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Tobias Vos

Vos vs. Frond - Kiffu - Judge: TBD

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This is the first post for a Duel between Jedi Master Frond and Rogue Force User (Master) Tobias Vos. This will be three months since the Sith and Black Sun had found and ravaged the secret Jedi home of Tython. The battle was a complete victory for the Sith and Black Sun- the GA and Imperials tried to help but with the narrow and unstable hyperspace lanes, back up was limited. Vos has embarked on a solo crusade of killing Sith and Black Sun.

 

~~~

 

 

The view was spectacular- a cliff about thirty feet up from the floor of the forest below the precipice. It was your typical forest with large, healthy trees that stretched upwards of a eighty five feet. Then the smaller vegetation- smaller trees, ferns, evergreen shrubs, flowers and so on and so forth. From his perch, Tobias could hear the river below, cutting through the valley and plunging twenty feet off the side of another cliff in a steady waterfall that echoed through the forest itself. Of course there were birds, herbivores and carnivores that called this place home. They stole glimpses of the interloper as he walked through the forest on his way up to his perch. An old hunter path could be followed closely if one chose to do so, otherwise it was a slightly rocky climb. Being a Force User, Tobias wouldn’t have been hindered either way; he still chose the hunters path.

 

He sat there under the sun which wasn’t to hot or harsh on his skin. His brown skin tolerated it better than Sandys’ pale skin.

 

Sandy… Her name echoed in his head like the haunting of a vengeful ghost. His jaw trembled as he silently mouthed her name. Her face came into his mind's eye as the last image of her was what he now associated with her name. Her face was in a state of shock- her body covered in blood and dirt. Dirt had settled around her broken body and there was dirt that fell out of her mouth when Tobias had checked for a pulse. She was ripped open three gashes had torn her body apart before the strafing run of the Sith Fighters in their defensive line. A tear welled up in his eye just as he gritted his teeth and felt the anger run through him. He no longer tried to cope with these memories with drinks- he had hoped she would have survived.

 

Perhaps things would be different now- she was one of the Orders best Jedi Knights- and moral took a big hit when she passed. With his Beyond the Veil Travels- he had such faith and dedication into what it meant to be a Force User- the knowledge of where to be and when- how to do a certain task. All of that was gone now- he had broken during the Battle of Tython. Not by any specific action or result- just as a culmination of events- and death.

 

Adenna had been killed as well. Not only had she been leading the charge against the Sith across the galaxy- she was the Grandmaster. Tobias wished he could go back in time and save her- but to do so may cause a greater chain of reactions from that. The images flashed in his mind about how he had seen her- under fire- fight off wave after wave of ground forces. Tobias had just killed two Sith Lords he had never heard of before in time to see her take a bolt to her shoulder- Vos moved heaven and earth to get to her- but a dark robed figure moved in and destroyed all those around her- and killed his wife with a stab through the heart as she tried to get up. If she hadn’t been awake for the last five days and trying to push back the Sith after they had destroyed the majority of the Jedi ships- she would have been in peak fighting form- or they would be off this planet.

 

There was no reasoning with Vos after that- he turned into a beacon of Force energy. Despite being awake and fighting for five days himself- the Jedi Grandmaster, his wife, his love, his guiding light- was dead and he hadn’t been quick enough to save her. So for the last three months since the battle- Vos had waged his own private war against the Sith. Using every Force ability he could- regardless of it belonging to the Light or Dark, to the Aing-Tii or to the Seers and Seekers. His tally was up over a dozen Sith Lords or Master's- two dozen apprentices or something like that. Countless soldiers. He had lied, cheated, stole, extorted, threatened, bribed and countless other acts the Jedi had frowned upon.

 

That was okay with him, he had never considered himself a Jedi and had made it a point not to ever call himself a Jedi or even part of the Jedi Order. He never felt quite right among their crowd. Now that Adenna was gone- what would she say?

 

Sitting on a bantha fur blanket that could be bought and sold on a hundred words- Tobias straightened his back and tried to sink into a meditative trance- trying to see Adenna- trying to reach out and speak to her again. A long time ago he decided she either didn't want to talk to him because of the decisions he made, or that she didn’t want to because he hadn’t avenged her death. A long breath escaped his lips and he closed his eyes. He needed to avenge her to find peace within himself regardless.

 

“I know you’re there. I can feel you. I’m not going to apologize for what I have done- I need to do this. You know; I never really was a Jedi? I bought into that idea years ago- dreamed of becoming a Jedi- but when it actually happened, I never really thought I was home. Less so even now, Adenna is gone and there is no changing that. There is nothing for me with the Jedi, and the Sith killed my only link.” His tone was inviting, yet a little cold and firm. There were certain people that he would always respect, it was good to voice these words out loud even if he was on this perch. “Yes, I had friends within the order- but I need to do this- I should have died on Tython- I would gladly give up my life for any of our friends. Three months have passed since that day- since I started my crusade. My path is set. You should leave me to my burden and turn away now- Master Frond.

 

Tobias felt the tree coming forward behind him- not trying to ambush Tobias,but also not to pounce upon him in an attempt to capture. He was coming forward just as anyone would to a friendly meeting. A smile creased his lips, and Tobias tilted his head back to face the sky more fully.

 

“Do you know why I come here? Come my friend, let me show you. You know of my psychometric abilities- I do not want you, my would-be-executioner, to feel ashamed of what you had to do. Torturing yourself thinking there was another way- when there isn’t.” Vos let his bare hands touch the boulder that was mounted to the hill behind him. Ever since he had come back his psychometry had been out of control and always had been careful of what he touched and where. A surge of energy rushed into him and he took a gasping breath, one as if you were underwater for almost too long- and you break the surface gasping for air. Pain and Love radiated around Tobias’ Force aura. All that could be heard were Fronds’ footsteps, the rustling of leaves through the Forest below, as well as the waterfall and animals.

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The ancient tree shuffled forwards. He had been called to this living world by The Force. The Force was his only master and he went where it directed, like a leaf in the wind. He had been a commissioned Jedi for several years now and had quickly ascended from the rank of hopeful to master.

As much as he had come to embrace the cool breath of the light and wholly reject the calling of the dark, Frond was still a mournful sad soul. In his heartwood, Frond was still a Mindwalker. He had seen visions of the future, unrecorded cataclysms of the past that shaped the universe without anyone ever knowing, and everything in between. More often than not, he had been powerless to stop the events that he had seen. When he could, it always came with sacrifice. He did not even need to glance downwards at his stump of a wrist to know that. It was a lesson he had learned early in his walk with the Jedi. A lesson he never forgot.

 

Trailing behind him, the shimmering cloak of cloud-gray-sky-colored fabric rustled silently casting strange warping shadows behind the strange stooped Jedi Master. Ahead, sitting on an animal-skin Frond saw that for which he had come; Master Tobias Vos. While he and the other Jedi had taken the fight to the Sith and their forces of darkness, the Jedi had been nothing more than a branch atop the sea of The Force as it tossed back and forth in the fury of misbalanced tidal forces of dark and light. Pausing for a moment, Frond simply stared at the mournful Master Vos. The pain of loss that radiated from the Kiffar was evident and it buffeted against the calm almost static soul that was the signature of the Neti in The Force. In his heart, Frond knew he had done the right thing when he had fled the endless battles of the Jedi, facing down Sith armies and Lords time and time again. The Force had called him to another task. In truth, it had been the same task that had drawn him out into the galaxy at large in the first place. The Force needed to be balanced. The darkness was too strong to be taken head on. As such, Frond had returned to his studies far from the front and the waves of crashing darkness. There, he had removed himself from the tendrilled storms of the galaxy and delved deeper and deeper into the mystic ways of, alternative, forbidden, and forgotten Force traditions. Truth be told, his cloak had come from such a delving before. Alongside his then-apprentice Ficcabin Yule, he had learned the ways of the Mist Weavers; forming a robe woven from the very fabric of The Force. It was the one possession that Frond held onto, believing it to be an item of truth in the fanciful realm the wars raged on in.

 

Still, knowing all this did not stop Frond from feeling ashamed for having left those he had called his friends alone on the front. Perhaps, if he had been there with Nightbreak, his massive sun-colored blade, he would have been able to prevent this. Perhaps he could have saved his fallen friends and stayed Tobias’ fall back to the darkness. Now, even as his plans approached fruition, he had come. He needed to offer his brother a chance at redemption. To return to the light, Frond hoped he could draw his fallen comrade back from the precipice.

 

”As the leaves waft down

Time is The Force’s Ally

Take my hand brother

 

Winds blow east and west

Tide comes in and returns home

Embrace what you know

 

Shadows hide the heat

Emotions rage through daybreak

See not feel the truth”

 

Shuffling forward, his age creaking with each heavy footfall, he came to Tobias’ side. Here, he felt Tobias’ emotions even more clearly. His brother was in turmoil. Like so many younglings, tossed by the waves of emotions called to by the darkness. Unrooted, that was what Tobias was. Frond hoped to return him to his roots. Resting his knotted, gnarled tendrilled hand atop Tobias’, Frond’s mouth parted in a slight smile. He reached out with his mind, seeking to enshroud his fellow Force-user’s mind in waves of mind-numbing calmness, an aura of utter peace intertwining with the natural world around them, drawing on it to feed the calm. Pulling it from their surroundings, Frond sought to transplant it onto the man that once helped instruct him in the ways of The Force.

 

”The water falls down

Creature plant and mountain range

Know peace find peace be”

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Even now, Frond still amazed Tobias. Sometimes he even seemed too narrow minded,allowing little room for compromise. What was the old saying? ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.’? Why couldn’t he just leave Vos be? They were both trying to fight the Sith, just that Tobias wasn’t strictly using light side powers anymore.

 

He let the Neti approach unchallenged. However, Tobias did feel the Jedi Master try to influence him with thoughts of peace and calmness. This occurred to Vos as soon as he felt Frond land- and had put up mental barriers.

 

Points for trying though. Tobias thought.

 

He did have to open part of himself up to the looping sentient vegetation and he let forth the significance of the overlook.

 

Fond and Vos stood there, as passive observers- they could see what was happening but they were not part of what had happened so they were like statues, watching the boulders' memories unfold.

 

 

It was a clear night, serenity and passion filled the air and Force. Adenna was dressed commonly- which was unusual for her, she typically wore only her Jedi Robes. She was molded to Tobias’ body. Laying to his left, his arm wrapped around her in a loving embrace- his fingers running through her hair. His right hand lay atop his bare stomach as Adenna traced the contour of his and with her left hand. This scene was tangibly peaceful.

 

 

 

The scene fast-forwarded a few hours after they had drifted off to sleep, and now it was morning and they had started to pack up their little camp. The two bantered about how the boulder wasn’t the best to sleep on and they should have slept on the ship or at least brought another blanket- both laughed jibbed one another as real lovers do. -As Tobias and Frond stood to one side of the vision, Tobias gently bumped his elbow into Frond to get his attention “This is the best part.” Tears gently ran down his cheeks. -Tobias was kneeling over a bag as he gingerly took out a small cloth bag when Adenna wasn’t looking. A few minutes go by and Tobias looks over the Forest below them again. He voiced his wish to remain here forever, Adenna laughed at the ridiculousness of the statement. Tobias joined with a chuckle or two and called Adenna over to him- he brought her in front of him as he stuck the cloth bag in his back pocket- and held her in front of him as he wrapped his arm around her. They both looked over the Forest and sighed. Words were exchanged, Adenna rolled her eyes at least twice, always with a smile- and then Tobias produced the cloth bag from his back pocket. “Grandmaster Adenna, My love, would you be my wife?” Tobias let out a grunt as Adennas’ elbow found purchase in his ribs. He stumbled back, in a imitation of being hurt. The embrace broke and the woman snatched the bag out of his hands and pulled out the necklace. Her eyes sparkled, and turned to Tobias who was standing by, patiently. More muffled words were spoken and she leapt into his arms and they kissed.

 

 

 

The second scene closed out to gray and was replaced by a third. The third scene was of Adennas’ Funeral Pyre. He had brought her body here. After getting off Tython he had held her body as The Prism fled the doomed planet. His eyes were swollen, cheeks red, sniffling all the while- and he had burned her body here. Alone; everyone that knew them was recovering from Tython- those who hadn't died there.

 

 

As the visions faded and they both returned to reality- Tobias sniffed and wiped a tear from his eye as he closed the connection to Frond. He was unashamed of letting Frond see this. It was natural to have these feelings, and natural reactions. “There is no other path for me, Frond. This path is my End, and you should let me find my end fighting Sith, not fighting you.” Tobias sighed and rolled to his feet to fold the blanket- the one he and Adenna had slept on in the second vision. “I would say there is no point- but you clearly think otherwise. I cannot go back to the Jedi, not without-” Tobias choked off the sentence and continued. “I cannot attain inner peace anymore- I am a chemical reaction that has boiled over and cannot be contained. There is no place for me within the Jedi anymore. I’ll ask you again… Please, leave me to fight the Sith on my own terms. I don’t want to fight you- but I will not let you stop me. Please, Frond, leave me.” Tobias was pleading with the tree, practically begging him to let Tobias to walk down the road of self-destruction. One way or another Tobias would die, deep down he was hoping for the release, just not quite yet.

 

He finished folding the blanket and placed it by his pack while retrieving his belt. Two small cylinders hung off the side, his staff in his hands, and a blaster which was horizontally clipped on the back. Tobias had faced several different species before and even though Frond was bigger than he, Tobias was not intimidated- he would fight if it came to that. There was no desire to kill Frond, and Tobias hoped it wouldn’t come today. He even had a fleeting hope that Frond would kill Tobias and that would be that, no more pain, no more anger, no more fighting- retirement. There he stood about twenty feet away now near the edge of the boulder, not in any particular combat stance, but if Frond tested the Force it would tell him Tobias was reluctantly ready to fight. His staff in his left hand, he used his right to tighten something around his left wrist- a glint of metal showed it might be the necklace he had used to propose to Adenna- a physical reminder of her loss and his purpose. Mentally, Tobias was balanced between Serenity and Rage- and it was within that scope that allowed him to be so successful in his crusade.

 

"Leave. Just go..." Vos hissed- holding back some emotion.

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Frond stood an ageless sentinel. The visions that his friend showed him he had witnessed countless times; the fall of countless Jedi and Force users written with the same pen in the same script. Passions and desire drew those who would otherwise have dedicated themselves fully to the light into the dark swirling mysterious maw of the false reality that made up the world around them.

 

"Pebbles to the sea

Sinking and swirling around

The Force chooses ends”

 

He spoke, his words slow and layered in a sense of calm, as he stood alongside his old friend. He could feel the sadness and emotional frailty that echoed from his friend. Frond knew the desire; it was similar to his own. The Sith were the heralds of the dark side. Their mere existence tainted the balance of The Force. The only difference between them was that Tobias’ desires were born from a personal desire and Frond’s from an existential calling. Their gals were the same. The dark side needed to be brought to heel.

 

Frond watched as his friend began to pack his belongings, speaking of his internal sense of failure. He could not help but feel a pang of the man’s loss. He did not want to see his friend throw his life away needlessly.

 

“Waters upon stone

Crashing eternal waves

Invisible wear

 

Stones explode with fire

Destructions force eternal

Join this crusade friend”

 

Even as Tobias’ aura in The Force began to tense and harden, a feeling Frond had come to know as the hardening of one’s will in preparation for conflict, Frond’s mind remained calm. He wanted to help his friend, and his very presence in The Force conveyed the same. While Tobias may have felt that he was preparing for battle and Frond could sense that conflict was inevitable, he refused to pursue it with the abandon that the younglings of the galaxy did. Even while the Jedi armies had clashed with the Sith and Black Sun forces of evil, Frond had been decidedly absent. Sure, he would occasionally surface to throw a newfound Force-based ability at their dark side wielding foes; a test of his master plan, he would vanish just as quickly. He rarely was forced to activate his saber. Truth be told, he did not desire to clash in hand-to-hand combat with the Sith. Even less so did he desire to cross blades with his old friend.

 

"Gravity stops all

Falling to ground defeated

Tobias stop now”

 

Setting his rooted feet shoulder width apart, Frond stepped to block the path down the mountain. He would not allow Tobias to destroy himself. The Force was not done with him. Frond was called here by The Force to this place at this time. He would stop Tobias and bring him back to the light. He had to. The Force could not allow another to fall to the side of the dark. Frond would return the balance.

 

Reaching into an opening knothole, Frond withdrew the smooth wooden hilt of Nightbreak. The hilt sat deactivated in his one good hand. Even now, he desired to not activate the weapon. He hoped that he could bring this situation to a positive end without conflict. He would be a fool though to not be prepared for the inevitable. He would not, however, instigate the battle that was to come.

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"Once the dam breaks, you cannot stop the flow until the reserviour is drained."

 

Being on the overlook boulder, there was only one real safe path back onto dirt- and Frond was blocking it now. Tobias knew he could flip down the boulder to the ground way below- but it was a perilous journey down even for a bipedal Force user. There was still a chance to get him to move- or make him take the first swing.

 

That wasn’t the Jedi way, though- and he knew it. Even if he bypassed the walking tree, Frond would pursue him and try to restrain Tobias. Come to think of it, even if Vos made the journey down the boulder- Frond would follow him down without real injury; he wasn’t like regular organic meat-and-bones being- he could make the jump without anything really breaking.

 

So, Vos would have to go through him. Frond. Just leave me to my fate. He cried out in his head- mentally reciting it in his head, and mashing his teeth together.

 

He had given the Jedi Master plenty of time- and urged him away. The tree was still there- testing him- the sentinel would have to be moved. There was a part of him that regretted this- but he would have to fight Frond. Silently, he knelt to tighten his boots first the left, then the right. His primary weapon was on the ground for a few moments, but Vos wasn’t worried- it was a test for Frond afterall. Seeing if the Jedi could be tricked into attacking while his guard was down, but he was a Jedi: he would not strike first. Letting his bare hands trickle across the scratchy boulder- he fed off the emotions that had been burned into the rock. Love, hate, joy, sorrow.

 

A tear in his eye, as he stood- with his staff clutched in his left hand- his right hand wiped the moisture away. A settling breath as a breeze came up through the forest and Vos settled himself to the path he had to travel. “I’m sorry…” He whispered to everyone there- Frond, Adenna and himself.

 

Setting his gaze on the path- Frond stood there with his unlit weapon. Best just to get to it. Vos approached swiftly closing the Jedi Master- and with just a moment to spare- ignited his blade- the gray blade came from over his left shoulder down- onto Fronds’ own blade- who blocked with a horizontal movement. Tobias had counted on this and used the blades as a pivot point when he had lept- it was risky- but taking Frond on with his height and weight advantages plus the cliff behind Tobias, it was the only move that could have turned the battle this soon into the fight. Tobias pinwheeled through the air over Frond, withdrawing his blade from the others as he did so- falling with skill back to the dirt- and on equal ground. Spinning his staff around as he took a step backwards allowed him to get into a combat stance- ready for the fight to come. He dropped into a stance that was best for engaging multiple enemies- not a single combatant. Frond wouldn’t be fooled by the gesture- he had seen Tobias fight before and whenever he was facing a physically larger opponent, he would adopt this pose to start with. His hilt was held high with his blade tip pointing to the ground and between his eyes- from Fronds point of view. A hanging guard, if a swordmaster identified it.

 

This was the opening of the duel; the stage and pace would be set. Both of them were powerful with the Force, but Frond was constrained by barriers… Tobias was not. He let the rage fuel the fire within him, then brought it down to a direction with serenity; that was where true focus lay between the two extremes. That was the downfall to so many dark side users- they rage but never direct the rage. Some were bonfires, others were candle wicks. Tobias would be a welding torch- hot and focused.

 

He shifted his feet into the ground turning up the leaves and dirt; settling in, gathering his strength.

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