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The Sarlacc

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The Sarlacc last won the day on November 13 2020

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  1. The Sarlacc did not stop his momentum to see if his attacks connected. He heard his staff clatter against the wall with a hollowed ring. Suddenly the Jensaarai Defender felt with clarity his apprentice, the charade falling to the wayside as the Ryn turned his focus to his bladework. The Sarlacc felt the incoming strike a fraction of a second before it came and he jerked his leg back instinctively, the tip of the blade searing the pilot’s uniform he was wearing as it’s plasmatic blade tinged his blue-green skin, filling the air with the acrid smells of his flame retardant uniform curling back against the heat. A sharp smell wafted into the air. Instinct was a life saver. As a warrior of the force, instinct often kept the Defender alive, his body his weapon and he a master of it’s form. When a weapon is chipped though, forms must change. If they do not, weaknesses can be exposed and if one does not adapt, their weapon might be shattered. So to was it with The Sarlacc as he jerked his leg to safety, the opposite tensing as it tingled anew. The strain of his pulled muscle tugged with invisible claws at his gut, dropping the Jensaarai low as his momentum carried him backwards, slamming his rear to the floor as he slid haphazardly backwards away from his apprentice. The sharp bolt of pain from impacting the floor mingled with the newfound arcing lightning that tore at The Sarlacc’s side. That pain twisted as it seemed to take on a life of it’s own, a dragon bellowing in pain upon the waves of the force. It’s fiery breath was practically palpable in the air as the fierce determination settled in the red eyes of the Duros. The force swirled with the power of the ethereal beast as the pain coarsed through the lithe being’s body, and still, he contained it; it’s fiery wind seeking release. The glow of yellow sunlight was a spear that sought to pierce his scales and yet the weapon was double sided, one lethal point outstretched in damnation, the other buzzing with equal hunger, yet directed not at it’s foe but it’s master. In that moment, The Sarlacc reacted on instinct, his mind and body unified in purpose. With a telekinetic propulsion that lasted less than a moment, using the momentum of his own fall, The Sarlacc lashed out with his hands. He cupped the invisible power of the force and sent it surging forward towards Svata’s blade in an effort to drive it’s opposite spearpoint of light towards his apprentice. The ballistakinetic display of power was usually reserved for small and microscopic projectiles, thrown en masse; but it could and was being applied in greater singular focus on his foe’s blade. In that moment, The Sarlacc rolled backwards, landing on his knees, his body growling in pain; a snarl that escaped the Duros lipless mouth in an animalistic display of the raw emotions that he contained within his form - only to be released at his command. Extending his hand, The Sarlacc called his deactivated hilt back towards him, the metallic hilt whirling through the air with a deathly heaving pulse. It’s weight pulled by the force beyond it’s own momentum. ((3)) ((Leapt back to avoid the stab from Svata’s lunge, toppling backwards and sliding as he collapsed from his internal pain and momentum of reaction to the incoming blow. Rolled backwards to his knees, unleashing the draconic emotions that are standard of a Jensaarai in combat in a blast of telekinetic energy tontry abd force Svata’s second blade back into Svata. Used the force to call his hilt back towards him. (Can be used as an attack if Pheristroch wants it to be, otherwise it is just to call bis blade back to him.)))
  2. The Sarlacc’s eyebrow raised as he noted his apprentice’s mental push against his own probing. It was good that Svata was aware enough to understand what was going on. In as much as the Jensaarai sought knowledge and truth, so too did they seek to protect it. The blue-green Defender would have voiced this, had it not been for the sudden rigors of combat that began to unfold. For the moment, he was content that his apprentice had responded in the Jensaarai way. The Sarlacc’s grip tightened on his collapsible aros at his belt line as he felt his probe repulsed and the signature of Svata’s presence gray and waiver. Still, he could visually see the man, illuminated in a athletic flop by the royal hue of his suddenly activated blade as it tasted thin air before hissing back within it’s internal sheath to careen back around the edge of the field in a force propelled arc. It was then that the Ryn’s own blades ignited with a telltale duel hiss. Even as they did, the two connected blades were a burst of sunlight in the training hold as they blurred into a circular spinning prop like so many they had encountered on less developed worlds. ‘This is a saber duel afterall,’ the defender noted to himself as his own weapon arced free from the immediate field. If it was to be such a training, it would appear the Defender had put himself at a disadvantage from the starting gate. The Sarlacc shook his head, it was of no matter; for even though he and his saber were separated by time, the bond of the force between the two hummed strong. And then it happened, the disruption of Svata’s imprint in the force clouded the elder’s movements. Two bright and growing circles of blue energy erupted from where Svata stood. It was with barely a thought that The Sarlacc recognized the telltale sight and sound of a stun shot being fired. It echoed in the air. Had he been clearly visible in the force, The Sarlacc might have had time to react, to grab the gun with the force and wrestle it off target or to throw up some sort of ad hoc shield. As it was, he was not prepared and so all he could do was react; his body instinctually moving with his preconceived plan. On instinct, The Sarlacc reacted; his body already tensed and ready to move. With a flick of his wrist, the aros at his waist was free. In that same motion one end of the collapsible staff extended and struck the ground with an echoing ting, an extension of the Duros body and will. The Defender was already in motion, using this third point as a fulcrum to vault himself upwards, clear of the incoming stun blasts. The sharp collapsed opposite end of the weapon dug uncomfortably into The Sarlacc’s hand as his full weight bore down on it. He felt the tickle of radiated energy as the blasts from the heavy blaster narrowly missed him; sending tingling sensations racing up and down the Defender’s unarmored left leg. As he came to land, his right foot caught on the decking, firm and clear of the shots. His left; however, still twitching with cast off energy, hit the ground and slid, toppling The Sarlacc forwards, towards Svata and his spinning blade. A silent muscle-tensing bolt of pain shot up the Defender’s leg and into his side - a sprained muscle at the least. Swinging his cortosis-alloy half-extended aros about in a wide arc, The Sarlacc sought to crash the weapon into the spinning maelstrom of Svata’s blades. His grip on the weapon loosening so that the weapon might be torn from his hands in the momentum of his foe and cast like a mislaid hydrospanner in a podracer engine - a tumult of chaos so as to damage whatever or wherever it was careened by the power of the propeller. In that same moment, The Sarlacc loosed his mental grasp upon his saber hilt, one that had endured despite the agony that now tore at his stomach from his strained leg. The weapon tumbled harmless to the ground, a spinning top somewhere beyond him and behind his apprentice. In that moment, it did not matter though; for as much as this combatted contest was one between brothers, it was still that, a contest of combat from which one would emerge a victor and one defeated, both bearing the knowledge of lessons learned. Releasing his grips on his weapons, saber and aros, The Sarlacc reached with a glance as his hands pushed down on the floor, his eyes focusing on the heavy blaster in Svata’s hand. With a force-imbued heave fueled by his own pain, The Sarlacc sought to telekinetically wrench the weapon awry, slamming it upwards in an attempt to deliver a cranially corrective blow to his apprentice’s face. And as he attacked, The Sarlacc swung his legs around readying himself to move once again, his strained muscle protesting in silent shooting pains that the Defender used to focus his own attentions on the task at hand. ((2)) ((Repulsed by Svata’s mental defenses. Precognitive abilities hampered by lightsaber distraction and Secret of Evaporation usage. Used his staff to leap relatively clear of the shots using what had been the basis for his second set of movement; still getting zinged by the radiating energy of the stun blasts, causing The Sarlacc to sprawl as he landed. Swung his staff (aros) at Svata’s spinning blades and will release the staff into the momentum of the blades if there is a connection. Telekinetically let go of his saber hilt allowing it to fall and turned this telekinetic focus to Svata’s blaster and tried to slam it into Svata’s face))
  3. The Sarlacc beamed warmly. Even if his rather expressionless face did not show it, his care and compassion radiated from his distinctly alien pores. With a sweeping motion of his hand, the Jensaarai Defender sent the few loose bits and pieces in the room sliding into the walls about their perimeter in a gust of force-induced momentum. Pulling his hilt from his belt, The Sarlacc nodded deeply to Svata. He knew the elder Ryn was full of surprises. It was a Jensaarai trait that his apprentice naturally had an affinity for. Still, this was training, a practice duel as it were, to hone their already sharpened skills and senses for their next inevitable encounter. Using live fully powered blades, they needed to extend caution as well, lest one render the other incapable. Spinning the unlit hilt in his hand, the Sarlacc spoke, his voice smooth as he began to circle about their empty training space; a cat circling it’s prey. “The Jedi and the Sith have, like so many others, perfected numerous forms of combat. It is wise for a Defender to know them. To familiarize oneself with them and others is within the paths of a Jensaarai Defender.” He continued to circle, his hilt twirling effortlessly in his fingers as he spoke, his mind surging forth on the force to prod Svata’s defenses, seen or unseen. “Still, as the Jensaarai takes this knowledge, so to do we grow and expand upon it. We use the armor of a Sith, the dedication of a Jedi, and the weapons of both. We expand though. By and large, the Jedi focus upon their blade, the Sith on their power. A lightsaber is a powerful tool, nothing more; but it is more than an energized blade.” As he spoke and spun his hilt, The Sarlacc suddenly flicked his wrist and on a wave of the force sent the deactivated hilt spinning parallel to the ground, ethereally tethered in force to his hand and mind. The blade would only be activated as it made it’s final spin towards Svata’s body. All the while, The Sarlacc continued to speak. “As Jensaarai, we do not seek to fight; nor do we overly concern ourselves with the finer points of combat when we need not. A Jensaarai’s goal is to bring the combat to a close as soon as it has begun. We preserve life where we may and take it only if forced.” Stepping backwards, The Sarlacc’s second hand fell to his waist and the weapons and gear about his belt. Should his blade not circle back around to him after it’s attack he wanted to be prepared for whatever Svata brought to the table. This was lightsaber training, but that did not mean other means were off the table to further the combat training they engaged in. Every one of his senses were attuned to his apprentice and the room about them. While a Jensaarai threw themselves into combat, fueled by their emotions, The Sarlacc held himself close, unwilling to become a blazing beacon of power, lest he strike down his apprentice. ((1)) ((Force probed Svata’s mind and defenses; threw unlit lightsaber hilt at Svata from across the room, activating it at the last second to try and bisect his apprentice; stepped back and prepared for counterattack))
  4. The seasoned Duros watched his apprentice through pupilless red eyes. He had long since changed from his Jensaarai armor back into the space suit he preferred to be found in. Sitting at the controls, the hum of the engines distance in the background mingled with the waivering gauges and occasional blips from the console. To a being born, and to many intents, bred from the mysteries of the cosmos, this was as peaceful and serene as one could hope. Even here the force buzzed gently, at peace with the world around them and whisked away by the alternate reality through which they traversed. Yet, all was not at peace. Svata’s words revealed his troubled soul. The darkness of Dathomir had taken her toll. Like many a spacer, The Sarlacc was numb to the demands it could place on one not seasoned to it or prepared for it’s probing tendrilled reaches. Had he assumed too much of the wizened Ryn who now travelled with him? He probably had. The man had lived a full life, yet even now was expanding his understanding of the universe as the shroud was removed from the existence he had known. It had to be hard and the Defender kicked himself for not having seen or thought it sooner. The Defender let his comrades words hang in the air for an uncomfortable period of stillness. A stillness only broken by the automized machinations of the ship about them. He turned his friend’s words over in his mind, chewing on them as if testing them for a hidden bit of gristle or fat that did not belong. And then, after nearly a minute of solitude within his own mind, he spoke. His words carried with them the weight of his thoughts and he spoke each as if it were a complete thought unto itself. “So too were we.” The Sarlacc fell silent. The world about them returned to the embracing silence of the tomb that was hyperspace. He knew his words were enough. The Duros had spent enough time with Svata to know that the Ryn would take the words to heart and turn them over in his mind as he thought on them applying all their experiences and his knowledge of the Jensaarai to the comment. Turning back to the console, The Sarlacc left Svata to his thoughts; his own mind turning to their future. The galaxy was in turmoil and while the Jedi and Sith made grandiose maneuvers to try and wrest the state of the galaxy towards their chosen ideologies, The Sarlacc knew it was in the small details, the daily acts of kindness and compassion that was where true change awaited. Regimes rose and fell. Truth lived on, held fast in the hearts of all who treasured it. And so, the duo would set off to enact small change as they had on Darhomir, where even now the forces of truth and knowledge steamed forward to keep the word of the Jensaarai and offer glimmers of hope and light in the shadowy underbelly of the grasp of darkness. The Sarlacc’s fingers sailed over the console with precision expertise, diverting their course mid-jump. Turning around, he regarded Svata. “Perhaps some lightsaber training to help recenter your mind?”
  5. Coming to rest with his humming blade parallel and within a breathe’s distance of his forehead, The Sarlacc exhaled heavily. Sweat glistened on his brow, the dance complete. The force echoed and reverberated to a deathly soothing cal. The swirling dervish that was The Sarlacc coming to rest, his motions in the force rippling outwards towards eternity. His mind was clear. His body cleansed. With a hiss, the purple blade vanished back unto the shaft from which it was born. Returning to his gear, the Jensaarai gathered it up. He did not don it; however, instead carrying it back to his spartan quarters where there was little aside from his bunk, tools, and a mannequin bearing his armor. The Duros mind was at peace. His motions were more habit than consciousness. As he stowed his gear and began the ritualistic process of donning his armor. With each piece, he felt the forging fires, the ancient meditations of purifying energies that were poured into every rivet and fold. The armor was compressed and light, shadowy yet gleaning with truth. The Sarlacc felt the dedication and imbued force power in each piece as he affixed it to his undercoat. Reaching out on the force, The Sarlacc felt for the mind of his apprentice, his elder, his comrade, Svata. The old Ryn was still learning the ways of the Jensaarai and yet the aged spacer’s story had long since prepared him for this life. The force had led him, as it leads all who heed it’s call, whether he was aware or not. The man had completed his task and more. Here amongst the festering dark wound that was Darhomir and her inhabitants, The Sarlacc sensed that his comrade had learned many truths, even some about himself. As he slung the last of his weapons, The Sarlacc stepped from his quarters and began to make his way from the ship. He detoured only once; to offer the girl he had been tasked to hunt a chance at a greater life, a life beyond the grip of fear and darkness, beyond this world. It was her choice to make. Should she choose to accompany the Jensaarai, they would ensure she was taken to a place of safety and nurtured and offered healing so that she could make an informed decision on where tonchart her own life’s course. Should she choose to stay, nestled amongst the familiar, The Sarlacc would escort her back to her sisters. The choice was hers to make and the moment to make it had come. Regardless, The Sarlacc returned to the camp where he found Svata and the others. In full Jensaarai regalia, the Defender was a sight to behold; moving silently and swiftly like a predatory beast, carrying a presence that invited challenge to any that dared offer. Placing an armored hand on Svata’s shoulder, he spoke, “The time has come for us to depart my brother.” Turning to the others they had found on the world, he continued; “We have been called elsewhere. The galaxy is great and the force is greater still. In it, we are but specks. We have not forgotten our oath and aid for your world is forthcoming. We, however, must continue on.” With a slight bow he concluded, “May the force be with you.” After this, the Jensaarai returned to their ship and within the hour lifted off from the darkened world departing for the galaxy beyond.
  6. The Sarlacc extended an open hand to the girl, helping to guide her along the uneven ground back along the way they had individually journeyed. He could sense the woman’s fatigue and hopelessness and so, the going was slow. He went as slow as she needed, helping her over and around any obstacles that threatened to overcome the girl. Her feet were hardened and calloused by years trodding the dirt, much like her spirit. Still, beneath it all, she was still a vulnerable little girl. After hours of slow going, kind words of encouragement and an aura of light sided force rebuffs against the creeping darkness, the duo made their way not back to the camp, but to the Jensaarai scout vessel. Seeing the hesitation in the girl’s face, The Sarlacc paused, “Its ok little sister. You will be safe aboard our ship. I do not know what powers these witches have; but we will do what we can to ensure you are not subjected to such tortures again.” Ascending the ramp, he led Kalia aboard, “We can find you a room to rest up in and get you some food and tend to your injuries.” The Sarlacc took Kalia to the individual quarters on the ship, gathered some clean robes for her, and left the girl to freshen up and rest. The secure areas of the ship were safe enough to prevent unauthorized snooping or theft, everything else was fair game. Removing himself, the Duros retreated to the galley where he set about preparing a platter of differing cheeses, cold meats, and breads. Depositing that outside Kalia’s door, The Sarlacc made his way to the small open training room on the ship. There, the Jensaarai defender stripped off his bulky spacer suit down to his simple flowing robes and drew his knobby lightsaber hilt, extending the Byzantium hued blade with a soft hiss. Regarding the blade for a moment, The Sarlacc fell into a familiar step, his feet moving in a natural sync with the blade is it swirled slowly at first. Each step increased the speed of the twisting martial dance. The force flowed freely from the Defender, through the warrior, and back into him from the world about him it’s purity abd holiness purging him of darkness and the taint of the world they found themselves on. Even the air about him crackled with purifying energy. With each tension of muscle and arcing change of momentum, The Sarlacc fell deeper into the force, his individual self became lost in the dance bending the line between man and saber, being and force, conscious and unconscious; all of them coalescing into almost one. The Duros mind was lost in the dance, his senses extending in every direction and yet focused on the blade as it passed within millimeters of his body with each flick of his wrist and twist of his body. Sweat poured from his body as he pushed himself to the edge of physical exertion and beyond. The force carried him.
  7. Spread across the horizon, The Sarlacc could feel the very world as it shifted on the force. Darkness and terror oozed from the very planet and all that called it home. It was a place not of civilization and furtherance of life, but a place of barbarism and the struggle to simply survive by whatever means. The future did not hold much sway here. The present was what mattered. Any means to acquire the edge was acceptable. Thus so, the dark side grew; a cancer in the shadows. ‘So had it been for the Jensaarai,’ The Sarlacc observed silently, his body barely touching the ground as he surged onwards towards the pulse of the furthest girl he could sense. He trusted his apprentice would be fine. He was firm in his understandings, settled into his ways as only one who had seen a lifetime of experiences pass before him could be. Unlike many apprentices, Svata could be left completely untended; where his training ended, his experience would make up for. The Sarlacc had seen into the old man’s heart and knew it to be a kindred spirit. They would rendezvous when they were able to determine what observations the other had made and decide how to proceed. For now though, there was something more pressing calling out. Life. The Duros barely left a trail, his Jensaarai training helping hin pass through brush and scrub, trees and earth, with nigh a trace. Spread across and bound to the presence of the force in all things across the world, he followed the terror that emanated from one of the girls until she came into sight. He slowed as he approached, calling out to her, “Hello miss.” The Sarlacc did not manage another word as the girl turned with a cry that resonated with fear and began to hurl rocks, branches, clods of dirt, and whatever else her bloodied dirt-stained fingers could grasp. The force surged, the girl’s fear and pain feeding it’s unfathomable hunger. The Jensaarai Defender paused for a moment as he sought to comprehend just how dark and far from the ordinary this situation and world had become. It was but for a moment. The onslaught of makeshift projectiles drawing him back to reality. Drawing his concentration back from the world around him, The Sarlacc focused on the task at hand. Each projectile he waves a hand towards and sent sailing aimlessly off in another direction. Some pinging and cracking off nearby trees and rocks, others burying themselves in or exploding upon contact with the hard earth. “I will not hurt you,” he spoke, his voice strong and calm. “Let me help you. Whatever it is you fear, let me protect you. There is more than a life of fear and darkness.” The Defender’s voice was layered with a calming warmth, seeded with the light of the force and the light of compassion. He hated seeing this poor fellow being in such pain and fear. The darkness that radiated from this world needed purged and it’s people saved. He would start here, with this one if he could. “Please. Come with me.” he pled firmly, leaving the choice to the girl as he maintained the distance from her; stepping when she stepped and stopping when she stopped. All the while, anything the girl threw he sent rocketing outward from them, his mind focused on the girl, the warmth of the force flowing from he to her in an effort to assuage her fears and comfort her scared and scarred mind.
  8. The Sarlacc simply shook his head. Gesturing for the group to make their way off the ship. Stepping back to the charred soil of the world, the Duros paused, “We have been the hunted and we hunt, not for food, but for survival as well. It is a similarity between our peoples. Nor do we teach in hallowed halls as the Jedi do. To live is to be hunter and hunted. We do not hunt our own though.” The defender felt the ripples of the force as the others around them reached out to seek their quarry on it’s guiding hands. The call of the blood flowed on the force. For in blood, there was life, and life was an aspect that a Defender sought to defend. Nodding the his apprentice, The Saracc turned to their hosts, his voice jovial. “Perhaps the last to find the quarry provides the evening meal?” And with that and a leap, The Sarlacc was off. Crouched low he surged forward through the brush, weaving and twisting to pass without a trace. The Duros’ mind reqched out to touch and meld with every passing branch, rock, and clod, his very essence within the force spreading outwards in a thin veil as he joined himself with the world around him on a base level until one could sense that he did in fact exist; but was a part of all things. His mind felt for the girls, tasting then in the force as he moved, a blur of spacer and world bound together completely on the wings of the force.
  9. The Sarlacc’s face remained expressionless as the woman continued her ritual, his apprentice following suit. The pain in the Duros own hand was enough to give him pause. Something just did not feel quite right. His hesitation made the decision for him as the witch continued her explanations and demonstrations. In that moment, The Sarlacc felt the surge of the darkness as it gnawed at the power that surged across the planet uniting the blood-let life-bearing liquid across the quarries to the original owner. Making his way off the ship with the others, The Sarlacc stared off in the direction of the fleeing minions; their pain echoing on the ripples of the force outside the blood cast spell. Placing a warning hand on Svata’s shoulder, he squeezed it silently in cautious warning. They were here to learn, but they still had their own oaths to follow. These women followed a different set of guidance; one that differed greatly. Still, the Jensaarai were here to help. Help, learn, and discover. “Blood carries the gift of life. Be cautious spilling it brother.” ”Hunting your lessers? Is this how your people show their strength madam? Is that your curse? Or is it the curse of your world?” He enquired of the head of the witches.
  10. The early arrival of the locals was expected by The Sarlacc and he was ready for them. He had not scurried to meet them when the witch and company arrived; instead, he had made his way to the small dining suite and began to lay out an array of fruits and assorted pastries from across the cultures of the galaxy. Turning on the heating element of the countertop cooker, he began to prepare a variety of meats from across the galactic spectrum. Soon enough the smell of the cooking flesh mingled with the sweet sugars of the other breakfast dishes as they wafted through the ship. Flipping his spatula in his bandaged hand, the Duros winced briefly as the haft pressed the tightly bound poultice of healing herbs from his travels into his wound. A slight adjustment and concentration on the waves of force energy that rippled freely about the ship and he was back to his task at hand. There was no need to hide their presence any further, the visitors would know of their connection to the force soon enough. There were secrets of the Jensaarai that went beyond the force. Even as it flowed freely, a Jensaarai was a mysterious vortex within the flow, natural and alluring. Svata had gone to greet their local guests; his shrill whistle echoing down the hall of the ship notified The Sarlacc that things were progressing as planned. Offering a wide open gesture of welcome to those who came aboard, The Sarlacc spoke warmly, “Greetings friends. Please partake in what humble offerings we can share.” Once everyone had gathered what food they wanted and taken a seat in the cramped dining hall, The Sarlacc called their attention to a display screen at the far end. The room doubled as a sort of ad hoc war room in times of emergency. “Friends, please let me show you what could be.” A short film that showed panning views of the luscious Naboo countryside, frigid wind swept Hoth, the jungles of Devaron, and much more; villages, farms, bustling spaceports played across the screen. All of it narrated by a warm feminine voice that described the benefits of bringing one’s newfound world into connection with the greater universe. The video was a carefully reformatted piece of Imperial propoganda designed to encourage newfound species to willfully accept the aid of recently arrived offworlders. As the video came to an end, The Sarlacc cleared his throat. “You have seen the worlds we have been to. Our people are already coming to help nurse your world into what you have seen. All you need do is show us your world and let your people speak of what they desire; jungles or plains, deserts or wooded hills. Teach us your ways.” The night before, upon returning to their ship, the Jensaarai had sent transmissions out to a variety of beings with questionable transceiver codes about the galaxy. It would be a little over a week before they would arrive, accompanying a band of Ithorian horticulturalists and agriculturalists and a select few Jensaarai Defenders. Until then, The Sarlacc and Svata were at the mercy of their hosts. The Duros looked forward to learning more about these witches and their kin, even if they resonated with dark side power. He knew that both he and Svata were grounded in their commitments and experiences to the light side. Their cares, compassions, and desires enough to allow them to stand as starlight in the night.
  11. The knife twirled and arced through the air reflecting the flickering lights of the crackling fire into countless momentarily displays of shimmering light. The Sarlacc reached up with a hand and caught the spinning weapon by the hilt and lowered it down, his forearm coming to rest on his knee in one flyid, force-imbdued moment. A moment contained within the protective sphere the Duros still maintained to shield Svata’s and his own connection to the force from the outside. The blade hung loosely in his hand. “The Sarlacc is a beast of many mysteries. None of which I am fool enough to claim to undetstand. A god and a demon; a protector and destroyer; master of all and servant to all; it’s ways are above that of our minds.” Slowly, he pushed himself to his feet. The knife dangling loosely from his hand still. ”If we are to lend you aid. We will need to see the devastations wrought upon your world firsthand. To learn of that which was, is, and could yet be; of those who walk the lands. Together, your world can be brought back from the edge. In the morning, perhaps you can show us these things.” Looking at Svata, The Sarlacc nodded slowly. “We will have to contact my associates and our friends if we are to help these sisters.” Turning his gaze back to the sisters, the Sarlacc placed the blade of the primitve knife against his palm and squeezed it. He let go of the hilt and when blood dripped from his clenched fist, he dropped the blade to the burnt soil. Extending his palm open, he glanced down at the green blood dripping from it and then back at Teleperiën. “A predator may be fearsome alone; but imagine what two predators, or three, a pack, could accomplish together.” The Jensaarai Defender paused to allow his apprentice to say his piece before they returned to their ship. He had messages to relay and if the Sisters intended to uphold their end of the deal, so would he. In the morning, they would make themselves part of the Nightsister clans and await the arrival of their allies.
  12. The Sarlacc coughed softly to stifle a chuckle at the mention of the Survivor’s Guid. He raised his eyebrow ridges, an entertained look of surprise flashing across his wrinkled face. ‘But not all animals, run in packs. Sarlaccs and dragons perhaps.’ He mused silently. The Defender had been able to sense the darkness that poured from the people, from the very land. Now here it was presented openly, without shame. Healing lands was an easier feat than healing hearts; still, it could be done. “Ah. The Jedi,” he sighed as if releasing a bond of inner turmoil. “Your people were not tormented by them. If they were, this world would be left untouched or forsaken, lifeless, to the ravages of time. You see, my people. We were hunted by the Jedi. They sought to remove any trace of us from existence; branding us darksiders not worthy to go on living. And yet,” he slowly stood, placing a firm hand on Svata’s shoulder, “here we are.” Gesturing to the savage women about them with his free hand, he nodded. “You have survived the ravages of your own darkness; but look at you. Living in tents, barely more than survivors. Look at us? Do we want for anything? We come and go as we please; unfettered by the forces of light or dark. In a moment, Brother Svata and I could call forth the swarms of heaven; shadowy wraiths to strike down any who stood against us; to rend justice and fade to the ether as if they were never there. The shadows of ghosts are ours to command. Their blades the only reality about them.” Turning his unblinking gaze back to Telperiën, he paused for a moment. “Yet we come here as emissaries of peace.” Slowly, the spacer lowered himself back to his seat, a position to negate any hostility his words might have implied inadvertently. “You are right though. We do not offer our aid for free. Of slaves, we have no use. We care for one another in all. What we desire is much more simple, yet covetous. We can help your world, yet you must be willing to allow it. Open your minds and together, your world might be saved. In exchange, we seek one thing. Knowledge. Knowledge that, if destroyed, by the Jedi, Sith, or your own magicks, will ensure that your ways are not lost. We will help you. In exchange, we will learn your ways and grow in them. Your ways will live on and we will preserve your very essence.” The Sarlacc picked up the last shreds of rancor flesh and turned them over in his hand, pondering them, yet never taking his eyes off those around them. They were outnumbered and surrounded. Their strength lay in their very abilities as Jensaarai and without revealing themselves, the words rang with truth. He turned to one of the thinned women nearest him and offered the hunk of meat. “Kindness is not weakness. Hatred is weakness. Kindness grows the pack and this care for the pack makes us stronger. What do you say witch?” The title was not used derogatorily, but formed and spoke with respect to the authority such a title might entail in a foreign society; akin to that of Defender amongst their own.
  13. Sarlacc nodded, taking in their newfound host’s name. It rang a bell faintly in his mind; but not one he could recall. The Duros could not or did not ever seem to smile. Which one, nobody was sure of. Still, his eyes glowed warmly, even without pupils. “We would be honored to camp amongst you, but we do not believe in something for nothing and must insist on providing aid how we may. If it would be easier, we are willing to remain aboard our ship. To take the few rare resources available to your own would be rude and without honor.” He spoke, looking at the leader of the group before turning his gaze to the wide eyes that glimmered with possible hope all about them. “I am but a humble traveler and agriculturist. Our friends and brethren are the true masters of resurrecting life from destruction. To purge the poisons of hate from a world requires a magic beyond that even offered by the force.” The Duros was keenly aware of his choice of words, filled with tinges of promises of life and unseen power. He spoke smoothly and carefully, weaving his words together with the promise of better tomorrows and the cleansing powers of light and life. “Perhaps, we ought to complete our meal together and get to know each other. Then Brother Svata and I shall return to our ship. In the morning, we would gladly share a meal of our rations with you all and then we might begin the arduous first steps of rejuvenating the life that lies dormant within the world.” Hefting his own portion of rancor flesh, the Jensaarai tore off a chunk and chewed at it with a calm dedication before swallowing. He offered a coy wink to Svata before facing Telperiën and warmly attempting to urge her to continue, “What of you ma’am? How did you come to be a part of the High Coven Myrkengodi?” In truth, The Sarlacc did not know anything of the Dathormiri ways or what even the High Coven Myrkengodi was. He hoped that between he and Svata, they could learn much of the people who inhabited this world. To learn or their ways would only further their understanding and help them better bring prosperity to their world before vanishing back into the shadows.
  14. The Sarlacc followed suit, plopping down much less gracefully on a log nearby his elder apprentice. He set his helmet on the ground beside him. Nodding his thanks to the young girl, he took his chunk of meat and tore into it with all the grace and respect of a spacer who had travelled the galaxy and knew enough to accept food when offered, but cared little for custom until he could learn it. If anything, the man felt more at home on the frontiers of space than he did back aboard the converted Ithorian herdship, Raka Nwul, their order called home. He listened intently as the woman who seemed in charge told of their people. This was what they had come for, to learn. The manipulation of the flames before them gave him pause. Clearly she was skilled. He listened to her words and watched as the images morphed and shifted endlessly, adding to her tale. Shooting a warm glance at Svata, the Sarlacc knew the Ryn was in his element. Stories, tales, and the regaling of histories was something that certainly played to Svata's strengths. Still, he could feel the darkness there. It echoed softly, even from the fire. It was if the land itself had been saturated in it and they found themselves at but one of it’s cruxes of power. What had they stumbled into? Following Svata’s lead, he offered a warm greeting in stride. “I am called Sarlacc, for like the mysterious beast, I am here to sit and take in all that may be offered, that I might best serve as a protecting presence to any that take shelter beside me.” Looking from Camik to Telperiën, he added, “Hate is a powerful force. One that nearly destroyed our people. May we offer what assistance two humbled vagabonds may in restoring your world from the fires that destroyed not only it’s life, but essence?” Slowly he took another bite of grilled rancor as he surveilled those in the camp. There were som many questions to be asked; but if they could tender goodwill, there would be time for such things later. One did not need to know all or agree on all to lend a helping hand. If the Jensaarai knew one thing, it was how to serve. Still, for the moment, he would hide their presence still. The Jensaarai way.
  15. The Sarlacc nodded. “The force does seem to breathe here doesn’t it?” he agreed with Svata. As the two fell into stride with each other, he exuded a sense of peace; not on the force, which still flowed freely between them within their invisible sphere, but deeper. Life might come from the force, but peace; peace was even deeper yet. “Advanced as you are in age Brother Svata, you continue to impress me. I am glad that you have accompanied me on this journey. To bury our presence is a skill that is even more essential to the Jensaarai way. When the Jedi sought to undo us, we hid both from sight and sense. Now, we use that same skill to preserve the young and uninitiated within our ranks and to preserve ourselves abroad. Why provoke a fight where one need not be? When we are out of danger, remind me, and I will show you how to do so. For now,” he pointed a gloves finger off towards the distance, beyond the fire-scarred scrub, in the direction of the small camp. “maybe we could introduce ourselves and see what we can learn. If we mean to foster a bond of kinship between the people of this world and our own, we can take the first step.” Setting off at a determined clip, The Sarlacc and his apprentice made their way throw the underbrush and across the rocky, ashen terrain until the gaggle of women and girls and Camik came into view. Tightening the sphere that contained their force signatures to barely beyond their physical forms, The Sarlacc did not even break his stride. Holding up an open empty hand to draw attention to themselves as soon as they came into sight of the fire’s flickering light, The Salracc called out warmly in Basic, “Greetings friends. Might we join you by the fire? We have journeyed from many lightyears away seeking you.” The force still spoke to him, even as it hid the Jensaarai’s presence behind a wall of natural order that mimicked the world around them. Something dark lurked here. ‘It is good the Jensaarai do not fear the dark’, he thought, his mind reaching out to share the thought with Svata, a hint of humor shedding light into the calm and caring, yet passioned mind of the Defender.
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