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Dominion This, I Vow || EE Dominion of Cattamascar

Dexter Zytros

Character
Character
Objective 1A: The Reception
Wearing: | Mask/ Robes/ Pink tu tu
Wielding: Side blaster/ blades in his socks
Specific Tags: Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter | +Open


Soooo, Dex was pissed.... He'd lost a bet with freaken Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter . Then again he took the bet when he was drunk... then again he was always drunk...like right now. He missed the main part of the wedding and slipped in the doors in time for the party... in time for more booze, he was not here for the love or the mushy sentimental horse droppings... Nah he was here for the desperate brides maids.... Again just kidding, he was here for free drink.
He couldn't remember the bet though... all he knew was he lost and now he had to wear a freakin Tu tu, which if he did say so himself made him look dashing with a side of amazing leg muscles and tush.
He would strides in with his head held high as he picked up a drink from the bar and made his way to the Reception main area. It wasn't like he knew anyone there really... just Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter that he could see so far, those damn toxic glow eyes gave her away every time.
He'd waltz his way to her, giving her a half bothered bow before smirking and posing for her.
"What does the lady think... does the pink bring out my eyes?" He'd ask, fluttering his own green eyes at her, though they weren't flashy like hers.
 
Knight Errant
Writer

Objective 1A: The Reception
Wearing: Mask Robes

He really shouldnt be here.

In fact, coming here was probably the most reckless thing the Padawan had done in his short career as a Jedi. He'd been to Kalidan before, hoping to catch a glimpse of a dragon. He'd braved the depths of Nar Shadaa in a mad quest to reunite two lost lovers. He'd charged headfirst into battlefields without a thought for his own safety. But now he was the metaphorical sheep in a wolf's den. Inwardly, he cursed his grandmother. It was poor timing that the invitation from Vyra arrived right during one of his visits home. Popping up on his ship's terminal right as his Grandmother was wishing him well and sending him off.

Between the crone's nagging and his own desire to not say no to the one hope the Etneral Empire has to ceasing its barbaric ways aside from total destruction. Before he knew it, Aaran found himself here. Dressed in formal robes that itched, wearing a mask that his Grandmother assured him would stop anyone from recognising him as a Jedi through the Force right away.

She made no promises that it would hold if he decided to do something dramatic. So the Padawan contented himself just idly snacking on finger food. Waiting for a moment for Vyra Silara Vyra Silara to be free from her admirers and lunatic of a husband so he could give his wedding gift and disappear into the night.

Imagine his surprise when his gaze drifted towards some of the others in the reception. Eyes resting on Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter . Space Terrorist extraordinaire. Those eyes, and that unmistakable wild, chaotic signature in the Force was enough for the Padawan to recognise his old acquaintance. And shockingly enough, it was her companion's attire that was the more shocking compared to the Sithling's own nearly see-through dress. Scherezade's companion Dexter Zytros Dexter Zytros was either brave, stupid or lost some kind of bet. Chances are it was a combination of all three.

But again, Aaran could not comment on someone's own stupidity, considering he was here in the first place. An empire where Jedi were not exactly welcomed with open arms.

Mulling over his odds in his head. The Padawan finally shrugged. Popping the last morsel of finger food in his mouth, he made his way over towards the Agent of Chaos.

"I know this is real hypocritcal coming from me." He began, even with his face and Force Signature muted and covered by the mask. His enormous build, tanned skin and heavy accent would be familiar to Scherezade. "But you were not someone I was expecting to be in a place like this.."
 

Scherezade deWinter

The Blood Hound
Codex Judge

Objective 1A: The Reception
Wearing: Dress | Mask
Still Wielding: 4 Nozhi Blades (guess where)
Specific Tags: Dexter Zytros Dexter Zytros | +Open

I'm walking on sunshine, ohh-ohhhhhhhh! And it feels gud!

Scherezade looked at her companion for the evening, Dexter Zytros Dexter Zytros , and grinned from ear to ear. She had no idea that he could not remember what their bet had been about, but she knew perfectly well. And if he'd ask, well… She'd have absolutely zero intentions about reminding him about any of it. Though, maybe, if he were lucky, he'd find footage of it. After all, they had sort of terrorized the city of Eve together that night.

But either way, despite his prissiness, she smiled back at his own proud smile and entwined her arm in his, the grin never wavering off her face. "Pink is totally a manly color," she commented as she used her free hand to take another sip from the rainbow colored drink that did not mask the liquor swirling inside of it. "Though maybe next time we should add lipstick. I'm thinking a bright red would do you damn good too."

In between the giggles, she'd barely noticed a certain approach them, but when the voice was first heard, Scherezade turned around, almost pulling Dexter's arm with her before letting go, and looked at the… Jedi? She couldn’t feel his signature, but his scent…

"Aaran!" she smiled, "You hypocritical swine. This is a wedding and Kainan is paying for the booze, so why wouldn't I be here?" she half bounced, clearly not worried about the possibility of her dress shifting in unwanted manners, and perfectly bubbly and content, "Besides, we go way back. Wayyyyyyyyy back. What's your excuse?"
 

Kalic Daws

I'll show you what a blind pilot can do!
Codex Judge

Kalic was definitely a sight to see at something like this. He didn't wear a mask like most here. Instead, he wore a cloak that cover his face and body. He was Miraluka after all. Masks.... That was his life normally. In fact, in an odd move, he left his head wrap behind. Yes, it exposed the smooth skin where his eyes would be, but the cloak hid it. Plus, anyone else would think he was some crazy Miraluka, not a rebel. He wasn't here to have fun though. Well, not much fun. He was here to meet with some other Eclipses. He looked around before seeing a familiar face, a droid that had saved his and Loreena's butts before. Kalic smiled a bit, humming an Outer Rim Spacer's tune as he walked up.

"Could go for some more up beat music. Don't think I ever thanked you for getting us outta that jam, stranger." Kalic chose his words carefully, just in case. He couldn't risk anyone noticing what was going on. Thankfully with everyone there it wasn't that hard to just fade away.
 

Vidalu Na'an

Wanderer Lost, Wanderer Found
Character

Objective 1A: The Reception
Attire: Formal Wear, Mask, Hair
Tags: Taozi Fuyuan Taozi Fuyuan

Cattamascar wine wasn't exactly famous, but it was pretty good for what it was. In the spirit of last indulgences, Na'an had allowed herself one glass before the worst of the guests arrived and made it impossible to trust. She sipped the glass idly, grateful that the mask hid her expression every time yet another noble arrived with the fanfare of nine to thirteen titles each.

Something no Jedi Academy ever taught about the Dark Side, she reflected, was its tendency to make its master wielders absolutely, hilariously, insufferably pompous.

The music had shifted after the Emperor's entrance, despite the constant interruptions, with an orchestra in the corner striking up some quiet, inoffensive classical number. Na'an closed her eyes momentarily, appreciating the low drone of the hallikset before a hand landed on her shoulder. She turned to find....

a rabbit? The frilliest, pinkest rabbit she'd ever seen, no less.

"Hello there, I'm Doctor Taozi Fuyuan Tal. Would you care to dance with me? I'm awfully out of practice in ballroom styles, but it wouldn't do well to be a wall flower all evening."

Na'an blinked at the sudden request.
"That's a bit of a surprise to hear at an event like this," she said easily, "But I don't mind leading if you don't mind being led by someone so short. Or if the song keeps getting interrupted by endless strings of titles."

She held out a hand, waiting for the rabbit to take it before pulling her out towards a nearby dance floor. Several couples--Barons and their mistresses, already well into their cups--were trying to set a pace, but it was wasn't hard for Na'an to ignore them and guide the rabbit into an easy three-step. With her partner a good half-foot taller than herself, she had to opt for a hand on the hip rather than the shoulder, but that wasn't anything she hadn't done before. An adolescence in service of the Hutts made for years of practice dancing under any circumstance, after all. It helped that the rabbit was true to her image, light enough on her feet that it only took a little pressure of the hand to make her move in the right direction.

Of course, that might also be because the dance was a simple one. Or because the rabbit was clearly distracted.

"So, Doctor," she said, leading the rabbit into a spin that sent her skirts flaring against the marble, "It's not every person who sees someone that scares them, and decides first thing to ask for a dance. Or am I reading your attempts to keep me calm wrong?"
 
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Dexter Zytros

Character
Character
Objective 1A: The Reception
Wearing: | Mask/ Robes/ Pink tu tu
Wielding: Side blaster/ blades in his socks
Specific Tags: Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter | +Open




Well she hadn't laughed in his face so he hadn't left her angry at him last night... That was a first.
"Oh pink is totally my colour, never forget it." He would say this in all seriousness before breaking into a grin as she mentioned lipstick. "OOhh Yes! A Scarlet or maybe a peach?" He'd say rather happy to wear it, his heavy growling voice contrast with his willingness to prance in tu tus and have his face caked in make up. They were clothes and they were make up, in the end they could be taken off they made no impact on himself... he was already seen as a wild drunk with no real morals... so what difference would red lipstick do? Make him look amazing!
When she hooked arms with him he'd take a long swig of his drink, something dark and bitter tasting, smirking as he listened to her giggles.
When she turned to speak with a young, taller lad, Aaran Tafo Aaran Tafo , Dex wouldn't be bothered that he was an inch taller... oki maybe a little but a swift punch under the belt would fix his problem....
Dex would glance between tall lad and Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter very confused as to why either of them where surprised.
"I'd like to point out, this is a wedding... the whole point is to invite everyone you can't stand to get presents and money off of them. May explain why most people are here?" Just Dex was confused and was still drunk from the night before so.
 
Knight Errant
Writer

Objective 1A: The Reception
Wearing: Mask Robes
Conversation Partner: Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter Dexter Zytros Dexter Zytros

He let a nervous laugh at Scherezade's bubbly outburst. Looking away slightly, both out of embarassment. And the fact that the Sithling's dress covered very little. And for all his monastic training. The discipline he's developed to face danger on a daily basis. He was still inexperienced in many things. Keeping his fixed on Scherezade's face would be a struggle, so he simply elected to just look away from her for a moment while he composed himself. "I'm uhhh. A friend of the Empress." He finally said after a moment, scratching at his cheek under the mask as he turned back towards the deWinter. Pausing for a moment to look at Dexter. Finally giving the other Agent of Chaos the Padawan's full attention. "Never been to a wedding like this before. Only others ones I've been at were smaller things. I was too young to really care about what was going on. I was just bored of everyone sitting around." He gave a small shrug.

That was really all there was to it. These high class events. The Padawan was entirely out of his element. The simple fact that there was someone else here he could at least have a conversation with was a major relief. It felt good to be able to talk and joke with someone who was less likely to report him to some secret police.

After all, it would be bad form if he damaged some of Vyra's new agents if any of them tried to apprehend him. The whole affair would just be embarassing.

Leaning over towards one of the tables. Aaran quickly snatched up another one of the fine little pastries. A mini quiche this time. "I will admit. Not much of a drinker, but these snacks are worth putting up with the speeches." He said, making a small gesture over towards Tacitus. "Think if I salute enough they'll bring out the main course quicker? I passed by the kitchen on my way in. It smells incredible whatever they're cooking."
 
The Red Witch; Emperor's right hand
Writer
Ingrid L’lerim
The Red Witch; Emperor's right hand; Director of Blackwatch; Baroness of Vengard
Objective: The Reception
Location: Cattamascar
Equipment: outfit, mask
Tag(s): Jude Falkrowe Jude Falkrowe | Darth Tacitus Darth Tacitus | Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter | Open

While she waited for his master’s answer, she still paid attention to Viscount Victor Maximilian de Blois. Because this was a ball, and wedding, she needs to act, she is in a good mood too. Actually she was in a good mood until she was his husband. Thanks to her genetic anomaly, when she was talking to others she didn't know, she was instinctively rigid and stiff. When she was not, that was acting, just like now. Ingrid smiled at the viscount, when he answered her, and she allowed herself a little laugh too.

”Lady Ingrid is perfectly enough viscount” she answered kindly in a playful voice.”I totally agree with you Lord Victor, or just Sir Victor?”

The viscount’s strange accent did not escape her attention, but she pretending she did not notice that. She glanced at the man with inquiring look. She acted that she didn’t understand what he really wanted. When Victor stepped closer, she didn’t move, just flushed a little. She could play it perfectly.

”Rumors?” she replied to the questions.

She needs to think, she knows she really shouldn’t egg him on, when she doesn’t know anything about the viscount. But! But Ingrid was a real player, who loved to play with others, so she was in. As soon as the viscount was close to her, she barely noticed touched Victor’s arm, just for a few minutes.

”I don’t know, depends on the topic. Usually, I believe in the facts, not the rumors” she answered. ”Because anyone can guess a rumor. Example, I heard you are a spy, or assassin, and you want to sabotage the wedding.” she continued in a playful voice.

Interesting rumors, and thanks for that, she gets a new job. This was a serious accusation, she needs to investigate that after the wedding. And maybe she needs to notify the Emperor, but she didn’t want to disturb him without evidence. At this moment she felt her other master’s presence, Scherezade deWinter arrived, the Lady of Chaos herself.

” ~ I’m happy to see you Scherezade, but please, promise me one thing. Please don’t do any trouble tonight! I know you love chaos, and hate Tacitus, but I don’t want to arrest you! ~ “ she sent a telepathic message to Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter .

Meanwhile she leaning closer to the man, her lips rubbed his face slightly, until she reached the viscount’s ear.

”I never heard this rumor, but it is interesting. You know more delicate gossip?” she whispered.


 
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Jude Falkrowe

perpetual gaffe
Character
He felt the soft touch he craved from her on his arm. A man of vices such as Jude barely held it together. For a moment all he wanted to do was drag her to the altar and marry her at this instant. It would've been an impulsive marriage, full of intoxicating ecstasy that would briefly after collapse into a relationship of toxicity, guile and long nights spent at the bottom of a Corellian whiskey glass.

The mention of his actual identity, despite the humorous tone it carried, nearly snapped the breath out of his lungs. Looking for an adequate reaction, Jude only managed to...giggle. Like an idiot. She carried on, seeking further gossip, bailing him out of the awkward situation.

He felt even more her seductive voice whisper in his ear. And at that moment Jude knew if he was to carry on with the disguise he would really end up snatching her to the altar. There was no chance he could play the game of intrigue-woven flirt under the guise of some stiff Galidraani minor lord and expect to win. No, Victor Maximilian de Blois' hand was dealt and the only card he could play here was the Jude of Spades. Va banque.

Falkrowe breached the noble etiquette of personal space and came in as intimately as close as possible to her, the pompous eyes shifted to the look of a scoundrel certain of his chances sparked with confidence built on character and experience rather than on hollow titles and bloodline.

"More gossip, huh, red?" A coarse, spacer's tone would echo in a whisper through her ears. "What if I truly was a spy?"

An enticing smirk across his face. His hand caught hers and gently pulled her even closer.

"What would you do?"

Ingrid L'lerim Ingrid L'lerim
 

Kay

Searching for the Light.
Character
Objective: 1a
As she was searching for tea, Kay felt Mythos Mythos coming near. Due to the ring that he had given her, placed discreetly on one of her toes, they were as close together as anyone sharing a Force Bond would be. However there were side effects with it as well, ones that she would dare not discuss or disclose in public.

Making her way to the door, she was quick to take his arm, hooking it with her own and plastering on a well practiced smile in view from beneath her mask as his titles were given out. Thankfully her request at being unannounced was continued to be granted. With her other hand, she gave his arm a squeeze at the given alias of being one of his conquests. Kay spoke quietly under her breath so that only he would hear. "Conquest, hmm? Well, we haven't gotten that far yet...."

She listened to Mythos as he tried to reassure her over her visit here. And although having her Force signature and everything else hidden was all and good, she had wondered who would be suspicious if they could only sense Mythos from her. Or perhaps people would be too busy drinking and celebrating to notice. That would be even better.

Kay gave a nod here and there with a smile to those that Mythos saluted with his cigar, glad that her skills as a politician could play out. "I will do my best to be of good company. And you will promise me a dance, won't you?" And maybe she would partake in the wine first before tea. That could at least help her to unwind some.
 
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Scherezade deWinter

The Blood Hound
Codex Judge
Objective 1A: The Reception
Wearing: Dress | Mask
Still Wielding: 4 Nozhi Blades (guess where)
Specific Tags: Dexter Zytros Dexter Zytros @@Aaran Tafo Ingrid L'lerim Ingrid L'lerim | +Open


Scherezade batted her eyelashes.

She didn't really want to admit that Dexter was right, on the bottom line. That was what people normally did. But… this wasn't entirely a normal situation. "Chit!" she almost yelled before taking control over herself and lowering her volume, "I was supposed to bring a present?" I mean, sure, she had a nice collection of cacti plants that she recalled once offering Darth Tacitus Darth Tacitus to sit on, but it somehow seemed like the wrong kind of things to bring as a wedding planet. Besides, maybe against all odds, the bride was a nicer woman than he was.

"What do you bring an emperor dude marrying a queen that you knew before his fingers turned into claws?" she asked out loud, and gave it more thought. Maybe a few new weapons? No, the Eternal Empire was really not one to enjoy glitter bullets or unicorn speeders.

Only now did she notice that Aarran… Wasn't exactly looking at her? Was it her dress? She folded her arms across her chest, making her cleavage seem slightly cleavage-ier.

"If you're old enough to go on battle fields, fight people, kill people, be the reason a child has died, and all of that stupid stuff," she grinned, "then you can have a drink. Usually it's a matter about what kind of drink and not whether or not to drink at all."

But then again… Food… "You guys reckon they have cheese cubes here?"

And then came the telepathic message. Scherezdae glanced at where Ingrid stood, and winked at the woman.

Don't you trust me? She sent back, with a voice sweeter than saccharine.
 

Curtis Learchin

Blood of a Champion
Character


Objective 2:
Suit
Significant Tags: Loreena Arenais Loreena Arenais / LE-03 (Leigh) LE-03 (Leigh) / Kalic Daws Kalic Daws
"Secretive as always, Lori" Curtis replied sarcastically, looking at her with a hint of wonder. If it hadn't been for her, he would've stayed with the Agents of Chaos, but he had a duty to her, and much more than that now. He wondered what or who they were here for, but he trusted his lady love, she'd clue him in when the time was right, of that he was sure.

"I missed you too, sorry I was gone for so long." Part of him wished he could tell her exactly what he had been doing, but it was too close to his past for him to go into detail. He was hoping that he could hide that part of his life for as long as humanly possible, but such a thing was easier said than done.

The bustling streets of the market distracted Curtis from his thinking, he had never seen such a place. Dathomir was not known for its urban centres after all. Maybe he'd find something interesting here. Already there were so many people crowding the stalls, so that idea was probably far-fetched. For now, he and Lori could enjoy themselves, this would be there first date after all.
 
Lord of Lies
Writer

The Lord of Lies took it all in.
There was an amount of swagger in how he moved, the confidence and smug assurance he carried in himself as he slowly moved across the room, as if he took the event in his iron fist, like the conductor of a great symphony orchestra. It was impossible to read the tyrant behind the indomitable wall of supremacy, the aura of choking menace and dark side fury that swirled like a hurricane around his form, lurking beneath the surface, practically throbbing with each heavy footfall. As he passed it was easy to pick out and sort one from another in the crowd the greedy, ambitious, malevolent souls from the fearful, the terrified. It was a public celebration and those who were scared hid it inside, it came out as a subtle tremor of a limb, the aversion of eyes. The giant didn't slow down once as he approached crowds without any doubt in the world that they would part like the seas for him, giving the massive six hundred sixty pound titan of a man and his large escorts a wide berth. He swept his gaze across the room like a king surveyed his domain.
Surrounded by enemies.
As his gaze started it passed over the dance floor close just on his left and the Mountains gaze stopped on two figures who began to dance. A small figure clad in glistening, golden scales bearing the mask of an ornate skull, and another wrapped in pink wearing the face of a bunny. While both drew his attention it was the pink clad figure that dominated his gaze. Mandalorian. Their destruction had been long in the making even before the Siege of Mandalore. In the months before he familiarized himself intimately with every single clan, every Alor who stood alongside the Hell Wolf. He studied their patterns, faces, names, mannerisms, appearance, clan fighting styles, intimately familiarizing himself with every detail. Why? The complete extermination of a galactic culture, an entire people was in his capable hands. They were no longer allowed to exist in his world, they were vermin to exterminate and he killed millions in service to that goal on Mandalore alone. The Sith Lord stopped his move and his gaze turned into a glare, focusing on those between him and the dancing pair, he made them and specifically the Alor of Clan Tal feel his presence.
Their resolve shattered like glass.
Soon the crowd parted and gave him a path, a full unobstructed view of the pair and he focused his stare on them. While he said nothing he didn't have to, he let the dancing Mandalorian feel his presence, letting her know that a destroyer walked among them. The Shadow Hand continued his move his gaze sweeping past a pair whose presence was unmistakable. It was the grand announcement and arrival of one Animus Malgus, Mythos and Kay Larr. In any crowd Mythos was unmistakable with his trademark cigar of dark bota, the ex-King of Atrisia left an imprint on any crowd that all but ended any attempts at blending in. But his date was a more subtle presence it was her mannerisms, her walk, the way she carried herself that identified her as the former High Queen of Commenor, his failed apprentice. It was the oddest pairing as a matter of fact for it was Mythos' betrayal of Commenor that ultimately evened the scales in the deadly game they played. Mythos struck first by attempting to bomb his offices as the One Sith's Dark Councilor of Sith Intelligence. Then it was his ultimate betrayal at Atrisia that saw the mass devastation, the deaths of countless Sith Lords, Mythos's son, and his own ruination at the hands of their enemy. Their game had ended with peace when a bargain was struck and Mythos exposed Commenor to occupation.
Kay.
Stubbornness and a slowed learning ability was always her most defining traits. When he first took her she preached that she would never kneel before him...she was wrong, she preached that Commenor would endure and they would never surrender to the tyranny of the Sith she was wrong again, and the eight and a half million people of Munto City died because of her inability to catch on. Their game was one that he no longer indulged. It didn't matter whos arm she clung to, what alliances she made, Mythos wouldn't be able to save her from his fury, he wouldn't be able to stop the inevitable fate that fast approached. Just as her ex husband died, she would die and all of her children would be sent screaming into the jaws of oblivion. This future was not just a possibility it was one that would pass with absolute certainty. For now it was a burning gaze, a small nod of acknowledgement to return Mythos's raised cigar. No words were exchanged but once again he didn't need to speak to get his message across.
Scherezade DeWinter.
Perhaps the most elusive one of the enemies his eyes had spotted there was many names attributed to such a woman. The Blade Carrying Demon, Knife Wielding Witch, the Bride of Chaos. There were those who spoke of the insanity of the infinite knife wielding witch as she smiled and laughed while worlds burned. Where many ran from mayhem she welcomed it and reveled in discord spattered in blood, moving with the grace of a dancer. Every single world she walked on was held at the mercy of her whims, every place she stood was at risk of the eruption of chaos like the busting of a dam. Not even the Confederacy could hold her attention for very long and she lived a nomads life traveling on a whim, her behavior erratic at best. Everything about the deWinter woman was an affront to the rule of order, an obstacle to the iron fisted dominion they were expanding across the entire galaxy. The Sith Lord made a silent note of her and the one she spoke to memorizing his face and storing it away. In time she would eventually fall under his gaze and everyone she ever spoke with, befriended, every acquaintance would die. Just like a plague he would cut the Agents of Chaos out no matter how many needed to die.
Surrounded by enemies.
But there was no outwardly obvious declarations, no obvious reactions that played out on his face anyway. If it were up to him? The entire building would be flooded with the neutralizing bubble of ysalamiri and flooded with his best troops. It would be sealed then. Once that occurred he would beat them all like dogs. The Mandalorian skull would be dashed against the dance floor until it cracked and spilled, painting the polished floor with her blood and brain matter. The deWinter woman he would flay alive and hang from the rafters alongside her friend. Mythos he would placate with a far better offer knowing exactly the sort of things Animus Malgus wanted, Atrisia returned perhaps? Then he would tear his failed apprentice limb from limb. To be safe and make sure every threat was killed a vast majority of the entire room would be culled, to ensure all of their allies died. But still he said nothing as his eyes swept across the room to the one who should've been responsible, for the one who should've known she was surrounded by enemies many quite powerful.
Ingrid L'lerim.
The Despoiler let his scrutinizing gaze fall hard on the redhead and her escort whos role it was to lead the secret police of the Eternal Empire. Out of her depth, or perhaps it was above her skill level? If there was one thing commonly understood about the Heir to Valkorion it was that Darth Tacitus suffered no fools. But was this one that he had not yet seen, one who skirted beneath his gaze, while he focused intensely on expanding his dominion outward. It was possible. There were many reasons. Nonetheless he made a mental note to make mention of such things later when he privately spoke to the Eternal Emperor, they were overdue for a long chat. He whispered to his escorts while the chest carrying figures brought it over to the other gifts, the Crownguard shifted to a relaxed position to give him more than enough room. It was just then that the giants eyes locked with a figure who seemed to emerge nearly bumping into him.
Vyra Silara.
"Your Majesty."


 
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Adelle Bastiel

Character
Character
Objective 1A
Attire:
Formal wear, Mask

Cattamascar's evening air felt bracing after the ceremony and beginning of the reception. Ever since the jungle planet, the palace on Kalidan felt more suffocating than ever before. Just being near Silara felt smothering. Adelle leaned against the railing of a balcony off the reception hall, drinking in the quiet and fresh air. She ought to go back in eventually. Perhaps against Silara's personal wishes, Adelle did dress up in a nice suit for the occasion and it'd be a shame to waste it. The poor dress she had for a festival so very long ago hadn't made it off of Dantooine, so this replacement would have to do.

She reentered the reception hall, idly and perhaps futilely scanning the crowd for a friendly face. Among the dancers on the floor, she saw a pink . . . bunny dancing with what looked like an elfin dragon warrior. Adelle frowned. That had to be Na'an. Who else could make formal wear look like armor? Who else in this Imperial gathering was so short? Adelle felt mildly disappointed there was no twinge of jealousy, watching Na'an glide around the dance floor with someone else. Probably for the best. With the importance the Empire placed on stoicism, and eyes watching their every move, distance was best. Maybe one day, she'd follow-up on an old conversation with Leigh. When—If they were ever safe.

Adelle picked up a glass of wine and stood off to the side, trying to enjoy what felt like a celebration of a farce.
 
Character

Objective 1A: The Reception
Wearing: Dress | Mask
Attn: Mythos Mythos | Darth Prazutis Darth Prazutis | Vyra Silara Vyra Silara | Darth Tacitus Darth Tacitus | Open

She could hardy understand why the request had been made of her. The very idea of attending a wedding that had no formal or political application to her personal agenda was beyond her. Yet she had attended none the less at the behest of a particular Chiss in light of his inability to attend an event she considered to be trivial and exceedingly extravagant.

Had she known such a request would have been made of her, she would have postponed her attempts to reach out to him in lieu of his status within the Eternal Empire.

It was in accordance with that very notion that she chose to attend in a manner befitting her own interest. A sleek black dress and a mask adorned with tones she felt altogether familiar with. If she was going to act as a stand in for the Chiss in his absence to attend to investigations into rebel activity she was going to make her display as fetching as possible.

She had a mild understanding of how humans could be in regards to their traditions and machinations, and it was in her best interest despite her prejudices to accept them for her own benefit.

Dismissing the train of thought that had consumed her mind for the greater portion of her arrival, the young Chiss made her way silently but visibly into the crowd. While Thrael had intended she be announced as his stand in she had disposed of that notion just as quickly by explaining to him the gravity of introducing an outside element to a field she was yet unfamiliar with.

It was only when the Emperor made his speech regarding the union and the dead that she found more fundamental pieces to her understanding of the Empire and it's ambitions. While Thrael had come to understand the Empire for it's fundamentals in imperial manner and it's prospects in way of providing him an avenue in aiding his family and people, she had much different interests.

Interests that fell quite readily in line with the Sith that had come to attend the gathering in their own exceptionally gaudy fashion. While she was not familiar with a one of them, she was keen to remedy that dilemma when the ceremony came well under way.

After all, what better arena to make friends and dissolve quarrels than the harmony of a human wedding?

At least she thought so.
 
Lord Commander
Writer
Suit//mask

Kay whispered into his ear and the ghost of a smirk traced across his lips. He placed his hand firmly on her buttocks and squeezed while placing a kiss behind her neck in that one particular spot she enjoyed. "That reminds me, You never did tell me about the dream you said was reoccurring. You said I was in it?"

Of course he was lying, of course he knew exactly what kind of dreams they were and what they entailed but he wanted to tease her about it. He wanted to hear her say it. While others were oppressed and brought low by the Nexus of Darkness that was Darth Prazutis Darth Prazutis Mythos enjoyed the exact opposite. Waves of shadow and doom to a Sith if his caliber was enjoyable and it gave him a sense of power and rejuvenating senses. He lead Kay to a table set especially for them and sat down, laying back and puffing away at his cigar in a rhythmic smoke that trailed in a circle.

He looked around and saw a few interesting figures but because they all had masks he couldn't really tell who they were.

Ingrid L'lerim Ingrid L'lerim looked like a billion credits, her dress looked like magic itself and she really played the part of the Red Witch. If he remembered correctly Isamu Baelor Isamu Baelor had a red witch like that a long time ago, he could have sworn that was important.

His gift was a unique one, coming from the coldest mountains of Midvinter and brewed by the oldest Valkyr up north. Two kegs of golden honeydew mead that was so powerful a single cup would down a grown man. They were each worth their own weight in chromium.

Then, he saw her. She grabbed his eye because the symbol of house Chaf was emblazoned on her dress and that is one symbol Mythos knew better than most, it was uncommon and more than just rare.

It was as if someone created the perfect bait, he had thought of it before. The perfect female to draw him in and stab him in his sleep would look precisely like that. Chiss, young, powerful and beautiful beyond what was mortally possible. It had to be a trap. Chaf'arry'nuruodo Chaf'arry'nuruodo was all this and more, shaped by the gods in sculpted sapphire adorned with red ruby eyes shining like lava crystals and dripped in the golden yellow of house chaf.

"Oh crap..."
 
-Aggressive Negotiator-
Character

In the shadows of the alcove, Vyra Silara stared at the datapad in her hands, at the single line of words scrolled across the screen, the blue-green light illuminating the shock on her face. ‘See you at your wedding. That's what Family is for, right? -E.’ She read it twice, three times, barely breathing. Family. E. How? Who! Most were dead. Some were already here. But few would sign it with E. Alarm spiked through her. Raan Jade’s middle name started with E, but it couldn’t be, he wouldn’t, not ever, no, but... he could be that spiteful, that vindictive, he would, she was sure of it. But why sign with an E? Why not an R or a J? It had to be him, he was toying with her.

And if it wasn’t, there was only one other. But Vyra dared not trust a hope. Not today.

Isn’t hope your thing, though? Vibrant cobalt eyes pierced her vision, flashing across her mind in rapid bursts, the disembodied voice of her old Jedi friend at his condescending worst ripping through the thick mental veil she kept over that particular corner of her consciousness. He wavered, like a bad connection. What’s that phrase you used to lean on so hard…

Eyes closed, she removed her mask and massaged her forehead, frowning. Once the phenomena had been upsetting, only rarely occurring. Now, it was just a vexing part of her daily life. Vyra found the more she spoke back to Caoimhin Shan’s Echo, the stronger it grew, so she let him talk, tracing the words on her screen with her eyes as if that would somehow reveal its secrets.

Oh, right, uh… ‘There’s always hope’, Cao snarked, mimicking her voice, but it was entirely too light and naive, like a girl who’d never had to struggle to find everything she needed. Surely she’d never sounded quite like that…had she? Always hope, but not anymore, is there? Not for you. You gave that up when you gave into HIM. Kainan flashed through her mind, every dark deed she’d witnessed, every smoking, mangled corpse he left in his wake.

Vyra refused to wince at it.

When you let that monster convince you Elenthaeus was safe, that Cattamascar was safe from him! A cold, righteous anger warbled through the Echo, vibrating over her mind. It sounded like him, so like him, and yet not at all. You just LET him manipulate you! You rolled over. Admit it. You rolled over and let these fanatics in because you were weak. The only time in your life you ever had a spine was when I gave you one. You were better off as Vao—

“Your Highness?” Savani’s gentle, familiar voice broke through the assault. The handmaiden stood close, and though Vyra couldn’t see her concern beneath the hood of her cream colored robes, she could hear it in her voice. “Are you alright?”

A sharp snap in her mind, like someone had turned off a glaring light, and the Echo was gone. Relief washed over her. Vyra offered Savani a quick, tight smile and a short nod of confirmation, though her bodyguard knew her too well to believe it. “Has anyone else seen this?” she asked quietly, gesturing to the message.

Savani shook her head, eyes darting to the doorway they hovered in and the wedding reception beyond. She was tense, on edge, even with the impossible layers of security. “Only Eirene Eirene , we still monitor your old holomail address from time to time. She found it earlier but there was no time to tell you before the ceremony.” From under the hem of her hood, she peered at her Queen…at her Empress, searching her expression for answers as Vyra stared almost possessed-like at the message. “What does it mean?”

“I don’t know yet,” Vyra breathed, slender fingers hesitating over the deletion icon. The artificial light caught the gemstone in her wedding ring, sending tiny shards of color across her face. “Probably nothing good. But we’ll find out tonight,” she finished, tapping the icon to erase the message. Words like that would raise questions should the Empire ever find them, whether they were genuine or not. Handing Savani the datapad, Vyra glanced around the corner at the reception hall, scanning the dais where she’d stood with her new husband minutes ago as he’d addressed the room with words of sacrifice and remembrance, as she’d offered words of hope and progress. “We should return before we’re missed. Thank you for bringing this to me,” she said over her shoulder at Savani as the cloaked woman bent to double check the bride’s gown was pinned correctly at the hem. In spite of the dim light in the alcove, the tiny diamonds hand-sewn across the pearly white fabric flashed with their own light as she once again secured the sheer cape that fluttered from her shoulders.

It wouldn’t do for the Empress to fall on her face in the middle of a dance..at her own wedding.

A subtle nod from Savani, a calming deep breath and a silent prayer for silence in her mind, and Vyra placed her mask back on and emerged from the shadows once more into the glow of the celebration, her handmaiden trailing behind her.


The walk across the floor to the raised dais was excruciatingly long. All she wanted to do was climb on top of the tables set out for her and her wedding party and search the gathered guests for the few friends (and Family, apparently) she’d allowed herself to invite. But she kept her eyes forward, gliding across the marble floor like a swan, taking each step up slowly. She was in no hurry. There would be time soon to mingle, as was customary on Naboo and Elenthaeus for the bride and groom to walk the floors and thank each guest for coming.

Their table was laden with food and drink already, each grand chair draped in the colors of those seated. She arrived at hers, in the middle next to Kainan, the Eternal colors marking each seat. Her small host of Wolfguards stood behind both of them, though Vyra’s request to give them all seats of honor had been rejected. They’d saved her life on Relovian, traveled with her across the galaxy, always been there by her side. They were every bit as important to her as her beloved handmaidens.

To their right, a space prepared for the Emperor’s Right Hand Ingrid L’lerim and her husband, and one for Captain Khorde Drago and his wife. To their left, a chair for Triken Stalfoun, Hero of Cattamascar and trusted advisor of Vyra, and one for Kama’rei Sulfirin, noble representative of Elenthaeus and the woman responsible for putting Vyra on the throne.

Vyra took her seat quietly, allowing herself to look out at the gathering only after meeting Kainan’s unnatural gold gaze with a reassuring smile, his eyes even eerier from the depths of his mask.


The room itself was stunning, its guests equally so.

From the ceiling hung hundreds of glittering icicles, slowly melting away to reveal thick roped of flowers and greenery, their dewy blossoms filling the air with sweetness, though it was not overpowering. Each drop of water that trickled from the icicles fell only a few inches before it was lifted back up, some to adhere once more to the suspended ice, others to hover like stars in the air high above.

Across the floor, the theme continued. Sculpted ice and floral pieces decorated each table, some beautifully delicate, others full of colored patterns. One such sculpture contained a single glowing amethyst and fuchsia flower from Naboo, deadly to the touch. The softest of petals had been scattered down every length of the silver carpet runner that marked the pathways between tables, dance floors and towers of food.

Sweet and savory finger food offerings from Naboo, Kalidan, Elenthaeus and Cattamascar lined their own tables, with plenty of the ‘usual stuff’ from the Core. The cheese cubes had been dyed pink and dusted with the finest edible glitter on Vyra’s orders, though the chef was given no explanation as to why. In the middle of the area stood a fountain, gushing six types of wine with various other mixed drinks scattered about its tiers, and for the less…alcoholically inclined, a few paces away rested a full service tea station serving both hot and cold next to a machine that only brewed the finest coffee.

The orchestra, though hidden from sight, was under strict orders to play only the finest Eternal Empire-approved music, and they obeyed with no qualms, though there were recorded pieces to be played over speakers when they needed a break.


Each table for the guests had been arranged with care, some like Lord Mythos were smaller and more private, and others were larger and more communal, but all had been fixed with personal touches.
A cigar holder and tray for Mythos and the finest china teacup for his mysterious guest, a tiny neon pink crystal unicorn on the plate of Scherezade deWinter and her guest, a single blue dragon scale made of spun sugar the size of Vyra’s hand at the place reserved for Aaran Tafo and a cream and red one for Vidalu Na’an and her companion Adelle Bastiel.
The Vran’Ti Vo Ni Nexus Krae and the Queen Neferisa had been seated near each other, a small silver scroll on Krae’s plate that, when opened with his specific touch, contained extensive copies of portions of the Empire’s vast research into genetics and bio experimentation, and a tiny Anubian pendant preserved in amber on Queen Neferisa’s plate that’d been rescued from a digsite.
Taozi would find a most delicate choker cord of white leather featuring a little pink silk charm.
Darth Prazitus was an enigma for Vyra, but with a brilliant suggestion from Kainan, she’d had a rare steak cut, prepared and seared in the shape of the Silver Jedi Order’s territory cloud on the galaxy map, included a thick, blood red sauce in a tiny steel cup, and stabbed a set of sharp cutlery emblazoned with the Sith Empire’s emblem right through the meat.


Vyra lingered in her chair, listening to the introductions, toasting when acknowledged, sipping drinks, sampling this and that politely, holding quiet conversation with those around her, but her attention kept shifting to the floor beyond, dragging her gaze over every masked attendee, anticipating one to catch her eye, but it was too hard from her position. She needed to be DOWN there brushing shoulders and not just to find E. The Empress was eager to meet everyone. Sitting on a platform above the dancing and merrymaking was not how one made connections.

From across the room came a giant and his procession, parting crowds with his presence alone, and Vyra could say she rose from the table to give her husband space to entertain his famed guest on his own, lightly touched Kainan’s shoulder and promised she’d return before the cake ceremony as she took her leave. She could say it was that.

But really, the Naboo native felt oddly compelled to avoid Darth Prazitus at all costs. Even from all the way across the hall, she could feel the death that stained his very bones, and she couldn’t fathom tolerating it up close.

Savani followed as Vyra descended the steps, every rainbow gem in her mask, scattered in her brown curls and sewn across her outfit flickering brilliantly. Her gown seemed to stay in place by sheer force of will, bearing fair shoulders and a deep v-neck with no perceptible means of holding itself up, and the fabric swept down her form in the purest white, fading into a red the color of fresh blood at the hem. It was as if she was rising from the carnage of their Infinite Conquest…or, perhaps, sinking into it. At her fingertips on her left hand were the small silver claw ornaments she’d grown accustomed to wearing, though they’d been brushed and polished to perfection. A bold vision, all soft curves, blood, and sharp, brittle starlight, and she wore it well.

But the weight of what it all meant dragged heavily on her spirit.


She turned as she reached the marble floor, giving Savani quick instructions to fetch her bouquet and prepare it for tossing, for the time to indulge in the old tradition would be upon them soon. The young woman hurried away and Vyra took a step backwards, the smile on her face vanishing moments before her body registered something at her back.

Well, someone.

And she didn’t need the Force to know exactly who it was. She could feel the change in the world around her.

It took every ounce of control not to leap away. Vyra turned as casually as she could, taking a single but small polite step away, not even trying to form a friendly smile, and slowly craned her neck upwards to stare doe-eyed at Darth Prazitus, the God-King of Epicanthix, Reaper of Souls. Crowned in shadows, masked in a charred skull, Vyra could see nothing of the man underneath, but her lungs were frozen in her chest, and the very air around his giant body seemed to shake as if trying to pull away in fear but held in place by some magnetic force.

Darkness. He was darkness. She wanted to run. Not because she was terrified, though fear kept her breathless, but because it felt so wrong.

Suddenly she wished she’d stayed at the table. She’d sorely misjudged how far this..being could walk in one stride or she’d have managed to avoid him entirely.

It took a moment for Vyra to fight for her air, but she forced herself to stay where she was, aware there were eyes on them. If she couldn’t handle Darth Prazitus, she had no business being a monarch.

Swallowing, Vyra lifted her chin and willed her feet to remain in place.

Such an odd sight they must be.

“Apologies, Majesty,” she began coolly if a bit breathlessly, returning the title. “It was not my intent to accost you. I.. know my husband has greatly anticipated your presence tonight, I shan’t delay you any further.” But she did not move. She would not, no matter how much she wanted to. If he was to pass, he would walk around her. “I will join you both once I’ve greeted the others.”

 
The Red Witch; Emperor's right hand
Writer
Ingrid L’lerim
The Red Witch; Emperor's right hand; Director of Blackwatch; Baroness of Vengard
Objective: The Reception
Location: Cattamascar
Equipment: outfit, mask
Tag(s): Jude Falkrowe Jude Falkrowe | Darth Tacitus Darth Tacitus | Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter | Darth Prazutis Darth Prazutis | Open

Thanks to her training, she can read from the other’s body language, and thanks to the Force, from the emotions a bit. Ingrid saw and felt her touch was a direct hit to the viscount. And her next move too, when she whispered the viscount’s air. She was just smiling, While Ingrid lips and her face was next to the viscount face, she noticed again the Shadow Hand.

As soon as her eyes met with Darth Prazutis Darth Prazutis ‘s gaze, and the Viscount could not see, Ingrid’s cheerful face disappeared in no time. She looked at him with a cold, calculating look. She nodded a few moments later as a greeting in a respectful manner.

”My Lord!” she whispered silently.

All this took a few seconds, whereof she turned back to the other man, she showed her cheerful face again. As if nothing had happened. She tittered the viscount’s answer, and smiled at him again, then nodded.

”More gossips” she replied.”What if? If you are a real spy, this night will be interesting. I had never met real spy before, just read about them, and saw many holomovies. So I'm very curious” she flirted further.

During her answer, she received Scherezade’s answer, and sent back a short pearling laugh to her master.

”You know I am, I just need to watch and check everything. The workaholic never rest. By the way, this time I brought my husband with me. No, not him, this is just a job… sigh.” Ingrid answered Scherezade.

“Returning” to the Viscount, she didn’t disagree, when Victor pulled her closer. Ingrid still smiled. After the question, she brushed her finger with the viscount’s side face. From the edge of her eyes she saw the empress come.

”What would you do?” she repeated the question. ”I’m just a boring noble woman, who tried to escape from her boring husband, whom she had to marry against her will. Maybe you will be my hero and savior? As far as I know, the spies tend to flee women” whispered further.


 
Character
Character
Objective: The Reception
Attire
Mask

Out on the balcony, Arturo took the time to drink deep the night air, fixing to get himself a lungful before heading back inside. At his back, the reception was in full swing; with bright lights and banter aplenty, the guests hadn't wasted time getting into the swing of things. Drink flowed freely, fueling intrigues minor and, perhaps, major. Turning, the mercenary saw familiar faces and complete strangers greeting each other like old friends, their honeyed words and veiled glances -both more oft than not lost amidst the growing crowd- looked and sounded sickeningly sweet to the eyes and ears. Voices echoed, and glasses clinked and clattered from the occasional overzealous toast. Tittering laughter and raucous bellowing stormed the double doors that opened out onto the balcony, giving Arturo's drink-addled senses a good kicking before fleeing into the night.​
Arturo couldn't help but feel like a joke had been played here tonight, one where the punchline fell flat. It didn't help that the joke was at his expense. Why had he been invited to the wedding? Why had he accepted it? The answers eluded him, one step ahead at all times, always. His mind raced, thinking on past events, the things he'd done, the people he'd met. In his mind's eye, faces came and went, some faded, others clear as day. None stayed too long, each surrendering in turn to the next. Half-remembered names lined up and listed down, as unclear as the faces they belonged to. They, too, didn't stay long. Gone in the time it took to blink, Arturo shook loose the remaining memories, forcing them back to the dark recesses of his mind with all the ease of a disciplined soldier.​
What matter was it who'd invited him or why? Taking one last swig from his drink, he emptied the dregs over the railing, placing the glass down before pulling his mask back up. A breath, two, then he was walking, legs carrying him back inside of their own accord. From the mask and the aura which followed him around like a bad smell, it was anyone's guess whether he returned to partake of the festivities or to rob the joint.​
 
Evil Genius
Character



Objective 1A: The Reception | Post #2
Wearing:
Uniform || Mask || Sword
Attn: Vyra Silara Vyra Silara || Vidalu Na'an Vidalu Na'an || Neferisa Neferisa || Ingrid L'lerim Ingrid L'lerim || Nexus Krae Nexus Krae || Eliana Shan Eliana Shan || Jude Falkrowe Jude Falkrowe || Darth Prazutis Darth Prazutis || Scherezade deWinter Scherezade deWinter || Chaf'arry'nuruodo Chaf'arry'nuruodo || Dexter Zytros Dexter Zytros || Mythos Mythos || Kay Kay || Adelle Bastiel Adelle Bastiel || Triken Stalfoun Triken Stalfoun || OPEN


"...True power is invisible and patient, like the wind.
Plans within plans within plans. That's what keeps the galaxy turning.
Life dances to the tune of those who know how to sing the secret song of subtle power..."



He could sense the suffocating Shadow in the Force a mile off, long before the announcer introduced the mountain of a man with his crimson Crownguards. The right hand of the Dark Lord of the Sith and the Eternal Emperor simply radiated dark power, as if he were the very embodiment of death. By comparison, the Eternal Emperor kept his power smothered, hidden, presenting an impenetrable, implacable wall to any who tried to read him. And behind that wall, behind his own deep connection to the Darkside, lay his true power.

To many, at first glance, the Lord of Silence seemed just another power-hungry warlord, merely another ambitious Sith who reached out and took things he wanted, subjugating entire worlds to increase his own wealth and influence. But beneath that appearance, there was a vast, powerful intellect, observant, cold and calculating, patient in its machinations and very thorough in its plans.

To the Heir to Valkorion, power was just a tool, one which held no meaning or inherent value on its own, a means to an end, to be used in the service of purpose. Power was worthless without a plan to use it. And plan he did, for nearly two decades, he hatched his grand scheme, subtly weaving a vast, invisible web across the galaxy. Even now, the gears in his nearly-incomprehensible mind turned and with them, the fate of the galaxy was subtly altered, pushed and prodded, gently nudged in the direction the Sith Lord wanted it to go.

Some small part of his mind was amused by how confident the little pawns were, in their beliefs that they had so thoroughly disguised themselves so as to avoid his notice. There, talking to his apprentice and thoroughly smitten with her, was the Viscount, except for the fact that the man didn't really exist. Oh, his identity had passed initial checks, but whoever his handlers were, had failed to account for another layer of Tacitus' web, the Wardens of the Shroud. They could not be blamed, really. The galaxy was unaware of the Imperial secret society's true power, let alone its workings of its real purpose. Their reach extended far beyond the borders of the Empire and they had him tagged the moment his ship landed.

"Thank you, Ingrid, but that will not be necessary," he replied, telepathically, the message subtle and obfuscated under a complex layer of mathematical equations, sounds and thoughts that served as a kind of telepathic encryption which he had taught his apprentice to interpret and decrypt. Should anyone else attempt to pick it up, all they would get is random numbers and garbage, useless without a cypher. "Our dear Viscount here, on the other hand, is a spy. Republic, or perhaps, OPA," he continued. Yes, the Silver Jedi were in no position to put together the resources to infiltrate this gathering, not while still licking their wounds after Kintan, while the Grayson zealots did not have the capacity for subterfuge to carry out such an operation in the first place, while the Confederacy... was far too preoccupied with the Core to care much about the Empire, at the moment. "He seems to be quite infatuated with you, though it may be just a ploy, however unlikely. I want you to continue doing what you're doing, play the innocent. Manipulate and lie, see what you can get out of him, but do so subtly, without letting him know that his cover is blown. He may prove quite useful in disseminating some false information to our enemies," he instructed her.

And there, with Mythos, was one face he never thought he'd see again. Even disguised as she was, under her mask and whatever Mythos had given her to conceal her presence, the Ghost of Eshan would have recognized her anywhere. Her posture, the tone of her voice, her small mannerisms, all identified her as Kay Arenais, possibly goaded here by Mythos, judging by the announcer's words. Yet, there was something different about her, a darker edge. She had not emerged from her ordeal unchanged and a growing blackness in her soul vied for revenge. Oh, little pawn, how easily you fall into my web, he thought. I could end your life with the snap of my fingers, yet... I will not. Hunger for vengeance is so... easily manipulated, the Sith Lord mused, the corner of his lips nudging in an imperceptible smile. She would prove useful, down the road.

Then there was Scherezade, the little firebrand, as restless as ever, like a bottled-up genie eager to be let loose so she could unleash destruction. Patience, little pebble. One day, you will start an avalanche that will bury the Empire's enemies, he thought while acknowledging her with a not, the expression on his face utterly unreadable. And then, there was Aaran Tafo, the airhead padawan, who's recklessness would prove useful against the Eclipse rebels and the Silver Jedi alike, as would the Mandalorian, Taozi.

Finally, there were the Vo Ni, Nexus Krae, of the Vran'Ti and Neferisa, the Anubian Pharaoh, a people which worshiped him as a living god. Though he was not overly fond of it, their belief was useful in strengthening their loyalty towards the Eternal Empire, which would bring credits flowing into the Empire's coffers and more volunteers to flock to its military. To say nothing of the Cattamascaren general, Triken Stalfoun, who's prowess as a commander was legendary, a powerful addition into the Eternal Army's ranks, despite the man's... personal beliefs. At the end of the day, what Tacitus cared about, were results. As long as people got the job done and performed their duties to the Empire accordingly, they were free to believe whatever they wished.

His silent musings were interrupted by a light touch on his shoulder, the touch of his lovely wife, so stunningly beautiful in that dress that he found it difficult to keep his eyes off of her, to keep the longing in his soul hidden away behind a mask of proper, political formality, so close to him and yet, so painfully far away.

I am so sorry, for dragging you into this web. For putting this burden upon your shoulders, the Empire's burden. For everything, he wanted to say. You deserved better, deserved so much more than what I can offer you, yet here you are, chained to the Empire, chained to me, to avoid bloodshed that neither of us wants to happen. Instead, he nodded and smiled, his calloused, taloned hand, thankfully gloved in fine fabric, reaching up to gently squeeze her fingers in reassurance. He knew the turmoil in her soul, he could feel it, beneath her smiles and polite words, tormenting her as surely as her captors had, in the past. You were made for better things, than this, he wanted to say. For a better life, in a better galaxy, surrounded by better people than the ones in this hall, with a better husband than I.

But he couldn't. For this was not a better galaxy. It was a broken mess, blindly spiraling towards disaster. A galaxy torn apart by its own hubris, laziness and complacency, rotten to the core by a widespread belief in the pursuit of easy things, of meaningless consumerism and materialistic gain, by all these selfish, shortsighted things that had eroded its very foundations for uncounted millennia, allowing an abhorrent abomination to worm its way in, to manipulate and exploit and play games with the lives of trillions, feeding off of the misery it unleashed, time and time again.

It was a galaxy which needed correction. And that required drastic and painful measures to be taken, terrible sacrifices to be made.

And so, he spun and spread his dark web across the galaxy, undermining his enemies and setting the stage for the Eternal Empire's rise. And so, he plotted and schemed and manipulated, turning faction against faction, arming terrorists and bolstering Hutt cartels, sowing chaos and fostering instability, slowly, subtly chipping away at the foundations of everything that was wrong and toxic in the galaxy at the cost of the blood of billions.

For what were mere billions, compared to the plight of countless trillions more? They were but a drop of blood in an ocean of sorrow. A necessary sacrifice, evil and despicable though it may be. For, as hated as it was by those too blind and ignorant to see, the Empire, his Empire, was not just the last, best hope for the galaxy.

It was the only hope it had left.

The Jedi had failed, blinded as they were by their unquestioning faith in the wretched lie of peace, the greatest lie ever told to living beings, corrupting the supposed protectors of life into a bunch of self-righteous, hypocritical, virtue-signalling fools. Democracy had failed, proving that, when given freedom, people choose the lazy path of easy comfort, of immediate satisfaction, of shallow whims. Chose weakness over the hard work to achieve strength, infantilism and coddling instead of responsibility.

The saddest part was that this dark, harsh Empire of his, was the best thing he could offer her. All he could offer her, his kind and lovely wife who deserved better, because this was what the galaxy had been reduced to.

And himself? He was but the shadow of a better man, a man who once dared to dream, until his dreams were ripped away from him and crushed. Nowhere did he feel all he had lost more than here, at his own wedding, surrounded by scheming, plotting strangers, without a single friend or relative attending. Because all his relatives betrayed him and his friends were long gone from this galaxy, dead and buried years ago, all better men and women than he, who's lives were cut short, sacrificed on the altar of a cruel, vicious thing that so rapaciously drank in their suffering.

Fare thee well, old friends and comrades. I wish you were here, today, instead of these snakes, he thought.

And so, he settled into his allotted role, nodding and smiling and making idle chit-chat with the schemers and the plotters, the liars and the cheaters, slowly, subtly spinning his web, slowly drawing them into his trap and weaving invisible strings around them, strings which he could pull and tug, like an unseen puppetmaster, manipulating them like little pawns on the invisible Dejarik board. And himself? He was Darth Tacitus, Lord of Silence and Eternal Emperor of Kalidan, as much a schemer and a plotter as they were, yet far more dangerous and vastly more sinister. For he was not a better man, no gallant knight in shining armor, brandishing a lightsaber to slay the monster and save the day.

He was just a necessary evil.

 
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