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Nothing will stand in our way
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Star Wars: Castaway (Another Set of Eyes universe)
Author's Note: This story in the Another Set of Eyes AU was written in response to this prompt given to me for Star Wars Month by MasterOf4Elements, to write about "Han and Luke sharing the responsibility as being the strongest male examples in Ben's life and how they missed or ignored the signs he was being pulled to the Dark Side."  I do hope Masterof4Elements will forgive the liberties I took with the prompt; while I am definitely focusing on the dynamics of the male influences on Ben Solo in this story, my view of the Solo-Skywalker family dynamics is quite a bit different from what I see as the "normal" while I will certainly also be addressing the growing danger of the Dark Side, and the male figures in Ben's life, I will have to go where the story goes for the rest, which won't quite be on track with the prompt as it originally was.

The mood in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon w
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SW In the Burning of the Light: Patch Management
Author's Note: This story takes place before "Not a Slave," but given the depth to which Tarssus Kallig's background is discussed, I feel that it fits best in the reading order after Part 3 of 5 of "Forever Is Who We Are."

Star Wars: The Old Republic

In the Burning of the Light
"Patch Management"
"Oh, dear," I muttered to myself as soon as I'd had the chance to inspect the contents of the package that had arrived at the Fury's airlock on Nar Shaddaa.  "This simply will not do at all."
The robes had arrived perfectly color-matched to my selection: a light grey-blue with a long tabard in shades of white, grey, and red, and ornamentation in dark blue and white.  That wasn't the trouble.  And if I wasn't mistaken, the patternfitting scanner appeared to have done its work and sized everything appropriately to my frame.  There was, however, one thing glaringly wrong with each of the three identical robes.  No...more like
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Star Wars ItBotL: Forever Is Who We Are, Pt 3 of 5
Star Wars: The Old Republic
In the Burning of the Light
"Forever Is Who We Are"
Part 3: Within the Mists' Embrace

"Lord Aloysius."  I greeted my long-distant ancestor, the one from whose relic I had forged my diadem.  The one spirit I had encountered in my struggles against Zash and Thanaton who had never once told me false.  "Do forgive my surprise from earlier.  I was not expecting any of you.  And you, m'lord...I was unaware you had found another way to leave the Dark Temple."
"Your actions have reached further than any of us could have expected, my son.  I may not have been the target of your healing, but healed I have been nonetheless."  There it was again: my son.  I could feel the radiance in my ancestor's voice like the beams of the Dromund star upon my frame.  If Lord Aloysius could have made his forgotten smile visible to me somehow, I believe he would have then. 
"Tarssus--Darth I
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Madeleine L'Engle Stamp by RensKnight Madeleine L'Engle Stamp :iconrensknight:RensKnight 1 4
The Annotated Sith Code: A Christian Geek Ponders
This is a companion piece to my poster, "The Annotated Sith Code."  Please click to view the poster if you would like to follow along with it.

The Annotated Sith Code:
A Christian Geek Ponders

This can't be.
I'm sure that's what some of you are thinking as you read this, stunned that I would actually draw anything good out of the Sith Code.  We all know what the Sith onscreen have done, and all of my fandom aside, I do not dismiss that.  Nor, for my Christian readers, do I set a work of fiction above the Word of God.  Though I draw great inspiration from the wonderful things that people create around me, I cannot be more clear on this fact: that it is above all a work of fiction.  It is a fictional work that I find useful as a memory aid to recall certain principles, but it remains firmly in its place as that and no more.  It is the Word of Go
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The Annotated Sith Code POSTER by RensKnight The Annotated Sith Code POSTER :iconrensknight:RensKnight 7 5 Miniature Kylo, Maximum Danger by RensKnight Miniature Kylo, Maximum Danger :iconrensknight:RensKnight 25 5 Young Wizards Stamp by RensKnight Young Wizards Stamp :iconrensknight:RensKnight 0 0
SW: To Tread Upon Such Hollow Ground (ASoE)
Author's Note: Readers of Another Set of Eyes will recognize what is going on here in full.  However, I think others will enjoy this story as well, without any knowledge of my other stories or their characters.  I do have to warn everyone though...this story is NOT a friendly or pretty one, and especially not the feelings swirling around the tormented soul of one General Leia Organa.  In some moments, enough grief, pain, and betrayal can create a very ugly picture--things that in better times, we might be ashamed of. 
This is one of those moments.

"To Tread Upon Such Hollow Ground"
The ground rushes up to meet her--closer, closer,'s cracking open--the planet is cracking apart, this gutted crystalline sphere--
--no.  This isn't that
place--that place--the last place anyone ever saw him alive...saw him--which him--damn him, bless him.  He took him--damn it, which one, the thief or
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Kylo Ren and Company by RensKnight Kylo Ren and Company :iconrensknight:RensKnight 6 10 Awkward Family Photo 3 by RensKnight Awkward Family Photo 3 :iconrensknight:RensKnight 11 2 Awkward Family Photo 2 by RensKnight Awkward Family Photo 2 :iconrensknight:RensKnight 15 10 Awkward Family Photo 1 by RensKnight Awkward Family Photo 1 :iconrensknight:RensKnight 12 9
ItBotL: Forever is Who We Are, Part 2 of 5
Star Wars: The Old Republic
In the Burning of the Light

"Forever Is Who We Are"
Part 2: The Ethereal Counsel

It went without saying that my meditations were disturbed, and not just as Ashara, the former Jedi, would have it.  Even by the kinder judgment of the Sith, there was no other word for it.  I found it impossible to be still--equally impossible to move, to dance.  Even when one has learnt to thrive on a multitude of diverse passions as I have, it is about bloody well impossible to meditate when one can barely sustain the energy of a particular one for even a minute at a time.  And that is how it is when grief first seizes the spirit: the soul careens from one state to another seemingly at random...about the only thing like meditation I supposed I could manage was to simply taste this turbulence, name it for what it was.  Live with it. with it.
My heart warred between yearning for solitude and a desperate d
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(POEM) Soliloquy of an Obsolescent Soul
Be still and know that I as well am Man,
Though indecorous in my thoughts and speech
I seem to those who willingly partake
In shackled tongues and stack-ranked claims to wail.
To you I seem a rough and calloused soul,
Depravity enfleshed, and cold beyond
All care, but did you ever pause to think
That what I hope to gain through all that seems
To bring hard trial is not to keep some down,
But in my greatest dreams raise high all those
Whose labor seems in vain?  Perhaps it's now
Passé to hint that that which hails from blood
Might still in some exotic sense spring forth
From spirits not wrought out of refuse, yet
Instead comprised of that same stuff that drives
The highest loves of all our fellow Men.
To some, I charge, I am become their sword
To wield some frightful day when crisis falls
Upon our heads, but then to cast as far
Away from cultured men as strength and spite
Allow, no more to look upon their world.
Do you not comprehend that I in all
That separates my nature from
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SWTOR ItBotL: Forever Is Who We Are, Part 1 of 5
(Author's Note: This story takes place about a month after the conclusion of Thanaton's Kaggath against Lord Kallig, and Kallig's accession to the Dark Council.)

Star Wars: The Old Republic
In the Burning of the Light

"Forever Is Who We Are"
Part 1: Master of the Dead

It is said about the Sith Order that to us there is no greater enemy than death itself, which some regard as the very antithesis of the Force we wield.  I cannot entirely disagree, for there is a strong sense of something disturbing, something corrupt in the process of dying, something that runs counter to every instinct: to survive, to love, to create beauty out of disparate things...all of these suffer a constant attack from the forces of mortality.  There is something hateful and cold in the ravages of death upon living things.  This I cannot deny, for to do so would be to deny that there is something precious, something worth defending, in life.
And yet I cannot help
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Change - Epilogue
Three weeks later.
"Great job, Han, great job," Doctor Graynar cheered as Han walked in circles around the hospital room, leaning heavily on the cane he'd been using, but still walking without flashbacks or collapsing. As soon as he'd come out of the coma Omha had taken him off the old pills and put him on a new medication that seemed to be working better – the only side effects he'd suffered from this one had been a few headaches – but Doctor Graynar still wouldn't let him handle more than one pill at a time and probably Leia would continue that once he got out of the hospital. Of course, he couldn't say he blamed them.
He hadn't had any shared dreams with Ben since the coma, though – at least not any that he remembered. Many times he wondered if that meant Ben wasn't sleeping or that he was finally able to sleep peacefully – he hoped it was the latter.
[Han?] came a familiar Wookiee voice.
Han looked up and there was Chewie standing in the doorway, look
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Change - Chapter 15
Han didn't know how long Ben had been sitting on the bridge beside him, but he wasn't sure if he should acknowledge his son's presence. They sat side by side without touching, three flesh feet and one mechanical foot dangling over the endless void beneath them, the sound of the breathing device echoing around the chamber. Ben wouldn't look him in the eye, but Han didn't need to see his son's full face to see that he looked like a wreck. Darkness surrounded his puffed eyes and his hair was sticking up in all directions.
"When was the last time you slept?" Han finally asked.
"The last time I was here," Ben said in a low, growly voice.
Han couldn't say it was easy to measure time here, but he figured it had to have been at least a few days since the last time he saw his son. "You kept yourself awake cause you were afraid of comin' back here, didn't you?"
Ben didn't answer. He merely stared down into the abyss, as if contemplating jumping again.
"Okay," said Han. "You don't wanna ta
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Change, Chapter 14
Rey's hands were shaking.
She and her father were supposed to be in their daily meditation together – at least she assumed Luke was meditating, he was sitting across from her on the floor with his eyes closed, but maybe he was actually restless like her and was just good at hiding it. Maybe he was trying to reach Han's subconscious like Leia had once. Could Han be reached in his current state?
Rey clasped her hands together to stop their shaking, but that only caused the tremble to go up to her arms. How could Luke just sit there when his supposed best friend had tried to kill himself?
She sucked in her breath, filling her stomach like her father had taught her, but instead of calming her down it only made her stomach hurt. How the hell could Luke just sit still like that? Was that what he was doing all those years cut away from the galaxy – sitting like a useless statue?
"I don't want to meditate," she muttered.
Luke's eyes opened as if he'd been waiting for
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Change, Chapter 13
Kylo awoke to the dim light in the prison hallway tinted red from the forcefield, his face drenched in sweat, the blanket tangled around his legs. How did Han Solo keep tormenting him from a hospital bed? Han Solo who only had the tiniest hint of the Force within him – how could that worthless weakling penetrate someone as strong in the Force as Kylo was?
He blinked slowly as he sat up in bed, gazing out at his eerily red-tinted cell. The regular light in his cell was turned off, meaning it had to still be the middle of the night. Not that he would be going back to sleep . . . perhaps he'd never sleep again. He decided right then that he hated sleep, hated letting the demons in his subconscious overtake his mind. Maybe sleep was a cruel joke played by whatever higher beings might be out there, forcing people to lose control of their minds every night.
He got out of bed and headed for the corner of his cell where there was a small showerhead over a drain, right next to the toilet
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Change, Chapter 12
Leia squeezed Han's icy hand as if that would magically wake him up, but he remained as still as ever. Four days since his overdose. Four days of the breathing device and feeding tubes keeping his body alive, but whether or not he would ever regain consciousness remained to be seen. Doctor Graynar had nearly gotten fired for not being more careful when supervising Han's meds, but Leia spoke up on her behalf . . . for some reason, even though Han wouldn't have been able to kill himself if the doctor had just supervised him better.
Maybe Leia spoke up for the doctor because she blamed herself more than Doctor Graynar. If only she had been awake – maybe he wouldn't have done it then. Even if he tried, she could have physically stopped him if she had just been awake.
But then again, if he were really that determined to kill himself, he would have found a time to do it when she wasn't around. If it hadn't been that moment, it would have been another.
He was the on
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Change, Chapter 11
A week passed, during which Han started losing interest in food and hardly slept. Omha told him that insomnia and loss of appetite were normal side effects when starting out with the pills, so she insisted that he keep taking them despite his complaints during his sessions. He also complained about feeling dizzy when he sat up and generally lethargic despite always having difficulty sleeping, but she said those were normal side effects too. At his most recent session he claimed that he was having fainting spells – surely that couldn't be a normal side effect – but the therapist either saw through his lie or found out he was lying from Doctor Graynar. In any case, she didn't believe him and told him to be patient with the pills and the side effects would pass.
Well if he was going to suffer side effects, the least the pills could do was help with something, but so far he hadn't noticed any changes for the better. He still flashed back to the bridge whenever he
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Change, Chapter 10
"Hey, wake up!"
The guard's gruff voice shot into Kylo's sleep. His first thought was to Force-choke the guard then and there, but he quickly decided against it when he remembered that doing so would bring hundreds more guards all with orders to kill him on sight.
"I said WAKE UP!"
Kylo groggily opened his eyes to find himself strapped to a hovering stretcher, a guard peering down at him. After another blink he realized that the light glaring down on him wasn't the dim light of his cell.
"What is it with mothers?" The guard spat out the word as if he despised the concept. "Their children can be the most hideous creatures in the world and yet they'll still insist they're beautiful. In fact, even if a mother's child is a downright monster, she'll still defend it. Does that mean mothers are full of the purest love for their children – or just that they're stupid?"
"Where am I?" Kylo's voice came out in a whisper.
The guard appeared to be smirking. "Isn't this how you k
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Change, Chapter 9
Leia swallowed over and over as her husband’s body trembled, creaking the bed. “Han?” she asked as calmly as she could, again gripping his metal hand. “What do you mean, Ben’s hands?”
Han was blinking at the ceiling. “Something from the dream . . .”
Something in Leia’s stomach went cold. In her mind she saw her son’s hands flying off, his stumps oozing blood. “What was it??”
“He’s got artificial hands . . .” Han muttered.
“Yes, yes,” said Leia, gripping her husband’s own artificial hand, pressing into the hardness. “I made sure the prison would give him new hands . . .”
“But did you tell them what kind of hands to give him??”
“What do you mean?” both Leia and the counselor exclaimed at once.
Han’s eyes were still on the ceiling as if he could see nothing else. “In the dream . . . his hands looked all old and worn . . . kinda
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Change, Chapter 8
“Hello Han,” said Doctor Vert, that “doctor smile” unwavering. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”
Han raised his eyebrow at her. “Yeah? Well I’ve heard nothin’ about you.”
As Doctor Graynar discreetly left the room, the counselor pulled a chair up to Han’s bed. “Leia, if you don’t mind giving us some time alone . . .”
“No,” Han quickly said, raising his artificial hand. “She can stay.”
Leia shifted her eyes as if unsure what to do for a moment, then she settled herself on the other side of Han’s bed, taking his hand and planting a gentle peck on it.
“Er . . . all right,” said Doctor Vert, “if that’s what you want.” She cleared her throat as she sat down and pulled out a datapad. “Now, where would you like to start?”
Han groaned. “Look, Doctor . . .”
“Omha,” the counselor corrected. “I like to be on a f
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Change, Chapter 7
There was Han Solo.
Kylo Ren paced up and down the bridge like a caged reek, refusing to acknowledge Han Solo’s presence at the end. The man he called Dad in another life looked pathetic as always: crumpled on the floor, his artificial breathing giving that wheezing sound. So far Han Solo hadn’t spoken, but his gaze never left his son.
He wasn’t really here, Kylo kept telling himself. He would awaken soon and Han Solo would vanish.
“Son . . .” the raspy voice called out as best it could.
Kylo wasn’t going to acknowledge the voice. He just kept pacing up and down, up and down the bridge, his hands in his pockets. He didn’t know if this dream had given him his real hands back or if he had his artificial ones, but he wasn’t eager to find out.
Just a few more minute and he would wake up . . .
A few more minutes . . .
Han Solo kept staring at him as if expecting him to say something. Well there was nothing to be said. Kylo turned away from his
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RensKnight's Profile Picture
Knight of Ren
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United States
Comments, Watches, and Favs

Please know that even if I have not individually thanked you for your watches or favs, I am grateful for the time you have spent browsing through my work. Please also know that if you comment, you ARE likely to get a response. It may be delayed, but I am not ungrateful and I will get back to you. :)

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My stamps all live here to respect your bandwidth and your eyes. Enter at your own risk. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! ADVENTURE AWAITS! ;) :D

Main Works

I have two main works: Another Set of Eyes (Kylo Ren x Reader), an alternate universe story set in the time after Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and In the Burning of the Light, a collection of short vignettes based on the Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO storyline of the Light Sith Inquisitor.

My writing is also backed up at Archive Of Our Own.

Why do I write an X-Reader fic?

Well, the simplest answer is that telling me not to do something is pretty much equivalent to issuing me a challenge, when it comes to writing. ;) That's just a way to make sure I'll try my darned best at it. But if you're interested in more detail, check out this journal: X-Readers: How they're seen and why I do it anyway.

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Other Languages I Mess With a Little ;)

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Yay...tomorrow I will finish up with Tarssus Kallig's commentary on The Book of Sith!  That will be the last of the works that I absolutely, 100% promised to get done during Star Wars month.  I am pretty proud, considering I managed to complete a journal exchange, and even a fic exchange with MasterOf4Elements and still get other works done. :)

While it looks like I won't get as far with "Forever Is Who We Are," which I will resume writing in earnest tomorrow (thanks, 2V-R8, for an unexpected additional fic ;) ), the Memorial Day weekend will allow me to make at least some headway on Part 4 of 5.  If I can keep up my pace into June, my hope is that soon I will be resuming with Kylo Ren-related works (yes, I know some of my watchers have been waiting for that for a LONG damn time).  You may still see little In the Burning of the Light stories once in a while, though...Tarssus Kallig and his world are still a lot of fun and I have no intention to up and abandon them. :)
A request to my watchers: Please be mature in the comments to this commentaries.  Religious matters will be dealt with because of the hard stances that are represented in this and the previous section of The Book of Sith, and my character, Tarssus Kallig, is going to have an opinion too, and express it very decisively.  I understand that you guys have your own views both on how you interpret the Force in Star Wars canon, and how you believe in your real lives.  This is not intended as an attack on anyone; I am NOT having a go at anybody.  While anyone who knows me knows where I stand and should not be surprised by the way things go, please understand that I am not denying anyone a right to their opinion, any more than I want to be denied the right to my own.  That said, NO flamewars here, regardless of whether aimed at me or others.

Compared to the spiritually-focused Mother Talzin of the Nightsisters, one could hardly imagine finding a more diametrically opposed philosophy than that of Darth Plagueis--except for the fact that both of these extremists ended up in the position of throwing the concept of morality to the wind.  Plagueis dismisses all forms of spirituality or morality for the dogma of cold, rigid science.  He views the Force as an entirely natural phenomenon, and dedicates his study to understanding the role that the Force plays in life and how midichlorians can be manipulated to shape life according to his own designs in a far more precise and, dare I say it, cold-hearted manner than the experiments of Sorzus Syn.  He less resembles the alchemist that the artistry of his diagrams and handwriting would suggest, but some disgusting individual like Josef Mengele (whom I will NOT call a doctor, for he forfeited the slightest shred of any right to that title with his horrors).

Tarssus Kallig's reaction to this section was...quite unlike his reaction to any of the other sections of The Book of Sith.  Certain elements of Tarssus' own philosophies, which you have seen in prior sections and will see more of here, seem to resemble those of Plagueis.  And those similarities aren't lost on Tarssus.  Of all of the Sith in this book, I think he sees a dark shadow of the sort of Sith Inquisitor he could have become had he not held firm to the foundation of his morals and beliefs, and had he not been more balanced and compassionate in his approach to life and death.

While Plagueis' section does not leave a lot of room for comments because of the way he wrote on his pages, Tarssus' amanuensis was clever and still helped him find a way. ;)  And, as with Talzin's section, there's definitely some humor had, for the fact that a Force-ghost is offering this commentary on the ultimate Force-rationalist's work.  So here goes!


Tarssus' opening comment offers the foundation of the approach he will take to the rest of Darth Plagueis' text.  Plagueis states that life arises from the natural phenomenon that is the Force:
The Force is certainly intertwined with physical life.  But Plagueis, rational though he is, seems to confound natural Force with the will I am growing convinced exists above it.  Imperius
Nature, in effect, ends up deified in Plagueis' philosophy just as surely as it did with Talzin's--except that where Talzin saw a spirit in everything, Plagueis saw a spirit in nothing and in effect deified what he viewed as blind chance.  Plagueis points out, "The galaxy's leading scientific minds are largely ignorant of the Force, and the galaxy's most skilled Force-users reject science.  The latter are caught up in romantic mysticism, convinced they have been called by a higher power.  The former have no excuse."  You can almost see Tarssus facepalming as he dictates the following:
I applaud rationalism, but Plagueis establishes a false dichotomy.  Imperius
He follows up on this by adding in response to Plagueis' remark that "the Sith of old never asked these questions" about why things worked, "for tradition and obedience extinguished their spark of curiosity."  Clearly Darth Plagueis had no idea about Tarssus Kallig's unquenchable spirit of inquiry (on the light side) or the hideous experimentation of people like Lord Grathan on the Dark Side.
Curiosity and reverence can in fact exist harmoniously.  Imperius
In other words, there is no reason to act as if science and faith are opposing forces, where one must defeat the other in some sort of holy crusade (and yes, I apply that term to both sides).

Plagueis then states his goal: to learn to manipulate life to the point where he can create new life and then sustain his own indefinitely and live forever.  Things start getting interesting when the dead (i.e. Tarssus) start talking back and we get one of the first reflections in this section upon his own state:
You cannot truly find comfort in eternal binding to the brokenness of the mortal world.  That is why it is in our nature to die and accept that our eternity will be different, not a continuance of what is familiar by routine.  Imperius
Plagueis then goes into the in-universe science behind the midichlorians.  I know some fans hated that whole theory and wish it would die in a fire, but I personally found the whole concept utterly fascinating and in no way cheapening the Star Wars universe.  Just more for my mind to chew on.  As for Tarssus, he points something out about these studies: that no matter how much you discover, the more there is to keep discovering, and the fact that you can never get rid of the ultimate version of the question, WHY?
Plagueis' contribution is to recognize the truth that the Force is on par with any other natural law and not beyond that.  But that fails to answer the question of how this tapestry of laws and constants was woven together.  Imperius
So if it's not the Force that has a will, that put everything together...then what did?

Luke calls out Plagueis' focus on midichlorians as misguided and states that "they are a natural lesson in symbiosis.  When we listen to the smallest creatures, they open us to the expanse of the Force.  Only a Sith would seek to dismantle a relationship that benefits both parties."  While I don't think Tarssus disagrees with the fact that such a lesson can be observed (remember what he said in Talzin's section about "taking wisdom from the possibilities nature allows us to observe" and never ceasing to "question and imagine as a child does"?), he addresses Luke personally with his rebuttal to the last assertion:
Luke, the old Jedi sought to divorce cold doctrine from vital passion.  How does that differ?  Imperius
Plagueis describes what he believes is a "unified consciousness" among the midichlorians and states that they "can be influenced by the host's mental state.  In particular, negative emotions such as the loss of hope can induce cellular necrosis."  To this Tarssus responds:
Death of a broken heart has been known since the dawn of time.  Plagueis proves my contention that our Darkness or Light goes into the Force and not the reverse.  Imperius
To Plagueis' contention that the midicholorians themselves contain such a unified consciousness, well...Tarssus delves deep into his own theories.  (I could expound far, FAR more on this, but this will give you just a tiny taste.)
I do not see the midichlorians as the cause of will, nor the Force that we wield.  Rather, they seem to behave more as quanta than ordinary creatures, and thus as the quanta in the nonliving provide a vector for will, they are a vector for will above them rather than its originator.  The painting does not create the artist; it is the reverse.  Imperius
(Quanta, to put it in simple terms, are the simplest packets of matter/energy--let's call it "information"--that can exist in the universe.  They behave very differently than larger conglomerations of matter.  While these larger conglomerations--such as stars, planets, or our own bodies--operate in a very predictable manner, currently best described by Einstein's theory of relativity, everything about quanta comes down to probability and "common-sense" precepts such as "an object cannot exist in two places or states at once" break down.  So too do causality or the effects of distance, on that tiny scale; see quantum entanglement.  Seems like an interesting potential vector for deity to act, doesn't it?  Or even, on a lesser scale, our own spirits?)

Tarssus then points out a problem in one of Plagueis' statements, specifically the claim that he could bring about "new life where none existed."  Tarssus takes issue with the use of the word "create" to describe this act.
You did not create life, Plagueis.  You merely used cells and midichlorians already imbued with life before you.  Imperius
In other words, all Plagueis is doing is shaping existing matter and energy in new different, in the end, from any of Sorzus Syn's experiments.  Plagueis did not introduce new matter or energy into the universe--only use existing materials.  To do anything other than that was beyond him.  (This, incidentally, is my comment should there ever be a success with the Miller-Urey experiment IRL, or any of its successors: so what, it's just existing elements.  Big whoop.)

The next comment is directed at Luke's remarks when he read Plagueis' account of creating life, specifically life with incredibly high midichlorian counts.  Needless to say, the likely applicability of this to his father doesn't escape him.  To this Tarssus comments:
Luke and ultimately Vader prove biology is not destiny.  Imperius
In other words, Plagueis may have done what he did from the materialistic standpoint, but he and even Palpatine, with all his machinations, were fundamentally unable to control for free will: the ability of the spirit to override the material.

Tarssus next addresses Plagueis' "philosophy of life," which is essentially a treatise on immortality and who deserves it.  Plagueis makes a comment that the Snark Lord of the Sith can't help but respond to.  (And while funny, it also implies a position he believes every mortal being should take, one that harkens back to his other comments so far about his own ghostly state and how he feels about that.)  Plagueis says, "I do not wish to live in a galaxy where any fool can perpetuate his ignorance for eternity."
Including myself!  I stepped aside when it came time.  Imperius
Regardless of how his death came about (which he isn't telling right now), he seems to view it regardless as "time."  Then he notices Luke offering up a similar comment: "No one wants to die.  But this obsession with extending life is selfish.  We all have our time.  Nothing good comes from trying to cheat it."  Tarssus' response is simple enough:
This Sith, at least, concurs, Luke.  Imperius
Plagueis describes other possibilities in the Force, including using it to fold time and space, essentially creating Einstein-Rosen Bridges, or as they are popularly known, wormholes.  Plagueis states that "such a thing would permit the study of all knowledge through history, even the secrets recorded in the long-lost Library of Silversisi."  Although Tarssus did not comment on whether or not this power should be pursued in the mortal world, he has this to offer about his own current experience:
And all Plagueis in actuality needed to do to experience instantaneous transportation and exploration was to simply allow death in its right time.  Horak-mul was right: so much to see and learn!  I can accept even the loss of writing for myself, in the mortal realm, for this.  It is different but not to be feared or loathed.  Imperius
That had to have been a big adjustment in mindset to Imperius, not to be able to manipulate things in the mortal world as he once did, and thus pass on most of his new learning and observations to others (except by the method he is using with The Book of Sith, of dictating notes to a Force-sensitive who is capable of seeing and hearing him)--but he is taking plenty of advantage of the opportunities he has to grow his knowledge not because of what he might do in our world, but the sheer joy of the learning and the knowing itself.

Plagueis claims that the afterlife is a lie and a fable, and he thinks that the patterns of the mind degrade almost instantly if not anchored to a biological form.  The next comment is nothing other than a pure Snark Lord of the Sith moment--not hard to picture his face when he dictated this in response to Luke's response to this proving the existence of Force-ghosts: "I've seen Yoda, Ben, and my father return from death.  The Force is a welcoming place, far larger than Plagueis' attempts to measure and minimize it."
Hi, Luke!  Imperius

Plagueis then makes the assertion, commonly seen in the Star Wars universe (and with fans too!) that the non-Force-sensitive and even most Force-sensitives do not retain awareness after death.  Tarssus counters with this:
Plagueis had no basis to claim the non-Force-sensitive and others did not maintain identity; he could only have honestly justified a statement that they cannot manifest to the living as a general rule.  Imperius
Tarssus is well aware that just as his ancestor Lord Aloysius could not prove to him that the non-Force-sensitive survive meaningfully past death, he cannot prove this to anyone who reads his words.  He can, however, warn them against making too many leaps based on too little evidence.  He expounds on this further, saying:
Pure rationalists believe they must dismiss what they cannot prove, but they err to believe that the only viable conclusion is nonexistence.  Imperius
In other words, you should recognize that the scientific method will not work for certain things, and not try to claim that you CAN use science to prove those things (or warp scientific theory).  But you should also not claim that non-falsifiability equates to non-existence.  One should neither create pseudoscience, nor dismiss faith that acknowledges itself to be faith and not science.

Then Plagueis starts commenting on the spirits of dead Sith Lords.  Oh, boy, you can bet Tarssus is now paying even more attention than he was before!  Plagueis thinks that these stories are generally false, and that the one apparition he witness that he thinks MIGHT have had something to it: the spirit of Marka Ragnos, furious at Plagueis' plans to dismantle the traditions of Korriban.  (One would at first wonder if Ragnos had to tell Tarssus to get behind him and take a number... :D )  Ragnos, however, did not answer Plagueis' questions or scientific inquiries, so Plagueis suspects the whole thing just played out in his head.

And we get one of those other fun instances of Luke and Palpatine agreeing in their comments that Sith spirits DO exist, though as Palpatine rightly notes (for most cases! ;) ) that they are "evasive in their speech and are ultimately treacherous."  Our friendly neighborhood Sith Force-ghost, of course, can't help adding to this little "dialogue":
Why would I, for one, have favored Plagueis with this level of direct dialogue, however he craved it?  I knew better!  Imperius
Obviously the sweetest Sith Lord of them all isn't the treacherous type, and he is engaging his amanuensis in direct dialogue (not to mention anyone else who is in the room, and anyone reading his comments).  Pardon my French, but Plagueis should be reeling from that little bitch-slap from beyond the grave! ;)

Plagueis then describes his plan to use the prophecy of the Chosen One/Sith'ari to manipulate the Jedi and lead to their downfall.  While we know that the Jedi were just about eliminated, Imperius comments on the reason for the ultimate failure of Plagueis' idea: the fact that Plagueis was so sure that this artificial Chosen One would be an agent of his will.  In the last minutes, of course, that proved untrue.
To fashion the body of a being with fully free will renders the sort of control Plagueis envisions impossible.  Imperius
Tarssus then offers a comment to Luke, who states that "Plagueis made the mistake of believing that if something isn't literally true, then it has no value.  I don't know the Jedi legends well, but the balance of the Force is a subject to be studied, not dismissed."
Though I differ on certain philosophical points with Luke, he is correct that neither physical nor spiritual should be dismissed.  Where there is no conscience, in the end there is no meaning, only dead and drifting matter.  Imperius
Plagueis concludes by saying that he saw himself as in a way becoming the Sith'ari by "freeing" the Sith from symbols, mysticism, traditions, and philosophy, and thus as the Sith'ari becoming a being with ALL of his chains broken, and free from restrictions, as the prophecy states.

Or as Ivan Karamazov stated in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, "If God is dead, then everything is permitted."

Tarssus offers his own conclusion to Plagueis' section, leaving with this:
The mind of Plagueis was an inquisitive one, but the failure was a fatal combination of rationalized preconceptions and a belief that science was its own religion that--not unlike Talzin's own amorality ironically enough!--allowed total disregard for the implications of both means and ends.  These notes are invaluable but never forget the horrifying cost with which this knowledge was bought.  I destroyed the works of Lord Grathan for this in my time.  As for myself...I hold no regrets in transiting through mortality.  Let that stand both as a warning, and a call to take heart: for none of what Plagueis did was ever necessary.  Nor do I wish that for me, it had been fulfilled.  Imperius

The last section of The Book of Sith will cover how Palpatine employed the lessons of past Sith to break the power of the Jedi Order and create his Empire.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts on what these selected remarks that Tarssus Kallig made on the writings of Darth Plagueis reveal about Tarssus' character and philosophies! :) (Smile)  (Just mature; don't be a jerk!)
A request to my watchers: Please be mature in the comments to these next two commentaries.  Religious matters will be dealt with because of the hard stances that are represented in these two sections of The Book of Sith, and my character, Tarssus Kallig, is going to have an opinion too, and express it very decisively.  I understand that you guys have your own views both on how you interpret the Force in Star Wars canon, and how you believe in your real lives.  This is not intended as an attack on anyone; I am NOT having a go at anybody.  While anyone who knows me knows where I stand and should not be surprised by the way things go, please understand that I am not denying anyone a right to their opinion, any more than I want to be denied the right to my own.  That said, NO flamewars here, regardless of whether aimed at me or others.

The next section of The Book of Sith is the text "Wild Power," by Mother Talzin.  For those of you who may not be familiar with her, Mother Talzin is a character from the Clone Wars show, who is the leader of the Witches of Dathomir, a non-Sith group of Dark Side users.  They are depicted in the show as following a dualistic religion with a heavy emphasis on nature.  Occult symbols are used extensively and Asajj Ventress states explicitly that they wield the Dark Side.

As for Tarssus Kallig, what you are going to see here from him is a philosophy that has been growing in him and probably will not surprise those of you who read In the Burning of the Light, that he may be taking his own unconventional view of the Force and of his place in the universe.  Here, you will see those views more fully developed than you have seen so far, but I feel that his conduct and philosophies in story so far should make none of this any kind of major spoiler.

So, here goes with the commentary. 


As with Bane's Rule of Two, Tarssus didn't even get past the title page before starting to vent his problems with the original text...
This text is even more filled with error than Bane's, amazingly enough.  It is reasonable to suspect that there is something beyond the Force, which is of nature--something greater than nature.  But something tells me that Talzin's "magick" and its mythology make but gross mockeries of anything truly worthy of being beyond Force and nature.  A few points of interest may be available here, but only with intense caution, critical thinking, and inner discernment.  Imperius
Tarssus does begin, at least, by raising such a "point of interest."  Mother Talzin begins by expounding upon the virtues of Dathomiri heritage for her Nightsisters, and encouraging them to remember said heritage.
One thing is wise here: allowing those who wield the Force to have a meaningful heritage instead of stripping it away as the Jedi do.  Imperius
But then Talzin lets rip her first of many illogical statements: "Among the galaxy's many species you will encounter numerous beliefs, nearly all of them claiming to be the one true belief.  Not all of these contradictory ways can be true; it follows therefore that NONE are true."  Just...I don't even know what logical fallacy that is, specifically.  I just know that it IS a big glaring one.  And so does Tarssus.
This is complete illogic.  Only one truth exists in the universe even if we have a hard time grasping it all.  Imperius
In other words, even if not everybody is 100% right, there IS a truth, and one can be objectively nearer or further from it.  We should always be humbled by this fact, and mindful that we in our finite selves should question our logic and our measuring tools, but the only other option is a mindless type of relativism that ultimately collapses into nonsense, contradiction, and at the worst, solipsism or nihilism.  But, until we gain a more perfect knowledge than our mortal condition allows, we must do our best to estimate that truth and not shy away because we ARE estimating.  You'll definitely see that theme again, in a surprising way.

The next account touches Tarssus in a deep way, for Talzin describes nearly dying in childbirth.  Tarssus' mother actually did die in childbirth, and Tarssus was technically stillborn but thankfully removed and revived before permanent damage could occur.  This drastically altered the nature of Tarssus' connection to the Force.  (Would have LOVED to see him school Talzin given the views of men she later revealed...)  For Talzin, the effects of her experience were profound too--she swore herself to become the "conduit" of the spirits that she encountered.  That said, although Tarssus was touched at first (and yes, he would say he might be "touched," too ;) ), he was not uncritical of what he read.
Interesting account.  It seems Talzin may have been pulled into the other world as I was...but it was a terrible and dangerous thing of her to bind herself in the service of beings that move within the Force, to subject herself to something no greater and perhaps worse than a living master.  Imperius
Talzin then goes on to say that her writings are not merely her own words but those of the spirits: "Challenge my authority and you challenge life itself!"  Tarssus has heard this song before, and killed the Darth who had formed a cult and exploited its people:
Words of a cruel cult master, like Palladius.  Imperius
Tarssus then has a go at Talzin a few more times for illogic.  It starts as moral relativism, where Talzin asks a question that seems logical: would one have predator animals starve in order to have the bloodless utopia the Jedi seek?  She uses this question to undermine the existence of the Light and Dark altogether.
She is right that all things have place and time, but refuses thorough discernment.  Imperius
Ironically, in the comments, we get a crazy case of agreement between THE last two commenters you'd expect to find common cause: Luke Skywalker and Sheev Palpatine!  Luke points out that while there is death in nature, there is balance.  Palpatine then points out that Talzin's Nightsisters never gained power because of refusing to "commit to a single path.  By refusing to name the Dark Side, they could not give themselves to it utterly and could never gain true power."  While Tarssus has his own take on the right way to gain true power, and what side to follow, he ends up finding common cause with both of his fellow commenters!
Strange and fitting to see Luke and Palpatine in agreement here.  Refusal to discern and thus hold firm in convictions is indeed weakness.  There is Light and Dark, though they exist separate of the Force, which is embedded in nature.  They well forth from us according to our choices.  Imperius
Talzin then addresses a claim that most of the followers of the rogue Jedi Allya, who started teaching "magick" on Dathomir, recanted her amorality on her deathbed and admitted to the existence of good and evil.  Talzin's ancestors, who rejected the "altered" text were exiled and then formed the Nightsisters.
Sometimes death brings clarity.  Perhaps it did for Allya, if she existed.  Imperius
Then Talzin gets into her sexism, which she uses to isolate, confine, and control men.  She justifies this by claiming men are "simpler" and less able to handle the dualistic spirits she believes in.  Tarssus is having none of that...and not just because he is male.
I would call "simple" anyone who thinks they can categorize by physical traits alone.  While distribution of one gift or another may not always be even, they should be sought and honored without groundless prejudice where found.  Imperius
Talzin next expounds on divination (i.e. telling the future), something Luke points out is fraught with uncertainty and danger because the future is always changing and people have the power to control their own destinies.  Tarssus concurs.
Luke is correct: we can in fact control and live with the unknown far more adeptly than with the illusion of a static fate.  To do less is to spit upon the free will with which we are endowed.  Imperius
As we've seen with Anakin, believing in what Imperius calls a "static fate" can lead to the worst sorts of self-fulfilling prophecies.

Talzin then describes a Dark Side ritual that causes spirits to mass into a horde and attack a target...something she does by calling upon a "Winged Goddess."  Tarssus, who bound Force-spirits during his lifetime, and now IS a Force-ghost himself, has something to say about this.
I can envision how this would be done--but it is incredibly dangerous to award finite beings with this level of reverence and submission, as it is with the living.  Death brings change, but retention of identity by definition implies finiteness if we speak of personalities as we know in our realm.  Do not submit to such beings, no matter what is promised.  Do not award them power beyond their scope, but assert oneself as equal.  Imperius.
In other words, if you were to see him as a Force-ghost, Tarssus would not want to be worshipped.  He would want to be dealt with as a person, no more, and no less.  Of course, Tarssus Kallig is a good ghost.  With others, who are very much NOT good, ceding control to them would be very dangerous indeed.  Tarssus himself nearly lost his mind to the four ghosts he bound and that was with them serving him as opposed to the way Talzin is doing it.

But before revisiting this theme again, Tarssus finds a fascinating little tidbit: the power of communication with animals.  If you remember his reaction to Sorzus Syn's abbatar, this shouldn't be surprising.  Our friendly Inquisitor does put the "inquiry" in Inquisitor, and this would be another means for him to do so!
Communication with animals seems worthy of investigation.  Imperius
After reading a description of the two deities the Nightsisters worship, though...Tarssus realizes something.  Before Allya came to Dathomir, another, prior visiting group is mentioned: Sith.  That gives Tarssus an epiphany that is just as potentially illuminating as it is disturbing, if he is right:
If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that the Nightsisters' ancestors foolishly bargained with a pair of the deceased...perhaps even two Sith (Talzin attests to a Sith presence) who chose to repeat our ancestors' subjugation of the Purebloods from beyond the grave and claim for themselves immortality through eternal worship.  If deity truly embodied itself through comprehensible form and language, I should expect there to be clear evidence of greater identity and greater Light contained temporarily in the lesser rather than the lesser defining (or attempting to define) the greater as these amoral symbols do.  Beware of such deceptions always--let this stand as a warning.  Imperius
In other words, all that these potential Sith spirits do is mirror sentients in their flaws and foibles--and thus are not worthy of worship as anything superior merely because they are powerful--rather than actually demonstrating anything higher about them than mortal nature and thus worthy of worship.

Well...after that, we at least get another moment of fascination from Tarssus when he reads of a Talisman of Transformation, that would allow one to temporarily take the form and mindset of an animal.
As with the abbatar, the potential for study and heightened empathy for the unlike is astonishing.  Imperius
While it would not give one the experience of a sentient nonhuman, it would give the experience of having different senses and instincts, and Tarssus seems to think that experiencing these other forms and windows upon the world might increase sympathy for animals and for sentients unlike oneself alike.  But it's possible to go too far with such connections to nature.  The Talisman of Transformation is something that a sentient being takes by choice into himself.  Two other talismans--one of Familiars, which calls animals to serve a person, and of Resurrection (which apparently does exactly what it says, even if the body is no longer in good condition)--end up appalling Tarssus in a major way.  (And remember, for the latter, this is a Force-ghost speaking!)
I greatly dislike the fact that the Totems of Familiars would seem to enslave a creature who cannot even comprehend or try to formulate an escape.  Far better to communicate, even emulate, and earn freely-given favor.  And I cannot understate the cruelty, except in cases where revival by medical means to a body that can truly live, is still possible, of attempting to force reconnection to a body with which reuniting could only bring indescribable suffering.  When it was my time, I moved on as I ought to.  My return from the birthing trauma was only right because my body had not yet lost its fitness for full life.  The use of such a talisman should be scorned except--perhaps, and even then I am most ill at ease--under the supervision of a qualified science-based physician and the family of the dying.  Imperius
Tarssus' next comment pertains to one by Luke after a comment by Talzin of what befalls a creature after it is killed.  Luke says: "To ill another intelligent being is to override his or her will, and it should only be done when there's no other choice.  The fate of a spirit should have no bearing on our decisions in the here and now."
The fate of a spirit ought to have an influence to compassion.  As for the overriding of will, I place this crime above murder: the pain of the body passes, but that of the spirit never fully does so.  Better to allow death than subvert the mind.  Imperius
Tarssus then offers thoughts on another set of powers Talzin describes that strikes him as inspired--but not in the way Talzin thinks.  Talzin believes she is calling on animals to allow for powers similar to theirs.
I am not so sure that this is invocation of a spirit, but rather taking wisdom from the possibilities nature allows us to observe, that exist beyond our particular species.  Never cease to question and imagine as a child does.  Imperius
In the end, after Talzin describes making her Nightsisters into mercenaries whose services are sold to the highest bidder regardless of what that bidder wants, Tarssus leaves his concluding words on the entire reading:
I must conclude that amorality is a form of inner darkness.  Failure to call good and evil, Light and Dark, by name, is cowardice and by default gives us over to darkness by pure mindlessness.  We will never understand where Light and life come from if we mistake nature for source or the existence of a thing for a statement against morality.  Because a thing can be done, should we fail to ask ourselves when or if it should be?  In this respect, the Jedi have the right of it even though they go to the opposite extreme of being so blinded by rigid dogma that they too refuse open-eyed discernment as a Sith of our way accepts.  Imperius
The next section will offer some interesting reflections from our friendly neighborhood Force-ghost as well, not only for the irony of a Force-ghost offering up his commentary on the subject matter (as with this one!) but because it's at pretty much the opposite extreme from Talzin philosophically.

As always, I look forward to your thoughts on what these selected remarks that Tarssus Kallig made on the writings of Mother Talzin reveal about Tarssus' character and philosophies! :) (Smile)  (Just mature; don't be a jerk!)



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Parttimedragon Featured By Owner May 4, 2017  Student Filmographer
Thank you very much for the mentions! I really appreciate it :) May the 4th be with you
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D4rthFull3r Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2017  New Deviant Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the watch and fave.Gold Star 
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Hey, thanks for the watch!
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thx for the fav!
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