Ask Event The Eternal Return to Ruin

Darth Ceryx

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Ontotho, a world that seemed to be forever shrouded in a fog like haze that hung over the dense forest and mountainous landscape. If it wasn't for the miasma like fog that could turn the more treacherous regions into a perilous path, one wrong step and you could find yourself falling into the embrace of gravity to meet a gruesome end into the rocky crags that sat below the mountainous forest path. Yet whilst the fog concealed various pitfalls, it also concealed an ancient temple hidden within the forested depths. A Temple that had once lured and attracted the locals to venture to, hapless treasure seekers making their way into the fog ridden depths in the hope of finding a long lost relic to make their fortune from.

But from the currents of the Force that flowed around her, she could sense that the residual traces of the locals had waned in comparison to the last time she had set foot on this world. A slight grin curled at the edge of her lips, figuring that finally the locals had learned there was no reason for them to venture blindly into what they did not understand, whether it was through the rumours that the Sith had driven out the Jedi that had ventured to this temple - or simply the acceptance that of all those that ventured along this path, would never be seen again.

Stepping over the remains of the collapsed stone doors, and the debris of the shattered lintel that acted as a firm reminder of the events that had taken place during the last time she had ventured onto this world to assist Korsak, along with Alym in investigating the ruins. A venture that had shown promise on revealing a better understanding of the Force and it's historical perception by ancient long lost cultures - that was until the Jedi decided to make their presence known, yet despite the attempts to try and keep things amicable. The Jedi defaulted into their typical state of zealotry, escalating the encounter into full blown confrontation.

The sith's eyes narrowing as she lead Manuk through the strewn debris and rubble, her senses picking up on the scars left in the Force in the wake of the fight between the Sith and the Jedi, but it was more than just the wounds in the force that was evidence of the conflict, it was the abundance of carbon scoring on the surfaces from the channelled use of Force lighting, the crumbling state of the ancient stone work, and the melted pools of slag where lightsabres had cleaved through stone. A bitter smirk curling at the edge of the woman's lips as she reflected on that day - not because of the battle, but because it had reassured her of the Jedi's narrow minded bigotry towards any other Force user that didn't prescribe to their doctrine.

Enough time had since passed since the last time she or anyone had set foot in the temple's ruins, the dust had once again started to settle. A reminder that perhaps too long had passed, having to focus on and deal with matters closer to home on Bakura - her claimed role as Governor for the planet had taken up much of her time, tending to keeping up the façade of a public servant, so to manipulate the Government to allow for the influence of the Sith to strengthen it's roots and grasp on the world. So much so the blone had taken advantage of the seasonal recess in the planet's senate to return to the ruins, enlisting the aid of Manuk and of course extending an invite to the Amaran, Korsak - however she had yet to hear if he would be looking meet them here.

it was during the small hours outside of her duties within the planet's government, that the Sith had spent her free time within her private study, pouring over the various scriptures and the artefacts that she had previously collected the last time she had visited. Yet most of her research into the lost Zeffo culture came to nothing of any real significance within any of the historical texts that she had at her disposal. Hell even the probes for information submitted to the Obroa Skai archives yielded little result. Seeing little other option than to just simply return and venture further into the depths of the temple, hopefully this time unhindered by the Jedi.

"Be cautious, Manuk" Aylse advised, from behind her mask, as the metallic visage turned to look towards her blonde haired companion. "There were Force imbued automatons guarding the lower depths." she continued, pausing only as she came to a halt and her gaze moving down towards the ground to regard the charred remains of a fallen trespasser, reduced and rendered down to a pile of ash and blackened bone. "Though I suspect they would be the least of our problems, these walls are soaked in the darkside" she added before taking a deep breath to emphasis her point, savoring for the moment the dark chilling void of the darkness that lay ahead of them.

@Corbeau
@The Captain (if you fancy revisiting the Temple)
 
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Manuk Gagak

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Manuk knew little of the world. She’d done her research – as she invariably did – but found little more than what appeared to be a Traveller’s Guide entry. The planet was fog-shrouded world with forests and mesas.

The gas in the atmosphere caused a violet snow to fall, even in warmer regions; because of its low freezing point. This she found interesting, given the colour of her eyes. More interesting still was that the snow turned to a fog which filled the valleys and city streets and was poisonous to humans if too much was consumed. Maybe she had a lot in common with the snow?

There was some information on record about the Zeffo, a species whose Force-sensitive members worshipped the Life Wind and built Temples to its study. But there was just enough information to whet her appetite – which annoyed her significantly.

Her mentor had been here before, that much she knew, and so she hoped and expected to find out more as the mission progressed.

They’d arrived at the remains of the temple the Zeffo had apparently built. The shattered lintel a reminder that most Force-related scenes of interest had similarly been stripped of anything of value. At least, the ones Manuk visited had,

She kept close to Alyse, aware of the Force around her. It was not precisely broken, but she sensed something amiss – and resolved to ask her mentor about it at the first opportunity. She was growing in her capabilities, but she was not naïve enough to believe she knew it all – or even a fraction.

Then she spotted something – the stone cut in a way that must have been as the result of a saber. The fact her mentor did not react, suggested she was both correct – and that Alyse was not surprised.

Alys’s voice almost made Manuk jump, such had been the stretch of silence between them. She nodded her accord at the warning. And the use of the past tense confirmed her suspicions – Alyse had indeed been here before. But her return suggested this was not a wild-Bantha chase – clearly there was something worth returning for.

And – beyond the fissures she sensed in the Force, she was reassured by the undercurrent of the Dark side that permeated the area. Her eyes flashed sulphur as she drank in the power inherent in the structure – and she awaited further instruction.

@Topher @The Captain
 

Korsak Wulpez

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Ah, Ontotho, not many planets in the galaxy could drudge up such a mixture of fascination, frustration, and utter exasperation in Korsak. Something about being forced to play a helpless weakling, repeatedly slaughtering curious natives, and watching a duel with Jedi devolve into irreversible destruction drew the Amaran's ire, no matter how much he was also drawn in by the still unplumbed mysteries buried deep in the ruins.

Yet it was because of, or perhaps in spite of, this feeling that Korsak almost leapt at the opportunity to return to the Zeffo Temple on Ontotho alongside two old colleagues, Alys TiVarnus and her quiet companion Manuk. Of course, Korsak hadn't openly displayed his desire to return to the temple, he wasn't sure if the humans would let him live a display of ethusiasm down. No matter how much power or knowledge he amassed, he was small and fluffy, and when he got particularly excited his tail started to wag. No master of the eldritch arts should be caught with a wagging tail.

Korsak moved through the waist-high mist effortlessly, having walked this path so many times he could do so blindfolded even without the Force. Of course, with the Force, all he could feel radiating off the temple now was waves of dark, foreboding malice, some of which felt fresh while others were distinctly ancient and powerful. This temple was touched by the Darkside long before he or any other Sith arrived on Ontotho, and all the murders in the foyer likely hadn't helped matters.

The force of Darkness was so potent that Korsak didn't notice the presence of Alyse and Manuk until he crested the shattered remains of the front door and saw them already examining the entranceway. The sight of the ruined, roofless temple twisted in Korsak's stomach like knives, thinking of all the history and philosophy lost simply because a group of Jedi were feeling aggressive. Korsak wasn't the most devout acolyte of the Sith, but if this was how the Jedi approached subjects outside their dogma then he was less opposed to wiping their order from the galaxy.

"You should invest in a figurehead or body double." Korsak called to Alyse as he climbed down into the main building. "Ruling a world might bring power and influence to our glorious order, but suffering through paperwork and bureaucracy is beneath you."


@Topher @Corbeau
 

Darth Ceryx

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A light smirk curled at the edge of the Governors lips as Korsak made his presence known, advising that she should consider planting a figure head or a proxy to fill in her role on her homeworld. "Very much so, but having a grip on the beurocracy of governance does have its advantages. Various bills and contracts can be readily amended to favour the Order" she responded, after nodding to the Amaran. "It is the civil servants and bureaucrats that run planets, I'm more their figure head in reality" the blonde commented dryly. Before taking a step further away from the ruins and debris that lay where the epicentre of the fight against the Jedi occurred, moving towards the rear of the chamber that had remained un touched by the skirmish - fortunately the Sith's efforts had prevented the Jedi from penetrating any deeper into the Temple, leaving the secrets contained within yet to be explored and revealed.

Reaching into the folds of her robes, the blonde Sith fished out a weathered and aged leather bound journal, her fingers prying the pages open and flicking through the sheets of scrawled notes and sketches, until she got to the pages she had filled during her previous visit and her subsequent research afterwards. The blonde siths attention moved away from her fellow Sith, molding into a focused scouring of the notes and scriptures she had committed to paper.

Snapping the book shut, Alyse turned her attention to the rear wall, her free hand stretching up and with but a slight flick, an orb of fire sprang into life above the palm, the flickering Amber light illuminating the ancient markings and hirogliths etched into the black stone wall. "When we were here the last time before those dogmatic zealots shown up, there was a few markings that appeared to hold the greater significance" Aylse spoke as she moved her arm about to try and get sight of the move enshadowed markings. "Ah ha here" she added after a few moments of her attention seemingly drifting off back to the wall.

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"These symbols here are the most prominent, but thier meaning is not known. But they all appear to be interlinked with each over in some form" the blonde continued, before muttering to herself in thought. "They might be elements of nature, or the facets of the Force... " Alyse concluded before turning her attention back to Manuk and Korsak, offering them a questioning gaze "Any thoughts or theories?"
 

Manuk Gagak

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Manuk was – as ever- guarded. Yes she was with her mentor and a fellow Sith from a previous campaign, but none the less she kept her own counsel most of the time. This was in part because she felt she was still learning – and could find out more by listening and observing than talking and acting. And part of her felt an innate need to keep her abilities under wraps. Sure, neither Sith here would be likely to attack or betray her, but she saw a great advantage in being an unknown quantity. Yes, that might mean she would be underestimated – but she actually saw that as a good thing.

She hid a smile at Korsak’s opening remarks. She could not imagine Alyse filling in countless forms, and the thought of it was actually quite amusing.

But then, equally humorous was the thought that her mentor was little more than a figurehead. Manuk was sure Alyse was very much in control of the bureaucrats, regardless of what she said.

As the moved on, Manuk sensed a change. Not only visibly, but in the Force. Here, it felt…undisturbed. Perhaps that was not a true representation, but it is what she sensed.

Manuk’s interest piqued at the flourishing of the journal. Datapads were useful, but there was something about ancient scripts that really got to Manuk.

She turned her attention back to the rear wall and followed Alyse’s lead in examining the glyphs.

Manuk had many thoughts and quite a few theories, but as was her way, held back initially. Maybe she was in some way frightened of being wrong, of appearing foolish? It was possible, even the young Sith was prepared to admit it to herself. But she studied the markings and genuinely looked for something she could decipher.

Finally, before she could stop herself, she said out loud, “Fire, water, earth, and air.”

@Topher @The Captain
 

Korsak Wulpez

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Korsak couldn't imagine Lady TiVarnus did anything without a higher purpose and at least two contingencies, so it didn't surprise him that she saw taking an active hand in rulership as another strategy to control Bakura. And he didn't believe for a second that this powerful Sith was, in fact, the pretty public face of some anonymous cabal of Bakura datapad-pushers. Korsak knew Alyse wasn't a mindless Nerf, she was a Nexu, a predator.

"Then we'll try to make out explorations quick, before your shadowy puppet-masters burn Bakura down in your absence." He smirked a bit as he climbed down into the temple, before switching to a more curious look as he watched the senior Sith pull a withered journal from her robes. It was rare to see such an ancient, physical document outside a major galactic archive, and Korsak wondered if the item was her personal notes, a family heirloom, or something Alyse had found in her travels. In any case, he delighted to imagine what secrets might fill its pages or be written into its psychometric presence.

He didn't get much time to ponder the journal before Alyse began searching for some undamaged remnant of the temple infrastructure. He remembered what she was talking about, they had divided the group to further explore all areas of the first floor, and Korsak had decided to follow some ritual inscriptions indicating some type of path or pilgrimage. In the aftermath of the battle, he'd never stopped to cross reference with his fellow Sith about their discoveries.

"If I may?" Korsak was deeply pleased to find an undamaged tablet on the wall, and raised his organic hand to brush the structure. He became well versed in psychometry as a child and retained a talent for it well into his time with the Sith, and perhaps this power could unravel some of the mystery surrounding the tablet. The presence he felt was weak and tinged with darkness, but ancient and possessed of great wisdom. Despite the relative simplicity of the carving, it was created with the utmost reverence and care, intended as a learning aid for those coming to the temple.


"I believe you may both be right." Korsak pulled his hand from the wall and returned his mind to the present. "As I understand, the Zeffo had a unique perspective on the nature of the Force in the galaxy and its connection to natural phenomenon. This tablet likely represents fundamental forces or elements in relation to both the Zeffo people and the Force, but I don't have enough information to say what those relationships are."

@Topher @Corbeau
 
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