It has been over two decades since the start of the Great War, the enduring conflict between the resurgent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. The Sith's early goal of retaking their homeworld of Korriban and re-establishing the Academy to train their acolytes amongst the countless tombs of fallen Lords has long since been seen to fruition.
Force-sensitives throughout Imperial space are brought to the Academy to gain strength and to learn the ways of the Sith. Walking their path under the watchful eyes of instructors and overseers, these acolytes vie to prove themselves to their dark masters. But for every potential Sith Lord in waiting, there remained a plethora of far less worthy individuals. Typically, such failures would find themselves dead and forgotten, tossed into the nearest crags to be fed on by wandering Sith hounds.
But deep within the Academy's vast underground dwellings, a peculiar group of students learned and advanced amongst the rock and dust. Blood was spilled. Bones were broken. Spirits were tested. But none expired. None were expelled. Only the bare minimum of prospective talent was expected from the students within these halls. For what purpose, they did not know. In their minds, all was normal.
There was enough truth, enough tradition to entice and satiate the acolytes. Keeping them content with their position year after year even as they showed little progress. Their expectations aligned with reality in such a way that no singular facet could appear unusual. The strong trained as warriors, exponents of martial combat. The cunning trained as inquisitors, manipulators of the mind and Force. Yet neither would receive anything approaching the true Academy's trials. Only debased approximations.
The tenets of the Sith were present, but restrained. Held back. Chained. Competition and rivalry, without the true threat of death. Unlocked potential and uncovered secrets, whilst never fully achieving understanding. The thought that one day, they would be acolytes no longer, but apprentices to powerful Lords who would foster their rise to power. But the Lords never came. No masters arrived to free them from their classrooms, from their squalor, from their worthlessness. But none would give up hope. Day after day. Week after week. Month after month. Year after year. They knew their time would come.
To convince them otherwise would prove an impossible feat. Regardless of the intent of their superiors, the Sith Code lay embedded in their young minds. All they needed was strength. All they needed was power. Then, they could shape their destinies. Unfortunately, those with power enough already were shaping theirs.
But the acolytes would not give up, not until they had achieved ascension.
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