Temple courtyard, estate Vul'canis
The temple was nothing grand. Compared to the rest of the estate it holds a small space on the grounds. When the estate was first being built the designers only had so little room to work with. To maximize space a courtyard was constructed as the main feature so the family can utilize the temple grounds for a multitude of purposes. It was a rectangular enclosed space, white stone face for the floor with the emblem of the Sith empire stamped in the center, surrounded by white marble steps leading into the pylons that supported the temple roof. Everyone had a use for the courtyard. The faithful prayed in front of shrine house where Vul'canis personal items were kept under lock and key. The curious sat on the marble steps for better lighting to read their scripts under the hanging braziers. Lovers said their wedding vows in front of family standing over the imperial emblem. Yet its most common use was sport; specifically the art of combat. Blood has been spilled here with more than one generation and sometimes spilled with life. The way of the Sith is harsh but disciplined. A way of life young Sul'fer'us would soon learn and live by but first he had to parry his uncle's barrage of saber strikes.
To an outside observer Sul'fer'us didn't seem to physically embody the elements of a warrior. He is small in frame and size. A scarecrow one could say. His hair was short and his face lacked the eyebrow stalks and high born chin tentacles of a pureblood of his station but he had his father's golden eyes. His father's infamously fierce and fiery golden eyes. A mark of a warrior. As he stood his ground and maintained the Shii-cho form of his stance, Sul'fer'us watched and studied Brim'tar's pattern. He kept count how often his uncle favored striking over head from his right side, the way he favors quick strikes over powerful ones to conserve his energy, that when he gets close in a standoff he leans his overweight to intimidate lesser foes. Sul'fer'us could almost smell the onions from Brim's brunch wafting from his mouth.
Cousin to his father by blood relation on his grandmother's side, Sul'fer'us' uncle didn't seem like a warrior himself but he was far from being a pushover. Across his right eyebrow stalk was scaring from a lightsaber duel with a Darth during his tour on Balmorra. He had other scars but they were covered under his gray dueling tunic. Throughout the fight Brim'tar was the offender, testing young Sul'fer'us patience with each blow. Sith warrior's relayed on their powerful anger to devastate their foes but a master was one who held control over their anger despite how dire the situation became. Masters used fury like a second wind; granting their attacks with an extra edge in the battlefield. Brim'tar had a feeling his nephew has the potential. The problem was getting the youngling to act upon his gifts.
Sul'fer'us kept up the blocking and parrying till Brim'tar was about to throw his weight into a downward strike. The young Sith thrust the tip of his training saber into Brim'tar's belly, swooping one leg between Brim's own, causing the juggernaut to topple on his own weight. The veteran however would not make this easy and used his moment to roll back onto his feet. Sul'fer'us went on the attack with heavy strikes to keep the large Sith unbalanced. Brim'tar countered with his saber ward technique till he could get his feet squared away but Sul'fer'us kept his pace. Assault strike. Block. Visicous strike. Counter with retaliating impale. Block. Thwack went the training blades each time they made contact. Brim'tar straighten his supporting leg to twirl his body around to deliver a diagonal slash. Sul'fer'us reached around with his training saber to trip, little did he know he was falling into a trap. He felt his throat suddenly tighten as his body was lifted off the ground. Brim'tar's free hand tighten his invisible grip.
"Come on you whelp! That all you have?"
Sul'fer'us concentrated his control of the force within his vocal cords. He answered. A great wall of air pushed into Brim'tars' large mass and disrupted his concentration. Landing on all fours Sul'fer'us pounced like a vine cat, his blow narrowly averted by Brim'tars' saber hand. The rage was surfacing now. His blows were stronger now. More frequent. Assault strike. Block. Counter. Parry. Thwack went the blades. Strike. Parry. Strike. Strike. Strike. Block. Strike. Strike. Parry. Strike.
Brim'tar found himself buckling under the barrage, dropping to one knee. In desperation he attempted to use the Sneash form but the assault continued. Strike. Strike. Strike. Without warning Brim'tars' saber shattered near the hilt and he found himself at the mercy of his cousin's son. The boy stared down with his father's golden eyes. Then he grinned and offered his hand in support.
"That all you have?"
Defeated, Brim'tar accepted the invitation with a firm grip of his hand. As he rose Brim'tar pulled young naive Sul'fer'us close into a arm lock and pulled a knife to his throat. "Show mercy only to the dead or dying. Anyone else would simply kill you."
Sul'fer'us only nodded in response. He felt his elder release his grip, withdraw his cold
durasteel, followed by a firm pat on the back. The boy's voice felt raspy. "I think you enjoyed choking me a little too much."
"Ha ha ha! You definitely have your father's humor if not his warrior's spirit. Once again the Academy will tremble as another son of Great Vul'canis comes to spill blood upon the red soil of our ancient home world. Oh to relive such glory," Brim'tar bent down to pick up the broken training saber, impressed by the feat. "The Force is strong in you, young Sul'fer'us, perhaps a little too strong."
"My sister would have obliterated the saber along with your arm," Sul'fer'us rubbed his sore throat to ease the pain.
"Come youngling. One last feast before you leave us for Korriban."
"But you just ate less than an hour ago."
"Always room for more when you work up an appetite as I have," Brim'tar walked with a eger stride up the marble steps with Sul'fer'us following in tow. As hateful as it would be to admite it young Sul'fer'us wouldn't mind indulging in a brief snack.
Tonight would be his last night home. Under the cover of darkness and with only his tunic and training saber, he will transverse the difficult jungle terrain to the imperial space port where a private shuttle would wisk him away to distant Korriban. Sul'fer'us had only been off world twice before, both times when he was a child. He didn't know how long his stay would permit. It's been said around the estate that trails very between applicants. Some leave within days of arrival, impressing Sith lords with their extraordinary talents. Others have labored for years, yearning for a master to take them. Only the failures never leave. Under the shadowy cast of the temple pylons Sul'fer'us wondered who among the family would bother to take him as their apprentice. Tradition dictated that he would be taken up by one of the remaining lords in the family household. Unless another more powerful lord of the Sith outside the family's influence had his or hers eye on the pureblood. Then again none of the family may want him; He knew that there were far more exceeding pupils that made his own skills pale in comparison. Would he end up like his father's cousin, a fat tool whose skills rusted away from years of neglect? Or would he die in the fields of Korriban? Doubt was the mind killer, his father once told him, best to purge it from taking root and fruiting the essence of fear.
Brim'tar halted and signaled Sul'fer'us to join him behind a pylon. The boy went along with a feel of confusement till Brim'tar pointed out the reason: Scor'ch had returned early from his hunt and was looking to kill someone. Sul'fer'us had heard stories of his blood relative's infamous temper, how he viciously attacks the servants with unparallel rage. How he takes great pleasure in the mistreatment of others. Sul'fer'us remembered a time when he was eight years of age walking past Scor'ch's quarters and hearing the hollering cries of help from a woman that had the misfortune of catching lord Scor'ch's eye. He was never told of the woman's fate but the boy had ideas. Ideas that scared him.
Scor'ch was only half Pureblood; his pinkish red skin reflected this as did his lack of pureblood features such as eyesbrow stalks or chin tentacles. He also had blue eyes that could pierce ones' soul; another un pure feature he obtain from his mother, rumored to be a human girl that once served here. Sul'fer'us once asked how Scor'ch was related to the house; His father In'fer'us couldn't say and his mother Sahara only stated that Scor'ch was one of Darth Mol'tan's numerous whelps. Brim'tar hardly thought so as he kept Sul'fer'us in the shadows. Their golden eyes watched as Scor'ch chewed into his servants of how his trophy eluded his thirsty lightsabers based on bad Intel. To direct his rage the Sith backhanded one of his entourage so hard a stream of blood painted the pavement before the servant's limp body embraced the warm mixed stone and gravel. The servant didn't rose for a while.
Brim'tar looked to Sul'fer'us. "Sometimes it's best to avoid some conflicts in the path to power..."
"It disgusts me that he is related to us and not because of his heritage," Replied Sul'fer'us.
"...Rage is your power but do not let it control you," stated Brim'tar "Besides I fear your father's wrath if anything should come to you before you depart."
"I thought you feared my mother more?" joked Sul'fer'us in whisper. Brim'tar chuckled lightly.
As Scor'ch walked on by to the stables and servant quarters, Brim'tar and Sul'fer'us left the safety of the pylons; the young Sith looked on to the wounded servant, a Ttwi'lik so frail one would think he's bones were made from toothpicks. Inside he wanted to aide this misbegotten creature but the path he was about to walk would not permit such lowly emotions. He had to become true Sith least he fail and become a slave like this poor fool before him. The pair walked to the eastern quarters where the families lived and studied the works of Vul'canis. It also housed the estates famed mead hall where Brim'tar was keen on visiting.
However, approaching the estate the pair came into contact with two lovely ladies of the household; Lady Saharah and Flam'rus. Instantly both men gave a lit bow of respect to each lady. In return both women curtsied in their long red and gold robes.
"Mother," spoke Sul'fer'us.
"So I see you beat your teacher yet again, too bad we missed it," Commented Sahara.
"Yeah your boy whooped me good milady," spoke Brim'tar in a friendly but respectful manner. "It is a shame your husband could not be here to witness young Sul'fer'us performance. He would be proud."
"I think my husband's decisions would be best made by himself if he was here and not tending his duty to the empire at Kass City, dear cousin in law but your opinion is noted," Sahara noticed the Twi'lek raising from the gravel while covering his blood caked face. "Did this fight include the house servants?"
Brim'tar and Sul'fer'us glanced back. "That would be the work of Scor'ch, milady."
"Ah well we can't have him causing mischief on the eve of my dear son's retreat. I may have words with the Arch after his mediations are over. Still, there is work to be done. Sul'fer'us, your father will return soon so have yourself ready to leave by then."
"Brim'tar, would you be a dear and escort us ladyships to the Arch's personal chambers. I know In'fer'us would be grateful that his cousin looks out for his wife and children." Spoke Sahara to Brim'tar.
The large Sith bowed again in respect to the lady's wishes. Then Sul'fer'us split off from the group and headed for his quarters while his teacher lead the ladies through to the inner maze of the estate.