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Holle

Sith Apprentice
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About Holle

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  1. Be Thorough

    Holle bristled for a moment at the question. She had just said explicitly what they were to do, but after a small moment considering the curiosity of the acolyte she calmed down ever so slightly. Her eyes lingered on Miss Tsintah, an expression of reserved annoyance hanging between the two of them in the momentary silence. "Yes, the nature of this study will be verbal, and only verbal. We are to appraise them on their words alone." She said, answering the question very directly. Holle adjusted her chair behind the desk and looked over at the door where the women outside waited, "These women are not fully aware of what the Sith Order represents. They know that I am the liason between our Academy and their tribe. Our cooperation is built on honesty. Should we implicitly believe every word they say at face value? No, we should not. There is more to truth than just accepting someone's statements as gospel. One of the key components to discerning the truth in someone's words is to pay very close attention to the little details. Body language and facial expressions, however subtle, can reveal more about someone than their voice can." The Zeltron paused for a moment, looking at Miss Tsintah with more intent than before. She had drive, it seemed, wanting to know just how the interviews would work. It was a quality she shared with the student. Holle did not like to go into situations blindly. "Learning to read people in this simple way is one of the key aspects of diplomacy. The ignorant often find that the word diplomacy and Sith do not mix, but the old adage that one can attract more flies with honey rather than vinegar remains true regardless of one's outlook on the greater Force. We have a very tenuous connection with the tribes on this planet, and no position to simply wipe them out. Besides, what would we gain from destroying them all? Is there something that we as an Order would benefit from by their eradication?" Holle steepled her fingers in the small pause. "No, I personally do not believe so. They have practices and an understanding of the Force that is very different than our own. It is a more religious look than most Sith are willing to adopt. They have long traditions of shaman and war chiefs that draw on the power of the Dark Side to settle their disputes or search for truth. I feel as if we as an Order would benefit from finding those willing to share their ways with us, rather than simply discrediting anything that is not strict dogmatic Sith doctrine." Holle sat back lecturing, a small trait she picked up on from her master. She had already been a verbose woman to begin with, but in the environment or her training that habit had grown exponentially. It was a thing she never considered actively, as there was no better way to educate someone than with imperical truth or historical fact backed up by the Library's stacks. "I digress though. What do you feel would be gained from a so-called practical examination of the women? Make your case well and I will consider it, Miss Tsintah."
  2. Be Thorough

    Holle's Office, The Dathomir Academy Following the events of Mind Over Matter There was something poetic about having say in what students could and could not enter the Sith Academy. While it was normally not the case given the nature of the Sith's tenuous surival in the galaxy, the notion of bringing in untested tribal warriors and demanding their loyalty to a new master was something untoward to those with a healthy level of caution. Darth Verrin, her master, was absolutely correct in his assessment that the warriors would have to face a change in loyalties. That made what Holle and Kai had been assigned to do absolute necessity. To understand where these women stood in relation to their drive for success as a warrior, versus their loyalties to their kith and kin, it was common sense once Holle had the veil of ambition lifted from her eyes. The Zeltron had stepped out of her master's office following the discussion, as well as her introduction to the newest student he had adopted as a pet project. The woman was at least respectful and understood her place in the pecking order, so she had that going for her. Still, Holle hated the idea of competition for her master's attention and training, and that meant that there was a tenuous balance of which Miss Tsintah was not aware. The woman stood on the precipice of disaster should she manage to usurp more than her share of the old man's attention; but likewise she stood close to respect should she prove to have more tact than the more Rancor-headed students in the general population. Holle looked at her cohort of tribal warriors, and spoke to them in their language. She detailed what was to take place, and while they did not quite understand the need to allow yet another stranger speak to them, they understood that Holle had proven herself to be someone that would not guide them down a false path. While she conversed she cast sideways glances at Kai, a subtle motion for the women to look at her. "The women will follow us to my office, and there we will speak to them one at a time." She said, not looking at Kai while speaking to her. Holle motioned for the women to follow and without so much as a word they formed up quite formally behind her through the halls and into the fastidiously kept office. If Darth Verrin's workspace was the end result of a hurricane of research, then Holle's was a precision strike. Everything had a place, and everything had a purpose. There was not so much as a single thing askew. Holle turned and told the warriors to wait outside, and that they would be spoken to one at a time. Holle moved around her own desk and seated herself, leaning back in the comfortable chair and crossing her legs. She motioned to one of the chairs for Miss Tsintah, while the warriors stood at ease just outside the now closed office door. "I have told them we will ask them questions about their home, their history, and themselves. We are going to build a psychological profile on each of them, and assess the possibility of their entry as students in the Academy from there. I will not guide your line of questioning, rather I will interpret. I will also be taking notes. Are you ready?"
  3. Mind Over Matter

    Holle took one final drink from her mug and sat the thing back down on the beverage cart with but a simple use of telekinesis. She had been given another task, and for it to be performed with his new project student. The Zeltron noticed that the woman did not rise to the barbs, and so she noted that she was at least a nose above the rest among a fresh crop. Control of one's tongue and temper around their betters was a very fast lesson that was most often learned through pain, so she could appreciate that much about the student. She bowed her head in her seat, "Absolutely my Lord. It would be my pleasure to screen potential students. We needn't use our resources on those who have no chance to yield any progress, correct?" Holle looked upon Kai with the final word. "Acolyte Tsintah, you will ask these women what you believe to be pertinent questions regarding their readiness to learn in the Academy. Of course, I will interject should the line of questioning prove to be irrelevant. I will interpret between you and the tribeswomen, as I speak their language. If you wish to interact more with the tribes in service to the Sith Order then I would recommend you to learn the language as well. When I return to Sector A-7 to meet with their priestess I will discuss this learning opportunity with her. If they agree to teach you their language then of course I expect you to accept the gift of their welcome into their community. Am I understood?" She said, with the true panache of someone who had a taste of being a successful diplomat for her master and the Sith. Holle could get used to serving as an intermediary between neutral parties and the Sith. The Zeltron looked to her master, holding a finger up to pause Miss Tsintah for a moment should she go to answer immediately as she was leaving, "I will compile the list of potential candidates at the conclusion of the interviews with both myself and Miss Tsintah's opinions on each woman in question. May I make a request of you, though, my Lord? Would you kindly set aside some basic archival texts on linguistics and the power of langauge for Miss Tsintah? I feel it would be in her best interest while we are on this world to study up on the idea that words can hold power beyond simple understood meanings."
  4. Mind Over Matter

    There was nothing that Holle saw from the woman that entered her master's office that led her one way or another. She was a student in the Academy, and she could not begrudge her that considering it was another body that had come to them willingly. On the other hand, more students meant more competition among the Order. While there was a moratorium on the student body killing one another to gain standing, her lack of knowledge on Acolyte Tsintah did not give her enough to consider her anything more than an annoyance at worst. "Ah, a fresh whelp desperate to claw themselves above the deluge of filth that birthed them." Holle said, sipping her fourth liquor infused coffee. It was a biting comment, but that was what the Zeltron did best. Provoking others into anger and poor decision-making was an excuse for her to defend herself. Of course, if this young woman was valuable enough that her master called her in for a second opinion then she must have something to her. Perhaps she had self-control that the average neophyte learner possessed. She did not turn to the woman that her master addressed and continued, "Let me add to my master's request. Provided, of course, you interacted with the tribes in any capacity. That information could prove crucial in my efforts to bring the women of this planet to the truest path."
  5. Mind Over Matter

    The problems listed off by her master were truly pertinent questions. These were things that, in her inexperience and youth, she did not consider. Holle looked back at the door where the warriors waited and back to Darth Verrin, "Forgive me master, these are edge questions that I did not consider in my ambition to provide the Academy more students. The gift of foresight does not answer that which is not asked. You are absolutely correct in asking those questions as well. So far they have shown that they are willing to follow me, but it may not extend to the Sith Order. I have lived in their presence for quite some time, they are accustomed to me, my manner, my abilities, but this entire place is a wholly new environment that may yet bring the worst out in them. Perhaps instead of making my case, I admit defeat on this move and simply allow our relationship with them to remain as it is, civil and coopertive but nothing more." She paused, considering the possible consequences of disallowing their warriors to return to their home to protect their kin. Holle sat, cross-legged in silence for a moment and thought on the matter of how to expand the student populace and grow the Order. Her master was the head of the Academy sure, but she as his apprentice had to keep his interests close to her own as a matter of convenience. "What if..." she stopped for a moment to try and gather the proper wording for the idea, "What if, instead of drawing from our allies, we draw from the enemies of our allies? It would cement their position more firmly if their rivals were weakened, but we could also take the warriors from their enemies by force and enslave them in the Academy to try and create from nothing. We have nothing to lose by offending the tribes with whom we are not aligned, though it would be best to take them without a trace. If they do not cooperate we simply extract their knowledge by force." Holle sipped her own drink after her offering. She had not fully considered how to do what she suggested, but she did offer another idea that could bolster their numbers. The Academy was meant to cut the chaff and weed out the weak, so no matter what happened to those weak and infirm students, the strong they bring in would be sure to grow on the backs of their weaker comrades. The weak had their place in the Order just as the strong did. "It would be more beneficial with that in mind, to focus on the students we have to ensure that they do not disappoint in the first place, right?"
  6. Mind Over Matter

    Holle spoke to the women behind her without looking at them, something that brought them all upright and holding their weapons at the ready, "The intention is for them to be entered into the Academy as students proper. They have proven to me in my time among them that they are pefectly capable warriors, but with their innate connection to the Force they could become so much more than simple tribal defenders. These women are perfectly capable of becoming a specialized fighting force loyal to one another as well as to the Sith Order." She said, while the women stood displaying their weapons and war tattoos as they had grown accustomed to in so many encounters against their equals. Here they were among those more than capable of standing up to them. The Zeltron raised her hand behind her and gave them the gesture to disperse, ordering them to wait outside of the door to Darth Verrin's office. Once the women had left, reluctant though they might have been, Holle returned to the matter at hand. "These women are always ready to take the fight to their enemies. They might come from a technologically inferior tribe, but their intelligence should not be doubted. Just because the tools are different, does not make them any less effective against a foe that cannot respond to their attacks. They know the terrain, they are experts at learning how to use the lay of the land to great effect against their enemies. That is a lesson none of the Overseers have taught the acolytes." She said, sounding quite pleased that she had learned quite a few basic things that the Overseers seemed to either never consider or willfully ignored. Had she paid any attention to the Jedi she engaged on Dromund Kaas during the war, she would have known that the result would have been catastrophic for her. Her prosthetic legs were a testament to that. "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?" She asked rhetorically. Holle stood up and went to the drinks cart and poured herself some coffee after adding two fingers of whiskey to the cup. With a nice warming drink she looked back at her master, "I take it none of your current students or Overseers have been disappointments? I know you occassionally take a liking to a student and interact with them directly. Have you found any new pet projects? Is there anything that you require of me now that the coffee cultivation has proven to be successful?"
  7. Mind Over Matter

    Holle had already gone through the process of grinding and now brewing the first batch of regular coffee, letting the smell and the pot speak for itself as the answer to part of the question her master had asked her. "Guests? No, my Lord, these women are a cadre of warriors from the Splintered Footprint tribe in sector A-7, the sector which grew the coffee that is..." she turned and looked at the drip brewer completing its very simple task, "...now done brewing." Holle went to the coffee pot and poured a cup, and offered it to her master. It was a very simple thing, but it was also her taking pride in the fact that something she struggled to set into motion had finally yielded results. The women that the Zeltron had brought relaxed when it was obvious to them that the man before them was not considered a threat to their guide. They looked at one another and spoke in their own language about the Academy, which Holle turned an ear to in order to listen more closely. A smile curled on her face, "These women are impressed by the facility. They say it is large, defensible, and could stand against nearly any attack from their rivals." She turned to them and in their language, gestured for them to seat themselves and relax, which they did though they appeared to be prepared for anything still. You can take the warrior out of the war, but not the war out of the warrior. Holle returned her attention to Darth Verrin, "They are the first set of warriors that Sector A-7 has offered to us to strengthen their forces against their rivals. I made an agreement with the head priestess, that these young women would be trained in the Sith ways, and would use the knowledge they learn to guide their tribe to victory with the power they gain through our Academy and our teachings. The one condition that I could not get her to relent on would be that should they be summoned to defend their home, they are allowed to return to defend their people. They are reluctant to allow us to station any of our own in their tribe, but that is also something that I have brought up a time or two with the priestess as well. Her misgivings are that they would completely deny her warriors the chance to face the rush of battle themselves. Personally speaking, I would rather deal with things in a more discrete way, but her people are proud of their fierce reputation as powerful combatants. I've had Maggie register them as students of the Academy and once they receive the facility tour and are assigned their living space, I will oversee their development personally, if you wish it." She said, seating herself in the usual armchair and crossing her legs. In the light the new facial tattoos that Holle had appIied by the warleader of the Splintered Footprint were completely healed. It appeared that Holle was quite satisfied with things as they were now, as things had come up more positively than they had before. There was but one truly lingering question, and that was if the coffee was up to snuff. It was always possible that the first harvest was substandard, but she was no agriculturalist and had little interest in anything beyond the results of the work itself. That was for the more agriscience inclined employees to deal with.
  8. Mind Over Matter

    The harvest season had concluded, and with it the first successfully cultivated crop of Coffea canephora had been stored away for transportation to the Academy. Holle had surveyed the process from afar, choosing to remain at least partially active in the process considering it was tasked to her to manage replacing the lost sources of caffeine her master seemed to rely on. There were times in the sweltering jungle that she wished he had a far more easy to facilitate addiction, like deathsticks or spice, but his pragmatism no doubt kept him from pursuing harder highs than a simple cup of strong coffee. The tribe had become more placid around her and the slaves that had worked the fields for the entirety of the growth period. To say the exchange was fruitful would have been a pun more bitter than the coffee itself, but she could at least take some small amount of satisfction in knowing that the supply had been a direct result of her unbowed effort to tame these savages. They valued strength and practical wisdom over trinkets and baubles, and once she had managed to learn that simple fact the diplomatic ties had become far more easy to knot firmly. The time spent learning from the tribe was the least unpleasant time, and those in the field overseeing the competency and productivity of the slaves had been the least pleasant. Despite having grown accustomed to the heat, it was the humidity that always brought her down. She had been something of a curiosity to the regular tribespeople though. The tone of her skin had brought the most attention at first, being noted as something akin to one of the fruits that grew in the canopies. She did not mind the comparison, as there had been zero contact between these people and anyone of her kind prior to the Remnant planting themselves firmly here on Dathomir. To be back in the Academy proper was perhaps the best feeling after her time spent supervising the construction of an agricultural facility. There were some key changes to the manner by which she carried herself upon arrival. Holle had become more confident, more fit, and had replaced her meager form with a more fit one. She had a runner's physique now, and had earned it working closely with the tribe to keep them vested in their local power against their rival groups. The Zeltron performed mostly scouting procedures, and had since then earned the facial tattoos the tribe bestowed on their skilled hunters. She had garnered acceptance, and with it she had a shift in her perception of the savage folk. They were much the same, but on a different technological level. Their motives were largely the same. Retaining their power and protecting their own, and having found an alliance that could keep them in that position, they had become more accepting of her presence and the Sith presence as well. Holle had re-entered the Academy and with her she carried a small bag of the precious coffee beans that had been desired for so long. It was not the only thing she had brought though. With her were seven prospective learners, young women from the tribe's warrior caste that she had negotiated with the shamanic leadership over. The agreement that she reached was something that she decided on herself in her master's place. The women would be trained in the Sith ways, learn from the Academy, but would be permitted to answer the call to battle for their tribe should they be needed. The Zeltron was greeted rather quickly by Maggie, who approached with, for a droid, a projected sense of frustration. "Apprentice Holle, welcome back. You should be pleased to know that very little has changed with your master's office since last you checked in. Everything is right where it does not belong. If you wish to speak with him, do please go ahead into his office. Feel free to tidy up if you wish to..." she said. Perhaps the most biting thing she had heard from the droid. It did make her smile. "Maggie there are simply some battles that you cannot win no matter how much effort you put into it. Would you be so kind as to guide these prospective students through the proper registration procedures while I meet with my master? Bring them to his office when they are all in the system, please." Holle said, motioning for the prospects to stop while speaking to them in their native tongue. She had a gift for language and in her time among the tribe she picked up on how to communicate at least basic commands and interactions. Given more time she could likely learn their language more fully, but until the need arose simple things were sufficient enough. Before Maggie could say anything about the students, her master's office, or whether or not he was present, Holle left to indeed visit Darth Verrin's office. She had but a small bag, but the roasted coffee beans were as fresh as they could possibly be after the transit from the tribe community to the Academy. Now was the time to test the coffee she had grown, and the only subject to test a fresh brew on was Verrin himself.
  9. Quiet Time

    "My original intent was to trade with them in exchange for use of cultivation lands, but they attacked us before we could make any kind of offering. But excuses are excuses. I will travel out to Sector A-7 with my droid and attempt to bridge the communication gap, my Lord." She said, finishing her second cup of tea. Holle had no taste for the jungle yet, and thus far going back into said jungle had been the last thing on her to-do list. It felt bad to admit that she was afraid of the native warriors of this planet, but they were quite a lot more competent than her initial appraisal. The assumption that their technology level dictated their skill in battle was so vastly incorrect. It was times like these that she missed living in a city. For her part though, she had some plan to provide coffee just short of growing new plants in the land yet to be secured for use. There were certain inherent risks with importing to Dathomir, but there were also disreputable channels that could be used to great effect among the spacers abroad. If she could not immediately grow coffee she could at least try to secure a cargo of coffee in the meantime. At least importing something could hold her place while she works on trading with the natives from a place where they understood one another. That would require trying to establish a contact outside of Dathomir, likely in Hutt space, which in and of itself presented various challenges. On the other hand, making contacts among the Hutt gangs could also pay off in terms of other more dubious acquisitions as well. Holle had several things to consider.
  10. Quiet Time

    "That is difficult to say, my Lord. As I am now I cannot say that I feel appreciably weakened by the loss of my legs, at least as it relates to my connection to the Force." Holle answered honestly. She had no concerns as to the reasoning behind the question. So far as she understood it was an entirely logical thing to want to know. There were Sith that had numerous cybernetic replacements, far more than she, and they seemed fine. She felt pain every single time she went to her knee before her master, yet she did so out of devotion to the social order. Without order there was nothing, and the Sith were nothing if not held accountable on the hierarchy of power. The Zeltron sipped her tea, "They cause me great pain at every waking moment though. I cannot say if it is true pain, or if I am recalling the feeling of having lost them in battle. My desire for power has not changed, though, as your question might suggest. We all face struggles in our pursuit of power, correct? I have had tremendous difficulites adjusting my life around my prosthetic legs, and it has finally shown in my ability to produce positive results. It would seem that now is the time that I should change in order to adapt to this new challenge as I clearly cannot tackle this as directly as I would have liked to." She continued. If she was going to answer a question she was going to leave nothing else on the table. With their previous meeting ending in a less than stellar fashion she was not going to answer in any other way than how she felt was fitting to the line of inquiry. As she paused for consideration she put her own honest opinion of herself on the table as well. "This, more than anything else, has shown me that my effectiveness is not in the realm of direct conflicts or battle. My strengths lie elsewhere, and while I attempted to push myself toward a more battle-ready mindset I only hindered myself by not focusing on what I was already capable of doing and developing that further. I am not made for open warfare, simply put." She finished, nodding to the droid as she refilled her tea.
  11. Food coma complete.

  12. Quiet Time

    Failure. Holle had a long and storied relationship with failure if her own personal assessment was to be believed. It was true that her successes were limited in their scope and impact, but they were still successes in the end. Her failures though, had been far more monumental in terms of the personal impacts they had on her life. The greatest was to lose her legs below the knees, and even that seemed like an easy recovery after damaging the trust her master had in her to complete even remotely simple tasks. Nothing felt right anymore, and her confidence had most definitely been shaken. Fear had motivated the Zeltron to avoid the general halls of the Academy. Her meditations and personal interests in the history of the Sith Order kept her occupied in her self-imposed isolation. The room she called her own paled in comparison to the apartment she lived in on Dromund Kaas. There was a general feeling of resentment for the downgrade in her living arrangements but there was no true target for which her scorn could be placed other than the Jedi. That she was still alive was somewhat of a blessing these days though, considering her struggles ever since the war. Things had been difficult to adjust to, and she had been more squeamish as a whole than before. It still sat on her shoulders that she had not managed to even defend herself adequately in order to retreat with the Empire. She had to be rescued, yet again, and it felt to her that she was simply being kept alive at this point rather than living on her own. Her isolation was required to end though, not by choice but by obligation. In avoiding the student body and the Overseers she had spent time reevaluating her priorities. What she found was that her master was right and that she had no real drive or purpose thus far. She was learning, and receiving training, but without an end goal it was time spent teaching someone without a plan for their life. Holle had never planned her life out though. Even as a Sith the chain that bound her most fiercely was the remnants of the mental conditioning that slaves received. Her life was her own now and while she knew her place as a Sith she still did not know ultimately that it was well within her right to plan ahead for her own motives and goals. The relationship of the master and apprentice further compounded her inner conflict to the point that she was convinced up until two days ago that she was meant only to serve the Empire. Her master admonished her fiercely, and in doing so forced the reevaluation in directly. If it was not satisfactory for her to be servile, and it was not satisfactory for her to be fully independent based on the nature of the master and apprentice relationship, then somewhere in the middle was the ground she had never covered. For once she considered her own needs, her own desires among the Sith and found that she had been little more than a doormat to be ordered around. If that reputation had garnered any footing among the students then there would be no respect for her anywhere. Overseers hated her, the students resented her, and now her master was angry with her. Holle returned to her master's office though, intent to at least try to repair the damage she had done with her incompetence. On bended knee she offered her respects as befitting his office, "My Lord." she said, and nothing more. She had nothing to report, nor did she have anything of value to offer him. If he required her to speak at this point after her latest failure he would either request or demand it. Holle accepted a hot tea from Maggie and seated herself across from the Zabrak, expecting to be further admonished or at the least criticized. With nothing under her belt to call her own success of late it was anyone's guess as to how long she would yet last if this latest pattern continued.
  13. This is always the season that seems to rain down terrible shit on me non-stop. I'll post soon.

  14. Quiet Time

    There was an obvious tension that she had not felt before, that her master was legitimately furious with her for what seemed like the first time. Holle was understandably nervous, but chose to attempt concealing that emotion beneath a veneer of calm. "Because the geography of Sector A-7 is a heavily forested hill, as you well know. The proper cultivation of coffee must take place in an environment where frost does not occur, which is why there have been difficulties in scaling the two-thousand meters without losing the majority of our reinforcement to ambushes and guerilla tactics. They are not ignorant tribals, they are intelligent and it is their home field." She answered, herself getting more and more irritable as the moments passed. Holle took the message he delivered, though her thoughts on the matter remained likewise hidden. Perhaps it was time to rethink the matter of unity among the Sith and more about what she should do to bring herself into power. "If you would prefer, I could take an entire batallion of soldiers up, violently wrest control of the hill from the tribe, but the potential for causing the rest of the planet's inhabitants to become violently opposed to our presence seems like too great a risk. It would only end in a battle of escalation that would draw attention to Dathomir. Diplomacy has failed, subtle attacks have failed, the other option is overt destruction. Infiltrating and assassinating the leader of a tribe only means another leader is elevated and the tribe becomes hostile. It is a no win situation, but if you wanted me to destroy them all and think about the consequences later I will do just that and truck my happy ass back up that hill and slaughter them all and just throw caution to the wind." She continued on, giving into her anger and frustration. It did not feel good to be berated like this. For all her efforts to fly relatively under-the-radar there was no chance of that on Dathomir. The avoidance of conflict out of a self-preservation instinct was, at least to many, antithetical to Sith philosophy. The Dark Side fed on conflict and the most she sought was petty arguments with people she considered to be ignorant. Now that she was confronted with actual concrete failure that she could not ignore, things felt worse than they had before.
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