By Gen Zeridian
The history between Crymson and myself has been shrouded in mystery until now, before I met my Beloved within the domain of the Dark Jedi Academy. Back when every day was a struggle for survival and power. Respect was not given, it was taken. Stripped from all the known records it is my intention to leave behind this documented look inside of the Shadow Guild so that it may never again resurface.
I will tell you when Crymson and I first crossed paths, we were trained as highly skilled assassins. As females both our physical features and our feminine attributes were exploited for the sole purpose of assissination and secret operations against mainly the male gender. It is no question nor should there be any doubt that I am and always will be lethal and effective, although love has weakened some of my more feral tendencies, having chosen by my own free will to succumb to a male's desires, making them my own...make no misake, cross me and you will suffer immensely.
There is much speculation as to who exactly created the Shadow Guild, if it was an official Imperial project of Palpatine's request, or if it was a band of rebels who neither liked the Empire nor Rebellion. All that is for certain is that the Guild was made up of all women, these women all loners in their own right did not trust men. Although we did not place trust in males, we did accept jobs as hired assassins and spies to gain a reputation in the underworld of crime and villiany.
Meeting Crymson for the first time, I could detect a level of darkness within her, even when she was not yet a teenager. Still I sought alliances to survive the grueling tests of skill that the higher ranked members of the Guild sought to unleash upon us at a moments notice...failure to succeed was met with severe pain. Inside the Shadow Guild, beyond intiation you were expected to serve the powerful and embarrass the weak. This was the mantra that you had to live by. There was no longer family, there were superiors, there were no friends, their were alliances.
Anyone you dared to place your trust within would stab you in the back in a blink of an eye. I learned this lesson well with Crymson and Elixis, painfully in blood it was inscribed upon my soul, never again will I trust another female so easily. Val is different...there is a bond there, a level of companionship that even I as powerful and refined as I have led others to see, this "image" of me, cannot explain his captivating hold over me. He is however, the reason I now live and fight to defy any who would oppose me.
Skorne...learned this lesson well and one day very soon I know we will meet again to conclude our battle. I was caught off guard by this new technology once, but the next time we meet, history will not repeat itself.
The Shadow Guild members were both ruthless and highly effective in their missions that were assigned to them with clear advantages over the male species.
1. Seduction/Physical features
There isn't much information on the Shadow Guild availible because its existance is only know by it's 20 circulated members. This meaning that the number of members never exceeded 20 but rotated upon a need to remove one and replace someone with another who would perform a task more efficiently (death).
Whomever was #1 commanded anyone at anytime to do as they wished without question as with #2, #3 and so on.
Those who were not ranked above #10 were seen as the weaker of all and had to work harder to prove themselves to maintain their place in the Guild's good graces.
I held #9 rank and Crymson held #8 after our first couple months of joining. It was a standard requirement that all who joined the sect took a vow of secrecy to never reveal the location of the Guild, treason was met with death. Another aspect of the oath was that no one was above challenge, and much like a bracket to lose a battle or challenge was to lose a place in rank upon which everyone had a number and liberties that came with it. The last requirement as with any force following is that each member had to have the skill to construct their own lightsabers.
At the time the challenge rule did not include death under our first Headmaster of the Guild, but this would change.
The day arrived where both Crymson and I came of age to develop from mere servants to members of the Guild. To do so we had to prove our maturity and our cunning skills both mentally, physically, and emotionally. Physically we faced and dominated the trials, but mentally we had to successfully complete the only connection to both Jedi and Sith beliefs, construct a lightsaber.
Crymson and I decided the best way to approach this task which we knew little about was to spy on the higher ranked members of the Shadow Guild and in secret one night we stole as many lightsaber creation journals as we could find, referencing the pages and writing down several of their own notes.
We successfully replaced the volumes, and with the combined tips of all the members, gathered our own suppiles through secret channels for the next couple weeks, referencing our new "hint books" When the day came, we had passed the task of creating lightsabers before our superiors with flying colors.
It was only when forced to look into the eyes of the stronger that I felt a tinge of fear...like a toxin it swept through my body. If the eyes are the windows to ones soul, mine could not hide in the face of such confrontation the deception behind my task. This however was a den of theives and trechery, I felt the guilt intensify and used the force to my advantage. With the knowledge that what Crymson and I had achieved that no others dared to attempt, pride swept over the fear and a smile of satisfaction, boldy defied the "rules" as my purple eyes alone spat back in the face of authority that would challenge the road I had chosen to take. That I believe was what really excelled me from the clueless girl I had arrived as and transformed me into the strongwilled individual I have become to this day.
After Crymson's twin bladed lightsaber revealing pink blades and my own vibrant, violet saber blade were ignited, tested, and extinguished, our "test" was placed on hold while the top "5" memebers of the SG held a private deliberation.
With their higher status they could have banished us on a whim but I knew they wouldn't dare, suspecting foulplay was involved, recognizing some of their own tactics used in our designs but seeing a unique solution to the task, it is speculated that as imatation is the highest form of flattery and the purpose of the test was to teach, the "5" members decided to embrace our collective intelligence and allow us to pass the test, unchallenged.
There were twenty members of the Guild, but a blood thirsty rule declared by Elixis Kel of being able to challenge another for rank or power eventually caused the members to grow so obsessed with the "queen of the mountain" philosphy, that they killed eachother off in pursuit of being the best.
I know I am the best, I need no rank to declare my superiority. However it cannot be denied that now, with the others buried and lost, I am what remains of the Shadow Guild, I am #1 and anyone who might possibly know of the Guild may try to claim the title from me.
Let them come...I am ready.
Although logically it makes more sense to unite against Elixis to maintain order, the power of insecurity, jealousy, envy and fear wittled away and consumed the other's sense of unity and sensibility one by one.
Fear spread like a virus, killing those who could not control it and those who could not contain it.
Twenty joined and several women tried to flee the group for their lives with the "challenge" rule in effect, anywhere at any time. Those who fled were viciously hunted down and silenced so that the secrecy of the Shadow Guild could be maintained. There was no order anymore, choas consumed the walls, screams filled the night...I wish I could say that I was not part of that choas, but I too had to do what was necessary to survive, not to excel.
It pains me, but even in a world composed of treachery and deciet, I found friends beyond Crymson and under orders I had a choice...
and I watched them die...
I take nothing back, everything must happen for a purpose. My death was to strengthen my Beloved, now he is more powerful and focused then ever. What is done, is done and left in the shadows of history never to be repeated. Words cannot explain death, entrapment...I did not die, I merely awoke.
Inside the crystals, I vowed in words I could not physically express to guide my Beloved. I accomplished my goal. Without hands I aided him, without voice I comforted him...but his love, his dedication to me is what sustained my presence, beyond flesh, beyond mortality. I find myself awoken inside a new prison of metal and wires. I was enraged for I was not with Val but encased in an industrial nightmare.
I heard without ears and lashed out at whatever dared approach. Then all of a sudden, a flash of light and I awoke! How, I do not understand...nor do I wish to question the second chance the Guardians of the Force bestowed me. To unite with my true love was payment enough, beyond his darkness...he returned to me as well, there is nothing and I mean NOTHING that will ever seperate our destinies again.
This I vow for eternity, forever bound.
When the Shadow Guild was narrowed down to but three members, Crymson Vachon decided to side with me against the last member Elixis Kel. Elixis had grown very powerful in the dark side of the force and she struck down Crymson with ease. As I moved in to save Crymson from certain death, the truth was revealed.
Kel had executed three of the guild members, placing herself at the top of the list as #1, with myself being #2 and Crymson being #3
Elixis slaughtered the original #1, #2, and #3 with deceptive methods which moved myself and Crymson up in the ranks to the next highest position.
(So the rank bracket started with #1 - #20, but as time went on as the Shadow Guild began to collapse on itself, each member killing eachother off in duels for position and now, survival, the numbers dwindled to a #1 - #10 bracket, then #1 - #6, and finally only #1 - #3.)
Crymson Vachon had sensed the power I had attained through my endless training that surpassed her own, competition grew stronger then friendship, this was the product of evolution, of maturity. Having lost to me in a recent conflict, and her rank, I now realize Crymson feared my potential and played along as my ally long enough to strike a deal with Elixis and give Kel full power as the strongest of the Shadow Guild members, while Crymson would reliquish her role and become a servant to Elixis's needs, officially ending the Shadow Guild forever.
Both assuming that it would be so easy to defeat my will to survive...
A mistake many have made and not lived to tell of.
Crymson turned on me and with the aid of Elixis's brutal dark side afflictions, brought me crashing to my knees as she delivered powerful telekinetic blows to my ribs, a favorite method of hers effective and rarely forgotten. If not for my outcry of a desperate, and highly vicious Force Scream, they might have nearly killed me, but I am a creature of survival, corner me and I will lash out and destroy you.
This self appointed "Skorne" learned this lesson well, had I not been distracted by his infernal devices, I would have been the victor of a stalemate that DEMANDS to be settled.
The result of the echo of darkside rage ripped trees from their foundations and one caught Elixis between the eyes. As she laid there dazzed and deaf from ruptured eardrums at the pitch of my scream, she was unable to focus upon the force and sense the danger of a near by tree. The bark of the tree contained razor sharp spikes as nature's way of keeping people away from it, but with the unsettled division of the ground, the tree tumbled forward and both crushed and impaled Elixis to her death.
Fate was not on her side that day...it took root within the strongest will to live.
The only thing that saved Crymson from becoming deaf was her being flung into a deep, recessed hole as the shockwaves of my attack rippled overhead. I could not move, I could not speak I could not return the favor and destory her when I had the chance, my body was unwilling. She would return, more powerful then ever and brutalize my Beloved, but fate is not without its purpose.
I fell in love with him then, the endurance, the power, the raw emotional willpower to survive against all odds. Val proved to me then you see, that he was my equal and my choice for my true intentions. Such a man of unparrelled saber skills and determination was one of a kind. It is said that one is born with only half a soul and that we spend our lives searching to complete who we should have been, Val is my soulmate...he completes who I should have been and who I am now.
He's grown incredibly strong, the most powerful Dark Jedi Master ever, with a list of victories that almost double my own, he is a fighter, a survivor, a warrior, a lover, and a protector. Granted I was bred into darkness, my family is but a blurr...washed away by the intiation of the Shadow Guild.
I was alone in that darkness, Val stretched out his bloody hand as he laid there hanging on to life by a thread and pulled me into his world...into his heart and in doing so, all that I knew, all that I mastered in the Shadow Guild and the Dark Jedi Academy showed me that even then, I had much to learn about the depths of love. A powerful emotion it is, devastating and supporting, enthralling, passionate, and deadly.
I watched Crymson force leap her way out of the hole by some miracle with her own injuries, suffering several cracked ribs and a fractured shoulder from the impact of her fall, stagger away, embarrased and defeated into the darkness of the forest.
I never laid eyes on Crymson again beyond our last encounter years later in the Dark Jedi Academy, all that I know is that her grave presides on these grounds and it is Val who delt her her everlsting destiny. Had she known Cire had survived she might have lived. Consumed by her desire from the start to serve her own selfish needs I have no remorse over her death, nor do I care of her family legacy.
I questioned Val's choice to allow the last member of the T'Negun family to survive. Terra, she has too much of her mother in her. Yet, as a vow to my Beloved I agreed to accept her and gradually...I started to understand the child's struggles. A year passed now, Val and I have chosen to accept Terra as the daughter we have never had, despite what her family has done, it is Val's intentions that Terra rebuild the T'Negun bloodline as it should have been, on honor and respect as Dark Jedi and not Sith.
I will help in this monumental task for my loyalty is to Valaryc and him alone. He has returned me to the world of the living, and for that my life is his to take and govern. But do not mistake loyalty for individuality. See me dust and do dishes? I think not.
Wear a maids outfit and fetch the morning paper?
No way, there are limits to my humility. Then again that grin of his is as effective as my own whimsical eyes. I can make all men puty in my hands with a long enough staring contest, forget that you best not.
Crymson fled in fear of what I could do when I recovered, and instead she chose to keep her existance a secret until she had perfected her Form C skill enough to challenge me for the "title".
Val however intervined before she could have that privilege.
Make no mistake I could have defeated her just as easily as I could twenty five years ago. She never was and never will be a match for me in a contest of skill.
Later the Emperor's Emissary a middle aged Dark Jedi Master named Draconis learned of my accomplishments and of the fall of the Shadow Guild and after three failed attempts to have me assassinated as a "test" of my skill (bounty hunters? pfft childs play!), I was given command as Headmaster of a secret project on Endor which would later be known as The Dark Jedi Academy.
I do not know what the future has in store for myself and my Beloved, it has been a year of silence...I do not like silence when I know that somewhere out there Skorne still awaits our rematch. Val assures me that The Killian must have dispanded again, for the one called Jenner's body was delivered to Versai Tech as proof of the end of his reign, or thater what was left of it.
Yet I know from experience that the end of one order, only leads to the rise of another. I have seen Elixis's face in my nightmares, I have not told Val this...they are new images, hair of white, eyes of red. I sense no force signature, I know she is dead, I watched her die. Yet there is something elusive...my sense of danger has not subsided and I wonder...
If I can return from the grave....
Then perhaps by some twist of fate...
We may decide who really desreves to be #1.
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