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Darth Verrin

Imperial Kaar
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2,079 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. Quiet Time

    "Apprentice," Verrin greeted his pupil in return. He remained quiet for a moment or two though, trying to think of what to say, or what to ask. He'd tasked her with the job that he eventually had to do himself, but then, he was a trained Darth, and she an apprentice. Had he expected too much, too soon? He'd asked himself that very question, in the hours since he'd left the tribes-people of Sector A-7. Were his expectations of her realistic, or was he pushing too hard? He couldn't see her legs from this angle, but he knew they had been replaced with prosthetic. Her show of kneeling to him when she arrived was nothing short of impressive. Even if it pained her to do so, she did it. Was her pain fueling her power, or was he not teaching her how to utilize it? He'd had minor success with berating her, in her early days. Her initial efforts in telekinesis had all but failed until he'd stressed her to the point of breaking. He could pursue that path again, but would he achieve the same results? Or would she break this time, becoming useless... or dead? He finally spoke, hands clasped before him on the desk. "I have concerns, Apprentice," he began. "Tell me, did your replacement legs strengthen your resolve in your pursuit of power, or did they weaken your connection to the Force?" It was an oblique question, but it did hold some weight. Verrin had work done in his earlier career - enhancements done to his knee that enabled him to leave his cane behind and rejoin the ranks of the healthy two-legged sentients. He hadn't felt weakened by that surgery, but then he only had a knee replaced - not entire limbs, and certainly not the lower half of his body. He had heard rumors of those who lost flesh, and lost their strength in the Force. But he'd also witnessed Darths with many cybernetic replacements... so the loss of power was an interesting issue. More importantly though, was how it affected his pupil personally.
  2. Where To Begin

    Home... Verrin's eyes grew distant for a moment, as he was transported somewhere else - to a far-off place, and a simpler time. A wife... children... the Outer Rim. Home was long gone. That life had been over for decades. Despite his best efforts, there had been no going back. He hadn't been able to either return to that place, nor the people of that time. And he hadn't been able to bring them all to him. It was his life's longest struggle, and his biggest failure. Of course he knew what Honoghr was. It had just been so long since he'd heard of it, that it completely slipped his mind. He almost, but not quite, smiled. He came back to the present as quickly as he'd left it, and offhandedly replied that Vakar and Drackonis had struggled with one another for power over the Temple. The Sith always struggled, they'd said. When they stopped, they were essentially dead. Verrin even added, "The sorceress, Hesina Valenti. I don't believe it was a long-term thing, but a brief romance, like the burn of flash paper." And then of being 'cut in two' - Verrin described the encounter as he remembered it, and then added his own conclusions. "I'm not sure how he survived it either - just that he'd lost to the Emperor's wife in a violent duel, in an arena designed to test one's mettle, and make Emperor Trajan a lot of betting cash. Maybe he was a clone... or maybe there had been a sorcerous pact. Drackonis was most definitely a sorceror of no small water. Or maybe... just maybe... he was so strong of will that he simply refused to be slain. One might wonder." Verrin glanced over to see the man showing his datapad, and nodded his agreement. "They are quite something. But be mindful to look up from it now and again, or you might miss the passage of an event... or an unscrupulous peer's blade as it descends towards you." Once Sel became more 'aware' as a Force user, that warning wouldn't hold weight. The Force would warn him of danger. But for now, it was sound advice. Verrin cocked his head though. His life was full at the moment, but not overly so. "Very well - let's go down to the Pits and you can show me what you've learned. Perhaps there will be an instructor handy to show you more - but if not, I can teach a few things. The basics of the saber forms are so fundamental... you really need to have a firm grasp of them before branching out into the more specific Forms. My instructors didn't believe in that, all the years ago, but I went back and picked up those fundamentals myself. It made for some difficulties though, as I had to unlearn a few things in order to learn them properly once more. Fortunately, in those early days, one could do a fair amount of damage using stealth and a plasma blade alone. It was only later, when I had to stave off more skilled individuals, that I discovered my shortcomings. And now, with the advancement of age and wear-and-tear on the body, I'm glad I relearned those things. Come. Let's go stretch the limbs."
  3. Where To Begin

    The names the young man spoke meant little to nothing to Verrin, but he was fairly sure they meant a lot to the speaker. The important part was the flow of emotions that Verrin felt coming from him. The way he spoke, Verrin could imagine him coming from some tribe, here on Dathomir, what with the jungle-like imagery and the ships and tribal names. Verrin nodded at Sel. "Honoghr... I would hear of this person, or place, when you feel willing to share." He stepped back over to the portrait of Vakar, looking back towards it instead of to whom he was speaking. "The names you speak, young man... you're taking me back to a place I haven't been in a very long time. Vakar, was Zeerah's husband, and father to her two children. Their names escape me at the moment... but I'll recall them at some point, likely when I least expect it. Zeerah taught me to use the saberstaff, and to walk unseen. She even taught me how to control telekinesis, Force bless her... I was a terrible student. I even pulled a prank on her once... feeling my druthers, I ordered a young Acolyte to steal her underwear. He did... successfully, in a sense, but she found out and hoo boy, did she make me pay a price." Verrin cocked his head backwards to look away from the painting and at Sel, winking in amusement before turning back to the 'past'. "Step down here... see this Kel'Dorian? Xafrax. He was Temple Lord for a very short time, during the reign of Emperor Thanos. I learned from him that Vakar meant to steal or destroy the Empire's stash of holocrons, and leave the Empire upon his capitol ship.... mmmm... that name escapes me now too. Such is the curse of age. Anyway... I learned that the capitol ship supposedly went down, somewhere on this very planet. Perhaps that is part of the reason for the odd way in which the Force moves here. Or perhaps the reason the ship was never found is because of that same Force energy. Either way, I have come here twice ove rthe years, seeking that very ship - proof of his demise - and have never found it. Nor have I found those holocrons that he did take. Come to think of it, I also lost an apprentice here... Apprentice Vitar'ii. I sent her to search for the ship as well, and she never returned. I've been called foolish for continuing my search - I've been told that I must have been misinformed, or that the entire ship burned up on entry, or exploded into minute bits upon impact. But there is no evidence of the latter - no crater, no debris. But because of that odd Force energy that masks us from the Jedi, I also cannot find the ship if it IS here. It's frustrating." Verrin paced beyond Zafrax's portrait. "Darth Siren... attempted to poison the entire planet of Nogatan in her reach for power. Temple Lord Avaris... formerly Rae Nolvi. There is a custom among the Sith, that when they become a Darth, they take a new name. I never saw the point, myself, but I have named one Darth in my time - Darth Akasha, formerly Tyia Navarr. And if you ever feel brave, you can ask Darth Tanit about her many names. I think some like to be born anew - to make themselves into someone else, or to leave behind their past when they take on the mantle of Darth. But that is neither here nor there - I digress. You spoke of Master Drackonis as a painter, and I agree - on many levels. He could wield lightsabers with his mind - not one, but three at a time! But that wasn't all - he was a teacher, albeit from a school of hard knocks, but a teacher nonetheless. And also... he painted machinations. He painted himself into the position of Temple Lord at one time, and painted himself out of the full fury of Vakar's wrath. He also painted relationships with sorceresses, and even survived being cut in two by Emperor Lydeck's wife! An artist? Mmm... I could argue. A prodigy." Verrin paused, "But where is he now? We do not know. We are left behind, in his wake, painting our own pictures, or telling our own stories. We do not have his knowledge today - only the memories of his knowledge from then, and whatever legacy he left behind." Verrin turned back again to Sel. "You may find it amusing, at your age, but legacy... should you live so long, that word will weigh heavily upon your mind. Mark my words." The grave tone vanished in a breath, and a lighter one followed it. "Speaking of knowledge... I see you've been developing your dusting skills. What else have you learned?"
  4. Where To Begin

    "Temple Lord, Vakaar Sadarri," Verrin's voice spoke aloud, and from behind the art-admiring duster. His tone was reverent, even quiet, but in this part of the Library, he didn't have to speak loudly to be heard. Verrin paced along the wall to the man's left, "Temple Lord, Ahashra... or more accurately, Abraxas, at the time of this portrait. And... Temple Lord, Drackonis." There were other portraits along the wall, but Verrin stopped before the portrait of his former master, not seeing any reason to continue. Or perhaps, he found he needed to spend a moment longer on the memory of this particular Sith, especially given that the current audience had knowledge of who he was. "I once had an Emperor mock these portraits - these nods to former servants of the Empire, these memorials to past Sith. For a moment, I thought he would order them taken down, or simply light fire to them himself. But he didn't. Mayhap he didn't feel it an important enough point to make... or maybe he didn't feel like testing the relationship with me, or the oath of the Guardians. Who knows? It is said that if we forget our past, that we are doomed to repeat it. It's also been said that the resident Librarian lives too much in the past, and fails to see the future. That last part couldn't be further from the truth. I merely give them similar weight, which compared to most, gives the perception that I give the past far too much attention." Verrin then fell quiet for a moment, but then he took a few steps back towards Sel and the portrait of Ahashra. "We learn from the past - from the successes and mistakes of those who came before. That which does not kill us makes us stronger... IF we learn from it. Did you know, for instance, that Darth Abraxas is alive and well today? She doesn't look like this anymore, mind you. Her victory over death itself has changed her appearance. But... come to think of it... these other two, Vakaar and Drackonis are not technically confirmed 'dead'. For all we know, they live... somewhere... out there... in the galaxy, or the greater universe... or maybe even among us, like Ahashra, but without our knowledge of their existence. It is unlikely, of course, but still within the realm of possible. Isn't it?" He held up a hand to Ahshra's portrait, almost lovingly. His fingertips just barely pressing against the painted, coated surface. He turned to Sel and asked, "What do you see when you look into the past, Mister Anabsis?"
  5. Quiet Time

    *** two days later *** There were mixed accounts of how the meeting with Holle ended. Whispers said that Verrin had rendered his apprentice unconscious, and left the office in a rage - the Guardians had investigated, and taken the young Zeltron woman to the infirmary. But others claimed they saw the pair leave together - albeit with the Master still in a rage, reportedly dragging his apprentice by the hair, leaving her artificial legs scraping along the marble tiles. Those were likely untrue, as there were no gouges in the marble a day later, but naysayers claimed that was due to Maggie's intervention (with a team of contractors). A third rumor claimed that Holle had left in a huff, and that the 'feeble old Librarian' had chased after her, begging her to finish her work in the jungle. But no Guardian spoke the truth of the matter, and any questions were diverted. Whatever the case, two days later, in sector A-7, Verrin came upon a hunting party of amazons. He was fired upon - or more accurately, they threw spears at the trespassing Sith. The two warriors who attacked suddenly keeled over, dead, and their clanmates couldn't say why. One suggested witchcraft, another whispered god-magic. Neither ever saw the Sith in question again though, when he simply disappeared into the jungle. They listened though, when their leader suddenly ordered them to all return to the main village, bearing their kinsmen home for burial. Later, than same leader would say she had a premonition of bad ju-ju if they remained where they were, though she couldn't say why. Little did the party know, that the Sith was following them 'home'. The trip took a surprisingly short amount of time. The women of the tribe were strong and hardy, and even burdened with the loss (and bodies) of their fellows, they made good time. They went straight back to the village - a settlement nestled in a natural valley on the upper side of the hill that Holle described. There, a small lake supplied water, and the natural hillside provided shelter, offering a climate that was perfect for growing food. If the tribe understood agriculture, they would have farmed the land for their sustenance - but instead, they hunted and gathered, and the natural 'coffee' they collected in the valley was a treat rather than a main source of supply. However, they did unknowingly lead the hidden Sith to their lair, and when night fell, and the tribeswomen settled down to sleep, he went to work. Verrin scouted the village from a perch in a tree, not far from the main settlement. He spotted guard patrols - presumably to protect the tribe from rivals and unfriendly jungle beasts. They weren't large groups, at night, but he wouldn't have wanted to arm wrestle any of them. The hunters of this tribe stood at least three meters tall - and that was a few inches taller than him - and they likely outweighed him by forty pounds or more. Verrin was no slouch, physically, thanks to training from Darth Tanit, but these women lived physical lives, whereas he was indeed a Librarian. The biggest women were almost seven feet tall, and close to two hundred fifty pounds of muscle. But it wasn't the warriors that concerned Verrin the most - it was the village shaman. She wasn't the biggest, but she was Force sensitive. He had to be careful that she didn't detect him - whether consciously or otherwise - lest he give away his stealthy advantage. He silently made his way to her hut. For him, it was easy to slip inside. With the Force, even solid fibersteel walls were no match for him, as he simply phased through the solid matter as if it was water. He emerged within the tent, and focused his will upon the sleeping shamaness. In her dreams, she sensed his presence, but in those same dreams she saw him as an ally, or totem. She woke with a start, looking around her darkened hut, but even though her eyes passed over him, she didn't see him. She could still see his face in her dreams though - the skull-shaped mask of the mysterious Sith. Concerned, the shamaness got up and made her way to the tribal leader's hut. It wasn't the most grandiose structure in the village, for that was the main 'hall' where dances and rituals were performed, and feasts were had to celebrate occasions. But it was close by, and as sturdy a structure as any. The shaman walked inside as if she owned the place, followed by a shadow that didn't look like her at all. The two tribal leaders conversed in a language Verrin did not understand. But he sensed that the shaman was describing a vision, and the leader was listening intently. Verrin used the opportunity to place suggestions in her mind, leading her to listen more attentively. She nodded, waved the shaman away, but her hunter instincts were on fire - she noticed that the 'shadow' of the shaman didn't leave with her. Still - confident in her own prowess, in her own home, the leader of the tribe narrowed her eyes and spoke softly in her own tongue - calling out to the shadow. Verrin let his stealthiness drop altogether, appearing before her like some skeletal spectre. His black half-robe and gauntlets absorbed light, while his skeletal mask turned it back. He did not appear to be impressed by the stature of the leader. For her part, the leader was the penultimate example of her kind. She was a foot taller than Verrin, and her shoulders were wider. She was naked, and no ounce of her showed fat - she was a pillar of muscular strength. Her hands could palm his face with ease. Her thighs could crush his skull - were it not that of a Zabrak. And her breasts stood firm, as if daring him not to look her in the eyes. Her eyes - black pools of hardened living - stared at him in disbelief, but not fear. She spoke again, and again her tone was calm and collected, though Verrin didn't understand her. His expressionless mask simply stared back at her for a long moment, and then he won the 'contest' when he sent a telepathic message directly to her mind. "You and your people will serve me. Is that understood?" She blinked in surprise at the message, though she didn't quite understand it either. Telepathically, she understood that he was communicating with her, and that his intentions weren't aggressive. But the specifics of what he was saying were lost on her. It was a mild setback for him. Instead of becoming frustrated, he communicated again - this time, his telepathy used pictures instead of words. They depicted the tribe and the Sith prospering together - the Sith providing the tribe's needs: medicine, allies against their enemies, and shelter in emergencies, while the tribe gave the Sith strong, able people, contacts among the tribes, and for some reason, coffee beans. The leader cocked her head, understanding, but not. She knew what alliances were, and she could see the benefits for her people depicted. But she couldn't quite understand the fascination with the coffee plants - or how her people were to become 'farmers'. They were warriors, not agriculturists. Verrin sensed her hesitation, and gave her more images: of her tribe's shamaness, and the children of that shaman. They would work their rituals and rites , learning from the Sith, while the Sith worked with the shamanesses to provide even more power. The power shown was more than any of the neighboring tribes, and that kind of power and influence would make the leader's tribe the strongest. She understood that well, and cocked her head again in consideration. Verrin got the impression that she saw this as 'too good to be true'. He held up a staying hand, and proceeded to lift it, levitating the leader off of her feet. He did it slowly and gently, so while she was startled, she didn't shout out. When she was a foot above the ground, Verrin filled her mind with images of her being a goddess among the tribes. She liked that. She went from concerned to interested, and then her gaze shifted even more, suggesting something more... physical. This wasn't Verrin's first time on Dathomir. He understood that the tribeswomen captured men and mated with them in order to produce strong offspring to lead their tribes in the future. That was normal. He nodded at her - his skull mask glinting. He then lowered her back to the ground, noting how her toes curled into the earth, glad to be back. But she reached for him - whether to grapple him or embrace him was unclear. Either way, she found she couldn't connect with his body. He wagged a finger and gave her an image of Holle. The leader frowned. She couldn't mate with a Zeltron - not this one anyway. But the vision showed them clasping arms, nodding at one another. Some agreement was to be made. The vision showed daylight. Whatever was to happen, wouldn't happen this night. When she blinked again, the vision disappeared, and she was left staring at the side of her tent. Her visitor was nowhere to be seen. She frowned at his sudden disappearance wondering if she imagined it - but somehow knowing it was real. She wondered though... if she could get a hold of the skull-faced man... The morning of the next day, Verrin sat in his office once more, awaiting the arrival of his apprentice. She had a job to do.
  6. Quiet Time

    Verrin groaned at Holle's initial answer. It was textbook, as if she read it aloud from some other student's diary. It wasn't what he wanted to hear, even if - by the book - it was fairly accurate. The second part of her answer was slightly more thoughtful, though largely in the same vein as the first. Verrin wasn't sure if she was trying to tell him what she thought he wanted to hear, or if she was taunting him by purposefully telling him things he didn't. The third part of her answer was just as bad, and really began to get under Verrin's skin. Now, he was trying to decide if she was telling him what he wanted to hear, taunting him, or worse - that he'd somehow failed her as her master. He started to palm his face in disgust, then changed his mind and slammed his fist upon his desk, hard enough to rattle the datapads there. He leaned forward to bark at his apprentice, but then a small seed of doubt made him check himself. That last nudge - that he'd failed to train her properly - was the seed, and he made a mental note to check in with Vanessa at some point to verify whether he was at fault or his apprentice was. He didn't yell, but his voice was still intense. "No... no... NO! You have the general idea, but not the intent! Of COURSE we want the Sith as a whole to survive, and to thrive! Of COURSE we want to weed out saboteurs! Of COURSE we move to stop those who seek our destruction! But NOT THE WAY YOU'RE DESCRIBING IT!" He grunted, possibly in an effort to hold back anger that wasn't entirely directed at Holle. "You don't grow in power to become some kind of scion of the Sith! You grow in power because through power you gain victories! Victories for YOU. By becoming more powerful, you automatically serve the Sith better - but 'serving' isn't your sole goal is it? Your duty is to YOU. Duty... PAH! DUTY to the Sith! You don't become 'greater' for them - you do it for YOU. By doing so, you automatically make 'them' stronger! We are NOT here by some 'accident of the Force - right! We are here because we took this place. Just like we are going to TAKE THIS PLANET. We aren't waiting for the Dark Side to hand it over to us - we are taking steps to make it happen! We aren't 'powerless' without the Force! That's ridiculous! The entire Empire existed without the Sith! The Republic exists without the Jedi!! By including us, they made themselves stronger! But without us, they are not 'powerless'! There are hundreds of bounty hunters, operatives, and smugglers who would put a hole in the middle of your head without having a lick of the Force at their beck and call! I assure you, if the Force disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn't roll over and die! Gifts?!?! Giving?!?! What is this - Winter Fete, or the Sith Order?! Are you telling me we are to wait for saboteurs to infiltrate and destroy us BEFORE we identify and eliminate them?! And how are we supposed to determine judgements for them, when we don't have any to judge! WHY is it, Apprentice, that we do not yet control Sector A-7?!?!" Verrin finally ended up standing behind his desk, his hands planted firmly on its top. His yellow eyes glared across the way to Holle, seeking some kind of answer. If she couldn't provide it, he would go there himself, and level every living member of that village's tribe if he had to.
  7. Quiet Time

    Verrin sighed. It was a loud, long one too, which probably gave off the idea that he was annoyed with his apprentice, but he wasn't - entirely. She said all the right things. She knelt, she used his title, she paid attention around the Academy and apparently had the ear of the Overseers. This was all good. She also thought. By and large, that was also a good thing, as she considered matters like whether the students or Overseers were at fault, that it could be the combination of the two, or any of another variety of factors. She also appeared to be convinced that this could not be allowed to blossom. This was true. And then she offered to investigate more - find the source. She guessed that a group of others weren't on board with the new regime, and that was highly probable. Historically, every regime suffered a faction of individuals or groups that didn't agree with the people in power. So strong was their belief in their own ways, that they worked to undermine those in power, and then to place their people into those positions. Verrin spoke, without removing his hand from his head. "In my own experience, this has happened since my earliest days with the Empire - when Emperor Lydeck took over the Black Empire. It happened again when Emperor Thanos took over Lydeck's empire, and then fragmented again when Thanos pursued the Vitiate's Empire and left behind those on Nogatan. In the Vitiate's realm, Thanos was the segment that didn't agree with those in power, but he failed to usurp the existing empire there. Meanwhile, Emperor Trajan took the void left behind by Thanos, and secured the Empire on Nogatan. Eventually, a Darth rose, Emperor Cideon, and he took the Empire for himself, to run in his own way. Not appreciating two Empires, or because the nanophage grew too large to handle, Cideon brought us up against the Vitiate, as Thanos had tried to do before. Maybe Thanos weakened the existing power there - or perhaps not - but at the end of that struggle, Cideon's empire won the day, and we took over Dromund Kaas. But don't think that the existing regime was entirely happy with our arrival. There were loyalists to the old regime, who were displaced when we arrived. They wanted their old power back - or more power, to be precise. They worked to undermine us from within. Emperor Valyrian managed to hold things together for quite some time, but harnessing all that power... wrangling all the Sith and non-Sith within it, all the planets, the armies, the fleets, the economics, the governing... it can be too much. That's partly why the Councils exist - to keep them from undermining the Emperor, and to take some of the burden of rulership from him. Back in olden times, ruling was easier on smaller scales... lead a gang, or a group... lead a village, or a township... lead a city... lead a country, or even a world... it gets harder and harder the more people are involved, and... The lure of power - of ruling so many, or utilizing all those resources, having all of that economy - is difficult to deny. Every Sith strives for it, but once they acquire it, they usually immolate." He paused. It was highly likely he was speaking for his own benefit. A lot of the time, he got the impression that his knowledge was ignored - seen as the ramblings of an old Sith who never made it to the top. They were mistaken though. Verrin never wanted to be Emperor. He had wants and desires, certainly, and rising in power gave him more access to satisfy those wants. But the responsibilities - the chains - that came with it were terrible to bear. He finally went on. "Part of the Sith... philosophy, as it were... is that the strong rise over the weak... that power is obtained through strength... that we purposefully do not seek peace, because it doesn't challenge us to be better, stronger, faster, and so on. The students are looking around these halls now, seeing our reduced numbers, and trying to figure out where they fit in. Where ARE they in the power structure? Who do they challenge? Who challenges THEM? They do not have a focus, and they wallow in uncertainty. I am not blind to that fact that these are uncertain times. Our very existence... our legacy... is dependent on our ability to become strong enough to challenge the galaxy once again. We, as the leaders of our 'gang', have to have a vision... a focus for them to get on board with and follow. We have to have a goal." Finally, he dropped his hand and turned his yellowed eyes directly upon his apprentice. "What is your goal, apprentice? What do you want? WHY are you here?"
  8. Quiet Time

    "Enter," Verrin called when the knock came upon his door. If it had been an obvious threat, the Guardians outside would have stopped it - or tried to. If it had been a rival Sith, or person of great importance, they would have been announced. Instead, it was a person of import, but not a Darth, and not a threat. It was simply his apprentice, Holle. She found him there, seated at his desk with a broken datapad against one wall, and his head cradled between the thumb and forefinger of one hand. His voice called out to her once she proceeded into the room. "What news, apprentice?" Already, he was steeling himself for the next bad report. It wasn't that any such report would be earth-shattering to him, or that any information Holle would share would be unwanted. On the contrary, he needed to know every good, bad, or indifferent thing about the Academy he could learn. The reason he steeled himself, was to prevent his temper from lashing out at the nearest thing - in this case, her. Perhaps she wasn't here to report on anything, anyway. Maybe she had questions... concerns... Maybe something good had happened to her, and she was here to share? Maybe she had finally found power in her life - some gift from the likes of Atrox or another rival - that would allow her to end him once and for all. Perhaps, despite Maggie's lack of understanding, and the Guardian's lack of concern, his apprentice was here to rise to the seat of power among the Sith. In a sense, that was good news. He waited for the response, focusing on his breathing.
  9. Quiet Time

    Report after failed report went across Verrin's desk. In the first one, he read that his apprentice, @Holle, had failed to subjugate the natives in Sector A-7. That was where the Empire was supposed to begin the subjugation of the planet, nevermind the tribes people who lived there. More importantly, his precious coffee beans could be grown in that region of this forsaken jungle world - and that lack of coffee probably wasn't helping Verrin's overall mood. His apprentice reportedly took young, aspiring Sith with her, but they too had failed to report any successes. Verrin growled in his desk chair. The next report was no better. The Sith hopeful, @Sutem Wry had gone missing. Something sparked in Verrin's mind - a memory - and he cross-referenced it with the report on Sector A-7. Sure enough, he found her mentioned there, having accompanied his apprentice. Verrin's apprentice, Holle, again... still the same problem though, that damnable sector. Maybe the pair had been killed by the natives. Or maybe, they'd fallen prey to something in the jungle. He might have to send a recovery team in to find out - assuming there were any parts of them left to find. He grimaced and moved on to the next report. It referenced the Sith Acolyte, @Silas Kitsuchi. He was supposed to be serving his 'punishment', providing services to his feminine peers and masters. There was nothing about him going missing, or failing in his duties, but neither was there any evidence that he hadn't fled the Academy instead of putting himself through a few weeks of pain and suffering. Verrin rolled his eyes. If handing out towels to sweaty Sith was so demeaning, the boy would never rise to power among the Sith. Kissing the arses of men and women above one's station was part of the process. One ingratiated themselves to a master in order to earn that master's protection from peers, and then eventually, one either killed their protector or moved out from under them to another higher up the 'food chain'. Come to think of it, Verrin recalled that Holle had stepped in to see to the boy's punishment, personally. That memory caused Verrin to grimace even more. There seemed to be a common theme going on in all of these reports, and it was directly related to one of his apprentices. If THAT was true, then he had to consider that she might purposefully be failing him - her poor performance was certainly doing nothing to make him look good in the eyes of the Sith'ari, @Darth Atrox, or his peers, @Darth Tanit, or @Darth Sanguira. He growled even deeper in his throat. "Apprentice..." For that matter, his other active apprentice, @Vanessa Sallin, was also largely missing-in-action. The last he knew, she was going to study her father's holocron. She might still be doing that - sometimes it took a while to process that much information, though part of the problem might be that she didn't want to know certain things about her heritage. He thought he sensed her now and again - one of the 'faceless', masked Guardians who roamed the Library, or saw to his personal protection. But even if he did, she didn't break character long enough to interact directly with him. @Darth Renatus was absent too. She had gone missing shortly after arriving back at the Academy. He'd hoped to work more with her, but perhaps she had her own matters to attend to. While there was technically no 'Sphere of Mysteries' left for her to oversee, she might still have had ongoing projects that were occupying her time. Verrin grimaced again - none of the reports showed anything good, nothing of promise. He was fairly sure that Darth Atrox was going to have him cast out as the Academy's Overseer based on poor performance. The question was whether he would be cast out solely as Overseer, or also as Librarian... or eliminated altogether. In a sudden fit of annoyance, Verrin hurled his datapad against the wall of his office. It was fairly resilient, as if it too was somehow denying him satisfaction by not breaking in to a thousand pieces. "It's the lack of coffee..." Verrin was sure, and voiced as much to the room. Normally, his droid assistant, Maggie, would offer some logical reason why that wasn't so, but she was not in the room, seeing to some mundane task within the Library's main room. Verrin pinched his own temples between thumb and forefinger, trying to ease the growing headache there, and also trying to decide if he needed to subjugate Sector A-7 himself, just to find some vanilla-bean-related relief. "And the Jedi wonder why the Sith can be so angry..." he commented to nobody in particular.
  10. Quiet Time

    (Melona 15, 3630) It was a time of peace and quiet, which if one is a Sith, one knows to be a lie. But there was no denying the peace-like feeling that had descended upon the Academy. Oh sure, there were still students practicing their arts - whether they were martial, mental, or otherwise. Academics still hit the Library with some gusto, and the more physical types still hacked apart training droids - and sometimes each other. But by and large, there was little going on that was extraordinary - at least, not that was seen by the ever-watchful eyes of the Academy Overseers. And certainly, they were reporting nothing to the Academy's Head Overseer, Darth Verrin. Verrin had his own projects and research to attend to. His former apprentice turned peer, Darth Tanit wanted to craft a unique Sith weapon. She'd approached him regarding that task, even after learning the arts of Sith Alchemy herself. Perhaps she wasn't confident in her own abilities, or perhaps she wasn't ready to pay the price for the power. But more likely, she was working to acquire the ingredients that would go into the physical blade. Verrin's job was to find the non-physical ingredients - the sorcery of the procedure, the Force-reliant techniques, and perhaps most importantly - the safeguards to protect him from Tanit, should they either fail to craft her desires, or worse - succeed in the crafting, only to have her 'try it out' upon him. He'd already delved through every tome the Library possessed on the matter. He'd already crafted a few items himself. He'd already consulted the holocron of Bo Vanda once more, looking for loopholes and potential mistakes to be avoided. He'd even consulted XoXann's 'cron again - though the spirit within it still despised him for keeping her. One day, he knew, she would find a way out of the Library and into the galaxy once more. But that day wasn't here... yet. He was running out of ideas. He knew that he and Tanit could both craft the weapon she wanted. He knew what it would take, how long, and the costs. That was all mundane, and mechanical, even though a good portion of it was manipulation of the Force. So now he was simply looking for the holes - the gaps between the points of interest - the places where things could go terribly, terribly wrong. Verrin had made that mistake once before in his life, and that memory led him to enter the holocron vault once more. There, he passed by Bo Vanda, and XoXann, he walked past others, and finally arrived at a plain-looking pedestal. Upon the pillar sat a holocron - this one was empty, and dead. But it had once housed the Dark Spirit known simply as Eris. Eris was the stuff of nightmare - the un-living embodiment of the Dark Side. She was a spirit who had haunted him since his first year among the Sith, once he'd woken to the fact that there was a Force, at all - and more particularly, the Dark Side of it. She had tempted and taunted him, year after year, and many Sith simply thought Verrin had gone insane, because the spirit only showed herself to him. They were wrong, of course, and some select Sith learned that lesson the hard way. Every couple of years, the planets and systems of the galaxy came into some kind of alignment, and the veil between the Dark Side and the 'living world' weakened - allowing Eris to step through. She struck hard, time and again, until one year, Verrin grew powerful enough, smart enough, and resilient enough... to trap her within this very holocron. It didn't stop there though. He'd gone further. He sought the power of life beyond death for his daughter who had been kidnapped as a child by the Sith, and then slain in young-adulthood by Jedi. He wanted to bring her back from the Force - to obtain her spirit there, and put it back in her body here. He'd preserved her corpse for years, preparing, finding ways to do what he needed to - and then he figured it all out. The ritual required immense power - more than he possessed, certainly. He spent a couple of years having one of his apprentices - Cimoreine - prepare the corpse of his daughter with ritual markings through the use of a tattoo-gun. That gun had needles that he had crafted with the same Sith Alchemy he intended to use for Tanit. And his apprentice had a bizarre connection to the Dark Side, able to tattoo her prophetic visions into flesh. Once the corpse was ready, he'd had his apprentice do the same to him - preparing his body to be a vessel, a living holocron, to hold the spirit of Eris. Eris would be his power source. But once he transferred her from her 'cron into himself, he learned that she needed a font of power herself - to tap into the direct flow of the Dark Side. He'd taken himself, and his daughter's body, to Nogatan - beneath the Library there, and into the source of Dark Side power there that was known simply as 'the Maw'. And there, his mind 'saw' things in the Force - frightening things - huge, tentacled monsters whose footfalls would have crushed buildings - nay, blocks of buildings. But Eris had bolstered him, allowing him avoid becoming a babbling fool, before his brain melted to mush and he became part of the very substance he was trying to tap into. He went on to draw his ritual circle, he'd placed his daughter within it, and then he and Eris had begun. Their chanting attracted the attention of one of the Maw's denizens - a Dark Side abomination that could only be described as an amalgam of body parts. It possessed hundreds of mouths, and just as many eyes and ears. It lashed out at them, but could not break the protective barrier of the circle. So it broke a piece of the ceiling away, and Verrin had to dodge the falling debris to survive. He did, but once outside the protection, the monster had slammed him with a terrible appendage, knocking him into a wall. And that... that was where the 'hole' or 'gap' in Verrin's plan revealed itself. He had protected himself from Eris by making his own body a ritual holocron. He hadn't accounted for the fact that by being struck, the ritual markings on his flesh could be broken - and Eris could escape his hold. She freed herself from him, entering his daughter's body, and in the end, he'd been forced to kill the very vessel he'd saved. Nobody witnessed that event - except Eris, of course - but Verrin had returned from that trip a changed man. He'd grown distant and angry, and it took many weeks before he could fully return to his duties. He didn't want to make that mistake again - the simple failure to see where so many things could go wrong. Some time later, Verrin was back in his office, the memory of his own failure as sharp in his mind as the weeks that had followed it. He would be ready this time. This time would be different.
  11. That lovely College Experience...

    Surprisingly, Verrin didn't wince when the man had his jaw broken, or when he landed in a heap after being thrown. He used to wince at that - at the sounds of bone breaking, joints dislocating, even the sound a body made when it impacted something unyielding at high velocity. But not lately. In some way, part of him regretted that fact - that he wasn't sympathetically feeling someone else's pain. But that part wasn't present anymore, or at the very least, it lay dormant. So with seeming disinterest, Verrin turned to his former apprentice, and her claims of wishing to learn Alchemy, and then teaching it to the fellow she just tossed aside. The seeming contrast in those two statements made Verrin pause and cock his head at an angle, as if it would help him understand her better. It didn't. Nor did he completely understand Emperor Valyrian's desire to make such knowledge readily available to the rest of the Sith. Such knowledge was an honor - a blessing. Verrin had suffered a couple of years before his master had revealed the secret to him. He'd almost been killed when he initially asked for that knowledge from the Temple Lord of the time. It was not just Ancient Knowledge - it was, in a word... 'sacred'. But times had changed. And as long as the users who accessed holocrons didn't damage them, they were to be made more available. Ultimately, Valyrian left it in Verirn's hands who would have access. But in this case, Verrin found it difficult to deny the requestor. The woman before him was special to him, certainly, but she was also a Sith, a Darth, and a Kaar upon the council. She was his student, and even a one-time lover, but she was now also his peer. If he denied her, she might take the high road, and work to gain access to the information. Or, she might try some form of flattery or even favors to acquire the knowledge. But more likely, she would assert herself, using her strength and force of arms to beat him - maybe even kill him, though that would defeat her because only he and the Emperor knew the location of the 'crons. Well - and his apprentice, Vanessa, though if his current student was wise, she wouldn't let that tidbit of information get out. Darth Tanit would run roughshod over anyone who stood in her way in order to obtain her desire. And that desire, was ultimately, power. How could he say no? He nodded at her. "The holocron of Bo Vanda. Come with me." In the time that followed, he led his companion deep within the bowels of the Library, where others didn't go largely due to disinterest. There were storage rooms, facilities closets, and rooms that held the infrastructure that allowed the Library to operate - the electrical, the air handling, the fire suppressant systems, and so on. Then, at a section of wall that looked like any other, he took her hand and simply walked through the solid-seeming surface, into an antechamber that led to the Vault. There, she would gain access to the holocron. There, she would learn the essentials of Sith Alchemy, and the creation of Sith warblades. The knowledge would be power. And in her growth, the Sith would grow more powerful too.
  12. There's Nothing You Can Do

    Verrin cocked his head, considering the young man's statements. He replied, "It sounds to me like you're trying to get out of both punishment and work, Kitsuchi." Verrin then eyed the people gathered once more. There were a fair number of women in attendance, and a number of men too, and most were watching the proceeding with some measure of interest. The Force told Verrin that a few were somewhat bored, expecting the boy to be dead or maimed already. Others seemed more curious - probably wondering whether the target could talk his way out of the situation. Still others - and most of these were women - were almost licking their chops for a chance to pick on and demean Silas. A few of those were even thinking darker thoughts - probably of having an 'accident' happen to him. The easy answer was to administer the punishment, and let them have the boy. It was no great reveal that any of them could 'get their own towels', or toss used ones into the laundry bin. They didn't need Silas to do the job. Verrin needed Silas to understand the gravity of his carelessness. It was more than simply losing a droid in the jungle. The matter, in Verrin's mind, was the callous failure to take responsibility for the situation - for losing the droid, yes, but for not recovering it, and then for 'giving up' and leaving it. The droid had been brought back, which was a good thing, but it didn't solve the problem that allowed it to escape the facility in the first place. That problem, Verrin was sure, stood in front of him, trying to find any excuse not to 'serve time'. Of all the punishments Verrin could have delivered on him, he thought this one was fairly low-key. If his apprentice hadn't jumped at the chance to interject, Verrin probably would have seen the problem inherent with throwing the boy to the wolves. He frowned, wishing @Darth Renatus had made an appearance. He spoke aloud, but not to Silas. "Apprentice. See to it that the punishment is carried out. But also see to it that unless he does something warranting it, that he survives the ordeal relatively intact. We need Sith that have been tempered by the hammer of anger upon the anvil of pain - not irresponsible students who cannot accept consequences for their actions. Certainly not Sith who are against a little suffering in order to grow in power. Make it so." He then looked more directly at the young man, daring him and cautioning him in a single glare. Should he try to wriggle out of this a second time, Verrin might just be inclined to allow him to spend the next three weeks in a kolto tank instead of a couple of hours a day in a locker room.
  13. How To Deal With Fleas

    "I think you're mistaken, Lord Verrin." The Sith Master spoke, causing Verrin to frown. It wasn't that Verrin didn't make mistakes, but more that he was so sure he was talking to the Corvus he was thinking of. Of course, it was far more likely that there were two people named Corvus in the galaxy. For that matter, there were likely hundreds - or more. But in all his years, to have two people with the same name drift through the ranks of the Sith... it was too odd a coincidence to ignore. But when the man had taken off his helmet, Verrin felt less sure of the positive identity - thus, the frown. He merely nodded his affirmation, and shook his head slightly in disappointment - though whether that was due to the man not being whom he thought, or simply his own error in judgement, one could only speculate. Verrin then nodded at the newcomer, who greeted him but didn't introduce himself. That was fine, but as Corvus pointed out - people 'knew' Verrin. He didn't necessarily 'know' them. He could (and probably would) eventually look the two men up in the database of registered Sith - Maggie would help there - but for the moment, he would simply refer to them in general terms. The news that this was some sort of gathering was interesting - Verrin hadn't been aware of that. But when prompted, he merely nodded his agreement that everything was fine - that such meetups could be done here. It wasn't the first such philosophical discussion that had taken place in the Library, but it was definitely a rare occurrence for Sith to discuss matters amicably. Usually - if discussion became heated, there would be a show of arms, and within the Library, the Guardians quickly quashed any threat to the contents of the facility. Even now, they moved silently about the place, keeping an ever-watchful eye on the comings and goings of people. The young man sat about four seats away, causing Verrin to consider whether he needed to use the refresher or not. He had done so that morning, and didn't think he smelled badly, but the odd action made him wonder. Then again, maybe the fellow was just nervous about having a discussion with Lords. "However; how do both of you feel about the current state of affairs concerning the Sith, the Sith in power; the natives and our current residence here on Dathomir?" Corvus asked, explaining the reason for the gathering. Verrin cocked his head slightly at the variety and breadth of the questions. How did he feel about the current state of affairs? How did he feel about the Sith in power? How did he feel about the natives of Dathomir? He didn't often discuss his feelings about anything. It wasn't that he didn't have feelings - it was just that he kept them to himself. It was a rather personal question, even if delivered in broad strokes. He met the stare of the man evenly. In return, he answered, "I don't usually answer a question with a question. I find it impolite. But before I delve into my thoughts on the matter, it seems as though you have some strong opinions yourself - to have called a group to discuss such things tells me you're either looking for varying points of view, or people to rally to your cause. Why don't you set the tone for this, and tell us how YOU feel about them first. Then, I think I'll be better equipped to answer your questions." He turned to the young man, seated a short distance away. "Unless you'd like to answer first. Oh - and do come closer. I'm old, and hard of hearing."
  14. There's Nothing You Can Do

    "My lord, I... well, I believe we are all already very acquainted, and I am not at all interested being degraded to a lowly job." The young man said, and Verrin felt his temper begin to rise again. He started to explain, "Being degraded to lowly job?! When I was a fledgeling Sith, the masters threw me into an overused morgue to clean it with my tongue as punishment - and you're going to tell me this is a lowly job?! Frack - killing you would be -" But then a voice came to Verrin's head. He recognized it immediately, even if he hadn't heard it in a while - not telepathically, anyway. It was his own apprentice, who was apparently on hand witnessing the whole proceeding - and she wanted to interject. Verrin considered that for a moment. The last time Holle interjected, she'd killed her own slave. A time after that, she'd executed a Jedi, and practically bathed in his blood. TO be fair, such things were nicer than what Darth Tanit would do to him - though she would probably lean more towards executing the boy instead of punishment. Meracus would be more inclined to punish, but Verrin didn't see her here. Darth Renatus might actually educate the fellow, but Verrin didn't see her either. Verrin glanced past the Acolyte to some of the other female students watching the event. Some looked disappointed that Silas might get away with a quick death. A young man sat on a bench across the way, appearing bored. Verrin didn't blame him - as far as such things went, this was pretty boring... or rather, it didn't affect the males in the room, aside from the subject. Verrin finally decided to give the boy one more chance to redeem himself. "Are you telling me... that attending to the needs of your fellow Sith... is degrading and lowly? That it's beneath you?" Verrin hesitated to turn Holle loose on the man. At the same time, Verrin wondered what would have happened in this situation back in his old Academy days? If an Acolyte said such a thing in front of Zeerah Sadaari, Belhom Lydeck, or Hesina Valenti? For frack's sake - Hesina had a throne made from the still-living bodies of failing Acolytes. If Silas thought this was somehow demeaning, he never spent time under one of these lady's arses.
  15. How To Deal With Fleas

    Verrin's life was the Library, and its existence was because he lived and breathed it. His office was in the back of the place, and Verrin spent as much time here as he could. Among his books, and his scrolls, and his flimsi, he was content. Here, he felt strong and powerful. Here, between his efforts, ad those of the Guardians, the only conflict was between a person and information that had yet to be found. So it wasn't unusual to find him wandering the aisles of the place, checking on this, reading that, or wiping a smudge from a piece of furniture. But today, at the moment, he was heading from his office towards one of the long reading tables - a single visitor sat there. The man was just sitting, nothing unusual there, but was he loitering? There were rules in the Library, and while most were aware of them, and honored them, there were so many new faces in the Academy that he couldn't hope to know everyone first-hand. This man, though, Verrin knew. As he drew closer to the seated fellow, Verrin called ahead - albeit quietly. "You... I know you. Or more accurately, we've met - I knew someone associated with you." Without further ceremony, Verrin sat opposite the man, and looked him over more carefully. "When I saw you the other day - in the Pits - I thought I recognized you, but wasn't sure. Your Force energy doesn't hide you though. I have seen you before... years ago... back on Tatooine. One of my old instructors, Taenok Mekura, took me with you - to trade a captured Jedi for you, who in turn were held captive by them. You weren't a Sith though... you were... Corvus... your father was Darth Valefor. I remember a little... What has happened with you these past years?" Verrin asked the question honestly. The likely answer was that he man sitting across from him had simply existed as part of the Empire, maybe spent time in the military, maybe learned he had power and joined the Academy on Korriban. Verrin hadn't been aware of the comings and goings of most recruits for the past several years - he had his own matters to attend to. But now that he was overseeing the Academy, such details were more open to him. Or... Corvus might be a plant - a spy for Taenok Mekura, who might be seeking to re-enter the administrative 'Council', such as it was after the Empire's fall. Verrin could be Crovus' target. And of course, there were many other possibilities. All of which could be eliminated by a short conversation with the focus of Verrin's interest.