This is a run-on for Dralin, Telona, Apollo, and Scion, chronicling the events leading up to Dralin's Knighthood.
In the weeks following the apparent death of Dark Adept Telona Murrage, the assassin known as Dralin Fortea drew in on himself. Being the last apprentice of the powerful Death Dealer, Dralin knew pain at the news of her demise. While the rest of the Clan engaged with the Crystal Spirits, the Jedi Hunter remained behind on Sword's Sheath, brooding over his fate. It would be days into his isolation that he decided to pick up his master's final task for him, to search for a green crystal hidden on Korriban.
After the harrowing encounter with the wraith-beings on Korriban that eventually led to his discovery of the strange, green crystal that held some connection to Tarentum's own necromantic powers, Dralin used the crystal in the construction of his lightsaber
, which he refers to as "Wraithblade". He knew a strange being lived inside the crystal, a being of such enormity that his mind could not grasp it. After losing everyone important to him, Dralin drew comfort from the being, giving it a motherly identity, though he knew that this was most likely just his rationalization of the being, lest he be driven mad by the scope of the being's existence. The crystal tugged at his very consciousness, however. While on Korriban, his mind retreated into the crystal when the wraith-beings attacked him, nearly rendering him insane in the process. While he knew it was dangerous, Dralin's natural curiosity always left him wondering about the crystal, wanting him to push the limits of the unknown.
When the rest of the House returned to Sword's Sheath, they found Dralin in a coma, his lightsaber clutched in his hand.
Come back to me.
Dralin's head stirred at the sound of a familiar voice.
Come back from your abyss.
He had to be dreaming. She was dead. His master was dead. He wondered if he was dead too as everything was like a dark, swirling ocean.
Wake up Dralin. I command this of you.
Dralin hesitated in his darkness. There was a compelling calm here that called for him to stay. Another voice, different from his masters, whispered promises of secrets revealed if he sank lower into the ocean. Was this the presence inside the crystal? Dralin wanted to know more but just as he started to give in icy hands wrapped around him and violently pulled him upwards.
Their journey over, Apollo returned to the Swords Sheath along with the rest of the House. Almost immediately he felt a welcoming presence wash over him. He instinctively followed it until he came upon the medical room Dralin was laying in. There beside his bed was Telona and one of the Hississ she had brought to the House during a mission. The woman's eyes were closed in concentration and Apollo knew he shouldn't disturb her but the sight of his old friend back from the dead overwhelmed him. He had to embrace her, to tell her how it felt to see her again but he was denied. The Dark Side Dragon reared up to block the way.
Apollo frowned as the creature hissed at him. He drew his lightsaber but another hiss filled the room before the blade sprang to life. The Dragon backed away as Telona got to her feet. Her brilliant green eyes fell upon the man.
"I will need to stay here to bring him out. No one is to disturb me until I come out. It may take a few days. You all may watch from the window. We will talk soon my friend."
Apollo looked to Dralin, clutching his lightsaber so tightly his knuckles were white and then back to the woman. He nodded and left the room. Others stopped by later that day to take a peek in. All they saw were those white knuckles.
Laughter danced about Dralin as he reclined in his chair, taking a sip of the cool drink provided to him by one of his many able servants. The weather was moderately warm; not enough to seek shade immediately, but enough to make him desire a cold drink.
"See to it that the Dynasts meet me here in one hour," Dralin instructed in the off-handed manner he'd acquired since becoming the ruler of Wayland. "Remind them that the matter of the greater autonomy of the Noghri Clans still hangs in the balance."
"Yes, my lord," the Noghri bodyguard replied before slinking off into darkness.
Now that's odd, Dralin thought to himself. We're on the beach. There is no darkness on the beach. There is no shade here.
As suddenly as the realization hit him, Dralin was locked back into the abyss.
Damn! his mind cried out in frustration. Once again, he had created an alternate timeline in his head, as has happened every time he thought of escape.
Dralin, calm yourself, Dreav whispered, her voice barely audible to his naturally sharp senses. His twin was not as strong here as she was normally.
An effect of the crystal? This means I can't use the Force properly in here.
Suddenly, he felt a disturbance in the abyss. Like a ship's sensors detecting an objecting dropping into realspace from hyperspace, Dralin could feel the strange presence approach- if approach was what one did in this strange abyss. Without a reference point, Dralin couldn't tell if it came from a certain direction, or if it just appeared.
"I see you are still here. You don't will yourself out, which means you have a reason to stay."
"I have no reason to stay!" Dralin's mind tried to reason. "There is nothing for me here!"
"The only reason anyone stays is if they have a reason, deathling. Perhaps you simply lack a reason to leave?"
If one's mind could be said to grimace, Dralin's did just then.
"I have seen many things I would prefer not to. I've lost many I did not need to..." Determined not to give himself over to introspection completely in the darkness, as that usually led to the hallucinations, Dralin decided to change the subject. "What are you doing here? You said yourself that everyone has a reason to be here. Does it have something to do with those wraiths? Or does the crystal have some special tie to necromancy?"
A deep feeling of amusement washed over Dralin; he was certain that he was not the source of it.
"What makes you so sure that the crystal is what has ties to either?"
Apollo gazed through the large window of the MedBay. The large room cold and empty save for Telona, Dralin and the dirty Hississ beside his long lost friend. His eyes darting constantly between Dralin and Telona, looking for any sign of improvement on the young Jedi Hunter and looking for any signs of trouble from Telona. His heart and his head filled with so many different emotions, he found it much easier to remain completely numb as best he could. The only emotion he dared to show was from his eyes, remaining ever vigilant of those within the room infront of him. He knew he would have to sleep or eat eventually, but not now. Not with his mind so cluttered as it was. No, there was only one whom he could speak of such things with. But until half an hour ago, she had been thought dead.
It was with great care that Scion approached Apollo, easing up on his right side and being ever mindful of his every step. The newly minted Dark Jedi Knight looked at his old friend, then into the MedBay. He knew why his former Master was standing this particular watch.
"How is Dralin?" Scion finall asked.
"No change." Apollo said quietly.
Apollo glanced at him before returning his attention to those beyond the glass.
"The same." he finally answered.
"Others are worried for them." Scion said softly.
"Tell them he will pull through. He is strong in the Force. And he couldn't have anyone better by his side." Apollo said before turning to Scion fully.
"I know she won't touch it, but have the kitchen send down a sandwhich and some caf for Telona. She needs her energy." Apollo nodded towards the doors. "And have a 2-1B droid deliver it as to not disturb her concentration."
Scion bowed slightly and withdrew. Once he was out of sight, Apollo turned towards the window once again, muttering.
"Come on you two. I need you both." Apollo opened slightly up to the Force just barely showing reasurance to his friends. Hopefully, they will know help is near if needed. But he knew all he can do is sit, watch, and wait.
The dark swirling ocean was all Telona could see in Dralin's mind. She continued speaking her commands but all she got in return was silence. The presence in the crystal was stronger than she had been told. Had she known it was this strong she would have waited until he was much stronger in the Force before sending him after it. She blamed herself for what was happening now but was resolute in helping him as best as she could. She pushed deeper and nearly caught sight of Dralin when the Hississ beside her erupted in spats of anger.
The woman looked up to see a droid silently placing something to eat and drink beside her. She turned to the dragon and hissed a command to it. The creature calmed down with a grumble. Telona then turned to the window. Apollo sat there stoned faced but full of emotion. She gave him a weak smile to assure him, took a swallow of the caf, and returned to her work.
The dark ocean returned but this time she could hear her apprentice talking. It was a good sign that he was becoming aware of his situation. She once again pushed deep into his mind. It was her hope that he would at least recognize her icy presence and be uplifted.
Sitting on a chair in the void, Dralin regarded the figure before him. The presence within the crystal, always unfathomable to his mind, took on a form to better facilitate conversation, and now appeared to be a sentient Hississ. While it was nearly impossible to keep track of time in the void, it seemed that something was trying to catch his attention for at least during the current conversation he was having.
"What are you doing? There is nothing out there, so stop looking," the presence told him.
In a distracted voice, Dralin replied, "No...I think there is something. Something very familiar, too..."
Casting out with his senses, he felt a glimmer of a familiar, icy presence, one that he never thought he would feel again.
The wave of recognition spurred Telona to push harder. It was her belief that if her apprentice could be convinced she was alive, he would gain command of his situation. Her hand reached out to Dralin.
Apollo watched as his old friend placed a hand on the young man's arm. Dralin physically twitched. It was an encouraging sight that a passerby caught a glimpse of. Off they rushed to tell others. The Quaestor paid them no mind as he leaned forward. He wondered just how quickly someone could come out of a coma.
The command echoed more strongly through Dralin's mind this time. He started to but the presence inside the crystal kept a tight hold on him. Its depths threatened him once more. He would sink into nothingness if he didn't fight. His sister came to mind. He could almost hear her voice whisper in his ear and feel her warm touch.
What are you doing? There is nothing out there, so stop looking.
Now he was in pure revolt against the presence. He knew there was something out there and he was going to it. His sister, who would always be part of him, and his master who had taught him so much were out there waiting for him to return.
The void, which previously resembled a galaxy without stars, was now an inky sea attempting to smother Dralin. As if reacting to some outside influence, the airy dimension within the crystal solidified into sludge, making the assassin feel as if he were trapped in quicksand.
The reverberation of the word bounced off the inside of Dralin's skull, gaining strength with every iteration.
Telona is out there! Dralin thought to himself.
Enraged at the crystal's attempt to keep him from his master, the Death Dealer drew upon the deathly bond with his sister, that synergy with the dark side that always existed for Dralin. The blackness of the void amplified the darkness of the fell energy the Jedi Hunter drew upon, adding to his strength, causing a wild surge in his usual ability.
A bubble began to form around Dralin, expanding slowly but inexorably outward, pushing the void away from him, freeing him from its choking presence. Exulted in his current level of power, Dralin snarled in an animalistic rage, daring the void to push back. With a curious popping sensation, the bubble burst, and the void disappeared, and with it, Dralin's surge of power.
With a ragged gasp, the Jedi Hunter opened his eyes to a medical room, occupied by himself, two Hississ, and his master, Telona Murrage.
Apollo's eyes widdened ever so slightly at the sight of Dralin waking so quickly from his coma. He drew a slow, cold breath of air in relief. He had been worried about what would happen if Telona was not sucessful. Dralin was an important part of his House and also a good leader. He will be needed in the near future.
"He's awake!" gasped a stunned onlooker beside Apollo. The young woman quickly ran off to relay the news to anyone she could find.
A small smirk appeared at his lips. He had no doubt that the news of this amazing event would quickly spread through out all of Gladius within minutes. It never ceases to amaze how much a group of Dark Jedi resemble a teenager's finishing school when gossip is involved.
Opening himself up to the Force and gave Dralin a small nudge. He let a flood of reasurance wash over Dralin hoping to convey that he is safe, and among friends.
His eyes then moved to Telona. Again, he opened himself up to the Force and flooded her with thanks and gratitude. He then smiled at the woman who's defenition to him was in a constant state of change. But one thing he did know is that he had missed her so much that it had hurt deep within his very being the same as it did when he had lost his father so many years ago. But now, she was back and sitting no more than fifteen feet infront of him, tending to Dralin to her best ability which ment he was in good hands.
Apollo's attention turned to the small creatures on Telona's shoulder. He could feel the deep temptation to bring the lightsaber he still held tightly in his hand to life, but he resisted. He knew Telona had a good reason for using such a creature, but for the moment, he couldn't understand what that would be.