Battle Over Odessen

I haven’t decided what set Brant off here, so this post starts in the middle of a scene. Sorry about that. Just assume some rage-y Sith something.

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”

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”

Thorn of the Rose

“O Scourge of the Sea! Though long you have stalked me, no more shall you withhold your truth from me…

“…O Scourge of the Sea! I see the curtain has parted, your true form at last revealed to me.”

Thorn of the Rose

By A. Broadhead

Act One

The moonlight lit the paths leading away from the village square, silvering the hair and hoods of the wuyon’mari streaming into it. Its light was overpowered by the lanterns in the square itself however, shining blue and violet, green and gold, from the branches of the white-barked trees. Keelath took a sniff of the air, scented with herbs and exotic perfumes and all kinds of food.

The Long Dark holiday was in full swing. Continue reading “Thorn of the Rose”

The Will of the Whip

Then there was a soft spitting noise, like a match flaring to light. Evelos glanced between his fingers, and there was Keelath, the wuyon’mar’s angular face twisted in rage, holding his sword in one hand and a ball of furious Light magic in the other.

“Take your claws off my son,” his father growled.

The Will of the Whip

By A. Broadhead

“…this life, witho-o-out you.”

Mirium drew the final note to a careful quaver, then bowed as her small audience erupted into clapping. Face glowing, the wuyon’mar stepped down from the Halfmoon Tavern’s stage and sat down between her two adult children, Medi and Evelos.

“What did you think?” she whispered.

“It was beautiful,” said Evelos. “I think you’re getting your talent back.”

“Oh, you think you could do better?” Medi quipped, nudging Evelos in the ribs.

“Well, I do have a story I could tell,” said Evelos thoughtfully, as the crowd settled again and Lana took to stage to call out for the next participant. “It’s from when I was a child.”

“You were a child once??” Medi goggled.

“Erm, yes,” said Evelos. “It’s about when we first moved to Thalas’talah, away from the Dawnmist manor. It was years before you were born, though.”

Medi leaned back in disappointment. “Really? That sounds bore-ring!”

“I think you’ll find it’s not.” Continue reading “The Will of the Whip”

The Whip’s Will (Fanfiction Version)

“…this life, witho-o-out you.”

Mirium drew the final note to a careful quaver, then bowed as the small tavern audience erupted into clapping. Face glowing, she stepped down from the Lion stage and sat down next to her children, Medi and Evelos.

“What did you think?” she whispered.

“It was beautiful,” said Evelos. “I think you’re getting your talent back.”

“Oh, you think you could do better?” Medi quipped, nudging Evelos in the ribs.

“Well, I do have a story I could tell,” said Evelos thoughtfully, as the crowd settled again, and Lana took to stage to call out for the next open stage participant. “It’s from when I was a child.”

“You were a child once??” Medi goggled.

“Erm, yes,” said Evelos. “It’s about when we first moved to Thalas’Talah, away from the Dawnmist manor.”

Medi leaned back. “Really? That sounds boooooor-ring!”

“I think you’ll find it’s not.”

Lana moved her pointer finger around in a circle over the audience, but the takers to come up on stage were few. Evelos then put up a hand.

“Forgive me if I don’t come up on stage, but I have a sleepy child on my lap,” he said, stroking the blonde hair of his little son, Alesric.

Lana waved him off. “It’s a casual night, anyway,” she said, sitting down on the stage’s edge to listen.

Evelos exchanged glances with Medi, who was goggling at him again. Then he swallowed hard, and the ren’dorei began.

A Darkmoon Reading

The final piece to be cut out of “Brothers Apart”, this scene really deserved to be a stand-alone all along. Keelath was given a tarot card reading at the Darkmoon Faire during a Summer Festival roleplay event, which left him chewing on whether he needed to use a lighter touch in his relationship with Mirium. His worries didn’t come out of nowhere: at the time, Mirium was suffering from a mental intrusion by Talthan, via a mind control spell that caused her to see Keelath as an enemy. Since this is nowhere else referenced, this piece didn’t really belong in “Brothers Apart”. I think I originally put it there as it showed how Keelath and Tyrric’s brotherhood was on the mend.

Author’s Note

The cottage was dark when Keelath made it home from the Faire. Mirium was sleeping–of course she was sleeping. It was past moonset, and at this time of month, that happened only hours before dawn.

Keelath dismounted, letting the ghost of his bonesteed drift away, back to wherever such undead creatures lurked until they were called again. He let himself pause to listen to the nightly sounds: crickets, a muffled stamp from the stables, water trickling some distance away from the brook, the cloud of humming from the frogs living near a pond Tyrric had left behind when he had dredged the grounds of Dawnmist from the swamp that had given them its name. Joining those sounds now was a crackling buzz from the new wards Lithliana was helping to lay around the manor, since Haljek had gone. The buzz would fade once the wards were fully up, she had said, but that would take another few days.

He edged up on the cottage. Mirium couldn’t stand his presence at the moment, shrinking away anytime she caught sight of him. He knew it was Talthan’s doing, not a reflection of her honest thoughts about him, but it still hurt. One never appreciated what they had before it was taken away… Continue reading “A Darkmoon Reading”

Dear Estormo

Though this scene was briefly found in the “Brother Apart” series, due to the revelation Tyrric comes upon, it was originally written to be a stand-alone piece. After the Great Revision, it is back to being a stand-alone, though I might eventually rewrite pieces of it to slot into “Tyrric’s Madness” as part of the chronicle of Tyrric’s recovery from Void corruption.

Until then, this scene describes the aftermath of a roleplay session, in which Keelath was rude to Estormo while he was sulking at a tavern event.

Author’s Note Continue reading “Dear Estormo”