Part 25: The Double-Double-Double-CrossPart 25: The Double-Double-Double-Cross
Last time, we discovered the Star Map on Korriban is hidden somewhere in the Valley of the Dark Lords, which just so happens to only be accessible to the Sith. So, we sought out one of the masters of the Korriban Sith academy and convinced her to let us join their ranks. Obviously we're not turning to the dark side or anything like that, but they don't need to know that.
We were told by Master Uthar to seek knowledge of the Sith Code in order to gain some prestige. There's Master Yuthura, maybe she can fill us in.
Your favorite prospect?
As a matter of fact, I am so certain of that that I'm willing to offer you an opportunity of the once-in-a-lifetime variety. Would you like to hear it?
As I said, you're no doubt going to be the one whom Uthar chooses to become a Sith. With my help, of course. Once that occurs, he will take you into the Valley of the Dark Lords to the tomb of Naga Sadow to administer the final test. There you and I will be alone with him. The perfect time to, shall we say, arrange for a change in the academy's leadership?
Ah, I see. Just what you'd expect from the Sith.
Oh? Well, that means we definitely need to get inside Naga Sadow's tomb.
Carth, I don't think you need to pretend to be a slave quite that hard.
And what's your part in this?
My 'part' in this is to help you gain enough prestige... and slow down the progress of the other hopefuls. I want you in that tomb when the time is right. We destroy Master Uthar together and I take his place... and you take your place at my side. A beautiful plan in its sheer simplicity.
Wouldn't we gain even more prestige by informing Master Uthar of this plan?
But this is a very good opportunity for you... you can start off your Sith career as the right hand of the head of the academy: me. Uthar will not offer you that. Do you believe Uthar would not be aware of this? He would quickly figure out what you have to gain by betraying him... and would never believe someone would pass that up. Tell Master Uthar what you wish. Were I you, I would think first of what the consequences of such an action might be.
You want me to kill Master Uthar?
Is that such a daunting prospect? It is not as if I am asking you to perform the task alone, or as if you will get nothing out of it. Master Uthar cannot prevail against us both. That's all there is to it. It is a very simple matter.
If you say so. Frankly, the infighting between the Sith doesn't really concern us, and we don't really care what happens to the academy either way unless we could somehow shut down the whole operation.
I'm sure he already does. He'd be an idiot if he didn't.
You know what, let's play along. As long as we don't have to do anything horrific, we'll do whatever it takes to ensure we gain access to the tomb of Naga Sadow. Uthar is a powerful Sith, so killing him seems like a net positive even if that still leaves Yuthura in charge of the academy.
I will begin to make preparations for your final test. Your only worry now is to get there... don't disappoint me.
Wouldn't dream of it.
You must impress Master Uthar... go to him with news of your deeds or artifacts you have discovered. The first and easiest way would be for you to learn the Code of the Sith and speak it to him. I can teach you that, if you like. Shall I go on?
Can you tell me about the Code of the Sith?
I can help you to understand it. Would you like to hear it?
Yes! Get on with it!
Simple words, yet easily misunderstood. Would you care for me to explain anything?
Sure, let's start from the top.
We know different. It is our passion... our hate and our desire... that fuels the Force. It is conflict that improves the lot of civilization and single being both. Conflict forces one to better oneself. It forces change, growth, adaption... evolution... or death. These are not our laws, but the universe's. Without conflict you have only stagnation.
What about love?
Love is more dangerous than all those things. Love leads to anger and hatred more often that not... but it also leads to mercy, which is far worse. That, however, is a lesson for another time.
Those seem like awfully negative passions.
Negative? Compared to what? What keeps even the most rudimentary creature alive? Fear to run, anger to fight... without it a creature would most surely die.
Are you saying we aren't anything more than a rudimentary creature?
We are far more than them, perhaps, but in some ways we are little different. To think us creatures beyond the need of simple passions is a delusion.
The Jedi say the opposite. How can both be right?
The Force gives us all power, even the Jedi. It is our mastery of our passion that gives us the strength they lack.
It is our goal to be stronger, to achieve our potential and not rest upon our laurels. We are the seekers, not the shepherds.
These conversations with Yuthura about the Sith philosophy are easily the most interesting Sith-related thing in the original KotOR. They make it seem like the dark side and the Sith aren't just about being cartoon villains for the sake of it, but of course all we hear here is contradicted by everything we see about the Sith elsewhere in the game.
Without strife, your victory has no meaning. Without strife, you do not advance. Without strife, there is only stagnation.
'Through power, I gain victory'?
How many sorts of victories can you imagine? Peaceful victory? Victory by sacrifice? A truce, an achievement? Unless the victory is achieved by demonstrating that your power is superior, it is only an illusion. Temporary at best. We seek more.
Only one kind of victory is acceptable to the Sith, and that is crushing your foes with your superior might.
Ultimately the goal of any Sith is to free herself from such restrictions. In a way, it is so we may do whatever we wish... but it is much more than that. One who has freed themselves from all restrictions has reached perfection. Their potential fulfilled. Perfect strength, perfect power, perfect destiny. Imagine it. That is our ideal, at any rate. It is said in Sith legend that the 'Sith'ari'... the perfect being... will one day lead us. But perhaps that is just a legend.
The identity of this Sith'ari was debated among Star Wars fans for years, but eventually it was confirmed the legend was referring to Darth Bane.
But perhaps that is just a legend. Perfection is... a goal, I think, rather than a state of being. The Jedi would argue that, no doubt.
'The Force shall free me'?
The Force is our servant and our master. Our teacher and our companion. A weapon and a tool. Know it and you know the universe. Master it and you master the universe. Strive for perfection and the Force shall reward you.
I think that's enough about the Sith Code.
However, we're not done here just yet.
We want to learn more about Yuthura herself.
Oh, but we do. She's not gonna tell us just yet, though, so let's ask about the ruins instead.
I have been involved in the work there over the last couple of years, but not often. Most of the excavating is left to the students. What did you wish to know?
Why are the Sith so interested in these ruins?
We could learn much about the history of the ancient Sith... why they were on Korriban and why they left. Perhaps we could learn more about the origin of the Force, itself. With that knowledge could come great power.
Is there any way into the tomb of Naga Sadow?
Not unless you are accompanied by Master Uthar, no. It is strictly forbidden... and I truly doubt you could bypass the doors to the tomb with anything less than ship blasters. Even then, perhaps.
There's no other way inside?
None. I do not even know how Master Uthar gains entrance, to tell the truth, though I look forward to discovering that fact. I have searched many times, so do not bother... there is no other way. Do not fret, however. Simply get the prestige you need and you will see the tomb soon enough.
I've heard enough.
It certainly looks like the only way inside the tomb of Naga Sadow is to go through all this Sith nonsense, and Yuthura's plan should help us get there easier.
Okay, let's see if Yuthura will tell us more about herself now.
As I said, I was originally a slave to one of the Hutts. The Hutts control everything on Sleheyron, and a slave is nothing to them. I was determined not to be 'nothing'. One night when the drunken worm had me alone in his chambers I stabbed him and escaped the compound. I stole onto a cargo ship and was not discovered by the crew until they reached the next system. They left me for dead on a desolate planetoid, alone... but that was fine by me. I was glad to be anywhere other than Sleheyron. It was not luck that I was eventually rescued, of course. The Force was strong with me, though I didn't know that at the time. Not until the Jedi told me, that is.
The Jedi found you? What happened?
I'd... rather not discuss it. Perhaps another time.
Of course, we're not actually going anywhere. Instead, we'll talk to Yuthura again because she's got more to say about her past.
I'd really like to hear the tale.
Why? There is no point. Have I asked you about your past?
Well, no, but I'm sure we could tell her some interesting stories from our smuggling days.
Let's see... after escaping from Sleheyron I was found by the Jedi. They took me in and trained me even though I was a bit older than most Padawans.
You were a Jedi?
Not really, no. I never progressed beyond Padawan. I had discipline, but no peace... and after my treatment at the hands of the Hutts there was little room in me for the ways of the Jedi. I wanted to use the Force to free the other slaves I knew, to fight for what I knew was right. The Jedi restrained me until I couldn't stand it any more. They claim the dark side is evil, but that isn't so. Sometimes anger and hatred are deserved and right. Sometimes things change because of it.
And so, we've learned Yuthura is another example of the Jedi Order's actions directly causing a promising student to rebel against them and join the Sith. All because she felt compassion for the slaves she knew from her years as a slave on Sleheyron, and wanted to help those people. Of course we've only heard her side of the story, but the Jedi really don't have a great track record when it comes to this sort of thing. Meanwhile, the Sith saw her anger and hatred towards the slavers, and capitalized on it. Now she's here on Korriban, training Sith to fight the Jedi.
I know this may sound strange, but only my compassion stands in my way, now. Once that is gone let the slavers beware.
I believe we can identify a slight flaw in her thinking.
No, this has been quite fascinating. We've just learned that Yuthura isn't simply the hardened Sith master she presents herself as, but a troubled woman who is constantly struggling against the fact there is still good left in her. The compassion that made her want to free those slaves is still there, and while she thinks it makes her weak and wishes to get rid of it, she clearly hasn't considered what happens if she ever does lose that compassion.
Now that we've gotten Yuthura to open up to us, perhaps we'll be able to help her in ways she never intended.
Master Uthar said last time there were five Sith prospects, including us. However, we only ever saw three others. Kel here is the fifth, I believe, and we'll talk to him shortly.
But first, let's say hi to Lashowe.
You don't remember? My name is Lashowe. We met in the colony, ever so briefly.
Thanks for these dialogue options, guys. "You're trying to become a Sith as well?" Well, I wonder. Maybe she's just here because she likes the decor?
Lashowe calls you an idiot, because of course she does. When the only viable dialogue option makes you look like a moron, there's not a whole lot you can do about it.
Why haven't you brought it to Uthar yet?
I don't have it just yet. I'll get it... when I'm good and ready.
Oh, I'll bet.
We'll call Lashowe out on her bullshit. She clearly has nothing.
(actually she does have something and we'll persuade her to tell us next time)
See ya, Lashowe.
Shaardan is just as pleasant as before.
We'll be quite happy to shove a lightsaber or two down his throat to shut him up, if that's what it takes.
Who said anything about a fair fight?
I'm surprised he could spell it.
Juhani leveled up at some point, and learns Improved Power Attack and Disable Droid.
There's Mekel. How you doin', Mekel?
You know, I'm starting to think the dark side energies at this place are starting to get to us a little.
As if he'll ever be a full Sith.
Finally, we come across the guy we've been looking for.
Oh, lovely. It's Father. Figures that you'd show up after all this time. How did you manage to get inside the academy?
I'm not sure going for the dad joke approach is the best idea in this situation, but screw it.
Just why are you here, Father? Not for me, I hope. Couldn't you have gotten yourself blown up on some ship and spared us this reunion?
I think we might have a problem on our hands here. We didn't necessarily expect Dustil to greet us with open arms, but it seems he genuinely hates his father.
Too bad you didn't still think that. Or did you really think I would be happy to see you? Look, everyone! It's Father, come to rescue me at long last! Sure, he may have left Mother and I to die on Telos, but that doesn't matter!
No, I didn't abandon you! The task force just arrived too late. Telos was in ruins, and your mother... I held her while... But I looked for you. I swear I looked everywhere --
You know what? It doesn't matter. Not any more. I have a new family now, a family that cares about me. I don't need you.
The Sith? You can't mean that! No, the Sith killed your mother! The Sith destroyed Telos!
So? You're the soldier, father. How many mothers have you killed?
Oh, for the love of...
I don't know what's been done to you, but you're coming with me out of here. Now.
Touch me, old man, and I'll kill you. Get out! Get out of here before I tell the Sith that you're here!
Do not pick any of the other options here if you don't want this reunion to end extremely poorly. If you do, Dustil and Carth keep yelling at each other until Dustil goes hostile and you need to kill him. Naturally, Carth will blame you for the whole thing afterwards.
How does he not get it?
No, they're not evil! They're not! The dark side is superior, and you... you were at war long before they came along!
The Sith war to conquer, to rule the helpless. I went to war for *you*, Dustil. For your freedom, your future!
Of course not.
Prove it. Prove that the Sith are so evil and I'll... I'll think about it.
If I hear you asking questions about me or doing a single thing to jeopardize my position in the Sith, I swear I'll tell everyone what you're up to. You got that, father? You prove what you're saying is true. I'm not going anywhere, otherwise.
Apparently, being massively irritating runs in the family. So, we now need to find some sort of proof about the Sith being evil, which... well, let's face it, if Dustil hasn't figured that out yet by just looking around him, we're gonna need some pretty serious proof.
We could talk to Uthar in the main hall and show him we've learned the Sith Code, but we won't do that just yet.
To the north is the exit leading to the Valley of the Dark Lords. We're not going there yet, either.
The east corridor has two rooms at the end. To the right is the dueling room where the Sith students can train their combat skills against prisoners, and to the left is the interrogation room. Let's check out the interrogation room first.
If I bring his drug threshold too high, he'll go into shock and be useless. Too low and he just refuses to talk. It's been maddening.
The real trick is that the only way to gauge your progress is to watch the prisoner closely for his reaction. Our scanners can't pick up his vitals.
You want me to try it?
Certainly. Just don't kill him or send him into shock. He's supposed to be questioned, not executed. If you manage to get the location of his cache out of him, I'll be sure to pass on the good word to Master Uthar.
The prisoner doesn't have a lot to say.
Neither does this guy, presumably someone they've previously interrogated. We'll be back in a bit, but first let's take a look at the dueling room.
This Sith sucks at fighting. He does kill the prisoner in the end, but almost gets killed in the process himself. Also, we can see the student on the right casually using Force lightning like it's nothing. Maybe Shaardan can also use it, then. I really don't like the fact these students can clearly use Force lightning because as I said, it should be something only powerful Sith Lords can master, but there you go. Of course, we could also use it without any trouble, but we are at least supposed to be extremely strong in the Force.
But that's enough about that. Let's check out this computer and see if there's anything interesting in the files.
[SUCCESS] DATAFILES SECURITY BREACHED SCANNING FILES...
Hm? That sounds like something we might want to check out. Probably not enough for Dustil, though, so we'll have to keep looking. This is... actually really bizarre, because there is supposed to be a file here on this computer that we can take to Dustil. Either the game is bugging out (perish the thought) or that file wasn't there on Xbox.
Even if you have enough spikes, these options won't work.
The only room we haven't searched yet is Uthar's bedroom at the west end of the academy, so let's make our way there.
Well, let's talk to the man himself first.
He asks us to recite the Code after him, but you don't need to see all that so we'll skip ahead to the end.
Tell me then, true or false: victory by any means is desirable.
Absolutely not. There are many ways to attain victory, but the only ways the Sith care about are ones that show their superiority.
Go, now... you have done well, but you have not impressed me enough to declare you the victor. I have matters to attend to.
No, you don't. You just keep sitting there. Well, whatever.
Alright. Before we break into Uthar's room, there was another Sith student we saw earlier but didn't talk to.
Let's fix that.
Kel is much less confrontational than everyone else at this academy.
That can't be right.
Are you sure?
Y-yes. My master always says I am too trusting, too willing to show weakness. You're a Sith, so I really shouldn't... you know...
And you're not?
Well I... I... I didn't mean it like that.
Well, how did you mean it, then?
I... I shouldn't trust you. I can't trust you, can I?
Do we not look trustworthy?
You can snitch on Kel for dark side points and extra prestige, but obviously we're not doing any of that. Instead, we'll encourage Kel to leave the academy because this is entirely the wrong place for him.
I... don't know. I never really thought about it. Maybe I should seek it out, give it a try. Thank you... thank you so much!
If only some people were so easily convinced.
Zila levels up, gains a Persuade point to get her up to 12, and learns the Force Wave power. Force Wave is the final power in the Force Push tree, and it's pretty crazy. I'd explain it in more detail, but we'll be seeing in in action soon. We've also very nearly attained light side mastery, which provides a +3 boost to CHA as long as you're actually at maximum light side points.
Right, let's break into Master Uthar's room now. Here's hoping he's left some incriminating evidence of his evil deeds lying around.
I've been neglecting Zila's Security skill since she became a Jedi, so we can't open this door with our skill alone (and it can't even be bashed). We have several ways to boost that, though. A security spike gets us through the door with ease.
That footlocker looks promising.
If not, it might convince Dustil that what we're saying about the Sith is true. It would be worth a shot.
Let's actually find out what that datapad says.
This datapad appears to contain numerous entries of notes made by Master Uthar of the Sith Academy. Most prominent of the recent entries is the following:
"The pupil known as Dustil has shown remarkable progress. His talent with the Force is great. The same, however, cannot be said for the human female that he arrived with, Selene.
She has little talent. Moreover, Dustil holds a great degree of affection for her. This is a weakness in the boy and has been slowing down his training.
Orders were sent this morning to have the girl removed from the academy and terminated. I will tell Dustil that she was killed in the valley. He will forget her soon enough, I think... he is too promising to lose at this juncture."
"My new family cares about me" indeed.
We can also interact with Uthar's bed, but nothing happens. Strange. The other footlocker contains 450 credits, a Sith Mask, and a Jedi Master Robe. Was Uthar originally a Jedi Master?
The Sith Mask improves Force point regeneration, provides immunity to Mind-Affecting and gives the wearer the Weapon Focus: Lightsaber feat. It's also considered heavy armor, so nobody in our party who might actually make use of the Force point regeneration and the lightsaber feat can wear that. I'm surprised it's not restricted to the dark side like many similar items.
Time to show Dustil the evidence we found.
Selene? She's the one who convinced me to come to the academy with her. Why? Where did you get this?
Look at it. It belongs to Master Uthar, doesn't it?
Finally, we manage to get through to Dustil.
And maybe I can, you know, look around here and find out some more information. From the inside. Something that might help you.
I... don't suppose there's any way I could talk you out of that, is there? I mean, you're not going to do anything half way. Sounds familiar.
I... guess it does.
I'm proud of you, Dustil. You aren't hanging onto a lie after you see it for what it is. Not everyone could do that.
Maybe... after this is over, we can... talk. I'm still not sure about... us, but I'll listen. Maybe we can get back to where we should have been.
I'd like that.
All's well that ends well, I guess. Carth and Dustil still have a lot of things to talk through, but I'm sure they'll be able to patch things up when this is all over.
Now let's make our way back to the interrogation room and see about finding this Mandalorian's weapon cache. Or maybe we'll do something else altogether...
The Mandalorian is having some trouble believing we actually want to get him out of there, which is understandable.
But maybe we can persuade him to let us help.
Your people will... remove me, throw me away. I can survive for long periods... in this state. I can escape, then...
Sounds good. Let's get him out of there.
That ought to do it.
My will is my own, Sith! I will answer nothing!
Or not. I think we might need more computer skill for this.
Thankfully, we've got a couple of ways to increase it. We'll put on the interface visor for a +4 boost.
In addition, we'll activate Knight Valor to temporarily increase our INT by 3 and gain a +1 modifier, which is then added to our Computer Use skill rank. That gives us 9 Computer Use points in total.
It still took a couple of attempts, but eventually we manage to free the prisoner.
[Whisper] Use it... I no longer... need. I give it to you... in exchange for my life... human...
And how about that, he also gave us the location of the cache. I'm not sure why he calls us "human" at the end, because he looks pretty human himself. Was he originally supposed to be an alien?
I told you not to put the prisoner into shock, didn't I?! Now how are we supposed to find out where the weapon cache is?! Uthar will be furious!! Bah! Now I may as well take this fool and dump him somewhere. He's useless to us! I cannot believe you are so incompetent!
This guy doesn't need to know we actually got the location. We can't access it ourselves, so we might as well give it to Uthar for some extra prestige.
You do? That is most interesting. Where might that be?
It is hidden within a trap door on his ship.
Hmm. How ironic that I recently had his vessel scrapped for parts, then. I had assumed it had been thoroughly scanned... apparently not.
Good job, guys.
Go, now... you have done well, but you have not impressed me enough to declare you the victor. I have matters to attend to.
Oh no, we're not done here yet.
Despite what this looks like, we're not actually betraying Yuthura.
I see. It is good that you have come to me with this information, young one. It is a bit... ironic... that Yuthura has begun her plotting. I have been aware of her growing ambitions for some time, and had in fact already decided to remove her.
Of course, Uthar had already seen the double-cross coming and has prepared a plan of his own. We expected nothing less.
Perhaps it will be you who combats her? Yes... perhaps so. This is what you can do. Give this pad to Adrenas... he will put some poison in her bath. This will weaken Yuthura for that final test, making her an easy target. Rather generous of me, don't you think?
Very generous. Thank you.
Patience, Carth. It'll all be obvious soon enough.
Since we informed Uthar of Yuthura's plan, we earn even more prestige.
I want to know some more about you.
You wish to know more about me, do you? And why would I indulge your idle curiosity? Will we be good friends, you think?
Somehow, I don't.
There is nothing else that you need to know. Do not ask again, young one.
I wouldn't worry too much.
Right. With Master Uthar's datapad in hand, we'll make our way back to Yuthura.
I have some news about Uthar...
What? What's happened? Our plan is still intact, I hope.
Obviously Uthar has decided to get rid of me. But why...? Did you say something to him?
Erm... about that...
Yuthura isn't dumb enough to fall for that. Fortunately, that bit of information is not all we've got.
In the end, it works out better that it is only the two of us in the tomb with him. So long as we refuse to fight. Is there anything else I should know?
Why yes, yes there is.
Here... this passcard will allow you access to Uthar's quarters. It's at the far end of the passages with the other quarters. Take this device as well and put it inside his cot. No-one should see you do it. Then Uthar will be too weak to stand up against us. Don't even think of failing me. You and I are too far into this now to back out.
No, we will not think of failing her. This is genuinely it, we'll be going along with her plan all the way to the end.
If you don't have enough Security skill to get inside Uthar's room and get the evidence Dustil wants, Yuthura's passcard can also help you with that. We took care of that already, so let's just place this device and get out before anyone notices us.
There we go. That should ensure Uthar is weakened for our eventual confrontation. By the way, I should point out none of this actually gives you any dark side points.
Informing Uthar of Yuthura's plan in order to get the datapad thankfully hasn't affected our relationship with Yuthura. We're still buddies!
We couldn't tell Uthar about this detail even if we wanted. We're in way too deep now.
With that, we've completed all our business at the academy for now (well, almost), which means we should head to the Valley of the Dark Lords. We won't be able to get inside Naga Sadow's tomb yet, but there are plenty of opportunities in the Valley to earn more prestige.
You may have defeated the pathetic bounty hunter my Master sent after you, but you are no match for me! I have studied at the foot of the Dark Lord himself!
Right, let's get the formalities over with.
We'll start by buffing ourselves up and activating Force Resistance, because Darth Bandon loves to spam Death Field to sap our health.
Force Wave sends every enemy in the general vicinity flying unless they manage a saving throw, and also does solid damage. From here on, we can pretty much obliterate trash mobs without as much as swinging our lightsaber.
please stop that
It'd be nice if we didn't keep missing our attacks. This is where our reliance on dual-wielding kinda comes back to bite us, since we'd hit more reliably with a single saber.
Eventually, Bandon goes down and... err... we avenge Trask, I guess. I probably should've made sure to kill this Dark Jedi before focusing on Bandon, but this guy was barely a factor in the fight anyway so it didn't really matter.
Bandon has some goodies for us, including his personal fiber armor which we'll sell to Suvam later.
Next time, we will explore the Valley of the Dark Lords.