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Alyse TiVarnus

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Well the time had come, all pretence of forethought and planning had gone out of the window - the intent to remove the remnants of Locura's blight upon Bakura through subversion and isolated strikes had been cast aside. From what intelligence that had been gathered, the cult's defacto leader Khar Ti'varnus had seemingly grown paranoid with his estranged daughter's growing presence and strength in the Force, especially in the wake of her sudden reappearance and destruction of the Cult's secretive temple, rending the false Prophet Locura and those in his council at the time to nothing more than ash. So much so was Khar's paranoia that he had elected to have his closest entourage accompany him at all times, so that no one could take advantage of his isolation. But it was not only the closing of ranks within the deluded cult that had accellerated her plans, it was the recent revelation that her father had started to track and isolate her movements - this left the blonde guardian with little option but to reach out to those closest to her within the Eternal's ranks to help cleanse Bakura of the misguided cult's taint.

Standing at the edge of the dark forest on the outskirts of Salis D'aar, a place that very few of the locals dare to tread owing to the long ancient taint of the Darkside that scared the locale, if her recollection of history was to be correct the Forest once bore witness to a mass senseless slaughter within the old industrial district that the Forest had over the millennia reclaimed. A cloaked figure, dressed in almost traditional yet functional Sith attire. stared into the depths of the forest, her chestnut hued eyes narrowing as she observed the faint distant flickering of brazers in the distant clearing. Her mind had let go of it's usual reserve and calm, now it was full of a seething rage - whether it was the proximity to Locura's cult or her father that was the root cause, the feelings of bitterness and anger from the years of lies and betrayal of not only her mentor but her father, who sought to groom her for their own deluded pursuits to proclaim themselves Dark lords of the new Sith Empire with her as their unwitting weapon.

Word had reached her through Foley's monitoring of the Bakuran Holonet exchange, that the cult was to gather, so that Khar could unveil his grand plan to bring his Empire into fruition. Something that the blonde cultist saw would pose an indirect threat to the machinations of the Eternal, the Galaxy was already on edge with the recent revelations that Darksiders where once again amongst them, bringing potential undue attention towards the intentions of the Sith, even enflaming tensions between the two opposing orders of Jedi and Sith to a boiling point to increase their willingness to act on the Sith problem with more zeal . To have this rouge cult make moves to reveal themselves and claim Bakura for their own would jeopardise all that the Guardians and the Legionaries of the Eternal had worked for, this needed to be nipped in the bud and soon.

Turning her attention away from the distant forest clearing, Alyse regarded the various Sith, that she had reached out to for help, a light smile curling at the edge of her lips to those that had heard her call for assistance - barely noticeable against the highly vexed expression she was baring. There was Alym a fellow guardian, who seemed to share a lot in common with Aylse, beyond their blonde hair. And there was Korsak the Amaran Guardian, who was no stranger to Alyse's efforts to destabilise and sew discent on Bakura, yet the reasoning had untill now been kept quiet. Standing taller than anyone gathered, was the crimson armoured droid assassin of the First Order, who had somehow gone unnoticed within the depths of her home's basement. "Thank you for your assistance, all of you" the blonde spoke out, breaking the silence that had fallen over the group of looming Sith Cultists that were poised like predators awaiting their moment to kill. "Ahead of us is the remnants of the Cult of Locura, whilst their prophet Locura has for the last few years been nothing more than ash blowing in the wind, My father has sought to continue with the vain efforts of grandeur. He is seeking to bring about the rebirth of a Empire in their own flawed ideals, he and his followers pose a risk to us all, they will bring the watchful eye of the galaxy and the Jedi not only towards the gateway to the unknown regions, but to all of us" she continued, giving those who had gathered an insight to the potential risk that the rouge cult's actions could bring about to the Eternal and their combined efforts to infiltrate and manipulate the worlds of the Galaxy.

"Tonight, as the Cult of Locura gather, we will reveal ourselves as the true bearers of the Sith's Legacy. Offer them the chance to align with us, though if they choose to pursue their misguided intentions, we will put an end to them once and for all." The blonde concluded, before reaching her hand down to her side to retrieve the hilt of her lightsaber, holding it firm and ready within her grasp, granting the opportunity for those gathered to ready themselves, or voice any suggestions on how to deal with the remnants before they set off into the shadows of the tainted forest.

@Mithias @Logan @The Captain
 

Korsak Wulpez

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Korsak was not here for the sake of the Eternals, or to stop a madman from trying to reinvent a state that failed two times over and had been consigned to the dustbin of history for a century. Insanity and depravity seemed more common than water in the wider galaxy, and if some lunatic on some backwater wanted to play Grand Moff that was his problem. It wasn't like public perception of the Eternals would collapse if some Bakuran with an Imperial flag blew up a hospital, most people were not fond of the Sith and those who do support them are likely not fair-weather allies. So Bakura, and the cult, and Alyse mad old man could all go to Hell in a handbasket for all Korsak cared, that wasn't why he was here.

He was here because Alyse Ti'Varnus was perhaps as close to a colleague as anyone he'd met in the Eternals, and he did not want to leave her to face the elder Ti'Varnus on her own. He respected her love of history and culture, as well as sympathizing with the desire to kill one's own father. After all, Mr. Wulpez was not a shining example of paternal care, none of the Wulpez clan were particularly sympathetic people. So perhaps on some level he did not want to leave Alyse to face her father's mad works on her own.

Or perhaps he was hoping to help gain control of the cult and use it to further plumb the depths of the galaxy for secrets of the Dark Side, it could well be both. After all cultists, for all their zeal and anti-intellectualism, were remarkable laborers and having a few of them to help locate, secure, and excavate sites around the galaxy would be quite helpful in Korsak's own plans. Either way, he was here, and he intended to face the Cult of Locura with Alyse, Alym, and a third stranger on his side.

"I am hoping we can bring a few of these cultists into the fold. They may have some knowledge of old Imperial or Sith lore that could prove useful." He grasped his own lightsaber in his gloved, prosthetic hand. "At the very least we should see if they have anything of value on stored away before decide to slaughter them."


@Mithias @Logan @Topher
 

Manuk Gagak

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Manuk was many things. Many, many things – and a few were positive. Foremost amongst them was her sense of duty. She understood fully the quid pro quo of the relationship with her master. If she were to be a useful and obedient apprentice then she would receive training. Sith or no Sith, give and take was a prerequisite she appreciated and embraced.

Which is why she was here on Bakura. Her briefing notes say little of interest to her. It was a beautiful blue-green world known for its agricultural and repulsorlift exports. It had two moons which had been heavily mined. It was also right on the edge of the galaxy. Its one value was as part of a route that avoided the treacherous central hyperspace lanes.

Salis D’aar from the air had seemed quite erudite - which was not the impression she was getting now. Its web-like radial layout and high towers had reminded her of an affluent world, but clearly the humidity was attacking the building infrastructure, encouraging plant life to grow around and even into it. The cultural unwillingness to use droids meant that basic repair seemed to be something that was overlooked.

And the farther from the centre of the city, the worse it became. It was almost like an entirely different world than the one she'd initially seen from their approach. Floating statues and elegant fountains were overgrown with plant life. Tree trunks snaked through holes in the pavement and walls. Here, on the outskirts, Salis D’aar seemed so heavily overgrown that it looked like the forest was taking over.

She stood to the side and half a step behind her master. There may be a limit to what she could achieve, she only carried a training saber, but she would gain experience if nothing else. Manuk wore her usual garb – a black leather body suit, black leather boots and a black hooded cloak, which for once was worn with her hair and face and lilac eyes revealed – her blonde hair tied back.

As they’d approached the spot where they now stood, Manuk felt a stirring in the Force, initially attributing it to the location – but now realising it was emanating from her master. She sensed anger and bitterness so clearly, she could almost taste it.

Unconsciously copying her mentor, Manuk took in the assembled Sith and she drank in the words of her master, connecting deeper with the Force as the plan was revealed. The sense of anticipation was palpable and Manuk felt her resolve strengthen and power grow with every passing second. For one as inexperienced as she was, the atmosphere was more addictive and intoxicating than any substance she’d tried – and she’d sampled them all.

@Topher
 

Trinity

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A dark figure emerged from the thick undergrowth of the eerie forests that surrounded the Bakuran capital of Salis D'aar, clad in a skin-tight suit of thin black material matched by long raven hair. The only recognisable features of this figure would be a pair of bright amber eyes that ever faintly shone through narrow eyelids.

While the ominous scent of Bakuran air would perturb most in tune with the force, to Trinity, it harboured some nostalgic value. It had been far too long since her last visit but her duties had taken her elsewhere. She seems to have done well for herself so far, Trinity thought. Her thoughts wandered back to her initial arrival on the rock and her initial meeting with the blonde sith that stood meters away. It was then where this entire escapade had started and all of Alyse's schemes and machinations had finally come to bear with this final act. Trin quietly approached Alyse and Korsak and with a solemn and wispy voice she spoke through the thin material mask that covered her mouth, "While I can respect your merciful gesture, I do not believe that they should be allowed the opportunity to defect." With a swift movement, the young assassin unsheathed the vibroblade from her belt and flicked the blade between her fingers. "Treason is like a weed, one that spreads easily and is not so easily quashed." Her eyes darted from Alyse to Korsak, "Useful information or no, it must be eliminated." With a quick movement she dug the blade into the trunk of a nearby tree, the sap oozing out over the glistening metal. "Not only the head but root and stem too."

After pulling the blade from the tree, the amber-eyed assassin spun round to face the youngest member of the group, in mere moments she scanned her features and immediately Trinity could sense her eager yet inexperienced nature. She had not given the teen much thought, however after a second glance a slight uneasiness settled in her mind. "Nevertheless I will do what is required of me."

@Topher
 

Alyse TiVarnus

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Whilst the others stood, Checking over their weapons, readying themselves for what was to come, the blonde cultist opened her mind into the swirling Energies of the Force that flowed around her, the seething and uncontrolled torrents of raw emotional anger and bitterness that was held towards the Cult of Locura and her father. Whilst was beneficial for channelling the true strength of the Force in its natural state, was of little use to the cultist, without a degree of control and focused purpose. Her thoughts focusing and tempering into a state of mindfulness, slowing the raging torrents that flowed through her and bringing the energies into a collected point, harnessing and tempering them into a single focused body of energy within her.

As the initial response was voiced by the Amaran guardian, Alyse the female nodded in response. "Most of their knowledge i have in my possession, claimed after Locura originally made an attempt on my life, I suspect the rest would be held within my fathers senatorial residence" Alyse commented as she opened her eyes and looked towards the gathered party. Her gaze narrowing as she regarded the arrival of the seemingly long absent assassin, still her arrival was a welcome one at least, having a trained killer beside them would sway the odds in their favour "Perhaps that is a risk we might be best not leaving ourselves prey to, a clean break from the failings of the past would better, no loose ends " she advised as she slowly wiggled her fingers, subconsciously focusing the Force into the tips of her extremities. "Then we give them no quarter" she concluded, before turning on her heel and leading the group into the forest, her movements towards the cults position Guided by the Force.

Allowing several minutes to pass, for the others to get into their positions, Alyse watched from the shadows as the Cult gathered around her father, their proceedings bathed in the light of burning braziers and pyres, her lips pursing in thought as she assessed and calculated how they would deal with the aftermath of the potential slaughter - a forest fire with the cult at the centre with their open pyres will serve as an effective cover of a tragic accident to hide the fate that would befall them. The land was tainted enough with the dark side from the scars left from the ancient acts of genocide carried out by this Crimson Menace, that had gone unhealed within the Force - that it should hopefully cloud the fate that would fall upon those gathered here tonight.

Taking a deep breath, Alyse gathered herself once more, before stepping out from the dark cover of the forest undergrowth and into the Amber hued light of the cultists gathering. Her emergence bringing an abrupt interruption to the proceedings, as the robed and hooded figure drew closer towards the outer edges of the Cult members. With her free hand Alyse pulled back her hood to fully reveal herself to the murmuring gathering. "Evening Father"
 

Korsak Wulpez

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Well at least Korsak could comfort himself with the knowledge that most of the cult's written lore would be safe from this attack, even if this did turn to blood. Speaking of which, Korsak noted the footfalls of another person just before the Assassin from Naboo stepped into the clearing, trailing more malice than the surrounding forest. There was something about an aura that dark that twisted even Korsak's soul, as it had a sort of warped purity that Korsak found utterly unnatural. This wasn't fear, anger, or hate, this was something deeper.

"Pragmatism, not mercy." He listened, feigning politeness as she talked about plants and stabbed some local foliage, before rebutting. "Loose ends can be cut at any time, especially ends as fragile as these fools, but knowledge and skill are not easily regained."

Unfortunately, it would seem Trinity had swayed Alyse to her point of view, and now the young woman intended to go forward with a 'no quarter, no prisoners' approach. On one hand Korsak resented the loss of potential allies in these cultists, but he knew well and good enough not to stand between a Sith and their vendettas, especially those related to family.

"I'll follow your lead, Lady Ti'Varnus." Korsak broke off from the group, slipping into the low foliage surrounding the clearing as they all moved into position. A youth spent tracking local wildlife and hiding from his brutish family meant Korsak was skilled in the art of moving unseen, even for a being as small as him. He would let Alyse take the lead here while he stayed in the shadows, in case something went wrong he could serve as support.


@Corbeau @Bran @Topher
 

Manuk Gagak

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Manuk knew she was being assessed. She was used to being evaluated as from an early age she was always labelled the ‘spoilt brat’. It never bothered her, and nor did the judgement. She was entirely comfortable in her own skin. Given she’d grown up alone – with just a droid for company – she’d eschewed both social gatherings and public opinion. She always felt she was different and therefore being told you did not fit in was of no consequence to her. If anything, it reinforced her belief that she was poles apart from the general populous.

Not that she shied away from groups any longer. She used them, either for information or for what they could do for her. She would be – by some margin – the weakest with the Force but her training had not been all about that aspect of her make-up. She suspected, without giving any of those assembled a second thought, that she could give them all a run for their money in unarmed combat. For instance, how many others had identified the six most useful items within two strides that could be used as improvised weapons? Which of them could instantly move to the terrain that would give them maximum advantage in a fight – having already scoped it out?

She was a novice in the Force without a shadow of a doubt, but a dead weight? Along for the ride? That was another matter entirely.

So, she remained tight-lipped. Saying and doing nothing was a weapon in and of itself. Surprise was a key tactic in any confrontation and the less your opponent knew about you, the greater the advantage.

She followed dutifully, taking up the allotted position in the shadows as the mission played out.
 

Trinity

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The knowledge of the weak-minded is not knowledge worth having, Trin thought to herself. But rather than debate Korsak on his comments on pragmatism, Trin chose instead to look on in silence, displaying only a small nod of approval to Alyse's decision. The amber-eyed assassin knew that she could rely on Alyse to see sense where others could not, even in the vulnerable state that she found herself in. Although she may not admit it, Trinity could sense her tumultuous mind and the burning mix of passion that simmered. She could not relate to such passions herself but Trin could see that it drove her. In that regard it seemed beneficial but at the same time unstable. The young assassin would have to monitor the events closely and ensure that should the blonde Sith lose her nerve that some modicum of victory could still be achieved. Other than that however, she would not interfere. Doing so would be an affront. To cast away the chains one's own family was a test of strength that she would have to embark on alone. To fail in a moment like this would reveal a weakness in her character, a weakness that has no place in the Sith. If that were the case then perhaps it would be best to let her fall rather than live on eternally bound in those chains. She hoped that the other members of the group would similarly understand.

As Alyse lead the way through the darkened forest, Trinity followed suit, sheathing the blade on her belt next to the gleaming, metallic hilt of her lightsaber. It had been weeks since she had last even ignited the weapon however tonight might justify its use. A part of her hoped that the cultists would put up a fight worthy of this excursion however another part of her somehow knew that they would not. The smell of smoke and treachery caught the nose of the assassin as they arrived at the cultist gathering. With naught but another silent nod to Alyse and the rest of the group, Trinity vanished into the foliage, circling around the clearing in search of a better vantage point to watch the events unfold.

@Topher
 

Alyse TiVarnus

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OOC: Many thanks to @Catbert for taking on the role of DM and playing Khar & the Cultists
(Posting this under Alyse's Account with Storyteller function currently locked out for this forum)

"Evening, father." Those words would be befitting a family reunion. But the intent behind them was older and more malicious that the Sith Order itself—murder. Khar was no fool; he knew why his daughter had shown up. The man's hand rested on the hilt of his lightsaber, his feelings mixed. There was no sense of fatherly love; just a sliver of gratitude for making his job easier and elevating him in the cult. But that sliver was drowning in sea of fear and resentment, slowly warmed up with anger about Alyse's misguided choices.

"The prodigal daughter returns," the hooded figure in the front replied, with ill-concealed contempt in the voice distorted by the mask. The man spread his arms in a welcoming gesture. That signal made four similarly-dressed and masked cultists step forward, by the sides of the speaker. "Have you come to repent? Was the life of festering in weakness and obscurity not to your liking? Or have you finally seen the true nature of the Force?"

Attracted by the uninvited guest, the 10 other cultists also turned away from the pyres and approached Alyse, surrounding her in a half-circle. Armed with electrostaves, vibroblades, axes and an occasional blaster pistol, the group presented a rather ragged sight. "You can still give up your Jedi ways, Alyse," the man pronounced the word "Jedi" with a special sort of spite. "Become the dark side incarnate, as you were always meant to be. Fulfil your destiny."

With every word, Khar's anger grew. Had his daughter chosen that path years ago, what heights the cult would have reached! Yet the old Sith cultist had to keep his anger in check; for the time being at least. For all the foolish choices his daughter had made, she could still become a useful asset... or a dangerous liability.
 

Alyse TiVarnus

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Unflinching, as the words of spite was laid upon her, Alyse's gaze held over the masked visage of her father - only shifting slightly to visually mark the approach of his four hands, each one of them draped in the same hooded garb, their features obscured by masks and their hands reaching for the hilts of their lightsabers. Followed by approach of the rabble that made up the rest of his followers, unlike Khar and his Hands these cultists were more alike a ragged militia rather than students of Locura.

"A life of festering in weakness and Obscurity" Alyse spoke, as light smirk curled at the edge of her lips, flashing a slight glint of her teeth, as her gaze returned to her father's mask. A light chortle escaping her lips at the perceived absurdity of her father's words. Had he became so deluded within the trappings of his own importance, that he had lost sight of from what the blonde guardian could recall of her youth of her father being a learned man.

"That is what I see as being my fate in the service of you and the flawed teachings of Locura" Alyse spoke, her words, calm and almost without emotion. Unlike her father whose every word dripped with resentment, paranoia and anger, much like the resonance of the energies within the Force that rippled out from the masked defacto cult leader. Yet even though her mind and being festered with years of anger and rage directed towards her father and the Cult, Alyse's presence only carried as an ominous darkness. "If you turn your gaze further than your own greed, you could see that you are nothing more than what... a petty disciple with delusions of standing" the blonde continued, her posture remaining firm and unflinching as the lingering remains of the cult closed ranks.

"If you had only seen half of what I have witnessed, following the path I have walked, guided by the teachings of the True Sith, the ones penned by Empress Andraste herself" Alyse resumed as she dismissed the cultists advance and encirclement, unphased by their approach - knowing that the darkside was welling within her, not as her ally but as a tool to her will, her allies were the ones hidden in shadow surrounding the cultists as they did her. "Then you will know that the false prophet Locura only wanted your servitude for his own gain" Alyse concluded before taking a few steps back, her arms opening out wide, as she turned her gaze away from her masked father and directed it over the cultists in his thrawl.

"I offer you one chance to survive the night!" Alyse called out, her words directed towards the followers. "Abandon the teachings of the False Prophet Locura, and join me in the path of the True Sith" she proclaimed, heeding the council of the Amaran to play the pragmatist and give the deluded followers an opportunity to turn their backs on the false teachings of her father - if not then so be it.
 

Korsak Wulpez

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Korsak watched the ragged band surround Alyse from the shadows, plotting where he would strike first when the fighting inevitably started. The cultists had gained something of a tactical advantage moving on Alyse as they had, but it left their leader more exposed in the rear, and if these cultists were true to their leader then subduing or killing the elder TiVarnus might force his underlings to stand down. If nothing else it would throw the cult into disarray and quickly settle the matter of Alyse's revenge in one fell swoop, and a quick resolution to conflict was always better in his eyes.

So the Amaran bided his time, inching forward through the undergrowth with gentle steps until he neared the edge of the clearing where he could spring into action the second this less-than-pleasant daddy/daughter reunion turned to violence. Which, given the vitriolic tones being thrown around, should be fairly soon.


@Corbeau @Bran @Topher @Catbert
 

Manuk Gagak

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Manuk raised an eyebrow. She knew this was personal for her mentor, but must have been asleep when the mention of the cult being led by Alyse’s father was shared. Not that it mattered. At least not to Manuk — who had no family at all and so could not contemplate or therefore understand what a paternal bond might be like.

But what she lacked in family understanding she made up for in sensing the emotions that ran riot in front of her. She drank in the negativity. Pain, hatred, ambition…and so many more besides. Manuk literally licked her lips in anticipation.

Her eyebrow once more raised at the word, ‘Jedi’. Alyse? Really? Not from where Manuk stood. Was it used as a jibe, to goad his daughter? Or was it to weaken her kinship with the group that now flanked her? Manuk decided that to decipher the words and their meaning would be not only a waste of time, but a monumental distraction. She she ignored them and focused, as she had been trained.

Manuk wondered why Alyse would be merciful. Yes, she’d been swayed by words shared earlier, but these cultists were, to Manuk, unworthy. And moreover, their death would serve a purpose — to send a clear message as to the intentions of the Sith to cast aside false prophets and splinter groups. Turncoats would have no place at Manuk’s side. How could such weasels be trusted? But it was not her call, and so she continued to listen. Learning. Awaiting her opportunity to strike.
 

The Storyteller

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"True Sith," the masked man scoffed, as his "honor guard" surrounded Alyse. Two guards now stood by her sides, a couple of meters away from her. Two more would remain by the sides of the speaker, between him and Alyse. Their backs covered by the remaining cultists surrounding the leaders and the blonde in a semi-circle. The speaker sighed through the mask: "Foolish girl."

"You invoke the names long gone, and the teachings long out of relevance. Where is your Empress Andraste now?" the question was clearly rhetorical. Khar nodded in appreciation of that comment, his hand gripping the hilt of the saber. "Those so-called teachings are now employed by bunch of marauding thugs who blow up prisons. Is that what you think the Sith should be? I say NO! We should work from the shadows and attain more power, as Darth Sidious had done!"

"All that matters is power, and the ones who wield it here and now, Alyse," the masked speaker made a grabbing gesture with both his hands, clearly in belief what he is saying. "Locura is dead. You've cleared the path. This is the Cult of Khar now! And the only thing that we have in common with that so-called Eternal is the desire to live forever. BREAK OUR CHAINS!" the Sith extended his hands in a wide gesture, looking up into the night sky.

No cultist seems to have been swayed by Alyse's attempt so far. If there was any doubt, nobody showed it. Considering the supposed advantage in numbers, nobody would risk open insubordination. The speaker lowered his voice, emotion almost completely gone from it: "You would challenge us for our power. You would enslave us to another Locura. That's..."

The speaker stopped mid-sentence. Yet another masked guard, clockwise, continued the sentence: "... why ..." The next guard would catch up the sentence; and then the next: "... you ... must..." The final guardian finished the sentence after some hesitation: "DIE!"

...​

Without any words, the guardian to the right of Alyse (the one who said "you") would dash forward. He would ignite his crimson lightsaber for a horizontal slash at Alyse's back, at the lower waist level. At the same time, the guardian to Alyse's left (the one who said "must") would go for a mirroring slash, but from the front and at the chest level. The other cultists didn't draw their weapons, but were prepared to do that, if attacked.

Sorry for the delay. To keep the story going for now, we had to skip @Bran's turn. We assume that Trinity is biding her time, just like everyone else.

@Topher, @The Captain, @Corbeau, @Bran
 

Alyse TiVarnus

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A long sigh escaped Aylse's lips as her father lambasted her over her view points, dismissing the single opportunity that she had offered for the deluded followers of not only Locura but now her father's teachings to denounce them and make a conscious effort to elevate themselves above the role of subservience to the machinations and greed of her Father. A slight tinge of pity washed over her mind for the followers, like she and many of her peers had suspected they were blinded by their own arrogance and greed for immortality.

Closing her eyes, as her head lowered towards the ground, her brow furrowing as she continued to listen to ramblings of her deluded father - her minds eye focusing on the Force, drawing in upon its energies and bending them further to her will, whilst feeling the subtle shifts in the Force as his honour guard started to further manoeuvre themselves into position, the slow and gradual movement of their muscles as they tightened their grip around each of their respective lightsaber hilts - right down to the tensing of their legs as they prepared to rush her.

As the two guardians finished off her father's declaration that she must die, the clearing was plunged into darkness, all life and energy pulled from the burning pyres and channelled through the Force towards and into the Sith Guardian. The only lingering light that remained was from the two ignited crimson lightsabers as their wielders rushed the young blonde. As their arms and sabers brew back to swing in towards Alyse's sides, the blonde's arms suddenly swung out to the sides, as an amber ball of intense fiery heat erupted from her body, and was cast outwards in a rapidly increasing sphere of concentrated energy.

The two guardians that moved to attack the blonde were consume with the sudden wash of intense heat and energy, their flesh and clothing swiftly vaporising in the wake of the blast as energy. Leaving only a pair of scorched lightsabers than came tumbling lifelessly onto the ground surrounded by scattered piles of ash.

Slowly Alyse opened her eyes, not to reveal her typical chestnut hued irises but a pair of milky white featureless orbs visible through narrowed slits that were scowling directly at her father. "Power?" she snarled, her lips curling into a slight smirk. "You think I'm challenging you for power Father?" she continued, her words dripping with bitterness. "To challenge you for the meagre trappings, fashioned from fear, servitude and greed. No I do not challenge you for that" she added, as the swirling energies of the dark side bent to her will to create a thick miasma that surrounded her like a dark fog. "We are the forgers of change, we will rid this world of the stagnancy that you bring through your corruption and greed."
 

Manuk Gagak

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Manuk was confident in her abilities and – one on one – would face most foes. She would even be prepared to face down multiple non-Force sensitives. But she was not the sort to let confidence bleed into arrogance. She was an apprentice in her use of the Force – no more. Yes, many around them were no doubt no more skilled than her – but they were outnumbered. And she had no desire to be a hindrance or a weak link. So she resolved to react as opposed to be proactive and would use

conventional martial artistry over the Force wherever possible.

Of course, both sides spoke sense – but there was a difference between what you say and what you do. Were this rag-tail group of cultists going to emulate Darth Sidious? Not in a million generations. They may have some logic going for them, but could they rule the galaxy? Never…at least not in Manuk’s opinion.

And attention shifted to her mentor as the rhetoric stopped and the fighting began. Or at least, it threatened to. Her mentor dealt with the first wave so effectively, Manuk wondered who else might be brave – or was that foolish – enough to be next to challenge her.

@Topher @The Captain @Bran
 

Korsak Wulpez

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Korsak had to admit, the old man made something that (if you squinted your eyes and cocked your head) resembled sense. The Eternal had emerged too early, giving a chance for the Jedi and the Sector Rangers to begin organizing efforts against them. Rather than stepping into the galactic spotlight in a whirl of dead bodies and ominous speeches, they should have taken the route of Sidious and gathered power in the shadows. But hindsight, as always, was both perfectly clear and utterly useless, the Eternal had emerged and no force in this galaxy could undo that.

Of course, at the same time if this haggard old man and his gaggle of degenerates were planning on taking over the galaxy from this backwater world, they must all be touched in the head. Darth Sidious had wealth, power, and knowledge beyond any of their comprehensions, not to mention the work of his predecessors. Around a dozen wild-eyed cultists living in a swamp had the same odds of taking over the galaxy as Korsak did being crowned King of Alderaan.

"You'd think those planning to lurk in the shadows," Korsak began as he stepped from his hiding spot into the clearing, flicking his lightsaber into his cybernetic arm. "Would be better at watching them."

In a burst of concentrated, malevolent power, Korsak turned to the nearest cultist and unleashed a short but potent storm of Force lightning at them. The cultist, caught unaware by the sudden appearance, was thrown back several feet by the power of the blast and left as smoldering, twitching corpse in the middle of the clearing. Korsak raised his hands, one brandishing his saber and the other still crackling with power, and prepared for the cult's rebuttal.


@Topher @The Captain @Bran
 

The Storyteller

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The masked speaker chuckled at Alyse's remark, seemingly oblivious to the two of his guardians turned into charred remains. "You have no better motive then? Such a delusion!" With that, the man dashed forward, igniting his crimson blade. Starting with an overhead downward slash at Alyse, he prepared to change the direction of the blade to any side that the blonde would dodge towards. Two more non-Force-sensitive cultists rushed to his aid from behind Alyse: the one to her right would go with a horizontal slash of his halberd, while the one to her left fired a blaster at the blonde's side.

Meanwhile, the Amaran stepped into the clearing; announcing his intervention with words and a burst of Force lightning. A member of the honor guard (the one who stood to the speaker's left) turned to face the new arrival, flanked by 3 servants. Two of them, armed with vibroblades, rushed straight at the short alien. The last servant fell on the knee, taking aim with his rifle and pulling the trigger two times. The member of the honor guard remained standing for now, mirroring Korsak's stance. Crimson saber in one hand, and the other free to manipulate the Force, the man wouldn't be caught off guard by the Amaran as easily.

The other 4 low-ranked cultists spread out to keep an eye at their surroundings. That way, they'd be ready to prevent an attack in the back by anyone else lurking in the shadows. That left only one honor guardsman; the one who stood by the speaker's right side. His crimson blade was ignited, but he didn't rush at the prodigal daughter or her furred friend. Instead, he stepped backwards, mixing with the crowd of cultists. Despite the mask on his face, the way he moved indicated that he was quite scared; on the verge of turning around and running His back towards the depths of the forest, the masked man retreated from the clearing. With a free hand, he patted a couple of lower-ranked cultists on their shoulders and gave them a "follow my lead" gesture.

@Topher, @Corbeau, @The Captain, @Bran
 

Alyse TiVarnus

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A dark smile curled on the edge of the blonde's lips, in response to her father's voiced conclusion that she held no better motives beyond her so called delusion. "More is the pity that you are so blind father" Alyse sighed, as she finally ignited her own lightsaber, the violet hue of her weapon formed a steady bladed arc of burning plasma. The air around the blonde falling cold and heavy with a thick dark miasma that surrounded the female, the dark side resonating out from the prodigal daughter, creating a foreboding and intimidating presence that would deter the weaker willed from stepping any closer towards her.

Though she doubted her father would be warded off by her intimidating presence, she hoped that it would be enough to make the lesser of the cultists unwilling to get foolishly get in the way of the family feud that was now coming to a head. But even if they were foolish enough, yet alone so blindly devoted to their leader's well being - they would be overcome by the draining effects of the Dark Aura that Alyse was projecting around her, the energies of the darkside sapping away at their life forces and slowing down their movements, making them sluggish and drained of any energy.

As her man who addressed her rushed forwards, his blade being swung round over his shoulder in a downward slash towards her - Aylse brought her blade upwards and angled off the side to intercept and then drive the incoming attack away and over to the side. As she drove the attacking blade off to the side, the blonde reached out with the Force and ripped away at the mask - revealing a withered and corrupted shell of a face far different from the one that she had once known.

She could see in that brief initial moment of unmasking, just how much the darkside had taken its toll on her father. He was corrupted and polluted by the darkside, his once sharp piercing features were now; gaunt, leathery, grey and lifeless, his former grey eyes dyed with a near jaundiced yellow hue. To say he was a shell of his former self was an understatement, the man who addressed her, as her father was unrecognisable. It seemed that whilst both of the Ti'Varnuses gave themselves to the darkside, it was clear that Alyse was the one who had learnt to control and bend it to her will, and not let it consume her just as it had done for the demasked man.

But there was little time for her to take in and fully assess her father's withered state beyond that brief glimpse, as soon as the mask had started to fall to the ground the direction of the force was thrown the other way, pushing her attacker backwards on himself.
 
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Manuk Gagak

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Around her, action flared. Manuk, being pragmatic and not one to overplay her strengths, remained impassive. She would watch and learn and defend herself – but wading in until she could rightly judge the quality and competence of her opponents felt a wrong move for someone who was still a novice.

She noted the ‘away team’ had the upper hand of the early exchanges – but she also appreciated they lacked any substitutes, whereas who knew how many more cultists might be brought into play? Pushing this thought aside, she focused on her mentor and looked to take her lead from her actions and words.

She was studious in her focus on what Alyse was doing – to the detriment of paying attention to her immediate surroundings. She was reminded of the folly of this approach as a blaster bolt winged her left upper arm. Sharing an expletive with the world, before activating her saber and staring down the cultist that had fired upon her. Even at this distance, Manuk could sense the fear emanating from the man and she sucked up the emotion and used it to fuel her connection to the Dark side. Manuk saw no value in pointless violence, but this person had shot her and deserved to pay the price.

With the pain from the cauterised wound adding to her rage, Manuk leaped at the cultist and instead of using her blade, landed a drop-kick in the middle of his chest. Standing astride the now prone man, she brought a Force-enhanced boot down on his chin so hard that she twisted his neck and snapped his spine.

Assured he was now dead, she looked up, wondering if any other cultists would try their hand in taking her down?

@Topher @The Captain
 

Korsak Wulpez

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It was almost a shame that this was a close as these cultists would get to experiencing the full power of the Force, getting slaughtered to a man by their betters in this fetid locale. Perhaps Korsak at least would be able to salvage something of use from their crude altar or scribblings, as even the mad could have moments of (likely accidental) insight.

Alas, yet again, these cultists proved their lack of mettle to Korsak, with one of their number being thrown by the force of his assault while another, one of a trio of fools clinging to the master's side, opened fire on him. Korsak, being well versed in Form III, raised his saber and attempted to deflect the two bolts back at the vibrosword wielding cultists. His deflections were not precise, but unless the guards either avoided or intercepted the blasts with something, their time in this cult would be cut dramatically short. If they were able to survive the redirection, Korsak would repel them with a strong and sudden burst of telekinesis to keep the guards at bay.

He also made sure to carefully note a masked cultists and two lackeys backing away from the ritual site. A group of recalcitrant cultists could help Korsak unravel any useful information accidentally drudged up by the elder TiVarnus. Assuming they weren't cut down, he intended to bring them into his employ when this was over.


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