Nightfall, or so the time indicated on board the Covenant. The ship gently moved through the blackness of space, moving closer to Orian. A dark figure roamed the halls in silence, his face showing concern. He opened the door to the medical bay and as the doors whizzed open, the first sight he saw was a broken Sith on a bed. The sheets were wet with blood and the Dark Jedi’s eyes were pale and bloodied. Medical droids and Force using healers stood at the bed, while a few Dark Jedi were glancing from a distance.
“How is he doing?” Macron asked, joining the other Dark Jedi.
“He is stable for now, but it’s a close call. Personally I’d be surprised if he’d make it through the night.” Tyren said and he took his eyes back the Dark Jedi again.
“Any idea what happened to him?” The Consul asked as he moved a step closer to the Sith.
“None, but I can see he is fighting for his life, and losing it.” Devani answered, her presence was requested by Tyren as her force sensing abilities lie far beyond of normal Force users. “His life force is weakened, his connecting to the force severely severed. I cannot say how long it will take before he will be no more.”
Suddenly the Sith gasped for air, his eyelids widened, where supposed to be his eyes were now two bloodied sockets. He coughed an inhuman cough, blood poured out of his mouth when he tried to speak.
“Mi iâ….ir dúath….!” Was all he said before he collapsed again.
“How often has that happened?” Macron said and Tyren, his face stating concern, answered. “Every so often, we haven figured out what he is saying, it is some kind of alien language. Knowing my twin brother, probably Valheru.”
“That’s odd..” Devani said suddenly and both Macron as Tyren turned to her.
“I sense another presence, a tainted one. It is killing him from the inside, while the wounds damage the body. He cannot heal if both are out of focus.”
“Is there any way to help him?” Macron said as he turned his head back to Ylith.
“None. All we can do is hope he finds a way to return to us.” Was all Devani said, a hint of sadness in her voice.
Tyren walked to his brother and took his glance away from a second as the wounds were too gruesome. “Return to us brother. We need you.”
Approx. 50,000 years ago - Planet Shi,
The Valheru capital of Erundwyr flourished like always at the beginning of the Season of the Sun. The city was protected by large walls giving the city itself the shape of an oval. The city itself was located within a corner between two large mountains. And a large white tower was located between the two mountains. The Maintains were mostly artificial, as generations of Valheru worked to hollow them out to serve as ‘stables’ for their Dragons and to gain a strategic point of defense. From the top of both mountains, the Valheru had a clear sight of their surroundings and any incoming invaders would be sighted before they knew they were even close to the city.
The city itself was filled with people. Merchant stands were everywhere and performers danced and sung for a few coins. Elder men and women were entertaining the children with amazing stories of adventures and the legends of battle. This day was a day of festivity, to celebrate the return of the sun, and life.
Once a year, at the dawn of the Season of the Sun, the Festival of Life would be celebrated for a span of two weeks. The festival will begin by a large campfire at night, where the Sharan Heren, lord of the Valheru, would show his kindness to the people. Everyone could throw something old and useless into the fire and get enough gold to buy a new one from one of the merchants in town. It was a sacred tradition, upheld by the people and they wouldn’t even consider trying to abuse it.
After the Ritual of Renewal, as the starting of the Festival is often called, start the Days of Sun’s Blessing. Two weeks of festivities and to the time to prepare for coming season. A time for merchants to show their newest wears, for the young girls to participate in the rite of adulthood and for the young boys to enroll onto the army. Though nothing happened during the festival itself, the Festival was a great way to practice and ready themselves for the coming times.
Today was the sixth day of the Festival, the day where the boys were presented to the Shara Aran, the highest ranked in the Valheru Military. As the boys aligned, one boy stood out. While all the boys were dressed in their finest clothing, one of them wore nothing but a few rags, his face was smudged and his arms and legs had dried blood on them.
As the Shara Aran started to call their names, he finally came to the ragged boys name and his eyes widened slightly.
“Elariël?” The man said with a harsh tone and the ragged boy lifted his head.
“Yours to command, Shara Aran!” He shouted with pride, like the other boys did. His voice was sharp but firm, and hinted out that the boy might have more strength in him than the rags and his skinny stature gave away. The Shara Aran moved closer to him, grabbed his rags and looked with a face of disgust.
“Your Father is one of the best the army has ever seen, and you dare shame him by being like this?!”
The boy stood silently, his eyes shifting to his side, where some boys smirked in delight.
“You will need the power of the Dragons themselves to get through this initiation Boy. To the ring!” the Shara Aran shouted and all the boys walked in pace off the stage and to a clear part of the main city square, where poles were put up in a circle, bound together by ropes to create a ring. As a part of initiation towards the Valheru Army, the boys would need to fight each other. Each boy received a necklace from the Shara Aran. This necklace has a medallion on it. The boy who defeated the most and got most of the medallions through it, was to be leader of the group and so gets a head start within the army.
All the boys entered the ring and stood against the ropes while the Shara Aran explained the rules again, as was tradition each year.
The Shara Aran took a last glance at the ragged boy and lowered his voice as he passed him. “Draken, your fall will begin here. Mark my words.”
The Boy smirked, he knew well that his father was becoming more powerful by the day, and soon he would take the title of Shara Aran for himself. Draken took his glance to the other boys, all of them unaware of Draken’s plan. The ragged boy he was called, simply he didn’t want to be well dressed. He shook his head and turned into himself again, it was almost time and he needed his spirit as well as his body.
A loud sharp noise broke through the silence that seemed an eternity, and the boys all ran to each other. Chaos, disorder, these boys knew nothing. Draken watched as many boys were smacked to the ground, and others only ran around in circles. Suddenly one of the smaller boys ran towards him, in a glance of a second Draken analyzed the boy and struck accordingly. In one fast moment he dropped to the floor and kicked the boy’s legs right from under him, causing him to land on to the back of his head, knocking him out cold. Draken swiftly took the amulet and moved swiftly to the others. Eight were still standing, four were in a large pile smashing at each other randomly, and two others were in a duel while the last two walked towards Draken together.
“Give it up Elariël! You cannot win! Not in those rags!” One of the two shouted. Draken’s eyes shifted to their feet, they were dragging them, then to their legs, they were hindered by the heavy cloth used for their pants, and then to their shoulders, where large filling prevented them to lift their arms fully. Draken couldn’t help but to smirk, he knew that this would happen, he had been analyzing these battles each year since he was able to stand.
The boys both attacked at the same time and Draken jumped upwards onto a pole on the edge of the ring, then over the two boys, they tried to catch him but their arms wouldn’t go high enough because of the shoulder filling. With all his strength Draken threw a punch after he landed, the boy to the right wanted to evade but his baggy pants wouldn’t let him move fast enough, and got knocked out cold. The second boy tried to kick Draken, but again his outfit got in his way as the kick was misdirected and slammed into Draken’s shoulder instead of his head. Swiftly as he was, the ragged boy kicked his opponent in the stomach and finished it by landing his elbow into the back of his head.
Draken smiled as he gained two more amulets and placed them around his neck. Suddenly a cry behind him caught his attention. The four other boys finally stopped fighting. The largest boy of the group grinned as he held six medallions in his hand and placed them around his neck. The other five boys squirmed in pain on the ground, come bled while others were knocked out. The larger boy had ripped most of his ceremonial clothes off to remove the weaknesses Draken had so carefully observed over the years and by the looks of his width, he made a promise of strength beyond Draken’s.
The large boy ran towards Draken and started pounding into the ragged boy. Punch after punch after punch was delivered, blood started running from his nose and lip, his eye was slammed shut. Still, the ragged boy stood tall, like a pillar in the middle of the ocean, wave after wave beating onto him. The larger boy ran out of breath and when he hesitated only a little. Draken struck. A crushing blow was delivered onto the jaw of the large boy and Draken then use his agility to kick him in the stomach. In the end he finished it by throwing himself up and land with both feet onto the larger boy’s spine. Normally it would have broken it clean, but by carefully pinpointing where to hit, you can easily paralyze a victim temporarily, as did Draken.
Draken stood and he opened both his eyes, even though one was bloodied and swollen by the constant beating. He rose his hand, in it were the ten medallions, nine from the other boys and his own. The Shara Aran rose from his seat in total amazement and he applauds the young warrior for his triumph, as did the rest of the crowd. The ring was opened and various women entered it to tend to the beaten boys. Only the victor of Initiation, Draken, stepped out of the ring and moved to the Shara Aran, who was still on stage. Along the way his father stood at the side line, though his face was firm and emotionless, he did nod his head in his sons’ direction, showing his approval. In return, Draken bowed his head, showing respect to his father. The ragged boy walked onto the stage, where he kneeled before the Shara Aran.
“Draken-Korin Elariël! You have shown strength, cunning, and strategy in its purest form! You will become the squad leader, you will walk into the footsteps of your father before you, and I am positive you shall make him proud. Rise anew Draken, as Urshiël Tyv of the Valheru!”
“He is stable for now Consul, however, I doubt his body will be able to recover. It is badly damaged.” One of the Medical droids stated to Macron before he walked off again to tend to Ylith. Macrons eyes narrowed as his gaze returned to Ylith, who was now silent, the bleeding mostly stopped and his bodily functions were nearly able to function on their own again. The Consul was well aware of the strength the Valheru possessed, so the question lingered in his mind. What could possibly do this much damage on such a warrior?
Tyren turned to Devani. “Can you sense anything?”
“His connection to the Force is still heavily damaged. His will to live is almost none and there is something more. Something that has been practically invisible, but still lingering inside him. I feel anger, sadness, hope, defeat. A mixture of emotions clashing with each other every minute. This is beyond anything I have ever seen before.” She said, her voice barely showed emotion. Tyren returned his gaze to his brother and sat down eventually.
“All I know is that he left on an important mission two days ago. He didn’t tell me anything only that it was something he had to do and he may not come back alive.” Tyren said with a hint of anger in his voice. “Damn it why didn’t he take me with him?!”
“Sometimes one needs to be alone to accomplish something.” Devani said, again, no hint of emotion was traced in her voice.
“How can you say that! He is my brother! You are nothing but a-“
“That’s enough Tyren. – Macron interrupted – Ylith isn’t dead yet and so long as he isn’t, I wont give up on him. I need to attend to some business. In the meanwhile I will research my Alchemy notes to see if there is any way to heal his body. It’s a long shot but I may figure something out.” Macron walked over to Tyren and placed a hand onto his shoulder. Tyren nodded and Macron walked out of the medical bay.
Silence filled the room, only the sounds of the various machinery keeping the Sith alive were there. The body of the Sith still was beat up badly, even after the many hours of treatment the medical-droids preformed. Ylith’s left leg was amputated from the knee down, as the bones were shattered beyond repair, his synthetic arm most likely exploded due to damage and burned the left side of the Sith’s body. The right arm was burned on various places, some so severe that the tissue was blackened. His torso was covered in cuts and stabbing wounds and the left side of his head was severely burned, skin molten and fused together into a large disfigured wound. There was a horizontal cut on his face, running through his eyes, which left the Battlemaster blind. Tyren made a grimaced when he thought about the pain his brother must have felt.
“It is not that I do not feel for him you know.” Devani said, cutting through the silence. Tyren moved his head towards her. “I know, I am just sick of being powerless.”
“Being here with him is the best help we can offer at the moment. I just hope our Consul can find a way to regenerate his body.”
Tyren nodded and sighed as he took his gaze back to his brother. “I hope so too.”
The night was silent. Only the sounds of predators of night were to be heard. The sky was clouded and the moon was hidden in shadow. This was the perfect night for a surprise attack. Draken wasn’t worried, instead he was awaiting this attack. Five years had passed ever since the day of initiation, and Draken had shown to be quite the formidable leader. It was his idea to fool the Valkyri host by pointing them to the wrong direction. Using a large campfire and a few tents, it seemed that the Valheru were expecting nothing more than a good night sleep. However, they dug themselves into the base of a steep hill on the side facing the camp and covered it up. The hill would lie in their backs so when the Valkyri would attack they would run over the hill, their backs facing the front of the Valheru regiment. The perfect ambush.
Draken was in charge of a group of eight men. They called these tactical units ‘Amlug Azruth’, or ‘Dragon’s Whisper’ in native tongue. These small groups were trained for any environment and any situation and even though they enforce a strict line of command, some of Draken’s men doubted his plans.
“This is fools work Draken, you plan to strike from here, where they can easily slaughter us!”
“You will do exactly as ordered Rashur. My plan will work without flaw.”
“How can you be sure Draken, we are soldiers not mind readers.” One of the other soldiers said and suddenly a crack was heard above them and all went quiet. Draken made two hand signals to the larger men, who quietly drew their swords and moved to the front of the group.
A sudden shriek shredded the peaceful silence and about twenty Valkyri warrior ran over the hill towards the camp. One by one they jumped off the hill and formed up.
“Draken…they will find out soon.” One whispered and Draken smirked.
“Wait for it….”
“Damn it Draken this isn’t a game.”
“You will get us killed.”
“Would you shut up and wait?” Draken barely said it or a large Valkyri Estru slammed down on the ground right in front of them. He sniffed in the air, as if looking for something. Draken was well aware of the strength the Valkyri captains had, would he have uncovered his unit too soon, and the Estru would surely splatter half his group in one single strike.
“Forward!” Draken shouted and the two larger Valheru slammed through the camouflage while two smaller and faster men ran our and stabbed into the captain before he could even flinch. The eight Valheru all moved out of the hiding place and headed straight into combat. While one slammed his shield into a group of the birdlike species, the other would simply slash through anything not Valheru. Draken moved to the Valkyri Estru and kneeled down. He wasn’t dead yet, but would be within a few minutes. The large dark eyes of the Valkyri stared into Draken’s lizard like eyes, and for a moment they connected, before Draken drew his knife and planted it into the Estru’s throat.
The last of the Valkyri regiment was being killed and Draken moved to the last one, his gut was cut open and his entrails were over the ground, yet he lived enough to talk. Draken lets the creature know he is serious and almost knocks the Valkyri’s head almost clean off. Then the questioning begins and cries of pain would fill what remained of the night.
The next day Draken’s regiment had placed the bodies into one large heap and set them ablaze. Both a useful way to cover the Valheru attack as a direct insult to the Valkyri, whose religion states that bodies of fallen warriors should be buried face up, towards the sky where their ancestors would be. The interrogation went smooth, as the Valkyri soldier knew his life would be ended within minutes. It seemed that they were assigned originally as a scouting party, one that would clear the path of any Valheru who could discover what they were actually planning, a full scale assault against the Valheru capital of Erundwyr.
“We need to head for the city and inform the Shara Aran, there is no other way.” Draken said and his men gathered around him. “According to the Valkyri bastard we interrogated yesterday, a giant army will be here in two days. I will personally head for the city.”
“What can we do against such a host? A normal Valkyri army is ten-thousand of them minimum. This one is ten times their size!”
“I want Rashur and Aran to scout ahead and observe them, if they have weaknesses the City would like to know them when the time arrives. Dreshan and Rumar, you two will go to the nearby cities of Gradur and Grewen. We need to warn them for the coming host and evacuate the cities to hold at Erundwyr.”
The men nodded and all four went their way, in pairs to keep them going. Rashur and Aran moved to the south, where they would likely find the Valkyri host marching through the forests of Eruwa. A dense forest that separated the Valkyri nation with the Valheru lands. Dreshan and Rumar, would move to the East, where the two minor cities of Gradur and Grewen were. The cities were small and mostly inhabited by farmers and were right upon the open fields, easily surrounded and cut off from re-enforcements. In times of need they would fled to Erundwyr, where they would be safe.
Draken turned to his other four men. “Yren and Frenar, you two will see my father at Deadeye cliff, he will be there with the ‘Silivren Amlug’. We need the elite if we are to win this fight. Tell my father to issue pattern ‘Amlug Gar Duathe’. He will know what it means and will likely agree with me. Make haste my brothers, my father is hard to reach as it is.” The men nodded and moved out towards the west, where the cliff was located. The cliff was shallow and steep, a perfect training ground for dragon flight and most of the dragon riders were trained there.
“Reman and Archan, you two will follow me until the city outposts, there you two will help the guards to create a perimeter to slow the host down. They need to be prepared.”
“We are with you Draken, until the end.” Reman said and Archan nodded in agreement.
Draken smiled and moved out, two of his men following him, north towards the great city of the Valheru.
The doors whizzed open and a tall figure moved silently through. Devani turned her head slightly and Tyren rose and bowed.
“Seneschal, always an honor.” Tyren said and Devani bowed slightly. The Krath moved towards the two and turned her head to Ylith.
”How is he?” she calmly said and Tyren sighed.
“Not so good I am afraid, he is stable but he is not improving either. I am worried.”
“His connection to the Force is as damaged as his body is.” Devani added.
Sildrin moved towards the Battlemaster and her white eyes gazed onto him, though she was blind she could clearly see his wounds and pain. Tyren watched her as her face never moved a muscle, her behavior seemed cold and heartless, yet she remained absolutely silent, just looking at the Sith.
Devani turned her head to Sildrin and had to force herself to not gasp. Within the Seneschal was anger, turning into a storm of rage, it frightened her when she thought of what Sildrin could do if it was unleashed.
The Krath took a deep breath and turned her gaze to the Force inside of Ylith. There were two entities present within his body, both merging and separating again, like magnets pulling towards each other and then pushing away. There was also a great tear within his spirit itself, the severed Force connection Devani skillfully noted.
You have served me well Ylith, allow me to return the favor with this small gift…Sildrin thought and she placed her hand gently on his chest and whispered a chant. Her hand glowed slightly as she molded her own part of the Force and guided it into Ylith. Devani watched with interest at what happened and Tyren just silently watched the Kraths every move. The mind of the Battlemaster screamed out in agony as the severed force connection was partly restored by Sildrin. The Krath cruelly smirked as her inner eye sensed this agony.
The door whizzed open as the Seneschal removed her hand again. Macron smiled as he saw her.
“Sildrin! I didn’t expect to see you here.” Macron said and he smiled at her.
"Greetings, Macron Sadow", the Blind Dragon lightly bowed. Then her face started to grin and she hugged him. "Good to see you my former Quaestor."
“Likewise.” He said as he returned the hug.
"I see you are doing good as the Consul of Naga Sadow." Sildrin said and Macron turned to Ylith. “Yes, I do wish it was under better circumstances.”
“Indeed, who did this to him?”
“We don’t know, he was found like this a day ago, it is a miracle he even survived.” Macron said and then pressed a button on his data-pad.
“There is a way to save him, we need to take tissue from his body and use the Spaartii Cylinders to create a clone, and remove it’s body parts to attach to Ylith himself.”
“Wouldn’t the clone have a conscious of its own?” Tyren asked and Macron smiled.
“Not if we don’t insert one, so no it wont. After the treatment he can heal up inside the Bacta Tank and he’ll be alright, he will even have his own arm back instead of the synthetic replacement.”
“Any idea what is happening to him in his mind?” Macron then asked, glancing at both Devani and Sildrin.
“As far as I can see- Devani began –he is in some kind of dream state, either filled with nightmares or very powerful memories.”
“There is something else that strikes me as odd, I felt it when I restored some of his Force connections. There are two minds, I felt this before when he was under control of Draken, but somehow this is different.” The Seneschal noted and she sat down on a chair.
“How?” Tyren asked and Macron moved his eyes towards Ylith.
“It seems that it is combined into one large mesh and then torn apart again, I am not sure if it is still Ylith or Draken we are saving now.” Sildrin said and Devani nodded, noting it as well.
“Is there any way you can recall his memories, to show us what happened?” the Consul asked and Sildrin nodded slowly. “There is a way to do this, but it will ask a lot of my strength. I may be able to recall parts of his memories, but only one piece at a time.” She said and she rose from her seat and walked over to the wounded Sith. Fingers were placed on various points on his forehead and she closed her eyes. Suddenly Ylith’s muscles tightened as pain grabbed him, and Sildrin’s lips curled slightly, before she was gone into a trance, reliving Ylith’s last known moments.
There was no light in his quarters and Ylith simply stared to a darkened ceiling. He rose silently and moved to the window at the side, seeing nothing but a bunch of stars and the darkness of space itself. He wasn’t the same anymore ever since that fatal battle on board the Covenant, Draken’s spirit ripped apart from him so harshly it still hurts. As he saw the clock on his nightstand switch to the next day, he sighed. Suddenly the Sith held his hand over his chest and fell onto his knee in pain. With every wave of inhuman pain he felt his energy being drained. These pains were with him ever since the split, and continue to become more severe as time passes. The Valheru recomposed himself and took a long hot shower to calm his muscles and his mind.
He closed his eyes, hot water running over his body, drops rattling against the cold steel of his synthetic arm. His body was scarred everywhere, from the countless battles for either his peers or his own life. He had to smirk when he remembered himself as a Guardian, on his first mission to save the Phoenix Crest. He was still a Guardian back then, fighting alongside of Archean, one of his best friends in Clan Tarentum. He shook his head laughing at how many times they almost got killed together. He also took his mind to his training, to his Master Ciara. Although she went away on a long term mission before he was able to take the trials, she still built the foundation of who he became. Though his life with her as a Master was short, the memories were still with him.
Then his mind shifted to a more closer memory, his arrival at Clan Naga Sadow. It was a difficult time for him. He had made mistakes in his lifetime, some he would like to forget and call a bad dream. Most of the Clan, even most of the Brotherhood itself was wary of him, and when he joined House Ludo Kressh, there was only one who guided him back to normal. Sildrin Sadow was her name. The most powerful woman he had ever met. She welcomed him with open arms while others had forsaken him, she saw potential where others saw nothing. In eternal gratitude, Ylith pledged an ever loyal allegiance with her, in his mind, to serve as her guard when needed. With the absence of his true Master and with all Sildrin taught him, he unofficially calls her his Master.
He shook his head as the water stopped pouring out of the showerhead, grabbed a towel and got dressed. Suddenly another wave of pain shot trough his body, it self as if his skin burned from the inside. Ylith fell on both knees and tried to breath, but his lungs were paralyzed by the amount of pain running through his entire body. Something was terribly wrong, and suddenly images flashed in front of his eyes, a wall, something organic but not at the same time. He saw burned flesh and writings on the wall, written in blood.
‘Shi 28-5-16 ir dúath’
Taking one large gasp of air, the Sith regained his senses. He grabbed a chair and pulled himself onto it, sitting down and cleared his head and catched his breath. He quickly took a piece of paper and wrote down what he saw. When he finally got his breathing back to normal and his body from shaking, he took a glance at it again and knew he had to go to Shi, to meet up with this mysterious figure and see what was in store for him. He had only 3 days according to the date described in his vision, just enough time to make it to Shi with a normal shuttle.
The Battlemaster rose from his seat and shrouded himself within his outer robe as he left his quarters on his way to the docking bay.
The skies were lit in a bright yellow hue as the fires of war raged on throughout the night. It has been ten days since the large Valkyri host marched onto the city’s doorstep. Draken’s plan had worked for the better part of three days, the traps sprung everywhere and slowed the huge bird men army down, however, they passed every trap on the fourth day. The Valheru army fired arrow after arrow from behind a large barricade that lasted exactly two days before it was overrun and abandoned.
The only hope left was the Silivren Amlug, however, they haven’t arrived yet and no messenger could get out of the city alive enough to find them. Draken moved towards the Shara Aran, who was standing above the city gates on the city walls. He moved and then watched him. “My Lord, the Valkyri are getting closer now. The Barricades are broken and they are setting up to strike the city walls with ballistics. We will not last long against that, we need the riders.”
“I am well aware of the situation Elariël. We cannot send any new messenger. Chances are that they are either destroyed or have receiver no word of our peril. We need to launch a counter attack.” He said and he turned to Draken.
“You will lead this counter attack. But before you can do this you must see the Oracle.”
”The Oracle? Why? She is nothing but an old woman, what can she do against there hordes that have befallen upon us?” Draken said in disbelief but the Shara Aran smirked.
“You are too young to understand, go to her and all will be clear.” Was all he said before he dismissed the younger Valheru. Draken turned around and took one final glance onto the battlefield outside. Dawn was approaching, the attack of the Valkyri would soon begin, he had to hurry.
Draken ran through the deserted streets of the city. All the civilians were taken to the shelters inside the mountains and the streets were getting barricades to ensure that the Valkyri had the roughest time entering the city. Archers were places on every rooftop and wooden boards were placed from roof to roof, to ensure that the Archers could quickly escape and seal their path behind them should they be overrun. The city, built as one giant citadel, was ready for a full scale war.
The young commander moved towards a back alley at the west side of the city, this part of the city was always dark and was known to be the place where most beggars resided. Draken stopped in front of a small hut and knocked three times before the door cracked open slowly.
He entered carefully, the scent of incense crawled up his nostrils and made the air thicker than usual. He closed the door and moved towards the back of the hut, where an old woman sat at a table next to a dimly lit fireplace.
“I have been expecting you.”
“That’s what they all say.” Draken said and be sat down in front of the woman. She was dressed in a fine suede blue dress embroidered with golden thread. The dress was torn and dirty and seemed really old. Yet even Draken couldn’t escape to notice that the dress would have been worth a fortune in its day. She had long white hair and most of it covered her face. Her voice was young considering her age, and her tone as sweet as honey.
“You have a smart mouth boy, I doubt that is the reason that brings you here with me.” She said and her eye glanced at him and when she made eye contact he suddenly felt a cold shiver running through his body, his hands started shaking and his body began to sweat while feeling cold as ice.
“I see you have one fear and one desire, and a future that can hold the key to salvation. I can see why the Shara Aran sent you boy. But first, let me tell you your fears.”
Draken shuddered and he rose from his seat, dizziness taking his vision when he did.
”What are you doing to me?!” He shouted and he fell onto his knee and watched as the blurry image of the woman came closer.
“I am opening your mind Draken-Korin, you fear death, you fear it more than anything else in this world. You defy it to feel alive, yet you will always house your biggest fear.”
“Death has taken your mother when you were young.”
”You saw her die and couldn’t save her.”
”You watched her die Draken, you simply gave up on her because of you own fear.”
“You are weak Draken, a low life slave to your own fears and beliefs, you want to make your Father proud? How can he be proud as his own son cannot even fight death!”
“NO!” Draken shouted so hard his lungs burned and his throat felt torn. She was right and he knew it, he knew it all to well. His vision narrowed and he had to use his arms to keep him from falling flat onto the floor.
“Yes, I do fear death…” was all his said, his voice scorched.
“So you admit?” The woman said, her voice calm and soothing again.
“Yes, yes I do.”
“Then I present you this blade.” The Oracle said and Draken shook his head, his vision clearing as he saw a perfectly forged blade in the fragile hands of the woman.
“What is that?” Draken said as he slowly rose from the ground and eyed the weapon before him.
“This weapon is you key, a key to eternal life. It is your destiny to claim it, your destiny to hold onto it. Your destiny does not end in this lifetime, no, it will end far from that.” The woman said and when Draken took the sword by the hilt he suddenly felt all warmth drained out of him, and when it happened the blade itself caught flame, bluish flames engulfing the sword and his hand.
“The Sword has absorbed your spirit Draken, when you die, your spirit will live on inside this blade, and will take over anyone who wields it, ensuring eternal life.” The woman said and suddenly she placed her hand on his shoulder and gazed into his eyes.
“What I am about to tell you will change your destiny forever. It is a verse describing your destiny, your future.”
Forgotten memories of ages past,
Future holds no apple of kin.
Seen as the ultimate sin,
None of us shall last.
Young and forsaken,
Sought and taken.
One shall master your strength.
For time holds no pace,
On your dying race,
Not through the ultimate length.
One will take all,
Large and still small,
This cannot be undone,
When your dying day be,
You will too see,
Two of one kind shall be one.
The ice cold words of the Oracle still echoed through his mind and he stood tall, ready for war and to lead the counter attack against the Valkyri Host.
“I will take your words of wisdom Oracle and place them near my heart.” Draken said and the old woman smiled.
”Good, now go and make us proud boy.” Was all she said and Draken moved out of the hut towards the front gate. The sun was already above the horizon when he ran through the streets, and drums could be heard from over the large city walls. The attack has begun.
“Sildrin? Are you alright?” Macron said as the Seneschal shook her head.
“Yes, I am alright.” The Seneschal said as she shook her head slightly.
”You told us everything you saw, but suddenly you went silent.” Tyren said as he stood right behind Macron, who himself was helping Sildrin stand up.
“The second spirit..” Devani began and Sildrin nodded. “Yes, it interfered greatly. I managed to keep it at bay for quite some time until I flinched.” Sildrin added and she sat down on a chair for a moment to recover for a moment.
“While you were recovering his memories I had my lab assistants working on a clone. They improved growth so it will be at Ylith’s age in a few hours. Then the body parts needed to be replaced will be taken from the husk-clone and saved until Ylith is ready for transplant.” Macron said and Tyren nodded in acknowledgement.
“Those words, they flashed through his vision. The words ‘ir dúath’, what do they mean?”
Sildrin smirked as she rose from her seat and aimed her white eyes at Tyren. “The Darkness.”
“The Darkness?” Tyren frowned and Devani gazed at Ylith, who was lying peacefully, breathing steadily. While inside two spirits were fighting for supremacy, a battle not easily won. Sildrin followed Devani’s gaze and watched as the two spirits fought. Through their eyes it seemed like two large oceans were beating each other with waves of water. One engulfing the other and around.
Suddenly a minor officer walked into the medical bay and bowed before the Dark Jedi.
“Consul, we have found something that may be interesting. We believe it is…or was, the Valheru Sword of Darkness.”
“Bring it here.” Macron said and he turned back to Sildrin, who nodded and returned to Ylith and placed her fingers onto his forehead again, once more stricken with pain, Ylith allowed her into his last memories.
A carriage was rolled into the room and on it lay three pieces that once was the Valheru Sword of Darkness. Broken and scorched The bluish flames that gave the blade it’s legendary name extinguished.
The Shuttle slowed down and exited hyperspace, the sub-light engines roared as they grinded to a stop and the normal thrusters took over. The ship flew trough the thin curtain of the Emerald Veil, a weak spot in the curtain that hid away the planet Shi for centuries. Flying through any random point would severely damage the ship with radioactive materials powerful enough to eat its way through most shielding systems. However, when Ylith was still a Jedi Hunter, he found the eye of the needle that allowed him to make his first visit to the planet, and find the sword that changed his life drastically.
The shuttle made its way through the Planets atmosphere and rattled as it heated up. Then the rattle suddenly stopped and the shuttle simply glided through the air of the decimated planet. The ground was still scorched, though some places already had grass growing and wildlife return although minor. Shi would never be the same Ylith knew, but he also know that it was his task to ensure it would not be forgotten.
The shuttle landed on a flat barren plain and left as soon as Ylith was dropped off, by his own orders. He would have them keep an eye out for him and come for him when the time was needed. The shuttle pushed itself from the ground and upwards into the sky, the outer robes of the Battlemaster were wrapped around him as the flying of the shuttle pushed the air away causing massive winds.
Ylith moved to some ancient ruins. There were signs of a great wall not crumbled down, behind it were smaller ruins, looked like they were houses when they were in their prime. The doors and other wooden materials were all rotten or eaten away as a whole, leaving a stone carcass where once was a nice home. As Ylith moved through one of the street, he gazed through the homes to see them overgrown and withered. He moved onto a large square, with in the middle a circle being made by the stones inlaid into the street. It seemed like some kind of arena of sorts. On the northern side of the square was a piece of square higher than the rest, like a stage. He wondered with fascination what it would be used for. Suddenly the scent in incense crawled up his nostrils and Ylith glanced to his left, a shadow moved through the deserted homes. Ylith did not waste any time and ran towards it and stopped at an intersection. He glanced northwards towards two hills. They seemed so unnatural, as if they caved in. Ylith knew little of Valheru architecture and thought it was some kind of mining expedition.
Suddenly the scent caught with him again and he tried to pinpoint it’s source and moved west through the ruins. He stopped at a ruin of a small hut and he walked inside of it. Suddenly the scent of incense became heavy and strong and he turned around to see an old woman behind him.
”I have been expecting you Atema Ylith, please be seated.” The woman said, her voice soothing and calm.
“Who are you?” Ylith said as he was forced to sit down by the woman, the incense paralyzing him.
“I am but a friction of your imagination, the voice in your head, your conscience, your subconscious. Maybe…maybe…”
”My name is irrelevant Ylith, but many call me the Oracle.” The woman said with a smile and she gently moved her hand across his face.
“Are you the one of my vision?” Ylith said as he tried to keep his eyes from falling shut, he was tired and energy was drained from him by the second.
“No my dear, however, that is something I would like to discuss…” She said as she sat down in front of him. “I see you already met Draken-Korin?”
Ylith, too tired to speak, simply nodded in acknowledgement.
“He was the one who placed that image into your head, not me. I am no longer am one of the living, yet I am still here, to wait for the one who needed to hear his destiny, to explain his destiny. You were sent to me on this very day by faith itself.”
“What is my destiny?” Ylith mustered to say and the woman smirked.
“In time my dear child, in time you will know. He will soon be here, I have one more gift for you.” She said and she took a potion from one of her cupboards and emptied the liquid into a bowl. Then she added a powder and vapor was released into the air. Within second strength returned to the Battlemaster and he rose from his chair.
“When your dying day be,
You will too see,
Two of one kind shall be one.”
The words of the Oracle lingered in his mind and when he turned around to ask about it he found himself standing in ruins, the hut destroyed and only a few walls were left standing. The woman was gone and no sign of life was to be seen. Ylith shook his head and moved outside of the hut and saw as rays of sunlight landed into the city. The whole city was ruined, overgrown by what little plants there were left on the planet.
Suddenly Ylith fell onto the ground, stricken with pain in his chest, he coughed and spat out blood. He had little time and he knew this but he had to find out, he had to find out about what destiny held for him. Suddenly a large figure walked towards him as he rose from the ground. He unsheathed his Medusa Blade and took a step backwards.
“Do you remember me Ylith?” a crooked voice said and Ylith watched as one of the Vong was standing in front of him, in his hand the Valheru Sword of Darkness.
”Yes, isn’t it glorious? I am more powerful than every before, even more so than you pitiful Dark Jedi!” Draken said and he laughed a crooked laugh. Ylith eyes him and saw wounds everywhere, some fresh while others dried up hours ago. He was dressed in a black biosynthetic armor used by the Vong, and his eyes were white and skin burned and disfigured as was with most Vong.
“You did this to me?” Ylith said in rage and Draken smiled. “Yes, yes I did. You see, we have a symbiotic bond we two, whenever I am hurt, you are as well.”
“Then why have you brought me here? Why do you wish to face me?”
“Vengeance Ylith, you are weak, you made me weak with your petty beliefs and ignorant ways. The Vong have opened my eyes! It is they who will revive the Valheru, not you!” Draken said and he took a step closer to the Sith.
“Your spirit is tainted Draken! I can sense this! Stop this madness and join me once more! We can make this right together. Now that I am a pureblood we can revive the Valheru race once more!” Ylith said and Draken silenced him by slashing with his sword, leaving a trail of bluish flames. “Silence! I will kill you now, the old fashioned way, and when I am done with you, I shall lead the Vong into the heart of your petty Brotherhood and wipe you all out from existence!”
“Never!” Ylith shouted and with a roar he ran towards Draken and swung his sword at him.
Draken ducked as a sword whistled past over his head. He rose quickly and stabbed the Valkyri in front of him. The counter attack was launched a few hours ago and one hundred Valheru warrior fought for their lives in front of the main gate. Valheru Archers fired arrow after arrow at the enemy host to keep them at bay while the warriors fought against an army that outnumbered them fifty to one.
“Forward men! We need to hold the Valkyri at bay until the Silivren Amlug arrives! For our Fathers! Push on and fight!” Draken roared and the warriors around him roared in acknowledgement. They pushed on side by side, shield in one hand and sword in the other. The bluish flames left on every victim it would meet. The Valkyri flinched at the sight of the blade, that made Draken stand out.
Suddenly multiple monstrous roars echoed throughout the lands and Draken gazed up to see hundreds of dragonriders glide through the clouds searing down upon the Valkyri armies. Draken saw his father at the front, roaring some commands backwards taking a steep dive shortly after.
Suddenly Draken knew what was going to happen and turned around. “Men! Go back now!” The command was repeated by several other men and all the men in Drakens group stood against the city walls. Three Dragonriders seared low above the ground, the Dragons holding their talons out, wiping out three of the most forward lines of Valkyri, then fifty dragons landed in front of Drakens group, violently roaring and attacking Valkyri.
“Father!” Draken shouted and the commander of the Silivren Amlug turned his head.
”You are really lucky son, your messenger was picked up half dead by one of our scouts. How are we faring?”
“The attack has been raging for eleven days now, we tried the best we could with barricades, but they are just too many. We wouldn’t have lasted another day without the dragons.” Draken said and his father nodded.
“We need to evacuate the city, it is lost.” Drakens father said and Draken frowned. “No! We sacrificed so much! We can drive them back!”
”It is foolish Draken! The scouts already picked up another army to group with this one, nullifying the Valkyri you have slain! Even with the dragons we will die! I will give word to the Shara Aran. You stay here and lead the attack. We must have enough time to get the civilians on route to Erasiël, the capital city. Our messenger returned to us this morning to give word that the Valheru armies are amassing there to make a final stand!”
“As you command Father!” Draken shouted over the roars of dragons and his father nodded before his mighty dragon used its wings to push itself from the ground into the air.
Drakens eyes burned, fatigue gaining up on his body like a kick to the head. All he had fought for was lost, the city would fall and be destroyed by the Valkyri. He closed his eyes and shook his head in disbelief . How could he be so stupid, how could he be so powerless. Thoughts of anger, rage and sorrow flashed through his mind while he saw hundreds of dragons dive into the masses, scooping up Valkyri like they were fish in a river. He watched as all sound faded away and he saw the first ballistic round crash into the city wall, a thundering sound as the heavy pieces of wall fell onto the ground. He eyed his men next to him and then took a glance at his sword, the bluish flames wrapping themselves around the blade.
He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, then started running. He ran as fast he could towards the Valkyri host, roaring like a madman, both hands holding the Sword of Darkness. He ran past the dragons and his men followed him towards the giant enemy army. He slashed his sword into and Valkyri he could find and pushed his way forward into the army. He ducked as a Dragons talon seared overhead, taking out a few men in front of him before diving his sword into flesh one more. He saw how few of his men fell by Valkyri blades while Draken pushed on. This would be his last stand, he would die this battle but not in vain. Suddenly a cry of pain reached Drakens ear as the last of his men was slain. The Valheru erupted in a rage in the middle of a huge group of Valkyri warriors. He turned in a full circle, the bluish flames leaving a trail that caused the Valkyri to back up and then push themselves back at Draken, like water pushed aside. Draken pushed his blade into one behind him and took her head of another and broke his neck. He took one of the Valkyri blades into his left hand and used it to deflect other swords.
Suddenly Draken flinched as he felt cold sleet rip through his flesh, a large gaping cut was made on his back. He fell onto his knees but quickly rose to stab the one who caused it. He spun around once more, the Valkyri less frightened now that they saw his blood. A spear was lunged into his abdomen and blood started to pour from his mouth as the impact made him throw up. In a roar Draken used his sword to cut off the spear’s shaft and threw the Valkyri sword into someone’s head. His vision blurred and his strength was drained. He deflected one incoming blade and stabbed another before he felt a blade piercing him. He looked downwards to see a Valkyri blade exiting through his chest.
He fell into his knees, his head hung downwards and suddenly he could hear his fathers voice roaring. He looked up to see a silhouette of a Dragon coming closer and a soft thud and some shrieks as the Valkyri were slain. Suddenly he felt two powerful arms grabbing him and he gazed up to see his fathers face.
“My son…” He said trembling and Draken smirked. “I made…you proud…didn’t I father?”
“Yes son, yes you did.” His father said while more of the Silivren Amlug gathered, holding the Valkyri at bay.
“Take my blade, it is my own legacy, keep it at the capital…” Draken coughed, blood pouring our of his mouth and his lungs filling themselves up. “I am…proud to be…your son.” Draken said as all sound faded, and his vision turned black.
Draken laughed as he saw the Sith fall down onto the ground. Ylith’s left arm crackled as it was cut severely by the Vong’s blade.
“It is futile Ylith! You can not win, you just can’t!” Draken taunted and the Battlemaster grabbed his sword and moved towards Draken, slashing full blown attack, each of them parried and countered, leaving Ylith with cuts all over his body.
“Please Draken, I do not wish to harm you. You taught me so much. Together we can be more powerful than ever before. We could rebuilt all this and lay waste to any who opposes us!” Ylith pleaded but Draken laughed.
“And give up all this power? Never!” Draken said and he ran towards Ylith slamming his shoulder into his chest and slamming him into a brick wall.
Before Ylith could react in any way he saw how the Sword of Darkness was plunged into his synthetic arm, the bluish flames reacting to the power cells caused the arm to explode. The Sith was thrown from one wall into the other, the blast of the powercells burning the left half of his body completely. He shook his head, trying to stay conscious until he heard a rumble. He had been thrown again an unstable wall that started crumbling, clashing down on top of Ylith’s legs, sickening cracks could be heard as the stone pile crushed the Battlemaster’s legs.
The Vong moved towards the Valheru and he smirked as he saw the Sith lying in pain and suffering. Ylith tried to reach his sword but it was too far away. Draken took the sword and stabbed it into Ylith’s abdomen.
The Sith yelled in agony when Draken twisted the blade, causing his flesh to rip open further.
“I…will destroy you Draken…” Ylith said, coughing up blood. The Vong smirked and laughed in an inhuman way. Without saying a word Draken used his blade to strike at Ylith’s head, The Sith took his head back, avoiding his death. The tip of the blade carved it’s way through Ylith’s face, cutting through his eyes leaving nothing than a bloody pulp where once were his eyes.
Ylith flinched and twisted in fiendish pains and Draken lifted his blade once more. “And now your legacy will end.”
The Battlemaster grabbed his lightsaber swiftly and cut through the Sword of Darkness with a few simple movements of the wrist. Draken roared in anger when he saw his prized sword and key to immortality fallen apart. “Damn You!” He roared and he jumped onto Ylith, using his fists to beat Ylith further into the rubble.
Suddenly all went quiet, only the humming sound of a lightsaber were to be heard. Draken glanced at his abdomen to see it cut by Ylith’s saber. The Sith dropped his saber and grabbed Draken by the throat and whispered.
“When your dying day be,
You will too see,
Two of one kind shall be one.”
Draken roared and Ylith stabbed the Vong once more, to ensure it would die. Suddenly he felt another presence in his mind. And with fatigue and pain coming over him like a tidal wave, Ylith blackened out.
“So he killed Draken?” Tyren asked, looking questioning at Sildrin, who sat down again to recompose herself after watching the fight and enduring the same pain Ylith dealt with.
“No, he didn’t.” Sildrin said and she shook her head slightly, Macron gave her a glass of water. “He killed the Vong that corrupted Draken.” She took a sip of water and moved her head to Tyren. “He took Draken into his own mind, and by the looks of it, they are melting together.”
Macron glanced at Ylith’s vitals, who were getting stronger. “Remarkable story, and he endured all of this and still survived.” “-Barely” Tyren added and Macron nodded in acknowledgement.
Suddenly a whisper could be heard and Sildrin turned around to see what was going on, she saw that the two spirits who were raging inside of Ylith were now silent, and fused together slowly.
“Thank…you…Master…” Ylith said in a soft whisper and Sildrin smirked as she was the only one that heard it.
Macron moved to the console at the bedside and nodded. “This would be an excellent time for the operation. Nurse, prepare him at once!”
After several hours of surgery Ylith had regained his entire body back the way it was. Even his synthetic arm was replaced by a normal arm. His eyes were restored to him and the Sith spent several months locked away in a Bacta container. The memories of what happened to him, to Draken and to his new self flashed through his mind. His mind was fused with Draken’s mind now. No more two entities but one stronger entity. His destiny was complete and a new destiny was ready to be forged.