Log:Jedi Order: Echoes Through the Ages V
There's something to be said to the silence found beneath a mountain. The calming stillness, the lack of wind, no breath of nature or the crisp touch of rain, or anything that would otherwise distract from the blank, still, darkness. The great halls of this underground fortress, the Furthest Outpost, could have been a treasure trove, but all that remained were the bones of a civilization forgotten by more than a 1000 years, and an infestation of creatures that defiles their memory. It felt to many, that Princess Lana was using her influence over the Alderaanians to recover the lost obsessions of her people from its deep tomb, and Lady Aryn was beginning to put stock into that notion as well.
For more than a week, soldiers supplied from various noble Houses have deployed to the Furthest Outpost to see to its excavation and clearing of danger. In the wake of these operations, there have been injuries, death, set-backs, and a new fear of the deep. Local forces had reached a point so far down, and so deep beneath the mountain that their lights had problems staying lit, and that some deep terror loomed below. Tracking animals ran in fear, soldiers lost their urge to follow orders, and commander's lost their zeal to move forward. Now it fell to the Jedi to investigate this anomaly, and it's why everyone found themselves within a lift moving down, down, down below. Lady Kiko Alde was here, and Aryn was as well. Aryn wore her hooded cloak/cape over a green/brown/light tan ensemble of robes with her dark leather belt fastened about her waist. Gloves were pulled on over her hands as she stood off to one side looking conflicted.
In the lift with the others, Vhe is quiet as they descend but the odd stacked against them are certainly something that should be remarked upon. Though she chooses not to. She adjusts her own robes, simple, clean layered as they are she has left the hood of her robe down so that she might have a better view of that which is around her. A nervous hand lifts to brush her wild hair back from her face and tuck it behind her ear - it never really remains though in her case. there is an anxious energy about her as she moves her weight from foot to foot.
Zandra's hair is as usual circle braided atop her head. The violet hair may be real, as there are no roots at all to be seen. But certainly how long the hair might be is still a mystery. She stands patiently, using this opportunity to reach for the Force, meditating quietly as the group is still, preparing herself for whatever is to come. She does glance briefly over at Vhe, as the other young Jedi moves nervously. She offers a reassuring smile and murmurs, "Let the Force guide you - guide us all."
Elrych Cometburn glances over toward Vhe as he takes his lightsaber off his belt but does not yet ignight it. He haf changed into his traditional garb forgoing his sleek captains gear for this mission of importance. He takes a deep breath and reches out to the force to help center himself.
Kiko is not alone among mere mortals. One of the local soldiers has remained: Ban Iskender, a familiar face to those who had accompanied these expeditions, before. Once again attired in pale grey armor and a dashing green half cape over the left shoulder, durasteel saber sheathed at one thigh, and sporting blaster holstered on the other. "I regret that none others among our soldiery would brave the deeps. I pray you not think the less of them for it," the notes to the Jedi present.
The lift is grated with chain-link fence like design and double doors that require first to part them by opening the horizontal threshold, then the vertical. The lift is powered by a motor that is, by now, 100s of feet above them and operated by a trusted engineer and his staff of mechanics. As the lift goes down, they can see the rock wall where it was blasted open 1000s of years ago in an effort to deepen their fortress and search for quality mining materials. When that rock wall disappears, and the lift sways, the group reaches the conclusion that the space has significantly grown. They have reached the deep.
The air here becomes cooler, and sound is not held close like it once was. Through those who know how to use the Force, and do so to inherit a sense of perception beyond those who cannot use the Force, /feel/ that the area around them is massive. /Massive/.
The lift hits the bottom, and the entire cage shakes. Aryn feels a presence on her mind, an overbearing weight pushing itself into her mind like someone was trying to grab at her thoughts. Her hand rises to her forehead and she groans a bit, stepping to one side and leaning on the cage of the lift. Aryn might have addressed Lord Ban, but she was dealing with something. It's Kiko who speaks to him. "Everyone fears the unknown, Captain. I feel swallowed up in this darkness. It's.. unnerving." Kiko reaches for the doors of the lift while the light on their cage begins to flicker with soft ticking noises. Around the lift? Complete, utter darkness; Silence. A still silence. Dust floats in front of the beams of light attached to the lift, but the darkness seems to swallow those beams.
The presence that Aryn feels hits Vhe and she is driven to a knee, her brows digging deep furrows in her brow. She gasps out and her other hand soon lifts to cover here eyes and press the heel of each hand above them as she pushes back, her wild hair falling forward around her face. "Oh.." she says, surprised by the sudden weight as she struggles to focus. She blinks a few times, "Stop...." she says, a shiver running through her body as whatever is around them has managed to push past Vhe's attempts to resist. "No...what...what is it? What is going on?" She asks for answers from the others as she can't quite keep her mind to herself. It is moved about as she tries to wave it off with a hand in the air - but there is nothing there.
Zan is also hit by that same presence - neat trick it has to hit them all. She closes her eyes and her expression goes to one of utter revulsion. "I don't know what it is, but I don't like it," is her reply, as she fails to keep whatever it is out. She wants it out though, but isn't quite sure how to force it. "Ugh, that is - really distracting. There has to be a way to make it stop."
Elrych Cometburn frowns deeply, "Something is knocking at the door but its..." He starts talking to someone that isn't ther. "Good luck in there pal... i feel bad fo you." A jedi who was a con artist and a card cheat learn first and foremost how to defend kental attacks. Any answer Ban would have given to Kiko is put off by the presence and its effect upon the others. Whatever the combination of pride, force of will, and luck that is with him, the young nobleman reacts with a resolute frown narrowing his eyes, and he firmly casts open the lift's screen, drawing his weapons, and striding boldly off the lift and into the Darkness. When Vhe asks what it is, he answers, "It is a challenge."
"Clear your minds. Rob them of substance, do not feed its desire." Aryn says gently, finding resolve to straighten and follow after Kiko and Ban into the darkness. A few steps into the pitch black swallow any hint of their presence up until the snap-hiss of a lightsaber comes to life. Extended energy of a bright sapphire blue fills out the full length of the weapon held in Aryn's hand, and it hums with confidence and lights the immediate vicinity. Aryn draws her hood back, then looks to the lift, then ahead again. She provides no further guidance because she isn't sure where she should go.
Catching her breath, Vhe presses back, hissing through her teeth as sheer willpower shows itself in what is likely her own stubborn head harded nature. She slowly rises to her feet, spreading her weight as she narrows her gaze. "I said...stop.." she whispers at first, for a moment battling and losing until Aryn's instruction confuses her at first. It seems like the wrong thing to do really, just let go and release. But eventually she gives in, closing her eyes as she slows her breath and lets herself relax. The tension frees her mind and soon the Ysanna is standing as if whatever had held her has just..vanished.
Zan is trying to kerfuffle with clearing her mind and kicking the thing out, but she's flat out horrified by the horrid sense of it in her mind. She is almost turning in a circle, as she struggles to get it out of her head. Her hands go to cover her ears, like it will somehow help. There's not anything to hear, but it seems like she can feel the creepiness of it inside her own skull, and the fear is rising. She tries and fails to kick whatever it is out, breath coming a little faster, distraught. Aryn's words stop her for just long enough, reminding her that she doesn't have to just do this of her own. She draws on the Force, on the teachings of Rey, remembering so many times Rey has told them. Zan gives herself over to the force, letting it flow through her, strengthen her resolve. Inspiration curls through her and her breath evens out, her hands go to her side, one to her lightsaber, which she draws, as she calms. "No more." Those two words and only that are spoken as she triggers her lightsaber to add to the light provided.
Elrych Cometburn ignights his blade as well placing a reasuring hand on Vhes shoulder. "Come on... this way I think... I sense a disturbance in the force."
Ban holds his pistol pointed upright, for want of anything to aim at. Something in Aryn's advice draws a near-smile to his lip for a brief moment, before solemnity is restored. "As you say, my Lady." The soldier moves smoothly in the direction Elrych indicates, as lightsaber blades ignite in the darkness.
Aryn brings her Jedi weapon up, so that the blade is oriented skyward and the hilt drawn back to a strong defensive position, where it's held close to her bosom and offset to favor her right side. Aryn takes stock of who is moving, and feels a sense of pride at seeing everyone making it further than any of their soldiers. Elrych's sense of direction is on par as usual, and Aryn defers to the more experienced Jedi's judgement by following him. "Remain close. To be lost in this darkness.. ; I can think of no worse fate."
Lady Kiko walks beside Elrych, using her rifle and its tac-lite to illuminate the ground ahead. For what can be gathered, the ground is solid rock, black, and shiny like obsidian. The further they walk following Elrych's guidance, the more the ground supplies a subtle pulse they can feel with each step, like something moves deep with the thrum of something powerful (similar to the vibration of a volcano.)
Eventually, everyone hears a sigh. It's all around them, it's in their head (though not invasive), and it has a voice. "We were, all of us, prideful. Confident. So sure of our war. Even after a thousand years, or final sanctum suffers one last insult. The scion lives, and we must die. So completes our circle, and a war that has lasted a thousand years. I am Virgil, the last of the Ebon Lords, and I remain resolute. You will not pass."
In sudden unison, apparitions of humanoid like shapes appeared in the form of luminescent white fog. There was one for each member of the party, and they walked out forming a semi-circle. Sequentially, they activated their choice weapon and pointed at their intended opponents.
"One of you spoke of our presence being a challenge. A thousand years have passed and still you think like the Scion and her people. Even in death, the Ebon Lords answer my banner. Either you live, or you die. Welcome.. to the deep."
Vhe feels that shiver pass down her spine even as they progress. Its like some ever present companion that remains as the tension in the air around them. There is no way she will chance being lost to the dark, not one iota and so she marks her steps and stays close, the stun saber left at her side. She's begun to lean further into the force for support than some physical weapon. The Ysanna magic was always there and so expanding upon it has become second nature as her hand lifts when the fog starts to form as the voice speaks out.
Dark eyes turn to glance at Ban briefly - he had said it was a challenge. Afrown pulls at her lips buts he turns her attention back to the figures around them. She lifts her hands then, extending them out before her as she reaches out for the force like some second skin that she wraps around herself. A slow shake of her head occurs, as if she disagrees with the spirits that linger. "No welcome here," she whispers below her breath and prepares herself.
There is a flow of the force but its not focused enough, she wields it but it does nothin for her against the mist like opponent that faces off with her. It has happened before but she's momentarily feeling the worry bubble up.
Life or death. That's what the creepy voices said, right. And there's one pointing at - each of them. Convenient, that. Zan has to wonder what happens if they help each other, but all things considered, she decides she's not waiting for them to attack. "You want to kill us? I suppose that means we have to defend ourselves." She takes off for the one who is challenging her, with a "Challenge acepted." Not angry, but calm still. The force very much still with her. her lightsaber starts in a defensive position, and then moves to attack, feinting as she tests her opponent, pressing her attack. It takes time, Zan managing to press that attack, parrying some that her opponent's sword aims her way. The two dance that sword dance, the sound of the lightsaber in the air whooshing through as she continues to fight, until she spies an opening and her blade sings through the air in a surprisingly fast criss cross that has her opponent draw totally still, eyes widening if it has eyes, and then crumple to the ground. Possibly in pieces.
Elrych Cometburn turns his head as the apparitions form, looking to each and everyone of them. The others might sense a gathering of the Force in Elrych, a breeze pucking up as a result. As his opponent starts forward he almost vanashes as he move seemingly in an instant to meet the apparitions weapon. They clash, the squeel and hum of his blade loud. The neon blue glow reflecting in his dark shades. Despite the disturbance, he is calm and extrodinarily focused. After some time he defeats the mysty being, looking towards the others to see how they fair.
The noble soldier answers as he regards the specter opposite himself. "I know not your Scion, nor do I know aught of your order. But I am Lord Ban Iskender of the Lir Dragoons, and I well know a challenge." Seeing that his opposite bears some spectral form of a polearm, he shifts so that the sword bearing hand is forward, and advances in a swift series of lunging steps, looking to get inside the phantom's reach in a series of skilled parties and slashes. He slips the foe's guard at one point and lands a good blow with the saber's edge, but does not defeat his foe outright. Only with a skilled defensive does the young lord avoid a vicious series of counter-strokes.
Aryn does not speak against the spectral voice or hold ill will toward the guardians of this sanctum. When her friends widen their formation to go on the offensive, Aryn brings her weapon up to salute, the blade humming and lighting up her face. Her opponent returns the salute after drawing their sword. Aryn lowers the weapon in a slight flick of her wrist, holding it to her side and brushing her hooded cape to rest against her back--proper. A confident walk carries her forward as her opponent runs at her, and their blades meet mid-way.
Aryn is surprised at the sheer skill and weight behind each attack, but she also surprises herself in demonstrating the precognition of a Jedi. She parries, she blocks, and they lock up. Both opponents spin before Aryn finally crosses their weapon bearing hand with a Shiim strike, which removed their ability to hold their weapon aloft. It fell from their grasp, and Aryn swept inward, sliding to one side to catch their inner leg and drop them to a knee behind her. She walks around to their front and salutes again, but leaves them defeated. Bowing their head, they vanish into darkness.
Kiko's battle was much more oriented to a soldier. She lowered her rifle and drew her knife, switching hands in a flashy display of knife work before rushing forward. Her battle was one for martial arts, and she cried out whilst blocking and throwing. Her killing blows come in a trio, ending with her knife buried deep in the heart of her enemy. She drew her weapon free and allowed whatever passed for spectral gravity to take her opponent away.
Each member of the party fought, and those who bested their enemy, witnessed the foggy forms disappear. If they attempted to help their companions, their attacks left the apparition unfazed and unaffected by their efforts. It appeared that each of them had to face an opponent themselves, and there was nothing anyone could do to save their companion.
Two remained, dueling. One against the Jedi Vhe Tenara, and the other against the dashing Lord Ban Iskender.
Vhe is struck again, this time sending her stumbling back as a cry leaves her, nearly causing her to lose her footing. The first inkling of worry is now worming its way through her body, making her nervous and causing the next attempt to strike down her opponent to fail again. Desperation starts to show but the mist figure does not claim another strike on her. It is Ban that downs his next and the newest Jedi stands alone against her image. For a moment she starts to glance towards the others and stops herself, a breath drawn as she shakes her head and focuses.
Clear your mind.
The earlier lesson rings true as the front of her tunic starts to soak with the minor wound she as taken, clinging to her and causing discomfort. The tension is still there and it takes her but a moment before it floats free and there is only the Force. Only the Force.
Vhe does not open her eyes but instead focuses on that which can not be seen but exists around them always. It is that which she moves now and with a pull and turn, a thrust forward like weaving some unseen tapestry of motions she lets loose a strike to rattle the mist and rips it apart with her final blow. Only then do her hands and shoulders lower when her eyes open to look at the empty space where her foe had been.
The body that Zan defeated vanishes back into cloud, and leaves her somehow not quite surprised, and yet - she is a bit. She takes a step towards Vhe's fight, but then stops, thoughtful. There's a glance to where her own opponent fell, and a very worried look on her face. She might be doing the two step as she steps forward with one foot, then rocks back, staying in place. She wants to help, but there's a sense of what's fair here, and it holds her back. She concentrates on staying calm, finding that a large enough task, though she doesn't finish her fight so far ahead of the others. It's a chance to regroup and catch her breath.
Elrych Cometburn turns towards Vhe as his opponant vanishes and notices her struggle. His attempt to free her from her enemy is met with failure. H e froms as he watches. He instead is there to help her, sending her his calm and focus so it might help her in her battle. He moves over to check on her with great care once she comes out in victory. "You did great. So cool." That sly smile of his.
The armored Ban duels back and forth with his glaive-armed foe, who has adapted swiftly to the soldier's aggressive style. Ban fails to get inside the polearm's reach, taking a pair of bloody blows in the attempt and still finding himself out of reach, afterward. A bloody cut to the left leg slows him, and another to the right arm causes the lord to drop his unused pistol. Sword held in front of himself in a vertical guard, with his opponent waiting with timeless patience to strike him when next he charges. He comments, "I do hope these wounds leave a scar; I should hate to think a duel of this quality to be bloodless." He presumes survival, and even bloodied, hobbled and held at bay doesn't seem to doubt.
"Another pass?" Ban asks, met with a nod, and a modified hop-step into his lunge to minimize the weight on his wounded leg. The swordsman deflects a blow with a deft roll of the blade and slips the deadly glaive head, scoring one with a tight slash, before finishing with his sword's point, impaling the spectral rival upon the durasteel saber. "Well fought, sir," Ban breathes heavily as the Ebon Lord fades.
"You stand victorious, and my companions fall. Honor was shown here; honor we have not seen.. in a long time. Proceed now, all of you, to my vigil. The scion has sent you, but her cruelty does not reside inside of you; any of you...curious.." There is a sound that follows, and the ground rumbles and groans. The darkness ahead of them appeared to be caused by a set of massive doors.
When opened, the group is greeted by the sight of luminscent rivers of water that are pure glowing blue. Mushrooms, plants, jewels and gems grown and hang from the ceiling, which is high up, glowing green and beautiful blue. It is still so dark that these glowing objects appear like stars in a night sky all around them. At the center of the next room, far, far ahead, a brazier of green flames lights the only seemingly man-made platform in sight. Virgil, the figure in dark, robes, rises and stands as a shadow before the wavering lights of the braziers.
"Come. Come and speak with me." He says in a voice that somehow fills the entire expanse.
Straightening up slowly, Vhe winces a little but seems to be all in all ready to move on. A brow arches when the voice says they do not have any cruelty. "Strange way of finding that out," she grunts a bit but gives Elrych a nod of her head. A brief glance towards the others and she falls into step with them as her hands used to direct the force moments before fall to her sides.
The sudden glowing colors of the cavern leave her breathless however as her head tilts back and her gaze sweeps over the view. "By all that is good," she says in surprise. It is awe and admiration as well as the colors reflect in her gaze and play across her features. "So beautiful." That is added at last and she lets out a long breath as she turns her gaze towards the green flames and Virgil. Wariness might still be at the very heart of her but she looks to him, her head tilting and turning askance before her eyes dart around for more mist like foes.
Zan is standing straight, but the voice's words have her blinking, confused a bit. She glances over at each of the others, then watches as Elrych moves to help Vhe. "Is everyone alright?" she asks first, looking at Ban now. She knows she is not injured, but also that there's not much she can do to assist anyone on that front. She might be able to apply a bandaid if pressed. Mental note - work on learning first aid. That thought flits through, and then they're walking through, past the black and into the surreal world of blues and greens, the same colours as their lightsabers. If colours mean anything, this is very definitely unexpected. "Beautiful," she breathes, almost the same time as Vhe does. And then there's the voice at the centre, the shadow calling them to come and speak with him. Zan's gaze goes that way, and her head tilts a bit, thoughtfully. "Such an interesting way of presenting an invitation, isn't it?" She holds her lightsaber still, the blade not yet extinguished. Honour yes. Maybe. Rough and peasant-like as it is. But trust? Not so much, not unless it's earned.
Elrych Cometburn glances around, the bio luminescent glow reflecting well with is blade like a mishmash of winter fete lights against his face and sunglasses. He keeps that blade ignighted even as the being ushers them forward. He isn't entirely convinced just yet. He looks him up and down as they approach. "You a clone or a cyborg or some sort of hologram?" He was more than curious and slightly perplexed.
Ban Iskender takes effort to keep his gait even, but even moving more slowly, he favors to wounded leg as he bends to recover his dropped pistol, returning it to the holster. Vhe's comment that duels seem a strange way earn a curious look. "What better gauge of honor than a duel? It seems perfectly reasonable, though I mean to hear more of this Scion." A worried look goes to Aryn, with an unspoken concern shared in it. Zan is answered, "I will live, and prize the scars so won, mistress naMuriel." As the band enters the luminous chamber to meet its guardian, Ban spares a moment to admire their environs before addressing the figure in dark robes. On the heels of Elrych's blunt address, the nobleman adds, "My good sir, I pray you tell us what insult you took by our presence, and what we must know of this place to treat with you honestly."
Aryn is escorted by her loyal companion Lady Kiko, who has reclaimed her treasured rifle and holds it at the low ready. There's no hiding the fearful look written across her fair face, but their success in their duels provides the confidence in her stride at least. Aryn is looking over the others, and thought to offer them aid, but she remains silent when the voice takes command of their progress. At the rear of their formation, Aryn looks in awe at their surroundings. Such natural beauty, such.. she lacks the words to truly convey it. Their destination is the rising figure in robes, and it's to him she walks.
Lord Virgil stands an easy 6'7. He is massive, and his face remains unseen thanks to the shadow of a hood which is attached to his long, grey tattered robes. A lightsaber hangs from his synch, the make and design of which is ancient, intricate, and beautiful. The fastenings upon it glimmer in the light.
At the greetings, he raises his arms and chuckles. "I've seen you all. Peered into your minds. Lord Ban Iskender, Lady Kiko Alde, Zandra naMuriel, Elrych Cometburn, Vhe Tenara, and Lady Aryn Cole. Such diversity, all of your paths so shadowed by uncertainty. By doubt." He unclips his lightsaber, activating it with a subtle press. The blade extends in red, screaming and humming as he holds it up.
"Honesty. Integrity. These are virtues my Ebon Lords all held dear. It was to these virtues they rooted themselves when our Queen sent us here to find the deadliest of all weapons."
Virgil held the lightsaber to his side, not threateningly. "What am I? I am like you. Was.. like you. Remove my hood and you would see a face, but it's not my face or what I am that matters, Master Cometburn. It was my purpose. Feel, my friends, feel the presence of the force in this place. The roots of life of this world, still pure, still untainted. I thought you all the warriors of the Scion sent here to find her greatest weapon. Her.. 'last resort', her dormant knights left to the furthest outpost."
"You speak of Princess Lana, my Lord." Aryn says finally, clarifying his cryptic speech.
"I do. She is the Scion. Her people took this world from mine. Killed a peaceful people for the sake of land, for the sake of control. They did not ask, they invaded. Our purpose became war, and we called upon the greatest cataclysm of all." Virgil explained.
"The Mnggal Mnggal." Aryn clarified again.
"Yes, Lady Aryn. The Mnggal Mnggal. We struck a deal with the galaxy's greatest evil in return they would clear our world of the invaders. We Ebon Lords sacrificed ourselves to the dark entities, and they consumed us, but not our spirit. The dark side of the force is the pathway to many mysteries, some of them considered unnatural. Revenge was my purpose, my darkness, and the reason I am bound to this place. Lana's people murdered mine. Slaughtered entire cities, wiped them out with her bombs and tools of war. We thought our sacrifice would see her and her people taken away, but she lives in your memories. You've seen her, and now she sends you here to our final keep to end the legacy of this world without telling you your purpose before you came."
Virgil turns back to them now. "So tell me. As protectors of peace and justice; will you strike me down? Or, will you seek justice for my people and honor the sacrifice we made to save our world from evil?"
Vhe's brows lift, something in Virgil's words causing her to tense up and her hands now empty of anything tighten and ball into fists at her side. She draws a deep breath as her gaze locks onto the saber at his side and then finally up at the hood which hides the face that is not his face. "What price will this justice for your people cost? More death?" That last question clings in her throat, clogs her words a moment and the obvious trouble she has with what he is asking is clear. "I will not strike you down. But I do not know what exactly you are asking of any of us so I can not blindly accept the request to seek justice until I know." The loss they have suffered - if true - has clearly effected her and the jaded if snide comments she can sometimes make have taken a far more focused and methodical viewpoint of a clear right and wrong.
"A thousand years have passed," Zan says softly, thinking, not passing judgment. That thought aloud, as she tries to connect the dots and understand what is going on. "The Force has many mysteries indeed," she says. Her gaze goes to Vhe, as she speaks, and she nods once. Then she looks to Elrych, Ban and Aryn. "I don't know this Princess Lana more than to look at," she says to them. "It does seem like there's a lot more to the story, obscured by a thousand years of time that has passed." Her gaze goes to that Red blade, and then she says, "Dormant knights? Here? They've been sleeping for - all this time?" It's a question, after all. How were they not consumed by the dark as well? She's not attacking, certainly, but she's also not letting her guard down.
"If you got that far in my mind then you already know what I'm going to say." Elrych sys, a smirk plastered across his lips, "You can't trust dudes with a red lightsaber dealing in absolutles and asking you to choose one side or the other." The Corellian steps forwards a bit after glancing to Vhe, looking to her and giving a nod as if understanding something, "Yeah..." He turns back to Lord Virgil, "the Force is strong here. I'm not sure the point you're getting at" He shrugs, "I'm sorry about what happened to your people but this planet is big enough for all of you last I checked so maybe, you go hang out in your city and they can hang out in theirs and things will just be fine and dandy. You might even find some common ground right? Start some commerce. Trade is the way to peace after all." He says this without hesitation, without any kind of expectation that it'll work but he has to try.
Ban hears out the oration of the towering vigilant. He summarizes the story of this Virgil, "So. When faced with your own deaths, you chose death for all. A willing sacrifice to the greatest evil in the galaxy. For revenge." He doesn't sound angry, but the young lord is most definitely judgy. A look aside to Aryn, and the others as they speak, before settling back upon Virgil. "There is life in this place, yes.. but I hear of nothing but death in your heart, sir."
"I never wore hope well. It suits you. Suits you all. But I live to serve one purpose, the summation of why you're here. The dormant Knights are the ones you faced. They rise at my command.." He says, lifting his freehand, the glove tightening to form a fist. "The planet is no longer my war. Lana lives, therefore I live. Her champions, you all, stand between me and my purpose; my revenge. If you will not bring me Lana so justice can be done upon her, then I accept her challenge and face her champions." Ban's observation was right, and the presence of the dark side of the force rose its sickening head. Everyone attuned to the force felt it, making their stomach turn, their knees weak. Lord Ban had been right from the beginning. It was a challenge; now it was a challenge accepted. "Prepare yourselves for battle, Jedi. I command the full, fury of the dark side..." Purple electricity cycled over his hands as he brought his weapon up to hold it with both hands. He takes in an audibly deep breath and SCREAMS!
EVERYONE is hit by this wave of invisible energy and carried backward. Thundering steps echo on the stone as he lands to stand level with them. All 6'7 of him, massive and hulking.
Oh this is not going to end well. She can see it as the purple light crackles and then she is left catching her breath when he readies himself. Vhe stares at Virgil and its lowering a bit into readiness as she lifts her hands and starts to draw on the Force. It does not last, not when she is thrown back a few feet, her boots skidding as she leans into it to keep from tumbling onto her ass. The wild flare of her hair is even more so as she gasps out and blinks a moment, her eyes widening. There is no hesitation now. This is survival so that even while her ears ring she is pulling on the force and dragging off a piece of rock from the cavern to thrust the rock at him and manage to strike him solidly. There is a look of satisfaction as she does and the others move to engage physically with their sabers.
She growls a moment, focusing, trying to push out the feelings the conversation had dragged up through her from her recent past.
"Corrupted Knights," Zan says, as the dark lord speaks his mind. Hope is something that this group has aplenty, so much so that apparently even a thousand year old crazy dark lords can see it. As he sends them flying, she goes backwards too, stumbling until she lands ungracefully on her rear. A bruise that will heal quickly. Zan rises back to her feet, a regretful look on her face. "You have had this hatred gnawing at you for a thousand years?" she asks, incredulous. "I am sorry to hear it, for it must eat - so painfully." Ringing ears, she can't hear her own words, but she starts forward, swinging her lightsaber. Balance off the first swing misses or perhaps he parried, she's not sure. She swings a second time, connecting with something and feeling it all the way through the blade through her hands and up her arms. She pulls back to regroup, unhappy with the situation. She takes up a defensive stance, as soon as she can, watching for another opening.
Elrych raises his neon blue blade up in defense as the purple lightning streaks out and above. Then comes the... blast. His feet dig in and hands come up crossing to block the blast. The ground tares against his boots until the momentum slows to a stop. "Krif... the /full/ power of the Dark Side?" He stretches his neck, "Alright then..." He twirls his blade around his wrist before he lashes out like lightning. Thunder sounds as in a flash of movent Elrych is right beside Lord Virgil, his blade slicing deep into the dark Lord's body. His other two inhumanly fast swings are other wise parried. He then returns the distance between them to wait for another opening to attack. "It was foolish of you to trust the Darkness. It can only ever consume you until you are nothing but a husk."
Ban is thrown back as are the others, falling to one knee as his wounded leg briefly gives out. Teeth grinding in a moment's concession to pain, as he mutters aside to Aryn, "In keeping my Lady's company, I find that I really must get hold of a lightsaber, to keep up." Not mad enough to try his hand at swordplay against a lightsaber, he adds a trio of blaster bolts to the efforts of his fellows to slow the last Ebon Lord.
Aryn and Kiko are sent flying backward with the others. Kiko lands hard on her stomach and rolls, the sound of rocks and dirt grinding against her armor. She is slow to rise, disoriented, but she stays in a kneeling position, shouldering her blaster and firing a single, over-charged green bolt that disappears against the robes of the ancient Ebon Lord. Three Jedi Knights swarm him, and it's to them he enforces much of his focus, twirling and intercepting their lightsaber blades with some practiced ease. He is not attuned enough to handle all of the attention he's earned though.
An earth rumbling tremor sends up a wave of dust in every direction as he catches a rock thrown from Vhe in the chest, yet it shatters around him and he only slides back. "Speak not to what you know little about. I would do anything for my people! Would you not do the same?!" Aryn is struck then as she rises with Ban, distracted for only the moment the young Lord claims her attention. The result of the strike sends Aryn spinning back as a portion of her robes ash into the air like embers. She cries out and lands out of sight, her weapon deactivating.
"ARYN!" Kiko cries out, and turns her hateful stare toward Virgil. "YOU'LL DIE FOR THAT!" -- "Ah, Revenge. Even as Champions you taste it. The call for it. The call for justice. Strike me down and achieve what I have waited a 1000 years for! STRIKE ME DOWN FOR YOUR JUSTICE!"
Something is off. Something feels wrong especially when Virgil cries out for them to cut him down. It brings her up short as she watches them all attack and the newest of the Jedi while in the midst of throwing another stone that suddenly drops to the ground with a crunching sound. She glances to each, "Who's justice?! This is not justice, this is a problem that has created evil in its place that has remained for centuries long after. I refuse to do as you wish us to....I refuse to be like /them/. Destruction is not going to change what happened!" Whatever that truth is. Vhe looks like she is not even certain what that truly is.
She stands down, stepping back to make sure she's not in the way of the others as she holds her hands palm out at her sides to show she remains unarmed. She breathes in and out, releasing her breath as she lets her mind clear again.
"For justice?" Zan asks, as she looks at the dark lord. "Not at all." At least, not in her case. Vhe stops, and Zan feels that, hears her words. But she isn't in this for justice, but balance. She moves back in, to take an opening, but there is no anger within her. Still that calm. That calm that has been with her since Aryn reminded her of Rey. Inspiration is there, and Zan says, "But to stop your pain and suffering, to restore the balance? That is reason to continue to move forward. To defend and protect."
"Nah, It won't change what happened but it might shut him up because good FORCE this dude is on some Next Level Drek." Elrych says a bit winded from the fight. He takes a deep breath, "You're a better Jedi than I, Vhe but if we don't stop him... who knows what he'll do next." He gives her a soft smile before turning back towards their opponant. The Force then swells within him and once again the Corellian Jedi flashes forward in a clap of Force thunder and strikes a solid blow with his saphire blade.
Several blows find the ancient Dark Lord and he falls back as a result, his weapon deactivating and falling into obscurity of the pitch dark ground. It's to one knee that he collapses, laughing at first, then collapsing. "Enjoy it.." He says with his dying breaths. "My purpose remains, yet I do not. Even in death, all I crave is justice. Now I die for them, for my people. For my.." As his last breath releases, the form beneath the robes disappears and all that's left is the robe clothing. Virgil was gone, but his presence was still there. A whisper fills the chambers, fills their ears. "..my champions return to answer the call..."