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Rising From the Depths

Adamus Straife

The Slayer
Writer
Felucia_dawn.jpg


The Imperial Palace - Felucia, Outer Rim

Adamus Straife was far from happy. The Empire had seen fit to transfer him from one place to another; only this planet was different, and his purpose was a mystery. Orders had come from down the line to him, and the details had been foggy at best. "The Empire requests you relocate to Felucia, under Darth Kyros," he recalled the transmission from one of the masters. He had traveled via shuttle, and it had not taken long for him to arrive from Korriban. He had spent much of his time on the desert sands, mulling over dead tomes and ancient holocrons. He essayed to improve himself daily, to become what every Sith before him had failed save for a few; the Sith'ari. He would start with Kyros. She was a reputable Sith Lady, and under her he could learn much, and get close enough in her counsel to ascend far in the Sith Empire. I will become a master, he thought as his shuttle docked on Landing Platform A1 of the Imperial Palace's docking station. The shuttle wound down its engines, and the ramp slid open and exposed Straife to the jungle atmosphere of Felucia. And soon I will rise higher than any Sith before me. The dark side is my ally. Passion is my strength, and it shall lead me to victory. He trudged through the jungle biome, festooned with Imperial construction sites and platforms. They had industrialised the planet, and glorified it with the dark side of the Force. Felucia's air was thick with its radiance, and a powerful nexus hung over him like a blanket. He felt stronger, faster, and smarter in its presence. He basked in it for a while, until a voice tore him from his thoughts.
"Darth Kyros awaits. She has been expecting you, Straife," a man said. He was lithe, pale and yellow-eyed. One of her consorts, perhaps. Or an apprentice? He could not say, but it was rumoured that Darth Kyros enjoyed subjugated the minds of weaker Sith, and so Adamus would play the part. He was no fool, and held intelligence enough to play smart in a galaxy of treachery and deceit. Let her think she has me. Cloud her mind while I work in the shadows.
Adamus gave a sharp smile. "Then I shall not waste anymore time." He strode through the Imperial Palace, passing Imperial guards and other Sith. Acolytes and apprentices, all gathered to please their Sith Lady and the Empire. All of them sharpening the daggers for each other's backs. Little did they know it would be he who held the strings that were their lives in a single grasp of his hand. And he would sever them all too easy. He enjoyed this game, despite his mediocre position of being a mere warrior. He could become more. He would become more. He entered the Imperial throne room, and looked about himself. The atmosphere was thick, heavy with the dark side and he could almost relish its beautiful taste. He saw her figure stand at the end of the room through his mask. He strode down the hall and dropped himself to a knee. Withdrawing his lightsaber, he placed it over his thigh in fealty to Darth Kyros.
"I have been sent to serve you, Darth Kyros. What is thy bidding?"
 
moderation
Writer
Imperial Palace
Felucia
Dusk
To say that Kara had not yet settled into her new abode would be an understatement. While she held all the air and grace of a woman made to sit a throne, and indeed she had been dubbed a Queen since before she had been Knighted, by he who would be her most faithful subordinate, her most loyal swordarm, inside she felt a little on edge. In every shadow she saw a face that was as twisted and grotesque as the former, the ghosts of her past returning to haunt her. If only Azar would do so, I have quite missed his company and council - Of course the Jedi Knight she had killed, at the mere age of ten, was rarely around anymore save for in her dreams. No one had heard a word from her about him, not on the day she slaughtered him on Metalorn, nor when she claimed his lightsaber or began having her untimely hallucinations of his being there. No, not hallucinations, Azar is dead but his presence lives on in the Force, ever following, ever watching, hoping to redeem the child I one was, lost on a battlefield of chaos. How wrong he had been, if he could see her now what would he make of it? The power she had claimed, the lives she had taken, the backs and knees she had bent into submission. Yet each time he appears to me he tries so hard. But she would not be fooled, the light was a mockery, something she had seen first hand. The light would be bled from this world and the next, as would weakness.

Clenching a hand she turned full circle before snapping her gaze to the throne. In slow, measured and gliding steps she made her way toward it, pacing up onto the dais and glaring to the unadorned seat. Had one presumed she might sit upon it? Or was it a relic of the former Lord who had reigned here. How befitting that it was mine own Master, if one can call Vazela such; the fool who thought to snatch me away from Korriban for his own plans. And now look at him: exiled and lost amidst the stars while I take his place. That brought one of the extremely rare smiles to her lips, if only for a moment. The puppeteer had puppets to tend to, all willing to play the part so long as it gained them some minuscule amount of power, hanging on her every word and teaching and both realising and ignorant to the fact that they were being played, denied the sweet knowledge they sought, left to be craving more; yes, that was how it worked, how it would always work. Keeping your Apprentices and subordinates in the dark, that was something Kara could do. And how well it works with Arthos and Hadzu'ska. There were countless beings out there completely at the mercy of this one, petite woman. To look at her you might think to snap her should you touch even a hair upon her head, but she enjoyed to make a mockery out of man, to break them...

"A boy approaches" whispered a voice, inaudible to all save she whom it was intended for.​

...And lo and behold, another presence flashed within her vicinity, foreign yet with purpose; and in response she turned upon the dais, refusing to seat herself upon such a flirtatious show of false power. The young woman measured up the man who stepped forth, her face blank and devoid of any emotion, any reaction, any expression. Kara was a Master at keeping her true thoughts and feelings hidden and under wrap, the violent cascades of passions she felt hidden away inside and released with the utmost control with deadly results. For all intents and purposes she was putting up an act herself; that of the innocent little girl, a nothing in the eyes of many, save those who had been on the receiving end of her ways. And how quickly they learnt the truth. She did not gain the position she presently stood in through a show of subordination and self-belittlement; she had bided her time, pulling strings in all areas of the Galaxy, for over thirteen years she had waited. But that did not matter, not now. Now there is something to warrant my attention, until plans have been made to expand. Mayhaps he will have a place within them.

When the boy knelt down before her, she thought boy despite him being of an age with her, in many ways subconsciously belittling him, she narrowed her eyes just an inch. Stepping back down from the dais she neared his form and paced two full circles around him, measuring him up. Each step was slow and measured, and the circling seemed to last an age. "Your name, I would know it" she said, despite knowing full well she could easily take it from him. But he did not know that; this one had no idea of who she was, not truly, few in the Empire knew of what Kyros was capable of, and that was how she liked to keep it.

@[member="Adamus Straife"]
 

Adamus Straife

The Slayer
Writer
She was comely, to say the least, but the dark side had masked her intentions from him and her face was like stone; she was a blank slate, and Straife was frustrated that he could not read her intentions. He expected as much from one of the three Sith Lords, and inwardly he cursed himself for believing things would be so easy. This lady could see into his mind's eye, and so Straife would have to tread carefully lest he lose more than just his life. He shielded his mind, and filled it with falsities that he hoped she would believe. He feigned ignorance, he feigned utter devotion, loyalty and honour. Even the strongest Sith could not see all.
She bore a scar across her cheek, a burn from a previous battle perhaps, but that only seemed to increase her grace. She could have been a seductress and Adamus Straife would not know. Her silvery hair fell about her, and she looked frail for such a powerful entity. Her power lies in the mind. I must steel myself, he thought. He looked into her eyes from his mask as she spoke.
"Your name, I would know it," she said. Her voice was hollow, mesmerising and terrifying at the same time. And then he could tell. This was no woman to jest with, no lady to play games with. She held more malice in her pinky finger than many of the other Sith combined. I was a fool to underestimate her.
"Adamus Straife, my lady," he said quietly, and his mask made his voice sound more menacing than it should have. "I have been sent here to serve you, and learn under your tutelage." He lowered his head once more, and waited for her haunting voice to rise once more. One wrong step and it would mean his head, but all the right steps, and he would rise quickly.
 
moderation
Writer
She sensed a brief disturbance and inwardly she smiled. This one was not as stupid as many others, good. But he would learn how things really were soon enough. Part of her wished to tear the mask from his face and discard it aside, another part drawn in by the mysteries within; of course she knew of masks and their purposes, why it was that they adorned the faces of many. Kara herself had gone through phases of constantly wearing her own, although now it lay in wait for more pressing plans. Here, in her home, amidst her subordinates, the Sith Lady worried not. Everyone within this building she had hand selected herself, including the young man upon his knees before her; of course he did not know that it had been her doing to bring him here, nor would he.

His name he gave and she set it to her memory, halting her movements to stand before him. Slowly she lowered herself down to his level, remaining just a few inches above him yet able to be on 'eye level' with him, were it not for the mask. "Serve, you shall. Learn? Perhaps." The latter would depend, of course. After staring into the black pits where his eyes should have been, yet somehow still managing to make an impression upon his gaze, as though she had been staring into his very soul, the woman finally rose. With a gesture she bade him to do so too without once instructing him. Turning away she wandered across the room and waited to hear the shuffling of his robes. Yet while she could not see him, her senses were in play; monitoring him while seeming ignorant.

"Speak to me of what you know" she finally stated, settling her hands down to her back. If he was to learn he would first have to give that which he already knew for her assessment.

@[member="Adamus Straife"]
 

Adamus Straife

The Slayer
Writer
She lowered herself to him, and seemed to look into his eyes. Were it possible that she could see his expression, she would see uncertainty behind a thin veil of false features. He would not easily show his emotions in her presence, nor would he allow her to become privy to the machinations inside his mind. He steeled himself when she looked, but eventually she smiled and rose. She turned away, summoning him to rise. Adamus lifted himself from his knelt position and gave a small glance across the room. Darth Kyros began walking, and soon he followed in tow. "Serve, you shall. Learn? Perhaps?" She plays with me. He grimaced behind his mask, but tried his utmost to keep his feelings concealed. He followed her across the throne room, and to wherever she decided to go. "Speak to me of what you know," she said. Her back was turned, ripe for a dagger to sink beneath the skin and flesh, but she was watching. He knew she was watching. What sort of Sith would she be if she did not possess eyes at the back of her head?
He cleared his throat and regarded her with a cool stare. "All that befits a Sith Knight, my lady, and more," he said. "My strength shines in many areas. In every facet, I have potential, but it is with the lightsaber that I excel. A natural duelist, my first master called me, before I slew him and claimed my place as one of the Empire's knights. I am knowledgeable in the dark side, not so much as you, my lady, but I have knowledge that can be expanded." He followed her through dark corridors, halls festooned with dark lights and heavy with the presence of the dark side of the Force. He felt her presence all around him. This was her domain, and it was here that she was most dangerous. He could not falter now, nor ever. "I seek to master the seven forms, and learn Sith sorcery. Should you grant me this and mentor me, you will gain a leal servant."
 
moderation
Writer
Through the large, domed throne room she led him, slipping her form swiftly over and behind the dais and away from prying eyes; of course this was not the reason she gave on the front for doing so. While these halls were her own, each person put there of her own doing, there were some things not meant for their pleasure. As such she led him through back corridors, away from the main hub of activity within the Palace; these had been her own quarters, off limits to all save the most specific of people; truth be told, only Ashborn, Sin and the little Vi’dreya were allowed in here, but if she were to speak with this one truly then nowhere else in the Palace would be more suited. From the way Adamus spoke she realised he was not a fool as he might otherwise have let on, and with each passing moment and statement she found herself all the more drawn to his person; this one would serve her well should she permit it. The knowledge that he had slain his Master was a pleasant surprise although she did not show it; truth be told the Sith had gotten weak on this front, but Kara had abused this slight to the extreme – why stick with one subordinate when you could have many and achieve so much more?

What you seek matters not at present, young Straife” she stated, as she finally led him through the dimly lit halls to their destination. The room was large yet humble, befit with only the most necessary of fittings and being that it was a room intended for training purposes that was next to nothing; along one wall an array of common and exotic weapons had been hung, both deadly and subtle. Various drones and probe droids were hidden within crevices which could not be seen by the naked eye, nor the untrained mind. It was Kyros incarnate; everything had its place. Turning to face him she measured him up before frowning. “Your endeavours until this point may be of note but here they mean nothing. You have done little to prove yourself or your worth, but in time perhaps you may. This is not a game in trade and compromise, Straife, know that now.” His name was somewhat fitting, she decided, she could sense an array of negative passions contained within, and part of her longed to unlock them to their full extent, but that would have to wait.

The Sith Code” she said, retracting her gaze from him. It was an order without an imperative, and in many ways a slight on his person, belittling of his position and his knowledge. Yet he had to learn. Here, in her domain, he would be at her mercy. He would be only what she deemed him ready and suitable to be, and thus she would start from the very beginning.

@[member="Adamus Straife"]
 

Adamus Straife

The Slayer
Writer
Her quarters were not well suited for someone of her stature; a chamber unfit for a Sith Lady, at least Adamus Straife thought. It was a humble room, and only the most necessary of decorations adorned its walls and floors. There were no tapestries, no symbols or holocrons dotted around - no sign at all that this woman had gathered a vast wealth of knowledge to supplement her own increasing powers. It simply was just a training room, and along one of the walls was an array of common and exotic weaponry; some of them deadly, some of them subtle. The room seemed unnaturally well kept, as if Kyros had spent a great length of time placing everything where it was meant to be. Straife knew that there were more than a few secrets hidden behind the crevices of this palace. Whether Darth Kyros would grace him with its knowledge was a mystery, and he was entirely at her mercy - as much as he cursed it.
"What you seek matters not at present, young Straife," she stated. She measured Adamus with a frown, but he did not make a single move out of place. He would need to do everything right this time if he were to survive long in this pit of vipers, and impressing one of the three Sith Lords was a start; he would need the teachings of one or all if he were to progress to Sith mastery. "Your endeavours until this point may be of note but here they mean nothing. You have done little to prove yourself or your worth, but in time perhaps you may. This is not a game in trade and compromise, Straife, know that now."
"Naturally, my lady," he said coolly. He gave away not a single hint of uneasiness in his voice. He thanked himself that he wore a mask, but he knew not even that could save him in the presence of Kyros. "I seek the power to rise in the Empire. To become a Sith Master, perhaps even a Sith Lord. For that to happen, I know I must serve." She regarded him with an intense stare, one that might pierce his soul should he have stared too long. This is no game, he thought. Maybe to her, but not to me. I am but a puppet on a string. Until I gain enough power, I must be a willing servant.
"The Sith Code," she said, retracting her gaze from him. She spoke it like an order, and Adamus felt the sting of her slight upon him. Was this a cruel jest? Did she mean to insult him by questioning him on the most basic knowledge of the Sith? His anger flared, but he would not let it show. Not here, not where she held all of the power.
"Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me." He bowed his head, reciting all of the words that were sacred to him, the very words he lived by. Not as strict and dogmatic as the code of the Jedi, but a guideline of how a Sith should conduct himself. He had seen too much savagery and sadism in the Empire, and it made him sick. Sith were not brutes nor insane men who gained pleasure from torture; that was the meddling of weaker minded fools, Sith who could not grasp onto the concept of power without losing their minds to the will of the dark side of the Force. Slaves, they were. Not Sith. Not like him.
 
moderation
Writer
He took the slight without incident, although she could feel his anger flare through the Force, and she made a mental note of it. It was her place to push this Sith to the edge of his limits and then beyond, part of her wanted him to unlock his true potential, not least because she knew he held it unlike some who passed through the Academies and made it to the rank of Knight. With a measured look she watched him recite the code, before obedience caused him to incline his head in wait. Her body made its way to begin pacing about his person, eyes remaining set and trained upon his body to watch him from each angle presented to her. She did not bother to praise him for his efforts, infact she did not acknowledge it at all, simply put he had done as she had bid and that was all she had been seeking.
Finally Kyros broke the silence which had settled and engulfed the pair. "Tell me, Straife, what do you crave the most?" she said when she reached his right side, her lips mere inches from his ear as she whispered softly to him, as though enticing him. Within a heartbeat she was gone from his side and was standing back at his front, eyes locked upon his own. "What gets your blood racing and quickens your pace?" Power would be the obvious answer, but that was not what she sought from him. No, there was always more to it than the overarching wants.
Stepping back around to his side she trailed a single finger across his neck, barely even touching the skin, but it was enough to make the presence of it known. When she did so, however, a seering heat would emit towards his outer flesh, provided she caught him off guard in this regard, yet it wasn't in any way physical; it had been induced through the mind, Kara's most heightened speciality, and like as not he wouldn't have been aware of her presence there at all. She had spent long, strained years learning how to bypass man's consciousness without their realising it...

@[member="Adamus Straife"]
 

Adamus Straife

The Slayer
Writer
She paced about him quietly, a deadly silence caught between them. Adamus Straife felt like saying something, asking her to teach him, mentor him in the ways of the dark side of the Force. Another part wanted to demand it, and his anger told him that striking her down was the only way. No, he told himself harshly. Foolish. I am no match for a Sith Lord. Not yet. He lowered his head as she came close and her enticing eyes settled upon him with a dark presence. "Tell me, Straife, what do you crave the most?" Darth Kyros said when she reached his right side. Her lips were close to his ear, and she could feel her breath close against him. He tried to look, but she was gone as quickly as she appeared and now she was speaking from behind. "What gets your blood racing and quickens your pace?" He could feel his carnal urges begging him to let loose, to give Kyros what she wanted from him. To utterly give himself to her and submit, but he would not. He refused to become a puppet; only in appearance would he appear a loyal servant. He sought that which would bestow upon him the right to rule the Empire as Dark Lord of the Sith.
"Fear, my lady," he uttered darkly. The words dripped from him in enticing retaliation, almost attempting to tease the Sith Lady. "I want to be feared." She stepped around to his side and trailed a single finger across his neck. He could feel her touch, almost soft and gentle yet course and venomous. That is when the heat struck him. A searing burn permeated through his flesh as she caught him off guard. He held the back of his neck but he felt nothing but his skin. This is a trick, he deduced. He was smarter than most of her other puppets, but he was foolish enough to be caught nonetheless. Her power in the dark side was strong, and she had spent years perfecting her techniques. Straife was nothing to her, nothing but a dust mote in a storm.
 
moderation
Writer
Fear. That was what the boy before her craved, an amiable wish. She remembered once when the former Emperor, Lussk, had spoken to her, during her first session within the Empire. He had sought to become immortal, to become a God, while his counterpart Shinju craved to rise again. that was what had fuelled both, and truth be told Kara had been unable to agree with either of them. Order, that was what she craved, although fear was on par with such, fear she was able to induce and she had at the mere age of seven when she broke the mind of the babbling soldier. And many others, since she mused to herself. Her attention was snagged when he felt the pain induced to his mind, and after a few long, lingering moments she eased it up and stared long and hard at his back. "You wish to be feared, to have the power within your grasp to make others tremble at the mere mention of your name?"

Regarding him in silence for a moment more she stepped back to his front, she could sense much greatness in this one and his future should he tread the correct path. "And you seek to master various aspects of our great Order; yet know that neither comes without difficulty. You may have proven yourself worthy of the attention of certain individuals in the Empire, but until such a time as you prove yourself to me, Straife, you will learn as an Apprentice would, you will serve as a servant of the Empire and you will prove yourself loyal and worthy. You must work for it. Do you understand?"

@[member="Adamus Straife"]
 

Adamus Straife

The Slayer
Writer
"I understand," he muttered. His iron toned voice escaped his masked confines. Truly, Adamus did not understand. Why should he, a Sith Knight, be treated as a mere apprentice? He was a cut above the rest, far stronger in the Force, far more deadly with a blade, and far more intelligent. This would not sit well with him. All in good time, he thought. He would need her alone, not surrounded by her lowly students. When he had proven himself, and he would, Adamus would see to it that Kyros gave him private lessons; special ones. Enough to set him apart from the lesser castes of the Sith. Ambitious, you might say, Adamus was, but without ambition there is no hope for victory, no hope to break the chains that bind you; to a master, to the Empire, to the dark side itself. He lifted his masked face up, his facial features entirely concealed, as were his feelings. He saw in every moment that Darth Kyros wished to tear the visage from his face, reveal his features and see what really lay behind the mask. But would that not spoil the surprise? "Teach me, my lady. I want my foes to tremble in my wake."

@[member="Darth Kyros"]
 
moderation
Writer
She could tell that it discomforted him, as it should. Kyros had belittled his ability, and had made no attempt to disguise it. Why? Because it meant he would work that extra bit harder to prove her wrong, and his true capabilities would present themselves. It would likely even be a shock to Adamus when he saw the change himself, if he held the awareness to do so... Which she had no doubt about in her mind. "Very good" she murmured, playing along with his own farce. Stepping away from him she analysed the room they stood within for just a moment. "I have a task for you, Straife. I intend it to be carried out wholeheartedly, without failure. Do you understand?" Turning to face him once again she crouched down, head tilting to one side. "There is a Jedi I want you to collect - alive - and bring to me. He goes by the name Ordo... Tracyn to most, but it was not his original name. Bring him to me, alive, and we may just see where it gets you."

[I've spoken with Alan, and since Tracyn's corrupted now we decided to begin a small story arc where she brings him fully down to the darkside. He should co-operate with it, just PM him to make sure plans haven't changed. If they have then still go ahead and roll with what happens]

@[member="Darth Avara"]
 

Adamus Straife

The Slayer
Writer
"I assume he will need to be in one piece, and not several," he quipped to the lady, a small smirk appearing under his mask. She would not see, and he doubted she would react. Still, Adamus would oblige with her request. He had heard of this Tracyn Ordo, a Jedi Knight with a sour reputation for entering wild rages in battle. He sounded like a Sith, perhaps that is why Darth Kyros needed him. In the end, he didn't care to ask. Anything he wished to know would be gleaned from Ordo when he was taken in. "Consider this Tracyn Ordo to be yours, my lady," he rasped, and lifted himself to his feet. He turned his body toward the exit of the chamber, and made a quick pace from the presence of Darth Kyros.

Hunting Jedi was one of his strengths, he had been doing it for years, and he knew their minds well. Tracyn Ordo was fair game, and Adamus relished in the opportunity to capture one of them for himself. @[member="Darth Kyros"]
 
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