Part 24: The Sith AcademyPart 24: The Sith Academy
Last time, we listened to some of our companions' stories, such as Jolee's tale of one of his adventures from around the Old Republic year 199-dickety-1. They had to say "dickety" because Exar Kun took the word "fifty". We also visited Tatooine to confirm that Mission's brother is indeed a useless deadbeat, and were informed by Carth's old army buddy that Carth's son Dustil is still alive. The only hitch is that he's joined the Sith and was last seen at the Sith academy on Korriban, so we decided to set a course for Korriban in our search for the Star Maps.
You know the drill by now. Fly to the planet, see the Star Map in a vision.
See, there it is.
Here we are, at the Dreshdae settlement in the volcanic mountains of Korriban, the home world of the Sith. Korriban is known as Moraband in the current canon because George Lucas himself had it changed during the production of a Clone Wars episode, but it was recently established the planet used to be called Korriban in ancient times.
There are some who believe Korriban is the birth place of the Sith... this planet is an evil place. There are secrets here best left uncovered.
I'm not so sure about that being a cave. It looked man-made. Also, I never noticed the mistake in Bastila's line there until someone pointed it out. I think she was meant to say "undiscovered" and no one caught that in time.
No doubt things will become more clear once we discover the Star Map's location.
Bastila says that line every time. I cut it out from the Kashyyyk update, but this time we'll actually reply to it so I'm keeping it in. And yes, as Bastila suggested, the Star Map is most likely to be found within one of the ancient Sith tombs in the Valley of the Dark Lords. The existence of said tombs is not a spoiler, it is lore.
As the Sith are hunting Bastila, we probably shouldn't take her along on this particular trip.
For the safety of our mission I must remain on the Ebon Hawk while we are on this planet.
Before we go check out Dreshdae, we should have another chat with Jolee. Since he joined late, he'll have a lot of dialogue for us to catch up on.
No, I never did, did I?
At any rate, I already told you why I wanted to leave. I'd seen everything I wanted to on Kashyyyk. Time to go, time to move on.
How many kilometer-high trees can you find an interest in before you figure you've had enough? I'd bet you can't be bothered to stay in one room for more than fifteen minutes. And then there's all the critters in the Shadowlands... I'm just happy to be back in space, doing something new. Is that too much to ask?
Eh, fair enough. 20 years in the Shadowlands would be long enough for anyone.
I'll admit... for all its flaws, Kashyyyk was home enough. But when you came along and I saw the destiny you had before you, I couldn't help but be intrigued.
In fact, everything about you that I can see is odd. Slightly off, as if my eyes are trying to trick me. Something... something is very dark about you... but bah! I'm sure you don't need to hear my ruminations. You've probably got enough nosy Jedi offering you one opinion after another to make you sick.
I'll remind you that *you're* the one who started pumping me for information. Like an old man doesn't have anything better to do. Hmph. I wouldn't worry about it too much, if I were you. You remind me a bit of Nomi, heh heh, and that can't be all bad.
Nomi Sunrider namedrop!
Nomi Sunrider. She came late to the Force, just as you have, and became one of the greatest Jedi ever. Oh, fine, fine lass. Whether you'll follow the same path remains to be seen. For one thing, we'll never get anywhere if you stand around chatting up old men all day...
LucasArts/BioWare weren't actually supposed to use Nomi's full name due to the legal shenanigans I mentioned in an earlier update, but it apparently slipped in as a result of an oversight.
One thing I will say is that this little escapade does remind me a bit of my adventuring days before the war. Ahh, those were exciting times. Or at least it would remind me of those times if we didn't stand around. What's keeping you? You're too young to be so talkative. Shoo! Shoo!
Okay, we'll leave the old man in peace for now. We have a Star Map and Carth's long-lost son to find, so let's mosey.
Obviously, since we're looking for Carth's son, we have to take Carth. We'll swap him out later. Juhani gets to come along because, well, we haven't used her in the party yet. Besides, another Jedi might come in handy.
Welcome to Dreshdae. This place is very brown.
First off, we'll get Juhani up to speed. As a Jedi Guardian, she has a lot more health than any of the other Jedi party members, although her starting STR was still only 13 so we put a couple more points into it to improve her lightsaber skills. She also comes with Slow, which is a dark side power (the only one she has), and interestingly she has none of the combat feats aside from the first level of Power Attack.
She doesn't have the Stasis power either (and couldn't have it when she joins, because she's level 7 and Stasis unlocks at 9), which is odd because she used it on our party members when we first encountered her. Then again, Cutscene Stasis is a very special power that can only be used when the plot calls for it, so we'll let that slide.
To improve her damage output, we'll give Juhani a short lightsaber for her off hand. We didn't have enough available feats to get Master Two-Weapon Fighting yet, so I figured she should use a balanced weapon to reduce the main hand penalty until then. Our short lightsabers only come in purple and red, so we'll have to switch out the color crystal the next time we use a workbench. Can't have two people in the party with the same off-hand lightsaber color, you know.
Now then, let's get the usual formalities out of the way.
You will get into the academy for certain. I understand Jedi who have left the light side are made very welcome.
There was originally a short rant here about the existence of a Sith academy seeming a bit weird due to the Rule of Two thing and everything, but I looked into it and found out the Rule of Two wasn't established until 3,000 years after the events of KotOR. I could've sworn there was in-game lore that mentioned it, but I guess not. Never mind then!
Since you're a regular to our little colony, the docking fee is only 25 credits.
Considering the fact we're walking around with 35,000 credits, persuading this guy to avoid paying the 25-credit fee comes across as awfully petty. We're still doing it, of course.
I'll be on my way.
Enjoy your stay in Dreshdae.
I don't see any reason why we wouldn't.
What's all this, then?
Ah, this must be one of the Sith from the academy.
Hmph. I'm no master... yet... but I like the sound of that. Alright, one more question, though the lot of you are trying my patience. Alright. Let's say you become a Sith and I am your commanding officer. I give you an order to spare the life of an enemy. Do you do it?
Uh... no, I don't think you would do that.
Mercy is a weakness. If your leader shows weakness, it is your duty to kill him and show true authority... true power. That is why the Sith are strong.
Anyone even remotely familiar with the Sith should know perfectly well that they don't give orders to spare their enemies' lives unless it's an extremely special case - say, someone like Bastila.
No, you don't understand. And you probably never will. You wouldn't survive five seconds in the academy... the other students would tear you apart! Bah! I can't be bothered with fools! Perhaps... I should... hmmm.
Shaardan seems to have noticed our presence.
Let me pose a question to you. These hopefuls will never survive in the academy. A lesson must be taught, here, but I am at a loss as to what form it should take.
Thank you, Carth.
I'm thinking to spare them the effort of being killed and do it myself. Perhaps I shall turn their skin inside out? Or Force Lightning? It is a most impressive display. Or perhaps a bit of humiliation is in order? I could easily strip off their tunics and make them run through the colony. Or they could lose all control of their bodily functions... What do you think? I just can't seem to decide.
What do I think? I think there is no fucking way this scrub-tier Sith student can actually use Force lightning. At least I would hope not, because I would vastly prefer the lightning being a very special Force talent that is exclusively used by powerful Sith Lords like Palpatine.
I also think Shaardan should piss off and leave these guys alone.
Silence! It's not what they did so much as what they didn't do... which is prove themselves worthy. I'm exhausted from dealing with their mewlings... so please decide for me, will you?
I can think of a couple of reasons.
Surely, dicking around with these weak losers, murdering them for no reason or pulling humiliating pranks on them is beneath a true Sith? An Exar Kun or a Darth Revan wouldn't even acknowledge these people.
Shaardan is trying way, way too hard to be a badass Sith, which is understandable because he is only a student and wants to prove he's got what it takes.
The hopefuls leave with their lives and dignity intact. Maybe they'll learn not to try to join the Sith?
Let's see if this fellow working the front desk has anything useful to say.
Ah. That might come in handy.
There are a lot of Sith on this planet; this is where they come to study. Obnoxious brats, the lot of them. Just between you and me, I'll never understand why everyone thinks 'dark side' and 'hooligan' should be the same thing.
That's what I've been saying about this game's writers for the entirety of this LP!
What connections do you have?
Mandalorian raiders occasionally drop by, needing to get rid of some extras that they can't sell in the civilized systems. They treat me well, I treat them well. It works out. So if you need weapons... and you probably will... this is the place to come.
B'ree doesn't actually have anything we need, so we'll continue on.
Lovely, a welcoming party.
So unfair, I tell you.
That's what I thought. Well, stranger... I don't know whether you're aware of this or not, but here on Korriban the Sith do as they please. And we are Sith. Quite literally, whether you live or die depends upon our whim. What do you think of that, hmm?
We're positively quaking in our boots.
Two of the dialogue options here (the ones we didn't pick ) lead to Lashowe asking if we know how many Sith there are in Dreshdae. There are some pretty funny lines from your party members there, including Jolee replying with "Twelve? No, wait, thirteen!" which he gets complimented on by Canderous if both are in the party.
Neither did I. A brave face, perhaps, but I'm more interested in being amused at the moment, I think.
The Sith never were known for their sense of humor, so that might pose a problem.
Well, if you insist.
It is a fairly old joke, to be fair.
He gasps: "My partner has collapsed! I don't know what to do!" After a moment, the commander responds: "Calm down, I can help."
"First, let's make sure your partner is dead." There is a silence, then a blaster shot is heard. Back on the communicator, the Mandalorian says: Okay, now what?"
Shut up, Carth. That was a good joke.
Well, at least the Sith found it amusing.
Having been sufficiently entertained, Lashowe and her Sith buddies leave, but since she is a named NPC we're sure to run into her again soon enough.
To our left is a door that is painted on, and to the right is a Czerka office. We don't particularly want to deal with Czerka, but maybe they could give us some information.
Oh no! What a tragedy!
That would truly be awful.
We do some mining here and are responsible for local shipping and support of the Sith on Korriban.
Why is he wearing the Sith academy uniform?
This office is actually our administrative headquarters for this region. Rather inauspicious, isn't it? We offer good prices here to those traders that keep the colony supplied. If you're in need of anything, this is the place to come.
We'll buy some life support packs and hyper-adrenal stimulants just in case, but aside from those there isn't much we'd need at the moment. I'm sure that armor of Exar Kun is 100% authentic, though.
Well, this guy looks shifty.
I suppose we should be grateful that the shipment survived Taris at all, though, right? Anyway... hand it over and let's finish this.
Err, which shipment was that again?
Probably not worth it to go into too much detail about how we came into possession of the Ebon Hawk.
We had arranged for several kilograms of spice to be shipped to us here aboard the Ebon Hawk. Perhaps Davik left it on board? I suspect if it is, it would be in the container we gave him. Locked and requiring a code. Might you have seen such a thing, human?
We did see a strange, locked container in the cargo hold. It said something about requiring a code.
Excellent. Set the code on the container to "Red-47". When you get the spice, bring it to me here... I'll wait for you.
And there's our code. Let's just quickly drop by the Ebon Hawk again and check out the container.
[The hidden compartment is now unlocked.]
That's our shipment. Well, Davik's shipment, I guess, but who cares. I don't think Jedi are supposed to smuggle spice across the galaxy, but for Zila this must feel like a blast from the past.
While we're aboard the Hawk, let's change the color of Juhani's short saber to yellow for the sake of variety.
Alright, Lurze, we've got your stuff.
So you do. That does, indeed, look like the amount that Davik promised. Very well... 1000 credits is yours in exchange for the spice.
If we're gonna be smuggling spice, we want to get paid properly.
Here you are. You drive a hard bargain, human. Allow me to take the spice off your hands. My employers will be most pleased. Tell me... might you be interested in earning more credits?
Well, sure. We're not trafficking more spice, are we?
There is no danger involved, human, so long as you do not attempt to open the box yourself. I'm sure Motta will pay you what was promised to Davik for the delivery. I believe 2000 credits was the agreed upon sum.
Never mind spice, this sounds even shadier than the usual smuggling work Zila's done in the past. What exactly is this box?
We're totally opening that box.
Is it one of those poison worms that killed Andur Sunrider?
Not suspicious at all, nosiree.
I suppose I would eventually have to, should you refuse. You are already here, however, and you have a ship... it is most convenient to have you deliver the box.
Make it 3000 credits and we have a deal.
If you want more you bargain with Motta, not me. He's the one you'll be working for on this mission. It's his box, after all. Bring it to him and you can haggle all you want over the price. Although I should warn you that Motta doesn't like to renegotiate.
Motta is an old friend of ours, so I'm sure we'll be able to come to a mutually satisfactory agreement.
Very good. I will have some of my workers load the box onto the Ebon Hawk for you. It will be waiting there for you. Remember: do not open the box!
We will absolutely open the box, albeit not in a little while.
I'm not sure we want or need his employers' gratitude, but never mind.
I'm surprised the Sith approved a name like that for the cantina. It's a pretty good name, but somehow I get the feeling the Sith would think it was making fun of them.
Hopefully these guys don't want to play Pazaak.
The Hawk's been in and out of here for ages. An out-of-the- way starport is a good place for, uh... privateers. Not saying you are one.
Wouldn't make any difference to me. Just wish I had a ship like that, myself. Business is steady here with the Sith, but it's a boring haul.
In case you're forgetting, partner, they don't exactly want us talking about their business.
Ah, who cares about them? I've seen some of those things they're digging up in those ruins in the valley. Pretty creepy, if you ask me.
That sounds like it might actually be relevant to our Star Map search, so let's see if these pilots can tell us anything else about the excavations.
There were Sith here in ancient times? Sounds like he was feeding you a line. Korriban's only been settled for a short time.
So says you. He said that the planet was settled by the Sith a long time ago, and then they all left or something. Those tombs are really important to them.
Tombs, hey? That makes the stuff they send us even creepier. Wish I didn't have to haul it around.
Do please tell us more.
How would one get to one of these excavations, exactly?
It's in a valley on the surface, beyond some mountains to the east. No land route... that's why they have us fly in.
No problem there. We could just take the Ebon Hawk to the Valley of the Dark Lords and find the tomb with the Star Map.
Or maybe we can't.
Not a chance. You'd be better off sneaking through the academy, if you wanted to go to the valley.
Hah! Now that'd be a sight to see.
I'll be going.
Sure thing. Good flying, friend.
Right. It seems flying to the valley is out of the question, and our only option is apparently to sneak through the Sith academy. That doesn't exactly sound inviting either, if it is even possible, but what else can we do? We need to find the Star Map.
Let's talk to the bartender before we start planning our next move.
You know something about the Ebon Hawk?
Only what I hear from rumors, sentient. The Hawk has been a frequent visitor to Korriban in the past, though often with a different owner. In all fairness, I should tell you that many of the past owners were suspected of being smugglers, slavers and pirates. It was even whispered that some worked for the Exchange. But I always found the Hawk's owners to be excellent citizens of fine character. The kind of people I prefer to do business with. Much better than the Sith, at least.
The Sith are not always pleasant in their dealings with others. If I had a say, I would prefer they and their academy were not present here. But I do not.
We could ask him about the excavations or the academy, but let's just get going.
What do you think your chances are?
I thought they were good... but I've been here for days, now, and I haven't drawn any attention at all.
So that's how you get to the Sith academy? Stand around and hope one of the Sith notices you and lets you join?
Then again, you don't really join the Jedi, do you? They take you in when you're a child and train you from an early age, unless you're an adult who's especially strong in the Force like Zila is. Even then, it took a lot of convincing for the Council to train her. Juhani did mention she joined the Jedi, presumably at a relatively late age as she seems to have grown up on Taris, and didn't say anything about noticing any Force sensitivity during that time.
*sigh* I wish I knew, to tell you the truth. You have to impress one of the Sith, I guess. Either way, it's Yuthura Ban who makes the final decision. She's a Twi'lek Sith master, I hear. Very high rank. She's the one who decides which hopefuls make it and which ones don't.
Where is this Yuthura Ban?
I really couldn't say. I hear that sometimes she comes out into the colony to drink at the cantina, though, but I guess she could be anywhere.
Okay then. Let's look around some more.
That'd be the Sith academy up ahead. Maybe they'll let us through to the valley if we ask nicely. Probably not, though.
But first, let's admire the view a little. Korriban isn't much for colorful terrain, but it does have a really nice skybox.
What's going on here?
Err... okay then.
I sense another case of Sith students bullying the hopefuls.
Isn't that obvious? You must be very sharp to possess such an astute sense of perception. Obviously deaf, however, since I asked you to leave.
Fine, I'll leave you alone.
What a lovely fellow.
As much as we don't want to admit it, it does seem our best bet for getting into the Valley of the Dark Lords is to join the Sith academy. It's risky, but we don't really see any other option available to us.
You must be admitted to the academy. That decision must be made by a Sith who has already been accepted, here. The final decision, however, remains with Master Yuthura. I believe she is currently at the cantina if you wish to seek her out. Now go.
Well, if we're going to join the Sith, we'll need to talk to this Yuthura Ban person. We didn't see her at the cantina earlier and I'm not sure how she could've gotten there without us noticing, but let's not dwell on that.
That's gotta be her.
Not really, but she doesn't need to know that.
We wield ultimate power, my friend. To be a Sith is to taste freedom and to know victory. Nothing is as glorious as bending the Force to your will.
A lot of the hopefuls here end up dead. That doesn't seem glorious.
We make no apologies for the weak. If you cannot clench your fist and know when the moment comes to strike, there is no place for you amongst us. Of those who come to train, those who are weak return home. If they are both weak and foolish, they die... but it was their choice to come.
And what about the Jedi?
Why would you take a gift as glorious as the Force and squander it? Weaken yourself deliberately and shackle yourself to outdated mores? Our gift has made us superior. It is our rightful place to rule. How can any deny that? Yet the Jedi do so... and call us 'evil' because we do not.
I'm pretty sure people call you evil because you destroy planets, not because you have a different philosophy regarding the Force.
That is our way: survival of the fittest. You are always on guard, always lean for the kill. We promote it, for through this the Sith are stronger.
You kill each other?
If a Sith has proven to be weak... and if the time is right. The Force rewards the cunning and the mighty. Step up to the challenge if you dare... or turn tail and run.
Here we go.
Obviously you are a Jedi. One who is very strong in the Force, it seems. So were you part of the order for very long? Did they train you?
That's the truth, at least.
With that kind of power, you could become a great Sith. Perhaps... if I let you. Does that interest you?
This is a hard Persuade check. If you don't lie, it's an easy check but you actually earn some dark side points from it. There is also a way to convince Yuthura without persuading her, since otherwise you'd be screwed if you weren't playing a talky character. You do this by obtaining a Sith medallion from some idiot Sith thugs trying to harass civilians and taking that to Yuthura. Once you get the medallion, you can also go and persuade the hopefuls in front of the cantina to either go home or try to prove their mettle by jumping off a cliff or attacking one of the Sith. You actually earn more experience by getting the medallion first, but it doesn't really matter in the long run.
I will take you to the academy and we shall see if you are ready to join the ranks of the Sith. I have only one other question. These... companions of yours? They will not be coming with you, I presume?
Perfect. She'll totally believe us.
No matter. Make sure they don't disturb your training or cause trouble. You are responsible for them. Now... are you ready to go to the academy?
Somehow, Yuthura actually DOES believe this obvious lie and completely fails to notice that Juhani is a Jedi. I realize they had to figure out some way to get your companions into the academy with you, but the way they went about it is very, very silly.
In any case, we're ready to head to the academy and begin our illustrious career as a Sith.
That must be the master himself.
Oh, shut up, Shaardan. Go practice your Force lightning.
Err... let's see.
Sure, that'll do.
The Jedi equate the light with goodness and strength and the dark with weakness and evil. That is their tradition and it is truly no surprise that they cling to it for comfort. We, however, do not treat the Force as a burden. We treat it as a gift, a thing to be celebrated. We use it to acquire power over others... and why should we not? Because the Jedi say we should not?
That spiel of his almost sounds convincing.
Joining with us means realizing your true potential. It means not stifling yourself solely for the sake of hide-bound shamans and their antiquated notion of order. Be what you were meant to be. What say you, Lashowe? Are you ready to learn the secrets of the dark side? Dare you?
Our friends from Dreshdae are all here, because of course they are.
Mekel was the one making all the hopefuls stand at attention in front of the academy entrance.
Shaardan needs no introduction.
And you, young human? Does this interest you? Are you ready to learn more of what I speak?
Ask yourself first what this 'morality' is? How is it created? Who does it benefit? Where do your notions of 'good' and 'evil' come from? You may come to the realization that morality is but an obstacle to overcome... or not. The discovery is yours to make, should you be ready.
Whatever you say, Master Uthar.
The one who succeeds will be admitted to the academy as a full Sith. All others must wait until next year and try again... if you survive. My pupil, Yuthura, shall be your teacher and master while you attempt to prove yourselves. Heed her words.
Wait a second. Five of us? Zila, Lashowe, Mekel, Shaardan... I'll admit I'm not great at math, but I'm 99% sure that's four. Where's the fifth recruit? (We'll actually meet him next time and if you squint you can see him in this scene as well, Uthar just doesn't address him for whatever reason)
What is an act of worth? You must learn that for yourselves. Remember that you are competitors, here... fight for your destiny, or go home.
If you wish to gain a lead over your competitors, the first of you to learn the Code of the Sith and tell me of it will be rewarded.
So, the Sith have their own code as well. Makes sense, I suppose. Naturally, we have no idea what that code entails, so first we're gonna have to learn that.
Was this such a great idea after all?
We now have our own Sith passcard, so we can come and go between the academy and Dreshdae as we please.
The footlocker in our quarters contains some medpacs, 150 credits and our very own Dark Jedi Knight Robe. We already stole a couple of those off the Dark Jedi we killed on Tatooine and Kashyyyk, but I suppose it's nice to get our own set of these robes.
If ever, now is the time to put these threads on. After all, if we're gonna be a Sith, we need to look the part! Pay no mind to the fact everyone else is wearing the Sith academy uniform. Gotta say, we pull off the Dark Jedi look quite nicely.
Next time, we'll explore the academy and start earning some prestige, and hopefully find Carth's son.