[a / b / c / d / e / f / g / gif / h / hr / k / m / o / p / r / s / t / u / v / vg / vr / w / wg] [i / ic] [r9k / s4s / vip / qa] [cm / hm / lgbt / y] [3 / aco / adv / an / asp / bant / biz / cgl / ck / co / diy / fa / fit / gd / hc / his / int / jp / lit / mlp / mu / n / news / out / po / pol / qst / sci / soc / sp / tg / toy / trv / tv / vp / wsg / wsr / x] [Settings] [Home]
Board
Settings Home
/qst/ - Quests



Thread archived.
You cannot reply anymore.



>Thousands of years before the Battle of Endor and the formation of the New Republic, the galaxy is split between a wounded Old Republic and a triumphant Sith Empire. While the Republic grew fat in peace and security, the long-forgotten Sith surged out from the edges of space and cut a swathe of destruction across the galaxy that did not stop until it had reached Coruscant itself. Bloodied and beaten, the Republic hastily signed the peace treaty offered to them, placing countless Republic worlds under Sith dominion. Nearly a decade has passed since then, and though the two enemies continue to engage in proxy wars and minor skirmishes, the treaty has held.

>But a peace that is forced upon another is a fragile one. Both the Sith and Republic continue to build their forces, the former growing fractured and decadent with the persistent silence of their reclusive Emperor. It is only a matter of time before mutual distrust and hatred brings the two factions into open conflict, once again plunging the galaxy into war.
>>
You squeeze the hilt of the training saber slung at your hip, your muscles tensing and relaxing as you and the other students watch the duel before you. It is a sight you've seen a hundred times--a thousand times, even--within the stone training halls of the Sith Academy.

But you aren't watching for simple enjoyment. Each duel is a lesson, a chance to get a look at the styles and habits of the students fighting each other. Your eyes flicker left and right, trying to keep the movements of both Tuija and Shassanis in view. The former is a female Twi'lek, short but sturdy with yellow skin that contrasts sharply with her black tunic. She wears a constant frown, one that deepens into a scowl as she drives forward with the training saber.

Her opponent is a male Falleen, tall and with green skin that is uninterrupted by body hair of any sort, except for the single braid of black hair hanging off the back of his head. He parries the Twi'lek's thrust, stumbling to the side awkwardly. His confident smile cracks for only the slightest moment, but quickly returns as he regains his balance. You hear the soft click-click of his many rings against the hilt of his saber, an unusual luxury for the teachers to allow--you're still not sure why they allow it.

"Don't overreach," the Falleen scolds Tuija. Just loud enough for you to hear at the edge of the circle surrounding them, but not so loud that it reaches the blademaster in the back of the room.

Tuija's furious expression has already reached its limit, and she lets out a hard grunt before launching herself at Shassanis with renewed force and speed--both good attributes in a Sith combatant, but only when under control. Shassanis avoids each blow, blocking some and simply sidestepping the rest.

The rest of the students in the room are watching just as intently as you are, and almost certainly for the same reason--to gain an edge over one another. The academy is kill or be killed, in the most literal sense. This current duel will end well before anyone is seriously injured, but there will inevitably come a battle when one student falls, never to rise again.

Then, there is the other potential reason so many onlookers have gathered. Aliens are rare at the Sith Academy--though not as rare as they used to be--and a fight between a Falleen and a Twi'lek is something of a spectacle. A Twi'lek being accepted as a student is bizarre enough, but a Force-sensitive Falleen is downright unheard of. There were those in the academy--teachers and students--who wouldn't have minded seeing the two aliens kill each other. Only Humans and the red-skinned pureblooded Sith would ever truly be accepted, no matter how much things changed.

>What species are you?
>>
>>2194846
Human.
Blonde, gray eyes, tall, face chiseled like a vigeland sculpture.
>>
>>2194846
I'll support this >>2194854
Although I don't know what a vigelamd sculpture is chiseled like. I'm trusting you anon!
Also white, gotta fit in.
>>
>>2194846
wookie
>>
>>2194846
Wookie
>>
File: EzE.jpg (77 KB, 770x1037)
77 KB
77 KB JPG
>>2194885
Lets be friends anon
>>
>>2194846
>>2194882
>>2194885
>>2194920
Wookie.
Fuck being a Human.
>>
>>2194846
Zeltron.
After all, the Dark Side is all about... passion.
>>
>>2194846
Wookie
>>
>>2194968
or

>>2194988

NO human.
>>
>>2194854
2nd for human
>>
>>2194988
>>2194968

Your own experience with xenophobia at the academy was more mixed. As a crimson-skinned Zeltron, you had been mistaken by many of the duller students for a mixed-blood Sith. It wouldn't be uncommon for those with part-Human parentage to not have the distinctive face tendrils of a true pureblood. Even after the others learned your true identity, the passive respect they had given you seemed to persist, even if only a little bit. In a strange way, you regret the relatively easy experience you've had. Tuija and Shassanis have earned more than their fair share of scorn and derision, but that had only made their success over the years all the more significant. Word has begun to spread among the various Masters that visit Korriban, and even the most hateful of the academy's teachers now give them begrudging acceptance.

The fight, which has dragged on for minutes, slows. The two duelists are growing tired, and the rhythms they had established are beginning to break down. Tuija, who at first had attacked with such speed and ferocity, leaves herself open to counter-attacks by the more cautious Falleen. The practice sabers are heavier than most swords, and far heavier than lightsabers. Clearly struggling with the weight of the thing, Tuija hunches over into a guarded stance that allows her to rest the tip of her saber on the floor. Shassanis seems emboldened by the change in attitude, and steps forward to deliver an overhead strike. She manages to raise the saber just in time to block the blow, and the two stand locked in place, staring at each other from either side of their joined sabers.

Reaching out with your mind, you touch theirs. Not enough for them to notice, but enough for you to glimpse their respective emotions. Anger seethes within Tuija, as if she is deliberately stirring it up to mask some deeper emotion. Shassanis is confident, prideful--but that confidence masks an even greater fear of failure. You withdraw from their minds, careful to do so without disturbing them. Ordinarily, only experienced Force users would be able to accomplish such a feat, but you did not use the Force. To your people, mild feats of empathetic telepathy are as ordinary as breathing.

As your awareness of the ordinary world returns, the balance of the fight shifts.

>Who wins the duel?
>>
>>2195065

Wookie was too hard, I want my person to be able to talk
>>
>>2195069
Sorry dude, Zeltrons are boring.
>>
>>2195065
The one who isn't resting their weapon on the ground mid fight holy shit.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>2195065
1 - Tuija
2 - Shassanis
>>
>>2195065
Tujia

The Falleen's overconfidence will be his downfall
>>
>>2195073
Because being unable to speak and hated by literally everyone in the setting would be fun.
>>
>>2195073
Only as boring as we make them.
Imagine a Zeltron swashbuckler type. Using a combination of the Force and our species' inherent talents to play mindgames with our foes. That whole "Yes, your thoughts betray you. Your feelings for them are strong. Especially for... sister. So, you have a twin sister. Your feelings have now betrayed her, too." type of thing.
>>
>>2195065
In her exhausted state, Tuija cannot hope to force Shassanis' blade back. Instead, she makes a quick step to the side, then drives the hilt of her saber into his nose. The Falleen cries out and shoves forward as hard as he can, but the smaller Twi'lek is already moving further out of his path. Before he can turn his bloodied face back towards her, she summons the last of her strength into her tired arms and swings at the small of the back. Her saber burns hot and bright, crackling and sizzling as it delivers an electric shock that would hobble a Wookie. The next moment, Shassanis is lying flat on his face, unmoving except for the slight twitch of his fried limbs.

Practice sabers are far safer than vibroswords, but 'safe' is a relative term. It isn't unheard of for the losing party to require a few days in a bacta tank after such a defeat, though bedrest and shame are the more typical prizes.

Her face a complex mix of anger and triumph, Tuija approaches Shassanis and stares down at him. You can feel the anger radiating off of her in sickening waves, and you are sure she would give the defeated Falleen another blow if she had the strength to lift her sword.

"Enough!" comes a hoarse shout from the back of the room. You turn to see the crowd of students parting, and immediately step aside before the approaching blademaster can barrel straight into you. Ukarme is one of many teachers at the academy, but the nature of his portfolio--training students in eventual lightsaber use--means you see the man on a daily basis. With a long face and thin, black hair, the man cuts a ghostly figure made all the more unnerving by the roomy gray robe he seems to float around in.

The moment she hears Ukarme's shout, Tuija steps away from Shassanis. The blademaster marches toward them with long, measured strides, then stops before the Falleen as the latter pushes himself onto all fours. Ukarme squats down in front of him, and grabs his braid of hair to look him in the eye.

"Can you walk?" Ukarme says.

Shassanis nods, eyes cast downward to avoid meeting his teacher's withering gaze.

"Go to medbay." The blademaster rises to his feet, then dissapears back into the crowd of students like a ghost. Tuija walks towards you, but your attention has turned to Shassanis. Overcome with curiousity, you plunge yourself into his mind and feel for the shame you are sure is there. You find it, but it is far smaller a presence than during the fight. It is overshadowed by rage flaring within him, a fiery anger directed at Tuija, himself, the teacher--and you. Before those scorching flames can disturb you further, you withdraw from his mind.

>Which one is your friend? Tuija, or Shassanis?
>>
>>2195230
Neither, we only interact with normies like humans and ""pure""bloods.
>>
>>2195206
Tuija
If for no other reason than I like Twi'lek gals and raging sith berserkers
>>
>>2195230
>Tuija
Fuck that Falleen, he's an asshole.
>>
>>2195230
>Sith Academy
>Friends

either works for me. Or both. Although such a xeno conspiracy would no doubt draw concerted hostility of everyone else in the class.
>>
>>2195264
Good. Thrashing any who try to move against us will only make us stronger in the long run.
>>
>>2195230
I'm for no friends. That sounds like fun. If we have to pick however, I'll go

>Tuija
>>
Your eyes meet with Tuija's as she passes you and joins the crowd of onlookers. It's not a nod of acknowledgement, but it's more than anyone else gets. You're not friends--that's a dangerous word in a place like the academy--but your shared status as aliens and outsiders has forced the two of you into something of a silent alliance. Shassanis might have formed a similar relationship with the Twi'lek, had their personalities not clashed so strongly.

Shassanis drags himself up from the floor, with not so much as a single helping hand offered to him. Not that he didn't have his share of allies. On the contrary, the flashy Falleen was popular for an alien. But to give him aid would have been to imply that he needed it, an insult worse than any other.

Once Shassanis is clear of the dueling ring, the low murmurs going through the crowd cease. The room is still and silent, the students waiting in rapt silence for someone to speak up. Practice duels are an opportunity to settle grievances or upstage a hated rival. All one has to do is announce the desire for a duel, and the duel will happen. It is technically permitted for the one being challenged to refuse the offer, but that is extremely rare. To do so would invite scorn, derision, and the predatory attentions of other students who are quick to pounce on any perceived weakness.

The seconds tick by, and eyes begin to wander. You are certain that the blademaster is about to call the day to a close. But then, the crowd parts, making way for one of the students. Loman Botos--an unremarkable-looking young man of Inner Rim origin. You've noticed him eyeing you as of late, and his attempts to cozy up to the purist clique at the academy are no secret. By making a show of defeating an alien in a duel, he hopes to curry favor with the humans and purebloods who would love nothing more than to see you beaten and bloodied.

What you hadn't expected was for him to make his move so soon. Your observation of him has told you that he is your rough equal in bladework. And in a duel where use of the Force isn't permitted, skill with the blade is all that matters. A loss in the ring is a great shame for any student, but for Loman the embarassment would be twofold. He would lose face in front of the teachers and his backstabbing peers, but also be shunned by the purists he seeks to curry favor with. Why take such a risk?

Loman stops at the edge of the crowd, pulls his practice saber from the loop on his belt, and points it at you.

"I challenge--"

>What's your name?

>Do you accept the challenge?
>Bonus detail: If you do not accept, on what basis do you decline?
>>
>>2195357
I'm not great with PC names desu.
>Do you accept the challenge?
Yes.
>>
>>2195357
Mynock, because our owner mistook us for one when she "inherited" the liner whose captain exhibited a disturbing case of lack of faith.

Yes
>>
>>2195357
>Varrus

Yes, accept the duel
>>
>>2195357
>What's your name?
Leera
>Do you accept the challenge?
Of course. His shame when we're finished with him will be exquisite.
>>
>>2195357
Rhone
@©©€¶¥ the duel
>>
>>2195357
"I challenge Leera Varrus," Loman declares.

Your decision began the moment he emerged from the crowd, and ended before he had finished speaking your name. You step forward, pulling your saber free of your belt and giving it a casual twirl. You say nothing, careful not to meet Loman's gaze as you try to give the impression that you were fully expecting the challenge. It seems to work--as you take your position across from him and turn to face him, you catch the barest glimpse of surprise on his face. It vanishes quickly, and he meets your dismissive glare with one of determined intensity.

You may be putting on a show of disinterest, but you're not an idiot--internally, you're racking your mind to figure out how to best begin the fight. Blade training is a regimented program dictated by Ukarme, meaning you weren't able to watch Loman and figure out his preferred fighting style--he went through the exact same motions you did. Every student worth their salt trains on their own as well, but such a thing is done in private to prevent just the sort of spying you would have liked to have done.

But just as a weapon is an extension of its wielder, a person's bladework is a reflection of themselves--and you know Loman. He's careful--paranoid, even--but when he sees weakness, he pounces on it with reckless abandon. That's what has you so worried about this duel. What apparent weakness did he perceive in you?

Regardless of his deeper intentions, your only worry now is winning this fight. It has been nearly nine months since you've defeated someone in the ring, and such a thing cannot continue for long before whispers begin among the other students. Humiliating Loman will mean defeating a fledgling rival, warning off any other potential threats, and drawing the attention of the teachers and Masters who ultimately decide your fate at the academy.

>What blade form do you begin the fight with?

>Makashi - A patient form that relies on fine footwork and precision strikes.
>Soresu - A defensive form focused on non-lethal strikes.
>Ataru - An acrobatic form that seeks to overwhelm an opponent.
>Djem So - A derivative of Soresu that turns the enemy's strikes into opportunities for counter-attack.
>Juyo - A volatile form that relies on careful control of intense emotions.
>>
>>2195669
>>Juyo - A volatile form that relies on careful control of intense emotions.
>>
>>2195669
> Makashi
I guess, the offensive style with less chance of mistakes.
>>
>>2195669
>no Niman option
Damn. Ah well.
>Juyo - A volatile form that relies on careful control of intense emotions.
Nobody expects a Zeltron to be a berserker.
In case anyone doesn't know about the Forms and wants to read up;
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_I:_Shii-Cho
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_II:_Makashi
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_III:_Soresu
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_IV:_Ataru
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_V:_Shien_/_Djem_So
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_VI:_Niman
http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Form_VII/Legends
>>
File: Zeltron_sith.jpg (414 KB, 488x648)
414 KB
414 KB JPG
>>2195669
>Juyo - A volatile form that relies on careful control of intense emotions.

Let's rock
>>
By the way, are we male or female?
>>
>>2195669
Both hands on his saber, Loman slides his right foot back slightly as he assumes a ready position. His stances gives little indication of how he intends to approach the fight. It is conservative, but that could be intended to mask some deeper strategy. Not all students who come to the Sith academy have a mind for cunning, but the ones who don't quickly develop such a capacity--or they fail.

You ready your own saber, assuming a stance that neatly mirrors Loman's, except for the ever-so-slightly more aggressive angle of your saber. His eyes flicker to your weapon, and you can sense him growing more cautious as you approach each other. There is no bow, no proclamation of 'begin' by the blademaster, or anything else that heralds the meeting of your sabers. The clash of metal echoes off the walls, thrumming in your skull as you withdraw from the initial blow. What seemed so far away a moment ago becomes painfully real, and that opening salvo is all it takes for the two of you to reveal your strategies.

Loman swings his blade--and by extension, yours--high up over his head in a tight line, seeking to throw your arm out wide and open you up for a second attack--but you saw that coming. You work with the momentum, bringing your blade in a wide but fast arc to your rear, then upwards at Loman's exposed chest.

He's smart enough not to try and block it. He stumbles backward, an awkward movement that nevertheless keeps the fight from ending right then and there. You shout out at him, a frenzied battlecry meant to rattle him and inflame your own passions. Juyo is a form, but it is deeper than that--it is anger and fear and pride and everything else the Sith treasure, stoked into a raging inferno that is then channeled into every fiber of your being. Outward use of the Force may be forbidden in duels, but the Force is apart of all living things--and the instructors cannot forbid the internal channeling of it.

You swing your blade in wide arcs that must seem wild to the outside observer, covering as much area as possible as you seek to overpower Loman. Each blow staggers him, though he blocks them all with only slight changes in angle of his hilt. True to personality, he's using a defensive form that relies on an opponent exhausting themselves.

"You look tired," Loman gasps out between meteoric swings, clearly feeling some fraction of your own exhaustion.

And it's the truth. Loman might look like the underdog to an unexperienced observer, but your dominance comes at the price of a heavy fatigue that has begun to seep into your muscles. This fight needs to end--and soon. As doubt hooks its claws into the corners of your mind, you seek a calm place within yourself--an eye at the center of the storm you have created--and try to remember why you have succeeded where others have failed.

And why you will succeed this time, too.

>Why have you lasted so long at the Sith Academy?

>Brutality
>Cunning
>Skill in the Force
>A powerful patron
>>
>>2195750
To Be Determined (soon)
I probably should have done that before the name, but I'm new to this.
>>
>Cunning
>Skill in the Force
>>
>>2195804
>Brutality
>>
>>2195804
>>Raw concentrated Brutality, standing still one second a flurry of rage and hate the next.
>>
>>2195804
>Brutality
We've a distinct love of the old ultraviolence.
>>
>>2195804
The impact of your saber again Loman's breaks you from your inward gaze, and you are reminded of why you have survived for so long. It is right there, in the tremendous force rattling your bones and making your opponent's knees buckle beneath him. You have won time and again because you embody the Sith teachings so completely.

'There is no peace. There is only passion.'

To the other students, it is a trite mantra that they recite while thinking about how much the stone floors hurt their knee. For you, it is truth. Every moment is struggle--not just against treacherous students or ill-intention teachers, but against one's own inner weakness. Loman may be blessed with a cunning mind that sees weakness and drives a wedge in the crack, but yours is the ocean tide that wears down even the hardest stone. Before you, he will shatter.

Filling your mind with images of Loman lying broken and writhing in agony, you hammer home your assault, turning pain into anger that builds and builds with each new blow. Still, he continues to stand, and that creates a flicker of doubt in your mind. You take that doubt, and you turn it into self-hatred that burns pure and bright along with everything else you feel.

It should have been enough--but it wasn't.

Loman staggers this way and that, his arms rattled by each careful parry, but his knees never touch the ground no matter how far his legs bend. Your strikes, however fast they remain, grow even wilder than before--your limbs shake and spasm with the powerful emotions you can no longer contain. You want to scream--and you do. The outburst fails to rattle Loman, whose attention remains focused on the movements of your blades. For all the rage and fury you are sure is evident on your face, he pays it no mind.

Instead, he strikes--and it's all over.
>>
>>2195891
Your saber is in mid-swing beside you, at the nadir of its arc. Loman jabs you in the side of the stomach, winging you and spinning you around as you fall to the ground, howling in pain. Thousands of volts surge through you, burning everything from your scalp to the tips of your toes. You spin as you fall, and as your back turns to Loman you lash out with one more desperate strike, driving your heavy saber backwards with one hand.

Your saber meets resistance, and Loman screams. You can't summon the strength to turn around and see what happened. At the sound of his agony, all of the anger you had accumulated during the fight seems to vanish into thin-air, leaving you only with the sensation of fried nerves and burning muscles. As you lay there, breathing hard and reaching a trembling hand down to your bruised stomach, something strikes you in the back.

You just barely manage to crane your head up to see Ukarme staring down at you in disdain, deactivated practice saber in hand.

"The fight was over when Loman made contact!" He points the saber to something on the ground behind you--presumably, Loman. "Why did you strike him?"

You swallow, wetting a mouth that seems to have all the moisture sucked right out of it by the shock you endured.

"Now everyone knows that a victory against me will still end in defeat."

The words come out slow and weak, and for a moment you're not sure Ukarme even heard you. Then, he cracks a smile, and breaks out into a harsh, barking laugh.

"Take him to medbay." Ukarme points at Loman, and you watch from the floor as two students haul the unconscious young man from the training hall. No one helps you--you're grateful for the lack of pity--and it isn't until the room empties that you manage to haul yourself to your feet.

>Do you go to:

>Medbay
>The students' quarters
>Outdoors, and a nice view
>Nowhere. Remain in the training hall.
>>
>>2195899
>Nowhere. Remain in the training hall.
Stew in our defeat. Let it fuel the wellspring of hate inside us.
>>
File: Sith Meditation.jpg (104 KB, 778x700)
104 KB
104 KB JPG
>>2195899
>Nowhere. Remain in the training hall.

Let us reflect on our pain
>>
>>2195899
>Outdoors, and a nice view
someplace to scream
>>
>>2195899
>Nowhere. Remain in the training hall.
turn that pain into skill and anger, and never lose again
>>
File: QeMJJQa.gif (1.99 MB, 321x223)
1.99 MB
1.99 MB GIF
>>
>>2195899
Despite your injuries, you walk to the exit of the candle-lit training hall at a hurried pace.

Then, just inside the threshhold, you stop, uncertain of where you are even headed. Your injuries aren't serious emough for you to consider going to medbay and facing the man who defeated you. Shassanis will be there as well, and stewing in embarassment with a fellow loser seems even more unpleasant than meeting Loman.

And he had, after all, defeated you. You had made sure it cost him, but the surprise he will feel upon waking is scarce comfort. Academy duels are meant to mimic real fights, and if Loman's saber had been a vibrosword or lightsaber, you would not have had the strength for a retaliatory blow. You dont regret the way you ended the fight--it had lessened your loss of face somewhat--but a loss is still a loss.

Shoving off of the doorway, you turn around and face the training hall. The square, high-ceilinged room is ringed by eight pillars, illuminated by inward-facing sconces hung from the columns. The walls around the pillars are dark and barely perceptible, making the room seem as if it goes on forever in three directions. You walk back to the center of the room, and sit in a kneeling position at the very spot you fell a short time ago. You intended to meditate with the goal of turning your shame into some other, more productive emotion, but as you gather your thoughts your mind sticks on the image of your defeat and refuses to disengage from them.

"Peace is a lie," you whisper. Your soft voice just barely meets the stone walls that you know are out there, the words sounding strange and foreign by the time they reach your ears. You know that peace is a lie--your life has been a testament to that fact.

"There is only passion," you continue. Passion had flared out of control during your fight with Loman. You had poured anger and fear of defeat into your strikes, rewarding you with increased speed and stamina.

"Through passion, I gain strength." You pause after the second line of the Sith Code to consider your defeat. You had overpowered Loman for nearly the entire fight, and he had just barely managed to hold his own--until he had won.

"Through strength, I gain power." Before you can wrap your seething mind around that next principle, a voice comes from behind you.

"Strength is not power if it is not properly channeled," it says. The voice is too distorted by the chamber's echoes to determine if it is a man or a woman. Your back tightens and you turn your head just far enough to look behind you, but the speaker is shrouded in the shadows surrounding the dueling ring.

>Is the shadowy figure a man, or a woman? Your own gender will be the opposite.
>>
>>2196483
A Man.
>>
>>2196483
>woman
>>
>>2196483
>Woman
>>
>>2196483
Man
>>
>>2196483
Woman
>>
>>2196483
>Woman
>>
>>2196483
Woman
>>
>>2196483
"Who's there?" you snap, unable to contain your frustration at being interrupted. Steps echo across the stone, and a figure emerges from the darkness behind you. With red skin and a bald head, you immediately mark the man as a pureblooded Sith--until you spot the swell of purple fabric over the figure's chest, and realize it is a woman. Short, curving tendrils hang from her jawline like a fleshy beard, and between that and her hairless head you realize she must truly be pureblooded. Hair was brought to the Sith race by the human Dark Jedi they had mingled with, and the genetic trait had become nearly ubiquitous some thousands of years later.

"Did I frighten you?" she asks as you rise to your feet and turn to face her. She wears a purple robe, adorned with twin gold epaulets that glint in the candlelight. More gold lines her face, the pure red of her skin broken here and there by jewelry stuck onto it like gold leaf. Two yellow eyes burn a hole in you, as if your soul is an open book for her to read.

"You surprised me." You are tempted to simply say 'no', but it is clear that you hadn't sensed her presence. Instead of throwing yourself against her veiled insult, you will roll with it. "Most teachers avoid lurking in their fellows' classrooms."

Your tone is a bit uppity, but the way she approached you tells you that such barbs are exactly what she is looking for. You haven't met this particular woman before, but the teachers at at the academy generally want their students to give as good as they get--assuming they can back it up.

"I am not a teacher," she says with a smirk. Your muscles tighten and you swallow, a reaction that intensifies her growing smile. "Only an avid fan of dueling."

She is far too old to be a student, and you are inclined to take her at her word that she is not a teacher. Since pureblooded Sith who are not part of the Force-sensitive rulership are downright unheard of, that leaves only two options--she is either an Apprentice, or a Master. Either one means you are walking a razor's edge with every word you speak.

"Then you're a little late, my Lady," you remark. "Those ended nearly an hour ago."

She snorts in amusement. "Oh, I know. I watched them."

"All of them?" you ask tentatively. What you really want to ask is what she's still doing here.

"Oh, yes." She drives a thin finger into your bruised stomach, making you wince and step back. "I saw your embarrassing defeat."

You say nothing, doing your best to suppress any obvious show of the pain you're in.

"You've had long enough to ponder the matter." She withdraws her finger, folding her arms and stroking a chin tentacle thoughtfully. "Why did that other boy defeat you?"

>Well?
>>
>>2196643
Because we chose our favourite light saber style instead of choosing one which properly countered his strengths.
>>
>>2196659
This. We simply threw ourselves at his defences, like a sea crashes against a rocky cliff.
>>
>>2196659
Juyo is trash desu. How many Sith are good at that whole "balancing emotions" shit anyway?
>>
>>2196643
Because we fucking chose juyo
>>
>>2196659
This.
>>
>>2196643
"Loman is my equal with a blade," you respond. "But I couldn't predict what form he would open with."

"And you expect to succeed here while paying no attention to your peers?" the Sith raises a hairless, ridged eyebrow.

The dressing-down hits you right where it hurts, but you have the slightest suspicion that she is simply toying with you.

"I have watched him, my Lady. But he watches me, as well. His choice of form would be dictated by my own."

Her dismissive glare softens, and she gives a faint nod of approval as she taps her chin.

"You had him pinned as a defensive duelist."

"Yes," you respond quickly. And it's the truth--though it hadn't factored into your choice of form, and you're not sure where she is headed with this.

"So you decided on Juyo both as a surprising opening, and as a hard counter to both defensive forms." She speaks in a rising tone, excitedly following a train of thought that is not your own. In reality, those ideas hadn't entered your mind before the duel at all. In hindsight they seem obvious, but you were too worried about the nature of Loman's challenge to consider them.

"No," you sigh. You're tempted to claim her idea as your own, but you strongly suspect that she is trying to trap you in a lie. Better to admit your error, and own it. "I chose Juyo simply because it fits me best. Loman does not live the Code of the Sith, as I do. My passion is my strength, and I thought I could turn that strength into victory."

She purses her lips and stares at you for a moment.

"Strength must become power before it translates to victory," she says.
>>
>>2196787
You nod absent-mindedly, expecting her to say more--but she seems to be expecting you to take up her train of thought. Brow furrowing, she jabs a finger into your chest, making you stumble back slightly with an unnatural strength.

"Do you think that you can utilize such a complex form by simply working yourself up into a big enough frenzy?"

You're tempted to respond in the affirmative--she said it so dismissively, but the words are still close to what you believed to be the truth.

"The teachers said--"

She scoffs and rolls her eyes. "Teachers!" she spits. "You're too old to be trusting people so blindly. Did they not beat such stupidity out of you your first week here?"

All you can do is stare at her dumbly. The traded barbs have turned into a scolding, leaving you feeling very much like a student before a disappointed teacher. Indignation wells within you, but it is not a frustration you can unleash--not on someone of her social stature.

"Strength becomes power when it is properly controlled," she says slowly, speaking the words in a conspiratorial whisper that has you leaning in close. "If it were not so, any mad Kath hound could become a Sith Lord."

You nod slowly, suppressing your anger and forcing yourself to understand how true her words ring.

"You are not your passion, or your strength--you are the will that controls it. Remember that."

With that she spins on her heels and walks away, departing back into the gloom she had emerged from.

"Wait, Lady--" You stumble after her. "What was your name, my Lady?" You tentatively reach out into the darkness, but after a few more steps your hand touches the stone wall. There are no sounds of footsteps, and you are left with nothing but her words.

>It's late evening, and you're tired. Where do you go?

>The library
>The students' quarters
>Outside, to the academy grounds

>Some other place if you have a really good idea
>>
>>2196789
>Attempt to find a lone place near a cliff and ocean, abs meditate with the force, attempt to feel everything around us, train the force
>>
>>2196789
>Wherever someone would go to modify their lightsaber
>>
>>2196789
>Outside, to the academy grounds
>>
>>2196789
>Outside, to the academy grounds
The desert air will be refreshing compared to these stuffy halls.
>>
>>2196789
>Outside, to the academy grounds
>>
>>2196789
You step out onto one of the many balconies wrapped around the academy's balcony, all of which give a magnificent view of the canyon stretching out before the pyramid behind you. "The Valley of the Dark Lords," they call it, in reference to the dozens of tombs lining the canyon walls. All of them have long since been picked over by Sith pilgrims and scavenging non-believers, but the towering statues outside their entrances remain as silent guardians of the treasures once buried there. Not just trinkets, either--knowledge. Knowledge that has become such a precious commodity in recent times.

The teachers at the academy seemed to be unassailable Masters when you had first arrived, but as the years passed and your own power grew, they somehow became... smaller. More mortal, as it were. You find yourself noticing their own mistakes more and more often, which causes you to question their very rights as teachers.

You look upward, blinking against the night breeze. A chill seeps into your bones as you stare up at the stars. The colder blackness above is where the true paragons of Sith philosophy make their home--conquering entire worlds, extending their will over millions and billions of souls. Not down here, fine-tuning a pupil's saber form or delving into the minutiae of Sith history. All that concerns you is the practical, not dead kings and a deader past. If those ancient Sith were alive, it would be another matter entirely--but they are not, and they have no more secrets to reveal.

As your thoughts wander, you absent-mindedly touch the medallion hanging beneath your tunic. The necklace is nothing special, but the medallion, well--that is another matter entirely.

>Where is the Medallion from?

>A Korriban dig site
>A family heirloom
>A stranger gave it to you when you were young
>A girl gave it to you before the Sith took you from your family
>>
>>2197182
>A Korriban dig site
>>
>>2197182

>A girl gave it to you before the Sith took you from your family
>>
>>2197182
>A girl gave it to you before the Sith took you from your family
>>
>>2197182
>A girl gave it to you before the Sith took you from your family
>>
>>2197182
>A family heirloom
>>
>>2197182
The medallion may be special, but you're not sure if it's actually valuable. If you were to hold it out to the moonlight--a risk you're not willing to take--it would shine a radiant silver. But you've never actually had it tested, and have no idea what its made of. Nor do you know where it's from. All you remember is a young girl, her face a blur, placing it into your palm. That had been over a decade ago, almost certainly back on your home planet--a home you cannot even name.

The Sith had taken you from your family when you were very young, and you aren't sure if your family survived the encounter. For a long time you were angry, furious at the people who abducted you. Eventually, you came to a deeper truth. If it was not the Sith who shattered your life, it would have been something else--war, famine, criminals, disease--any number of threats in a cold, uncaring galaxy. There will always be tyrants, and there will always be threats. All one can do is make themselves stronger, and in doing so become untouchable.

You tear your eyes away from the stars and force them back downward, to the expanse of red rock and sand you now call home. Wherever you grew up, whoever you were--to call it a distant memory would be overly generous. The name and location of your home are unknown to you, and you had never been able to find anyone who could--or would--tell you it. Eventually, you simply stopped asking. Now, you know that anything valuable, be it information or power or wealth, isn't given. It is taken.
>>
>>2197389
You turn away from the valley and walk back down the steps of the parapet you stood on, then head back inside. The hour is late, and only a few red-robed academy guards remain in the hall. With their finned helmets and ceremonial force pikes, they are like miniature versions of the ancient statues guarding the tombs outside. At first, they scared you. Now, they are just as much a part of your home as the treachery and danger you endure every day. You welcome the ugliness--if you can survive here, you can survive anywhere.

And you have not merely survived. You have thrived.

You make your way through the gray corridors of the academy, pristine metal walls and floors that contrast sharply with the weathered stone exterior of the academy. The building has gone through countless renovations over the millenia, and will likely see many more. A few flights of stairs and narrower corridors take you down into the students' section, with its living quarters and amenities. Most everyone else is asleep, and you are able to go to pass through the halls without running into anyone who can rub today's defeat into your wounded ego.

You are grateful for the quiet, and shut yourself in your bedroom before prying off your tunic. A large purple bruise has formed on the side of your stomach, and will likely remain there for some time. The price of not lowering yourself to receiving medical attention for such a minor injury.

Sleep comes the moment your head touches the pillow--and with it, dreams.
>>
>>2197396
You are no stranger to nightmares. They come often, beginning as a pleasant dream that grows progressively more twisted and nightmarish until you awaken to a cold sweat. After that, you are left with a lingering feeling of dread and despair that does not depart until you've shaken off the last vestiges of sleep.

This one is different. Peaceful oblivion gives way to a vast stone hall lit by blue crystals in braziers, and you are immediately gripped by utter terror. The ghostly blue glow illuminates a path down the middle of the room, to a huge stone statue of a robed woman seated in meditation. On either side of the path are countless standing sarcophagi, half of them open. Hundreds of people are herded into the tombs by spear-wielding guards, then shut into the stone prisons amidst screams and cries. You walk slowly down that center path, until something sharp jabs you in the side and you stumble into the rows of sarcophagi beside you. You stop before an open one, heart pounding and chest heaving. You are jabbed again, and you turn around to face your tormentor.

It is a red-skinned brute of a creature, twice as tall as a man with the hulking body of an ape. The face almost appears like that of a Sith, but is far crueler and more alien. Long, fleshy tendrils hang from its jaw, shaking as it forces you to step back into the sarcophagus. The moment you do, it reaches out with a brawny arm and slams the door shut. Everything is black, and you are sure the dream has ended.

Then, you scream. Your terrified yells echo off of the claustrophobic walls of the sarcophagus, and you scratch at the door until your fingernails tear free of your hands. The pain, the fear, the righteous anger--it is unbearable.

But that too, ends. All sensations, physical or otherwise, leave. You drift up out of the sarcophagus, as if your soul has left your body behind. You see the vast hall you are imprisoned in, but that too vanishes as you drift up through the ceiling and into the red stone above. Faster and faster you move, stone turning to rock and then dirt before you shoot up into the distinctive red desert of Korriban. You soar into the sky, and your vision angles downwards to give you a startling view of the landscape growing smaller and smaller beneath you. Mountains, valleys, dried-up rivers--you can see it all.
>>
>>2197540
And just fainly, at the edge of your vision--the triangular tip of the Sith academy. With that, the dream ends, and you jolt upright in your bed.

Stumbling to your feet, you clutch your medallion for comfort and look at your surroundings to confirm that you are back in the safety of your bedroom at the academy. Everything about the dream had seemed so real. Hell, it still seems real. You can feel your bloodied fingers screaming in pain, and you check to make sure that you still have all your fingernails. Breathing a sigh of relief, you lower your hands and slow your thoughts. Normally your dreams would quickly fade upon waking, but this one remains stuck in your mind. Every single image is burnt into your memory, and you are left with the absolute conviction that you have seen been shown something important.

>Do you tell someone about the dream?
>If so, who?

The blademaster, Ukarme, likes you, but has little patience for the more esoteric aspects of the Sith way of life. The academy Overseer, Harkun, would have the most power to investigate your vision, but is an administrator more than anything--not an archaeologist. There are several Apprentices at the academy, and have more time than the teachers--but less patience. You would need to think carefully about who to approach and how to approach them. You have the most connections among the other students, but like you they are forbidden to leave the academy grounds without permission.

There are almost too many people to consider. If you do not simply explain the truth of the vision in its entirety, you at least need some valid reason to venture into the wildlands outside the valley. Having an excuse in mind would inform who you would ask for a pass to leave.

You could pursue information about the vision on your own, but that would require shirking your duties as a senior student. That could cause you trouble, but those as old as you have more leeway than the younger trainees. Perhaps you should put the dream out of mind--at least for a time--and see if it still feels so powerful after a day's worth of exhausting lessons.

>If you don't tell anyone about the dream, do you investigate it on your own?
>If so, how?
>>
>>2197552
>Do you tell someone about the dream?
No.
>>2197552
>If you don't tell anyone about the dream, do you investigate it on your own?
We need to hit some topographical maps, see if we can identify the location from the dream.
>>
>>2197552
This. >>2197580
>>
>>2197580
support
>>
>>2197552
You skip morning meditations, and instead head to the library. Lord Versta will almost certainly notice your absence in his rows of seated students, but the old man is too lazy to pursue formal discplinary measures. You'll endure a few good whacks with an un-charged practice saber, then limp out of his office with your back bruised but your academic record intact. Not that such trivial things matter this late in the game. Years ago, impressing the teachers had been important. Now, the people who you truly need to catch the eye of are the wandering Lords who visit the academy in search of a promising student to take as an apprentice. Such an event had seemed so far away before, but within the past month, four of your similarly-aged peers have been taken from Korriban to serve under Sith Lords.

That was wake-up call enough, but the immediacy truly hit home when you spoke to that strange Sith woman after your duel with Loman. Assuming she *is* a Lord--and you suspect that she is, given her age and attitude--you came face-to-face with your first headhunter. You doubt that she has serious interest in you after your embarrassing display, but she *did* take the time to talk to you after seeing it... and Sith Lords do not waste their time.

The library is largely empty, save for a few other students who sit among the rows of computer terminals and tap quietly at their keyboards. You take a seat in a secluded corner and boot up the terminal, then begin searching the information contained within for anything resembling topographical maps of the surrounding area. The dream remains as vivid as ever, and you can still see the roadwork of canyons and valleys that lead to the pillared tomb entrance set into a mountainside. You doubt you would be able to find your way to the location blindly, but a map will allow you to identify landmarks more clearly. Then, you can come up with a plan to actually *get* there.
>>
>>2197903
Because you *are* going to get there. Reaching that tomb and discovering the meaning behind your vision is not about base compulsion or curiousity, but about placing yourself head and shoulders above your peers in search of a Master. The tombs in and around the Valley of the Dark Lords have long since been picked over--or are at least thought to have been. If the tomb from your vision lies pristine and unsullied, you will become the talk of the academy. Better yet, there could be something waiting for you within that underground space--something truly special.

Your computer search goes quickly, partly because there is so little information to sort through. Korriban is cut off from the greater holonet, and all you have are the educational materials that the teachers provide. Luckily, archaeological maps of the area are one such element of their lessons. You pull up a map, and are delighted to see that the area it outlines is more than big enough to encompass the landscape from your vision. Dig sites are marked, with supplementary material provided that describes what they were and what was found within them.

Except... it looks different. Entirely different. The winding dips and divots in the ground snake in entirely different directions than in your vision, as if the rivers of dust and dirt have changed course after all these years.

And then, you realize that they *have*. Many of the tombs are thousands of years old. It is not unthinkable that the mountains and valleys simply changed shape after all that time. The tomb of your dreams could still be buried out there, lying under millenia of shifting rock and sand. That epiphany fills you with relief, but also leaves you with the very difficult question of just how exactly to go about finding something so well-hidden.

Then, a voice comes from behind you.

>Roll me some 1d2's
>1 means Shassanis, the Falleen man has approached you. 2 is Tuija, the Twi'lek girl.
>I'll come back in a bit and take the most common result. If there's a tie, I'll discard the last roll.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>2197910
Which of these little shits is also skipping class? That's a paddlin'.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>2197910
>>
Rolled 2 (1d2)

>>2197910
>>
>>2197948
20 points from Hufflepuff!
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>2197910
2 lords
>>
>>2197910
"What are you doing?" comes a heavily-accented voice from behind you. You twist back in your seat to see Tuija's yellow lekku hanging inches from your face, her sharp green eyes flickering back and forth as she examines the map you have pulled up on the terminal. You turn back and tap a button on the keyboard, jumping back to an earlier file listing and discarding the image.

"Am I disturbing you?" she asks, a bit of annoyance evident in her voice.

"No," you respond coolly. "I'm done here."

As you rise from your chair and walk past her, a hand grabs your wrist. Tuija isn't as big as you are, but she's strong enough to bring you to an abrupt halt.

"You should be practicing with the blade, not burying your mind in maps."

You pull your arm free, and resist the urge to snap back at her. You remember what the Sith woman told you about control--anger is to be used purposefully. And here, there is nothing to be accomplished through harsh words and posturing.

"I appreciate the concern." Your words drip with far more sarcasm than you intended, and Tuija's anger-creased face looks almost wounded for a moment. It quickly hardens again. "What are *you* doing? You're never in the library."

"Lord Versta sent me to find you."

You wince at the mention of the old man. You hadn't expected him to go to such trouble for a single student, especially one he *had* to know isn't so easily cowed by authority.

"Maybe I can tell him you are bed-ridden from your duel," Tuija offers. "You could not stand to sit for morning meditation."

You eye her doubtfully. "You would do that for me?"

She leans past you and points at the computer terminal. "I want to know what you were doing."

You know Tuija. Once she gets her hands or mind on something, she won't stop until it's bent to her will. You could walk off without another word, but you don't see the point in pissing her off. Throw her a half-truth, and she'll gnaw on it happily.

"You said it yourself," you reply. "I was looking for maps. I didn't find what I was looking for."
>>
>>2198161
Tuija stares at you blankly, and you edge past her to leave. This time, she does not stop you. As you near the door, Tuija shouts from behind you.

"You need old maps, don't you? I have old maps!"

You turn to see that every head in the room has looked up from their respective terminals. Half the eyes are on you, the other half on the shouting Twi'lek. You stride back over to her, throwing up an apologizing gesture to the disturbed students. What Tuija said strikes a chord with you. Old maps are exactly what you need--you could overlay them on the current one, then mark the location of the tomb entrance from your dream.

Unfortunately, such a map was nowhere to be seen among the computer system's limited cartographical archives. There were *some* older ones, but even those looked closer to the current layout of Korriban than to your vision. Others were so stylized as to be useless for practical purposes. What you need are accurate maps, millenia old.

>Do you take Tuija up on her offer? She may demand more information eventually, but you don't have to tell her everything--or even include her when the time comes to leave.

>If you do not accept Tuija's help, you will have to seek such maps elsewhere--likely among the staff who would have access to such things.

>There is also the option of simply venturing out into Korriban's wilderness in the direction of the tomb and trusting in the Force as your guide.
>>
>>2198179
>Do you take Tuija up on her offer?
yes, but make sure you make a deal in our favour, to know we cant get fucked over, giver her an exact wording to repeat
>>
>>2198179
The only reason she'd be helping is if she thought it would benefit her in some way. She's after something she thinks we can find or provide, obviously.
>>
Juyo is shit anyway. Even Vaapad is heavily flawed.

Why wasn't Niman on the table anyway? It's the most popular form of the day, with so many retards running around dual wielding and swinging around saberstaffs.
>>
>>2198255
shoulda done makashi
>>
>>2198266
Nah, Old Sith Wars Era Makashi after the Sith Civil War is kind of shit.

Most things are, this is pretty much the lowest point of powerscaling in the lore but that's beside the point.

Ataru or Djem So would have been best.
>>
>>2198255
>saberstaffs
I honestly really fucking hate that name for double-bladed lightsabers. It's not a staff of any sort, because you can only hold it one way. It's literally two swords with their hilts stuck together in order to be extra killy.
And yet ToR decided to give them to the CASTER classes, because "herpaderp it's a staff, guys".
>>
>>2198285
i would support makashi or ataru, and dooku was awesome
>>
>>2198179

>Do you take Tuija up on her offer? She may demand more information eventually, but you don't have to tell her everything--or even include her when the time comes to leave.
>>2198255
My guess is we didn't use Niman because, from what I understand, it makes heavy use of the Force and we aren't allowed to use Force Powers in practice duels it seems.

I'm personally a big fan of Juyo, but it does not seem like Leera has the discipline to use it well quite yet.

>>2198285
What about Count Dooku? He was a Makashi master and an exceptional lightsaber duelist. I bet we could become dangerous with it with a lot of training, or went so far as to get a curved saber to complement it.
>>
>>2198366
Those are the stealth/dps classes too though, two of the three specializations of those classes aren't casting.

There are two paths in each class and three specializations in each of those.
>>
>>2198375
Oops. My post was supposed to be a vote toward taking Tuija up on her offer.
>>
>>2198375
Dooku was an end of the Republic Jedi Master/Banite Sith.

He's a cut above anyone of the current Era except for Vitiate. And even then in a pure physical contest or even a duel in a confined space Vitiate would get facefucked.

>it makes heavy use of the Force
Niman is the most adaptable lightsaber form, it can use the force but it can also be a relatively balanced and versatile style with the blade. It does work best with the Force though.
>>
>>2198379
That's one of many issues I have with ToR's class design, honestly.
For some reason Shadow winds up a sub-class of Consular, and Assassin shares a superclass with Sorcerer.
>>
>>2198410
It makes sense with the powers those have in-game and lorewise though.
>>
>>2198179
Take her up on her offer.
>>
>>2198179
"What do you mean?" you say to Tuija. "How do you have old maps?"

She glances off to the side and shrugs. "I have *access* to old maps. Very old maps."

You can see where she is going with this. The library's digital archives might be limited, but the academy is a wealth of poorly-sorted knowledge crammed into the studies and personal archives of the many teachers here. Assuming Tuija is telling the truth, she must have an in with one such hoarder of knowledge. Pursuing that lead on your own is theoretically possible, but impractical. The Lords of the academy guard their secrets well, and you wouldn't know who to begin probing for information.

"Alright," you say. "How do we get these maps?"

"Lord Hostay," she says.

You cringe at the name. Hostay was one of your earliest teachers, a pureblood who harbors far more interest in Sith history than you could ever muster. The man was an old bore when you had first arrived as a child, and you are sure that the years have been as unkind to his mind as they have been to his body. In a way, that could be good--he could be more pliable.

"He'll let you see them?" you ask her tentatively.

"He likes me," she responds simply. You nod slowly, and then your expression turns to one of horror.

"Don't tell me--" you start, but Tuija shoots you a sharp glare.

"I show interest in his *work*," she snaps.

That was something you had never done. Perhaps you should have at least feigned polite deference, instead of making your boredom known. But you had been young, angry, and defiant. Those traits still lie within you, but training and the wisdom of young adulthood has sharpened those blunt instruments into powerful tools.

"Alright," you say. "Give me a moment." You sit back down at the computer and unhook your personal datapad from your belt, then plug it into the terminal and copy over the modern maps of Korriban. Once that is completed, the two of you leave and proceed into the main hall of the academy, a towering space that runs up the center of the pyramid. Halls and stairwells intersect in a baffling labyrinth, but it is one you know well.

You ascend several floors, then make your way to Lord Hostay's classroom. The gray-walled room is empty, and you continue on to his office. Metal walls and panneled floors give way to beige stone, a room that looks to have been here since the original structure was built. Long ago it had been either a temple or tomb--even the teachers weren't sure which--which made the crypt-like room an especially fitting place for you to find Lord Hostay.
>>
>>2199584
"Yes?" comes a weak voice as Tuija knocks on the door. She uses the wall-mounted controls to slide it open, and you are greeted by the ancient visage of a rusty-skinned Sith seated at a desk. He is surrounded by bookshelves of pale wood, all of which are piled high with absurd numbers of dusty tomes and crinkled scrolls.

"Lord Hostay." Tuija gives a slight bow, but the man just stares at her with his mouth hung slightly open. At first you are convinced he is surprised, but then you realize that he simply cannot close it.

"Ah, Tuija!" he croaks out, rising from his seat with great difficulty. He walks with the aid of a gnarled cane, one that looks to be hewn from the same trees as his bookcases. You bow as well, but he doesn't seem to even notice you. "What can I do for you?"

He is nicer than the other teachers--far nicer. At least to Tuija.

"We wanted to see if you had maps for the area around the valley--old ones. Very old." She gestures to you, and Hostay finally makes note of your presence. "Leera believes he has found something."

You go rigid at the mention of you 'finding' something. Still, Tuija has no idea what it is you've discovered. You hardly know yourself.

Hostay eyes you doubtfully. "The burial valleys have been well-explored. Everything we know is contained within the library's archives." He speaks slowly, with a voice that shakes terribly. "What do you hope to find in ancient maps?"

Tuija stares at you just as expectantly, and you hesitate. You had decided before to pursue this dream without the aid of your teachers. But, as absurd as it sounds to you, Hostay could be useful. If you can convince him that you have found something, he is well-positioned enough to get you access to a cruiser. Braving the wilds of Korriban on foot would be dangerous, *especially* if you did so on your own. You are reluctant to divulge the location of a potentially valuable find, but Hostay is far too old and un-ambitious to try and claim whatever is there as his own. You are confident that should you find something, he will at least publicly recognize your contribution.

Cutting Tuija out would be ideal, but that is impossible. She is the one who knows Hostay, and she is the one he trusts. Including him means including her. You don't have to tell them about the dream, but gaining his support means figuring out some way to make him believe giving you his support is worthwhile.

You also consider the idea that even if you include them both now, the pair can be dealt with in the future. Accidents *do* happen on Korriban, particularly in ancient underground structures of questionable integrity.

>Do you tell them that you know the possible location of a hidden tomb? If not, you will need some other justification of why you want to look at old maps. Tuija seems to know that you are want to compare them with current ones, but she may be fine with you avoiding telling Hostay that.
>>
>>2199585
Loop them in, for now.
We can always cut them out later, pun intended.
>>
>>2199606
Supporting.
>>
>>2199606
>>2199622
Also, we are a Zeltron.
We could always turn our natural... talents... on Tuija in order to manipulate her. While not full-blown date rape levels like a Falleen, we CAN do pheromone dickery.
>>
>>2199585
Tell him honestly that we don't actually know. I need to see the maps first and them we can talk. I don't want to get

>>2199606
I DISAGREE. We can look at the maps and choose to omit or include info that we want as necessary after we get a feel for what we are looking for.
>>
File: 1.png (459 KB, 687x753)
459 KB
459 KB PNG
>>2199585
"I happed upon some old maps," you explain to Lord Hostay. "No more than clumsy drawings, but they showed that the flat regions around this valley were once just as mountainous."

He gives a nod that is scarcely distinguishable from the tremors that wrack his body. "The Valley of the Dark Lords itself was half-buried when it was re-discovered," he says.

"What if there are other such tombs out there?" you say excitedly. "Ones covered up by tectonic plates shifting around mountains and covering up whole valleys."

He hums thoughtfully. "I am surprised to hear you suggest such a thing. As I recall, you were never one for history." Perhaps the old Sith's mind isn't as addled as you thought.

"I appreciate *living* history," you shoot back. You swallow, then soften your tone to one of deference. "I must admit a certain envy, Lord Hostay. You arrived on Korriban early enough to unearth its treasures. All that's left for us..." You motion to Tuija. "...is dust."

Hostay's curved back straightens, and his eyes glitter at the mention of his glory days. Back when archaeology on Korriban was not only taught, but practiced as well. Tuija sees her opportunity, and steps forward.

"I told Leera that you are one of the few who would appreciate his idea," she says.

"What is your idea, exactly?" You can tell by the tone of Hostay's voice that you have his interest, if not his support quite yet.

"We'd like to compare the current map of Korriban, with the located tombs marked, to any old topographical maps you have. To see if anything... jumps out at us."

Hostay and Tuija both eye you doubtfully. The Twi'lek girl knows that you're hiding something, but the former seems to think you're simply grasping at straws. Regardless, it doesn't matter--he grumbles to himself and shuffles over to one of the bookcases, and begins running his fingers along leather-bound books. You lean up against the wall and cross your arms, expecting this to take quite some time.

But to your surprise, Hostay quickly locates what he is looking for and, with great difficulty, draws forth an immense brown tome. It nearly drags him straight to the floor, but Tuija rushes forward and grabs the other end of the book before that happens. The two set it on the desk, and you approach as Hostay thumbs through page after page, each one containing a map and ancient hieroglypics. You know very little of the ancient Sith language, and what is written is so stylized and faded as to be unreadable--to you, at least. Hostay seems to be having an easier time of things, and quickly navigates to the page he had in mind.

"The Valley of the Dark Lords." He rests his finger on a map sketched in black ink. It shows the valley housing the academy, with the tombs of the ancient Lords marked--even *you* know enough of the Sith alphabet to recognize those. Marka Ragnos, Tulak Hord--and the human progenitor of the Sith lineage, Ajunta Pall.

"I was thinking somewhere further east," you say.
>>
>>2200111
"I was thinking somewhere further east," you say, remembering the position of the sun and academy when you witnessed them in your dream.

Hostay gives you a confused look, but then turns back to the tome and flips through a few more pages.

"Stop!" you say. Hostay and Tuija look at you expectantly, but your attention is firmly focused on the deep fissure pictured below you. The canyon winds back and forth like a snake, in a distinctive pattern you will never forget.

"Where is this?" You hover a finger over the cracked page.

"Mmm... the Valley of Wrainan," Hostay says. "So named for the first of the tombs we uncovered there. As I am sure you can guess, it has been well-explored already." He taps one of the many map markers lining the canyon walls, indicating the tombs of buried Lord. But strangely, there is no marker at the end of the canyon. In your dream, that was where you saw the massive entrance to the tomb you were thrown from by some unseen force.

"What about here?" You move your finger to that location. "Is there nothing at the end of the valley?"

Hostay mumbled in the negative.

"But you didn't check?" you continue.

"Why would we?" Hostay says, slightly defensive. "The tomb locations were marked by our forefathers." He taps the dusty tome for emphasis.

"What if someone deliberately excluded a tomb from this book?" you suggest.

He glares at you doubtfully. "You have a reason to suspect such a thing?"

You don't. At this point, you're just trying to get Hostay's support. On the bright side, you *do* have the location of the chamber from your dreams. The other tombs that have already been uncovered will be marked on current-day maps, and those point you right to the main one. In a flash of inspiration, you point at the list of marked burial sites.
>>
>>2200115
"Were any of these men and women great Lords?"

Hostay takes a moment to read through them, then shakes his head. "I would not say so."

Tuija seems to see where you're going with this, and breaks her silence to once again join the conversation.

"Is that not strange?" she muses. "The burial valleys are always laid out like the one we stand in now--the smaller tombs built in the shadow of some greater structure, some greater Lord."

Hostay nods slowly, then faster as his enthusiasm gathers.

"Yes... I see," he mutters. He runs his finger up the canyon, then stops at the end of it. "Perhaps the complex was simply unfinished. The ancient Sith Empires were not as strong as ours--they suffered many cataclysms and downfalls."

The old Sith seems to be of two minds. There are points in your conversation where you can see the fire of a younger man in his eyes, but that is quickly replaced by the fog of age and complacency. Not that you can really blame him for doubting--he has not seen what you have.

Perhaps he just needs a little push. As a Zeltron, your limited telepathic empathy gives you the ability to nudge the emotions of living beings ever so slightly. Normally you would avoid doing such a thing to a Sith Lord, but Hostay is old and his mind is brittle. Furthermore, Sith train themselves to resist Force persuasion--not the more gentle touch of your own innate ability.

Come to think of it, you're not sure if Hostay even *knows* you're a Zeltron. Even back when you were his student, the man squinted so much that he may have simply taken you for a member of the Sith race, albeit one with a healthy helping of human genes.

>Do you push on Hostay's mind as you convince him to give you his support? You will need to inflame either his positive, or negative emotions.
>Do you rely on conventional persuasion, with help from Tuija
>Or do you simply thank him for his time, then leave? You have the location of the tomb, if not the means to get there very safely.
>>
>>2200124
>Do you rely on conventional persuasion, with help from Tuija
Be wary of old men in professions where men die young.
Sith die young.
>>
>>2200180
A fair point.

>>2200124
>Do you rely on conventional persuasion, with help from Tuija
>>
>>2200124
>Do you rely on conventional persuasion, with help from Tuija
>>
>>2200124
>Do you rely on conventional persuasion, with help from Tuija
>>
>>2200124
With Lord Hostay still thoughtfully engrossed in the map and its possibilites, you glance over at Tuija and give a jerk of the head to the old Sith. If anyone is going to convince him of your quest, it's her. She gives you an annoyed look, probably because she has very little idea of what your quest actually *is*. After a few moments, she relents.

"It is a longshot, yes." Tuija lays a hand lightly on his shoulder. "But I can *feel* that we have something here."

You're the one with the gut feeling, but Tuija is convincing nonetheless.

"All we would need is an echo probe and a cruiser," you chime in. "Purely an exploratory mission. There would be little risk."

"Little risk?" Hostay snorts in amusement and, with great effort, eases himself back into his desk chair. "K'lor'slugs burrowing out from the ground at the slightest tremor, flocks of Shyracks swarming from caves..." He waves a hand in front of his face, as if batting away some imaginary creature. "This *is* still Korriban. There is always danger."

"And reward!" You lean over his desk and look him in the eye. "We would not be Sith if we did not endure acceptable risk in pursuit of something greater."

Hostay grumbles and strokes his chin thoughtfully. You wait with rapt attention, unable to guess at what he was thinking. You can feel the conflicting emotions battling within him, an equal mix of caution and enthusiasm that you are hesitant to try and alter. Such a thing is best done before making your argument, and you have already said your peace.

"You would need an escort," he finally says. "Students cannot leave the academy unaccompanied--*especially* that far into the wildlands."

You nod excitedly. "Yes! Of course!" You have already come to accept Hostay's participation in this, and your mind is busy going over all the different ways you can work to minimize his involvement. Muscles tense, you wait for Hostay to say more--but he does not. He continues to stare up at you, as if you've missed his point completely.

"I cannot be that escort." He lifts up his cane with a trembling hand. "Not with this body."

Finding yourself nearly back at square one, your heart sinks. Hostay notices your dissapointment, and holds up his cane hand with a single finger pointed at you.

"You can have your cruiser and probe," he says. "But as I said--you *need* an escort."
>>
>>2200904
Your spirits lift yet again, though this time you're careful not to let your excitement carry you away. The implication of Hostay's words are that he will sign the forms necessary to permit you leave of the academy, but you will need to find someone *else* to watch over you and Tuija outside the grounds. Who you could ask to do such a thing, you have no idea.

The fact that they don't need to be someone who can grant you leave widens the candidate pool considerably. They could be a teacher, like Hostay, or one of the visiting Apprentices. Even an academy guard could work, assuming you are able to convince the Overseer to grant that guard temporary leave. With Hostay's support as a teacher and sponsor, that should be doable.

The latter seems the safest option, in a way. You are confident that you can brave whatever dangers lie in Korriban's wilderness, but the machinations of a greedy Sith are another matter. If events placed you opposite a learned teacher or Apprentice in true battle, you doubt that you could win.

The soldiers who guard the academy, on the other hand, present no such danger. They have their ambitions, yes, but they do not covet forbidden Sith artifacts--not as much as they value their lives, anyway.

>Do you find someone to escort you and Tuija?

>A teacher - The only one you've spoken to in the past two days is Ukarme, but there are many teachers at the academy. Having a type in mind could help you search.
>An Apprentice or Master - There's always that strange Sith woman who witnessed your duel with Loman. Finding her would be a simple matter of asking around.
>A guard - The Overseer will never give you one of the red-robed Imperial Guards as an escort, but it would not be at all unthinkable for him to part with one of the standard armored troopers that is stationed at the academy.

>If you do not find someone to escort you:

>You can always tell Hostay that you have found an escort, then take the cruiser and equipment into the wildlands with Tuija and hope you two aren't caught in the process. The punishment would be serious, and largely depends on the mood of the Overseer at the time of the infraction.
>Lie to Hostay in the same way, but leave *without* Tuija. She would likely be furious with you, and you have to imagine that she would tell the Overseer.

>Or maybe you have some other great idea. You didn't survive the Academy this long by being a dullard, after all.
>>
>>2200909
>You can always tell Hostay that you have found an escort, then take the cruiser and equipment into the wildlands with Tuija and hope you two aren't caught in the process. The punishment would be serious, and largely depends on the mood of the Overseer at the time of the infraction.
>>
>>2200909
>A guard - The Overseer will never give you one of the red-robed Imperial Guards as an escort, but it would not be at all unthinkable for him to part with one of the standard armored troopers that is stationed at the academy.
>>
>>2200909
>>2200926
second
>>
>>2200909
>A teacher - The only one you've spoken to in the past two days is Ukarme, but there are many teachers at the academy. Having a type in mind could help you search.
the female teacher, this will give us time to talk with someone we encountered. and maybe impress her
>>
>>2200909
Some unambitious teacher would be perfect.
Ukarme could be good option as he likes us and knows how to fight, but does our character trust, that he does not hog all the glory from the find? What ever it would be.
>>
>>2200909
>A guard - The Overseer will never give you one of the red-robed Imperial Guards as an escort, but it would not be at all unthinkable for him to part with one of the standard armored troopers that is stationed at the academy.
>>
>>2200909
With assurances to both Tuija and Hostay that you can find a suitable escort, you excuse yourself and make your way to Overseer Harkun's office. The actual Supervisor of the academy is the Sith Lord Zash, but she is so reclusive as to hardly be seen. Her inferior manages the day-to-day running of things, leaving him in a constant state of overwork.

You knock on the door, and wait a few moments.

"Yes?" comes a voice from the other side. Harkun's annoyance at being disturbed is barely contained, but you are sure that will change once he sees you are a student and not someone of actual importance. You open the door, and are greeted by the sight of a bald, red-skinned woman leaned over the desk at the center of the room. Her purple-robed back is turned to you, and it is not until she turns around that you pin her as the Sith woman you spoke to the day before.

She gives you a brief smile, then walks to the edge of the room and leans against one of the life-sized statues lining the walls. Harkun is seated at the desk, his brow furrowed furiously and lips twitching. He's young for a Lord, with short brown air and red tattoo over on eye. You give an uncertain glance at the Sith woman, but she remains silent.

"Well?" Harkun snaps at you. "Out with it!"

You step inside the austere room and close the door.

"I would like to request an academy guard as an escort tomorrow," you say quickly. "Lord Hostay granted us leave of the grounds, but he is not in a condition to go exploring." Ordinarily you might have spent some time softening up the target of a delicate request, but there *is* no softening up Harkun, and he hates nothing more than having his time wasted.

"Exploring?" He cocks an eyebrow. "Exploring what? Everything within a hundred miles has been mapped for years."

"We consider it possible that Wrainan valley has not been fully explored." You're not sure if Harkun knows the place, but details can't hurt. You're also careful not to oversell the idea. Harkun has favorite students, and if he believes you truly have something worth checking out, he might just give it to them.

"Hostay said this?" Harkun probes.

"We posited the idea," you reply. "Lord Hostay considered it worthy enough of consideration to send me to you."

"You said 'we' again." Harkun eyes you suspiciously. "You and who else?"

You wince at your slip-up. It might have been better to keep from mentioning Tuija, but there is a good chance Harkun will find out anyway.

"Initiate Tuija and I."
>>
>>2202300
Harkun's eyes flicker in thought, and then his glare deepens. Like many of the teachers at the academy, the Overseer himself is something of a classist and xenophobe. There is no chance he doesn't know what you are, but you've managed to avoid any real ire from him over the years--possibly because you look close enough to a Sith for your appearance not to turn his stomach.

Tuija, on the other hand, with here bright yellow skin and long lekku, is in no such position. Harkun's dislike of her was compounded the moment he heard her name--'Tuija', no last name. You know from talking to her that she came from a family of servants on a Sith world, hardly better than slaves. To Harkun, her presence at the academy is an affront to everything he believes in.

"Absolutely not!" Harkun nearly bangs his desk with his fist, but stops just short and eases his hand down to tap with a commanding finger. "We're not sending initiates out on aimless expeditions for the fun of it. You would be better served focusing on your swordsmanship."

That last bit was clearly aimed at your loss against Loman.

"Come now, Overseer!" The Sith at the edge of the room breaks her silence, striding over to place a hand on Harkun's shoulder. He flinches, and his eyes flicker over to her. "Surely you can spare a *single* soldier." She looks up to you and gives you a knowing wink. "This could be an opportunity to solve two problems at once."

At those words, a mean smile cracks Harkun's stony facade, and he eases back into his chair as the woman's hand withdraws.

"What is Tuija to you?" he asks you. "A friend?"

You purse your lips. "I have no friends, sir."

"As it should be." He gives a nod in approval. "Then if Tuija didn't return from your trip, it wouldn't cause you too much grief."

Your muscles tighten and you have to keep from letting your jaw drop open.

"Sir?"

He glowers up at you. "Was my meaning unclear?"

You shake your head slowly. "No, sir. I understand."

"Good." He points at the door. "I'll find someone to escort you two. They'll be told to follow *your* orders." With the emphasis on 'your', the meaning is clear. Someone else to help make sure Tuija does not return from the trip. Harkun's feelings towards aliens were no secret, but you had never expected something like this. This isn't simple distaste--there is some reason he has it out for Tuija in particular. Harkun says nothing more, and the Sith woman beside him gives a smiling wave as you turn to leave.
>>
>>2202301
Once back in the hallway with the door closed behind you, you have to stop to allow your swimming thoughts time to settle. The world spins around you, and you would collapse onto a bench if there were any nearby. Leaning up against a wall, you rub a hand across your eyes and think.

Tuija is no friend--that was the truth. You have not allowed anyone to assume such a dangerous role in your life. But she's never moved against you, and has even helped you in the past without any immediate benefit to herself. What you're not sure about are her current motives. She's too eager, and has put herself at too much risk for this to be a simple quid-pro-quo that she expects you to pay off at a later date. Whether her motives are sinister or altruistic, you really can't say. But she *is* a Sith initiate--and like you, she would not have lasted this long if she had an altruistic streak.

And then there is Harkun. That man is not an ally, and never will be. His tolerance of you is begrudging at best, and you have to wonder why he chose *you* to dispose of Tuija. It could simply be because you are the one who has an opportunity to do so, but as the Overseer of the academy, Harkun can create opportunities of his own. He also has students who are far more loyal to him than you, who he trusts far more.

If you do what Harkun is asking of you, will you earn some sort of favor with him? Possibly, but you would have no leverage to enact payback of that favor. He is the Overseer, and you are a mere student. What worries you more is possible retribution if you fail to act. He could not kick you out of the academy for disobeying a secret directive to kill another student, but he could make your remaining time difficult. Your goal at this stage is to be noticed by a visiting Master who will take you as their Apprentice, and Harkun undoubtedly has ways of interfering of that.

Finally, the Sith woman. You have no idea what to make of her, nor her prodding of Harkun. From her casual interaction with him, you decide that she must be a true Master, and not simply an Apprentice.

Do you tell Tuija about Harkun's order? You can always reveal this later, at some point during the expedition. The remainder of today will be occupied by preparing for an early-morning departure.
>>
>>2202303
I feel that this Harkun might have an ulterior motive to wanting Tujia dead. We should question Tujia about it at some point, see if she knows something about him that we don't.

While we're at it, we should investigate Tujia's recent interest in us. I'm sure our natural ability to sense and influence emotions would assist us in all this
>>
>>2202373
Until we investigate a bit, I would like to hope that Tuija could continue to be something of an ally to us. As long as she isn't planning our own demise any time soon
>>
I knew that getting guard as an escord was way too good looking option, just didin't figure out why untill now
>>2202303
>hint at her that our escort will be dangerous to her
We can tell the rest later
>>
>>2202373
Let's go along with this and just move on usual for now.
>>
>>2202303
Don't tell her but probe about the beef she has eith them
>>
File: Untitled.png (1.5 MB, 1437x690)
1.5 MB
1.5 MB PNG
>>2202303
You find Tuija walking along a balcony through the central chamber of the academy. Part of you is surprised that she didn't insist on coming to meet the escort you had hinted at. Splitting from her was remarkably easy, especially given how much she has pressed you for information in the past. She is moving at a hurried pace with a grave look on her face, as if moving from some critical task to some other, even more important appointment.

"Tuija!" you shout up from the ground floor, just loud enough to draw her attention. She is not surprised to find you there, and seems to have been looking for you. You meet her on the floor above, and lower your voice to a conspiratorial whisper. "I just spoke with Harkun about our escort."

"Harkun?" She scowls and slaps you in the stomach with the back of her hand. "Why did you not tell me *that* was who you meant?"

Considering how things went with him, maybe you should have. But you haven't confided in her much, and felt it best to stick to that strategy.

"I *got* our escort," you assure her. "One of the academy troopers. We'll meet him at the loading bay tomorrow morning."

"Harkun approved it?" She looks surprised.

"It took some doing, but I convinced him."

She bites her lip and glances aside, thumbing her lekku thoughtfully. "A trooper is good. We can handle ourselves, anyway."

Those are your exact thoughts. Things would be going well if it weren't for the new predicament Harkun has put you in.

"Harkun really has it out for you." You say it with a casual tone in your voice, as if simply musing about the meeting she was so concerned about. "The mention of your name had him more pissed than usual."

Eyes still cast aside, Tuija snorts in disgust. "He hates anyone who isn't human or Sith. You know that."

You can feel the frustration and annoyance welling within her, like a prickly heat that lashes out at you. Your empathetic abilities aren't finely-tuned enough to tell *why* she is feeling that way, though--not without further questioning. All you know is that she really does not like talking about Harkun. That could be because she is hiding something, or because she simply hates the man.
>>
>>2202813
"If you're getting cold feet--" you start out. A harsh glare from Tuija cuts you off.

"When did I say that?" she snaps. "Did I ever say that?"

Her outburst seems to come from nowhere, and even she is taken aback by the unintentional sharpness of it.

"I have things to do before tomorrow," she mutters, avoiding meeting your eyes. "You can find what we need."

With that she departs, leaving you stunned and no more informed than you were prior to your conversation. For a moment you consider grabbing her and demanding to know what she's hiding, but you've hardly been forthcoming yourself. Any demands like that would be thrown right back in your face. All you can do now is as Tuija said--get what you need for a day of subterranean probing.

You're a little annoyed that she didn't offer to help. It could be that she doesn't fully believe you two are going tomb mapping, and so isn't sure what supplies to grab. What you had told her and Lord Hostay had the air of a lie, if only because you held so many details back.

Do you visit Tuija in her room tonight to pry further? She likely will have calmed enough for you to ask her substantive questions about her trouble with Harkun and why she is so determined to go an expedition she knows so little about.

Or maybe it's time to take her out of the equation completely--without murdering her. It's a big academy with lots of materials on hand. If Tuija were, say, rendered gravely ill, she wouldn't be able to go on the expedition at all.

Give it some thought, you're a Sith after all. Or just go to sleep and give it no more thought at all.
>>
>>2202822
Do you visit Tuija in her room tonight to pry further? She likely will have calmed enough for you to ask her substantive questions about her trouble with Harkun and why she is so determined to go an expedition she knows so little about.
>>
>>2202838
Supporting
>>
>>2202822
>Do you visit Tuija in her room tonight to pry further? She likely will have calmed enough for you to ask her substantive questions about her trouble with Harkun and why she is so determined to go an expedition she knows so little about.

She's hiding something, I'm sure of it
>>
>>2202822
>Do you visit Tuija in her room tonight to pry further? She likely will have calmed enough for you to ask her substantive questions about her trouble with Harkun and why she is so determined to go an expedition she knows so little about.
>>
>>2202822
The rest of the day is spent getting things in order for your expedition. Daypacks, an echo droid, and a land cruiser to be prepped before morning. The supply officer is far more agreeable than Harkun, at least in part because he is below you on the proverbial totem pole. It's not respect, not quite--after all, you're just a student who hasn't yet proven himself in the world.

It's closer to fear. Not fear of what you've done, but of who you are. As a Sith initiate, you represent the future elite of the Empire. It is just a taste of the power you will receive once you are fully inducted into that elite--something that will happen more quickly if tomorrow is fruitful.

Evening comes, and you go to Tuija's room in the dormitory. Like you and all the other senior students, she has a private dormitory instead of being shoved into bunk beds in a drafty barracks. Another one of the perks of being a step closer to power. You knock on the door, and Tuija answers it a few moments later. Heavy bags lay under her eyes, and she is wearing a night gown distinguishable from her usual robe only by the dark orange color of it. Either she was asleep, or nearly there--but she is fully awake once she sees it is you.

"Yes?" she says hesitantly.

"I wanted to tell you that everything's ready."

"Oh," she mumbles. "Alright."

You look for an angle to take this conversation inside the room, but Tuija is firmly situated in the doorway and doesn't seem to notice you shifting awkwardly from foot to foot. That, or she's choosing to ignore it. You came here with a number of questions in mind, but you can't ask any of them if she's going to give you the wall treatment.

"Well, good night." You turn to leave, but Tuija grabs you by the arm and nods into her room.

"Let's talk inside," she says. Surprised but pleased, you follow her and shut the door. She sits down on the edge of her bed, and you pull the chair out from her desk to do likewise. All of her earlier snipiness is gone, replaced with a reticent silence that remains even after you two are seated.
>>
>>2203194
"So--" you start out. Tuija says something at the same time, then mutters an apology.

"You go first," she says.

"I mapped out the route for tomorrow." You unhook your datapad from your belt, but Tuija doesn't seem to notice. "It's not far, but you know what the terrain is like. It'll probably be 4 hours each way."

Tuija nods absent-mindedly and taps her foot, alternately staring at you and glancing off into space. You had expected a groan or a complaint or a demand for a covered cruiser, but you got nothing. She's distracted, and anticipating something. That much you can feel. Her eyes finally flicker down to your datapad, and she points at it.

"Show me," she says.

You push up from the chair and go to hand it to her, but instead of taking it she shifts away from you on the bed. Taking the hint, you sit down beside her and hold it out for her to look at. Her foot taps faster, and she mutters the map's natural landmarks under her breath as she traces the route in her mind.

"You're still up for this?" you ask carefully.

"Of course." She takes the tip of her lekku in her fingers and massages it, eyes still focused on the datapad. "I said that I was."

Do you broach the topic of Harkun first? Or her interest in your mission?

With a topic in mind, do you use your empathic abilities to drive her emotions in the hopes of coaxing an answer from her? You'll need to do so with either her positive or negative feelings towards the matter. It's unlikely she'll notice your influence, but that is up to random chance.
>>
>>2203198
"I knew Harkun hated aliens, but what the hell did you do?"
>>
>>2203198
>Broach the topic of Harkun first.
It's for the best we figure out her beef with him, and figure out if we can make this shitty situation into something better.

We should probably push her positive feelings towards us, if we're making her a long-term ally. There's nothing we can individually do against Harkun, not for awhile.
>>
>>2203198
Her feelings about this are probably negative. She lashed out earlier after all. Better to probe her about Harkun while inciting her negative feelings about him.
>>
>>2203237
This is also true. I guess it depends how we want to treat our allies.
>>
>>2203242
""""Allies""""
>>
>>2203262
What sensible individual would want to be allies with a Sith? Most of them are too edgy to understand the value of actual trusted colleagues. The rest are too cagey over the fact that the others are so fucking edgy.
>>
>>2203262
Sith can have friends, allies, even lovers. They simply have to hide and protect such people well, otherwise the weakness can be exploited.
>>
>>2203330
Yes and we don't have any at the moment. I support working towards securing one but I'm not going to get attached to an alien just yet. One the one hand she is probably desperate for an ally too, in the other hand she is probably one of the must worthless people to have on your side.

I wonder if Harkun gave our trooper escort any other private directives. Like to get rid of us after we do her.
>>
>>2203330
>>2203362
perhaps a lover, ally, or friend can be achieved or worked towards now, but more secured as an apprentice
>>
Rolled 1 (1d2)

>>2203225
>>2203237

>Harkun - 1 is positive, 2 is negative
>>
Rolled 4 (1d8)

>>2203198
"I just want to make sure the mention of Harkun didn't put you off of this," you say.

She frowns and lets a quick breath out through her nose. "I am done thinking about that man. Or any of the others like him."

With her eyes--if not her thoughts--still on the map, you place a hand on her shoulder. Physical touch enhances your abilities, even if it's done through a light piece of fabric.

"Xenophobes? I hate to say it, but they aren't limited to the academy." You lean forward slightly and look her in the face. "And out there, you won't have me watching your back."

>You nudge her positive emotions. 7 or 8 is a failure, and she notices your attempt.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d8)

>>2203580
do we roll?
>>
Rolled 26 (1d88)

>>2203590
[rolling intensifies]
>>
>>2203590
Nah I just did that one myself so I could write the next bit.
>>
File: 1503436857345.jpg (60 KB, 540x531)
60 KB
60 KB JPG
>>2203590
There we go, anon.
>>
Rolled 171, 93, 34, 159, 36, 164, 39, 105, 147, 183 = 1131 (10d200)

>>2203604
>>2203609
>>2203614
>>
>>2203580
For a moment, her expression is just as rigid as ever. Then it softens, every muscle relaxing to a degree you didn't know was possible. A wistful smile spreads across her lips.

"How did it go so fast?" She reaches out with one hand and grips the other side of the datapad, finally taking some of the weight off of your own tired arm. "For years I could not wait to leave, and now it is over."

Those final words have you looking at her in confusion, but she is lost in her own world of thought. You two are both of an age that will see you securing Masters soon, but you haven't heard or seen anything that would hint at Tuija leaving the academy.

Unless...

You think back to the Sith woman at your duel. Was she there not for you, but for Tuija? The Twi'lek girl had, after all, *won* her fight. If that's the case, you have to wonder why the woman would be okay with Harkun setting her up to die. Is this some final test to see if Tuija is worthy of becoming an Apprentice? A lesson to always beware of treachery from those closest to you?

Or is Tuija in on all of it, and the three of them are setting *you* up to be killed, with your attempted murder of Tuija as a convenient excuse. You can't imagine why any of them would do such a thing, but over a decade at the academy has given you a healthy amount of paranoia.

Tuija wavers back and forth on the bed, then slumps into your side. Your back goes rigid and you jolt in place, letting your datapad hand drop to your thigh. Tuija makes no attempt to hold it aloft, but keeps her grip on it and slowly snakes her hand over the edge until her fingertips rest on yours. The seconds tick by, and neither of you moves. Still leaned up against you, Tuija begins to slip off to the side and has to push up on the bed to right herself. As she does so, you look down at her and find her face inches from yours.

You expect her to look away quickly, but she doesn't--and neither do you. Your heart is pounding, and even the single finger you have resting against the small of her back seems an unbearably intimate contact. She is breathing fast, her chest heaving against the side of your torso with each breath in and out.

>Go with the moment naturally
>Inflame her positive emotions (In her state, she is even more unlikely to notice)
>Inflame her negative emotions (In her state, she is even more unlikely to notice)
>Stop this, and ask her what she means about her time at the academy being over
>Come clean about everything
>>
>>2203671
>Inflame her positive emotions (In her state, she is even more unlikely to notice)
>>
>>2203671
>>Stop this, and ask her what she means about her time at the academy being over

Goddamn Twi'leks and fucking everything that moves. Damn sex aliens.
>>
File: 1493156520548.jpg (212 KB, 616x653)
212 KB
212 KB JPG
>>2203671
>Inflame her positive emotions (In her state, she is even more unlikely to notice)

Who is going to resist a small twi'lek berserker?
>>
>>2203704
Aren't zeltrons sex aliens too?
>>
>>2203671
>inflame her positive emotions
Too good a chance to pass up.
If we can chose multiple
>go with the moment naturally
We well regret not fucking her if we end up killing her. And we can ask for clarification later.
>>
>>2203768
Yeah, but Zeltrons are classy.
>>
File: 1507587710617.png (79 KB, 345x387)
79 KB
79 KB PNG
>>2203787
>Classy
Have your (You), anon.
>>
>>2203814
>acting like sluts are less classy than whores
>>
>>2203850
from a certain point of view.

>>2203671
>Inflame her negative emotions
rough sex only
>>
>>2203877
>from a certain point of view.

The Jedi -are- evil.
>>
>>2203891
technically, forcing people to subdue emotions and not pursue love or other things can be considered, evil
>>
>>2203671
>Stop this, and ask her what she means about her time at the academy being over
I'm kind of getting the feeling that the sith lady and harkun and intentionally setting us and tiuja against each other. I'm suspicious as fuck about her sudden advances. We need to control ourselves.
>>
>>2203935
Passion is power, anon.
>>
>>2203940
Not without being intelligent about it.
>>
>>2203671
>Inflame her positive emotions (In her state, she is even more unlikely to notice)

Let the hormones flow through her
>>
Rolled 8 (1d8)

>>2203671
You slide your right hand up until it rests fully on her back. Excitement and desire well within her, a warm vibration just under the skin of your palm. Only then do you realize how indistinguishable those feelings are from greed and possessiveness. You may have even mistake her true emotions for those darker ones, were she not staring up at you with two green eyes that speak the truth so plainly. Have her surroundings hardened and twisted her so much as to combine those two sides of the coin in her mind? Or are you the maimed one for no longer being able to distinguish between them?

Regardless, you do not even need your empathic powers to sense what she is thinking. Tuija has never been the most cunning of the acolytes, but she learned a simpler way to disguise her intentions--a stony face, and closed lips. Now, her face is relaxed and her lips are parted slightly.

As you close your eyes and press your lips to hers, you drive that blatant desire within her to new heights. You feel the slightest flicker of guilt at the act, but all you're doing is bringing out what is already there. Your ability is no worse than the whispered flatteries of a silver-tongued charismatic. In fact, what you do is more honest. You sense what she wants, and you help her act on that want.

>You inflame her positive emotions. 8 is a failure, and she notices your attempt.
>>
>>2204087
Lmao good call guys
>>
File: 1514142722361.jpg (59 KB, 500x426)
59 KB
59 KB JPG
>>2204087
Man, I sort of wish we got the chance to roll instead, but still it's gonna be funny to read.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d8)

>>2204087
plz lemme reroll
>>
>>2204097
Please let this anon's roll count.
>>
This quest was DOA as soon as zeltron was chosen desu, give anons any power like the pheromones and their horny minds will use it without thinking
>>
>>2204102
Why would we roll? It's not us trying to hide the fact we are touching her brainparts it's her trying to notice it.
>>
>>2204087
Your lips join, and for a moment hers move against yours in a light dance.

Then, they stop. You shift your hand further up her back and feel for the rapturous passion that was once there, but the fire has gone cold. You pull back slightly and open your eyes to see Tuija staring at you in confusion, her hands sliding off of your body and her gaze flickering over your face. Before you can say a word, her brow furrows furiously and her shoulders tighten.

"I felt something," she says. Revulsion and betrayal well within her, a biting sensation that has you yanking your hand away from her back. Your stomach turns at the feeling. "You were in my mind."

Despite the surety of her declaration, she does not pull back further. It is a question as much as an accusation.

>Lie. You don't know what she's talking about.
>You weren't toying with her mind. As a Zeltron, you simply wanted to feel her emotions as your own during such an intimate encounter.
>Apologize profusely.
>Admit it, but remain completely unapologetic.
>Just leave. This isn't worth the trouble.
>>
>>2204137
>You weren't toying with her mind. As a Zeltron, you simply wanted to feel her emotions as your own during such an intimate encounter.
>>
>>2204137
>>You weren't toying with her mind. As a Zeltron, you simply wanted to feel her emotions as your own during such an intimate encounter.
Might as well be honest.

>>2204116
Not really? I get the feeling it would have had the same result, Human or not.
>>
>>2204137
>>Admit it, but remain completely unapologetic.
Bitch ain't you tried super-euphoria-sex before? Shiiieeeeet
>>
>>2204152
>Might as well be honest.

We were straight up fucking with her brain.
>>
>>2204137
>You weren't toying with her mind. As a Zeltron, you simply wanted to feel her emotions as your own during such an intimate encounter.

Mind-Sex
>>
>>2204116
That's clearly not the case.
>>
>>2204137
You swallow, and try as hard as you can to meet her accusatory gaze without looking away.

"I was. I wanted to feel what you were feeling." You slide your hand across the bed to touch her knee, but even that slight contact has her putting her foot back on the floor. You're afraid to reach into her mind again so soon after your failure, so you suffice yourself with her very clear outward displays of displeasure. "You know how important emotions are to my people."

Tuija nods. "I know." She's silent for a few moments, and her eyes seem to lose focus as she delves deep into thought. Then, she is looking at you with a gaze as intense as ever.

"Do you remember the day they first had us train with practice sabers?" she says.

You can't even begin to recall it--that was so early on in your training as to be a blur now.

"We were very little," she continues. "We were watching the instructors demonstrate, and I could not stop shaking." Tuija picks up your hand and lays it on her shoulder. "You touched me like this, and you asked if I was scared."

You force a smile. "It sounds like I didn't need my powers for that."

She returns your smile with a sad one of her own.
>>
>>2204337
"Then, it was my turn to practice against one of the other students." She moves your palm to her chest, just above her heart, and rests it there.

"You looked me in the eye and you said--'you cannot be defeated'." As she lowers your hand, you draw it slowly back to your lap. "I thought that was a very strange thing to say, but when I walked into that ring I suddenly felt as if I could defeat anyone--and I did."

Tuija pauses, staring at her folded hands. Her thumbs twiddle back and forth in an endless battle.

"For years I was sure you were magic, but when I read up on the Zeltron people I finally understood." She looks back up at you and heaves a warbling sigh. "I wasn't sure whether to be furious or grateful." When you had first come to her room, she looked tired. Now, she looks downright exhausted. "So I know what it feels like when my mind is being touched... and when it is being pushed."

Pushing herself up from the bed, Tuija walks over to the door controls and slides open the automated door, then turns to stare at you. You get to your feet and walk over to doorway, casting a shameful glance at her as you pass her. Her formerly steady gaze flickers away now and then, and you can see tears welling in her eyes that she tries madly to blink away before they can form tears.

"Maybe you can trade notes with Shassanis," she says, her voice cracking as you step into the hallway. You stare blankly at the wall opposite you before turning and heading to your own room. For now, you just want to sleep--and not have to think. Tomorrow, you'll need to decide what to do about the expedition.

>Carry on as usual? Tuija may show, or she may not.
>Leave earlier than planned without her? You could do so with the escort, or if you're feeling particularly brooding, leave on your own in the cruiser.
>Wake up extremely early and make the trip on foot as an act of masochistic repentance. This will take days and be dangerous.
>>
>>2204344
>>Carry on as usual? Tuija may show, or she may not.

The lizard tried to get in her pants, too? RIP.
>>
>>2204344
>Wake up extremely early and make the trip on foot as an act of masochistic repentance. This will take days and be dangerous.
>>
>>2204344
>>Carry on as usual? Tuija may show, or she may not.
>>
>>2204344
>carry on as usual
Damn, oh well. We still have options going forward.
>>
>>2204344
>Wake up extremely early and make the trip on foot as an act of masochistic repentance. This will take days and be dangerous.
>>
>>2204344
>Wake up extremely early and make the trip on foot as an act of masochistic repentance. This will take days and be dangerous.
>>
>>2204355
>>2204379
>>2204410
Have you forgotten the consequences of going out without an escort?
>>2200909
>>
>>2204490
sith need to become self reliant
(although i admit i read the option wrong)
>>
>>2204490
It's really not worth going without an escort.
>>
>>2204490
I like to imagine that if we're successful enough, uncovering the tomb may be an achievement that absolves us of serious punishment.

Aside from that, I think it sounds really cool. Going off alone in such a brooding manner after our exchange with Tuijia. Really dramatic shit
>>
>>2204521
Because the Sith aren't assholes who wouldn't beat the shit out of you just to prove a point.
>>
>I get home from work and /qst/ decided to try and pheromone a girl who ALREADY wanted the D
Now I'm not saying you guys are retards, but...
You guys are retards.
>>
>>2204640
It seems like they're being retards on purpose at this point
>>
>>2204646
Do you expect any differently in a Sith-oriented quest?
>>
File: oh lord.jpg (34 KB, 400x400)
34 KB
34 KB JPG
>>2204640
Watching autists at work always gives me a giggle.
>>
>>2204640
They just wanted her to be EXTRA horny dude. She was gonna aheago just like in my hentais you baka.
someone kill me
>>
>sith quest
>players immediately try to fuck someone because "muh passion"
every damn time
>>
>>2204679
It's like clockwork, isn't it?
>>
>>2204344
>Carry on as usual? Tuija may show, or she may not.
>>
>>2204685
You're one of them dude
>>
>>2204640
Well I'm having fun either way. Failing in this manner had a very interesting result
>>
>>2204707
While that's true, ancient Chinese curses and all that.
The danger is that Tuija is being set up to kill us by that lady Sith, and now she's probably mentally primed to do it. Previously her attraction to us might have made her hesitate but now? We pissed her off.
>>
>>2204715
I think you're right. This whole thing seems to be a set-up. I'm not sure how we can handle this now if we come to blows with her.

I don't like the idea of us being set against each other as some kind of sick test, but I'm not sure how we can work ourselves out of it. Whatever is lying in this tomb, hopefully it can help us.
>>
>>2204732
>I don't like the idea of us being set against each other as some kind of sick test
Welcome to the Sith, anon.
>>
>>2204640
To clarify, I voted to manipulate her feelings more to increase the likelihood of her being a longer term ally. Sex isn't always the goal.
>>
It's really frustrating to play a quest where you're outvoted by anons who vote for shit because they think it'll be funny or cool without thinking in character at all. Good luck with the quest anyway OP, you seem like a decent writer.
>>
>>2204732
The clear solution is that we crash the cruiser with her in it then walk back. The stuff that comes after is irrelevant. I mean, who really gives a shit about losing a ship for literally nothing?
>>
>>2204746
Yeah, I know...

but it'd be one thing if we didn't realize it. I feel like, now that we KNOW we're being tricked we should try to fuck things up somehow.

In all honesty, it feels most sith-like to me to rage against those that seek to control you.
>>
I actually just realized, there's little to no point in making a statement by going out on our own. The trip is four hours away by conventional transport, so by the time we arrive we could have the passengers we left behind waiting for us. Or worse.
>>
Jesus, all these people butthurt over one failed roll and lashing out by making stupid accusations. Having dice in a quest implies that things will go wrong at some point. I'm sure you would have been congratulating yourselves on your wise choice if we had had a nice brain addled twilek to cash in on her connections before throwing under the bus for points with the sub-overseer if the roll had been different
>>
>>2204802
Look at Mr. High Horse over here. Don't even understand how anons work. There'll always be people upset with decisions made. Good or bad. Failing or succeeding.
>>
>>2204802
She was already the closest thing we had to an ally. And now she's not. You can't blame the dice for that.
>>
>>2204835
this makes us strongr in the long run, really. now we don't have to worry about feelings for her.
>>
>>2204873
But embracing our passion and emotions is the source of our power. The sith doctrine is so retarded and contradictory that I honestly don't understand how it's supposed to be practiced.
>>
>>2204873
>this makes us strongr in the long run, really.

Unless it kills us. Never count out the whole "getting ded" option. Trust no one. Not even the QM.
>>
>>2204878
I think Sith philosophy is best applied on a case-by-case basis.

You look around in the lore and you'll find Sith who get married, have families and friends n shit and then you look at dudes who get all powerful by being 100% Machiavellian.

We should forge our own path and see what works best for us while working within basics of the Sith Code.
>>
>>2204878
what better emtion than being pissed off we didnt get laid?

>>2204879
the dice are fickle, but qm you can count on to eventually fuck us
>>
I'm starting to think OP isn't even here anymore
>>
>>2204883
If we just build THREE Deathstars we will be unstoppable.
>>
>>2204919
Naw dog, we gotta build like...
A super death star.
It'll be the size of a planet, and able to blow up stars from across the galaxy with beams that can somehow be seen from dozens of light years away in real time!
>>
>>2204999
2 small

Star size.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d7)

>>2204353
>>2204355
>>2204358
>>2204376
>>2204379
>>2204410
>>2204697

We seem to be of split minds here, so I'll roll a choice. 1 = 1st post, etc.
>>
File: Korriban3.jpg (37 KB, 450x314)
37 KB
37 KB JPG
>>2204344
That night, you hardly sleep. Even after throwing the covers of your bed to the floor you are wracked by a prickly heat that has you up and pacing around the room. You glance at your beside clock, and see that it is still early in the morning--hours until you're supposed to retrieve your cruiser from the docking bay. You fear the appointment like none another, though you're not sure which drives your anxiety more--the possibility of being stuck in a car with Tuija for 8 hours, or the likelihood that she won't show at all.

Before your mind even know what your body is doing, your legs take you out into the quiet dormitory halls of the underground levels and up to the quartermaster. There you retrieve the two daypacks you had requisitioned for you and Tuija, as well as another bag containing the equipment necessary to reach something buried as deeply as the tomb you saw in your dream. Halfway to the loading bay, loaded down with enough bags to turn your walk to a shuffle, you realize that you should have just left Tuija's there. Too late to dump it now, though. You reach the loading bay, a broad space at the base of the pyramid with a loading ramp that looks out onto the Valley of the Dark Lords. Land cruisers of all types line the bay, most in varying states of disrepair, but they are all locked down tight until the head mechanic wakes up. That, and your appointed meeting with your escort, are still hours away. You sit in an out-of-the-way corner and watch the night shift work, welding masks covering their faces and blow torches in hand as they repair whatever machinery the desert sands of Korriban have broken.

You envy them, in a way. Simple work and simple troubles are so much less taxing than the worries that plague you at the academy on a daily basis. You can handle the blunt trauma of practice sabers and the sting of Force lightning reflected back at you by a reproachful instructor. What you hate are the sharp, biting images of Tuija's teary face flashing in your mind. You're not sure whether you feel guilty, or are simply upset at having your careful maneuvering so disastrously derailed. All you know is that you can't stay here.
>>
>>2205615
You open up the plastic supply crate holding the digging equipment, and sort through it. There's all sorts of climbing gear that you're barely familiar with, but the truly vital item is a single round sphere of gray metal. You take the probe out and place it on the ground, then dig into the daypack and examine your supplies. There's more than enough rations and dehydrated water for a cruiser-bound trip, but walking is another matter. Digging into the pack you retrieved for Tuija, you pull out her owns rations and set them down, then go to the task of taking anything non-essential from yours. You hesitate at the med-pack, thinking about all the dangerous creatures that prowl Korriban's rocky badlands. After a moment, though, you discard that as well, though you do take a few of the compact bacta bandages--those could be life-saving.

The rest--pain killers, traditional bandages, metal stints--is useless on the sort of trek you have in mind. If you're ambushed by a starving Tuk'ata, you're not going to walk out of it in the sort of condition that can be fixed by compression wraps. With your pack emptied just enough to fit Tuija's supplies and the Echo probe, you close it, sling it onto your back, and walk into the early-morning blackness of the valley. From there you walk on, picking up speed and confidence as you pass tomb after tomb on your slow ascent to the valley's entrance. By the time you pass the last of them, the first rays of the morning sun have begun to peak out over the horizon, making the guardian statues cast long shadows just as intimidating as the genuine article.

At the entrance of the valley, you stop. Two guard posts flank either side of it, with helmeted guards standing watch. One looks over at you from up above, but glances away just as quickly. You resume walking, and pass the posts without a word as you leave the valley and enter the jagged wastes of the wildlands.

No one shouts after you, or tries to stop you. Why would they? For all they know, you're simply walking a short distance to find a secluded hilltop to meditate on. If the heavy bag slung over your back gives them pause, they quickly discard any other notion. To go on extended treks through the wildlands is a suicide more certain than slit wrists. That thought, and the lingering cold of the night air should have put a chill in your bones. But the speed of your walk quickly warms you, and you speed on, determined to see this through. That determination stays long after the academy has dipped under the first set of hills you pass, but your more idle thoughts begin to stray.

What thoughts occupy you during your hike?
>>
>>2205619
Guilt and regret about what we did to Tuija
Worry and anger about our apparent lack of masters who want to take us on as a student even though we're trying so hard to follow the sith code
>>
>>2205619
>>2205621
This plus desperation to gain power and respect by exploring this tomb
>>
>>2205619
Regret that things went so badly with Tuija and determination to reach the tomb alone
>>
>>2205619
Walking is easy at first. There is a light breeze, and the sun shines low enough to cover you with a pleasant warmth. As the terrain grows rockier and more treacherous, however, that changes. The sun grows high in the sky, beating down on you with a warmth that has you stowing your tunic in your pack and rolling up the sleeves of your undershirt. The desert winds funnel through the steeps hills around you, focusing their intensity and blasting you with stinging sand. Ordinarily you would be miserable, but the physical discomfort is a welcome reprieve from the thoughts that plague you.

It's hard to untangle any single worry from the rest, but they all lay back at the academy miles behind you. You had manipulated Tuija--in more ways than one--and you're no longer sure why. Even if you had succeeded, what would it have profited you? Your greed and paranoia had become pathological, eclipsing any rational degree of use. After your fight with Loman and the Sith woman's lecture, you had thought to temper your head-on approach with cunning and guile. But had you really maneuvered intelligently? Or were you still wielding brute force just as dumbly as ever?

You come to the edge of a canyon, and stop to glance at the map on your belt-mounted datapad. A rocky arch stretches across the edge of the fissure, giving you a convenient shortcut that would never have been available in a cruiser. The trip will still take far longer--2 nights, by your reckoning--but not nearly as long as you would have thought. On foot, you can navigate treacherous terrain that even a hovering land cruiser simply couldn't deal with. You start across the natural bridge, sparing only a single glance down at the broad road a few hundred feet below. Bat-like Shyracks hang from the shadowy sides of the canyon, not willing to venture further until night has fallen.

The prospect of setting up camp among flocks of the shrieking blood-suckers filling the night air should fill you with dread, but the thought sends a tingle of excitement up your spine as you land safely on the other side of the canyon. It's a simple danger, and one you're confident you can overcome as a true Sith would. Perhaps that is why you decided on enduring so treacherous a task as hiking Korriban alone.
>>
>>2205859
You are no stranger to treachery and deceit--you've had to engage in quite a bit of it yourself to survive the academy. But somehow, it felt different with Tuija. Perhaps because she is--*was*--the closest thing you have to a friend. It's easy to lie to someone who you know is seconds away from putting a knife in your back. It was easier when you suspected she was one of them.

The thought strikes you that you're more afraid of facing Tuija than whatever lurks in the wildlands, and you laugh. Perhaps this is why you haven't been chosen by a Master yet. For all your competence with the Force and blade, the prospect of seeing Tuija again put a terror in your heart like none other.

That may be why you chose to walk, but it is not why you chose your destination in the first place. There is something out there in the wastes, something powerful enough to call to you in dreams. You turned your back on your weakness and ran from it, but only to pursue your strength. You may not have the stomach for betrayal, but *this* problem is one that can be solved with the raw application of determination and strength. The tomb will yield up its secrets, no matter how many Kor'slugs and hundreds of feet of rock lay between you and it.

You stumble over a cluster of small rocks, and only then realize how long you've been walking. The sun is setting, casting long shadows that make it difficult to see what lies in your way. You'll need to set up camp before the Shyracks come out, but you can walk for another hour or so before that need truly becomes urgent.

Then, the shuffle of rock and dirt comes from a ledge a dozen feet to your left. So lost in thought as you were, you wouldn't have heard it at all had the setting sun not briefly brought your attention back to the real world. You whirl about, hand going to your waste and the vibroblade hilt slung from the left side of your belt.

You draw your knife to meet whatever is scuttling towards you.

Roll me 1d8's, I'll take the first three. 1-2 is awful. 3-9 is bad. 10-22 is good. 23-24 is excellent.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d8)

>>2205873
>>
Rolled 4 (1d8)

>>2205873
let the blood flow from us or them
>>
>>2205884
Nice. We're guarenteed a good result now.
>>
Rolled 7 (1d8)

>>2205889
But nothing better once I ruin this roll!

>>2205873
>>
>>2205882
>>2205884
>>2205891
bretty gud
>>
File: 430874669_2513202970.png (88 KB, 256x256)
88 KB
88 KB PNG
>>2205873
Weighed down by your backpack, you spin around and draw your knife just in time to come face-to-face with a pair of nightmarish, reptilian eyes. You keep spinning, using one arm to throw the thing off to the side as your blade meets soft flesh. The animal continues to gnash away even as it is sent sprawling into the dirt in a tangle of limbs, and you take the opportunity to slide your arms free of your backpack. It's hardly bright enough to see in the shadow of the hill above you, but a single glimpse at the scaly hound is all you need.

It's a Tuk'ata--creatures bred long ago through Sith alchemy for use as tomb guardians. Some escaped out into the wilderness, and over the centuries found a niche as apex predators. They are strong, fast, and vicious. They do, however, have one quality not seen in Korriban's other creatures--they respect the Dark Side of the Force.

As the animal struggles to its feet, you throw a quick glance off to either side. To your left, at the very top of a hill, you spot the rest of the Tuk'ata's pack shadowed against the setting sun. They aren't closing in, though. They're just watching. Looking back to the one now baring it's teeth at you, you notice how thin and wiry it is. The creature may fear your power, but there are few things that can stand against the simple driving force of ravenous hunger. For now, you only have to face this one, but that may change if its lurking packmates sense weakness in you. You need to end this quickly.

A blaster would be nice in this situation, but such weapons are never given to students. Partly due to simple tradition, and partly because they don't want to make it any easier for students to murder each other. Luckily, you're more than competent with the vibroblade in your hand. That, and the Force powers the Tuk'ata has been bred to fear.

The Tuk'ata tenses for another move. How do you engage it?

>Shout. Make it cower with a Force-laden scream.
>Gut it with your blade. It couldn't land a bite when it took you by surprise--it won't do so now.
>Keep your distance and hit it with Force lightning.
>Grab it with the Force and crush its throat.
>>
>>2205933
>>Shout. Make it cower with a Force-laden scream.
>>
>>2205933
>Keep your distance and hit it with Force lightning.
>>
>>2205933
pain can make you forget hunger

>Keep your distance and hit it with Force lightning.
>>
>>2205933
>Keep your distance and hit it with Force lightning.
The shout could possibly be heard throughout the valley
>>2205950
I'd imagine we've learned that firsthand as a kid at the academy
>>
>>2205933
The Tuk'ata's plated hide ripples as sinewy muscles tense. Its eyes narrow, and legs lower down. Before it can make its move you thrust your hand towards it, stoking the fires of anger within yourself and sending a blast of Force lightning shooting at the creature. The red rocks around you flash purple as the Tuk'ata is wreathed in blue current, and you squint against the flashes of light coming from it bony plates.

Then, your eyes shoot wide open. The Tuk'ata hurls itself at you, seeming to completely shrug off what should have been a crippling attack--even the flesh wound you had given it with your knife seemed to hurt it more. You stumble backwards, and as those two red eyes bare down on you once more, realization shoots through you. The Tuk'ata were created by Sith alchemists, to guard Sith tombs on a Sith world. And the enemies of the Sith were, more often than even the Jedi... other Sith.

You have only the space of a moment to react--further Force powers are out of the question, and your knife is all that stands between you and a set of jaws that can rip durasteel.

Roll me 1d8's, I'll take the first three. 1-9 is bad. 10-20 is good. 21-24 is excellent.
>>
Rolled 7 (1d8)

>>2205975
Well so much for them being bred to fear sith power... It's not a good sign that both the MC and the players are this dumb. And yes I'm including myself.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d8)

>>2205975
At least we can stab stuff good.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d8)

>>2205975

>>2205987
Should have just used the Force to throw it straight up into the air several dozen feet. A fall will fuck anything up, specially since you could use the Force to aim it towards the ground skull first.
>>
>>2205987
Mostly just him fucking with players. Our character probably ought to have known that, but whatevs, the rlls are still good.
>>
>>2205975
You bring your left arm up in time to catch the Tuk'ata by its fore legs, but the force of the creature sends you hurtling back to the dirt behind you. With one hand trying desperately to hold back its gnashing teeth and slashing claws, you use your knife to stab madly at its belly. Whatever soft spot you managed to catch it on before is nowhere to be found, and your knife glances off thick hide as the beast catches you across the side of the face with a set of razor-sharp claws. A howl echoes throughout the valley, one you can scarcely believe came from you, and not the Tuk'ata. Your jaw clenches in utter rage and you, determined not to die in the dirt at the hands of a hungry beast, wrap your arm around its neck and pull it close.

There, you feel it--a tuft of hair atop bare flesh on the top of its neck. The animal thrashes in your grip with tremendous strength, and you begin stabbing away at it the top of its neck. You slice up your own forearm in the frenzy, but your blade manages to find the creature's spine. Again and again you stab, animal screams filling your ear and hot blood covering your arms.

The Tuk'ata grows silent, but you don't stop stabbing until the creature's muscles go slack in your grip. Only then do you release it, rolling the dead beast off of you before heaving yourself into a seated position. Looking around frantically, you spot the rest of the pack still standing at the top of the hill--but only standing.

Adrenaline still pumping through you, you throw your arms out wide and let out a blood-curdling shout that sends the pack in a full retreat. You laugh madly, wiping the blood from your face as you fall to your knees beside your backpack. It's hard to tell how much of it is the Tukata's and how much is yours, but the searing pain all over your face, chest, and arms tells you that you earned more than a few deep gashes.

As you sit there, the last of the light shining above the hill beside you recedes, and you leap to your feet. You need to set up camp. Working quickly, you pull all manner of supplies from your pack until you find the glow lights you were looking for. You set all four sticks down in the dirt, creating a radiant square of light that encompasses you and the Tuk'ata carcass. The light will keep the Shyracks away, and from what little you can remember of your class on Korriban's fauna, the spilled blood of the Tuk'ata will ward off any more hounds. That, or it will attract them. You're very quickly learnings the value of paying attention to things with no immediate practicality.
>>
>>2206152
Regardless, you're too exhausted to haul the carcass any further, especially with night falling so quickly. The adrenaline is wearing off, and your hands shake like leaves. Pulling out the few medical supplies you had taken along, you clean your wounds and apply bacta bandages to the areas wounded enough to warrant one. A patch of flesh between your left eye and ear feels particularly painful, and you're afraid to touch it any more than necessary. With that done, you roll out a mat in the center of the well-lit square and assume a kneeling position of meditation atop it. There will be no sleeping with the dangers of Korriban all around you--a tent might have kept out the sand, but it wouldn't stand up against another Tuk'ata. Instead, you intend to pass the night in a state of clear-minded awareness that allows you to rest your body while your senses remain ever vigilant. It is something you have practiced many times, although that was within the relative safety of the academy's walls.

And you quickly realize that meditation is much more difficult after a near-death experience. Your limbs won't stop shaking, even as they grow numb. You look down at your hands and clench them into fists to try to steady them, only for your vision to swim in a disorienting fashion. Had the fight affected you *that* badly? Or had you somehow lost more blood than you initially thought?

You turn your head to the bag beside you, but immediately regret the decision. The desert around you spins, becoming a whirling blur of dark and light that only settles after a few moments of keeping your eyes still. The glow lights around you become even brighter, and you can no longer see past them into the darkness. You look back at the Tuk'ata carcass, and see that it is standing on all fours, glaring at you with those blood-red eyes. You gasp and scramble off away, but as you turn back around with your knife in hand, you see that it is once again lying dead on the ground.

The world has become a nightmare--but not like any you've ever seen before. This is real, even moreso than the dream that drove you into the desert in the first place. The skitter of rocks draws your attention away from the Tuk'ata, to the edge of the square. Standing there, in her regal robe of purple and gold, is the bald Sith woman.
>>
>>2206155
"How--" you start out, struggling to think through the haze. You squeeze your eyes shut and shake your head, then point the knife at her. "How are you here?" you gasp out.

"I thought you might use some help." She walks over to the felled Tuk'ata and prods it with her foot. "But I suppose you handled yourself adequately."

As you stare at her with mouth agape, she moves away from the Tuk'ata and holds her hand out, palm down. As she draws her hand upward, the rocky ground rises upward until she has created a flat-topped growth just over a foot high. She sits down on top of it, crossing her legs and leaning her elbows on her thighs.

"Are you feeling alright?" She eyes you uneasily as you wobble from side to side. "You look ill."

You certainly feel it. With every passing moment, the disorientation becomes worse. Your stomach clenches so tight you might vomit, and a fire spreads outward from each wound the Tuk'ata has inflicted upon you.

"What's happening to me?" you ask, barely able to focus on her face.

"Why, you acted out of desperation. That's what." You can just barely perceive her nodding at the Tuk'ata carcass. "That's what happens when you wait until you're *starving* to hunt."

For a few moments, she says nothing and your vision grows even blurier. You stagger over to her, arm outstretched, waiting for the moment your fingertips will find her.

Then, she vanishes. You stumble forward and fall onto all fours, collapsing onto a flat ground with no Force-created chair of dirt. A lilting laugh sounds out all around you, and for one frightening moment becomes the barking cries of a Tuk'ata. You twist around to see the Sith standing at the other edge of the square, doubled over in laughter with her hand held to her stomach.

You're hallucinating. You have to be. You don't know why until your crawling path towards the center of the square meets with the Tuk'ata's carcass, and the blood still soaking into the dirt beside it.

Tuk'ata are venomous--you hadn't been bitted, but you had earned more than few cuts courtesy of its claws. Not to mention its blood pouring all over your open wounds. The Sith's laughter stops, and you look up to see her faces inches from yours. You grab at her in anger, but your hand passes right through the apparition, and her smile remains unbroken.

Then you realize--the medkit. Crawling right through the woman and over the Tuk'ata's carcass, you return to your bag and rummage through it. You can hardly see, and you have to squint as you search. Anti-venoms are expensive, but it's possible that the expeditionary medkits are stocked with just such a thing for Tuk'ata. As you throw out the last ration pack, you seen nothing but the bare canvas bottom of the pack.
>>
>>2206188
You sit back on your hindquarters, and stare off into space.

"You threw *out* the medkit," comes the woman's whisper from behind you.

You squeeze your eyes shut as cold, cruel realization washes over you. Then, the laughter returns--a grating, piercing shriek that rattles your bones. You hate the sound more than you've hated anything in your entire life. Hands shaking in both anger and drugged confusion, you lean forward onto the dirt, only for your hand to fall on something hard. You wrap your fingers around it, and realize it is the hilt of your vibrosword.

The laughter continues, and your grip tightens. Finally you can take no more, and you thumb the switch on the hilt.

"Shut *up*!" you shout.

The segmented blade unfolds from its storage compartment in the hilt, terminating to a fine point that you drive back at the Sith. You fully expect to meet nothing but open air, and are shocked to find that your strike is parried neatly off to the side. The Sith woman holds a vibrosword of her own, and steps away from you as you stagger to your feet.

"Come!" she says, reaching behind her back and pulling out a medical injector. I *have* your antidote."

As her amused smile turns to one of gleeful cruelty, you move on her.

Which form do you open with?

>Makashi - A patient form that relies on fine footwork and precision strikes.
>Soresu - A defensive form focused on non-lethal strikes.
>Ataru - An acrobatic form that seeks to overwhelm an opponent.
>Djem So - A derivative of Soresu that turns the enemy's strikes into opportunities for counter-attack.
>Juyo - A volatile form that relies on careful control of intense emotions.
>Niman - A balanced form based on intuitive reaction and creativity
>>
>>2206215
>Juyo - A volatile form that relies on careful control of intense emotions.
Focus on everything that has happened in the last day
>>
>>2206215
>>Juyo - A volatile form that relies on careful control of intense emotions.
>>
>>2206215
>Juyo - A volatile form that relies on careful control of intense emotions

We're in no condition for a precise or patient combat style, but maybe with a little focus we can use this style more effectively with our inflamed emotions
>>
>>2206215
>Juyo - A volatile form that relies on careful control of intense emotions.
We'll start with this so she'll think we haven't learned anything and then abruptly switch to Djem So
>>
>>2206215
REEEE C'mon OP. We succeed in both our rolls and who threw away the medkit? It wasn't up to us. Flavor is one thing, but not when it directly effects us and we have no say.
>>
>>2206242
This.
We are in bad shape, but Juyo should get fight out of us atleast
>>
Have we trained any forms more than the others? I find it hard to believe we'd be well versed in all of them. Or are we retroactively familiar with the forms we try in this thread?
>>
>>2206247
Well maybe you should have been here to vote to not wander out alone into the sands of shithole-ibban.
>>
>>2206215
>start with Juyo, Then switch to Djem So
>>
>>2206265
Pretty sure we're familiar with all of them but best with juyo
>>
>>2206268
Naw that's OP's shit he's throwing at us. We voted to leave. Who the fuck voted to leave the medkit? Which is exactly my point, we don't have actual control over our character for meta-stuff that is important. OP does this shit so we can go along his intended plot.
>>
>>2206247
Fighting a starving dark side beast will always end in injuries, regardless of dice. And it should be that way. Decisions matter more than dice. I would've liked to keep the medkit too but we were dumb enough to wander around korriban solo.
>>
>>2206275
>intended plot.

I'm coming up with this literally scene-by-scene. I can't leave every plot-important MC action up to the thread or we'll never leave Korriban. Some MC decisions will occur as consequences of prior thread choices just so I can write a good bit of story at a time.
>>
>>2206277
Being that OP is the guy who creates all of this stuff do you really think that us throwing away the medkit and then encountering the beast was coincidental? And then this encounter with the Sith-Lord? OP's mechanics said that our dice results were "Good", but what the fuck does he mean by that? Does having "good" dice rolls result in us getting us poisoned and fighting a Sith lord for the antidote? My problem is that even if this shit is not deliberate, I doubt the player's agency in this quest. Only reason I am staying is because of the very excellent writing.

>>2206284
>Some MC decisions will occur as consequences of prior thread choices

Then how will we be able to develop him then? We are given choices, but is there no way to prevent us making these mistakes that happen because you decide our character chooses so? Some clarification on how you're doing this would be nice.
>>
>>2206215
You launch yourself at the Sith in a flurry of broad swings and striding footwork, quickly pushing her out of the well-lit arena and into the dark surroundings. The injector she had in her hand falls to the dirt as she grips her vibrosword with both hands, but you continue on and press your advantage. You focus through the fog and recall your duel with Loman, and all the mistakes you made--the ones that your current opponent pointed out. Instead of letting your anger run wild, you keep it contained, only letting it flow out with each swing and thrust of your blade. The Force-channeling aspect of Juyo clears your mind of the venom's effects, allowing some of your senses to return and improving your bladework further.

"I'm trying to help you!" she says, her voice a lilting laugh. You put her mocking words out of mind as best you can, focusing instead on the movements of her blade. Your opening salvo put her firmly on the defensive, and she has yet to strike back at you. More than that, it's almost as if she's *afraid* to strike at you. Your world is a blur and you stumble with each step--you're leaving her plenty of openings to take advantage of.

Is this a hallucination, after all? Will this go on until you simply tire yourself out? It feels so real, though. Every impact of your swords against each other travels up your arms, and you can hear her grunts so clearly as you stagger her with each blow. She falls to the ground, and you nearly cleave her in two with a downward swing before she scrambles to safety and once again assumes a ready stance. She's breathing hard, and hunches over with her shoulders drawn tight. Briefly she rests the tip of her sword on the ground, taking some of the weight off of her arms before once again bringing the blade to bear. You want to laugh, to brag, to tell her that you're better than you used to be--but her smirk is as cruelly confident as ever.

Do you keep pressing with Juyo? Change forms? Retreat and make a dash for the injector?
>>
>>2206293
>OP's mechanics said that our dice results were "Good"

Just as an example for the last dice roll, 'bad' would have meant getting your hand bitten off and suffering a worse version of the current scene. 'Excellent' would have led to not being poisoned and making camp peacefully.

I don't know how things are usually done in /qst/, but it seems pretty lame if I let that be known ahead of time. I've never done any sort of tabletop or RP so I also don't know if there are standard systems for this stuff.
>>
>>2206296
Can we try staggering her and while she is stunned grab the injector with the Force?
>>
>>2206296
This reminds me of the duel we watched Tuija with the Falleen.

Let's not repeat the same mistakes made there. Do not lose focus, smash into her with Juyo as fiercely as ever. Victory is all that matters right now
>>
>>2206296
>Switch to Djem So

Its a trick, and a ruse. We're not winning.

Normall we're just given a DC, and take Bo3 or something like that. Your stuff is fine though long as we have enough players.
>>
>>2206300
Ok. That's good to know that you're keeping that in mind, that's all I want to be sure of. I want our successes and choices to mean something.
>>
>>2206296
Make a dash for the injector, we're hallucinating. for all we know we could be dueling Tuija or someone else come to help us
>>
>>2206296
Switch to Djem So. We can switch back once we've had a breather. We can't afford to tire ourselves out. I'm not confident about what's really in that syringe anyway.
>>
>>2206296
>>Switch to Djem So
Lets feel her out
The force will keep us up till the end of the fight..untill that we can be without syringe
>>
>>2206275
It's still cause and effect. If we would have just taken the flight instead of leaving we wouldn't have gotten ambushed by hungry sith-doggos. And besides, MC is high as fuck right now, we would have limited control just for that fact alone.
>>
It is actually Tuija it is not?...well I put my vote in already, Djem So is good form to catch some breath
>>
>>2206342
That's kind of the impression I'm getting but who knows?
>>
>>2206296
You're breathing just as hard as your opponent, though you're having an easier time maintaining a proper fighting posture than her. You pull back, bending your knees into a defensive stance and holding your sword diagonally across your field of vision. On the other side of that blade stands the Sith, though you can hardly see her with the darkness and your own roiling vision. Your senses, which had cleared somewhat through your channeling of Juyo, fog over again as you switch to the more conservative Djem So--a necessary tradeoff to give your aching muscles a break.

Your intention is to fool the Sith into complacency and goad her into assuming the offensive, but she gives you no opportunity for a counter-strike. She simply stands there, too far away from the square of light behind you for you to see what she's planning. In a duel, there are countless ways to get a clue into an opponent's next move--flickers of the eye, twitches of the lip, individual muscles tensing--but in your condition and this lighting, those clues simply aren't there. What *is* there is fear--you couldn't sense it when you were under the emotional strain of Juyo, but now it is as clear as day. It washes over you in spine-tingling waves, a raw terror that has you more sure than ever of your impending victory.

The woman makes her move, surging at you with a speed that sets you back on your heels. Then, you realize she isn't running at you--the robed figure is a few feet off to the side, dashing towards the square of light behind you. You break your defensive form to lash out at her, but a defensive form focused on counter-attacks of opportunity is ill-suited for quick, offensive footwork. She's beyond you now, but her back is turned.

You reach out with the Force, grabbing her by her waist and pulling back with all your might. She smashes down to the dirt just outside the square with a muffled oomph, and her sword falls from her hands. Grinning triumphantly, you draw your hand back slowly, reeling her in as she spins about on the ground. As she nears you and once again comes close enough for you to see that demon-like, grinning visage, you spot the small blade peaking out from her clenched fist. She draws her arm back, preparing to drive it into your thigh.

What do you do?

If you choose to strike at her before she can stab you, roll 1d8. Best out of first 3 wins. 1-2 is a miss. 3-6 is a crippling strike. 7-8 is a lethal strike.
>>
>>2206393
>Go for the Injector
>>
>>2206393
Try to dodge?
>>
>>2206393
Don't attack. She's gonna use the injector to save have from the poison. We're just going fucking crazy from the venom.
>>
>>2206412
Save us*
>>
>>2206393
>dodge, no attacking back in anyform
>>
File: GRIP A GOTTA.jpg (38 KB, 300x168)
38 KB
38 KB JPG
>>2206393
Fuck, I think >>2206412
is right. None of this makes sense at all.

GOTTA GET A GRIP
>>
>>2206425
Aye, but vote for characters action
>>
She hasn't actually attacked us yet, just protected herself. She ran past us and went for the injector that she dropped earlier instead of attacking us. I bet she picked it up and that's what we're seeing as a blade in her hand. The rest is all hallucinations.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d8)

>>2206393
>wait it out, defense.
>>
>>2206412
let her stab
>>
>>2206428
I think the "vibroblade" she is holding is actually the injector
Soooooo
>>2206393
Let her stab us
>>
>>2206393
Before she can bring the blade down on your leg, you throw yourself to the side and roll through the dirt, then launch yourself to your feet and make a dash for the well-lit area ahead of you. The Sith dropped the injector just outside of it, and you're certain you know the rough spot. You could have dodged elsewhere, but don't want to risk extending the fight without first doing something about the venom inside of you.

Except the injector isn't there. You run your free hand through the dirt, but find nothing. Weary of leaving your back exposed for too long, you whirl back around and retreat into the square, holding up your sword defensively.

"Where is it?" you shout.

If it was ever truly there. You had begun this fight by stumbling through a ghost. How much of this is real, and how much of it is the product of the poison growing ever stronger inside of you? You can feel it, working its way to your extremities, a burning fire that makes your muscles clench ever tighter. If you don't do something soon, you'll suffer whatever the next stages of Tuk'ata venom are--and you're certain they're far worse than this.

As if in answer, something strikes the dirt in front of you. You wait a few moments, squinting into the darkness outside the square before stepping tentatively forward. Your enemy has backed a good distance away, and you look down to see her knife now lying at your feet. You lunge forward and pick it up, then back quickly away. Her blade is lying a short distance further ahead, the only weapon remaining to her.

Just before tossing the knife aside, you stop cold. Your hands are nearly numb from the venom, but even in this state you notice the fact that your fingertips don't meet--quite odd for a knife hilt. Drawing the object close enough to your eyes to see clearly, you find yourself staring into the liquid-filled plastic cylinder of a medical injector. You lower it back down and look around in confusion.

"What is this?" you yell, uncertain of where exactly the Sith is standing.

"Anti-venom!" she shouts. Those words are clear and direct, but the next few seem to come from every direction at once. "Or is it? Why don't you find out?"

What do you do?
>>
>>2206482
Inject that shit.
>>
>>2206494
>inb4 it really was a knife and we just have stupid hands and can't feel our fingertips at all and they are touching
>>
>>2206482
Inject it.
only one person voted to run after the injector
>>
>>2206482
>we finally figured out what was going on by analyzing the clues you wrote
>could've looked smart by relaxing and letting her inject us, which we voted for
>instead this happens
dude why
>>
>>2206482
Inject it, our best change to get rid of the poison
>>
>>2206482
>Charger her ass again. Purge it ourselves
>>
>>2206518
We kinda voted to dodge. My reason for dodge was because it was more in character to do so, instead of letting our "enemy" stab us freely in the fight
>>
>Become a Colicoid.
>>
>>2206482
You look to the injector in your hand, and hesitantly raise it above your leg. It's real--it feels *so* real. You have no way of knowing what's inside it, but you're beyond such concerns. You can hardly command your finger to relax enough for you to place it over the button on top of the device. Whatever is happening, this is your only way out. Defeating that woman--wherever she is now--means nothing if it later leads you to struggle over this exact same choice.

Taking a deep breath in, you drive the needle into your thigh and press down on the injector. There's a sharp hiss as fluid is pushed into the space between muscles, flooding you with a numbing liquid that seems to dissipate the venom the moment it touches it. More likely there's simply a local anaesthetic mixed into the drug cocktail, but you still let out a dry laugh of relief as your legs tremble and you collapse to the ground. Every muscle in your body relaxes, from the injection site outwards. You can't gather the strength to move, nor do you want to. You just want to lie still, until the world stops spinning and your stomach stops turning.

You expect awareness to gradually return to you, but no sooner do your senses clear than they begin to dull once again. This is not the bewildering fog of hallucination, though--this is the siren call of sleep, and you're too exhausted to resist it. The last thing you see, just before the darkness comes, is a pair of dusty boots striding towards you--and no purple robe trailing behind them.
>>
>>2206602
Based twilek cone to save us?
>>
>>2206653
I hope she points out how absolutely pants-on-head, bed-shitting, doorknob-humping retarded MC is for going out alone like he did.
>>
>>2206667
I do hate that we did it but I think it's at least interesting to play as a sith who's ruled by his emotions, struggling to control them and think about his choices more.
>>
>>2206602
You're no stranger to drinking. It's technically forbidden within the academy, but that doesn't stop some of the more well-connected students from having Corellian Rum smuggled in to celebrate a milestone in their schooling. The next day, there's always this moment--just after waking up--where you're not yet sure if you're going to spend the day nursing a hangover.

This morning, you have no such moment. The instant awareness comes, you are greeted by a monstrous headache that seems to encompass the entire top half of your body. Your legs, for their part, are simply numb. You open your eyes, but the bright sun above has you quickly closing them again. You wince and roll over onto your side, regretting that decision as your brain smacks against the inside of your skull.

You hear someone walking towards you, and carefully crack open your eyelids just enough to see those same boots from the night before. Tilting your head up, you see Tuija standing above you, wearing a brown tunic with the sleeves rolled up. A vibrosword hangs at her waist, and one hand hovers over the hilt.

"Are you alright?" she asks.

You nod slowly, and Tuija's face remains unreadable as she draws back her leg and then sends her boot straight into your stomach.

"What is *wrong* with you?" she booms, her voice rattling your brain all over again. You want to plead with her to be quiet, but you're too busy pushing yourself onto all fours and throwing up yesterday's ration packs.

"You almost killed me!" she continues. "*I* almost killed *you*!"

You wave her off with one hand, silently insisting that you'll explain as soon as your throat is clear.

"I was hallucinating," you choke out. "Tuk'ata venom."

"I know!" Something hits you in the side of the head, and you glance to the side to see the spent medical injector laying on the ground. "What were you thinking, coming out here on foot?"

You open your mouth to speak, then stop and shake your head. You didn't know how to answer that yesterday, when you *weren't* on death's door. Right now, you can hardly put a coherent thought together. Tuija tires of waiting for answer, and hauls you roughly to your feet. You're too heavy for her to support for long, and within a moment you're stumbling forward and falling onto hard metal. Only then do you see what was right next to you upon waking--an open air land cruiser with two rows of seats, lying inactive on the ground.
>>
>>2206759
"You stole this?" you ask, realizing that there's no one escort out here with her.

"It does not matter. I am leaving in a few days." She pushes you aside and opens up the passenger door for you to haul yourself inside, then goes around to the driver's seat.

"A few days?" you wonder aloud. "What do you mean?"

She glares at you. "I told you my time at the academy is over. I have found a Master."

You had suspected that the Sith woman--the same one you hallucinated--was that Master. But that had never been more than a suspicion, and you had never found out with certainty that Tuija found a Master at all.

Tuija keys the ignition on the cruiser, and it lurches a few feet off the ground as the repulsor jets underneath roar to life. You look back at the camp ground you had set up, and find that everything--glow lights and backpack included--is stashed in the back seat of the cruiser. For a moment you wonder why she hadn't driven you back the night she found you, but then you recall how treacherous the terrain you passed was--not to mention the nocturnal Shyracks. A night drive would have been more dangerous for your health than simply waiting it out here.

Tuija drives the cruiser along the path you had set up camp on, but comes to an open area and does a sharp 180-degree turn.

"Where are you going?" you exclaim.

She shoots you a sharp look, then quickly returns her eyes to the road. "The academy."

What do you do?

You could let her take you back, or insist that you two continue on to the tomb. You're already 1/3rd of the way there, and she already stole a cruiser.

You could also crash the cruiser and demand that you two walk their on foot, as your forefathers did.
>>
>>2206768
Insist that we go to the tomb. Tell her about our dream. Also apologize to her and thank her for her help.
>>
>>2206776
Also tell her that we were ordered to kill her but we refuse to do so. We owe her.
>>
>>2206776
>>2206794
This
>>
>>2206776
>>2206794
This. We have no reason to distrust her now that she's helped us and she's already secured an exit from the academy
>>
>>2206768
This >>2206776
>>
>>2206776
I'm going for this: Maybe ask why she came after us as well. >>2206776
>>
>>2206776
This and>>2206794
>>
>>2206768
Insist that you go to the tomb.
Thank her for coming after you.
>>2206794
Ordered to while her new master ( maybe) was in the room.
>>
>>2206768
Before Tuija can bring the cruiser back up to full speed, you pull back on the lever between your seats, engaging the brake thrusters and bringing the vehicle to a violent halt. Tuija shouts in surprise and whirls about in her seat to scold you, but you're in her face and pointing at the road behind you.

"Turn us around," you say firmly.

"Did that venom damage your brain?" She grinds a finger into your forehead. "You nearly died!"

You sigh and sit back, too tired to mirror Tuija's angry posturing for very long.

"You found a Master. You can afford not to take risks." Or, depending on one's point of view, she could no longer afford to take them. "If I'm going to get noticed, I need whatever's waiting for me in that tomb."

She scoffs in disbelief. "You don't know there is anything even there! Why take these stupid chances?"

"I *know*," you shoot back, giving her a deadly serious look. "I had a vision."

Tuija eases down into her seat and turns to face you.

"A dream," you continue. "I was being buried alive in this massive tomb... then I saw the landscape all around it, thousands of years ago." You gesture at the rocky hills around the cruiser. "It looked just like it did on the ancient maps. That's when I was sure."

Her face adopts every expression in the book, from shock to doubt to confusion--and then anger.

"Why did you not tell me? You said this was just... a guess!"

A painful smile spreads across your face, and you lean your elbow on the cruiser door as you run a hand across your tired eyes.

"I don't know. I don't know why I've done half the things I've done."

"You thought I would use this against you?" She sounds hurt, but more than that she simply seems bewildered. "Why would you think that?"

You snort in amusement and gesture idly off at the road ahead, where the academy and its many students lay far off in the distance.

"Look at where we grew up," you say. "That's what people do."

Your eyes are covered by your palm, but you can hear the squeak of her hands gripping the wheel tightly.

"Not *us*," she snaps. "You and I were supposed to be different." Her voice cracks, and you're reminded of the night she kicked you out of her room. You have nothing to say in response, save two simple words.

"I'm sorry."

For a time, there is only the howl of wind and the light crackle of dust hitting the cruiser's siding. Then, the cruiser lurches into motion--but this time, in reverse. You look over at Tuija as she backs into the culvert she had turned around in a moment ago, then begins heading in the direction of the buried tomb. Her jaw is clenched tightly, and you can see the little muscles in her face working as her teeth grind together. You're afraid to say anything more, lest you undo whatever delicate maneuvering has driven her into actually following your demand.
>>
>>2207420
Except there really wasn't any posturing or manipulation involved--just open honesty with someone who, for some baffling reason, wants to see you succeed. You're still confident in your conviction that truly selfless people can't survive the academy, but perhaps the truth is a bit murkier than you had led yourself to believe.

The academy's instructors taught you that to rely on others is a weakness, but it has been years since you blindly accepted their teachings. They criticize the Jedi for adhering to a philosophy that crumples the minute it comes into contact with the real world... but you would have suffered an excruciating death without Tuija's help.

It was time for you to repay the favor.

"Your Master wants to kill you," you muse aloud. Tuija does a double-take, then slams on the brakes, kicking up a cloud of orange dust that sends you both into a coughing fit.

"What?" she gasps out, waving a hand in front of her face.

"When I asked Harkun about an escort, he didn't want to approve it at first. Then, he agreed... and not-so-subtly hinted that I should use the opportunity to murder you."

For a few moments she simply stares at you with mouth agape, but the dusty air soon has her closing it.

"My Master was there?"

You nod and run a hand over the top of your head. "Pureblood woman, bald head, fancy purple robe..."

Tuija waves her hands and shakes her head. "My future Master is an old *man*--human."

You bite your lip and draw back. If that's the case, you now have no idea *who* that woman was--nor what she wants Tuija dead for. There are many possibilities, but all too vague to put any solid odds on. She could be a rival to Tuija's Master, come to Korriban to strike at him through his Apprentice. You've never heard of such a thing happening, but that type of intrigue is naturally the sort of thing that gets disguised as an accidental death... just like the one they insisted you arrange for Tuija.

"Why do they want me dead?" she exclaims, gesturing wildly at you. You stammer out a response, repeating the thoughts you just had. Tuija doesn't seem to find any of the ideas very convincing, though she does believe you about the order. After a minute of back-and-forth she turns back around, shakes her head, and begins driving again.
>>
>>2207427
"It does not matter," she says. "Whatever the reason, this was their last chance--and it failed." She throws you a weak smile, one you return with uneasy confidence. The two of you drive on, Tuija muttering to herself and huffing in annoyance between furious shakes of the head. After nearly half an hour of that, she gasps in realization and looks over at you.

"Is that why you left on your own?"

You shrug and shake your head. "I don't know."

She doesn't press further. You're fine with letting her think that, at least for now--it's far more noble than the truth.

"Thanks for not letting me *stay* out here on my own." You give her a light slap on the arm with the back of your hand, and she squirms in her seat without responding. "Why *did* you come after me?" you ask her.

A scowl spreads across her face, but you can hardly call it angry--she seems to be deliberately trying to mask some other emotion, one you're afraid to try and sense given recent experiences with that ability.

"Because you are stupid and stubborn, and I knew you would die if I didn't."

You're not in a position to argue with that assessment.
>>
I don't get how she is suddenly our besty that we are supposed to share everything with. When she was first introduced it was more like she was just another student that we had a passing familiarity with. I get that she might have let down a mask a bit now that she is getting out of here but she is talking as if we have always been this way.
>>
>>2207568
Apparently we have more of a history with her than we were originally aware of. To be fair we did vote to make her our friend but we didn't know the true extent of it.
>>
So I feel like part of the issue we've had so far is that we as players don't have the knowledge that the MC does. I don't have any ideas to fix that apart from extensive flashback sequences which are a huge pain in the ass.
>>
>>2207609
>I don't have any ideas to fix that apart from extensive flashback sequences which are a huge pain in the ass.

Kill all of the current cast and give MC a master somewhere else in the galaxy. Duh. This isn't rocket calisthenics.
>>
>>2207434
The next two hours are spent navigating the treacherous roads that snake up and down the rocky labyrinth of mountains and crevices that cover most of Korriban. 'Roads' may be a bit of a generous term, though--they're not smooth, nor straight, and often times they simply end with no warning whatsoever. You track the route on your datapad the whole way, assuring the furiously swearing Twi'lek beside you that the two of you are, indeed, making progress.

Eventually the rocky terrain smooths out, mountains becoming hills before turning into sprawling flatlands dotted only by the odd boulder. Korriban has next to nothing in the way of vegetation, but this is a particularly desolate area--you haven't seen a single animal or plant for half an hour. You glance down at your datapad, and see that you have entered what was once Wrainan valley. You pass many tomb markers, but none has open entrances atop them. That isn't strange, though. There would be no reason for Sith archaeologists to maintain the entrances they dug after the tombs were explored. Without maintenance, whatever tunnels they'd dug had simply filled back up with shifting sand.

"Slow down," you say to Tuija. She does so, and you glance back and forth between the approaching map marker--the final one--and the slowly-undulating hill range in the distance. The ancient map Lord Hostay provided you may not have had your tomb on it, but it *did* have the location of the canyon's terminating point. In your dream, that was right where the cavernous entrance had been. "Let's stop here."

Tuija brings the cruiser to a halt, and you lean over your seat to grab the Echo probe from your backpack.
>>
>>2207692
"That thing will explore?" She points at the spherical droid.

"Yeah." You press a button on the droid, then toss it into the air as it whirrs to life in a frenzy of beeps. "It's synced to my datapad." You pull the tablet computer from your belt, and confirm that you can see what the droid is seeing. Which, right now, is just a black screen. "It'll burrow underground, then map the place with sonar. After that I can find a good spot for it to tunnel out of."

"What if it finds no entrance for us?" Tuija asks.

"That's what the exit tunnel is for." You point at the hovering droid. "It'll use directional sound waves to create a hole big enough for us to walk through."

"Oh," Tuija remarks, but her expression sours. "That will not... break whatever is in there?"

You shrug. "It's not supposed to. And if it's that easy to break, I don't want it."

They keep these droids around for exactly this purpose, so you're not especially worried. You're no expert in the finer points of their use, but you're confident that you can get it in and out of the tomb safely. All that's left to do is send the probe burrowing into the ground somewhere up ahead, where hopefully it will find the chamber you saw in your vision.

Once that's entered and mapped, you can remote control the probe to find a good spot to dig a sloping tunnel upward. If the ground proves to be too loose, there's always the option of a vertical hole--and the rappelling gear in your cruiser. You don't relish that idea, but you also don't want to be buried alive should a diagonally-angled tunnel collapse on you.

Time to send the probe down. Roll me 1d8's--each of the first three posters represents an attempt to find a hollow chamber. 5-8 represents a successful dig, and only one is needed. After three attempts, the ground gets... unstable.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d8)

>>2207703
Strike the earth!
>>
Rolled 8 (1d8)

>>2207703
F
>>
Rolled 3 (1d8)

>>2207703
Show me the Treasure!
>>
>>2207720
Nice!
>>
Keying in some instructions on your datapad, you send the probe out a hundred feet--far enough away to avoid standing atop any collapsing ground, but close enough to stay well within communication distance. The probe flies up into the air, then crashes back down to earth in a dizzying spin. Dirt flies up into the air, and the noise of soil and rock being ground away grows further and further as the probe goes deeper. The seconds tick by, and all the indicators for the probe are still good. It picks up more and more speed, then... stops. For a moment you fear it broke down, but then you realize that it simply completed its task.

You trigger the probe's sonar, then hold your breath as the seconds tick by and you wait for something--anything--to replace the black screen.

Then, you gasp--so does Tuija. A tall hallway begins to take shape, depicted in white wireframe that grows more and more complex as the probe maps the structure it has found. You had been so confident that you would find something, but you can still hardly believe it. You're half-tempted to double-check that you're not standing on top of one of the tombs that have already been mapped, but that's just paranoid self-doubt at work.

"What now?" Tuija says.

You angle the datapad towards her slightly as you begin the delicate task of piloting the probe, working your way down the hall and descending a long flight of stairs. After another stretch of that same passage, you bring the probe to an abrupt halt as you're met with a solid wireframe mesh blocking your path. You trigger the sonar again, expecting it to map a further length of hallway--but there is nothing. The path is blocked.

"A wall?" Tuija wonders.
>>
>>2207878
You shake your head. "A door." Keeping the probe still, you swipe back on the assembled map to look at the earlier portions of the passage. Just before the spot where the probe burrowed in, you see what looks to be a landslide of rock and dirt filling the entire height and width of the hall.

"Can you tunnel through the door?" Tuija asks.

You bite your lip and think. "The probe says it's stone, so I'm sure it can." What you're not certain about is whether doing so will collapse your best way in. The hole the probe dug is deep, and even after that came a stairwell that ran even deeper. There's no telling how much deeper this place runs, and how far beneath ground the final chamber lies. You could bring the probe out and send it down again *past* the door, but that would mean damaging the tomb's integrity further. You had blown off Tuija's concerns, but now they're forefront in your mind.

You could also have the probe dig an entrance for you now, either straight up from below or at an angle. With the former, you would have to rappel down. The latter is a bit less obviously frightening, but carries the risk of a collapsing tunnel--Korriban's ground is notoriously poor for building on. Once in the hallway with your probe, you and Tuija can find a way to deal with the door.

An angled tunnel is dangerous enough at this depth, but will become even moreso if you end up digging into a deeper chamber further ahead. A vertical tunnel carries a more constant risk.

Or, say to hell with the risks and blast the door with the probe. You can make an entrance for yourself before or after.

What do you do?
>>
>>2207883
Make a vertical tunnel. Rapelling, we can handle.
>>
>>2207883
Vertical hole seems like the way to go.
>>
>>2207883
Vertical sounds good.
>>
>>2207883
Vertical as the anons have said
>>
>>2207883
"We can handle one lousy door, right?" You smile at Tuija, who shuffles from foot to foot. She seems even less surprised than you that you actually found something, but far more uneasy about the prospect of delving into it. You would offer to let her keep an eye on the cruiser, but she didn't follow you this far to just kick at the dirt while you uncover Korriban's secrets.

Turning your attention to the datapad, you bring the probe back up the stairs to the spot it had originally burrowed through. There, you trigger its sonic boring protocol. The ground beneath you pulses rhythmically, and a dull hum vibrates your eardrums ever more strongly as the probe rises higher and higher. The sound is nearly unbearable by the time the droid shoots out from the ground in a shower of dirt, and you're certain that you've endured minor hearing damage. At least your assumption about drilling through the same spot being safer proved to be true. Dropping a hundred feet of soil on top of the tomb would have ruined your plans in short order.

You give the trembling ground another minute to settle, then grab the rappelling gear from the cruiser, along with a pack of tomb-diving necessities. You and Tuija pull on your harnesses, awkward-feeling things that dig into your armpits and groin.

"Have you done this before?" Tuija asks.

"I'm sure we'll manage." You attach the pully device to your harness, a small box containing a motor that will move you up and down the rope running through it. One hand squeezes the device to make it go, while your other gloved hand holds onto the rope to steady yourself. You'll work your way down like that that, using your feet to steady yourself on the wall.
>>
>>2209218
"Ready?" You say as you cautiously approach the edge of the hole. You pull out a glowstick from your pocket--more are in your backpack--and crack it before dropping it into the yawning hole beside you. The green light moves steadily downward, bouncing off the rock walls before coming to a stop at the bottom. From up here, you can just barely make out the distinctive look of a cobbled floor, very clearly man-made.

Tuija walks away from the hole, taking the anchor at the end of her rope and swinging it in the air before driving the hook into the ground. She gives it a few good tugs, and it doesn't budge. You do the same and find that yours feels equally sturdy, but you're ever mindful of Korriban's brittle rock and shifting sands. You're facing quite a drop, and you don't want to find yourself in a situation where your anchor gives way.

Your eyes fall on the cruiser you arrived in, and you consider using *that* as an anchor. It's a good three or four thousand pounds, and would certainly support both you and Tuija. You would have to move it closer, though, if you're to have enough rope to descend--closer to the ground your Echo probe just split apart.

Do you anchor on the ground, or the cruiser? The latter is undoubtedly more secure, but you're introducing another unknown element to the mix.
>>
>>2209219
Move it just barely close enough to use as an anchor. Even if it means we have to drop slightly from the rope. I imagine we can use the force to slow our decent if that's the case
>>
>>2209219
Cruiser. It's a risk, but so is using the ground.
>>
Rolled 8 (1d8)

>>2209219
"Hold on," you say to Tuija as you pull your anchor from the ground. "This rock is too loose."

You take her key cylinder from her, then go to to the cruiser and start it. You drive slowly enough that the vehicle just barely skates the ground, and you're careful not to do anything that will unnecessarily disturb the rock below you. You stop the vehicle thirty feet from the hole, doing the mental math and determining that you have enough rope to get you twenty feet from the bottom. Any deeper, and you would have had to put the cruiser right next to the entrance. Twenty feet is quite a drop, but you're confident you can slow your descent with the use of the Force. Such a trick is theoretically possible from an even higher drop, but you don't have anywhere near the confidence in your abilities to attempt such a feat.

With the cruiser's rear bumper pointed at the hole, you and Tuija tie your ropes around it and make your way to the hole.

"Well," you say to Tuija with a shrug. Swallowing hard, you step onto the edge of the precipice and angle yourself back in a slow, controlled fall, then begin walking down the edge of the hole. After a few seconds of that you're staring right up at Korriban's yellow sky, with a hundred foot fall at your backside. A few more steps and you've reached the end of your current allotment of rope. You're ready to start using the harness motor.

Pulling one hand carefully way from the rope, you squeeze the small box on your chest. The buttons on the side press inward, and a soft whirring noise comes as you lurch downward. It takes a few moments to get used to the motion, but then you manage to find the right rhythm as you walk yourself down the wall of rock. The arm holding your rope begins to tire, and halfway down you have to switch hands before it cramps up on you.

"What was that?" Tuija exclaims from a few feet up and to the right. You stop your descent, listening carefully. That's when you hear it--a low rumble, just barely audible now that your motor has gone quiet.

If 5-8, it quickly passes. 1-4, it's more serious than that.
>>
>>2209246
A few stray clumps of dirt fall past you as you wait, but the low rumble you heard soon passes and does not return.

"Let's keep going," you whisper to Tuija. You begin descending faster, partly because you're getting better at this and partly because you really don't want to stay in this position any longer then necessary. After a minute more, you have both reached the ends of your ropes--but you're still far off the ground.

What's surprising is that you're actually outside the tunnel the Probe created, and firmly in the confines of the tomb's entry hall. The corridor is far taller than it is wide, with stone slabs hanging from the ceiling that block your view. Unfortunately, there's nothing to grab onto and clamber down. Just smooth stone on all four sides. Your green glowstick shines below you, but there's a ghostly blue light coming from either direction past that.

"Ok," Tuija says carefully from her position hanging beside you. "How do we do this?"

Well?
>>
>>2209256
Channel for Force and unlock the harness to drop to the ground
>>
>>2209256
Well that's a bit of a drop, i say we use the force to cushion the fall were about to make to get down, hers to if she can't do it.
>>
>>2209256
We'll go first and cushion our landing with the force. If Tuija needs help we can catch her with the force while she cushions herself as well.
>>
>>2209256
"Well, here goes nothing," you say.

Before Tuija can say word, you flash her a devilish smile and unhook your harness. As you hurtle downward you channel the Force, feeling the air rushing past you as you prepare to let out a burst of Force energy through your downward-pointed palms.

1d8, best of 3. 4-8 is a success.
>>
Rolled 7 (1d8)

>>2209274
Rolling
>>
Rolled 5 (1d8)

>>2209274
For the dark side
>>
>>2209279
Nice.
>>
>>2209274
Moments before your feet meet something solid, you drive your gathering power out through your hands, cracking the stone beneath you and throwing you back up into the air. A split-second after that you fall again, though this time only from a few feet up. Staggering uneasily, you find your footing and look up at Tuija still spinning in her harness.

"Why didn't you let me lower you down?" she shrieks, twisting her head from left to right to keep you within view.

You open your mouth to speak, then stop and re-think your answer.

"I didn't want to risk pulling you loose!" you shout up to her. In truth, you simply hadn't considered that option. But it doesn't matter now--you're safe on the ground, and you can lower Tuija down easily. You reach up to her, extending your will towards her and wrapping it around every limb.

"I've got you," you say.

She unhooks her harness, then falls a few feet, yelping in terror before you manage to find your grip once again. You lower her slowly down, and by the time her feet touch the ground she's flailing like a wild animal caught in a net.

"I hate heights!" she gasps out, staggering over to lean on one of the pillars lining the walls.

You point upward. "You couldn't tell me that up there?"

She's too busy gasping for air to respond, her bulging eyes pointed firmly downward. As your own eyes adjust to the dim light of the hallway, you take a look around. The corridor runs off in either direction. To the left is the cave-in you saw on the sonar map. To the right, the stairwell and what you assumed to be a sealed door. You glance at the datapad on your belt, looking to see where you left the Echo probe--only to find it right on top of you. You look up, and see it floating silently above Tuija, just high enough that you hadn't spotted it before.

Do you scare her with the probe? It could be funny.
>>
>>2209285
Nah lets just move on, we have a tomb to explore and ancient power to uncover
>>
>>2209285
Nah
>>
>>2209285
Nah but let's keep the probe with us
>>
>>2209285
"Watch above your head," you say as you move the probe away from Tuija. It's tempting to give her a good scare, but her hand is already dangerously close to the vibrosword hilt at her waist--and the last thing you need is to get your droid sliced in half.

Tuija quickly regains her composure, and you two begin making your way towards the staircase ahead. You crack another glowstick, but you hardly need it. The hallway is lined with thin tubes of blue crystal, which shine more and more brightly the closer you are to them. Thousands of tiny geometric etchings line every square inch of the walls, and you realize that it's not abstract art--it's some far more primitive version of the Sith alphabet, a pictograph script depicting mountains and lightning and caverns in simplistic form. You reach a stairwell and descend further, passing under several sets of carved stone teeth that swallow you up over and over again.

Finally you're back on flat ground, moving down another hallway with the probe trailing silently behind you. As the blue crystal tracks running along the ground brighten, they reveal a wall of featureless stone running straight up into the blackness above. You glance down at your datapad, and see that you're now at the blockage your probe ran into earlier.

"That's not a *door*," Tuija exclaims in frustration.

Tossing your glowstick up, you use the Force to hover it up the wall. Halfway up, you spot something--a huge bronze disc, built into the center of it. You have to step back a bit to get a good look at it, where you see that it's more than a featureless circle. Part of the disc is gone, like someone took a rectangular slice out of it. Beneath that exposed portion are concentric rings of stone, with drawings carved into them. Below those, at the center of the disc, is a fully-exposed circle of stone set out from the rest. The stone is worn with age, but you can just barely make out something carved into it--a circle of linked chains, surrounding a lightning bolt.
>>
File: Untitled-1.png (126 KB, 800x800)
126 KB
126 KB PNG
>>2209429
"I am amazed it has lasted," Tuija says.

Using your free hand, you reach out to touch the disc with the Force. It rattles in place, and you feel the stone rings shift beneath it. Carefully, you twist on one of the rings. It grinds with a horrid screech, but then moves more easily. As you turn it, you see that the exposed drawing has changed. Where there was once a carving of a humanoid figure standing triumphant over another, there is now a drawing of two people... screwing. That's the only way you can describe it.

"Close your eyes," you whisper to Tuija. She snorts dismissively, and you keep turning the stone ring. As you work your way around, you find four more panels after those initial two. A figure with blade in hand, swinging at empty space as another figure watches--practicing, maybe. The next shows the figure standing in front of an assembled row of smaller figures, sword held high. In commanding or threatening fashion, you're not sure. The next panel is simply blank, with only an etched frame around an empty space where there should be a drawing. The final one shows a figure seated with folded legs, resting in peaceful contemplation.

You come back around to the triumphant duelist, then begin twisting the other rings. The remaining five have the same choices, although they become smaller and harder to make out as you work your way to the smallest of the rings.

What do you do?

The center circle has the look and feel of a button, but you're hesitant to touch it until you've thought this through.

Maybe it's best not to play whatever games the tomb's builders had in mind. You could blast through the door with the Echo probe after retreating a good distance back.
>>
>>2209431
Oh fuck not one of these things. Whelp, I give up. I hope another anon can solve this.
>>
>>2209431
It seems like we need to do several things to open it. Let's start with casting force lightning and see if anything happens.
>>
>>2209431
might b a sith code reference

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.

align them right and then push.

Alternatively, look at the bottomg of the claw for the right order.
>>
>>2209453
Yeah you're right. Forget what I said. We need to arrange them in order and break the chain surrounding the lightning bolt to open it.
>>
>>2209453
Good thinking anon. Six panels for Six lines of the Sith Code.
>>
>>2209453
So here's a guess
1. Blank
2. Screwing
3. Training
4. Fighting
5. Victory
6. Meditation
I'm not totally sure but it's a start at least
>>
>>2209463
Alternatively, first we tell her we have to perform an ancient sith fucking ritual in front of it.

After we screw, we just move the circles how they need to be.
>>
>>2209474
This, also make sure to invade her mind again for good measure
>>
>>2209474
>>2209487
No. Fuck off.
>>
>>2209431
Moving the hovering glowstick aside, you draw back your other hand and throw a bolt of Force lightning at the disc. Blue current arcs off of the metal, lashing out at the walls on either side. Satisfied that you delivered a blast sufficient to trigger whatever mechanism might lie hidden beneath, you lower your arm and wait.

Slight wisps of smoke drift off of the singed door, and the smell of burnt air teases at your nostrils--but nothing happens. Looking to your right, you see Tuija glaring up at you with a disapproving expression.

"It's a *Sith* tomb," you say in explanation. She shakes her head and looks back to the door, then begins fiddling with her lekku thoughtfully.
>>
File: 2000px-Achtung.svg.png (80 KB, 2000x1752)
80 KB
80 KB PNG
>>2209431
>>2209453
>>2209463
I fucked up with my explanation. There's five concentric rings, but six options. Five of those options are drawings. One is a blank.
>>
>>2209506
uhh.... okay
1. a figure seated with folded legs, resting in peaceful contemplation.
2. a drawing of two people... screwing
3. A figure with blade in hand, swinging at empty space as another figure watches
4. The next shows the figure standing in front of an assembled row of smaller figures, sword held high
5. carving of a humanoid figure standing triumphant over another
we may need to switch the last two though. this is the best I can do. Ask Tuija what she thinks as well.
>>
>>2209526
This seems pretty solid, my support
>>
>>2209492
"Any ideas?" you say to Tuija.

She hums to herself, then nods.

"It is a Sith tomb," she says, echoing your earlier statement. "It is asking us what is most essential to our Order." She thrusts her hands out and begins sliding the rings into position so that each one shows the same victorious warrior standing over a defeated opponent.

"Hey, hey!" You grab her hands and lower them down before she can press what you're still fairly certain is a button. "Let's think this through, alright?" You look back to the door. "It's the Sith Code, right? The peaceful meditator, the passionate couple..."

Tuija gasps in realization, then swallows. "Yes. I know."

You roll your eyes and continue on. "But there are five rings, and six possibilities."

"Six?" she asks. You rotate two of the rings, showing the blank portions. "That is nothing," she says in response to your demonstration.

"It's an *option*," you shoot back. The rings are carved in such a manner that the empty portions seems deliberate, and the way the ring catches on that spot just as it does with the drawings leads you to believe you're meant to consider it.
>>
>>2209625
Okay, put the empty one first to signify that there's no peace. Leave out the meditating dude.
>>
>>2209664
Was about to say the same, lets do this
>>
>>2209664
I'll have to agree with this one.
>>
>>2209625
You reach out to the outermost ring and rotate it until the empty panel is displayed.

"Peace is a lie, right?" you say to Tuija.

She remains silent, and you continue working your way inward, aligning the passionate lovers above the practicing duelist. Then comes the commanding figure, and finally the triumphant warrior. After that final ring notches into place, you lower your arm slightly and push on the central stone circle, the button depicting a lightning bolt wrapped in chains. It slides inward, but you meet some sort of resistance, as if you're compressing air behind the stone.

The pressure grows, and within a few seconds it's too much to push back against. The stone circle slides out its socket with a grinding noise, then falls from its socket and slams into the ground, shattering to pieces. You drop your glowstick, leaping back in surprise and hovering your hand over your vibrosword hilt.

You're certain you've triggered some trap. The hallway shakes, and then you see the wall before you begin to move. Lifting up the fallen glowstick with the Force, you see that the entire surface is sliding down into the floor.

"It *was* a door," Tuija remarks.

The two of you stand there as the barrier continues its slow, rumbling descent, but you are put on your guard again when something white peaks out over the edge of the retracting stone block. A huge skull, several times the size of a human's, rolls over the top of the door and smashes to bits on the ground. A few seconds later, the rest of the skeleton follows suit.

"What in the Emperor's..." you mutter, stepping closer as the door settles fully into its slot in the floor. The skeleton isn't human--that much is obvious from its sheer size. Carefully stepping over the cracked stone and piled bones, you make your way into the next chamber.

It's exactly as you saw it in your dream--only far quieter. Endless rows of sarcophagi stand on either side of you, flanking a central aisle lit by the same blue crystal that lined the hallways. At the other end of the room, towering over it all, is a huge statue of a robed woman, seated with crossed legs and hands clasped in her lap.

You and Tuija continue on, walking past even more of the skeletons--none anywhere near human-sized, and most lying next to large spears. You think back to your dream, and the red-skinned brute that had driven you into a sarcophagus. Did they get buried along with the people they entombed here? It's one of several things you would like to ask the stone woman ahead of you--but she lived and died a few thousand years too early for you to inquire. The other thing you're wondering--besides her name--is why a meditating woman is featured so prominently after the cute little door puzzle that deliberately excluded such an act.
>>
>>2209874
"It's a Sith," Tuija whispers up to you, keeping her voice low. This tomb has not seen another living soul in millennia, and you allow yourself a healthy amount of superstitious caution. You're going grave robbing, but you can at least do so respectfully.

As you draw closer to the statue, you see that Tuija is right. The hooded statue's jawline is lined with the fleshy tentacles seen on pureblood Sith. Which, considering where you are, is not at all strange. Back when this woman lived, members of the Sith order were almost exclusively some combination of human and the red-skinned Sith species. A Twi'lek Sith would have been an absurdity, and they probably hadn't even *heard* of the Zeltron species at the time.

"What is that?" Just ahead of you, Tuija points up at the statue's face. You're not sure what she's talking about until you make it to her side, where you see that there is part of a face carved under the statue's raised hood. Where the statue's left iris should be, something glows a faint red. You hover up another glowstick to get a better look at it, and see that a webwork of silver runs across the smooth red surface of the thing.

What do you do?

The tomb is a masterwork of architecture, but you didn't see anything of obvious value on your walk through it. It's possible some of the entombed people were carrying valuables, but you don't have much use for mythra rings and necklaces. You need recognition, not credits.
>>
>>2209882
First let's check the sarcophagus that we were sealed in during our dream, just in case.
>>
>>2209897
I'll second this, but we should also look at the statue's left iris.
>>
>>2209897
This first
>>
>>2209882
"I need to check something," you say to Tuija. She nods absent-mindedly, eyes still focused on the glinting orb above. Re-tracing your path, you try to find the sarcophagus your dream self was imprisoned in. There had to be a reason you saw the tomb through *that* person's eyes, and you wanted to know what it was.

You stop a few times, working your way back and forth as you try to recall which row your tomb was in. It was on the right side of the central aisle, but that's about all you can remember. The experiences of the dream are as clear in your mind as ever, but your senses had been gripped by utter terror during the experience. That gut-wrenching despair is what you remember, not which row of identical sarcophagi you ended up in. Every row looks the same, and you could spend hours cracking open every sarcophagus.

Although you're not working with much of a time constraint--maybe you'll do exactly that.

As you turn back to the meditating statue, you hear a rattling noise coming from its head. Tuija has her arm extended upwards, her fingers wiggling back and forth as she pulls on something above her. The rattling stops, and Tuija draws back her arm with a satisfied grunt as a red & silver sphere the size of her head drifts down towards her.

What do you do?
>>
>>2209942
Ask her to let us see it. This was kind of our little project and we need it to be recognized by a master as a worthy student.
>>
>>2209942
Begin opening sarcophagus, but watch our back.
>>
>>2209942
Eh we had a change to grab the thing first.
>Go see the orb with Tuija
>>
>>2209942
>Oi, Don't be looting yet.
>>
>>2209945
We should probably do this, and open the sarcophagus afterwards.
>>
>>2209942
"Hey!" you shout out. Tuija jerks in place and spins around. The orb goes into a freefall, but Tuija drops to her knees and catches it just before it smashes to the ground. Breathing a sigh of relief and whispering a silent thanks for her quick reflexes, you walk towards her. As Tuija rises, you notice the horrified expression on her face--and then you see why.

The object in her hands is not an orb at all--it just looked that way from the back. It's shaped like a humanoid skull, made of a cloudy crimson material and covered in criss-crossing bands of silvery metal. The inside consists of an impossibly complex mesh of intersecting lines, like a thousand spiderwebs overlaid on one another. Parts of the network pulse with an eerie red light, as if you're looking at some fantastic depiction of a living brain. Tuija pulls her eyes up from the skull, meeting your gaze with a terrified look on her face. She's not a squeamish person, and you can't explain what has her so worked up.

"Let me see it." You start towards her with your hand outstretched, but Tuija stumbles back and holds the skull under her armpit.

"No," she mumbles, shaking her head furiously. Her eyes dart every which way in a sheer panic, then stop on the central aisle.

"Someone is coming!" she hisses, pointing towards the doorway you originally came through. "We *need* to hide," she pleads with you, her voice and expression full of desperation.

What do you do?

>Follow whatever odd instinct she's acting on. Hide with her.
>She's gone mad. Pull the skull into your hands with the Force.
>Use the Force to throw the skull across the room. It looks delicate, and could break.
>Draw your sword and threaten her for it.
>Try to talk her into giving it to you.
>>
>>2210094

>Follow whatever odd instinct she's acting on. Hide with her.
>>
>>2210094
>Try to talk her into giving it to you.
Okay, Tuija is officially worst girl. Stealing our mindfuck sith artifacts and shit. Not cool. We need that thing. We didn't do all this shit just for her to gain from it.
>>
>>2210094
>Follow whatever odd instinct she's acting on. Hide with her.
Whatever dude. It's bullshit that she would take the artifact. We shouldn't have to clearly specify for her not to take it. Yes I'm mad.
>>
>>2210118
>We trust Tuija totally, she saved our life. Tell her everything
>Go check the sarcophagus first, we'll do the eye thing later
>Don't grab the eye out of mid-air, just go ask to let us see it
>why did you let her take the eye?

what do you people want from me
>>
>>2210147
Don't worry man, it's just a few people jostling you. It happens.

>>2210094
>Follow whatever odd instinct she's acting on. Hide with her.
>>
>>2210147
Here's my take. So I wanted to check the sarcophagus first because I thought there must be some reason we had a vision from that perspective, but apparently that was a bust. I figured that taking the eye out would trigger something, so we should check everything else out first. I assumed that Tuija would join us in checking the sarcophagus and know not to fuck with obvious sith artifacts in a sith mausoleum since she's only here to help us. Then I expected us to just calmly ask to see it because it's ours by right and instead we yelled at her for no reason and startled her, getting us into this shitshow. Maybe I'm butthurt for no good reason so I apologize but right now it seems like you're just fucking us over regardless of how we vote
>>
>>2210177
>instead we yelled at her for no reason and startled her, getting us into this shitshow.

Honestly, that bit didn't change anything. I just wanted to throw in the one anon's suggestion for flavor since it fit with the most popular choice.

>>2209966
>>Oi, Don't be looting yet.
>>
>>2210177
It's possible the thing his messing with her, hard to resist whispers in your head.

>>2210094
She's probably crazy, but

>Follow whatever odd instinct she's acting on. Hide with her.

At least until we can reliably prove no one's coming.
>>
>>2210190
To be fair that was a very calm oi, at least the way I read it. Sorry for venting but it's frustrating when it seems like we're being punished for not playing out the scene exactly how you had envisioned it originally. I'm still really liking the quest overall so I'll calm down and shut up now.
>>
>>2210206
Reluctantly, you turn around and jog away from the center aisle, into the space between the first two rows of sarcophagi. Tuija quickly follows, drawing her sword with her right hand as she runs. You do so as well, letting her lead the way towards the back of the room through the forest of stone tombs.

"What--" you start to say, but Tuija hisses and shoot a sharp glare back at you. She slows down, and the two of you tip-toe your way along. After a few moments of that, both of you crouch down, and Tuija shifts the skull behind her back. Why she hasn't set it down yet, you're not sure. Its red glow is distinctive enough to draw the attention of whoever she sensed coming--a presence you now feel, though very weakly.

Most Force powers are taught, but there is one that all Force-sensitives are born with--an intuitive feeling for others who are strong in the Force. It can be honed, yes, but the ability is innate. A rising tingle in your back has you peaking around Tuija, towards the bone-littered doorway that she watches in rapturous attention.

Then, you hear it--the echo of footsteps and the shifting of debris coming from the doorway. A bone skitters down the central path, and four sword-wielding figures enter from the hallway. You recognize the leftmost one first--Shassanis. The tall Falleen trails well behind the other three, moving with a hesitance that has the second figure urging him forward. The other two intruders--one man and one woman--both look human. You can't see their faces, but soon they've walked far enough into the room for you to hear their voices--one of which you recognize.

It's Loman.

"Fan out," he says, gesturing to the sarcophagi. The man goes to the left, disappearing into the same field of tombs you and Tuija are crouched in. The woman goes right, moving far away from you. Shassanis continues to trail at a good distance, anxiously waving his sword up and down in the air as he glances from side to side.

Who do you engage first?

Getting to Shassanis is impossible without exposing yourself to Loman or running straight into the other man... wherever he is at the moment. You can't pursue the woman across the aisle without drawing the attention of both Loman and Shassanis, which would leave you dangerously outnumbered.

>Loman
>The man searching your rows of sarcophagi
>Wait for Tuija to make her move, then attack her target
>Wait for Tuija to make her move, then attack the other one

>Optional: Grab the skull first. Tuija is going to get you both killed if she insists on fighting one-handed.
>>
>>2210293
>Grab the skull first. Tuija is going to get you both killed if she insists on fighting one-handed.
Conceal it in our pack to hide the glow
>The man searching your rows of sarcophagi
Catch him by surprise as he approaches our hiding spot
>>
>>2210312
Do we actually have a pack on right now OP?
>>
>>2210293
>>2210352
>Do we actually have a pack on right now OP?

As you watch the approaching pair, you slide your pack off and quietly set it onto the ground. If Tuija notices, she pays it no mind.
>>
>>2210312
Okay, this.
>>
>>2210312
We should take one out by surprise.
>>
>>2210293
Going for the man searching the sarcophagi is your best bet. Tuija seems firmly focused on Loman and Shassanis, and there's a chance you can take out your target without the other three intruders even noticing. Your only worry is the artifact in Tuija's hand--she seems determined to fight while still holding onto it. You're not sure what strange hold it has over her, but that's a matter for later.

For now, you need to focus on winning this fight of 2 against 4--and that means making sure Tuija isn't fighting one-handed. Still crouched low, you slowly lean forward, then snatch the skull from behind Tuija's back. She spins around as you do, silently grasping for it, but you're too fast. As you swivel about to turn towards the backpack beside you, you freeze.

And not intentionally. It's as if every muscle in your body seizes up at once, though not in a painful way. They just... stop working. You can't move your eyes. You can't even *breath*. As you near the point of panic, you notice Tuija's outstretched hand just at the edge of your vision. Her fingers are extended towards the skull, but she's not moving. Nothing is. The tomb had been quiet before, but only now do you realize what true silence is. All of the tiny noises have disappeared--the crack of expanding and contracting stone floor slabs, the faint howl of wind, the sound of your own breath. All gone.

Then, you see movement from up ahead, among the sarcophagi. At first you fear that the man searching for you is somehow doing this, but it's not him. This figure is wearing a long robe that dusts the ground behind its feet. You can't look up to see its face, and the figure continues walking forward, then stops a few feet in front of you and crouches down.

That's when you come face-to-face with the tentacled visage of the Sith woman from the academy. She wears the same purple robe as before, and her gold epaulets glitter in the red light of the skull held between you two.

"I wouldn't put that away just yet." She gives the artifact a light tap.

You continue to stare at her blankly, your frozen face betraying none of the shock and confusion whirling inside of your mind.

"Oh!" she exclaims, her mouth going wide in realization. "This is our first time meeting in person." Her smile broadens, and she holds a bejeweled hand to her chest. "I am Darth Sebuk."
>>
>>2210611
A thousand questions run through your mind, but you can ask none of them.

"There's only *one* question you need to be asking yourself." Sebuk grabs your chin between her thumb and index finger, pushing from side to side with an all-too-real pressure. "What will you do to survive this?"

You force down the many thoughts bubbling to the surface of your mind, allowing only a single one to slip through--Tuija. Sebuk seems to perceive this, somehow, and points to the Twi'lek.

"What sort of Sith are you, worrying about the welfare of another at a time like this?" She scoffs and rolls her eyes, then leans forward and grinds a finger into your forehead. "No matter. If you want the power to save yourself--*and* that girl--you will let me into that head of yours."

Sebuk rocks back onto her heels, then stands up so that you're once again facing the bottom of her robe.

"When the time comes, beg for my help." She turns around and leaves, disappearing behind one of the many sarcophagi ahead of you. "And you *will* need it," comes a low whisper from all around you.

Tuija's outstretched hand shoots past the skull, giving the stone ground a quiet smack as she nearly falls flat on her face. She peers up at you desperately, and you're sure that you wear the same horrified expression she did a short time ago. Pushing herself back to her feet, Tuija gives one last look at the skull before turning her attention back to Loman and Shassanis. Despite the length of your conversation with Sebuk, they haven't moved more than a few steps.

It's time to make your move. Do you put the skull in your pack before going after the man in the rows of sarcophagi? You won't have immediate access to it, but you can try to make a retreat for it at any stage of the fight.

If you do carry the skull, you'll wield your vibrosword one-handed. That will affect combat rolls negatively, but not necessarily other opportunities that may prevent themselves.

As for the power the ghastly apparition promised you... there's no telling what that means. Nor do you know at what cost it will come.
>>
>>2210616
Do we need to be holding the skull to receive her help if we need it?
>>
>>2210646
>Do we need to be holding the skull to receive her help if we need it?

Yes
>>
>>2210616
Keep the skull. Catch the sith by surprise as he rounds the corner of the sarcophagus we're hiding behind with a stab to the throat
>>
>>2210616
We should shove the skull in our pack for now, and keep moving forward.
>>
>>2210616
Skull in our pack for now
>>
I admire your optimism guys but Loman already beat us easily one on one and he has three friends this time.
>>
>>2210800
>Beat us easily
LIES.
>>
>>2210800
That's because we went straight for Juyo, instead of appropriately handling the situation. This time around, we're going a touch more tactical.
>>
>>2210800
I mean "easily" is a pretty huge exaggeration. It's been clearly stated that we are equal in sabre skill. We just fucked that fight up. Not only that but we are trying to take them down one on one, it's been clearly established that we are avoiding a group fight...
>>
>>2210616
>put the skull away
We don't really want sith master with her own goals into our head

There are spears lying around that we can use for one or two force tricks...if they don't turn to dust from touch.
And then there is the droid that can be used for distraction or maybe even kill one of them, if put in mining mode
>>
>>2211521
We also have our own weapon
>>
>>2210616
Fuck you OP. We can do this without your plothook!
>Put the skull in bag.
After we win this and get mad kudos from our sith bros we can put her skull on our dresser so she can impotently watch Tuija rail a different student every night on our bed while we jack off in the corner.
>>
>>2210616
You tap Tuija on the shoulder, then place the skull in your pack while giving her a warning shake of the head. She swallows and nods, seeming to understand#and now you do, too. She had likely been given the same offer, and wanted to keep the option close at hand... in the most literal sense.

But its not an offer youre willing to consider yet. Youre not about to let this woman--whatever she is--into your head on the vague promise of power. She herself once told you that strength does not become power unless it is controlled. What control would you have left with some malicious spirit flitting about inside your skull?

You signal for Tuija to wait until you make your move, then stand up. Gripping your sword with both hands, you begin moving through the rows of sarcophagi in search of the man doing the same. The soft clink of metal against stone comes from up ahead, and you duck behind one of the standing tombs. Peaking around it, you see the man swearing in frustration as he works his way perpindicular to you. He must have caught his sword on the stone, something you will have to consider when fighting in this confined space.

>Try and tip a Sarcophagus on top of him. Success would kill or cripple him, but even a failure is guaranteed to alert your other three enemies.
>Ambush him with your blade. A failure will likely mean him calling for help, but it would take more time for the other three to find you two and come to his aid.
>Use the Echo probe hovering silently behind you in a targeted attack. Ancient tombs aren't exactly structurally sound, though, and this could backfire in unexpected ways.
>>
>>2211721
>Ambush him with your blade. A failure will likely mean him calling for help, but it would take more time for the other three to find you two and come to his aid.
>>
>>2211721
How about we force grip him by the throat and have Tuija finish him with her blade?
>>
>>2211721
>>Ambush him with your blade. A failure will likely mean him calling for help, but it would take more time for the other three to find you two and come to his aid.

OR

>>2211726
Because that's a great idea, especially if he can't scream
>>
>>2211721
Careful not to let your enemy see or hear you, you backtrack far enough to get within sight of Tuija. Gesturing quietly, you wave her towards you and point to your lone enemy. She follows, leaving the pack behind.

With careful pantomiming, you hold your hand around your throat, point to the man she knows is there somewhere, and then point to her blade. She nods, and you two continue on. Loman and Shassanis walk past you unawares, moving faster than their fellow.

You and Tuija stop, waiting for the telltale footsteps of the other man. When they come, you dart out from around the edge of a sarcophagus with your free hand stretched out in preparation. Tuija goes the other direction, running at him with her sword poised.

Give me 2d10. First for your Force choke, second for Tuija's strike. Best of 3. 4+ represents a success. Best rolls can come from separate posts.
>>
Rolled 10, 3 = 13 (2d10)

>>2211737
>>
Rolled 2 (1d10)

>>2211737
Time to roll!
>>
>>2211744
You gotta roll 2d10
>>
Rolled 2, 7 = 9 (2d10)

>>2211737
Can I re-roll? Ignore or take my first roll if yoy see fit
>>
>>2211737
The only lighting around you is the dim blue glow of the floor lights to your right, but you can see just well enough to make out your opponent's neck. You reach out with the Force, putting him in a tight hold and lifting him just off of his feet. The choke won't last long--any trained Force user is adept at pushing away any attempts to affect their own body with the Force. It's why duels between Sith and Jedi come down to lightsabers, and aren't simply tests of who can break who's neck first.

But your hold doesn't have to last long--just long enough for him to drop his guard. His hands shoot up to his neck in reflex, and Tuija is on him in the blink of an eye. She drives her blade into his stomach, and you quickly re-assert your grip on your foe's neck before he can scream in agony. This time it's easier to maintain, and you keep the chokehold on him until Tuija withdraws her blade and you can lower his body down to the floor.

The attack was nearly silent, and you don't seem to have alerted the other three. You've lost sight of Loman and Shassanis, but it's likely that they've reached the front of the room by now. As for the woman, you can only guess she's still across the aisle searching the sarcophagi.

What's your next move?

You've still got the probe and Tuija by your side.
>>
>>2211764
>keep the droid ready and wait in shadows for them to come back

I'd say we use our droid in next attack, that way we still stay hidden and can surprise them.

How we can use the probe as a weapon?
Can we set it to drill an person or an spot behind them to kill someone?
Or is causing an cave in safer bet?
>>
>>2211784
>Can we set it to drill an person or an spot behind them to kill someone?

The droid can be used to distract, or used to drill up or down on them. It's far from a certain kill, though. Drilling down bores only a small hole, and you would have to target your enemy by sight. Drilling up creates a larger area of falling debris, but risks bringing some of that debris down on your head as well. This is an ancient tomb of questionable integrity, after all.
>>
>>2211764
Send the drill back toward the entrance we used and have it make noise as a distraction.
>>
>>2211764
The woman's on her own so she should be out next target
>>
>>2211788
That clears things up.
>wait untill we see them
>drop debris on top of them with droid
>once our enemies focus on dodging the falling debris, Tuija should force throw spears and whatever she can find at em.

Unless someone has better plan...ofc we could just run and bury them in tomb for giggles
>>
>>2211803
Be a tie-breaker and vote for distraction or dropping debris on em.
I am fine with either plan, just thinking that we could cripple one or two of em with surprise attack now.
>>
>>2211843
Maybe try to collapse some debris on loman and Shassanis then. Then have a look at the sarcophagus that we got trapped in when the girl goes to look at what happened
>>
Rolled 10, 6 = 16 (2d10)

>>2211788
With your first opponent dead, you and Tuija creep back up the rows of sarcophagi, moving quickly but quietly to catch up to Loman and Shassanis. Once again nearing the front of the room, you see the two initiates standing beneath the hung head of the meditating Sith statue. They likely think to protect their backsides from a sneak attack, but they've made it all the more easier for you. The ceiling is high enough above you that they would have ample time to dodge falling debris, but the statue's head is only a few dozen feet above them.

As you look to the datapad on your belt and begin piloting the Echo probe up into the air and towards the waiting pair, a shout comes from up ahead.

"Reima!" Loman says, his voice echoing around the stone hall. "Fanus!"

A second later, a shout comes from the other set of sarcophagi where the woman is searching.

"Nothing!" she yells in reply.

Presumably wondering why their other comrade has went silent, Loman and Shassanis look in your direction just as your droid flits towards them--and they spot it.

The probe is small, and difficult for them to intercept. Each will try to grab it with the Force, and a roll of 1-3 represents a success on their part.
>>
>>2211897
Did they ever even learn how to use the Force? Amateurs.
>>
Rolled 5, 4 = 9 (2d10)

>>2211897
Both students are strong in the Force, but neither is quick enough to catch the probe. Or maybe you're better at piloting this thing then you thought. In either case, the probe zips down the aisle and comes to a stop above their heads. The instant it does so, you trigger the exit protocol on the droid, sending it hurtling straight up with a furious roar that puts a ringing in your ears. It smashes through the statue's downward-facing head, shattering it into Tuk'ata-sized chunks that rain down on Loman and Shassanis.

They might not have been able to stop your probe with the Force, but hurtling themselves to safety is a simpler task. Loman and Shassanis get first and second roll, respectively. If 1-3, they dodge the debris. If 4-5, they are wounded enough to have difficulty in the ensuing fight.
>>
>>2211912
The young man and Falleen fling themselves to the left and right respectively, throwing themselves to a distance you can only attribute to use of their Force powers. The stone chunks of the statue smash to the ground between the two, and for a moment your blood runs cold--they avoided it completely. Then you spot the debris raining down from the ceiling, torso-sized chunks of stone and rock that rain down over a much greater area. One such chunk lands on Shassanis' left elbow, crushing it and drawing a scream from the Falleen. Small debris rains down on Loman, but as he staggers away from the danger zone you see a fist-sized chunk smack him in the back of the head and send him stumbling down the center aisle towards your position.

What do you do?

Loman's disorientation might not last for long. The Falleen, on the other hand, is nearly crippled. Tuija will follow your direction.
>>
>>2211929
Loman first, hit him aggressively while he's disoriented
>>
>>2211929
Is debris still falling? If so hit him with lightning. Otherwise attack with melee. Where is Reima?
>>
>>2211956
>Where is Reima?

Reima is still out of sight, but presumably making her way to the very clear sounds of destruction just ahead of you.

Debris is no longer falling to any dangerous degree.
>>
>>2211929
Attack Loman together, quickly and brutally giving him no chance to respond
>>
>>2211962
This, better cut one down before Reima joins the fight
>>
>>2211929
"Get Loman!" you shout to Tuija as you launch yourself towards him, sword drawn. There's no time to signal your intentions silently, and they already know you're here and roughly where you are--the path the probe took was clue enough.

Loman is leaning on his knees, sword held in one hand, his hair a mess and back heaving with labored breaths. He looks up at you as you charge, his face white as a sheet and his mouth falling further open than it already had.

Just past him, in the corner of your vision, you spot the woman--Reima, he called her--dashing out from behind the first row of sarcophagi on your left. She's moving fast, and will be on you shortly.

Do you strike aggressively, or conservatively? Tuija is charging alongside you, and opening up with an aggressive attack could hinder her own strikes. On the other hand, it could smash right through Loman's defenses. If you strike conservatively, you will still be advantaged by Loman's stunned state, but not to the same degree. Tuija's own attack will also enjoy that advantage.
>>
>>2211984
Conservatively. Let's not trip up our ally.
>>
>>2211984
Conservatively
>>
>>2211984
Use the force to further restrict his movements while keeping close to Tuji to not get caught up alone by Reima
>>
>>2211984
The sight of Loman's terrified expression has you wanting to deliver a heavy slash right at his neck, but you need to play this smart. Tightening your guard, you close the rest of the distance and hope that Tuija is smart enough to play this as carefully as you are. There's still two more enemies ahead, and you and Tuija can't afford to get in each other's way.

Roll me 2d10 for you and Tuija's strikes. Loman's stunned condition will add +2 to each result. A final total of 6+ from either roll will land a lethal blow.
>>
Rolled 7, 7 = 14 (2d10)

>>2212032
>>
>>2212036
>>2212032
Lets go higher!
>>
Rolled 9, 2 = 11 (2d10)

>>2212045
Where is my roll
>>
Rolled 9 (1d10)

>>2212032
You expect Loman to recover his senses and managed to block either you or Tuija--maybe he will swipe away your thrust at his stomach, leaving his side exposed for Tuija. Instead, he tries to accomplish both at once, delivering a broad swing at you and Tuija's outstretched blades--but he's too early. He leaves himself wide open, and your blade sinks into his gut just as Tuija impales his shoulder. Loman gasps and sputters, blood spilling from his mouth as his sword clatters to the ground. Next come his knees, smacking to the floor seconds after you and Tuija withdraw your blades from him.

Reima stops running at you and changes direction, racing over to the Falleen at the end of the aisle. He's managed to push himself onto his right arm, though the left dangles against the ground uselessly. Reima kneels down beside him and whispers something into his ear, then tries to help him up as you and Tuija charge the pair.

If 6+, Shassanis panics.
>>
>>2212056
Just as you near the rising pair, Shassanis uses his good arm to drive his vibrosword into Reima's stomach. She stumbles backward, taking his blade with her--and Shassanis makes no attempt to recover it. He turns to face you and falls to his knees, grasping his injured arm with the other as he looks at you with a pleading expression.

"I didn't want to do this!" he says, his voice full of pained emotion. "Harkun put Loman up to it. I thought they would kill me if I said no!"

Tuija stops beside him and holds her sword ready, a furious expression on her face. She's never liked the man, though she *also* never seriously indicated a desire to kill him. Now, she seems ready to do exactly that.

What do you do?
>>
>>2212070
We're sith, kill him
>>
>>2212070
Leave him alive, we are both going to be stuck at the academy and if we go back alone Harkun can just say we went and butchered our classmates. Hopefully with Shassanis there he will keep silent or come up with something more realistic.
But he certainly isn't forgiven.
>>
>>2212109
This is actually better
>>
>>2212081
Being sith also means being smart

Harkun is next to untouchable...we could try to take Shassanis to Harkus superior, to prove that Harkun is ordering students to murder each others....but that is a long shot. Not worth the trouble.

Other option would be to look heroic, by "saving" Shassanis from what ever monster killed the rest of them...carries some risks too thou.

I quess I'll agree to mercy kill him, unless some anon can think up an plan how we win by letting him live.
>>
>>2212109
Good point
>hold Tuija back and spare him
He will prove that we found an new tomb and his allies died in an accident
>>
We could use our mind powers and turn Shassanis anger towards Harkun or positive emotions towards us for sparing him, more likely to help us later.
>>
>>2212070
"Wait!" you say to Tuija as she prepares to deliver a strike to the Falleen's exposed neck. She stops short and eyes you impatiently as you kneel in front of Shassanis.

"Harkun is the only one who knows why you're here, right?" you ask him. He looks around at his fallen comrades, then hangs his head and nods.

"Then as far as everyone else is concerned, you were sent to come find two wayward students." You give his broken arm a friendly slap, making him clench his teeth in pain. "Too bad about the other three being eaten by Tuk'ata."

"What?" Tuija exclaims, glaring down at you with her sword still at the ready.

You look up at her, speaking slowly and deliberately. "These four were ambushed by Tuk'ata in the wildlands when they stopped to take a piss. The other three got dragged off, and Shassanis continued *here* to find us." In a normal school, you and Tuija might be blamed for the deaths of the other three--but that wasn't how the Sith worked. If they were too weak to survive, that was on them and them alone.

"You cannot be serious!" she exclaims.

You frown up at her. "This will send a message to Harkun not to mess with us."

Tuija snorts, drawing back her sword for a thrust at the Falleen's exposed back.

"I have a simpler message," she says.

If 5+, she fails to strike him.
>>
>>2212255
Meant to call for 1d10 rolls. Best out of 3.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d10)

>>2212255
It really would be easier to just kill him. How could we trust him?
>>
Rolled 4 (1d10)

>>2212255
>>
Rolled 5 (1d10)

>>2212255
>>2212258
>>
Rolled 4 (1d100)

>>2212258
>>
Rolled 10 (1d10)

>>2212255
Hey look, a murder.
>>
>>2212325
Shassanis saved by the slightest of margins.
>>
>>2212255
A split-second before the tip of Tuija's blade reaches Shassanis' back, you grab him by his arms and throw him to the side, landing atop the groaning Falleen as Tuija stands over you two.

"What are you doing?" you exclaim.

"What are *you* doing?" she shoots back. "You think, what... this man is your friend?"

"He can be an *ally*," you say as you rise to your feet. "Three students are dead, and the instructors are going to want to know why."

"Let them wonder!" she thrusts a finger at the prone Falleen. "You and I are allies. There is no such thing as *half* an ally. This snake will stab you in the back the first chance he gets."

You spare a glance over at Shassanis to see how he reacts to that, but he barely look conscious. His eyes are half-closed, and every breath is accompanied by a rasping grunt.

"Go get your treasure," she snaps at you. "I will watch him."

You're hesitant to put her on guard duty seconds after she tried to execute your prisoner, but you're not in a position to argue. If she's still determined to kill him, there's not much you can do to stop her--not without coming to blows, at least. And you're certainly not going up against Tuija for Shassanis' sake. Backtracking through the central aisle, you locate your backpack and confirm that the glowing red skull is still sitting securely among the ration packs and glowsticks you had packed.
>>
>>2212407
"Bravo!" comes a woman's voice from behind you. You turn to see Darth Sebuk walking towards you from the other set of sarcophagi, giving a slow clap as she walks. "I didn't think you could do it without me." She sighs and idly waves a hand through the air. "But... I suppose you did."

Stopping in front of you, Sebuk lays a hand on your shoulder. At first it feels real, but as you focus on the weight and warmth of her hand, you find them... lacking. The more attention you pay to it, the greater your sense that this Sith is more like a desert mirage than a flesh-and-blood woman.

"Only because your enemies were so weak!" she continues, casting her other hand out at Loman's body crumpled in the aisle. "You will face greater threats than this. Imagine what I could teach you!" She searches your eyes for a response, but a shout from Tuija draws your attention to the front of the room.

"What are you doing?" she yells, her eyes pointed right at you. She doesn't seem to see what you do.

"Don't worry," the Sith whispers. "You don't have to decide now." She peaks around you at the backpack slung over your shoulder. "Just take that with you, and think it over." She steps back, giving a smiling wave before vanishing into the darkness behind her. You're left with a cold chill on the shoulder she touched you, a sensation that feels far more real than the warmth you felt a moment ago. You shake it off and go back to Tuija, then haul Shassanis to his feet. Your excavation probe hovers dutifully behind you--you can hardly believe it survived all this.

Do you want to do anything before departing? You could leave the skull, crush it, or have Shassanis carry it. It's heavy, after all. You never did get to look in any of the tombs--maybe there are valuables inside.
>>
>>2212413
Let's keep the skull in our own pack and search a few of the sarcophagi in the general area we remember being locked in during our dream
>>
You know what'd be cool? Having a personal droid. Maybe we can upgrade our probe a bunch to give it basic intelligence if we have the capability to do so.
>>
>>2212413
>Keep the skull and keep looking for loot.
>>
>>2212428
Pretty much this.

Also we better decided now, what we ultimately want to do with the skull. As now would be the easiest moment to get rid of it for good.

I doubt anyone wants to become apprentice to the ghost, that would just use our body for her own needs.

Making an deal, with either the Sith in skull or selling the skull to some Sith master could work I quess...but if we don't want to do that either, we better just leave it here.
>>
>>2212520
I think she could be a valuable resource for training without letting her mindfuck us. The only questions are why she chose us to find her tomb and what she wants from us.
>>
>>2212508
>>2212428
I figure we should keep the skull and keep looking for loot. Who knows if it'll come in useful or not.

>>2212489
I figure it's way too early for such things, and if we get a Master we can look into getting a proper combat droid.

>>2212567
So, I'm going to invoke my own personal quest knowledge and say letting Sebuk into our mind would be a terrible idea. It's like Banished Quest and the Mask all over again. We should keep the skull, but not use it yet.
>>
>>2212413
Halfway down the central aisle, you stop.

"Hold on." You set Shassanis down against one of the sarcophagi and leave Tuija to watch him.

"You are kidding!" she shouts as you disappear among the rows. She's clearly more than ready to get out of here, but you still have some things you want to take a look at. Namely, the inside of a few of these tombs. You have no idea which one was in your dream, so you decide to open a few at random. It's harder than you thought it would be--the doors are sealed tight, with some sort of dark adhesive as hard as the stone itself.

No matter--you'll just crack right through them. You brace yourself against the ground and shove on one with the Force, gritting your teeth and giving a tremendous heave that sends it rocking back on its base. Your satisfied grin changes to a tight-lipped grimace as the sarcophagus smacks into the one behind it... which then smacks into the next one, and so on. This continues until you've created a path of broken tombs that stretches all the way from front to back. At the end of it stands Sebuk, hands on her hips, shaking her head disapprovingly.

Tuija shrieks and swears off in the distance, but you're too busy combing through the wreckage to pay attention. Gingerly picking through the powdered bones and tufts of mummified hair, you find some jewel-encrusted bracelets and necklaces that look right at home next to the glowing red skull in your backpack. They're heavy, though--and you don't have any particular use for them.

The academy doesn't have any pawnshops, so exchanging them for something useful would mean trading them to someone who has a way off-world. Certainly possible, but you're not going to be able to take back 200 pounds of jewelry and hide it in your room until then.

"Maybe I won't have to kill him!" Tuija shouts. "Maybe he will simply die while you rob graves!"

"Darth Sebuk," you whisper to yourself. "Did you show me that dream?"

She hums a nod of acknowledgement in your ear. You turn to face the sound, but meet only air.

"Why through that person's eyes?" you ask her. "Was there something special about them?"

"Special?" She gasps, as if taken aback by your question. "My servants were *all* special to me. Why do you think I buried them in such finery?"

You look around at the remaining tombs. "Which one was it?"

For a moment, she is silent.

"I can't remember," she finally mutters. "As I said, they're all the same."

Anything else you want to do here? If you do decide to take the skull with you, you'll need to decide whether or not to hand it over to the academy officials. You'll be certain to do so only when enough of them are present that your discovery cannot be hidden by someone like Harkun. You still aren't quite sure what it is, but it's like nothing else you've read about in your studies.
>>
>>2212606
>Keep the skull in our backpack, but don't hand it over. Keep talking and learning what we can from the spooky force ghost but don't let HER inside.
>>
>>2212627
This.
>>
>>2212606
We are done here
>Leave the tomb
I'd rather make the decision about the skull once we have talked longer with Sebuk, but if we need to do it now..
>handle it over to officials
Too much hassle otherwise
>>
>>2212627
This
>>
>>2212627
This, learn from her
>>
At least bring back a couple bracelets and say that the "tomb" only had some worthless shit in it.

Or is the plan to act like we found nothing at all?
>>
>>2212606
I support taking some stuff to prove that we found a thing. The kind of thing which would already have been plundered from known tombs.
And keep the skull but hidden.
Tuija sounds hysterical, she seems to have trouble planning with the future in mind. A flaw we share I suppose.
>>
>>2212606
You and Tuija carry the half-conscious Shassanis to the tunnel you had created with the Echo probe, and then you help her get the unconscious Falleen up safely to the top. After that, you go back, and begin the long process of dragging the other three bodies to the exit. You want to have the option of revealing the tomb's location, but you can't very well do that with their corpses inside. Hauling them up is an awkward process of Tuija using the Force to press the buttons on their harness motors, but you manage. Once all three are piled up top, you ascend yourself.

The bodies can stay by the tunnel entrance--the Tuk'ata or Shyracks will see to those, bones and all. You consider hauling them off into the desert or burying them, but you're losing light and can't afford to make camp another night. That brings its own dangers, and there's the ever-present risk of Shassanis expiring if you don't get him medical attention. Him dying would make your story even harder to sell.

As you walk to your cruiser, you spot another one a short distance away--undoubtedly the one Loman and his gang arrived in. You're not going to worry about it, though. If Harkun wants it back, he can send another lackey for it. You and Tuija haul Shassanis into the rear seating row of your cruiser, and give one last look around at a barren expanse of land you're all too ready to leave.

"Mind driving?" you ask Tuija. She grunts a non-response and takes the driver's seat, apparently still mad about not getting to kill Shassanis. Not that he's out of the woods yet--you've still got a 4 hour drive for him to succumb to internal injuries. Tuija starts up the cruiser and begins piloting back towards the academy while you peak open the bag in your lap and look at the skull within. It's nearly dark, but flares to life when you touch it.

"Are you there?" you say to it.

Tuija frowns at you. "Who are you talking to?"
>>
>>2213040
To be fair most people will look at the problem in front of them and disregard the problems beyond it. That kind of thinking will keep you alive at the very least. Usually. And planning for the future when you have no idea of what you want is hard.
>>
>>2213073
>>2213073
'Ssshh,' comes a voice from every corner of your own mind. 'Let's speak like this.'

You yank your hand away, but a few moments later carefully return your fingertips to the flickering surface of the artifact.

'You can hear me?' you think to yourself.

'Of course,' comes the voice again. 'Keep touching me like *that* and we can talk all you want.'

You swallow and steady your thoughts, not wanting to let her do too much digging around your skull. You can feel her pushing on your mind, but it's very weak--easier to resist than the Force persuasion attempts of an untrained Force-sensitive. No wonder she had to try trickery to get you to let her all the way in.

'Why did you lure me to your tomb?'

'I sensed your power! Even from deep underground, I felt it.'

"Tuija," you say aloud, twisting in your seat to face the Twi'lek. "Did the woman in this thing offer to help you kill those four students?" You lift the skull out of the bag just high enough for her to catch a glimpse of its rounded top.

"Yes," she hisses, her expression grave. "You should have shattered it--or at least left it behind. I do not trust her."

'Trust!' Sebuk exclaims. 'Is this the current state of the Sith order? Pig-faced Twi'leks with soft minds and softer hearts?'

'I can still throw you out of the cruiser,' you remind the Sith. 'The Tuk'ata can make a chewtoy out of you.'

'Don't you dare you little shit!' she hisses, just before stopping herself short and letting out a forced laugh that rings the inside of your skull. 'Just kidding! That's a joke, a pleasant joke!'

Tiring of her forced laughter, you draw your hand away and sit back in your seat.

It's a long drive, is there anything else you want to do or say?

You pilfered some jewelry from the tomb. You don't know what sort of prestige it will earn you if you turn it over to the instructors, but you're positive it will be nothing compared to an artifact housing a Sith spirit.
>>
>>2213090
>Why should't I just hand you over to another? Give me some actual results or information to go off of.
>Also why were you never found before?
>>
>>2213114
Basically this. Also, does she think we're a sith? Because we're a Zeltron.
>>
>>2213120
Shit man she doesn't even have eyes. She might think we lost our chin tendrils in a horrible vibro-boating accident or something.

Or she just really hates things that aren't some shade of red.
>>
>>2213090
I stand to gain from turning you in to the academy. Why shouldn't I?
>>
>>2213090
Putting your fingertips back to the skull, you close your eyes and focus your thoughts into a single question.

'Tell me why I shouldn't hand you over to the academy's instructors.'

'So I can collect dust in another frigid vault?' She spits in disgust. 'I have too much to teach to just be... stuck away again!'

'You don't seem like the teaching type.'

'Oh?' She lets out a short laugh. 'Under *my* guidance, you defeated your nemesis and unearthed the tomb of Korriban's greatest Lord!'

That last bit was certainly an exaggeration--you've never even heard of 'Darth Sebuk'. But you can't argue with her overarching point.

'And you think to hand me over to curry favor with some other Master? Who do you think taught *them*! You'll be learning from graduates of the academy that already failed you so utterly.'

'How can you teach me? You're not even real.'

'Don't you remember when we spoke after your duel? I can feel quite real if you let yourself believe it to be so.' At her purring words, a warm tingle runs down your chest and abdomen. You yank your hand away before it can go any lower, then return your hand to the skull.

'Why me?' The questions seems almost self-doubting, but it's one that needs to be asked. 'You've been down there for thousands of years.'

Much of that time had seen Korriban become a desolate wasteland with few permanent settlements, but the academy in its current form has been running for well over a decade. She could have lured in any number of students or teachers--many of them more powerful than you, as loathe as you are to admit it.
>>
>>2213322
'You're aware I wasn't imprisoned, yes? I chose to be buried there, among my beloved servants.'

'Then why--'

'Because I got *bored*. It was alright for a few thousand years, yes. But it was wears thin.' She lets out a long sigh. 'I want to be out in the world again!'

You wait for her to say more, but she goes silent.

'You didn't say why you chose me.'

'Because I sensed your power! I already told you as much!'

As much as you would like to believe that, you can't. Sebuk had manipulated events to drive you into that tomb alone, and had likely influenced Harkun into sicking Loman on you. There, she had hoped to use your predicament to cajole you into letting her into your mind. She didn't choose you because you were strong--she chose you because you were vulnerable.

You may have fallen for it, but you had still come out the victor. That knowledge puts a smile on your face--you hope Sebuk can sense your self-satisfaction.

'You know I'm not a Sith pureblood, right?' You cast a glance over at Tuija as she drives, remembering how disgusted Sebuk had sounded at the idea of an alien Sith.

'Yes, I know. But you're red, so that's a start! And maybe I'll come to like Zeltrons. This will be a learning experience for the both of us.'

'But you already know Twi'leks?'

She snorts in disgust. 'Slaves and disease-ridden whores, all of them. I'm sure this one--'

You pull your hand away from the artifact, cutting her words short. As you turn your attention back to the passing landscape of red rocks, you see the academy peak out over the approaching mountains--but that closeness is deceptive. The route there is so winding that you're facing at least another hour of bumpy cruising. Peering into the backseat, you see that Shassanis is still breathing, though the once vivid green of his skin has turned a shade paler.

Is there anything else you want to do before reaching the academy? If not, you'll arrive just before sundown.
>>
>>2213333
>'Yes, I know. But you're red, so that's a start! And maybe I'll come to like Zeltrons.
I take back everything I've ever said about her. This gonna be great.

>>2213333
I imagine we should probably get all of our stories straight before we arrive.
>>
>>2213333
Thank Tuija again for her help
>>
>>2213333
>Thank our good friend here for the help, and luck on her master. Then Decide to let the Spooky ghost in and see what happens.

I like the sass this ghost has.
>>
>>2213420
You really want to let an obviously malicious sith ghost take over our mind for literally no reason?
>>
>>2213437
I want the obviously weak sith ghost to be stored inside of us, Yes. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

Besides this shit is gonna be stolen right the fuck away tonight, watch.
>>
>>2213445
Whatever man, it's obvious you don't care about this quest at all but go ahead and vote how you like
>>
>>2213420
>>2213445
I really don't think that's a good idea on literally the first thread of this quest.
>>
>>2213475
>Difference of opinion in how the quest should go
>Nah you don't care about it.

Alright Senpai, God speed.

>>2213477
Did I ever say it was a good choice? no. Did I say it would lead to more power for us? I do believe that.
>>
>>2213503
>lol let's let her take over our mind because she's sassy
>w-wait I mean it's for more power (somehow)
>>
>>2213445
Terrible idea, no way.

>>2213333
I'm disappointed anons didn't delve further into the tomb, I would have liked to find her sabre or some other artifacts rather than some shitty jewels so lets just head back for now
>>
>>2213529
>Take over her mind

So you don't actually read what I say. got it mate.
>>
>>2213531
I didn't think there were any other accessible chambers in the tomb but that would've been nice
>>
>>2213538
We didn't do a whole lot of investigating really.
>>
>>2213608
We did look into most of the really important stuff.
>>
>>2213608
>It's exactly as you saw it in your dream--only far quieter. Endless rows of sarcophagi stand on either side of you, flanking a central aisle lit by the same blue crystal that lined the hallways. At the other end of the room, towering over it all, is a huge statue of a robed woman, seated with crossed legs and hands clasped in her lap.
Based on this description the only other way we could've investigated was past the area blocked by rubble. Maybe there was some hidden switch to open a secret chamber but I didn't see any hints suggesting something like that
>>
>>2213333
You decide it's time to refine your cover story before you reach the academy. You slap Shassanis awake, then loom over him until his eyes have fluttered all the way open.

"You took Loman and the others in your cruiser after you were attacked by Tuk'ata!" You shout at him, careful to enunciate every word. "You parked the cruiser outside the hole, then blacked out. That's all you remember."

He gives you a slow nod before letting his eyes close again. The new version you gave him was simpler, and will still hold up to scrutiny if the trio's skeletons are left behind by whatever carrion eaters find them tonight. You came up from the tomb, saw Shassanis and the others in the cruiser, but found only him still alive. Then you raced back to get him immediate medical attention... and here you are.

"You catch that?" you say to Tuija as you sit back down. She nods, but does not look away from the road. The light is getting low, and the road is hardly a road. Small boulders litter it everywhere, like little landmines ready to ruin one of the vehicle's repulsor lifts should Tuija hit one.

"Thank you for your help," you say to her. "Again." She grunts and nods again, but still doesn't look over. "And good luck with your new Master. I hope he appreciates the quality of pupil he's found."

"Yes, well..." She mutters and glances over at the bag in your lap. "You will be Apprenticed soon, too."

That's your hope, anyway. Part of you believes what Darth Sebuk told you--that she has things she can teach you--but knowledge isn't power, at least not in itself. If you're to work your way up the echelons of Sith society, you need a flesh-and-blood Master with a portfolio and connections. Not a foul-mouthed spirit with wandering fingers.
>>
While it's obvious we should not let her into our head, she could still give advice and even tutoring purely verbally. Just don't take any lessons about fucking with other people's heads, usually those seem to begin with "open your senses" or some shit.

Think of it like this, she could teach us the Sith alphabet for example, or speak of the theory behind certain Force techniques or combat styles without needing to have direct access to our body or jacking into our mind.

The point is not to squander a resource at our disposal. Be cautious about its use, yes, but don't throw it away because you're afraid. Preferably take no risks but we all know that's impossible so instead focus on circumventing those risks.

Shove her into a new pureblood chick's body. Unleash this ancient crazy bitch onto the galaxy.
>>
>>2213739
The rest of the drive passes more quickly than you would have liked, though you're certain Shassanis feels quite the opposite. Tuija pilots you past the guard posts at the entrance to the Valley of the Dark Lords, and the soldiers shout at you before turning to the commlinks on their chests. By the time you near the pyramid at the base of the valley, a small crowd has formed on the stairwell of the main entrance. You direct Tuija to that front plaza, and not to the loading bay--partly so Shassanis can receive medical attention more quickly.

Before coming to a halt at the foot of the stairs, you lean down to the floor of the cruiser, take the skull from your pack, and wrap it tightly in a black cloak that Tuija had taken along with her when she left.

"Don't glow," you whisper to Sebuk as you sit up straight. To anyone else, it will hopefully look like a simple bundle of cloth. You consider hiding the jewelry in your pack along with it, but that will make noise and risk drawing the attention of the furious academy Overseer currently marching down the steps towards your hovering cruiser.

With the skull swaddled under your armpit, you try desperately to settle a question that plagued you the entire ride here. Do you turn it over? Ukarme, the blademaster, is on the steps above, along with half a dozen other teachers and twenty more curious students. You could hold it high, announce what you found and where you found it, and then hand it over to a stunned Harkun. The look on his face would be priceless, but that would be the last you ever saw of an artifact no less valuable.

Although, come to think of it... just because you hand over the skull doesn't mean you have to give them Sebuk.

Your immediate concern is what to do with the skull and jewelry, but you also need to set the tone for your continuing relationship with Harkun. Like it or not, he *is* the academy Overseer... and likely will be long after you leave.
>>
>>2213748
I have a crazy idea. Could Sebuk leave the skull and possess our probe? Or maybe we could transplant a shard of the gem into it? We could talk her into it, she'd have a more interesting time with us if we advanced more quickly through the ranks, which giving up the skull would allow. If she could control the probe she would have more freedom. We could pretend that we upgraded the probe with basic droid intelligence.
>>
>>2213748
I figure we should show them what we found, but argue to keep it for ourselves and fail to mention the arcane properties of the skull. It's an artifact, but one garnered through our own skill and determination. The fact that Sebuk is in it shouldn't be mentioned.

In addition, I figure we should try to dance around Harkun to the best of our ability. He's only gonna have serious power over us until we get a master.

>>2213800
I really don't think that's how it works. Ancient Sith Magic and modern machinery wouldn't likely mix. Not that I'm not saying we couldn't try, but I'm really doubting it's possible, and seems like a stretch.
>>
>>2213800
> Could Sebuk leave the skull and possess our probe?

You still don't know what exactly it is you've found, but your limited knowledge of robotics gives you no reason to believe her spirit can transfer itself into a simple droid. There's also the issue that the probe is somewhere on the floor of the cruiser's back seat, and you would look quite awkward smashing the two objects together in the hopes that something happens.
>>
>>2213811
> but argue to keep it for ourselves and fail to mention the arcane properties of the skull.

You have no doubt that any teacher who recognizes the skull as a Sith artifact will confiscate it, either for the academy or themselves. Possession of such things by mere students is forbidden, as they are considered cultural treasures of the Sith order. You could always turn it over later, but would need to think up a plausible excuse for why you waited.
>>
>>2213748
Fuck it. Take her into our mind and give him the gem. Gotta risk it for the biscuit. Being a sith student with no teacher that favors him is a really bad situation to be in and we have a good teacher right here.
>>
>>2213748
>>2213846
Take her into our noggin. but don't let her overtake us. Worse case we can make it seem like exhaustion is effecting us.
>>
The good news is skull-woman could teach us old school Sith fuckery. Then we can cross-reference it with modern techniques and theorem. Then we can realize how shit her methods are and trash talk the hell out of her.
>>
>>2213748
Just hand over the skull. Not worth the risk.
>>
>>2213748
No guts, no glory.
Let the crazy Sith lady into our brain, and hand over the fancy rock.
>>
>>2213888
I'm thinking we should pass over the skull.
>>
>>2213748
I'll leave it here for the night to see if any more responses come. It's a big choice.
>>
>>2213748
>keep the skull
If that won't get any support I'd rather handle her over.
We don't know if we can control her at all and having her ruin our passionate goodbye moments with Tuija won't do.
>>
>>2213748
Absolutely do not take her into our mind. Fuck anon is retarded some times. She's not so damn valuable that we should give her possession of our mind just to spite everyone else.

Hand the skull over, are we really going to lug it around for all eternity? She can still communicate with us whilst we are here
>>
>>2213748
Keep the skull, hide it under our pillow or something
>>
>>2214678
We absolutely cannot hide the skull, in a very literal sense. Darth Sebuk's skull is the artifact that we so desperately wanted to prove ourselves, and showing back up at the academy while three other senior students are dead would not look good.

I know everyone wants to get stronger as a Sith, but this is literally also the first thread. We'll get stronger, eventually. Just needs a bit of time.
>>
>>2214836
Agreed
>>
Rolled 3 (1d3)

I tallied up the responses and it came down to 3 keep the skull, 3 hand it over but let Sebuk in, 3 hand the skull over with Sebuk still inside.

So...

1 = Keep skull, keep Sebuk inside
2 = Let her in, then hand it over
3 = Hand it over intact
>>
>>2214882
Thank fuck
>>
>>2213748
You've made your decision. As Harkun storms down the steps, you rise from the cruiser to meet him. His hair and uniform are as neatly-kept as ever, but his clenched fists and creased brow tell you he's about ready to explode.

"Walking into the wildlands alone!" he booms at you, then turning his attention to Tuija who is standing up from the driver's side. "Commandeering a cruiser without permission!"

"We had permission," Tuija says coolly.

"You didn't have an *escort*," Harkun shoots back. He stops in front of you, and only then seems to notice Shassanis in the back seat. He points to two students on the steps behind him and then gestures to Shassanis in what seems to be almost an afterthought. "Get him to medbay." His furious gaze turns back to you.

"Did you enjoy your sight-seeing of Korriban?" He reaches up and strips the bacta bandage from the left side of your face, but you hold back any involuntary expression of pain. "I certainly hope so, because it's the last you'll see of it."

"You cannot expel him for this!" Tuija rushes to your side, dodging past the two students carrying Shassanis away.

"Expel him?" Harkun's frown turns into a vicious snear. "Not at all! I think it's time Leera graduated, Master or no. If authority irks him so much, I think a posting with an Outer Rim expeditionary force would fit him quite well!"

You have no intention of being sent off to some blasted hellscape on the edge of space to rot. That's what happens to the few academy failures who managed to last to adulthood--and you are no failure. You reach under your arm and unwrap the skull, then hold it aloft for everyone to see. Harkun's attention is still focused on Tuija, and he has to step back to see what you're holding up.

"What in the hells is that?" he says.
>>
>>2215089
You lower it back down so that he can get a good look at the skull. Behind him, Darth Sebuk's ghostly figure stomps the ground and jabs a finger at you.

"Don't you dare!" she shouts, though no one else seems to hear her.

"I discovered it in the tomb of Darth Sebuk," you say to Harkun. A few of the academy instructors rush down the steps to see what the commotion is about. Ukarme, the skeletal blademaster is among them, as is Lord Zhaho, a rust-colored pureblood woman with short black hair. Lord Hostay remains on the stairs, too infirm to descend with the others.

"And?" Harkun barks at you. He acts as if you're holding up a rock you found in the valley.

"Is that a holocron?" Zhaho's eyes go wide as she draws near enough to see what's in your hands. She is one the academy's many instructors whose portfolio encompasses general lessons in use of the Force, but you know that she has a personal interest in Sith artifacts--one that goes beyond practical considerations of the power they can grant.

"Is it?" Ukarme wonders. You don't know either, and so remain silent. Holocrons are incredibly complex devices, constructed through a combination of technical prowess and the use of the Force. They are built by Sith who desire a way to pass on their knowledge long after their bodies have died. You have been shown such devices during your time at the academy, but none looked as intricate as the one in your hands--and they certainly didn't house personalities with such... *personality*.

"Pearls before Shyracks!" Sebuk screeches. "These are the people you seek to curry favor with?" The skulls hums quietly and pulses with light the more agitated Sebuk grows, and the assembled teachers stare at it in great interest.

Do you tell them what is inside it? Or let them draw their own conclusions?
>>
>>2215091
If you wish to stay with me then I suggest you tell them yourself. I'll get a much more favorable master from the prestige gained by showing you off, which would be better than keeping you secret and bringing you with me to some shithole planet where nothing happens. I have no control over whether I keep you or not at this point but I'd like to be your student.
>>
>>2215113
If I wasn't being clear enough I think she should reveal herself to everyone assembled and demand to take us on as a student due to potential she sees in us. Assuming she's capable of doing so. We'd still need a living teacher but at least this way she's not stuck with these "Shyracks"
>>
>>2215091
I don't know. Either she shows herself and highjack her way or we just fully hand her over and inform them.

If this is empty were fucked
>>
Just tell her we're giving her a new body and hand her to the Pureblood instructor lady for "safe keeping" and she can easily worm her way into her head.

Zhaho is clearly far to engrossed in artifacts and would probably be so awash with wonder her guard would be down.

Or nothing will come of it and we have no problems with it either way. Up to y'all silly motherfuckers.
>>
>>2215392
>hand her to the Pureblood instructor lady for "safe keeping" and she can easily worm her way into her head.

Maybe a few convincing words to Zhaho about the knowledge you gained from the artifact would convince her to open her mind to it. She's a Sith Lord, but Sebuk will have plenty of time to whittle away at her.

On the other hand, telling them that the holocron hosts a malicious consciousness capable of limited interaction with the outside world will likely have the instructors locking the skull up tight.

It's up to you guys. I try and go with some plausible combo of the most popular choices, but I know that's hard with fuzzy choices like this.
>>
>>2215472
Why would we ever be so nice as to tell them there is a nasty bad bitch in the skull? Fuck these people. Anything that makes Harkun look bad, like losing an instructor to an ancient malevolent intelligence is a right lark for us I say.

Course it ain't up to me alone. That being said, I'm all for suggesting that Zhaho be given the right to examine the skull-ocron in detail. We may get a master out of it. Or we may get a semi-ally who won't kill us to shit when she finally starts to make her power plays in the galaxy.

I ain't scared.
>>
>>2215472
>tell Sebuk that she owns to us...we are giving her an full Sith lord, instead of mere appreciate to play with

>suggest that Zhaho should be the one to study the skull, with an open mind..

>>2215481
Really good idea anon
>>
>>2215392
Ok I like this idea. Better than nothing
>>
>>2215392
>>2215472
Giving her to Zhaho would be the ideal way to do this. Getting Sebuk a new body is also likely to garner some favor with her.
>>
>>2215091
"Hand that here." Harkun grabs at the skull, but you take a step away from him.

"Careful, sir. It is delicate, and there is great knowledge contained within." You turn to the left slightly, just enough to be facing Lord Zhaho. Harkun glowers at you, but does not make another move for it.

"You managed to use it?" Zhaho wonders, eyes fixed firmly on the skull.

"I tried," you say. "But it told me it was waiting for someone who could properly understand what it has to teach." You hold it out to Zhaho, and she casts a weary eye at the other approaching teachers before hurriedly snatching the artifact from you.

Her expression changes in an instant. Amazement and curiousity are gone, replaced with a guarded jealousy that has her clutching the glowing skull tightly to her bosom.

"I will get this somewhere safe, Overseer," she says to Harkun. He mutters an acknowledgement and waves her off. Some of the instructors are carried back up the stairs by their interest in the holocron. Among them is the spirit of Darth Sebuk, who gives you a smiling wave as she walks alongside Lord Zhaho. No doubt the two Sith had a lengthy conversation in an instant of frozen time, much like you and Tuija had both experienced inside the tomb. Whatever the end result, Sebuk seems pleased with it.

"A wayward holocron is quite a find," Harkun says, his voice dripping with controlled disdain as he looks you up and down. You're sure you look quite the mess. "And all it cost was three promising initiates. What happened to them?"

"They were attacked by Tuk'ata," you explain. "Shassanis was the only survivor. The rest of their bodies we left outside of the tomb."

"You just *left* them there?" Harkun says. "You didn't think to bring them back with you?"

You return his fiery glare with an icy one of your own, keeping your voice and posture strong but controlled. Harkun is looking for any reason to bring the hammer down on you, and you'd rather not give him more ammunition than he already has.

"I brought you the first holocron found on Korriban in half a decade," you say slowly. "That should count for more than the bodies of three failures."
>>
>>2216157
Harkun's eyes shoot wide at the implicit mention of Loman and his companions, and you realize you've overstepped your bounds. Perhaps he was more fond of them than you knew. More likely, he simply hates the idea of an alien triumphing over a human.

"You are *done*." His voice is a low, threatening whisper. The teachers cloistered around him can hear him perfectly clearly, and look back and forth between the two of you in confusion. "This will be the pinnacle of whatever life you have left, so enjoy this small triumph while you can."

Behind Harkun, one of the teachers clears their throat.

"Overseer," Ukarme says, raising a bony finger. "This is an *undiscovered holocron*. Darth Zash will want to hear of this." A murmur of agreement goes through the crowd. Darth Zash is the supervisor of all acolyte training on Korriban--the ultimate decision-maker at the academy. Like every other student, you know her by reputation alone. She is notoriously reclusive, and prefers to spend her time exploring the secrets of Sith sorcery and alchemy. The managing of the students is left up to Harkun.

Until now.

You can't contain the smug grin spreading across your face--you don't even bother to try. Harkun shoots you a furious, silent stare, but he knows what this means. If your name makes it to Darth Zash--and it will--it will travel even further. Far from Korriban, to Sith courts everywhere. There's nothing more Harkun can do to you, not without incurring the wrath of his superior. And that's something *no* Sith desires.

"Get inside." Harkun spins on his feet and storms through the crowd of teachers, then back up the steps through the whispering students. You grab your bag, give Tuija a satisfied nod, and head into the academy. As you near the threshold, you once again pass the hunched form of Lord Hostay. His legs tremble under the weight of his age-wracked body and his cane rattles against the stone floor, but his gaze remains fixed on you.

It's getting late, and you're exhausted. Is there anything else you want to say to the assembled teachers and students while they're all there? You could give Hostay some credit if you're feeling generous.
>>
>>2216163
Thank him in front of everyone for his help with the map
>>
>>2216163
I guess >>2216179
Maybe give a backhanded compliment about age not holding back so much as it looks.
>>
>>2216163
This >>2216179

Also, I'm upset we just handed over a fucking source of power but oh well. Thats life
>>
>>2216163
Thank Lord Hostay for humoring a mere Acolyte's theory, and making our success possible.
>>
>>2216200
Something tells me this won't be the last time we see Sebuk. Besides, she can probably still manifest in our dreams and shit. Nothing saying she couldn't still give us something that way.
>>
>>2216200
Well ideally she'll still have interest in us for whatever reason and she could probably take over the other sith lady.
>>
>>2216229
She just wants to Ara Ara but all the pureblood bois around here are little pansies. Clearly this is all about making cookies for a red lad who can appreciate good baking. Shit man, when was the last time she had some good chocolate chip cookies you think?
>>
>>2216179
It's literally the least we could do.
>>
>>2216163
You stop and turn to face Lord Hostay. As you do so, his foggy vision seems to focus and he looks up at you.

"Lord Hostay!" you exclaim loud enough for everyone to hear. The crowd of onlookers who had been returning inside with you stop to see what the new commotion is about. Most likely they hope for some new verbal sparring, so they must be disappointed to see you give the old Sith a light bow.

"You saw the value in my idea," you say to him. "Your knowledge of Korriban was invaluable."

He stammers for a moment, then finally manages to mutter out an enthusiastic 'Yes!' and gives as much of a bow as he can manage.

You were careful to phrase your sharing of the glory in just the right way, so as to not diminish your own. It had been *your* idea, and you had used another's power to amplify your own--just as a Sith should. If Hostay understands your maneuvering, he doesn't seem to show it--he's just happy to share a sliver of spotlight. And unlike you, this probably will be the last time he ever enjoys its warm light.

You and Tuija part ways, but you ask her to store your pack in your room while you go to the medbay. No one thought to check your bag in the frenzy surrounding the holocron, leaving you the owner of enough jewelry to make any entombed Lord blush. What it's worth, you can't begin to estimate--you've spent your entirely life within the austere confines of the academy. Your weapons, your clothes, your living space--none of it ever truly belonged to you.

But today does. What you accomplished belongs to you. You defeated one enemy, out-maneuvered another, increased your prestige, and sowed seeds that may one day blossom into fruitful opportunities.
>>
>>2216690
Once you make it to the academy's medical center, you collapse onto one of the many padded beds and order a hovering medical droid over to examine you as you strip your clothes off. The droid runs a comprehensive scan of your body, and finds that only trace amounts of Tuk'ata venom remain in your system. After the droid stitches shut your half-healed wounds with tiny surgical lasers, you get dressed and take your first look in a mirror. Three parallel claw marks run from just above your left ear to the center of that same cheek, a permanent reminder of the consequences of your actions. Given how things ultimately turned out, you do not regret your choice to venture out into the wildlands alone. But your choice did have consequences, and you will remember that fact.

After leaving the medbay, you return to a bedroom that was just as you left it. It's been yours for 4 years now, but it hardly feels like home. You can't wait to leave its tight gray walls and simple furniture behind, and move onto something bigger and better. This place simply can't contain you anymore. Stripping off your dusty clothes a final time, you turn off the lights and slip into bed. A heavy sigh escapes your lips, and the constant surge of adrenaline you've experienced over the pat two days finally comes to a screeching halt. You fall asleep within seconds.

The sleep is dreamless, but it is also short--at least it feels that way. A knock comes at your door, and before you can sit up it slides open. You had forgotten to lock it. A shadowy figure stands in the doorway, and it is only when your room's lights come on and your eyes adjust that you see Tuija stepping into the room and shutting the door. She's still wearing her same tunic, though the brown fabric has taken on the same red hue of Korriban's shifting sands. In her left hand is a glass bottle containing some ancient-looking brown liquor, and in her right are cupped two small glasses.

"Were you asleep?" she asks, though she clearly has no intention of leaving even if that was the case. Instead, she pulls up a chair from your desk and sits down beside your bed. You swing your feet to the floor and turn to face her.

"Hardly," you say. "Who can sleep after a day like today?"

How do you want to handle this? You could just go with wherever she takes this interaction. Maybe you try to attempt to manipulate her emotions with a certain goal in mind. Or, you could keep this conversation business-like and strictly hands-off.
>>
>>2216696
>Just enjoy each other and talk, Let her take the lead and make sure we don't get poisoned.
>>
>>2216696
Go with the flow and don't manipulate her emotions
>>
>>2216718
This basically. Just talk, but be aware where her hands are going.
>>
>>2216718
I don't see much reason to distrust her after she saved our life for no gain of her own
>>
>>2216696
Tuija hands you one of the glasses, and fills it a fourth of the way up before doing the same for her own. Then, she sets the bottle down on the floor beside the chair. One of her lekku nearly falls into her drink, but she tosses it back around her neck like a scarf and raises her glass to you.

"Here is to taking what we deserve," she says.

Well?
>>
>>2216741
Drink it, unless she has godlike manipulative skills then we can trust her.
>>
>>2216741
Sip it, don't fucking chug it.

>Too a new tomorrow and victory today!
>>
>>2216741
Ask where did she get it too.
>>
>>2216741
You raise the glass to your nose and sniff it, but immediately regret it. Your nostrils sting from the woody scent of distilled spirits, and you're suddenly very glad she didn't pour you more than the few sips in your glass.

"What is this?" you cough out. She grabs the bottle from the floor and turns the label to face you, showing you a label written in Basic that marks it at Spice liquor.

"I didn't think you were one for contraband," you say with a smirk.

She shrugs. "I am breaking all sorts of rules today."

"Where did you get it?" you ask her.

"One of the lower classmen owed me a favor. She had an unopened bottle of Spice liquor, and you and I have a reason to celebrate--so I called the favor in."
>>
Ha Ha, Alcohol. Hope she grows strong at her Master's side. But not too strong of course. Cheeky little sex-alien.
>>
Tuk'ata pet when

I always found them Cute
>>
>>2217838
Sith doggos are for pussies. Get yourself something interesting, like a pygmy Rancor or something.
>>
>>2216810
"Well, here's to a new tomorrow." You bump your glass against hers with a soft *clink*. "Ideally, one in which I can move my body better."

She gives you a quick look from head to toe, then takes a sip from her glass as you do. No matter how much you would like to maintain a carefully-constructed facade of unflappability, this stuff is vile. The Sith Academy might have gone a long way to toughening you up, but it did little to build your palette--or your alcohol tolerance.

"Did Harkun say anything else to you?" you ask her.

Tuija throws her head back and downs her entire glass in one go, then leans back in her chair. "There is nothing left for him to say. I am leaving soon."

"Me too, hopefully." You try to take another sip of your own drink, but all you can manage is half of one. A dizzying warmth is already beginning to sink its claws into your exhausted body.

"Aren't you worried?" she says.

"About being chosen by a Master?" You shake your head slowly. "Not now."

"I mean what *sort* of Master will choose you," she explains. "Maybe you will get some decrepit old historian like Lord Hostay. Someone who loves to read books."

Fear grips a stomach already burning from the liquor, but you look up from your glass to see a rare playful smile cracking her stony facade.

"Oh," you mutter. "Very funny."

You hand her back your half-finished glass so that she can set it on the desk behind her, but Tuija instead sets her own glass down, then fills yours halfway up. You frown down at the innocuous-looking liquor, all too aware of its true power.

"Do not be a pussy," Tuija snaps at you. "This is an expensive drink."

You have no idea if that's true, and you seriously doubt Tuija does either. Neither of you have any experience of the galaxy outside Korriban--at least not since young childhood.

What do you do?
>>
>>2218017
Continue to sip it, don't get too drunk let her take the lead
>>
>>2218017
Down it all, she had knocked back enough to prove it ain't posion
>>
>>2218017
With your eyes still fixed on the glass in your hand, you see Tuija's hand slip under the bottom and slowly raise it to your lips.

"Fine." You reluctantly let her force another sip down your throat, then lower it down as you suck air in through your clenched teeth. Despite the obvious power of the liquor, your head feels fine--but your body is more tired than ever. You can hardly raise your glass back to your lips--not that you want to. Tuija eyes you carefully, likely wondering why you're teetering from side to side as you try to keep your back straight enough to remain sitting.

You slump forward, letting out a sharp gasp as your knees hit the ground beside your bed and your face lands smack on top of Tuija's thighs. You nearly laugh as you try to push yourself off of her, but that laugh is cut short when you find that you can't move at all.

"What the hell," you mumble into her wrinkled pants. She smells just like someone who has spent the last two days rolling around Korriban's desert and tombs. Tuija gently pushes you back against the side of the bed, then rises from her chair and hauls you up onto it. You're big enough for the task to give her some serious difficulty, and you can't help at all. Your arms, your legs--none of them will respond. Even turning your head is a monstrously difficult task.

"Get a med droid," you slur up at her.

Tuija finally manages to get you into a lying position on the bed, then turns around. For a moment you think she's going to do exactly as you'd asked, but instead she begins stripping off her shirt, followed by her boots and pants. Next comes her brown bra and underwear, after which she turns to face you. Her yellow skin is mottled by dirt and the few minor injuries she sustained in your fight with her, and you can feel the grit of sand as she slides on top of you. Her weight pushes you down into the bed, and she hovers her face inches above yours, her breath hot and eyes half-closed as she reaches into your underwear.
>>
>>2218082
You want to shout, to ask her what she's doing, but the awkward groping down below makes that abundantly clear. Even if you wanted to throw her to the floor, you can't. You can't even summon the strength to turn your head away from her.

Whatever she did to your drink--or rather, your glass--it doesn't stop your body from responding to her touch. She slides down the bed, yanks off the single remaining piece of clothing between you and her, then straddles your waist and begins a slow movement that makes your bed creak with each shifting of her weight.

To call it a 'rhythm' would be generous. Tuija grunts and awkwardly shifts her knees every few moments, occasionally falling forward and smacking her forehead into yours. Eventually, though, she manages to find a position that allows her to draw her hips back and forward, all while keeping her forearms resting on either side of your head.

A rising tension grips your abdomen, and you doubt you could hold back even if you weren't paralyzed. Tuija's eyes go wide and she gasps, continuing to move for another few moments until finally coming to rest. She slides her arms inward until your head is cradled between them, then presses her lips to yours, moving them softly for a time before drawing back once more.

"Now we are even," she says, her eyes locked on yours. You don't say a word, and she slides off of you before hurriedly getting dressed. She goes to leave the room, but then spins around and throws the blanket over your exposed body. Then she departs for good, closing the door behind her and leaving you to pray that whatever was coating that glass wears off by the time morning classes roll around.
>>
>>2218083
Come morning, you awake and find that your mobility has fully returned. Launching yourself from the bed in a fury, you put on your pants and tunic before storming down the hall to Tuija's room and banging on the door.

"Tuija!" you shout over and over, though no answer comes. After a few more calls for her, a door beside you slides open and a young woman's face peaks out--Savakee Sopvin, daughter of a wealthy land-owning family that hails from Dromund Kaas. Her long brown hair is a mess, and you can tell by the tired look on her face that you've just awoken her.

"She left," Savakee says.

"Where?" you snap at her.

Savakee shrugs.

"What do you mean," You imitate her shrug mockingly as you approach her. "Early meditation? Blade practice?"

"She left the *academy*," she says, drawing her eyebrows down in a stern glare that says she's not going to be intimidated. "Aren't you two fucking? She should have told you that she was leaving this morning. Everyone else knew."

Your jaw drops open and you step back. You knew that was happening soon, but she had led you to believe that day wasn't coming for another week... not *this* soon.

Do you want to just go about your business as usual?
>>
>>2218088
Yeah, no biggie. That's just about as normal as a sith relationship should be I guess.
>>
>>2218088
Way to go Tuija.
>continue our day as usually
>>
>>2218088
Fucking sex aliens
>continue our day as usually
>>