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Pangs of Inheritance

Seydon of Arda

Raquor'daan
Writer
@[member="Qae Shena"]
~Wild Space - Baxel Sector - Teth System - Teth
[24:21:019] - The Silent Temple

Recordings made via ink and parchment, no matter the quality of either, were considered archaic at best and stupidly foolish at worst. With the advent of digital analogue, the ability to forge an infinite degree of copies with faithful consistency was no longer the fevered dreams of overworked scribes and archivists. The old adage went, that anything broadcasted to the Holonet would remain there ad infinitum, drifting as immortal grey noise, spectral haunts of homeless data that was unable to see deletion. Helpful. Wasteful. Powerful and useless in the same vein. One could spend a lifetime seeking out tendrils of faint information while taking only a minute to see the latest broadcast-spill of some celebrity's sex-holo. It was content without context, as some saw.

A lad sitting down by the babble of cold brook, beneath a boxed skylight tressed with thin, rosewood brackets, was distracted by more pragmatic concerns.

Seroth Ur-Rahn, dressed for his morning exercises and regimes in a simple pair of green slacks and tunic, rubbed gloved fingers over his nose-bridge and continued regarding through a tattered journal. The pages were yellowed, edges crazed, crackling. The outer cover and spinal bindings were threadbare, eaten through by bug, chemical, and time. Patches of caked refuse still clung to dog-eared page corners. It'd belonged to an old Legionnaire, grizzled Shev Rayner, trainer, partner, friend and mentor to a whole two generations of fighting men and women. Seroth paled a moment, sighing aloud. ...He'd died slaying those same successive generations, before a bastard wove his high-frequency sword up through his ribs. Left to bleed out, Shev's last action was to simply leave behind a preservation of his life-long materials. Beside Seroth laid a battered footlocker, constructed in the ancient Maritime fashion of wood, leather, and brass buckles. The locks were propped open. Dozens of codices scrawled in shorthand were airing out. He'd retreated to a small sand and smooth-stone garden for general silence and privacy, reviewing each material in whole.

The lad scratched his shaven cheek, trying to make sense of a series of instructional diagrams. Of pertinence was a hastily penciled name: Dathan Gunn. Seroth's father, though he couldn't remember the man much in any reliant memory. ...A tall vaguery surrounded by ash mists, shouting back at menacing shadows. Then an impression of... caked blood and brain-gore scattering in sprayed splotches. Grey eyes hollowed by a haunt of pain and the weight of death blinked, looking back to what appeared to be forging diagrams. A four winged trill-bird, no larger than his thumb, whisked by his face and blew a whistle of multi-tonal song. Then it winged away, hungry, eager for the tree flowers open for pollination overhead. Rain pattered on the skylight plasteel glass, plinking tunelessly.
 

Qae Shena

Super Shaper Puppy!
Writer
For Qae to know the depth of the mental trouble that Seroth had been facing would be an impossibility, without him discreetly probing his way into the man's mind and experiencing his emotions and memories for himself. That in itself would be a very serious breach of conduct and trust for any kind of empathic mentalist, which Qae was not prone to doing at any time. No, his lot was to go and approach his friend and ask. It was unbelievably clear to the Nautolan that something was bugging him, that Seroth had something weighing down on his mind like the crushing weight of a moon falling down upon a planet, pulled down by forces of gravity. The thought of that alone was enough to give Qae a small start, for its inherent associations with the Yuuzhan Vong, and where the idea had come from.

After all, everyone had their own pains - some repressed deeper than others.

In this case, however, the Master-at-Arms had made one simple decision: no matter what cost to him, no matter what he was thinking and perceiving and whatever emotional folly he was going through, he would be there to ensure Seroth was okay. After all, they were brothers, as it were. Sure, Qae's only real flesh and blood brother was off somewhere playing Galactic league grav-ball and raking in fame, money and women, but that did not stop him from bonding with others as family. He'd been away from his own nest for so long that he had woven himself a security blanket of people close to him. He had no real love, no real relationship, no real physical home until now that it was unavoidable that he would stay alone forever. After all, Nautolans bonded with people, with places, with concepts and ideas that they adored. Why not the people in his life that were there for everything, who he would gladly shed blood alongside? Seroth was one of those people. Part of the Fleet and the Conclave both, the wildling Master saw more of Qae than even his potential suitors. They’d seen the ravages of the Galaxy together, witnessed the breaking of a vagrant flotilla, the foundation of an Order and the passing of time in equal measure.

“Seroth.”

His voice was quiet as he walked his barefoot way through the garden in his beloved Silent Temple, as if to avoid breaking the sanctity of this place. Upon Qae’s face was a warm smile, one offered in the spirit of brotherhood. At the man’s feet was an ancient footlocker, built in a fashion so archaic that he couldn’t help but smile at Seroth’s ways. Yes, he kicked it old school more often than not – but no man in the Galaxy could deny this man’s efficient killing prowess. He was better at the ancient method of killing than almost every modern man was with more effective weapons. It was that anachronism that made Seroth great, that he was not willing to take the high road; that he laboured and toiled more than any man Qae knew was a testament to his strength of will, his physical and mental fortitude, and his forthright, honest attitude. There were very few else he would call brother – but Seroth was right up there, at the top of that list.

For that brotherhood, he would inquire.

“Is everything alright?”
 

Seydon of Arda

Raquor'daan
Writer
Once, asked in private conversation that he now recollected in brief, the boy had been asked of his impression of the always venerable Fleet Master, Qae Shena, or as he nicknamed beneath his breath: 'Ironflow'. Possessing a blunt if not wholly and permanently retarded grasp of empathy and associated mentalism, all that Seroth Ur-Rahn could answer was the Nautolan was simply the most talented close quarters combatant he'd ever possessed the privilege of noting, let alone witnessing. In disparate exercises of basic Force sensory, his echo likened to a single drop of heavy water against an infinite pan of ocean current. Profound. Depthless. A mirrors reflection of stardust and starlight. Perfect poise of perfect control, that always sought after marriage of physicality with the a soul's spiritual need. Despite the inevitable upbraiding if heard aloud, Seroth liked to joke when speaking of Qae: "A Jedi's Jedi."

"Hmn!?" Startled, the lad snapped his eyes up, drawing in breath through his nose.

A bothersome weakness inherent to his neurological gene-wiring was a stark inability to subconsciously connect with surrounding spiritual flows. Through his cochlear bones, often enough, he could hear someone rounding a corner a good quarter of a minute before their feet padded by. If asked for someone's general location, he could oblige with a faint impression in any of the classical directions. Specifics? Their exact standing, who accompanied them, their emotional state and train of thought? Blanks. Dull thuds of aching soundlessness. Qae's voice broke through his reverie. Surprised, his imagination vividly painted an unfriendly face across Qae's smooth nose and permanently pitch-on-black eyes. A right hand blurred to his hip, clasping at a haft that wasn't there.

"...Spast, beg your pardon, Qae," Seroth growled at himself, patting a vacant seat of glazed sandstone by his side, closing up the journal though keeping a thumb stuck in the pages. "Here. The brook sings and it is soothing. It has been... difficult, to slow for the pace set by this sanctuary. I am more used to constancy. It... It has been a hard year. I have been left to make sense of the lives of dead men and... a woman."
 

Qae Shena

Super Shaper Puppy!
Writer
It was very few people that knew the true power of Seroth Ur-Rahn. The wildling was just that - he was a wild man, with power unbridled and untamed. Qae's power very much was water - in that, to a fault, he could be soft and calm and flowing, at utter harmony with the world around him in one moment and crushingly dominant and in control of everything the others, all of which were valuable lessons learned from his Master. However, Seroth lacked the subtlety of the former. He did not need it. No, his was a tempered one, that could be gentle, warm, the giver of life and a comforting presence when docile. When enraged, at its fullest, it was an uncontrollable, destructive inferno that consumed everything. In the most literal sense, Seroth was the fire to Qae's water. The strange nature of water meant that it could be and do amnythings. Fire did far less unique and adaptable things, but when it did what it had to do, it was the ultimate master of its field. None could stop it.

It was, in hindsight, a perfect comparison for the battle-brothers. Fire and water. Why had he not considered it before?

Qae quietly took a seat next to Seroth as he apologised profusely, a thing that he was oft used to hearing. Lost in his thoughts, he had been contemplating the past, things that had transpired recently. The Nautolan understood that feeling perfectly and shared it with him. Both of their lives had been consumed by chaos as the sands of time flowed, for now they sat here before the refreshing coolness of the stream inside the Temple where all those worries could wash away.

"I feel you," Qae said, nodding, a hand on his Brother's shoulder. "Friends, homes, family, loved ones, all lost - to make way to new and greater things, I think. We've all changed so much just in the past few months alone." A reflective tone crossed his lips, drawing only a sigh. "Yet here we are, in the quiet hours, considering the depths of the darkness that threaten to consume our souls." Seroth's mood was infectious, to an empath - but it was true. Such times were best for this kind of reflection. "I daresay Rosa will be your rock through this, brother. You two need each other now more than ever before. Have you told her much about what's bothering you?"
 

Seydon of Arda

Raquor'daan
Writer
"Yes..." The lad nodded, unfolding the crinkled parchments of the worn journal laying idle in his palms and lap. Brief, dark countenances crossed his eyes, fouled his expression for a short span as he looked high to the skylight. Teth was storming though she held back a measure of what her natural fury could reveal. Flocks of bluelings scattered overhead in their scores, in perfect synchronicity and direction, splashing water oiled from their feathers onto the tiled roofing. Those flinty eyes looked back to Qae, brow nodding slightly. "But it has not proven to be as easy as I fantasized. Without... boring... with details... I at moments feel like a stranger. Without... exaggeration... she kept me safe far more often then my own mettle."

He shifted, drawing up the locker with a hand. The leather handle bunched rebelliously against his clutching knuckles, so stiffed with age and lacking a tender coat of softening oil that it seemed poised to crack. It held, stubbornly, carted to rest in a wide, sallow drift of parted sand Seroth had pushed about with his heel. Motes of dust and mica still clung to his left foot. His locker came to a rest and he readjusted the to keep from snapping down and taking a stripe off any fingers along the box edge. Inside was still the resting hand-written sixty page journals, in their scores, stinking of some chemical residue and the common, moldy musk of aged paper. Seroth smiled, faintly, as he leaned back on his haunches.

"This belonged to a man I think you and my Rosa would have come to like," He said. "At his death, he said what was his was now mine, to do with as I pleased. So I have tried to keep what is here preserved, though I must disturb whatever is in these chronicles, so I can know. ...He was also a friend of my father. His teacher also. And I know less about my father than I did him and he was always cagey against questions of where he had been, what he had seen. It is quite a story of how I inherited all of this, if you have the time to listen. ...I filled poor Rosa and her ears with the whole accounting for an unending night."
 

Qae Shena

Super Shaper Puppy!
Writer
There was a slight chuckle on the part of the Master-at-Arms, given soft and low as he shook his head lightly. His tresses swayed with it, twitching gently, speaking imperceptibly to the untrained of his amusement that was, indeed, rather thorough of the idea of Seroth rambling on and on and on about a subject that Rosa could not stand. “Something tells me that is not the only thing she would have demanded you fill her, uh, ‘night’ with, but we won’t go there,” was his rather tongue-in-cheek reply, barely keeping a straight face even as he said it. Nope, there it was, a snarky chuckle, the torrent held back by a great measure of self-control. He couldn’t stop it, really, but he could stop it becoming completely inane. But, hey, maybe a good joke would calm his nerves and get him to relax. It worked on most people, didn’t it? Qae wasn’t immune to the charms of saying something silly to help a friend get out of a terrible headspace.

At that point, he paused, then took stock of what his friend was showing him. A journal that carried the nascent smells of the sea, a familiar and welcoming thing. One he had not quite replicated with their little babbling brook, but certainly one he could distinctly feel now. It was, more often than not, nice to be reminded of home.

“Tell me the story, then,” Qae offered quietly, trying to keep himself focused. Maybe it’d help him focus, get his mind in the right place. Expressing things tended to help the healing process, one way or another. Every empath knew that. It was best to have the person relate it, so that it was not an intrusion of the sanctity of their mind.

He needed to get it out, one way or another.
 

Seydon of Arda

Raquor'daan
Writer
Seroth paused. The flesh across his cheeks, nose, and throat lit up as hot as cut steel, redder than a ripe bloodfruit and just as apt to burst. Possessed of no small amount of humble streaks, the lad endeavored the keep the more... mayhap not scandalous but certainly torrid details of his and Rosa's privacy and activities of vigorous husbandry to himself. Such intimacy never seemed a thing to discuss offhand, even with those he trusted to be mature on the subject matter. To even waylay the inevitable clash of their night time romances and someone happening by, they had together moved to a disparate wing of the Silent Enclave, residing in a emptied out storage bay converted to their comfort. ...Apparently, they were not as silent or discrete as Seroth had assumed. ...But he could not help the results of his generous inherent genetics. And he would not apologize for Rosa. The Force was with her in more capacities than most thought possible~

He paused, collected the whole of his scattered memories, placing aside the borrowed, tattering book in his palms back onto a waiting shelf of raised stone jutting from the combed white-sand. "It began on Saijo, when a woman asked me to go find her son..."

The narrative began in the wood-decked quarters of a minted warmonger, desperate to find her eldest heir who'd fallen into unseemly clutches. He illustrated the first nags of personal doubt, taking up her coin to pursue her child's captors, slaying more than a few along the way. Those killed were not of great loss: pirates, smugglers, bandits, mercenaries. But yet, his upbringing upon Tython, his tutelage on Coruscant's vaunted Temple, taught him to regard life with fierce respect. Following was an encounter with a paid killer, Stenwulf, who then introduced the boy to whom he would later discover was his mother. Only after he was forcibly subdued, tortured upon Tatooine through routine beatings. Offered a choice between his chances in the Dune Sea, or fighting with his mother, Guenyvhar, he took up his only option.

Shev Rayner, a grizzled legionnaire veteran of too many unknown campaigns on the edges of Wild Space and the Unknown Regions, was prodded into accepting the boy as a brief apprentice. Months on end, he pressed Seroth down and weaned him off reliance upon Force Power for his physical prowess. They trained across a pantheon of disciplines: cardiovascular and endurance, strength training, agility, climbing, and running exercises. Previously, the lad only felt comfortable with a plasma sword, a lightsaber. Now he was divorced from the Form tenants, more comfortable with dagger and tomahawk, a war club or a blade of more solid Durasteel. Seroth illustrated their evenings spent resting on the stone compounds outskirts at night. Pitches of distant bantha moans seemed to fill the dry dojo, with a distant twin-sunset highlighting umber and coats of violet over infinite, blackening dunes.

"You may have come to like him," Seroth said. "He told me these stories, when I was a boy. ...Yeah. Shev had been there for my birth. He was strangely indentured to my family, you see. My mother, Guenyvhar, my father, Dathan, they both fought and bled under his watch. They all had. My mother's trusted war band: the Sayda. They were there too, for the tortures. Stenwulf likened himself their commander. And Guen may very well have been grooming him for responsibilities before I had come along."

The tale turned away to explanations, expanding on previous threads of attention and detail that the lad had too ignore to pace the narrative. The Sayda, so it went by Shev's word, had begun as a small unit of roving fighters, rangers, on some forgotten world during the height of the Gulag virus' thrall across the Galaxy. Their mandate was stark, and simple: hunt monsters of both beast and men, should they make to harm the innocent and ordinary, and take coin for their effort. The warband passed down from generation to generation, eventually, landing in the lap of Dathan Gunn some six hundred years on. It may have been Seroth's to command, if the fates had been less unkind.

Shev eventually drove him out to the a deeper portion of the southern desert interiors. To a place he simply called the Fears: a ravine of slagged, smoothed sand and volcanic glass jaggedly rutting into an underground set of passages. Dark forces were at play in those corridors. Haunting visions assaulted him as Shev asked him to brave the course and see if he could do what he, his mother and father could not: come out upon the other exit. A price was paid for his bravery... The Fears tore into his mind and supplanted a vision of Dathan Gunn's death. Seroth was numbed to his father's betrayal, the stark, frigid nature of his murder. The Sayda had abandoned him when Dathan came to realization of their wayward course.

Alongside Guenyvhar, afterward, they fought from Commenor to Terminus to Nar Shaddaa. Each outing was never without incident: Guen's cold amorality and greed clashed with her son's idealism and naivety. ...Seroth admitted he wished to plant the blame for his growing hypocrisy and mistakes on Guenyvhar and Stenwulf's shoulders, but he couldn't disregard that everything that happened did so because he was compliant. That he'd made a conscious decision, and whored out. The moral miasma that followed hadn't left the boy, but that would wait until his tale's conclusion.

Events came to an abrupt and cruel head midst a raid upon a Imperial depot on Tund. In a sick cycle of perfect corruption and familicide, Guenyvhar, at last wholly convinced her child was a lost cause to salvage into a worthy fighter and inheritor for her Sayda, turned a gun upon Seroth. Wounded, he barely survived in part to the hallucinogenic efforts of an incorporeal Rosa Mazhar. His mind's construct, swollen for hope that he could some day see her again, motivated the lad to fight through the agonies and escape. Seroth tracked back to Tatooine, finding Shev dead and a holo-recording waiting for his perusing. There, the fallen Legionnaire bared out his family's ancestry, their legacy, and what was now expected of Seroth in vengeance.

He traveled to Commenor. Hunted down Stenwulf and defeated him martial challenge. ...And then chased his mother to the shanks of the realm's largest peak: the snowy Mount of the Blade. They fought through tree and ice. ...And he killed her atop an icy outcropping as night fell, stared down by moonlight, starlight, and the chilly countenance of the arch mountain fastness. Now, at Qae's beckoning on behalf of Jaxton Ravos, he ventured to Teth... And now was left to sift through the pieces of his what remained of his moral constitution.

"It is difficult to say what I am left with," Seroth murmured. "There is Rosa... My crag. There are my skills... Bought for in Shev's blood. ...And there is my conscience, which is soured. I have tried to stay true to my training... What I believed in youth, in my station as a Jedi Knight. But I do not feel anymore a Jedi than a rock does a tree. I am too comfortable in the idea of killing someone, despite that I take no joy from it. It feels simply... a means to an end. Like a job."
 

Qae Shena

Super Shaper Puppy!
Writer
And so, ladies and gentlemen who stalk the wonderful adventures of Qae Shena and Seroth Ur-Rahn-- we know you're out there, watching, waiting, ready to pounce-- you now have the shortest summary of the greatest adventure this Galaxy has ever seen. A novel, condensed into a fireside tale. A riverside tale? Perhaps. Needless to say, however, Qae had little that could compare to the fact that Seroth Ur-Rahn had been forced to do unspeakably cruel things, that the Fates had indeed conspired to make him do things that many mere men would not be able to do. Seroth Ur-Rahn was hardy of mind and body - an iron will and steely sinew alike, that made him arguably the toughest person alive. With the right Force training, he would be an unstoppable warrior that could shrug off blows that even Ashin Varanin could not, a veritable titan amongst mortals. Qae quietly wondered if he could arrange for such a thing for his brother, that he would be able to learn. Not much of a gift, but certainly something.

What could he say to such a tale, told so eloquently, in the finest traditions of the greatest bards, troubadours and minstrels? Seroth's voice was powerful, lilting, almost musical even with its ruggedness. It was a quality Qae admired. That, and his lexical exploits were mangificent. He spun words as a seamstress spun spidersilk fabric, weaving a tapestry of beautiful imagery, an art piece left on the ears and mind. That story had been moving, compelling, hard-hitting and deep. To match such words for Qae was impossible. He simply did not have that depth of vocabulary or such reassuring tones. No, his voice was not one for stories.

"Being a Vagrant, being in this Conclave... we oft find we come out with very little. I have no family to call my own any longer given that I am estranged from them. I have no lover - you're lucky, in that regard. I own ships and space stations. Lifeless constructs. I own material possessions, but very little to me is spiritually fulfilling. That... that we have to find on our own. I'm yet to do that."

A quiet sigh, for it was true. He wished he had love, a family, perhaps. Something he could come home to and curl up with by the fire and relax with at night. He had Rosa, who was one of the most magnificent women Qae had ever met; kind yet fierce, loyal and devoted, powerful in the Force and wise beyond all measure. She was the inheritor of the parts of Spencer Jacobs' legacy that he could not be. Together, they encompassed the two halves of Spencer's whole - Qae her warrior's spirit lying dormant, and Rosa the mental, powerful aspects. And they ran with it, to capitalise it, make it stronger. Qae considered Seroth very lucky that it was a close friend, a man akin to a brother, that would look after someone so intrinsically linked to his fate.

One detail interested him most, however. Something that Qae noticed, that he wasn't sure.

"Your choice of weapons, then. It's on your mind. What of it?"
 

Seydon of Arda

Raquor'daan
Writer
"Would you look at these?" Seroth queried, tugging his thatched mat out from beneath his knelt haunches, scattering a few errant piles of meticulously groomed pea-stones and white sand whilst he sat a hand closer to Qae. In a rare feat of simple telekinesis, the boy concentrated his attentions and rumbled the seized up tumblers of his inherited footlocker. Dust gusted from the old, iron wrought keyholes. Hinges requiring a second lifetime's worth of grease squeaked like wyvern hatchlings, loud and pitched just so to rankle their hearing. Seroth had shuttered the small collection of stacked books, codices, and keepsakes while he regaled the past year's events. He leaned out and clutched from the messed piles that old, leather bound journal of grease paper and faded pencil markings.

Swiftly leafing, Seroth tilted the pages up slightly. Grey light from the raining morning flooded weakly through the overhead skylight. Just enough to light up the scuffed, silver traces of lead penciling. "Some of the scrawling is in from another hand, the other belongs to my father. ...I believe."

Grey eyes squinted. "It is... notations. For a set of weaponry inherent to my family. We gave it in adoption to others who took up the tradition of beast-hunting, when monsters were more prevalent across the various Rims, back centuries prior. ...When they were a lot easier to discover. My father writ down... odd scrawling in the page margins. He makes mention of alloys I do not think exist, and metallurgical processes that would make more sense to a smith. But there are at least more definitive charts, and diagrams.

"An axe, a longknife, a pattern of sword, and these curious gauntlets," He told, taking up a sliver of bamboo skin and every carefully highlighting the decades old illustrations. "On Tatooine, I lost possession of my lightsabers. I thought I would miss them. But... I have found comfort, holding objects of wood and steel. They are simple. Perhaps not elegant, maybe even ignoble. Yet, they are wholly solid, and my inheritance."
 

Qae Shena

Super Shaper Puppy!
Writer
Qae's experience with hand-crafting weaponry was rather limited to lightsabers, though he did have an off-hand knowledge as to how to work very basic metal. While not a weaponsmith, he had enough practise with it that he could make the most basic of weaponry - and if Seroth wanted basic, well, maybe the Force would guide them. Perhaps time and practise would make him something that he wanted, coupled with the powerful voice of the Force whispering in their ears as to how to conduct themselves.

With deft eyes Qae pored over the text, examining the notations, perhaps understanding a quarter of them at best - but it was a start. It was a start on a project that could consume more time and effort than making a regular lightsaber, given the depth and complexity in properly forging metal. Qae wasn't familiar with it. The fact that Seroth was so interested in such archaic tools was a point, however.

"I'd say this would suit you better than any lightsaber or blaster ever would," Qae mused, grinning quietly. "It's very... you. Unique, different, set apart from the rest in its own unassuming way. Maybe we've got the metal sitting around to make it. I know I've got a stocked workshop we can probably use, complete with forge. What say we give it a try?" It was a long shot. It really was. There was no telling how it would come out, or what would come of it. If they could, between them, forge Seroth some new weapons, the things that his spirit owed him... why not? Really, why not give him that which he deserved? If he wanted them, he would have them. Qae would not deny that.
 

Seydon of Arda

Raquor'daan
Writer
The Temple was not an armory. Whomever had first laid the cornerstones had placed inordinately intricate attention to precise architecture and aesthetic, weaving function with spiritual stylistics so that halls echoed gently with sounds of lapping water, plinking notes off of bamboo bells. There were no trace scents of oil or fyceline, nor petrol and steel-grease, odours that spoke of engineering, from some hidden hall where legends took shape under the batter of hammer against anvil. They'd hidden the Silent fastness away in the midst of a windy archipelago and bade its location to only the most select handful of individuals. Solitude and quiet were privileges that demanded degrees of high respect in order to properly enjoy. What was here, exactly, to fashion together weaponry, even something so crude as an axe and knife?

Seroth followed keenly at Qae's heels, strolling down through a hallway parting two distinct sections of open-ceiling pools. Early afternoon rains fell warmly, drizzling onto placid waters that looked as glassy as volcanic glass, roiling with inky waves. Below, solar-lamps kept up a soft glow against the gentle under toe. Small fish, tiny minnows and barely larger fang-prawns, flickered in the hazy lamp cones. Lilly pads no thicker than a millimeter, larger than dinner plates, adorned high with fragile stalks and stamens connected to white-on-strawberry flowers, swayed and rubbed against fallen palm fronds and fingers of leaves.

A turbolift suspended on transparisteel wires descended them to about ten stories, three below the soft roils of machine noise echoing from the below ground hanger docks. Truth, the Temple was not outfitted to be an armory, but it wasn't left without some means of forging for those individuals seeking solace in the roar of a forge furnace and the stench of carbon wafting off of heated alloys. Together, alien and humanoid ventured through arched hallways showcasing a distinct taste of brutalism. Several adjutant chambers coalesced into a tall, octagonal room padded underfoot with black grass thatched mats, scattered with slicks of soot and metal shavings. Mounted cones bolted to the pitch-granite walls glowed hotly with torchlight. Upon a nearby workbench, a small pile of ingot-bars glinted under a shawl of shadow, below a rack of polished metallurgy instruments.
 

Qae Shena

Super Shaper Puppy!
Writer
No, the Temple was not designed to have a forge. This room, this little quiet place that people could come and make things, was designed to be a workshop for personal gear. A place that one could, say, forge their aurodium plating for their brand-new lightsaber hilt, or perhaps make repairs to their customised suit of armour. It wasn't fancy, or as well stocked as any professional workshop, but it certainly got the job done. Basic power tools were present - power hammers, a belt grinder, a bandsaw. Things needed for basic work. Then, other power tools - smaller grinders and saws, drills, buffers. Then the standard hand tools - from hydrospanners to hammers, everything the aspiring workman needed to create some kit was here. Against one wall was a long workbench, the adjacent wall held an anvil of the old style and the opposite wall the forge and the quenching tank in equal measure. It would do them, in this instance, to make what they needed. Everything they'd need was here.

Making weaponry wasn't an easy task, for men who weren't experienced in it, but they'd make it happen one way or another. Hammer-blows upon the anvil and the incessant whine of a belt grinder stripping away burrs on steel, while other metals melted in the crucible of fire. Everything was a carefully-constructed part by two minds melded with the Force, letting the wisdom of the ages take them along the currents of destiny. Qae could certainly read ripples in the Force to such an extent now that he heard its voice. Now was the time for such knowledge to fill his mind as the Force told him where his hammer should strike most true.

Piece by piece, the panoply came together.
 

Seydon of Arda

Raquor'daan
Writer
The lad kept a watch to the process and cycled the forge-garage's entrances onto 'Lock'. He didn't imagine their efforts would take more than a day, but utter concentration was essential. No artist preferred to have their focus disturbed to tend to some matter that others could and would likewise solve. Master Shena denigrated that his workshop skills were not so on par as his fellow believed. The lad shook his head, smiled softly, asking for anything that would simply hold up. Function, utility, these were the Spartan details Seroth required of anything in his keep. They needn't resemble formal assembly gear. Certainly nothing as fragile as a saber hilt, with its thin casings, ludicrous finicky components, and general soldering upkeep. Oft times, he only ever possessed a whetstone and filing tongues when in isolated locales. Slowly, hammer fall by beat, the bars of purified steel were softened. The boy kept his peace, wordless. Bright embers of superheated coals danced behind the flint of grey in his gaze.

Qae first worked the metals of the axe-head, drawing out the blade-face and spike while punching through to affect a hole for the gripping haft. His technique was a combination of the core facets of forging, drawing, bending, upsetting, and the aforementioned punch. Every so often, as it required, he swiftly turned to a cooling trough and dunked the super-heated alloys under the waters. The chamber was filled with a wet heat, condensation dripping from the stone roofing like perspiration. When the axe-head was finished and refined to a thickened T-head drooping back with a killing jut, Qae placed it in Seroth's care, and directed him on the finishing aspects. The Nautolan then busied with the longknife, consulting journal diagrams as he tsked and annotated with mental calculations.

It was a quarter to the first hour past midnight when they deemed their efforts at a finish. Seroth walked over and cranked a stiffened lever off its wall-clasp. The chamber vents groaned, yawned widely, gusting a torrent of cooled air cycled down from narrow shoots cut in through the temple's rock foundations. They stood a moment, breathing rain-scented breezes. The lad took stock of his newly mended tools: calling them weapons seemed almost deftly limiting. A proud tomahawk head, blued to a silvery finish, fixed atop a haft of black-stained wroshyr wood. Its companion, a brutal trench knife, heavy to look upon but light in the lad's flexed grasp. Seroth turned away from Qae, running the axe and longknife through a brief assault routine. He cut down through the lines of some unseen foes torso meat, crunching through bone and sternum as the knife flashed, parrying slashes and stabs. When the movements reached a berserk crescendo, the lad loosed a guttural cry and loosened his axe hand.

The spike-hawk turned end-over twice, burying the blade-face into the walled stone by three inches. "...These are very fine tools."
 

Qae Shena

Super Shaper Puppy!
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Crunch.

"Well," Qae remarked offhand, "that seems to work nicely."

A chuckle, then a grin, as the Nautolan recalled the hawk from its embedded place within the wall of his workshop, summoning it to his hand through a burst of telekinetic energy. The weapon spun end over end through the air and Qae caught it as it whizzed past his head, catching it somewhere slightly behind his body. Indeed, it was light - songsteel, perhaps, if he understood it correctly - and the weapon was a glorious and remarkable tribute to their combined teamwork. He'd held a weapon like this before, with the help of Asemir Lor'kora and his preference towards actual metal weapons, despite being a master of the lightsaber; it was strange that Qae followed a path away from the saber himself despite having fully mastered a Form. After all, to each their own.

Let it never be said that Qae Shena and Seroth Ur-Rahn were not one of the greatest teams in the Galaxy.

"By the way, you better fix that hole you just put in my wall," the Nautolan added with a grin.

And then he laughed, like an absolute maniac. What a day.
 
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