And here we have another slightly-edited bit from one of the Star Wars players…
Trayus Academy, Malachor V
Darth Atroc (Pronounced A-tross), Real name Pel Soung
To say that things are not going according to plan would be an understatement. The disaster on a tiny world called Archegeph on the rim is only the latest in a large string of disasters involving my wayward apprentice.
The capture of Lesin should have been easy, but Keldav and his companions intervened. His loosely-associated group even managed to get her and dozens of others off the planet through security while improvising nuclear scale explosions. Attempts to reacquire them at the Jedi Temple also failed spectacularly. Now this nonsense of the Winter Victory being eaten by a jellyfish while trying to catch him no less.
The others here at the Academy think Keldav may have some special power with the Force that enables him to do these things. I know better. Keldav is something far more dangerous than a mere force adept, he is cunning, opportunistic, willing to instantly abandon any plan which is not working, and able to work with almost anyone useful, no matter how eccentric – all qualities which may be rarer than force powers.
I will admit, I underestimated him. If for but the briefest of moments, he humbled me. I should be grateful I was not utterly humiliated like these others have been. In the end, I still had to have my right hand regrown and I lost my third best lightsaber.
Now these fools will likely double their efforts in trying to catch or kill him. Their pride will be their undoing as it was nearly mine. Heh, Keldav may inadvertently do the job I was intending for him from the very start. Elements of the Sith need to be purged if the Order is to survive the war openly. Sending them against Keldav will make it easy to deflect blame and will enable him to continue to grow his power and control of the Force.
It would be good if I could examine members of his family to see what potentials that may have lying dormant within them. After all Keldav was strong enough to catch me by surprise and run. Too bad they are all on Alderaan. There hasn’t been a deep push that far into the Core Worlds since the assault Revan led that caught us Keldav in the first place. Getting a covert strike team there and out is proving troublesome as well. The place is too centrally located with lots of Republic traffic to make a getaway plausible. No matter, I can be patient. An opportunity will arise to acquire Keldav or one of his family members again.
His resistance to the Dark Side is remarkable though. The Trayus Academy reeks of the Dark Side, and Keldav was here for months under my care. Nevermind how many times I have tried to force him to the Dark Side only to watch him squirm away from me. It is clear now that I took the wrong approach. He thinks me like the others, megamaniacally bent on death and destruction. With that in mind he fought me with every fiber of his being. No wonder I had such little success in trying to turn him.
He needs to learn that not all Sith are like that. Some of us have learned or remembered the value of teamwork, patience, and control. We keep the excesses of the other Sith in line. Our enemies are those that would destroy what we covet. Our allies are those that want what we want. Harming people uninvolved in our affairs only leads to resentment and warfare. If we can’t have something now, we wait, an opportunity may arise at a later time. Keldav is no different.
It occurs to me that my daughter is in need of field experience and Keldav could prove a prime opportunity. She certainly takes after her mother in getting what she wants. If she can bring him in, all is well. If not, well she can sharpen her claws on the fools that chase him. But first, I must brief her on what she faces, not only is she my daughter, but she is Varen Sith like me and her mother.
Guards, summon Valerie for me. I have a mission for her.
The Varen Sith:
The Varen sect of the Sith are an ancient familial order of assassins. More of a Clan than a sect in many ways, they are quite possibly one of the oldest continuous Sith factions still around. They prefer to work from the shadows and cherry pick the spoils of war and peace.
One of the most notable facts about the Varen is the lack of infighting. Apprentices go on to acquire apprentices of their own once they have finished their training. Which is not to say the Varen do not kill each other, apprentices found to lack the necessary control of the Dark Side are put down before they can become a menace to others. Failure rates are still very high. But advancement through assassination is not recognized.
The Varen value control of the Dark Side above all else. Those that are able to resist the megamaniacal and self-destructive urges and show restraint in their use of the Dark Side – regardless of the method they use to do so – can find a place among the Varen. New recruits are frequently chosen from among the Force sensitive members of the Clan and associated families, although “adoptions” are not uncommon.
Varen typically try to restrain the excesses of the more “showy” Sith, after all, a destroyed planet cannot provide taxes and goods. Sometimes this leads to assassinations, other times it works better to clear a path for a team of Jedi to step in. The accumulation of wealth, power, and knowledge are all worthy pursuits for a Varen, but the pursuit of these things over common sense and pragmatism is a path of folly – and leads only to loss of control and self-destruction.
Overall, the current war is going well for the Varen. The most troublesome of the Sith-wannabe Jedi are routinely purged. The war itself is being led by a group of competent Sith Commanders with more skill than arrogance. New potential recruits for the Varen are streaming in all the time now from across the galaxy. And with some luck, a good chunk of the galaxy could be conquered before a stalemate occurs.