They walked in silence, neither willing to break its grip. The frosted ground crunched ever so softly with each footfall as they made their way along the ridgeline. The early morning sunlight was finally cracking over the horizon, illuminating the sparkling wonder of the crystalline planet. The snow had finally stopped, coating the ground with even more reflective brilliance. Their breath hung thick in the cold air before them, a buffer to add to the silence.
It was the Sadowan who finally broke the silence, letting out an annoyed sigh.
“Of course it had to be a cold planet. Can never be someplace nice,” Aul Celsus spoke softly. He scanned the valley below them, watchful eyes looking for any signs of motion, of life.
“Well, could be worse, at least the snow stopped,” Zehsaa Hysh replied. She gave a slight shiver and pulled her cloak tight, then mirrored Aul’s scanning of the valley.
The forces of Naga Sadow and Scholae Palatinae were unable to use their customary methods of attack. This remnant of the Red Fury Pirates had picked a planet that was actually inhabited. No storming Star Destroyers to glass the valley here. This meant no Star Destroyers, no military convoy, no speeders. They had to go in on foot, the good old fashion way. Both clans had sent a representative up the side of the valley to scout out the easiest route across the maze-like valley. They knew the pirates had gone to ground there, but not their exact coordinates. The clans were bound to meet heavy resistance.
Aul pointed toward the far side of the valley. Built into the slope of the mountain there was a glimmer of light that clashed with the surrounding terrain. It was well hidden. If they hadn’t been looking for it, they never would have noticed.
“There it is.”
Zehsaa pulled out a pair of macrobinoculars and honed in on the shimmering object. It was some sort of man-made structure, possibly a hangar bay. She nodded to Aul who in turn brought up his comm.
"We have located the enemy base. Assessing route."
This is when Aul shot Zehsaa a quick glance when she did the same, realizing for the first time that they were not sharing a comm frequency. He grit his teeth and glared. Could he truly trust this new partner?
Unlike their clanmates, neither Aul or Zehsaa harbored the pressing need to hunt down and kill the pirates. Neither truly understood the sudden rush to action when the locations of new Red Fury bases were outed. A sudden frenzy had surged through both Naga Sadow and Scholae Palatinae upon this revelation. In a matter of months, a joint clan venture had been organized. Yet, standing there upon the mountain top, they felt something call to them in the Force.
For a single moment, Human and Togrutan forgot their differences. What they felt in the Force united them. The flow of the Force through them was colder than the wind biting into their skin, more real than their own heartbeats. They did not know how, they did not know why, but they knew that within that pirate base lay great power. Artifacts. Treasure. It beckoned them.
It was there for the taking, if only they were willing to pay the price of blood.
High Capacity Cargo Freighter
The ship moaned and creaked as the two ships docked. The Jubilation was old, rank and rusty, and completely unassuming drifting quietly in the void of the system. More importantly, it was neutral ground.
The governing forces of Mygeeto would pay no attention to a ship this far from the planet, a small blip of metal in their scanners. It was here that the leaders of Clans Naga Sadow and Scholae Palatinae had decided to oversee the joint venture. For months they had led operations across the galaxy in their quest to finish their lasting and permanent vengeance upon the pirate group. Retribution was at hand. Below them, hidden within a valley, stood the last bastion of the Red Fury pirates.
The revelation that the stronghold housed valuable Force-imbued artifacts had changed everything, and forced the Clans to tighten their cooperation. The artifacts hidden below were far beyond the comprehension of petty pirates, but in the hands of the two Clans, their power would be immense.
They met in a cargo pod in the middle of the ship. Locke Sonjie and Sanguinius Tsucyra Entar, took their seats on one side of the table and eyed the data feeds that had been installed along the walls. In between the feeds stood several of their men, interspersed with Palatinaean storm troopers. Seated across from them was an individual they had heard stories about, but never had the occasion to meet in the flesh. The wild, one-eyed gaze of the Black Hand himself, Cyris Oscura, never left the Sadowan Consul and Proconsul. The Palatinaean forces that came with Cyris stood unmoving, faces hidden beneath reflective, white helmets.
"Xen'Mordin felt that he is above such showings?" The displeasure on Locke's face was apparent. Cyris smirked.
"The Emperor has faith that all will occur according to plan," Cyris responded with a soft boom to his voice. Locke and Sang’s reply was cut short by the voice of Zehsaa, followed shortly by Aul coming over the comms. The live feed from their location appeared on screen. Atop the table, a holographic reproduction of the valley slowly materialized.
Sang sunk back in his seat as he sighed, "I expected more." There were few geographical obstacles that posed a threat on approach to the base. There were no guard towers, no defensive outposts.
“At least it will be fast,” Locke added, still appraising the looming Palatinaean Proconsul sitting across from him.
“A blood bath,” Cyris mused. He pressed a sharp, bony prosthetic finger on his comm, alerting Aul and Zehsaa to rendezvous with the Clans’ forces at the mouth of the valley.
And so it began.
Welcome to the opening prelude for Shattered Ties a Scholae Palatinae - Naga Sadow Feud. We appreciate the patience everyone has had as we’ve worked to get this feud ready for release. There is a lot of great events coming your way, all rolled into a large and dramatic narrative of war.
Shattered Ties will run from now through August 1st, and is open to all members of Scholae Palatinae and Naga Sadow. It is broken up into several phases. This prelude chapter will run until midnight GMT on 6/27/2016.
The prelude involves a singular event, details are found here.
Phase 1 and all feud long events will begin on 6/27/2016, alongside the release of the full opening fiction for the feud. Phase 1 will end on 7/11/2016, as an interlude week begins. On 7/18/2016 the Phase 2 will begin with a mid-feud fiction update. The whole feud will end on 8/1/2016.
For those of you who prefer visuals, here is a breakdown of how that works:
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