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View - Epilogue: Lake of Apparitions


Art by Moric



Epilogue


From atop the highest temple on Atrum III, the ancient Sith monarch watched the mind walkers as they awoke from their journey into the Ethereal Realm. Below in the Nyâsh tombs, spirits steered, invigorated by the amount of power the ritual had accumulated. Some of them had gone mad or faded from existence, incapable of retaining a sense of self, as the now burned out artifact had drawn upon and enhanced the dark energies that sustained them.

Neither spirit nor mortal saw him, for he belonged to neither category: He was no spirit, for he had never died. Nor was he in truth a mortal, for he had transcended physical existence long ago. He, Atrum Nyâsh, was a Force Entity - immortal to a degree, although far from omnipotent. More than two millennia prior, upon choosing his heir, he had performed a ritual. That ritual had bound his essence to something that had remained through the ages: His legacy; his blood.

As time was but a mortal perception, it no longer held any meaning to the monarch: He understood that thousands of years had passed since his presumable death, understood that the galaxy had changed in ways he could hardly comprehend. Guided by his purpose and an iron will, the monarch flowed through existence with irregular instances of abrupt consciousness; moments when significant shatterpoints had appeared in the Force and summoned his attention.

This, right now, was one such instant. It had been since the Nyâsh Purge, but as a result of the purge, he had been weakened to a point of having no agency. Now, with the dark side empowered, this had changed. Yet it was not the only shift in circumstances: Recently, from the perspective of an immortal, something had attached itself to the fabric of his existence; a virus, spreading through what he had created, using it to sustain and empower itself. That thing, his unnamed nemesis, was now materializing:

Ethereal energies rippled a sharp scarlet as blackness appeared and took shape: Long billowing robes with a hood drawn, from within which pupilless red eyes peered out like twin stars in a black abyss. Slowly, its lips spread into a smile that stretched from ear to ear.

Atrum regarded the shade and it regarded him. There was no point in talking, for the abomination was not fully present. Indeed it was tied up elsewhere, locked in place. But the shift had empowered it and like a predator smelling blood, a part of it had come to him.

It was despicable; an insane perversion that had exploited his formula to obtain transcendence. But unlike Atrum, who embodied the idea that power should be wielded for a purpose, he could sense that the shade embodied only chaos and insanity.

With the shift, this thing would escape its bonds. That was when the Sith monarch knew two things: This abomination had to be destroyed, and he could not do it alone.