Fortress Vader: Path of the Broken

Somm Orjoz

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Somm slid to a stop behind the others, he could still hear his mother’s voice in his head. The bone chilling screams echoed eerily around the empty desert and the adrenaline gave him a second wind, bringing everything into sharp focus, driving away the voice and leaving only the screams of the monsters that ran at them. His arms still ached as he pulled his saber off his belt and ignited the yellow blade. There was no talking their way through this one, no trick or test of the force, this was going to be a straight fight.


Before Somm slipped into his the first stance of Soresu he pulled up the makeshift bandanna that had been given to him by a fellow padawan, as protection from the dust storms on Eriadu, It may not protect the eyes but at least he could now breathe slightly easier. He placed his right foot back and slightly extended his left. Gripping the hilt with both hands he held the blade vertically, his hands at waist height guarding the right-hand side of his body. He recalled the teachings of the Knight Eckaaso Shyn, who had assisted Somm with his blade work. He would wait for the hellish enemy to attack and try to read them, analyse their movement and wait for the opportune time to strike back.
 

Ventrik Storm

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Ventrik was taken aback by the Gungan’s response, Has he turned away from the Eternal? No... surely not... His eyes drifted over the two Jedi, they were clearly weakened after their ordeal, whatever that may have been, however, Ventrik was wary of what they would do if he were to turn his back. He turned back to Magos, “I hope you know what you’re doing here.”

All of a sudden, he heard it. The screams, the blood-curdling shrieks from within the camp. Ventrik snapped around as quickly as possible, raising his lightsaber in the defensive stance of Soresu, he knew full well that they would be on the back foot at the beginning of this onslaught. Standing alongside his fellow Eternal, Ventrik’s blood began to race, his excitement building at the prospect of a good fight. “Stand firm! These things will not stop until either we or they have fallen for good!”

He tried and failed to suppress a smile as Magos spouted his usual ‘Brother Force’ nonsense. However, his smile quickly faded as he noticed the sand beginning to obscure their vision. This is where the fun begins...

@Strabo @Ulysses @Alelcai
 

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Everything about this place made it difficult to fight. The air was thick with the heat and dust. The sand below was deep, making obtaining and keeping proper footing hard. The visibility was reduced to only a few feet as the dust storm grew in intensity.


The horde of monsters did not attack with any cohesion, instead, they attempted to roll over the group with sheer numbers. They attacked with a bestial ferocity. They attacked with jagged staves, claws, teeth or anything else they could. Multiple enemies attacked each of the group's members


As they attacked, they overwhelmed Xander as several attacked at once, pinning his lightsaber arm to the side. Another swung down with it's staff, severing the Jedi's left hand at the wrist. The weight of the combined attack forced him to the ground where the sands swallowed him in an instant. He would wake back on his ship, searing pain in his arm. It would be unsure if the place had been real or not, but his wounds and missing hand were very real.


Just so everything is out in the open. Ulysses has timed out which is why his Jedi has been removed from the thread and suffered wounds. Please continue to take care to post within the 48 hour time limit.


@Strabo @Alelcai @Swain Mephisto @Ulysses
 

Magos Otahn

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Magos was shocked by the sudden ferocity of the storm. His amphibious skin burned in the dry sand, and his already altered vision became even more restricted. The showy "elan" he had call upon before the fight was smothered under the storm and ferocity of the attack, but he kept the pain within him, and fed the kernel of the dark side it produced. His modified Makashi blade work lacked the typical mobility in return for stability. It served him well in this Hellish abyss. He deflected one of the brutes' club quickly reset his blade outward. again hoping to run through one of these monsters.

Out of the corner of his still good eye he saw one of the young Jedi, the human, go down under an attack by three. He bellowed powerfully and stabbed his blade forward toward the cruel beast who lay before him. He SHOUTED out to his remaining company. "JEDI, VENTRIK, ARE YOU STILL STANDING? WE LOST ONE OF OUR OWN! LET US STAND TOGETHER, BACK TO BACK, VENTRIK WAS RIGHT WE EITHER SLAY THEM ALL ARE ARE SLAIN OURSLEVES, JUST KEEP HOLDING!" His voice was dry and sandblasted by the end of this, but he followed through with tightening the circle seeing as only three remained.

Lord Vader,
God of this Domain,
If any of your divinity here lingers,
Grant us the strength to complete these hardships,
And clemency to those who have failed,
May they not perish,
But rather live on with the natural darkness,
And find passionate rest.

@Swain Mephisto @Ulysses @Alelcai
 

Somm Orjoz

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The creatures barrelled out of the sandstorm towards the dwindling group. Somm deflected a glancing blow from a nasty looking stave as it swung towards his head, as he swung his blade back round to slice at the monster’s midriff it seemed to slip away into the sand, his blade cutting through nothing. From the corner of his eye he saw Xander being swamped, he tried to fight his way over to his fellow padawan, but the sheer weight of the forces arrayed at them pushed him back towards his Sith companions.


Step by step Somm was forced backwards, the soft sand shifting unevenly beneath him. It took most of his concentration to keep on his feet as he tried to block, parry and avoid the multitude of blows that came his way. Soon he stood with his back to the Gungan, who was shouting for cohesion among the three who remained, it seemed the best idea.

A beast’s claws raked his left shoulder and he retaliated by throwing out his hand and focusing the Force to push the creature away from him before what had happened to poor Xander happened to him. From then it became a blur of combat with Somm attempting to parry, riposte and step forward to attack these things when it seemed there was an opening.
 

Ventrik Storm

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Ventrik braced with all his might as the large sandstorm of monstrosities collided with the four warriors. He could barely see at all and had to rely on the guidance of the force simply to stay alive. Using his lightsaber, Ventrik was only just able to guard against two of the monsters as they began to slash at him with crude weapons. The first swung at him with a rusty-looking blade, aiming to decapitate him in a single blow. With the assistance of his defensive stance, Ventrik swiftly brought his lightsaber down to deflect it, instead managing to slice the blade clean in two. Before he could counter with another strike, his second adversary struck him in the abdomen with a large wooden staff, temporarily startling him and forcing him to take several steps back to regain himself.

Enraged, Ventrik slashed his lightsaber horizontally at the neck of the second monster, successfully separating its hideous head from the rest of its body. He did not have the time to relish in this minor victory, however, as he both heard and sensed three more of the creatures rushing towards him with blinding speed. He was about to brace himself for the impact again but thought better of it after noticing even more of them bringing up the rear.

He was forced to jump aside as the horde rushed at him, they did not stop though, instead choosing to continue their advance and reaching one of the Jedi. Although he was not able to clearly see what had happened to him, Ventrik heard the pathetic shriek of pain before the storm once again took hold of his senses. Cursing to himself, he raised his lightsaber once again.

Looking all around him, Ventrik could not see the other two anywhere nearby, he must have been separated from them as he engaged the enemy. Cursing aloud, he saw three of the beasts notice him and begin to rush towards him, rusty weapons drawn. At this point, the Legionnaire had had enough, allowing the dark side of the force to move within him, Ventrik went on the offensive. With the guidance of the force, he began a relentless flurry of strikes at his three opponents, managing to stagger them and put them on the defensive.

He could sense his companion nearby through the force, knowing that he would not be able to hear him through the raging winds, Ventrik used the force to contact him telepathically, These creatures only draw strength from their numbers, keep moving and engage as few as you can at a time. If we wish to survive then we must not become entangled with the whole horde. He did not know whether Magos had even received the message but he hoped for both their sakes that he had.


 

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The horde continued to press forward, and while the trio felled many, there were no bodies to be seen. As they were slain, the sand themselves swallowed them.

Creature after creature came, a seemingly endless river of creatures. A moment would pass, the three force users locked in a desperate struggle. As the constant flow of monsters began to let up, there was a shaking in the ground as if massive feet were slamming against the sands.

It would be difficult to spot the behemoth until it was right up on top of them, but the bellowing roar announced its approach. The creature was easily double the size of the ones they had been fighting. The creature moved fast, faster than its disproportioned limbs should have been able to propel it. It came out of the dust cloud, sprinting towards the group. It raised a giant fist and slammed it downwards towards Magos.

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Ventrik Storm

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Frustration and rage began to take over as Ventrik continued to strike down the never ending horde. These things could not be killed and he could slowly feel himself getting tired as the battle raged on. Looking around, he was still unable to see the other two, it was likely that they were experiencing the same predicament.

Finally he noticed that the monsters were becoming fewer and it became easier to preserve his energy as he only had to face one or two at a time. We may actually be able to survive this... But of course, he had spoken too soon.

As he struck down the last of the sand beasts near him, Ventrik felt the first shudder. He could feel the monster before he heard it, and when it let out its roar, Ventrik knew they were in serious trouble. When he finally saw it, the giant beast was storming towards him, however something seemed to catch its eye and it changed directions toward his left side.

Looking over, Ventrik saw that it was now targeting Magos. There was still several of the smaller beasts around the Gungan as the larger monstrosity charged at him. With only a split second to decide, Ventrik channeled the force and used it in an attempt to push Magos out of the giant beast’s trajectory.

Raising his lightsaber once more, he roared out to the others, “We will need to work together to defeat this behemoth, it will tear us apart if we are separated!” The wind was still raging and he wasn’t sure if they had heard him, but at this point it didn’t really matter.


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Magos Otahn

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The crowd seemed to thin, but the dead were not present. Magos speared his blade through another one only to see it crumble into sand. "I am really starting to hate sand," he wheezed. He took the time to glance back at his companions, equally shaken by him by the experience. He noticed that Xander's body had likewise vanished. Were the others illusions too? He continued to parry until a roar caught him buy surprise.

In a matter of mere moments, he looked up and saw the malformed brute, barrel down on him. In less than a second he was on his knees a few feet away launched by Ventrik's use of the Force. He turned just in time to see the things fist crush down onto where he once stood. Ventrik suggested the work together and him having just saved Mago's life he would willingly give him the courtesy of leadership. "I'm all ears, Echani!" He cried as he leaped to his feet, the sand still burning his knees. Reigniting his blade he sprinted back toward the the group careful to avoid the creature. "Jedi, How do you fare?"he panted out as he resumed his place near the group. Pointing his blade toward the being he would follow what ever maneuvers the group made together.

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Somm Orjoz

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"Jedi, how do you fare?" panted out the Gungan towards Somm. He replied tersely as he ducked under a vicious blow from one of the monsters that were surrounding them "I'm okay" he swung his saber in a waist high arc that bisected the attacking monster. It wasn't an ideal situation for any them, least of all Somm. They may have banded together for now, for mutual survival, but when this fight was over he would be alone, tired and outnumbered, they may choose to turn on him, they may not either way he would have to remain on his guard.


He heard the impact of the larger beasts’ fist as it hit the sand, the shockwave almost visible through the persistent sandstorm that swallowed them. The helmeted sith was correct, to bring down this beast they would have to work together. Somm raised his guard again and stood next to the Gungan. "Together!" He shouted over the roar of the wind and the bellow of the behemoth.
 

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The creature's massive fist struck down, creating a small cloud of sand where it slammed into the ground. Magos had just barely escaped, thrown sidewise by his companion.

The creature stomped a massive foot as it bellowed again in rage. As it looked at the trio, they would notice its eyes burned with a dull fire. Hate and Agony rolled off of this creature in waves.

As the others rallied together the beast pulled a jagged looking staff from its back. It was a massive thing, but the creature wielded it with ease. It swung the staff in a wide arc, initially aimed at Swain, but threatening to hit all three of the intruders. If they came in close he would kick at them.

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Ventrik Storm

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Ventrik was glad that the other two were willing to work together to survive this ordeal. He was not glad, however, when he witnessed the large creature’s weapon being drawn. It now has its sights set on the large Echani, furious that he had stolen its prey from underneath it. Oh great...

As it prepared to swing at him, he noticed how close he was to the others and jumped back to draw its attention. “This weapon almost doubles its range! We need to disarm it as quickly as possible!” His mind was racing as he thought out a plan, “Keep it surrounded and try to retreat after each attack!”

Right as he said this, the first attack came at him. With all his might, Ventrik jumped backwards to avoid the blow.


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Magos Otahn

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You're in charge!" Shouted Magos. A few parries later and he began to fight his way round, thirty degrees from Ventrik. He continues his Makashi style defense. If the brute made a swing at him he'd try to cut the weapon with his blade, to see if it was resistant. Regardless of answer he would leap back out of it's range immediately after.

Magos thought to himself about the absurdjty of there situation. A simple relic run had become a mission with two Jedi, and apparently Lord Vader kept Tatooine in his basement. What would they do with the young Jedi after the danger? Magos respected the order, but would the poor kid need to be put to the blade to keep the cult hidden? He hoped not. A near miss of one of the beasts refocused him and he readied himself for the inevitable swing of it's master.

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Somm Orjoz

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The staff was a wicked looking thing. It had a shape like that of a Gaffi stick, but its proportions were warped, the vicious spikes and sharp ridges seemed to be grown from whatever the staff was made of, rather than forged or built. The monster bellowed as it swung its weapon at the three. With this new threat the monster had more than doubled its deadly reach and Somm threw himself low underneath it. He felt the weapon pass him within inches of his back and he forced himself up quickly readying his defensive stance again.


He watched as the Gungan danced off to the side of the creature and the masked sith shouted for the monster to be disarmed. A plan flashed into his mind, it was risky, but it could give them the edge, he would attempt to distract the creature and let the other two disarm it. "I'll try and hold it, you two attack it from behind!" He shouted to the others. Reaching out with the force Somm tried to hold the weapon mid swing hoping the creature would look his way.
 

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The creature's staff finished its wide arc, narrowly missing all three of them. As the other two danced away from the creature's attacks, the Jedi seemed to hold his ground and stare down the beast.

Its hateful gaze rested on the Jedi as it spun and swung downwards, attempting to pulverize the Jedi into the sands below. A foot before the attack would have landed, the staff froze as if it was being held by an invisible barrier.

The beast pushed down, using its immense strength to try and overpower the Jedi. He would not be able to hold defense for long.

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Ventrik Storm

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You're in charge!

The words motivated Ventrik as he managed to successfully retreat from the crushing attack. As he landed, the Jedi yelled out his plan and, for a moment, Ventrik considered leaving him to be crushed so that the two Sith Eternal would remain undetected. This thought passed quickly, however, as the large Legionnaire realised that the two of them alone would not survive the ordeal.

"Very well! Magos! Try to attack its legs, we need to minimalise its mobility! I will go for the weapon!" As he said this, Ventrik was already dashing ahead at the enemy. He was growing more confident by the second, the Gungan was clearly skilled and was even willing to afford Ventrik a temporary command. He will be a valuable ally in the future... Even the Jedi was impressive, holding the creature off with the force on his own, although Ventrik noticed that he was struggling to maintain his defence.

"Hold on a little bit longer Jedi!" With a single push, Ventrik launched himself into the air, slowly flipping in a high arch above the creature's head. A moment later, still in midair, he was in range of the hand wielding the staff. He slashed at it with unbridled ferocity, directing his lightsaber down at its wrist in an attempt to sever it.


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Somm Orjoz

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Somm stared back at the creature, his arms shaking harder than before with the effort of holding the weapon at bay. From its yellow eyes seeped a hatred that was wholly focused on him. The sheer intensity of it scared him. Inch by inch he could feel his arms coming down, the power that the creature was putting into crushing him was slowly overwhelming him. He knew he only had seconds left but dared not look at the others. He hoped beyond hope that they weren't leaving him to die. Sacrificing him so that they could continue.


Eventually it was too much and Somm knew that his strength would fail. Drawing in his last reserves he pushed his arms skyward. A bestial yell escaped his lips as he released a push through the Force. as he did so he threw himself to the side. His attempts may have slowed the creature, but it hadn't changed its attack and he didn’t want to be under that staff when it fell. He landed hard on his shoulder on the soft sand, still clutching his saber, though now the blade was unignited. He felt completely drained, as if all his strength was gone for good. It took everything he had to push himself back up onto his knees and stare at the behemoth.
 

Magos Otahn

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Magos heeded the Jedi's plan. He was to attack the brute's legs while Ventril went for it's weapon hand. Good, he was already in a position for a drive towards his target. He began a well formed pushed toward it's massive ankles. With an elegant sweep he managed to line a clear swing against it's feet.

However, before Magos could tell if he dropped the brute he heard a Savage shout shout. The corner of his vision saw the Jedi come crashing into his shoulder. "Damn Jedi! Couldn't hold it a few more seconds?". He muttered under his breath as he dodged a lesser creatures swing and returned his parry. He still was unsure if he and Ventrik had succeeded in there goals. Pleading a brief prayer to Lord Vader, Magos repositioned his defensive stance and saw what the group had managed to achieve...

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The Gatekeeper

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Just as the monster was pushing through the Jedi's defenses, a red blur flashed in front of the creature's face. The creature bellowed in pain, the severing of both of its hands and foot all melding together in a cry of anguish.

It fell to the ground helpless, the ground shaking slightly from the size of the beast. Like the others, it was swallowed by the sand a moment later. All the creatures fell after that, and the storm died as quickly as it came.

As their vision cleared, there was only one tent remaining in the camp, now only 100 feet away. Whenever the trio decided to explore further they would find the body of that person who had cried out to them earlier. Their wounds great, clearly dying a slow and painful death. All three of the hung from restraints at their wrist.

Around each of the fallen loved one's necks was a small crystal. The same feeling of agony they had felt earlier radiated most strongly in this place. They would see the burned creature they had will the trial had just began. It spoke in a raspy, almost undiscernable tone. "You were too weak to save the one you loved, but before you lies the first step to true power," it spoke, gesturing towards the crystals. It would then fade away and they would be left alone in this place.

As they left the tent, the would find themselves exiting out the various entrances they had arrived in. The path ahead would not be easy, but it lay in front of them if they chose to take it.

Hey there, please feel free to post your closing posts. We were starting to go a bit long so I moved to close things out. The crystals contain half of the puzzle on everyone's journey towards finding the Mask of The Eternal. However, the data is not readable in its current state and will need a device to decipher the information. More information will be available. If any of you wish to report your findings to your respective NPC leaders, feel free to reach out to me (Raydo) and I will help arrange that. I hope you all enjoyed the thread!
 
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