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Author Topic: The Plague Doctor's New Students  (Read 1546 times)

The Plague Doctor's New Students
« on: November 12, 2017, 05:08:16 PM »
Deep within the Sith Academy on Korriban...

Darth Von paced the floor, awaiting the arrival of his new students, although secretly wishing he could still double their use as test subjects. But sadly for him, after the last one went on a rampage as a mutated, rabid, mindless beast and had to be put down, the Dark Council had strictly forbidden any more such experiments--or else threatened to cut his funding.

Still, there was no doubt that he needed help around the lab, so he supposed this was a good thing after all. Less chance of them dying at the very least.

Finding his favorite chair, he sat down, stroking the spiny hound lying beside him, being mindful of her poisonous stingers.

The creature grumbled contentedly, visibly pregnant, and rolled over to let him scratch at her distended belly.

Smiling down at the hound, Von turned his attention back to the door of his lab, waiting to see if his students would actually show up. Considering all the rumors that had no doubt gone around the Academy, it was a wonder anyone ever did show up, but he supposed it had something to do with the Dark Council that he somehow still received a steady stream of lab assistants.
The Eski LaoTzu

Offline Forja Varos

Re: The Plague Doctor's New Students
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2017, 03:02:25 AM »
Striding down the wide spacious hallways of the Sith academy on Korriban, the Acolyte, Forja Varos and his master, Lord Roaken, made their way towards one of the rear laboratories at the academy, bantering with each other as they paced towards their destination.

"So . . . " The acolyte began, following along slightly behind his master, and clad in a surcoat of dark cloth and blacked armor plates . . .

"So . . . " The master replied, vaguely amused by the whole scenario, and similarly dressed despite his position as the head of the Imperial Library.

"Remind me again why I'm being volunteered to be this madman's assistant?"
Forja asked, giving the Pureblood a cautionary glance from behind his dark mask.

"Why that's quite simple Acolyte."
Lord Roaken chuckled, the old Sith reaching up and stroking his tentacle beard as they walked. "You said that you wished to learn more about bio-alchemy, so that you might aid the people of your homeworld. I only wish to give you that chance."

"But didn't Darth Von turn his last assistant into a gibbering mutant animal?"
Forja protested, furrowing his brow. "I did not particularly like Acolyte Cinthis myself, but I also have no wish to share his fate."

Roaken chuckled again, folding his hands behind his back as they approached the madman's laboratory. "You need not worry about such things, my apprentice. The council has forbid the good man from experimenting on any more of his test su- lab assistants. So you should be fine . . ."

"But I don't understand," Forja continued as the two of them came to a stop outside of the laboratory. "Why does the council permit Darth Von to continue his research? From what I hear it's mostly just . . . psychotic nonsense."

The old Pureblood turned towards his apprentice and closed his eyes, nodding in affirmation. "Indeed. Most of what the good Sir Von spits out is utterly useless. The ravings of the insane. But for every pile of failures he produces, from time to time he occasionally turns out an item of true worth. That is what you are here to learn from. Besides, Darth Von and I go back a ways. He is one of my oldest allies here at the academy, so you shouldn't have too much to worry about."

Forja just shook his head at his master's explanation, but offered no further resistance, apparently having resigned himself to whatever fate might be in store for him. Roaken for his part just smiled and turned from his apprentice, before reaching out and keying open the door.

"Darth Von! My friend . . ."
Lord Roaken began, greeting the blinded Human as he and Forja walked into the room. "I've brought a gift for you. I heard that you had some trouble with your last assistant and thought that you could use a hand around here. This is my Apprentice, Forja. He's quite interested in the fundamentals of Bio-Alchemy. You'll humor him for me won't you?"

Darth Von (NPC) LaoTzu
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 03:04:29 AM by Forja Varos »

Re: The Plague Doctor's New Students
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2017, 02:21:31 PM »
"Lord Roaken!" Von smiled at the Sith Pureblood, "Good to hear your voice again, my friend. I was starting to think you wouldn't come back to visit after that last fiasco. I am sorry about that, by the way. That experiment did not go as planned..." Then he waved a hand dismissively, "But enough about past mistakes, we must look to the future! Of course, I'd be glad to teach him. Come now, let me see this new student of mine."

Standing, he moved forward, but the hound growled from beside his chair. "Oh hush," he said to it, "You didn't growl when they were at my door, so don't start now."

The hound grumbled, then scratched at a flea as if ignoring him.

"Don't mind Fluffy," he said as he made his way over to the men, "First time mother jitters is all. Isn't she beautiful? I call them 'tuk'ata', it means 'Sith Hound'. I know, I know, not very imaginative, but I never was good at naming my creations. Would you believe they used to be grazing animals?!" He chuckled as if at a joke, then continued, as he picked his way through a veritable maze of tables loaded with lab equipment, braille books, and specially designed datapads. "Still, they've proven to be very loyal and ferocious. Excellent guard animals so far. Much easier to train and control than those nasty blood sucking terentateks my late teacher came up with. Shame they ate him... What ever happened to those things? Last I heard they were shipped offworld and breeding on their own, and some other Sith--what's his name--stole the credit..."

He shrugged and shook his head, "Well anyway, Fluffy here is my first attempt at actual breeding of the species. Up until now they've been lab created. But, if they can successfully breed on their own--! Well, who knows? I have heard some interest in using tuk'ata to guard those so called 'tombs' several of the high ranking Lords have started building in that valley a little ways off. Getting a bit high and mighty, aren't they? Still... I suppose it would be nice to have something to be remembered by... Do you think you and I might get one too? I hear the Emperor's is coming along nicely. He's supposed to have the biggest one. I'll be sure to breed extra large and aggressive hounds for that one." Darth Von paused for breath as he came around the last table, and seemed hesitate to ask his next question. "Is it... Is it true he's dead? Does anyone really know what happened?"

As he approached, he held out a trembling hand for Forja to shake, withered by illness and just as scarred and pocked as his face. "You're Forja, yes? Roaken has mentioned you a few times. Pleased to finally meet you."
The Eski LaoTzu
« Last Edit: November 15, 2017, 02:24:45 PM by Darth Von (NPC) »

Offline Forja Varos

Re: The Plague Doctor's New Students
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2017, 08:10:34 AM »
Forja hesitated, before reaching out and shaking the diseased looking man's hand. He was not disgusted or put off by Darth Von's appearance, no. The source of his hesitation had been the casualness of the gesture. Forja was but an acolyte after all, and Darth Von was his superior. He had not been expecting to bow and scrape before the man, but neither had he been expecting this.

Taking the man's hand in his grip, Forja exchanged a greeting with Darth Von before stepping back and bowing his head slightly to the man, even if the gesture of respect would be lost on his blind eyes. "I hope to be of aid to you in conducting your research, Darth Von. Wielding the power of creation through The Force has long been an interest of mine."

"Forja here comes from a world where the locals are involved in an endless struggle with what we suspect is an example of Force Alchemy." Lord Roaken clarified, folding his hands behind his back. "He's spent his life fighting against these things, and now hopes to wield their power for himself . . ."

"It is as he says." Forja nodded, his emotions carefully guarded. "Whatever it takes to destroy the enemies of the Empire and its people."

"Careful you don't choke on your ambitions my apprentice."
Roaken chuckled. "Else you'll end up like our dear departed Emperor." The Pureblood turned his attention back to his withered friend. "But yes, Von. The Emperor is dead. You'd think a man who fought in the Galactic Civil War would be a bit more cautious, but apparently he was killed by an imposter masquerading as one his guards. Officially, my wayward brethren on Zoist are being blamed, and a campaign of revenge is under way to conquer the planet. In truth though we suspect one of the major galactic powers was behind the assassination. The Alliance or the Mandalorians most likely. Zoist had absolutely nothing to gain from such a move, and everything to lose."

Forja looked to his master, confused. "But then why blame Zoist? Shouldn't we be making war on the true perpetrator?"

"No, because we're planning on conquering the two of them eventually anyway." Roaken answered, walking through the lab and running his eyes along the various experiments. "Engaging them now would be too costly, and Zoist is an easy target. We'll consolidate our power and then slaughter them all at a later date . . ."

He turned from the test tubes and beakers and looked back to the pair, moving to join them. "Until then the Dark Council and the Admiralty will manage things." He concluded, resuming his place at his apprentice's side. "The Emperor was a figurehead. We do not need him to function. We all know what our purpose is. The domination of this galaxy. With or without an Emperor, our end goal and methods will not change."

The elderly Sith smirked, rubbing at his chin. "Maybe I should have a go at it? I've always wondered if the cushions on the Imperial throne are really just for show . . ."

Darth Von (NPC) LaoTzu
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 05:23:35 AM by Forja Varos »

Re: The Plague Doctor's New Students
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2017, 12:00:55 AM »
Darth Von chuckled at Forja's confusion, sensing his hesitation through the Force, "I'm not being causal, I assure you, but as you can see--" he gestured to his clouded eyes, "--my eyes don't work, and Force sight can only do so much for me. I can get a better 'look' at you through touch, as it were. If you'll pardon me..." As Forja shook his hand, Von squeezed it, testing the strength of the grip and feeling the pulse at the wrist. Then he reached out with the other hand, feeling the brand scars on Forja's exposed skin.

Now it was his turn to show confusion, as he gently traced the rune marks. "What are...? Hm... Well these are certainly interesting. You'll have to tell me about them later." He reached his free hand up further, feeling at Forja's arm, "Lean, but not scrawny. You still have some muscle on you. Good. But being Roaken's apprentice, I expect you're more the scholarly type, that's even better. The smoky smell will take some getting used to, though it's not unpleasant. Are you around fire often? Those marks on your hand feel like burn scars..." Letting Forja go, he nodded thoughtfully at the explanation that followed.

"I have heard of such people, but never met one of you before. A pleasure!" he said with a smile, "Well you seem in good health and eager to learn. I'll gladly teach you, in that case."

As Lord Roaken explained what had happened to the Emperor and how things would proceed, Darth Von simply shook his head. "I prefer to stay out such matters, personally. Much more at home in the lab than on the battlefield." Then he outright laughed at Roaken's comment about the throne pillows. "Oh they aren't!" he said, "They're also apparently quite expensive. One of my first tuk'ata puppies stole one when I presented it to the Emperor in the throne room. Needless to say, I was never allowed to bring animals in there again."

Tilting his head with an ear towards the door, he asked, "Did you happen to see anyone else on your way here? I'm expected a second acolyte to assist along with Forja."
The Eski LaoTzu

Re: The Plague Doctor's New Students
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2017, 10:09:08 AM »
"I am sorry for the abrupt interruption Lord Roaken, it seems as though we have had a new development."

Lord Yoritomo spoke to the other Lord as he entered the room with Lao Tzu in tow behind him. He walked in confidently and up to the other Lord and continued, as he pulled out a data pad with his right hand from his robes and started tapping on the screen...

"I have spoken to the Council. It seems as though I got some space for our Alchemy department on the planet of Rhen Var. The Academy there is still under construction but we can have some area there and just South of its location that is at least a few hectares of open space. Currently we are the only ones in this department so we have access to new facilities...IF...There is anything lacking or needing to be improved upon. Please let me know."

He turned and started walking out, upon reaching the door on his way out he paused for a brief moment as he turned to speak again to Lord Roaken,

"This one here, this Acolyte has managed to get into my bad graces. IF it is okay, he is under your guidance for a few days. Do as you please with him, and my only request is that he is alive afterwards......And its good to see a up and coming student of ours Forja. If there are any questions, please let me know and I'll keep you informed. Please continue Lord Roaken and sorry for the interruption. "

Lord Yoritomo did not care for Lao Tzu, Lao was to brash and young for him and he felt he lacked direction and focus upon what he wanted in life. He hoped that maybe some time here would help him with that. Lord Yoritomo did not give Lao the time of day though as he left the room. It was then that Lao Tzu looked at Darth Von and bowed.

The Eski Darth Von (NPC)

Offline Forja Varos

Re: The Plague Doctor's New Students
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 06:47:29 AM »
Lord Roaken opened his mouth to answer Darth Von, only to pause as Lord Yoritomo blew through the room like a whirlwind, depositing a datapad in his hands, dropping off his apprentice, and updating him on the construction of the academy at Rhen Var.

Roaken knew of the academy on Rhen Var of course. As head of the Imperial Library, He had been working closely with the would-be staff and laborers to ensure that it was properly outfitted for the training and education of new Sith, but this was the first time he had heard anything about an Alchemy department.

"Hmm . . ." The old Pureblood mused, looking over the data. "Good news Von! Looks like the Council has decided to expand your facilities. You'll be getting more funding, materials, and a new work-space . . . provided you continue to behave yourself."

Flicking off the device, Roaken gently laid the datapad down on a nearby table as he turned to look at Lao Tzu. "Now then . . ." He said, narrowing his eyes upon the man. "I believe your master said that I could do as I wished with you?" The Pureblood began to slowly pace back and forth in front of the Acolyte. "To tell you the truth, young Lao, I do not care to do anything at all with you. You are not one of my apprentices, and as such you are not my responsibility."

Roaken stopped, glancing at the lab equipment before turning to look directly at Lao. "But I'm feeling . . . nice, today." He said, a grim smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. "And it's about time your master learned to properly take care of his apprentices. So here's what we're going to do. I'm going to pass you off to my friend, Darth Von, and you're going to assist him in his work."

The Lord motioned to the lab equipment as he began to pace again. "This will not be easy." He said, stroking his beard-tentacles thoughtfully. "Von has a tendency to go through lab assistants like tissue paper, and your odds of surviving are slim. But on the other side of this deadly coin, lies the potential for glory . . . or infamy, as anything that Von does produce will bring you renown as well."

He stopped once more and turned back to Lao. "How does that sound, young man? Are you willing to risk your life for power and fame?"

LaoTzu Asellus Sunstalker
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 06:52:03 AM by Forja Varos »

Offline Forja Varos

Re: The Plague Doctor's New Students
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 01:02:13 PM »
Lord Roaken looked Lao over as the young acolyte mulled over his offer, chuckling quietly to himself before turning away and walking toward the exit.

"I shall leave your decision to you, young man." He quipped, wagging a finger over his shoulder before folding them behind his back. "As for you Von, do try to stay out of trouble. The last thing I need is some mutated horror running amok through my library."

And with that, the old Pureblood departed from the laboratory, the door to the room swishing closed behind him. Turning back to Darth Von, Acolyte Forja deferentially bowed to the man.

"Shall we begin, milord?" he asked, the monk's tone and mannerisms carefully guarded and rehearsed.

LaoTzu Darth Von (NPC)

 

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