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Nov 17, 2019 5:47 PM
Deskyl and DZ in Arcania Artefactum
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A tie, between the mana pool of the Artefact and that of the wielder, he explains first of all, Through the bond, the wielder may direct their mana through thr Artefact's pool, enhancing it. The Artefact may use the mana of the wielder, as well, though only our two colours - types - in the case of elven-derived Greater Artefacts. 

The bond allows communication, between the two beings, as well. It is theoretically possible to bond non-Artefact persons together this way, he adds, but it requires a high level of compatibility and willingness on both parts. 

He pauses, Our forms are meant to contain our souls and mana, and without the connection to a wielder to break that barrier, we cannot extend ourselves outside them. 

 

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She nods. What does that mean in practical terms? Just the mana use?

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We must draw on them - even just the slightest amount - to do anything more than sense, glow, and speak to or harm those touching or bound to us. 

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And with a bond?

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You mean, what would the result be if we were to bond? He asks after a moment, I suppose I would be unable to affect the world as when unbonded. Perhaps you might be able to use my mana, however. My affinities are Fire and Water - when I cast myself I often use Lightning and Ice, which are second tier abilities those colours. Thus the name which was given me, the Blade of Storms, and my own preference - Stormsinger.

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Pretty.

It sounds like you might be able to use the Force, through me; it's similar to mana, a little.

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Interest! This is the power you have? I suppose it is my turn to be educated now. What manner of power is this 'force'?

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It's related to my powers, yeah. The universe itself is alive, just a little, in a way that's not very much like us singular entities at all - it's not clear if it's not sentient at all, or if it's just so different that we can't comprehend that it is, but it doesn't seem aware of us exactly; it doesn't have opinions on things we do except in very simple direct ways. Most people can't sense it at all, but those of us who can can influence it, in various ways - untrained Force-sensitives are luckier, stronger, sturdier, longer lived, more intuitive. With training we can do more, and learn to do more again - there's not much I'd guarantee that a Force-sensitive can't do, given long enough to figure it out. Telekinesis and emotion-sensing are the easiest things to learn, and various simple defensive techniques. There are a few other skills that are universal among Sith - Force-sensitives with the kind of training I have - and we generally pick a specialty to focus on after that. I'm a sensory specialist, with a particular focus on maintaining passive techniques.

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Curious. I have never heard of such a thing. Some of the techniques you mentioned can be done with mana - telekinesis is a very basic Space ability, and one can sense using any kind of mana, though the things they sense are directed by the type. 

How rare are these Force-sensitives? I would have expected the elves, at least, to notice them. 

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Incredibly rare. My home galaxy has technology that allows many more people to live on a planet - a few hundred million times more, I'd estimate - and it's still rare to find more than one potential Sith on a planet at a time.

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I suppose if there would only ever have been a few handfuls in history they might not have been noted, he reasons. 

Elves are immortal, but slow to have children. It was considered odd, last I knew, to have them before one had lived a few centuries, if not a millenia or two. They are most often infertile until they complete their wanderings, and gain the urge to return home.

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It's very possible for an untrained Force-sensitive to never notice it themselves, if they aren't found, she agrees.

Sith aren't immortal, but we live much longer than Forceblind humans - it's not very clear whether more powerful Sith live longer or just that they're less likely to die in battle, but there's a lot of variance. I can reasonably expect to live three centuries, though, here where there's not much to threaten me, and five would only be a little surprising. Our emperor seems to be immortal, but that might not be - self-contained - it's possible for Sith to drain life force from others, but the technique itself isn't widely known.

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Artefact wielders as well - those wielding ones like myself, that is. Being bound to an elven soul lengthens the lifespan of a human. There is only so far we can stretch it, however. An extra 300 years, at most. I could not say whether this would grant you more life, or not. It is possible the Force already does for you what we do for our wielders. 

This life-drain sounds... unsettling. 

What sort of person is this Emperor, to do such a thing?

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The kind to be the emperor of the Sith, she sighs. I haven't explained us yet, I guess - I'm not really sure where to start. I'm not typical at all.

Part of it is how we use the Force; there are neutral techniques, collaborative with it, and light side, which Sith don't learn, and dark side, which are - stronger, and allow us more control of the details of what we're doing, but they're powered by negative emotion, and amplify it. Rage, hatred - it's not unmanageable if you try, but we're not encouraged to try, we're encouraged to be strong. And that's the real problem. Sith society - we don't have laws. We have a few traditions, but that's all. The only way to stop a Sith from doing what they want is to threaten them, and the only thing that can threaten a Sith is a stronger Sith.

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It seems a near miracle that any society at all could be built out of such a system, he sends after a moment of thought. A society motivated only by self-interest, or so it sounds. What is to stop a powerful enough Sith from simply killing all the others, leaving them unchallenged? Why do they choose to teach the use of their abilities at all? Those traditions you mentioned?

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Any Sith who keeps apprentices can expect to be killed by one eventually. Some care more about other things than that - leaving a legacy, or accomplishing something that they can't do alone, or just - having someone else around who's not completely cowed. Some think they can beat the odds. Some have bigger problems and need the power boost. Sometimes it's more complicated - it was for my master. Some of us don't get individual training at all - there's an academy, and then graduates get assignments from higher ranking Sith that they might not ever meet.

The Sith powerful enough to kill the rest of us - that's the emperor. We're useful, is why he keeps us around. The step below that is the Dark Council, and there are twelve of them; they might be able to kill him all together - I don't know - but then they'd have to figure out how to divide the empire, and none of them is sure enough that they'd win that fight too.

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A careful balancing act, he notes, Yes, I see now. In what way are your people useful to this Emperor? Aside from as entertainment, perhaps, if he is that powerful. 

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Having underlings is a kind of power; Sith do understand delegating, and command - we're trained as commanders, all of us. And he wants to conquer the galaxy, which is too big a project to do alone - the inner parts are controlled by the Republic and protected by Jedi, the other kind of Force-user; they're individually weaker than Sith but much better at working together.

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Aaah, yes, that explains it quite neatly. 

What of these Jedi you mentioned? Weaker, but more cooperative. What do they do differently?

 

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I've never met one, I've only heard about them secondhand, and Sith don't learn light-side techniques - occasionally a Jedi will fall to the Sith, and they lose the capability to do them when they gain the ability to use the dark side. I do know that light side techniques depend on lack of emotion, though - they're powered purely by the Force, while we have the extra power of our emotions to draw on. 

Culturally - they don't run their republic; they have their own planet, but they answer to the Forceblind governments of the others when they're there, and to the centralized government. They do work closely with it, but they're not in power there. They don't tend to lead troops; they fight in squads of their own and often answer to Forceblind generals. They do have some sort of master/apprentice structure, but only one apprentice at a time, and it doesn't seem to be a permanent relationship like it is for Sith.

They do attack us on sight, but that's mutual, I don't know that it says much about their general philosophy. They were open enough to dealing with us to try diplomacy at the start of the war; it went badly for them.

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Lack of emotion, He muses. Is this a life philosophy they follow, as yours follow strength and emotion?

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It seems to be. The advice for tempting one to fall is based on that.

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Disturbed, To live without emotion... Control is important, but how could a living being not feel? It seems unnatural. 

Perhaps some other kind of being could manage it. I would not be myself without my emotions. To live without passion seems hardly any better than death. 

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I know. There's plenty bad about being a Sith, but the alternative -

There's nothing we can do about it, though.

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Agreement, Best to focus on what we can do. 

Which for you I suppose is to focus on healing. As for me, amusement, I suppose I shall go back to composing my latest piece.

 

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