Star Wars Roleplay: Chaos

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Until only Dark remains

Vaklin, Temple of Imperfect Repose

He had crawled through fire, blood and war, watched as the first empire he served fell apart, watched as his cities were usurped by foolish sith heretics, he had suffered, he had feared, loved and hated, he had gone beyond the edges of sanity and death, and yet Darth Abyss still stood unbend and unbroken. His pain, his suffering, his insatiable hunger had forged him into the creature he was today, barely a man anymore, with just enough humanity left to keep his flesh and bones from falling apart.

There was little he had left, besides the everlasting darkness that tainted his heart and soul, the dedication to a path he had found all these years ago, the claim of absolute power above each and everyone in this galaxy. The Mindeater had risen to power only to fall from grace countless times, and each injury, each failure had made him stronger, more ruthless and less sane. And one day all those that interfered with his path would suffer as he had suffered.

The Temple of Imperfect Repose was nothing but a ruin, once build as a monument for the jedi, but then reduced to nothing by the galactic empire so many ages ago. Yet something remained, a glimpse of light that marked the dead stones and hollow rooms that had survived the age of the great jedi purge. This light would fade through the hand of Abyss, the last light extinguished to create a new sanctuary for those that walked the path of the darkness, a temple of the sith hidden under the memories of the jedi.

Like a ghost Abyss walked between broken monuments of ancient masters, between fallen pillars and cold stone. Shrouded in his black robe, his face obscured by the wooden mask on his face he traversed through the ruins, his darkness fueled by the echoes of death that the jedi left behind. A boney hand danced over one of the last standing pillar, leaving a red line of blood on it. Words in an old tongue, spoken with a voice that lacked all humanity and which were followed by an otherworldly echo, resounded through the place, as the sith began to bless the temple with his darkness.

[member="Mara D'Lessio Merrill"]
[member="Darth Abyss"]

[SIZE=11pt]Vergences in the Force were rare things, deliberately kept obscure by those who found them. Half by research and half by accident, Mara found the ruins of the Temple of Imperfect Repose. Long ago, some great explosion or bombardment had leveled the stone temple into an asymmetric ruin. One fragmentary record indicated that Darth Vader had destroyed the place, or at least ordered its destruction. For all the death that had come here, though, she couldn’t feel much in the way of a vergence of Light or Dark or something of both or neither. Not every Jedi death created a nexus, after all; most didn’t. And in any case, there was no way to know for certain whether Jedi had even died here.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]Her disappointment was compounded by the effort she’d expended in getting here. The route had been arduous: her fifty-metre freighter, the [/SIZE][SIZE=11pt]Scar of Ilum[/SIZE][SIZE=11pt], had only been able to land a couple of kilometres away. Her backpack was full of clinking metal and crystals, a serious weight, as well as the means she would use to suspend [/SIZE][SIZE=11pt]the whole thing[/SIZE][SIZE=11pt] at the ruins’ heart. [/SIZE][SIZE=11pt]Eiarra Denirel[/SIZE][SIZE=11pt] and [/SIZE][SIZE=11pt]Kolatta[/SIZE][SIZE=11pt] and offered to carry the Lensforge, but she’d declined and asked both of them to stay at the ship for now. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]She regretted that whim as she caught a scent in the Force: a bitter, pained whiff of the Dark Side, with a familiar edge that she couldn’t place. She set her backpack down beside a fallen tree at the ruins’ edge and unslung her scattergun, then headed in between the half-melted stones. [/SIZE]

The Mindeater suddenly stopped in his walk, like someone had just gently tipped on his shoulder. There was something in the air, not a physical sensation but a light whisper in the force, the hint of an aura that felt oddly familiar. Instinctively his right wandered to the hilt of his saber, but he kept the weapon deactivated for now. Someone was here as well, and whoever it was didn't carried the corruption of the dark within. It was a muddy grey, light breaking through here and there but nothing alike the bright, blinding light of the jedi. Swiftly he turned around, his eyes searching for the intruder to his plans.

"Show yourself. I promise there will be no harm."

His voice was soft yet loud, daring and yet oddly calming, and had nothing in common with his true nature. While he spoke the sith lord channeled his focus to diminish his own presence in the force, until it was little more than a glimpse of darkness, seemingly unthreatening to anyone with even a bit of control over any side of the force. This action was followed up by another swift movement, placing himself behind the pillar he had just painted with blood.

"I am just a lone eremite seeking the wisdom of the ancient masters. Please do not be scared."

The cold metal of his saber's hilt rested in his right, while a small throwing knife waited in his left. He didn't intended to use them already, not before he had finished the web of lies and deceit around whoever had made the mistake to cross his path today.

[member="Mara D'Lessio Merrill"]
[member="Darth Abyss"]

The Force shifted, but she couldn't put a label on the change. Scattergun first, she moved into the centre of the ruins. One melted, broken pillar had fresh blood on it, she noticed. The hermit's voice flashed her back to Ossus, and the Darksider who had tried to trap her by feigning serious injury.

"You talk like you're driving a white van and giving out candy," she said, scattergun tracking around. The Dark Side tended to cloud things; she couldn't get a precise sense of the speaker's direction. "Here I am. Your turn to show yourself, bud."
Now he knew why the presence had been familiar. The last time he felt it had been in the jungle of Ossus and the encounter that followed had been exceptionally violent even for his standards. And it had been a defeat. What better way to bless his new temple then by spilling blood in the name of revenge. The act alone would bring darkness, and her blood would be a highly potent ingredient for the rituals he had in mind.

"Why should I? There is nothing to see."

Again his voice was soft, yet know the deadly borderline calm behind it became clearly noticeable. Silently he whispered to himself, reciting an old spell of the dathomir witches that gave the user the ability to transform sound into a mental picture, to such an degree that it could replace eyesight. Then he allowed just a glimpse of his darkness to taint his aura, slowly building up to showing her how threatening he had become.

"I am everywhere, all seeing, all hearing. I am one with the darkness."

This time there was nothing soft about his voice, it was a cold, emotionless sound that was barely recognizable as that of a human. The effect was enforced by the slight otherworldly echo that his words carried behind, strange echos of the minds he had eaten resounding through the force. There was a single cruel laugh that filled the air, the darkness devoured the room, as Abyss right hand pressed a button on the hilt of his blade. That activated the light bending cell build into his weapon, a device that could block out almost all light with an electromagnetic field. Following up on his first layer of deception Abyss moved out of his cover with steps that left no sound. Taking aim by listing to the sound of her breath he took aim and the throwing knife in his left was send flying towards her right shoulder. The small blade was imbued with a poison meant to reduce to victims ability to connect to the force.

[member="Mara D'Lessio Merrill"]
[member="Darth Abyss"] opted to talk. Between empathic senses and Jedi-trained skills, Mara spent that time getting a better idea of where that growing presence actually was. Her instincts settled on the blood-marked pillar.

Blindness, darkness, settled around her. An attack could come from any direction, and cover like this could only help. Mara bent her knees and leaped straight up with Force-enhanced strength. A classic Jedi jump would silhouette her against the sky, but it took her out of the localized field of darkness. A thwip of displaced air beneath her told her that she'd barely evaded an unseen projectile.

Below her, the darkness seemed to inscribe a roughly circular area. As she descended to land on a broken nearby pillar, she fired her scattergun. She'd loaded its standard nonlethal rounds: ceramic flechettes loaded with knockout drugs.
Thanks to the spell he had summoned Abyss waa fully aware of her movements despite being fully shrouded in darkness. In their last fight he had learned to watch out for the firearm the woman carried, a weapon more dangerous that the blades of sith lords and jedi masters alike. They stood on different sides, but they were kindred souls when it came to their admiration for clever and unorthodox tools and weapons. That meant this would turn out as a very interesting duel.

As the darkness around him slowly began to fall apart around him the scattergun was fired at him. Abyss pulled his weight to the right, ending in an evading roll that ended with him standing half straight, one knee and one foot on the ground and unharmed by the attack.

"No new tricks for me? I am disappointed."

The tone of the sith lord was mocking, and again laugh followed afterwards, a sound almost as taunting as the words themselves. She had turned out to be one of the most dangerous foes he had ever faced in his last encounter, and her way to fight mimicked his own in many ways. If he wanted to win this he had to be patient, keeping his more elaborate weapons hidden until the right moment. So he picked a more simple approach for his retaliation strike. From his left a burst of red lightning erupted towards her, the color changed since he had been empowered by Soeht.

[member="Mara D'Lessio Merrill"]
[member="Darth Abyss"]

Perched on top of the broken pillar, Mara let go of her shattergun's stock and pulled her lightsaber -- too slow. Blood-red lightning crashed into the silver blade, but some of it got around her saber, and the discharge slammed her convulsing off the pillar. Her nonlethal shells' low-power charges cooked off in an earsplitting rattle, throwing the gun from her hand. She fell awkwardly but drew on the Force and the Ankarres Sapphire to strengthen her body's resilience against the remaining charge.

She picked herself up, coat smoking, and swapped the saber to her scorched right hand. A significant part of her wanted to rise to his bait and use the Force offensively. The last time she'd done that, though, she'd ended up escalating until there was blood on her hands. Besides, most of her skills were tailored toward anticipating, evading, or enduring attacks. So far as a counterpunch went, she'd never had much success. The bulk of her offensive ability boiled down to her lightsaber.

No verbal response came to mind; for the most part, she didn't believe in talking in a fight. A flick of her wrist and a telekinetic grip sent the weapon spiralling at the pillar where she'd stood. As the blade whirled back toward her, it sliced into the broken stone just right, and the pillar began toppling toward Abyss.
Abyss made a few evading steps backwards, as the pillar came down on him. Yet while he was able to avoided being hit by the ancient stone, he still fell to the ground just centimeters away from the impact, a deliberate action taken to deceive his opponent. While he hit the ground he gave of a collection of pained noises, and allowed his presence to be revealed, like something had just broken his focus. The only pain he actually felt was from hitting the ground, to him nothing more like a slight sensation barely noticed by his mind anymore.

He was cautious of her next move. His acting was on point, as always when using the arts of bluffing, but the woman had already been witness to his ways once, and even the slightest slip up would allow her to see through his trick. There was no tension in his muscles that gave away that he was in full control of his body and mind, and neither was there anything in his expression that gave away that there was no real pain that he felt.

Each of his hands reached inside his sleeves reaching for the two reaming throwing knifes hidden there, the small metal blades resting there waiting for the right moment to be released at his opponent. They stood on a similar level of skill and power in many regards, so he would the edge in simple ruthlessness to beat her.

[member="Mara D'Lessio Merrill"]
[member="Darth Abyss"]

As a half-Zeltron who'd used empathic senses in combat many times, Mara had become inured to the pain she felt when she hurt someone else. No so inured, though, that she could miss the absence of actual pain in his newly unveiled presence. That made his act, well, just another act, and Abyss's acts had hurt her a few times too often.

Part of her wanted to just roll the pillar onto him, but the force of its impact had sunk it a few inches into the soil and grime that covered most of the courtyard's broken flagstones. Instead, she glanced at the place where she'd come through the ruined walls, stretched out her senses, and found a tiny flicker of malignant alchemy.

The knife he'd thrown at her from concealment shot out of the rubble and aimed itself at the top of the prone Sith Lord's head, point first. The massacre at Ilum, and half a dozen tragedies since then, had taught her to be ruthless too.
It took Abyss only a second to realize that she hadn't taken his bait, and another more to get a glimpse of his own knife being launched at him. Other than her he knew exactly what poisons the weapon had been infused with, which meant that he would do almost everything to avoid being hit by it. After all he had created them with the sole intent to bring down others gifted with the force. Using not much more than the weight of his body, Abyss rolled to his right, the knife missing his head with only a few centimeters in between.

A sudden blast of force energy surging through his body as used the art of levitation to pull himself of the ground without the need to use his arms. It was almost certainly a slightly terrifying sight, the skinny, thin body of the Mindeater simply rising into the air until his feet stood on the ground again. The face of the sith lord was marked by a cruel, sly grin as his yellow eyes looked at his opponent without any fear, or even anger, but only with mockery.

"You abandoned your ideals then?"

Abyss lowered both his hands, a twisted and almost mad laugh piercing through the still air between them. She could try to ignore him, ignore his voice, his taunts, but with every second he would slowly erode her sanity, provoking her inner demons until the moment she would make a mistake.

"Strike me down. Embrace the darkness."

The sith lord simply stood there, no weapon openly in his hands, and with no intention to make a move. If she wanted she could end this here and now, but the price was to kill someone without resistance, neither self defense nor death due to a fight, but cold blooded murder. It would be interesting to see if she had the strength for that.

[member="Mara D'Lessio Merrill"]
[member="Darth Abyss"]

"Bud, you know nothing about me. You don't know where I've been, what I've done, what i believe, what I've survived, or what gets to me. And you're sure as feth not going to snare me with a false dichotomy when there's nothing at stake but me."

She knew a thing or two about hand-to-hand and projected fighting. Down by her side, her empty hand clenched. She was aiming for a Force choke, a blood choke, the kind that didn't aim to cause pain, just make him pass out.

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