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Camik watched the flames burn. The firelight could always be hypnotic and it allowed him to ignore the giggling newcomers easier. Telperien didn’t seem to be bothered by their presence so he could only assume that they were welcome. Or he would be directed to kill them later. Perhaps he would anyway he wasn’t sure. His mind was clear as he delved into her question. 

 

When he finally spoke his voice was calm, no anger in it just that of a story teller reading from a data pad. ”Much of my anger and rage comes from my time as a slave. There is enough raw emotions there for me to draw upon for a lifetime.  My previous Master … encouraged me to use other emotions as well but anger simply is too easy to not use it. Then having other events such as being sent to a desert plant on a wild goose chase and forgotten simplest adds to my inner pool. But for starting the fire. There was some rage, in that ball of emotion but much of what I have been working with this day is pride. I am a Cathar. Our bodies are warrior perfection and be it a Rancor or a fire it will bend before my will.”

 

He looked away from the fire, his eyes glancing at the newcomers. ”So who are they? I am surprised to find anyone else out here, or did you bring them out here for my training?” He still hadn’t decided what he would want to do with them. Fight them, hunt them, or some other more carmel activity with them. The only thing he was sure was he wanted to complete his training. It had been neglected for so long. He could only work so much on his own in that deserted planet and now he intended to drink up all that was offered to him.

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Slavery is a powerful trauma. It plants the deep spike of anger and injustice into your heart something you can draw on for a very long time.” Speckled amethyst eyes narrowed as she glanced across the fire to Camik, her voice turning to dark reproach. “Until it turns to poison in your veins. Would you really let your defining moments revolve around such emotions? Would you turn this inner angst against the galaxy until every good thing tastes of salt and ashes in your mouth?” She let her eyes travel across the impromptu gathering of young women and now two spacers. “There is a saying in our clans that every pain left untended bites worse than a rockstang. For just as you need to but the wounded flesh from yourself so too should you cut this trauma from you before it consumes your very soul. Tasmeria,  Anathia! Get these young men something to eat as I tell you all a story.” 

 

The two youngest of the girls rushed to gather some cooked Rancor, offering it to Sevarta and Sarlacc. They did not know them, but the Nightsister had commanded it, so they would obey.

 

Telperiën extended her hand and summoned the force through the clear crystal that lay nestled against her wrist. Whispering a word of power. “Thandrim.” The young Witches gasped in awe and settled down on their haunches, eagerly eating the cooked rancor they held in their hands as the fire began to morph and change. 

 

It was nothing like a holoprojector of course, but the girls would not have that comparison. It was only the two spacers and Camik that would likely be unimpressed. The fire jumped in a flash of white and orange then settled into a blue flame. And within the flame there was a face. A face much akin to Telperiën’s though older and more regal. 

 

“The Nightsongs were once a mighty clan.” The name drove a shiver of fear through the youngest of the witches gathered around the fire, and a look of stern resolve over the older faces. “They believed that their strength could contend with the very stars of heaven.” The scene in the fire shifted again to a large group of alike looking women, who were beating several young girls. Blood like lava dripped into the burning logs at the base of the fire. “But to find that strength they believed that they must purify their lineage. They would change their bloodline by force and terror.” Telperiën gave a sidelong glance to the spacers then back at the awestruck girls. “And they succeeded. Through their terror they produced a sister of frightening power.” The fire morphed again to that original face. 

 

“They say She could summon magiks without words of power. Through harnessing hate and lust she could command even the strongest of this world to her bidding. But like all creations of violence this golem could not be controlled.” The fire showed a village in flames. “And she nearly destroyed the Nightsongs before they exiled her to the stars. She found a new coven there. Of Men and women who harnessed their hate and violence, she even found lovers among the stars. Great Kings of Men with powers Devine” The fire showed a man with a dark face, eyes of coals and the girls cowered before the hate in his eyes. The Sith Lords they named themselves and begat much evil among the stars.” Depictions of a city in the clouds bursting asunder in fire and death wove themselves through the minds of all those around the fire. “But the sister did not forget the hate. She did not forget the beatings. She carried it with her through the stars. Like a coal carried in ashes to start another fire she carried it. Sleeping and dangerous.” 

 

The woman's face now reappeared, but with the burning eyes of the Sith Lord. “You see she desired to come back to Dathomir. Even as she bed kings and men alike she desired to come home. As even the Rancor does when it needs to sire its pups.” The girls nodded. “And so she came home to bring forth the spawn of her lovers. And when she came to the Nightsong camp, she could not control that coal she had tended for so long.” The fire surged into a column that lit the night and bushes around them. “The fire raged out of control. Consuming all that she had once loved and hated. And instead of conquest or reconciliation she brought death and doom. And so her home burned and with it all of our homes.” She looked to Camik, then the spacers, and finally to the girls. “And that is why our villages are dispersed and the ground gives up no life. It is because of hate. So do not let yourself harbour such things. For it kindles outside of your control. Now eat, there is much left on that haunch.”

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Svata's eyes closed as Telperiën began her tale. Cross-legged, he sat down before the fire and bowed his head. Still as stone, he listened. If there was one thing he had learned in all his years, both before joining the Jensaarai and after, it was the weight of a story.

 

His eyes opened as she finished. No hint of a smile crossed his face, and in an instant he seemed decades older. Wrinkles made shallow by his ever-present grin deepened. His hands, usually animated, now sat folded in his lap, gnarled and spotted.

 

"You got it in one," he said quietly, bare speaking over the crackling of the fire. "Hate's a worm that burrows in your gut and leaves you screaming. Only a fool holds it in his hand and thinks he's the master." He looked out across the landscape, then up to the stars. "But anger makes fools of us all."

 

As he lowered his head to meet the group, his old smile returned along with his spirit. "Sorry, hope we didn't interrupt. Figured we should stop by. Be polite and all." He flicked his hand to the side of his head in a brief, informal salute. "Svata. Don't really have any other name worth getting excited about."

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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.

 

 

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Thin eyebrows raised suspiciously 
 

Despite their purely alien features, Telperiën was not repulsed by the blue skinned duros or the hook nosed ryn. Their voices were pleasant and did not carry the stuttering halter of Dathomiri ‘basic.’ Their presence at the fire was wholly unexpected, for Dathomir held no tourism, save for the downed or lost spacer trying to make a fortune from the mystical remains of the Chu'unthor. But those had been men of greed and passion, neither of which Telperiën could sense. A quick glance over showed no suspicious equipment or even means of defense and she suddenly found herself cursing the weakness of her blood. 

 

She could not easily rip into the minds of these men like the Sith Lords could. But then they were of no danger, for what could they be? Not rebels or Jedi, for they would have never just simply come to Dathmir. 

 

“Hate is a power that few can control before it eats them whole. Yes.” She cocked her head to the side, the tiny crystals that were tied into the braids beside her ears making an almost musical tone as they touched each other and collided. 

 

“Savata and Sarlaac.” She spoke the names like she was tasting them. The syllables difficult to pronounce with the heavily accented basic. “I must apologize that we have little lodging to offer other than hide tents.” Then her eyes widened a little, the amethyst purple-pink iris’s catching the firelight. “But I must introduce myself as well before I accept your assistance.” 

 

She stood and offered a bow that shook the crystals again. The lightsaber showing itself for but a moment at the edge of her belt. 

 

“I am Telperiën Ar-Pharazon of the High Coven Myrkengodi.” Would they know the name Ar-Pharazon? The surname of a once famous Dark Lord? Or like all things from decades ago, had it been lost in a trillion more crimes and genocides conducted by the Sith that had followed Ar-Pharazon. So she continued. “And these are scattered sisters and witches of our burned world. If you have the means to restore our fountains and streams, I would be most grateful.” And the girls around the campfire stood awe of whatever the two spacers could bring. Their eyes were and their faces expectant, their food momentarily forgotten. 

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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.

 

 

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The young women and girls at the fire looked at each other quizzically and Telperiën finally spoke. Her voice reflecting the general mood of the nightsisters and witches. 

 

“Why would an entire organization help us? We are nothing to the galaxy.” 

 

It was not a self defeating prophecy, it was simply the truth as far as the dirt streaked girls could think. What was there on this world that attracted the attention of the galaxy? Did they want to export mud, or extort some yet unmined mineral. 

 

“Help is not given freely, and deed carries a debt. This is the law of nature. This is the law of the predator. This is the law of Dathomir. To accept help without debt is to accept weakness. We are a broken people. But not a helpless one.” Her voice lowered and the embers began to die down, now a dark orange that barely shone above the starlight. “If there is a deal to be made we would make it. But we are no charity.” 

 

She cocked her head to the side and held out a hand. The fire jumping back up to full brightness. She asked a probing question that hinted at her lack of ignorance. 

 

“Are you working with the survivors foundation?” That jedi aligned group that had restored old Naboo. “It does not matter of course, for if you can return life to the world we would give you many slaves. And gladly for it.” 

 

She sat back down indicating that they should eat, and break out the rations. 

 

“The coven is all that remains of the sisters of the night. Those the Jedi would call ‘darksiders,’ though i would spit at that definition. All animals must have pack leaders, and Dathomiri are no different.” She snapped her finger and one of the girls brought out a jug of alcohol that they passed around. “The coven, like  the sisters before them, are merely the alpha pack.”

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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.

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Camik listened to the three speak. Telperien was the only voice that that truly head any sway for him but even her words, while holding some wisdom were not words that swayed him.  Perhaps they did not understand him. He wondered how much he should try and explain.  It might help his training, it might not. In the end he decided to give a bit more of an explanation. 


 

”Emotions are tools, love, hate, anger sadness all have their usefulness. Hate and anger are strong emotions that have a place in me and while I am not looking for happiness that is not because I am so filled with hate that I have no room for it but instead my experiences have formed me into someone that seeks security first. ” 

 

He looked at Telperien. ”Your story spoke of how a sister of great power left and returned only to bring death and destruction to her once home but did not say if this brought her happiness or sadness. Her hate that she had tended bloomed and she destroyed those that she believed had wronged leaving a path of destruction in her path. Her hate had external consequences but what did it do for her?  I am guessing she left this place with her lovers and found new things to spend her time on. ” 

 

He turned to Svata ”You say anger makes a fool of us all but if I grow angery for you trying to assume that the sum of my experiences have no meaning and I should forget them and I kill you for it, would that make me a fool?  Hate and anger are only a tool. Unrestrained anything is a difficult ‘worm’ to control but that dosn’t stop people from loving unconditionally and doing dumb things with that?” 

 

”If I were to take my hate and anger and like the sister turn it to those that have wronged me in the past, working to eraticate slavery. I am sure there would be spill over and innocents would be harmed in the process but in the end I would have my revenge and those that thought to pick up a lash would be more hesitant in the future. I could not do this task with love or compassion driving me. I do not know the people that are already under the lash. I do know those that are not yet born. Pride in my race might be a strong enough emotion but pride is a selfish emotion and only a short stop away from anger. 

 

Every emotion can be used and controlled it is only through my Will am I able harness it.” 

 

His first master had encouraged him to find his own code. At the time he struggled with the concept and had put it out of his mind but had he stumbled upon the beggins of it?  He took a bite of the Rancor and waited for the retort that he knew was coming.

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Svata listened in silence, face solemn.

 

In the quiet that followed the young cathar's speech, Svata waited a long moment before speaking.

 

"Now now now, don't go putting words in my mouth. I don't know what bent your life outta shape. I wouldn't presume to know. And I certainly wouldn't say your life experiences have no meaning. But I've heard this particular speech of yours before. It was wishful nonsense when I said it, and I suspect it's the same for you. Like a spice-jacked kid saying every hit is a choice, and they could stop when they want." Svata stretched. "But there's no need to listen to an old man who just doesn't get it. You do what you want, and I hope you live long enough to learn something from it. Let me know what you figure out. I'm curious if you'll make it where you're looking to go.

 

And to answer your question. If me talking gets you to kill me out of anger, then yes, anger makes you a fool."

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Telperiën’s eyes glanced between her apprentice and the Ryn. She opened her mouth for a moment then quickly shut it, grinding whatever fast retort she had to dust between her clenched jaws. Who were these men? But she would answer them each in turn. 

 

“Camik, while true they are tools to be used, I am merely suggesting that using them constantly is not only detrimental, but completely destructive to your journey and your goals. That Sister who left and brought destruction to the homeworld was my Mother. Though I am a product of her endeavours, it is also because of her that millions died. My sire and her lover was a great lord of Darkness. One that kept the galaxy firmly within his grasp before he too was cut down. Who now remembers him? Only bitter enemies and childless mothers. It is because of him and my mother that this galaxy now lies in ruins. They undermined the peace and security of that great Galactic Alliance.” 

 

She cocked her head to the side and looked deeply into the fire. As if to watch the spirits that danced there. 

 

“She died dissatisfied and alone and no one buried her bones in the crypts of our mothers.” The girls around the fire looked shocked and spit a hurried incantation towards the fire. “Yes, her spirit wanders far from the world she destroyed. So what is the lesson, is it never to use hate? Never to touch anger? To be besotten fools without emotions like the Jedi? No.” She looked back towards her apprentice. “But they must only be used when they have their utmost effect. They are not a table to constantly sup at. For in doing so you will mark your own destruction. That is the lesson, though I must warn you if you seek to destroy slavery, that the path you are on will not satisfy you.”

 

She let her gaze wander to the others around the fire before resettling on the Sith Apprentice. 

 

“Will your blade stop at the neck of the Dark Lord? Will you crumble the Empire? For they all bring and benefit from slavery.  Or is your purpose to bring enough power to enslave those that were cruel to you as a child?” 

 

She looked to the Duros who went by the tatooine sand creatures name. 

 

“Kindness is a doorway in which weakness can enter and is not our way. For does the Sarlaac ever let its prey go out of kindness of heart? Kindness is not the way of nature. Nature is brutal and unrelenting. Can a sister live and not hunt for herself? No, the pack is weaker when you freely provide for all.” The girls who had eaten the freely offered rancor meat glanced quickly at each other before Telperiën held out a calming hand. “But we will not turn away strangers at the door. For they can be useful.” 

 

She looked back at the Rynn and Duros. 

 

“So you too are force users, then you are more than welcome at our table. Such as it is.  Our knowledge is yours to do with what you will. should you heal our world." She retrieved a knife from her side and plunged it freely into her palm, the blood spashing and bubbling from the wound to fill her palm. Dripping between her shaking fingers to disappear into the dark loamy earth. "A deal is struck.” And she tossed the knife to the duros. 

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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.

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The force moved. Safely at first, like a breeze against the back of her neck that stiffened into a wind when the duros caught the gently tossed blade. She inclined her head in agreement and turned back to the girls and her apprentice around the fire. They finished their food and pitched their tents, leaving a good amount of food out to eat should more join them during the long night. 

 

When Telperiën awoke she let the force flow through her, the crystals at her wrists softly glowing in the dawn light. She breathed in and caught the scent. Her blood. On the Duros’ palm. It did not take her long to find the ship after she roused the rest of the camp. 

 

She knocked on the landing ramp. The cluster of girls crouching in the low shrubbery beside her. The dawn showing their dirty faces. 

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The ramp lowered, and standing at the top was Svata. Dressed in the same colorful garb from the night before (albeit more ruffled), the old ryn yawned and ran his hand through his hair.

 

"Star lag. I'll never get...Never mind. Guess it's time to get to work." He put his fingers to his mouth and whistled back into the ship. "Sarlaac! Time to go!" As he shouted, he silently noted that Sarlaac was probably already up. In truth, Svata had been as well. His priorities just put breakfast and a thermos of caf above personal grooming.

 

Gesturing dramatically, he waved the visitors onboard.

 

"Care for a flight? Unless you were planning on walking?" He paused for a moment, eyes turned upwards in deep thought while his tail swished behind him. When he lowered his face, he wore a brilliant white smile. "Where are my manners? Breakfast? We've got a fresh pot of caf. The good stuff, straight outta Garqi, not that powdered bantha dropping they crank out in the Inner Rim." He turned and hobbled back onto the ship, legs still stiff from a rough night's sleep on a cot. Well...that and a few too many decades spent walking on them.

 

Real smart Svata. You couldn't have joined a Sabacc league or written your memoirs, could you? No, you had to join a kriffing warrior order.

 

"C'mon, I've got this trick for making fruit preserves taste like...something besides fruit preserves."

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Camik awoke with Telperien rousing the camp. He was never one to wake slowly. Years of being roused from sleep abruptly had taught him the perils of being sluggish when he woke. His mind went back to the conversation of the night before in front of the fire.  His pride had wanted to respond to the comment of being called a fool. He had started to respond but realized it was a waste of his breath. This Svata would never understand and it didn’t bother Camik in the least if he didn’t.  He was here to improve himself and if some stranger didn’t understand the inner workings of his brain then that was too bad. 

 

The Sarlac though seemed to offer help a bit too quickly, something Telperien jumped upon when given the opportunity. He did not know what the blood pact would do but he had no doubt that Telperien would use it to her advantage. Hers and her people. 

 

He moved with the sisters, wondering what Telperien had in mind for this morning but for now he simply drew in the force and moved as quietly as he could.  

 

He had mentally sent the Rancor off to hunt. There was a time and a place to have such a creature but this was not it.  Something of its size was powerful but it was also huge and loud. Not something he wanted to deal with right now.

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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.

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Telperiën waited for the rest of the girls and sisters to board as well as her Sith Apprentice before she followed them up the ramp. They lined the interior of the ship, hungry looking and dirty, their leather and hide armour seeming barbaric against the smooth interior hull of the ship. The various weapons they clutched in small hands also looked equally bizarre. Weapons of a time harkening humanity before spaceflight. Bows, quivers, spears. The weapons of savages. 

 

The girls did make an orderly line and gratefully accepted the food and drink the two spacers offered, though they waited until Telperiën had began to eat before they ate. WHen she had finished her meal she watched the holo presentation with a stoic expression placed across her face. 

 

Her voice was soft when she finally spoke. “Dathomir was never a beautiful world, and it certainly could never have been described as a gaia world like Naboo. We do not wish the life of city dwellers or farmers for that is the path of weakness and democracy. We are hunters. A restoration of the world to allow that lifestyle to return is all that we need.” 

 

She reached forward and tapped the planetary map where large swaths of the planet remained burned and barren. 

 

“A return of the forests and its fauna is all that we need. Though if you wish to bring settlers in for sport we would not be opposed. That sort of hunting we have not done in an age.” 

 

The girls said nothing but simply nodded and Telperiën grasped the scab of her earlier cut. She ripped it open and blood yet again purged forth, slowly at first then it began to cup in her hand. 

 

“Annah.” The young woman stood and closed her eyes fearfully. Telperiën flung the handful of blood onto her face causing the other woman to grimace for a moment beforeshe ran down the landing ramp into the underbrush. The eyes of the other girls followed her then looked back to the Nightsister. 

 

“The first lesson is the lesson of blood. Kaila and Liana and Jess.” The three girls stood as Telperiën tossed her knife to Camik. 

 

“Now do the same.” She said to Camik and the offworlders. “Draw your blood and the life that goes with it. I will teach you how to track.”

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