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Darth Atrox

Congregation of the Damned

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Darth Atrox    454

The Dark Council and the Mand'alor have been summoned to the Dark Council Chambers by Darth Atrox, Darth Niarcmorn, and Darth Chiarcmorn to address the recent announcement of Emperor Valyrian's current condition and the fate of the Sith Empire due to Valyrian's current situation.

 

Relona 1st, 3632 BBY - Time of Day: 18 Standard Hours, Evening

Dromund Kaas, The Imperial Citadel - The Chambers of the Dark Council

 

 

Darth Atrox stood amongst his Imperial Guardsmen and his own personal guardsmen, their crimson wardrobe shining against the lights within the room, though the large holo-projector in the center of the room provided most of the light, displaying an image of Sith Space and key defense points, alongside defense points provided by the Mand'alor himself. Alongside the Kaar was the two Hands of the Emperor to address the orders personally to the Dark Council entirely. Garbed in his typical armor, the Kaar's right pauldron bore the symbol of House Sideralis while a cloak was clasped across his back, the horned helmet he wore concealing his facial features and his entire discomfort with these types of meetings. The overall appearance of the Darth was a gigantic Sithspawn, the beskar'gam emphasizing his height and muscle mass, countless needles and tubing hidden underneath his armor to inject him with adrenaline whilst in combat, and providing the Kaar with more pain to drawn upon. 

 

Stationed outside of the room were a squadron of four Imperial Guardsmen that were ordered to deny entry to any personnel that sought an audience with the Dark Council, unless they were accompanied by a Dark Councillor themselves, and with the orders to allow the Mand'alor to enter himself. The meetings either served no purpose, or they had no end - but with the Kaar at the helm, he would force it to have purpose and to have a proper end. While those that entered were greeted by Imperial Guardsmen being stationed around the room, the Kaar paid no heed to addressing them personally, yet. He was far too busy thinking of what consequences the lack of an Emperor would put on the Empire, and knowing the current Dark Council, there was no one to properly give right to becoming Lord Regent, but there was those that held more power in the Sith Empire to hold sway over the populace while the others continued on their business towards the war against the Republic.

 

The Imperial Elite were stationed around the Kaar as Lord Fraust let out a sigh of annoyance, the diplomacy of the Sith Empire not interesting him a single bit - though he was one to complete his duty fully, even if the job was significantly less hands on than anything he was used to. Darth Atrox understood the Sith Pureblood, though he paid him little attention as the words of the other Guardsmen continued to question the importance of the meeting and why they were required for such things, and the Kaar decided to leave out every detail. While they served as his personal guardsmen, they also served as the Kaar's enforcers, though the Kaar was more than capable of putting down the whelps that typically challenged him for his power, embracing the teachings of Emperor Cideon.

 

Darth Vowrawn was shockingly not fashionably late, appearing before the rest, though he wore the same smirk he always did, his old features creasing from the strain upon his skin as corrupted eyes stared at the large group of Imperial Guardsmen, the man bowing politely before taking a seat by the holo-projector, sliding a data cube onto the nearby table before stepping away - the old Sith always had rather mundane information to share, though information that was crucial to the war. Soon afterwards, Darth Cognitus entered the chamber, his facial features concealed under a full set of phrik battle armor, though he spoke no words - only for Darth Sunder to enter behind him, the breathing audible even before he had entered the room, each laboured breath being accompanied by the sound of cybernetics doing their part to ensure the husk of a man continued to exist.

 

Each individual that entered circled the holo-projector, waiting as other members of the Dark Council entered the room, though Darth Atrox continued to stand at the side with his hand wrapping around his holo-communicator, the device holding a secure channel with the Ministry of War to inform them of the decisions made.

 

The fate of the Sith Empire was to be determined on this day.

 

 

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Short post, but let's get the hands of fate dealt, my fellow Sith.

 

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Emperor Valyrian    1,075

Word around the Empire was that Darth Valyrian had withdrawn completely from active service - withdrawn to a place even the Dark Council did not know, or wish to reveal, to protect himself. It was said that his ailing condition, a condition known vicariously through the Empire as that of a frail and fragile old man, suffering from the injuries of the very fight that had given him the throne, had finally failed him, forcing him to withdraw from public affairs in order to find some way to restore himself. While on death's proverbial door, his two hands, serving the Dark Lord as loyally as two puppets could, had called on Darth Atrox first to try and maintain governance over the Empire. The Hands would serve as the authority of the Emperor - bestilling him the power - and Darth Atrox would have to do the rest, counting on the power of Imperial Defense to perform the function that Darth Marr had once done on behalf of Lord Vitaite. It was a fragile effort, any number of things could go wrong, and the Empire would fail.

 

Lord Sefas knew better than all this however - and he knew the truth. Darth Valyrian was not sickly, but better than he had ever been. He had withdrawn, but not for the reasons that he had told his Council. Instead, he had withdrawn so he could continue his own ambitions undisturbed by the messy Imperial politics that followed him. He had obtained power over the galaxy - now he needed to secure his own legacy. Lord Sefas knew this, far more than any person inside the Dark Council Chambers. This was, because he was Darth Valyrian.

 

Traveling under an alias, a mere Lord under the envoy of Darth Nidus, the Kaar of Mysteries, allowed him a certain amount of anonymity among Imperial worlds. As the Emperor, his face and presence was known right through the galaxy - masked, under the alias of Sefas, he was a relative unknown. With his Force signature withdrawn, his power unshowing, he appeared to be just a member of the entourage that Darth Nidus had brought with her to the summoning. His mask was not ostentatious, nor was it particularly detailed, featuring a fairly smooth surface with a couple eye divets marked in the surface. He wore a red cloak currently, the hood drawn up over the mask plate, with the red cloak wrapped around his neck trailing behind him. The rest of his armour, while inordinately expensive and secure, we as undetailed as the mask. Only the best, for one of Darth Nidus' assassins, if asked. The fact he was not known, was a mere testament to his skill as an assassin, he would say, if asked. However his profile had been added deep into the Imperial system, with a comprehensive background created for him. He never stood out - never featured, merely existed in Imperial society quietly. It was the story he told - it was the story he prefered, and it was the story told thousands of times before. How often had a man risen to power quickly within the Empire? Nobody asked anymore.

 

Darth Nidus wore her usual, a long flowing grey dress, her long sleeves torn and her weathered old face and white coloured eyes showing the extent of her misery. A long scar traced across her throat, her face no picture of beauty, with weathered grey hair and wrinkles unkempt. She had the devils smile however - a smile which tore straight through the soul of others, while her own presence was withdrawn and hidden. If she had skill, power of finesse, she had never shown them. Risen to power under the authority of Darth Valyrian, nothing else was particularly known about the Kaar of Mysteries, other than the fact that she had in fact risen. A close advisor of the Emperor, she was recorded to be, but their relationship or involvement past that was uncertain. It was not uncommon for an Emperor and his Kaar of Mysteries to be close.

 

'I bet two credits that the old coot died,' one of the minor lords whispered to Sefas, giving him a nudge as he did, a broad smile on his thin lips, 'and that the Hands are keeping it secret. Maybe they covet the throne themselves. Never can trust 'em. Darth Atrox might be in on it - give it six months he'll be calling himself Regent, another six, Emperor. You'll see, it always turns out the same. Chaos, aren't we a predictable lot.'

 

Sefas grinned underneath his mask ironically. His voice modulator gave an almost mechanical, deeper voice, ensuring that it could not be at all mistaken for the man he was avoiding being, 'I would be careful how openly you speak, friend. Darth Nidus is not a particularly forgiving person when it comes to people speaking out of turn about the Emperor,' he paused to give deeper meaning, before giving a mechanical laugh, 'However, you're probably right. Old Valyrian was one foot in the grave - another on a banana skin. It was only a matter of time before he over extended himself. Rumour has it...'

 

Nidus turned, and Sefas fell characteristically silent. His companion moved away quietly, and Sefas repressed another chuckle from within his mask. The irony of being here, addressing the affairs of the Empire without an Emperor, were beyond amusing to him. Nidus raised her eyebrows in a manner that suggested he remain on his best behaviour or she would end him right here. The most amusing thing was, that Lord Sefas was almost certain she would do it, too.

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Today was not a good day for Corey Black. He'd been preparing to go on a hunt, to find and take a small amount of time that was his alone, when summons came from the Imperial Capital. He hated being summoned. It was a situation that reminded him that no matter how far up the ladder he climbed, he was not his own person, and perhaps less now than he'd ever been. He set that aside, as he often did, for the fact that him fulfilling his role to the best of his abilities was what was best for his people. And so he made his way to Dromund Kaas at best speed, opting to take a single person, military issue starfighter so as not to draw attention to his visit. His flagship and fleets were on standby in case of a trap, but the Mandalorian wasn't going to jump into the heart of Imperial Space looking as though he was ready to make a conquering attempt. He didn't know the names of the Sith who had summoned him, aside from Atrox, of course, and his name was the only reason he was attending with such swiftness. 

 

He parked the fighter on the pad that was reserved solely for him at the rear of the Mandalorian Enclave, being granted permission to do so by the traffic controllers. He felt the pull of the Dark Side, here, especially in such proximity to the Sith Sanctum, and he steeled himself against allowing too much of it in. The Mandalorian had been tempted by wearing his full Grand Admiral's regalia, but instead opted for the armour his father had created for him when he rose to power as Mand'alor, complete with the Mask that had been returned to him at Atrox's behest. The armour itself was styled much after that of Mandalore the Ultimate, though the shoulders were less gargantuan given his preference for melee combat, and he carried with him the lightsabers he had taken as trophies, as well as his own among their number, but only a single other weapon, a piece of history that had taken a good deal of time to locate from a private collector. One who had been reluctant to part with it, and one that the new Mand'alor had taken far more pleasure than he perhaps ought to have in parting him from his life. 

 

Shrugging his massive shoulders, Mand'alor strode boldly through the entrance to the Sith Sanctum, bootsoles sounding off the ground with military precision, and he drew stares from many beings. He didn't care in the slightest, not even when they scrambled to move out of his way, or the annoyance he felt bloom in the Sith when he didn't yield for them. The fact that he didn't consider Sith superior to him had made him enemies in the past, yet here he was, and where were they? If anything could be said about Corey Black, it was that becoming his enemy was an extremely efficient way of shortening a being's life expectancy. He reached the turbolift to take him to the Dark Council chambers, and the Guardsmen parted, stating simply that he was expected. That was something to be thankful for, the Leader reasoned. Better not to cause any more of a scene than necessary. 

 

"Mand'alor te Cabur, reporting as requested." His voice was barely above a low toned growl, and as he turned his head deliberately to show where his eyes were moving, he felt no fear at being in the presence of the Dark Council, curiosity and annoyance were the only things potent enough to make the surface. He gave a slight bow to the assembled lords, before moving to take a position behind Atrox's right hand side. There was nothing to state that he had to remain there, but his alliance with the Kaar of Military Defence was the strongest in the Empire, and he was not above showing where his allegiances lay. The Dark Council knew that the Mandalorians worked heavily with several of the Spheres of influence, though they didn't know the extent of Black's loyalty to the Alderaanian, even now. 

 

He spotted the Hands, recognising them from the communication. "That communique was extremely vague. This had better be worth my time." Mand'alor did not sound or seem impressed by his esteemed company, and after greeting Atrox simply, the Mandalorian stood with the end of his weapon on the ground, fingers repeatedly adjusting on the grip. His eyes scanned the faces, and face masks of those present, but he could not see Sanguira, something that came as a surprise. "Have we heard if the Kaar of Diplomacy will be here? She's usually more punctual than this." His words were spoken quietly to Atrox, though he didn't discount the presence of enhanced auditory equipment. He himself had such devices built into his armour, so it seemed unlikely that others would not. He overheard a conversation, brief snippets of it anyway, between one of Nidus' entourage and a lord he didn't recognise, and found himself laughing to himself. It would be typical of Valyrian to throw all of that effort into something, just to die so soon after securing his position. Perhaps he hadn't changed as much as Mand'alor believed he had. He was not surprised to see a lack of presence by the Kaar of Military Offense, as Black understood, the woman had been as productive in her new seat as she had been under Wrayd. He anticipated Verrin arriving, if the old man's knees could carry him down the corridor, but he didn't expect much from him. He didn't underestimate the Zabrak, and he was curious as to what reaction his presence would get, but he didn't care, one way or the other. If the old librarian decided to start something here, then Black would make sure there were no starship guns to save him this time. 

Either way, he was not here, and they were. That meant there was business to discuss that affected the here and now. The Mandalorian simply hoped that it didn't devolve into petty arguments, as such meetings often did. Politics is just warfare on a different field. Never forget that. Words can be as deadly as any blade, perhaps even more.

 

Sorry for the crappy post. But post.

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Darth Verrin    2,031

"Ahhh, meetings... there are never enough meetings," Verrin thought wryly to himself. In his experience, back when he'd been a scientist, much of his day was spent in meetings, planning, preparing, discussing options. It seemed like one scientist or another was always calling for a meeting for this or that - procedures, ethics, safety, supply, purchasing, marketing... there were days when he'd been so involved in meetings that he hadn't had time to actively pursue his love - the actual science. Yet those meetings were required, because without them, the structure that held the science division together - that got everyone paid and everyone home at the end of a workday in one piece - were necessary. In Sith terms, those meetings were the chains that the scientists bore in order to maintain the structure.

 

So of course, why should he expect matters to be any different now? This wasn't a science division, but an entire Empire! Meetings were necessary so that law and order could be maintained - so there could be a power structure... a structure, for them all to live in.  Granted, they all had underlings who went to their own meetings, and who reported up to their Lords and minor Officers in other meetings.  There were meetings for those personnel who then reported up to their superior commands and Darths, and then those highest ranking individuals had to have meetings to report up to their respective Kaars, the ruling class of the current Empire. And those Kaars had to hold meetings to report in to each other, and to the Emperor himself.

 

"Ahhh, meetings... there are never enough meetings," Verrin thought again as he walked along, with eight senior level Guardians in tow. He never used to utilize them as a personal guard, but after the Korriban incident, he absolutely did, and he noted that some of his peers on the Council approved. They all had their own retinues, of course, and Verrin had never really understood why they were necessary until he was attacked on a seemingly innocent fact-finding mission. Now, he did. He would have preferred to have his apprentices accompany him instead, to learn more about the administration of the Sphere of Knowledge, and the other Darths they might interact with one day. But the Guardians were simply more skilled at what they did, and were less likely to overthrow their Kaar in an effort to climb to power. The other Kaars might take offense to apprentices showing up to meetings that were above their heads, but for some reason, they didn't mind the faceless, nameless guards that all of them brought instead. It was a curious point, but not one to dwell overlong upon.

 

They all entered the meeting chambers, on time, but not ahead of it. Other Kaars were already gathered, and some eyed his entrance with derision - as if he should have been there earlier, even though the meeting wouldn't have started any sooner, and even though had they been in his place, they would have sneered at his supposed 'brown-nosing' by being there ahead of them. Verrin shrugged such looks off and took his place among them.

 

He noticed the others present - the Military division, Vowrawn, Nidus, and more, and even the Mand'alor, Corey Black. Verrin briefly wondered if the man held grudges, or was somehow proud of the fact that Verrin now arrived with a retinue since he had been so instrumental in beating that into Verrin's head. He supposed the man didn't harbor ill will beyond the norm, or else he surely would have attacked Verrin again before now, perhaps even destroying the Library in the process. But more likely, the man saw Verrin as a necessary evil. Verrin was certainly not the 'model Sith' that the Inquisition would have recruited, but he served a purpose in the Empire nonetheless. He was the Librarian, the researcher. He did jobs that nobody wanted, that received no accolades from the other Kaars. None of them applauded the fact that there even was a Library of the Sith, or that this Empire possessed a trove of holocrons that had been assembled and protected for as long as Verrin had been with this Empire. They wouldn't cheer him for preventing past Temple Lords or Emperors from destroying them all, and they wouldn't toast him should he pass away into the Dark Side once and for all. He just wasn't that important to them and their daily routines. But every one of their Sith underlings passed through Verrin's Library at some point, whether to utilize those 'crons or the storehouse of information. As he thought earlier, he was a necessary evil. And he supposed that was why he was invited to these Council meetings at all.

 

He nodded to the others if they made eye contact - Vowrawn and Nidus in particular, since he worked more closely with them than some of the others - and Atrox out of simple respect. It didn't matter if Verrin liked the man or not, but Atrox held sway over the largest military the Empire had ever assembled. 'Liking' wasn't part of the equation. Respect, was.

 

But of note, Verrin saw that the Emperor's seat was vacant. How odd...

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Darth Sanguira    226

Walking in, waving away the three Darths that made up the authority of her sphere as soon as she stepped past the doors, the woman looked at each individual in the room, noting whom was and wasn't present.  Needing to hide the slight baby bump that remained, the woman having been too drained post the birth of her third child to get back into tip-top shape, she wore a loose black gown, a simple battle suit that she used to wear as an apprentice hidden beneath the flowing fabric, her weapon fastened to the inside of her sleeve - should she need it.  Licking her lips, the brunette made a flourishing motion as she bowed to her fellow council members.

 

"My apologies for being so tardy.  I had prior obligations that I couldn't get out of, but no matter.  They will learn not to disagree with me again," she purred out, smirking at the knowledge that the Hapan Cluster would be her next target.  Sure, there were other locations the Empire could pursue, but this had been a long time coming, and very little could cause her plans to shift.

 

Taking a seat, the female crossed her legs, hands placed delicately in her lap.  Giving a wink to Mand'alor, Sanguira knew exactly what this meeting was about, having been present when the news was given.  Things were progressing well, the wrinkly self-declared Emperor disappearing making it so she didn't have to find a way around his two creepy guards.  She hated how it seemed they saw and knew all any time she had interactions with the man.  It'd have been difficult enough to go up against him, his power still trumping hers, yet she was growing stronger each day, even with what had happened during the birthing of her child.  As it stood, only two people in this room could be counted on should things go amiss, the more talkative newcomer causing her to raise a brow in his direction.  Why did he remind her of a child?  With a brief glance towards her lover, the woman smiled sweetly at the masked male, her stormy gaze upon him.  

 

"I do not believe I've seen you before."  Her words were coated with poison, for she was a predator that sought any leverage she could use against others.  "Darth Nidus, dear, shall you do the introductions?  I enjoy meeting new faces..."  She was all for socializing, especially if it made her husband jealous and thus put a target on someone else's head, eventually ensuring the elimination of any that could be a possible threat to her, to him, and to their family, their family's right to rule the Galaxy.  The two Kaars were there to set the stage, their children the ones that would likely end up rising to the occasion of securing the throne.

 

 

 

OOC:  

Sorry all for my cruddy post, but didn't want to hold things up.  I've got a semi-block since I'm pre-occupied with real life (family in town) ^^.  I kinda expect Atrox to scold Sanguira, whether telepathically or aloud for all to hear haha.

Edited by Empress Kitty
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Darth Tanit    455

As Darth Tanit stood on the lift taking her to the Chambers of the Dark Council, a very small smile peeked across her lips. To think her aspirations as a child were to be recognized for military glory by the Corellian Security Force. The power at her hands was far greater than anything so parochial as a local system defense force, and it was that, which caused her amusement. If only her father could see her now. She knew it was a weakness to retain that link to her home, but the better part of her Corellian blood had not yet allowed her to rescind her fillial ties to the planet. Her ultimate goal was to bring her homeworld under the power and protection of the Empire, as only through the Empire could a planet be truly secured and ordered, but that was for another time. There were greater works to undertake than her personal ambitions. That was exactly the reason she was coming to the meeting with the Council in the first place. Her duty to the Empire was in service as the Kaar of Military Offense, and that meant delaying her desires until they could be undertaken under the guise of dutiful obedience. The next time she visited Corellia, it would not be as a daughter visiting a father, but as a conqueror.

 

The guards at the door defered and her entrance was not grand or exciting. Darth Tanit was not a dashing figure under any traditional understanding of the word. Her armor, was heavy. The beskar'gam breastplate and gloves, along with the rest of her armor, had been decorated with a deep green color that bespoke her Corellian heritage. A heavy winter cloak of sand-panther fur layered together completed the ensemble. She looked every bit a Corellian, save for the deep gashed scar in her throat and the yellow-orange eye opposite the cybernetic replacement. A streak of white had taken up residence in her otherwise bright red hair.

 

As the door closed behind her she saw faces, those she recognized and those she had never met, but one familiar face was now missing. Emperor Valyrian was not present in the chamber, and she had known him since well before he was even a Dark Councilor. To all present, she offered a respectful nod to the councilors and the Mand'alor, out of respect for peers more than anything else. When she spoke her voice was hard, and pained, and every word seemed a labor to push out anymore after the damage to her vocal chords had been compounded by the damage to her lungs. It was becoming increasingly apparent that she would need a respirator sooner rather than later. "If we are all present, then I propose the first matter of business is to discuss perhaps the more pressing matter at hand than our esteemed Emperor's personal choices. What he does with his personal matters mean little to me, when placed in sharp relief against the current conflict with the Republic. The power of the Empire and of the Dark Side is more resilient than that of one man. Our leader he may be, but we are a council of Sith for a reason. We are all tasked with leading portions of the spheres of influence, that does not change in my opinion until there is some kind of confirmation that the Emperor is unable to lead us any longer. Our success, is his success, and the Empire's success. We need not descend into petty political squabbling like the Republic, lest we undermine the stability we have achieved." Darth Tanit spoke very bluntly, as she took her seat without much hesitation at all. She had never been one to mix words or waste time, and being late in her own right meant that the meeting probably should have started before now. Her time was valuable to her, and she imagined the other councilors and the Mand'alor valued their time as well. It was a courtesy to cut to the heart of the matter.

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Mand'alor watched as the more members of the Dark Council assembled, taking note of each small detail that he could, in part so that he could work out the best way to end their lives if another uprising like the previous one occurred. Especially with the current situation. When Sanguira came through, apologising for her lateness, a broad grin appeared under the mask he wore, as he was certain that he still possessed scars from the last time he had disagreed with her. Not that he would ever say so out loud, but the pregnancy hormones had apparently strengthened her connection to the Dark Side, making every new burst of anger all the greater. 

 

There were still five councillors left to arrive, though Black was certain that Akasha was likely not to show up. He hadn't heard from her in quite some time, and so he had stopped making requests, rather informing those he had been in contact with to let him know if they needed any more Mandalorian security personnel, or more dungeon ships sent their way for testing purposes. He also requested, since it was hard to simply demand something from a Dark Lord of the Sith, that Akasha contact him regarding their arrangement when she was done with her 'Special Project.' 

 

When Verrin entered the chamber, the Mandalorian leader's smile grew broad. Convinced he felt the Zabrak's eyes on him, he inclined his head very slightly in acknowledgement. The guards he had with him were the cause of the amusement, but in its own way, it was a good thing that he had decided to begin defending himself with others. He turned from his previous location, removing the obvious weapons from his person, he moved to an empty stretch of wall behind the seats, leaning the Axe against it with a nod to one of the Imperial Guard. He ground his teeth together as he contemplated the wisdom of his next action, but what he intended was not something that was for him personally, for he cared neither way if the old Sith intended to use his own guards to strike him down, though Black was sure that Verrin wouldn't be foolish enough to do so in the Council Chambers. 

The Mandalorian nodded to Lord Fraust as he passed him, muttering something about them taking longer to arrive than the meeting would last. Crossing the centre circle of the floor, he strode directly up to the Zabrak Sith, or at least as far as his guards would allow. Black eyed them all, muttering numbers beneath his breath, calculating exactly when and where he would need to strike to take them down as quickly as possible. It seemed that not one of the Guardians was prepared to ignite their weapon without an order from the Kaar, and that was a good thing, because Black didn't need further excuse to avoid doing what he was about to do. The mask left his face with a slight hiss as the pressure normalised with the room around him. He wanted Verrin to see that it was him doing this, and that he would not hide behind the mask.

One of them moved his weapon more towards Corey, while the rest held themselves like good little statues. Mand'alor made a point of staring directly at that one, though his eyes were following the others as he very deliberately took another pace towards the Dark Councillor. When he spoke, his voice was almost a metallic growl, but the words held no hint of deceit. It was obvious that he wasn't happy with the situation, but he felt that it was needed. "Darth Verrin. We haven't had the chance to speak, since our... last encounter." He began. "I will not apologise for what transpired on that day, however I will say that it is rare to find someone who I cannot best. Regardless of any desire by either of us to revisit that conflict to define a victor, such actions are not made of anything but our personal desires. I have learned over many years that to lead, personal desire needs to be put second. It was a good fight though." He chuckled.

Pausing once again, he stretched out his hand, the gesture extremely deliberate, with his hand open, the offer to shake it clear. "For the good of the Empire." 

Mand'alor waited to see which option Verrin would choose, and once he made his decision and any further words were exchanged, the Mandalorian leader returned his mask to his face and headed back to where he came from, noting that Darth Xisad had entered during this time. They both paused at the holotable, Black offering one more nod to the Sith before returning to his spot behind Atrox. The Mandalorian gently swiped the scrap of flimsi from the table to avoid much notice, though he keyed in several new additions to the displayed fleet information. He knew that the price for what he held in his hands would be dear, but it would be worth it, in the end.

 

One of the last to arrive, Darth Tanit strode through the council chamber, and Black found himself wondering why the little Sith hadn't chosen to take on Ataru as a lightsaber form, rather than Shien, since she lacked the reach to make it effective. Though perhaps overcoming that obstacle was the point. She took her seat quickly, without pleasantries, and while Black could appreciate a desire to keep things moving, the Kaar of Military Offense attempting to override the purpose of the meeting was something that the Mandalorian found intolerable. 

 

The shaft of his recently retrieved axe thudded against the floor, a habit he'd picked up dealing with meetings back on Mandalore. "While I agree that we should avoid petty political squabbling, perhaps you should be reminded, Darth Tanit, that it was one of the Emperor's personal choices that put you into that seat." He practically spat. "We are here at his behest, absent or not, and his will is passed through his Hands, to us." The grim smile that plastered the Mandalorian's face was one of disgust aimed at the woman. "And perhaps you need to do less sitting on your fur lined shebs and start moving your sphere to war, rather than Military Defense and my own people doing all the fighting and dying for the Emperor. You may have proven yourself once to Darth Valyrian to gain your place, but where have you been hiding while the rest of us fight a war?" Black laughed, a sound that could've been mistaken for a snarl. "Aside from that, maybe it would be best to wait for all those who are summoned to be present before you start making demands?" 

It was barely a couple of minutes after his speech that Darths Lyran and Ragas appeared at the door, having a conversation about something that Black didn't understand given his lack of context, though with the mentions of lightsided behaviour, it could've been referring to the work that both the Inquisition and the Castigate had been doing to purify the Empire. As far as the Mandalorian could tell, everyone who would be attending was here, though he was half expecting there to be a bomb beneath the floor, despite his equipment detecting none. 
 

 

Sorry for vaguely modding your Guardians, Verrin, though they were doing what would be logical in the situation, I think. Just wanted to get that out in the one post, which couldn't be done without it.

And Chen, I know that you have OOC reasons for the lack of war stuff, that's not a problem. Corey just sees Tanit as someone who did little to earn her place, and even less to keep it. Which is something he takes seriously when his people are bleeding and dying. Nothing against you personally, in case that needs to be said. 

Edited by Corey
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Darth Verrin    2,031

Verrin observed as Darth Sanguira made her entrance. She had something of a reputation for being not only diplomatic, but maternal - having been through at least one pregnancy that Verrin was aware of. Among the Sith, that alone was impressive, for bringing an infant to term when others were constantly vying for your power was evidence of foolhardiness or significant power in the mother. Verrin had known another Sith or two that had borne children... even aided in delivering one himself. And of course, the Sadaari's had their offspring, as did the Lydecks, though they were supposedly long gone from this plane of existence. So perhaps it wasn't odd for Sanguira to be both a mother and a Sith after all. She was relatively new to the Council, but given how often a seat was passed on, and assuming she was as powerful as such a seat deserved, then it was not out of the ordinary for her to be there.

 

But a bristling among his Guardians alerted him to the incoming Mand'alor. Verrin's eyes turned towards the man, but he saw no visible weapon or aggression on the fellow's part. In fact, it appeared he'd purposefully left his hefty axe and even his mask behind, and he was... smiling?  What did he know, or intend?

 

Verrin's Force senses jumped to alert, but he sensed no ill intent for the moment. Every motion the man made, every move, every facial muscle appeared to be calculated to show non-aggression. The Sith in him suggested this might be a trap, for he imagined the man - Corey Black - was a more-than-capable fighter, even with just his bare hands. But he didn't seem to be itching for a fight, at least not at this moment. Verrin would have been lying if he said he wasn't at all concerned for his safety, but he also didn't want to put on a face of fear for the man who had once tried to kill him. Verrin was aware of the man's Force aura - he was both a Mando, and a Sith, of sorts. And Verrin wasn't going to fuel his potential opponent's power with his own fear. He waved off his bravest Guardian, who moved aside to allow the man to step closer.

 

Verrin looked Corey in the eyes. Black stood only an inch or two taller than Verrin, but he was more massive, for certain. Verrin was no slouch himself, these days, but he wasn't built like this fellow, who wore armor on a regular basis. Any second, Corey could lash out, attack Verrin with the Force, or with a simple fist or kick. By the same token though, Verrin was fairly sure he could melt the man's brains inside his skull. It wouldn't do for them to go after each other, especially here among their peers. And the Force told him that Corey still didn't hold ill will towards him - at this time. His 'guest' spoke, explaining the reasons for his actions, and speaking of their feud on Korriban. He did not apologize - nor did Verrin expect him to - but in a remarkable show of respect, Corey stated plainly for every Councilman to hear that Verrin had given him a good fight.

 

To Verrin's knowledge, it was as much of a compliment as a Mandalorian would pay to a non-Mando, and it surprised him enough that when Corey went on to offer a hand, he could only accept it by matching the gesture. As their fingers clasped, he felt the man's power - and likely, Corey felt his - and suddenly, Verrin felt the eyes of the other Councillors upon him. Some might feel derision towards the simple affirmation, but very likely, others recognized it for something else. Those that had dismissed him as a non-entity, as a bookworm, an old man, or a feeble nobody on the Council, were suddenly confronted by the respect given to him by the leader of the Mandalorians. And for better or worse, Verrin recognized that his days as a 'shadow' of the Empire were likely over. Corey had simultaneously complimented him, and painted a target upon him.

 

"No apology necessary, Mand'alor," Verrin replied. "For the good of the Empire," he agreed. He still hated the Madalorians as a whole, but this one had pushed him to be better than he was. And whether he liked or hated them as a group, he respected that they, like the Sith, had a code of sorts.  It made sense that they were currently allied with the Empire.

 

Corey Black moved away without another word, leaving Verrin to ponder the meaning and weight of that display before the other Kaars. But fortunately, his reverie didn't last, as others entered the room. Darth Tanit arrived wearing her usual heavy armor. She walked like she owned the place, and then spoke in a similar fashion, causing Verrin to chuckle quietly to himself.  Some things didn't change, and she burst out loudly and confidently about how they all needed to manage the Empire, no matter what happened to the Emperor. Verrin blinked in surprise, unsure of what that meant. Was the Emperor indisposed? Sickly? Deceased?! What did she mean?

 

 

 


Force Power used:

Force Empathy x1

49/50 resolve

 

Edited by Darth Verrin
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Darth Atrox    454

Darth Atrox had acknowledged the Mand'alor as he entered, though with a simple nod and nothing more - a keldabe kiss was perhaps the most proper greeting, two warriors meeting faceplate to faceplate was a sign of mild respect, or on the opposite spectrum a sign of aggression. The response towards the question on Darth Sanguira's presence died in the Kaar's throat as she entered the room and immediately started to pick and pry at Darth Nidus and her entourage, the woman clearly holding some form of diplomacy within the Dark Council Chambers - something that was commendable, but at the same time, the woman truly required a twist of her arm to put her into order.

 

Lips pursuing into a thin line as the Kaar moved a bit to order the guardsmen to disperse, the Kaar set his eyes on Darth Nidus and Darth Sanguira, his hollowed voice echoing through his vocoder as he spoke, "I would suggest not prying about at the nobodies of Mysteries, Lady Sanguira. Such individuals are best.. left in the dark," as the words fell from the Kaar's mouth, he turned his attention to the Mand'alor as he start to head towards Darth Verrin, the circumstance bringing a slight grin to the man. 

 

The flowing robes of the Mand'alor's armor and his axe, which he had  placed down, were a sight to behold for a typical Sith, though the protector of Mandalore wasn't your typical Mandalorian, the weapon most obviously cumbersome based on the sheer size. Watching a hand go towards Darth Verrin, the Kaar had to suck back a slight laugh, the image playing out in his head - the Mand'alor providing a keldabe kiss to Darth Verrin's skull, though it was a sight that he would not get. The ability to hold one's self with such control was admirable, but the Kaar had wasted enough time as he brought two of his personal guardsmen aside, his head leaning in to address them personally, "I require you both to meet up with HK-55, the 'package' is to be delivered to my personal chambers by tomorrow. HK is currently stalking his prey, make haste."

 

Turning towards the Mand'alor as he returned to his side, a firm hand gripped the man's arm and nodded momentarily, showing that he appreciated the man's devotion to the Sith Empire. Releasing his grip on the Mand'alor's arm, he eyed the entrance of the chambers as the short and stout Darth Tanit entered the room, quickly hobbling over to her seat as the Kaar's features turned significantly more intense beneath his armor - the ever vocal Darth Tanit, never escaping her ability to copy Darth Verrin in his long spiels. As the words came from the Mand'alor's mouth, the Kaar wanted to shove his elbow into the man's ribs, though the Mand'alor wasn't a simple man - he understood the importance of why they had been summoned. Perhaps that was why the former Emperor did not place her upon the Dark Council, he understood that there was no loyalty behind the woman, or perhaps Balmorra had proven one thing or another.

 

The entrance of Laws and Justice, as well as Sith Philosophy dealt with the final members, though Darth Ragas had come alone, without any members of the Castigate. The full body armor and ceremonial warblade that was strapped to her back showed a similar image to Darth Ixion, and though the woman wasn't a calculating terminal like Darth Ixion, the woman's bladework and law enforcement tactics were enough to cover any fault on Dromund Kaas. Darth Xisad didn't wear the typical robes of a Sith, nor the armor of a Sith, preferring civilian clothing and a long flowing jacket in it's place, blonde hair slicked back and his mildly corrupted appearance showing his Force-sensitivity, though he wasn't the strongest in the room like Darth Ferreus, he was significantly more qualified for the position and replaced power with cunning.

 

Watching Darth Xisad and Darth Vowrawn take their respective seats around the projectorl in the center of the room, their eyes meeting as grins placed upon their lips - the youthful Xisad and the ancient Vowrawn proved that they were perhaps the only real allies within the Dark Council, both respecting their silver tongues and their own positions in the Empire. Darth Sunder took his seat on the opposite side, a seat directly beside Darth Akasha's empty seat, with Darth Cognitus assuming his seat near Darth Tanit, the man chuckling at the woman for being retorted by the Mand'alor, his arms folding across his chest.

 

Darth Atrox, on the other hand, did not assume his seat, instead sticking to his position near the Hands of the Emperor, his mind gathering his thoughts as he watched everyone move to their respective areas around the holo-projector. Darth Tanit's wasted words were on the Kaar's mind as he set his gaze upon Darth Vowrawn who noticed almost immediately, letting his hands slap together in the form of a clap before standing up and placing one of the data cubes he carried into the projector, the holo-image immediately swapping from the Sith Empire to a bunch of information that dealt with the war efforts and the current situation on Balmorra. 

 

"Today I bring you more recent details on the situation on Balmorra, in addition to the knowledge that even with the current uprising, they continue to churn out war droids for the Imperial offense on Alderaan. However, a sector of Balmorra has recently started to get more.. bloody than prior, riots breaking out over the governor's passing within Bin Prime - the circumstance of his death is unknown, though it could be another rebel sect on Balmorra. While we can quell such revolutionary tactics, Bin Prime is slowly falling further into chaos, and I will merely ask you, Mand'alor, for your Mandalorians to act as enforcers - they may act more friendlier to someone who is not a Sith forcing them to kneel," the smile that was upon the Pureblood's lips curled as he looked directly at the Mand'alor, his eyes turning back to the projector as it showed an image of Sobrik soon afterwards, "Sobrik, on the other hand, will hold the new governor, elected by Lady Sanguira, until these riots are over. No point in wasting good resources by throwing another politician into the fire." 

 

"If what Darth Tanit says is correct, then there are, however, more pressing issues that I assume our leader of Military Defense will address.. personally," the words left the Pureblood's lips with a jolly chuckle, though his appearance resumed it's intense gaze as he stared down at Darth Sunder who let out a long winded exhale.

 

The attention of the Pureblood turned to Darth Xisad as he coughed into his gloved hand, the black leatheris tightening around another data cube that the Pureblood took with a slight nod, before returning to his seat. Darth Sunder soon stood up, his formerly cumbersome armor being replaced with much more warrior-oriented armor as his cybernetic limbs and rebreather continued to make their noises before the man was positioned before the terminal on the holo-projector, pulling a cord from his forearm as he inserted it into the jack.

 

"Before you.. is.. our solution.. to..." The words died in the struggling breaths of Darth Sunder's lungs as he coughed roughly, before recomposing himself, "Balmorra... Biotic Scie..nce has bl..essed us with.. this.. deadly co...cktail," the image shifted to a prototype superweapon, the advancement of the Firestorm Turbolaser that had been created by Vitiate's Empire. Though the weapon was merely modified to be an explosive, instead of a turbolaser, the ability to light the air ablaze and effectively decimate all living tissue within an area, without destroying buildings was the entire premise - though tests with the weapon proved a bit of a struggle. The images flashing between scorched test buildings, horrifying disfigured beings and destroyed buildings - such things took many trials before it could be finalized.

 

As Darth Sunder moved back over to his seat, his breathing becoming drawn out as he sat down, Darth Atrox finally took the floor, moving forward as Darth Cognitus stood up to meet the man halfway, their gazes meeting as they both assumed their position by the holo-terminal. "Maybe we should just stir the aggression within the Dark Council, just for the sake of watching rivalries flare," the dry, whispered words of Darth Cognitus bringing a cruel grin to Darth Atrox's lips. Somehow Darth Tanit had realized something was up, but unlike those individuals within the room, she didn't understand the diplomatic tendencies of the Dark Council and the importance of ensuring the Empire did not fall into chaos, especially when their leader was effectively disposed of. 

 

"As our tiny warmonger on the council has practically blurted out the situation, the Emperor is currently suffering from the necrosis of the dark side, but he is not dead. Though it is no real shock that Darth Akasha is not here, it is important for the Dark Council to acknowledge the truth of the matter, we can not spread ourselves thin trying to maintain an Empire built to collapse. If the word gets out, like it did when Emperor Cideon disappeared, then we are merely building upon our graves," glaring daggers at Tanit as he addressed her mockingly, he turned his gaze back upon the rest of the Dark Council, his clawed gauntlets resting upon the durasteel as Darth Cognitus ran through a data pad of information, before putting a cord into the jack, "We lack a true replacement to the throne. There will no longer Lord Regents within this Empire, I refuse to see an Empire divided by petty squabbles over a throne and I will personally deal with them myself," the hiss of the Kaar's voice was enough to make Darth Vowrawn nod in agreement, the man's ability to survive countless squabbles over the throne was more than changing sides - soon enough his luck would run out.

 

"This, however, leads us to the secondary objective of this meeting. The war against the Republic must grow, we can not just deal with Balmorra and Alderaan, they will get us nowhere. Darth Tanit speaks of wanting war, so let's see what she can do to push the war," the image came up with images of Imperial Space and the divided assets of each Military sphere, in addition to Diplomacy and Expansion and the Mandalorian fleet, but Darth Cognitus turned his gaze to Darth Nidus and her entourage, "I expect your assassins have ideas, Lady Nidus, and I am more interested in knowing how a woman of your age would deal with pursuing this war," the inquisitive words of Darth Cognitus were directed at the oldest individual on the Dark Council, an act that was meant to address the rather silent woman.

 

It was inevitable for the Dark Council not to fall into chaos and bring upon each other with razor sharp words, but at the very least the most important information had been shared, or so it was thought as Darth Xisad kept silent, his eyes meeting the Mand'alor's face as he brought up his thumb to stroke his cheek.

 

 

Post Information

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I swear to god I'm going to kill you all for wanting to skip post rotation. Please do ask to skip post rotation, since I had to get rid of my old post since you posted Verrin. Now I'm confused by a lot of things, so I had to make a quick shit post so I never got skipped over.

 

Edited by Kure
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Emperor Valyrian    1,075

Darth Nidus gave a nod as she was spoken too - but she had no chance to respond to Sanguria's remark before Atrox dismissed the interplay. Sefas stood a few paces back from them, his smile masked underneath his helmet, his force signature mellow and silent. It was interesting to see how the Darth acted outside of the presence of the Emperor - but even still, with his trusted hands standing behind in the Kaar of Military Defense's shadow, he was not entirely absent. Sanguria was, in many respects, somewhat of an enigma to him. She had gained her seat on the Council by her acts during the Civil War, but he had never gotten to know much about her before her promotion. It was Darth Atrox's suggestion, and her own merit in the fact, but she remained distant to him. If she had ulterior motives, he could not guess them - nor her true motivations, aspirations or assertions. Her involvement with Defense was to the public, innocent, but Valyrian had never been a complete fool. Their alliance was bonded far deeper than public appearance would gather, but how deep was still not completely proven, except by innuendo and rumour.

 

Nidus was more or less, ignored, other than by Sanguria. Which was not entirely surprising - she, out of all the Kaars, was the quietest in their goings about. Her duties required silence, her Sphere, as the name suggested, was more of an enigma. That left him in a valuable position of general anonymity - his deeds were sealed by Mystery, and so any figure could rise within the Sphere with zero ripples in the Sith populace, and remain completely hidden. He remained silent - it was not his place to act, speak or otherwise, however Atrox's comments required Nidus. This of course, was expected.

 

Nidus' voice was not particularly loud - given her injuries, yet it sounded loud enough for the purpose, 'The Sphere of Mysteries stands ready - we have assassins in place across the galaxy, on expanded missions to infiltrate and lay in waiting. While I am not so certain of speaking so openly to the congregation - we have a plan in place to attack the center of the Republic, and break through some of the vulnerabilities that Sith Intelligence has exposed. A carefully laid plan has been formulated by some of my leading assassins, in order to create a pin-strike attack into Coruscant itself, and lays in wait until the order to execute it is given. If if is the will of the Council, we can begin setting the stage for this infiltration and execution within weeks. I will expose myself no further in present company.'

 

If she had any more, she did not expose it in her gaze. Her eyes remained impassive as she yielded the floor. It was true - Sefas had been involved in its formulation before his decent into this role, and he was pivotal to ensuring it went down. Only key members of Intelligence, Mysteries and Defense were aware of it - in fact, the details of which were shared between the two other Spheres, with Mysteries the only one holding the key to the puzzle.

Edited by Lucian
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Darth Sanguira    226

Growling when she was shushed from socializing, her forte and hence her capability of leading the Sphere of Expansion And Diplomacy, she shot a glare at the masked male before a particular female she had a bad history with arrived.  Watching her in a cold manner, her lips tightening, the brunette began tapping her fingers, her eyebrow twitching slightly as she bit her tongue; how in the Galaxy did the woman figure out the Emperor was away, unable to be there for the time being?  Did she have spies?  Were servants leaking information, proving to be disloyal?!  As far as she knew, only Darth Atrox, and herself by chance, knew of the issue, hence her lover calling for the meeting.  At least no one for the most part was objecting to his taking the lead- if any did, she would see them dead very shortly after the meeting.  Those that questioned her husband's power, and her own, would perish one way or another.  Running the pad of her finger over one of her now very faint scars, the slightly curved line down her eyebrow, the Hapan gave a snarl, never forgiving those that marred her beautiful face (even if those scars made the male Sith more attracted to her).  

 

"How lovely of you to wait for the others to show, Darth Tanit-"  The feel of anger flow through the blood bond made her snap her lips shut, her own frustration obvious as she muttered incoherent things, likely in her native tongue, under her breath.  It seemed the man wanted no quarrels to take place, but when a group of powerful hostiles were gathered, even if the terms were supposedly neutral, old issues would flare up.  As the others took their turns to present matters to the Council, the woman felt bored but placed on that neutral mask that gave no hint as to whether she was truly listening or not.  It was something she learned to do when her lover went on his rants, and it proved useful when dealing with anything political.  At the mention of a new governor she had chosen, the Kaar nodded.  "I will notify him after this meeting and have him escorted to a proper location and guarded.  He is not the most experienced, but he is charismatic enough and fresh enough to be molded into whatever we desire him to be, unlike others that were more stuck in their ways and could prove difficult over time..."  It was odd that she had chosen a male, many of those beneath her being female, her dislike for men not unknown, but the young man had been the best pick of those eligible for such a position.  "I would be more than happy to help quell the public opposition if the Mandalorians are unavailable.  Otherwise, I will prepare speeches to be broadcast, or even deliver one in person if things worsen.  I have felt rather cooped up lately after all ~" she purred out, musing at the potential for bloodshed, how enjoyable such a thing would be, how she would label them as found traitors of the Empire that were trying to create chaos and start a new civil war to weaken the Empire in favor of the Republic.  Yes, it would work out well in the end either way.

 

Oh for the love of the Force, I want to tear out his gears and crush him like the tin can he is!  His breathing, if it can be called that, is so annoying!  Is there honestly no one else that can replace him?!  Aside from Darth Tanit, Darth Sunder was on her list of those she wanted to take out as soon as possible for next to nothing reasons.

 

Giving pause, she pondered things a moment as others spoke up further, the war coming to be their main topic at hand, the part most of the public were interested in; everyone felt it, smelled it in the air, heard whispers and rumors that spread far and wide, ranging from near truth to idiotically ridiculous.  Their meeting was, in fact, being recorded, swift editing being done as bits and pieces were put together, certain information omitted for obvious reasons - the network had to be careful, but giving the Imperials a chance to view their leaders at work created proper morale, support, the woman and her underlings ensuring all went well and that the Republic looked horrible - it was, in fact, but they had to become the enemy that all those in the Empire's territories would rise up against to destroy, not just the Sith (and Mandalorians).

 

Standing from her seat, the woman brought up a projection of the galaxy, using her hands to bring the focus in on the core worlds, specifically Coruscant.  Glancing to each of the others, the woman then spoke clearly yet calmly.  It was this part of the meeting about the war that was omitted to the public, updates that tactics had begun, that the Kaars were in disagreement or agreement over matters being given in the meantime.  "If we are to swiftly attack, we should avoid the straightest path to Coruscant.  My sources," she said with a wink in the direction of the Mand'alor, "have informed me of a few less populated planets that would be a good base to station an attack or retreat from, and it would let us get our forces into Republic territory with minimal opposition depending on the path chosen by the Kaar of Military Offense.  Basilisk, right here.  It has nothing, and just exists taking up space in the Republic.  It is, in my very professional opinion, the best staging point depending on the tactics that want to be taken.  If we are to take and hold locations in the Republic for our own, that is another matter entirely and will extend the attack and likely our resources will be stretched far too thin at this point in time."  

 

With that, she took her seat, letting the others mull over what information she provided, letting the others speak their opinions and state any suggestions they had, the two that would truly decide the path to be taken being Darth Tanit and Darth Atrox.

Edited by Empress Kitty
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The Mandalorian leader could not help but smile beneath the mask as he returned the grip that Darth Atrox placed upon his arm. It was obvious to Black what the gesture meant, though the specifics were likely lost on others, aside from what could be inferred from the context. Despite his words to Darth Tanit, he had proven through action that he was not prepared to let 'petty squabbles' get in the way of progress. He did wonder if Verrin realised what he had done to him though. In front of the Dark Council and numerous members of their entourage, Mand'alor had effectively shattered his image as a quiet, old librarian, and while he had no desires towards seeing Verrin taken down any more than he had the previous day, the Mandalorian believed that hiding behind a false facade to remain unnoticed while you were a leader in a society such as the Empire was cowardly, in its own way, but at the same time, the ability to catch an opponent unaware was sound strategy in tactical terms. He didn't know how Verrin hadn't been passed over though, or noticed before, given that he must have earned his position somehow. 

 

Listening to Darth Vowrawn speak, the Mandalorian marvelled at the resolve of individuals who could not be persuaded to rethink their allegiances by the Pureblood. He had a way of dealing with people that was so open, yet he danced around the truth as though a part of a Couruscanti Opera, leading each and every person in the conversation right where he wished them to be. Even Black had been drawn in this way on more than one occasion, to the point that he, as Mand'alor's Fist had threatened the Sith with some rather unpleasant levels of violent behaviour, until later they came to an agreement that was mutually beneficial, or at least beneficial enough that the Mandalorian was prepared to accept it without offering the Sith his knife. 

 

"Of course, Lord Vowrawn." Mand'alor spoke smoothly, the voice of a trained diplomat passing his lips, rather than that of a brute who was simply capable of besting their previous leader in a fight. "They may not kneel willingly, but they will kneel. Even if I have to deal with the situation personally. There will be certain things my people will need access to, to ensure that their jobs are met with more success. Two lists of people, those of value to the communities, and those of value to us, who would not be so easy to replace. I will also need access to your offworld import and export records, if such a thing is possible." The Mandalorian knew that Vowrawn wouldn't simply give him what he asked for, as those manifests likely held some information that could very well be incriminating in the wrong hands, or simply used against the Pureblood. "For such an invasion of privacy, I can offer elements of my fleet to further reinforce and protect the shipping lanes that have seen more predation on Imperial Traffic. It would free up other assets to help with the ongoing efforts." Black smiled behind the mask. "I can also offer protection for whomever Darth Sanguira sees fit to install as the Balmorran governor, particularly since it seems logical to me that the Republic is behind this escalation, given our recent success against them they will remember the importance of those factories and seek to retake them once more. Taking and holding Sobrik would be a key victory for them, and rally even more against us."

The Mandalorian felt eyes upon him and felt as though he needed to clarify, being judged like an unruly apprentice was something that he had never tolerated overly well. "I do not need an excuse to attack the Republic. That is my choice." The Mandalorian laughed coldly. "Despite what any of you may think, I am a puppet to none. My decisions are my own, and I have made the choice to ally my people with the Empire, and to fight the Republic until its corrupt foundations can no longer support it. The Republic is not a weak enemy, make no mistake. The sudden surge in anti Imperial sentiment, the increases in violence, in the organised and targeted nature of the attacks suggests special forces to me. I have been trained that way, so the signs are there. If the Republic wishes to send its best troops to be slaughtered by my people, however, I'm sure that my men could always use the target practice." He carefully refrained from speaking in anything but Basic, as much as his mind kept on slipping into his usual pattern of speech. 

 

When Darth Sunder presented his offering to the meeting, Mand'alor felt his lip curl beneath the impassive mask he wore. It was disgusting. Impressive in its destructive capabilities, but disgusting. Besides, how can you make a person kneel if they've been vaporised? Corey's father had always spoken very highly of Darth Sunder, despite his ailments the cyborg had a brilliant mind, and was capable of making technological masterpieces. This one was not one that Black was a fan of, though. 

 

The Mandalorian nodded at the mention from Sanguira, waiting for her to finish speaking before adding a small amount of information of his own. It was... gratifying that his travels, as well as his incessant study of Mandalorian history was paying off. "Basilisk was a world we conquered several hundred years ago, that circumstances forced us to leave behind. There was nothing there of use to us, with the supply of War Dragons drying up. The chemicals they attempted to burn us out with should be safe now, and we had many small bases located across the world that could be used to stage troops, or assassins in small small numbers, likely a couple of dozen per base, without the beast pens being converted."
 

A broad grin crossed the Mandalorian's face as Atrox began his address, referring to Samhain as the tiny warmonger. Another action that would likely be frowned upon by the vast majority of the Council, Black moved across the floor and sat himself down in the seat that was typically held for Darth Akasha. It wasn't that he felt the need to sit down, he was making a statement in the action. Once he sat, he turned once again to listen to what the remaining speakers had to say, nodding approvingly at the suggestion of removing the chances of a situation like the previous civil war occurring. The Mandalorian leader would stand behind Darth Atrox if push came to shove, over any other member of the Dark Council. That piece of information, however, was one that he would keep to himself. His interest piqued at the idea of attacking Coruscant directly, assassins working through where armies could not, and it made sense to him. Shake the Republic to its very core, reminding even those at the furthest reaches of the conflict that they are not safe. The Empire's grasp was a huge, hungering thing, and would likely not even be sated by the death of the Jedi and the Republic.

 

Peace is, after all, a lie.

 

 

 

Excuse the crappy post, guys. Not enough sleep to translate what's in my head onto the page.

 

Edited by Corey
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Darth Tanit    455

Darth Tanit hated that the criticisms from the Mand'alor were wholly accurate. She had been away, coping with the medical issues that had consumed her for the past few months. Her breathing had gotten worse in spite of her efforts to stifle the long-term effects of the damage. She looked at the man, the axe, and the armor. He was indeed the very picture of Mandalorian power and leadership, and his concern for his people was admirable to say the least of it. The Empire and the Mandalorians were allied, and she had let them down on several occasions before ascending to the Dark Council, so it was no wonder that she was fighting an uphill battle to even prove she deserved the position in the first place. She would not relinquish control over the Sphere of Military Offense though, and any that sought the seat would have to pry her from it. Tanit nodded her head to the Mand'alor and would address his concerns when she was called upon to speak. If she was to instill confidence in the strongest allies the Empire possessed then she would have to instill some measure of confidence in her from their leader.

 

When it came to Darth Atrox though, it was altogether fitting that he hold the mantle of Military Defense. Even his physical presence inspired an image of an impregnable citadel. She let slide the commentary on her size. It was true, she was a tiny warmonger, despite her work to make herself as physically capable as she possibly could. Her height still proved to be the biggest disadvantage to her, and it played into her practice of Form V that she relied far more heavily on the princples of deflection, and counter-attacks, than an overwhelming offense. Her whole style of combat was predicated on being on the defensive, which was an ironic state of being considering she had become the Kaar of Military Offense. She could not help the desire for military glory though. It coursed through her Corellian blood and demanded of her nothing but the best. That she had failed to deliver the best for the Empire to this point was a personal mark of shame that she would do everything in her power to erase and replace with recognition for victories.

 

That feeling of respect dissipated though, when the waves of hatred that flowed from Darth Sanguira hit her. She could not remember the woman, or if she had ever slighted her, but to tell her that might wound the woman's ego. Not that her ego could possibly be ruined given the manner in which she carried herself. Still, her sharp jabs were just that, verbal jabs. They slid off, and meant little. There were greater concerns in the Empire than petty squabbling or rivalries. Once the floor had quieted and she felt she had been awarded time to speak she took it, and would not let go until she was damn well done. "A staging point is an excellent idea, Darth Sanguira." She said, with no hint of irony or sarcasm in her tone.

 

"With that being said, holding positions in the Republic will be difficult unless we secure a path for the logistical support. Basilisk would be a good starting point toward establishing a permanent presence in Republic territory but we must do it with a pointed target in mind. To that end I would recommend the Kuat system. While it is sure to be heavily defended, being the primary source of warships for the Republic, I feel that with the support of our Mandalorian allies, we can draw the Republic into battles in nearby systems and weaken the local defense forces enough for a surprise attack. Taking Kuat would be a multi-tier endeavor, and it will rely on our ability to misdirect the Republic's defense forces long enough to take the shipyards." Tanit said, focusing the map from Basilisk to Kuat.

 

Darth Tanit looked at Darth Sanguira, "The Kuati are a matriarchal society, and they are ruled by noble families that are constantly in competition with one another. Perhaps with your agents you could provide some measure of destabilization on the world, finding weaknesses in the families and exploiting them. I have no doubt about your capabilities or those of your Sphere." Her attention shifted to the Mand'alor after this though, and rightfully so.

 

"Given Balmorra's proximity to Kuat it is likely that any strong military escalation in response to the unrest on the world could be seen as an escalation in aggression toward the Republic. It would be a logical progression to create diversion in the area. If the Republic is looking for a fight on Balmorra I trust that Darth Atrox and your forces would be more than capable of dealing with any aggression they may well present. Of course that is provided they are looking to take Balmorra, and that they are behind the unrest. Even if the blame does not rest with Republic conspirators I am sure Darth Sanguira or Sith Intelligence could arrange a smooth piece of news that could implicate the Republic in escalating aggressions. While we need no true excuses to attack the Republic, it would certanly ease the citizens minds to know that the actions we take are for the expansion of the Empire, as well as the security of the people. Of course, this is all subject to change, depending on input from both yourself and Darth Atrox." Darth Tanit said, leaving the map and the floor to whomever it was to speak next. She had just proposed her first military campaign action on the Dark Council and it was her hope that it would not be perceived as too flighty or too far-reaching. It was always a habit of her to think a little too grandly, but that was what her peers were for...useful input and hopefully useful critique.

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Darth Verrin    2,031

"Ahh... another war..." Verrin thought, but didn't say.

 

It was no surprise, really, that the Empire was dealing with another war. Was it the same war? Was this just another 'battle' in a long, continuous, arduous campaign to force the submission of the entire galaxy? Would it end there, or go beyond to other galaxies in time? Was this the very definition of 'Empire' - the constant struggle to maintain law and order in a place where so many differences of opinion vied for dominance? History showed that war knew no real 'scale'. The tribes of Dathomir warred with one another. The noble houses of Alderaan warred with each other. The planets of a given system would wage war for control of that group of planets. Hutts warred with one another for pecking order in Hutt space. And the Republic always fought against what they perceived as suppression by the Empire, while the Empire had to continually push them back down in order to maintain its holdings. Was war ever truly won?

 

Verrin looked around the room at each Kaar in turn. It was one of the strongest Councils he'd seen, and he'd even witnessed the Vitiate's during his time. Sunder was strong and stable, thoughtful, strategic. He understood war on a scale that Verrin simply did not - Verrin had no real interest in it, other than historical. As much as he didn't like Atrox, Verrin respected the man's power and ability. He had watched Atrox rise from nothing, to Hand, to Darth and Kaar, bringing about the Inquisition, and ending up in the seat of Defense. Ambitious and aggressive, yes, but not without merit. And then there was his own former apprentice, Tanit, who struggled to become an authority of the military. She showed passion in her speech, and a real zest for war that Verrin couldn't match. And whether she recognized it or not, the reason that Corey Black had just complimented Verrin on giving him a good fight, was largely because of the time Tanit had spent training Verrin to become stronger, faster, more skilled in fighting. Without her help, Verrin wouldn't be alive after that encounter. For that matter, without her aid, he wouldn't have risen to his own seat on the Council. Tanit was stronger than she gave herself credit for... certainly more than the rest of the Council gave her credit for.

 

And then Atrox had dropped the news that Valyrian's absence was due to Dark Side sickness. Verrin sighed quietly at that. Few Sith pushed as hard as Valyrian did, and because of that pushing, he had risen to the seat of Emperor. The challenge for the Emperor now was to find the balance so that he could maintain his seat of power, without falling prey to the costs associated with it. It sounded like this time, he'd only fallen sick. At least he hadn't died from his efforts. Verrin wondered if there was any merit in meeting with him to discuss ways to aid him in finding that balance.

 

But back tot he point of this meeting - the war. Here, Verrin had very little to offer. His sphere, historically, had been involved with every war - from the fights against Jedi, to the exodus of Nogatan, to the Civil strife a few years ago. But he was not a leader in war - his role was in support. Some at this meeting would consider diplomatic issues, like Sanguira's plans to drop a sympathetic governor into place once the war was over. Others would think of troop movements, placements, and tactical plans - such were the roles of the military-based Kaars, and the Mandalorians. But Ancient Knowledge's role in such situations was support and acquisitions. Guardians and other groups would move in behind main forces to offer occupational support. Imperial Reclamations would acquire caches of physical things - objects d' art, and literary materials. The art would likely end up in the Emperor's palace, or sold to fund the war machine. Such was the nature of Knowledge. It had a place, but at the war table, it had little to offer aside from guidance of what tactics and strategies worked historically. Sanguira, knowingly or not, was using history even now to plan her insertion of the governor.

 

So for the moment, Verrin remained silent - attentive, but quiet. If something came up that sounded a warning bell in his mind, he'd bring it up.  Otherwise, he would only be speaking to interrupt those who had more important roles to play at this stage.

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Darth Atrox    454

Darth Vowrawn felt the edges of his lips curl up as he listened to Darth Nidus, it was a brilliant idea - strategic, yet reminiscent of the Sacking of Coruscant. Though it wasn't to be a full out offense, it was similar to what had occurred on Dromund Kaas so many years before, when the Republic staged a double strike, attacking from above to provide a distraction while landing a small vessel onto the surface - taking more casualties above while dealing a decisive blow to Vitiate, it definitely had his approval. To strike with deadly force concealed under a veil, though it wouldn't be waste as many resources. Teeth gritting as Darth Sanguira made the comment about the planet that had been abandoned, the older Sith tilted his head towards the Mand'alor for more information on that situation - it was sound, but it would take planning and resources to properly set up anything to sustain soldiers and assassins.

 

Darth Tanit's attack route was suicidal, though Darth Vowrawn merely gave it thought before running his nails against his forehead. The Kuat Drive Yards had been attacked by smaller groups of Sith and Imperial operatives before, but they couldn't secure the position, the most they could do was take Republic technology to improve upon. The numbers that ran through Darth Vowrawn's head caused a slight ache as he looked over at Darth Xisad who sat there with a grin placed upon his lips, the silence of the man merely meant he was gathering information, calculating the successes within his head and what his operatives could do to assist Darth Nidus.

 

"The Castigate will assist you, Lady Nidus and Lady Sanguira, that is.. if you are willing to put forth your own Sphere resources to sustain our soldiers and assassins, Lady Sanguira?" Darth Ragas did position not shift at all as her Atrisian accent filtered through her vocoder, amplifying her quiet voice, "I can provide a suitable distraction on the surface of Coruscant, drawing away some of the Jedi and Republic soldiers away from their posts," the blank mask she wore turned towards Darth Nidus as she bowed her head. Turning her head back to the holo-projector, she peered through it towards Darth Vowrawn, her expression masked by the calm air, "I will send a group from the Castigate alongside those sent by the Mand'alor and Lady Sanguira. I'd rather not waste the lives of those loyal citizens because of a few rebels, though perhaps you can use such a device to frame these rebels, Lord Sunder," finishing her final words, she returned to her silence, her head hanging low as she focused within.

 

Darth Sunder practically let out a sigh before bringing his hand to the comm unit on his wrist, the cybernetic clicking and whirring ending as the man sat back further and rested. Even without the cumbersome cybernetics that the former Emperor had forced the man to wear, he felt the exhaustion on his mind from the amount of work his body had to put forth to sustain his more technologically advanced ones, the stimulant injectors not activated for this current situation.

 

"I suppose attacking a major shipyard and sacrificing yourself is what you are gonna attempt, Lady Tanit? You speak without thinking! That is like attacking the Corellian shipyards and expecting to not be struck down by the Republic fleet. The only reason Balmorra is still in our control is because of our spies. A smart tactician works inward, striking their weak points. I am unsure how our assassins and soldiers will be capable of getting off of Coruscant, let alone what soldiers we will have ready with that plan," Darth Cognitus gritted his teeth in response to Darth Tanit's idea, the entire idea that she was the replacement for Darth Wrayd meant she was supposed to be a suitable replacement, not someone who sought death. "With this.. woman denouncing the disappearance of the Emperor before even knowing why, I do not understand why we would follow any of her ideas, her loyalties are clearly not with the Emperor. Until we have a clear plan, I will withdraw my assets from any war where the odds are clearly stacked against us," taking his seat after leaving Darth Atrox's side, the man practically felt an unfathomable rage within - what was war when strategy was thrown out the window? It was savagery.

 

Darth Atrox listened to the conversations and shook his head, without a true leader, the Dark Council merely spat what they thought was right without much direction. "Enough." The words were growled as the Kaar looked up from the holo-projector at all his equals, though the man had very little interest in the ideas presented, the suicidal and complicated plans were foolish without committing to one, "Lady Sanguira, you do understand that Basilisk is near Anaxes, yes? If the Republic even catches a single sight of an Imperial aligned ship, including a shuttle, this entire operation could go down in flames. Though I suppose that is why I will gather my own S.S. to eliminate any individuals that learn of this meeting." They could not fight on countless fronts if they were to win, yet the Kaar did not focus on one individual as his gaze shifted between them all, instead focusing on the Hands of the Emperor, those that merely watched and never spoke, unless required.

 

"If we are to strike at the heart of the Republic, Lady Tanit, you will reinforce Lady Nidus, Lady Sanguira and Lady Ragas, then you will focus on Alderaan. If you wish to prove yourself to this council, you must do more than talk, you must show your loyalty to the Sith Empire, not seek some glorified death," keeping his eyes on the two individuals, the Kaar did not care for the childish indecisiveness of the Dark Council, nor those that were silent, "Unless you have an issue with taking commands, Tanit?" The aggressive tone of the Kaar revealed his patience was wearing thin, though he had no reason to hide such a thing.

 

"Niarcmorn and Chiarcmorn, would you be so kind to explain what the Emperor desires with the Empire in his absence?" Finally addressing the man and woman who stood side by side, the Kaar felt the weight of the council shift onto the two Hands. Continuing to stand, the Kaar refused to take the seat near Darth Sanguira and Darth Cognitus.

 

 

Post Information

Spoiler

Your turn, Lucian. Crap post that I rushed out, but hopefully it gets us along the way and spices up a bit of internal conflict ;)

 

Edited by Kure
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Emperor Valyrian    1,075

Darth Chiarcmorn, adorned in his typical long green robes, glanced quickly at Sefas as the Kaar of Military Defense offered the floor to them. Until this point, the Hands of the Emperor had been more or less ignored, much as they were during any other meeting. They both preferred to stand alone, innocuous in the background. Fewer within the Council had even seen their face, let alone knew their rank or title, knowing that they existed, and practically nothing more. Appearing now at this juncture was a rather unexpected surprise - destroying the secrecy that they had spent more than half a decade - long before Valyrian's ascent to the throne - creating. The eyes of the Council lingered on them, and their studious eyes penetrated into the depths of their appearance. Darth Chiarcmorn, his face still concealed by his green cloak, and Darth Niarcmorn, her long black hair and purple dress standing openly in the face of the Council, eminating the faux power that the Emperor had given them through rank and happenstance.

 

Yet their glances couldn't penetrate through the veil, they couldn't see the secrets, nor influence that they had spent so long attuning. Codes within codes, proxies and hidden names emasculated their entire being. Chiarcmorn hid his face out of necessity, while Niarcmorn knew her face, while beautiful, would open the doors that his could not. A perfect pair, and only Sefas knew exactly how perfectly paired they were. Ritual bonding through Ancient Sith spells had created something unique within them, a force to be reckoned with, loyal only to him. To the Emperor. To Darth Valyrian.

 

'The Emperor left instructions in our care - and will continue to do so during his absence,' Niarcmorn said, her voice filling the room, 'His absence is out of necessity - his rule however, remains resolute. His words in this matter will be accepted, even if he can not be here to personally give them. The Dark Side is on his side - our side - and though the necrosis has taken him, he remains as powerful and resolute than ever. His power cannot be questioned, his mind sharper than ever. His body fails, a need for protection was discussed, and together, we decided that he should withdraw from the public, in order to protect himself, and ensure that the Empire still had a ruler worth leading. Watch his words.'

 

She waved her hand toward the projector in the centre of the round desk that the Council traditionally sat. A hologram burst into life - the face of the Emperor appearing large and proud over the room, his body obscured from view. Every rivet of his face could be seen - every deep blemish and wrinkle appeared, the bags under his eyes deep and pronounced, as the flesh clung to the bond beneath. His eyes were sunken and red, withdrawn from the body, the gaps between flesh and eye completely visible through the gaps in the skin. His hair - that which could be seen, was thin and ragged. There was an unmistakable presence of tiredness which personified him, his skin pale and yet bruised and thin. His breath was laboured, pausing between words as he spoke, often running out of breath. A thin cord wrapped itself around his face, inserted into his thin nose for oxygen, and although obscured from view, the sound of medical devices working to keep his body alive could be heard in the background of his transmission.

 

This was not a live recording - this was evident from his first word. Pre-recorded, and played at the perfect time, it was likely done at a moment of healthiness. Yet despite this, his eyes portrayed the same deadly power as ever, the Force rippled through him, his presence and power evident in his composure, despite his condition.

 

'It is no surprise that my condition has worsened.'

 

He paused for breath, the words sinking in, 'The Dark Side has given me the power of the galaxy - but its costs are high, and the effort it takes to sustain the incredible power it has given me has become increasingly difficult. The injuries from my duel with Ferreus have continued to deteriorate, despite the best healing I could perform. Slowly disease, injury, and the sheer force of the Dark Side's will have eroded my body, continuing the path it begun years ago, forcing me to accept the limitations of my position. While my body decays, my spirit lives as powerful and alive as ever - but I can not longer sit in the tower of the Citadel with the protection of my Guard. I have taken steps to protect myself further, as I recover myself enough to rule this Empire from afar. My rule must continue, so through my Council, we must continue on the path we all began together when Cideon abandoned us.'

 

The mention of the former Emperor always brought attention to the room, and for good reason - Cideon remained the greatest threat to the security of Valyrian's Empire, given his bond over the Council members who had existed at the time. But, that number was quickly depleted, leaving only a few in high position that could be sworn against him. For whatever reason, Cideon's name was enough to bring attention to their state of being, 'You may take my absence as weakness, however. You may even try to assume the Throne, and denounce me as Emperor. You may even win the support of the Council, in a show of energy and power - perhaps even rule for a time, winning support of the Empire as a whole. But do not assume that this would be without bloodshed and great loss, as we are distracted from our main goal. I am not dead, I am not missing, I am simply protecting myself from the necrosis that has weakened me.

 

'Dethroning me would only lead to a destabilization of the Empire, further necrosis of the Forces that were depleted during our last Civil War, as I am forced to retake the Empire by brute Force. Do not assume that I am any less powerful because I am absent from Dromund Kaas. I have grown more powerful since I assumed the throne, and those loyal to me will remain so. If you want my throne, if you feel that you can lead my Empire better than me... prove it, by destroying the Republic in my name. Don't forget the threat that they pose, that only through complete and absolute control of the galaxy can we achieve the goal of Order throughout the galaxy.

 

'We must win the war - but we will never do it by brute force and military might - we must do it through sheer conviction of mind, unity of thought and concentrated power. By becoming the face of Order, embodying the position Rightful Governance, by showing sure steady and fair use of Power, we can prove to the galaxy that we are not just an Empire of Sith, but a government worthy of Galactic recognition. We are corrupt, but we are honest about our fallacies, rather than the archaic failings of the Old Republic. By proving to the galaxy that we are the true heirs to the galaxy, ready to end the corruption and neglect of the Republic.

 

'We are the Empire. We must prevail. We must remain strong, vigilent, and above all above reproach. I have faith in my Council, in all of you, but I will maintain contact through my Hands, and privately in correspondence to ensure my will is completed, but I am certain that the plans in place, that the tactics being prepared, even now as I embark on my hiatus from the limelight, will ensure that the war will turn in my favour. May the Force,' Valyrian said finally, his words deep but encouraging, 'be with the Empire.'

 

The transmission disappeared, and Lord Sefas gave a shudder.

 

Nobody liked the sound of their own voice.

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Darth Sanguira    226

Sneering at being questioned, the brunette calmed herself and kept herself from becoming hostile in talk by imagining her clawed hands around the other's throat and a look of panic upon her face.  Yes, some day they would all learn to fear her, men and women alike.  Until then she had to sit tight and feign obedience while still keeping some of her cards out of play and saved for later - no use in showing her full hand just yet.  The tension in the room was rising, thickening, soon to be able to be cut with a blade at this rate, each growing more aggravated at one another with each passing moment.  Sith.  Peaceful was not in their nature, and cooperation was hard fought against within their minds.  It took great self control to be able to even sit in the same room and not try to kill one another with how deep some feelings of hatred for one another went.

 

Being questioned by both the helmeted Atrisian woman that controlled the Castigate and her lover, her digits began to tap against the tabletop in annoyance, her expression carefully neutral after a brief flash of molten in her eyes when the Darth dismissed her in order to allow the Emperor's situation be brought forward with more detail.  Lip curling at his image, his appearance all the more reason she needed to find a way to harness more power in a bit of a round-about way and thus would seek out Darth Nidus post meeting, the lady leaned back in her chair, forcing herself to relax slightly as she listened to every word the old-looking man said.  His eyes, she noticed, were clear as ever, sharp as ever, something she had noticed since first having to kneel before him, though his body looked as soft as butter.  If he managed to overcome this necrosis he ailed from, her task at taking over his position would become that much more difficult.  

 

"He is as ugly as he is powerful.  I wonder if he was a looker in his youth," she murmured to herself, not caring if any heard her or not - it was a backhanded compliment, something no one should be offended by.  Dismissing the siblings in her mind once the message had been played, her wonder of their power and position being stored to ponder upon later.  Now was the time to prove to the others she deserved to be treated as an equal, to not be questioned once more, to show she was faithful to the Empire's cause.  Later would be the time to deal with private matters, including scolding her lover for daring to question her.

 

"Yes, my Lords and Ladies.  Basilisk is indeed close to Anexes, which is why I said that a route would have to be carefully picked instead of a beeline made straight for Coruscant.  And it is better than having a planet on the other side of Coruscant, even closer to Anexes, do you not agree?  Other locations would also attract too much attention, a warning getting out to the Republic before we can silence the inhabitants.  At least with Basilisk we stand more of a chance on beating the Republic to Coruscant.  Getting everyone to safety is an issue, but not one that I am overseer of - I merely am providing a starting or ending point, providing information per my forte.  On that note, however, with what the Mand'alor has said, and the fact that Darth Ragas is questioning my dedication, allow me to assist in this plan more than I typically would."  Shooting a glare at Darth Ragas, the femme continued to speak, sitting a bit straighter once again, yet not bothering to stand, her arms crossed casually over her chest.  "After this meeting, I have some business with my former home world of Hapes.  They will join us and support us one way or another, and are a great source of trade as well as pilots with their own ships, ships not registered to the Empire.  Assassins and the like can be dropped off using these ships, and the Republic scum will remain unaware of the danger that is about to strike at their heart.  If you need anything else, Ragas, do let me know.  I would hate to not put forth everything I have..."

 

Giving a moment for her words to sink it, the woman then glanced briefly at the Kaar of Military Offense.  "I care not for your plan, but I do agree that we should focus on finding a foothold in the Republic Space.  That said, it has to be their outer territory we claim first, and will take too much time and resources to do that before the attack on Coruscant.  They will have fortified the planet, if not moved those of importance off world completely.  Everyone, is this attack to take over the Republic, or cripple it?  It is meant to cripple them so that our victory is ensured, and it is only after we hit them where it hurts that we may shift our resources to tighten the noose around their neck.'

Edited by Kure
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I feel like I ballsed this up in a rather epic way, but yeah. 

 

Black inclined his head towards the blank masked Kaar. "I would appreciate the assistance of the Castigate in this matter. Their reputation is formidable, and well earned."

 

What patience he currently possessed was being worn thin by the bickering that was taking place, but he held himself still until he could not any longer. Removing his mask revealed sulphur coloured eyes, the same eyes that stared back at him from a good number of faces around the table.
 

"It seems to me that some of us are forgetting why we're here. The Empire is what is best for all of us, without it the Sith would be right back to murdering each other for the sake of doing so, and you would not hold the power that you do now. You act as though you are independent of one another, far too often. I am an outsider with this Council and I am not Sith, but I am no fool. You are more than pieces of some simple machine, easily replaced. Each and every one of you here is as though lashed to a section of the very force that holds this Empire together, and in refusing to work together you think that you put yourself in a stronger position, but you don't, you simply weaken yourselves, and the rest of the Empire in the process." Mand'alor banged a gauntlet clad fist on the edge of the table, with perhaps a little more force than he had intended, yet still, he did not raise his voice, the cold fury that washed through it was more than emphasis enough. "I would trust any one of my weapons to kill a man, Darth Cognitus, but I would not expect it to come to the decision of how on its own. That is what the brain is for, is it not? If you are looking for an excuse to sit the war out, then demanding guaranteed victory from a battle is a sure way to do it." The Kaar's words caused more rage to rise like bile within the Mandalorian's chest, and he fought against unleashing a barrage of insults at a being he actually for the most part respected, in his native tongue. "There is no such thing, as a guaranteed victory."

 

The concern regarding the operatives leaving Coruscant was a valid one, one that Black had something of a simple answer to, but at the same time, it was not so simple. "If anyone knows the current location for the planet's orbital defence controls, then I will personally deal with that. Without their defences to stop ships leaving, anything overt is likely to cause beings to flee in a panic. All you need to do then is blend in." Glancing over at Nidus and her entourage, he shrugged slightly. "Something I'm sure that your people are familiar with, Lady Nidus."

 

The Mandalorian leader fell silent at Atrox's command, and he listened to the Emperor's speech, as well as what followed directly afterwards. He did not have a great deal to say regarding what the Emperor's plans were, beyond the fact that they did make a certain degree of sense to him. The message was clear. Oppose me and be destroyed. The Mandalorian had a similar philosophy, though it was not always so absolute as that.

 

"The Hapans will not be easily swayed, Lady Sanguira. They are a proud and stubborn people, as I am sure you're well aware. If I may aid in that endeavour at all, please let me know. And be careful that you are not seen, your face will be known to Republic’s SIS, and they will likely put two and two together, and be more suspicious of Hapes." Pausing quickly, he inserted a data cube into the reader for the table, and the display changed, showing an image for the hull of a ship that was quite unlike anything that either side possessed.

"When we are able to build ships like these, we will be able to go virtually anywhere, assuming that the simulations are accurate. Until then -" He keyed the image to change without giving any further information about them. "We have numerous perfectly legitimate Civilian Republic vessels that are registered within the Republic, were purchased from there, as well as several smaller vessels that are often seen as escorts for the larger ones, given the issues with piracy that plague the territory. A Republic merchant vessel stopping within an uninhabited system to recharge its hyperdrive wouldn't be so out of place, would it? Nor would it seem out of place for it to be escorted in these trying times, especially if its flight plan has it listed as heading through Hutt Space along the route. It is the long way around, but feasible.”

Black’s face spilt into a grin as he looked at the assembled Kaar’s. “I have hunted beings from the far edges of the Empire to Coruscant itself, and my own ship has never been given a second look within their capital. Just another independant freighter captain, plying the trade routes.” If it sounded as though the Mandalorian was being entirely too open, then it was deliberate. He was, however, not telling them everything, by a long way.

 

“The idea, I assume, is to sow fear. If they’re scared enough of us, they will cripple themselves, however some will simply be hardened in their resolve. Within the larger conflict, we need to push to the Republic’s borders, create stable supply lines, and then strike at their borders.” Black paused thoughtfully. “I would think one could be created with might, and the other with softly spoken words in the right ears, with no overt military action, to ensure a weakened border in that area. That advantage would likely not last long, but it would still be enough for an initial push. We need to make sure we can’t be boxed in, or we will die. That is the issue, aside from the actual target choice, that presents itself to me with Kuat. The time for strikes like that will come, but it is too soon. There may be no such thing as a guaranteed victory, but there's no point in stacking the odds impossibly high.” Shrugging his armoured shoulders, he fell silent, curious to see whether anyone would have anything as explosive to offer at his own suggestions.

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Darth Verrin    2,031

One by one, the Kaars rose and spoke, and one by one, they were scorned, insulted, or largely ignored. Verrin kept waiting to hear more from the various Kaars of the Military, but it seemed they were all waiting for something - maybe for Atrox to take the lead, or optimally, for the Emperor to give his nod to one of them and their ideas. As if on cue, the two Hands spoke up, and then Valyrian appeared via holo, and Verrin watched with quiet interest.

 

The Emperor spoke of unity among the Council, and unity of focus, thoughts, and goals. He spoke of an Empire that would bring law and order, and not chaos and corruption. He spoke as a true Emperor, and less like a Sith, and Verrin didn't miss the distinction. For some time, people thought of the Sith and the Empire as one entity. But in fact, they were two - both allied with one another because their interests were in alignment. Should something untoward happen, and the Empire decide that the Sith were too chaotic, then they would have to separate themselves from the order, lest they fall apart. The Sith, witnessing the power of unity that the Empire brought, supported their goals - but if the Empire fell to the Republic, then the Sith Order would move on elsewhere - to either strive against the Jedi or join some other lawful, more powerful cause. The Emperor - being both the Empire's leader AND a Sith, was the glue that kept both groups together as one, stronger than either were when separate. It was a difficult position to be in, but had the potential to bring the greatest rewards - for when one had power over an entire Empire, then it was far, far easier to execute one's will on others.

 

Verrin happened to be close enough to Sanguira that when the transmission ended, and she mumbled, " He is as ugly as he is powerful.  I wonder if he was a looker in his youth," he heard it. It made him think on the Emperor's looks, and he started to turn to her to ask her a question that had been nagging his mind.

 

But then she was speaking on matters he couldn't quite understand, given his relative seclusion to things political. She concluded by disagreeing with the Military leader, Atrox, and asking the Council if they were attacking to take over the Republic, or cripple it. Verrin wasn't sure he understood the distinction - they sounded similar to him - but then, he was no military mastermind, nor a diplomat. He fell silent for the moment.

 

Corey Black spoke next, and he might as well have been considered an equal to any of the Kaars of the Military, given his influence and the power of the full Mandalorian armies. It sounded like he was working out a way to work with Sanguira, to solidify the control of Hapes. He went on to address the Council as a whole, offering that they would attack with both strength of arms, and power of voice. Neither were Verrin's strong suits, and he frowned a little bit. He had very little to offer in wars, and while frustrating, it wasn't something he was looking to improve upon. He was reminded again that he was likely invited to this meeting as a courtesy rather than to actually provide any sort of advice or help.

 

That last thought finally caused him to turn, and quietly speak to Lady Sanguira so as not to interrupt the more important conversations going on around the room. "Your pardon, Lady... I couldn't help but overhear you. It made me think of a recent encounter that may or may not be important to our overall plans.  During a recent battle on Alderaan, I came across a man who matches your... pointed remark about our Emperor. Is this knowledge at all helpful to our cause?"

 

He turned the datapad on his wrist towards her, and brought up an image of the man he'd met, and fought. "He introduced himself as C'erian Eidolan, Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. President of the Senate. He claimed he lived in our Empire. Don't you think he looks a bit too much like our beloved Emperor?"

 

The resemblance was startling - a younger, fresher Valyrian. But Verrin wasn't hopeful that this information would be useful. Everyone knew who the Republic Senate's President was, didn't they?

 

Sorry for the odd post - having a hard time figuring out where to fit in here.

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Darth Tanit    455

Darth Tanit's face twisted into a scowl listening to Darth Cognitus. She would have said something about it but the Mand'alor, and to a lesser degree Darth Atrox said enough on the matter that her anger was quelled to a tolerable level. Her first meeting with the Dark Council and already she had found the one figure among them that she would not mourn were they to pass. While she most certainly had a face that, when at rest, made her look displeased to say the best, the frown remained and her hatred most certainly remained there in the Force. She breathed in, and exhaled with her eyes closed. On the table her fist clenched tightly, and in her chest she felt a burning like bile bubbling up.

 

Her seething attention was drawn to the projection of the Emperor though, and his face was nothing like she had seen before. He was worse for wear, and it was no surprise really. With how deeply he swam in the Dark Side it was only natural to expect his body to pay the tax for the power it granted. Tanit had known him before he was the Emperor, and indeed before he was even on the Dark Council, having met him when she was barely even an acolyte. How times change. It would be foolish, just as he suggested, to assume that anyone could take the throne and hold it. Someone that degraded and physically frail easily made up for that shortcoming with their potency in the Force. While Tanit had no designs on the throne for herself, she did not trust that everyone in the Council shared that ideal with her.

 

By the time the Emperor's speech concluded though, she took the floor to address the concerns with her plan. They were valid, entirely, but ultimately a long-term goal rather than the military's current course of action. Her failure in proposal was suggesting it as if it would be committed to right away, and that was her own fault. Her drive for greater prestige through military conquest clouded her vision of the immediate future. "I, more than anyone, know that no battle is ever guaranteed to be a victory. You are absolutely corrrect, Mand'alor. Something like Kuat is meant to be a long-term goal, and not an immediate undertaking. If our esteemed peer Darth Cognitus still feels this way in the future, if such an undertaking becomes more feasible, then he will most certainly affirm your, and my assessment, that they are unfit to carry out a war." Tanit said with the tact and grace of a rancor rampaging through a cantina. Her eyes lingered on Cognitus before turning to the Mand'alor"And to be perfectly frank, the Emperor has made his will known perfectly. It is our duty to operate the Empire like the machine it is meant to be. We, as parts, offer our own skill and insight..." Her eyes averted yet again to Cognitus, "But each and every one of us are expendable and easily replaced."

 

Tanit unclenched her tightly wound fist, "As for your polite request Lord Atrox, I will mobilize my forces and provide close support for the efforts of our peers." her overly obsequious tone an obvious show of distaste for the treatment she was receiving, "But on the matter of Alderaan, I would like your input specifically. Do you wish for a full-scale invasion, or would you prefer I blockade the world and force their surrender by indirect means? Either one is easily possible all things considered, but I would hate to damage the planet's infrastructure unnecessarily when we could turn the world to the Empire without obliterating the entire place. Once the world falls, would you like to turn the foppish production of wines and fine luxury goods to something more pointedly advantageous to the Empire? No matter, that is under the purview of Darth Vowrawn, and I am sure he will make the most logical decision regarding how to use the planet's resources for the purposes of supporting the logistical expenses needed to take Alderaan from the Republic. Will Lord Cognitus be joining me for the Alderaan campaign, or would he prefer to stay here cowering behind the illusion that victories are unearned?" She said, her attitude and tone taking a very sour turn nearer to the end of her statements. Being commanded like some underling rather than treated as a peer was the ultimate insult. Had she not earned her way onto the Council after so long? Had she not struggled enough with the image she had? Apparently not, but her words fell heavy from her mouth like hateful bricks through a glass floor.

 

"When should I begin my preparations?" Tanit concluded, keeping the previously clenched hand flat on the table now. The one on the arm of the chair took up that part, clenching just as tightly as the other. There was a rage seething in her body that she was suppressing, as the Council's chambers was no place to cause a scene. Nor was it in the best interests of the Empire to see the Kaars killing one another either way. Her final question was blunt, fast, and lacked any of the previously polite tone she had taken. If they wre going to treat her as if she was nothing, a puppet to be commanded, then she had more work to do than she imagined. That hateful glare of hers finally rested back on Lord Cognitus, just to watch his face twisting with anger. At least she knew that his buttons were simple and easy to push, should she ever have the misfortune of facing him as an enemy rather than as a peer on the Council.

Edited by Darth Tanit

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