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re: Family Values

((Exquisite story, characters, and structure. I couldn't stop reading. I need moar!))

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Joined: 27 May 2012
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re: Family Values

The wind blew hard against the two figures walking through the barren wasteland. The figures were opposite in their silhouettes. One was of tall broader build and the other an average height and slim figure. The one thing they had in common was their attire. Both wore black robes with hoods over their heads. Under those hoods were black wraps of bandages covering their faces except for the eyes, the taller man’s were a bright crimson red while the thin man had a mixed color of one red and the other a yellow that seemed to move with a glow that grew and fade in its brightness. The walked over a hill to see a ruined village made from the same stone that the cliffs of crimson around them were made of. The taller man sighed “This is the home of my family ancestors.” He looked at the man next to him “You didn’t have to come. I know how you feel about leaving your hunting grounds.”
The slender man turned to his companion “I know it is hard for you to believe but after all the time we spent together… The big brute started to grow on me.” The tall man remained silent and continued his way into the city.

As he made his way through the ghost town and gazed on the ruins of this once great city, flashes of his childhood flooded his mind.

The moon gave the village an amazing view of the crimson planet. He was but seven and next to him stood his brother who was four at the time but was of an incredible build even then as he stood as tall as his older counterpart. They were on a plain of flat ground with rocks piled as targets and obstacles. The boys wore only cloth trousers and left the rest of their crimson skin showing. Their bodies were rigid with their postures uniform fore they were not alone. As they kept their eyes ahead a giant man, bigger than even the younger brother could ever dream of becoming, walked out from behind them. He folded his arms behind his back and paced back and forth as he looked over every inch of them. His face was harder than stone and his heart colder than ice. He stopped his pacing in front of the younger boy, he tossed him a practice saber “Prijoft, do not fail me again.” He spoke in the ancient Sith’ari tongue. The boy’s face was sharp and focused “Double time it!” As soon as the man said his final word the boy sprinted of into the course. He leapt, slid, and side stepped around all the rocks in his way. The giant man used the force to fire rocks at the child. The boy dodged all of them with grace and easy. Then he came to the targets, the boy of only four, swung his practice saber at the targets that not only fell to his might but were completely obliterated. Some targets he destroyed with one blow and others with multiple strikes to show his speed. He sprinted back to fall in line with his brother.
He had a grin on his face as he was proud of his work but the older brother knew better when he looked at his father’s face. Their father walked up to Prijoft and smacked him with back of his hand as hard as he could. Prijoft was sent flying into the air and landed thirty feet away. The older brother watched as his father stormed across the field to pick his youngest up by the throat. Tears rolled down Prijoft’s young face as he looked into the burning eyes of his father “Wipe those tears away! You are my son!” He threw the boy back towards his brother. He landed with a dull thud. The older brother stood at attention with only his eyes looking down at his brother. He wanted to help but he knew better then to cross his father. Prijoft made eye contact with his brother and he saw the meaning in his eyes. So he stood up and copied his older half. The father walked back towards them “Prilloth, show your brother what it means to be a Kalkord!”
The boy sprinted off at a speed he now lacked in his old age. He did not stop running when he came to the obstacles but shot a powerful blast at everything in his way. When he came to his target section he leapt into the air and spun. He pulled back both hands as he spun around, charging up for a powerful blast. He unleashed all his fury into the blast and when it made contact it turned not just one but all the targets into dust. He landed and continued sprinting back into line. Their father clapped as Prilloth resumed his position but Prilloth, unlike his brother, remained emotionless except for a second that Prijoft saw a flicker of almost fury in his eyes but it was gone as quickly as it came. The man turned quickly to slap his youngest yet again “You must learn to be more like your brother. You will practice your saber form until the morning without food or water. This will give you time to reflect on your mistakes.”

For the next few months they would be called on at random times to their training field. They could be summoned at any time their Father so decided whether that be the middle of the day or middle of the night. Either way each boy answered the call immediately and sprinted as fast as they could to their Father. There they were pitted against each other, sometimes it was a duel or it could have been one of those special days when their Father needed to teach them to endure pain. On those days their Father forced one child to beat the other to near death. It was a horrible and bloody way of training but it was something they would never forget. Each time it took longer and longer for the other to pass out from pain. Every time they awoke from their forced slumber they were forced to run the obstacle course it didn’t matter that bones were broken or cuts were bleeding freely they ran. He could still remember the crunch of his leg as he ran the course.

Prilloth shook the thought out of his head as he continued through the city. His companion looked up at him “You alright there? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” The Sith turned his head to his mad friend “No…. Not yet.” More visions came to him.

Every other year their Father was summoned to their ancestral home only to return with Imperial scouts seeking force sensitive beings to be taken to train at the Sith Academy. Every time they came they took a small group back to Korriban. During this time their Father sent the boys away somewhere they would not be found. Every time he said the same line “It is not time to unleash your fury. Your soldiers must train and when the time comes, you will lead them into a new age.” The two accepted this without any hesitation fore it was the way of life they had been brought up with even if they didn’t fully understand what he meant by these words at first. The scout were not the only thing that Father returned with, he brought back two members of the Sith order. Human Sith. He remembered the first time his brother Prijoft was invited to join him in this ritual that defined what is meant to live as a member of the Kalkord family.

They were in the middle of nowhere. There was not a single landmark to indicate their position, nothing but the flat land that held up five figures. It had only been two years since the events of the last vision but the boys’ physical features had become large and solid, almost as if a smaller version of their Father. Even the way they stood at attention was the same, feet spread shoulder width apart and arms crossed behind their backs. The only differences in their forms were their faces. Prijoft stood an inch taller than his brother; His face was stern and chiseled. His hair was short and neat. The bright crimson eyes his entire family shared were cool and collected. His mouth was one unwavering straight line. To his left was his older brother, Pilloth. He had watched his brother turn from the caring, perfect role model figure to a cruel and power hungry man. Prilloth’s hair was longer than his brother’s and swept back, which on someone else would look neat and formal but somehow on him it looked mean, menacing and wrong. His eyes darted around taking every detail and made multiple plans in his head as he gathered information. The crimson in his eyes was wild and burned with fury and desire. His mouth was twisted upwards into a sinister and cruel grin, his white teeth showing like a rabid animal bearing its fangs. Prilloth had stood here before, that was something Prijoft could tell from the eagerness that was evident on his face. The older brother was Father’s favorite. He recognized his need to constantly gain more and more power so Father fed his addiction with extra training and private lessons. In front of the boys were two humans with their heads hung low and both kneeling in defeat.

Behind them stood Father who looked like ice as usual, a calm sheet that could break with the slightest touch and unleash the fury that it held. He raised his hand in invitation towards his youngest “Prijoft, welcome to the Rite of Purity. It is time you learn the reason why our family left Korriban to live on its moon. We had to leave to escape the infection that is the alien swarm.” He gestured down to the two men in front of him “These two are examples of the filth that has stained the name of Sith! They have crossbred with our race and taken our name as title of power as if it makes them worthy! Our entire family line can be traced back to the time of King Adas himself! When they came to our planet many of our species decided to embrace them and began to breed with them. This happened for a while before our family saw that they just wanted to use us for their own gain. So we gathered all that would listen and moved our home here where we were free from the humans grasp. They brought an end to the Golden Age of the Sith’ari and now the old race is extinct! This vermin now place themselves above us and think us a dying race but you will prove them wrong. You will one day rise up against them and return the Crimson Skin to the top of all hierarchy. You will destroy anyone who stands in your way and you will succeed. Every member these false ‘Sith’ have taken has become a part of the society and wait for the day you call upon them. When that day comes they will flock to your side and serve you unto their dying breath. Every time they take us to serve them we take some of them to equal the trade. We use this ritual to symbolize the coming storm we will bring upon their ‘Empire’. Now it is time we begin.” He handed a giant warblade to Prijoft. The young boy thought his Father had started chanting but when he looked at him, his face was still and observant. Prijoft looked to his right to see that Prilloth was the one chanting in a low deep voice. His brother walked slowly up to the man in front of him. His hands placed on each side of the man’s head. The kneeling man let out an unimaginable scream. It sounded as if someone was ripping his soul right out of his body. Throughout all of this Prilloth did not stop his chant but he still had that cruel smile on his face. Then there was silence as he let go of them man, the body fell sideways. Prilloth walked backwards slowly as blood dripped from his hands. Prilloth looked at his brother and nodded to signal that is was his turn. He hesitantly approached the man, warblade in hand. Now both Prilloth and his Father were chanting as he raised his blade high above the man’s neck. The boy gave one quick look to his Father who returned it with a nod and the first look of acceptance he had ever given his son in his entire life. This gave Prijoft the push he needed to join his family so with all of his anger and new found hatred; He swung the blade down with a roar onto the neck of his newly found enemy.

Prilloth walked to the edge of the city to see the giant wall in the distance. It had an entrance carved into it and on both sides of it were statues of ancient Sith that were roaring into the air, their arms tense and out to the side with fisted clenched “Happy bunch aren’t you?” the thin man said sarcastically. Prilloth kept walking “Happy isn’t the word I would use to describe anyone in my family.” They made their way to the entrance as the next flood of memories his him.

Another two years had gone by since that night and their training had gone from purely body and force building to lessons of the mind. The boys no longer had the same teaching and teacher. Prijoft stayed to learn with his Father while Prilloth went to train with his Mother. She was a slender and beautiful woman for someone of their race but she was wise and powerful in ancient Sith Magic which was why Prilloth worked with her every day for he showed extraordinary power in the force. While Prijoft was a master of three saber techniques already he was near the physical equal of their Father. Every lesson Prilloth had with his Mother left him with new powers and knowledge. She taught him ways to take life and ways to give it, she taught him ways to level cities and raise armies however the most powerful knowledge she bestowed upon him was that of how to absorb the power of a spirit. Once his Mother finished the lesson on spirits she told him “This will one day be part of the key to your victory.” He didn’t know how at the time but he took her word for it thinking that he would never have to use it. She was stern and fierce in his training. If he failed in any part of the practices he would be subject to an hour of lighting. It taught him to become a quick learner and made him pay attention to every detail. After a year he had dozens of books covered cover to cover in notes of everything he had learned. After one long day of training his Father came for him. They walked out around the outskirts of their village in silence for a very long time and Prilloth was not about to say anything because when it came to his Father he knew he was the favorite but even then he knew to only speak when spoken to. His Father cleared his throat “I have decided that you shall be the one to lead us into a new age. Your brother is strong but he does not share your ever burning rage for our cause. You shall be the head of a new order and he will be your right hand to use as a mighty weapon on those who stand in your way.” Prilloth’s chest swelled with pride “I will not let you down Father.” The man looked down at his son “No I don’t think you will.”

From that day on he had even more lessons that went into the night. These lessons were about politics throughout the galaxy. How every planet’s political system worked, the chain of command, the Sith Order’s hierarchy, Hutt alliances, Madolorian honor codes and even the inner workings of the Jedi Order. He learned how to make speeches that inspire the hearts of soldiers into undying loyalty or turn brother on brother or even how to crush the spirits of his enemies. He did start to share a class with his brother. It was all about leadership and battle strategy. Prijoft excelled in leadership, he had all the qualities of an outstanding commander. While on the other hand Prilloth had mastered all kinds of strategy and solved every battle scenario his Father put in front of him.

They came to the entrance of the tomb to see Prilloth’s Elite Guard posted up on the statues. The thin companion ran forward and spread his arms out in delight “Yay! The dogs are here! Can we keep them daddy?! Can we?!”
Sethi who was standing on the shoulder of the left statue spoke out to her Master in a strong voice but even with all of her toughness you could hear the slight hesitation and tiny amount of fear. “You brought ‘IT’ with you?” Prilloth smiled as he removed the black bandages from his face and signaled for his companion to do the same
“While you were securing the location I had to make sure no one would get near me.” At that Naile appeared out of nowhere at his side.
“We could have done that for you without having to bring this… thing with you.” Prilloth threw Naile back towards the statue with the force “Don’t question my orders again. I do not doubt your strength or abilities but I needed you here.” He made his way into the tomb “Besides, Fek is on a different level than you entirely. Naile I want you to cover the entrance and signal us if you see anything. The rest of you are with me.” He said as he entered the tomb and began to remember more.

Many years had passed since those lessons and the boys were nearing adulthood. They each had become forces to be feared. Power radiated from them freely, they embraced their hate and harnessed it into their very beings. They had finally become all that their Father had hoped for. Prilloth had been summoned to meet with his Mother and Father that evening. They were sitting around a fire inside their home when he arrived. He noticed that Prijoft was absent from this family gathering. His Father gestured towards the seat opposite them and stated in his usual stern voice “Sit.” He made his way over and placed himself down. The fire made a glow that danced across their crimson skin that seemed to be alive and moving. His Father looked at him hard for a long time before he spoke “It is time you take your place as ruler and head of this family. You may now speak freely with us.”
Prilloth was taken aback by this at first but then embraced his title “Thank you, Father. Is that all you have brought me here for?”
It was his Mother who spoke “No my child. We are going to give you the final tools you will need for our return to power.” She pulled out an ancient looking holocron and handed it to him “This is what you will need to level the playing field.”
As he looked at it his Father spoke up “The next tool is the power to use such a weapon. However it will not be immediately given to you but will take decades to come into your hands and you must only take this power when you are ready. Do I make myself clear?” He asked the question with such intensity that he knew he needed to follow it “
Yes, Father.”
The man leaned back “Good now here is the plan.” After it was explained to him what must happen he was dismissed from their home. He wondered to the small house he and his brother shared in a daze. He knew what must be done but he still couldn’t believe what he just heard or what he must do. He entered to find his brother tending to his blade. Prijoft looked up and saw the look on his older brother’s face “What is wrong brother?” Prilloth explained everything he had just been told. The brothers argued for what seemed like hours but in the end they both knew that this was the only way that they could get the upper hand in the coming revolution.

He continued to make his way towards the Master Chamber where his Mother, Father and Prijoft where now buried. The tomb was dark as most tombs were but the difference in this tomb was that no living thing came near it. The whole place emitted an aura that unnerved everyone around it. The only ones unfazed by the feeling seemed to be himself, who was familiar with the radiating aura, and Feklost who either didn’t feel anything or just didn’t care. The others, Pyktis and Sethi, seemed on edge though and had a look of paranoia in their faces and body language. They finally came to the entrance of the chamber. He turned to his followers “Stay here and no matter what happens” He paused to look at them “don’t come in here.” He saw his Elite distance themselves from Fek immediately, who stood on the other side of the door from them. Fek just looked at them with a smile that a child would make when you gave it candy but when he wore it the only way to describe it was evil. Prilloth left them and shut the doors behind him.

The room was dark except for a single, giant, glowing red light hanging from the ceiling that emitted a faint glow just bright enough to see the objects directly below it. Under it were three sarcophaguses that were cast in a light red hue. They were on top of an elevated platform. He climbed up the stairs and kneeled before them. He started to meditate and focus the force around his body and extended his mind out across the room. When he emerged from this state he looked up to see the forms of his dead family looking the same as he last saw them. They stood in a ring around him. They all looked blue and yet transparent, there were red and black tendrils that seemed to come from their forms then fade away into nothing.
His Father who stood in the middle of the trio, he extended his hand towards Prilloth “Rise my son.” His hand raised as Prilloth stood. He looked at the trio in turn, left to right, first his Mother then his Father and then he rested on his brother
“Brother I am-“ but Prijoft raised his hand and cut him off midsentence.
“Do not apologize to me. I was stubborn and died so do not mourn me.” Prilloth nodded then addressed them all
“The time has come for our plan to fall into motion. I will raise our people into an army of fury the likes this galaxy has never seen before and we will bring about the new age under the Crimson Rule!” He clenched his fists “They will know to fear us. If they will not bow to our might then we will cut them down.”
His Mother approached him “Do you still remember what I taught you all those years ago?” He nodded
“How could I forget after all you put me through to embed those lessons in my mind?” She gave him a sinister grin that was all too similar to his own
“Then perform the ritual my son. Remember that you can call on us for wisdom at any time.” At that he started the chant that he learnt as a child. He could hear the groans of pain that came from them as they were being pulled into his mind. Then the chant was over and they were gone. He could feel new found power in his body the likes he had never felt before.

When he emerged from the doors he saw disgust on the guards face while on his other side was the mad man cackling away on something he just said. Prilloth rose an eyebrow at him “I was just telling them about how you can skin a human in two cuts! Then I told them the one about the kid and his mother!” He burst into laughter again but Prilloth simply walked past them all towards a room on the right. He pushed open the doors to reveal a huge cylindrical room filled with stone sarcophaguses. He stopped his men and told them to wait at the entrance while he continued until he stood in the middle of the room. The spirits in this room were nowhere near to the power of even one of his family but every bit helps his cause and he didn’t want them to have died for nothing. He performed the ritual again and spirits came from every direction to mold with him.
When it was done he took a moment to catch his breath then he walked back out of the chamber and towards the exit. Fek matched his pace and spoke to him in his usual gleeful tone “Who were those people?” He asked. Prilloth kept his eyes forward and focused on the exit but he still decided to reply
“People from my village.” Fek cocked his head to the side
“And how did they get there?”
He sighed “I had them put there.”
The insane Sith’ari was quiet for a moment then asked “And when did you put them there?”
Prilloth stopped for a moment to look the man right in the eyes “Right after I killed them.”

When they exited the tomb and faced the light of day again Naile jumped down from the statue to their left. The Elite formed a neat line in front of him while Feklost sloppily stood at his side “So what is the next move boss?”
Prilloth’s eyes sparked with his new energy “Fek I want you to go back to Nar Shaddaa and remind everyone why it is that they should fear you. And you have no restrictions this time, do as you please to meet your goals.” The man spun about and sprinted back towards the space dock. All they could hear were the sounds of his laughter as he ran from them. He turned back to his Guard “As for the rest of you. I want you to rally all those who have pledged their allegiance. It is time to unite under the Crimson Rule.” With that they ran off on the trails of the lunatic. Prilloth raised his hood over his head and slowly walked back to the ship.

No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.
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