Star Wars: Lupus Stellarum
One-thousand years have passed since the reign of the Galactic Empire, and the death of it's first and only Emperor, Palpatine. The galaxy is a different place from that dark time, freedom has returned to the galaxy. But not without great cost in lives and material to wipe out the last of the Empire's power. Now the galaxy is ruled, by the Coalition of Democratically United Civilizations. Aided by the reformed Jedi Order, and the Phoenix Templars, the Coalition has enjoyed five-hundred years of freedom. But peace?... not by a long shot, even after the death of Darth Sideous the Sith have managed to survive. In the shadows the Sith have managed to live, hunted by the Coalition, the Templar's, and there ancient enemy the Jedi.
But this story isn't about the greater conflicts of the Sith and the free peoples of the galaxy. Instead, this story shall focus on a single individual. Specifically, a Sith Lord, baring the name of Darth Lowca. He was a man covered in scars, hair as white as the snowy landscape that he found himself in. Eyes burning gold with malice and anger. "Finally... my ultimate accomplishment as a Sith Lord. I will bring the head of the Lupus Stellarum to Korriban, and prove my worth in full to the Darth's Moot." Darth Lowca said in a deep gravely voice as he breathed in the cold crisp air, surrounded by great tree's his ship was perched amidst a clearing. A number of small imp-like aliens scampered out of Darth Lowca's ship. "What is thy bidding master?" One of the imps asked, his voice sounding high pitched and nasally. "This is where the data in the Jedi Archive said that the great wolf was located, find me the Wolfs Den." Darth Lowca said, the imps didn't hesitate as they swarmed out of there masters ship into the surrounding area.
What is the Lupus Stellarum you might ask? It is an ancient, yet young tale of a beast, strong in the Force and a powerful ally of the Jedi and Templars. Said to have been born from mortal flesh, and then reborn through the Force itself. The wolf-like beast hunts after all who follow the Dark-Side with ruthless abandon, even capable of traveling through hyperspace at will. This uncharted world, called Vorj, is home to a small colony of Togruta that had long ago came from the planet Kiros. A warrior people that revere the Lupus Stellarum as the 'Saving One'. Many Sith Lords before have come to Vorj to hunt the dreaded wolf at it's lair, none have ever returned with the beasts head.
Several hours passed as Darth Lowca practiced with his red crossguard lightsaber, being fired on by remotes as he blocked blasts, and leaping, parrying and pirouetting about as he cut the remotes to scrap. "Hmm... my Thralls have found something." Lowca said, he deactivated his lightsaber and sent for some remaining Sith Thralls to clean up the scraped remotes. However, unbeknownst to him, hunters clad in wolf skins were in the tree's surrounding the ship. "Is now the time to strike?" A hunter asked. "No, the Saving One told us to wait for her signal before we destroy the Sith vessel. We must be patient, when the Saving One howls is when we strike." The lead hunter said. Later, Darth Lowca found a number of his Sith Thralls surrounding a small hut. "Master, we have found someone who knows where the Dread Hound dwells. Some sort of Togruta crone, powerful in the Force!" A Thrall said. "Then I shall speak with this crone myself." Darth Lowca said, he entered the hut and found the elderly Togruta sitting beside a cauldron over a fire. She had electric blue skin, black markings on her face instead of white, and the patterns on her montrals seemed to be dark blue and white instead of the usual white and blue. "Come in, come in, warm yourself by my fire." The Togruta said. "Where is the Lupus Stellarum?" Darth Lowca asked bluntly.
"Well, your a rude one. Your little friends warned me you weren't much for conversation. But you don't even probe me for personal information." The Togruta said in mocking disappointment. "Look, I wouldn't have even bothered with this backwater unless it had something important on it. As it so happens the Dread Wolf calls this planet home, so do you actually know where it is?" Darth Lowca said. "Hmm, doesn't even sit down to have some soup, or even ask me about stories of the Phoenix Legion or the Freemakers, or that horned skull I have next to the door. If you must know, the Lupus Stellarum can only be found by looking through the Force. Now please, either provide an old war hero some company... or get lost and I hope you get frostbite." The old Togruta said. "That's all you have to say? I have to look through the Force? Where is the wolfs den!? Where can I find it? What do it's tracks look like? Why does it hunt Sith and other Dark side followers-"
"The Lupus Stellarum is no ordinary creature!" The Togruta crone said, standing up in anger. "Your hunting something that has hunted the minions of the Dark Side since the Phoenix Wars. A beast that can travel amidst the stars as easily as any ship can. Your not the first Sith that has come here seeking the Star Wolf as a trophy, and I am beyond certain that you will not be the last. None have ever have succeeded in that futile task. All slain without mercy, there flesh and bones devoured." The Togruta said. "Do you truly know where the Dread Wolf is, or don't you?" Darth Lowca said, igniting his light saber. "Oh I do, but your not going to find her with that attitude. The Lupus Stellarum has no den to rest, the wilderness is her home. Vorj is simply where she goes to rest when the Dark side isn't around causing chaos and mayhem. It leaves behind no tracks, and can phase through physical objects at will. Only the Force can show you where the ancient beast is." The Togruta elder said. "How do you know so much about the Lupus Stellarum old one?" Darth Lowca asked, the Togruta women only grinned wryly.
"If you are so set on find Lupus Stellarum, there are steps that have to be taken in order to find her properly." The Togruta said. "Very well, what are these steps?" Darth Lowca asked. "Dangerous, lethal, and more then likely to kill you before you could make any real progress. You sure you want to know the steps?" The Togruta asked. "Yes, I do."
"Are you really sure?"
"Because once you start you can't stop at all."
"YES YOU OLD CRONE! NOW SHOW ME OR YOUR LIFE IS FORFEIT!" Darth Lowca bellowed in rage. "Very well then." The elderly Togruta said. Then without warning, she pulled out a lightsaber handle, and ignited the silver blade. "MY EYES!" Darth Lowca screamed as the seemingly harmless Togruta elder blinded him. He stumbled out into the snow, his Thralls in panic. "MASTER!?" The Alpha Thrall shrieked in terror. The Togruta exited the hut, her lightsaber still ignited. "Step one." The Togruta said sardonically. "What did you do to the Master?" The Alpha Thrall snarled. "Just helping him hunt the Star Wolf." The Togruta Elder said. "KILL HER!" Darth Lowca bellowed, the Sith Thralls charged at the Togruta elder. She only rolled her eyes, and proceeded to fight the Sith Thralls. "I'm returning to my ship and leave this world, I will return only when I can muster a proper war party." Darth Lowca moaned. "Why bother? There's a party right here!" The Togruta elder said as she fought with the swarming Sith Thralls. Darth Lowca's Alpha Thrall and a few other Thralls helped him back to his ship. "Where to master?" The Alpha Thrall asked. "Set a course back to Korriban. I need to get some new eyes." Darth Lowca said, the ship took off. "He's escaping! We have to set off the explosives now!" A hunter said as he equipped a rocket launcher. "Be patient K'nalis, the Saving One will howl soon. Besides... even if the Sith does get far enough out of Vorj's orbit. It won't be enough to save him." The lead hunter said, holding a detonator in her hand.
Eventually, Darth Lowca's ship was over the clouds of Vorj. "Alpha, plot a course to Korriban, and ready the hyperdrive." Darth Lowca ordered, then a strange noise sounded through the Force. "Was that a howl?" Darth Lowca asked, then a violent explosion rocked his ship. "Lord Lowca! The engines and hyperdrive have exploded!" The Alpha Thrall shouted. "What?! How could that have happened?" Darth Lowca said. "I don't know, the Thralls in engineering were killed. We're caught in the planets gravity well! There's nothing that can be done to leave now." The Alpha Thrall said regretfully.
Darth Lowca's ship crashed, only he survived. Blinded, and injured by the crash he stumbled out of the wreck of his ship. "SHOW YOURSELVES! I CAN SENSE YOU! STAND BEFORE THE MASTER OF THE HUNT!" Darth Lowca shouted, wielding his lightsaber about. Then the wolf skin clad hunters approached the wreck on the backs of reptiles. "Who are you?" Darth Lowca asked. "We are the Wolf Guard, the servants of the one the greater galaxy knows as Lupus Stellarum. Long ago she saved our forefathers from the chains of the Sith of old. She foresaw your coming Darth Lowca, and desires to see you brought before her. So say's Alpha Ranias of the Wolf Guard." Ranias said.
"I... will not yield! I am Darth Lowca! I am the greatest hunter this galaxy has ever known! AND I WILL NOT LEAVE THIS WORLD UNTIL I HAVE THE DREAD WOLF'S PELT!" Darth Lowca bellowed. "Yet you were willing to leave this world without even seeing the Saving One... but then again that's a moot point for you now isn't it?" Ranias said, the rest of the Wolf Guard heartily laughed. Lowca roared as he charged the Wolf Guard with his lightsaber drawn. "Fall back! We make for the rendezvous point!" Ranias ordered, Lowca pulled one rider off of it's mount, slew him and took the great lizard creature. The chase was on as Darth Lowca pursued the Wolf Guard. "WHERE IS THE LUPUS STELLARUM!?" Darth Lowca bellowed in rage as he slew another lizard creature, throwing it's rider into the snow. K'nalus grinned knowingly as she saw Lowca pursue her fellow Wolf Guard. "I'm going to enjoy this far more then I ought to." K'nalus said to herself.
Nearly an hour passed as Darth Lowca pursued the Wolf Guard, dismounting or otherwise killing them until only Ranias herself remained. Cornered by a rock face. "WHERE. IS. THE WOLF!?" Darth Lowca shouted as he slew his hijacked mount. "Look around, the tracks of the Saving One is all around! Regardless, you will pay for the lives of my fellow Guards and there mounts." Ranias said. Through the Force, Darth Lowca saw the paw prints. They were not in anyway in the snow. But in the Force itself somehow. "What... these tracks go in every direction!" Darth Lowca demanded. "Calm yourself and focus, for a self proclaimed 'master of the hunt'. You are surprisingly bad at this." Ranias said in bemusement. Darth Lowca focused his emotions, and saw that some paws glowed brighter then others. Eventually he figured out a series of paw prints that formed a coherent pattern. "I... I don't understand, these paws lead to right where I'm standing. But the Lupus Stellarum isn't here! What manner of trickery is this?!" Darth Lowca asked.
"Simply put Sith filith, this is an ambush." Ranias said bluntly. Then before Lowca could process what she said, a howl sounded. It pierced the air and the Force itself, and then directly above him.
Stood the Lupus Stellarum. It's fur was as dark as the clouds in a storm, in turn it's fur was decorated with markings that were like constellations the shone brightly through the Force itself. "YOU ARE NOT PREPARED FOR ME!" Darth Lowca shouted as he displayed his lightsaber to the great beast. "You were never the hunter here Upaldy Dysonans, since you began this 'hunt' for me. You were always the PREY!" The Lupus Stellarum said as the great beast leapt down on to Darth Lowca.
Then Darth Lowca blacked out, he didn't feel dead. But he could only feel pain. "Where... where am I?... am I dead?" Darth Lowaca said. "You don't have that kind of luck, and to answer your question. We're going to take a little stroll down memory lane." The voice of the Lupus Stellarum said in a gloating tone. Then Darth Lowca found himself in an old hut. "Ma! I brought back a C'iilna." A small boy said as he entered the hut, and dragging a giant grasshopper leg behind him. "That's nice dear." A women in a chair said in an uninterested tone. "No, I mean I went out into the swamps, tracked a C'iilna for most the day, and then I killed it." The boy explained. "I don't believe my eyes... that's me! That C'iilna was the first thing I ever hunted and killed." Darth Lowca said.
"What?! What have I told you about hunting? It's why your father left us Upaldy!" Lowca's mother squirmed. "But... but I saw that we were running out of food, and the Coalition supply shuttles have been late and-"
"No buts, go to your room. Now!" Lowca's mother said. "How said, a poor boy just trying to help his ailing mother. Met with ingratitude, but she's a vegetarian. Is it really all that surprising that she would go to such absurd lengths just to distance herself from her husband? Is it really all so surprising that you left your homeworld at such a young age?" The voice of the Lupus Stellarum said. Then the scene changed to an apartment room. "Uroda, I'm sorry that this came up-"
"Will you stop apologizing already?" The black haired human called Uroda said. "Look, I know that I've been out a lot on hunting trips. But you know we need the money." The grown up Upaldy said. "I know, you want to be with our daughter more, and make a better life for her. My only real issue with THIS hunting trip is that you'll be going to Korriban." Uroda said. "Don't tell me that you seriously believe those ghost stories?" Upaldy said. "I've been to Korriban. As a Jedi I have been to that dead world, and seen the ghost of Darth Bane himself. I don't care if some half-wit senator want's to organize a hunting expedition for terentatek's! Even we don't hunt those beasts very often!" Uroda said. "I'll be fine, ghosts and monsters don't scare me." Upaldy said arrogantly. "That's exactly what I'm so afraid of. I know you won't listen to me, so just go. But if you don't return alive by the date on the hunting invitation. I'm going to return to the Jedi Order and never look back." Uroda said bitterly. "I'll be back long before that ever happens." Upaldy said.
"But you never returned to your wife and daughter did you? You searched for days, weeks for one of the feared beasts. But little did you know that you weren't the hunters... but the prey." The voice of the Lupus Stellarum said. "Why are you showing me my memory's?" Darth Lowca asked. "Oh the reasons I could list would likely take the rest of eternity to explain. From the hopelessly absurd, to the actual and plausible reasons as my son would say. Why he would ever need to list the absurd he'd never tell me." The Lupus Stellarum rambled as Darth Lowca's surroundings changed again. This time he was in a hunting party on Korriban. "I think we should keep moving. The terentatek is bound to be following us, waiting for us to drop our guard." A hunter said. "We've been on this deserted rock for nearly a month and we haven't seen anything resembling one." Said a man wearing a luxuries looking robe. "Fair enough Senator, so long as I get paid by the end of this it doesn't matter to me." Upaldy said. "This is a hunting expedition Dysonans! Nobody is getting paid one lousy credit, or leave this rock until we find and kill a terentatek!" The senator said. Then as if on cue the senator was devoured whole by the large beast.
"The terentatek caught you and the entire party by surprise, you discovered that you were force sensitive that night. Only you survived, with the terentatek slain, and when you awoke you found the ship destroyed, and the Sith were waiting-"
"ENOUGH FILTHY WHELP! BE SILENT!" Darth Lowca shouted. "Okay, let me explain the point I'm trying to make to you thick skull. You turned your back on a loving wife, a child you earnestly wanted to spend more time with. On top of that, the only reason your even a hunter was to spite your mother. From what I've seen, your no more a hunter then I am a numa. Now your the same as all other Sith Lords that go forgotten and unremarked in the history of the galaxy. Or... or did you come all this way, in a vain attempt to eliminate a perceived rival?" The Lupus Stellarum said, then Darth Lowca's consciousness returned to him, and saw through the Force that he was in a hall. Around him were the Togrutan Wolf Guard, and at the other end of the hall the Lupus Stellarum was resting. "You..." Darth Lowca said, he reached for his belt but his lightsaber but it wasn't there.
"Looking for this?" Ranias said mockingly as she displayed the saber. "Now, now Ranias. There is no need to be so cruel." The Lupus Stellarum said as it stood up, then it changed it's shape into that of the elderly Togruta that blinded Lowca in the first place. "Besides, cruel torture isn't why we bait Sith like this." The women said. "You... you were the Lupus Stellarum this whole time?!" Darth Lowca said. "You really shouldn't shout like that. But yes, I am the Lupus Stellarum. The one whom you and the Sith call the Dread Wolf, the Saving One to the Wolf Guard, the Avenging Hound to the Jedi, Phoenix Mother to the Templars. Along with dozens upon dozens of other names across this little corner of the universe." The Lupus Stellarum said.
"Why... why do all of this?" Darth Lowca asked. "Really the whole thing was my sons idea. It's a really, REALLY long story. But to put it simply, he told me that the dark side would always deceive the foolish and naïve. Like you for instance, someone who embraced the dark side in a moment of poorly thought out desperation. But I've seen into your heart, your memories, that your not as bad a person as your recent actions have made you. Your wife misses you dearly, and the worst that you has really happened was your childhood." The Lupus Stellarum said.
"What are you talking about?" Darth Lowca asked. "Ah, the crux of this whole ruse. Simply put, I'm here to offer you a choice. Reject the dark side and the Sith, and we'll make sure that you can return to your former life with as little difficulty as possible. But if you refuse, then by the laws of the Wolf Guard. We must have a final fight to the death, though in that case it'll be a grossly unfair fight. I train every hour of every day not spent fighting the Sith on far flung battlefields on alien worlds, or leading wayward darksiders on wild goose bantha chases across Vorj. Plus... I'm virtually immortal." The Lupus Stellarum said as she changed her form. This time she looked like a young women of about early thirty's. Orange skin, and bore the white and blue montrals and white face markings. "So the choice is yours, give up the darkside, or die." The Lupus Stellarum said as she ignited a pair of white lightsabers.
"I... I will not fight you. I give up the title of Darth Lowca, and be Upaldy Dysonans once more." Upaldy said, falling to his knee's. "Your a lot smarter then I gave you credit for. Ranius, send word to Coruscant, let the Jedi and Templar's know that one has rejected the dark side." The Lupus Stellarum said. "What? But Saving One, he slaughter a number of my fellow Wolf Guard and there-"
"As have many other dark siders that have come to this world, we will mourn the dead and provide care to there families. But I will not allow my guards to exact retribution without my direct authorization. So please, either send word of this mans redemption. Or your going to be cleaning out the Goy'na kennels." The Lupus Stellarum said, Ranius said nothing as she went away to carry out her order. "Well, it's been a long day and it's getting late. Let us retire for the evening." The Lupus Stellarum said, she went her bedroom, and there was the ghost of an old friend waiting her.
"Good job Snips, you got another one back to the light. But did you really have to cut out his eyes?" Anakin said. "I wouldn't have, but I was getting annoyed with his slow uptake. Plus if he wouldn't have questioned why an elderly women was living in the middle of nowhere, and bizarre skin colors. Well he probably didn't really use his eyes anyway eh Skyguy?" Ahsoka said. "Still, you shouldn't have caught him off guard like you did. You should reincarnate again soon." Anakin said. "Reincarnate? But I just finished being Lar-Anis ten years ago... but your probably right. I can sense that the power of the dark side is at an all time low. So there's probably no harm in reincarnating into a mortal form again. Plus I might want to curb that violence streak... really don't want to make a habit of blinding people even if they are dark siders. Well anyway, goodnight said." Ahsoka said.