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Saga - OT Snowed In (Ewoks | 2.5/3 ABY | Horror/Supernatural) | COMPLETE, WITH E-BOOK

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ewok Poet, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Title: Snowed In
    Author: Ewok Poet
    Characters: Wicket, Kneesaa, Teebo, Latara, Paploo, Asha, many more and a couple of OCs, whom you can read more about here.
    Timeframe: 2.5 ABY, spanning the time between Battle for the Sunstar and Shadows of Endor
    Rating: PG-13, common trigger warnings where necessary
    Genre: Action/Adventure, Supernatural, Horror, Angst, Romance
    Length: Epic. 25 chapters, approx. 62 000 words
    Summary: See below

    I intended this story to be coming out of age for the five adolescent Ewoks who are the focus of the cartoon series, three of which are the key Ewoks in Return of the Jedi and two of which are their female friends prominent in the cartoon series.

    There's a large gap between the cartoon series and ROTJ, bridged only by Zack Gialongo's Shadows of Endor graphic novel (2013), which focuses on everybody but is too short; and the two made-for-TV films (1984, 1985) which focus on Wicket. Both the comic and the films leave a lot of headscratchers, so I tried to patch all the missing ends and, naturally, develop *all* characters further, where I think they would go.

    Don't want to read on the forum? Download the e-book here.

    The Other Moon is the next part of the series started with Snowed In. This way!

    I love and appreciate comments and questions, and I'll reply to everything. :)





    CHAPTER SHORTCUTS

    Fair warning: Older chapters may feature some strange sentences, errors regarding usage of tenses and such. While I think I'm pretty good at English, my Serbian language logic may show every now and then. This will be fixed for the PDF "book", eventually.

    Chapter 01
    Chapter 02
    Chapter 03
    Chapter 04
    Chapter 05
    Chapter 06
    Chapter 07
    Chapter 08
    Chapter 09
    Chapter 10
    Chapter 11
    Chapter 12
    Chapter 13
    Chapter 14
    Chapter 15
    Chapter 16
    Chapter 17
    Chapter 18
    Chapter 19
    Chapter 20
    Chapter 21
    Chapter 22
    Chapter 23
    Chapter 24
    Chapter 25




    A/N: The themes of this story
    I know everybody likes Wicket, so yeah, let's start with Wicket. In the made-for-TV film he's kinda silly, but responsible and expressive, emotional, which is not the case in the cartoon series, where he goes from being a kid with some good ideas to an outright jerk. In the second season, he's literally unbearable. So, he had to mature, in order to become the character everybody knows and loves. Also, we never saw how he completed his belt of honour, so this story will see him become a warrior, like he always wanted. And he will learn that it's not always about him.

    The comics and the cartoon series introduced princess Kneesaa, who might have never been my cup of tea when I was a child, but now when I take a closer look at her, she strikes to be somewhat of a teenage protofeminist heroine in a primitive world inhabited by her species. I wanted to put some accent on that, as she eventually succeeded her father as the leader of the tribe. How will she act if she has to lead the tribe for a couple of days, while Chirpa is away? How will she handle all the responsibilities?

    The first panel of the Shadows of Endor graphic novel informs us that Teebo and Latara got together at some point and are lovers. Throughout the cartoon series, they had a thing going on: in the first season, Latara was very touchy-feely and Teebo was subtle, so it might take you a while to see him return the affection and flirt with her. When the characters were rewritten for the second season, she played hard-to-get and he was literally infatuated with her. Their first kiss was one of the most bizarre things I've ever seen in a show intended for children, but after that nothing was implied to have happened in terms of the two of them officially getting together. So, how did they get together? With all we have read about how Ewoks get married et cetera, are these two breaking any rules? Being a Force sensitive, in the past, Teebo had a couple of brushes with the dark side and he escaped unscratched. So, how exactly did his physical appearance change from being adorable to becoming the daring Ewok with the snarl who's almost blasted by Han Solo in ROTJ? How did he acquire his memorable gurreck headdress and eventual respect of his tribe? Did this turn Latara into the badass girl who's using a blaster in Shadows of Endor and did she get over her selfishness, materialism and diva-like behaviour? Did she ever return to playing her flute?

    And how about Paploo? A character added in the last minute (check the early ROTJ drafts, the guy doesn't exist, as simple as that - there goes your character swap myth!), he was memorably brave, yet somewhat of a thrill seeker in both ROTJ and the cartoon series. The cartoon series introduces him as hot-blooded, immature and his mother, who is implied to be a widow and also the sister of chief Chirpa, is unhealthily attached to him. How did he go from just showing off to make up for the lack of a father figure in his life or whatever, to knowing where he should react and when he should stay put? It's about the time for the man-child to grow up!

    Now, I know that a lot of people "ship" Wicket and Kneesaa, though it's such a predictable pair and whoever wrote about them getting married someday just did it to please the audience. Given Wicket's age (he was the equivalent of human age of twelve when the cartoon series started, Kneesaa and Latara being about fourteen, Teebo and Paploo probably slightly older), I am not setting him up with Kneesaa, at least not in this story. He needs to learn a lot more before he becomes aware of her love for him, as he didn't seem to notice it much throughout the cartoon series, nor did she ever explicitly say she liked him. So, let's say she'll be moody throughout the story, because of unrequited love, but being wise beyond her years, she will cope with it.

    While the story focuses on this quintet, a lot of characters from the cartoon (and the comics) will make an appearance - the adorable little Malani, the wise chief Chirpa, the mystic master Logray...

    A/N: Various
    While I regularly write poetry and prose and I'm quite a prolific blogger in my country and region, I have not written a fanfic in about a decade. So, umm, be nice?

    I have no idea what's normal in terms of how often I post, how much I post, so yell at me if necessary.

    My writing style might confuse people - I tend to alter between poetic, Marquez-like scenes to Woolf-esque dialogue and characters' struggle. There's a bit of a Miller stream-of-consciousness too, without the nasty stuff.

    I know what the forum rules say, but I cannot stand my own grammar and spelling errors, so I'll be fixing them like there's no tomorrow. If any major edit occurs to any chapter, I will write down an edit reason.

    I am going slightly against the proposed timeline which sets all of the cartoon series and made for TV films in 3 ABY. That's just impossible, so, in my head, only ROTJ happened in 4 ABY, the made for TV films and the graphic novel in 3 ABY, the rest of the things just had to happen beforehand. That said, this story is set a couple of months before the graphic novel, in the winter time and, as the time passes by, early spring. The last scene of this story will directly flow into the graphic novel.

    This said, in human terms, Wicket is turning 14 in the first chapter. This makes Kneesaa and Latara 16.5 and 16, Teebo is 17.5, Paploo 19, Asha 22.

    Widdle and Weechee Warrick are somewhere around Asha's age, with Weechee being slightly older.

    Malani would be 8, same goes for Gwig and Mookiee, the kids who received their hoods with her.

    Latara's younger siblings would be 5 and 4, Winda Warrick about 3. The remaining sixth wokling, Leeni, would be the same age as Latara's younger sister Nippet, 5.

    I will try to answer questions, include footnotes for things not everybody might be familiar with, so feel free to ask. And I'm definitely recommending you to watch the cartoon series, read the graphic novel and take a look at the old young reader books and the Marvel comics. The second season of the cartoon series is a bit strange compared to first and the Marvel comic are a bit meh, but still, some things I used in this story are from there, too.




    Chapter 1





    Deep below the ancient conifer trees, an Ewok hunting party lead by Tippet and Wunka was tracing a large animal, most likely a gurreck. Known for their strict beliefs, Ewoks would only hunt when there was no other food, and in the times when the supplies gathered throughout the summer would not be enough to warm them up. With the first signs of a particularly harsh winter, a thin layer of ice had formed on the Yarlubb River and the first snow had fallen in the Happy Grove, hunting was inevitable.

    "Do you think we'll find it?" The pitch-black Wunka was nervously scratching his friend's shoulders.

    "Calm down!" Tippet was still optimistic. "Arandee, we need to focus on the task, otherwise we will have to settle for small game and birds...and you know what that means, right?"

    "Of course. Hunting every other day, smoking the meat..."

    "...and taking along a group of young ones, to teach them how to hunt and preserve what they caught. I hate that! They end up being more trouble than it’s worth and no help at all!"

    "Don't be so hard on them!" A short Ewok named Romba, who had kept quiet until then, joined the conversation. "Some ten, twenty snows ago we were like them – either overconfident, thus guaranteed to cause trouble, or scared of our own shadows! There was no middle ground!"

    "Chak, I remember the day Stemzee fell from a high branch, face straight into a pile of maramu droppings!" One of the hunters recalled. "That smelled worse than, I don't know, a female Dulok in heat?"

    "Wait, did you just admit you’re familiar with that smell?” Steemzee was quick to defend himself at the mention of that unfortunate incident. “Poor you!"

    The whole group laughed.



    On the other side of the forest, high above in their treetop home of Bright Tree Village, the young Ewoks, still free from most major responsibilities, had completely different things on their minds.

    It was the day Wicket W. Warrick had been dreaming of a lot, the one he had been impatiently counting the days to. Though his height and behaviour would have made one think otherwise, this was the day he was to come out of age. Fourteen snows old, at last! No more questioning his decisions. No more telling him that he was too young. No more endless arguments with his parents over mundane chores and deliberately staging his own adventures solely for the sake of another trophy, another ticket for independence.

    Wicket was proud of the things he’d done in between his birthdays - he saved his friends’ lives multiple times, he had no problem finding a date for the Shadownight Festival and, upon failing his first big warrior test, he overcame a personal crisis which nearly made him give up on his dreams. He'd even been to the skies, in a metal canoe, with three of his closest friends and frequent partners in crime. It was an incredible year.

    And now he was determined to start an even greater one, surrounded by his loving family and friends whom he had invited to his party. He planned his big night with attention to every single detail. He asked his parents to empty the largest chamber of their hut, so he could invite everybody old enough to wear a hood and young enough not to have woklings waiting at home. He was exceptionally nice to his mother, Shodu, for a couple of moons, so she would have made enough food for everybody. His older brothers, Weechee and Widdle, agreed to play drums and he was hoping that he could, perhaps, get two of his female friends, Kneesaa and Latara to join in – one to sing and the other to play the flute.

    As the night was falling down on the snow-covered huts, the young Ewok was getting more and more excited.

    "Mom!" he called Shodu, who was busy arranging food on the large table. "How do I look? Did I grow since my last birthday?"

    While Shodu was thinking of what to say, Weechee, the youngest of the Warrick children, who seemed busy pulling a new layer of leather over his big drum, interrupted them.

    "Don't worry, little brother, you're about two fleebogs taller than you were one snow ago!"

    "Chak, but that would be two baby Fleebogs!" Widdle's remark was soon followed by both older Warrick boys snickering and making faces at Wicket.

    "Sounds about the size of your brains…lurdos!" Wicket snarled. He was about to jump on them, when his father, Deej, back from running some last-moment errands, grabbed him by the hood and then gave him a gentle pat on the back.

    "You're bigger on the inside, my boy. Don't let these two get you down! As for you, Weechee and Willy, don't spoil Wicket's big day! This is a warning. I will be watching you"

    "Of course, we would not even think of it." Weechee stepped back and winked to his brother.

    "It's Widdle, dad! I'm a scout now and I am a whole new Ewok, I got this mean red hood and I lost some weight! Don’t call me Willy!"

    "That's right, we're proud of you. But we're proud of Wicket, too. He has come so far since the days he played alone near the fire pit. Poor baby, no other woklings were born that season and it took us some time to find him some friends to play with!"

    "Chak, until Chirpa got over the initial shock after losing his wife and started leaving Kneesaa with us, it was pretty hard to get Wicket to sit still." Shodu sat down next to her sons and husband. She seemed to be in the mood for a story. "And then there was that awful gang of Duloks who took away all of the children and nearly killed them..."

    Wicked rolled his eyes. "I know, mom, I know…you told us this story so many times – we were saved and we became friends with the slightly older boy who contributed to our rescue, and before he first came around to play with me, you had no idea he could actually speak. And his sister is such a precious, sweet child and you don't like how I treat her sometimes!"

    Shodu smiled broadly. "All of that is true…and they're all right behind you!" The smile was followed by a wink.

    Wicket turned around. Two adolescent Ewoks and one slightly younger girl were waiting for him. They quietly got in while he was complaining about his parents telling the same stories over and over.

    "Kneesaa! Teebo! Malani! You're already here!"

    "Goopa!" squeaked the little girl in an oversized blue hood with a star decoration. "Happy birthday!" A much taller male Ewok with a pink lantern bird tail feather on a baggy leather hat stood behind her, holding something wrapped in a piece of cloth. She took it from him and handed it over to Wicket.

    "Umm, Malani and Teebo, thank you!"

    Wicket went on to unwrap the present. At a first glance, it looked like a toy - it was brightly coloured, but he could not figure out what it was.

    "What is this?" he asked Teebo.

    "We made it together for you. I carved it and Malani painted it. Malani, would you please tell Wicket about it?"

    "Sure! I-I-I-I don’t know what this is, but I d-dreamed of it. It was too beautiful not to become real. You see, it has a pair of wheels and a tail! I told my brother what to make and then I painted it to make it even more beautiful. I liked it so much that I decided to give it to you…because I love you!"

    The older Warrick offspring cackled, as little Malani was standing there, love-struck, describing her bizarre birthday gift, with so much enthusiasm. She then proceeded to run around the chamber, giggling. It was only then that Kneesaa, who had been waiting patiently for the child to be done, came closer to Wicket, gave him a hug, kissed him on the cheek and presented him with a spear.

    "This is from the three of us - my father, my sister and me. We thought you could use a new spear, now that you're on your way to become a warrior! Asha said goopa. She could not make it, since she went to the other side of the forest help Chukha-Trok with animal feeders for the snow season."

    Wicket took the spear and played with it as if he were in the middle of a battle, yelling and jumping. Kneesaa waited for a bit, as if her friend had forgotten something. Eventually, she shook her head, sighed and went to the table to pour herself a drink.

    "Shodu, what are we drinking tonight?" she asked.

    "Warm milk for those who have just come in from outside and, for when you’ve warmed up some dangleberry juice, some sunberry juice...the usual. Just go and help yourself, dear."

    The next to arrive was Kneesaa's cousin, Paploo. He shook Wicket's small hand to the point where it hurt him.

    "Happy birthday, Wicket, you're an old man now! Ha-ha! This is from mom and me."

    Wicked unwrapped yet another piece of hand-painted cloth and looked inside. This gift looked like a belt, but there was a wooden buckle in the middle, its shape resembling the one of a munyip.

    "Paploo, you said it was from your mom and you…are you sure of that?"

    "Okay, it's from mom. I forget all possible important occasions, so I did not know it was your birthday before she reminded me. I thought this was a first snow party. As for mom, well…she said that this munyip-shaped buckle would look good on one of her, I am repeating her words you know, favourite little angels."

    Everybody laughed. Wicket put the belt on, solely to realise it's too wide. But Bozzie, who had lost both her sister-in-law and her husband and had only her son to keep her company, almost certainly meant well, ever since he saved her Soul Tree from a forest fire some snows ago.

    "Tell your mom I love it and that I hope I’ll be able to actually wear it someday, Paploo. She probably thought I was as big as you, for some reason. Either way, I’ve been getting the strangest gifts this year; it’s got to mean something. Teebo?"

    "Chak?"

    "I have to thank you for not having written me a birthday poem this time, or something like that. Malani managed to outweird you this time! It must be in the family!"

    Teebo frowned. His friends mostly saw his poetry as something to poke fun at and they never wanted to hear anything about it. The frown quickly changed into an awkward grin - he did not want to criticise Wicket on his birthday.

    "I wouldn’t say it's in the family. Our parents are pretty regular folk. Maybe the stars were aligned in a particularly strange way when each of us born! Oh…k’vark! The stars!"

    "What’s wrong, Teebo?" Kneesaa asked.

    "I just remembered something. It's my turn to check the stars tonight and draw a chart! Master Logray is visiting the Tulgah traders with Chief Chirpa and he expects me to do this! I have to run out for a bit! I cannot believe it. Tonight, out of all nights in the year…on my best friend’s big birthday!"

    "Come back after you’re done, this party will go on for long enough.” Kneesaa patted her friend on the back. “I'll tell Shodu to save a piece of cake for you, as I don't think Wicket will remember."

    "Thanks, and put this somewhere...I didn't even manage to take a sip of it or snack on something."

    Teebo left the glass in Kneesaa's hand and ran out into the night. She shrugged and left the glass on the table, solely to realise her friend didn't pour himself anything.

    It's hard being the reliable one, she thought to herself. Her friends had always been so complicated, compared to her. Paploo loved tall tales and would never think twice before jumping into the face danger. Wicket, whom she was fonder of than she would have ever admitted, had grown more confident, but he was still making more trouble than avoiding it. Teebo was withdrawn, somewhat clumsy, but very polite and caring. Snappy Latara had not written a song in ages. There was a period when she was preoccupied with material possessions, but she recently discovered a new passion - hood making.

    Unlike her friends, Kneesaa was just...normal, though many adult Ewoks would often telling her that she was wise beyond her years. She was not sure if it was so because of her numerous responsibilities, or because she never had a proper family. Sometimes, she wished she could just snap at her friends for being so complicated. Tell Paploo to think before he acts and make him realise how scared he actually is, deep within. Tame the burning desire for adventure in Wicket's heart, so there could be place for something else – for example, her. Get Teebo and Latara together at last and see them hold hands. There was a lot more, to the point Kneesaa would often feel like if it was her duty to fix the whole of Endor.




    Footnotes
    Wunka would be the black Ewok that scratches Chewie in the AT-AT, so his tic is there for a reason.

    I always thought Romba (the one who mourns his dead friend) as one of the cuddliest Ewoks in Return of the Jedi and I thought it would be fun if he was on the youngsters' side.

    Tippet appears in a couple of a couple old Marvel comics, most notably Star Wars #94: Small Wars and since he seems sinister, I thought he'd be fun to have around neurotic Wunka and sweet Romba.

    Wicket's birthday being in what would be the equivalent of December in our world - a Disney pin depicts him as a Sagittarius and that rings pretty true to me. I had some fun and made up star signs equivalent to human zodiac for the others.

    In reference to Shodu's memories of Wicket's early days - Kneesaa and Asha's mother dies offscreen which is addressed in Asha, and yes, Duloks were originally eating woklings, as described in The Adventures of Teebo: A Tale of Magic and Suspense. These two links are essential in understanding the featured characters, too.

    If you're asking about significance of Malani's bizarre gift - patience. Not telling, but it's there for a good reason.

    Fleebogs - buglike sentients from Ewoks 11: The Incredible Shrinking Princess

    Shadownight festival - the event from The Raich

    Munyips - cute little bat-squirrel like things from the cartoon series - somebody like Wicket would definitely not want a munyip ornament on his belt buckle.

    Tulgah - an interesting species settled on Endor. All of its specimen are magical, but only Morag, the witch from the first season of the cartoon series was evil.

    Chak - yes

    Arandee - listen

    K'vark - the Ewokese four-letter-word

     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  2. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Love this as an intro to Wicket's character at this point in time. We get to see that he's sweet and well-meaning, but still young enough to be a bit ... hmm, egocentric is maybe even a bit stronger than the word that I'm looking for, but he has a kind of immaturity still. Kneesaa's section was also interesting. Being the "responsible" friend isn't always easy, and given that she has so many more responsibilities coming in the future it makes sense for her to have mixed feelings.

    The author's notes were very helpful, since I'm only vaguely familiar with the Ewoks stuff. As in, I watched the films years ago and have read summaries of some very strange cartoons on Wookieepedia while researching. Endor is like the Sunnydale of Star Wars. Everything weird goes on there. ;)
     
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  3. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Argh! I wanted to be the first to comment on this story, but Kahara beat me to it! I can't really read it now though, 'cause I'm at work, so I'll just acknowledge defeat and read it when I get home this afternoon :)
     
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  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    What a delightful and refreshingly unique character/cultural focus. =D= Bravo for taking Ewoks and making them complex and intricate - not the "cutesy teddy bears" we saw in RoTJ, although nothing wrong with cuddly teddy bears ;) Each character has a stand-out personality, already. I will follow this one. :)
     
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  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you! Since I was recommended to read your story and I've been coming back to it for the past couple of days, it was a huge surprise that the first comment I received was from you.

    I too think that the word "egocentric" is pretty strong, but in the second season of the cartoon, that's pretty much the way he's portrayed. Just...doesn't add up to the cute fluffy creature who acts as a protector for an orphan girl, so he has to go through some more emotional changes to get there. Plus, there's also Napoleon complex - he's remained short, while his brothers and friends have grown, and they all tease him about it, thus prompting him to show off even more.

    Kneesaa is going to have more of those overthinking-pretty-much-everything moments.

    I'm most likely posting part 2, where things are starting to get strange, part 3 will be very romcom, part 4 the aftermath of 1, 2 and 3 I expect real action to start in either part 5 or part 6.


    And I'm not a Buffy person so I had to google Sunnydale, but yup - Endor is mad and I like it. :) I mean, BLASE TREE GOATS. LOOK UP BLASE TREE GOATS. I WANT ONE.


    I'll be waiting for that. You're too kind. <3


    That's some comment. You're making me blush. :)

    I guess I'm just able to empathise with these characters, though only one of them has some things in common with me (though not too many things, as I'm a loud, extraverted and at this point in life aromantic). I took what the cartoon series has given us in terms of their personalities, tried to imagine the consequences each personality type would have coming out of age and voila!

    I hope it's OK if I add part two separately from these replies - I just want to be pedantic.
     
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  6. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 02






    The guests were arriving, bringing ordinary gifts such as knives and trinkets, to Wicket’s relief. He was happy that his party had been going well so far. Young Ewoks were dancing, eating the delicious food Shodu had prepared; and two or three couples were sat away from the crowd, looking at the snow falling through the largest of the windows.

    Finally, Weechee and Widdle finished fixing the drums and started drumming. Wicket used the opportunity and asked Weechee’s girlfriend, Chirita, for a dance. She was suspicious.

    "I hope you aren’t crushing on me anymore…wokling.” She said, in her signature tough manner. “I could beat you up, y’know?"

    "Not by any means, it’s just that somebody has to dance with you while my brother is playing music for us. I tried to drum once and it didn’t go that well, I broke the drum!"

    “That’s a cute excuse.” Chirita tickled him on the chin. "You’re a fierce and clever little one, aren’t you? Perhaps you will be an actual warrior someday, after all!" She picked up her drink and went to sit with two girls of her age. Wicket just shrugged, hoping that his brother did not see this.

    Latara was making her way through the dancing crowd. She carried her long braid in her hands, as Widdle stepped on it when she got in.

    "Goopa, Wicket! Happy birthday!"

    "Latara! Always the last to arrive." Wicket started, but stopped quickly, upon seeing his friend's angry expression. "Just kidding! Chak, I'm glad you made it!"

    "You know what my father is like…" Latara started counting on her fingers. "Couldn't get out before I scrubbed the floor, tucked Nippet and Wiley in their hammocks and, well, fixed myself a bath, brushed my fur and made sure I looked good enough to party! Here's your gift! It's a bag!" She presented Wicket with a rounded and unusually small leather pouch.

    "Nice! But it has two straps, like a backpack. Why?"

    "Just another of my designer ideas! That way you can carry it on your back, underneath your hood and nobody will know it's there. Clever, huh?"

    Wicket was about to thank Latara, but she already joined the dancing guests, gulping down a large glass of sunberry juice. At first, she danced by herself, but after a couple of songs, she was next to Tak, Asha's boyfriend of about one snow, wiggling and giggling. Of Weechee's age and known for his handsome fur, Tak was surprised. He could swear that the hoodmaker apprentice just stroked him down his back. How strange! Before he knew it, she was gone. He looked around and noticed her dance to Flitchee, rubbing her back against his. And then another male Ewok. And another. Then she went for another glass of juice.

    Tak was confused. After some thinking, he went to find Kneesaa. She was standing by the table, looking at Wicket doing a handstand and his brothers drumming.

    "Goopa, Kneesaa! Nice party, don’t you think?"

    "Uh, chak. And it’s nice that you came, despite my sister not being here. I'd go crazy if I was engaged and had to be apart fr..."

    "Arandee.” Tak cut her short. “Your friend, the sassy musician…she seems to be on some kind of a courting spree, if there is such a thing!"

    "What on Endor are you talking about?"

    "See for yourself!" Tak pointed at Latara, who was dancing with another random visitor.

    This was unusual. And it smelled like trouble. Kneesaa was trying hard, but she couldn’t think of a way to get overly gregarious Latara out of the dancing crowd, in order to see what was going on. Just as she was about to give up, she noticed a blue hood with a wooden star peeking from under the table. She instantly had an idea.

    "Malani? Is that you? Are you…hiding?"

    Malani gasped. "No! I don't want to go home, don't tell my brother that I'm hiding here!" She seemed to be enchanted by Wicket's antics, which she was enjoying from what she thought was the best seat in the house.

    "Don't worry.” Kneesaa hugged her and helped her get out from underneath the table. “I'll make sure that you can stay for as long as you like. Just, please, go bring me Latara! Find a reason; tell her that you want to show her something!"

    Malani jumped out of her hiding place and ran to Latara, nearly bumping into Wicket on her way.

    "Latara, I was wondering if you could come and help me with..." Malani started, but Wicket cut her short.

    "Latara, will you play something for my birthday?” He asked. “Please? Kneesaa can sing, and Malani, you can join me for a dance. Is that alright?"

    "Chak, chak, chak!" Malani clapped her hands, her voice even more squeaky than usual. Nothing mattered anymore, Wicked asked her for a dance! She forgot why she needed Latara in the first place and Kneesaa coming up to her did not remind her of it. She pulled both girls by hand, to the corner of the hut where Weechee and Willy were drumming.

    "Attention, please." Wicket announced and whistled to get everybody’s attention. "Two of my dear friends, Kneesaa and Latara, agreed to honour my request and make this evening even more memorable! Shall we do 'Knaa Naa'?"

    Kneesaa wasn't so sure about this, but she cleared her throat, gestured to Weechee to start drumming and proceeded to sing the famous song of the Soul Trees. Next to her, Latara acted as if she had never played the flute in her life. There was no music coming out of the instrument, just squeaks and an odd tone or two. Kneesaa sung louder and louder and clapped her hands, to get the guests’ attention off music. The only Ewok blissfully unaware that something was going on was little Malani. She was dancing with the birthday boy, with a huge grin on her face. The whole Endor was hers, or so it seemed.

    When the song was over, the girls went back to the table.

    "What, by the Great Tree, were you doing, Latara?" Kneesaa scolded her friend.

    "Whatever I was doing, I let it all out and now I'm ready. Ready! Where is Teebo? I've been thinking that tonight might be a good opportunity to..."

    "...to what? You just courted every single unmarried male in the village, apart from Paploo and the Warricks, and then you couldn't play your flute to save your life. What was this all about?"

    Latara grinned in Kneesaa's face and leaned over, as if she was about to tell her a secret, but she screamed in her ear instead instead. "You see, I thought he was here, to see what I was doing. So much for my plan! I wanted to make him take action on the...point we reached some moons ago.” She winked. “He never said anything about it."

    Kneesaa was still slightly frustrated with the situation. "You mean when you kissed him at King Elbo's palace?" She caught herself playing with the blue gem hanging from her hood.

    "Chak. You know it was not just in the heat of the moment. After that kiss, I’ve so, so wanted to apologise for treating him the way I did, but then I remembered how he ignored me for a whole year before that!"

    "He never ignored you. He was never the same with you as he was with everybody else. You’re very lucky. I don't know how it feels to have my affection for somebody returned the way I would want to, but you do and you should act on it!"

    Paploo was standing next to Kneesaa and Latara, laughing. Where did he come from, at the moment they least needed him?

    "Ha! I knew it all along! The local lurdo and the wannabe have a thing going on! But a kiss? I didn't see that coming, honestly!" He pouted. “Who sucked the other’s face: you or Teebo?”

    Latara angrily stomped her foot. "Whom did you call a wannabe, mama's boy?"

    "A kiss! Bet you drooled all over each other's faces, hahahaha!” He sat down and looked at the bottles on the table. “I sure missed hanging out with the four of you while I was in my warrior training, I would have traded fur off my own rear-end to see that!"

    "You obviously have a lot of it to waste, then!"

    Kneesaa shook her head and, as Paploo was laughing, she whispered to Latara.

    "Forget about mama's boy and his comments, he’s just teasing you, as usual. Go after your little honeydrop. You can bring him a mug of warm milk! It’s cold up there in the observatory and he hasn't eaten or drunk anything."

    Kneesaa followed Latara out and then went back to Paploo.

    "Whom did you tell the secret tell while I was getting her out of the party?"

    "Nobody…I didn’t even move from here."

    "Fine. And don't you dare to tell anybody! Lumat would ground Latara for the next ten moons if he found out! And knowing how cruel he can be, I would not forgive you! Moreover, I would tell your mother about all the stupid things you have ever done, and that’s a lot!"

    Paploo swallowed a lump. That sure sounded threatening.

    "Relax, cousin…I was just about to sip a glass of...ee cha waa ma, this is vile! And sour! Latara sure has a strange taste in sunberry juice! She sipped from this bottle a handful of times."

    They smelled the contents of the bottle and decided to bring Deej Warrick from the smaller chamber. He took a closer look, tasted the drink and shrugged.

    "This is fermented berry juice, what I drink on particularly cold days, when I light my pipe. It was not intended for parties. Weechee and Widdle sure have a strange sense of humour. Those two looney birds probably wanted to get Wicket tipsy in front of everybody, but he didn't even touch the drinks tonight."

    Paploo laughed at the idea of a tipsy Wicket, but stopped when he saw disapproval in his cousin’s eyes.

    "He didn't, but Latara drank a lot of this."

    "K'vark.” Deej screamed. “Where is she now?"

    "She went for a breath of fresh air, sir." A grinning Kneesaa stepped on Paploo's foot under the table.

    "I guess she won't get far, then. Ugh, why do I trust my sons? Why? Will they ever do anything right?"

    Deej went back to his wife, grumbling along the way. He was determined to deal with his sons later, in order not to spoil the party.




    Footnotes
    Chirita appears in Malani The Warrior and treats Wicket the same way Wicket treats Malani.

    Tak is a character mentioned in The Raich, as one of Latara’s supposed crushes, he turned out to be dating Kneesaa’s older sister, Asha. While nobody knows how he looks like, it was fun to add him to the story.

    Flitchee is the Ewok who fires from a blaster at the end of ground battle in Return of the Jedi.

    The “Knaa Naa” song does not exist, I made it up. The title indeed means Soul Trees in Ewokese.

    Ee cha waa ma (alternate spellings: bee cha waa wa, ay chihuahua…) – gee whiz!

    Great Tree – Ewoks believe they’re the descendants of it, as per Wicket’s speech in ROTJ novelisation.

     
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  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Enjoyed the various moods and interactions. Kneesa does seem to be the big-sister of the group. [face_thinking] Latara wanting a reaction from Teebo who wasn't even around... [face_laugh] o_O
     
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  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you. :)

    And he's going to be very much around (whatever that means o_O) in part three, which I'm hesitating to post as it miiight be too weird to some people.
     
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  9. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    This was another one of my very late-night reads this week, and now that I read it again with a clear head on a quiet Saturday afternoon, I'm actually enjoying it very much. Your author notes are very useful and I definitely need to brush up my knowledge of Ewoks -- I actually never saw anything else than ROTJ that features Ewoks *runs away and hides [face_blush]* so I was a bit lost among the characters at first but the second read cleared it all up.

    I like how you managed to give all your characters a distinct personality and voice. That's something I always find difficult when writing children or child-like characters, they somehow all sound the same but you're setting them apart from each other really well. Special squee factor for little Malani running around the room with her crazy gift :p -- beyond the cuteness of the scene it also shows what is meant by "child" in a community where nearly everyone has child-like traits.

    I'd be curious to know how much of the Ewok cultural traits you made up and what you borrowed from canon. For instance, does the significance of the hoods as an age marker come from the TV films/animated series?

    In any case, I'm watching the thread. This is going to be a fun ride!
     
  10. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    First of all, thank you for having taken a look - and I appreciate that you'll stick to it. :) You're a good writer and I think you'll appreciate the bits of humour I throw in here and there, at least that's what I gathered from glancing at Feline Trouble. Also, I hope this will get you to eventually watch at least the first season of the cartoon and read the comic this story will eventually serve as a prequel for. XD

    And these are some very valid observations, too. Perhaps this is something us writers are capable of that others aren't, but to me, it was enough to rewatch a couple of episodes as an adult and figure out what characters remind me of which people, what are their basic character traits. What's cool is that the main five is pretty much a four temperament ensemble plus one (I'll let you figure out who's melancholic, who's choleric, who's sanguine and who's phlegmatic). And since I once tried to rewrite an episode for fun and turn them into high schoolers in our world, and that worked, then there was no reason why this wouldn't work.

    Malani has a kiddie crush on Wicket in the cartoon series and that causes trouble on a couple of occasions. What's funny is that I wasn't realising how young she was compared to others when I was a kid. She's given the age of 6-8 by the authors of the series, and since I was seven, I probably didn't realise that the other characters were meant to be teens. And your comment on everybody being childlike makes sense, as that's how Ewoks are throughout ROTJ and in novelization. There's a fun scene in the later, where a bunch of them jump on Chewie and roll with him on the floor, just for the heck of it. To me, this doesn't necessarily have to be a sign of lower intelligence, given that they were perfectly capable of battle planning et cetera -more likely a completely different set of customs, developed in isolation.

    The significance of hoods is canon - when they receive their hoods, they're of the age that would correspond to our school age and there's a ceremony for that. The very first episode of the cartoon features Malani and two other woklings who receive their hoods at the Hood Festival.



    The only thing in these two chapters that is my own way of seeing things would be drunkness. While some of the sourcebooks, encyclopedias etc imply that the Ewoks do drink fermented fruit drinks and that they even use hallucinogens, that was not explored in cartoons for obvious reasons. I do have things I made up as I go in my future footnotes.

    That said, I'll post the third chapter, which has some actual action leading to the plot, the moment I'm done with its footnotes. You can probably guess which two characters will be making out up most of it.
     
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  11. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 03




    Latara climbed the slippery stairs to the observatory, carrying two hot mugs in her hands. She found Teebo leaning against the wooden fence, trying to draw what he saw through Logray's telescope.

    "Goopa, Teebo. Didn't see you at Wicket's party. I was late because of those two little barf-eaters at home. I brought you some warm blasé tree goat milk."

    "Thank you!" Teebo looked down, smiling, as she approached the telescope.

    "What are you looking at?" She asked.

    "The stars are bright tonight; would you like to look at them?"

    Latara took a brief glance, uninterested. Teebo enthusiastically continued.

    "That bright star over there...it's Kuna's Eye. And the one over there...um, it's Kuna's Tail. You know...if you mounted the fastest of Endorian creatures, a teek, it would still take you until the end of time to get there, that is how far it is! Stars…so mysterious, aren’t they? They burn bright, but they don't turn to ashes like wood, so they must be made of something as flammable as wood and as hard as stone."

    He's always been like this - she thought to herself - talking to trees, hearing colour and seeing what others couldn't see.

    "Stop for a moment, Teebo. I can’t follow. Tell me…where do you think we are now?"

    "Strange question, but…I am at the observatory, to record the position of stars in the sky, so I can warn the Council of Elders if..."

    "That’s not what I meant, lurdo! Where do you think we will be five snows from now? You and I?"

    Teebo didn't say a word at first, and then he placed his hands on her shoulders and started rambling. "The future is not clear, it keeps on changing as it comes along, it's never at peace, and it’s never still. What the stars are telling me today might not be anything like what they will tell me later."

    Latara was puzzled. In her current state, it all made even less sense than it would have otherwise.

    "You annoy me so much sometimes! You seem to have so many dreams that you can't even count them on your own six fingers! Is anything solid with you? Do you ever clearly say what you think? How do I know when you are for real?"

    "Stop pulling the straps of my hat!"

    "I am the hoodmaker apprentice. I can pull them as much as I want. They're basically your boss-me-around handles," she chuckled and took the hat off his head. "You need to wear something more suitable for your age, anyway. Not even Widdle would wear that anymore. And you, even though you're growing taller, you still look like...the same little boy with...large green eyes...I've always...never mind, this clearly isn’t going anywhere! Here is an idea, to see if you can be clear about anything. How do I look like? Can you describe me?"

    "Just a moment."

    Snow was falling again and Teebo rushed to get the telescope inside. Latara was tapping her foot.

    "You're something else!" he finally said, with a smile on his face.

    "What is that supposed to mean?"

    He took a deep breath and continued.

    "You're...eh...I mean...the only thing on Endor that is more beautiful than the rivers of colour in the sky I listen to when I’m alone. While your words are often coming across as screaming flaming red, like the way they do now I still hear them in soft pink…because it's you. And I don’t think you believe me, so I will have to find another way to show you. Imagine this was words."

    His voice was shaking. He wiped the snow off her face and, to her surprise, placed a soft kiss on her lips.

    It was nothing like their first kiss, some months ago in an underwater cavern. This time there was no audience. No danger. No thrill. None of the things Latara yearned for so often were there, yet, she liked it. For a couple of minutes, there seemed to be nothing else in the world. No lights of the village underneath, no stars interspersed by snowflakes, not even the pinkish hue of Tana, always hanging from its corner of the sky. There was just the two of them, leaning on the observatory wall and kissing. The dreams she shared with her best friend on long raft rides were never this close. The dreams he only ever confessed to his Soul tree were coming true.

    Teebo finally stopped to catch a breath and put his hat back on. "Since I can’t work when it’s snowing like this, I guess we can head back to the party. I’m really hungry now!"

    "What on Endor? You can make up rhymes, speak in animal tongues, but you are clueless about here and now! If we go back together, what do you think others will say? Say, how many snows have you witnessed?"

    "I...I would need your hands too, to count them...and a pair of feet. A finger or toe less? Why? What did I say?"

    "The moment your lips parted with mine, you went back to being a wokling again! A guy and a girl do not walk around just like that. Bozzie and other village blabbermouths would go straight to my father and tell him you probably took me to see the Light Spirit! That's what they have been saying about Asha and Tak some moons ago..."

    "But you cannot just see the Light Spirit in one place! It's everywhere! Not even master Logray has seen it!"

    Was he really that thick? She thought.

    "You ARE a lurdo! Who knows, maybe I only enjoyed kissing you because you put some sort of a spell on me, like you do with…with your disobedient animals!"

    "What? Where did this come from? And why?"

    "Figure it out for yourself, in any tongue you like. I'm going back. Good night."

    She headed to the stairs.

    "Danvay, it's sl..." Teebo couldn't even finish the sentence, Latara already slipped. He helped her up. "There is something strange about you tonight, but I cannot quite put my ffff-"

    She turned around and kissed him again, in the same near-violent way as in the cavern. He stood still, not saying anything. She shook her head, pushed him away and disappeared in the night, before he could even go after her.

    "Well, that was…strange. I guess I’m having a nightmare, a nightmare that started out like the most beautiful dream ever. Maybe if I pinch myself, I’ll wake up?"

    That didn’t help. Teebo sat on the top step and starred at the night sky until it got too cold.

    Unlike him, Latara promptly returned to the party. Only Kneesaa, Malani and Paploo were still there with the Warricks.

    "W-what has happened? Where is everybody?"

    "As the wind got stronger, somebody said that it’s dangerous to be away from home, as the spirit of Denlett can push you off the platforms, aided by the wind!” Shodu walked to Latara. “And what has happened to you? Dear child, you look sick!"

    Weechee stepped out.

    "Shodu, she’s not sick. She’s…drunk. It’s my fault. Dad already found out. I’m glad she came back from wherever she had wandered off to; otherwise I would not have been able to forgive myself. Now we have to make sure that Lumat doesn’t find out.” He stopped for a moment, to think. “Kneesaa, perhaps the two of you can have a sleepover? You’re home alone these days, anyway. Deej and I will go and tell Lumat and Zephee that Latara is with you, so they wouldn’t worry."

    "Good idea!” Kneesaa’s frown changed into something resembling a smile. “Latara, you’re going with me. And in the morning you’ll tell me all about your new song, right?"

    Paploo followed Kneesaa and Latara to the royal hut, leaving Wicket thinking about where his party went wrong. It just wasn’t meant to be this way. He wanted it to be even bigger! You don’t come out of age every couple of moons, you come out of age only once in your life. How come all these lurdos were scared of the Denlett spirit, when a mighty warrior apprentice like him could’ve protected them? At this point, he was not sure if some of the spirits actually existed, or if they were invented to scare woklings away from doing something particularly dangerous.

    As he was pondering the existence of higher power, his best friend returned and frowned at the sight of the empty chamber.

    "Seems that I arrived too late.” Teebo shook his head. “Not that anything has been going well tonight…but I guess I can still have my piece of cake, right, Wicket?"

    Wicket sighed. "Your sister ate the piece we set aside for you, as well as many pieces before that…then she went outside and, you can guess what happened next. She’s sleeping on a chair now, silly little girl."

    "Not again…"

    "By the way, you missed on a lot. At some point, Kneesaa sang a song and Latara was…well, interesting. I think she just set the record in dancing with most guys in a single evening and then she just…lost herself? It turned out that she had drunk a lot of fermented berry juice that Weechee intended to use to pull a prank on me."

    There was no response, just a blank stare.

    "Not you too, Teebo! What is wrong?"

    "N-n-nothing! We will talk tomorrow, you must be tired. I’m going to carry my sister home, prepare one of Master Logray’s herbal remedies for her, grab a snack for myself and hit the hammock."

    Teebo clumsily picked Malani up and got out of the hut, backwards, with a confused expression on his face. Wicket was now alone with his family.

    "What a lurdo!" sighed Weechee. "He comes here, gives you that…strange…whatever it may be, then he leaves and comes back when everybody has gone, you tell him about that little tart and how she behaved and he seems terrified…"

    "He just had a long day, brother…" Wicket said, but Weechee continued his own story.

    "…which is a shame, the two of them would be a perfect match – they’re both into those art things, beauty and whatever, they’re useless to begin with and he’s probably the only Ewok who would put up with her. And since he suddenly went from being a fleebog like you to being awkwardly tall, they’d even look cute together. Like a Phlog trying to romance a hill full of pretty flowers…I don’t know."

    Weechee was laughing at himself, by himself. Nobody else found his remark particularly funny. Widdle had gone to sleep already, followed by their parents. Wicket took one last look at himself in the jug of water before putting out the fire in the pit. He knew that he was not going to grow much taller, his hands were too small. Why did they have to remind him of that and compare him to a Fleebog? He was capable of as much heroics as every other Ewok! And how come his brothers did not understand that he was no longer the baby of the family? His little sister, Winda, was already three snows old. By now, Weechee and Widdle should have gotten used to her being the youngest. Will he ever stop having to prove himself?



    On the topmost level of the village, in a cosy hut just off the main square, Warok woke up from a vivid dream, having heard noise in the main chamber. Still sleepy, he was convinced that some spirits were messing with his winter supplies; so he got up, lit a lantern and went to see what’s going on.

    He was relieved. It was not the spirits - his son and daughter were sitting at the dining table. Malani didn’t look as perky as usual.

    "Teebo? Malani? Why aren’t you in your hammocks? Not that I would control either of you, but it’s very late."

    "Malani overate and she’s feeling very sick. I would have made sure it didn’t happen, but I had to run to the observatory.” Teebo looked at the concoction in the wooden flask with one eye closed. “I missed the party and didn’t have one single bite of food, so…I’m looking for something to snack on and I’ve also lit the pit to prepare the stomach remedy."

    Warok sat down. "I’ll join you, my son. Would you like some gee-ome sausage from last snow season’s supplies?" He pointed to a large one hanging from the chamber wall.

    "Nah, I’ll be fine with some bread and jam. If I wasn’t this hungry, I probably wouldn’t care about eating at all.” Teebo stopped and then added, sotto voce. “I wish tonight had never happened, dad."

    Warok knew his son too well to shrug the last sentence off. "Is it old Lumat's daughter again?"

    "Her name is Latara, dad. And…well…chak.” Teebo was reluctant to respond. His gaze wandered around the chamber, avoiding Warok’s eyes. He opened the jam jar and continued. "She somehow got drunk on fermented sunberry juice, came to the observatory and insulted me a couple of times.” He started to poke the piece of bread with his knife. “Me? I thought ‘now or never’ and I kind of…told how I felt and we…eeeh…kissed…for a while. Then she went angry again and left."

    Warok chuckled. "She insulted you and you kissed her? Sounds like you. But...why did she leave?"

    "Chak, I kissed her!” Teebo swallowed a slice of bread with barely any jam on it. “This was not our first kiss! It happened before and the first time around it was her doing, but this, this was completely different…” The young Ewok finally looked at his father, worried. “Dad, you won’t tell Lumat about this, right?"

    "Of course not – what I talk about to my son remains between the walls of this hut. It’s enough that I have to actually share guard duties with that grouch every now and then, it’s not like I have to talk to him. He’s worse than old Needoo! He remarried old, he was never meant to be a father.” Warok took a large bite off the sausage and proceeded to stuff his mouth with an even larger bite of the remaining bread. “In any other situation, I would have been happy. My son has grown to be taller than me. He passed his apprenticeship, though not for what most parents would want. And now he’s kissed a girl.” He nudged Teebo. “But it was her. How many times did I tell you to get her out of your head, boy?” Warok made a scolding gesture towards his son and pointed to the fuzzy fur on his chest. “Even if it wasn’t for her father’s attitude, this girl would still be trouble. Everybody will want her at some point."

    "She’s Latara. And…I know, dad. She thinks I’m a child, and I’m more than one snow older than her. After our kiss, I suggested going back to Wicket’s birthday party together and she…she rambled something about seeing the Light Spirit. I said that nobody can see the Light Spirit and she called me a lurdo."

    Warok laughed and patted his son on the back. "That’s our little mystic, always looking at things from a higher tree. What if I told you that I saw the Light Spirit with your mother, that even Lumat saw it with Zephee? Do you understand it now? It’s just a figure of speech."

    His little mystic, a head taller than both of his parents, pulled his hat over his face, as if his fair bangs were suddenly not enough to hide his bashful smile. Warok wasn’t sure if Teebo was ashamed of the idea of seeing the Light Spirit, his blissful ignorance towards the actual, tangible world, beyond the language of the trees and rivers of colours, or both.

    "Your mother and I, we were a bit older than you. We liked each other a lot. There was a party, I believe it was the Sun King festival. We sneaked out and went to the forest.” He stopped to see Teebo peek from behind the hat again. “By the time the snow was melting at the end of its season, we were blessed with a little boy. Of course, the Elders had a hearing for us, asking us why I didn’t do the usual – built a hut, accepted gifts from females and picked one to marry. I don’t regret this, I am happily married to somebody I really love and we have a warm home and two wonderful children."

    "I understand. But I don’t want to get married. I don’t care about seeing the Light Spirit now. I just wish that those I care about, including you and mom, understood me a bit better. I wish you all listened to me. I’ve always felt alone in the crowd and I’m not even sure why. Now that I stand out with my height, it’s even worse."

    Warok didn’t respond, he shook his head and went back to the other chamber. They had had this discussion so many times before and it would always end the same way. His son was just not getting it, as simple as that.

    Teebo finished making the remedy for Malani, woke her up and held her head as she drunk it. Once she had swallowed it all, he carried her to their shared chamber and tucked her in with her straw doll. Half asleep, she was still babbling something about dancing with Wicket.

    If only his own feelings for somebody were as simple and straightforward as his sister’s. He sighed and disrobed, leaving his pouch and the hat on the hook. Once he got into the hammock, even with the blanket over his head, light from the full sistermoon seemed to be getting into his face. He looked at the celestial body, and suddenly, he had a feeling that it was laughing at him. Just like everybody else.

    And then he fell through the hammock.




    Footnotes


    I do hope that Kuna constellation can be seen from the Forest moon of Endor! After all, it’s right above the galactic plane and considered a part of the Moddell (sub)sector.

    Latara calls her younger siblings barf-eaters multiple times in the cartoon series. I did not make it up.

    Teek – the white gnome-ish creatures one of which appears in the Battle for Endor TV movie....and runs like freakin' Road Runnner or Speedy Gonzales.

    Tana – Ewokese name for the gas giant Endor

    Lurdo – idiot, weirdo, etc. Used throughout the cartoon series and in some parodies.

    Sistermoon – one of the other Endor moons, presumably the closest one to the gas giant. Ewoks see it the same way we see our moon.

    There’s an observatory in the Bright Tree Village and Logray owns a telescope, somehow. See Night of the Stranger.

    Chromesthesia or sound-to-color synesthesia is a type of synesthesia in which heard sounds automatically and involuntarily evoke an experience of color. Teebo has it. For more polemics on Teebo's Force abilities, I recommend the discussion taking place during the review of The Cries of the Trees on the Republic Forces podcast.
     
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  12. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    This was a lovely post-siesta read. Tipsy Latara was very well depicted, Malani would -- obviously -- get sick and the Light Spirit business was simply hilarious.
    I completely agree with this and I (as opposed to many people I guess) actually liked very much the Ewoks in ROTJ as a counterpart to Wookiees -- or, well, Chewbacca, since he's the only Wookiee in the films. I found that their various weapons and traps were well thought-out (I'll tell you some day about my fantasies for using them in real life :p) and I particularly enjoyed the scene where Paploo steals the speeder bike and then grabs a vine to escape. It was a good way to show that, while Ewoks are not a tech-savvy civilization, they're not stupid at all.
     
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  13. Luminous beings are we...

    Luminous beings are we... Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Ewok fic! Attagirl, Ewok Poet!

    As I know so very little about the Ewoks (basically, I knew their offshoot storylines existed, and that's all), this is serving as my introduction to the characters. I must say, Malani is an early favorite—for her guileless enthusiasm. But Warok's wisdom and gentleness are quite wonderful as well.

    And Teebo! I can't wait to see more of him.

    You mentioned in your author's notes that the third part of this story was the hardest to write. I think it's your best thus far.

    Keep writing! I'll be reading. (Excuse me for the moment, though. I've got to go look up Blasé Tree Goats.)


    EDIT (2 hrs. later):

    I forgot to underscore how great this—

    [blockquote]"Don't be so hard on them!" said the shortish Ewok named Romba, who had kept quiet until then, "Some ten, twenty snows ago we were like them - overconfident and guaranteed to cause trouble, or scared of our own shadows! There was no middle ground!"[/blockquote]
    —is.
     
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Fun with Teebo and Latara. LOL Goes across galaxies and species, but I do think the dudes are clueless way after the girls "get it." Although his dad seems to have not wibble-wobbled around. ;)

    Wow, what a cliffie! Falling through the hammock like that... [face_worried]
     
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  15. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014

    And that's precisely what I wanted. :) As for Paploo, he will have a chance to be his usual irresponsible, thrill-seeking self in this story as well, but he'll also figure out that he doesn't have to be a jerk at the same time.

    P.S. I'm very, very interested about the bit in brackets.

    I believe Malani was what they would call a"creator's pet", as she started off as a yet-unidentified wokling in ROTJ, then her age was raised for her first appearance in that story book where the Duloks kidnap her and nearly kill and eat her...and then, boom, she's the tagalong kid in the cartoon series.

    As for blasé tree goats, they just had to be included somewhere. I don't care how and why the Ewoks milk them, but the whole idea of something so ignorant to the world around it, something that miiight even poop on innocent bystanders and their name is just too funny.



    It's not like that, actually. :) I'm not a big fan of stereotypes, and even if I was, they would be impossible to imply here. Teebo is definitely too eccentric for an Ewok. As we know, in ROTJ he went on Han Solo though he was most likely freaked out, then he assumed that C-3PO was a deity and since he apparently had some authority, the others followed the suit. In the cartoon series, he had a couple of instances of literal thinking and he spoke all those languages of every single species on Endor...of course he's going to go for whatever is more spiritual and make some bizarre decisions. And even when he gets it, he aims for something more, something complicated and something he probably doesn't even grasp himself.

    But yup, Latara has the case of "thou doth protest too much". And I'm not stretching this, as her character is really pushing boundaries in all of its instances.

    ...

    Thank you all, I'm refreshing this like a maniac each time I post something, as I appreciate what you say a lot. Part 4 coming riiight up. :)
     
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  16. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 04




    The next morning, the hunting party got back home, carrying nothing but a couple of small birds. As they approached the council hut, Romba looked down, observing the disappointment in the passerby’s eyes. The hunters did not manage to locate anything large enough and they were about to face Kazak, the Head Elder. With other leaders of the tribe away, he was guaranteed to be more unpleasant than he would be in presence of Logray and Chirpa.

    They slowly marched in. Kazak was standing next to the window, looking at the snow-covered roofs and platforms. He ignored the group at first, until their leader, Tippet, stepped out.

    "Head Elder Kazak, we have both good and bad news. We have returned from our hunt, and we have brought some game."

    "And what would be bad news?" Kazak slowly turned to the hunters.

    "It’s small game. We found traces of a large animal, Wunka believes it’s a gurreck, but they got lost at some point, probably because of last night’s heavy snowfall. So, err, this will be enough food for those who need it, and as for everything else, we will have to hunt again."

    Kazak shook his head. "You have horns on your head, Tippet, yet you seem to have nothing but horns inside of your head, either. Are you aware of what’s going to happen now?"

    A couple of hunters were showing signs of disapproval.

    "Chak, you are going to recruit a group of young Ewoks and take them with you.” Kazak pointed his finger to the group. “It’s in circumstances like this they will learn to work for more than just themselves, their families and their egos. They will learn to work for the benefit of our entire village, and be humble!"

    "But…"

    "I don’t want to hear no ‘but’, Tippet. This evening, I want to see them here and I want your party to leave by dawn. Chief Chirpa and Logray must not return to a supply hut that contains only fruits, nuts, vegetables and some smoked meat from earlier. And now get out of my sight, the days are short in the snow season and you will need to hurry up."

    "But…"

    "I said no buts, Tippet. Get out of here! Get out of here, now."

    The hunters followed the leader out of the hut. For a while, they stood in the square, wondering what would be the best thing to do. Some names popped up in the conversation. Romba mentioned the Warrick brothers, Wunka thought of Paploo. They eventually agreed to split and go from home to home seeking young volunteers, as not many villagers were likely to be outside on such a cold day.



    Kneesaa was cleaning the walkway in front of the Royal Hut when she spotted one of the hunters.

    "Goopa, my princess." He said.

    "Goopa, Graak, what is going on? Why are so many of our hunters walking around the village like that? Are we in danger? Did some large animal climb up here?"

    "No, nothing like that. We’re recruiting young ones to join us in the next hunt, as the hunting party did not manage to catch anything large enough to keep us fed for a longer period of time. At this point, we’re asking for volunteers, but if we don’t get a sufficient number of them, we’re going to pick some ourselves. The volunteers are to gather at the council hut at sunset."

    As Graak was making his way to the next hut, Kneesaa regretted that she was not allowed to apply, given that she had to stay home and formally run the village with the council until her father returns. She was still somewhat bitter about past arguments with the governing body, who did not seem open to changes. They were surprised when Chirpa announced that she was his heir, they were against her taking part in the most recent Tree of Light expedition, so she tagged along with Latara. In so many other everyday situations, she felt repressed. In her mind, there was no difference between male and female Ewoks, but sadly, some of the villagers helping her father make decisions did not agree on this.

    She finished cleaning and got back inside, just in time to wake up Latara, who was snoring in Asha’s bed.

    "Whaaa?! What a night! I had a series of really strange dreams, so glad I’m awake!” Latara stretched and turned around. She saw Kneesaa standing by the bed. ”Why am I not at home in my hammock, but in a…large bed full of red fur? Eww, talking about cleanliness…"


    Kneesaa laughed. "Chak…my sister should really shed less, but there is nothing I can do about. Anyway, good morning, Latara! Do you even remember what happened last night?"

    "No. I remember going to Wicket’s birthday party and then…I woke up here. There are some other things I can think of, but I was probably dreaming."

    Kneesaa took a deep breath and told Latara what happened. She was listening to it and while some bits of the story seemed to amuse her, she was genuinely shocked about her attempt to romance Tak, Flitchee and those other men.

    "It’s funny how these fermented berry drinks can bring out the worst in a person. I did intend to get some attention; after all, it’s me we’re talking about…but at the same time, I definitely did not want to approach every single Ewok present. Not in that way!” She sat on the edge of the bed and untied her braid to brush it. “So, you say that you encouraged me to go to the observatory and talk to Teebo? That would imply that my dream was not really a dream!” She sighed and shook her head. “Oh, k’vark, how am I going to solve this?"

    "I cannot advise you if you don’t tell me what happened up yhere. And since you’ve been sighing over Teebo for many snows now, I am pretty sure you owe me that much." The princess winked at her friend.

    "You will be surprised as much as I was; I think…I was horrible. I questioned his inner world. I mocked him.” Latara was nervously twirling her long head fur, as if she were unable to make a braid again. “I’m pretty sure every other villager, regardless of the situation, would have told me to get lost. Instead of it, he told me that he sees me as the most beautiful thing in his life and said that he’s lost for words that could describe it further…and then he kissed me."

    That last sentence finally reminded Kneesaa of the old Latara, the one head over feet in love with Teebo. "Ee cha waa ma! Wait...knowing you, you probably pushed him away? Hit him?"

    "Not this time, no. It was a proper kiss. I was standing on my tiptoes until my feet started to hurt, cursing whatever caused him to grow this tall…and I was enjoying every moment of it. It was cold, the wind was blowing, but I closed my eyes, leaned on the wall and drifted off to…” She stopped, her voice going from breathy to raspy. “Uh, this is so pathetic, forget I said it."

    "Not pathetic at all. It’s romantic!” Kneesaa put her hands together. “You have no idea how much I wanted this to happen, for both of you. I was starting to lose my hope, to the point where I assumed you’ll suddenly be swept over your feet by some show-off type and that Teebo would become a loner like his Master, sort of…"

    Latara frowned. Kneesaa was now braiding her head fur, smiling.

    "You’re not laughing. Does this mean you messed things up afterwards?"

    "Well, yes. He stopped kissing me and suggested we go back to the party because he was hungry. I took that pretty hard and said that everybody would know about us and think we actually…"

    "I see. And I still don’t see the problem. If I ever get to rule this village, I promise to stay out of my people’s relationships, morals and family planning. Mark my words." The princess tied a ribbon on the end of her friend’s braid. “Did you do that? I won’t judge you!”

    "We didn’t.” Latara frowned, staring at her braid. “Teebo, he had no idea what I was talking about. I’m always puzzled by his naivety, but that and thinking of his stomach and not me just ruined the moment.” She put her head in her hands. “Now I wonder why I overreacted, but hey, a girl can be wrong, right?"

    "A girl can also be very drunk and full of..." Kneesaa almost said something Latara never expected her to, but she stopped herself and put her hand on her mouth.

    "What?” The flutist raised her head again, in protest. “You wouldn’t want your man to be a bit manlier?"

    "I would.” Kneesaa nodded. “But I like rogues, as I’ve never been one. If you were every paying attention to anybody other than yourself, you would’ve noticed that I mention unrequited love, quite often. My crush, whoever it may be, is – as you say - manlier. But you, you’re lying right now. You like your men walking on clouds. You don’t like my cousin Paploo because he’s a rogue. You argued with Wicket on multiple occasions because you’re both like fire - you never think before you do or say something. And that’s precisely why you like Teebo – you’re not like the other girls and he’s not like the other men.” She put her hands on Latara’s shoulders. “Moreover, you put a spell on him. He adores you!"

    "I guess you’re right.” Latara his her face in her friend’s bright white fur. “And what should I do right now?"

    "The next time you’re alone with him, just be yourself and don’t judge him for being who he is."

    Latara nearly pushed Kneesaa away. She didn’t like advice, even when she had asked for it.

    "I get it, I get it…by the way, whom you were talking to and what is going on?"

    "It was Graak, one of the hunters. The hunting party didn’t bring back anything big enough to keep us fed for a longer period of time, so they’re gathering young volunteers to join them. I know Wicket will want to go and today is the first time he’s actually eligible. I think Paploo will want to go, too…come to think, you could give it a go as well. You don’t have to stay here and pretend you know how to run a village."

    "Me?” Latara protested. “Sleep in a tent, wrestle with wildlife and go for a day or more without washing up and brushing my fur…?" She followed her friend down the wooden stairs.

    "Yes, you.” Kneesaa was looking for something to prepare for breakfast in the cupboard. “I think it would serve you well. Aaaand, since your little honeydrop is filling in for his Master, you can spend some time away from him, so you both can contemplate, think about this. If he comes around looking for you, I will talk to him. I think we’re almost on the same branch of the Father Tree when it comes to...certain experiences with others."

    Latara was surprised. She never thought about doing such a thing. And why would she, in the first place? As the village’s hoodmaker apprentice, she never had to worry about anything – she’d normally help out the head hoodmaker whenever necessary, come and go into the sewing hut as she pleased and it was always warm and quiet there. On the other hand, if she was gone for a couple of days, chances of somebody telling her father about last night were slim. The hunters were mostly older Ewoks and, if the Warrick brothers indeed came along, there would be somebody to keep her company. The only thing she would have to put up with other than the cold would be Paploo and his constant teasing. That wasn’t enough to keep her away from an adventure.

    "That’s it, I’ll be going! Some thrill will make me forget last night more easily."

    "And that’s how I like you!" Kneesaa winked and proceeded to make the table.

    The two friends went on to have a hearty breakfast in the warm central chamber of the Royal Hut. Everything seemed much better than at the party, all of the sudden.



    Later that day, Shodu was cleaning up the mess from last night, when she was visited by a pair of hunters, with a request for Weechee, Widdle and Wicket to join the hunt. The oldest of the brothers went to wake up the other two.

    "Wake up, wake up! It's past lunchtime, but that is not what matters most. We were invited on a hunt. Yubnub!"

    Widdle muttered a couple of k’varks and turned to the other side. Unlike him, Wicket literally jumped out of the hammock.

    "We? As in…the two of you, but me as well?" His face lit up.

    "Of course! You’re old enough for that now, you little lurdo. We’re supposed to have a talk with the Head Elder Kazak at the Council Hut in the evening and we would head off at dawn. The village needs some new hunters in order to trace something big enough to keep us fed. Up for it?"

    "Why do you even ask? I’m thrilled! I don’t even have to look for an excuse this time."

    Wicket got up and put his hood on inside out in excitement. He sighed and took it off again. On the hook where he kept it, there was his old orange hood, gathering dust. He'd almost forgotten about it, ever since he got the green one. He blew the dust off the orange one and took it in his hands. Just like all hoods, it had a distinct scent, but there was more to it than just his fur. It smelled of early years, adventures concluding with finding Asha and the days when he wasn't as confident as he was now. Perhaps he's taken this belt of honour quest too far?

    "Wicket, honeydrop, are you hungry?" Shodu caught him by surprise. She spotted the orange hood in his hands. "Oh, you never wear that one anymore! I loved it. I loved it when we knew what you were up to and when you..."

    "I know!" He cut her short, less patient than the other night. "I know all that, but I'm a grown-up now. How come nobody understands this?" He threw the orange hood in the hammock and followed his mother to the large chamber.

    Shodu proceeded to check on the cauldron of stew on the fire pit, as her three boys and a girl sat at the table. Sometimes, they were so rough, almost cruel, those boys. She wasn't in the mood for telling them what it is like to watch one's children grow up and slip out of one’s hands for Father Tree knows which time. And why was Wicket not allowing her to hug him anymore? He was her child, and her children would always remain woklings to her. Her youngest son was pushing her away, yet, no matter how many times Weechee had insulted him on the course of the past couple of days, he was now listening to him talk about hunting. She sighed and looked down at her wooden plate. Sometimes, she just had to wonder if she and her sons lived in two separate worlds.




    Footnotes
    Head Elder Kazak never appears in the cartoon series, but he appears in a couple of comics and Return of the Jedi.


    Father Tree is the tallest tree on Endor and Ewoks worship it. I believe it's safe to assume that it's the same thing as the Great Tree.
     
  17. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 05




    On his way to the hunters’ gathering at the Council Hut, Wicket decided to drop by Master Logray's. He walked by just as Teebo was giving something from a large jar to a visitor complaining about a head cold.

    "Just take another one of these in the morning and you should be fine. Chak, Master Logray made it, don’t worry about it.” Teebo waved to the sick villager and then he spotted Wicket. “Oh, look who's here to see me! Have you recovered from your party yet?"

    "Goopa! I sure did and I'm on my way to joining the hunting expedition.” Wicked said, following his friend back into the hut. It was only in the bright light of three lanterns that he noticed large bags under Teebo’s eyes. “Ee-chaa...you look worn out. Your eyes are half-closed."

    "I'm tired...” Teebo nodded. “I barely managed to close my eyes last night. The hammock broke and I had to sleep on the floor. Not sure what we'll do about it."

    The young shaman then sat down by his friend.

    "So, why are they…you…hunting? Are our supplies of meat really that low?"

    "I'm afraid they are."

    "You know, I could give you something to warm you up during the expedition. It's going to be even colder for the next couple of nights and the root or p..."

    "Just imagine what will happen if I'm the one who finds that gurreck! These people who doubt me would finally shut up! And I could complete my belt of honour, effortlessly!"

    "Wicket, you are not listening to me..."

    "All hail the mighty warrior! He's truly one of a kind! Let's hear it for..."

    Wicket was, once again, all caught up in his daydreaming of fame and playing out one of his warrior fantasies. Teebo sighed, shook his head and retrieved to the corner. He sat by the large map on the hut wall. Sooner than later, he found himself quietly rewinding the recent events.

    A hunting expedition? Great. Everybody, with exception of Kneesaa, had been self-centered, to the point where he was looking forward to some quiet time. He loved Wicket like the younger brother he never had, but during the past snow or so, he could not recall the two of them having had a proper conversation. Each attempt to have one would end just like it did now. This Wicket, emerging from below the bright green hood was more like, Paploo, the only person who could get Teebo angry to the point of wanting to fight him in the past. K’vark, Paploo…At least that lurdo couldn't openly bully him anymore. Maybe he was scared. For once, growing tall for an Ewok had some perks.

    The young shaman apprentice was trying not to think about Latara, but she slowly dragged herself deep below his forelock, uninvited. Whatever they had or did not have had been going on for way too long. She befriended Kneesaa when Lumat returned to the village with his new wife, after a long time spent elsewhere. And he, Teebo, took an instant liking to her - it only seemed natural for an aspiring poet to be attracted to an aspiring musician. It would often seem to him as if it was mutual: Latara’s voice was remarkably different in his presence, she'd often grab his hand in dangerous situations, brush against him and he'd still smile whenever he would think of that one time they danced together right before the stranglethorn plant nearly destroyed the village. After that, and especially after the kiss in King Elbo’s underwater lair, he was determined to do something about it. He was, however, sure that having asked his father for advice made it worse and worse each time. The moment he started openly courting Latara, she appeared to no longer be interested. The more he tried to get her attention, the more he made a fool of himself, going against his nature, saying things he never thought he would have said. And each time he would embarrass himself, he would spend the night awake in his hammock, questioning his own doings, which would further result in numerous mistakes at work and only a passing grade the first time his skills were tested.

    The unexpected events of the night before made it even more confusing. When he finally got the courage to reciprocate, he could feel Latara’s heart melt, only to get colder than ever the very next moment. All because of that Light Spirit! He would not confess that to his dad, but he did daydream about seeing the Light Spirit with Latara, at least once before - he just didn't understand why she brought it up like that. Why was everybody of his age suddenly all about that? Love was just not that simple! There was so much more to it.

    Hurried footsteps on the hut’s floor brought him back from his thoughts.

    "Endor to Teebo...are you there?"

    "Latara?” He turned around. “I mean Kneesaa...goopa! Wait, wasn't Wicket here when I last looked?"

    "He was, but he had to run to the council meeting. We met there. Now it turns out that they need you and me there as well, so I came here to let you know."

    "Is that...now?" Teebo was confused. Just for how long had he been contemplating, in the first place?

    "Chak, let's go.” Kneesaa took him by the hand. “And by the way...I know what happened last night and I want to talk about it with you, at some point. I want to help!"

    Well, wasn’t that just great? Teebo was more or less sure that he wanted something to come crashing down from the dark skies above and take him away. Preferably forever. But his friend was pulling his hand and he had to go.

    Moments later, the got to the Council Hut, packed with the village youth. Everybody was chatting loudly, he couldn't get lost in his own thoughts anymore. And then he spotted Latara. She pouted and looked away. What was she doing here?

    "Quiet!" Head Elder Kazak scolded the present Ewoks. Most didn't even see him go in and, all of the sudden, there he was, banging his hammer at what was normally Chirpa’s seat. "That's better. Then again, being quiet is probably the only thing some of you are capable of.”

    Somebody coughed. Kazak snorted and proceeded with his speech.

    “I assume you already know why you're here. The Council of Elders needs you - young warriors, warrior apprentices, scouts and whoever else is interested in helping our hunters out.” He pointed in the direction of the supply hut. “We are low on meat and, in this cold, whatever else we have just won't do the justice. To be a part of this expedition, you have to be brave, tough and up for such a challenge. For those who aspire to be warriors, this is a good chance to add some more trinkets to your hoods, necklaces and belts of honour!"

    Following this, a handful of present Ewoks left, the others’ eyes were still on the old retired warrior sitting in the centre of the massive table again. He only had one question for them.

    "So, who's applying?” Kazak pointed his hammer to the crowd. “No hands up, come here. I want to see you. I want to look straight into your eyes.”

    The Warrick brothers, Paploo, Latara and a couple of others stepped out. Only one of them caught Kazak’s eye.

    "A girl in the hunting party? What do you do otherwise?" He pulled his most frightening face at Latara, but she didn’t even blink.

    "I am the resident hoodmaker apprentice, sir.” She said. “I thought I could help with the traps, if something needs sewing or strengthening."

    A couple of hunters laughed. Kazak was puzzled.

    "That's nice. But I am not sure if you understand what it means to be a hunter. The party may travel for hours with no stopping. It will be cold. Is your shiny fur up for that and can you stand seeing your pretty hat stuck to a thorn, your little feet sinking in snow?"

    Latara's angry pout didn't seem to change Kazak's attitude. He's been in more battles than he could care to remember and he couldn’t recall that girls were taking a part in any of them. They would sit at home and wait for their men to come back. They would mourn their men if they were gone. They would weave baskets and cloth, not go to a war or a hunt. Or at least that’s how it had to be. He was lost for words at first, but then looked around and, noticing two young Ewoks sitting at the end of the table, he remembered something – he had to deal with that other girl, that brat of Chirpa’s he couldn’t be rude to, as well as that lurdo whom Logray adored.

    "Please, give us some time to decide if you can be a part of the group.” He said, trying to appear polite. “In the meantime, as everybody knows, our mighty chief and our shaman are away and they wouldn’t be back for another couple of days. I therefore invited their stand-ins to take a part of this meeting, as guests.”

    Kneesaa and Teebo stood up.

    "We’re ruled by a girl and healed by the clumsy guy?" somebody joked from the crowd. "No wonder the snow is falling and we’re out of food. It’s a curse!"

    "No curse has been thrown on this village ever since the demise of Morag, the Tulgah witch." Said one of the guests.

    "You are silly. Can’t you see that I’m being ironic about your and the girl’s abilities? And now we’re meant to have another girl - in the hunting party, out of all places. Let’s see what your bookish memory can say to that…shaman." The heckler took a while before saying the last word.

    "The trees didn’t object to Latara’s request, I am going to check the stars again tonight.” Teebo was feeling uncomfortable, but he continued, nevertheless. "I will see if there is anything unusual, but I don’t think there will be. As far as the two of us are concerned, Princess Kneesaa and I, if you care about our opinion at all, we would go ahead with this…because…err…err…umm…"

    Kneesaa noticed her friend's confusion and jumped in.

    "…because we already have at least two promising female warriors, one of whom is my older sister, Asha. I don’t see a reason why my friend Latara, whom I hold in high regards, wouldn’t be allowed to try something new. We had numerous adventures together in the past couple of years and she can pull this off!"

    "I say no." The head elder banged his fist against the table.

    "And I say yes, and my word counts as my father’s word would.” Kneesaa leaned over the table. "So, she’s going."

    Wicket nudged one of his brothers. Second later, all three Warricks and Paploo clapped their hands. A couple of others shrugged and clapped as well. With the crowd support and Kneesaa’s word against his, Kazak had no choice but to change his mind. Following his defeat, he instructed the new hunting party to be ready before the dawn, assigned Wunka as the group leader and dismissed the meeting.

    Everybody was ready to leave, so did the two young stand-ins, but Kazak gestured for them to stay.

    "Princess Kneesaa? What on Endor do you think you’re doing? The Council is not going to put up with this kind of power abuse.” He crossed his arms. “I am aware that the girl is your friend and that the others who applied are pretty much all from your circle of friends as well, but you’re not allowed to…"

    Kneesaa sighed. "I am not allowed to...what?” She pointed her finger to the Head Elder. “With all due respect, Kazak, you were the one who was against my father’s decision to announce that I would succeed him, and you nearly fell off your chair laughing when Logray publicly confirmed that Teebo would be trained to become our new shaman in future, despite nobody else in the village having nature powers. Why don’t you trust us young ones?"

    "Why? Why? Your blood is boiling, your young hearts are preoccupied with having fun, making love, showing off and leaving an impression on your peers and."

    "At least our hearts still…beat." Teebo, who kept quiet for a while, joined the conversation. "I don’t understand why you think we’re all the same, sir. We’re not."

    "Your poetry fails to impress me, young one. I vividly remember the day you had to be taken away on a leash…but fine. Have it your way and stay alert, both of you. I’ll be checking on what you’re doing. And I want you to be present in this very hut whenever I’m out, just in case.” The Head Elder nearly got into Kneesaa and Teebo’s faces. “Want power? You’ll have to work hard for it! Clean this place up before you go home!"

    With those last words, Kazak angrily marched out from the Council Hut. The two young Ewoks remained behind, wondering what had just happened. Whatever was in Kazak’s head, he clearly held his own opinion and it was not possible to change his in just one night. But he was not right, and they knew it. Neither of them was power-hungry in any way, they were just assuming their responsibilities and acting accordingly.

    “A lot of water will have to flow below the thick ice on the Yarlubb River and a lot more snow to fall over the village in order to prove anything to Kazak.” Teebo looked Kneesaa’s way, frowning. “More than I thought.”

    She nodded and fetched them two brooms.




    Footnotes
    Lumat's backstory is something I came up with in order to explain how come he’s walking with a stick and his wife is so young, and to make up for Latara’s absence in the comics, where she appears only once. So, in my head, he had lost his first wife, left to another village, eventually remarried and when his third child was born, came back home.

    The exam Teebo had to take as the shaman’s apprentice happens at the very beginning of Wicket’s flashback in Just My Luck

    Head Elder Kazak indeed had a problem with Kneesaa and some weird memories of Teebo
     
  18. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Enjoying this so far. :) I always enjoy stories that give glimpses into the details of alien cultures in the GFFA, and this one definitely does so; nice to see Ewoks getting their due. Fun mix of the serious and the humorous, from the life-affirming festivities to romantic moments to hunting parties. Looking forward to see see how things go for Wicket and Latara on this hunt.
     
    AzureAngel2, Kahara and Ewok Poet like this.
  19. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I just caught up with the last two chapters (it's been a busy time for me) and I realize that I have much to learn about Ewok politics. I take it that the government structure you describe is entirely canon?

    I'm really enjoying the story of these young Ewoks who are trying to find their place in adult society as well as amongst their group of friends and peers. I'm looking forward to the mess they'll make during the hunt (in-between achievements, of course ;))
     
  20. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Ch 2-3

    Great depiction of the low-level chaos of Wicket's party. I loved the little sister running around and getting into everyone's business. :p One detail that I liked was that Wicket and Teebo were both complaining about their height (for very different reasons.) It seems like a very normal thing for kids/teens who are around the age for growth spurts, worrying about whether they're not catching up -- or have sprouted up taller than everyone else.

    Latara in the depths of the punchbowl is apparently an even more uninhibited version of her usual self -- and the usual seems to be a bit of a caution! Nice to see her and Teebo have an honest talk. I could empathise with her irritation that Teebo kind of wanders along on a different plane, but at the same time it was entertaining to see her do everything but write the message on his arm.

    I liked Teebo's conversation with his dad and the older Ewok's thoughts -- he cares very much about his son and is aware that Teebo doesn't see things the same way as most. The impression that I get is that Teebo's a bit Force-sensitive? Or just has a mystical way of thinking.
     
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  21. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you. :) A good deal of this, as said in the author notes, picks up where the cartoon series left off, but since they were sort of de-aged in the second season of the cartoon, I'm err...re-aging them.

    Placing two calmer and introverted characters together will result in a lot of chaos they cannot control and a lot of abuse by that mean old man. Also, some confessions, melodrama and that type of stuff.

    Placing three (you forgot Paploo) explosive and extraverted characters in a group with a handful of others will likely result in arguments, issues and nothing constructive. But one of them will have to start making sense before others do, the rest will take a bit longer.

    The government structure is canon, yes, the coucil of Elders is their equivalent of a government and, according to some sources, the elders don't necessarily have to be old, just skilled and experienced.

    However, I made up the part where the future ruler of the village and the then-assumed-to-be-future shaman are filling in.

    The mess will be the beginning, it gets dark and edgy at some point. But you knew that already. ;)


    I hope pointing that height thing out constantly was not annoying. I had to insert it there somehow, as the size difference in Return of the Jedi, as well as the Shadows of Endor comic is *too much* compared to the cartoon, where they do look physically different, but not that much.

    That part was hard to write, for one obvious reason - while she might be a bit more physical and he might be a bit more spiritual, they're still normal and, in human terms, neurotypical and straight. Just eccentric in their own ways.

    Also, I compiled this and I just *have* to share, as their rom-com moments are pretty funny. :) It's basically a list of all of their romantic interactions; which explains the tension.

    In the first season, it's pretty subtle, so I'm not surprised that most people don't get that it was mutual all along

    The very beginning, in theory, and then the actual thing in practice at 7:15, 9:12 and 16:57 in this. Very subtle and cute.


    Random rhyming in this episode reminded me of Natalie from that 1970s book, Dinky Hocker Does Smack.


    2:30 - talking about priorities once again...
    11:05 - LOL


    At 7:26...


    The beginning of this is cute:


    The season two stuff is brutal, as the characters were retooled and turned into a speaking non-human equivalent of the dumbest of the seven dwarves and some sort of a vamp chick.

    Speaking of the usual self being a bit of caution, some stuff gets...risky.

    2:25 ...why was this scene in a children's cartoon?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC8zklsPVE0

    10:31 here...LMAO
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljKPM8hI02M

    3:55 ...speaking of those out of character moments to be embarrassed of.
    And 5:05...talking about priorities...
    And 8:15 to 8:30
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZ3usMdyezc

    18:20
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vM-IN0_m2BI

    The episode everybody remembers for the big kiss has some stuff beforehand...

    1:47

    7:55...up to 8:15

    9:45

    10:02 would be the famous scene. I would've totally preferred to see that with their 1st season personas and no slapstick and exaggeration involved...so, yeah, that's why it's in my story.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOUyR2O87-M

    7:45 to 8:00 leads to some...suspiciously specific denial. :D
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm2mJYz-wN0


    Both! He's training to be a shaman like Logray, which is basically a force mage. In the cartoon, he summons animals with some pagan ritual type of a thing, understands pretty much any language Endorian creatures speak, performs whatever is the non-Jedi equivalent of a mind trick on Baga the bordok. But then he fails at simple logic on a couple of occasions, takes things literally and so on - hence where these scenes came from.
     
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  22. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 06





    As the sunlight from Ibleam was barely peeking through the treetops at the break of dawn, a group of hunters was ready to leave Bright Tree Village. With their blankets rolled on top of their backpacks carrying only the bare essentials and whatever weapons they were using, from the platforms they looked like dots in the snow. About dozen of males and one female were set to find enough food to last for one moon.

    Hunched over a cart covered in ice and still containing a couple of leftover honey melons from the most recent harvest, Teebo was writing something down in a hurry. It seemed that his timing was right. Right below, in the snowy field, away from the rest of the hunters, Latara was showing Widdle Warrick how to tie a blanket to his backpack.

    "This is not working! No matter what I do, it falls off!" moaned the scout.

    "Just tie a knot right here!"

    Widdle tried it himself. Just when he was about to finally fix the blanket to the backpack, a snowball hit him on the head. He looked up to the platforms, but he couldn't see anything.

    "Some lurdo is playing pranks on me!" he screamed and ran towards the group, “How on Endor would anybody put effort into waking up this early solely to mess with me?”

    "Chak, poor you...you totally don't deserve it, it’s not like you would ever put so much effort into pranking somebody." grinned Latara, and then looked up to the treetops herself. She noticed a pink lantern bird feather peeking from the cart. As if nothing had happened the other night, she lit up and jumped. Teebo got up from behind the cart and waved what looked like a piece of parchment. She pointed to herself. He nodded and got ready to toss it.

    "Stop giggling and get back to the group! Now!"

    Wunka appeared out of nowhere and pulled Latara away, to take her to the group. She shook her head and slapped him on his wrist.

    "I can go myself, this is not captivity...k’vark..."

    A little later, head elder Kazak was observing the hunters from the top of the main stairway, accompanied by Kneesaa who, once again, didn't seem particularly happy to be around him.

    "As you can see, they're about to leave. I provided some basic guidelines to Wunka, so I do not need to personally address the hunters. He will join them soon."

    "My father is almost never present when the hunting parties are leaving, so why did you wake us up at this hour?"

    "There are two reasons, princess. One is simple – I wanted to see if the two of you would really show up as early. The other, I need to give you a list of tasks for the day...whenever your friend stops fooling around that cart and tossing snowballs..."

    "Teebo, come here!"

    “Sorry, I had to…finish something. And now I have to head and prepare a batch of...”

    “No, you don’t. The two of you will be watching the woklings today.”

    “The woklings? Why?”

    “Since you insisted on your friend joining the hunting party and she was always the first choice for the village-wide babysitter, I assumed it would not be a problem for you to replace her. After all, your hearts are full of love, or whatever it was that you said last night after the meeting.”

    “But we haven’t babysat the woklings in ages!” protested Kneesaa, “Also, didn’t you say that you want us at the council hut when you’re not there? And didn’t master Logray ask Teebo to spend at least some time of the day at his hut and prepare flu medicine, if anybody needs any, given that it’s the snow season and…”

    “You’ll do fine. You can take the woklings to the royal hut, I’m sure the great chief would not mind, as he thinks his daughter is capable of everything, either way. And if anybody needs medicine, they’ll be directed there, too. Now, move on.”

    As the two friends were going to pick Nippet and Wiley from Zephee’s, muttering silent k’varks directed at Kazak, the hunters stood still before Wunka.

    "Good morning! I will be leading this expedition, as Tippet went to visit somebody in another village, which is strange, but whatever. Apart from him, it seems that nobody bailed out. Head elder Kazak won't, err, WILL be pleased to know that."

    "Here it goes again..." griped Wicket, but the experienced hunter noticed that his lips were moving.

    "The youngest of the Warricks can leave if he's not happy about this. Also, I hope that the lady aboard will be able to make it with her heavy load, though it appears that she's leaving the heaviest of baggage at home.”

    Nobody in the group said anything.

    "What? Lighten up, all of you; I don't know if you were with or against Kazak on this matter! I was just testing you!"

    "Yeah, right!" said Weechee, "Now that we passed the test, can you please not bring it up again?"

    They finally moved on. Latara was walking next to Paploo and Wicket. Nobody seemed in the mood for talking as they were still sleepy; so, at some point, she initiated the conversation with the chief’s nephew.

    “So, mama’s boy, what are we supposed to do? Other than prove ourselves?"

    "So, great seductress, for now, we have to find traces of a carnivorous animal large enough for our goal. Then we will try and locate it. Once it's been spotted, there really are only two options. We either chase it or..."

    "...wait until it comes out of wherever it's hiding?"

    Paploo didn't expect Latara to finish his sentence. While he did not necessarily hold Kazak's opinion on girls, he didn't understand them all that much and this particular one has always been a puzzle to him. She would talk back, fight back. The more he thought of it, the surer he was that she belonged with this expedition. But how was he to admit it? How was he then to talk to her without further discrediting himself? All the things that used to bring him authority in his peer group were slowly fading away - he was no longer the tallest, he was not the only aspiring warrior, he was not even the only one with an overly protective parent.

    The group scouted the forest around the village for a couple of hours and they didn't find anything. As if all the large animals have run away from somebody or something, as if it was too cold for them to come out. Usually, after a search this long, traces, droppings or carcasses of whatever a large predator ate would surface.

    "Something is wrong here,” said Weechee, mostly to himself, but the expedition leader overheard it.

    "Why? Perhaps the animals have gone to the grasslands or even the desert. It would not have been the first time such a thing happens. When it's too cold, they may migrate, even if it's just for one moon."

    "No. I cannot recall two expeditions in a row ever having failed. And I've been hunting for a long time. Weechee has the point!"

    Romba sat down to elaborate on what he just said.

    "My grandfather told me that many snows ago an evil creature chased all of the animals out of the forest and the only ones who could get close to them were the shamans. At that time, the village he hailed from had a shaman who eventually fell to the hands of the Night Spirit. That was one of the reasons they eventually abandoned their home in the mountains, separated and went to find new places to live. The said shaman might still be walking around and maybe he the ability to manupulate animals!"

    A couple of hunters swallowed a lump. The most recent brush with anything related to the Night Spirit nearly banished them all to the Otherworld. This couldn't be it, it had to be something of this world, something one sees every day.

    Wunka was quick to dismiss the speculation.

    "You're just tired. We will take a break, eat something and then continue. Stemzee, light us a fire!"

    Wicket sat down next to his brothers and friends. He did not want to admit it, but his feet were feeling numb from hours spent outside in cold. He opened his backpack and reached for the food Shodu prepared, but he felt something that he was sure he never packed. He pulled out the strange wheeled object he got from Teebo and Malani.

    Paploo laughed and then bit his tongue, as the belt he and his mother made and the straps of the small bag were tangled up in between wheels of the object.

    "Weechee? Widdle? Is this yet another of your stupid pranks?"

    The two giggled.

    “You’d better hide that, Wunka can hear anything and everything. Perhaps he would expel you from the hunt for bringing toys with you.”

    “Is that what you wanted? To get me out of my first big hunt on the day after my birthday?”

    Wicket angrily turned around and headed for the nearby bushes, as his brothers were still giggling. Latara followed him.

    “Wait! Perhaps I could help you.”

    “You? The resident snarker? You can only make me feel worse; my pride is dropping at the speed of a teek.”

    “I know, that’s why I…”

    “ And what do you know about hurt pride?”

    “If I didn’t know about it, I wouldn’t have been here right now. I ran away from everything – my family, my music, my crafts, the villagers who think I’ve courted them at your party…and my love interest!”

    “Your love interest? Right…let me guess, is it a reflection of you in a puddle?”

    "Stop being so hostile and listen to me for once!"

    He stopped at the nearby stump and sat down. She continued.

    “Wicket, you need to stop taking everything in your life for granted and expecting everybody to understand you. I know you’re slightly younger than the rest of us, but still. You have a large, loving family. You get away with everything because of your reputation, as well as your talent to charm everybody. So, stop complaining!"

    There was no answer. The short Ewok was fuming and clutching his fists.

    "So?"

    "So what? What is so unusual about it? I come from an important family, and I am a promising warrior! Aren't you getting what you want, too? Because you're a pretty girl?"

    "Take that back! Or...are you jealous that I was never into you and fawning to you?"

    "I'd rather have your grandmother be into me. My brother is right; you are nothing but a tart!"

    Latara didn't need to know which of the brothers said that, or if any of them said such a thing at all. She slapped Wicket upside his face. He snarled and, as he was about to push her, Paploo stepped in between them.

    "Stop that right now! We're freezing here, there is a big problem we have no solution for and the two of you are trying to skin each other alive!"

    "Are you telling ME to stop? Tell that to this neckless Dulok dropping, not me! He called me a tart, just because I told him the way things really are and how privileged he is!"

    "Don't trust her! She insulted me! And she thinks she can say anything she wants to, but I'm not Teebo, and I won't put up with that!"

    The chief's nephew had no idea that he'd just opened a can of worms. This was the first time he experienced what the two of his more extraverted friends were like without the two others around.

    And he didn't like it one bit.

    "Let's go back. I said that the two of you needed to err, relieve yourselves, but I knew that I would find you arguing."

    He brought the two back and the group sat down to eat in a clearing. The two older Warricks were still determined to give the beginners a hard time. Widdle wrapped the back of his hood into a braid and made bedroom eyes and pouts at everybody. Weechee grabbed a handful of snow and started adding snowballs to an imaginary belt of honour.

    Paploo shook his head.

    "Can you two come with me for a bit? I thought I saw something in that tree over there"

    Weechee and Widdle shrugged and followed him.

    "So…what did you see?"

    "Nothing. There’s something we need to talk about. You two make me sick. Can you stop wasting your time on Wicket and Latara and think about the hunt? They are being ridiculous, but this is their first time taking part!"

    "First time requires a steady dose of hazing."

    "No, it doesn't! Not in a situation like this."

    "You are not leading this hunt, you cannot tell us what to do."

    "That’s true, but I know what you did at the party, and I could share that with everybody else. You would be in trouble. So, how about we make a deal: you stop hazing my friends and I don’t tell anybody about the fermented berry drink and toy pranks.”

    “That’s blackmail, Paploo.”

    “Chak, but you have no other choice. My cousin will trust me on this and I’m sure both Wicket and Latara would testify.”

    The two prankster brothers had to admit their defeat. They felt somewhat betrayed. This was not the Paploo they knew, the one who would argue with them, but also go out of his way to make things harder for others. What was happening to him?




    Footnotes
    Ibleam – the Legends name for the binary star of the Endor system. In new canon, it's Endor 1 and Endor 2. I kept the earlier name as the Ewokese word for this pair of stars.
     
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  23. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Ch 4

    I liked the talk between Kneesaa and Latara. Kneesaa knows her friend and isn't afraid to smack her with the stick of getting-a-clue as needed. :D





    Ch 5

    Teebo's thoughts on the complicated situation with Latara seem realistic. They are at an awkward age -- and the situation with the council (Kazak in particular, it seems) makes it even more stressful. Liked seeing Kneesaa finally have enough of the nonsense. :p




    Certainly, she could use the wisdom and experience of her elders -- but that doesn't seem to be what's being offered as they feel threatened by these younger Ewoks having more influence than they are used to seeing. I liked that Kneesaa and Latara could easily see the logic in Latara going on the hunt (after all, the things she's intending to do are extensions of her daily tasks in the village) while Kazak and others were disturbed by the strangeness of having a girl there.

    Ch 6

    Loved the development of Paploo in this chapter. He is growing up mentally, and that puts him in the position of defending the "annoying" younger kids that he used to torment. Liked his thoughts on how he's no longer sure what distinguishes him.










    I hope there will soon be more of this. The afternotes with episode recs are great. I like the way you point out the bits of characterization that you chose to expand on; it's very intriguing (also, now I'm going to have to watch the series at some point. ;) )
     
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  24. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Re: Ch4

    I needed to remind the readers who are more familiar with the whole thing that yes, the other two will have a thing at some point, but that point is far away. At the same time, it serves its purpose here, as Latara completely ignores it. It's always been about her, about her and a little more about her. Later in the story, Kneesaa will talk to Teebo as well and ...well, you'll see.

    Re: Ch5

    I wanted to break a lot of tropes with this couple, as a lot of tropes were already broken in the cartoon, either intentionally or unintentionally.

    Kazak is feeling both threatened and disturbed here, correct. A lot of his judgement is based on how it was like back in the days and if you get a hold of those couple of comics where he appears, you'd probably rule him out as misogynistic.

    Re: Ch6

    This had to be done at some point, likely at the points where the others are not developed, given that he is neither introverted nor extroverted (though gravitating towards the later). Glad you noticed it. :)

    More coming *right* up!
     
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  25. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 07





    Half a day's walk to the north, Chukha-Trok and Asha were patrolling the forest as the earlier would usually do each winter morning, afraid that the lean and green distant cousins of their own species were up to no good again. Two snows ago, the redhead warrior herself chased them out of the forest, but knowing their ways and short memory, they could've been back.

    The burly woodcutter sniffed the air and then shook his head. So many scents typical for the forest were simply absent, as if there were no living creatures in it. Seconds later, he tripped onto something. He muttered a single k’vark and started digging in the snow, solely to find a carcass. He uncovered a dead yayax cub. He picked it up, examined it and noticed that there was no sign of injury, not even a single wound. The carcass’ bones were not broken, either. Even its neck was intact.

    “Asha, you’d better come see this. I have not seen anything like it ever since I inherited this duty!”

    She observed the dead animal and shrugged.

    “Do you think it was poisoned? I can’t find any remains of a dart, nor I think it vomited prior to its death. Otherwise, it would stink even more.”

    “No. Whoever or whatever has killed it is using a method we’re not aware of. I’m worried.”

    “Me too. Let’s get rid of it before it could attract any unwanted guests.”

    They said a prayer to the Father Tree and buried the yayax, after having managed to dig a hole in the frozen soil using the wood-cutting axe. As they were having a very modest breakfast back in the cave outpost, Chukha-Trok was thinking out loud.

    “I don’t understand this. If this was Duloks, we would see their traces, we would be able to make out their vile odour, their swamp breath...I mean, we would just KNOW it’s them!”

    “I agree,they are not capable of doing something like this and getting away with it. Also, did this animal somehow escape a place where all of the other animals were taken and paid with its life for doing so? Do you think it would be a good idea if you were to go back to the village and report it?”

    “And leave you here, unprotected?”

    “Arandee, Chukha, I spent fourteen snows in the woods, I can take care of myself. If I come across anything that I can’t handle, I will summon a korrina and get away from this place. As a matter of a fact, I might summon them to sleep here with me. Just go and don’t worry about me.”

    Chukha-Trok mounted a bordok and rode away. It was only an hour later when he realized the obvious – how was Asha to summon her korrinas when the larger animals were nowhere to be found?

    He sighed. It wouldn’t have been the first time the chief’s older daughter tricked him. During most of the years she spent in the wild, she somehow managed to evade both him and the woodsman before him. There were times when he would fall in her traps, get bruises and cuts and swear he would find the prankster whoever they may be. Once she decided to reveal herself, he forgot most of it and assured her that he was not angry and that her causes were indeed noble, but that wasn’t stopping her from using his naivety every now and then.

    With those thoughts, after a couple of hours of riding through the snow, he arrived to the village, left the bordok in the warm stable and headed straight to the royal hut, hoping to speak to chief Chirpa. Instead of him, he encountered princess Kneesaa and Teebo in the middle of what looked like a food fight with a bunch of woklings. The situation seemed to be getting out of control. The princess had a bowl full of some sort of a vegetable dish stuck on top of her head and the food was dripping all over the floor. Malani was trying to get it off her head, while her younger friends were tossing whatever they could find on the table at her, as if she had betrayed the ways of woklings. The infant Winda Warrick was sitting in a high chair, laughing at her unfortunate babysitters, covered in the remaining food up to her shoulders.

    The woodsman was bemused.

    “What kind of a war did I just run into? Can’t anybody else babysit these brats?”

    “No!” yelled Teebo who was running after Wiley and Nippet, in hopes of reclaiming his satchel, “Head elder Kazak assigned this to us next to some other odd duties, as the usual babysitter is out hunting! No, no, don’t touch that! ANYTHING BUT THAT! Uh…too late.”

    Wiley got his little hands on a piece of parchment, with something scribbled on it, solely to stick it in his mouth. Teebo shook his head. The mischievous little Ewok continued running towards the fire pit, but Chukha-Trok picked him up as if he was handling korrina cubs.

    “Now I got you, you little rascal! Pal, sorry about…whatever the writing you cherished was.”

    “Well, at least he didn’t take the utility knife.” the shaman apprentice muttered as he was dusting his bag, while Kneesaa was trying to get food out of her white fur, “What brings you here? And why isn’t Asha with you?”

    “Good question…really, where is my sister?”

    “She decided to remain in the cave, as otherwise we could risk losing a bunch of innocent animals to Duloks and their unethical ways. I’ve come here as we encountered something really strange and I want to report it to your father and master Logray, immediately!”

    “They’re not here, they’re visiting the Tulgah traders and they will be back in a couple of days. The village is a mess right now – it’s the two of us vs. head elder Kazak and most of the young warriors have gone to aid the hunters.”

    “Aid the hunters? Where did they go to? There is no single animal worth hunting in the forest, only rodents, birds and an occasional maramu. As for predators…can’t remember the last time I saw any. Asha and I came across a carcass with no visible traces of any living thing around it. Whatever is going on, we are in trouble. And it’s not the kind of trouble that somebody as simple as me can grasp…and that is why I was hoping Logray would be around.”

    Teebo and Kneesaa looked at each other in hope for clues and ideas, realizing they had none. This was precisely what the head elder Kazak would want to happen – something was coming the village’s way and they were too young and inexperienced to handle it. The only things they could do was search through the scrolls, bottles and jars.

    They headed over to master Logray’s hut, leaving Malani with the woklings.

    “You betrayed us!” claimed Leeni the moment they were gone, “I thought you would play with us and make a mess!”

    Malani didn’t know how or why they couldn’t understand that she had to be nice. Kneesaa was best friends with nobody other than her crush, why would she want to go against her? Perhaps, if she continued being nice, she’d be able to be the first to greet Wicket when he’s back from wherever everybody has gone to. All of this was enough for her age of eight snows to comprehend, but her much younger friends would probably just tease her about it.

    “Chak, you betrayed us, you’re a telltale and that’s why I won’t give you this!” Wiley waved a piece of parchment in front of Malani’s face, “I stole this from your brother!”

    “Maybe it’s a magic spell!” gushed Nippet.

    “Or maybe it’s instructions on how to operate something master Logray invented!”

    “GIVE THAT BACK!” Malani went after Latara’s younger siblings and eventually caught Wiley by his bandanna, tripped him and landed on top of him, “I SAID GIVE THAT BACK.”

    Wiley was terrified of his friend. She never seemed to care much about anything that belonged to her older brother, or pretty much anybody else. It was always about Wicket, Wicket and even more Wicket. He dropped the piece of parchment and climbed on top of the cupboard.

    “Climb here with me!” he yelled to Leeni, Nippet and little Winda, “She is a lurdo, just like her brother!”

    He barely managed to duck, as a large piece of honey melon was flung his way.

    “Take it back, Wiley! My brother is not a lurdo!”

    “But…but my sister Latara says that he is.” claimed the wokling.

    “Your sister also says you’re a barf-eater, which I couldn’t agree more on right now!”

    Malani nearly snarled at four woklings on top of the cupboard, went to Kneesaa’s chamber and hid under the bed, to try and read the writing on the parchment in peace. If her brother was trusted with some serious wizard business, that was not to be lost. At the same time, she thought that there would be nothing wrong with taking a sneak peak. After all, she could hear the trees to a certain extent as well; perhaps, just perhaps she would be able to perform a spell, if it was a spell at all.

    It took her a while to make sense of the writing, as she had only started to learn the basics of the complicated sign alphabet the Ewoks were using and, at the same time, her brother’s signs were messily drawn and a couple of them were crossed, out of the line, one piece of parchment was even torn away.

    Malani’s excitement was fading away, as she was reading. She blushed. This was not a spell, not a secret plan, nothing like that. It was a love poem and there was a mention of kissing! And kissing was gross, gross, gross…unless it was to involve her and Wicket, of course.

    She folded the note and hid it underneath her hood, then went back to the central chamber. Her friends, who’d climbed down the cupboard in the meantime, immediately ran away again. Not used to having any power over them, she laughed at herself and sat down to finish her lunch in peace.

    Hours away, Asha was having her meal too, in the cave. It was about to get dark, just like it would on any other short winter day. She was worried where her former family could be. The Korrinas who raised her could defend themselves, but the sole idea of a predator large enough to destroy them or an enemy evil enough to manipulate the forest creature was consuming her mind, to the point she could barely eat.

    She had ideas on what to do, though none seemed good enough. Perhaps Logray and that clumsy apprentice of his could perform a summoning ritual? Or use the Sunstar? No, that seemed ridiculous, Sunstar never functioned that way. How about getting the Duloks to cooperate and join the search? They would probably turn that against the Ewoks. Getting far enough to find others who could help? No, the Happy Grove was too far away from other forests known for Ewok settlements, and they were hard to reach at this time of the year.

    She got outside for some fresh air, and the silence, only interrupted by an occasional chirp of a bird was something she was not used to. The forest was supposed to be alive and be an orchestra of multiple sounds. Nothing has changed since Chukha-Trok parted that morning, and he’s got to have been back in the village by now, unless something had happened to him. Could it be so?

    And then, all of the sudden, a fireball headed towards the sky in the distance, accompanied by roaring noise. Asha ducked and covered her head with her hood. When she looked up again, while it seemed that some treetops in the distance were slightly charred, there was no sign of forest fire.

    “Hmmm, I’d better scout the area!” the red-furred Ewok mumbled to herself.

    Asha returned to the cave, donned her snowshoes and filled a bag with some basic tools that could be useful. She slurped the rest of her soup and set off as the sun was setting.




    Footnotes
    The cave Asha and Chukha-Trok have set their outpost in is the very same cave from the Asha episode.

    Yayax is a large feline, native to Endor. I assume its cubs would be quite cuddly.
     
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