His cloak is black. Tattered from long use, but well kept.
His eyes are amber, as those of a wolf.
Light Sabers ignite almost as one from every Master, Knight, and Padawan nearby.
Some younglings ignite practice blades.
He isn't young maybe forty or on the outside fifty with dark hair and pale skin, where it can be seen from the shadows of his robes. Coiled fury radiates from him, ready at a moments notice. Inciting the fear in The Temple. Amusement radiates from him not a brittle thing not a dark thing, and incites caution. Sadness radiates from him, and causes confusion.
His eyes flicker for a moment, a deep brown. Turning his smile from a feral thing, to that of a happy grandparent.
He looks around and settles on an older padawan, not far from his trials, and Beckons the padawan to him.
The padawan almost flinches. But for all the mans fury, there is no threat to be sensed. He stumbles forward seeming to almost rethink the action from one step to the next.
"Do you know what I am Child?"
The Padawan Swallows, Begins, Swallows again and whispers.
The Mans eyes flicker. Amber, to brown, to amber again.
"Do you know why?"
He is terrified, the stories of Sith brutality, of a Sith Lords instability, make the rounds in the apprentice quarters at least once per galactic standard year. And this man is obviously a Sith Lord. but he does answer, and answers truthfully in regards to his beliefs
Now the man grins.
"Do you know for what?"
"Power." The padawan answers.
The padawan closes his eyes, drawing on the force he truly looks. He seems astounded as he answers.
The man unclips the hilt of a very obviously well used and well cared for Light Saber Staff. Now balanced in his upturned and open palm the hilt levitates and is disassembled first from the middle working outward, until it floats in pieces before the padawans eyes. A gently flickering orange gem, with a band of jade green winding in a twisting pattern around it drifts to the padawan who, unthinking, plucks it from the air between forefinger and thumb.
"A gift for you child."
The saber reassembles and clips to his belt as the man turns to the somewhat suspicious and very alert jedi around him. All in some form of dueling pose.
"I am Darth Ceals, Dark Lord of the Sith." His eyes flicker again, sad now. "I offer myself in surrender. My Daughter needs training and I would not see her become as myself." He closes his eyes and finishes in a quieter tone. "And I am so, so very tired."
Days pass into weeks pass into months. He is given the trust of a new focusing crystal.
Not unexpected, as he refuses their "redemption", though he respects their attempts. The Masters and Knights interview him on an almost daily basis. Really it's just a very polite interrogation. He actually finds himself enjoying these talks. Most of Knights and many of the Masters cannot seem to understand his unwillingness to reform, as they see it, though he has surrendered.
"Why remain Sith?" They ask.
"Why stop now?" He replies with a smile.
He does note however, since his daughters arrival at The Temple, the eyes he sees in his mirror are brown more often than amber. Disconcerting really. If he isn't careful he might start referring to himself as Corin again.
And Honestly that's just bad form.
He had been a guest for two years When the attack came.
'Coward.' They Scream through the Force.
"Weakling." They Bellow in the Atrium.
"Face us Traitor!"
He is at his most honest, A simple man.
A doting husband, a loving father.
Even at his worst, he kept a garden, subscribed to the belief of the living force.
When other Sith apprenctices ridiculed him for his calm ways his gentle, even merciful attitude. He smiled.
There is no greater brutality than that of nature.
No more careful killer than that of time.
and So he waited.
Patient in all things.
When the other apprentices began to disappear, no one suspected brown eyed Corin kneeling in his roses with his gentle Smile.
Darth Kelaris, was very proud. The Amber eyed youth kneeling in a rose bush just smiled.
His garden was very well fertilized that year.
Four Hundred Sith Knights out of the Korriban Enclave.
Two Hundred from Knossus.
and Fifty from Malachor.
One Master from each
Pitiful, hidebound things. Fundamentalists.
No more fit for their titles than the likes of Palpatine, or Malak.
He meditates through the first hour of battle.
"Find the Daughter. Make him pay."
Brown eyes open.
Fear trickles through Corin.
A head Snaps around.
Rage Glitters in suddenly amber eyes
Darth Ceals Stands from his Meditation.
Hate positively stampedes through the force
Darth Kelaris is an odd Sith Lord
"Fear can only provide so much motivation." He Says. "Fear for ones life quickly breeds weariness, fatalism. By the end, the one feeling this kind of fear wants nothing but the end.
Excellence is what we Sith Strive for. Do not Fail my Training, do not fail yourself. Fear only your own displeasure, your own guilt. Fear only that you could have done better and actively decided not to.
Rage can only carry you so far. Eventually it will burn out, fade. If you must use it, use it quickly, use it cruelly, and never ever use it outside of it's own context.
This was Darth Ceadus' failing a few hundred years ago. He relied to much on Rage to fuel himself when his fear was no longer enough.
Hate is easy, addicting, and deadly. Because it will consume you, leave you a walking vengeful husk. Feel hate For only those who deserve it. Direct your rage to them, end them quickly."
A Sith Knight is a powerful being.
A Sith Master is like a Nova in comparison.
A Sith Lord is another matter entirely.
Darth Drisal was one of the few survivors of the 'Gardener Lords' apprentice class. He was also the last Sith to Die at the hands of Darth Ceals, in what would be the Sith Lords last battle.
"Daddy, Daddy, look what Master Flense taught me." Padawan Carina Mishala called, running pellmell into Corin's quarters.
First Corin thought he was about to be tackled by the ball of energy that was his nine year old daughter, only reinforced by her running leap over the caf table, and then debunked thoroughly when she sedately floated onto the couch.
Corin was impressed. And said so as he tipped the couch on it's side, because he was feeling lazy, and did not much feel like leaning down to kiss his giggling daughter on the forehead.
He took off a Sith Knight at the knees as he passed a duel, removed a Twi'Lek Sith's Leku and some of it's scalp as it raised it's blade over a younger Jedi Knight, Removed the Arms from the Malachor Sith Master and finally brought his Light Saber across is a vertical slash to stop the Korriban Master from decapitating Jedi Master Flense, who seemed to be recovering from the effects of prolonged exposure to lightning.
"Drisal." He murmurs with a mocking smile. "Your continued attempts to Emulate Revan makes fools of us all."
Feint-Parry-Slash. A dance begins. All the Grace of a Ballet, All the Deadly power of a Krayt Dragon.
"A weakling hiding behind Jedi tries to coach me on etiquette." Snaps Drisal. "A fool who has forsaken the power of the dark side, seeks toLECTURE ME!
Deflect-Spin-Thrust. Drisal is enraged, already irritated by what appears to be Master Flense's interruption of his cutting the Blast door to the apprentice quarters. Ceals' mocking laughter is really to much for the Korriban Academy Masters frayed emotional control.
"You have no more appreciation of the power of the Dark Side than the rest of those foolish backstabbing pests we began to learn with." snarls Darth Ceals in return. "You have...
...No Appreciation of the sanctity of life, the right of any being to try to grow, or the ability to mould anything into your image. Thus you are not worth my time and I can only hope your end will provide a lesson to someone as to the cost of arrogance." The Gardener turned away from the Imperial Noble, sedately walking back into his own quarters.
He had new Fertilizer for his Alderaanian Roses.
Drisal obviously remembered that day too because he was less dueling at this point so much as battering at Ceals Saber in a futile attempt force his death on a rebound. Or break the Saber, which was also impossible.
Darth Drisal is a Sith Fundamentalist. Tap into your Rage he instructs.
Darth Drisal is a Member of the Korriban Faction. Tap into your hate he instructs.
Darth Drisal is by no means weak. He would not be an Academy Master if he were.
Bask in the Power that is the Dark side he instructs. Using his hate he rips at the force for a grip and hauls it to himself.
His Amber Eyes Glow as he does.
Peace is a Lie.
Drisal's Mouth Twists into a grin and he opens with a brutal stab towards Ceals Stomach.
There is only Passion.
But with the Force Singing through him like a Sensory Orchestra Ceals sweeps himself over the blade.
A Sith is not a Sedentary Creature, nor for that matter, is a Jedi.
For All that these two men are are in their fifties, they fight with the economical precision that only constant practice and constant growth can provide.
For every brutal chop or Vicious cut the two make to each other there are dozens of tiny movements, subtle force nudges, and mental taunts flung into the maelstrom around them.
These Men are Masters of their Art.
They fight as such.
The Hallway leading to the Apprentice Quarters is a storm. To enter is to Die.
When He was young Corin was the son of a Trade dynasty on Traxuma III, a World size moon in a gas giant system.
His life was good, he learned his trade (the movement of rare plants from all over the galaxy) and from it gained his hobby of gardening.
His Hobby was endorsed by his parents as a way for Corin to attract attention and build a name for himself in a proper fashion.
Life started fast and lasted long on Traxuma.
The expectations placed on a Trade Family were stringent, most marriages were planned from the ages of four to eight, were were carried out by fourteen to sixteen and a first child was expected between seventeen and twenty five.
Corin was married at Fifteen to a playmate of his childhood, Mishala. The Two argued constantly, but gods help the fool who sought to harm either.
Their Son was born eight years later when the two turned twenty three. Trian for his mothers grandfather, had his fathers eyes, his mothers hair, and the seeming ability to charm everyone who met him through sheer belligerence.
He was seven When the Trade Federation glassed the Traxuma system.
Where there is discord, there is the dark side. Corin learned this lesson early.
Where most saw the dark side as the catalyst, Master Kelaris saw and through him so did Corin that it was discord bringing about the mealstrom.
There is a realization that most never see that even those who use and draw upon the force never understand.
The Force is as incapable of good or evil as a rock.
This is a truth.
The Force is merely reactive to the life it sustains.
When a Jedi healer draws on it to mend a cut they are not drawing from a magical plane of light and happiness, they are merely coaxing the natural flow of the force to move a bit faster.
The same is true of the Dark Side for an opposite effect, a Sith or Dark Jedi or whatever name is not drawing from a pit of greasy shadow, they are simply forcing it to their will.
Darth Drisal and Darth Ceals are tearing at the Force with claws unsheathed.
Where there was hate, there is loathing.
Where there was anger, or fear, there is uncut rage.
Where there was passion Primal fury is all that remains.
For every minor victory in this duel, a defeat.
For every cut, there is a nick.
For every trick of the force, there is a bruise.
He was on his first trade mission, showcasing a rare growing of Alderaanian roses, when he received the news.
New Alderaan sent a representative who was positively ecstatic over the quality of the blooms.
Corin didn't hear a word of the trade deal, didn't care that he had become one of the richest men in fifteen sectors, nor did he realize for a very long time that his revenge was funded by pacifists.
Traxuma had a long history of force users, not a large population, but enough every generation that a small Jedi enclave existed to train those who had no interest in the force in the fundamentals.
Enough such that they could function without harming themselves, or others. Corin learned of the force learned to control his emotions and learned he had no interest what so ever in becoming a Jedi.
When He turned Thirty One, Corin became the apprentice of Darth Kelaris.
When he was thirty eight Darth Ceals found his son in a Trade Federation slave camp. His Master felt his rage and was proud, it was a cold thing, a sharp thing.
It was his tool and not his master.
Darth Ceals was ready.
Drisal Had lost an arm.
Out of spite he took Darth Ceals Eyes.
In revenge Ceals obliterated Drisal's jaw,
and his legs, and... Drisal stabbed him through the right lung.
There is an ending to all things and Darth Ceals had reached the end of his apprenticeship.
The Dual was glorious.
Waxing and Waning in fury, fought between two men respected each other in a way that few could.
Every Strike intended to achieve a killing blow.
The duel had lasted two and a half hours, neither had tired in the slightest. burns and scorches, cuts ,bruises, tears, Kelaris' cloak smoldering from a near miss, Darth Ceals missing part of his cheek and some teeth from a nearer miss.
The end came suddenly, Kelaris sweeping his blade in a diagonal arc overextended just slightly.
Darth Ceals Chopped down in a feint and on the backswing cut through the hilt of Kelaris' blade and up his left arm to his elbow.
Rather than scream in pain or resort to the force Kelaris backed up and began hurling insults.
"Weakling. Cannot defend your own family. Left them to rot in a Slave Camp."
"Fool. Where is your wife now. Can youTRUSTher after so long."
When Darth Ceals Backed up Deactivated his Saber and walked away Kelaris was proud.
They were dieing, they knew this.
There is no Emotion.
Still they fought, two broken bodies lying still blasting at each other with the force.
But Darth Ceals could feel the desperation in the act, it surprised him that it was not his own.
He had won.
The Jedi had Driven off the Sith in a panic.
He had kept them from his daughter and the other children.
My Chains are Broken.
He felt Drisal weaken. He felt Drisal rage in a fading body over the failings of his underlings.
Corin lowered his guard, Drisal could not Harm him now.
There is Peace.
Her name was Vele, She was a former Jedi, turned smuggler
When he met her. He hated her.
He did not know why.
They would duel or fight or trade barbs.
When he fell for her. He told her everything.
And then he ran.
Two years later they stumbled on each other again.
He begged Mishala to forgive him
Carina Mishala was born nine months later.
They Travelled to the Core together when Carina turned nine to petition the Jedi council for her training.
He had minutes maybe, he was sure.
There is no Death.
He could could feel his daughter running to him. She was crying and not a little nauseous.
He couldn't see her of course, but he was sure he knew what she looked like.
Of course wonderful thing that it is once she grabbed hold of his arm like a limpet he could see her after a fashion.
He loved this little girl with all of his heart, her Mother, her Brother, Her namesake the Woman who might have been her mother in a fairer world.
She would survive, she would live, and one day she would love.
"Welcome Home Corin." A whisper.
There is the force.
He was Glad.