Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Honest Cid's Outer Rim Transport: Tales of Team Aurek - Wrrlryyhn's Story

Born in the city of Kachirho, Wrrlryyhn was, as most other wookiees were, raised in the nursery ring. Even at such a young age, she stood out among the other young females as she engaged in the rough-and-tumble play of the male children. Afterwards, she would return home to her mother and father. Besides the regular chores that wookiee children were expected to perform, her mother, Isshanta, taught her of the healing arts while her father, Shortobuck, showed her how to play the yykrn, a wookiee string instrument that made use of the silk fibers of the syren plant. Young Wrrlryyhn developed a passion for the arts, specifically music and stories, alongside a keen interest in medicine.

Within wookiee society, young males went through rites of passage to prove they had become adults. The most common of these practices was the gathering fibers from the carnivorous syren plant. Her older brother Chewkazza completed this ritual and, brat that he was, lorded the accomplishment over his sister. Despite her parents warnings and eventual pleas, Wrrlryyhn decided that she was just as capable as Chewkazza and so, armed with her father's bowcaster, descended into the lower levels of the forests to find one of the syrens.

Instead, the adolescent wookiee stumbled across a savage katarn. Before she could slay it with the bowcaster, the beast knocked the weapon from her hands and she was forced to rely upon her natural strength to wrestle the creature to the ground. Wrrlryyhn was thankful for the many lessons on the biology of the native fauna, the knowledge giving her the edge she needed to strike the animal's weak points and subdue it. Wrrlryyhn decided that she preferred defending herself with her hands rather than a large and unwieldly blaster. When she returned home, it was not only with the fibers of the syren plant, but also with the hide of a vicious katarn, more than enough to put her boasting brother to shame.

When she was old enough, Wrrlryyhn began proper training in the healing arts, learning not only of standard medical procedures practiced throughout the galaxy, but also of the more native treatments involving various plants, herbs, and the leaves and sap of the wroshyr tree. While her musical studies faltered, she proved to be a quick study when it came to the practice of medicine. Her teachers were rather surprised by the speed with which she grasped the often complicated subjects. Some of this was due in part to the fact that her mother had taught her quite a bit already, as well as her rather keen and intelligent mind.

After finishing her Kashyyyian medical training, Wrrlryyhn served for several years as a healer in the city of Rwookrrorro before deciding to move on. While the work was rewarding and sometimes even taxing, her desire to learn had not been sated. She decided to leave Kashyyyk to continue her studies elsewhere, visiting some of the most prestigious medical schools in the galaxy where she would spend decades, first learning and then teaching. During that time, Wrrlryyhn developed an interest in various styles of unarmed combat, dabbling in her spare time and creating a mixture of techniques combined with medical knowledge in a potent style that was all her own.

When Wrrlryyhn eventually returned to her arboreal homeworld, she brought with her all number of interesting stories about her journeys, as well as a few medical advances that were quickly disseminated amongst the various schools of healing. She even taught what she had learned of hand to hand combat to those willing and capable of learning. She was on the verge of achieving the status of Elder in Kachirho before the Republic's war with the Separatists made its way to Kashyyyk. With her unusual training and aptitudes, it was no surprise that Wrrlryyhn served as a combat medic during the droid army's invasion, on the front lines repelling the enemy even as she tended to wounded wookiees and clone troopers alike.

Like so many of her people, she was caught off-guard by the sudden betrayal of the clone soldiers. Before she knew it, Kashyyyk was under attack by the very people whom she had fought alongside. The wookiees fought a long and desperate battle but they simply weren't prepared for the overwhelming forces of the newly christened Galactic Empire. Wrrlryyhn had fled back to Kachirho to gather her family and had managed to gain passage onboard a ship that was attempting escape. Unlike the other transports that were fleeing the Empire, one of the wookiees aboard this one had been a member of the Claatuvac Guild, carrying knowledge of secret hyperspace routes which were used to help them escape Imperial forces. Even still, Wrrlryyhn was agonized by the sight of so many transports captured or destroyed by the Emperor's fleet.

They eventually managed to find safe haven on the Outer Rim planet of Voss. While still under the Empire's control, it was beneath its notice. However, Wrrlryyhn was not content to simply hide for the rest of her life. Rather than remain on Voss, she left to continue her work as a healer. It wasn't easy, moving from ship to ship as she was forced to avoid Imperial detection. However, fortunately, the wookiee had a chance encounter with the Herglic by the name of Sid Ybom. The Tapani Knight was in need of someone with medical training to serve on his freighter and, in return, he would 'purchase' her as an indentured servant, allowing her freedom to roam without being targeted by Imperials or bounty hunters.

Since then, Wrrlryyhn has been doing a satisfactory job as one of Honest Sid's medical officers, though she finds the work of treating minor bumps, bruises, and occasional illnesses less than fulfilling. As a result, she's taken up playing the yykrn again. With most of her time spent aboard traveling freighters, she rarely has opportunity to visit her family, but she makes the effort when she can. Still, more than anything, the doctor wishes that her job offered her a bit more excitement.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Honest Cid's Outer Rim Transport: Tales of Team Besh Part 1 - T3-R9's Story

Built in a Duwani Mechanical Products factory 4000 years ago, T3-R9 began his existence as a simple utility droid. Designed for repair and general maintenance duties, the T3-series worked at their best aboard starships. Such was not the to be for R9 who was assigned to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, specifically to one of the Jedi, a young man by the name of Vandara. It swiftly proved to be a less than pleasant partnership, as Vandara did not speak or understand binary, and expressed distaste for the droid at worst, complete dismissal at best.

Nonetheless, the little droid worked alongside a rather ragtag bunch of Republic soldiers, mercenaries, Jedi, and even a senator (briefly) on a mission to investigate and discover Jedi imprisoned during the war with the Sith Triumvirate. It was during this time that he began to develop a personality of his own, possessing a fascination and talent for gambling. It often proved to be a boon to his companions when they were low on credits. Of course, this didn't stop them from considering selling the droid.

Despite his programming, he steadily developed a disdain for organics who treated him as little more than a talking appliance, and R9 often entertained the idea of blowing his 'friends' out of the ship's airlocks. Of course, he never did so, having formed a camaraderie with them despite the many difficulties they all faced in working with one another. His personality continued to emerge, thanks in large part to a technician by the name of Bidon Vask who worked in the Jedi Temple. Vask and R9 had developed a relationship during the droid's tenure at the Temple, and in exchange for being able to witness the team's holo-recorded adventures, he forewent R9's scheduled mind wipes.

The little droid has led an interesting life, involved in a number of adventures and vital missions to the republic during his many years of service. He fought against a Sith Lord, defeated a sentient spaceship, and helped to run a fight club within Coruscant's lower levels. Not all of his accomplishments have been.. praise-worthy, obviously. In fact, T3-R9 remains noted in the Senate Archives as one of the few droids to publicly insult and berate a senator and avoid being dismantled as a result:

Of course, records of any Republic soldier's activities, especially those of a droid, are difficult to keep track of. At some point during a crisis in the Enorath Sector, information on R9 and his fellow members of Republic Intelligence become increasingly difficult to find. Of course, this is not entirely unexpected of documentation several thousand years old. Many such droids from those days long past are no longer functional, serving as pieces of prized collections rather than continuing the functions that they were built for.

It is entirely possible that such was the fate of this particular T3 unit...

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Honest Cid's Outer Rim Transport: Tales of Team Aurek Part 1 - Katya's Story

Katya Vesst was born on Dantooine, a planet on the Outer Rim beneath the notice of most folk traveling amongst the stars. It was a pleasant sort of place, with wide sweeping grasslands and deep blue rivers flowing freely. The land was good for farming so, unsurprisingly, it was home to many farmers. It wasn't perfect, mind you. There were plenty of native beasts that could prove particularly dangerous to simple folk working the land, like packs of wild kath hounds or even kinrath. But Katya had never seen the rolling hills or the large mountains, she didn't even know what the grass looked like. She had been far too young to remember any of it when she was taken away by the Jedi Order.

She grew up in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, as so many others did, never truly knowing of her previous life. Sometimes she wondered about her parents, who they were and what they did, but her instructors would gently remind her of the dangers of attachment and idle fantasy. Still only a small child, her days as an Initiate were filled with training, instruction, and contemplation upon the Force, learning to open herself up to it. Katya was slow to progress in her studies and her meditation techniques, though she never lagged far behind. She simply never quite grasped the purpose of the training.

When she was old enough, she underwent the Initiate Trials to prove that she understood the Jedi Code, the fundamentals of lightsaber combat, and the basics of wielding the Force. She passed. Barely. Katya had learned later that there had been some discussion on whether or not she would be placed into the Jedi Service Corps rather than being taken on as the apprentice of a full Jedi. Eventually, it was decided that Initiate Vesst simply required a more personal touch to her training to allow her to better grow and master the ways of the Jedi.

It was not long after this that she was taken on as a Padawan by the Master Anza, despite the demand for Jedi to protect the Republic from the Separatist forces. Wise beyond her years, Anza still had a youthful mischief in her eyes despite the beginnings of wrinkles and crow's feet. Of course, her apprenticeship was short lived, as the Clone Wars ended and gave way to the Jedi Purge. Katya was still too young to truly grasp what was happening, only able to see the fear and pain on Master Anza's face as she felt the death of the Jedi Order.

Teacher and student made for a desperate escape from Coruscant, attempting to reach the space port before Imperial forces managed to catch up with them. However, this was not to be. As the clone troopers began to advance on their location, Anza shoved what few credits she had left into Katya's hands and told her to purchase a transport to one of the Outer Rim worlds, that she would find her, but she needed to leave now. The Padawan did as she was told, managing to evade the patrols through equal measures of training and luck before gaining passage on a freighter headed for Denab. And that was the last that Katya ever saw of her Master. Arriving on an Outer Rim world creditless, she was forced to sell her possessions, including her lightsaber.

On her own, Katya made do however she could, often finding work on various ships, if only to pay her way from transport to transport. The years passed and life settled into something that was manageable and predictable. The Jedi Code that she had spent years memorizing and meditating upon faded from her mind, replaced by a different code entirely. A code of survival. There was no Light or Dark, just people who wanted to use you or kill you. There was no such thing as self-defense. Here, you shot first and you certainly didn't ask questions. Katya learned her new code well, but discarding the teachings of the Jedi had left a hole in her. A hole that she attempted to fill with drink.

From time to time, she attempted to practice her Jedi arts, to use the Force, but her skill had also atrophied. It seemed to work best when she was angry or upset, but afterwards she would feel a palpable evil, as though her own will were turning dark and tempting. Over time, Katya used her powers less and less and drank more and more. She became bitter, bitter after all the years of fighting, back stabbing, lying, and killing. Bitter that she had been abandoned by the Jedi and by the Force. Bitter that drink was the only way that she could escape herself.

And now, sitting in a quiet cell, Katya thinks upon her life, everything that has brought her to this point, and all that she has to show for it: bruised knuckles and a bloody nose from a drunken cantina brawl. Everything that had made her Jedi was gone, and she had no one to thank for it but herself. However, echoes of it remained, little memories of the proper sitting position, taking deep, slow, breaths and calming her thoughts. And there it was: the Force. It was within her reach, but only just barely. It had always been with her, just as her Master had once told her.

She only needed the courage to open herself up to it again, and she would not find that at the bottom of a bottle.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Road To Civil War: The Private Journal of Bruce Banner (Part 1)

KnightErrantJR is currently running a Civil War campaign over Google Hangouts using the awesome (and now defunct) Marvel Heroic Roleplaying game. There's 7 other players involved, and I'm impressed with how well Jared's been handling it so far. I have the awesome privilege of being able to play Bruce Banner (and the Hulk, of course). Surprisingly enough, I find Banner far more interesting than his mean, green, alter ego but haven't yet had much chance to explore the man behind the monster. Reading up on his history, watching a few episodes from the television series and the movies, I just feel really bad for the poor guy.

He risked his life to help someone else and, in return, he was cursed. I'm not saying that other heroes don't have it rough, but still, they've got nothing on poor Bruce Banner. Sure, Spider-Man's got the Parker Luck and he's suffered his fair share of tragedy, but he also gets to make out with Black Cat. Just sayin'.

However, I'm getting off point. Basically, one of the players (who plays Wolverine) has started writing a journal of sorts for his character. I liked the idea and, well, here we are. Hopefully, I can do some justice to Dr. Banner and Jade Jaws.