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Wodan

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Wodan was surprised by the quick kiss, though he couldn’t deny that he hoped to get something after helping her up. But before he could say or do anything in return Arla had darted off out of sight and reach of the Firrerrian. Maybe, maybe that ‘not ready’ was not as negative and as far away as he first thought.

“Arla, I am sorry.” He said aloud as he headed towards the back of the room where she was rummaging around for a secret compartment. “I shouldn’t have lied to you. To be honest I don’t know too much about the Shard, it's taken me months just to be able to tap into part of its power.” Holding out his hand, a few sparks of lightning appeared, then slowly a Dark Aura appeared around his hand, Arla would be able to feel the intense Malice and Hate which surrounded the body part. It was something of pure evil intent and took extreme effort for Wodan to not slip out of his control. After he was sure she understood, he let go of the Aura, his hand dropping to his side.

His mastery of the ability was far from complete the best he had achieved was an entire limb, though he understood that one who fully invested within the Dark Side and gave into the Malice and Hate inside of them would be able to fully encompass their body with the power.

@Phoenix
 

Arla

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Arla turned from her search as she heard him approach and speak.

Do not apologize, she said, her words not carrying anger in them, but an almost softness. Secrets were the way of the Sith, and while it did not make her happy to be deceived, he ultimately decided to show her. Show her the power he had learned.

She watched everything and let the Shadow flow into and around her. She could sense the malice and hatred, the rage that was building up into a palpable wave over his hand. For a moment, she found herself wondering if he was going to lash out, but that was not what the Shadow told her. No, this was an old technique long forgotten.

She was, of course, immediately curious, but for once she quashed her curiosity. And each shard will teach you something new, she said, finally understanding what he was searching for and why. She couldn't deny she was curious, but she didn't pry further for the moment.

@Braden
 

Wodan

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Rumblings of dark emotions flowed through him for a short while after, the side effects of this Dark Aura. Wodan always felt unsure about himself after he attempted using the ability, wondering if the negative emotions he had called upon were real or fake. Each time he became more and more unsure what was forced and what was real.

“I am not sure, hopefully.” He replied, from what he had gathered each had a small fragment of Sidious’ soul or will or something which allowed one to reach into the Dark Lord’s vast plethora of techniques and pull out something which would give him an edge in the future. “Maybe one day I can teach you something, it would be nice to be ahead of you for once.” He joked, before turning away and moving to the other side of the room. “Let's keep looking.”

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Arla

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Arla wondered curiously about what he had shown and wondered how it was he had been set on this path in the first place. Ultimately, weren't many of them simply on a quest for knowledge? Perhaps nothing motivated Arla more than her hunger for knowledge and, yes, the power that it could give her.

I would be eager to learn, she said honestly. Arla was a proud woman - sometimes to the point of undermining herself - but she would be a fool to consider herself above learning from someone else. How else could one grow in power and technique if they didn't learn.

True to his suggestion, she went back to looking when she found a small crystal. It most certainly wasn't kyber, but as she looked at it, she frowned, thinking it seemed somewhat familiar to her. Picking it up, she remembered a small slot of similar shape across the room where she had been searching earlier.

She slipped the crystal into the slot and a portion of the wall ground open again, revealing a small box that Arla was certain contained the prize.

Your hunt, your honor, she said, motioning for him to take it and see what was inside.

@Braden
 

Wodan

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Wodan gave her a warm smile, although the thought of spending more time with Arla in the future filled him with happiness, having to show her and delve deeper into that ability did fill him with a little unease.

They split up, taking different sides of the small room, after a short search Wodan found the remains of one of the denizens of the Cultist hideaway. The corpse had been dead for centuries it seemed, only a thin layer of leathery skin clung to small parts of his skelton. Wodan checked over the body to see if the cultist had the Shard on him, but nothing.

Then he felt it, standing up and turning even before Arla spoke. It called out to both him and the Shard around his neck, he quickly stepped across the room rounding the stone table and found the small box. “Thank you.” He said, reaching in and pulling out the small box, flipping the lock and lifting the lid revealed the Shard.

Just like the one around his neck there was nothing fancy about the Shard, to anyone who casually walked by it would look just like another chunk of broken metal. It rested on a velvet pillow, a small chain was woven around the centre of the chunk. His right scarred hand reached out, his fingers running over the deathly sharp metal, it dug deep into the calloused skin, piercing it slightly but drawing no blood. “Thank you again Arla. I owe you.” He said, picking up the chain and placing it around his neck, a wave of emotion flashing across his body as the Shard settled against its sibling.

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Arla

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Arla watched as he opened the shard, sensing the way he almost changed as a result of it coming into his possession. As if he had been deprived of his very sanity until now when he could finally rest at ease. It had its claws in him, she could tell.

For a moment, she considered saying something or warning him about the dangers of what he was toying with but to do so would have been hypocritical. She knew the dangers that were associated with such power and she knew that she had pursued similar things without any hesitation.

You are welcome, she said, and as she said it, something clicked in her mind. It wasn't his desire for power that concerned her, it was something he'd said in conjunction with his actions.

Just be careful. If that does contain a portion of Sidious's soul, know what you could be facing and how it could affect you, she said. She knew that the soul of a Sith Lord could eat you from the inside out. She knew the danger that the dead could present even if so many people didn't.

You have any use for these teachings and books? she asked, knowing full well that if he said "no" she was going to take them all for herself and store them somewhere. Even if he got the Shard, there was no telling what secrets she could learn here.

@Braden
 

Wodan

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His face dropped slightly, some of the jubilation at finding the Shard disappearing when he took stock of what Arla said. She wasn’t telling lies, he had already felt the dead Dark Lord’s conscious knock on the window of his mind once before when he first took hold of the First Shard. Overtime he was able to shut out the noise, but he still felt him there everytime he tapped too deeply into the Dark Side. “Thank you, I know the risks. But I feel the gains outweigh the threat to my life.” He replied.

“Have at it, it's the least I can offer.” Wodan replied, he was more than happy with his prize, Arla could have whatever she wanted from the room. “Let me know what you want and I can help you bring it back up.” He added moving towards the bookcases closest to her.

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Arla

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Arla gave a nod. That is your decision. It is the balance we all make, she said. She was no stranger and she certainly wasn't going to tell him not to do it, but she'd have been remiss not to say something.

He would be able to see her face light up a bit as he said he didn't have need of any of it. Oh, she was going to take it all.

Excellent! she said.

I'm going to take it all! she said, suddenly seeming very excited. She could spend hours - days - looking over everything that was in here. And she would.

Together, they started loading things up to leave, both having found a prize of their own.

//Thread @Braden
 
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