Joining the Alliance

Finally, an explanation as to how Keelath did manage to father those kids. It worked surprisingly well given Mako’s canon backstory from SWTOR.

Author’s Note

They carefully avoided each others’ eyes as they boarded the transport down to the planet’s surface. Kellaro sat next to Vette (or, perhaps it would be better said, that Vette sat next to Kellaro), with the rest of his crew ranged out to the other side of him. Brant felt his brother’s piercing eyes land on him for all of one moment, then Kellaro was turning to casually chat with a Cathar beside him. Vette simply didn’t look at him at all.

And he didn’t look at them. He sat on the end, closest to the door, pulling in his feet anytime another passenger passed. Lana came in, took in the tense atmosphere, touched his knee, then settled a seat away.

The restraints came down, the lights went dim, and the pilots of the transport chattered to each other over the open radio comms. Kellaro shifted, nervous as any leader responsible for so many men but without actual control in the situation, then there was a lurch, and they were leaving the docking bay into space. Continue reading “Joining the Alliance”

The Darkness of Dromund Kaas

Part two of Brant(Darth Merce)’s training. Thanks to Alelsa for helping me brainstorm some of Vette’s insults!

Part one is told in “The Crucible of Korriban”, found here.

Author’s Note

As his master had promised, Merce was granted new freedoms for passing his first trial. He now kept his own apartment on Dromund Kaas, came and went from it as he pleased. He ate when he wanted, though the food all seemed to taste the same. He could wander at will around the cool stone interiors of the Sith temples and around the dark forests outside Kaas City — though there wasn’t much reason to. He could play at sabacc in the cantinas, race speeders through the city streets, and get intoxicated on exotic spice in the alleyways. In short, he could go almost anywhere he desired, except off-planet, and do anything he wished, so long as he didn’t disobey his Master’s will. Continue reading “The Darkness of Dromund Kaas”

Sketches of Vette

These are a bunch of unconnected shorts to do with Vette and Darth Merce (Brant) getting to know each other.

As always, though I try to recapture the spirit of the original character from SWTOR, these scenes are entirely new and my own creation.

Author’s Note

Brant first met her on his way into the extensive prisons under Kaas City.

He and the other apprentices had captured intruders on the planet’s surface — allies to the Jedi, they believed, though none of the intruders appeared to be Force-sensitive. Their allegiance to the Jedi was what saved them, though only from the attentions of the apprentices: Jedi ilk were to be delivered, unsullied, to the detention block, there to be tortured by more skilled Sith for information. Any others could be left in the jungle to die as they would, and frequently that would be to satisfy the blood-craving of some unhinged apprentice seeking sport between their duties.

Brant, as he did all things that involved the other apprentices, kept himself aloof from dealing with intruders, and so it was partly by chance he found himself in the detention block that day, bringing in a string of them who had sought him out, rather than the other way around. It was as he loitered, waiting boredly for the warden to update the prison log with his catches, that he caught sight of… her.

She was a Twi’lek: a common race among slaves, but this one had an uncommon attitude. She would strike up conversations with the guards, and rather than their threats silencing her, they made her more enthusiastic. She seemed to make it a game, to take their insults and turn them in on themselves, and some of her clever puns even had Brant smirking. There was something different about her teasing, something almost pleasing, like a reminder of sunlight and grass instead of the slow steady drag into the bowels of a dark stone tomb…

In short, it was… fun.

She only, finally, went quiet when Brant’s own Master, Darth Plothar, stepped into the block. Brant straightened to show him respect, internally wincing when the Twi’lek called out to this new Sith and began her teasing on him, too.

Her catcalls turned to screams as Plothar turned to her and lit her body up with lightning. Not even his expression changed as he went through the whole sequence: entering, shocking the slave, inspecting Brant’s catches, then leaving, all without saying a word.

Brant lingered some time after he was given permission to return to his own quarters, pausing near the slave’s cell.

“You really should learn the difference between master and servant,” he told her.

“You’re only a slave when you act like one,” she retorted.

“No, I mean, the Masters can shock you a lot harder.”

She just looked at him with a dawning expression, like she realized he was something different. Brant didn’t honor her with another glance though, and he swept from the detention block.

Battle Over Odessen

This one I didn’t give a whole lot of thought to before finalizing as a post (I’m not sure what set Brant off in the beginning, for instance), and after a few days, I realized I wrote myself into a corner. Brant still has more to explore with his family relationships before his big reveal with the Emperor, and the betrayal he pulls here puts him too far down the path of no return than I wanted. I’ll still post this story up though, as I do like the timing and the interplay of the different scenes and moods. I can probably adapt a lot of it after spending more time with Brant’s homecoming in other shorts. We’ll see.

SPOILER information: this part of the story revolves around a pivotal moment in the Chapters plot of SWTOR, however, I gave it my own twist and very little is like how it is in the original.

Author’s Note

The flash of the lightsaber came too quickly for Keel’ath to react. It sliced out at him, sliced through him, and he felt oddly lighter as something thudded to the ground.

He looked down and saw his severed arm at his feet. It spat sparks instead of blood, and the fingers were twitching slightly as the electrical equipment went haywire from too much energy coursing along its circuits. His stump wasn’t hurting at least, Keel’ath thought with odd detachment. He supposed the wires had been cut so swiftly they hadn’t been able to send any pain signals to his core.

He then looked up at Brant. Where the man’s face had first been purple with rage, now it was near white, pale under his natural melanin. The lightsaber retracted with a zip, and then the Sith was fleeing, using a burst of Force speed to get around the angry generals clustering in his path, knocking one small woman to the floor.

Keel’ath said nothing as the Alliance compound alerted to the attack. He said nothing to the officers turning his way, asking if he was okay; he even ignored one leaning to get a better speculative eye on his mechanical arm. Somebody quickly got up on the screen a map of the compound, with a little lighted blip tracking Brant’s progress as he fled. Keel’ath noted he seemed to be avoiding any more fights, and only then did he break his silence and stillness to press the intercom button. Continue reading “Battle Over Odessen”

The Prisoner, Part Two

I wrote up and published the first part of “The Prisoner” before I realized the scene had more to do here in Part Two. Here’s the link to the first part:

This also contains references to Brant’s training as a Sith, found here.

Other notes… More cameos of canon characters from SWTOR here, with two that become part of my plot in a big way. It was especially fun to inject Tanno Vik of Havoc Squad here. As if Kellaro needed any more headaches…

Though the spoilers are fairly general ones, this does contain spoilers for the Chapters storyline and the Ziost storyline for SWTOR, regarding the Emperor’s role and identity.

Author’s Note

Vette was as good as her word, keeping pace beside Brant as he stumbled through the tight corridors of the Republic ship and down its gangplank to the docking bay’s floor. The air devolved into cacophony, and as he knew no one but Vette and Kellaro, he couldn’t make heads or tails of the mass of humanity blooming in his Force-heightened senses. With a firm hand on his waist, her arm cleverly tucked in his like he was escorting her, Vette guided him into one spot and had him stand there.

He wasn’t entirely blind at least, he found as he stood there waiting for only the Emperor knew what. The glaring lights of the hangar was like seeing a sun from deep underwater: nothing was illuminated and the light wavered constantly, but at least he could orient to what was up, down, dark, and light.

The other voices in the bay suddenly quieted, and he could pick out a set of footsteps slowing advancing towards him from the left, stopping what sounded like every few feet to have a conversation. Kellaro had said something about an inspection muster. Was Brant to be inspected as well? And where was Kellaro? Brant felt an unreasonable anger rising at being so abandoned.

Soon the footsteps stopped right before him, and a voice he didn’t recognize said, “What’s this then? New recruit? What’s with the quasi-Jedi getup?”

“I will show you quasi-Jedi,” Brant started to growl, when a new voice, one he surely did recognize, interrupted him. Continue reading “The Prisoner, Part Two”

The Crucible of Korriban

This short is about the level of PG-13 for descriptions of violence and gore. It describes Brant’s Sith training, and if you know anything about the Sith, well, now you understand why it has a content warning!

The identity of the Presence and the man in the ice-world is a bit unclear. Though this works since it’s also unclear from Brant’s point of view, I wanted to clarify it for the record: the Presence is not the Force (though the Sith Masters surely would want Brant to think that), but instead the Emperor’s soul. The man, though I originally considered making him Kellaro, Brant’s twin brother (hence “the Other”), is in fact Keel’ath, locked in battle with the Emperor as described by the Chapters storyline in SWTOR. In this version, Brant and Keel’ath meeting is what helps Keel’ath throw off the Emperor’s influence, but also what gives Brant the willpower to survive his Sith training mostly (somewhat) uncorrupted.

Also, the scent of carbonite is totally my own invention. If anyone knows how it really should smell in canon, let me know.

Author’s Note

“Hatred… is… power. Power is… freedom… to do as you so desire.”

It was coercive, how they forced him to focus on that voice. The room was kept completely dark, and Brant could smell the musk of other frightened apprentices crammed into the space with him, even though he could not see them. The voice was like a balm to that terrified huddle, the one clear sensation in the room even though it, too, was imbued with the same power as the darkness: the crawling sense of some ancient evil. The only thing Brant could see was the face that vomited it, that voice, and it was a handsome face, even under the ritualistic scarring and red paint like the blood of a tortured slave. You could look into that face and believe it could free you, that only it had the key, and that it would give it to you, if only you acquiesced to its commands. It filled Brant with fear, loathing, but also longing, to look upon it. Continue reading “The Crucible of Korriban”

The Prisoner

Turns out waking a Sith from carbon-freezing can be hazardous to one’s health…

Vette is based on the character of the same name from Star Wars: the Old Republic. In my headcanon, it was Keel’ath who went on to become the Outlander and then Commander of the Eternal Alliance, with Kellaro and Darth Merce/Brant serving under him. So though I kept some details from the SWTOR storylines like the carbonite freezing and Vette’s presence, don’t confuse this with how Chapters played out in-game. (No spoilers made or intended.)

Author’s Note

He felt tingling on the tips of his fingers first. Then all of him was tingling, then hurting, as every nerve stabbed at him as if they had gone a long time without blood. He croaked a scream, trying to move his numb and swollen legs. Something shifted around his feet and his stomach flipped, and then he was falling.

He hit the floor a few seconds later, hard, though he only felt it as a distant impact, separated from his sense of self. Instantly his Force senses snapped out, even as his body remained dull and sluggish. Fragmented memories chased themselves in his mind, speaking of ambushes and a losing battle on his starship. His emotions sang out with a fury through the clouded dark.

I will not submit!

His Force sense seized upon a lifeform at his side, and he instantly moved to attack it. So his arms wouldn’t respond but to stab at him — no matter! He reached out with the Force instead, catching the creature’s throat and throttling it, gleeful as his attacker’s life drained away.

That was for humiliating me.

He was about to reach for another, when the stun bolt from a blaster hit him, rippling across his limbs oddly, as he still couldn’t clearly register any sensation but nerve-pain. He instead felt his movements deaden more, and his mind with them, and for the longest time he could only seethe in impotent hatred.

I will not submit!

“I have a surprise for you, Vette.”

“Oh? Go on.” Continue reading “The Prisoner”

A Jedi’s Failing

This was difficult to edit into an entertaining short, as some of the important context is missing. Lathril is a Jedi Knight character who follows that class’s story arc before coming to the Eternal Alliance, and Darth Merce is, well, a Darth, and son of Keel’ath. This might’ve been a poor choice of posting order, but I had this polished up while Lathril and Darth Merce’s earlier adventures are still in exposition form only.

Also of note: though in the (ultra) fan fiction version, Keelath is from Azeroth (World of Warcraft), I decided not to take so many liberties with other settings and used Talmenor instead here. His past life remains basically the same.

Author’s Note

Lathril kept his hands folded in his sleeves and his head bowed as the lift brought them away from the Enclave. When the lift docked and the door slid open, Keel’ath didn’t immediately exit. He stood staring silently out across the Odessen compound.

Lathril felt he had better say something. “I’m… sorry for the disruption, sir. It won’t happen again.” Continue reading “A Jedi’s Failing”

Tale Out of Time

As you can maybe tell by the characters, this story grew out of a Star Wars: the Old Republic fan fiction. In the game, I light-heartedly play a (much) older version of Keelath, where his undeath has caused him to outlive everyone else, and Azeroth (or Talmenor) has entered the Space Age. (Not shown in this story is how he managed to get a kid; as I said, it’s a light-hearted adaption because Keelath just works so well as a Mandalorian!)

I like this story enough I will probably turn it into a Talmenor tale at some point, but I’m a bit torn on whether to leave it as science fiction (so a future Talmenor) or to try and adjust it to be fantasy again. The Sith Empire translates well to the Krygon Empire, and most forms of technology can be retooled to be advanced magic or Little Folk inventions, but the “flavor” of the thing doesn’t always carry over.

So, for now, for those of you who have found this backwater of the site, enjoy this take on the Outlander, Mako, and Akaavi. Continue reading “Tale Out of Time”