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Saga - PT Destiny / Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, OC / (eventually will be part of a series)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by TheRynJedi, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    Title: Destiny
    Author(s): Stephanie Roberts (aka Aikisenshi, JediSennah or TheRynJedi)
    Timeframe: Saga - Pre TPM
    Characters: Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, OCs
    Genre: Drama, OC backstor
    Keywords: Jedi, youngling, Ryn

    Summary: Already a week late in returning to Coruscant, Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his teenage Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi stop for supplies on a backwater planet, where Qui-Gon finds himself side-tracked once more, by an intriguing mystery in the Force.

    I have been working on this story off and on for over 15 years, 5 years ago it got a major re-write and just this week, finally finished. I'm excited to finally post it.


    Gandan counted out the small pile of coins with a talon-like nail. He transferred the coins from his long-fingered hand back into the pouch he had used to collect the coins from his clanmates. The velvet-furred humanoid ran a hand through his grey-white spikey hair and sighed. They didn't have much coin, but it would hopefully be just enough to buy the supplies his clan needed, plus maybe something special for Eda to use in making some sort of fantastic dish for tomorrow's celebration. His wife was good at transforming myriad bits of the ordinary into an extraordinary whole. The short biped slipped the coin pouch back into a pocket of his brightly colored, though threadbare, cargo vest and entered the store.

    It was a small shop, but then most of the things on this woebegone corner of an Outer-Rim planet were small, or underdeveloped, or crude. The fact that this planet conducted trade in coins instead of credit chips was testament enough to its primitiveness. Yet there was work here, so Gandan’s clan had stopped for the season. The city contained the planet's main spaceport. It was barely big enough for more than the few cargo ships exporting the planet’s agrarian goods and a passenger flight or two. But this shop would have a few things that Gandan wouldn't find out in the market square. ‘Luxury goods’ like standard bacta patches, which were not manufactured on-planet but were shipped in and sold at exorbitant prices in specialty shops like this. As he wandered the aisles selecting his purchases, Gandan felt sorry for anyone who happened to stop by this city needing supplies for a spacecraft. The prices for standard food packs and air scrubbers were amazingly steep.

    His selections made, the compact humanoid hefted his small basketful of goods towards the checkout counter. He joined the end of the line of other shoppers eager to make their purchases quickly and be gone before sunset. Gandan slowed his pace a step as the shoppers moved forward, so as not to encroach on the distance the Duros in front of him in the queue was trying to keep between them. It was just a courteous habit most of Gandan’s people had, just like ignoring the condescending and even disgusted looks a few other beings in the store were directing his way.

    Two voices speaking softly in Coruscanti-accented Basic approached from behind. There’s a pair who’s far from home, Gandan thought as they joined the line behind him. The younger of the two voices was trying, but not quite succeeding, at keeping a whine out of his voice:

    “...But if you had not stopped to talk to that Twi'lek girl, we would already be home by now.”

    “Yes we could be home by now. Yet because we are not, that young girl is no longer living the life of a slave.” Answered the older, deeper voice patiently.

    “But slavery is legal in this part of the galaxy, we did not have to intervene--” the younger voice began, but cut off abruptly before continuing in a more contrite tone of voice. “I’m sorry, I know it is not my place to disagree with you, Master, but even Master Yoda has said we must stick to the matter at hand, and to our missions, and not allow ourselves to be distracted by small detours like this. The small ones add up into big ones, and now we're here, buying emergency supplies for our transport in some forgotten corner of the galaxy.”

    “You have to be mindful of the Living Force, Padawan, it may lead you to a place such as this for a reason.”

    Gandan looked back in surprise at the deeper voice’s mention of the Force. He was interested, though not quite surprised, to see two humans wearing the distinctive robes of the Jedi Order. One was fully grown, standing a head and half taller than Gandan; he had long brown hair, a similarly colored beard, and striking blue eyes. The other looked to be an adolescent, and was nearer to Gandan's own height. The young man had short-cropped hair, except for a tightly-woven braid hanging behind one ear and a small tail of hair gathered at the nape of his neck. Gandan could not see the young one's eyes, he was facing away, still discussing with his master, but he could tell from the boy’s posture that he was feeling sullen and exhausted.

    Gandan wondered at their courage at wearing the trademark clothing so openly, the Republic’s peacekeepers were not well-liked in many parts this far from the Core. The older Jedi pushed his robe aside as he reached into a pouch on his belt, Gandan glimpsed a silver and black cylinder clipped there; it had to be a lightsaber. At the sight of the legendary Jedi weapon, Gandan was reminded that the Jedi were said to be able to wield the blades with deadly skill, so perhaps it was not as foolish as he thought for the Jedi to be traveling openly.

    Not wanting to seem rude by staring at the pair of Jedi, Gandan faced forward again. Secretly, he was a bit excited. The Jedi were much admired among his people, and tradition had it that to see or meet a Jedi was a sign of good luck, or at least that something new and exciting would be coming your way.

    The line moved and Gandan took a few steps forward, though still keeping a respectful distance from the Duros. The younger Jedi must have been still facing his master, and missed seeing the being in front of him stop, because the boy abruptly stepped on the end of Gandan’s long prehensile tail. Gandan whistled through his beak-like nose in surprise and pain, causing the apprentice to jump back and whirl around, his face flushing in embarrassment.

    “I am so sorry sir, I was not looking where I was going. A-are you alright?”

    Gandan smiled and laughed at the stammering youth. “I am fine, young Jedi,” he said in heavily accented Basic. He let loose another hearty laugh. "I am wondering though," he remarked, grinning as he stroked one end of his his long gray mustaches, “if it is good luck to meet a Jedi, as my people believe, what does it portend to be stepped on by one?”

    The elder Jedi chuckled, "Good luck forever, or perhaps bad luck, considering the luck that follows the one who stepped on you."

    The youth stared at the floor, abashed. The elder put a hand on his shoulder.

    "I am only joking, Padawan. Just as there are times to be serious, there are times like these when it is best to not be." The elder Jedi smiled and inclined his head in apology towards the being in front of him. Gandan returned the nod respectfully and faced the head of the line once more.

    When Gandan reached the counter a few minutes later, he and the Jedi were the only customers left in the shop. Gandan put his purchases on the counter to be totaled. The store owner, a tall, rough-looking human, eyed Gandan closely, from his worn boots to his brightly colored shirt and vest.

    “What do you want, thief?” The shopkeeper growled.

    Gandan suppressed a sigh, “Just to purchase these goods and be on my way.”

    The shopkeeper watched the humanoid warily. “How do I know you don’t have half of my store stowed away in your pockets?”

    “Because I have no need for anything else besides these,” Gandan answered, nodding to his items, and reaching into his vest for the money pouch, “and I have good coin to pay for them.”

    “Yeah? How do I know you didn’t get that money cheating people around here with your games and swindling?”

    “I guess you will have to trust me by my actions,” Gandan replied, his ire rising, “and by the honest labor my clan has been doing in your brother’s fields and repairing his rusted harvesting droids, despite the minimal pay and meager food we receive in return.”

    The shopkeeper's face reddened in anger. "You dirty little--."

    “Excuse me,” a smooth voice interrupted. The bearded Jedi stepped up to the counter, catching the shopkeeper's attention with a waved hand. “His money is legitimate.”

    The shopkeeper stared at the Jedi for a moment, blinked, then nodded. “It is legitimate,” he agreed.

    The Jedi motioned for Gandan to hand over the money. The shopkeeper accepted it and Gandan gathered his purchases. As Gandan turned to leave, the shopkeeper shook his head as if trying to clear it. He squinted at the humanoid.

    “Hold on, what’s that under your vest?”
    Gandan froze, his mind racing for a response, but the Jedi interrupted again.

    “You do not need to worry, it is nothing,” the Jedi said with another barely perceptible wave of his hand. “He did not steal from you.”

    "No, he didn't." The shopkeeper replied.

    "He can go." the Jedi suggested.

    "Yes, he can go." The big human repeated.
    The Jedi glanced at Gandan and nodded, Gandan hurried out the door.

    In the shadow of a building across the street from the shop, Gandan packed his purchases in a backpack and waited for the Jedi to emerge. So, the man from the little one's dream is real after all, Gandan thought. The Jedi Master's voice, it had a melody that almost DID sound like the voice of one of our people, even if he was a human. Gandan decided he would not say anything about his niece's dreams to the Jedi now, he would wait and see what Fate would bring.

    The door opened and the young Jedi appeared, carrying a large shoulder pack, his master appeared just behind.

    “I wanted to thank you, sir.” Gandan said, running to catch up with the Jedi.

    “Don’t mention it.” The Jedi replied, then added quietly, “ anyone.”

    Gandan grinned and nodded in understanding.

    “Force be with you sirs.” Gandan said, shouldering his pack and turning to leave.
    The elder Jedi spoke a series of whistling, melodic-sounding words. Gandan stopped abruptly in mid-step and turned around, his eyes wide in amazement; the Jedi Master knew some of his language; and he spoke it fairly well, the Jedi's resonant voice almost made up for the lack of proper nasal equipment. Gandan bowed deeply to the Jedi, and thanked him in the same language.

    Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his teenage apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi stood at the side of the dusty street watching the strange being walk away.

    “What is he, Master?” Obi-Wan asked, looking up at Qui-Gon. “I have never seen one of his species before.”

    “He was a Ryn, my young padawan.” Qui-Gon answered “They are a rare species, and with the way their kind are treated, it is always surprising to see that clans of them still survive.” The Jedi Master stared thoughtfully down the road, watching the Ryn dexterously weave his way through the street traffic until he was lost in the crowd.

    “Why was the shopkeeper so convinced he was a thief?” The Padawan asked, settling the pack of supplies over his shoulders. His Master didn't respond. Obi-Wan touched Qui-Gon on the arm. "Master?"

    Qui-Gon blinked and looked down at his apprentice. "Sorry Obi-Wan, what did you ask?" Obi-Wan repeated his question, but Qui-Gon still seemed in the midst of some deep thought.

    Abruptly Qui-Gon turned and began walking towards the small spaceport docks. Obi-Wan hurried to catch up, lugging the pack. Qui-Gon spoke as they walked.

    “The Ryn live a simple life, when they are not being killed, or enslaved, or forcefully relocated by mobs. Their nomadic traditions and willingness to work any job available to get food for their clan, or to buy transportation to a friendlier place, has earned the Ryn a reputation for stealing jobs from local laborers. Ryn will usually set up a camp just outside a spaceport town, or in a corner of a space station - if they are fortunate enough to have ships - then they will work whatever jobs they can find, or wander the port, dancing, singing, or telling fortunes for the locals, in exchange for goods or credits. It is these traveling carnivals and the Ryn expertise in negotiating a deal that has spread the most damaging prejudices: that the Ryn are no more than soulless thieves and swindlers.” Qui-Gon paused. “Yet, despite the prejudice against them, the few Ryn I have met have been honest and kind, with a deep reverence for the Force and the Jedi.”

    “Have there ever been any Ryn Jedi?” Obi-Wan asked as they neared the landspeeder.

    “None that I know. The Ryn are wary of non-Ryn coming into their camps. I have heard stories of Ryn children and young adults being kidnapped to be sold as slaves. Or made breeders for slave stock. It is widely believed that Ryn would not let even a Jedi come near enough to their camps to test their children for Force sensitivity, so most Jedi don't bother trying. Though their reputation for confidence games and fortune-telling suggests that at least some of them may have a Force sensitivity.”

    They arrived at their rented transport ship just as the sun was setting. Qui-Gon punched in the access code and they entered. Obi-Wan began storing away the supplies, but Qui-Gon interrupted him.

    “I will finish that, Obi-Wan. Get some rest, we may have some walking to do tomorrow.”

    “But Master, we are supposed to be leaving for Coruscant.” Obi-Wan protested.

    “Our return will be delayed.” Qui-Gon replied. Obi-Wan opened his mouth to protest, but Qui-Gon cut him off with a raised hand. “No questions Padawan, just go to sleep.”

    “Yes Master,” Obi-Wan sighed, and crawled into his berth. He was already dreading the morning. His master was dragging him along on yet another detour.

    The setting sun shone on the tawny fuzz and brown hair of three year old Sennah as she sat on a rock near the trail to camp. She was drawing patterns in the dirt with a small pointed fingernail and humming a little song through her beak-like nose. She concentrated on carefully drawing four pillars, each with pointed tops, with a fifth, taller than the rest, in the middle. Suddenly a trilling sound floated through the air.

    Sennah's head popped up, she looked down the road to where the whistle had come from. Ambling towards camp was uncle Gandan, his arms and pack full of things bought in town. Sennah dusted her velvety hands off on her brightly-colored skirt, then, fingering the holes along her nose; she answered with a trilling whistle of her own.

    “You are getting good little one.” Gandan said to her in the melodic Ryn tongue as he reached his niece. He set down his bags and sat on the rocks next to her. “Will you perform a song for us at Fina and Aandon's wedding tomorrow?” He asked.

    Sennah grinned and nodded. Gandan lifted the toddler into his lap. Glancing down, he noticed the patterns in the dirt.

    “What were you drawing my little niece?” he asked.

    Sennah tried once again to explain the big tall building with lots of people inside, people who were her family but none of them looked like the people in this clan. She tried to describe the kind man with blue eyes and brown fur on only his head and his chin, who had a voice that sang just like someone from her clan, but didn't have the right kind of nose. The man who was part of that clan who lives in the big pretty building, the man who would take her to go meet them. Sennah babbled on, but she still didn't know the words for everything she had seen so many times in her dreams. She began to feel frustrated, she always did when trying to explain it, but she continued trying to tell uncle Gandan about the spaceship that she is going to ride in, way up high in the stars. Sennah knew Gandan didn't understand a lot of what she was saying. No one ever did. The little Ryn sighed and fell silent, a frown creasing her striped face.

    Gandan lifted Sennah up, tossing her high in the air and catching her again. He perched her on one shoulder. Sennah giggled as she hooked her tail around her uncle's neck to steady herself.

    “Do not worry my little one,” Gandan said, tickling the end of Sennah's fuzzy tail. “I think we may soon be finding out just what you have been babbling to us about since you first started learning to speak.”

    Gandan gathered his packages and carried them and the little one into camp.

    “...Yeah, get me Degent.”

    A scowling Twilek face crossed by several poorly-healed scars appeared on the screen.

    “What now Udek? This better be important.” the face on the screen growled.

    “Heard you were passing through the system, I have something for you. Something that you may find interesting.”


    “Watch this vid I am sending you.”

    The face on the screen turned, looking at a monitor to the side. He watched with disinterest. Suddenly his eyes widened, he whipped back around to the telescreen.

    “This was recorded in your store?”

    The shopkeeper nodded.

    “Today?” Degent asked.


    “Do you know where they are staying?”

    “How should I know? Your men should be able to find them, I'm sure plenty of people in town have seen them around.”

    “This may prove profitable.” Degent mused.

    “I expect some of it will come my way?” the shopkeeper inquired.

    “Of course Udek.” Degent replied absentmindedly, watching the vid again. “I'll be in contact.”

    The screen went dark.

    “Master Qui-Gon, where are we going?” Obi-Wan asked, trying to keep up with the long strides of the much taller Jedi.

    “Where the Force leads us, my young Padawan.” Qui-Gon answered, glancing down a side alley as they hurried through the marketplace.

    “Why exactly are we wandering through this decrepit city when we should be leaving for home?” the Padawan asked, beginning to lose patience with his master's oddities.

    Qui-Gon slowed his pace and came to a stop, letting his Padawan catch up. He turned and crouched slightly, lowering himself to meet Obi-Wan's scowling demeanor face to face.

    “Obi-Wan, do you remember that Ryn in the store yesterday? Did you notice the way he looked at me?” Qui-Gon asked, resting his hands on his knees.

    “I was a little distracted at the time Master," Obi-Wan said apologetically, "but I do remember that he seemed to… recognize you somehow?”

    “Indeed, he did. I also felt a great deal of surprise from him, mixed with a sense of relief. As if a great mystery had been finally solved.” the Jedi Master paused for a moment, pondering. “I need to find out why, and what this mystery was.”

    “Curiosity, Master?” Obi-Wan asked, almost condescendingly.

    “No,” said Qui-Gon, standing up again and resting a hand on his apprentice's shoulder, “An urging of the Force.”

    With a quiet sigh, Obi-Wan followed after his Master, they soon lost themselves in the crowds again, mixed among the myriad life forms who wandered the marketplace around them.

    After wandering in silence for most of the morning, the Jedi were reaching the edges of the spaceport's city.

    Obi-Wan ventured a question: “Master, there isn't much of the city left to search, do you know where we are going?”

    “I do not know yet Padawan,” Qui-Gon answered firmly. “But I feel we will know soon.”

    The pair paused on a street corner, Qui-Gon glanced around, unsure of where to go next.

    “You look lost sirs, in search of an answer perhaps?” Spoke a female voice with a whistling accent.

    The Jedi turned to see a small table set up at the mouth of a narrow alleyway. Behind the cloth-covered table sat a brightly dressed young Ryn female, she was holding a deck of antique Sabacc cards in her dark-furred hands.

    “Perhaps you would like a glimpse of the future?” she offered, shuffling the cards deftly and spreading them on the table before her.

    “By gambling?” The Padawan asked in confusion.

    “Ah, young one," the Ryn woman replied, with an air of mystery, "centuries before someone came up with a simple gambling game, and someone else computerized it into its infinite modern variations, there was the deck. Its suits and faces representing fates, fortunes, and possibilities.”

    A second Ryn, a gray colored male, appeared beside the fortune teller. He studied the distinctively dressed humans and chided his companion, “But Alema, these are Jedi Knights, they know the future better than the cards do.”

    The Ryn bowed to the Jedi, spreading his arms wide. “Forgive my daughter's enthusiasm. My name is Quin, Is there anything we can do for you sirs? Guide you to somewhere in the city perhaps?”

    “I have reason to believe our destination lies outside the city limits, but I do not know precisely where.” Qui-Gon answered thoughtfully. “I am looking for the place where you and your clanmates are making camp tonight. If one of you could direct me there I would be very grateful.”

    Alema looked up at the Jedi with more than a little suspicion. “Why would you be wanting to know where our camp is?”

    Obi-Wan was wondering the same thing. The stares a few of the pedestrians walking the street were giving him and his master were beginning to annoy him. He wished Qui-Gon would forget this little sidetrack and take him home to Coruscant. There was no such luck forthcoming for the Padawan, his master continued to confer with the strange beak-nosed aliens.

    “There is one of your group I wish to speak with, I met him in the marketplace yesterday. He has nearly black skin and fur, with a gray mustache and hair.” Qui-Gon described. “The Force tells me I must speak with him, as soon as possible.”

    Quin nodded slowly in contemplation. “Black with a gray mustache hmm? Sounds like Gandan.” He exchanged a glance with his companion. She quirked an eyebrow and spoke a few words in the musical Ryn tongue, he nodded in agreement.

    Grabbing a random card from the deck still spread on the table and pulling a writing utensil from a pouch on his belt, the Ryn sketched a small map on the back of the card, explaining as he drew.

    “Here is the city, you are here. Our camp is here, in one of many small valleys among the rocky canyons outside town. This map will show you which valley the camp is in.”

    Quin picked up the card between his long fingers and held it so that the side with the map, the back of the card, was facing Qui-Gon. “I would guide you there personally, but my daughter and I have some errands to...” The Ryn's words trailed off as he stared at the face of the card with an expression of extreme concern that edged on horror. He slowly flipped the card to show its face to the Jedi.

    “The Queen of Air and Darkness... Be careful my Jedi friends,” the Ryn said, handing the card to Qui-Gon, “Something dark follows you, something hidden, dangerous.”

    Qui-Gon pondered the card carefully and nodded slowly. “Thank you. I will remember your advice.” He tucked the card with its map into a pouch on his belt.

    “Come Obi-Wan, we must go quickly.”

    “Yes Master.” Obi-Wan said with a sigh, grateful that they were finally doing something besides standing on a street corner discussing superstitious nonsense about cards that told the future. He just wished they were racing back into town and to their ship, not racing out of town to some alien shanty village.

    “Thank you again.” Qui-Gon said to the Ryn, who had begun packing up the remaining sabacc cards and taking down the portable table. They made small bows to the Jedi in return.

    Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon headed east, towards the rocky hills outside of the city.

    “You, Ryn.”

    “Yes?” said the grey-furred fortuneteller, turning to face the blue-skinned Khil behind him.

    The Khil grabbed a handful of the Ryn’s ruffled shirt and hauled him close to his tentacled face. “Those two Jedi you just talked to, where are they going?”

    “Who knows where any Jedi go?" Quin replied, chuckling dryly and feigning indifference. “Not I.”

    Two Wequays appeared to either side of the Khil, vibroblades in hand. “My friends and I would appreciate getting a copy of that map you gave them.”

    The female Ryn drew a holdout blaster from somewhere among the folds of her skirt and trained it on the Khil’s left eye, the sharp quill-like spines on her forearms bristling, “Let him go, now.”

    “Alema, no--” was as much as Quin was able to gasp before the sharp hiss of a hypospray erupted from the alleyway.

    Alema crumpled, the blaster falling from her grasp as the fast-acting tranquilizer rendered her unconscious. A Quarren female stepped further out of the shadows of the alley, reloading the hypospray as she came.

    “Do what you will to us,” Quin stated defiantly in accented Basic, “but if you challenge the will of the Force, you will have the wrath of the Jedi--” the hypospray hissed once more, “--to...contend...with...”

    “Load them into the transport,” the Khil ordered, “we have some tracking to do tonight.”

    The pedestrians continued along their way down the street, hurrying their way home before it got too dark, unconcerned about, if they had even noticed, two Wequay tossing a pair of brightly-hued humanoid bundles into the cargo hatch of a speeder. Perhaps the Wequay had caught the beings cheating them, it served them right. Besides, they were only Ryn, they weren't worth bothering the authorities about.

    Master and apprentice approached the canyons just as the sun was beginning its downward crawl towards night. As they came closer to the valley marked on the Ryn fortuneteller's map, they heard the babble of many happy voices and strains of music floating up from the camp below.

    “It sounds like some sort of celebration is going on down there Master Qui-Gon. Should we be interrupting it like this? Going into their camp uninvited?” Obi-Wan hesitated at the top of the pathway leading down into the rugged, but orderly, camp below.

    “Yes, Padawan,” Qui-Gon sighed softly, “I have told you already, I feel a strong urging from the Force. It is telling me we must be here.” Qui-Gon answered firmly.

    Suddenly a group of a dozen Ryn children crested a nearby hill, the Jedi ducked behind a large rock, not wanting to announce their presence yet, or interrupt the little ones' play.

    The children climbed on and around the rocks, tugging on each others' hair and tails as they fought over the highest perches, jumping clumsily from one rock to the next with their still-developing natural Ryn gymnastics. The children laughed and shouted to each other in their musical language, bright smiles on their juvenilely-striped faces.

    From down the road in the Ryn camp came a long whistle and a shout. The children's laughter turned to cheers as they jumped off the rocks and dashed down the road. One dark brown boy slipped as he climbed down the side of a boulder, he hit the dirt hard, scraping his elbow on the rock as he fell. The rest of the group continued down the road towards camp, not noticing the boy's fall.

    A little Ryn girl in the center of the crowd, barely more than a toddler, suddenly stopped and turned back. She spotted the boy sitting in the dirt whimpering in a high-pitched nasal whistle. The girl ran back and knelt beside her wounded friend.

    She babbled to the boy, and the boy offered his scraped elbow for inspection. Blood was starting to show amid the dark brown fuzz. The tawny-furred toddler placed a hand over the elbow and with the other, patted the boy comfortingly on the shoulder. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, a look of extreme concentration on her face. A moment later she released the breath slowly and opened her eyes.

    The Ryn boy rubbed at his elbow, smiled, and stood up. After giving the girl a pat on the head, he ran off to catch up with the other younglings.

    The girl stayed kneeling on the ground, her head drooping in exhaustion, she swayed and nearly fell over, but caught herself with a small hand against the ground.

    “Did you see that Master?” Obi-Wan whispered with a touch of awe. “When she took her hand off the boy's elbow, the scrape was healed.” The two Jedi came out from behind the rock and stepped back onto the road.

    “I saw it, Padawan. An amazing and rare talent, I have only heard it spoken of in Legends.” Qui-Gon whispered back, looking down at the little tawny toddler. "She channeled the Living Force to speed the healing of the other youngling’s wound. The effort seems to have sapped much of her strength, however.”

    Qui-Gon walked forward and went to one knee beside the girl. He reached out and touched her on the shoulder. Startled, the toddler's head jerked up, she stared at the Jedi Master in alarm. Inexplicably, the expression on the little one's face quickly changed to a look of pure joy.

    The girl scrambled to her feet, laughing and babbling in her native tongue. She lept forward, almost knocking Qui-Gon over as she wrapped her arms around the Master's neck, hugging him tightly. All the while she continued babbling in her melodic language. Qui-Gon gathered the toddler into his arms and stood, a baffled expression crossing his face.

    “She seems to know you Master, very well, I might add.” Obi-Wan said, grinning as his master struggled to hold with the wildly gesturing toddler. She continued jabbering, sometimes pointing a small fuzzy hand to Qui-Gon's beard and long hair, sometimes pantomiming something flying through the air.

    “Do you know what she's saying Master Qui-Gon?” Obi-Wan asked.

    “I have no idea.” the master replied, chuckling at the toddler's excited babble.

    “You said something to that Ryn in the store yesterday.”

    “That phrase is the only bit of their language I know.” Qui-Gon replied. “I learned it from a group of Ryn I met many years ago. I thought their language was fascinating, and they thought my attempts to speak it were very humorous.” Smiling at the memory, Qui-Gon repeated the Ryn phrase he had spoken the day before.

    The toddler suddenly fell silent, a frown creasing her face. She looked like she was about to cry.

    “What did you say to her Master?” Obi-Wan inquired as the Ryn child babbled something sadly and clutched Qui-Gon's robes in small tight fists.

    “It means ‘Force be with you’, it is a common parting phrase. I believe the little one thinks I was saying goodbye, and she obviously doesn't want me to leave.”

    Qui-Gon awkwardly patted the girl on the back. “Do not worry, I'm not leaving, little one, in fact, I'm going to take you back to your clan so we can speak with your parents.”

    Gandan stood on the edge of the clearing in the center of the camp. Around him the wedding feast was gathering on the makeshift tables as the women of the camp finished cooking and brought out their creations. At the head table the bride and groom were taking their seats. Gandan caught his wife by the waist as she passed by with a tray of food.

    "Look at her Eda, isn't our Fina beautiful?" he said, wrapping his arms around her from behind.

    The auburn-furred Ryn woman smiled as she leaned back against her husband. "Yes, she is." The couple gazed at the newlyweds across the way, a crowd of well-wishers was gathering around them.

    After a moment Eda sighed and straightened again. “The sun is setting, time to get this party started.”

    “Yes ma'am.” Gandan said, giving his wife a mock salute as he released her. “Have Quin and Alema returned from town? I have not seen them yet.”

    “I haven’t, husband, I am getting a little worried.” Eda replied, delivering her tray to the serving table.

    Gandan huffed. “Well, Quin said they might be a little late getting back if they attracted some customers, so perhaps they are having a fortunate day.”

    Making his way through the small crowd gathered around the head table, Gandan spotted Rhianna and Oali, his second and third daughters.

    He called out to the younger one. “Oali, you have the loudest mouth, go call the children.”

    Oali rolled her eyes at her father's teasing, but nodded and jogged to the edge of camp. A minute later there was a piercing whistle and Oali's voice echoing off the canyon walls.

    “See Rhianna, I told you she had the loudest mouth.” Gandan said, winking at his middle daughter as they took their seats at the head table beside Fina.

    Gandan clapped his hands together, and in a voice that was just as loud, or louder, than Oali's, called for the well-wishers around the head table to take their seats.

    Once the crowd was settled in, and the children noisily tumbled into camp to be quickly herded to their families’ tables, Gandan stood and addressed the assembled guests, his strong clear voice echoing across the small valley.

    “Family and friends, welcome! The day has finally come. One of my beautiful daughters is being taken away; but who better to run off with my pretty Fina than the handsome Aandon eh? My only regret is that his parents, -- may they dance among the stars in peace -- are not present to sit at the table with us for this happy occasion." Gandan picked up his drink and held it before him. "I begin this wedding feast with a toast: To the bride and groom, to the groom's parents, and all others who have been lost to us," Gandan surveyed the gathered Ryn, "to family, to friends, to our clanmates who are far from us,--" he paused as something at the opposite edge of the crowd caught his eye, "--and to not-quite-unexpected guests." Gandan finished, in accented Basic, as he raised his glass to the three figures appearing from the outskirts of the shanty town.

    Gasps and murmuring voices swept the crowd of Ryn as they too noticed what had caught Gandan's attention. Two human Jedi, one of them carrying a little Ryn girl on his shoulders, stood at the edge of the clearing.

    “Begin the feast, my friends,” Gandan called out, speaking in Ryn again. "I will tend to our guests.”

    “We sincerely apologise for interrupting your celebration,” Qui-Gon began once he and his apprentice, the Ryn toddler, Gandan, and Eda were settled on cushions in a tent on the edge of camp.

    “No apologies are needed, my Jedi friends,” Gandan assured them, “The party will survive for a time without us. Besides I have felt since I met you yesterday that you would be coming to see us sooner or later. Allow me to introduce myself: I am Gandan, clanleader of the Ryn you see in this valley tonight, this is my wife Eda, and the young one who refuses to leave your side is our niece Sennah.”

    “Thank you for your hospitality, Clanleader Gandan,” Qui-Gon replied, and introduced himself and Obi-Wan before continuing on to the matter at hand. “Your niece possesses a rare gift, we witnessed her use the Force to heal a playmate’s injury this evening.”

    “Aye, we have seen it before, and she has dreams too.” Eda added as she distributed cups of tea and plates of food to her husband and the Jedi. “Ever since she’s been old enough to talk, she has told us stories about what she dreams, and sometimes, we see events from her dreams play out as her story told them.”

    Gandan nodded in agreement, “last week she had a dream that one of our clanmates was hurt and could not walk. Later that day, that same clanmate did not return from his day of labor, and when our search party found him, he was lying unconscious in a ravine with a broken leg.”

    “Today, I found her sketching something,” Gandan retrieved a piece of scrap paper and a writing stick from his vest and recreated his niece’s dirt drawing.

    “That looks a bit like the Temple on Coruscant,” Obi-Wan observed.

    The youngling babbled excitedly while pointing to herself, then to Qui-Gon, then to the picture.

    “She says ‘Me, you, go new home, go now?’” Gandan interpreted.

    “That is not entirely up to me, little one,” Qui-Gon replied, “I must discuss it with your guardians. I am assuming since no one else was brought to this tent that this is you?”

    “Yes,” Eda answered sadly, “her parents, my youngest sister and her husband --may they dance the skies in peace--, were taken from us six standard months ago. A crew of slavers raided our camp as we were preparing to leave Obroa-Skai. Sennah’s parents led a group of valiant defenders who gave their lives holding the slavers off as we fled. Their sacrifice allowed the rest of our clan to escape to the transport we had hired.”

    “I’m sorry to hear that,” the elder Jedi murmured, “I honor their sacrifice, and hope I can help their daughter--.”

    A whirring whine filled the air in the valley outside the tent, drowning the sounds of the wedding feast. It sounded like the repulsor engine of a speeder bike.

    “Quin and Alema?” Gandan wondered aloud, but then there was a second whine, and a third, and abruptly, the sound of screams and stun blasters firing.

    Gandan and the Jedi were on their feet in an instant, the latter drawing their lightsabers.

    “Slavers!” Yelled a Ryn, bursting through the door of the tent, “it's Degent’s crew, they've tracked us down again.”

    Gandan swore, digging into one of his many cargo pockets and withdrawing a blaster as he followed the Jedi to the tent door. They paused against the doorway, peeking carefully around the flap.

    Outside in the camp, chaos reigned. A mixed posse of rough-looking aliens were racing out of the fading twilight. They were jumping off their speeder bikes and firing stun blasts into the crowd of Ryn indiscriminately. The Ryn were overturning tables as makeshift barricades as they retrieved weapons and began returning fire.

    As he assessed the situation, Qui-Gon hesitated, beside him, Gandan came to the same conclusion: the Ryn were outmatched. A pitched battle against the slavers would only end badly for the Ryn. A Jedi or two would even the odds a bit, Qui-Gon surmised, but as he started to step out from behind the cover of the tent flap, Gandan clutched his sleeve.

    “No, Jedi, please, take our Sennah and go, there is a hidden exit from the valley, through the canyons, take it and escape.”

    “But your clan!” Obi-Wan exclaimed.

    “We will distract the slavers and then scatter into the foothills and canyons.” Gandan replied.

    “They cannot follow us all,” Eda explained, holding her crying niece, “but we can keep them from capturing you or the little one. She must go with you to your Jedi Temple.”
    Qui-Gon hesitated, reaching out to the Living Force, trying to determine his path, it was urging him to listen to the Ryn clan leader.

    “Our people have survived what Fate has thrown our way for thousands of years,” Gandan explained hurriedly, “we will overcome this. Please, you have seen her abilities, she has a destiny to serve the greater good of the Galaxy. Sennah must make it safely to the Jedi Temple.”

    “I understand,” Qui-Gon answered, half to Gandan, and half in acknowledgement to the urging of the Force.

    “What? We're just leaving them?” Obi-Wan asked incredulously.

    A group of Ryn pushed their way through the tent opening. Gandan pointed them towards some crates piled in the corner, the Ryn opened the crates and pulled out an assortment of blasters and stun weapons.

    “We will be alright, young Jedi, they are not catching us undefended this time.” Gandan leaned over and kissed his niece’s forehead, “We will come to see you on Coruscant someday, little one.”

    Eda held the toddler out towards the elder Jedi. Qui-Gon accepted and held her as Eda gave her niece a farewell kiss as well. The Ryn child whimpered and began to cry anew.

    “Hush, little one, sleep.” Qui-Gon murmured, using a Force technique to calm and soothe the toddler. Her eyelids drooped and she fought the urging, but with a second urging, she succumbed and fell into a deep slumber.

    “Follow me.” Eda led the Jedi (though the apprentice was still none too happy with the decision to run) to the hidden back way out of the valley. The canyons twisted and the sounds of the raid were soon muffled and distant. They continued for almost half an hour.

    “Follow this path,” Eda instructed, “it will lead you to the edge of the city, it will be easy to see the spaceport, and from there, you should quickly reach your transport.”

    The Ryn woman reached up and stroked the sleeping toddler's hair one last time.
    “Take care of her, Master Jedi, she is precious to us. Now go!”

    Eda raced back into the valley, readying her own blaster as she ran, the sounds of combat were dying away, she did not know whether to be worried or relieved.

    With a blast of sublight engines, the slaver transport ship passed low overhead, heading out over the mountains, away from the spaceport. Apparently they’d had all they could take, though of combat or captives, she did not know.

    Gandan stood in the middle of the remains of a their camp, battered and bleeding, lit by flickering powered lights and multiple fires scattered among the wreckage. A blaster burn blackened one side of his face, his grey-white hair half burned away. He was forcibly restraining a young Ryn male who was hysterically screaming at the retreating ship.

    “Finaa! No!” Aandon cried, “Let go, Gandan, we have to go after them!”

    “Peace, son,” Gandan soothed, wincing as Aandon’s struggling wrenched an injured shoulder. Eda ran to the pair and wrapped a comforting arm around the younger Ryn. Collapsing to sit on the ground with him as he sobbed into her shoulder.

    “They took the women and children,” Gandan spoke in a voice choked with smoke and dust. He grunted in pain as he sat down beside his wife and son in law.

    “There isn't anything we can do,” Gandan said in despair, “they purposely targeted our vehicles, they are all destroyed. We can't even track them down right now.”

    “So we're just going to let them go? Let them have my Fina?” Aandon choked.

    “Of course not,” Eda said firmly, glaring determinedly at her husband.

    “Of course not.” Gandan repeated, taking a deep breath, coughing as he choked again. He stood and reached out a hand to his wife and son-in-law, helping them to their feet.

    “We will continue to do what our people do best.” Gandan pledged, turning to help the remainder of his clan as they pulled themselves out of the rubble and began to triage their situation.

    “We move in the background, under noses and behind walls, gathering knowledge and making a plan. Degent caught us by surprise, we did not know he had eyes here. Next time we will be a step ahead of him, and he WILL pay. Once we recover our clan, we will make our way to Coruscant. Though we have sent Sennah with the Jedi, I have a strong feeling we will need each other someday.”

    It took the Jedi several hours to wind their way out of the canyon, it was fully midnight before they finally emerged from the rocky foothills. They found themselves at the edge of the spaceport, their own rented ship in sight on one brightly lit docking pad.

    Obi-Wan raced to open the door of the transport, slipping inside before it was fully open. He hurried to the cockpit and rushed through the pre-flight sequence, starting up the sublight and maneuvering engines.

    “We’ve got to get back there, Master, we've got to help!”

    Qui-Gon belted the fitfully sleeping youngling into one of the seats, then strapped himself into the copilot seat.

    “This transport does not have any weapons, Padawan, what are you intending to do?”

    “I don't know,” Obi-Wan yelled, “but we have to do something!”

    “Alright, Padawan, fly over the Ryn camp, we will see.”

    An alert sounded, indicating the engines were ready. The Padawan all but smashed the ignition button into the console and lifted the ship off the platform into the night.

    It was difficult to see into the valleys in the dark of night, but the Jedi soon found the dim multi-hued glow of fires smoldering their way through chemical-laden materials. The Ryn’s campsite was just ahead.

    Obi-Wan brought the ship in to hover on repulsor engines, and his master switched on an exterior spotlight.

    The light played over the scattered remains of the wedding celebration. Colorful ribbons, singed at the ends, fluttered in the transport’s repulsor wake. There were no signs of life. Only the signs of hastily packed or altogether abandoned shelters, smoldering ground vehicles, and a forcefully abandoned feast in the valley below.

    “Did any of them escape, Master? Did we abandon them all to be enslaved?”

    “ ‘Slavery is legal in this part of the Galaxy’,” Qui-Gon responded pointedly, “maybe we ‘shouldn't have gotten involved’.”

    The Jedi apprentice fell silent, remembering his petulant argument from the day before.

    “How does a Jedi know, Master Qui-Gon?” Obi-Wan asked quietly, “When they should get involved in something, when they should stay out of it? We cannot fix all of the Galaxy's problems, how do you choose who lives free, and who doesn't?”

    “You have to listen to the Force, Padawan,” the elder Jedi replied solemnly, “disregard your own wants and desires, and trust that the Force will guide you to the choice that will best serve the greatest good. Or, at the very least, balance out the bad.”

    Qui-Gon turned to look back at the youngling sleeping fitfully on the passenger seat, it had taken very heavy Force persuasion to convince her mind to sleep, and she fought it, even now, which spoke of strong psychic potential in addition to the healing ability.

    “We have to have faith that what the Force has in store for this one is worth the cost to her clan. Her clan chief believed it was, and we must honor their sacrifice. No more interruptions, Obi-Wan, I promise. Let's go home.”
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    A wonderful debut!!!! I like Gandan and his clan already: his wife and daughters. What should have been a beautiful joyful celebration turned tragic! :eek: Degent is a slime-dog but that shopkeeper is WORSE -- collaborating for a "piece of the take" :rolleyes:

    You have a very strong grasp of the Ryn culture =D= and of the motives and interplay between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan [face_love]

    Sennah will definitely be a great asset after being trained & her true talents assessed. :cool:
  3. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    I’ve finally managed to catch up with this story, and I’m so glad I did—you did great with this! I have a soft spot for the alien species and cultures of SW, and I just love a good alien-centric story, which this one most definitely is. You have a keen and sensitive understanding of the Ryn, and they really come through here not merely as “aliens” but as a “whole culture” with customs, beliefs, distinctive biological/physiological features, a guiding ethos, and a unique relationship to the Force, all of it so vividly described that I felt like I was right there in the camp, or at the wedding feast, or scrambling over the rocks with the children. I’m guessing you’ve probably mixed fanon and established lore together here, and I know it’s done well because it all fits together seamlessly. (And once again, if you have fanon lore on the Ryn, we’d love to see it in the Fanon Thread! :D [/shameless plug])

    My impression is that the Ryn are sort like a GFFA version of the Roma, with some similar cultural elements and subject to the same kinds of prejudices. And that too figures in your depiction of the Ryn as a “whole culture,” because you clearly connect the prejudice to other species’ mistaken impressions about their way of life, as Qui-Gon says:

    Wonderful work with the characterization here, too. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are very much in character throughout, from
    Obi-Wan’s sullen moments to Qui-Gon’s shrewd responses thereto. And I just love Gandan! [face_love] He is such a sweet, caring uncle to Sennah, recognizing and cherishing her special gifts even to the point of risking everything. his calm strength in the face of adversity and antagonism, whether it’s the shopkeeper’s taunts or Degent and co.’s dastardly attack on his clan’s camp. Even little Sennah has quite a bit of character even at this early stage, with her portentous dreams and drawings (I recognize those five towers!) and her Force-healing of the little boy (an ability near and dear to me, because I have an OC with a similar gift in an early story of my own). Undoubtedly the sad fate of her parents has taken a toll on her as well. Given that there will likely be more stories about this character (just a guess, and I know you have one other running right now ;) ), I have the feeling the sacrifice made by her uncle, and all of her clan, will have a deep effect on her later in life, too.

    And wow, that ending is definitely a gutpunch! :eek: What a sacrifice Gandan and his clan made, all to ensure Sennah’s safety, and the decision about what to do at that moment can't have been an easy one for the Jedi, either. Once again, I can't help but admire Gandan and Eda's resolute attitude; I know they'll fight hard, and I too hold out hope for a reunion someday. All the same, though... the fact that they are so used to fighting this kind of fight on their own, so much so that they basically decline an offer of help that would have evened their odds by a lot, says so much about what they've had to deal with. :( (All this said, I can't blame Obi-Wan for being a bit baffled by it all! It's a lot to digest, and at this stage of course the consequences are still unclear.)

    Great job here—I really enjoyed this, and I look forward to reading more about Sennah and her people. Bravissima on some mighty fine work! =D=
  4. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    Agh, of course you post this as I'm leaving for work, and I want to respond to everything right now... I will do it in bits as I have time today.

    But yes, James Luceno, who created the Ryn for his NJO books, explicitly based them off of a culture he'd recently watched a documentary about, the Romani. I scoured the NJO books, and anything I didn't know about Ryn culture, I dug into real-world research, with a bit of fanon here and there.
  5. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    The history of this Story:
    So, in my late teens I was a bit obsessed with creating an alter-ego of myself, of who I would want to be, in each world I was a fan of. My Star Trek character is a Bajoran Starfleet Security officer and later captain; my X-Men character is Flora Gale, aka Nightingale, who has rapid healing, but can also extend that healing into others, and is a trained medic; in Dragonlance I was a Kender Cleric of Mishakal, goddess of healing; and so on.

    I struggled with my Star Wars character, I wanted a Jedi, of course, one who could heal, have empathic and somewhat prophetic abilities, but to balance those, was utterly inept at telekenisis. I didn't want to be human, not when there's so many cool aliens to be, but I couldn't find the right one. I went with Caamasi early on, loved the feel, the "memni" thing, but I've never really liked their look.

    It wasn't until the NJO came around and I read Agents of Chaos: Hero's Trial, that I met the Ryn and knew I'd found the perfect race. Sennah started out in the NJO, as one of Luke's recruits, but soon after became an Old Republic Jedi because I got involved with a prequel era forum RPG.

    That RPG lasted until a year or so after Revenge of the Sith was released.
    This story was written as the backstory for that RPG character and reflected the vast amount of research I did creating that character. It got half written, posted even (you can read it in it's slightly messy glory here: I lost access to the email address I used for this website's account, I can't even go in and update it) and then it sat for, oh, ten years, as I went to college, got married, had kids, then one day I got the bug and went back and re-wrote the writing I had evolved past (getting a BA in English helps a lot), and then got stuck writing the final action scene. I set it aside, then 5 more years later (about 3 months ago) finally finished it and started looking for a good place to share it.

    I eventually ended up here. So, this story is the reason I'm here on the TFN boards.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  6. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    Finally found it, the sketch I did while very first brainstorming this story so long ago, still not quite happy with the nose, but it's better than other attempts. I based little Sennah's face off of a picture of me at 4 yrs old, and found a screencap of Qui-Gon to sketch from.[​IMG]

    And, for fun, since it's in the same sketchbook, Sennah as appearing in that RPG mentioned above. She met this "grey Jedi" on a mission somewhere, and they sort of had a thing going after a while, totally breaking the rules, which led to her leaving the Order just before the events of RotS. I don't even remember the character's name right now, but he was this freaking huge American football linebacker-type human, and Sennah is this 5-foot nothing petite thing. But he had a thing for ladies with tails, apparently...[​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  7. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999

    Catching up with this story for the Underrepresented Challenge, and I really enjoyed it! You've created a rich alien culture and some very likable new OCs, captured the spirit of your ECs and foreshadowed more interesting tales to come...what more could one ask for in fan fiction? :D

    I'm right there with @Findswoman about enjoying well-developed alien species and you've done a lovely job with fleshing out the Ryn, both by building on the aspects of Romani culture that Luceno used for the Ryn You've portrayed the itinerant Ryn clan sympathetically and sensitively; even when we see them telling fortunes with sabacc cards and having a lively wedding celebration, they're never just the colorful space "gypsies" (if I may use the term for contrast) they easily could have been. You show the prejudice and hatred they experience on a daily basis, from petty acts like the shopkeeper automatically believing Gandan is a thief to being harassed, killed and even enslaved.I also like how you've used the distinct physiological details of the species in their culture--the way their noses shape the melodic tones of their language, tones that a Human can only do a passable imitation of at best.

    You've got a really nice cast of Ryn OCs here. Gandan is a warm and caring father figure; he shows great forbearance to that rude shopkeeper and he clearly is respected by the members of his clan. He's a being of honor, making a hard choice about saving Sennah and making sure she gets to become a Jedi, even though it means he can't save other clan members, including his newlywed daughter. :( And Sennah is just adorable with her toddler enthusiasm and not-quite-comprehensible babbling! She's clearly got a lot Force-talent if she's already haveing prescient dreams and healing others at her tender age! (I love the pictures you've shared of her!) Your ECs are just as well depicted; I can hear Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor's voices when I read your words. Qui-Gon's tendency to wander off on unsanctioned missions at the prompting of the Force is so true to him, as is Obi-Wan's youthful exasperation with his Master's inability to stay on target and just go home already. Obi-Wan asks some good questions at the end: how do we know who we can and should save, since we can't help everyone? It's the same question that Gandan had to grapple with in making his choice and Qui-Gon answers it the only way he can
    Bravo! I enjoyed this story and look forward to seeing more of Sennah! Thanks, too, for sharing a little about how the story came to be. I have a similar experience of taking a ten year hiatus from fan fic to get married and have kids. And then they announced the new films and the bug bit again :D Glad to have you here as part of the fanfic community!
  8. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    Thank you very much. It means a lot to me to hear people praise my work, especially since part of the reason it's never been posted anywhere until now was a self-confidence thing, I've agonized over making things "good enough" that someone will enjoy reading it. I read so much "bleh" fanfic early on that I hated the thought of posting something that I'd worked so hard on only to have it not "measure up" to actual good writers' work, and be having people read it and go "bleh".

    I do believe that this is currently my best work, if only because its been revised and tweaked for over 15 years ;) , which is unfortunately making me nervous about posting anything else that I've only spent a few months on.

    More is definitely coming from Sennah. She is the voice writing the entries in the Dear Diary Challenge I'm participating in (linked via link in signature). It's jumping ahead a bit in her story, to nearly 25 yrs old, just before the end of the Clone Wars. I'll be working on bits in the middle someday, as well as stories from Ryn clan members' POV (including the "one hit wonder" challenge I just accepted, it's going to tell a bit about the little Ryn boy she healed, Danyal, when he is 19-20ish. He'll also be appearing in the DDC soon).
  9. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    Also, @raissa_baiard as a "shh, don't tell"... Gandan did actually steal something from the shop, more because the shopkeeper and his brother are such a-holes and haven't been paying them nearly what their work is worth than anything larcenous in his nature. I didn't want to put it in writing because I didn't want to have any, as you termed it, "gypsy" stereotypes in the story, but yeah, he did totally have something tucked under his vest, and Qui-Gon totally knew it, lol.
  10. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Chosen One star 6

    Jun 14, 2005
    Well, @TheRynJedi, Qui-Gon always liked to bent the rules of the Jedi order here and there. That´s what I like about him. He does not think in black and white terms. (Which would make him a grey jedi in the EU universe.)

    I also liked his views on slavery & the balance of the Force a lot:

    “ ‘Slavery is legal in this part of the Galaxy’,” Qui-Gon responded pointedly, “maybe we ‘shouldn't have gotten involved’.”

    The Jedi apprentice fell silent, remembering his petulant argument from the day before.

    “How does a Jedi know, Master Qui-Gon?” Obi-Wan asked quietly, “When they should get involved in something, when they should stay out of it? We cannot fix all of the Galaxy's problems, how do you choose who lives free, and who doesn't?”

    “You have to listen to the Force, Padawan,” the elder Jedi replied solemnly, “disregard your own wants and desires, and trust that the Force will guide you to the choice that will best serve the greatest good. Or, at the very least, balance out the bad.”

    What I also did like, apart from a brilliant plot, carefully drawn characters and jolly good dialogues is your source explanations.

    I was allowed to watch the first Star Trek series on German TV long before my older brother took me to my first Star Wars movie, which was "Return of the Jedi". (And despite my own personal grudge with a certain member of the Mulgrew family, which the actress Kate Mulgrew and my ex are not guilty of in any way, I do love the later series spin-offs. Plus I am thrilled senseless that Patrick Steward announced his return!)

    That you mentioned "The Dragon Lance" book series also thrilled me senseless. (There is a fic of mine where my main character, Nagina, and her uncle Sheev discuss the fate of Raistlin Majere and the bleak future that he created for himself at one point in the story.)

    Oh and before I forget it: you are a very thorough researcher.

    All in all, please keep writing and do not give yourself up. Real life keeps us all busy. But as a kindergarten teacher I have learned to give a fitting feedback to others (= the kids, their parents, my colleagues.)

    These boards are changing, the entire on-line world is.

    Plus, you cannot expect too much from others. There are many lurkers and at times there are those, who might not even like your stories or you as a person. Don´t let this discourage you! Stick to the good things. Cherish those you spare you a few lines. Short: focus on the positive!

    I am good at giving advice to others, but bad when it comes to myself. Must be some sort of pedagogical illness, for friends and acquaintances in the social-pedagogical sector have that problem, too.

    But keep believing in yourself as a storyteller.
  11. Sith-I-5

    Sith-I-5 Force Ghost star 6

    Aug 14, 2002
    So there is someone else writing Qui Gonn and Obi Wan.

    For you stated goal, of finding an OC or avatar within the Star Wars universe, this was a very well researched, laid out, and plotted tale, with some outstanding descriptions, and some evocative moments.

    Excellent world-building with this Ryn clan, their daily lives from the adults out grafting to earn funds; dealing with the mistrust, slipping easily into indifference as to their wellbeing, to put it mildly; down to the fun and games of the younglings.

    All very well described.

    You displayed knowledge of such depth, such as the playing card that the Ryn drew the map on, that it was like you were a native.

    And such excellent pictures too.

    Great set pieces, good action, very well described bazaar.

    I'm with the padawan on this one, don't get me invested, and then walk away. Unfair of Qui Gonn to throw Obi Wan's not wanting to engage in a side trip into the lad's face.

    Almost as if your story was tied into another in the same Challenge, featuring this Jedi duo, I can understand why in the other, Obi hung around to side with one side in a war.

    Very good story, and some outstanding literary skills displayed here.

    Hope to see more of you on these Boards, though maybe not fifteen years in the making, next time.
  12. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    This story is so rich in detail and emotion that I was surprised when going back after my first read-through a couple weeks ago -- in that I discovered it's shorter than I thought it was. You've really managed to pack an epic amount of everything into a short story and that is seriously impressive! =D= Gandan and Sennah especially are so well-drawn that I was very invested in finding out what would happen. And I enjoyed seeing how Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon almost-by-chance found their way into the middle of the goings-on, as tends to be their own fate. :p

    The amount of thought and worldbuilding that went into the Ryn here is clear to see, and as many have noted there's an amount of care taken that makes them feel very three-dimensional rather than the cardboard figures that tend to result when a species is written as "stereotype of real-world people as aliens". The introduction we get to the Ryn, first and mainly through Gandan, shows them as regular people who are judged unfairly by the majority. And that it is often for things that are not only fictitious, but far less awful than the treatment that they receive from those same beings. (Hello judgy shopkeeper who has a working relationship with SLAVERS! One could hardly find a more obvious case of a terrible person projecting his own nastiness onto others.)

    When and where the Ryn here echo the Romani, it doesn't feel stereotypical and the prejudice they experience from others is shown for the injustice that it is. It's both kind of painful and kind of amazing to see how much difference it makes for Gandan when he's among his own people as opposed to trying to get by unnoticed in the outside world. He's clearly a good leader who radiates strength and dignity -- and this is not a different person from the one who is so uncomfortable and almost avoidant in the city, but an aspect that he's not always safe to show in public. :(

    Sennah is really endearing when we are finally introduced, and I like that her talent is revealed because she was helping a friend -- just a small, everyday act of kindness. :)

    [face_laugh] This part was just cute. Though I guess it later becomes a kind of foreshadowing and it could be she sensed something about the events that were about to happen.

    It shows a lot about Gandan and her family that they react to her abilities and her strange predictions not with fear but with acceptance and a determination to protect her. (Maybe that's an odd tangent, but I've recently been reminded of the horror movie trope of the Creepy Kid Who Knows Too Much. So I have to salute her guardians on their calm reactions! ;) ) It's tragic but also sweet in a way that Sennah is so taken with her visions of the Jedi Temple and going away. The circumstances are not what she ever would have wanted, but it is interesting to know that she has this curiosity about the Jedi. It makes sense that Gandan has been observing all this and feels on an intuitive level that she really is needed as a Jedi for some higher purpose, though it must break his heart to let her go when his family has already suffered too many losses.

    This is a really good question for Obi-Wan to be asking, and I don't blame him for questioning whether they did the right thing. Of course it's not right that the Jedi are expected to ignore many instances of slavery in the first place, but any individual is just that and has limited power. So it makes sense that this is something that would trouble Obi-Wan, even (and maybe especially) when he was so put out about stopping to help the Twi'lek girl earlier.

    Since I know there is more coming in the series, I hope that we find out someday what happened to Sennah's family after she went to the Temple. They've just suffered a devastating blow and I can only hope that the tentative plans Gandan is making will ultimately help them find their loved ones.
  13. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    I'm happy to report, I've started reading Master & Apprentice by Claudia Grey, the first pre-TPM new canon novel, and this story still fits in their canon. Yay!
    Findswoman likes this.
  14. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    And now that I've finished it, my story could even had led to some of the attitudes/feelings concerning slavery in the novel.

    Everyone read Master & Apprentice, my new favorite SW book!