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Darth Adekos

Derisive Umbaran

Gargolyn IV - Sictis Academy
Landing Pad

The Sictis Academy had been built in a desolate place. It was a squat and ancient building, resting on a lonely hill. A vast and featureless wilderness stretched in all directions around it. One could say its mere presence made that wilderness surround that hill.

Visitors were unheard of in this remote clime, but the arrival of Darth Voyance seemed to have been eerily anticipated. Darth Adekos waited imperiously on the landing pad. Some distance behind him, closer to the cavernous entrance, were a trio of Sictis Armigers. The shadowy warriors kept a respectable distance.

As Voyance disembarked, Adekos folded his arms skeptically. He dressed somewhat out of step for a Sith, forsaking the usual Sith robes and armor for something reminiscent of an officer’s uniform. Quite smart, quite simple. His face was worn with sincere age, and bore an ashen pallor, cracked in some places. A sure sign of prolonged Dark Side use.

Well. The Dark Oracle of the Emperor,” he glanced her up and down, noting the tattoos, the ringed eyes, the sorcerous miasma. “I am already charmed.

He said this in the distinct tone of someone who was, as a matter of fact, not at all charmed in the slightest.

The Elder has assured me you would make for only the most scintillating conversation, but neglected to mention the topic. So let us start with that. What is it that you want?

Darth Voyance

Voyance however was entirely dressed in the trapping of a Sith Lord, and far more darkly ostentatious - as a Sith Sorceress. The Dark Oracle was dressed in long flowing black robes, held at the waist by a golden bodice that matched her gilded gloves. Descending the gangplank of her shuttle, she stepped forward to meet the one the Elder had mentioned to her. A powerful Sith who would widen her horizons as he did. Ambitious and attuned differently to the heritage and philosophies that the Sith espoused and the Darkside revealed. As she drew closer Voyance gave her own inspection of Darth Adekos Darth Adekos .

Grim faced, trimly clothed, and sporting a look that showed smugness but, swaddled in the contempt one gained with years of experience. Voyance gave the Sith Lord a curt nod of her head and stopped just before him. She glanced past him and at the temple behind him, then drew her golden gaze back. She smiled.

"Wisdom," she said.

"And answers, answers to a problem. One that even with my powers of oneiromancy, I can not divine an answer."

Darth Voyance's smile shrunk into a deadpan stare. The time at the lost world of Akala and the humilation under the Elder's brutal and frank instruction still spun in the back of her mind. Her world was challenged. Under the Emperor she knew no other greater power than that of the Empire. Than that of the Imperial Sith Lords and their mass war machine. Yet there were powers greater, lords that did not bind to the will of the Emperor. If they did not, was the Empire weak? Was it doomed to fall soon, like the visions had told her? Voyance fumed behind her stoically diplomatic expression.

"That is why I am here."

She stretched out her hand and gestured to the temple.

"I await your instruction, Lord Adekos."

Darth Adekos

Derisive Umbaran
Darth Adekos scoffed. Oneiromancy. Yes, that and a magic mushroom could find the answers to all of life’s most pressing questions. As with anyone who professed to practice a mancy Adekos felt a powerful urge to send this Darth Voyance back into her ship and far, far away from his precious academy.

But the price of that specific form of rudeness had been greatly impressed to him, and it was not one he was overly keen to pay.

He didn’t move much from where he stood, arms remaining incredulously folded. As much wisdom as Adekos had to spare, he didn't want to waste his whole afternoon on this. So if he could merely narrow the field of possible answers to provide...

Far be it for me to keep you from broadening your horizons,” he dryly replied. “And what exactly is this 'problem' that your sorcerous bunkum cannot resolve all on its own?

Darth Voyance

Darth Adekos Darth Adekos ' tone irked Voyance. She felt she wasn't being taken very seriously. But, then again the Elder did mention a different sort of Sith to seek out. Not the straight forward servants of the Empire she was used to. Voyance did not immediately reply to the sly Sith Lord's prodding question. She walked with him, strolling by his side as they took their time ascending the winding path that rose to the academy a top its solitary promontory. Voyance pulled her golden gloved hands back and clasped them together, resting them on the back of her waist.

The 'problem', she pondered. The problem was the doom she foresaw. But, what length of that doom did she reveal. She mistrusted the Elder, despite is transparent show of ambitions and power. She side-eyed Adekos and then looked back to the path before her, still pondering even more.

"The fate of the Empire," Voyance began.

"Fate of the Sith Order. Fate of it all."

"My visions are clear, always have been. Yet the visions that the Elder bestowed upon me were shadowed but, there was a clear message."

"Empire shall fall and the Sith shall be destroyed."

Voyance paused and looked to Adekos, with a stern face that seemed to challenged his previous dryness.

"I am no fool to be ignorant of the history of our kind. Such is the cycle, the Sith rise and they fall. Empires come and go."

"But the destruction I saw, was so complete. Should the Empire, should we the Sith not be prepared. I fear a doom that will break the Order."

Darth Adekos

Derisive Umbaran
She started walking, and Adekos was, of course, obliged to follow. The armigers gave them a wide berth as they started up the meandering path. Voyance was quiet, for a moment, perhaps considering her words, perhaps fighting the urge to strangle Darth Adekos for his blistering impudence.

Sith sorcerers were rarely challenge on their mysticism, so such a response would hardly be surprising. And that, truly, was what made taunting them such a fun sport.

Alas, the poor Sith Order. I knew it well, until I left it,” he droned, matter-of-factly. “If you fear the destruction of the mainline Order and their Empire so much, I suggest you leave it. Go into hiding, spare yourself a gruesome fate. There is no ‘doom’ that the Sith do not recover from in time.

It was what he had done, after all. And look how happy he was.

They arrived at the heavy blast doors that led to the academy’s interior, stopping there. The gate was starkly unadorned; simple black durasteel worn with age. Adekos gestured to an unseen camera, and the doors began their slow rattle open.

He continued, “I confess, I may be biased. It would give me no shortage of joy to watch your depraved Emperor and his mewling lackeys be crushed by the tide of inevitability. I hope you didn’t come here to ask me to help you save it.

Darth Voyance

"Do you think the Empire some sort of perversion of the Sith?" Voyance asked, following Adekos.
"Is it so wrong to wish it's propagation and preservation?"
Save the Empire? Of course that was her first thought. Why wouldn't she. The Sith Empire was the foremost bastion of the Darkside. If it were to fall and the Jedi allowed to swallow the Tingel Arm - where would the order go? Yet the Sith Code promoted such destruction. If the Empire was weak then it must fall, surely? Voyance was confused. Her visions were clear, the day would come the Empire, its Emperor and the Lord are sundered against one another.
Voyance pondered this all as she followed Darth Adekos Darth Adekos past the modest gate into the academy's interior. The dueling thoughts of the Sith Code and Imperial filiality to her dark overlord crashed against each other. Save the Empire? Or watch it fall and preserve her power elsewhere for the dark resurgence that would come? She could not answer the question. So much was clouded from her clairvoyant powers. It made her grow mad with rage.
Stepping into the midst of the academy, Voyance broke from her internal struggles and looked to Adekos. Why indeed had she come to him? Well, she had come because the Elder had bid her to. But, now she wondered what it was about Adekos that she was supposed to impart as a lesson. Voyance looked around the academy, pacing around Adekos and taking in the students and architecture.
"I did not know such academies existed outside of the purview of the Imperial Order," said Voyance.
She was beginning to understand there was much outside the Imperial Order - much that resisted Imperial servitude to the Emperor - and yet flourished in unimpeded cultivation of the Darkside. Perhaps this was the lesson. Perhaps she too must develop a contigency outside of the gaze of the Empire for the future to come. Perhaps it was time for her to create her own cadre to be hidden away until the day of destruction comes - so that she may command the resurrection that followed.
Voyance stopped, she turned and faced Adekos. Her eyes narrowed and she approached him.

"Lord Adekos," she said grimly, "If you were in possession of such horrifyingly clear prophetic warnings, what would you do?"
"I am loyal to my master, it is he who brought me to the Sith...made me what I am."
"Yet I am also the student of the Sith Code which demands usurpation and power."

"Seeing what you have created her, I am tempted to say...that I may have to forge my own private contingency. For preparations of what may come."

Darth Adekos

Derisive Umbaran
The academy’s interior was stark. It housed a network of metal walls, exposed pipes, and grated floors. The only adornments were control panels, holographic maps, and the occasional room number bolted above a shut door. The air carried a chill to it, and extensively filtered.

This place had not always been an academy, that much was clear.

Perversion?” Adekos balked, nearly offended at the charge. “Hardly. Is it a perversion of wolves to gather in packs? No, just a nuisance – one that happens to stand in the way of long-term galactic stability and progress. By any meaningful metric, wishing for the Empire to persist is wrong, yes.

There were only a few students to be seen in the Sictis Academy. Pockets of them lingered about, holding furtive discussions on theory and practice. They were uniformly alien: Bith, Givin, Anomid, the occasional Arkanian… A peculiarly diverse bunch for a Sith academy.

Most of these students ignored Darth Voyance, while others only offered a passing glance – either curiosity or amusement.

Darth Adekos only offered a light scoff at her comment on the academy’s existence, remaining otherwise silent as she took in her surroundings. It was her last question that got a more visible response from him.

His face turned up in disgust, as if he had just smelled something particularly wretched. The culprit was, in fact, that turn of phrase: ‘horrifyingly clear prophetic warnings.’ Such pointless mysticism. Like nails on a chalkboard.

Your loyalty is misplaced,” he dryly commented. “If you could only understand what a bumbling fool you sound like… You would kill your handler for what they’ve done.

Anyone with a loose grasp of history could see where the Sith Empire was heading. Such was the drawback in being content to merely replicate the practices of ancient Sith: you could only ever get the same results they did.

The collapse of the Sith Empire was less a question of prophecy and more one of probability.

Adekos offered a weak, apologetic smile that looked every bit as hollow as it was. And then he droned on, same as usual.

Darth Tenebrous showed us that the rise and fall of the Dark Side can be predicted, but not rushed or delayed. Preparation for the inevitable is your only option. Make your contingency, just as I did, and you will be well positioned to exploit whatever aftermath arises.
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Darth Voyance

“Your loyalty is misplaced,” @Darth Adekos dryly commented. “If you could only understand what a bumbling fool you sound like… You would kill your handler for what they’ve done.”
“Darth Tenebrous showed us that the rise and fall of the Dark Side can be predicted, but not rushed or delayed. Preparation for the inevitable is your only option. Make your contingency, just as I did, and you will be well positioned to exploit whatever aftermath arises.”
'A bumbling fool?' The phrase clattered about in Voyance's mind, as the only reply she could give Adekos was a suspicious scowl. She looked away from him and took several steps to a bench that oversaw some brutalist architecture of metal, pipes, and grates. Voyance sat down and rubbed her eyes. She smothered her face with her fingers and parted them, letting her golden eyes peer into the grates from between the gaps.

'Have I been a fool?' her mind challenged her. Darth Voyance had always placed her faith in the darkside, in the Sith. When she was but a spice slave dancer. Drugged and played with, coyly called an 'Oracle' and set around the Ventooine spice bazaars in spice induced, and unknowingly, Force powered prophetic salacious dances. It was the warm darkness she always envisioned that had guided her. Guided her to the Emperor, his tutelage, the tutelage of the Sith Empire and a freedom she had never known. Power she had never imagined.

But, was she free? Her darkness, that warm freeing embrace, was it the Sith Code? Or an illusion of such? The path was formed by the Emperor, the Empire molded her to their necessity and machinations, her actions the doctrine of Imperial propagation. And her hatred of the Jedi? Manufactured fuel for their wars.

Voyance turned her head slightly so she could roll her eyes to the side and glance at Lord Adekos.

"I am a fool," Voyance said to Adekos. Her voice was bare, raw, and naked - removed from the disguising linguistic obfuscating tones the Sith often employed.

"I am not free. I have never been."

Darth Voyance's eyes passed from the Sith Lord to his students who wandered by. Some she exchanged looks with and other she merely inspected as they moved on.

"I must find that meaning from the core of the Sith. And then pass judgement upon its usefulness in the creation of my own fate."

Voyance laughed, "Just as the code says...The Force shall set me Free. So shall I peer into that abyss and see what looks back at me."

The twi'lek shifted and looped her legs over the bench to pivot, and face Lord Adekos.

"I know you find my talk of prophecy a relic of Sith Magical witchery, but, my visions foresaw something far greater than the cyclical fall of regimes or orders."

"These Sith, are doomed."

Voyance grew quite and nodded.

"Preparation it is then."

"Preparation for the day that will come."

Pressing her hands onto her knees she stood up and stretched out a hand, as if handing her inquiry to him.

"How have you done it? How did you break free of this illusion?"

She then raised both her hands and gestured to the academy, tilting her head from side to side following the hands.

"And create all this?"

Darth Adekos

Derisive Umbaran
Adekos frowned after Voyance, watching as wandered off to sit on a bench. He was half-worried she might start to cry. That kind of obnoxious wailing would surely disturb any lectures taking place nearby.

He wore a grim smirk as she spoke, watching as she circled closer to a final realization. Not close enough, evidently. Voyance again mentioned the greater doom of the Sith, emphasizing something greater than most cycles.

To this, Adekos offered a dry and mirthless scoff. “I doubt that very much.”

Darth Adekos watched expectantly as Darth Voyance got back up. Different, somehow. Perhaps more resolved than before. And then she asked him how he had done it – how he had extricated himself from his old modes of thinking. And how he managed to build this academy, of course.

He would never forgive himself if he were even partly responsible for the start of another insipid school for witchcraft… But the Elder’s orders were quite clear. Besides, what was one more piece of guilt to live with? Another bolt for the tapestry.

Endured the right beatings, I suppose,” Adekos said, wistful and bitter all at once. But his tone took a sharper point soon after. “Just how many militant authoritarian Sith empires have we historically had? Dozens, at least. All of them meet the same worthless end. I even lived through two of them.

What terrible memories those were. Being smashed to pieces in his throne room by a murderous reprobate; watching helplessly as the One Sith gave the Yuuzhan-Vong clearance to turn Selvaris into a grotesque cesspit.

He gave a disgusted huff, “I had lived through enough of their failures. It had been my conceit, then, to guide the Sith to a better path by working alongside such governments.

His tone gradually intensified, anger seeping into his voice with the slow intensity of a magma flow.

Now I see the only reform worth imposing on Sith empires is destruction. To work within their frameworks, to play by their rules – that is to endorse them; to lend them strength that they do not and will never deserve.

In that moment, he seemed to realize himself, and gave a heavy sigh. Composure. Professionalism. Best not to forget one’s self in front of company. Within a short moment, he was back to his former posture – rigid and refined.

I could not shackle myself to their shortcomings any longer. So I elected to forge my own way of doing things.

Twice. He had done that twice, technically. But since nobody else counted the Sith Triumvirate for anything, why would he? Darth Adekos clasped his hands behind his back.
Just as well. I've heard it said that any framework - or contingency - without disciples is little more than a peculiar habit. That is where I started. You would be wise to start there as well.
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Darth Voyance

"Disciples," Voyance repeated. She nodded and thought about the advice that Darth Adekos Darth Adekos had bestowed upon her.

It was true how many Sith Empire had come and gone. It was clear was that this Empire would suffer the cyclical patterns of the past. Then what? Stoke the embers of the old empire to forge a new empire? No. That would only lend to the cycle of rise and fall. Create something new in its place? No. Empires where nothing more than a strain of civilizations. And civilizations came and went. What endured? What remained? Darth Voyance looked around the academy and it came to her - disciples, vessels of the Sith way, and the incorporeal immortality of thought. The Sith Code was eternal. It had survived. It may have mutated from Sith Lord to Sith Lord, that was much apparent. Whether Lord Adekos would admit it willingly or not he was still Sith. And that is what survived.

"That is the key then," Voyance said.

"Civilizations come and die, but, legacy is forever."

A wicked smile stretched itself across her dark lips.

"I shall do as you have advised, Lord Adekos," Voyance said continuing. "I shall seek out worthy disciples and pursue the ideal of creating an order thet produces resilient Sith that can withstand the cycles of fall and rise."

"Empires are temporary," Voyance smiled, "But the Sith, in one way or another, are forever."