Order Of Defiance
This RO is written by Ronovi Tavisaen Tarentae of Tarentum and Shaz'air Taldrya of Taldryan. Both are of the Obelisk Order.
Funny how blood and sweat made for an interesting cocktail. The taste on the tongue was salty, metallic - like shoving a rusty blade into a shrieking open mouth. Yet it cooled the palate, chilled the throat. Liberated the mind. It was refreshing, to say the very least.
Ronovi fought in the shadow of Temple Boyna, its stone walls threatening to swallow her up as she clashed against the endless swarms of Sith like they were spiders attacking an anthill. And if the Quaestor of Tarentum was anything, she was not a soldier ant ready to be crushed under an iron-toed boot. The plasma blade of her saber sizzled in the frosty Anteian air, the hilt of a war sword hot in her gloved hand. She focused on the horizon. It was continually blotted out by crimson and black.
She loved being part of the final blockade. It was when the survivors stumbled toward the steps, exhaustion settling in like a heavy wind pushing against one's chest, that they were the most vulnerable. She had cut into several Sith already, dissected them, dismembered them until they resembled a macabre work of art. Many, she remembered, were probably her own. Their loss for defiance.
Groping for her flask, Ronovi let fiery whiskey burn into her veins. She coughed. Not too much, or she'd lose coordination. A little bit of inferno in her blood didn't hurt, though. She watched a Sith Journeyman claw his way toward the steps, half of his face torn open, his left ear missing. His grinding gyrations against the stone were of raw, bloody pain. He didn't see the bronze blade swooping toward him.
A viridian crescent got there first. The rookie screamed at his fall as the blade cut halfway into his chest, perhaps cursing inwardly for his ill fortune. He had been lucky enough to get this close, but now Ronovi spun around deftly, her blue eyepatch glowing in the harsh light of a fellow Quaestor's saber.
"Shaz'air Taldrya?" Her breath came out in short bursts, the engine in her throat revving brutally. "Where the Hell have you been?"
Shrugging one shoulder, the Miraluka's sightless eyes stared just over Ronovi's shoulder. "Thought I would offer some support."
Ronovi grinned. "That's kind of you."
Relations with Tarentum and Taldryan had improved drastically since the reformation of the Brotherhood, but she hadn't expected to be fighting alongside Shaz'air as an ally so soon. Gripping her saber tightly, her eyes glanced off the Taldrya as if he were a mirror reflecting her gaze. Out of her peripheral vision, she could see a red and purple saber blazing in the distance against another crimson foil. Two armored men in a dangerous choreography.
"Muz and Sarin have come to play."
Shaz'air nodded solemnly.
"Let them have fun at their game." Ronovi's empty hand zipped to her belt, unsheathing a blue blade as a small cluster of Sith hurtled toward the temple. "We've got ours."
The two Obelisks then threw themselves upon the offenders like wildcats on a stampeding herd, teeth exposed for the slaughter.
Banking forward Ronovi leaped over a small stone pillar that stood between her and two Sith Warrior, they’re crimson weapons gleaming against the red sky above them with sinister eminence. He blade fell swift and caught one of the warrior directly in the right shoulder, severing the limb directly off of his body. Rage filled his Sith-comrade and he too swung forward in a display of his swordsmanship.
The momentum from her opponent left her with little time to bring her saber back up to bear, a deep red beam floating toward her torso. Calmly and coolly she reached into her coat and pulled forth her Sapphire Blade, its blue hued blade catching the lightsaber on its edge sending small sparks of light to bounce off the two weapons. Without any further hesitation the Exarch spun around her target, lifting her saber hand high in the air as she did so, only to let it fall directly upon the Sith’s spine.
The blood curdling scream dulled into the open landscape before the Obelisk temple. Ronovi pulled her weapon from the flesh of her fallen opponent, her voice calling out to Taldryan’s Quaestor. “That’s two, Shaz’air.”
The sound of metal on metal aroused her senses, turning on her heel she found the Obelisk Centurion bashing aside a sith sword with his own sapphire blade, the sacramental weapon shattering the other weapon into three large shards. With a flash of speed Shaz’air reached forward and grabbed the dark Jedi before him with a clenched, armored fist, by the binding of his cloak and pulled him forward as he lunged the crown of his head forward. The head butt made a dulled thud noise as the Sith fell to the ground, Shaz’air lunging his weapon into the sternum of the Sith and then kicked him backward.
The Miraluka peered around the ground at the bodies beside his feet, and then lifted his armored fist to reveal 4 extended fingers, “That’s my fourth.”
The Tarenti made to say something further but was cut short as a warning tinged in the back of her mind, her hand flying upward she let the force flow through her limb and find its way toward the Prelate a dozen meters away. The blast of the force knocked Shaz’air backward off of his feet, his reactions too slow to intercept the blow as a red laser bolt sped past his feet. The Exarch quickly brought her weapon upward and caught another red bolt of energy on her lightsaber, battering it to the side.
“Taldrya… we have snipers on our six'.”
Her voice resounded an air of annoyance at the thought of the Sith’s petty war-tactics. The Prelate rolled off of his back and recovered his lightsaber that lay buried under one of the dead Sith, calling upon it through the force. It ignited mid-way in the air and fell into his gloved grasp. The Viridian bathed his blue armor with an added sense of excellence under the dark shadows of the sky.
With his other hand he sheathed his sacramental weapon and pulled a comm. device from a compartment on his belt, bringing it to his lips he called out, “Bravo C-1 to C-3, this is Ground-45, requesting return sniper fire. Repeat, requesting return sniper fire. Hold for co-ordinates.”
“Go ahead Ground-45.” Came the deep voice of the comm. administrator. With a quick motion Shaz’air turned the comm. device around and clicked a small button on the side, a thin green laser issuing from the end of it. He clicked another button and the man’s voice rang over once more.
“Ground-45, acknowledged. Return sniper fire will commence.” There was silence for a moment which was quickly interrupted, “Be advised Ground-45, there’s a large group of hostiles coming upon the South side of the Boyna Temple which is located directly to your right. Backup forces are advised. I have orders to supply you with additional troops, they will be on their way immediately.”
Dry landscape littered with the fallen. Skies ignited with red and blue. It was typical of Antei these days. Not a year went by without something ravaging this land like a sword ravaging a mangled corpse.
On the south side of Boyna, the horde was approaching. The boots of the Sith stampeded the cold earth, leaving trodden scars on the lips of the land. From above, the screams of ships could still be heard, fiery rain cascading down and turning to ash on soldiers' tongues. To the left of the storm of men, cultists; to the right, conscripted troops with heads raised up in a unified stare forward. They may as well have been Obelisk, foolish ground pounders - loyal like droids to the end.
Reaching for a flask of scotch, Scion Altera gazed upon the silhouette of the temple before him and his fellow Sith. It appear to sway under the mighty clash, as Dark Jedi swarmed like insects around its stony steps. The Aedile of Tarentum had not believed it would come to this - he much preferred to be back in Yridia, on the Magnus Kaerner with his feet planted on the bridge. Now he was back here, reluctantly, but knowing this was a cause he could join.
How much longer until the Obelisks exhaust themselves?
A pulse in the Force caused Scion to turn his head, and he strained his eyes to see his allies navigate the bruised battlefield. It appeared that the great Fist, Ma'ar was still on the battlefield, directing those Sith who remained with blood in their eyes and Hell in their chests. The older man imagined that Halcyon had gone after Muz, though he wondered if someone had gotten to the Grand Master first.
The Ferran Gate.
That would be the most secure area, but there would be holes to bypass, gaps in defense. Ma'ar had done his research - if they attacked from the flank, then the hold on the gate could be shattered like glass. The Sith were not easily fooled by the ways of the Obelisk. Scion's comm beeped loudly as the voice of his commander rattled in the static.
Scion's vision began to blur. In a strange dance, he lifted his saber from his belt, ignited the crimson blade as he saw the shadows of his enemies arise before him. He would taste ash in his mouth as he lunged forward, the crowd of Sith moving with him as they struck.
"Damn it, we have to take cover!" Ronovi snarled to Shaz'air as a shower of blaster fire streaked past them like meteors.
Scrambling to the nearest wall, Ronovi pressed her back flat against it, one knee down as she kept her lightsaber in front of her face. Shaz'air, however, didn't move. He remained standing in the line of fire, eyeing another Sith scurrying up the steps.
He responded with a blow to the Sith's neck, cutting away the tissue and exposing the bloated arteries beneath. The blood sizzled as it burned away, and the body crumpled to the ground in a huddled mass of cloth and ebony entrails. He nodded, shuffled to the wall, and stayed a few feet from where Ronovi knelt.
"Once our snipers respond, we'll reconnect with the administrator and see what the situation is with the south side," Ronovi panted, wiping beads of perspiration from her brow.
"We have the gate nearly secure," Shaz'air retorted. "They'll have to raise Hell to get to it."
"Well, maybe we need to raise Hell for them."
Shaz'air didn't reply, brandishing his saber in a large armored fist. What Ronovi was soon discovering was that the Taldrya did not speak much, and when he did, it was normally very serious. A man who did not trifle with useless words. Rising slowly, Ronovi let her Force senses do the work, as blaster bolts suddenly rocketed toward the troops still charging toward the steps in an endless chase for the temple.
"Looks like our snipers woke up."
Suddenly, the comm on Shaz'air's belt buzzed loudly, and when he clicked, the deep voice the two were used to was slightly shaken, though attempting to remain professional in the heart of war.
"Ground-45, update on the south side. Hostiles are gaining ground against our fortified troops. Additional troops are on the way, but may not make it in time."
"Bravo C-1 to C-3," Shaz'air replied. "How close are they to the gate?"
"Closer than we expected. Forces are dropping at an alarming pace. Breach is likely. Back-up troops are advised. Repeat."
Ronovi cursed loudly. This was not good. She had expected the men on the south to have already secured the area, but now extra work had to be done. Scanning the vicinity, she knew that even a couple of Obelisks suddenly moving to a different area could affect the hold her Order had on the steps. She looked at Shaz'air.
"We've got a choice here: Stay or head south and show those Sith bastards what we've got," she said. "What do you think?"
"Decisions, decisions," Shaz'air muttered...
The Battlemaster glared over the corpse of an equally matched Obelisk Prelate, blood smeared over his already bright red attire from the armor-clad Paladin lying lifelessly at his feet. With a soft kick, Scion shoved the body over the edge of the breach wall, his back towards the Ferran gate just meters behind.
They had done it… they had breached the Obelisk defenses… No… He had done it. All of the other Sith around him were only mere pawns in this, but he was the true hero of this siege – he was the one in the front. A dark smile creeped over his face, the even darker stains over his cloak waved in the wind as he raised his saber high in the air, it’s menacing glow protruding through the air like a beacon calling forth into the night. His mouth opened, not hesitating on what actions would follow.
The deep, screeching war cry resonated over the plains of Antei, throughout the ranks of the still-battling Sith and Obelisk. The hundreds of Sith scattered around the plains of the Boyna temple raised their voices with Tarentum’s Aedile in a violent display of supremacy in their supremacy.
Shaz’air stopped in mid pace, his hand rising to point towards the Ferran gate, his teeth glaring out into the distance in a display of anger. “No!”
“What is it?” Asked Ronovi, her boots pounding against the ground beneath her as she caught up with the other Quaestor.
“They’re breaking in!” He bellowed out. Ronovi understood instantly of what he was talking about. The dry and open acres lay wasted with bodies of blue and red clothed bodies. The everlasting swarm of grays from the cloaks and coats of Dark Jedi traversed upon the opening terrace of the temple.
The Prelate tore through the first Sith warrior with a quick stab to the abdominals with his lightsaber, the force pushing his opponent off of the blade. Ronovi took ahead of Shaz’air, her glowing weapon catching the attention of other Obelisk and Sith alike. Another loud bellow of growls came forth from the Ferran gate.
The Miraluka returned the gesture, raising both hands in the air he let the all of the oxygen out of his lungs in one forced, angry cry. Two Obelisks quickly broke from the fighting lines and stood beside the Quaestor, their armor similar to his own, their blue lightsabers gleaming. Shaz’air shot a meaningful glare at Ronovi, and then without any further hesitation bolted into the crowd, the two Obelisks besides him doing the same. Before just out of sight Ronovi spotted the Taldrya slash the leg of a Sith Battlemaster, the other two Obelisk hacking him to pieces as he fell.
This was too much. About an hour ago Ronovi had seen the Dark Council dueling on the horizon of a secure temple - now, the Obelisks' grip was slackening upon. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw two Elders zipping across the stony terrain to intercept the intruders - Korras and Kir, most likely, coming to the rescue. She brandished her saber at the swarm before her, all of them attempting to hack into the Ferran gate like it was iron to be cut.
She charged headlong into the mass. Heat separated the flesh around her, like a fire burning a heavy quilt until it was nothing but threads on stone. Ronovi leapt into the air, raising her fist and letting a vibroknuckler jump from its hidden spot on her glove. Down went the assaulted in a fountain of blood, as the Exarch's boot ground into the open wound and let the skull crack open like she were breaking apart the shell of a crustacean.
"All these years we've worked together," came a weary, familiar voice. "And you haven't changed a bit."
Ronovi raised her head from her crimson mosaic, staring into the eyes of Scion Altera. He stood only a few feet away, bodies crumpling before him from other blades but seeming to fall from his own presence. The Sith Battlemaster was wide open, purposely - Ronovi could sense that. Her Aedile wanted her to charge.
"Maybe it's a good thing I haven't changed," she said, her voice complementing her sneer. "Because you haven't learned."
Scion retorted with a warm, nearly genuine smile. "Is that what you think?"
"It's what I know."
The older man laughed, the laugh of a man who almost pitied the one before her. So much younger, so much more naive. He allowed the hilt of his saber to ignite, the fire only inches away from Ronovi's nose.
"Let's see who's the better educated one...Quaestor."
Ronovi reacted sharply, whipping her body away as the blade nearly landed between her eyes. She swung her saber from the side, a whiplash of bronze heat as it clashed with Scion's weapon. Ricochet and rebound. The two circled each other. The mob they were a part of seemed to melt away from their vision.
The Exarch lunged. The Battlemaster parried. It was clear that while Ronovi was more skilled as a fighter, Scion had a better grasp on the Force. He could react faster, maneuver faster, even when Ronovi herself was agile. He let his saber curve in a malicious thrust toward Ronovi's abdomen, and she was barely able to flick the blade away before it cut into her intestines. She spun to her Aedile's flank. She aimed for the thigh. Burnt flesh was a lovely smell.
Scion snarled in pain, though the wound was only superficial. He extended his fingers and let the Force sift through them, practically begging for his supposed superior to retaliate. The veins in Ronovi's neck bulged, and she knew Scion was attempting to choke her, to drain her dry of oxygen. How very Vader-ish, she thought, her already livid face changing color as she swung with her lightsaber and lashed out with her fist simultaneously.
The fist missed, though the blade was enough to release Scion's hold on her. Gasping for breath, the Exarch let out a strange guttural sound as she aimed for the Battlemaster's face again. This time, she succeeded. The crackling of cartilage beneath her gloved fist soothed her, though she was not hitting to kill. She had blades for that.
Scion recoiled, blood spurting from his crushed nose. Red rivulets stained his gray goatee until it was the color of rust, as his blazing eyes threatened to bore into Ronovi's psyche. The Force power of a Sith, against the brute strength of an Obelisk.
How deliciously appropriate.
"There's too many of them!" a younger Obelisk screamed before a Sith sword was launched into his exposed throat.
Shaz'air clenched his teeth. The gate was close to being forced open, something not even the Obelisk had expected. His viridian saber danced viciously as he dissected another Sith, slamming the back of the hilt into a Warrior's forehead when he attempted to ambush him. Both bodies dropped - both casualties made the Taldrya smile.
The Force carried him to his next target, his eyes blank as he swooped down upon the mob. Another hunk of meat waited to be carved, as he shoved an Equite into a stony wall, letting his saber rest against the pink skin.
"Thought you could get through, didn't you?" he snapped.
The Equite sputtered for air, though her eyes showed no fear. They were golden, typical of the "corrupted" Sith. "You could make this simpler for us, you know."
"Is that so?"
"Let us seize the temple," she snarled. "Give us the holocrons. That's all you need."
"And what makes you think there are any holocrons left for you?"
The Equite stared. "What?"
Shaz'air smiled cruelly. That was good enough for a last word.
The Miraluka placed a sprawled out hand over the Sith’s face and pulled it toward him. In one solid motion he bashed it against the wall with all of his strength. He did it again, and once more. Finally corrupt eyes of the Sith rolled back into her skull, Shaz’air then pointing the emitter end of his weapon at her chest and ignited the lightsaber with the force. A gasp of air leaked from the Sith’s mouth and he recalled his blade back into its hilt, shrugging the body onto the wall he turned away and focused on a new target.
Shaz’air let his presence flow throughout the battle, raw hate and anguish flooded his mind like waters breaking a dam wall and flooded an old dried up river bed. His thoughts immediately channeled it into power to focus and hone his skills; his training within the Disciplines always managed to pay off.
A volley of blaster shots rolled into existence in the Quaestors ears, a repeat of flashing light catching his attention to the right. Standing on a turret an Obelisk Templar was released a steady stream of blaster fire into the crowd just below him, his train of fire hitting both Sith and Obelisk. Shaz’air cursed under his breath and started in his direction. With one fluid motion the Prelate leaped onto the turret, grabbing the Templar by the collar he glared directly into his eyes.
“Your efforts are need elsewhere, Templar. Ferran’s gate must be kept intact, no matter the cost.” Shaz’air reached forward and then threw him over the edge of the turrets wall into the crowd of Dark Jedi below him. His senses roared with warning, but his reactions were too slow. A haughty laugh erupted from behind him followed by an excruciating pain in the back of his right calf as a silver blade buried itself in his leg, bringing him to one knee. The silver blade was ripped from his wound seconds later.
Shaz’air rolled over onto his back and ignited his Jedi weapon once more, his viridian weapon catching the swords return and cut it in half, the blunt end of the shard bouncing off of his armor with a clank. Standing a meter away was a Sith Journeymen, the insignia on his robe giving away that he was Jedi Hunter. The Taldrya reached his hand outward and relayed on his ally; the force, pulling the Sith towards him. Shrieks of anger and the tension of fear rippled through the force as his body was pulled directly onto the Obelisk’s lightsaber.
His lifeless fell forward towards the Taldrya, who quickly pushed him off as the cry of helplessness and agony from the Hunter caught the attention of unoccupied members of the Sith Order. A Sith Battlelord quickly brandishing his two lightsabers alongside another, less bosting Sith Battlemaster. It was clear who the master was in this duo. Shaz’air reached above his head until he caught the pommel of his Sapphire blade, reaching further down he grabbed the leather wrapped hilt, unsheathing it with an outstretched arm he brought it to bear. The green-silver glow of his lightsaber accented the marble-blue of his sacramental weapon. “Let’s put our Order’s strengths to the test, Sith.”
Ronovi kicked Scion in the shin with a dust covered boot, only to be forced in a step backward to parry an oncoming lightsaber attack.
Blood remained to dribble from the Siths broken nose, the fresh blood adding increasingly to the stains of dried blood across his face; none of which were his own, until now. The Aedile growled, his robes fluttering in protest to the harsh wind blowing up from the plains of Antei, a large black shadow stretching over his body from the temple in front of him. His body was growling in protest at each move he made – had been fighting for days, and this battle with his Quaestor was by far the extent of his abilities.
“Your foolish cult is failing you, Tavisaen. You can’t even protect your own holy ground. We will gain those secrets that are below the very ground we stand upon now…” He said, voice coolly controlled and reserved, something Scion was able to maintain amongst harsh situations.
“Oh yes, we know full well of what is below. Do you? Do you even know what lies beneath the very foundation of your beloved ‘Boyna?” He chuckled slightly, pushing the pain from his body away from his facial and vocal expressions.
Ronovi cursed out loud as she moved her front foot forward to get a better stance, her muscles screaming in protest. “That’s where your own ignorance comes into play, Scion. Knowing is not the entire battle, it is only part.”
The Sith caught his opponents blade with quick succession, his instincts triggering him to roll around the Exarch and catch an oncoming blow from her sapphire blade. He followed through with his plan and intercepted the blue weapon, followed by a duck as he dodged another lightsaber swing. He leaped forward and caught Ronovi’s sword hand, pushing it backward away from his body.
The Militarized Dark Jedi lifted her sapphire blade and lunged it forward, Scion side stepping and removing his grip over her wrist in time to miss the attack completely. Regaining his feet the Aedile lifted his hand, Ronovi intercepting his attack she pulled him towards her with the force, her anger channeling like water pouring through an open faucet. Immediately following her exertion she used her abilities to pull him towards her once more, and then with all of her might she flung both hands forward in a motion that followed through in the force.
Scion was thrown off of his feet, his back hitting the ground with a loud crack as his spine met with the large rocks half-embedded within the rocky terrain. Ronovi stifled her triumph as she quickly gained her ground on her opponent, lifting her sapphire blade she aimed for his throat. She stopped mid thrust – her senses running ramped as she felt the presence of one much greater than her around.
Her eyes left the Battlemaster at her feet to find the shadowy robes of the Dark Jedi Master pass her in an impressive push of incomparable speed. Korras’ two weapons were ignited, their red and blue beams carrying through the shadow of the temple in syncopated rhythm with his fast pace.
A small purple and blue light began to light up one side of the temple’s outer wall, the light growing faster and faster as if heavy flood lights were widening their angle on Boyna. Bolts of electricity began to fall from the wall. Ronovi’s vision of the dirt rising in wake of the Master At Arms was cut short – a flash of white light covered the plains of the Obelisks Black temple, followed by an enormous bellow as if caused by an explosion.
Shaz’air was knocked off of his feet. Any vision he had had been whipped out, that was something no explosive could do; only the force.
The white light was penetrating through his vision, his sight slowly reverting back he found himself still standing, hands bound by his side and eyes focus ahead of him of what he could only make out as moving silhouettes amongst himself and the temple.
“Sister, do not trifle, we need to act now before he emerges.”
The voice was familiar to Shaz’air, but he was not able to put a face to the sharp tone. His sight was quickly being replenished as if his was just opening them after awakening from a long sleep. No, he thought. There’s no possible way… how did they get inside!? His mind was running frantic for answers. His vision clearing up even more revealed a large gaping hole within 20 meters in diameter in the side of the Boyna temple.
Three purple clad Dark Jedi were moving along the entrance, each dragging along a squirming body of other Dark Jedi. Shaz’air quickly recognized all of the three Krath; the Herald of the Brotherhood and the Seneschal were not easily misplaced, nor was the Aedile of Revan, Ashia Keibatsu. The three placed their victims at the ground before the gaping hole, Shikyo reached out with both hands he pulled pieces of debris and piled them in front of their prisoners, piling up the pieces of the Obelisk temple into a small pile.
The black mass of Dark Jedi watching the force ritual was like thousands of status amongst an empty courtyard. All fighting had ceased. Blue and purple rolling bolts of electricity from the explosion still zoomed across the dirt and rock of Antei. Korras pushed the large sheet of stone off of his body and slowly limped to his feet. He leeched forward with the force, finding three well armed Jedi before him.
“Well, well, Korras. Looks like you did indeed reach your beloved temple. Perhaps a little too late, no?” The Herald chided out loud, the sound of two lightsabers igniting followed his voice.
Korras mimicked the sequence and ignited his weapons as well. “The Krath shall pay for their blasphemy in one way or another, Keibtasu. For now, I will do my best to begin the collection.” He leaped forward, clashing blades with the Dark Side Adept in front of him. Arion and Ashia made motion to move when another, familiar voice echoed through the makeshift entrance of the temple.
Muz’s coat billowed in the wind as he exited Ferrans domain, one hand clutching a lightsaber, the other holding a large, crystal-black, triangular object. “Ashia, Arion… prepare the bodies.” He said.
Korras’ eyed the object in Muz’s hands, anger streaking through his blood. Immediately he pushed aside Shikyo aside as if he were a mere child with one of his blades and then tore towards Muz, his weapons aiming directly at Muz’s chest.
The Grand Master lifted his own lightsaber, igniting it with a snap-hiss he caught both incoming blades in their x shaped attack. Muz made to throw the object in his hand, only to have it hover in midair. Korras’s eyes widened for a split second, Muz taking advantage of his misconception. With his free hand he rammed his fist forward into the stomach of the Brotherhood’s Master At Arms. The force used by the Grand Master blew a hole through the Dark Jedi Master’s back, Muz’s furry becoming unleashed upon his disobedient Councilor. The flesh and robes of the Obelisk Master fell amongst the ground behind him.
“The Holocron of Ferran is only for those who truly deserve it… you have spoken for your Order, in that you are not worthy of it.” Muz said aloud. With a swing of his amethyst blade he severed the Brotherhood’s Military leaders head from his shoulders.
“Lion of Tarthos, the altar is ready.” Ashia broke her silence as she motioned towards the two Sith and one Obelisk on their knees just before the small pile of rubles created by the Herald. Muz stepped forward, weapon blazing in the cool air, holocron hovering at waist level beside him.
“And now,” He said, staring at the Obelisk and Sith before him. “You too shall know my furry.”
The three Krath beside Muz each took a place behind one of the kneeling Dark Jedi – their eyes wide with anticipation of what was to commence. Muz moved the black pyramid in front of him and pulled out an object from his belt, a blazing orb of electricity. His mouth began to move, speaking in the tongue of the ancient Sith he chanted the sayings of the Krath. Pillars of clouds began to form around the Krath Lord, his face becoming strained and gaunt, his black eyes wide and all knowing.
Electricity began to run between the two objects. Immediately both the Sith and Obelisk on their knees began to scream at the top of their lungs. Vapors of all different colors and sizes leaped through air before the sacrificial Jedi. The other Krath beside Muz were chanting alongside their master, eyes closed and heads bowed with their hands outstretched over the three below them.
Muz continued to spew forth chants, each one being carefully spun with power from the dark side, the air around them becoming encased with thick, heavy darkness. Muz’s hands became raised, his voice becoming louder and louder. Finally, the Dark Jedi’s on their knees all arose, their bodies turning to black masses of energy. Muz lifted his ignited weapon, and with one motion swung his blade through them.
Shikyo stood motionless besides the Grand Master, his face charred with smoke. “Lord-“ he stopped, voice shaky with unquestionable confusion, “Muz. What have you done!?”
Muz glanced over his shoulder at the Herald. “What was necessary for our Brotherhood, Adept. Don’t forget that.
Silence upon scarred territory. The ruins of towers, of strongholds and keeps. The air was cold. It would always be cold. It would always be the embrace of somber death.
In the shadow of a temple's skeleton, the Tarentum Quaestor stirred. A bloodied forehead leaked life fluids into an irritated eye, coating the world in more red than there already was. Boots scraped against charred earth, breaking off pieces like breaking off burnt skin and bone. Hands groped for sanctuary. They found none.
Ronovi raised her head to view the cemetery in front of her. Bodies were piled upon one another in huddled masses, robes covering their ruined faces, their bulging eyes. Limbs lay scattered, though not from a blade. They appeared torn off, as if by a large beast - the bones lay splintered in the open wounds of tattered flesh. As far as the human eye could see, there were dead warriors. Nothing but dead warriors.
The Exarch choked. Bile rushed fiercely up to meet her lips, splattering onto the battered ground. She fought to keep her balance as she stood, but her leg shook beneath her, screaming in protest. Probably a broken femur. Her left arm was immobilized against her side. Her lightsaber was nowhere to be found.
She could not walk. Ronovi dropped to her stomach again, face stained with bodily fluids, her one organic eye straining to see. Her eyepatch was shattered, useless, as she crawled across the landscape, jolts of pain keeping her awake and alive and in terrible agony. Her body was broken, only held together by some strange force of will from her shattered bone and torn muscles. It was as if her exterior skin fused an inner mess of destroyed organs, keeping her away from Oblivion and making her curse all the while for it.
As she dragged herself through ash and rock, she heard audible movement. To her side, someone was stirring, someone alive. The gashed face of Shaz'air emerged from a pile of dead Sith. His right hand was mangled as if by a beast's teeth. The Force allowed him to recognize her, as his words came out in swollen, choked spurts.
"Shaz'air." Ronovi coughed loudly, letting her stomach flatten against the ground. "What happened? Who did this to us?"
The Taldrya did not have to answer. Shadows soon danced before the two survivors. Boots and purple and black robes and sabers still alight. They moved quickly, inspecting the area. Looking for others to destroy.
Ronovi craned her neck to see the culprits. Soon, the memories she once thought she did not have were rushing into her psyche. A Holocron. A ritual. An attempt by the great Obelisk Commanders to seize the day. Then...fire. Nothing but white-hot fire and electricity.
Something had killed them. And that something was the Grand Master.
Muz stood amongst the carnage silently, stoically, wordlessly. Shikyo and Ashia circled him with equal calm and assumed tranquility, their eyes downcast. Ronovi expected to sense shame. She sensed nothing, not until the rage brewed up within her like hot alcohol and threatened to spill from her.
"Ronovi," Shaz'air hissed. "Be careful. They could..."
He was silenced shortly afterward. A saber hilt to the head, directly into the brow. His stare lingered for a minute longer as Shikyo withdrew his saber, allowing a circle of blood to form around the wound. The Miraluka's last breath before slipping into unconsciousness was a laugh, as Shikyo stooped to pick up the body.
Muz's words startled Ronovi. They did not seem to come from him, but from everywhere around her. The Grand Master eyed Shikyo wearily, his long hair in wet straggles about his color. The Lion of Tarthos had tired himself. Ashia flanked him, face blank.
"Are you sure?" Shikyo muttered. "To leave anyone alive..."
"I already had to make a sacrifice," Muz said. "I'm not eager for another one."
This was enough for Ronovi. She roared loudly, her voice shaking in her throat after ripping its way out of her chest. And a roar was what it was. Not a scream, not a yell - simply a deep, angry rumble that threatened to shake the earth beneath them.
All six eyes were on her. She didn't care. She strained to stand again, but the pain in her legs stopped her. Stretching her jaw had ripped open a fresh wound, blood cascading down her cheek from an unexpected cut across her skin. Her fists were clenched against the ground, wanting to pound it, wanting to punch a hole into it and drop to the core.
Ronovi let her eyes fall on Muz. Her voice escaped in another fit of rage.
What did you do to us?!
The reply was merely the echo of her own question. No answer. For as she had spoken, the three had vanished as if into thin air. Nothing but silence. Nothing but dead and dying again. Ronovi let her head drop. It rested on scarred territory, and she allowed the cold to envelope her. Nothing but familiar cold.
She laughed herself to sleep. A sleep that would perhaps lead to dreams, and finally, to death.
So much for the glory of the Obelisks.
A great war leaves the country with three armies - an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves.
- German Proverb