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Darth Verrin

Imperial Kaar
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2,130 The One


About Darth Verrin

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    Kaar of Ancient Knowledge
  • Birthday 07/20/1970

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    Corruption III
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    2 Protocol Droids - Gifted to Vanessa and Holle (-4)

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    Combat Stimulant Injector
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    Darth Verrin
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  1. Suspicions....

    "What a strange bird," Verrin thought to himself. "Or is that 'odd duck'? I never remember those old sayings right." He looked over at the egg, almost wondering where it came from. Had the jailors brought it for breakfast? That seemed unusually cruel, even for them. No, it sounded like Vashlai was proud, so perhaps the efforts were hers. She gushed about offspring, causing Verrin's eyebrow to raise a bit under his hood, but he didn't comment about it directly. Instead, he corrected her, "Now you know you can TRY to become Sith. Not everyone makes it. In fact... a surprising number do not." He thought back to all of those who had gone through the Academy with him. None survived that he knew of. He'd lost so many attachments. And considering the egg, it reminded him how he lost his family. Unlike may Force users who came to the Sith, he hadn't been young. His parents hadn't been murdered, and he hadn't hated them to a point where he killed them. He had a loving family, a wife, was father to three children. All gone - most because of the Sith or Madolorians. His only daughter, lost to the Jedi. Time had hardened him, scabbed over the raw emotion of loss to a degree. But he kept it, buried deep within him, to call upon when he needed to use the Force like he never had before. It sounded like Vashlai hadn't lived long enough to experience that level of loss, or love. But if her emotional attachments came with maturity, then perhaps she COULD become a Sith as she aged. He looked at her, his head cocked at an angle as if seeing her from a different perspective might change his mind. It didn't... yet. "Well... I suppose we can start you on the path, see how you do. Don't make me regret this decision, Miss Vashlai. Always seek to impress me. Your quarters here won't be much better than this cell, I'm afraid. We haven't established enough financial flow to be frivolous with luxuries. But you'll find this facility has power, and controlled air, making it bearable compared to the jungle outside. I suggest you begin your instruction in the Library, or the Pits, depending on your preference for intellectual improvement or martial training. Also... learn where the Infirmary is. You may find yourself spending some time there in your early days." He took one more look at her. Nope... still wasn't changing his mind. If she wasn't cut out for this life, they would both know soon enough. He turned to leave, and as an afterthought, paused. Without turning back, he added, "My Lord works well enough," he said, answering her question from the day before. "I am called Darth Verrin." And with that, he left the room. One of the guards showed up seconds later, apparently ordered to take Vashlai to some kind of quarters that new Acolytes used on the premises. Sure enough, while the temperature was controlled, the rooms were relatively small and spare on furnishings. A small table, chair, and bed seemed to be 'it', but atop the table sat a wrist-mount datapad with a map to parts of the facility that would be important to a budding Sith. Cafeteria, entrance/exit, a sort of makeshift cantina that mostly consisted of a bar and a few tables and chairs, the Library, the Pits, and the Infirmary. An icon on the side said 'home', and apparently led back to this room. Vashlai the Vosh had successfully infiltrated the Sith.
  2. Suspicions....

    Verrin returned the next day, as promised. He entered the cell in the same manner he had before, and stood where he had before. He was even dressed the same, though it was unlikely one could tell if the clothing had been changed or was the exact same outfit. The cowl was up, in place, and his face was the only skin that saw the light of day. He considered the prisoner - the Sith hopeful? - for a few moments before he spoke. Depending on her patience, the silence might be unbearable, or welcome. He finally spoke, asking, "Well... have you considered? Do you require more time to weigh your decision? Or do you have any questions that remain unanswered that might be preventing you from coming to a conclusion, Miss Vashlai? I can come back, if you prefer."
  3. Suspicions....

    Verrin nodded. He could feel her anger in the Force, even if he couldn't read it on her avian features. "I see. Well - perhaps you can be redeemed yet." He smirked. People who tended to quash their feelings didn't usually see 'opening up' to them as redemption. "I want you to consider... think hard, Miss Vashlai. Can you see a path in your future where you care about something? It sounds contradictory, I know... the Sith have something of a predisposition to hatred and anger. But I promise you... if you can find love in your heart, or mind, or what-have-you... real affection for something or someone... then when you lose them, you will equally know hatred and anger like no other. By suppressing emotion... feelings... you only keep yourself from becoming greater than you are." It was probably a lot to take in, all at once, especially if she had spent a lifetime building up walls to protect her ego... or was genetically incapable of greater attachment to something or someone. Her story of being taken as an egg resonated along with all the other stories of abandonment that he'd heard over his many years. He always said that if he had five credits for every time he heard a Sith newcomer tell a story of either abandonment or of outright killing their parents, he could buy a new capitol ship. Vashlai had more in common with many Sith Acolytes - in that way- than she probably realized. The yearning for power was normal - expected - and a good sign of things to come. But the Dark Side fed on emotion. Vashlai might learn some Force technique or another if she applied herself... maybe levitate small objects, or inflict minor harm or health to another. But if she was serious about wanting true power... real power... then she was going to have an uphill battle to get in touch with her inner self. "Why don't you spend the evening here, in contemplation, or meditation, or whatever form of deep soul-searching or thought you might experience. Consider well my words, and think hard about whether or not you really, really want to feel. I promise you, it's wonderful, amazing... but it's also painful. It will lead you to the power you seek, and failing to embrace that idea will hurt your chances of surviving the Academy, assuming we accept you. I will see you again tomorrow," Verrin had every intention of trying to learn SOMEthing about this Vashlai, or at least her species between now and then. "It's good to sleep on matters that will affect your entire life." He didn't say whether she would be put to death or not - that wasn't important to him, and he didn't want her to have the confidence that came from knowing she would be put to death if she didn't agree to terms, or not. Promise her life, no matter her decision, and it would sway her. Similarly, promise death, and the survival instinct determines one's response. Best that she weigh all options. Verrin pulled the cowl back over his head, gave a slight nod in departing, and left the room. He would be true to his word, and return the next day.
  4. Suspicions....

    There were some communication issues, when dealing with this creature - the Vosh, she called herself. Verrin could tell right away when they spoke of tears. To him, tears, and crying were practically one and the same. One was a physical manifestation of the other. But to her, and maybe to a species who used pheromones in their tear ducts, they were very different activities. Or maybe she didn't quite understand the concept of crying, if she was as passionless as she claimed. Verrin considered her situation. She wasn't the epitome of a Sith, for certain. But was she capable of becoming one? He spoke quietly as well, matching her tone. "Lies... truths... I appreciate your honesty. I have found that lying merely spreads lies as supposed truths, preventing real information from being exchanged. Imagine if all we were ever taught was a lie - from the words we used to describe things to the 'facts of life'? Did you know, one some planets, the natives believe their world is flat and not spherical? I think there are some tribes, even here on Dathomir, who give credence to such beliefs. I could be lying to you about there being other Sith - other Darths in the galaxy. But to what end? You may be a good spy, but your field of view is somewhat limited, I think. There is so much more to see - things you have no idea even exist. If I were to tell you I could walk through that wall, for example... is it a lie because you haven't observed it? Is it truth merely because I said it? In order for you to learn anything about the Sith - the real Sith, the Code, and so forth, you have to accept instruction as truth. Otherwise, why bother learning it at all? And for that matter... " He grew serious, his tone still quiet, but his demeanor and body language took on more of a parental tone. "You bring up an important concern. You claim to be passionless, but the very nature of the Sith is a life of embracing our passion, our anger, our happiness, our love, our hate. It empowers us - makes us better able to tap into the Force you wish to learn more about. The Jedi resist that - they strive to be emotionless, to be clinical in all they do so that the 'heat' of anger or passion doesn't cause them to act against their beliefs. If you were to come on board, you would HAVE to embrace passion, my dear. Otherwise, there is little we can teach you. Perhaps that is the reason your 'cron kept things from you - it didn't feel your desire for knowledge, or hunger for power. Can you change, Vashlai the Vosh? If not, then yes, I could always use a spy, but I'm positive I cannot teach you anything about being Sith. The very first lines of our Code - the foundation of our belief system - is that Peace is a Lie, there is only Passion. And through Passion, I gain Strength. Tell me, Miss Vashlai... have you ever loved anything, or anyone?"
  5. Suspicions....

    Verrin couldn't quite put a finger on the coloration of the feathers, but it seemed like their hue was related to emotion. Green was... amusement? Cynicism? Perhaps it was merely something to throw an observer off, or maybe she used them to influence the minds of others. Verrin didn't sense any mental manipulation though - and he was more skilled at resisting it than most. But given the apparent honesty, he went along without further concern about it. He did give a slight huff of air through his nose though, as she spoke of him as one of two Dark Lords capable of running the remnant. He then corrected her, "Oh, child..." he said, though he'd never used the term for anybody else since becoming a Sith. Perhaps it was a nod to her inexperience, rather than age, though it was impossible to tell how old she was given his ignorance about her species. "I used to think like you. I used to try to hide in the shadows. Now... I am the shadows." He reached up and pulled back the cowl of his robe, revealing his crown of horns. Some were broken and worn, others were intact, and all looked solid enough. His facial tattoos and dusky lavender skin continued up through the crown and over the back of his otherwise bald head. But still those golden eyes shone like beacons in his dark countenance. "There are more Dark Lords than you know. This may be the remnants of Dromund Kaas, but there are others out there - some scouring the galaxy for new footholds, others seeking survivors, and still others seeking solitude. There are even other groups of Sith in the galaxy - not all of them agree with the former Emperor or Vitiate before him. Two of us? Bah... I cannot imagine that the Sith have fallen so far as to rely solely on me for their survival." He had revealed his own species - the Zabrak - and began to pace the area of the cell near the door. "Don't cry for me, Vashlai... " he commented, quoting an old stage show. "You may want to, in time, but I don't see any reason to waste them at this time. But let's talk trade, shall we?" "If you're half the spy you say you are, then you know we are hurting. A true spy would give us up to the Jedi, and they would descend on this planet in whatever numbers they could muster to stamp us out forever. Heck... they might even bombard the planet from afar. We cannot have that - obviously - so part of what we seek in exchange for instruction and acceptance, is loyalty." He paused and glanced over at her, then added, "There are blood rituals we could perform to assure your obedience... your subservience... but that would be making you something of a slave, not a Sith. We could ask you for 'your word', but historically, that has failed time and again. So what I'd need from you, would be some assurance - some proof - of your loyalty, first to the Order, and then to yourself. The training is difficult... for some, lethal. It takes dedication, certainly, but also a willingness to understand things that we're taught our entire lives cannot be. The Jedi will flat out refuse to train anyone other than a youngling - they believe that one cannot unlearn ingrained ideas. The Sith do not hold to that philosophy. I suspect that's part of the reason you're here. Otherwise - why wouldn't you go to the 'kindly' Jedi? You know... those 'kindly' Jedi who sought to wipe us from the galaxy?"
  6. Suspicions....

    Verrin gave a wry smirk, the expression visible from the open cowl. "And how aware of my existence were you, I wonder?" He proffered. Still, with hands clasped, he offered, "Betrayal... practically a defining characteristic of the old Sith. Certainly, a characteristic of the Jedi. I would argue that betrayal is easy... loyalty is much more difficult. But..." He made a waving motion. "That is neither here nor there. You say you've observed us for years... how far back? Dromund Kaas? Further? And what did all that observing teach you? What have you learned, Miss Vashlai? More importantly," he argued, "You asked the same questions I posed to you, but didn't answer any of them. Why WOULD you put yourself at our mercy? Are you claiming yourself to be a dullard? You say a smarter Vosh would pass us by. Why WOULD you allow yourself to be captured, if that's the case? I can make any argument I want, but I want the answers - from you. Speak up now. If you were me... what could you say to convince yourself that you should be not only set free, but brought into our fold?"
  7. Suspicions....

    Verrin took it all in. This being was sizing him up, as one might expect. Perhaps she was considering her story, or who she was talking to, wondering if she could get a leg up on the conversation if she knew something about him. But other than appearance, he gave her no indication of who he was or how he was feeling. When she finally did speak, it was a bit of a squawk - very birdlike - and he wondered for a moment whether she sang more beautifully than she talked. She was courteous enough to ask about his rank, though a spy might do the same if they were seeking a target for assassination. And then she gave him her story, in brief, how she was some sort of observer for her people, had witnessed Jedi and Sith, Republic and Imperials. But now, she wanted to be one of them, not just observe them. She'd been to Dromund Kaas, presumably seeking the Sith, but only found a holocron. THAT piqued Verrin's interest, because he was fairly certain he possessed all of the available holocrons that could be found anywhere near the capital city. Perhaps she'd visited the Dark Temple, and one of the spirits therein had imparted it to her in an effort to escape. Time would tell. The mention of the term 'Fosh' sparked a memory in Verrin. He didn't know much about the species, and this was the first specimen he'd formally 'met'. But he was aware that they possessed some kind of pheromones - a fact acquired in his youth while he studied the Falleen, and later, the Zeltron. It wasn't deep knowledge though, and the only other thing he knew about the strange species was that their feathers changed color to reflect mood. He certainly didn't know which color was for which emotion. Perhaps his droid Maggie would know... or else he could look it up in the Library. If he was interested. "I see," he replied. "If you are truly a skilled Observer, then you can surely understand how one might mistake you for being a spy. You've supposedly studied the Jedi, and the Sith. If you had ill intent, then you'd have knowledge to harm us. Perhaps your captor was overzealous, but as you know from observing Dromund Kaas, we've had a particularly rough time at the hands of the Republic and Jedi recently. We are... cautious." It was an understated word to use, but a true one. And because of that caution, he didn't yet tell her who he was. "For the moment, let's assume you are not a spy. Let's pretend that your intentions are pure, and your goals are indeed to join the Sith, become one of them, and grow in power and rank among them. Let's say that you really want to give up the life of an Observer, and be in 'the trenches', so to speak, putting yourself in harm's way for a cause greater than you... greater than your species, even. Put yourself in my boots, Miss... pardon my lack of protocol. I know of your kind, but not the nuances of your social structure. 'Miss' Vashlai? if you were me, interviewing you, why would you trust yourself? Why should you believe your story, and accept it on face value? And further... what do you bring to the Sith, in exchange for their knowledge and instruction? Not everyone who approaches us is accepted and taught. Of those that are, not all of them survive." He remained unmoving, merely watched her and listened to her.
  8. Suspicions....

    Verrin sighed. It seemed there was always some administrative task to attend to, that kept him from his beloved books, his precious coffee, and his experiments. Today was no different, and Maggie cheerfully (the droid was always cheerful when scheduling his time, for some reason he couldn't fathom. Perhaps it gave her a sense of control over him.) informed him that part of his morning included visiting the prison cells. "Prison cells? When did we establish prison cells?" He had asked the overly-feminine-looking assistant upon hearing the news. Maggie similarly, cheerfully, informed him, "As part of Imperial Codex, Section 178.7582, Subsection 43, Paragraph 19 states: A formal, Imperial Academy will include no fewer than twenty detention cells, in order to..." But Verrin cut her off before she could complete her citation, assuming that it was a leftover from some earlier time - perhaps when Darth Atrox ran the Academy, though maybe it predated even him. Or maybe, it was new. It certainly wasn't a priority on Verrin's construction efforts after the remnants of the Sith had taken the place from the native population. It just wasn't all that important why the cells were there. It was more important as to why he'd have to go there. He wound his way through the halls, and eventually arrived at a small guard station that was manned by only two individuals. One was a Sith Acolyte, fairly insignificant by most standards, and the other was a former Imperial officer. Both bowed at his approach, and then he asked about the prisoner he was supposed to deal with. They politely informed him that the 'bird lady' was in cell twelve, and that she was ill-tempered and unruly at best. The Sith guard even started to complain that the cell was starting to smell odd, but based on Verrin's facial expression, he quickly ended his gripe and described the reason for incarceration as "she's a spy". Verrin didn't bother asking how they knew, or why, and proceeded to cell twelve. He reached out with the Force, sensing the individual within. The presence possessed some affinity in the Force, but it was unclear how focused it could be - how powerful. He wasn't overly concerned, having stood toe to toe with some of the most fearsome Force-wielders in the galaxy, and he opened the cell door to step inside. Once there, he turned to face the occupant - a bird-like entity. She didn't appear to be mistreated or abused, but aside from an observation of molting, Verrin wasn't sure how he'd know. So instead, he simply stood with his back to the closed door, and looked at her. He wasn't especially tall or stocky for a Sith, being of average height and seeming build. But that build was masked by a complete blanket of black fabric. He wore a simple, hooded, half-robe that was belted at the waist. His pants were of firmer stuff, probably leather, and his boots were black, simple, and functional - they looked like the boots of any recruit, or regular member of the old Empire. The sleeves of his robe covered his hands, which were clasped behind him, and the only skin one could see was from the cowl of his robe. That skin was a dusky purple color, where it wasn't tattooed in black ink. The tattoos covered a wealth of age, scars, and burns, and seemed to extend beyond the scope of the face. His right ear bore a single, ornate ring, but other than that, his eyes were the only striking feature. They were golden yellow in hue, and lined with red veins, and they looked like they could see through someone as well as to them. Those eyes drank in the prisoner for a moment, and then he spoke. "Well then... who are you, and what's your story? How dd you find yourself stashed in here?"
  9. Mind Over Matter

    Verrin smirked at Holle's last request, and glanced over to Kai, who seemed to want to exit the office as quickly as possible. He couldn't sense any fear from her directed towards him, so he guessed that she was either eager to start the interviews, or she was uncomfortable with Holle. Of course, a combination of both was possible, or even none of those, but Verrin thought he'd amuse himself with an answer for both their benefits. "Naturally, those texts are available. I'll have Agatha flag them for ease of access, though you could show Kai how to do that yourself. But... by the by, Apprentice... how do you know that Miss Tsintah cannot speak their native language already?" He let that question sit for a moment, as he looked upon them both. He guessed that given Kai's self-described isolation, that she didn't know the native tongue, and even if she did, she might not know the particular dialect. But she was also surprising in many regards, and for all he knew, before she ever traveled to Dathomir, she took the time to learn the basics of the native language. Or perhaps she knew sign language, pictoform, or telepathy... some other communication method. Interpretive dance? Most likely though, his apprentice was correct, and the pair would have to work together to talk tot he tribeswomen. That would require them to start building trust with one another, as Kai would be relying on Holle to translate what she said without interjecting her own opinions to change the tone of a statement too much. He could already imagine Kai asking where the tribe's water supply was, and having Holle translate it as, "The dullard wants to know if you are capable of drinking water." But similarly, he knew that Holle would need to start building trust with Kai in order to work with her in completing their goals. And in the near future, if Holle was to instruct the new 'student', she would need Kai to trust and believe it what she said. The Sith... building bridges... who would have imagined they'd fall so low? In fairness, Verrin attempted to offer a quip at Kai. "Follow Holle's lead though - she has established a level of trust with the tribe already, and has managed to get me coffee... I cannot stress how invaluable that is to me." It was true. Even though he was as prepared today as he was on day one for Holle to kill him and take his place, she HAD managed to get him coffee by working with this tribe. She had definitely scored some favor points with that effort. "Go on now... both of you. The sooner you start, the sooner we can begin bolstering our ranks."
  10. Mind Over Matter

    "That's too bad," Verrin commented idly on Kai's self-stated qualifications. But if he appeared disappointed, he didn't sound that way. He was mildly amused with the repeated term 'sensei', but attributed it to a cultural quirk that would stick or not as Kai heard more, different people address him. Of course, there was always the possibility that the moniker would stick as others heard her speak it. But the conversation required his input, so he leaned on his elbows on the desktop, and spoke to some of the questions Kai brought up. "It's my understanding - and mind you, this is skewed, as the male point of view is somewhat dampened on this world - that the various tribes number between forty and a couple hundred women per group. The nature of their culture, level of civilization and technology, and this planet's geography dictate that larger groups become unwieldy, and smaller ones get absorbed or snuffed out completely. I also understand that there are some tribes of menfolk here - those tribes tend to be few but long-established. The various amazon tribe leaders know that in order to perpetuate their species, they require menfolk for reproduction. My reading tells me that they have 'coming of age' rituals where mating is a mixture of the women defeating their desired mates, and rites of passage for the menfolk - as they strive to be the best specimen, so their tribe or family is chosen for mating. The various amazon tribes have a mutual understanding that the male tribes are to be preserved at all costs, but not allowed to prosper enough to be a threat. We are in a similar situation, where we do not want the amazon tribes to become strong enough to be a threat to us. We want to take their best Force-sensitive people and make them part of our tribe, so to speak." Verrin steepled his fingers in front of him. "So to address your points... if we don't make ourselves too strong a target, then the tribes will not unite against us. We are more than strong enough to handle any single tribe, and likely even several. We are NOT numerous enough to withstand a large number of tribes banding together against us. We aren't in our home territory... we are in theirs. They can win any kind of 'siege', so to speak. As for their technological state, they have little. Electric power is absent, as are traditional 'firearms'. They don't possess blasters, or a desire to that I'm aware of. But they are skilled with their bows, their spears, their knives. They have smiths, and can create simple martial weapons - I know of at least one tribe near the hills that wields metal sabers. But they mostly fashion weapons and tools from their environment, which is jungle. Their real strength comes from the Force. This planet is steeped in it - the Force - and they, by osmosis or attrition, or what-have-you not only have some innate ability, but those who have really connected to it and can tap into it have become their shaman. These women are able, through rituals as old as the Sith's own ancestors, to create the same effects as we can. If you've read up on Battle Meditation, for instance, they can do it. If you look into Force healing techniques, or telekinetic binding, they can affect them too. They just require a focus - a ritual, or fetish - like our ancestors did. And most importantly, some of them can connect in some way to the rancors... I wouldn't say they tame them, because they are hardly 'tame' themselves. But they manage to come to some agreement with them on a telepathic level, and can get them to work together for mutual benefit." Verrin paused. He had some first-hand experience with the tribes, both as an emissary and as a captive. While he was no expert on Dathomir, he wasn't oblivious to the ecosystem either. "I'm pleased you're not concerned about the competition, Acolyte Tsintah. You'll do well, I think." He looked first to her, then to his Apprentice. "You both make good points that we not only need more information, but we need to start integrating those tribeswomen who will be loyal to us. Because you both share the genetics that make these women trust you - over me - I want you to initiate interviews with the eight subjects my Apprentice has waiting outside. Question them... assess them. You are aware of my concerns, so I trust those will influence your decisions. Apprentice - take the Acolyte with you, and go interview your candidates in any way you see fit. Find out which can be loyal to us, and have the rest escorted out of the facility. Feel free to question or test them as you will - but keep in mind that if they are not selected, they will take whatever information they learn back to their tribes. In essence, you two will be picking your peers in the near future. I think it'll be a good lesson in how a Sith Lord looks at budding Sith... they have to be good enough to be competition, but the concern is always that they will be too good. I eagerly await your conclusions, and will discuss how you find the process at length. It's not often that such an opportunity presents itself to Sith at your stage of development." His eyes roved over them both, and a sense of pride could be read in his gaze, or felt in the Force.
  11. Mind Over Matter

    Verrin and Holle bantered back and forth for the time it took Kai to arrive. At one point, Verrin thought about the many people gathered outside his office, but then became distracted by the current conversation. And if the gaggle of native tribewomen posed any obstacle or distraction to Kai, it didn't show when she finally knocked gently on Verrin's office door. He called out for her to enter, and then made general introductions. "Acolyte Tsintah, I hope your meditation was going well. Meet one of my apprentices, Holle. Apprentice, this is the new Acolyte I was talking about." Verrin vacated his spot to take his usual seat behind his desk, and gestured for Kai to sit in the second visitor chair, next to Holle. He watched carefully. In meetings like this one, it was possible that the introduction was being assessed by both women. On the one hand, Kai might be sizing up Holle, trying to determine what made her qualified to be his apprentice, and whether she could oust her from that role to take it for herself. On the other, Holle might be taking in Kai, wondering what made her special enough to attend this meeting, and wonder if her position was at all threatened. Knowing Holle as he did, Verrin doubted she was too concerned over her own standing, but if a threat was perceived, things could become volatile between the two. Verrin decided not to let them think on it too long, if they considered it at all. "Acolyte Tsintah... you may have noticed the troupe of characters outside my door. My apprentice has recently been on a... diplomatic mission to the local amazon tribe. Those women out there want to be trained as Sith, and Holle was kind enough to bring them back here for consideration. But I have concerns. Their loyalties seem to lay with their tribe, of course, and their lives are based on leadership by matriarchy. As YOU know, things are a little different here among the Sith, especially the higher up the chain of command you go. One of my issues is that should we train them, and accept them, what will they do should a situation dictate that we need to... disperse their fellow tribeswomen? Another is how they will respond to a chain of command not driven by gender. If we deny them training, or force them to obey commands contradictory to their loyalties, would they band together with other tribes to attack us? When you first came here, I understood you had spent quite some time on the planet. Have you interacted with these amazons? Are you familiar with their culture, desires, and needs? Even if not, do you have an opinion on the matter? How would you feel about competing with them for positions in our organization?"
  12. Just FYI - Maggie went through the Academy section of the Forum and locked down threads that hadn't received postings in the past month. If for some reason you need a thread unlocked, just shoot me a PM and we'll get it reopened.

    1. Kai Tsintah

      Kai Tsintah

      My apologies to you, Darth Verrin, and also Aiden Rohl. I have not been around much except to steal a glimpse at forums because my eye infection has returned. I've gotten my antibiotics today and hopefully I will be able to reply by tomorrow or Thursday at the latest. Once again, my apologies. I am still alive!

    2. Darth Verrin

      Darth Verrin

      glad to hear it!  Take care of you, and we'll 'see' you when you're ready :)

  13. Mind Over Matter

    Holle's answers to the questions gave Verrin the impression that she hadn't considered the many possibilities of her intentions. Fortunately, she didn't take the matter as a crushing defeat, but tried to work her mind around how they could have their cake and eat it too. She spoke of enemy tribes, and battle captives, which weren't out of the realm of possibility. Verrin hrmm'd. "Hrmm..." Then he went back to pacing and talking, partially to answer her question and partially to work the matter out for himself. "The battle captive idea isn't terrible. I just wonder if we keep recruiting from a pool of people who are constantly beset by lost family members, are we getting better Sith, or are we getting more of the same? I have said - many times - if I had five credits for every Sith hopeful who came to us and had lost parents, been raped as a child, or had outright killed those parents, that I'd be able to buy my own capitol ship. To date, I can't think of a single Sith who joined up and had a still-living family on the outside who supported them and their decision. If we - the Sith - kill the relatives of these 'enemy' tribespeople, why would they JOIN our cause? Wouldn't they simply seek revenge? Wouldn't they band together, with other tribes against a 'common enemy'? Gather their rancor allies, storm this facility, and end us all? Would they join up with the Jedi? I'm not sure it's the best way... ... not that your initial idea was terrible. The tribeswomen you brought back... maybe all of them wouldn't agree to our terms, but if one of them did, that's one more hopeful we'd have than before. Maybe it's possible to pick some fruit from each tree, so to speak... I wonder..." Verrin paused and sent a message, telepathically, to the new student - Kai - whom he presumed was still trying to meditate. His message was simple and clear, "Come to my office, Acolyte @Kai Tsintah - I seek your counsel." Verrin then went on to talk more with Holle, "I have a new student who is showing some promise. She came to us from the jungle. She isn't a tribeswoman, I don't think, but she has spent some time here and may know some things about the thoughts or influences of the nearby villagers. Plus... she should meet you - and you her. I suspect your paths would meet eventually, and perhaps there's a way you can work together to overcome this... unusual challenge."
  14. Mind Over Matter

    Verrin watched the brief exchange between Holle and the amazons with only passing interest, choosing instead to focus his attention more on the cup of coffee. Part of him wanted to make it last - to savor it. The other part, however, was winning the argument and he was drinking it much faster than any 'savoring' permitted. Still, it warmed his stomach, and pacified his sometimes volatile temper. It seemed that whatever Holle said caused the woman to bristle, and they brandished weapons and puffed up to show off their tribal marking and badges of honor. Verrin wasn't so impressed. If he only showed his torso to them, they likely would have a completely different opinion of his prowess if tattoos and scars were the measure of a person. At this point in his storied existence, Verrin had more far more markings than bare skin throughout his body... and his mind. The tribeswomen stepped outside, flocking within earshot of the door, and within eyesight of two Guardians. But the Library gargoyles didn't flinch or waver in their duties - merely checked the readiness of their weapons. These women weren't currently threatening the Library or its Keeper. Holle then spoke of terrain and technology, intelligence and effectiveness in combat. She closed her arguments with, "Though I am sure the current student body is large enough, adding them to the roster should not be too much for your Overseers. Either they perform their duties well or they should be replaced, right?" The student body wasn't large enough - not in Verrin's mind - and adding eight new people wasn't even a drop in the bucket to refilling the ranks of Sith lost at Dromund Kaas. But his answer to his apprentice was more direct, "Replaced? With whom?" He tried to let that sink in for a moment, and drained his cup, and set it aside. He further explained, "There are always disappointments - more than average, if you ask the Sith'ari. But we are not in a position to replace such disappointments so easily anymore. Now, we have to maintain our old speeders, and repair them. We can't just buy a new one because we don't like the color of our old one." He clasped his hands behind his back and began to pace around, addressing Holle's earlier arguments. "I'm not saying 'no'," he prepared her, "but I have concerns with instructing people who are devoted to another master, rather than the Sith. I'm not saying they aren't capable warriors - they wouldn't be alive today, their tribes wouldn't exist, if they were anything less than proficient. I've fought them on a few occasions - not this tribe, exactly, but others around the planet - and they almost killed me. They've taken out Sith and Jedi alike over the decades, arguably over the centuries, and their rapport with the Force is well-known. But just because they can feel it, or just because they can even affect it, doesn't mean they are one with us. They've never allied with the Sith before. This is all new territory for them. But if we train them to be Sith, and then the tribe turns against us, we've now trained our enemies. The galaxy has Force sensitives all over - some gravitate to the Jedi, others to the Sith. Still others ally with neither. Many of the ones who lean to the Sith joined the Empire, while others maintain their own little factions and pockets throughout the galaxy. Why, back when I was a Sith on Nogatan, our 'faction' grew to the point where we challenged and defeated the Vitiate's Empire of Sith. Think it through, Apprentice... should we train these women to be more effective at combat, or should we train them to be one of us? How do you feel about having them as your peers?" He let that last thought sit with Holle a moment, while his own mind processed her ideas. On one hand, she wasn't wrong - they needed people, bodies, to join the Sith and their cause so they could grow strong again and retake their position in the galaxy. But on the other, these tribespeople hadn't come to the Sith, asking to join. Holle was suggesting taking them in and training them without anything in return. The matter of loyalty was a strong one for Verrin. These women could strike him down and put Holle in his place - and that would be fine - if the Sith ideal remained in place. If they defeated the Sith who had invaded their world, and simply went back to being tribespeople, taking over their home planet, then how did that benefit the Sith? If they ran back home every time there was an attack on their village, then what happened when both the village and the Sith were attacked? Who would these women stand by if the Sith were threatened by a powerful group like the Jedi - would they simply stand by their tribe first, and let the Sith be driven to extinction? The term, 'What's in it for me?' wasn't one to be tossed about lightly, but it seemed to matter in this case. The women had everything to gain, and nothing to lose. "The Dark Side takes a toll from anyone who uses it... a price. Why should these women avoid paying our toll? At the least, I would suggest they swear some oath to us for this privilege. And if we were to order a strike on their village... what then? Do they serve me, or do they serve themselves? What about you, Apprentice... who would you side with if we discover a tribe of Jedi Zeltron? Your people, or your fellow Sith?" Verrin also hadn't forgotten the tribespeople and their view of outsiders. "Do the women understand the current power structure of the Sith? How menfolk are not automatically inferior and 'breeding stock' simply because of gender? Do they understand obedience, Apprentice? Or would you have me 'replace' any disobedient hopefuls because they are disappointing?" Verrin raised an eyebrow and looked at his young apprentice, wondering if she heard her own words coming back to her. "Make a case, Apprentice. Make me believe in your cause." Verrin didn't mention the idea that he wanted to kidnap tribeswomen to breed a new line of Sith.
  15. Mind Over Matter

    Just before Holle finished her answer, the smell of brewing coffee assaulted his nose, which made her statement seem like punctuation more than words. He inhaled deeply, drinking in the long (too long, in his mind) awaited aroma. It smelled... good. As if her statement was a cue, the tribeswomen began to chatter in their native tongue, the content was mostly lost on Verrin, who didn't know their language. But some of their gestures, pointing, and facial expressions suggested that they were discussing the area rug that sat under his desk, or the curio cabinet in the corner, or the desk itself, with its myriad piles of things. One of those things was a large leaf, which of course they recognized, but none approached to see the writing upon it. A couple even pointed at him, with a mixture of looks that included superiority, distaste, and careful consideration. Holle translated their animated discussions as being impressed, and Verrin's eyebrow went up in skeptical doubt. But he reached out to accept the offered mug of warm brew, and inhaled again, drinking in the smell more directly. It was fresh. It was good. It wasn't his beloved vanilla bean roast, but the foundation was there. The vanilla could be added in time. He sipped once, pausing only to consider whether Holle was about to poison him or not, but then drank it anyway. At least if he died now, to her, it would be with this delightful beverage carrying him to whatever life came next... or oblivion. He wasn't sure which, but knew that spirits in the Force tended to linger beyond their time. The taste was every bit as delightful as the smell, and a cozy smile spread across his aged features while he listened to Holle explain the warrior women who were taking seats on the floor of his office. He almost laughed aloud, remembering the last time so many people were in his office. Back then, the room had been in the Library on Nogatan, and Darth Avaris had met him along with nearly a dozen Sith ladies, all jockeying for position, or seeking some step up against their peers. Avaris had teased him back then, calling him a womanizer for having so many showing up without any menfolk present. Here, again, the room was filled with women - through no direction of his own. He was no womanizer - just a curiosity of circumstance. As for the tribeswomen, their seated positions gave him the impression that they either didn't consider him a threat - there were nine of them, after all, counting Holle - or they got the impression that Holle was paying homage to some father-figure or the Sith equivalent of her 'shaman'. Verrin supposed that wasn't so far off, either way. The amusement carried on, as Holle sat herself, and then proceeded to cross her legs. Verrin knew they were artificial, yet she still affected the old habit. Likely her brain found comfort in their position, or it gave her a sense of superiority over her followers who didn't sit that way. It was something of interest, and he wondered if she was even aware she was doing it. Her words were more important though, as she explained the reason for the warriors' arrival. They were to be trained as Sith? No... it sounded more like they were to be trained in combat, not as Force users. But Verrin reached out with his senses, trying to detect if they had any affinity at all that could be tapped and nurtured. All the while, he smiled warmly, enjoying the offering. He drank again, and asked her, "You intend to train them to fight like Sith, or to BE Sith? I'm not clear on this matter."