Dedicated to Eilidh. Thank you for being there for me. I love you very much.
Korriban, 2452 BBY
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.
Darth Skyrroth, dark lord of the Sith under the Sith Empire, grew weary. For three days and three nights he had been deep in a trance, allowing the dark energy to envelope him and consume him.
He sat atop the peak of a large, ancient tomb. Its contents had been exposed to the elements and corroded over the years, although rumours at the academy had circulated that it was the lost tomb of Darth Andeddu the Immortal.
The academy. In his mind it had been so long since his graduation and subsequent apprenticeship.
In reality, it had been ten short years. Skyrroth had not enjoyed his time there. He saw the many other candidates with their friends and cliques and looked down upon them with hatred and contempt.
It was not the way of a true Sith to waste time laughing with others. Ever since first being shown how to touch the Force, Skyrroth had put all of his time towards searching for the secrets of the dark side.
It was this dedication to the war against the Jedi which had earned him the title of Darth. In his mind's eye, he saw a scarlet pyramid, it's energy illuminating the small stone walled room in which it sat.
From far below the depths of the temple he was perched atop, Skyrroth sensed a surge of dark energy emanating outward, calling to be claimed…
Verwyn Tikean rose to her feet and clipped her lightsaber to her belt, breathing in the sterile air of the Jedi Temple.
The many creatures inhabiting the planet tugged at her senses, flooding her subconscious with awareness of bugs and Akk-Hounds alike.
She turned, her white robes waving silently, and walked gracefully through the sliding door that separated her small quarters from the rest of the Jedi's rooms.
As she walked to the training area for her morning exercises, she took in the smell of fresh caf, it's strong but enticing scent combing her nostrils.
The sight of several smiling faces pleased her greatly, whilst not inducing an affection beyond the scope of the Jedi way.
Finally at the training area, she greeted the droid managing the training programs and stepped into the arena, shrugging off her Ivory cloak.
The arena was a lowered pit, with walls of around 12 feet surrounding its inhabitants. Several beams supported the ornate ceiling, with several worn out images carved into the white stone.
Several sections of the floor slid away, allowing for HK-47 assassin droids to ascend through the gaps, all gripping blasters set to stun. The sleek droids eyes glowed crimson, which blended well with the muddy brown shade of their chassis.
She drew in a calm breath before closing her eyes, allowing the force to envelope her.
Before she had time to make the decision, Verywn's lightsaber was spinning in all directions, deflecting cobalt rays back at the droids in a flurry so fluid that it was almost invisible to the naked eye.
Her instincts commanded her to perform subtle movements which kept her perfectly safe from the onslaught.
The yellow blade clashed with the colour of her bright blue hair, giving it a golden tinge every few seconds as blasts were returned whence they came.
The sound of echoing blaster fire died slowly and Verywn's ears rang. She opened her eyes, only then noticing that every droid had been disabled.
"Excellent work, Knight Tikean." A voice called from the entrance to the arena. She glanced over, wiping sweat from her forehead, and saw a balding, older man approaching.
"Master Kevar, to what do I owe this unexpected pleasure?"
He greeted her with a warm smile which she promptly returned.
"I come bearing an assignment from Coruscant. Top priority. Please," he said, gesturing towards the door.
"I apologise for disrupting your studies, Verwyn - I may call you Verwyn, might I?"
"You may call me whatever you wish, Master." she replied, her voice soft, "Please, continue."
"I'll keep this as concise as possible. It isn't common practice for Jedi to engage in… espionage, for lack of a better word. However, our war against the Sith is calling for nontraditional methods. The last time our Order was facing such choices, Revan and Malak charged off to fight the Mandalorians, and that predicament nearly saw the Jedi go extinct."
He sighed, cradling the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index finger.
"I do not believe deception to be the way of the Jedi, but the Council has made its decision. Republic informants in Sith space have been whispering about a discovery on the Sith world."
"Korriban." she said, still listening intently.
"Correct. It is being alleged that the holocron of Darth Andeddu has finally been found."
He paused for a moment, before continuing, "What do you know of Andeddu?"
"Only what the archives have on him." she told him, scouring her memories for anything she may have forgotten, "He achieved immortality - to some degree anyway - through ancient Sith sorcery. He was later killed by his apprentice, and his fabled secrets were contained only within a holocron that was never found. The Sith cannot be allowed to have that power, the lives lost would be innumerable!"
Kevar nodded gravely, "Which is precisely the reason for your assignment. The Council wants you to infiltrate Korriban and steal the holocron, so it can be safely stored in the Jedi archives."
"It will be done."
Verwyn Tikean looked out at the barren surface of Korriban from the windows of the shuttle, where she was traveling in under the identity of Samwer Rafru, a miner hired to assist in excavating the tombs where the holocron was said to have been. A dark brown poncho covered gray mining overalls, already ragged and worn. In the aisle next to her sat a T3 astromech unit, whose many slots and compartments housed her lightsaber, should things go sideways.
The shuttle lowered itself into the depths of a spaceport, and engaged its landing gear. There was a soft thud beneath Verwyn's feet, and the workers began to file towards the descending ramp.
Ever since jumping to the system, Verwyn's senses had been clouded by the overwhelming darkness that was ever present. As much as it discomforted her, she had to endure it. Any Jedi calming techniques would only risk her exposure at the hands of Sith acolytes.
Verywn's pickaxe collided with the rock face in front of her, the vibration echoing throughout her bones. She wiped the sweat from her hands on her overalls. Looking around, she saw that she was at last alone.
The Jedi dropped her pickaxe to her side, her arms cracking from being bent for so long.
She began walking through the various nooks and crannies of the tomb, before eventually arriving at an ornate doorway with two silver armoured Sith troops at each side.
"Restricted area, get back to work." One of them said, his voice tinny from the helmet which covered his head.
Before having to turn around, she glanced into the room, sensing the dark energy pulsing close by.
That must be it, she thought, before returning to work.
Verwyn was well aware of the obstacles this presented. In her ideal scenario, nobody would die. Such an outcome was not likely, least of all in the heart of Sith territory.
Every second on the world, she felt her connection to the light being strained.
There was no doubt in her purity of conviction, although being entrenched in darkness had taken its toll.
She buried her face in her hands as she sat perched on the edge of her bunk in the cramped worker's quarters. Tomorrow night, she thought, will be when I make my move.
Verwyn felt the reassuring thud of her lightsaber against her robes as she crept through the tunnels leading to the tomb.
Now dressed in full Jedi attire, she was ready to steal the Holocron and escape. The dark eminence drew her ever closer, trying and failing to tempt her to evil.
At last she reached the doorway to the Holocron chamber. The two guards raised their weapons.
Before their fingers could reach the triggers, their heads were on the ground. Verwyn hadn't meant to kill them so carelessly.
This dark place has corrupted me. I need to get out.
She slowly walked into the room, feeling her senses being further muddled by the power within.
Several whispers could be heard, all coming from inside the scarlet pyramid.
She approached it, and quickly grabbed it. The darkness overwhelmed her, bringing her to the ground.
Visions flashed before her eyes. A black suited being of pure power rose from a table slowly. She saw Jedi being blasted all at once, the Order in flames.
This is what will happen if I fail, I cannot waste time here.
"Weak." A voice boomed behind her. She spun around, her vision returning, and saw a tall bulky man in the doorway, his face concealed by a black hood.
"Who are you?" She asked him.
"I am Darth Skyrroth, and I will be your end."
"Your reliance on your hatred blinds you to the truth."
He laughed deeply, the room echoing with this malicious cackle.
"My hatred gives me power beyond that of any Jedi. You are weak."
"That may be so, but I am still strong in comparison to you. You mistake your methods of weaponising the force for strength. I find strength in my willpower, not by harming others."
"We shall put this to the test..."
In a brilliant flurry of light, both yellow and red lightsabers were ignited, clashing against one another violently.
Verwyn raised her blade above her head and struck for the sith lord's head. Her attack was blocked by the crimson blade, causing sparks to fly between them.
She twisted and swung her blade, protecting her body from being slashed.
The large man's brutal onslaught was too much for her, and an attack broke through her line of defense. Her side was grazed, and she recoiled in pain.
Her back hit the floor, sending pain sprawling up her spine. Verwyn felt her windpipe closing as Skyrroth squeezed his fist slowly shut.
She summoned every ounce of strength possible and swung her blade towards him, catching him off guard and causing his grip to release.
This maneuver gained a vital second, which she used to call her saber back into her open hand and begin her attack once more.
As he tried to parry her every move, he left his shoulder exposed, something that Verwyn picked up on immediately.
Her sun-coloured sword removed his arm at the joint, eliciting a furied scream from the large man. He staggered backwards, his saber fell to the ground with the rest of the arm. She plunged her blade deep into his heart, and swiftly extinguished it.
"The force…" he rasped, "shall free me…"
The life drained from his eyes, and his face hit the floor.
The Jedi High Council on Coruscant all sat in a circular chamber, facing Verwyn Tikean.
She had worn dark brown robes since arriving home from Korriban, presenting a much less welcoming image than her white outfit.
"Your bravery and dedication have earned you the rank of Master, Tikean. Even if you did not find the Holocron, to go to Korriban and return alive is a feat not to be taken lightly. A place on the council is open to you, should you want it."
"Thank you, I am most honoured. I will take this offer under advisement, if I may be dismissed." She replied monotonously.
Verwyn Tikean, Jedi Master known for her generosity and strict morals, turned to leave the chamber as a Master Consular.
Her eyes glowed like flames as she entered the turbolift, burning yellow. The holocron had shown her the possibilities that the dark side offered. It seduced her, lured her in.
She knew she still wanted to serve the order, although if she had good intentions, the dark side could be bound to her will. Many had tried and failed, but this time would be different, she swore by it…