touching her. Well, she didn't need to draw attention to herself with a corpse, so she pushed his forehead away from her and put the man to sleep.

The Sith Princess could handle things from here. Leisurely she walked to the temple, trying to shake off the experience with the lunatic.

Reaching the Temple, she climbed the steps and entered it.
 
As Crystal entered the Temple of Moross, a much more balanced Priest wearing forest green robes with brown trim caught sight of her and approached. "Greetings, Pilgrim. How might I assist you?" The somewhat tall Priest bore the colors of Thral the Beast Tamer but of course Crystal would know nothing about this. If she'd arrived with a normal group of Pilgrims, her processing would have been a touch more...organized. However, the Temple of Moross did not turn away those that entered seeking insight, peace, or just the sating of curiosity.
 

Crystal

Active Member
Writer
Crystal was immediately approached by a being wearing robes. She could only assume that he was part of whatever was going on at this temple. It did not seem like a Sith temple, that was for sure. She raised an eyebrow as he spoke to her.

Why does everyone think I'm a pilgrim? Is there something on my face? Crystal thought.

"First of all, I am not a pilgrim. And second, I am here at the request of @[member="Cameron Centurion"]."
 
The man gave Crystal a curious expression. If she was not here to begin her journey, why was she here? The name Cameron Centurion did ring as one of recognition for the Priest but only vague recognition. A follower of Aatrox if he remembered correctly. For that reason, the man had no desire to know further. "Ahh. That is odd. I do not know the Deceiver's Crusader well, but he is not known to make many...requests. If you wish to seek him out, he can most likely be found in the presence of Aesir Inari.". Turning the man motioned down the corridor. "The Hall of Inari is down the corridor and around the corner. First chamber on your left, you will undoubtedly see the white and gold clothing of her followers. Welcome."

Turning, the Priest of Thral began to retreat from the woman's presence. He wanted nothing to do with Aatrox or any of his followers...it was not advisable.

@[member="Crystal"] | @[member="Amorella Mae"]
 

Crystal

Active Member
Writer
Crystal narrowed her eyes, puzzled further by this place. She had many questions, but she would direct them to Cameron. The Sith Princess didn't have time for riddles, or twenty questions from someone so insignificant. So, she took his directions and nodded to the strange one. "Thank you for your assistance."

She walked down the corridor and followed it around the corner as she'd been instructed. And she did indeed see white and gold clothing on those that stood around. But now she'd have to speak to another lunatic.... or, she could do something uncharacteristic of herself.

Upon entering the Hall of Inari, she opted just to keep walking. Someone would try and delay her she was sure, but she would not be deterred. It was taking most of her patience not to hurt people. Her patience was not endless though.

@[member="Cameron Centurion"]
@[member="Amorella Mae"]
 
Silver-green eyes watched from the back corner of the large, cavernous room as rustles of white and gold fabric fluttered abruptly in response to something, apparently, occurring outside in the corridor. In the next moment, the Sith Lord watched as his ex-wife swept into the room with all the self-assured swagger of one that did not quite understand where they were. In truth, Cameron was more amused than anything. If he remembered correctly, the woman only got this way when...well...irritated.

Fortunately for Crystal, the Reviver did not ordinarily condone violence. In fact Cameron couldn't remember the last time he'd seen her utter even so much as an unkind word. The Sith Lord also knew that her personal guard did not necessarily suffer the same...moral afflictions when it came to her safety. Before they could become a problem, Cameron darted into action. A blur of dark blue and grey surged forth from what little shadow managed to survive in the presence of the Reviver, stopping immediately in front of Crystal.

Casually, Cameron extended his left hand and grasped the much smaller woman's shoulder with a firm grip that she'd remember all too well. "Stop," was the only word he uttered out loud. Releasing Crystal, the Sith Lord stepped around his ex-wife and took up a position just behind her and to her right. Cameron's right hand rested lightly upon the worn leather and metal hilt of his weapon. The Sith Lord's posture clearly indicated he was poised to employ the weapon if necessary. Would it be to defend Crystal or strike her down?

Those in the company of Cameron Centurion did not ordinarily benefit from the pleasure of easily surmising his deeper intent. Slowly, his gaze shifted to the masked woman in front of them.

@[member="Crystal"] | @[member="Amorella Mae"] | @[member="Salina Aviner"]
 

Crystal

Active Member
Writer
Crystal did stop when Cameron appeared in front of her. And almost smirked. Mission accomplished. She'd found him where he'd specified. The Sith Princess nodded and followed him with her eyes as he moved to her side and just behind her. That was interesting. Almost as though he would be presenting her or something. Well, there was a masked woman in front of them. Her gaze shifted between them.

~Are we in an institution? What's with the lunatics?~ She inquired of Cameron silently.

The Princess was not comfortable, and disliked being in the dark about things. But unfortunately for her, she'd married a man that enjoyed that sort of thing. However, she did not feel threatened at that precise moment.

@[member="Cameron Centurion"]
@[member="Amorella Mae"]
@[member="Salina Aviner"]
 

Ereza

Velaeri Mortaine
Character
The Hall of the Reviver was a bright one, a comfortable one, and a place where all were welcome. Banners of white and gold baring the insignia of Moross fluttered in a gentle breeze from the vaulted ceilings. Sunlight cast colorful rays across the rows of pews as it flared in through tall, arched windows of stained glass. In the quiet of the hall the sound of flowing water engendered a sense of serenity, of peace.

There at the end the altar of Inari sat in open view: the giant tapestry with its prayer of golden thread gleaming, the pool of spring water, and seated on a raised dais at the center of it all the Aesir herself deep in meditation. Before her the White Guard stood like stoic mountains, baring the silver, bronze, or red armor of the various war-driven Gods Salee, Kalee, and Ithari. And before them? Half a dozen Crusaders and pilgrims genuflecting, praying, or laying gifts to the divine. Robes of all colors dotted the pews within the hall, devotees of all sects. This was the one place where they all truly came together.

Crystal's arrival would not go unnoticed by Inari, but outwardly it might've seemed it had. The Aesir did not stir from her meditative posture as she approached, though the eyes of those in attendance did follow the Sith woman's progress down the center aisle.
 
Cameron offered Crystal no response. She was smarter than to judge something without first seeking knowledge. What she should have done was attempt to find the answers on her own. Cameron was neither required nor in the mood to guide her through this. In fact, his specific words were that she should travel to this place if she desired to seek something more. That did not equate to 'Meet me here, so I can walk you through another potential aspect of your life'. The Sith Lord had shown his ex-wife the path and the door. Whether or not she chose to walk...well that was up to her.

Satisfied that she wasn't going to do anything stupid or disruptive to the others present, Cameron leaned in and quietly whispered. "Aesir Inari." He trusted Crystal would understand he was referring to the woman seated above the rest. "Approach and ask her your questions."

Without another word or waiting for a response, Cameron stepped away and returned to his original position. In these public halls, he did not position himself as a member of Inari's guard. The new Lord Crusader was a man that had served in the service of the Aesir long before Cameron's arrival. The combat prowess of the many warriors of Moross were not questioned...even by Cameron. However, he recognized and accepted the role he was more suited to, as present and constant as any shadow.

@[member="Crystal"] | @[member="Amorella Mae"]
 

Crystal

Active Member
Writer
Crystal narrowed her eyes slightly as the lack of response at first. He was clearly taking this seriously when she wasn't. That interested her. Surely he knew what it looked like to her. Anyway, she'd not taken the planet seriously up until this point. So she supposed she ought to. Inwardly she sighed.

Cameron whispered a name. She followed his gaze to the woman seated above the others praying. Before she could nod, he moved away. ~My apologies, Cameron.~ She said sincerely.

The Sith Princess took a real look around. The Temple was beautiful. And she could hear the sounds of water now that she'd quieted her mind. Those occupying the hall were differently dressed. She probed their minds gently to get a sense of what was happening here. It was unusual to say the least. Perhaps it was easier to ask.

Crystal moved toward the altar, very aware of the eyes of those around her. But her eyes were settled on the woman meditating who had an interesting Force presence. She was clearly not a Sith. Or even a dark sider. That made it all the more interesting to her. What was it that attracted Cameron to this place?

Well, she could start by getting some direct attention. "Aesir Inari," she called out, not yelling, but her voice would carry since the Hall was quiet.

@Amorella Mae @Cameron Centurion
 

Ereza

Velaeri Mortaine
Character
Upon the ringing of Crystal's voice through the hall Inari's eyes slid open, leveling the woman with a gaze of startling blue from behind her silver mask. She did not speak, she merely watched as the dark pilgrim drew closer. This, however, was not their typical immigrant. Recognition for the woman came quickly from the Aesir's pristine memory, and from this came a short glance around the room where her line of sight paused momentarily over her constant shadow before settling back upon Crystal.

"Welcome," Inari spoke, her voice much softer than that of the Sith but quite capable of carrying in the growing silence of her hall. No titles or names followed, though the Reviver knew exactly who it was that approached her. Those were things of power. But power was subjective and dependent upon many things. Here, in the ever-growing realm of the Crusade, the title of Princess meant nothing. The title of Sith meant nothing. One's power over others here depended entirely upon their merit, their devotion to the cause, and the favor they grew under the gaze of the ever-watchful Gods. She waited quietly, patiently, for the woman to speak.

Clearly there were many questions to be asked.
 
Cameron did not respond to Crystal's telepathic message, there was little reason. Likewise, she had no need to apologize. The Sith Lord would not have given her the location of Exocron had he believed her...unworthy of being amongst those of the Crusade. It was a fleeting kindness that he had shown his former wife. However, what happened from this point forward would be completely of Crystal's doing. They were no longer in the Tapani Sector nor were they leading an Empire together. Things were just different. It was as fresh a start as she was likely to receive.

As always, the hooded figure caught the calming blue gaze of Inari. And as always, he allowed it to pass largely without visual or audible recognition. The chilling reality of his presence always surrounded Amorella when she was near, but it was inexplicably different than with most. A fondness as shared between close relatives was rapidly developing between them even if they were not related by blood. Whatever warmth did exist in Cameron's soul, always managed to manifest itself around Amorella. The Sith Lord did not particularly know why, but he elected not to question the reality of it all.

@[member="Crystal Carter"] | @[member="Amorella Mae"]
 

Crystal

Active Member
Writer
Crystal nodded in response to her single word in greeting. "Thank you."

She did have many questions, and she was certain she would have more as she got answers. But the problem was that she didn't really know where to begin. Unfortunately, she couldn't stand there and ponder it for very long before she'd draw more attention to herself with her silence.

"I have no idea what I've walked into here. Perhaps you could tell me what's going on?"

@[member="Amorella Mae"]
 

Ereza

Velaeri Mortaine
Character
Inari's gaze ever steady, the woman betrayed no hint of curiosity to Crystal's words. Instead of assuming what things might've been said or done, she opted to act and act she did. Her line of sight broke only in a short glance to a Priest at her right, "Priest Larue, if you please."

Another dark man, though one whose stature and presence was certainly less than that of the Follower of Aatrox towards the back, nodded and approached Crystal with a book in his hands. His ivory robes, adorned with gold embroidery, denoted him as a stout follower of the Reviver. His expression was warm and amiable, and when he stretched forth to offer the pilgrim the Book of Moross he smiled to her, white teeth splitting his dark facade, "Welcome to the realm of the Moross Crusade. Here, take this," he gently gave her the book, "it will tell you all that you need to know and, perhaps, more than you expected."

@[member="Crystal Carter"]
 

Crystal

Active Member
Writer
Crystal's eyes narrowed slightly as Aesir Inari called upon another, a priest. For what purpose, she would certainly find out, but she sensed no hostility or danger. As he approached, she looked him over carefully. He carried a book. And, he was calm, so she wouldn't have to defend herself physically.

She accepted the offered book, and nodded to him, then Aesir Inari. "Thank you. I will return."

With that said, she turned around and walked out of the hall. The Sith had reading to do.
 
Following Day

Cameron watched silently with his arms folded over his chest as the newest arrivals began filing out of the dormitory area and through the main foyer on their way to one of the large dining rooms. The highly-polished marble stood in stark contrast to the Sith Lord's dark skin and sleeveless dark blue robes. The Aatrox follower's interest was certainly not on the newest arrivals as a whole. One individual, however, had arrived on her own the day prior. He knew that the facilitators had scrambled to ensure she was included in the various activities required of the new pilgrims.

However, Cameron also knew that the woman's patience was no doubt wearing thin with said activities. Not that it mattered, of course. She would have to endure as all did. The moment the blonde-haired woman past beneath him in view, the large Sith Lord vaulted over the railing and landed softly on the ground several stories below. Eyes were immediately drawn to his sudden presence, but he acknowledged none of them. Instead, Cameron swiftly crossed the floor to the Priest leading the procession. A few inaudible words were exchanged.

The Priest immediately turned to the group and announced a name. "Crystal Carter? Priest Centurion wishes a moment of your time..." Though the Priests voice was elevated and seemed confident, there was always an aura of...concern when any follower of Aatrox requested anything.

For his part, Cameron merely leveled an emotionless expression in Crystal's direction as his silver-green eyes burned intensely.

@[member="Crystal Carter"]
 

Crystal

Active Member
Writer
@[member="Cameron Centurion"]

After a long evening and night of reading the offered book in preparation for all the lessons and tours she'd be taking that day, she was hungry. In fact, she still had her nose in the book as she walked to the dining room for breakfast. Sure, there were others around her, but she didn't care. She could see them without looking at them. She wasn't banging into anyone, so there were no qualms about her reading and walking.

It was easier to ignore those that would try to engage her if she was to learn without prejudice. Her attention was drawn away from the books however by a priest that called her name, announcing that he ex-husband wanted to speak to her. Crystal closed the book and blinked, immediately noting his presence nearby. It's familiarity had returned.

She moved silently to him and nodded. "Priest is not a term I ever thought would be associated with you, Cameron." It was nothing more than an observation, with no judgment or malice. And Then she paused. She knew better than to ask what he wanted. So, she simply waited.
 
The Sith Lord did not immediately address Crystal whilst they were within earshot of the others. Instead, he motioned rather simply for her to follow him out the main entrance of the Temple and onto the Main Street of the capital. The pair had walked perhaps fifty meters when he finally spoke. "It is but a title, a word, used to convey a meaning to those incapable of grasping what it is I truly am." Cameron did not wait for his ex-wife to ask the follow-up as they turned down a side street. "The cold chill that inevitably precedes death."

Waving a dismissive hand, he got to the point of their ad hoc meeting. "My apologies for throwing you into the fire, so to speak. You handled it...as well as I might have imagined." Whether that was a compliment or a criticism, the Sith Lord did not elect to clarify. "Now, however, I can answer what questions you might have." Cameron had found it was much better to extend the offer after someone had...at least had the time to educate themselves. Otherwise, they would scarcely know enough to know what questions to ask.

@[member="Crystal Carter"]
 
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