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  1. Frond

    Nar Shaddaa

    Setting out of place within the grimy world, a large twisted tree stood. It’s branches hung heavily, the black foliage glistening in the sunlight. It was such an odd eccentricity amongst the manmade structures, prefabricated homes, and dreary life that even now hovered over the people of Nar Shaddaa. Nobody knew where the tree had come from or what had forced the upheaval of duracrete cobblestones to reveal the earth the tree clung to. If asked, any passerby would just shrug and offer an explanation of some variation amounting to, “one day it wasn’t there. Then one day it was.” And yet, there was something about the tree that kept the locals from hacking it down for firewood or fun, a soft glow that seemed to warm the hearts of any that took rest beneath it’s shadow. It really was in the way if one thought about it. The tree bore no fruit. It’s black leaves seemed a stark contrast to the usual green of plant life. The twisted wood was of little use but to be burned. Still, it rarely dropped leaves or branches and all in all was a tidy little spot that seemed to not accumulate any rubbish or refuse. Today, a group of children had taken to playing amongst the great timber’s branches, scrambling up and down and around. Their laughter echoed down the streets, warming the hearts of those who heard them. Their mothers gathered nearby exchanging gossip, bits, and baubles with ever watchful eyes. Deep within the tree, a being sighed mentally. It was not a sigh of frustration or grief. If one were to compare sighs, this one was almost pleasant. And with that sigh, the tree’s branches and leaves rustled as if blown by a warm breeze even though there was no wind in the still cityscape’s air. Contentment. Frond was content here. After the goings on of Ossus, he had cast himself away from the Jedi and back to that which he knew, to the world beyond shadows. There he contemplated for what felt like a step before eternity. Yet even there, the lessons of the force, of the Jedi, followed him. In a world beyond physiciality, the tree found himself meditating, moving his wooded humanoid body along the paths of martial contemplation. He did not have a lightsaber, that part of him, along with his connection to the Jedi and the poisons of the dark side had been hewn off by the Jedi and Imperial Knights. Frond was still a Mind Walker and yet, he was more. He cared little for the material world. The force was all that was truth. Beyond the crude matter of the worlds about him in the galaxy. Yet he continued to see glimpses of the galaxy, of the mortal coil. Flashes of violence, smoking deathscapes, burning jungles, and more. Violence plagued wherever he looked, whenever he looked. So it was that one day, Frond had taken to securing transport off world to this dreary landscape, drawn by the aura of hopelessness and an inexplicable feeling that something of great importance to not just the mortal world, but the force itself, could happen here. And amongst such dreary existence, Frond had planted himself one cloudless night, a flash of yellow light and a frack transforming his humanoid form into a towering ancient tree, willowy in nature, twisted trunk and hanging tendrils. From there he returned to his meditations, emanating the seeds of light implanted by the Jedi outward to counteract the looming darkness. So even now, Frond sighed, relaxing and enjoying the moment as it played out. He did not look towards the future and her looming darkness. This was peace. Here, amongst the laughter of children and the chatter of friends, the backdrop of pain and suffering, carried by a galactic war, melted into oblivion. Frond was happy. Well, he was as happy as he could be on what he felt to be this doomed mortal scape. And so he sat, basking in the light of the sun, nourishing his wooded form, his mind aglow as he simply existed in the moment, allowing the joy of the children to become his very own. At least here, in this out of the way intersection of the burrows and ghettos, there was joy. Then he felt it, a presence not of these tired and toiled, but something different, a regal bearing of blemished light, stomped but not extinguished. Where it moved, it glowed, lighting embers of hope upon it’s path. Such a peaceful moment approached and before he knew it, had melded with his own. Without eyes in this form, Frond could not see, but he felt her, this hope giving gracefulness, and he was intrigued. The tree creaked as Frond instinctively leaned slightly, his viney swaying appendages reaching to be nearer the presence that was Queen Namari. One of the children, a dark-haired boy of no more than nine, with eyes to match ran to the Queen and grabbed her hand. His white toothy smile illuminated his entire face as he tugged at her hand. “C’mon! Come closer to the tree! Leave a gift and be repaid in ten!” he chortled playfully as he tugged Namari beneath the dangling blankets of glistening black plant. Within the shadowy canopy, children crawled back and forth above and the twisted and gnarled trunk was adorned with all manners of toys and baubles left there by the locals. Each day they would leave their gifts for the mysterious tree and the next sunrise, they would be gone. Sometimes they appeared at another’s home in their window or upon their doorstep. Other times they seemed to vanish for days or weeks before showing back up; always at the home of they that needed it most. It was a miracle to some. Magic to others. Yet no one could deny the benefits that were conveyed when their need was met by the mysterious tree that seemed to facilitate the provision of their communal needs. And as the refugee Queen of the Naboo passed beneath his fronds, his tendrils draping her shoulders like a cape, Frond felt her touch and his mind reached out for hers, ‘The touch of the spring, carries hope unto the life, vanquished is autumn’
  2. Gethin’pugh IDENTITY: Real Name: Gethin’pugh A.K.A: Darth Gw’rchod Homeworld: Cerea Species: Cerean PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Age: 214 Height: 6’8” Weight: 154 lbs. Hair: Black streaked with yellowing stained white Eyes: Glowing yellow Sex: Male EQUIPMENT: Clothing/Armor: Billowing black robe fringed in the tradition Sith red with the Sith emblem emblazoned on the base of the cowl. Beneath this robe, Gethin’pugh wears an intricate set of ancient Sith armor salvaged from the ravaged tomb of a long forgotten Force cult that was the first to fall under his leadership for resisting the ways of the Sith. Weapon: Gethin’pugh carries a red-bladed lightsaber, the hilt of which is formed from an unidentified greenish metal covered in swirling vortex-like ridges; however, this weapon is more ceremonial than anything as Gethin’pugh prefers to choke the life out of his foes with his bony bare hands or through applications of the force. FACTION INFORMATION: Force User, Force Sensitive or Non-Force User: Force User Alignment: Lawful Evil ascribing to the tenants of the Sith Code Faction Affiliation: Empire of The Sith Rank: NPC Sith Lord of the Pyramid of Sith Philosophy HISTORY: Force Side: Dark Trained By: Darth Crito of Alopekk Trained Who: The Red Knights of Truth Known Skills: Stava – Martial Arts (Expert) Pain Based and Sensory Deprivation Interrogation (Master) Sith Philosophy (Master) Studying/Research (Master) Force Powers: Speed (Master) Shrouding/Invisibility (Master) Choke (Expert) Lightning (Expert) Asphyxiation – removal of air from an area (Master) Sense (Skilled) Lie Detection (Skilled) Light Side Detection (Skilled) Background: Gethin’pugh was born to Cerean refugees during a lengthy hyperspace trip. His family and fellow refugees were massacred and their ship destroyed in the midst of deep space by Darth Crito of Alopekk who had sensed Gethin’pugh’s birth and had been waiting the arrival of the ship as he manipulated the force to cause the ship to fall out of hyperspace in an empty uncharted system. Gethin’pugh was taken by Crito to be trained up as his apprentice. Under the cold, volatile, unloving watch of Darth Crito, Gethin’pugh was brought up and morphed into a Sithly master of the Dark Side, bent on serving the darkness. While Gethin’pugh excelled in applications of the darkness in breaking others to his will, he struggled in the traditional combat ways of the Sith. It took years of ongoing training with countless masters to attain any level of combat proficiency, coming to rely on the force to guide his clumsy form. With each failure, Gethin’pugh was punished mercilessly, many times with bouts of force lightning that left him close to death each time. Over time, Gethin’pugh began to fear the punishments of failure greater than the defeat itself. The skin melting body altering dark side powers and the pain and death it inflicted on his flesh and soul left him a shell of the healthy Cerean he once was. In his place, stood a gaunt skeletal being with grotesque sinewy hair held together by the very fear of failure. Eventually, Gethin’pugh proved his worthiness to the cause of the Sith, taking upon himself the name of Darth Gw’rchod. His fear of failure drove him to succeed. He would reach deeper and fight harder, drawing not upon the fear’s about him, but upon the bottomless yawning pit of his own desecrated soul. As time passed on, Gethin’pugh came to serve none other than the Dark Kingand the Sith itself, but not the Sith as an organization, but the ideology of the Sith as a whole. Soon the name Darth Gw’rchod became synonymous with fear, fear of failing the cause of the Sith and fear of the black robed enforcer Darth Gw’rchod – unholy servant of The Sith Code and The Sith Ideology. Any who dared to potentially cross that what was meant to be the Sith, dared to invite Darth Gw’rchod and his maskless black robed minions of The Red Knights of Truth into their shadowy lives; the short pitiful lives that would be stolen from their very bodies at any moment.
  3. A I R E E N Real name: Aireen -No Known Last name Aliases: The Prime Agent, Oiaoloo’savali’saoloto Homeworld: Onderon Species: Human Height: 5’4” Weight: 105 lbs Skin: white Eyes: burnt red/brown Sex Female EQUIPMENT: Clothing/Armor: Zephyr Stealth Suit when on operations. Otherwise, she wears a loose fitting set of cargo pants, a mechanics vest, and a bandana Weapon: Duel Thigh holstered DL-18 blasters, each with a vibroblade tucked behind the holster. FACTION INFORMATION: Force User, Force Sensitive or Non-Force User: Non Force User Alignment: Lawful Good Faction Affiliation: Empire of The Sith Rank: NPC Leader of The Immortal Shade Brothers HISTORY: Trained By: Self-taught Trained Who: *CLASSIFIED* Known Skills: Frontier Survival (Expert) Tracking (Master) Bounty Hunting (Expert) Hand-to-hand combat (Expert) Sidearm marksmanship/gunslinging (Master) Cultural Adaptation (Proficient) Linguistics (Master) History: Aireen is the leader of The Immortal Shade Brothers, a group of elite servants of the Sith Empire dedicated to maintaining loyalty amongst the ranks of The Sith and exploring the primitive and newly acquired people’s of the Empire. Until recently, however, she did not hold this awesome title and the power that came with it. For most of her life, Aireen acted as a gun-for-hire freelance bounty hunter more often than not in the employ of various Sith Lords or the Sith Empire itself tracking down fugitives that were beyond the reach of the Sith Lords due to proprietary or the reaches of outside legal systems. Even without a connection to the force, her abilities to blend in with local cultures and adapt to their ways, allowed her to time and time again take her targets by surprise bringing them in either dead or alive. Growing up, Aireen lived in a life of poverty. Her father had vanished when she was young, so Aireen took to the streets. Instead of joining the other young girls in selling their very innocence, Aileen took it upon herself to put down any that would dare to try and lay their hands, or anything else, on her or anyone she cared about. Over time, her reputation as a brutal survivor grew in the Onderonian underworld to the point that she could wander relatively freely within the dregs of society or the wilds where the beast riders roamed. There, she was called Oiaoloo’savali’saoloto or She Who Walks Freely, for her fearless nature. Eventually her work planetside allowed her to accumulate enough money to purchase her way offworld where she put her skills to work on the frontiers of the Sith Empire and beyond. Wherever Aireen went, she sought to better the cause of the lowest of the low, those who were oppressed without cause. In that, she found no better guidance than the very code of The Sith. True, she did not possess the magic that many of the Sith wizards and witches had; but she still lived her life in accordance with their guidelines. In that dedication, she became as powerful and free as those shackled by the force. As she moved onwards, punishing those who violated the code, she instilled the code in those who would listen in an effort to bring them into the freedom that she had found.
  4. Frond offered a weak smile to the bird-like creature who had been studying and doctoring him over. He sincerely appreciated her efforts. Already m, he could feel the medicines beginning to work through his system. Looking from Trushan to Sandy, Frond slowly sat up, his body and the bed beneath him both creaking in protest. “Rays of shooting light Pain is a means of teaching Despite my hiding” he rumbled before Sandy turned and set off. Reaching out, he felt her mind and as best he could, offered what equated to a hug across the force. She needed to know he bore her no ill will, regardless of what happened. Running a hand across the tender bark that now obscured his still very fresh wound from sight, Frond bowed his head towards Trushan, “As smells on the wind The force bestows gifts freely To share is to love Raining down mercies to all Mercy and truth, thanks” Frond waited until the others had all but gone their own ways, following Sandy or going elsewhere in the facility; it did not matter to him. Once they were gone, the great tree-like being groaned as pain raced up and down the grain of his body and stood up. Bent over like a tree twisted by years of wind, Frond carefully shuffled towards the door, one painful step after another. His entire focus was on getting out the door and back out into the wilds of Ossus. Sandy had forbidden it; but at this point he did not know what else to do. To go to an open field and spread his leafy branches to the sun and soak up the waters of the earth, Frond would allow his essence to float beyond his body and journey once again where it was most familiar. Perhaps there he could find answers from his friends and masters long departed from this mortal plane; answers to what had befallen him and his mere brush with the true face of darkness. Lurching out the door, Frond shambled forwards toward the forest. Within minutes he was out of sight, just another tree in the woods. Within the hour, he had distances himself enough from the temple to be able to barely feel its calling in the force unless he concentrated. There, on a rocky cliff, Frond looked up. He could feel the gentle wind in his foilage. He could feel the sunlight on his face. Stretching out his arms, Frond reached into the nothingness at the cliff’s edge and with a flash of yellow light and a crack, the humanoid vanished. In its place stood an aged tree, twisted by the wind, its black leaves rustling in the wind. And as easy as waking up from a long nap, Frond’s consciousness vanished from the material plane, materializing in a world he was familiar with: Beyond Shadows.
  5. As the injured tree took in the conversations and instructions about him, all he did was nod his head in understand. To go Beyond Shadows, the only home he ever knew; it would be a welcome release. Sandy’s instruction however, gave the injured Neti pause even as the strange bird-like creature set about working on his injury. To go Beyond, would be to risk never returning to the present realm, the reality he had taken an oath to help balance. Steeling his mind in agreeable with Sandy, his retort was simple enough that it needed no words. No. He would stay. Even as his mind hardened, cocooning itself with the added boosting of lig side power, Frond could still feel the subtle calling upon the echoes of the force. The crystal desired to be released. It hungered for destruction, if Frond was but strong enough to grant it. Still, Frond lay, a fallen tree, refusing to heed the call. He was not strong enough in his present state and he would not allow the darkness to overcome him. He was a being of balance, cosmic balance, and for now, the light needed him. As the medications began to take hold in Frond’s severed wound, the ancient Neti closed his eyes, withdrawing from the world around him, turning his attention within to his own mind and soul. There he remained, silent whilst Trushan worked. Silent, that is, until an explosion echoed across the force in a shockwave. Frond’s eyes shot open and he lurched upwards to a seated position on the table, his wooden body groaning and popping in resistance. He did not care. And as soon as it had come, it was gone. The avalanche of dark side hunger vaporizing into the ether. His saber, was gone. A part of his body, gone. With it went a piece of Frond himself. He could no more lose that weapon, than could a being of flesh and blood lose a hand. That weapon had been a part of him, his blade upon which to quell the masses of gathering darkness. Even as Tobias’ pain and anger oozed across the force waves, Frond met it in turn; his sense of hopelessness at the state of the galaxy and all that was in it rebuffing the advancing emotional energies. Closing his eyes, Frond remained where he was, seated, the medicines running through his wounds. “Ride upon the winds A soldier no more am I Darkest tides rise, fall.” He murmured, his lips barely moving to form the words as he mourned all that he had dedicated himself to. Mourned in a deep sense. Sadness that radiates from his very pores. Sadness at the state of affairs in the cosmos and at his inability to do anything in it. He had been called and in seeking to do what he believed the force willed, he had failed and lost a part of himself. ‘Rolling forth and back Never the same, muddied swirls The Force shines through all’ Opening his eyes, the Neti offered a weak half-hearted smile to Trushan in thanks. Then glancing down at his wound and the medicine pooling within he scowled in concentration. With a creek and a crack the wound slowly closed in upon itself. It was not healed, but it was contained. “As birds roost in trees Mysteries swirl all around Neti can shape shift” He offered as a way of brief explanation to the bird-being.
  6. Frond’s eyes slowly swept the group around him, resting momentarily on Kel. A slight smile crossed his face at seeing his fellow apprentice. Reaching out he grasped the Kel Dor’s hand. “The darkness looms nigh Impossible to balance Call out the daylight” Looking towards his young master, Frond closed his eyes, reaching out in the force. He could feel her worry and concern. If only he could make her understand. Still . . . The darkness had tried to overwhelm him. Was the force really that unbalanced? Had they reached the tipping point already? With his mind awash in the protective cocoon of the light side of the force, bolstered by the guardians all about him, he slowly nodded and gestured towards the wooden chunk of wood across the room, his saber hilt waving his hand as if to dismiss the item from his memory or sight. ”Waves break ashore Each grain drawn back towards the sea Return to the source” Trying to lift himself out of the bed, Frond collapsed back against it with a crash, his woody weight betrayed by the solidness of the collisions. Frond let out a wheeze of pain.
  7. 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”
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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))
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