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Scherezade deWinter

The Blood Hound
Codex Judge

The purple sands of Parnassos swirled between her toes as the Sithling stood in the shallow waters, letting the waves break against her feet.

The joke had been too cruel. For weeks now, she had been hearing the whispers. Right around the corner of being within ear-shot, enough for the murmur, not enough for the entire thing. And when the whispering had become louder, the night visions had begun as well. She was not a person who slept much. Seven hundred years and then another unknown amount of time during which she had been locked away and imprisoned in the Darkness had given her an unhealthy fear of the dark, and her sleep was always light, guarded, and the absolute minimum required to function. Dreams were always unwanted, and yet these visions snuck by them, overrunning every mental protection and barrier that the Sithling had set within her mind.

She had been called to this place. The visions had shown her, the whispers had told her, and yet the two combined, assaulting the edges of her senses, just where the nerves ended, over and over again, had still failed in delivering her the actual sight of what it would be. And what it was, was nerve-shattering. For the purple sands of Parnassos were the only thing that made the area look like anything different than the Space Between Dimensions, a place between realms and realities in which Scherezade had accidentally locked herself in for nearly a year.

The gray skies reflected in the equally gray waters, forming a silvery mixture that while pleasing to the eye, tended to bode danger almost every time Scherezade was exposed to it. And this beach… There was a reason she had come here. A reason for the whispers and the visions, for her even more disturbed sleep.

There was something here. Or someone? Something or someone that she had to find. She had at first believed the Blood would show her the way; but no matter how many times she pricked her finger or cut her arm, the blood just spooled there, telling her and giving her nothing. Eventually, she'd had to work the Force to heal herself, causing a combination of fresh pink scars that she hoped would go away after she'd had the time to put some Bacta on them.

But coming here had not been an empty move, and she had not come alone. A few miles from where she now stood, she knew more of her kind, more of the Agents of Chaos, inhabited a cantina. They had come here to ward off the Empire of Rannon, and this time, the battle had been quick and effective. Again they had managed to push the Rannons away. Eventually, there would come a die during which they would have to onslaught the Rannons and their capital as well. But not today. Today, another small planet was liberated. This time they even wanted it, so that was always a nice plus.

Scherezade looked to the skies and sighed. Her knives tingled to be used once again. Coming here had obviously been a mistake. With the amount of annoying Seers in her family, she should've known better than to blindly follow where the Force decided to lead her like that before having a better grasp on what was going on.

Shrugging, she let another wave crash against her feet, and removed a small paper bag from her pocket. Rolling the top of it out, a small smile came to her face.

Cheese cubes.

Sometimes things sucked a little less when you had some to munch on.
The Bloody-Handed Bastard
A stream of purple sand ran along Vaulkhar's palm, falling between his grasp to the barren land below him. He dragged his feet, carving shallow grooves through the earth with each exaggerated step. Anger and malice burned deep within him, driving him forward in an endless quest to cut a bloody swathe through his father's Empire and bring doom to it's following. At first, an urge gnawed at the back of his mind, tempting him to rain death on each man, woman, and child who called the territories controlled by the Sith-Imperial's home. He knew it would do no good to cull the masses trapped beneath the Dark Council's black banner; they were simply victims in the vicious cycle of domination, destruction, and death. It haunted the Sith from the very beginning, only showing consistency across the Brotherhood's existence. A more subtle approach proved to be the ideal manner of unseating his father and demolishing everything the Emperor held dear.

Unfortunately, subtlety required far more than senseless destruction. Vaulkhar Zambrano needed allies, resources, and a proper plan to truly begin his work. Through the efforts of other dissidents in the Empire, those three components were acquired and finally set into motions, during the latest meeting of minds among the Sith Empire. In a move some would call brave, others foolish, Vaulkhar denounced Darth Carnifex and his regime, claiming they had grown fat and lazy upon their thrones of obsidian. Others rose to support his claims, while some stood stalwart beside the Dark Council. By the end of it all, others had shown their hand, revealing a willingness to back the movement the fallen Jedi had put into motion.

Weeks had come and gone, filled with intense planning and posturing by the conspirators who sought to destroy the Sith Empire. While it furthered Vaulkhar's desires, bringing them nearly in reach, it also drove him up a wall. In life, he'd been a man of action. The Emperor's Wrath knew no fear, limitations, or inactivity. In his latest state of boredom, he sought out something to entertain him, perhaps until the next step, when their plans would set into motion the fall of a dynasty. It's what ultimately led him to Parnassos.

Vaulkhar did not care for following the force, nor did he care for the idea of its will or sentience. Those were philosophical ideas best left up to the Jedi debate. Yet, here he was, wandering across a coastline of nothingness for miles all around him. He removed his mask, his long black hair rolling down his back to fall to just above his bottom, all while he scoured the horizon for something. His hands reached up, tying the mess of hair up and out of his face while baleful eyes danced across his vision. Whether by luck or some more significant meaning, the sight of a darkened silhouette appeared kilometers away from him. With nothing else in sight, he straightened and marched onward in the direction of Scherezade deWinter.

Long before she would see or hear him, she'd likely feel him. The mobile wound in the force exuded raw, unbridled dark side energy. If one likened the force to an infinite sea, he'd be one of many churning whirlpools, sowing chaos into the otherwise smooth, azure surface. Malice rolled off of him, crashing against the adjacent waters, spilling out into the emotions of the lesser-sentient creatures. Even their weak minds could pick up through instinct alone, the monster trudging across the planet's surface was better left avoided.

Soon enough, Vaulkhar Zambrano stopped a half dozen meters from the lounging woman, enjoying her cheese cubes.

"If it isn't the Sherezade deWinter."
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Scherezade deWinter

The Blood Hound
Codex Judge

There was a certain art, to sitting still. It was something that many people that Scherezade had met simply had within them, some strange defect that they had been born with that allowed them to do it. She, was not one of them. Try as she might, Scherezade was a creature of movement and action, and the sands between her toes had become uniniting to her skin before her cheese cubes were up.

Walking a few feet inlands, the Sithling plumped herself down on the cold sandy grains and sighed, tossing another mouthful of cubes into her mouth.

So far, nothing of the whispers and voices had let her know anything about what she might be looking for, who or what she might have to find. She kicked at the sand, thinking that the Force was incredibly stupid if it chose to behave that way. Cryptic messages that essentially led you nowhere was a complete and utter waste of time and other resources. Why not just send her a map with an X to mark the spot, or give her precise coordinates, or, she didn't know, maybe, tell her what she was actually looking for?

It had to be the invention of some stupid Jedi monks thousands of years ago. There was no other explenation why after so many years of existing, the Force was still this dumb. One would've thought that with the whole Will of the Force shenanigans, the Force could be just a smidge more open about all these sort of things.

She'd finished that bag of cheese cubes and took another one out of her pocket before sensing that someone else was there. Or at least, would be soon enough. The Sithling shrugged it off though - it was a public beach, and it wasn't a quarantined planet. People could come and go as they pleased in places like these. She'd been so certain that it would have absolutely nothing to do with her, that she didn't even pay the presence any sort of attention.

Until he was standing close enough to her, and referring to her by name.

Scherezade blinked and looked up, glowing eyes squinting as she inhaled the scent of him. She recognized the smell of Echani, and of Epicanthix as well, but she wasn't entirely certain that there wasn't anything else in the mix there. But, inhaling deeper than that, left her with a question that she really would've liked to have an answer to.

"I'm sorry," she said, shaking her head, her voice managing to come off as both deep and somewhat bubbly at the same time, "But do we know each other?"
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The Bloody-Handed Bastard
Waves were gently reaching up the shore, filling the scene with a soft white noise that followed a relaxing pattern. Vaulkhar turned his head, watching the sea for a moment after her question. He couldn't be surprised the woman did not recognize him; he spent all of a few weeks interacting with her organization. His knowledge of the deWinter before him stemmed beyond a brief meeting before a single operation. It came from rumors, reports, and research of the Sith Lord. She had a reputation as quite the anarchist, facing down large organizations and galactic governments for one reason or another. He never bothered to question it, mostly because it never concerned him.

Vaulkhar Zambrano was a ghost; better left unseen by the likes of Scherezade deWinter. That is, until this particular day. He never expected to run into the Princess of Endelaan in such an out of the way place, but stranger things had come to pass in recent times. His attention lazily drifted to her form, spiteful eyes of crimson falling upon her own as he considered her question further. He opened his mouth to speak, only to slowly close it and stare off of in the distance.

"When I look upon the sea, I am reminded of an end. The azure waters reaching out farther than you or I could perceive, only to drop away into nothingness. Something akin to a waterfall, I suppose," Vaulkhar spoke each word slowly, deliberately drawing out the brief sentiment before kneeling. He scooped up a handful of wet, purple sand, mushing it between his fingers before it fell back in clumps to the water below him. He repeated the process one more time before straightening and turning to face her. "We have met once before. I joined your company of entropy-enthusiasts to slaughter some corrupt businessmen who ran a planet, I believe. I cannot recall in full; it was a means to an end, " his words came out at a reasonable pace, not dragging on as they did in the beginning. A pair of muscular arms crossed over his chest, each bearing a dozen or more scars of past battles fought.

"I am someone of little importance with beliefs that align with your own, Scherezade deWinter," Vaulkhar's hollow tone picked up as the breeze, bearing the scent of the sea, blew past them both. His hair and cloak alike fluttered behind him, revealing more of his scarred flesh upon his neck and jawline. "My name is Vaulkhar, once of the Zambrano lineage. I seek to bring about the Sith Empire's ruin. I wish to topple everything the Dark Council holds dear before putting each of the gluttonous, weak-willed cowards who rule it to the blade. Their empire is built on the backs of those they lord over. I see an opportunity to inspire a change among the imperial citizens. One that will see thousands of Sith across the galaxy destroyed in the blink of an eye," his words came out quickly now, a hint of passion burning within him. "A mass extinction the galaxy has not seen since the Great Jedi Purge and the fall of the Republic so many years ago."

He soon trailed off, his attention once more drifting away from her to settle on the sea.