Year 1 --
The force of the blow caused her to take a knee. As her knee hit the ground time seemed to stop and she had what seemed like a moment to think. She looked up at the knight, his practice saber brandished and the hilt dripped with blood, her blood, as he had struck her face with the hilt of his blade. She felt her lip swell and she tasted blood it would fuel her anger.
Dazed slightly, she saw as Potestia and Nomathecia recovered from their bouts and took a defensive position to the right and left of Kharia. Six other knights encircled them.
"Again." Their mother commanded dispassionately from an elevated platform. Kharia cursed inwardly at the uncaring order but she would expect no different, this is how things had to be. She knew it, the Empress Regent knew it, her sisters knew it, the knights knew it. The knights saluted and carried their practice sabers as they approached the princesses with menacing facial expressions.
Kharia looked at Potestia and nodded, then to Nomathecia and with that they exploded into action. Potestia spoke and unleashed a blast of force towards three knights to the front. Nomathecia parried blows from two knights from behind and Kharia charged the force into her hands, unleashing a ball of lightning that sent one knight back 10 feet. His armor smoldered and he did not get up, likely knocked unconscious. Kharia didn't have time to consider it as the last knight engaged her. He struck high and she channeled the force into a shield which gave her just enough time to parry the blow while she brought her saber up with her other hand.
The triplets danced around each other, in a beautifully executed synchronous that looked as if it were choreographed. Blasting, shocking, parrying and striking they covered their weak points and exploited those of the less organized knights. Less organized only because they did not share the bond that the sisters Roderick shared, it would have been folly to underestimate these knights though as they still were among the most dangerous men in the galaxy.
Potestia found herself being pushed back as the three knights she was handling recovered. Kharia saw this as she matched her sabers against the one she was fighting. She side stepped his next blow and then force pushed him into the three engaging Potestia. Potestia took advantage of the space she was provided and blasted the two knights engaging Nomathecia . Kharia then unleashed a Force Storm on the two, lightning swirling around them as they shuddered in pain and collapsed. Their armor smoldering as they hit the ground of the arena.
Finally, the three sisters lined up and faced the four remaining knights. The tide had definitely turned and the knights could see the writing on the wall but they formed an echelon and prepared to attack. They charged at the sisters and the the young girls raised their hands outward. The charging knights were halted immobilized by the Force that was being channeled by the sisters. They lifted off the ground as the sisters raised their hands in unison and the were held in the air for a moment. Then Kharia brought her second hand up and expanded them away from each other as if she were tearing something apart. The two sisters lowered their hands and the four knights, once held in the air were thrown violently in two different directions each hitting the ground with immense force. If they were not dead, they were certainly out of the fight. The fight was over.
The three looked up at their mother who held a barely noticeable grin. Never the less she said nothing and turned to leave. The knights saluted as she did so.
"Bitch." Kharia said to herself quietly and she regretted it. Her mother wasn't cold, she knew this training pulled on her heart as well but she wished her mother wasn't so good at playing the role of cold and unsympathetic master. At least, not with her children. They were only twelve after all.
Year 2 --
These type of proceedings bored Kharia because she knew how they would end. She watched on as the Wrath masterfully presented her case to the tribunal. The two Togruta were being tried for heresy. Whether or not they were truly guilty was not for Kharia to wonder, this was the Emperor's law and the Wrath executed the Emperor's will so to her it was just. The Togruta huddled together a male and female, shivering as they stood in the water before where the three judicators sat in judgement.
"These silly traditions counter the reverence all citizens must hold for the Dark Divines and for the Emperor." Darth Ray'ak said as she paced at the edge of the pool of the river. "It is your rule to judge them for their crime and mine to carry their sentence. I command you to make your judgement."
The three judicators looked at each other for a moment but did not say a word in their deliberation. The chief judicator stood, her robes flowing in the slight draft that briefly blew through the "Cavern of Justice." She stepped forward and pointed at the cowed Togruta.
"Guilty." The chief judicator said with finality. The female Togruta sobbed into the shoulder of the male who stood quietly and stared blankly at the chief judicator. Kharia was not sure he registered his fate but that soon changed as two Knights came to escort them.
"Take them to the pyre." Darth Ray'ak said. "Their sins shall be cleansed by fire."
The male Togruta then begged and the female continued to sob uncontrollably as the knights escorted them through the tunnel. Darth Ray'ak motioned towards Kharia and her silent sisters.
"Come, young ones." The Wrath instructed. Potestia was silent as usual and Nomathecia smiled a bit, she as her namesake implied was fascinated by law. Kharia, ever pensive, dutifully rose and followed closely behind the Wrath. Her sisters taking her flank. Potestia always on her left and Nomathecia always on her right.
The knights, the Togruta, the Wrath and the sisters emerged from the tunnel to a cliff that overlooked a forest on Yavin IV. This had been their home away from home for some time. The sisters when not out with either the Empress Regent, Hands or Wrath would often be either on Voss or Yavin IV, the secret resting place of their Emperor and father.
The knights tied the Togruta to the stake as they begged and pleaded, speaking in their native tongue, likely hoping whatever heretical gods they held would save them. The knights grabbed a torch and lit it and brought it to the Wrath. The wrath did not grab the torch she instead looked at Kharia.
"You." She said as she pointed at Kharia.
"Can I do it?" Nomathecia asked with a bit too much enthusiasm. Potestia was silent. Kharia looked at the torch.
"I get it, Lord Wrath, must I do it?" Kharia said defiantly.
The Wrath's face turned stern and she walked up to Kharia back handing her across the face. The knights stiffen up and the sisters grab their lightsaber hilts unsure of what to do. Kharia held out her hand stopping them from acting.
Kharia grabs her face and glares at the Wrath.
"I am the Wrath of the Emperor." Darth Ray'ak begins. "When I speak, I speak with our master's will. You will do this. You must."
"Very well." Kharia said scornfully, grabbing the torch from the knight and marching towards the Togruta.
"Please, princess, we don't want to die." The male Togruta begged. The female was silent now, likely she had accepted the inevitability of their fate.
Kharia did not hesitate and lit the pyre. The flames began to burn the wood, slowly growing and raising towards the Togruta. The male began to yell, the female looked directly at Kharia's face almost defiantly. Kharia almost respected her composure but it was short lived. As the flames began to burn her she yelled in pain, they both did, as Kharia and the others looked on. The memory of the consequence of heresy seared into their minds as the thirteen year old sisters watched their painful, fiery deaths
As the transport let down in the Rishi spaceport the sisters' emotions were torn between excitement and anticipation. This was the first time they had ventured off on their own, they were way out of Imperium territory and they did not exactly have the permission of their mother or anyone in their government. Nevertheless the Force guided them to this distant world in the Rishi Maze, a hive of scum and villainy, for some unseen reason.
They each cloaked themselves in unassuming gray robes careful to avoid the Jedi’s traditional brown and the Sith’s traditional black, their lightsabers tucked beneath their cloaks away from their belts so not to disclose their force using ability. As they got out of their stolen transport they jumped onto the wooden docks and took in their surroundings.
“Never been in a place like this.” Nomathecia said looking around and smiling back at her sisters. Potestia said nothing.
“Yeah…” Kharia said looking across the horizon attempting to get a feeling. Some indication of where the Force was pointing too. It wasn’t clear so she moved forward.
“Where to?” Nomathecia asked as her sister stepped forward.
“I don’t know. The Force will guide us… I guess.” Kharia said as Potestia silently took her left. Kharia smiled at Potestia and the walked on.
As they left the spaceport they were definitely noticed. The three beautiful young girls were clearly not from around here and garnered many looks from the villainous individuals who bustled about their likely nefarious business. Kharia brought up her hood, her sisters did the same when suddenly a passenger cart toting bird-like creature stopped in front of them.
“Need a lift?” The bird like creature asked the three girls.
“Um… what are you? A local?” Nomathecia asked stepping in front of Kharia.
“I’m Dwarrk. I am Rishii. I can take you wherever you want to go.” The creature responds in a friendly tone.
“Take us to the edge of the city, do you know the mountains in the east well?” Kharia asked as she stepped towards the creature.
“I do, but I don’t leave the city much. There are dangerous creatures outside of the walls.” Dwarrk responds with a shiver.
Kharia waves her hand in front of him. “You will take us to the of the edge city and you will guide us wherever we want.”
The creature blinks for a moment. “I will take you to the edge of the city and I will guide you wherever you want.”
“Good.” Kharia hops in and her sisters follow suit as Dwarrk takes them through the bustling spaceport.
The girls look around at the various creatures of different shapes and sizes. They had not much contact with species other than Humans, Sith and Voss due to their upbringing in the palace but every once in a while they would see other species in the course of their training. Still this experience was very new to them.
As they arrived at the outskirts Dwarrk got out of the carriage and tethered it to a nearby tree.
“Hopefully nobody steals my cart.” Dwarrk worries aloud. Kharia looks to Nomathecia who then attaches a homing beacon to the cart in a discreet location. The homing beacon doubled as an explosive in case any thieves became too much trouble to track down. Dwarrk looks at the beacon and then to Nomathecia. “What’s that?”
“It will keep your cart safe.” Nomathecia said smiling. Dwarrk shrugged and looked to Kharia.
“Where to?” He asked.
Kharia placed her hand on her head as she could see in her mind a mountaintop, an HK droid and a man on his own. She then points. “There.” The four depart.
The trek took the better part of the day and the cloaks served them well as while the city was in a tropical zone the mountaintops were snow covered. They had let Dwarrk wait at the foot of the mountain while the three trekked forward. Kharia made sure to give him the impression that it would be very unsafe if he left through a mind trick.
As the approached a cave the three suddenly felt imminent danger. The three shed their cloaks and ignited their sabers. A red blaster bolt is shot from behind a rock, Nomathecia intercepts the bolt with her saber.
“Declaration: You meatbags are in a restricted area. My master insists he is to be left alone.” It sounded like an HK unit hidden behind a rock.
“I am the Princess Kharia of the House Roderick, heir to the throne of the Sith Imperium, the Force has guided us here and we will not be stopped.” Kharia yelled towards the stone. Potestia pointed at where the droid was crouched. You could barely see a part of his shoulder joint assembly. She signalled through her hands and the force that she would flank the droid. Kharia nodded and Potestia took a step.
“Acknowledgment: You will be allowed to pass. My master has been waiting.” The HK-51 unit said as he stood up and lowered his weapon. Presenting himself to the three sisters.
“Who is your master, droid?” Nomathecia demanded to know.
“Statement: You will soon find out.” He responded passing by the three and taking up a guard position behind them.
Kharia shrugged and advanced towards the cave, her sisters taking their positions with both of their sabers drawn. As they entered the mouth of the cave they could see a tunnel leading slightly downward, a single torch providing dim light from the distance. The pressed forward and found a man meditating with their back towards the entrance.
“Who are you?” Kharia asked of the man.
“The dark half has awakened death.” The man muttered, not acknowledging his new guests.
“Excuse me?” Kharia said, perplexed.
“As each world dies the sun grows colder.” The man muttered again.
“He’s out of his mind.” Nomathecia said shaking her head. Potestia nodded in agreement.
“Maybe….” Kharia says as she slowly advances. She deactivates her saber. “The Force is strong with him.”
“More reason not to deactivate your saber, Khar.” Nomathecia says cautiously. Her and Potestia step slowly towards the man, their white sabers still drawn.
“The shards scatter amongst the falling night.” He mutters. “They must relight the flames or all will go dark.”
Kharia touches the man on the shoulder and suddenly a purple saber ignites as he blasts her back and turns around. Nomathecia and Potestia jump ahead crossing their sabers to block his strike towards Kharia. He pulls his blade back, Potestia strikes low, Nomathecia high. As if he forsaw their moves he brings his saber down low the force knocking it up to block Nomathecia’s high blow. Kharia ignites her saber just as he uses a force overload again blasting Potestia and Nomathecia back.
Kharia charges swinging mid, her blow is parried she spins around to use the momentum to strike again. As her free arm passes him he grabs it and she is yanked down but she suddenly experiences a flash of a vision.
Kharia sees her grandfather Arestenax speaking via holocall to the madman she now fought. The vision closes in on Arestenax’s face, which then morphs into Salvatus’s, and then into Kharia’s. Her perspective widens again to see herself in a meeting of high-ranking Imperium officials, with the madman bowing to her before taking his seat.
Many more such visions passed through her mind, tying the madman to her past as well as her future. All the while in the background is a shadow, distinct in shape and yet just beyond comprehension. It grows larger with every passing moment, swallowing the sky and dousing the stars one by one.
As suddenly as the visions began, they ended. Kharia returned to the present and saw the man remove his mask, revealing a warm smile. “Take me to Him, little princess,” he spoke.
Kharia yanks her hand back but she nods in agreement, knowing he spoke of the Emperor. “Fine.” She looks at Nomathecia and Potestia. “We will take him with us but keep an eye on him, just in case.”
“You got it.” Nomathecia says, Potestia nods.
“What’s your name anyways?” Kharia asked the pale skinned man, his pale eyes focused on her.
“I am Bahr’ve’ahz.” He says simply. She nods and then heads towards the mouth of the cave.
As they exit the cave the sky is suddenly filled with noise as an Imperium Transport suddenly passes by escorted by four fighters circling above. The transport lands a short ways away.
“Statement: We have company, master.” The HK unit says while aiming his blaster.
“Stand down, they are friendly.” Nomathecia yells. The HK unit looks to Bahr’ve’ahz who nods. The droid lowers his weapons as Darth Ryshias and four Imperial Knights march up.
“Princess Kharia, Princess Nomathecia, Princess Potestia.” Darth Ryshias says as he approaches.
Kharia walks to the Hand. “We have a guest. We will be taking him to the Emperor. He will be interested in this one.”
The Hand looks sternly at the princess. “He knows. He has sent me her personally to collect you and the disciple of Makhzor.”
Kharia raises her eyebrow. “He knows? Wait did you let us leave the Imperium?”
“Of course.” Darth Ryshias said as he turned towards the shuttle. “You’re good kid, but you’re not that good… yet.”
The three sisters smile as they, and their group board the shuttle and take off. A Harrower could be seen looming in the sky above them. Potestia grabs Kharia’s robes and telepathically gives her the vision of Dwarrk.
“Oh yeah, we have to-” Kharia began.
“Your Rishii friend has been taken back to the city and provided some recompense for his services.” Darth Ryshias interrupted.
Nomathecia’s smile faded as she looked at Ryshias. “You didn’t kill him did you?”
“We don’t usually kill our agents, princess.” Darth Ryshias said as he pointed towards the window. The transport flew low past the spaceport towards the harrower. The three looked out and saw Dwarrk waving up at them. As Darth Ryshias signalled the pilot the transport lurched forward as their afterburners activated and the raced towards his command ship. The fourteen year old sisters sat back in their seats, satisfied with their adventure.
The transport set down right outside Roderick City. Kharia and her sisters were nervous. In the four years since the return of the Emperor they had only seen their father twice. Both times were pleasant but this time they would be presented to them as full fledged Sith and members of the House Roderick. At fifteen they had been Sith for over a year and had attained the rank of Lord of the Sith and now they would be presented to the Emperor.
The Lord Hands, Darth Ryshias and Darth Fidelisis greated the princesses with an honor guard of twenty knights. They kneeled as they stepped off the transport’s ramp.
“Your Imperial Highnesses, welcome home to Roderick City.” Darth Fidelisis said with his head bowed.
“Rise, my lords, it has been too long, uncles.” Kharia said. The two rose and the knights formed columns parallel to the princesses and the Hands. The group began to proceed towards the Basilica.
“It is good to see you three. Your father has been awakened and has awaited your arrival in the Tower of Governance. The council is assembled as well.” Darth Fidelisis said as he and the hand trailed the Princess Kharia to her left and right. Nomathecia and Potestia following a step or two behind them.
As they arrived at the Tower of Governance a crowd had formed. The city, more of a base actually, had grown in population as more troops, personnel, priests and their families were stationed to attend the Emperor and his household. They cheered for the Princesses as they entered the tower, knights forming a line to block the tower from the crowd.
“Their Imperial Highnesses, Lords Kharia, Nomathecia and Potestia of the Imperial House Roderick, Princesses of the Sith Imperium and Lords of the Sith.” Said Darth Fidelisis as he knelt before the Emperor, Darth Ryshias does the same.
The three walk up to the center of the chamber where there father sat in his throne. Their mother stood to his right with their 10 year old son Praelus standing just behind her and to her right. The Wrath stood to the Emperor’s left. They knelt to the Emperor in unison.
“Before Us is the future of Our great Imperium.” The Emperor spoke. “We are proud to anoint these three Sith as members of the Imperial Family and as Our beloved daughters. Let all who see them know that they are to be obeyed and revered. Rise, Our daughters and take your place at our side.”
The three take their place and a short meeting commences before the Emperor rises to leave. All in the room rise as he does.
“We must retire, I leave matters to the Empress Regent and government.” He says as the knights escort him to the exit and then towards the Basilica to his rejuvenation chamber. The sisters look at eachother and then towards their father. They could feel his presence becoming faint, tired. Their probe does not go unnoticed, their minds are filled with calm as he assures them in the force that he will be fine.
Year 5-- Summary
The three sisters spent much of their time as they had when they were young. Ferrying between the capitol on Voss and Yavin IV. Sometimes visiting their ancestral homeworld of Alderaan. Honing their skill in the Force, in lightsaber combat, piloting, command and conducting the business of the House Roderick.
The celebrity of the Sister’s Roderick became a welcome comfort to the people. While the Emperor slumbered, his progeny thrived and gave the impression of stability and the comfort of knowing that the Imperial Family was strong and remained in control of the Imperium.
They, like many, were summoned to Roderick City for the official grand opening but as they made their way to Yavin IV they could not shake the feeling that this moment of unity was a calm which foreshadowed a coming storm. They, would be ready