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  1. To be born in the galaxy today is to be cast unto the dark nebulae of space, and to see life's preamble as but little more than a bloody verse. Wherein a universe's worth of mighty empires might thrive and die with but a flicker, with so many countless souls cast blind and furtive against the whims of the Force. Only the brightest of souls will live long enough to be seen as embers, before they are snuffed out by that inexorable dark.
  3. House Lennox knew this well. And upon each bloody raiment of armor and weapon panoply, a story was told. Inked in blood, a writ of worthiness which cried out against the oppressive weight that destiny's shroud brought. The doom of death offset, and the protestations of brave warriors echoed not gently throughout that dark abyss of night. For the Sith Empire, it wasn't enough to merely thrive through an age of warranted violence. It was insufficient to be ennobled for such brutal nobility, such poised savagery, wherein a passion like flame coursed through their veins. And such was the only protection offered when the Eternal Empire reared its ugly head, and was found wanting.
  5. Dautleff Gothram of House Lennox was sired by Daurmal Gothram, name-known Alderaanian and kindred to Orraim Lennox. Daurmal had fathered Dautleff only after he'd lost an arm and an eye for House Lennox. Daurmal was given a son who shared the mutual force sensitivity of his mother, whom had been picked by Orraim as a prestigious match for the brave soldier. Her name was given simply as Lathreiss, and she demonstrated herself a scholar worthy of the title Sith before Daurmal took her as wife. From a young age, Dautleff proved to be a quiet, observant child. The early instruction and lessons of learning given by the mother were soon supplemented by the lessons of the father, who had every interest in being the overseer of his son's journey up until his time as an Acolyte to Sith. Where the mysteries of the force were woven before Dautleff's eyes by his mother, the young man's resolve was tempered with the instruction of the sword by his father. Dautleff acquired a pride to match the fierce sense of loyalty that defined all of the boy's being.
  7. The demands of war would cut this short, however. With unquestionable commitment and command, Daurmal was found wanting in battle. Slain far from Alderaan, Dautleff's mother embarked to recover the remains of his father, and to wipe any trace of dishonor from his death. Though she was successful, she also never returned, where instead both of their weapons did. A distinctive suit of men's battle armor, and a sith lightsaber. Dautleff's instruction, onwards to the academy and in personal circles, was then immediately overseen by kindred of House Lennox. As a young sire of the house, with obvious force sensitivity and potential, his was a steel that needed tempered, and a flame that needed fueled. This fostering left Dautleff with the importance of self reliance, and a repose that warranted a man of House Lennox, as well as a Lord of the Sith. At such a proper time as to uphold the law, and for the tough-love of open contest, Dautleff was shipped to the academy to finish his trials and his training.
  9. These trials were not simple, nor were they easy. More so than the challenges that Dautleff faced, which shook him regularly to the very core of his being as a Sith, even moreso were the demands of the other contestants in the Sith Academy. The murder of another acolyte, forbidden. But the disappearance of one, ignored. Dautleff, perhaps ignorantly, defied the pecking order of the campus of darkness, and made few friends for his time there. The expectations were simple, grim. There was no outside help for the young man, whose house was embroiled in a most bitter conflict with the Eternal Empire. And with an academy that had fully invested its efforts in raising new Sith to fight.
  11. Each new challenge had been bested in sequence, and Dautleff wore his head high. It did not maintain an air of subtlety or secret, but such was almost openly eschewed by the boy. Such meagerness was tantamount to weakness. Dautleff would earn his apprenticeship by rights, and none would question it. Through many of the grueling lessons, new scars, and muscles, and physique had been gifted to the boy by the force. And in so much as that, materials that had been permitted by his association with House Lennox ensured that he'd had the opportunity to painstakingly construct his own lightsaber at the academy when the time was right. Material had been taken from his mother's own saber, and his father's armor. For all the comfort that this small heirloom quality bestowed, this new life was filled with fresh circumstance for the young man. For though there had been a constant rigor, and a sense that weakness would not be tolerated, there had rarely been the air of complete abhorrence. Of wanton betrayal. A frivolity of association that so horridly chafed against everything he knew.
  13. And such was when a great lesson of the Sith was bestowed. Unlike all the others Dautleff had known.
  15. A small, simple betrayal. A companion had divulged the slightest bit too much, in a moment of weakness, as opposed to having been met with defeat or death at the hands of other peers. The location of Dautleff's trial revealed, and a confrontation staged. Dautleff, faced with the impossible odds of five other acolytes, who'd brandished his beaten and bloodied companion. The sole detail that Dautleff's companion revealed had framed it all, for there was only one possibility for the young man's trial in this place; a dastardly datacron that had a horrifying way of destroying acolytes of lesser minds, bodies, and spirits who dared brave a glimpse of its knowledge. It was not enough for Dautleff's trial to be awakened from a nightmare-fueled stupor, having survived the datacron, to find himself stripped of his belongings - which included his precious lightsaber. With only the clothes below his waist, Dautleff stood taller than his assailants, as he awaited the strikes that would eventually follow their jeers. The face of acknowledged shame upon the face of Dautleff's comrade did little to temper his anger, but that poor soul was not such a whelp as to be without some fight. The boy's hands struggled for Dautleff's lightsaber. In that moment, there was a stark sense of vertigo, and a revelation.
  17. The worry that Dautleff felt for his friend, was fear. The anger that he felt towards his weakness, and the insipid cowardice of those would-be assailants around him, was rage. The sense that he had come too far, to survive the nightmare datacron only to be lynched like an animal in famine was unacceptable, that was pride. The eyes of Dautleff's friend, who could not contest the strength of the man he held, gave a single plea, which Dautleff answered.
  19. A lunge, a flick of Dautleff's hand, motion through the air, and Dautleff's strike drove an unfamiliar blade through two necks in a single motion. One of a friend that Dautleff had cared for deeply, and the other that Dautleff had assuredly despised. The shock had stunned the lesser of his attackers, who hadn't imagined Dautleff might make such an attack. In a pure instinct of survival, Dautleff carved down another before she might protest. By that point, the odds had shifted significantly. Dautleff was only faced with three attackers, one whom was disarmed for their carelessness, and by that point... the passion that boiled inside of his body nearly burst from all of his seams.
  21. Each of those attackers died. The disarmed one had been rearmed, with a stray blade cast through his chest. Dautleff reclaimed his own weapon. The final two attempted, with predatory intelligence, to surround Dautleff, that at least one of them would strike a killing blow. One had landed that blow, in the form of a thrust, but it did not kill Dautleff. It marred the flesh of his neck and face, but the young SIth came to grapple, and swung the thrust into the throat of the other attacker. It had been a chance parry with his saber, but Dautleff had made it, and such granted him the opportunity to cast the last acolyte's body clear across the room in what was a force of will. Broken bones did little to distract Dautleff's sinews, as he carved the last apprentice into pieces.
  23. Five bodies lay strewn in that cave, before the data receptacle of nightmares. The most important lesson having be earned after the trial had truly finished. Force of will alone was necessary to master the Sith. The ability to channel that will into power was required to survive as one. Weakness, even for a moment, might mean doom for all, not just yourself. And that chivalrous thing, loyalty, had its place in it after all. To accept doom before cowardice, to accept death before dishonor, was its own virtue. That those who crawl in the dark, idly, may be cast out with a fire that can illuminate the void. To defy the tyranny of that endless night sky, as the flickering stars above dying empires.
  25. Dautleff passed his trials. But the trials of the Sith, to persist against that endless night, had only just begun. For Dautleff, to persist in life with a brilliance to rival mighty empires that might thrive and die with but a flicker. With so many countless souls cast blind and furtive against the whims of the Force, Dautleff's work is cut out for him. For only the brightest of souls will live long enough to be seen as embers, before they are snuffed out by that inexorable dark.
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