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Fanfic / Path of Ruin

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Path of Ruin, by Rictus, is a Star Wars self-insert fanfic set during the Cold War featuring Aldrex Zare, a slave who was taken for training in Korriban after his Force-sensitivity was discovered.

The story can be found on Spacebattles and Sufficient Velocity. It is complete as of Sept. 3, 2021.

It now has a sequel called Danse Macabre. It can be read here.


Path of Ruin and its sequel feature the following Tropes:

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  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Technically, all of the acolytes are when they are sent into the tombs. Olia in particular offhandedly commented that she used to have an interest in the subject.
  • All Just a Dream: During his three day solitary confinement in Chapter 41, Aldrex experiences a conversation with Marka Ragnos and a subsequent assassination attempt by a dark figure. After waking up, he wonders exactly how much actually happened and how much was simply a hallucination brought about by three days of sleep deprivation.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: invoked While not actually a character interpretation, Aldrex's interpretation of the Code of Ruin is vastly different from its creator's. Instead of nihilistic solipsism, he views it in the light of Stoicism.
  • Ancient Tomb: Korriban is full of these.
  • An Arm and a Leg: Several characters have lost limbs over the course of events.
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    • Sgt. Cormun lost both of his legs at the knee to a k'lor'slug in the Tomb of Ajunta Pall.
    • Terrak lost his right arm during his first trial. The cause is currently unknown.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Aldrex maintains and improves on the armor he has managed to scrape together, augmenting it with Sith Alchemy and Sith Magic. So far, it's managed to tank lightsaber strikes with nothing more than some mild discomfort.
    Thankfully, Star Wars armor actually works when used against things it was designed to defend against.
  • Bad Boss: Not exactly uncommon for the Sith. Lord Renning in particular had a penchant for executing his own men for harming his precious specimen. It's why his soldiers were so eager to help Aldrex assassinate Renning.
  • Badass Bookworm: Aldrex reads as many tomes as he can to increase his knowledge and power.
  • Beastmaster: Aldrex makes extensive use of Beast Control, often using it to force local wildlife to act as a distraction. During his battle with Castor, he used it to drive a k'lor'slug nest into attacking the sorcerer's undead horde.
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    • Lord Renning is another example.
  • Black Magic: Sith Magic, powers that allow the Sith to essentially warp reality.
  • The Brute: Gaarurra is a larger than average Wookiee that towers over Aldrex at eight feet tall. He doesn't use the Force often, preferring to simply cut down his enemies with his sword or rip them apart with raw strength.
    • As a Sith Warrior, Tyrene is another example, focusing almost entirely on her martial skills. While it does result in her being a little Book Dumb, it means she's much better at reacting to danger than Aldrex is.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Aldrex is sent to kill Castor Vol, it's mentioned that the latter stole scrolls filled with ancient Sith knowledge. This becomes important much later when it's revealed that Aldrex never returned the scrolls, and kept them for himself for his own use; he uses the knowledge he gained from them in Chapter 74 against Garsh.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Aldrex is hiding from a mysterious Sith Lord by pretending to be a trooper. His cover is blown when he is forced to use the Force while in the presence of a Sith Lord and his two apprentices in order to combat a Sith spirit.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Darth Scriver, his two apprentices Tyrene and Ortan, and Aldrex face off against the Force ghost of Hakagram Graush. It goes poorly for them.
  • Dark Action Girl: All of the female Sith acolytes count.
    • Tyrene, the Sith apprentice that Aldrex meets during the Rite of Blood and Bone, is another example.
  • Death World: Korriban. Not only is it a desert world that is extremely hot during the day and cold at night, everything native to the planet is predatory in some fashion, zombies are so numerous that they are considered part of the local wildlife, the sandstorms can strip flesh from unprotected bodies, and powerful and malevolent ghosts haunted the many, many tombs that dot the landscape. On top of that, the Sith have an academy there and consider the planet to be a holy site.
    • However, Korriban is still a living world. Even nearly three thousand years after the Hundred Year Darkness, Corbos remains dead. No plant life grows on its surface and all wildlife has been devoured or killed by alchemical monstrosities. Large portions of the planet are rendered utterly uninhabitable due to horrendously powerful storms that ravage the world for long periods of time. Surviving Leviathans and other Sithspawn creatures left over from the war hibernate beneath the surface, waiting for unwary visitors to land to devour them.
  • Determinator: Sgt. Cormun. He saw his entire squad killed by looters and k'lor'slugs in the Tomb of Ajunta Pall, endured several days of torture and sleep deprivation, had his legs chewed off by k'lor'slugs, and survived exsanquination long enough to warn Aldrex and Gaarurra of the Tomb's dangers before finally passing out. He has continued to serve as an active duty soldier once he was given a new pair of cybernetic legs and got promoted to Captain at Lord Spindrall's recommendation.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Korriban has a lot of these as a result of generations of experimentation with wildlife.
  • Evil Sorcerer: While he hasn't skimped on his physical training, Aldrex has spent the majority of his free time pursuing the more esoteric paths of the Sith.
    • Castor Vol was one as well.
  • Fish People: Garsh and Qiv are both from fish-like species, Quarren and Nautolan, respectively. Unfortunately, their aquatic nature makes their time on Korriban, an extremely arid and hot desert planet, less than comfortable.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: After taking a lightsaber strike to the face during the battle with Castor Vol, nearly half of the right side of Aldrex's face has been replaced by web-like cybernetics that enable him to move his jaw. It has lead to Olia referring to him as "Spider".
    • The mysterious Sith that is following Aldrex around is absolutely covered in jagged scars, to the point where hair doesn't grow on most of his head.
  • Horned Humanoid: Terrak and Ianna are Zabrak, a species of near-Humans whose defining feature is a crown of horns on their heads.
  • Kaiju: The Leviathans that inhabit Corbos are gigantic alchemically created monstrosities specifically created to kill Jedi.
  • Leave No Witnesses: While unsanctioned murders at the academy are technically prohibited, suspicious deaths among acolytes are not investigated too thoroughly by the Inquisitors unless there are witnesses or irrefutable evidence. Thus, this is standard procedure when murder is on the table.
  • Loophole Abuse: When questioned whether or not he killed Lord Renning, Aldrex gets away with saying he didn't because he technically didn't; he simply destroyed his higher brain functions, leaving him a vegetable before being quickly eaten by a tuk'ata.
  • Mind Rape: After nearly nine months, Aldrex has noticed the presence of a strange scar-covered Sith Lord, though he has had his memory wiped each time. Whether it is to serve a specific purpose or simply to amuse the Sith is unknown.
    • Aldrex himself has demonstrated the ability to mind control animals and forcibly re-write the programming of droids with the Force.
  • Necromancer: Castor Vol, a rogue acolyte that Aldrex was tasked with assassinating, was one of these.
  • Older Is Better: Averted. While Ajunta Pall's treatise on Sith Alchemy is expansive, the art has come a long way in the 3000 years since it was written, rendering much of the document's contents obsolete. However, obsolete did not render it useless.
  • Our Demons Are Different: In chapter 65, Aldrex summons a Smoke Demon, an extradimensional creature summoned through Sith Magic, to use against his enemies. It takes the form of a Living Shadow in the general shape of a humanoid with glowing red eyes, but no other visible features.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: Using the Dark Side of the Force will lead to Dark Side degradation. One of the symptoms of this is ones eyes becoming golden in color.
  • Training from Hell: Sith training in a nutshell. For the first trial, the acolytes are given a task to complete and then dropped into the desert with only a few days worth of supplies, leaving them to find their own way to the academy.
  • Twin Telepathy: Terrak and Ianna have a form of this stemming from their Force bond. While they can usually only sense the emotions of the other, coherent thoughts and images can be passed between them when they need to. Because they've had the bond from birth, the twins are incredibly emotionally dependent on each other.

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