You are impatient, Melkor Damask's mentor had once said to him in the frigid wastes of Mygeeto. You see no value in learning about ship mechanics or battle droids, eldritch magicks or the healing arts. You hunger for the sorts of power you imagine to be found on the old worlds... On Moraband or Korriban, Ziost, and Serenno. But do you know what is actually there? Jedi, pirates, and scholars the likes of which you once tried to be. Do you wish to be a mere academic, Melkor? Or will you rise above these petty obsessions and embrace your true potential?
The lesson was pertinent, the Muun thought, as the Infernum sailed down through Korriban's upper atmosphere towards the twisted ravines that spiderwebbed across the mountainous landscape like splinters through bone. The Sith Eternal needed inroads into the galaxy and so they had chosen the world Darth Sidious had deliberately avoided upon his return: the ancestral home of the Sith, Korriban. Melkor thought that decision was ill-advised; the first place the enemies of the dark side would look for trouble was this tomb-infested world. But Melkor needed allies within the cult, and so he had nodded his head and agreed to participate.
The Lambda-class transport howled across the barren flats towards the horizon where the faint lights of the pirate camp were splayed out along the outskirts of a mountain pocked with caverns. These caverns, Melkor knew from his archeology lessons back at the University of Bar'leth, were likely the resting places of lesser Sith; and the pirates were hoping to make off with some Sith trinket or other to sell on the black market. A useless endeavor. Most of Korriban's tombs were picked clean long ago by the Jedi Order, during the high era of the Old Republic.
"We'll set down on that ridge," the Muun said, pointing one long bony finger towards a ridge that overlooked the pirate camp. "These pirates will have set traps to ward off rivals coming to steal their haul, but they will not be expecting us. We can wind our way down the side of the cliff and drop down into that camp."
As he finished, the ship rocked and set down on the flat surface of the ridge Melkor had previously indicated. A hiss behind them indicated that the landing ramp was descending. Then, Melkor added, "Korriban still holds a few secrets unknown to these cretins. Come. I shall teach them to you." @Exhilian
Myr stared out across the broken and barren land. So this was the homeworld of the Sith The thought spurred into his mind as he consider the desolation that flew by underneath the old Imperial shuttle. It didn't look like much to him, but perhaps it was more important in a grander scheme that he hadn't considered. Even with his hesitation, he could feel the power here. It felt ancient, powerful, but laying dormant.
Following his master's finger to the ridge above the pirate camp, Myr grinned enthusiastically as the plan was explained. "They will have no idea what hit them." He laughed, eyes locked on the pirate camp below the ridge until it was out of sight. Contemplating the battle ahead, Myr looked to his master questioningly. "Shall we honor the Sith with our sabers, or are more discreet methods required Master?" His eye's glancing to the crimson vibro-spear leaning by the door to the shuttle's cabin.
Myr lead the way down the shuttle's ramp, eager to set foot first on the haunted sands of Korriban. As his feet touched the rough sand, it hit him like a wave. The oppressive power of a history of darkness. The Darkside seeped out of the sand, permeating the air they breathed. It spoke of power and conflict, everything that made up the Sith of ancient times. But most notably, it was dead. It was an old world that held little for the Sith Eternal except perhaps the occasional scrap of old knowledge.
"I would be surprised if we were to find any secrets that have not yet turned to dust Master. " Uncertain of what the wasteland could still hold for them to learn. Still, if anything remained to be learned from the long dead Sith from times immemorial, Myr would learn it eagerly.
Ana sat quiet for most of the shuttle ride, instead choosing to meditate in her seat while Myr and Melkor conversed or did whatever it was they chose to do on these voyages. When they had finally arrived on Korriban, her eyes opened, and the venom-green irises were seemingly glued to the windows. She traced the abyssal ravines and the great craggy mountain tops, following along this foreboding landscape with extreme curiosity. When Melkor spoke, she gazed towards the ridge in question, then back to the Muun, but said nothing. Instead, she merely inclined her head, a near imperceptible tilt downward acknowledging his words.
She rose when the ship landed and the ramp opened, eager to experience the profane energies suffusing this world. Regardless of Melkor’s answer to Myr, she brought both her lightsaber and vibroknife, not expecting to use either but prepared, nonetheless. Her time in the Shadowlands had taught her the importance of having a weapon, even if the Force was always her first resort. As far as she was aware, this was a scouting mission, and, hopefully, they would not need their weapons in the first place.
She was the second to step onto the red sands of Korriban, and right away she could feel the oppressive presence of the Dark Side around her. For millennia, this was the throne of the Sith, and these sands had been stained with the blood of the unworthy over the years in the myriad struggles for power and control. The ancient Sith knew much, but their vision was short-sighted, their focus narrow and infantile. They couldn’t see beyond the raw emotions that allowed them control over the Dark Side, nor could they see their role as the equalizers in the galaxy, the agents of change. For all their power and glory, this dead world was one of their only legacies, and it was nothing more than a corpse picked clean by scavengers long, long ago.
”Secrets or not,” she said, cupping a hand over her eyes as she looked in the direction of this world’s pale sun, ”There is a great deal we could learn from those who came before. Darkness permeates everything on this world, almost blindingly so.” The ancient Sith might have destroyed themselves with their own foolhardiness, but she revered them for their extensive knowledge on the Dark Side nonetheless. This was like visiting a shrine to the darkness she had begged Talak to introduce her to, and uncertainty mixed with excitement all the same at the surface of her thoughts.
Melkor made his lips a flat line. "You still have much to learn, my old apprentice." He turned his elongated skull towards the ground at the base of the landing ramp and closed his eyes. It did not take long to find what he was looking for. "Observe."
Only a sharp growl came in answer, and the source of that growl slowly paced closer to the landed ship with three others of its kind in tow. For all intents and purposes, the beasts appeared to be hounds. They were thin, almost to the point of emaciation, and a ridge of blue spines grew along their back, ending in a whip-like tail that coiled behind them—a sign of caution. Most notably of all was the strength of the beasts in the dark side of the Force.
"Some call these Sith hounds," Melkor explained when he re-opened his eyes. "But their true name is tuk'ata. Once they served the Sith. Now—" The Muun stretched out with the Force as he had before and commanded the beasts to sit, which they did "—they will serve any with a firm command of the dark side. These old Sith tombs are infested with them."
The Muun now turned to face his old apprentice, sparing the woman a glance to include her in their conversation. "I do not think it is necessary to use our weapons. Indeed, we may not even need to be seen. These pirates do not know about the tuk'ata, and they are likely to have heard that Sith tombs are haunted. So, we can use their fear against them." Now, he looked more fully at Ana. "As you said, this planet is strong with the dark side. And we are the dark side's stewards. We can manipulate its energies here. Create phantasms. Summon the tuk'ata. We will scare them away and let them return to their pirate masters with tales of ghosts and monsters. Stories can be powerful things. They will keep our enemies and the superstitious away... for the time being."
Orionsat there in silence for the ride, the shuttle jostled and rocked as it made its way across the barren flats. The blindfold tight across the face of Orion as the young Sith felt the energy of the force around him, painting a picture in his mind of the surroundings he was in. Including the fellow Sith amongst him and their energy of the force around them. Orion's sleek smirk still spread across his face as he felt the shuttle come to a stop and begin to lower on the ground as the gears kicked out to sit. Standing up and feeling the energy of the Sith grow stronger on the planets surface he felt a strange sense of longing. Like this was more easy to grasp in his mind. The dark energy mixed well and gave him a sense of pure joy. The ramp dropped he would be the last one out with his white and black robes swaying in the wind amongst the sand. His lightsaber clung to his hip beneath his robes as the tall figure would trail behind them.
"If there is secrets..We shall uncover them." his voice was stern and seemed rather monotone for such a sarcastic smirk on his face. Noticing the camp in the distance and taking note of the pirates presence lingering around. It was only the hounds making a appearence and ending off as little soft creatures to the hand of@Melkor Damask . Orions smirk still sitting there as the Miraluka Sith moved with the group. Listening to Melkors motive on how to deal with the pirates.."I'm surprised you want to scare them off, wouldn't it be easier to just butcher them all? Let them know to never return?" his monotone voice echoing behind them as he followed.
Regardless of whichever choice, Orion was well aware of the power the group had together and wasn't concerned of either choice. He longed for blood was content with battling his patience and in time would fill his hunger of death on another group of those in his way then simple pirates. His arms folded beneath his robes as he walked on the red sand and the wind would brush against the groups figures as they moved. @Painus@Malon@Arclight
Ana turned her venom-green eyes towards Melkor as he spoke and demanded they observe. His power always intrigued her, and it was rare that she spent time with him since her rescue from Serenno so long ago. She preferred the company of Talak, but she still felt indebted to her savior, so she obeyed his commands with a sense of almost reluctant obeisance.
The growl caught her attention and she turned towards the beasts, studying over them with fascination. They were large canids, though unlike any she had seen before. Signs of starvation were readily apparent, but it was undeniable how firm their presence in the dark side was, even when in such a weakened state. While Melkor explained what they were, Ana kept her eyes on the creatures, half-expecting him to loose them on her for entertainment. Her excursions with Talak kept her on edge nowadays and the overwhelming, gnawing hunger in the back of her mind from being on this world only exacerbated the paranoia. Yet, the tuk’ata did not strike, but rather sat, bent to the will of their Muun master.
Melkor cast her a fleeting glance before addressing his former apprentice more directly. She did not mind the lack of attention from the man; she had grown used to being ignored by now. If anything, feelings of jealousy would only strengthen her connection to the darkness and embolden her when the time for battle arose. His plan was sound – use the pirates’ own superstitions against them and scare them so soundly that they never paid this profane place a visit again, leaving the cultists to their work in peace. When he had turned his attention to address her more directly, her eyes met his, though she had to crane her neck to do so and nodded a few times in agreement.
The last among them, the blind one, lusted for battle, for blood, but the need for a more subtle approach won the day. She cast him the same passing glance Melkor gave her before turning around in the direction of the pirate camp. ”Killing them all just means they’ll send more,” she remarked, ”We need them to spread tales of this place as a forbidden hellscape. That is how you keep people away.”
They’d get nothing done if they stood around all day, so she began winding her way down the side of the cliff, just as Melkor had suggested. It would be a short trek, but they needed to maintain their element of surprise if they wanted to thoroughly terrify the pirates. As the group moved, the ominous howls of the tuk’ata echoed in the distance and the thought of acting as a puppeteer for this world’s ghost stories amused her greatly.
Orion Shattou would shrug at her comment. His creepy smirk still splattered across his face as he moved with them with his blindfold tight to his head. His black and white robes swayed as he walked just behind the group with his lightsaber hilt attached underneath. The red sand whisped away at the group as Orion let the force guide him and paint the picture of everything around them. The pirate camp was active as they were moving equipment and boxes around. More then likely supplies and food. The darkness absorbing through Orion as he reached in his pocket and withdrew a cigarra. Tapping it off the metal case he would light it and let it hang in the corner of his mouth. The smoke almost invisible as he dissipated in the wind mixing with the red sand. The creatures that once approached but retreated like little toys howled in the distance. It added kind of a eerie setting to the group as their dark figures overwhelming with the dark side of the force would be closing in on the pirate group before they would crest their view. Orion stood hidden with the group as the only thing separating the two groups was a small hill that rose briefly before the camp.
"Well, lead by example."
Orions voice was monotone and cold but his creepy smile still stayed the same. He would follow suit in whatever plan they had for the pirate group. His cigarra burning as the ashes would drop from the gravity and spread across the sandy ground. Gathering himself with the force and holding his bloodlust at bay as he let himself focus mentally with the force and be one with it as his body stayed still. Sand whipped against his face but he never flinched or stifled. Like a statue but a hand extending the service of the Sith Eternals as he would follow any order given to him through the Eternal. His demeanor was unemotional and pure cold. Once the plan was established on how to handle the group he would remove the cigarra from his mouth and give it a flick before moving.
Ana huffed at the challenge and continued towards the pirate camp. Along the way, it seemed, Melkor and Myr both abandoned the mission, to which Ana simply rolled her eyes. Of course this was beneath the man; nothing short of finding and polishing the chrome dome of Lord Vader himself would stir that insufferable man to action. Not even being here, on the home world of the ancient Sith Lords. Their absence was a pity, but she accepted it for what it was. It mattered little; she still had the blind man to accompany her on this mission.
They spoke little – that is to say, not at all – on their hike, which Ana did not particularly mind. She let the dark energies of this world subsume her, and its corrupting influence whispered dark promises in the back of her mind. She ignored them for the most part, but the temptation was certainly there to give in. It always was, she began to understand. She hoped that she would not eventually lose herself as their predecessors did, but the natural cycle of the dark side seemed to suggest that such a thing was an unfortunate reality of their life. The great cycle.
Their trip brought them close to the pirate camp, and there were few pieces of terrain separating the groups. This was as good a spot as any, she figured, and soon she found herself sitting cross-legged in the sand. ”This is where we’ll launch our terror attack,” she said quietly, ”This is where we’ll summon the tuk’ata and predate on the minds of the weak.” With that, she discarded her physical form and focused on the malefic energies of the Force around them. All life on this world was connected in some twisted way, and she began noticing the threads of energy and where everything was connected.
This was not the time for idle distractions, however, and she began to shut out the things she didn’t need. There was a faint energy signature nearby, but it was black and fully consumed by the darkness. She homed in on it and began manipulating its senses. This life was feral, but primitive, and she knew right away that it had to be the tuk’ata of this world roaming for food. She commanded it to move towards the pirate camp, for that was where food was. The creatures let out a frightening baying noise and began stalking towards their prey.
She could hear the pirates express concern at the extended howl. Their plan was in effect; they just needed to go all out on showing these degenerates how haunted and forbidden Korriban could be. They needed to drive them out with enough ghost stories to keep any superstitious explorer far, far away.
Orion Shattou would notice the two other Sith's abandon the mission and turn around to leave. Pretty quick to retreat, Orion would remember this as they both vanished in the distance. Must be something of higher standards awaiting for them then to be tackling this mission. His creepy smirk would stay the same as he heard Ana's retort towards his comment. Shifting towards her using the force he watched her sit cross legged in the sand and begin drawing the great plan of plans away. It was only mere seconds before she took her physical form and made it vanish and became one with a beast. Manipulating it and making its focus gain attention on the pirate camp that was ahead of them. Letting her take over and become one with the creatures known as the tuk'ata, Orion would shift off to the far side and tapping into her mind with the force "I will come around the back." his cold monotone voice echoed as he used the force to see the Tuk'ata move towards the camp closer and closer. Growling and howling so loud it could deafen ones ears if they were close enough.
Orion would let himself dig deep within the dark side of the force. Letting the dark energy consume his form and set off a heavy feeling in the air as it felt like the air itself became thick and hard to breathe. His black robes swayed among the red sand whisking in the wind as he let his palms rise. The rising of his hands would coincide with heavy amounts of sand. Lifting the sand higher in the air, just high enough to start covering the light from the sky over the camps direction, almost like a miniature tidal wave. The pirates would begin to shout in confusion and feel the tension in the air as the howling became closer and the light be eaten by the darkness from the opposite sides. The shadows carrying the sounds of the howls with the wind as it made it feel like they were being surrounded by multiple beasts and dark magic. Behind the curtain of red sand would be Orion moving to make the wall of sand go closer and closer to the camp. His mind focused purely on the force and could see everything around them. The blackness of the shadows soon casting over half the camp as the shouting and yelling of scared pirates soon collapsed together in the last little spot of light in a huddle..Ana's call to finish this.