- "The light is cruel, shining upon those seeking solace in the dark..."
- ―Thane "Atra" Skotos
Thane Skotos (pronounced skote-o-s), formerly under the pseudonym Atra Ventus (pronounced at-tra) and referred to as The Dark Seraphim or Darth Renatus, was born on Corellia, where he spent most of his youth getting in trouble. A bit of a smart-Alec he tended to open his mouth when he shouldn't. Gaining the reputation as a hooligan the authorities weren't overly surprised to be called to the home of the Ventus family, yet they were surprised upon arriving. As the only survivor of the bloodbath one would think he'd be at the center of the media. This was not the case, in fact he fell off the grid completely. At least, until he woke up in a holding cell staring at Methyas and Locke.
We All Start Somewhere
The Ventus family comes from humble origins on Corellia. While their name had not become known outside their small community they were still well loved. Always taking time to help out their neighbors, Liam Ventus and his wife Aryanna seemed to have the golden touch. It was into this world that Atra was born. Even as an infant his parents already knew he was bound to rebel. Bed times were more a suggestion than actual guidelines, food became anything he could get his hands on, and authority was something he all together ignored. Even still, his parents' good nature came out from time to time as he helped the other children out.
Due to his rebellious streak, Atra became known to local law enforcement as readily as he was known by his neighbors. If something went awry, usually Atra would be involved somehow. Still, he payed attention in classes and was an avid learner; it was as if his mind had an unending appetite. Among his studies were the basic tenants of self defense. It was from his father that he learned this. Despite the relative peace of their society, Liam knew the dangers of the world, and more notably of just about any experience to be had off-world. Through this father-son training Liam imparted his beliefs and his ways unto his son.
In 21 ABY, CorSec received complaints from the locals and made their way to the Ventus grounds. Far from their first journey, CorSec officers expected to find Atra up to no good again. Instead, as they arrived, they found the power grid shorting out and an eerie silence. No longer certain as what to expect the officers made their way warily to the entrance. Keying in the security override the door slid open with a hiss, revealing the contents inside. It was hard to see at first but as the lights flickered and sparked they were granted flashes of crimson. The first officer couldn't stomach what he saw and collapsed to the ground heaving. Activating a flashlight another of the officers did a quick scan of the room. In terms of the room, nothing was stolen or damaged, but that was the end of the normality. The crimson stain of blood coated the floor, splattered upon the walls, and filling the nostrils of the officers. In the center of the room lay three limp forms, their clothes torn and bloody.
The officers already knew by the amount of blood that survival was unlikely, if not impossible. As they carefully entered the room they reached down and rolled the still form of Liam face up. It was with heavy hearts that they did the same for Aryanna. Finally they came to Atra, wearing only his sleeping pants. Even at 16 his stature was immense, easily confused with someone older and all muscle from his work as a farmer. His back was covered in burns, possibly from a blaster but the officers couldn't be sure. Flipping him over the first officer almost heaved again. Atra's torso was split open from the upper left of his chest to the lower right. White bone glistened from the ribs of his chest through the crimson of his blood. The officers nearly jumped out of their skins as a weak cough escaped his lips.
Moving fast CorSec was able to bring Atra to the nearest medical facility, which managed to save his life. His recovery was long, physically, but longer still mentally. Even after two years, as the scar on his chest bore a grizzly reminder to his fate so too did the mental scars he didn't bother hiding. Often he was found in the center of cantina brawls, whether he started them or finished them. It was in this way, in 25 ABY, that Atra disappeared from common record. It is unclear who started the brawl, but what is known is that a high ranking member of CorSec was killed during the fight and blame rested with Atra. As CorSec officers arrived Atra was questioned by a single officer. The conversation consisted of hushed tones and finally an acknowledgement from Atra. Shortly after Atra and the officer departed another detachment of CorSec officers arrived. When asked where Atra had gone, they were surprised to hear about the officer. This was the first official tangent of CorSec to arrive, and there had been no officers sent ahead. Atra had not been seen since then.
Breaking the Chains
Atra was discovered amongst the ruined chambers of a prison break in the Cenota Facilty by Methyas and Locke whilst they were investigating. Immediately the unknowns of the situation put Locke and himself at odds. Methyas intervened and took the Corellian to be his apprentice. As a group, they moved through the facility to find the Alchemic horrors within, and Tsainetomo Keibatsu Sadow. The warrior made short work of the two Dark Jedi, for some reason leaving Atra alone as he passed. In a great deal of pain, they made their way to the Marakith Skyhook where they could re-evaluate the situation.
Atra in his attire as of becoming Quaestor
On the Skyhook they made plans to blend with the crowds of the Kel Rasha Spaceport with the intent of discovering the Terrorists before they could make their move. This bid was fruitful as they discovered more than they bargained for, Locke and Atra getting wounded in the process. They were able to track the Terrorists to a base hidden on the seventh moon of Inos.
Within the facility, they discovered the presence of the Organization, and evidence of a super soldier program. These soldiers made an appearance as they brought their as of yet unknown strength to bear upon the Dark Jedi. Locke and Atra were once again wounded in the encounter, something Atra was beginning to begrudge.
Upon returning to the Marakith Skyhook with their newfound knowledge a coup d'etat was performed upon Macron, the man who was behind Atra's five year imprisonment and experimentation. During the battle Macron nearly fatally wounded Atra, leaving his mark upon the Corellian's chest. In the aftermath, Atra was appointed Quaestor of House Shar Dakhan, a position he had no previous knowledge of. After receiving medical treatment, the Corellian was sent off with Mirado, his master's brother, for more personal combat training.
During training Mirado and Atra received notice that they were to travel to Kar Alabrek and hunt down Tsainetomo. This was a task Atra did not revel, having seen the Son of Sadow fight once more. Still, they followed their orders. Shortly after arriving they encountered members of Arcona already engaging Sai. After interfering, the pair discovered there was far more going on than they first realized.
Tsainetomo was making the ultimate sacrifice, giving up his home and family to become the enemy to unite the clan. Atra respected the man all the more for it, developing admiration for the wayward warrior. In addition, it was Sai's goal to put an end to one of his greatest mistakes, the clone Orenth. Developing the plan, a temporary alliance was forged between Sadowans and Arconans as they worked together to end this threat.
Atra became a temporary partner with Marick, the Proconsul of Clan Arcona. Together they were able to track down and confront Orenth. During this encounter, Atra and Mirado became privy to the Arconan's Force Wraith, witnessing it first hand. In the following encounter the group was separated, leaving Atra broken and alone with the clone, Orenth. Seemingly defeated, Atra's hidden persona took over, betraying the truth behind the experiment. He was deemed a failure because the extent of the experimentation performed by Macron had shown no effect, but the true face of the experiment belied the effectiveness of them. Orenth was left crushed and defeated, no longer a threat to anyone.
Upon returning, though their initial mission was a failure, Atra was anointed with Knighthood, his new found skills and adeptness recognized by the Summit he now served.
Ghosts of the Past
In the lull upon his return, Atra commissioned a secret investigation into his own genetic structure. As an experiment of the Mad Alchemist, the Quaestor needed to understand the extent of his alterations. With something as simple as a DNA test, Atra discovered his life was more of a mystery than he knew. Based on the results, it was ascertained that his father, at least, had been a Firrerreo. This had been completely unknown to him growing up. Speaking further with the Geneticist he had commissioned, several aspects of the Alchemist's tests became clear. The tests were murky in regards to his mother, but they did recognize signs of genetic tampering that resulted in Atra's dark hair colouring, as opposed to the white the species was known for. They could also see into the Ultraviolet spectrum, something that had passed on to him and had resulted in Macron trying to pull that ability out of his very dna. The test had failed in the most painful of manners, nearly rendering him blind. Less noticeably, his canines were extended compared to what was typically associated with humanoids, giving his grin an animalistic quality.
The discovery of such hidden truths within his own past prompted Atra to delve deeper, perhaps utilizing the newly formed SHADOW program from Marka Ragnos. It was not to be, as the Orian Incursion was enacted. During the fight, with the Firebases almost lost to the opposing forces, Atra ordered their self-destruction. The order was given without the knowledge of Summit and resulted in the deaths of countless DSOG and Sadowans alike.
Surviving the Plague
Memories of the Horizons plague will haunt Atra like the scar upon his throat. A grim reminder to the morbid tale. While the Brotherhood fell to the rage-inducing effects of the Force-siphoning Plague, he fought to retain his sanity alongside a myriad of forces. Among those were his old master and Archangel of Palatinae. Cut off from the group, in the middle of a fierce fire fight, he finally succumbed to the plague. Suddenly cut off from the Force and feeling more alone than ever, he was distracted long enough for a stray blaster bolt to catch him in the throat. Falling immediately unconscious from the shock and pain, it was Archangel that pulled him from the battlefield and returned him to the forces led by Kalia, the Quaestor of Marka Ragnos. She immediately brought his near lifeless form to his old master, Methyas, who did what he could to repair the damage.
Too far gone, it was left to Atra's natural healing to aid in his recovery. The scarring too extreme, the Proconsul was left unable to speak. Refusing to face his long time phobia and undergo cybernetic surgery, Atra turned to the Force once more for aid. Taking to telepathy like a fish to water, he remained mute except for when he deemed it required of him to speak within the minds of those around him.
On the Shores of Crusade
The Dark Crusade took its toll on both the mind and body. Through hardships on Nfolgai and Khar Delba Atra became more and more disillusioned in regards to the war effort. He realized with each passing day that he lacked the power to defend anyone, and started making plans. Reaching out of his comfort zone, he reached out to Xia Long (Sildrin Sadow) to learn more of the Sadow Apostates. The meeting was enlightening, though he couldn't make much sense of it at the time. Turning his attentions elsewhere, he decided to make a desperate gamble. Banking on the One Sith presence within the Orian System, Atra took it upon himself to ply what little knowledge of Sith Alchemy he had learned from Macron and siphon the power from an Elder class opponent.
The plan backfired in more than one way, resulting in his capture and subsequent torture. Through a series of events, Sildrin was also taken in by the One Sith. During the ensuing events, Atra released his most primal instincts, which were fragmented during his experimentation. Using his bestial rage, Atra killed his captors and then rushed to perform the ritual. The results were an utter failure, causing the corruption of his own flesh starting in his right arm. Through quick thinking, Sildrin suppressed his connection to the Force and halted the spreading of the corruption. In shame, Atra and Sildrin returned to Sepros while the Proconsul did his best to hide the corruption from prying eyes.
To better facilitate those who were unresponsive to his telepathic methods, Atra worked with the Alchemists of Naga Sadow to develop a synthetic larynx and return his voice.
Burn Too Bright, Only to Snuff Out
After his abrupt departure from Naga Sadow, the once Proconsul of the Clan seemingly disappeared from existence. The names Atra Ventus, nor Xue Long, were no longer uttered, not even upon a whisper. Corruption and mistakes had left their mark and what remained was cut away, leaving only Anima in its place. His arm was lost somewhere along the way, the wounds self inflicted, and replaced with a cybernetic replacement. At some point even his sense of self dissolved. In actuality, Atra had taken on a lover during his absence. It was the death of this woman and their young daughter that broke what little will to live remained within him. It was at this point in time he took on the name Anima, the perfect term to describe what remains after the surface is peeled away. Not content to merely waste away with inaction, his newly realized, singular goal became his utter fixation.
The elimination of all sources of Force in the galaxy.
Naturally, such a daunting task was not one he advertised, though his reputation as a killer became well known. That is to say, he was a killer that exclusively hunted those believed to be Force Sensitive, or proven users. It was a simple, easy to understand life, and the seemingly never ending quest sated his near out of control blood lust to the point that he could once again function clear of mind. It was only after almost two years of this existence that he was once more contacted by his old master, Methyas. It seemed the Blind Man had need of his particular set of skills, and Anima was more than happy to oblige so long as their goals ran parallel.
Death And Rebirth
Upon his return, Anima slowly fell away and his natural persona grew once more. It was not only his return to the Clan of Naga Sadow, but a return to being Atra Ventus once more. As Methyas had hoped, Atra was quickly inducted into leadership once more. Starting as the Battleteam Leader of Devil's Shroud, Atra quickly got to work re-establishing his old connections. Locke took notice of his old friend, not willing to overlook his activity, and placed him as Rollmaster for the Clan.
It was a better result than he could have hoped for. In his new capacity, Atra was able to monitor the growth of the Clan directly. From his vantage point as Rollmaster, the Firrerreon and his former master could keep a finger on the pulse of the clan and — if needed — take measures to ensure the Clan remained united against a common enemy. However, that arrangement was not one that would last. Soon, Locke was calling on Atra once more to take on a more direct leadership role.
Once again, Atra Ventus became the Quaestor of Shar Dakhan. He barely had time to settle into the position when the Clan began to fracture. A rift was formed between the Consul and two splinter cells: those who followed the Prophet Xanos and the man who had become Rollmaster in Atra's wake — Marcus Kiriyu. The stars of Orion had become active and Xanos sought to complete a ritual that would wipe out life in the system with the help of his apprentice Sildrin — or as a victim of her manipulations. In his own regard, Marcus had seen visions in the Force and sought to claim the power of Orion for himself and the Clan leadership alongside it.
Locke, of course, put the needs of the Clan and system first as he had done so many times before. Atra Ventus took control of a strike team and battled alongside the Clansmen as the first feet on the ground. However, there was an underlying conflict within the greater encounter. Atra sought to face the Avatar of Strife, and his own brother in arms: Shi Long. With the reappearance of Methyas, Atra was ferried to the steps of the ruins where the Prophet had encamped for the ritual. There he heard the whispers of Xia Long, alongside Shi himself. The desired battle was never to be, however, as Marcus Kiriyu arrived with the shards of Orian. He took the power into himself and it nearly destroyed him... but the ritual was thwarted. There were no victors, and the schism created within the Clan were not so easily mended. Though, one thread had been re-forged as a result. Atra had reclaimed his title of Xue Long and begun mending the rift he had created between himself and the matriarch, Sildrin.
Still, Atra was left tired and disillusioned after the entire encounter. Why had he come back to a Clan and inject himself directly into the never-ending cycle of conflict that came with it? He barely had enough time to settle when a new threat arrived. The Progenitor — an ancient Techweaver that had become more machine than man — arrived on Sepros. With him came his technological horrors and an immediate threat against the Clan that was not so easily thwarted. Chaos took hold within the Shadow Lands of Sepros and it fell to the Quaestors to lead the charge once more.
As Quaestor of Shar Dakhan, Atra lead the bulk of the ground forces into the Shadow Lands. He took a small group of Clansmen with him. Among those who came with him were Sildrin, Shi, and Bentre Stahoes. While fending off attacks from mechanical monstrosities of various designs — arachnids and mashups of beasts — they managed to locate the central command structure. Bentre, seeking to prove himself, designed a mechanism for triggering a self-destruct sequence within the transport that had initially brought the Progenitor and his forces. Unfortunately, their path within that ship turned into a trap.
Swarmed by the sheer number of enemies, the team had to retreat. All but Atra, that is. In order to ensure the others made it out, the Quaestor trapped himself inside the main cargo hold. That act cut off the pursuit that would have eventually slaughtered them. In a final act of desperation, Atra gave himself over to the Force and waded into battle without care for the damage he sustained. Against the odds he managed to use the device he had stolen from Bentre to trigger the ship's self-destruct, with himself still inside.
That was the last time Atra would be seen by the Clan of Naga Sadow, at least as Quaestor. With the loss of the command ship, the droids became little more than a nuisance for the forces of Sadow. Once fully purged, and Locke had a chance to take stock of the situation, the losses were confirmed and acknowledged. The Consul paid tribute in a small way to his old friend, creating an inconsequential monument upon the grounds of the Temple of Sorrow.
Though Atra was ready to die, fate had other plans. An old enemy of the Long had been assisting the Progenitor's efforts against Clan Naga Sadow and had left a team to recover Atra's body if given the opportunity. It was risky, but they managed to complete that mission. The Firrerreon was a mess, for lack of better terms, and hung onto life by the thinnest of threads. It was in that state they locked him in carbonite to be delivered to their employer, Yuki.
It was months before Xia Long began piecing together the clues that would lead her to believe Atra's body, at least, had been recovered by a collector. With the help of Keira Viru, who had come across the matriarch in her efforts to find information pertaining to her mother, they tracked Yuki to an art gala. As the current Quaestor of Shar Dakhan, Keira called on her Black Guard to take them to the event. Qyreia Arronen obliged and the trio eventually accomplished their task. They not only recovered the frozen remains of the former Quaestor, but found him to be alive. Keira, having been cared for by the L'eonheart family, contacted Naomi for help.
Well outside the bounds of Sadow space, Atra Ventus was revived and left in the care of Methyas' wife. In a way, he had been reborn. Trapped in carbonite, he had been held at the cusp of death and the effects lingered. Rising into consciousness for the briefest of moments, Atra saw Keira for the first time and — in his delirium — called her by her mother's name: Renora. In that moment, and Sildrin's subsequent confirmation, Keira realized they had just rescued the father she had never known.
Returning to Clan Naga Sadow was not in the cards for Atra. His recovery was a long process and afforded him much time to think. Embroiled in his trauma came the loss of Atra as he had been before, leaving a cold and uncaring man in his stead. He lacked purpose and any sense of direction he once had. In an effort to find that once more, the Firrerreon sought out the Antei Combat Center and Marick Arconae. Instead, he found the Inquisitorius. The newly appointed Voice of the Brotherhood, Evant Taelyan, saw the opportunity in a man without ties to any Clan and the devotion to the Brotherhood in Atra's history.
It was that opportunity which raised Atra up to the rank of a Grand Inquisitor, and anointed him Praetor to the Voice as well. He operated in the shadows of the Brotherhood and quickly became a bane for those who called themselves the Resistance. He was akin to a boogeyman in the dark. There was no clan or home base for him to be tracked to, but he became recognizable just the same. His participation and planning among the Inquisitors brought him into constant conflict with the enemies both within and outside the Brotherhood.
It was in this capacity that his team formed. First he found a pilot in the form of Lux Venia. She wasn't one to shy away from anything, least of all Atra, and often spoke her mind. It was somehow refreshing to him and would not be unwise to attribute those encounters towards the Firrerreon's slow return to form in terms of his former joking self. The final piece of his team was a young but dedicated Inquisitor: Adalinde. As a unit, they worked to end the immediate threat to the Brotherhood and track down the Clan of Odan-Urr.
At the same time, Atra was left to contend with his newly rediscovered daughter. Only, the situation was far more complicated than that. His daughter had been killed by Yuki at the same time Atra had lost his lover, Renora. That had been only a few short years prior and yet there she was once more and fully grown at that. A clone commissioned by Yuki and subjected to accelerated aging. Still, she was desperate to foster the only connection she had to the galaxy in the form of her genetic father. Not willing to lose anything precious to him again, Atra — understandably — kept her at a distance despite her efforts.
Even so, Atra was not immune to the wants and desires of a relatively normal life. The once matriarch of the Longs, Sildrin Lyonsbane, had abandoned her home and title within Clan Naga Sadow. During that time, their rekindled friendship had grown into something that neither of them would willingly acknowledge. Despite the dangers it represented, however, their connection couldn't be ignored forever. Eventually, the first crack formed in their resolve and the pair fell into step with one another. Their intimacy was a quiet thing, not flaunted or announced, but a natural extension of their existing relationship.
Not all of his meetings in this time, however, were positive. Often Atra acted much like a second Voice within the Brotherhood, while Evant's time was split between tasks. In this capacity, Atra operated the Inquisitorius with a greater autonomy than he would have otherwise. During the course of a mission he came across the Consul of Clan Odan-Urr for the first time. The encounter with Turel Sorenn was not a positive one. The two men fought in an attempt to capture one another, neither wishing to miss the golden opportunity to capture the de facto leaders of the opposing factions. Neither came away the victor, and their rivalry took its first steps. In terms of personality, there were some similarities between them that were immediately apparent. Namely their fondness for sarcasm and retort. This made them more "frienemies" in a sense as they seemed to have something resembling fun during their exchanges. Their doctrines, however, couldn't be more opposed. Atra was steadfast in his loyalty to the Brotherhood, even if not to any one Clan or even the Grand Master, but to the structure of it. That put him at odds with any who resisted the order it represented.
Atra spotted at The Sinning Den
With time, the purpose behind Evant's split focus came to fruition with the Grand Master appointing him as the newly formed Regent of the Brotherhood. In the wake of his departure, Atra waited to find out what changes would occur. As a surprise to some, considering the ties Arcona had to the Resistance, Marick Arconae was appointed to the role of Voice and dropped his former title in favor of the name "Tyris". That left yet another void in the structure of the Brotherhood. Marick made what he felt to be the most logical decision and, in what could be considered a reward for his service, Atra Ventus became the latest Combat Master within the Brotherhood and granted oversight of the Antei Combat Center.
Still, Atra was uneasy. Too few eyes remained within the clan of Arcona. They had held the title of First Clan for so long that their audacity was beginning to show with their inclination to assist Odan-Urr against the Brotherhood itself. Eschewing his desire to remain devoid of Clan ties, Atra made the necessary arrangements to be assigned to House Galeres within Arcona. He would swear no oaths, and his loyalty would be plain to the prevailing Consul: Atyiru. They had met several times already in his capacity as Praetor. There was no use assuming a lie that even the blind would see through. Despite knowing his intended purpose — to keep tabs on the activities of Arcona — the Shadow Lady welcomed him amongst her clan, even though he felt anything but welcome.
Conflict And Change
The following years could very easily be considered a blur for Atra. Most notably, the Firrerreon ascended to take a seat upon the Dark Council and became the second Regent to stand among them. In that time, conflict fell upon the Brotherhood once more from an outside source. The Collective struck hard and with a ferocity that left many bewildered and refocusing.
Atra found himself trapped behind a desk for much of this time. He was relegated to spectator as he coordinated asset manufacturing and repair as Regent, as well as allocation and distribution to ensure the war effort remained functional.
Thane tends to alter his attire based on the environment, but tends to favour asymmetry with a fondness for black and gold colour schemes, accentuating them with touches of gold.
Atra wearing his Councilor attire
Atra wearing his casual attire
--More to come--
Adalinde - The Enforcer
While Adalinde remains mute in regards to her past, the records show that she was born to aristocracy. She learned quickly at a young age that beauty was a blessing in such a society, and was a tool her parents encouraged her to use as a means of increasing their station. It was a tool that turned into a curse very quickly for the young woman. Jealousy is an ugly beast and so often results in deeds just as hideous.
Adalinde thought herself among friends and discovered the viper's nest far too late. Her so-called fellows turned malicious and pressed her face first into an open flame. To her credit, Adalinde fought back as best she could, which left only the right half of her face severely burned. During her recovery, with her "good looks" lost to the family, she found herself all but disowned by her parents. So she did them all a favor and left as soon as she was recovered. She abandoned her family name, her legacy, and in so doing discovered her sensitivity to the Force and soon after... the Brotherhood.
The Dark Brotherhood became her surrogate family, replacing the one that had wronged her. She grew in both power and beauty, forever reminded of the past by the scars that marred her flesh. Adalinde began to use her hair as a veil, letting it grow long and cover the half of her face she found most repulsive, most shameful. She dedicated herself to her studies and was recruited into the Inquisitorius shortly after its inception.
Adalinde (left) and Lux Venia (right)
She remained fiercely loyal to the cause, anger and pain fueling the power within her. She was recognized as a suitable weapon by those with the necessary influence and soon found herself being pushed through the ranks. Her rise found her assigned to Atra Ventus - who was acting in dual capacity as an Inquisitor and Praetor to the Voice. It is there she remained, functioning as his enforcer, which was a role she found herself reveling in.
Lux Venia - The Pilot
Lux Venia was once Atra's exclusive pilot for Inquisitorius excursions. However, she fully dedicated herself to the cause with the increasing aggression of the Collective. Taking on the role of a top ace for the Inquisitorius, Lux still finds the time to meet up with the man she came to call friend, even still acting as his pilot, but Atra was no longer Lux's exclusive patron.