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Frond

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  1. Frond’s body lay there twitching, having reverted to his humanoid form as the blade of his weapon cleaves him open; an innate response to trying to lessen the damage, when in fact, it made it work. By the blessing of the force, Sandy was there to try and stem the flow of life-giving sap that courses through the woody interior of the Neti’s body. Even as he lay there, his mind wracked with the onslaught of darkness stemming from the dark side oriented device and the crevices of his own psyche, Frond felt the gathering presence of Jedi around him; even if he could not tell who they all were. As the light grew and the darkness faded, Frond’s mind finally drifted off into what others might call sleep; his body devastated and his mind exhausted. He knew nothing of being picked up from his fallen place amongst the wilds and carted to the medical bay. He didn’t know anything. His mind, however, bolstered by the powerful company about him, was finally able to rest. ...or so it should have been; but there, amongst the calm, the darkness pushed back, a voice range out to Frond’s very essence, a voice he recognized. It was the voice of his master, Sandy Sarna. With a flicker of his eyelids, the Neti looked up, bleary eyed and withered, not entirely sure of where he was. All, he knew was that for the first time, he felt at peace. The darkness still nestled in his core, but held at bay by the strength of good. And as he sighed a relief, Frond felt it, his saber was still there. Not within the cavity carved into his own body; but nearby, nearly smothered by the forces of light. Still Frond could sense it’s hunger waiting and biding its time. with a rustle of leaves, Frond reaches a tendrilled hand out grabbing the arm of whoever happened to be closest and whispering ”Sunlight drives back night Bathed in light, body withers Nightfall approaches”
  2. Emptiness. Frond’s mind was drifting through a void. He could not see anything, because there was nothing to see. There was no pain, no desire, there simply was nothing, absolutely. What had transpired with his physical body was lost to Frond. He simply existed amongst the nothing, a part of nothing, equal to and nothing more and nothing less than the lack of all that surrounded him. And then, after moments and years and every time span in between, something pulsed. It pulsed in the distance with a dull flash lightning in a thunderhead. It pulsed all around Frond a glow that burst forth and vanished as if something had slammed into an invisible bubble enveloping Frond and the nothingness that surrounded him. Thump. Thump. It pulsed again and again, each consecutive burst stronger than the last. It may have continued this way for eternity, but something else interrupted it. A darkness seeped in around the cracks, filling the void with an inky cloud that grew and grew but never took up the entirety of the emptiness. And then, suddenly, there was pain, and Frond became aware. His trunk ached. His branches tingled. He sensed that Sandy was near; but that was all. As his mind regained his conscious state it was assaulted again by a spear pointed charge of darkness that seemed to slam into his psyche with a thump and flash of lightning quick mental pain, again and again. The Neti lying on the ground in his natural state, twitched; his trunk rolling ever so slightly, his roots quivering in the air, and the leaves that formed his half-crushed canopy rusting of their own volition. Still, Frond fought on. His mind grasping for the slivers of light that he could feel. Aiden, Sandy, Tobias, the naturally balanced world around them all. He pulled at anything he could in an effort to stem off the surge of dark side energies awakened by the young Corán’s simple touch; surges of energies that emanates from within his very being and attacked his very soul. This much call and power he had never felt from the crystalline structure within his weapon before; the only time it had even come close was when he was actively engaged in combat. Then, and only then, did the dark crystal’s hunger grow and reach forth on the firey limb of plasma that was his blade, seeking to devour all that it could. As this realization hit Frond, there was little else he could think to do. The weapon was activated by his own touch and mind. The saber linked as an extension of his own body. His mind now ensnared by the onslaught of dark side desire. And in that moment, as he tried to fight off the attack, he did one small, simple thing. He turned it on. In a moment, the charred smell of Smokey wood began to emanate from his body as a massive beam of yellow-orange white-hot molten plasma erupted within his own body, carving a home where he physically could not. A trail of flame and electricity courses along the blade as it raced out into the air, driving from Frond’s body, to the air, to the earth, where the surface of Ossus fizzled and spit in retaliation and the entry point. Then the hilt slid from the self-made hole and fell with a plop on the ground, deactivating itself as it felt Frond’s touch leave it. Then, lying there on the scorched grass next to the giant tree-formed Neti, the blade sat, calling out on the waves of the force for someone worthy to wield it’s hunger. Frond lay there, unmoving. The onslaught lessened by the physical removal of the dark-side cyst he had carried for years. Yet still, the darkness clawed at his mind as it panted for relief.
  3. Frond listened to the boy’s quandaries. The intricacies of the force were difficult even for the aged Neti to fully comprehend and he had spent most of his life immersed in just that; dwelling on the force itself. Mix with that his particular vernacular, which Frond knew was different from those of everyone around him, and he knew trying to communicate anything concrete would be a struggle at best. Before he could even try though, the boy reached out and touched the hilt of his weapon. Frond has been lost enough in the discussion he did not even have time to pull it out of reach. In an instant his vision was clouded and he stood beside the boy overlooking a foreign landscape. He could feel it through every molecule of his body. The hopelessness he felt inside at the prospect of what he had to do, had come full strength. The dark clad robes, the shattered sabers, the coffin. And then the scene before them shifted and three unrecognizable monsters, grotesque and murderous, shadowy apparitions complete with claws and fangs and a hunger that could be felt in Frond’s own guy, leapt from the shadows and attacked a young woman. A chill raced down Frond’s back and he heard it. It echoed within his own soul, not audible to the ear, but heard in his very heartwood; A dark hungering laughter. The Neti shuddered, his leaves rustling as if a mighty wind had blown through them. And as the laughter bounced about Frond’s mind the scene shifted again and they stood overlooking a war torn battlefield. Overhead loomed a Cheshire smile. Frond knee that was where the laughter had come from and he knew it, as if seeing the face of an old acquaintance long thought lost. The darkness was palpable, he could taste it, and still the hunger remained. And just as suddenly, they were back in the clearing on Ossus. A flurry of wind had whipped about Frond and Corán but had since returned to an eerie calm. Trees did not sweat, but Frobd could feel sap oozing from several weaker pores across his body where the stress of what he had just seen literally forced it out of him. All around him leaves had fallen from his cloak and head. Those that remained looked wilted as if they had not seen the light of the sun in weeks; their edges starting to curl. All Frond could do was slowly blink as he pushed the saber back into the knothole of his chest, hiding it well away from the boy as he turned his eyes to look at him in wonder. What had the force been doing? Staring in awe at the gaping boy for a moment, Frond’s eyes tried to seek out Tobias in the gathering shadows, His chest cavity sealing about the weapon, reaching out with his mind to find his friend. This only serves to cause him to wince in pain as a sharp crack of snapping wood echoed across the clearing. Frond himself let out a slight cry as he felt a stab of darkness drive deep into his mind as sharp and true as the vibroblade the sithling had skewered him with on Garn. inhaling deeply, the Neti tried to call upon, to gather up, whatever bits of the light he could to drive off this latest attack. He had to be strong enough to resist! He had to keep the balance! He was a servant of the force and it had given him a task. He must not fail! Frantically the tree tried to branch out with his mind, grasping for the light that echoed from the grass, the trees, even that which rode upon the wind. This onslaught of darkness would not overcome him. And then, Frond tumbled over, another fallen tree in the forest, his mind adrift on the tumultuous waves of the force unable to maintain consciousness. As he fell, a flash of yellow light burst through the nearby trees in the fading light of the day. Where his humanoid form had been, now lay a great tree.
  4. The Neti listened to the boys queries. He wondered if Corán had heard of the Mind Walkers. He hoped so. Perhaps the young Jedi had studied the ways of other Force traditions. He knew of the Sith after all. Before he could try to explain his outlook on life and the recent shift he had felt in the force calling him to action, Corán had settled on the item at hand; Frond’s saber. Carefully turning the wooden hilt in his hand, Frond stares at it. He could feel its call. It desires nothing more than to be freed, to feed. Without looking away he spoke, “Seeds fall through the air Grown and forged Beyond Shadows Dark waters nurtured Light and Dark balances between Maintain to restore” As he spoke, Frond gestured, pointing to himself when he said light and shaking the saber gently when he said dark as if to indicate he was the light he spoke of and the saber his opposite. Between them, there was balance. He just needed to be strong enough to keep it. Then, when he was balanced, could he seek to right the imbalance of the force in the galaxy. “Storms produce lightning The danger forms instantly Tranquility yields” He continued, justifying the danger Corán spoke of whilst also dismissing it with a wave of his hand. He knew the danger. The force had deemed it necessary that he carry it. Frond has tried to be rid of it until he felt prepared, but that was not to be. He continued to stare at the weapon, as if his eyes could bore some sort of insight from the darkened crystallized seed within or maybe from the cracked Ilum crystal it had been paired with. He felt the darkness, tasted its desires; but the light continued to buffer it back, for now. A part of Frond desired to activate the blade again, to fall into combat destroying the enemies of . . . Well, anyone that stood in his way was his enemy weren’t they? But he didn’t, he knew that no one here was his enemy, yet. Frond believed that the whims of the force could change as easily as the wind. He was but it’s servant. Chancing a glance at Corán, Frond hoped that he understood the danger was part of his calling. Without the darkness, he could not attain true balance. He just had to be strong enough to keep it.
  5. Frond raised a curiously cautious eyebrow. The boy knew more than he let on, that was for sure. He offered a lipless smile. “Lifetimes come and go Five thousand and two hundred with ninety four years Apprentice to the Jedi way The Force is the truth Beckoning and calling us Flowing upon its ways We walk the path it divines Leaves upon the sea We are servants of the force It dictates our way” Did he really ask Frond to show him what was bothering him? Had the young boy been watching from afar when he had tried to present Aiden with his saber. Did he dare trust this youngling with such a burden? He had shown an affinity to the force, prophecy and all. Sighing deeply, the knothole in Frond’s chest split open and slowly, gingerly, the Neti threaded his fingers inside, withdrawing the lengthy piece of wood. As soon as his fingers clasped the weapon, Frond felt the pant of dark hunger as it surged upon his mind only to be buffeted back by the resistance of light that flooded from all of the pores of the world around him.Narrowing his eyes, his lipless mouth set with grim determination, Frond held up the haft of wood so both he and Corán could see it. The dark hunger for destruction radiated gently through the air searching for a foothold. “A cloud in the night The moon is shadowed over But the light prevails” He whispered.
  6. With a sharp crack and a bright flash of blinding yellow light the tree’s limb collapsed in on itself and the entire mass shook, raining down detached leaves in a circular area about the tree-being. With twisting grain and shifting bark a seven and a half foot humanoid form clothed in a cloak of blackened leaves that matched the frock of leaves atop the thing’s head emerged. Blinking his eyes, Frond smiled warmly down at Corán as he offered a slight finger wave in Tobias general direction, indicating he saw his comrade off a little ways. Gesturing to the same fallen log he had been standing sentinel over, Frond awkwardly settled his rear on it once again, his elongated large form setting decidedly uncomfortably looking on it. Branches and corners jutting out at awkward angles. “Gentle winds whisper Fierce and calm you are as wind The wind is the force” He spoke, trying to be as non-cryptic as possible, and failing. The young Jedi interested Frond. Perhaps the boy would share what he knew and how the force spoke through him and what it meant.
  7. Frond stood there, just another tree amongst the wood, albeit it slightly off from the remaining trees; a mine sentinel looming over its fallen kin. The chirps of wildlife and the rustle of the wind all that disturbed the silence. In a word: tranquility. Out of sight and sound from the temple and the hubbub taking place there, the Jedi apprentice stood his mind rolling along the waves of the force as it echoes from every living thing around him, the plants, the earth, the sky, the air. He did not know how long he stood there, nor, if he was honest, did he care. The Neti simply allowed his mind to be bathed in the light of the force in an effort to wash away the taint of the darkness that was crusted to the edges of his consciousness. Even so, the darkness held at bay, it remained, gently gnawing at any recess it could find in Frond’s defense. It was as gentle waves slowly turning cliffs to beaches, each passing a molecular victory in the timeless struggle. Yet still, he resisted; his mind fully focused on his task at hand: redemption, balance. At some point, it could have been minutes or hours, Frond’s mental warring was again pierced by a solitary voice. It was someone different this time however. Without eyes to see or ears to hear the interruption rippled across the ebbing tides of the force carrying the voice of Corán. Frond recognized him, if only as much from their brief encounter as to what Corán had said. The words he had spoken, the prophecy, had sent Frond into his spiral of dealing with the dark side that he, even now, was struggling against. Feeling on the waves of the force, Frond reached out for Corán’s mind. Perhaps it was possible. If, as he believed, each of them were but an empty vessel for the force to pour into as it saw fit, then it was possible; the force was using this young Jedi. In that use, it spoke through to Frond, igniting the darkness that had been tucked away within the saber composed of his own flesh. This youngling bore closer examination. If the force used him in such a way at a young age, Frond was curious. Perhaps he could learn more of this fate the one before him spoke of. ‘A broken party...Deceit in its roots...’ Deep down Frond knew he was that deceit. He was no Jedi. He only played at it to further the goal he believed the force had given to him. There nestled in his chest was proof of that deceit. Proof he had sought to distance himself from. Maybe Aiden’s refusal to take the saber and distance Frond from the darkness was all part of the force’s divine will. The dark crystal was the deceit in his roots; he knew it. There, carried across the waves of the force, Frond spoke silently, seeking Corán’s mind. “A tree, a root, bound From the mouths of babes comes truth Shaken in the storm Torn from the hands of the earth Words of truth, a gale.” Within his hopeless outlook, a glimmer of hope shone, maybe there was more truth to be found.
  8. Frond sighed heavily watching as Aiden walked away. He had tried. Somehow. He had reached out for help, only to have it slapped away. Still, the man had interrupted the inferno and by that pulled Frond’s focus away from the maelstrom of darkness that he had been on the verge of giving in to. He was grateful for that. Perhaps the young man just did not understand. Turning his attention to the saber setting on the log beside him, Frond closed his eyes and picked it up. Immediately, the call of darkness echoed up his arm and throughout his soul. Frond’s mind braced against it, trying to cloak itself in the light that blazed in the force all around. Even then it buffeted and gnawed at his shielded mind seeking a foothold again. He would simply be stronger. He had to be. This was his burden to bear. The light and the darkness, ting and yang; one held in check by the other. Frond would not, could not, faulted. The force needed balance and he was a tool of the force’s will. The knothole in his chest opened and Frond gingerly placed the wooden haft and its dark passenger inside. The hole closed around it, sealing the darkness within Frond’s very being. Exhaling deeply, the leaves atop Frond’s head rustled briefly. He then stood up and dig his rooted toes into the soil. In a flash of bright yellow light, the humanoid’s human-like body warped and twisted, morphing in an instant into a towering tree of aged bark and black glistening leaves. For the time being, Frond would stand, a silent sentinel surrounded by the natural world and natural flowing of the force. His mind would bask in it and hopefully be strengthened by it so when the time arose, he could properly find the balance he so needed to ignite the hungering flame of his saber again and not fall to the temptations that lapped at him standing at the edge of darkness.
  9. Frond watched the human as he spoke of his own inner struggles. A slight smile creased his face as he listened. These young species were all so much alike. The man spoke without knowing that of which he spoke. Frond knew that he was hard to understand. It was a fact and a curse of his current state of physical being; the blade plunged into his body by the Sithling on Gorn having scrambled the aged Neti’s already questionable speech patterns. Closing his eyes, Frond wished he could simply show the man the error of his ways. To take an infant mindwalking was an enlightening experience even for Frond who had spent more of his time beyond shadows than in this present state. Without even aware of what he was doing, Frond reached out across the force, feeling for Aiden’s mind. Perhaps if words were not capable feelings could be. Even as the darkness nipped at the fringes of his mind like a starved aak dog, Frond focused his own thoughts and mind towards his center; towards the light, towards that which he felt: Aiden was right, and he was wrong. There was so much more to the force than this physical world. Darkness and light are not bore within, but poured into the empty vessels that we are from that which transcended their very existence. Perhaps, Frond hoped, the man beside him could feel and understand something of the deep seated hopelessness that Frond felt. Their mortal bodies meant little beyond their own plain of existence. The force was so much more. “Time weathers all things Truth is beyond our learning Time is our teacher” ((Edit: grammar issues))
  10. The look Frond gave the young human was almost second nature. He was used to people not understanding him; but most seemed to assume he understood them just fine. Even if he didn’t. The man’s bumbling brought a slight smile to his weathered barky face though. Stepping forward, the massive tree-like being firmly pressed the wooden haft into Aiden’s hands. No was not an acceptable answer. The darkness still called to him and the temptations too fresh. It quite literally existed within the saber. “Wind with time weathers Within protection blooms peace you are protection” He rambled before turning towards the downed log with a smile. Gently lowering his large frame onto the log, Frond appeared to be a grotesquely shaped tree that had sprouted up over time; the sharp corners and edges of his joints speaking to unseen forces that had morphed the natural growth of what would have been any other plant. “Cloudless nights shine clear Darkness seeps from all shadows With the dawn comes light On the rays of light ride flame” holding up both hands one to his left and one to his right, Frond slowly brought them together; his tendrilled fingers pushing flat against one another. “Balance must be found.”
  11. There he stood, centered within the gathering maelstrom of bits of grass, leaves, and twigs. Frond stares down at the wooden haft jutting our from either end of his encircling fist. He stared but did not see. The Neto’s mind was entranced by the call of the darkness. The hunger called out to him. He was sworn to balance the force and had decided of his own accord that the best way to achieve this end was to destroy the excess of darkness. He was simply trimming away the fat. The wind shoot his branches appendages and rattled Frond’s leafy cloak, but he paid it no heed. Nothing else mattered but the force. The force was his master. His body, this physical plane, all they did was restrict him. All he needed to do was give into the calling hunger. He could become a noxious oleander, death to all that stood in his crawling path towards the balance. And then, there, at the end, in the blaze of his own creation, the force would take him; freeing him once and for all. Lost as he was within the temptations that swirled about his mind as much as the winds whisked about him, Frond has not seen or sensed the approach of the young Aiden. When the man spoke, his voice cut through the temptations of his own mind and in an instant the branches, leaves and debris that encircles him tumbled to the ground, the air turning deathly still. Frond’s eyes looked up from his saber towards the Imperial Knight, beholding him as if for the first time. What was he offering? Did this not-a-Jedi feel the same call as he? To eliminate the dark side? To achieve balance? The saber in his hand still crawled through Frond’s mind urging him, begging him to simply with a thought ignite the massive golden blade of justice held within and to strike down the young king before him. It would be simple enough Frond was assured. He had but meld his will with that of the darkness-soaked crystal and together they would achieve both ends, feasting and destruction to bring about the balance. Frond’s grip tightened on the wooden skin of his weapon so much that the freak of wood on wood echoed through the still air. Yet still, Frond did not ignite the blade. The presence within his mind practically screamed it. His physical body craves the satisfaction the destruction offered. It would be simple enough. Only one thing held him back. Frond could feel the light that radiates off of this young imperial knight. If he struck him down Frond would tip the cosmic balance towards the dark. He would be removing a count from the side of light and moving his own from the losing side to that of the overpowering darkness. He was sworn to bring the balance. He was the light, the blade the darkness. Somewhere in the vestibules of his own mind, Frond knew that. Still he yearned for the satisfaction that now whispered to him. Standing there, his eyes locked unblinkingly on Aiden, his hilt held before him in a clenched fist like a priceless relic that could fade away in a puff of smoke, Frond battled within his own mind and in that battle echoed the words of the youngling. Finally, his voice a low whaspy rumble, he whispered, “The ground releases Comrades vanish with the wind The Force speaks the truth Like the wind, we need but listen You are balancing” And in that moment, Frond made a choice. He would not cut down the light to aid the dark, even if it promised him everything. He had made up his mind. He would balance the force. He could not unbalance it further. Slowly relaxing the death-grip he held on his weapon, Frond lowered his arm. He stared at the man before him still; his eyes unblinking. Spinning the wooden haft in his hand, Frond extended the four-handed log towards Aiden. He did not know him, but he was of the light. That was enough. The darkness of the saber still called to Frond, whispering it’s temptations in his mind. He had resisted in the moment; but Frond had tasted the delight it had offered. He needed time to right his mind and balance it back within the light; lest he fall in a moment of weakness. To that end, a soldier of light was the best he could hope for to entrust his own portion of the sacred balance until he was prepared to wield it again. “Bees deposit life Into your hands I place mine Trust nurtures our lives”
  12. Frond shuffled after the group, standing back in the eaves as Sandy interacted with the Jedi entourage present in the derelict Jedi stronghold. He was content to allow the light of this place wash across his mind; coalescing as close to as one with the force as a mortal form could. Standing with his eyes closed he could feel the interactions taking place before him, the toiling of the other Jedi archaeologists throughout the facility, the breath of the natural world slowly having reclaimed what the Jedi sought to harvest eons before. He could feel the peace and his soul relaxed in it. But then, he couldn’t as his fellow apprentice recounted his prophecy, the words and emotions danced across Frond’s heartwood, tingling of fear and darkness. ‘ . . . with deceit in its roots . . . ‘ The phrase caught his attention, not just the words, but the twinge of the force itself. Could it be talking about him? The darkened seed rotted and hardened to a crystallized chunk of coal nestled within his saber hilt; carved from his own rooted body. Frond’s eyes fluttered open as the crystalline mass within his saber, tucked within his own knitted body, surged; latching in to that flitting hesitation. Darkness had found a foothold. As the unknown apprentice burst into tears, Frond turned and quickly lurched away from the rest of the group. He had felt it. Welling up within him. Fear. Exiting the temple area, Frond reached up and pulled the smooth log-like hilt from the hole that had opened in his chest. Holding the weapon in front of him, Frond eyed the tool momentarily as he found his way through the natural world of Ossus, away from the Temple. He only stopped when he found a clearing open to the sunlight streaming down from above. There, his feet quickly began to dig within the soil, the nutrients flooding upwards while his leafy cloak opened up to embrace the warm rays pounding down. In the middle, within Frond, they met. Their answer: life. The healing nature of the natural world pulsing through his body, Frond pauses. He could feel more than hear the dark hunger gnawing at its wooden tomb. It hungered for release, for feeding, for destruction. That prophecy though; Frond had heard it, had felt it. It was about him, he knew it. He was called to balance the force, light against dark, darkness against the light. It would destroy him and he would destroy the few he had come to embrace. He was the deceit within their roots. He carried it within his very being. He was no Jedi. He only played at it. Staring at the unholy weapon in his hand, Frond’s long tendrils fingers embraced it. He was not a Jedi. He could feel the darkness calling to him, urging him to ignite his saber and give into its hunger. He could feed the darkness. Embrace it, and with it within, he could destroy it from within. All that mattered was balancing the force. Surely his friends would understand. The thoughts swirled maddeningly in and around Frond’s mind. The grass around him bending to the invisible whirlwind that encircled him in a forming dustdevil. In the middle stood Frond, his fist shaking as he clenched the weapon in his hand, his mind melding with the destruction-craving hunger within the haft of wood.
  13. Having ensured Tobias was safely nestled in a sleeping quarter, Frond made his towards were the others had gathered. He enjoyed the flow of the force that emanated from the others; each was unique, touched by their thoughts and experiences, but together their collective being bathed the entire ship in a warm glow of lightness. Even the whispering darkness-saturated hunger of the seed within his saber was nearly silenced in such a flow. it was different than the flows of the force as he sat meditating deep in nature, untouched by sentient waves. As much as he appreciated meditating in such a setting, Frond could not help but feel his knotted grains ease about his fellows. Reaching a single gnarled arm around Sandy, Frond embraces his master his happiness at seeing her pulsing off his badly skin on invisible tendrils of the force. “As waves lost at sea Delight found adrift again Together we are” Releasing his oaken grip as the ship dropped out of hyper, Frond shuffled towards the viewport. The planet filled his sight. Even on this short jump, Frond could feel his leafy foliage yearning for the sunlight that bathed the world below. Standing I. Silence as the ship descended to the planet, Frond was one of the first to disembark. He felt the sunlight that bathed Ossus surging through his body. The energy pulsing silently and filling the aged tree with energy. His leaves rustled as Frond inhaled deeply. The force was strong here. Even as the galaxy was out of whack, the dark side surfing, Frond could feel the goodness, the light of this place. It would be a wonderful place to plant himself and meditate. The silent tickle of dark hunger nestled within the log-like hilt of his saber nestled in his chest reminded him; however, that his work was not yet done. The force needed to be balanced and darkness brought to heel. It was why he had been called forth. As soon as Aiden had disembarked, Frond fell into stride with the one being who he did not know from their ragtag crew of force wielders. He offered the man a warm smile. “Fire flows from within We seek the same outcome, yes Frond is who I am”
  14. Frond stood watching as his old friend began his preparations for battle, small and subtle. A pant of sadness swept through the Neti, he really did not want to do this; nor did Tobias it seemed. Yet he was forcing the play. Even before Tobias began to propel himself forward, Frond saw it happening. With his mind open to the flows of the force, the Mindwalker turned Jedi seemed to live ahead of the time stream; sometimes moments, sometimes years. The more the surface of the force was rippled by headstrong and frivolous users, the muddier the waters became. It was why Frond loves being alone amongst nature so much; his mind open, embracing the calmness of the natural world as his and their minds and lives mingled together as one. Even now, Frond could feel Tobias’ footsteps on the ground. Each footfall a subtle acknowledgement of the impending BF attack. So even as Tobias jumped, slashing downwards at his aged tree-like friend, Frond had but to activate his weapon for a brief second, the golden hues blade erupting to clash again his brother’s before vanishing back into the hilt once again. Even the flame that shot forth each time the blade was called forth and the wave of dark hunger that blasted outward had not died down before Frond had called the blade back and spun about. As Tobias landed on the narrow path, Frond’s mind was already engulfed in the slip stream. The force echoed with the dark pain of loss and despair the fallen Jedi felt. He felt it mingling with the minds and hearts of all that was around them, rustling blades of grass and far off leaves. The force was alive and well, one but had to know how to see it. In that, Frond was an expert. Without hesitation, before his brother could move to flee or strike, Frond allowed the crashing waves of the force to defend upon his own mind, calling back the tidal waves of fury that erupted from their contact, leaving the world about them as natural as untouched as it was before they disturbed it. With barely an inclination of his head Frond took all the chaos that he had called back and directed it in one invisible, ground rippling tidal wave of fury towards Tobias in an effort to drive him back towards and over the precipice. If he could not save his friend, Frond would assuredly see that he did not become an agent of that he had dedicated his life to combating. No. The dark side would not take another victim. And yet, there Frond stood, a tree in the wind, twisted with age, but standing tall, refusing to yield. Not a word had been spoken; it hadn’t been needed. Frond has no doubt Tobias knew exactly where the ancient being stood.
  15. Shambling along, Frond followed the ebb and flow of the force as it seemed to guide him towards the Jedi ruins. He was getting closer to his comrades. He could feel it. When Tobias rounded the corner, the aged tree-being paused momentarily, a smile creasing his face as a means of greeting. Not a word needed spoken, the flow of chaotic darkness that followed Tobias said enough. The others needed them. As Tobias turned and urged him to follow, Frond was already reaching into the hollow that opened in his chest and removed the haft of log that he had nestled there. The faint dark hunger sensed the darkness emanating throughout the ruins; it was time to feast. Plodding several paces after Tobias, Frond followed him back into the ruins hearing his Master’s voice. Without a second thought, Frond swung the haft of wood striking the nearest force-powered undead square in the face before following it up with a log sized fist driving the creature’s face into the wall with a sickening crunch. Frond felt the darkness leaving the undead’s body as it’s unnatural life force left it’s body. The force was a mystery, but even as it swirled about the room in a maelstrom of dark perverse energies and calming light, Frond felt his mind settling. He was a beacon of the light, called to bring the balance of a razor’s edge. Even as he clubbed another shambler with his deactivated hilt, Frond could sense the calm peace of the force guiding his actions. All about him swam chaos. Without fear he waded into it flailing his viney wooden limbs. He lashed out at anything that got near him. Wrapping his viney sinews of bark around legs, arms, and necks Frond sent the abominations cartwheeling through the air; following after the storm that was Tobias. Seeing Tobias’ subtle signal and more so feeling it ripple across the force, Frond leaped forwards hurdling over Tobias’ crouched form. As he flew through the air, Frond drew his hilt from right to left in front of his body, the golden blade erupting in a flash of orange flame from the burnt end of his club-like haft. The dark hunger that was just a murmur before erupted in a silent echo that reverberated about the room on the waves of the force; crying out in hunger for destruction. The blade slashed at a downward angle as the eight and a half foot blade carved the first few lines of the pressing force into so many halves. Landing with a crash, that could be felt through the floors, on what would have been his knees, Frond exhaled, allowing the warm naturalness of the planet’s overgrowth to flood his mind and shield him from the clawing hunger gnawing at him from his saber. Driving his blade forward, Frond stood. Swinging the blade back and forth with little skill or grace, but expertly placed to provide maximum dissection, the Neti pushed his way forwards until he came close enough to Kel to reach out with his free hand. He gently tugged on Kel’s shoulder as he squeezed it momentarily, allowing the warmth of his grasp to wordlessly indicate Frond’s pleasure at seeing his fellow apprentice still alive and well. The tug was meant to urge his friend that it was time to go. Letting go, Frond grasper the four handed hilt of his saber in both hands and swept it back and forth as he began to clear a path towards the entryway.
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