Krath Epis Laethan Ciarus squinted a little as he examined the strange orb in his hand. It was a perfect sphere of dark smoky quartz, and the namesake of the Dark Orb phyle which Laethan now commanded. A hint of the Dark Side seemed to be embedded deeply within it, carefully hidden from all but the most arduous scrutiny. "It is quite a weapon," someone whispered, placing a hand on the new Tetrarch's shoulder. "A mighty sword for the followers of Arcona." Laethan frowned and turned to face on of the old librarians.
"That's a strange way to describe it," the boy replied. The old man shrugged a little.
"Not my choice of words, I'm merely quoting a reference from the Book of Shadows. It is more a badge of office than anything else. Or a paperweight." The librarian grinned. "Not the most reverant way to treat our artifacts, but I'm sure they don't mind." Laethan returned the grin as the old man went back to shelving books.
"A mighty sword..." Laethan whispered as he resumed his examination.
"Rise, my apprentice," the powerful Jedi whispered, placing a fond hand on his shoulder. Little warmth reached the boy as he stood, however, for the Jedi before him had become a Master of the Dark Side some years before, when he was bound to the Brotherhood. "Rise and be worthy."
The boy tilted his head back, staring up at the man before him. "Be the adjudicator of my will in the Brotherhood. Know that you carry the strength of the Eclipse with you." He wiped a tear from the boy’s eye before sinking back into a throne of stone. "Depart. You shall be my gift to them. Be their wise teacher of days past, their sturdy shield in days to come, their mighty sword in days to follow." The child sniffled and inclined his head solemnly.
"As you wish, my Lord." The boy turned and marched away, his master’s eyes burning into the back of his neck.
"You send him to his grave," a shadowy figure whispered from behind the throne. "Are you certain that is wise? Isn't there another that we might send?" The seated Lord sipped from a golden goblet of sharp, fruity wine, lost in thought as the shadow faded.
"He knows." The Dark Lord sighed a little mournfully. "He also knows what happens if he should fail. Duty will see him through."
Laethan dripped some of his blood across the Orb, smearing it in with his thumb. "Awaken, sleeping sword, to guard and guide this fallen Clan. This path before me, I accept, restore the warrior and leave me bereft." The door to his room opened, and the Epis D'hak stepped inside, closely followed by Paladorion.
"So, you're a super-human clone of D'hak, possessed by D'hak?" The dark-skinned clone nodded as he caught sight of his former apprentice, Laethan.
"I told you it was simple..." the two Arconans came to a halt as they stared at the boy's naked body, marked in numerous places by cuts and bloody runes. A small pool of blood had leaked across the floor, a good deal more than what anyone would expect from a child. "Laethan?"
"D'hak." The boy nodded a greeting as the Orb began to shine with a silver light. The clone's eyes widened a little, and he ignited his violet lightsaber quickly.
"The Orb hasn't done that for a long time," D'hak hissed. "What manner of Jedi are you?"
"Chosen." Laethan locked eyes with his former master, and a depth of sorrow swept between them. "Thank you." D'hak frowned as Paladorion shouted out a cry of distress, calling for medical assistance. The Orb's light shifted, turning golden, then it seemed a wave of light penetrated the young boys chest. Just as suddenly as it had appeared, the light faded, and Laethan rose to his feet.
"During my time in Exar Kun, I was granted a brief vision of the future," Laethan explained. "That Clan studies the flows of time in intricate detail, and for a while I was privy to certain events that are coming." D'hak stepped forward carefully, putting away his lightsaber. "The Dark Orb is a prison of sorts, crafted by the Light Jedi. This you already know. But it is actually a tomb. Within lies a powerful Dark Jedi, Lord Denath, one of the apprentices of Lord Arcona himself."
"You're a Light Jedi?" D'hak asked, remembering the last time he had seen the Orb ignited.
"I was never a Jedi. Do you think a child would drink blood for no reason? It was borrowed power. This whole life was. I was raised for one purpose only." D'hak carefully removed the Dark Orb from Laethan's hands. "Only the mission matters." The boy sighed mournfully. "It is time." D'hak placed a hand on the boy's shoulder.
"Time for what?" D'hak asked. Laethan's eyes glazed over and he slumped forward. The clone caught the boy before he hit the floor and shook him quickly. "Laethan? Laethan!"
His blond hair suddenly darkened, transforming into a deep black, and the boy struggled free of D'hak's grasp. The two Epis' locked eyes, and a chill ran through the clone. He did not recognise the expression before him; there was a coldness and a depth that had not been there before, and a sinister hardness to his jaw that the boy rarely showed. The bloody runes congealed and crumbled, dry fragments of rusty red. The cuts across his body sealed and vanished in moments, and his muscles rippled beneath the skin. D'hak watched in mortification as his favoured apprentice was swept away in a tide of change, leaving only the shell of his body. The eleven-year-old raised a hand, inspecting it carefully as medical staff rushed inside. He spoke then, his voice a scaly rasp. "This will do."
We dont wanna know what youre doing with naked little boys Dhak
Sing if you're winning
"I appear to be leaking..." the boy whispered as he continued the examination of his hand.
"Laethan?" D'hak asked a little uncertainly. "...Denath?" The boy glared at D'hak with a look that could have leveled armies.
"Who are you that presumes to speak my name?" he demanded.
"A warrior of Arcona," the clone replied. "Who are you that presumes to slay my apprentice?" A look of confusion swept across Laethan's face.
"Ah, the sacrifice. I am Lord Denath, an apprentice and guardian of Master Arcona. Does he still live? Do we still reside in the Lyarna system?" D'hak shook his head, and the boy almost looked sad for a minute.
"What do you mean by sacrifice?" D'hak asked.
"This crystal," the boy began, snatching back the Dark Orb, "was crafted by the Light Jedi as a way to siphon Dark Side energy, to safely remove it from the world. It was originally intended to be used against Master Arcona, but I gave my life in his defence." The boy held up the Dark Orb. "Not only was my power drawn in, but my essence, my imprint as well. Arcona slew the Light Jedi that had conspired against him, and took the crystal for his own. Afterwards, we conferred, and I chose to remain within until a day dawned when I was truly needed." D'hak nodded slowly as he pieced things together. "The Order of the Eclipse was then established, to safeguard Arcona's legacy and one day reincarnate me in the body of a sacrifice. I had hoped for someone taller. Grieve not, Jedi, your favoured apprentice lives. I'll even release him if you can find him a new body." Laethan tossed the Orb back at the clone, who deftly caught it.
"What system are we in now?"
"Dajorra," Paladorion answered, stepping into the room properly. "The Brotherhood resides in the Antei system now." Denath raised an eyebrow at the Aedile. "I am the Aedile, Paladorion."
"Aedile? You speak as if you were an authority figure."
"Second in command of this planet," Paladorion explained. "Arconae Primus." Denath looked Paladorion up and down.
"Unusual name," was his only reply. "What disaster has befallen us?"
"Disaster?" Paladorion asked, his tone a little guarded.
"If I've been summoned, then some grave injury must have been dealt to us. Speak of it." The Aedile exchanged an uncertain glance with D'hak.
"Your arrival is more a coincidence," D'hak stepped in. "Our Clan is strong and vibrant, a mighty weapon to reckon with." Laethan frowned.
"If that was so, then I'd remain in the Orb. But if you don't wish to tip your hand, that is your business. I'll learn soon enough."
The boy sighed before continuing. "How long has it been since Arcona was slain?" D'hak shrugged a little vaguely. "Are we under the rule of Exar Kun?"
"Exar Kun?" Paladorion snorted. "They are a-"
"He," Laethan corrected. "He is a mighty Dark Jedi who sought to revive an ancient kingdom. Did he succeed? And where is Ulic, I expected him to greet me." The medical staff shuffled off in confusion as Paladorion and D'hak exchanged another glance.
"The Exar Kun?" Paladorion asked. Laethan nodded slowly.
"Yes, Ulic's master and teacher. Where is he?"
"He died over four thousand years," the Aedile exclaimed. Laethan's mouth dropped a little, but he quickly regained his composure.
"There is no sense of time within the Orb," he explained as he surveyed the room around him. "Four thousand years... I think I understand now. Our kingdom is in shambles. This Clan you speak of, is not even a memory of its once mighty power. Am I right?" The boy turned sharply, fixing Paladorion with his green eyes. The Aedile eventually nodded. Laethan sighed and went back to his survey. "What manner of temple is this?" he asked.
"This is actually part of the barracks used to house our Jedi," D'hak replied. "The temple is outside."
"My purpose was always to safeguard Arcona's followers. I was one of his first apprentices, and I rose quickly to power. I stayed on as a guardian, to keep Lyarna under our sway, not the Brotherhood's. That our kingdom is now lost is a great tragedy... I wish for us to be a kingdom again. Show me this temple. Explain to me the times we refuse to dominate, these days we sit and crawl like a newborn whelp."
"I'm sure D'hak will oblige there," Paladorion answered with a smile. The Aedile quickly turned and left.
D'hak examined his apprentice's murderer with a long, hard look. "Do you mean what you said, that you can bring Laethan back?" The boy nodded.
"The ritual requires a live sacrifice to take his place, but I know it well. Now, start from the beginning. How many systems do we rule?"
"Good morning Laethan," D'hak greeted the boy as he cradled a mug of coffee in one hand. The powerful Dark Jedi Master did not acknowledge his presence, staring intently at the Phyle War monument. Sunlight streamed down through the Corsuca crystal, casting a patch of violet across the stone floor. D'hak smirked as he recalled the monument; shortly after former Consul Vassan Rokir completed the temple, an internal struggle was held to see which Phyle would be the favoured denizens. It was an extremely narrow victory, but the efforts of D'hak turned the tide for the Dark Orb. "It is a monument to war," D'hak announced. "Finely crafted by the same architect who built-"
"You disturb my chain of thought," the boy interrupted. His voice had deepened overnight and taken on an echoing quality that made D'hak uneasy. More muscle also rippled underneath a shirt of white linen. "Your interruption is not appreciated." D'hak raised an eyebrow, sipping a mouthful of coffee.
"Did you sleep well?" the Epis asked.
"I am not tired," Laethan replied, his tone betraying some small confusion. "I have wandered all night, exploring the temple. This monument I find particularly pleasing to the eye. Who constructed it?"
"A former leader of the Clan, Vassan Rokir."
"His skills as an architect are most impressive. A pity this child's parents were more lacking." D'hak frowned at the last sentence, giving the boy a strange look as they moved towards the statue of Ulic Qel-Droma.
"I am leaking," the boy finally confessed. "This body cannot hold my true power. This space is too small to open my jaws. I once walked amongst the mighty, but now I stand at their feet. In a way I am glad Ulic is only a statue; if he saw me now he would crush me." He reluctantly looked up at the statue.
"Are you afraid that-"
"I know no fear," Laethan hissed.
"...do you believe," D'hak rephrased, "that your power has lessened?"
"If I am correct, then I should be an Epis like you within another day." D'hak sipped his coffee again as the pair of Dark Jedi silently admired the statue. "I do not trust my ability to protect Arcona's legacy as I once did."
"There are mighty warriors here," D'hak assured him. "Mejas Doto is a truly formidable Dark Jedi Master, and is very learned with the Force. Voranyen and Khobai are also quite powerful. Our Proconsul, Halcyon, possesses no small share of strength either."
"And what of you? That one you introduced me to last night - Strategos - he seemed more relaxed when you were in the room."
"I am a mighty warrior," D'hak admitted. "I was cloned from a fallen Arconan, and made stronger, faster and more durable. Physically speaking, I'm one of the strongest people in the Clan. But my strength in the Force was weak soon after my birth. My Force potential was carefully siphoned from my blood, but the imprint of the original still remained in the Force. I absorbed that imprint, and eventually was restored. Perhaps there is hope for you yet." Laethan nodded slowly.
"I wish to be alone for a while. You are excused." D'hak raised an eyebrow at the curt dismissal, but obeyed nonetheless. Once alone, the boy stepped forward, placing a hand on the statue. "The master has returned to teach his students... I only hope these lessons shall be enough."
"Denath!" D'hak shouted, running out of the temple complex. Several other Jedi followed him, some of whom Laethan recognised.
"What is this? I requested privacy!"
"We have been summoned to Selen. Come." Laethan nodded, falling in line with the rest of the House.
wow this is some damn good random storytelling....post in the writers corner and get a DSS
er i am starting to get worried by what i am reading here, u guys realy shud seek help