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Religion is the Oldest Weapon

Approaching Exocron Space

"Hopefuls! Pilgrims! Our journey finally draws to an end as we slip nearer to the warm embrace of the Ten. The Moross way of life will draw all of us in, permit us the chance to transcend the struggles of the galaxy with the strength of the Gods of Moross. Prepare yourselves, my children, for the rest of your lives!". The elderly man that had been responsible for arranging this congregation of travelers smiled warmly at them all with outstretched arms. He was positive that he was leading all of the passengers of this worn freighter to a better life.

However, there was one member of the so-called congregation that went through the motions of awe, devotion, repentance, and whatever other bullshit the remaining nutbags onboard were holding to. The large man's plain black cloak fell loosely around his body. Dressed in little more than a casual pair of black pants, he brought with him only a very simple, tattered looking bag full of sparse belongings. In fact, it mostly contained weapons he had preferred to keep hidden from those onboard.

From beneath the veil of darkness provided by his cloak's hood, Ashmedai's silver-green eyes were cast down at the floor as he muttered several strings of religions incantations, begging for strength and forgiveness. However, Ashmedai knew in the very core of his being that none would receive anything from any gods. He'd simply been around too long for that. So the question was...why was he here? Why after so much time living the simple life at his home on Corstris had he elected to venture forth and continue his...investigations? Simple, the rapid spread of an entirely new religion that seemed to be gripping people by the hundreds at an astounding rate was impressive enough for him to notice. Never one to rely on media reports or word of mouth, he'd positioned himself to investigate on his own. He knew little about the makeup of this new religion, but he was quite interested to see who was using it as a basis for power and control these days. After all, there was scarcely a weapon in existence more powerful than religion. Those able to utilize it successfully...at least warranted a personal visit.

Once the vessel had arrived at its destination, Ashmedai came to his feet with the rest of the would-be followers. Though he towered over many of them, the Sith Lord stepped down the loading ramp silently. Casually, he followed the masses, allowing all of his senses to take in his surroundings.


Velaeri Mortaine
The congregation was met by a retinue of Moross soldiers and Priests of varying sects that would help and guide the new refugees to the Temple of the Divines. The building sat at the very heart of Exocron's capital, high atop a rise of land that overlooked the city below. A grand sight to behold in the setting sun, the columns upon which the structure sat seemed cast in a bronze glow of warm evening light.

"The new Refugees have arrived, Aesir Inari," Emri Larue, a man who had previously held a chair on the Committee of Republican Ambassador's, smiled broadly to the purposed Goddess as she sat in her Temple hall, "are you prepared to take them in?"

Inari did not speak immediately, as the man had drawn her from deep meditation. This was her warrior's practice, day in and day out, since her time spent on Aing-Tii. The repetition of immersion within the Force, to see beyond what lay clearly before her and around her; to see into the could be's and would be's and have been's. This was the skill of Flow Walking, this was the skill her elusive Healers on Aing-Tii had provided her with. One day, when she mastered it, she would pass it on to another worthy of such knowledge. Until then, however, there was work to be done.

Ghostly blue eyes opened behind Inari's silver mask as the woman gently picked herself up from the floor, "I am ready."

With Neth away spreading the word of Moross to the planet of Resu and Ithari missing, Inari was left to see to the devout, both the new and the old. This task took her away from her post on Aing-Tii, but if it meant giving faith where once there had been none she was more than willing to comply.

Once the congregation had reached the entrance of the Temple they were greeted by Emri, a tall dark-skinned man dressed in the robes of Inari's Healers. Were he on Coruscant, one might've mistaken him for a Jedi. He smiled warmly at them, dark eyes alive with his own renewed sense of purpose. That was what he had come here for, after all, for purpose. The day he had met Inari on Coruscant was the day he'd realized his own ambling path. The Senate destroyed, the Jedi no-where to be seen and the leaders of the Republic in shambles, it had been the wisest decision he had ever made, moving his family to Exocron and offering his services to the Divine.

"Welcome, pilgrims, to the Temple of the Divine," his deep voice rumbled through the air like a wave of thunder. It was bold, it was confident, "here is not where your journey ends, but where it begins. Here is where you may find your faith and your purpose. Here is where you may seek your safety and building your strength. Let no man, woman or child hold doubt in their hearts, for I too have seen the power of Moross and experienced its salvation," he clasped his hands before him before stepping aside as the Priests moved forward to push open the entrance doors, "Aesir Inari, the Heart of Moross, welcomes any and all who would pledge themselves to the cause. Go now, the Priests will guide your way."

Inari stood within the entrance at the center of a rise of stairs. Before and around her stood her retinue of warriors, their ghoulish armor overlain by cloaks of white and gold and red, the colors of the Goddess they protected. She smiled warmly, quietly, as the people filed in. The woman needn't say a word, her presence was merely enough. The Priests and Priestesses lead the way to the chambers where the new crusaders would be offered food, clothing, and the Book of Moross that would educate them on the Pantheon and the Crusade.
Ashmedai was mostly silent as he followed along in the group. It took only moments to realize that they were making their way to a rather stunning looking Temple keenly positioned to give the impression of being the very heart of this movement, this religion, this crusade. For his part, the darkside master merely filed into the category of expected but effective. Judging by the looks on the faces of the men around him, something about this Moross Crusade clearly spoke to the masses. However, Ashmedai kept his official opinion tempered. It was ever the destiny of religious-based organizations to begin to crumble and fade as people managed to become self-aware and realize those they worshipped did not exist.

When the group arrived at the Temple, Ashmedai allowed his silver-green eyes to drink in his surroundings. Even as a tall, dark-skinned man arrived to address them, Ashmedai maintained his visual scan until he caught sight of something more engaging than the architecture of the Temple. A level above them stood a number of individuals, most were dressed in the same armor and flowing white cloaks. However there was one, smaller figure that stood motionless, facial features partially obscured by a silver mask. Several strands of healthy red hair were plainly visible beneath the contrasting white hood of the woman's cloak.

As the last remnants of daylight cascaded off the interior of the Temple and the white-cloaked occupants therein, Ashmedai slowly turned his silver-green gaze back to the man that had greeted them. As a subtle gust of wind rippled through his cloak against his partially exposed upper body, Ashmedai shifted his simple bag from his right hand to his left. Thought he'd missed much of the man's speech, Ashmedai knew well enough to follow the array of Priests and Priestesses ready to spread the salvation of Moross to the newcomers. Inhaling deeply, the darkside master felt a wave of energy ripple through his body of its own accord. It was a sensation he had become all too familiar with, warning him of the movement of the Force around him.

It wasn't until he'd been settled in quarters, given clothing that all were more or less expected to wear, and afforded some time to read the Book of Moross that Ashmedai put it all together. The woman had been wearing the rather distinctive colors of one of the ten Gods, three of which walked amongst the mortal plane at any time. There were many organizations founded on some form of religious belief. However, generally everyone believed themselves to be a God and acted as such. However, here it appeared as if those in power were smart enough to maintain...some form of artistic premise to the illusion. If you could make people actually believe their Gods existed by allowing a small number to walk among them, you avoided a great deal of the...complications that plagued those he formerly called brothers and sisters.

When he was satisfied that people were done 'checking up on him', Ashmedai made his way to his closet and unpacked his personal bag. The blade that had seen him through every major battle of his recent life was laid in a corner, wrapped in the soft cloth he generally maintained it in when not on his person. There were rumors of several things to come, lessons on the Moross, tours of the city, familiarization with the way of life, and, of course, assignment to a specific sect of that life. Naturally, Ashmedai spent his time reading all that he could until they were all drawn in for the next group session. Perhaps there would be no more for the evening.

Either way - he looked forward to gleaning as much as possible. In this stage of his life, Ashmedai had nothing but time.


Velaeri Mortaine
Cameron would find himself called to a group session a short while later. His congregation, a sizable but manageable count, met in one of the ten halls of worship. This one in particular was devoted to the Goddess Inari, though presently she was not there. Banners flew with the Morossian sigil in the Goddess' colors, and at the front was a large tapestry depicting the the Divine, her figure obscured by the light that glowed from within. In one hand she balanced a bleeding heart, in the other a vine of green sprouting golden flowers grew from her palm.

At the base of Inari's tapestry was a verse sewn into it with gleaming strands of gold.

"My soul honors your soul.
I honor the place in you where
the entire universe resides.
I honor the light, love, truth,
beauty and peace within you,
because it is also within me.
In sharing these things
we are united, we are the same,
we are one.


Beneath the tapestry a fountain sculpted from the stone of the wall produced pristine drinking water. It was said in the Book of Moross that the waters had healing properties, not simply for the body but for the mind and soul as well.

Emri Larue appeared from a side entrance, "Welcome, welcome," his voice boomed within the confines of the hall, "please take a seat. I am Emri Larue, Priest of the Reviver, and I am here to answer any questions, assuage any fears or doubts, and nurture your understanding and faith."

The people took seats within rows of wooden benches. Families crowded together, looking altogether lost, wary, but somehow relieved. Every refugee that came to Moross had a story to tell, a journey to take. Emri had witnessed these very expressions on the faces of his wife and children during their own pilgrimage, but in time they had come to calm and to feel welcome and at home.

"I spent every credit I had for this, Priest," said a man from the back, "I have nothing left to buy a new home for my family and no job to speak of."

Larue nodded, face growing somber, "I understand your worry. Are there others here who share these losses and these concerns?"

Several nodded, made noises of assent.

"In many places this might doom you to a life of poverty. In Moross, it is merely the umbrage from which you step into the sun, a time of opportunity to find your place within the Crusade. Your families will find a home here in the Temple where our Priests will supply you with food, clothing, and the education you will need to find the duty that will provide for your future. The paths you may take are endless - you could find your place amongst our most wise Archivists of Neth, or perhaps your skills are better suited as a Warrior of Kalee? Inari welcomes all Caretakers, Medically inclined, Healers. Salee's weaponsmiths are some of the finest around, or perhaps you fancy something more economical? The hosts of Hali maintain many lucrative businesses within our realm and the Politicians of Aatrox help to maintain the holdings of Moross. There is a place for every Crusader, a job for every skill."
Cameron's expression remained completely stoic as they were herded into a room devoted to Inari the Reviver. The silence of the room was deafening as those assembled took in the relative shrine to Inari that could not be ignored. From what Cameron had already read, Inari was intriguingly benevolent in her views. She was hardly the only one of the deities that were described as such. In fact, the balance in this particular faith was refreshingly...realistic. The Book of Moross encompassed all that Cameron had taken decades to fully realize and finally accept. While he did not consider himself a practician of both sides of the Force, he did consider himself a student of such. However just because he could understand the lightside, it did not mean he necessarily agreed.

The reality of the Force was such that anything could be accomplished in any particular manner. It was the method that varied so widely from person to person, group to group. As a result, any religion or organization able to successfully embrace and utilize both stood a chance to be infinitely more effect than any other around them.

As Cameron's internal machinations filled his conscious mind, the man from earlier entered to lend more explanation to their path, their reason for being. Speaking strictly as one that had uttered his fair share of propaganda, Cameron could have done without the pep talk, but he could see that, as usual, words were a powerful weapon to some. The reality of the beauty that was the subtle power of the spoken word and...discreet action brought a thin smile to Cameron's lips. That all said, all of this positivity absolutely had to be balanced with a dose of reality. When the dark-skinned man had fallen silent, Cameron's own deep baritone resonated from the back of the group. "Words of comfort to those with a skill or at least a measure of intelligence. Any in possession of either of these would not have arrived here with nothing unless by choice. In the event of which, you would remain silent and secure in the knowledge your plans proceeded precisely as you desired."

For a moment, Cameron fell silent, lifting his head such that his silver-green gaze and dark features were visible beneath the hood of his black cloak which he'd retained over top his provided clothing. "Fret not, sir. Even the lowest predator requires some form of prey, you may yet find the greatest measure of your worth in your death. Pray to the Reviver to bring you back when that role is realized. There will always be a need for food on the table." It was overly evident that Cameron Centurion did not, exactly, identify with those that would follow Inarai the Reviver. He was certain she gave strength to many. Abundant, never-ending sources of good and hope had to be balanced. "Without balance and vision, the people will perish." Cameron uttered his last sentence silently in the tongue of the Ancient Sith directly into the minds of those in the room.


Velaeri Mortaine
"It is true, what you say," a quiet voice from the back of the hall announced the demure arrival of none other than Inari the Reviver herself.

The heads of those in attendance turned, eyes flashing with awe. The tangible Goddess did not seem to glow as her tapestry depicted, but there was a certain sense of light that emanated from her, a calmness that moved with and around her. It was not oppressive or intrusive, but simply there to be felt and behold.

Emri Larue took a kneel and bowed his head, "Aesir Inari."

"Death is sometimes a more noble purpose than what the living realm can offer," her crystalline blue gaze shifted from face to face from behind her mask, settling on the darkly clad man who's equally dark thoughts had invaded the minds of those present, her own including. She knew that touch of malignant nature, she had fought it for months on a personal level, been aided by it as well. The presence of Ithari's great power within her had never truly left her - the Bloody God had imparted a permanent mark on Inari.

"Many men and woman have already given their lives in good and honorable faith to the Crusade. The fallen devout dine in the Great Hall, the highest honor all Crusaders can receive, if they are worthy."

Inari turned a calm gaze to Cameron and with it came a fleeting somber smile, "Not everyone who joins us is receptive to faith and belief by word alone. Many are far too jaded of the galaxy that has offered them nothing but repression. In time," her eyes lingered now to the others, patience evident, "I hope that you may all come to understand that faith and belief is not something we can teach, only something you can experience, for better or worse."

"A thousand pardons, Bright One," an Acolyte wearing the colors of Neth stepped in through the doors to kneel beside Inari, "a message from Aesir Neth."

"Thank you. Priest Larue?"

"At your word," Larue looked up expectantly.

"The evening meal is being served in the dining hall. Please escort our new Pilgrims, I am sure they are hungry after their travels."

Larue nodded and stood, beckoning the people to follow. Inari moved to the side of the doorway where she received a flimsy from the Acolyte, hands drawn from the sleeves of her robes a curious ring baring a red gemstone gleamed in the fading light of the day that washed in through painted glass windows.

The same ring gifted to the young Kuati Princess on her coming of age day.
Though the voice originated from behind him, Cameron did not turn at the sound of it. The woman's entrance had occurred completely silently, but the darkside master had sensed the approaching presence. There was no denying the strength of her ability, he could feel it within the very core of his being. However, that did not mean he necessarily subscribed wholeslae to an idea without first doing the diligence of challenging it first. That was, after all, the only way to even remotely guarantee that subsequent understanding would be born out of more than a forced paradigm.

When Inari shifted her gaze to him, Cameron narrowed his eyes slightly. There was still something...definitively familiar about her. It was like he'd seen her in a dream, a vision. However, he knew that relying on such elements on deja vu was rarely enough. The mind was capable of making up a great deal. The fact that she very closely resembled a woman he'd recently interacted with, however, was what gave him pause. Lady Lorelei had red hair too during that fateful meeting, and the woman claiming to be Inari seemed to maintain striking similarities. Cameron did recall that the Queen of Kuat had a daughter. She'd been a teenager when last he'd seen her. That couldn't be though...could it?

Cameron's silver-green gaze remained keenly focused on the goddess as she began to retreat following her instructions to the Priest. Casually, the darkside master withdrew the hood of his cloak, revealing largely surprisingly smooth features save facial hair and a slight scar beneath his right eye. His vibrant silver-green gaze, however, held a piercing intensity. Just before Inari made her departure, Cameron caught sight of the red gemstone ring on her hand. A mischievous smile briefly touched the darksider's lips. This time, he spoke only to the so-called goddess' mind. "You look even more like your mother than I remember, Princess..."

There was no malice in Cameron's statement. Further more, he had no way of knowing if it remained the daughter of Silencia or...some other entity. Without waiting for much of a response, Cameron stood and turned to follow the others to the evening meal.


Velaeri Mortaine
Inari stared after the man, unsmiling and silent as he left. The woman waited until he was well out of sight before she made any move, but when she did it was direct and with purpose.

"How are the preparations for the Drive Yards coming?" the illuminated blue bust of her mother, the Sovereign of Kuat and CEO of the KDY gleamed at her through the waning twilight sun that warmed the walls of her private chambers. Amore frowned and shook her head at her mother.

"Soliael is away, we're set to begin when he returns, but I cannot be sure when that will be."

"Do not wait much longer on this, child. The Republic is gearing for war and it will be all I can do to maintain any level of attention in the outer rim."

"I understand," Amore replied, frowning, "I will see to it that we begin immediately upon his return. The stage is set on Kinooine, it will not be a lengthy process."

"Good," replied the Queen, "now, what is it that you needed?"

Always right to business, even as a mother. Amore had grown use to this from her mother and rarely sought out anything more than advice from the woman. It was from her father that she managed all the other requirements of a family in emotional terms. Her uncle Vascious had also been useful in that regard, and even Soliael had begun to open up. "There is a man that has arrived on a refugee ship. Mother...he knows me, he knows who I am and he knows you as well."

"Have him disposed of," the Queen replied dispassionately, "you already have too many familiars in your territory. Best to cut your losses now, before they disarm you."

"I ... feel that will not be possible. Jacen is missing but even still, I'm not sure that man would be up for the job. His presence," Amore grimaced over a visible shudder, "it's powerful, like you, like Desdemona."

A dark curiosity seemed to settle on the Queen's face, "Describe him to me."

"Dark of skin, like a shadow. Tall... taller yet than Soliael or Vascious. His eyes are ghastly, I feel like I've seen him before."

"It's because you have. He is Sith Lord Ashmedai, if I'm not mistaken," Silencia's eyes wandered as the woman sank into deep thought.

Amore did not like that look. It was the look she'd seen on her mother's face right before bad things happened. She felt her stomach churn and her chest grow tight, "Should I be concerned?"

"Vaguely, as is the case with anyone like him. He is an acquaintance of sorts, to both myself and Desdemona. If he recognizes you, then you have this as your armor. But his purpose and intent eludes me, remain vigilant and inform Soliael."

"I will, thank you mother." Amore cut the transmission feeling no better than she had before. With a long, steadying sigh she dialed in a connection to The Freya and returned her mask to her face.

"Aesir Inari?" the Captain seemed slightly surprised, he bowed awkwardly. It had been the first time he'd taken her call through holographic link so likely there was no practice propriety here, "Bright One, how may I be of service?"

"I need to speak to Neth," Inari replied calmly.

"His Holiness is ... engaged, your Eminence," the Captain looked around, signaling to his crew members to move on getting The Keeper's attention.

"It is urgent," Inari insisted, "it will not take long. A private link, if you please, Captain," Inari added as he mentioned finally getting Neth's attention in the hangar.

[[OOC - Conversation written with Soliael's writer over Skype to insert into this post.]]

The servant eventually managed to reach Soliael within the hangar, and the god sighed slightly as he looked to the man and then towards the newly created Resu. "Give me the comm-link." Soliael said as he grabbed the small metal device, acting as though using such a rudimentary means of communications was a chore. "Inari."

She waited, watching the holographic image of the Captain change to a softly glowing orb of light that, when the link was established and Neth spoke, softly vibrated in context with his voice.

"Neth, I'm sorry, I know you're busy, but there is an urgent matter you should be made aware of. A man came in on a refugee ship today, a Sith Lord called Ashmedai, my mother confirmed this. He knows who I am." her last words could not cover her growing concern.

Soliael had long since move to a more private section of the hangar, having listened to the captains urgings of not wanting to be heard. The god simply excused himself from the Resu, knowing that his new creation could handle his kin. As Amore began to speak his eyebrows raised slightly. A Sith, and one that knew who she was? Now that was interesting indeed.

“A Sith?” Soliael said out loud as he watched Amore's holo-image. “Did he reveal his intent? Why he was there? Did he speak to anyone else besides you?”

The last question was the most important. “There's not much he can do if you have him...trapped.”


Amore shook her head, "He's staying with the pilgrims at the Temple. He hasn't....done anything, to my knowledge, but I cannot contain him. He is powerful, I can feel it. Powerful like mother and Desdemona. There's no one here to control a man like that. Soliael...I'm worried."

Soliael frowned slightly “Keep him there not with strength or power, but with words. He is there for a reason Amorella, and i'm willing to bet he's not going to leave any time soon.”

He paused for a moment, thinking.

“I will return soon. Keep him occupied, find out what he wants, and make sure he doesn't reveal who you really are.”


Amore's frown deepened and Soliael recognized an expression on her face that he'd never seen on those of his mother or Oma: fear. "What if he does? It could destroy everything. I ...don't know what to do."

Soliael's face took on a look of slight compassion, a strange thing for him. “Keep him isolated. Show him the temple, the icons, the flame, teach him about Moross if you must. He is Sith, he wants something Amore. Find out what it is and hold his attention.”

Even if he left now Soliael was hours away from Exocron, and the Resu would have to come with him. He frowned, trying to think a way to help Amorella.


She nodded as he spoke, but it was a reflexive nod that likely would have occurred even if the man had told her to set herself on fire. Amore was still young and still dealing with a learning curve that only came with time and experience. She didn't have the confidence of her mother or Soliael, and that was her one major set back. She couldn't stifle power with power, but perhaps words she could do. Words she was comfortable with.

"I will try," she nodded again but this time it seemed one with more cognizance of its purpose, the fear she could not swallow though, "please hurry back...when you can, I need you here."

“Use your mind” Soliael said in response to his aunt. “You do not need to overpower him, simply talk around him and keep him in place.”

The man turned and looked at the Resu behind him, perhaps taking one or two with him back to Exocron would not be the worst thing in the world. He turned back to Amore and then took on a more light face than before, encouraging even. “I will return as soon as I can. You can do this Amore.”


She barely managed a smile, "Thank you Soliael," and cut the transmission.

"Excuse me, Sir," a young Priestess approached Cameron at the dinner table, her robes declaring her devotion to the Goddess Salee with their colors of bronze and maroon, "her Holiness Inari has requested you join her after you've finished your meal. I will take you to her when you are ready."
Though Cameron was ravenously hungry, he had a suspicion that filling his belly completely would be ill-advised. Besides, he wanted to have a great deal of time when all the rest were fat, happy, and soundly asleep to study the Book of Moross in greater detail and take himself on a...self-guided tour of the capital. In order to make up for the reduced caloric intake, the Sith Lord casually siphoned energy from a handful of those around him. The fact they were all eating would go a long way in keeping eyebrows from raising when people started to feel a bit on the tired side. After all, they'd had a long journey.

As Cameron was finishing his soup, he felt the direct approach of an individual he did not know. Without looking up from his meal, the Sith Lord swallowed what was in his mouth before responding. "I would be honored." The large man stole a sneaking glance at a young couple diagonally across from him at the table, clearly confused as to why he was being singled out to meet with the goddess. The Sith averted his gaze without much of a reaction and returned to finishing his soup.

Within five minutes, he was done eating and stood from his seat. Quietly, he excused himself from the dining hall and entered the corridor to find the Priestess from earlier waiting. By now, darkness had almost completely taken the Temple. The view was notably appealing, and it actually gave the Sith a moment of pause as he walked quietly behind his guide. When they'd arrived, he waited patiently outside to receive instruction.

@[member="Amorella Mae"]


Velaeri Mortaine
Amore had taken her own meal in a private solar - the very same that she often sat at dinner with Soliael and Jacen as they whiled away twilight hours, discussing all manner of expansion and control and the many subjects they entailed. The room felt very empty for the young woman who was so accustomed to dining with diplomatic guests, Kuati Aristocrats, and the usual upper-echelon of the KDY employ. As a matter of fact, she felt as though she could count on two hands the number of times she'd eaten alone.

It was far too quiet and her mind was left with nothing more than the whim of wandering. Concern ate at her resolve and her heart felt heavy with worry. Jacen had gone missing after his stunt on Coruscant. The man had left the Senate Chambers in ruins and from the small bits of media coverage Amore managed to view, he left that planet in a state of health that horror stories were made of. Try as she might to put the growing ache in her chest aside, Amore couldn't help but feel crestfallen by this. She could hardly admit to herself that she'd developed a strange sense of fondness for the man despite their moral opposition.

Beyond her own personal grief there was concern on a galactic scale: the Republic was moving for war and that never spelled good for those living and serving on the home front. If she had to guess it was the ultimate failure of the doomed treaty between the Republic and Sith Empire. Everyone had seen it coming, just no one had been bold enough to really admit it. Perhaps for a time there had been enough glimmer of hope to make people believe it could work, would work. But it was a pipe-dream full of holes. The KDY was likely gearing up for overtime as the Republic was going to need a lot of firepower to wage a proper war against the Empire with any hope of coming out ahead.

Closer to home, with Neth away, she was left to look after this ever-growing populace of followers and the responsibility was beginning to take it's toll. Amorella Mae Darke could deal with Aristocrats and Beureaucrats and Diplomats and all the other ats that came with a contained Monarchy. Give her millions of religious zealots and she was at her wits end. Now throw a Sith Lord into the mix, one that knew just a little too much-

-well, again, it was far too quiet and her mind had wandered directly past any hint of appetite. The false Goddess gently set her utensils down and stood from her chair, moving to the window to watch the capital city below in the pale light of the rising moon. When the knock came at her door for the arrival of her guest she found herself inexplicably eager for the company despite her fraying nerves. Replacing her mask, the woman moved from the window to greet the man as he was lead in.

"Good evening," Inari managed a pale smile as the Sith moved to kneel before her, "thank you for joining me. I apologize for the late hour, I won't keep you from your rest for long." The woman quietly dismissed her servants, waiting until they had retrieved her tray and left before speaking again.

"Please, make yourself comfortable," she motioned to the empty seats at the table though she herself did not take one, "I asked you here out of my own curiosity. What brings you here to our capital?"
Cameron had most certainly not come to Exocron to make huge waves in the Crusade's organization or daily life. He was here, in fact, to satisfy his curiosity. Though the curiosity that had brought him here was most certainly not the curiosity presently keeping him here. So, he most certainly did drop to a knee when he was in the presence of the Goddess and others. However, once the others had departed and Inari spoke to him once more, the large Sith Lord came to his feet. "I'm fine standing, thank you, Your Highness."

Clasping his hands behind his back, Cameron afforded the woman a slow appraisal even though she still wore her partial mask. "Ironically enough, curiosity. Though now that I am here, I would say that curiosity has been replaced by...a modicum of intrigue. At first..." Slowly, Cameron began to walk around the room, taking in what little decoration existed and the views of the city from the window. "...I was intrigued by the presence of one of Silencia's offspring out here. Then I was impressed that same girl from so long ago had not only managed to anoint herself a Goddess but convince others of its truth without being destabilized by anyone with half a brain and more than a couple decades of experience in the galaxy. Then I came to the realization that playing the subtleties of sentients and keeping such a scheme going was every bit what I'd come to expect of those related to Silencia and Quietus." Cameron chose not to use their government names for a reason.

Stopping his slow stalk around the room, he turned to face @[member="Amorella Mae"] squarely. "You need not be concerned about me. I'm hardly a threat to anyone these days." A partial lie, for sure. "In truth. I've been reading your Book of Moross with some interest. The entire concept behind what you have built here and are attempting to expand is...impressive. It is common, these days, to find organizations so devoted to one aspect of the galaxy's nature, that they are completely incapable of understanding the other. Here, on Exocron, you have created an environment where conflicting ideologies are controlled, manipulated to serve a greater good. You do this not by suggesting one can walk in both worlds. That is, of course, impossible. However, if you embrace the necessity of both, the collaboration of many individuals becomes a stronger entity. A system whereby the Moross way...is the way." The words were similar to those echoed by just about any other organization in the galaxy. Most others, however, did not employ people from both ends of the spectrum. "This..." Cameron motioned with his large arms. "...is a system, an ideal worth supporting. Given that system and ideal hinges on the belief of the Pantheon of Moross..." Cameron dropped to a knee with a thin smile before bowing his head. "...you have my sword."

In a life long-lived, Cameron had served many and opposed even more. As before, he was happy to assist those with the right idea, the right concept, and the fortitude to see it through with or without him. There was strength in belief. This was one of the very few organizations where that belief was still flourishing. He would see it nourished.


Velaeri Mortaine
Hearing the man speak so well of Moross came as some surprise. He kept her attention as he defined his opinion of their Crusade and for a time Amore forgot just how intimidating he really was. His words gave her pause, forcing the woman to stop thinking about all the winding futures she could take and focus on her present place within the galaxy as the heart of this valiant and dangerous quest.

She hadn't thought of things in such a way - how carefully they'd balanced out the powers that be of the galactic star systems. Incorporating both the good, the evil, and everything in between just seemed to make sense. Amore had never questioned it, never protested or concerned herself with changing a thing. It all came so naturally, likely because balance was a natural thing.

The woman canted her head to one side in quiet consideration of the man before her. He was simply another weight to the balance, but where he fell only time would reveal. He was Sith, but this did not particularly mean he would settle upon the side of darker deeds. He'd come here and said his piece without need for anger or hate or bloodspill, and this said something about him. Amore didn't smile as he bent a knee and made his vow of fealty, nor did she frown. The Aesir found herself caught in a rather odd place.

What would Inari the Reviver do with a Sword?

If only Soliael or Jacen were here, they would know exactly what to say to the man, where to place his power to maximize its useful potential. She was want for words, even those of her Uncle Vascious, Lord Crusader, would have been welcome. No such luck.

Honesty then.

"I am pleased to have you with us rather than against us ... Lord Ashmedai," her use of this name given her was tentative, but it was the only one she had, "I am sure that there is an honorable place for your Sword in the Crusade. I, however, would much rather have your mind." It wasn't for her to know that perhaps his mind was far more dangerous than any sword, but these were the shortcomings of one as young and inexperienced as she.

"Let's take a walk," she said, motioning gently for him to stand, "show you the sights of the Capital and we can speak more."

@[member="Cameron Centurion"]
Cameron allowed the silence to slip between him and the self-made deity without protest. Though he had freely given his opinion of this organization and those that guided its purpose, he was, typically, a rather reticent individual. The Sith Lord had long since learned that his input was hardly necessary unless solicited. In the end of the day, the vast majority of sentients seemed bent on following their own whims illogical or not.

The Sith Lord's thoughts only shifted when @[member="Amorella Mae"] finally spoke. Lifting his head, Cameron's silver-green eyes conveyed the reality of the life he had lead. It was an all too common thing these days for the many people around the galaxy to have young faces. However, if one gazed into the eyes of another long enough, they could often see the full measure of their life experiences. When Cameron looked into Amorella's, he saw a great amount of desire. Slowly, the Sith Lord brought himself to his feet. A subtle nod of his head was his only obvious acquiescence to her request. It seemed an ever-increasing reality that he was asked to provide his insight more than anything else. Times did change, but he hoped the young girl would not take him for some sort of philosophical entity simply because of his frank assessment of the Crusade.

In fact...the darker truth was that Cameron was merely well practiced in providing an analytical appraisal of any situation or entity with which he interacted. What this information was later used for often varied, but he held no issues with the Moross Crusade as previously stated.


Velaeri Mortaine
The halls were quite this time of night as the occupants of the temple moved from mess hall to living quarters in the lower levels. Priests and Acolytes dotted the corridors while they walked, bowing with quiet greetings to the Aesir as she passed. Inari afforded them a calm, warm smile in return, never once seeming hindered or annoyed at the regular need for a short, kind word or glance.

When they were finally alone, or at the very least walking in no visible company, she gently cleared her throat, "How did you meet the Ladies Silencia and Quietus?" she asked. Though both of their histories were quite long and extensive, Amore had no idea the true breadth of their experiences, accomplishments or adventures. It wasn't something either of them shared openly. How this man factored into their stories was something of great curiosity. He seemed someone of power - had he once been respected by the Sith forum? Had he lead them, mentored Apprentices? How many lives had his hands taken? Just how far did his darkness go?
Cameron kept his gaze mostly averted as he walked beside Amorella. He was not wearing the colors of Inari or of any other deity. In fact, were it not for the black cloak that partially concealed his clothing, he would look like any of the other Pilgrims that had recently arrived.

When Amorella addressed him once more, the Sith Lord stifled a brief laugh. "Quietus..." To think of her as 'Lady Quietus' was...well, amusing to Cameron. The woman rarely stood on such formal occasion far as he could remember. "...I met many years ago when our paths brought us both to an organization of Sith. We worked hand-in-hand on several different occasions." Turning a brief, knowing gaze to Amorella, Cameron elected to leave further detail out. It was hardly relevant to, well, anything. "Your mother I've known mostly through reputation, but I had occasion to meet her once as a matter of business. Very powerful and equally beautiful, the both of them." The Sith Lord shrugged his shoulders slightly. "I've not interacted with either in a few breaths of time, however." To Cameron, several months or even longer was but a few breaths of life. "Matter of fact, the first time I saw your mother in person was at the very party where you received the ring adorning your finger now. She was quite the vibrant, alluring figure, but it would have been rude to occupy her time with superfluous emotions and idle conversation on such an important day for her daughter."

Allowing his words time to simmer, Cameron shifted to another individual Amorella would yet know. "Your father, on the other hand. Well, he and I go back a very long ways. He was one of my good friends for a time, in fact. I remember when he was but a young, idealistic, hot-headed apprentice." Cameron smiled thinly. "He's changed drastically from those days."


Velaeri Mortaine
A warm smile took Inari's face as the man spoke. Curious to hear how Sith spoke of their acquaintances - there seemed to be no certain amount of fondness, but perhaps a hint of nostalgia? She had very little experience in regards to Sith, but from what she knew of them it was in no way common to hear such commendable words on fellow Darksiders.

The Reviver made no remark on mentioned family, but did keep a certain proudness of their mention to herself. The Princess within her missed them terribly and ached for home. Though she kept regular correspondence with the Kuatian Queen and her father, she never heard return from her brother or her cousin. It was cause for worry, but only just.

"Seems you know a great many people, Lord Ashmedai," the woman replied gently, "if I may - what is, if any, your relation to the current Sith Regime?"
If there was a lack of fondness in Cameron's tone, it was surely only because he attempted to mask such. Those he was fond of had a tendency to know it and that was, truthfully, all that mattered in such affairs. As Cameron gazed at the capital of Exocron, he considered the young woman's next question. His initial response was to smile thinly. "I've met a few during my travels. Oh and if it's all the same to you, please call me Cameron. Ashmedai is linked to a great many things I would prefer to avoid for the time being. Fresh starts and all." The reasoning was far deeper than that, but further explanation hardly seemed necessary in the Sith's eyes. "As for the Sith Empire, that Regime has a healthy rate of refreshment. Most recently I served there for a time as Governor of a Sector. I found the new direction to be...refreshing, but it was ultimately time for me to accept that Lord Ashmedai had outgrown the Sith Empire."

Turning his gaze to Amore once more, Cameron smirked. "You'll find the older you get, the less important many of the pursuits from your younger days become. Plus. I have a daughter there, she has the right to make a name for herself rather than living in my shadow. A son that...well let's just say I've sent someone to ensure he finds his way to the Jedi. Either way, both my children balancing the Force from opposite ends of the spectrum. It's as close to a legacy as I care to concern myself with." Cameron realized that Amore had in...no way asked about his family or family goals, but it was a large part of who he was these days. Cameron Centurion would forever be a Sith, but he had seen enough to understand the necessity of balance. Here - amongst the Crusade, he was with like-minded individuals.


Velaeri Mortaine
"If ...that is what you wish," Inari offered to his title request. She would make no mention of that name again and perhaps it would in turn earn her the respect from him to keep her own former names away from this realm. The false Goddess would make no request of it as she assumed the man to be smart enough to realize her situation.

Of course there was always that old addage about making assumptions, but usually it hadn't run her afoul. At least not yet.

They were walking along a hall with high arching ceilings and tall glass windows that looked out upon the Capital below. The city was alight with a warm glow beneath pale moonlight. On the air the pungent smell of the Moross torch wafted in. They were nearing the Temple's center, the very place where the young Kuati Princess had first learned of the deities of Moross - this she recalled as they walked, and for a moment after Cameron fell to silence she looked along the hall with a distant gaze.

Had her mother known and planned for this fate all along?

Attention shifting back to her tall companion, the woman's lips split over a smile, fangs glinting in the faint light. He spoke of youth and of his legacy and how things changed. Perhaps it might've made her ponder her own current affairs, but instead she grew more curious about his, "What did you pursue in your youth?"
Cameron glanced briefly at Amore as she asked him about his youth. For a moment, his mind was assaulted with flashes of images, memories of a life all but forgotten. Times had been notably different then, and Cameron could not deny that he had been much different as well. "What didn't I pursue?" It was little more than a placeholder, allowing the Sith to determine what precisely he wanted to share. There was nothing in his past that he was ashamed of, but there was a lot. "I was taken from my home at a young age, my family burned before my very eyes. I lived most of my teenage years in fear and pain. That quickly gave way to hatred and uncontrolled rage. In that quintessential moment, I realized that my captor had given me all the strength and purpose I would need to seize control of my life. What started out as vengeance and soul-ripping rage, gave way to a thirst that had to be quenched. I lusted after battle, glory, life by the blade, and all the romanticized trappings one might find associated with those things in books. Companionship...not love, just pure physical and emotional pleasure."

Pausing, Cameron laughed slightly, smiling. "It was a good life, Inari. As time progressed, I changed. Waging battle on an open field, crushing your enemies bones...it became less and less of a challenge. I allowed myself to become a student of the galaxy, learning its various secrets, learning people. You could say I became good at...reading an individual and using that information to my own end. To win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill." Realizing this conversation had been quite one-sided, Cameron took the opportunity to shift the focus. "What about you? How did you end up here, in this role?"


Velaeri Mortaine
There came a whimsical smile at his story, but it was a smile that covered sadness. Seemed that death, pain, hatred, fear, suffering...one simply couldn't escape it for too long. It was always present in some form, a shadow never far away. Did she pity the man his dark history? No, but she could not deny remorse for the need of it. Had it happened any other way they might not be standing exactly as they were.

"A curious arrangement of events," she replied, and having slowed her steps to listen she delicately pushed off her heel once more, robes swishing along. Golden threads and silver mask gleaming in the twilight.

Inari curled her hands within her sleeves, lips pulled together in a doleful grin, voice low that it did not even echo, "I arrived on Exocron on the whim of Lady Silencia who bid me to journey and experience the galaxy before I felt the weight of my impending responsibilities. After learning of the Pantheon I chose my place with the others faithful to Inari the Reviver and I became a Priestess," smile fading, she glanced to Cameron with a look of what might've been perceived as guilt, or perhaps something akin to shame. Her own tale, she knew, paled in comparison to his many ventures. Her's was simply one of a fool's luck.

"My rise to power here was not a thing of glory. I defied Aesir Neth, tried to stop him from corrupting innocents, and in a foolish act of desperation I grasped for something I had no right to take. I imposed the name of Inari and for reasons I cannot fathom ... he allowed it, encouraged it, and now-" she looked down at herself, realizing how quickly that regal facade had faded when the truth was revealed, "here I am."