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Fanfic / Blood and Honor

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A novel-length retelling of Star Wars: The Old Republic's Sith Warrior storyline, primarily from the viewpoints of a Twi'lek adventurer named Vette and an Imperial officer named Malavai Quinn. Originally published here, with an updated version here, it follows the rise to power of a Pureblood Sith named Sanguis, dealing with temptation, treachery and bad Twi'lek humor along the way. It also addresses Vette's search for her long lost family and Quinn's struggles to reconcile love and duty. Jaesa Willsaam, a Jedi Padawan, eventually appears with her own part to play.

Spoilers for both the game and the story lie ahead!

Tropes found long, long ago and far, far away:

  • Arc Words: "There is no death, there is the Force." Sanguis hears this phrase from rebel Sith Kel'eth Ur early in the story, then finds them repeated to her by various Jedi she encounters. She struggles to understand what it means, since, as she's lost both her mother and her mentor, death seems very real and permanent. Not until the end of the story does she realize how the Force connects all life, which helps her see the underlying meaning of the words.
  • Battle Couple: Sanguis and Quinn, though they go back and forth on the "couple" part for about half the story due to Quinn's personal issues. Eventually they end up together on and off the battlefield. Sanguis typically gets in close with her lightsabers to take out the biggest threat while Quinn uses his brains and blaster to wreak havoc from a distance.
  • Blue Blood: Purebloods can trace their descent from the high priests of the ancient Sith race, and Sanguis is no exception. Her storied heritage is brought up occasionally and she has a family estate, complete with servants, on the Imperial homeworld of Dromund Kaas. Several other Sith encountered over the course of the story mention being familiar with her house.
  • Born into Slavery: Vette was born a slave on Ryloth and separated from her family at a young age. After being sold to various owners, she was freed, only to end up in a slave collar again shortly after the story begins. Eventually she manages to find both her mother and sister and buy the latter's freedom.
  • Close-Range Combatant: Sanguis relies almost entirely on her lightsabers in combat, which requires getting close enough to the enemy to use them. Darth Vengean is able to raise a Force barrier which renders her ineffective until he's weakened enough for her to get through. If ranged attacks are needed, Vette and Quinn provide them.
  • Co-Dragons: Lord Draahg, Baras's second apprentice, is introduced when the plan to take down Darth Vengean goes into effect. He is nearly on a level with Sanguis in terms of power and Baras treats his two apprentices as equals.
  • Combat Medic: In addition to being a sharpshooter and tactician, Quinn has medical training. He performs first aid in the field several times and can also give follow-up treatment in a medbay.
  • Cruel Mercy: When Sanguis realizes that killing Jedi isn't as satisfying as she hoped it'd be, she turns to this instead, bringing out the darkness lurking in the hearts of several of her opponents and then leaving them to face the truth about themselves.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Vette loves poking fun at self-important Sith, stupid plans and the universe in general. Even a shock collar can't prevent her from taking jabs at her jailer.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Neither Sanguis nor Quinn have a problem with slavery, as it's both legal and common in the Empire. Quinn is also very anti-alien and consistently treats Vette as less than a person.
  • Disappeared Dad: Initially, Sanguis has no idea who her father was, since her mother refused to speak about him. The reasons for this refusal are as mysterious as his identity until near the end, when it's strongly implied, though not outright stated, that her father is both an alien and a Jedi, one who had no idea of his daughter's existence.
  • Dual Wielding: Sanguis starts out with one lightsaber, but upon defeating her first Jedi, picks up the lightsaber of her opponent. She is shown practicing dual saber techniques afterwards and fights with both weapons from then on, effectively picking the Marauder specialization.
  • Enemy Mine: Sanguis and her team join forces with Republic soldiers on one occasion, Organa troops on another, and a Jedi Master on a third. The first two team-ups are more or less voluntary - trading a favor for a favor - but the Jedi Master blackmails Sanguis into the alliance and she's not happy about it.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Vette is about to be killed by shyracks while raiding a tomb when Sanguis swoops in and saves her life. Only to then turn her over to the Korriban authorities for questioning.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Despite all evidence to the contrary, Sanguis firmly believes that Baras would never betray her. When he does, it hurts her deeply. Quinn's own, smaller betrayal, as well as his attempt to leave her on Taris, are very unpleasant surprises as well.
  • Fantastic Racism: As an alien, Vette deals with a good deal of prejudice from the various Imperials she encounters, including Quinn. Most refuse to even use her name.
  • Genius Bruiser: Sanguis becomes one of the best lightsaber combatants of her era, but she's also cunning, well-educated and a student of Sith politics, history and poetry.
  • Gentleman Snarker: Sanguis is usually polite and well-mannered, even to her opponents, but she has a wry sense of humor which becomes more evident the longer she spends with Vette. She enjoys flirting with and flustering Quinn and throws out an occasional bit of verbal wordplay.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Quinn reveals a jealous side to his nature while he and Sanguis are in the "off again" phase of their relationship. It's mild at first, confined to glaring at cantina dancers who show the Sith a little too much attention, but it comes to a head on Taris, where Lt. Pierce enters the picture and displays obvious interest in Sanguis. Quinn takes an immediate dislike to the lieutenant and underestimates the latter's abilities. To Quinn's credit, he eventually realizes that he's judged Pierce unfairly and is upset that he's let his personal feelings affect his judgement.
  • Guns Akimbo: Vette carries two blasters and is rather proud of her skill with them. Though she typically uses both at once, she does switch to one on occasions when accuracy is important.
  • Heroic Lineage: Sanguis's mother earned a name for herself in the last war, made Darth and found widespread respect among her fellow Imperials. Sanguis is very proud of this and tries to follow in her mother's footsteps.
  • Honour Before Reason: As a light side Force user in the Empire, Sanguis occasionally catches flack for this from her fellow Sith. She keeps her word, refuses to turn on her superiors and never seeks personal glory. She also refuses to force herself on Quinn - when he rejects her advances, she respects his wishes.
  • In a Single Bound: As a Force user, Sanguis is able to leap long distances, in one case jumping from a platform onto a walker which is some twenty feet away.
  • Lady of War: Sanguis is the Imperial equivalent of nobility and carries herself as such, striving to be self-possessed, well-mannered and gracious. Her fighting style is characterized by agility and grace rather than brute strength.
  • Living Lie Detector: Jaesa Willsaam has the ability, through the Force, to compel everyone in her vicinity to tell the truth. Her master uses this talent to expose Darth Baras's spies, and then, when Jaesa switches sides, the Emperor's Hand recruits her to help during prisoner interrogations.
  • Master Swordsman: Only once does Sanguis meet someone who's nearly her equal in swordsmanship, and that is early in her career. All others - Sith or Jedi, Darths or Masters - are no match for her. She spends most of her free time improving her skills.
  • Meaningful Name: Sanguis of House Laude. In Latin, "sanguis" is a term for blood and "laude" means honor, highlighting the two things most important to the character: her heritage and her personal code of conduct.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Sanguis has a mask which she inherited from her mother. She begins wearing it early in the story, at Darth Baras's suggestion, and it becomes important to her in several ways - as a physical connection to her past, a means of intimidating her enemies, and a shield behind which she can hide her feelings. It's eventually shattered in an explosion which nearly kills her and she grieves its loss, refusing to wear another.
  • The Mole: Quinn unwittingly acts as this for a large part of the story, studying Sanguis and secretly passing on information about her to Baras, unaware that Baras intends to kill her eventually. After she survives the trap Baras laid for her, Quinn is contacted again to help in a second attempt, triggering a personal crisis.
  • Morality Pet: Vette acts as this for Sanguis, who, especially early on, still has dark side leanings. Vette gradually helps her employer change her outlook on slaves, Jedi and aliens, and the two bond over their mutual lack of family.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Quinn and Sanguis are both ultra-dedicated Imperials, but they hate the in-fighting which runs rampant and the extreme cruelty of some Sith. Sanguis also clearly dislikes some of the orders given to her by Baras, but she carries them out loyally.
  • Noble Demon: Sanguis has a personal code of honor which often conflicts with how Sith are expected to behave in the Empire. She regularly shows mercy to her enemies, keeps her word, frees Vette from slavery at the first opportunity, and engages in small acts of charity when prompted either by her friends or her conscience. On the other hand, she is completely dedicated to the defeat of the Republic, has no issue with slavery in general and loyally follows the orders of her superiors, even when they are personally distasteful to her.
  • Noble Top Enforcer: Sanguis is Baras's right hand and top enforcer, employed to intimidate or eliminate his rivals. The Emperor eventually recruits her to do the same job for him. Though she carries out their orders faithfully, she often chooses to behave mercifully and shows displeasure at some of the more underhanded assignments.
  • Plucky Girl: Vette doesn't let torture, slavery, the uncertain fate of her family, the downtrodden state of her people, or anything else get her down for long. In the first few chapters of the story she faces near-certain death with unflinching bravery. She's certain that things will work out, one way or another, and on the off-chance they don't, she's determined to go down with her head held high and a good one liner.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Vette - talkative, excitable, more at home in the underworld than anywhere else, wielding dual blasters and spending most of her free time in cantinas - versus Quinn - traditional, reserved, dedicated to the Empire and his duty, a consummate professional who looks down his nose at those he thinks are unprincipled or undisciplined.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: "On, off, on again" is roughly the pattern for Quinn and Sanguis. They're attracted to each other almost from the start, but Quinn isn't willing to act on his feelings until Sanguis is about to leave the planet he's stationed on. Once he decides to transfer to her crew, he asks that they end their short relationship, and she (more or less) agrees. It takes him some time to change his mind again, but they remain together once he does.
  • Shock Collar: Vette is fitted with one when she's turned over to the authorities on Korriban. Her jailer makes use of it when she gets mouthy, which is all the time, so she ends up in a fair amount of pain. Sanguis, on the other hand, though given the controller, never uses it or even threatens to. When they leave Korriban, the collar is removed.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: Acting on Baras's orders, Sanguis becomes this for Jaesa Willsaam, tracking down the Padawan's family, mentors and friends in an effort to draw her out of hiding.
  • The Stations of the Canon: The story follows most of the major plot points of the video game canon, though some events - such as Quinn's betrayal - are altered significantly. Also, some of the companions recruited in the game are either not mentioned at all (Broonmark), not recruited (Pierce) or recruited at a different time (Jaesa Willsaam).
  • Unequal Pairing: Quinn, a low-ranking Imperial officer, is very much the social inferior of a Pureblood Sith such as Sanguis. She is also, in a sense, his superior officer.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Vette calls Sanguis out on her actions several times, questioning the Sith's unforgiving treatment of Jedi, disinterest in the welfare of Jaesa Willsaam, and participation in the entrapment and murder of a Dark Council member.