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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. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    What a time for the knowledgeable ones to be absent [face_worried] LOL on the food fight. Definitely something is ominously lurking if the forest is quiet besides having mysterious predators on the loose.
     
  2. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Yeah, the mysteriously dead animals and everything fleeing the area? Not good signs. The lack of marks or obvious illness/injury on the body is troubling in the extreme.

    Poor Teebo. There's no hiding things from the woklings, apparently. :p Malani's reaction was priceless.
     
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  3. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Yikes, I'd missed chapter 6! Way to go, Paploo! I like how he's growing up and deciding that the older brother bullies need to be kept in check.

    That elder Kazak is really, well, not nice, and setting up Teebo and Kneesa with the woklings was just a baaaaad idea. Total chaos! That scene reminded me of my nephew's birthday party, when he invited all his friends. Argh, I'm not sure I want to remember that! [face_laugh]

    And what's up with all the animals gone missing and the dead carcass? As Kahara said, those are not good signs [face_worried]
     
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  4. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    This is something I've seen in cats, dogs and some children - they know who is the most harmless one around them and they know how to get away with it. So, since Wiley's age can be anywhere between 3 and 6 at this point, he knew Teebo won't punish him. He totally would not do that if his sister was around - she has some authority, since he takes the thing she said about her love interest so seriously, to the point of repeating it.

    And Malani is, well...Malani. :)

    This is NOT to say that he'll always be making sense, it's the Paploo the thrill-seeker we're talking about (I can only imagine his adventures after he got exposed to more technology), but since he was the most immature one of the bunch, to the point Malani would make more sense than him...he had to change, a bit. :D




    Did they toss food, eat paper or both? :p



    This will be unfolding slowly, so...I hope you have enough patience. ;)


    Part eight coming in a couple of hours...I hope.
     
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  5. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 08





    At master Logray’s hut, the princess and the woodsman were waiting as the shaman apprentice was trying to make Logray’s crystal image spinner work. They were tilting their heads, trying to follow the relic as it spun around the stone table, hoping they would see something, but its glass sides remained blank. The most Teebo could make out of it was a quick glimpse of what looked like fog over a bunch of tall, straight rocks. No sign of his master, no sign of the great leader of their tribe, either.

    “I thought you would know how to do this by now!” fumed Chukha-Trok, “You’ve been playing wizard here since you almost got your master killed by that witch!”

    “I’m sorry! I just never had to be the first to use it. I know what to do when it’s spinning on its own, but this is completely different. It takes somebody with years of experience to initiate the connection. Also, if master Logray and chief Chirpa are with the Tulgah traders, you have to remember that Tulgah are all magical, so a large number of them might be disrupting the spinner. It doesn’t have to be an error on my behalf!”

    Teebo blurted that out in a fashion unusual to him, without stopping to take a breath, hoping that the point he was trying to make will be more effective that way. Sadly, Chukha-Trok wasn’t that easy to convince. Simple-minded and brave, there he was, facing his polar opposite in the only Ewok coming even close to his stature.

    "So, are we going to sit here and wait until you figure it out? I don't have the time for this."

    "I explained what I think the problem was. There’s nothing more I can do. We have to wait for my master.”

    “You better think of something. This could produce so many new problems on the long run.”

    Teebo wished Wicket was around. He would’ve known how to get him and Kneesaa out of this situation, with his little white lies that would’ve bought them some time.

    At the same time, on the other side of the forest, Wicket, donning his snowshoes as another blizzard was getting ready, sighed and thought to himself:

    “I wish Teebo was here. He could get out on a clearing and perform one of his animal calling rituals. Something, anything would come to him and it would tell him what’s going on. That way we would not be as lost as we are right now.”

    His older brothers, standing next to him, laughed.

    “Chak, that’s just what we need - another girl in the expedition.”

    “Last time I checked, he was a boy. Right, Latara?” Paploo nudged his friend and winked. She had not said a word after her argument with Wicket, but this made her unusually talkative. She grabbed her friend by wrist and pulled him aside.

    “W-what? What did you check? What is going on? Is there something I don’t know?” Latara screamed.

    Paploo laughed. The Warricks didn’t even understand what was going on – Wicket was angry and the other two had already established the hunting newcomer as a person too dangerous to get involved with in any way.

    “I was kidding; I was trying to make you smile. It seems that you had drifted away to some other place after you argued with Wicket.”

    “But, you just said…”

    “Relax, I don’t like boys, I didn’t check anything and I would trade a whole harvest in order never to get to that point. And I don’t like Weechee’s comment, he has been together with a female warrior for a while now and he should know better. There is nothing wrong with being a girl. Right?”

    “Right. There’s something wrong with being me in particular, would be the same if I were male.”

    “Well, I’m glad we came to something that makes sense. They, including Wicket, feel somewhat threatened by you, as they got over the fact that you would never be into any of them long ago. From the moment you accidentally rode that…err…uh…”

    “You mean…the space bird?”

    “Chak, chak, from the moment you accidentally rode that space bird, it’s become clear that you’re a valid competitor for all the accolades usually received by warriors. We all have those situations when we come out of age, though nobody ever praises os for that…the thing with the space thing…that was pretty much your coming out of age. I can see that you changed for the better within the past couple of moons, as in…since then.”

    “Paploo is praising me”, she thought to herself and repeated the sentence a couple of times, imitating all of her other friend’s voices. It did not make sense, regardless of the voice. Those two things were never supposed to be in the same sentence!

    Snow was falling again. At first, it was light, but as the night was getting closer, the hunters were roaming through a blizzard. Not even the densest fur and the thickest skin could stand that amount of cold, combined with strong Endorian winds.

    “What are we going to do now? Wunka?” asked one of the hunters, “Are we lost?”

    “Ridiculous, I know the forest like I know my own hut. Let’s continue.”

    “You’re telling us to continue and you’re freezing right there. We need to stop.”

    “A bunch of munyips, you are. We’re close to the mountains and there’s got to be a cave or two somewhere. We will spend the night there and continue our hunt in the morning. Yub nub!”

    While Wunka was not right about anything so far, this time he got something right. After a couple more small hills, there was a mountain and they were standing in front of a large cave. Weechee got inside, carrying a lantern. There was no sign of anybody living there, or an animal inhabiting it, only piles of hay in the corners.

    “All clear, we can spend the night here.”

    They got inside and dragged some rocks to make a sitting area and a fire pit. Luckily, the wind was not blowing towards the cave, and they used some large branches to cover the opening.

    Wicket was digging through a pile of hay, hoping that it was deep enough to hide the embarrassing birthday gifts on the bottom, so nobody would search his bag and find them while they’re in the cave. He felt something cold underneath, but it was not smooth enough to be a rock. He reached for it and, to his disgust, pulled out a stiff korrina cub. There were no signs of injury or freezing on its body and it did not reek of anything, either. Nevertheless, an attempt to bring it back to life by shaking it, was unsuccessful. The cub was dead and Wicket was doing his best to keep the tears from rolling down; remembering the winter when he played with Asha’s korrina cubs.

    “Look!” he got in the middle of the sitting area and raised the cub by its leg, “It’s dead.”

    “We can see that.” said the same hunter who was worried about the cold earlier, “Maybe it was stillborn.”

    Latara stepped out.

    “It’s not that small, it definitely lived for a moon or two before dying. And it does not look as if it was slayed.”

    “Throw it outside, it’s too small to use for anything, it’s not even worth a strap.” responded the hunter.

    “You think I said that because I wanted to make something out of it? That’s…uh…”

    “Well, what did you come with us for? You cannot wrestle large game, it is very likely that you cannot shoot a poison dart or throw an axe, either.”

    “Hmmm, we’ll see about that.” the girl Ewok smirked.

    Wicket coughed, in yet another attempt to be taken seriously. Wunka, who was peeling a large egg, did not even look his way, until Paploo nudged him.

    “So, ummm, young Wicket, you found a dead korrina pup? Do you think it’s important?”

    “Chak. It has got to be important. As Latara pointed out earlier, while you were busy with your supper, the cub was buried deep in the hay, it does not seem that a larger animal wounded it and it’s too large to be a stillborn. Its eyes are open. It must have been running away from something and then it got cornered and that something killed it, in ways that are not known to our people.”

    “As I said earlier, we may be dealing with dark magic here!” added Romba, but Wunka ignored him as well and leaned towards the youngest Warrick sibling.

    “That’s a nice story, Wicket, but you have so much to learn. Did it cross your mind that it could have been the Raich? Some moons ago, the elders thought that one was roaming around”

    “The Raich does not stun animals to death, it eats animals.”

    “How can you say that? You have never seen one!”

    “I…” started Wicket, but Latara subtly stepped on his foot. Their earlier adventure with the Raich was something they agreed not to mention to others.

    “See? You’re out of words. Warrior apprentices…they just want to be right, regardless what is going on. If it’s not the Raich, it’s got to be a natural cause, as nobody really eats korrina puppies. This shouldn’t be getting us upset. Everything is under control. We still have enough food for two more days, and then, we can dig for some berries in the snow.”

    “And uncover some tasty bird droppings instead?” responded Wicket, this time much louder than the first time he confronted Wunka at the beginning of the trip.

    “You’re being ridiculous again! Didn’t I just tell you to grow up?” snapped the party leader and reached out to the youngster, solely to be blocked by the two older Warrick brothers. Wicket, however, pushed them aside and stepped out.

    “Wunka, I may be only fourteen snows old, but I am not ridiculous. Your inability to lead this party has got us where we are right now! Your best friend, head elder Kazak, would not want to know that you ‘accidentally’ attempted corporal punishment on the smallest one in the bunch. We’re beyond that, aren’t we?"

    The expedition leader knew Wicket was trouble, regardless of how useful he was. He knew that the pint-sized adventurist rebels against any authority possible, looks for his own solutions and sometimes succeeds in whatever he was up to. That attitude was somewhat intimidating to him, especially coming from somebody so young. But how was he to sanction it. He called a couple of fellow older hunters aside and after a debate they had near the cave entrance, he clapped his hands and asked the group to listen.

    “From this evening on, we’ll be implementing a new policy: whoever challenges experienced hunters’ decisions gets a verbal warning, since…we’re not Duloks to implement corporal punishment. Um, chak, not Duloks…three verbal warnings will result in removal from this expedition and, if the offender is a warrior apprentice, a trophy will be removed from their belts of honour. Once the hunting expedition has returned home, the offender will be reported to the Council of Elders."

    Wicket sighed. His heart was telling him to rebel against this and leave the expedition himself. Wunka was blackmailing him, there were no other warrior apprentices in the group and his belt of honour was a running joke to many ever since the day he had received it. To make things even worse, wind outside was howling like never before and it would not have been possible to survive without the hunters.

    "I will never, mark my words, ever, be a part of anything with this Ewok again!" mumbled Widdle, assuring his younger brother that he was not alone in his opinion. Weechee nodded and gave Wicket a pat on the back.

    “Leave me alone. Come this morning, you wanted to embarrass me in front of everybody; I don’t need your defense! I’m no longer a child!”

    Wicket retreated to the opposite corner of the cave, where Latara and Paploo were unpacking their blankets. Widdle and Weechee looked on and then, the former glutton walked over to his younger brother and offered him a hand. Wicket did not turn around. Widdle shrugged and decided to remain there, slightly worried about what was to happen next.

    As everybody was getting ready to sleep, Romba, who tossed some more wood onto the pit to keep them all warm through the night, broke the silence.

    “I just remembered something…not sure if it’s relevant but…”

    “But what?” yelled Wunka.

    “That shaman was a she.”

    “And that’s why you had to scare me? Why does it matter? Just let sleep.”

    Minutes later, everybody was snoring loudly. Almost everybody. Latara, cursing herself for taking a part in an all-male expedition, was trying to stuff the ends of her blanket into her ears, in a desperate attempt to fall asleep She could not help but rewind the events of the day – her argument with Wicket and the unexpected compliments from Paploo. For somebody like hrt, filtering out flattering from actual compliments was hard. She was raised on a steady diet of flattering, coming from everybody but her father. Initially, she did not appreciate them much, as she desperately wanted feedback for her art, and not her looks. As the childhood was fading into adolescence, the later had more and more significance to her. Things other than showing off slowly became trivial to her. And now, Paploo out of all Ewoks complimented her on something she never thought she could be complimented for before. He also said that there was nothing wrong with being a girl – the same thing that seemed to bother Wicket earlier that day, when he delivered a clumsy and hurtful defense of his privileges. There they were, in Kneesaa’s words both “guy-guys”, treating her differently, based on the exact same thing – her assertiveness.

    At the same time, she was wondering what Teebo was up to at home. What was the thing that he wanted to toss to her that morning? Knowing him, he wrote something, likely a poem for her. And that was nothing special, as everything he’d ever read out loud to her before was about nature, and all those things nobody sees that he kept on babbling about so often. No! Perhaps all that teasing has finally proven to be fruitful and the poem was naughty? Maybe he will want to see the Light Spirit with her after she’s returned? She would’ve so wanted to see the Light Spirit with such an attractive girl, if she was male! Not to mention what the other guys would think about that!

    Then, out of nowhere, she slapped herself upside her face. There was she, thinking of how wonderful she was, what others should like about her and how she should be a trophy, a rite of passage to a misfit. And it all seemed disgusting, like never before. In a choir of highly annoying snores, as opposed to total silence so many elders would consider to be cathartic, she figured it out, at last – life was not about pleasing the others and masking insecurity with personal insults. Beauty was not a status symbol and it was solely in the eye of the beholder. And girls were not trinkets to put on one’s hood.

    It was the right time to snap out of it. Right here, in the wilderness, away from the family, the best friend and the one she wanted to be with. She slowly got up and looked at her shadow on the wall of the cave. She still liked what she was seeing, but it was the high time to like and accept what existed beyond that shadow.

    But wait? Since when did she have…horns? Latara gasped, turned around and saw the Ewok behind her making shadow puppets above her head.

    “Willy!”

    “Haha, scared yet?”

    “Very funny. Why are you up?”

    “Don’t tell my brother, “ he whispered, “but sometimes, I still need a snack in the middle of the night. Would you like to join me? I will feel less guilty.”

    “Only if whatever you give me doesn’t make me all tipsy again.”

    They both laughed and went to the front of the cave to grab something from the supply bag.




    Footnotes
    Tulgah are “magical”, indeed. With that amount of Force-sensitive individuals in one place, this is not a matter of Teebo’s inability to use the crystal image spinner, rather some sort of a disturbance; but nevertheless, it gives Chukha-Trok a reason to be angry with him.

    What is a space bird? The escape pod on a Star Destroyer. Latara did accidentally pilot one by sitting on its controls in Battle for the Sunstar.

    Korrina are vicious canines, but if you watch the Ewoks episode Asha at 11:56, there is a cute scene of Wicket playing with their pups, which in turn shows why he was crying when he found a dead cub.

    The Raich is a creature that summons animals to it cave by a hypnosis-like drill and eats them. Wicket couldn’t have continued the story, as it was him who accidentally freed the beast and he, Kneesaa, Latara and Teebo eventually managed to capture it again. Watch the episode.

    Widdle claims he never wants to be involved in anything with Wunka again. Never say never! Hint: which two Ewoks get into the walker with Chewbacca?
     
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  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    All of it, and then some more :eek:


    So. No animals or dead animals in the forest, an apprentice shaman back at the village who can't do what needs to be done, and a hunting party of Ewoks who are more eager to argue amongst themselves about who's bigger, who's smaller, who's a boy, who's a girl, who's fat and who's short. *sniffs the air carefully* Do I smell trouble?
     
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  7. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    For some quality wall-eating, you should see this film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105602/

    I see what you did there. :D Yubnub!

    And yes, this is a setup for A LOT of trouble, but the troublemakers are yet to be identified. Also, one of the things you listed will ultimately turn out to be a wrong assumption.

    Chapter 9 won't contain any of the upcoming action. It's a crack chapter in some way, but it will serve to explain both

    Tempted to post it before the other regular readers catch up with this one, as it does not need as many fixes as some others did.
     
  8. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 09





    Asha was patrolling her side of the forest when the blizzard caught her unprepared. The snow shoes and her fur cape were not enough to fight the tremendous cold and wind and, as heavy clouds completely hid the Sistermoon from view, she was forced to rely on her sense of smell to get by.

    Luckily, she knew the area more than anybody else; and she remembered an expedition from long ago, where she hid a bunch of pregnant koyt females in am a tunnel below the roots of a particularly old tree next to a pile of large rocks. The strong odour of the years of koyt males' territorial marking led her to a welcome shelter. As expected, there was no sign of any koyts visiting in the past week or so. To her relief, there were no carcasses, either.

    The tunnel seemed longer than Asha could remember. And the ceiling was getting higher. She touched the ground and realised she was walking on rock and not soil. She reached to the sides of the tunnel and there was nothing to her left. And there was some light coming from underneath. It did not take her longer to determine that the tunnel was on a gallery above a cave.

    In the dim lights of the cave below, a familiar, rough voice was speaking, following a shadow on the wall's rapid movement. It did not take her long to recognise the belligerent growls and somewhat muscled body of King Gorneesh, the leader of a local Dulok tribe, the one who once nicknamed her Red Ghost. The shadow next to him was hard to make out, as well as the tone of the voice.

    "Your master promised us their territory. He would better not fail us, the way many others did before him! We don't even want the Sunstar this time, we just want to enslave them and take over their village!"

    "Nothing to worry about, Dulok. As my Master's plan carries on, they will be left with no protection, whatsoever!"

    "It's not just your master's plan, if I may..."

    Asha was sure that the third voice belonged to Umwak, the Dulok con-artist, posing as their shaman.

    "SILENCE!" yelled Gorneesh, as his shadow was violently hunching towards Umwak's. Then he turned towards the stranger again, "Do continue, and don't mind our shaman!"

    "My Master wants Logray. It's an old feud he needs to settle. And, yes, the Sunstar will come in handy and we know where the Ewoks keep it. You Duloks can have your revenge. United, you will outnumber their warriors. The youngest ones are following the trail and the traces we left, to another trap!"

    The red-furred warrior's heart was beating in her throat, for the first time ever since she witnessed the Hanadak attack her mother and sister. This was something she never encountered before - a planned assault on her home.

    "I want Chirpa! Eye for eye...and more." Gorneesh waved his spiked club in the air.

    "He poked your eye out? I thought you had acciden..." Umwak was about to correct his king again, but a shorter shadow standing next to him kicked him subtly in the shin.

    "Uncle Umwak..."

    The mysterious companion of the Duloks continued.

    "I also left them a little bait, so they would be driven as far from home as possible."

    "Now, how about the one who killed my father?" another shadow whom Asha assumed to be younger Dulok with a prominent large ring on his nose jumped into the discussion.

    "His name is Warok, at least so my scouts said. You can have him, Kaalwar!"

    "And I sure will. Nothing else could make me cooperate with YOUR fraction, Gorneesh...nothing else but my thirst for revenge! I am sure there are some woklings we can skin alive and eat this time!"

    Umwak's shadow turned around towards the smaller one and put a hand on its mouth. Gorneesh was avoiding the answer. After the tribe broke upon former king's Vulgarr death, his fraction, which remained in the swamp close to Happy Grove, was dedicated to exploiting the Ewoks - not eating them. Woklings would be useful as slaves, from the moment they were capable of speech and independent movement. If nothing else, they could protect his three younger children and other Dulok bratlings, as a live shield. Ewoks' food supplies were sure tastier than Ewoks themselves.

    "While we don't agree on the matter of taste, I am sure we will meet halfway. Just let me have my way with Chirpa before anything else!"

    Asha bit her tongue, as her upbringing in the wild was urging her to snarl. The sole thought of somebody hurting her father was frightening, but, at the same time, it was something she would battle against until her very last breath.

    "I will be heading to their dwellings. Your warriors should wait for my sign."

    Asha decided that she had heard enough. She sneaked out, determined to get to Bright Tree Village, regardless of the weather and warn her sister and the Elders. She had no idea when her father was to come back for his trip, but she had to be there before him and Logray as well.

    As she was getting out, a green-furred head peeked out from the cave below. She closed her eyes and held her breath. The green head disappeared. Had she looked back, she would have seen Umwak's shadow approach Gorneesh's once again.

    "Sir, I heard something on the gallery above! Pretty sure I saw a pair of eyes in the dark as well!"

    "Umwak, how many times will you try to get our new ally's attention?"

    "But, sir..."

    "I know you want Logray's magic items and potions as much as I want to humiliate Chirpa, and as much as Kaalwar seeks revenge for Ulgo! I am well-aware of that, but I don't understand why you're behaving like a bratling in front of a large cauldron of glock! Be patient!"

    Umwak sighed. While his wacky plans cost the tribe many losses, he was getting tired of his king's constant humiliation. Most of his ideas were presented as Gorneesh's, none of the trophies from previous raids were in his possession and back in their youth, it was only Gorneesh's strength that made Urgah choose him.

    At the same time, the thought of owning anything from Logray's hut was tempting...so tempting that he forgot about what he saw in the dark.

    Meanwhile, at the Bright Tree Village, Chukha-Trok gave up on finding anything about the animal exodus from the stand-ins and he decided to spend the evening with his relatives, as he did not go back home with a blizzard starting.

    Relieved that they didn’t have to deal with yet another angry Ewok anymore and happy that the head elder Kazak most likely went to sleep as soon as the sun went down; Kneesaa and Teebo returned to the royal hut. To their relief, the woklings were sleeping, piled up nowhere other than on the great chief's bed. The princess smiled, covered them with her father's spare robe and went on to prepare something to eat. The shaman’s apprentice offered help, but she declined, so he sat at the table and poured the contents of his satchel on it. There was no use, no matter how many times he would look for it, the piece of parchment he didn’t manage to throw to his love interest that morning wasn’t there, and he was sure that Wiley ate it. He starred at his old stone knife, a jar of pigment used for writing, a couple of other stained pieces of parchment, a thin wooden brush with animal hair tied on its top and a couple of tiny sacks of remedies for common bugs. And no matter how much he looked at it, the note was not to appear among all the other things.

    “What are we going to do about the woklings? They need to eat one more time, too.”

    Kneesaa, who was bringing what looked like a berry, milk and egg foam dessert to the table, shook her head and smiled.

    “This is for us, Teebo! For you and me. We deserve it after such a hard day. I kept it in snow behind the hut, so there still may be chunks in it."

    "And the little ones?" he asked, as he was slurping his helping of the dessert.

    "They’ll have the rest of the stew, as I’m not letting them get away with it. I will leave it near fire, so we’ll feed them whenever they’re up. I guess that, with them sleeping, we avoided another horrendous feeding session or another occasion where they stuff themselves with sweets and need stomach medicine in the middle of the night…”

    “Thank you! That thing with Malani some days ago was so stressful, especially after…you know.”

    “Oh, chak…now I have you here and I bribed you with something you like, so you have to tell me more. Just kidding, we have to talk about that night, seriously. I cannot help you before I've heard your version of the story...I only know Latara's and she tends to exaggerate, as you know."

    Teebo looked terrified.

    "No, she didn't exaggerate THAT much. She said that she was saying things she wouldn't say when sober, but that you went ahead and started kissing her. I think that must’ve caught her by surprise, not that I’d expect her to admit it. And then something got lost in the conversation and she got angry and left. Is there anything she didn't tell me?"

    "That's all there is. I didn't realise she was tipsy, I didn't figure out what she was talking about, which is ridiculous, as I helped my master deliver a couple of times. I know how...life...works. Why hurry it? We can live for 200 and more snows…”

    “I agree. If I kissed somebody, I would prefer to…”

    “Wait, it's not what you think it is. I don't have an issue with morals, I go by my own, I just need the connection I have with the colours and the stars in love as well. Also...ugh..."

    "What is it?"

    "Since I brought it up, I guess I will try and explain...you know that a part of me is not really here, walking on these boards, and that part of me can see the future…and since the futures multiply all the time, it overwhelms me so easily."

    Kneesaa was confused, but she was trying her best to understand. Teebo stopped her in the middle on one of her usual speeches on morals, family values and maturity, and it was not what she expected.

    "Do any of those futures include you and Latara together? Or is there something else in them that bothers you?"

    "I do" Teebo pulled a strange, uncomfortable face, as if what he was about to say was physically painful, "In the brightest burning among those futures, I see waves of passion and they somehow settle into a still sea of lifelong love…but there is one particular future where they're preceded by enormous pain and this brief...nothing."

    “Nothing? How can you see nothing?”

    "It’s a...knot. A knot that's completely black and near-motionless. At the end of that future, something else confuses me, too - I see Latara watching the sunset with somebody, but that Ewok is somewhat tougher, mean-looking, has dark stripped fur and carries that small horn your dad said he would give away to whoever proves to be worth it. In other words, my love is not with me."

    "Do you think that you..?"

    "Die? Chak. And she finds happiness with that...stud, probably capable of giving her everything she wants...and she doesn't mourn me the slightest. What I gather from such a vision is that I deserve to die in that future, perhaps I succumb to the evil ways...like Morag or Zarrak. In that case, it would even be reasonable for somebody else to kill me."

    She put her arm over his shoulder. He took her hand.

    "Forgive me if I'm saying anything I shouldn't, I don't have the nature powers like you, but I know this much: to succumb to the ways of the Night Spirit, one needs to be...completely different from you. I've never seen you do anything unkind."

    "Hmmm, I was pretty silly when younger."

    "Who wasn't? Look at your sister! She would trade you in at Moot the Trader's if that would mean she gets to go out boating with Wicket!"

    "Wicket...hmm."

    "What? Why are you looking at me like that?"

    "There is something in the way you say his name."

    The princess' palm was getting warm and she nervously pulled her hand back. Teebo giggled and took it back in his hand. She turned her head away and pulled the top of her hood towards her face.

    "T'hesh, Teebo...it does not sound any different than saying anybody else's name!"

    "No, there is something and there's always been. You can hide your eyes underneath that hood, but you cannot hide the truth. You are very, very fond of him! And he does not see it, or does not want to see it!"

    The princess sighed, pushed her hood back up and leaned onto her friend.

    "Chak. And that is why I'm patiently waiting for the day he'll be old enough to figure it out and approach it in a way that won't break me to pieces, burn me to crisp..."

    "Kneesaa, he cannot be completely oblivious to love, he's perfectly aware that my little sister is into him...but that is safe ground, no problems involved, a kiss from an innocent child is a self-esteem remedy..."

    "...while a kiss from a young woman would drag him into making decisions. And he is not good with that. He is not good at listening others either, just like Latara. For a while, she thought that playing that silly hard to get game will get you to be a bit bolder. I told her that you would not make a move, even during all that time you were pretty open about your feelings."

    "...and then I did. To me, it's like giving in to the dark powers of the Shadowstone. Temptation is not a good thing for a shaman. And you and I, Kneesaa, we have been cursed with loving those who are louder, prone to trouble and, at the same time, less responsible than we are."

    "But that's why we love them, I guess? Because somebody like you and me needs the burning fire of somebody like Latara or Wicket."

    "Wait, this never crossed my mind. What if they're outright fighting out there?"

    “With this kind of weather outside and the dangers of hunting in deep forest? Even if they did, I think they’re all right now. Don’t worry, Teebo.”

    It was getting too late and the two friends knew that the next day could be even harder, depending on what Kazak had in store for them. Kneesaa picked Winda and Leeni from the pile and took them to the upstairs chamber with her. She then proceeded to move Nippet and Wiley to Asha’s bed. Teebo stretched, yawned and lied next to his little sister. Malani opened one eye, turned around, hugged him and whispered.

    “I love you so much!”

    “Malani, I’m not Wicket, you’re dreaming again” he responded.

    “I know…lurdo-brother. You’re the best…”

    Whatever was going on these days, it had sure extended to everybody, he thought, as he was falling asleep.

    Lights were slowly going out around the village. At the Warricks’ hut, Deej and Shodu were going through their sons’ keepsakes, which they would never want them to do otherwise, claiming they no longer had one single bit of childhood in them. Elsewhere, Warok and Batcheela were sitting by the fire pit, holding each other and sharing a large mug of warm herbal brew, spruced with some of the notorious fermented berry drink.

    On the other side of the main square, Lumat and Zephee were in a completely different mood. The old carpenter was arguing with his wife. He tossed a candle she had just precast and yelled at her.

    “Once again, you allowed Latara to take a part in WHAT?”

    “A hunting party. She has gone hunting. I fully supported her decision, as whatever has been going on recently seems to be eating her.”

    Unfortunately, Lumat never approached his children with understanding, nor did he pay attention to whatever was bothering them. In his mind, his adolescent daughter needed strict discipline in order to turn out how he thought she was supposed to.

    “Nonsense! A girl in a hunting party. OUR girl!” he slammed his fist against the table and then he remembered something, “If nothing else, at least she’s not with Warok’s lurdo of a son. I don’t want them to get too close.”

    “You mean Teebo? He’s really polite and kind. His little sister is a bit of a troublemaker, you know that she often gets our woklings in trouble…but he’s nice.”

    “He’s not nice. He’s male, young and probably willing. Such ones can never be nice. If I ever catch him with his dirty paws on our daughter…”

    “…I’ll tell him to go ahead and take her away, as being under the roof of this hut is not good for anybody.” Zephee thought to herself. From all her conversations with Batcheela, Shodu and the other Ewok women, she was sure all the husbands were nicer than hers and there were moments when she was hoping that her daughter would have the kind of an adventure Batcheela had at that age, the one they all gasped about in public, yet giggled at their basket-weaving contests, when nobody else was around.

    With those thoughts, she decided to leave to the sleeping chamber. Everything was squeaky clean.

    “Zephee!”

    “What is it again?” at this moment, she was losing her patience and the more her husband was yelling, the more she understood her daughter.

    “My knife. It’s gone. She took it away with her!”




    Footnotes
    Koyt – another Endor species.

    King Gorneesh – the leader of the Dulok tribe from the Ewoks cartoon series – arrogant, belligerent and known to use others for his own gain, which often backfires on him.

    Umwak – the “shaman” of Gorneesh's tribe and one of the most interesting characters in the Ewoks cartoon series.

    Urgah – Gorneesh’s wife and mother of his children.

    Bratling – since “Dulokling” or “Dulking” would sound strange, I’m using the words Urgah and Gorneesh use in the cartoon.

    Umwak’s nephew – a cute adolescent Dulok who appears in a single Ewoks episode, The Tree of Light and is apparently smarter than the rest, but he’s put down by his uncle the same way his uncle is put down by Gorneesh. I named him Galak.

    Umwak and Gorneesh being both interested in Urgah in their youth is pure fanon.

    There are three “Dulok bratlings” seen in The Travelling Jindas, when Latara is kidnapped to be their babysitter. Prince Boogutt, however, appears in The Black Cavern, the 13th out of 14 Ewoks comics and he appears to be old enough not to need a babysitter. Therefore, as far as I’m concerned, there are four Gorneesh offsprings.

    What’s this thing with king Vulgarr? Once again, it’s from Duloks’ first appearance in the horror-ish book, The Adventures of Teebo: A Tale of Magic and Suspense by Joe Johnston. Vulgarr was the original leader of Duloks and after a VERY young and scared Teebo uncovered his plans to eat the woklings, a creature whom he befriended simply stepped on Vulgarr, killing him. The cartoon series introduced Gorneesh as the Dulok leader, so I had to come up with something to explain why his gang is bumbling, often making no sense and so on. An idea of a more extreme faction and a less extreme faction made sense, so I went with it. In this story, prompted by the yet-to-be-named “Master” and whoever is the “stranger” speaking to Umwak and Gorneesh (patience!); the two factions unite to have their revenge on the Ewoks of Bright Tree Village.

    In the same book mentioned above, Ulgo was indeed a Dulok whom Warok pushed off a cliff, with no intention of killing him; but he died in the river. Therefore, Kaalwar would be an OC, his son, who wants to take vengeance for this.

    Since Ulgo was also calling himself a king, one can see that Duloks disagree a lot. Whoever managed to make them agree on something has got to be a smooth talker and good at convincing others.

    Glock – some sort of a thick pastey thing Duloks make from flour, roots and whatever else. Both Urgah and later Teebo assisted by Latara are seen making it for the Phlog baby in Rampage of the Phlogs.

    While Chukha-Trok does not seem to be married, that does not stop him from having unspecified “relatives”.

    The dessert Kneesaa makes for herself and Teebo is some sort of an Ewok milkshake. I hope that Endorian chicken eggs don’t spoil when stored outside in a pile of snow. But either way, this is something yummy and yes, partial fanon. There is a “dangleberry shake” on the “Ewok Sweets” shop level in tinydeathstar; so it’s got to be possible. Given that dangleberries, as hinted in the footnotes for the second chapter, are pretty rare, it’s got to be a treat for special occasions (Wicket’s party) and situations where one simply needs to unwind.

    I am indeed implying that Kneesaa would not be interested in fooling around before marriage, though the clear reason for that is unknown. Maybe Ewoks would treat a royal scandal the same way British tabloids do. Maybe she’s just being the usual moral pet. Fanon.

    As for Teebo, in my fanon, and based on his behavior in all of his appearances, I interpret him as a demisexual and, at the same time, speaking in tropes, a clear case of single-target sexuality. If Latara was male, trans, a cloud, a vegetable, a centipede, he’d still be into her/him/them/it. Combined with his Force sensitivity, it’s a confusing mix. Lumat does not understand that, the same way Warok didn’t.

    There goes Teebo’s chromestesia and ability to “see the future in stars” again…and it gets scary. I took a bit from Yoda’s famous reply on the future always being in motion; but since Teebo is largely untrained for what he feels and knows and it’s often implied that everybody but Logray may see it as a “condition”; he does not know how to cope with it. A bunch of futures, one of them might be implying death…combine it with his willingness to have a future with Latara, regardless of how slow he wants to go…and you get hell. Pure hell. Fanon, of course.

    Shadowstone would be the violet half of the Sunstar Shadowstoneaka its dark side.

    Hope it’s clear where I’m referring to Light Spirit as an actual unnamed deity and where it’s a euphemism for bedroom activities.

    The Night Spirit would obviously be the Ewok mythology equivalent of the devil, Dark side of the Force and a lot more. FYI, the Duloks worship it, or at least they say they do.

    I wanted the Kneesaa and Teebo scene to resemble Harry Potter and Hermione Granger dancing in the tent in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; to a certain extent. They’ve been friends, they never felt any affection towards each other, but their friendship is very deep. Throughout the series, Kneesaa is genuinely worried about Teebo a couple of times and, ironically, he’s the one who always offers her a hand and helps her out. Since Wicket is unaware of his own feelings, shying away and playing tough; this makes sense, doesn’t it?

    Zephee, who was not mentioned previously, is obviously Lumat’s far younger (not really my fanon, as the age difference is obvious in the cartoon) wife and the mother of Latara, Nippet and Wiley.
     
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    OK! Just did a nice little binge-read to catch up, and I’m very glad I did! I love how things have picked up since the early chapters, and I've been enjoying getting to know all the characters. :cool:

    6: Well, this hunting party is off to a tense, mysterious start for sure. Very ominous about the absence of all the animals. And what a time for a disagreement to break out between Wicket and Latara! But she showed him a thing or two for sure. And good on Paploo for keeping his head together and telling the other two W.’s exactly where they get off.

    7: The plot thickens with this mysteriously dead yayax cub. The chaotic wokling foodfight had me in stitches; Teebo seems to be holding up reasonably well despite the fact that this is probably one of the most unaccustomed jobs for a typical apprentice shaman. Wonder what the fireball in the sky will portend and whether it’s connected to all those mysteriously dead animals…

    8: Like the juxtaposition of the stolid Chukha-Trok and the wise, poetic Teebo; it’s really neat how you made them both tall, with Chukha-Trok "facing his polar opposite in the only Ewok coming even close to his stature.” :cool: And interesting to see both Teebo and Wicket wishing the other were there, despite their differences; their combined talents would definitely go far in making sense of the mysterious situation confronting the hunters and the village.
    And meanwhile, out in the woods, another mysteriously dead animal… this is looking very, very serious and ominous indeed. Enjoyed Latara’s many-layered reflections on her companions, the expedition, the crazy dynamics of growing up, her absent beloved (as I think we can call him), and the conflict between being her own person and conforming to others’ expectations that both male and female adolescents of probably all sentient species experience.

    9: Goosebumps! These Duloks, and the stranger negotiating with them, are clearly up to no good. What a close shave for Asha, almost being spotted by Umwak—good thing for her that the Dulok king is such a scolding dunderhead. ;) Glad Teebo and Kneesaa made it through their first day of babysitting and have a moment for a chat (that foamy treat sounds tasty). His mystical visions of his future are definitely intriguing and very ominous, at least as much so as all the dead animals—and he’s spot-on in his observation that “you and I, Kneesaa, we have been cursed with loving those who are louder, prone to trouble and, at the same time, less responsible than we are.” I like that bit. :) And there definitely is a very Harry-and-Hermione-like dynamic between them.

    Nice work on this—as you’ve pointed out before, the Ewoks are so often treated as comic relief or laughingstocks, and it’s wonderful to see them get their due as serious characters who belong to a serious and well-developed culture. And the detailed notes to each chapter are a real treat. May I be tagged on future updates, please? @};-
     
    AzureAngel2, Kahara and Ewok Poet like this.
  10. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    O-ho! The plot thickens with those evil-sounding (also, not-extraordinarily-intelligent-sounding) Duloks! I was relieved that Asha didn't get caught, but I'm still a bit worried about her braving the blizzard to get back to the village.

    I enjoyed the conversation between Teebo and Kneesa very much -- as Findswoman said (and as you noted yourself) there's something very Harry/Hermione about them. And that Ewok milkshake sounds fabulous *note to self: food and beverages need to be a Fanon thread discussion topic in the near future* But to me, the melty-melt moment was Malani huddling against her big brother to sleep. So cute!

    Gee, Latara's father sounds like a nasty piece of work. Almost like, a made-in-Balkans piece of work [face_laugh]
     
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Yum, that milkshake does sound scrumptious! :) Asha sure did hear some intriguing and worrisome stuff from the Duloks. [face_worried]
     
  12. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    [​IMG]
    MY MILKSHAKE BRINGS ALL THE CONFUSED, QUESTIONING, CHROMESTHETIC BOYS TO THE YARD.


    That's right. I might have to write a bit faster, as it's about to get very dynamic and these two and three week breaks are not a good idea.

    The Duloks are notoriously dumb, at least Gorneesh's tribe is. These other guys, whom I borrowed from that excellent little book, are, however, threatening. And while the unknown being who befriended them might not be super-powerful, their master is.

    It will be scary.

    Glad you noticed the later. :) In the cartoon, the brother/sister relationship is portrayed well to the point that they decided not to feature the parents at all; but some aspects of it have not been explored and in the second season, Malani just does the blackmail stuff commonly seen in sitcoms from the same era of television and I wanted to take that somewhere healthy.

    The girl is going from the toddler kind of age to the young school child kind of age, her perception of the world is changing rapidly. Once I revisit her as an adult, she will be a really interesting person.


    I knew you would say that. :p WE ALL HAVE A LUMAT IN OUR FAMILIES HERE, DON'T WE? :)

    One can see how she inherited some character traits from him, but he's brutal. When she playes her flute, he nags at her and gets her to do chores instead, ignoring her feelings and not caring about her music. He's a mean old man and it was only natural to give him character development in that direction. Also, we know how it goes: the more somebody is repressed, the more they rebel.

    And I can't express how much I appreciate that you did, as we're on similar wavelength etc etc etc. :) ^:)^

    Yup, despite her continiously not being right from 2 to 5, this time she IS right, Wicket needed a wake up call for his constant wanting of a special treatment. At the same time, none of this would've made a point hadn't Paploo shut up W&W.

    This is not to say that Paploo won't be annoying in the sequel to Snowed In.

    If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it's not going to be fired, it shouldn't be hanging there.
    - one certain Anton Pavlovich C.

    This one is interesting. While Chukha-Trok doesn't appear to be MUCH taller than other Ewoks in his first appearance in Caravan of Courage; he is gigantic in the cartoon, when he helps Wicket and Kneesaa discover Asha.

    And then, months before Shadows of Endor came out, Zack Giallongo gives us this picture:
    http://s1141.photobucket.com/user/r...iallongo-ewok-mini-series-dark-horse.jpg.html

    By the time the comic was out, I'm pretty sure he figured out that Chirpa and Logray's heights were unrealistic compared to their ROTJ appearance. But Chukha remained gigantic, to the point where he could as well be of my height. With Teebo being 132 cm tall, it kinda makes sense that he'll be a regular basketball player type next to, say, Yao Ming.

    (Sentient species is the key idiom here. A lot of people could think that this is unrealistic as they don't consider Ewoks to be "sentient enough" despite their engineering genius, for the starters.)

    And yes, "absence makes the heart grow fonder", for the start. The rest is up to the main plot. Not sure how shocking it is that Latara is so messed up that she tried to rationalize her behaviour in the chapter 3 as an act of mercy (like Jenny from Forest Gump or something), but I have seen that IRL and found it problematic, so having her shake it off eventually is a big deal. :D


    Since any additional explanation on how accurate the vision is will be a spoiler, I'll just leave you with 4:21 of this.



    Thanks, and yes - I never did it before, but you'll be the first. :D
     
  13. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 10

    Tags: glitteryboots, Findswoman (whom I also have to thank for helping me with some minor grammar issues and typos)




    Early next morning, snow stopped and the view cleared. Tana was, once again, clearly visible in the sky. This, however, did not mean much to Asha, as she was starting to get frostbite on her fingers and toes. Was she on the right track, after having spent most of the night on top of a tree, as far as possible from the hidden cave where she almost fell into the hands of Duloks and their mysterious ally? Her sense of smell never betrayed her, but never before did she have to wander the forest without any of her trusted animals or other warriors nearby.

    “I m-must do this. For my family! For my village!” she tried to encourage herself, blowing into her hands. Had this been somebody else, their lives would have been in danger by now; but she knew a thing or two about keeping warm. And one thing she learnt from years of living in obscurity was that talking to herself would help her keep her mind off the cold.

    “Calm down. Calm down. You cannot give up right now. By the time the last trace of the night is gone, you will be home and you will get to warn your village. You will make sure that your father is well-protected and that a group of most experienced warriors is guarding master Logray’s hut. Once Logray and Teebo are in the same place again, they could attempt and reverse the curse, as this has got to be a curse. It cannot be anything else! Hmmmm…?!”

    Something was moving below the snow drift about fifty steps ahead of her. She took a large, crummy branch in her hand, barely managing to hold it as she couldn’t properly bend her fingers, and carefully walked towards it. As the struggle was getting more and more intense, she realised it was not snow drift. With each single movement inside of it, a small pile of snow would fall off, eventually revealing a large thorn bush. Something was grunting, panting and squeaking inside of it. And then, pulling the bush off its roots and hurling it towards Asha, it set itself free.

    Asha managed to duck the bush and ran forward, assuming a weak animal was in need of her help; but after one more glance at it, she ran for her life instead. Emerging from the remaining bushes was a rabid gurreck and it was heading towards her, letting out a threatening groan. Its eyes seemed almost crystal-like, golden yellow and not blinking at all. Asha ran towards the nearest tree and, at the last moment, she grabbed her grappling hook and tossed it at the nearest thick branch. With a single battle cry, she swung away in the nick of time; as the gurreck started tearing through her cape. A piece of fur and leather remained stuck at the root of its right horn.

    Asha’s heart was still beating fast; but she was no longer feeling cold. As a matter of a fact, she was sure that she could feel every single hair on her body stand up and blood flowing towards her finger and toetips, which were on the verge of going numb minutes earlier.

    The animal, tilting its head to left and right, as if it were under some kind of a controlling spell, turned around from the tree. Then it hit another tree. And another. And another At some point, its horns got stuck in the bark.

    As the gurreck was struggling to set itself feel once again, Asha decided not to take any risks and swing from one tree to another instead, all the way home. This near-death-experience made her even more determined. As she was tossing her grappling hook towards the next tree, she realised that this was the first animal she had seen alive in days.



    “Good morning!” Kneesaa was standing above the royal bed and observing the two siblings with fair forelocks on top of their heads slowly coming back to Endor from wherever they have been in their sleep, “And it seems that everybody’s slept well, too!”

    “Chak, we’re improving as babysitters.” Teebo replied, in between stretching and putting his hat on.

    “I’d say you are improving as an older brother as well. Malani, did you sleep well?”

    “I did and now I’m hungry. Is there any more of that stew from last night? Yours is better than my mom’s. Please? Can I have it?”

    Kneesaa subtly nudged Teebo. Her plan to feed woklings some leftovers was easier than either of them would hope for. Nippet and Wiley were eager to munch on bits of vegetables and sausage as well; while the other two little ones opted to sleep a bit more instead. Eventually, Shodu Warrick came by to pick up Winda, Teebo took his sister to their parents and Kneesaa dropped Leeni off and then headed to Zephee and Lumat’s home. She was secretly hoping that they could have had some time to spend together, with Latara and the woklings away; but instead of that, when she knocked on the cob wall of the hut, Zephee peeked out, looking as if she hadn’t even blinked for the past day.

    “Mama!” exclaimed Nippet, but Kneesaa was not letting her and her little brother’s hands go just yet. The sight of the kind wife and mother’s red eyeballs and beeswax dotting both her hood and her fur was unnerving at best.

    “What’s wrong, Zephee? I never saw you like this before.”

    “You did, child. You were just too young to understand it.” Latara’s mother replied and then nervously turned around.

    Kneesaa was confused. Was this a moment where her father would have used his authority to find out what has happened, or would he just have left it, assuming that everything is all right? Zephee was clearly hiding something.

    “Kneesaa? Would you please do me a favour and tell your friend Teebo that I said hello and that I hope he’s all right?”

    “Sure, but…”

    “I would love to talk more and let you have a cup of herbal brew with me, but I need to prepare breakfast for these two rascals the two of you took such good care of.”

    “We fed them before we…”

    The princess could not finish the sentence. Zephee finally picked Nippet and Wiley up and disappeared back under the curtain. She took a couple of steps backwards; then turned around and headed to the Council Hut. It took some time until Teebo appeared, bringing a task list from Kazak, who had conveniently left it with Warok and Batcheela.

    “This is ridiculous. ‘Sit there all day and come up with answers to this questionnaire’. Really, Kazak, you want to know what I would do if my fur was falling off? Or if I had to hide my traces in order to do something secretly?”

    “Just look at mine. He asks me if I would ever kill and if my mother would be more proud of me, my older sister or both. What is the purpose of this? I am telling my father. I don’t care if that makes me less credible; whiny…this is in no way related to gaining experience and learning to be more responsible.”

    “At least my, Wicket’s and Latara’s parents spent some quality time on their own…”

    “Wait, I have not told you the most important thing. Zephee was in a very, very strange state when I dropped by. I’m worried…”

    While Kneesaa and Teebo were discussing Latara’s family up in the treetops; a hunched female Ewok approached the entrance to the village. She looked like a cross of mistress Kaink and master Logray, as she was wearing a long, tattered robe, had some facial fur bordering on a short beard and seemed to be more than two hundred snows old.

    “Stop right here!” exclaimed Gwig, a very young Ewok on lookout duty, “Who are you and what do you want?”

    “Sweet child, please, have mercy on poor Gunlaag! Can your people give an old woman shelter and food?”

    Gwig thought for a bit. He wasn’t sure what to do. The warriors who recruited him for lookout duty told him what to do if a Gorax came to attack the village, what signal to toot from his little horn if Gorneesh’s tribe was up to no good, but nobody ever instructed him on frail old women.

    “Sure, why not? But I would have to talk to somebody about it. Come; let’s climb up to the village. You shouldn’t be walking around the forest when it’s this cold!”

    “You’re a good boy! May the Great Tree bless your soul!”

    The stranger followed Gwig to the platforms in the treetops. He took her to the Council Hut, hoping to see Kazak there, even though he was scared of the head elder, just like most children of his age. He was somewhat relieved when, instead of the cranky head elder, he encountered two familiar faces, one of whom he recognized as the older brother of the girl he liked ever since they both received their hoods at the Festival of Hoods some snows ago. Caught up in their conversation, they were not paying any attention to him and the stranger he brought along.

    “With all that you told me, I’m worried about her. I should go after her. Lumat can be unpredictable!”

    “No, you cannot do that. The village without a shaman, even an intermediate one like you, would not be a safe place. We can only hope that we will notice the hunters before he does, once they have returned home!”

    “I guess you’re right. And, come to think of it, I am glad that Zephee is on her daughter’s side, too. But whatever he may be doing to her is awful. My dad was never like this...”

    “She also told me to extend her greetings to you. Not sure why.”

    Gwig came to the big meeting table. At first, he coughed. But the two stand-ins were not paying attention. He nervously looked around and grabbed the old woman’s hand.

    “So, Gunlaag, we’re having a bit of a mess right now, as Kazak, our head elder, seems not to have arrived yet after last night’s argument with the hunters who have now parted and our chief and shaman are not here. These would be our heiress to the throne and our shaman's apprentice."

    “So…go ahead and introduce me to them, young one?”

    “Goopa?!” Gwig raised the tone of his voice and banged head elder Kazak’s wooden hammer. The two finally turned around to him and Gunlaag.

    “For how long have you been here?” gasped Kneesaa, “I’m sorry we didn’t notice you.”

    “This old lady is cold, she’s been through last night’s blizzard and it seems that something horrible happened to her, too. I need to go back to my lookout duty, so…please…”

    “No worries, we will do something about her,” the princess assured Gwig. “Just do me a favour and go to Bozzie’s on your way back to your post. She will make sure this poor soul gets everything she needs. Tell her that I sent you.”

    Gwig swallowed a lump. He managed to avoid Kazak, but he was to deal with the other older Ewok he was afraid of. Such were the downsides of a young boy's scout training. He grinned at Kneesaa and Teebo and ran out, nearly falling over his own feet.

    “Pleased to meet you, Gunlaag! I’m princess Kneesaa A Jaari Kintaka. What has happened to you?”

    Gunlaag was puzzled by Kneesaa’s hospitality, as this was something she did not expect. The other, male Ewok, awkwardly tall and seemingly absent-minded, was not coming to introduce himself at all.

    “Kneesaa…thank you…I am blessing the trees for giving me strength and I am not sure how I made it out alive. I have been wondering around all night, my home has been attacked by a villainous group of Duloks and there was a slaughter, bloody beyond anything my eyes have ever seen!”

    The other Ewok nearly fell off the stump he was sitting on.

    “King Vulgarr’s tribe!” he said, his voice shaking, but Gunlaag continued, not paying attention to his remark.

    “Everything burned to crisp and nobody was spared. I am so frail and my days are numbered, so…they left me for dead and moved on, towards the desert.”

    “What do Duloks have to do with the desert? They stick to humid terrains, such as swamps and bogs!” Teebo asked again. At that moment, Bozzie, Batcheela and Shodu appeared at the hut door, carrying a large wooden bath tub, a new hood and blankets.

    “Shaggy boy, get out of here.” commanded Bozzie, “We are going to bathe her and warm her up and she may find your presence unnerving. Go to your master’s hut and bring back whatever you can think of to help her make it.”

    “But…I said…and…I have a name…and…ummm…err…”

    “Now!” she repeated and escorted Teebo out of the hut. “And hurry up, we haven’t got all day!”

    The three women disrobed the stranger and gave her a bath, as carefully as they could, as she was unusually thin and cold. She would moan each time Shodu would scrub harder.

    “I am sorry! Once our shaman apprentice is back, he can check if any of your bones are broken.”

    As the women were taking care of Gunlaag, Kneesaa stood at the door. She was trying to make some sense out of what just happened.




    Footnotes
    Gurreck - an aggressive boar-like predatory animal.
     
  14. glitteryboots

    glitteryboots Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2015
    It seems appropriate that my first post on here should be a comment on your story. :D

    I love the action scene where Asha is running from the gurreck, the description of how she was so cold and then suddenly warm is perfect. Also, I hadn't noticed it before but you shift perspective really well (eg. from Gwig to Gunlaag).

    I'm very intrigued to know if Asha got home safely, what the Duloks are up to (feels very ominous that King Vulgaar's tribe are involved) and also if there's any more to Gunlaag's story. Poor Zephee. :( I hope Lumat is somehow punished at some point.
     
  15. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    What a packed chapter! You did a great job with Asha's action scene—nice and concise and paced just right. Definitely got the feeling that this was a close shave for her.

    It shows just how strong Zephee is that she manages to keep some cheerfulness despite her husband's abuse; i'm guessing that more will become clear on that score as the story goes on.

    Gwig's a cutie; for some reason I like how he awkwardly explains the absence of the authorities to Gunlaag. And Gunlaag is very, very intriguing so far; looking forward to hearing and swing more about her. No character inspired in part by Gamiel could ever possibly be boring! :D

    I was a bit puzzled at first by Teebo's reaction (or lack thereof) when Gunlaag walked in. But I'm guessing it's because his shaman sense is giving him some sort of premonition about her, and that premonition caught him a bit by surprise. She does give off a decidedly mystical vibe... [face_thinking]
     
  16. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Okay, I've been reading this in bits and pieces over the last couple of weeks to catch up.

    Nice combination of the everyday problems that are distracting everyone, and the oncoming doom rising in the distance. It was interesting to see Latara try to come to a more stable sense of herself; she wants to be somebody, but she's still figuring out who that is, and it's a long awkward road as it is for anyone. Social butterflies like Latara just have a different set of challenges than the more "off in their own world" types like Teebo. It's also heartbreaking to see Zephee mistreated, and I can only imagine how that must be troubling Kneesaa. The whole tension of trying to figure out what the usual leaders know about this situation, what to do about it now that she's the person on the spot and not them this time... and it's got to be tearing her up that those she trusts have almost certainly known forever about Lumat's abusiveness.

    Things are definitely heading off the rails with Gorneesh having -- well, I'm beginning to think "summoned up" -- someone or something rather dangerous in addition to Vulgarr's tribe. This looks a bit worse than what seems to be usual for the Duloks -- they apparently have some much nastier contacts out there. Asha is being held up by the aggressive gurreck out there alone where nothing else is alive. Something wicked this way comes... [face_worried]

    Kneesaa and Teebo's conversation was a nice look into their friendship and seems to portend things both good and ominous for Teebo's future regarding Latara. That blank space has me thinking... though I think it's also possible that he's misinterpreted some key elements. (Wouldn't be a proper prophecy if anyone understood ahead of time, now would it? ;)) And now they've got an unexpected guest in the form of Gunlaag. This will be interesting to see. I'm curious whether my theory about her will turn out to be far off or not.
     
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  17. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014

    Thank you for the compliments on that scene. I have never written an action scene of such intensity before and since there will be more of that, I needed to know if I am heading in the right direction. As for the perspective shift, I never noticed that. Makes sense, to a certain extent.

    Vulgarr's tribe IS involved, since Ulgo, the one Kaalwar reveals himself to be the son of, was definitely born and raised there.

    The rest would be spoilers, so...whistle-whistle-tra-la-la. :p

    Thank you and thanks for proofreading this. :D

    Lumat's behaviour towards his wife and daughter get an extended treatment near the end of the fic, but until then, he will most likely remain a complete jerk.

    Gwig is the Ewok seen when Malani receives her hood in The Cries of The Trees. Among three of them bare-headed woklings, he's the first one that gets his hood, the one who tries his best to look confident. As seen here, that was just...presentation.


    Whistling to the rest you said. ;)

    And am I glad that you did catch up! Yay! :)

    Her character is going through many such moments in the cartoon, so I thought I would take her self-exploration even further. :)

    I did not think about the last thing, so...there will be some edits on the upcoming material. You are right. And yes, Kneesaa has a very simple policy for domestic abuse, consisting of a single word: DON'T. This is not to say that the tribe does not have a draconic punishment for the only thing worse than domestic abuse. That is, obviously, not going to take place in this story, or this village.

    *whistles*

    Teebo in the cartoon series
    [​IMG]

    Teebo in Return of the Jedi (looks the same in Shadows of Endor)
    [​IMG]

    We know it, but he doesn't. :p


    *whistles*

    More coming up soon. Ironically, I am currently more obsessed with the sequels than the original.
     
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  18. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 11





    Hunting party members were waking up, one by one. The outlook seemed less bleak with sunshine coming through the conifer trees, so they were slightly more hopeful than they were the night before. With the snowstorm over, if nothing else, search was to be far easier.

    Wicket was still sleeping peacefully, holding onto the bizarre toy from his backpack. The noise around him, everybody getting ready and donning their hoods, Latara cackling at Widdle’s jokes…none of it seemed to bother him. Once the pit was lit again, he turned around and hurled his blanket, giggling in his sleep. This got the attention of two younger hunters, who came closer and observed him, trying their hardest not to laugh.

    “Is that a toy?”

    “Chak! I cannot tell what it is supposed to represent, but a toy, nevertheless.”

    “How old is he again?”

    “Fourteen snows, I was at his birthday party. That’s also where the girl acted a bit strangely. She literally threw herself at me at some point. Ha! The future worn-out bordok cart in the making!”

    “So, that is why she is in this party? I don’t know which one of them is worse, but at least she is pretty…and a tart. Tarts are fun. Young boys aren’t. Unlike her, he has something that prevents him from being fun - a little beetroot down there somewhere after all - so there is no excuse to keep him, no excuse of any kind, and m...”

    The hunter stopped talking as he noticed that the golden-yellow eyes were angrily staring back at him. “I heard everything. I heard every single thing you two miserable lurdos just said and you make me sick!” Wicket got up and threw himself at the nearest offender, hitting him everywhere he could, roaring in his typical hot-headed fashion.

    “K’vark! Take him off me, he’s gone completely mad!” the surprised hunter, his hood already torn, was trying to reach for his club. But another hand was already on it.

    “Greetings from the tart!” the husky female voice was the last thing he heard before he felt something hit him on the back of the head. And then he blacked out.

    A little later, Wunka was sitting on one side, with Paploo holding Latara and Weechee Warrick holding a bare-headed Wicket, on the other. The injured warrior was lying down, with another holding a block of ice against the back of his head.

    “So, what do we have here? A warrior apprentice, known troublemaker, attacked one of his experienced peers, then a hoodmaker apprentice clubbed him. Nho-Apakk, is Chubbray coming round?”

    The light-grey Ewok nodded. “Chak, he’ll be fine. She hit him pretty hard, but he’s strong.”

    “Girls, they’re so emotional sometimes! They’re unhinged…” Chubbray was coming round.

    “Eat worms and die.” Wicket yelled as loud as he could, prompting Latara to grin, “Perhaps she should hit you again and use your skull as a war trophy, so you stop talking like this! I am out of this stupid expedition. Of course we have not found food yet, because you’re an incompetent bunch of lurdos!”

    Weechee has never seen Wicket like this. He turned to Wunka, hoping for at least some understanding, but the party leader was not keen on letting the youngster go.

    “This is it. You are out. We had our doubts about your maturity, but now you have crossed every single leather rope placed in front of you. Once this food crisis has come to an end, the Council of Elders will have a special hearing for you and you will most likely be stripped off your Belt of Honour.”

    “Speaking of ‘stripped’, can I at least pick my hood before I leave?”

    As Weechee let his younger brother go and get his clothes and the backpack, Paploo crossed the path of the party leader, letting Latara go. “We need to talk.”

    “I don’t have the time; we have to continue the expedition.” Wunka said, looking at Wicket get out of the cave.

    “You cannot say no to the carrier of the Great Horn of the Sistermoon. It’s only second to the Sacred Horn of the Soul Trees.”

    The party leader swallowed a lump. Nevertheless, he let Paploo walk him back to the stone he was standing on minutes earlier.

    “Wunka, you are pathetic. Wicket had already made the decision to leave on his own and whatever you may yell at him now just shows that you wanted this to happen all along. I am not sure if you have a problem with just him, or the Warricks in general.”

    “That’s a lie, Paploo. And you know it. He had to pass through a steady dose of hazing and he was not taking it well. His brothers, back in the days, knew what a harmless joke was and, as you can see, I respect them.”

    “Harmless joke? I am guilty of many such harmless jokes, but I am not as delusional as you and I admit to poking fun at others every now and then. The main difference between you and me is that I do not do this when my tribe is in the danger of a food shortage! I am going to have a word with my cousin about this. She and her…father will be informed of my point of view regarding what you and your peers did to Wicket before they even get to hear your useless whining.”

    The injured Ewok spoke again “That’s right, everybody’s best friend and the future holy mother of every single villager…she’s going to punish us! She breathes, eats, drinks and lives punishment! Just like this friend of hers breathes, eats, drinks and lives…something else.”

    Latara looked towards the Ewok she clubbed, hoping not to see despise on his face. He winked at her. She knew it was the time she made her decision.

    “I am out of this nonsense hunt, too! The next time you need a leather worker, or, as you say, ‘tart', you’re perfectly free to strip some skin out of your own…beetroots, since they appear to be some sort of mountains piercing the outer space. Right? Goopa, guys.”

    Widdle raised his hand to say something, but seeing his brother sit down, with his elbows on his knees, he changed his mind. As Latara was getting out, following Wicket, Paploo muttered a couple of k’varks and picked his things as well.

    “You’ll have to continue your search for food without me. And since you already know what I am to do…good luck.”

    “Great, now she made one of our best young warriors follow her. Is he her boyfriend or something?"

    “I knew women were causing problems. Why did I allow this? Why?”

    A couple of hundred steps away from the cave, still trying to set his hood right under the weight of his backpack, Wicket turned around and saw Paploo and Latara running towards him clumsily, as fast as they could in their snowshoes.

    “We are not going to let you walk home alone. It’s too dangerous and all you have is that spear.”

    Wicket’s face lit up. “Did the two of you…stand up for me? Did you abandon the hunt for me?”

    “One could say so.” Paploo nudged his friend, “And you did stand up for Latara beforehand, which was the last thing expected after the two of you tried to kill each other yesterday.”

    “They probably think I have two boyfriends right now. What a pathetic bunch. That said, this has been a great experience, until that lurdo called me a tart. You know…I am not afraid of anything right now.” Latara hugged her friends and giggled, “Chubbray is lucky that I didn’t reach for my weapon, instead of his club!”

    “What do you mean?”

    Latara opened her backpack and pulled out a large, crooked knife. “I call it ‘Berry’…hehe!” she winked and caressed the blade with her nimble fingers, “I’ve had my eye on it for years, ever since I had seen dad use it for the first time, the night he came back home with a particularly large fish. If anybody tries to hurt me or my friends, they’re going to get some Berry.”

    Wicket and Paploo were speechless.

    “Who are you and what have you done to Latara?”

    “What is Lumat going to think about this?”

    “He doesn’t know. He probably didn’t even notice that I took Berry with me. All he’s thinking about right now is how Teebo is a threat to my chastity. He’s still stuck in the times long before the Ewok-Dulok wars. Chastity...isn’t the life ironic? He thinks I’m an angel, these lurdos called me a tart. Can’t beat them…”

    Despite his remark from earlier, Paploo was sure that this was the Latara he knew, taking a new step towards adulthood, “And you know who you are and you don’t care about what others say. Right?” She nodded and they both smiled.

    Wicket smiled at first as well, but then he frowned. “I am worried about my reputation. What if this really ends up with losing my Belt of honour…again?”

    “You and your reputation. You and your dumb belt. Relax. Paploo and I will stick up for you! I am sure Kneesaa and Teebo will, too. Let’s go home!”


    Gunlaag was now sitting at the table in Warok and Batcheela’s hut, stuffing her mouth with food. Shodu and Bozzie were grilling some sausages and brewing vegetable stew, while the head of the family was eating with the guest, making sure she doesn’t choke or pass out from exhaustion.

    “So, you are Warok? I heard of you! You are quite a legend among all the Ewoks on Endor!” Gunlaag mumbled with her mouth full of food, “You saved your children from king Vulgarr, didn’t you?”

    The humble guard smiled. “I am not sure how that story got to your village, but it gets blown out of proportion. I could not have made it without our brave warriors and I could not have made it without my son, who solved the mystery behind his sister's disappearance!”

    The old woman took a mouthful of sunberry juice and swallowed it, then sighed, “I see that your daughter is alive and well,” she smiled to the little girl in a blue hood who was bringing the next dish to the table, “But what happened to that son of yours? Is he with the hunters?”

    Having heard this, Batcheela, who was standing behind them, dropped a plate full of boiled grains with dried fruit. She grinned, muttered that she’s clumsy and got on her knees to clean the mess, assuring Malani that she did not need any help. Warok shrugged and continued the discussion.

    “No, my son is not aspiring to be a warrior. The Light Spirit and the Father Tree have blessed him with knowledge far broader than the one of an average Ewok. He can speak the languages of Phlogs, Firefolk and many others; and his powers are very strong with the forest creatures. He is studying to be a shaman; he is the student of master Logray! We are very proud of him, my wife and I!”

    Gunlaag raised her eyebrow, “So, he is the one who hasn’t said a single word to me when I was brought here earlier? The graceful princess came to my rescue, but your son did not seem interested, until he had a chance to jump at my words and contradict me!”

    “I will talk to him about it.” Warok took a large helping of what his wife managed to save from the dessert, “He worries too much about everything, from watching the stars to dealing with girls.”

    “Yubnub, that’s sweet. Does he have a girlfriend?”

    “No, he doesn’t.” Teebo interrupted the conversation, “Dad, you’re doing that again. Shodu? Bozzie?” The two turned around from the fire pit, “I brought you the clay pots and bottles you asked for. I also prepared the healing elixir, as well as the warming shadowroot butter for this woman’s frostbite. I can treat her injuries once she’s done with her meal.

    Gunlaag put her hands on her face “Young man, I couldn’t possibly allow you to touch me!”

    “I help Logray deliver, heal and check for illnesses; we don’t have a dedicated healer.”

    “Logray would be a whole different story. How old are you?”

    “Turning eighteen snows old in less than three moons. I know I look younger, but chak...” Teebo turned his head, “Why?”

    “You have to respect my wishes. In my village; it’s unacceptable that a young unmarried male treats a woman, from the age she starts counting her moons, up to her very last day. I want mistress Bozzie to help me instead. Thanks for taking your time to prepare these remedies, now you’re free to go and perhaps hang out with your little girlfriend.”

    Teebo shook his head and left the bottle of elixir and the small wooden box on the table. “Bozzie, I hope you can get this done by yourself, sorry for the trouble. Shodu, those sausages look nice, can I have one?”

    “Of course. Since you haven’t had any at Wicket’s party, this is a good chance to tell me if you like the way your mother and I seasoned them. That said; where is your mother?”

    “I’ll go find her.”

    Carrying his plate, Teebo went to the chamber where his parents usually slept. Batcheela was sitting in the large two-people hammock and having her lunch in silence. He took a hay-stuffed pillow and sat down next to her.

    “These sausages are great, mom! You and Shodu should cook together more often. I love your take on Dulok glock, too, it was a good idea I talked about it after we had saved that Phlog baby some snows ago. Right?”

    Batcheela just gave him a blank stare, as if something in the chamber smelled bad. Always hungry, he took a couple of bites from his plate and then looked at her again. She was not eating at all; she was just moving food from one side of the plate to another and soaking a piece of bread in the stew.

    “Dulok glock. Duloks. Bloody Duloks! Do you remember that I almost lost you sister to a group of Duloks a lot like the ones this woman described earlier today? You told me about their leader, who held you in the air and told your father that they were to take you home in two baskets. Two baskets. And this was after he tried to behead your sister! Those are not Gorneesh’s Duloks!”

    How could he not remember the blade being held against his little wokling legs? “Mom, I said that earlier today. And…”

    “And then she asks your father about the hunters. Right, Teebo? I don’t like her. May the Father Tree forgive me, but I don’t like her and I wish there had been a way to test her. Not sure how, but she is not to be trusted.”

    The young shaman was surprised. “D-Did you swap bodies with the head elder Kazak or something? You just said ‘test’ and that is what he’s been doing to Kneesaa and me for the past couple of days. We didn’t even get to talk about this, mom. This is the first time I am talking to you since my master left with chief Chirpa!”

    She was used to her son saying the most unusual things from the moment the scruffy wokling first spoke in her arms, clinging to her chest fur; but she was not in the mood for jokes this time.

    “This is not funny, Teebo. Think about it. You are smart. I am sure you will come to the same conclusion as me. I cannot tell Shodu and Bozzie about my doubts, but I can tell you, because I trust you not to have the ‘silly women’ view your father has or that ‘she wants to be different’ approach common to most Ewok women.” Batcheela patted her son’s forelock.

    “I am going to the observatory. I need to clear my head. I’ll nibble on a blade of grass, watch the sunset and then read the stars for the night. Perhaps this time I will get an answer.”




    Footnotes

    It's March 8th and you know how important that date is? Hence this chapter's girl power!

    Beetrot - obviously a fanon euphemism, as, well, they do need one. With such a sausage party, it was a matter of time when such insults would be fired.

    Nho-Apakk is a random Ewok from ROTJ, for some reason the name is spelled as Nho'Apakk. I don't like that apostrophe, as no other name in Ewokese has an apostrophe and many have a hyphen, so I took the liberty to modify it.

    Chubbray is another random Ewok from ROTJ, seen next to a catapult and Stemzee, who was mentioned in the first chapter. Not sure why I picked him to be a horny moron, but somebody had to.

    Belt of Honour - Not sure if I elaborated on this before, but it's canon. A warrior apprentice needs to fill it with trophies from various expeditions and battles in order to be granted his or her new status. Wicket is known to be obsessed with his belt.

    “Eat worms and die." - Wicket actually says this in an episode of the cartoons eries.

    Great Horn of the Sistermoon - Fanon again. I just named the horn Paploo is using in the cartoon series, which is completely different from the horn we see Teebo receive at the end of Shadows of Endor and which is a common accessory for all of the action figures and toys of him.

    Ewok-Dulok wars were looong ago at this point. So, yup, Latara assumes that her dad is stuck in what would be the XVIII century from our current POV.

    The thing Warok and Gunlaag are discussing is, once again, the plot of this amazing little horror story.
     
  19. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Well, that escalated quickly. :p Glad to see Wicket stand up for Latara, Latara stand up for herself, and Paploo stand by his friends even though he used to be the one doing the picking-on. Not so glad to see the party being split. I think that may turn out to have been an unfortunate event with all that's roaming those woods. :oops:Still suspicious of Gunlaag. I agree with Teebo's mom, though I can see how the young ones see that as being like their own "testing" of late and want nothing to do with it.
     
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  20. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Intriguing update. Gunlaag is just getting curiouser and curiouser, and I'm intrigued by how Batcheela too has a "bad feeling" about her—akin to but not exactly like the one experienced by her son. (Is she the one from whom he gets his Force-sensitivity / shaman sense?) I don't blame her for her doubts about her strange guest. And I hope Teebo will be able to find some answers—hopefully the visit to the observatory will at least be therapeutic for him.

    Good on Paploo, Latara, and Wicket for their assertiveness in the face of lurdoism. I like how we're seeing Paploo being more than just the big, bombastic braggart he sometimes is in the TV show. Though given the seriousness of the situation, what would otherwise be just another adolescent bust-up takes on a whole new level of urgency. (The "beetroots," however, are just absolutely hee hee. 8-} Latara + "Berry" = a dangerous combination, though! :eek: She has indeed come a long way.
     
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  21. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Thank you. :)

    And yes, the situation is pretty dangerous at this point, as the young ones are at the point where they're not sure whom to doubt - themselves or others.

    Thank you. :)

    Therapeutic? Nope. Fruitful? Yes.

    As long as "Berry" does not come close to any beetroots, I think everybody will be safe. :p


    While nobody ever elaborated on Batcheela, with her couple of replies in a single story and an unused character design for the cartoon, I do not imagine her to be a Force-sensitive, just somebody very, very reasonable; while Bozzie, for example, often makes mistakes while obsessed with her own importance.

    The next chapter will have more action. Coming right up.
     
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  22. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 12

    Tags: Findswoman glitteryboots




    Master Logray and Chief Chirpa were ready to leave the Tulgah camp on the shores of the moon’s largest sea. As their hosts were taming a couple of beasts of burden for them to ride northwards to the snow-covered grove; the leader of the tribe was walking in the sand, observing his friend who wanted to collect some shells to study and compare to those in the other seas. A shell after shell was finding its way to his hands and then his pouch.

    “I have been looking for one of these for a long time!”

    “I miss my daughters, Logray. These several days felt like a year to me.” he leaned over to pick a pebble and throw it in the water, “I cannot even begin to imagine the pressure Kazak put on Kneesaa and I wonder if I should have done something to prevent him from harassing her while I am away. I knew I should have asked my sister to keep an eye on the Council of Elders.”

    Logray shook his head as he sat on a rock. “I would not do that. Your sister can be incredibly naïve sometimes. She would have become one of Kazak’s pawns, and would have taken pride in it.” The shaman was speaking soto voce as he drew circles in the sand. “You cannot see that in her because she is your sister, but it is very, very easy to manipulate her.”

    This came as a surprise to Chirpa. He had never heard Logray criticise Bozzie before.

    “You are never this blunt. Is something wrong?”

    There was no response. His teeth stiff and eyes closed, Logray was speaking the language of magic. He crumbled a large ball of wet sand between his palms, and stuck a pebble into the pile of sand that formed in front of him. His barely audible chants were getting louder and louder, eventually turning into screaming at the sun, as he was kicking the waves with his bare feet.

    Finally, he stopped and sat down again, removing dust from his robe.

    “Arandee…this may seem intangible, unreachable to you. I taught you to speak the language of the Firefolk. I told you where I keep my most important relics and scrolls in case something happened to me…but I am afraid you won’t be able to comprehend this, as I could have not taught you magic, for one simple reason – you were not blessed with the nature powers.”

    “Give it a try. Please. I insist.”

    “You walk with both of your feet on the ground, my friend. You don’t hear colours, you don’t see the future and you have fought your way to where you are now. Unlike you, I was led through life by magic. The magic can speak to selected few. Those selected few can communicate through its waves. Sometimes, this is helpful. Sometimes, this is dangerous. An inexperienced being able to feel the waves of magic could unconsciously leave his or her mind open to a dark wizard.”

    “Is this how Morag knew you would come to Mount Thunderstone, on the day of her demise?”

    “No. I was able to learn how to close my mind to Morag when I was a prisoner in her lair; but before our latest confrontation, she infiltrated the mind of my young apprentice. She could probably sense he had natural powers long ago, but until that point, when I took him in, he was insignificant to her master plan.”
    Chirpa was completely lost. “What are you trying to tell me?”

    “Morag is dead, Zarrak is dead; but there are more dark shamans and witches roaming around the woods, plains and mountains of our world. I am almost sure that two of them, a master and an apprentice, are on their way to corrupt Endor, perhaps even destroy it. They’re of the same breed as the witch who goes by the name of Charal. As you know, their ways are powerful. They are not living for the trees and they are capable of ruining everything they come across.”

    Logray kneeled and looked at the horizon, where the celestial body was meeting the sea. Chirpa, still not sure what his friend meant by what he said, looked in the same direction. The sun seemed to be drowning in violent waves, each topped by rabid sea foam.

    “I can see the waves going in the wrong direction! Is…is the end near?”

    Logray opened his eyes and smiled. “I just demonstrated how these powerful users of magic may be functioning – through deception. I spoke softly, I created an illusion, I managed to convince you of something impossible. Look at your feet. They are wet. Of course the waves will always be heading to the shore, not towards the sun. Nothing can drown the sun until it decides to drown itself.”

    “I thought the sun will explode when a gigantic Gorax manages to captured it. And then everything will be dead. Now you’re saying that those furless, long-limbed creatures will be the death of us. Are they here, now?”

    “They are not. Their arrival depends on things going on right now, over…there! Somewhere where it’s colder than at home, somewhere where there is no ground beneath your feet and – ultimately – somewhere where no rules exist!”

    Logray pointed to the sky, in a direction that did not make any sense to Chirpa.

    “I don’t understand anything. If it’s not them, then whom are you afraid of? Is our village in danger?”

    The shaman was not listening, as his eyes were closed again and he was holding his hands up to the sky. Chirpa shrugged and went to observe the Tulgah beastmaster putting a saddle on the best.

    Miles and miles away, back at the village, Teebo was sitting at the observatory, examining the dusky sky through the telescope. He had a hard time trying to draw what he had seen. None of the scrolls in the archive were even close to what he was observing.

    And then, just as he was about to determine if an object he had not seen before was moving, he heard his master’s voice, as if it was echoing inside of his own head. That seemed impossible. He dropped the parchment and got in the observatory hut with a lantern in his hand. Nobody was there. The voice was indeed coming from inside. He sat down on the platform and covered his face with his hat, then stuck his fists into his ears. Only then was he able to make out his master’s words.

    “Young Teebo, listen to me. Something is going on right now. I cannot see what you can from where I am. Tell me what the stars are saying.”

    “Gorax King’s Heart seems unusually bright tonight. Maybe he wants to go out and revenge us, set the whole Endor on fire. Wondering if this is what is causing me to feel strange. Not sure if I am hungry, but there is this feeling inside that…”

    “Let it go! Try to think of something that has nothing to do with what you just observed. You are more vulnerable than you may be aware of.”

    “Vulnerable? What to?”

    “Please, just sit there and wait for me. I expect to be home by morning.”

    “I can see a fire in the distance, but it’s not a forest fire. It looks like…torches. What if the Duloks are on a rampage?”

    “Whatever it may be, do not worry about it. Just sit where you are and wait. And, most importantly, think of something else. I know you have a thing going on with Lumat’s daughter, think about that. Think about the games you used to play with Wicket five, ten snows ago. Just do not think about the stars and the distant fire right now.”

    The voice disappeared. Teebo got up and looked at the pulsating star once again. Unsure of what to do, he rushed down the stairs to his master’s hut. He removed one of Logray’s ceremonial masks to reveal a hole in the thatched wall, and quickly slid something into his satchel. Minutes later, he ran to his family’s home and sneaked into his and Malani’s chamber through the window. He was hoping not to be seen, but his little sister was sitting on the wooden floor, playing with her straw doll.

    “Goopa, big brother! Are you doing any magic tonight?”

    “Chak”, Teebo mumbled, as he was pulling a large scarf out of his storage chest.

    “Is it fun?”

    “Malani, I have no time right now. I have to go…somewhere!”

    She shrugged and then reached underneath the bib of her hood, pulling out a piece of parchment. "I have to give you back your p..." But Teebo wasn’t listening. He didn’t even look her way. At some point, she thought she saw a familiar yellow and periwinkle stone flash from his satchel, the same artefact she once stole and got away with it.

    "Not now, Malani. I have to run!"

    "What do I tell mom and dad? Are you going to be back for supper?"

    There was no response. Malani shrugged and continued playing. Her brother was now off to the communal bordok stable, looking for a young and strong mare to ride. As he was clumsily trying to put a saddle on what seemed to be the strongest of the bunch, somebody laughed behind him. Chukha-Trok was snacking on a meat shank at the stable entrance.

    “Where do you think you’re going, wondering boy poet?”

    “Great d-danger lies ahead of us and …and….”

    “And you think you are big enough to handle it?” the woodsman stepped out of the shadow.

    “Big enough? Sure, I may…I may not be as burly as you, but I think I can handle it!”

    “You are so funny. Chak, you are up to my eyes now. You have sprouted like there’s no tomorrow. That does not mean you’re old enough for a task like this. You need to be big on the inside as well.”

    Teebo snapped, “I don’t like it when you talk that way, Chukha! Don’t you think you humiliated me enough yesterday?”

    The woodcutter did not respond. To Teebo’s surprise, he removed his axe, together with the strap and placed it over his shoulders.

    “You’re going to need this. Do you know how to use it?”

    Teebo shook his head, still confused so as to what had just happened.

    “When in danger, swing the axe. If the enemy is near you, you can strike with the axe in your hand,”Chukha demonstrated the manoeuvre by boxing against his own shadow on the stable wall. “If not, you can toss the axe, but you have to be precise. This can be a matter of life and death. Good luck.”

    “I don’t want to kill.”

    “You already got rid of Zarrak and helped your master get rid of Morag. And you might have to do it again, in a non-magical manner. Even I know the code your kind goes by – one must rely on himself first and magic second. Isn’t that what Logray taught you?”

    Teebo nodded. As he mounted the bordok and disappeared into the night, Chukha-Trok stood there by himself for a little while. He was not sure if he had been away too long, or if the young ones were more complicated than ever. Fifteen snows ago, everybody was so simple.

    With these thoughts, the burly Ewok was slowly making his way back to the main square. At some point, he stopped, having heard something. He turned around.There was a shadow behind him, or so he thought.

    “Halt!”

    There was nobody else on the platform, but there were some footsteps in the snow on the boards. Chukha-Trok rushed to the space between two nearby huts. Nothing to the left. Nothing to the right. Just as he was about to give up, he felt another Ewok’s breath. He pulled the stranger by the hood and put them on his shoulder. They were struggling and squeaking, but he closed their mouth. Once in pale moonlight of the open square again, he managed to catch a breath again.

    “Whoever you are, I am taking you to the princess of the Bright Tree Village!”

    “No, you are not!” the intruder was angry and their voice seemed familiar, “You cannot take me to myself. This isn’t funny, Chukha. Let me go!”

    He was terrified. The short white Ewok on his back was Kneesaa.

    “What…what do you think you were doing?”

    “I am sorry, my princess; I thought it was somebody else! I saw a pair of yellow eyes in the dark and…”

    “And mine are blue. Great catch. You ruined it!”

    The woodcutter was puzzled. “I ruined…what?”

    “I was waiting for somebody to come out. And then I was going to follow them. Nobody was supposed to know about it; as I have my doubts.”

    Chukha-Trok was giving her a blank stare, “This is too much for me. First your melodramatic awkward friend, now you…when are you woklings going to be simple, for once?”

    Kneesaa was trying to think of an appropriate response and ignore the word ‘woklings’ while at it, when somebody patted her on the shoulder.

    “You again?”

    Gwig was pulling her hand “’scuse me for the lack of formalities. Come with me! Both of you! It’s urgent!”

    Kneesaa and Chukha-Trok followed the young scout down the slippery stairway to the forest floor. A red-furred Ewok was waiting there, looking battered, exhausted, with some thorns in her fur.

    “Asha! You are alive and well!”

    She just nodded and then collapsed.

    Chukha-Trok carried Asha to the royal hut and helped Kneesaa tuck her, then he went out, still embarrassed over what happened earlier. Confused, Gwig tried to added a couple of branches to the fire pit, but he ended up tripping over the whole pile of wood instead. The princess turned to him. He first grinned and then his face quickly grew solemn. It took him a while to form a coherent sentence. This was too much for a single day of lookout duty.

    “Is she all right?” he grinned again, but this time the grin almost turned into a spasm.

    “There’s a tear on her cape, but other than that, I think she’s just exhausted.” Kneesaa hugged Asha, who seemed to be coming round, then continued rubbing her feet. “Why don’t you go to Logray’s hut and tell Teebo to come here!”

    The young Ewok dashed once again, but came back within a minute.

    “He’s gone, my princess.”

    “Maybe he is at the observatory, then. Let’s not disturb him. Bring me Batcheela, Shodu and Bozzie! I know they are taking care of poor Gunlaag, but this is urgent!”




    Footnotes:
    For those who don't know: Logray is an actual Force-sensitive (though Return of the Jedi may make you think otherwise), and he initially learned what he knew from a dark side mage, Morag. For more information and their last duel which ended in Morag's death, watch .

    Seemingly, what Chukha-Trok tells Teebo is right, as the seemingly harmless apprentice played a large part in Morag's demise and roughly a year later he used his telekinetic powers to distract Zarrak, Logray's previous apprentice, with flying leaves and make him fall into a bottomless pit.

    Gorax King's Heart is also known as the Din nebula, the centre of which is the Din Pulsar.

    Bordoks are equine beasts of burden/mounts used by Ewoks as horses/donkeys. Look up Baga, he's adorable!

    Logray and Teebo never communicated through Force - or, as they say, "magic" and "nature powers" before - but there had to be the first time.

     
  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Ooh! Distant fire, the overly bright star, Asha's return and collapse, general atmosphere of gathering danger... things are getting nice and dark and ominous. :eek:

    "What Teebo Saw" could be the name of this chapter... and somehow the horror of what he saw is compounded by Logray's advice to him not to think about what he saw—and by the fact that he seems to not be taking that advice and taking matters into his own hands. And quite literally, too... because I now know what he sneaked from behind that mask in his master's hut and slid into his satchel. And that means things are getting serious.

    I like the conversation between Chirpa and Logray at the beginning. It's nice to see the adult Ewoks get a chance at being more than background authority figures, since the shows (naturally) emphasize the exploits of the younger set. What Logray says about the nature of "nature powers" is fascinating, and that sort of unpacking of the mystical disciplines of the GFFA is something I love to read about. He seems to be saying too that he doesn't believe Chirpa, as someone with "two feet on the ground," is someone who can fully comprehend the current danger... whether that will be true is something we'll find out, I guess. The mentions of "furless, long-limbed creatures," "somewhere where it's colder than at home," and the "master and apprentice" definitely call certain people and places to mind, however... [face_thinking]

    I do rather feel for poor Gwig. It was all just supposed to be a routine day of lookout duty... but first this mysterious oldster shows up, and then the chieftain's daughter returns and collapses... I hope he gets to relax with one of those foamy fruity shakes later.

    To sum up: SUS! PENSE! More soon, please! =D=
     
    Kahara, Ewok Poet and glitteryboots like this.
  24. glitteryboots

    glitteryboots Jedi Knight

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2015
    This is definitely one of my favourite chapters so far. I love the conversation between Logray and Chirpa and the descriptions that go with it - you've really captured the essence of the characters and it's great to see more of Endor. The scene where Logray is talking to Teebo is great too. It's definitely all very intriguing! Can't wait to find out what happens next - what the danger is, what Teebo is up to and if he'll get caught up in it, etc. I'm also still intrigued to find out who Gunlaag really is.
     
    Kahara, Findswoman and Ewok Poet like this.
  25. Ewok Poet

    Ewok Poet Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 31, 2014
    Chapter 13

    Tags: glitteryboots Findswoman

    I avoided replying to comments on chapter 12 for a good reason - I want to see your observations evolve from 12 to 14 and then...well, you'll see. I am not being rude, just not wanting to accidentally hint anything. It will make sense. :)

    Trigger warning:
    Some emotionally intense scenes, some blood and foam from salivating.




    “This does not look like our grove!”

    Latara picked a fern leaf peeking from the snow and sniffed it, as if it was supposed to smell different when closer to home. The three outcasts had been trying to find their way back to the Bright Tree Village for a while and the only thing they had determined was so far was that they had no idea where they were. Underneath so much snow, every single grove and every single meadow looked pretty much the same.

    Wicket frowned and tossed a snowball at the nearby tree. “My warrior instinct has failed me. Either that, or there is no such a thing and I should have listened to Kneesaa each time she would call me out on that.”

    “And I should have learnt to follow shadows, instead of claiming that I know everything, which I don’t.”

    “How can you follow shadows with the clouds hiding the sun?”

    Paploo shrugged and was about to say something more, but Latara interrupted the conversation.

    “Boys, there will be plenty of time for redemption. We need to get home and tell our parents about Wunka’s arrogance. If I was to list everything I need to be forgiven for, right here and right now, we would starve by the time I was done.”

    Minutes later, Wicket was climbing the tree; taking a moment to blow into his little hands after every couple of branches. Once on top, he was to determine if they were anywhere near home. He remembered complaining about his arms being too short to climb trees, and those memories were contradicting his more recent brags about climbing being a boring skill that everybody was good at, either way. None of that made sense anymore, as he was struggling to reach each and every branch. It looked so simple in his mind, yet so hard when put to practice.

    After what seemed like an eternity, he was on the top of the tree. Everything in sight seemed more or less the same: snow-covered treetops below, the sky far above. The red disk was close to disappearing from the view, a pale white one was visible far up, as well as a large pinkish one; the rest being stars, something that never interested him. He never knew how to read them or how to use them to find the way. He never cared about them.

    This time, something caught his eye. One particular star looked strange, as if it was larger than the others. It seemed familiar from somewhere and he could vaguely remember the campfire story about the Guiding star of the Trees Long Gone. Wicket looked to where the star seemed to be pointing to and noticed smoke raising high above the forest.

    “Yubnub, I think I know the where we are and how to get home!” He grabbed a vine and slid down the tree.

    As his two friends approached him with hopeful looks in their eyes, he continued, “A miracle happened! An unusually bright star just lit my way and I saw fire over there. It’s got to be the Guiding star! We’re saved! We will be home in the time for supper and then, in the morning, we will complain to the Elders about Wunka and his lurdos!”

    Latara was somewhat suspicious.

    “I never thought I would hear the word ‘miracle’ coming out of your mouth. You never believed in anything, the only guide you ever had was, well, your own reflection; and then, out of nowhere, the Guiding star?”

    “That’s right, I am not a personal friend of every single living creature like, say, your boyfriend, but this time I’m right and I know it!”

    “He is not my boyfriend!” Latara was quick to protest.

    Wicket snickered and made the babbling mouth sign with his fingers “And I am not a warrior apprentice with a shiny belt of honour, ha! What was I trying to say... we are all tired, hungry and we cannot wait to tuck our feet in own blankets near the pit at home. So, let’s go!”

    Half an hour later, there were no bright lights from treetops in sight, as Paploo, Wicket and Latara wandered into a grove with the treetops so dense that they seemed to be closing up the sky and hiding all the stars. Despite this, it was not dark. On the contrary, a large and bright fire was burning in the middle of a field cleared of snow, surrounded by three circles of strangely placed, colourful pebbles.

    The colour of the fire was like nothing the three Ewoks had seen before. Instead of bright reds, oranges and yellows, there were violets and dark blues and an occasional iridescent spark. On top of it, the fire was fragrant. The wind was bringing the sweet, almost fruity fumes their way. And, no matter how hard they looked, they could not spot any wood in the pit.

    “Doesn’t look like home.” Paploo turned to Wicket, who seemed disappointed, “And I don’t like this fire. How do we know if there are no Duloks or Yuzzums nearby? It could be a trap!”

    “It’s cold for either to be out in the forest. They have got to be hiding in their swamps and burrows!” Wicket was quick to dismiss his friend’s suspicions, “Maybe this fire is coming from deep below the surface and going over some crystals that give it this colour.”

    Wicket’s assumptions were not making much sense, but tired and hungry, his friends did not feel like questioning him anymore.

    “If nothing else, we will be able to warm up a bit...and hopefully, camp on one of these trees. There are holes in the trunk of that one over there!” Latara pointed to a wide, crooked tree on the other side of the fire, “We should not be taking the shortest way to it, though…I do not want to get any closer to this…”

    She stopped mid-sentence. Her two friends were walking straight to the fire. Paploo seemed enchanted and reaching towards the blue sparks arms up in the air, inhaling the fumes with his mouth wide open, as if he had not expressed his dislike for the fire upon arrival. Wicket, however, seemed to be interested in something else. He kneeled down and reached towards the outermost circle of pebbles.

    “I am going to take one of these for my belt of honour. If I am to take a stand against a lurdo who did not stand up against everybody bullying me, I need a proof that I am a hero after all!”

    As he picked the pebble up, the ground started shaking. Paploo, who was by now trying to embrace the fire, tumbled backwards, giggling.

    “The trees are melting. The soil will melt, too! I love this!”

    “Wicket, Paploo, get out of there!” Latara was waving her hands, as the underground movement kicked her against the nearest tree. She reached for her father’s knife and stabbed through the bark. Hanging by one hand on the trunk, she watched her backpack sink in a hole that opened just below the roots of the tree. She was trying not to breathe the fumes, having realised that they were causing Paploo’s strange behaviour; but the thick smoke coming from the middle of the field was making her eyes itch, to the point where it felt like something was eating her from the inside.

    Close to the woodless pit, Wicket was trying not to get burnt, as the fire was sweeping to the left and right. As a flame came dangerously close to his hood, he dropped down and grabbed the hand of his intoxicated friend, who was now moving his arms and legs as if he was swimming in place.

    “The trees are melting and the sky is exploding in so many pretty colours. You don’t know how to do this, you cannot handle this…lie down, float with me and enjoy the sight! Let’s bathe in sweet dreams!”

    “What has gotten into you, Paploo?” Wicket screamed, “We have to get out of here, this place is cursed! Cursed!”

    It was too late. The ground started crumbling under the weight of their bodies and backpacks. Still hanging by the tree, as her two friends disappeared below the surface, Latara bit her free hand. Her heart was beating so fast that she could feel it in her throat. At the same time, she was trying to remain as calm as she could, in order to remain unseen.

    Once the fire was stable and upright again, she pulled the knife out of the trunk and jumped down.

    “Thank you, Berry!” she whispered and caressed the handle of her weapon. Whatever seemed to have lured Wicket and Paploo into its underground lair seemed not to be aware of her presence. Nevertheless, her instinct was telling her to run. And run she did, leaving traces of her tiny feet in the snow, as the interspersed treetops seemed to be closing behind her.

    Once she could see the stars and the Sistermoon above, she stopped to catch her breath. At this point, her thoughts were coming and going like tidal waves in the middle of a large storm. What had just happened? Were her friends still alive? If Wicket saw this fire, could it have been visible from the observatory, too? Did it have anything to do with that star? What kind of a creature could have possibly caused a groundquake and could the animals have been forced underground as well? And, most importantly, was she far away from home?

    Latara’s thinking was cut short, as she felt warm air, and breathing sounds behind her. The next thing she knew, she was face to face with a gurreck. The animal seemed possessed, with foam coming out of its maw and a piece of spotted fur cape stuck to one of its horns. She pulled the knife out again, but the animal grunted and kicked her to the ground with its front hooves, causing her to drop it. She managed to reach for it and grab it in the last moment, narrowly escaping a stab through the middle of her palm.

    With her next move, the knife remained stuck in the flesh, right above one of the beast’s hooves. The gurreck roared and pranced, then attacked again. Latara rolled around in the snow. And again. And again. Running out of breath, she tried to get up and run, but she only managed to trip over a root and fall, this time with her face in the snow. In a flash, she remembered the mandatory survival training and tried to be as still as she possibly could. The predator was first breathing down her neck and back, and then it seemed to have turned around. Not feeling its breath anymore, she turned around. It seemed to be going away.

    Latara got up and reached for her necklace in the snow, when the gurreck heard her move and ran towards her again, her knife still stuck in its leg. She screamed on the top of her lungs and jumped on its back, trying to strangle it, solely to be dropped down.

    Just when she thought she was going to be kicked and stabbed to death, an axe swung through the air and hit the gurreck straight in the neck, not getting a single hair off her fur. The warm red liquid started sprinkling from its vessels. The animal fell over Latara, who had no strength to roll over again. The last thing she could see was somebody getting out of the shadow and running towards the corpse.

    “I…I killed it. I cannot believe it. I killed an animal! It was controlled by the Night spirit, but…I killed it.”

    As Latara came round, she could feel a gentle hand rub clean snow against her forehead, removing the gurreck’s blood from her face, as the other hand was holding her head up and putting her necklace back on. She opened her eyes and smiled broadly.

    “What…are…you…doing…here?”

    “It’s a long story.”

    “Tell me more…actually…just hold me until I’ve calmed down first!” she whispered, burying her head in Teebo’s chest, as he hugged her tightly.




    Footnotes

    Guiding Star, short for Guiding Star of the Trees Long Gone is my fanon element to Ewok religion and it corresponds to the star Zorbia. It's a counterpart to what we know as the Northern Star. But was it that what Wicket saw? Take a rough guess.

    In similar fashion, Wicket's rambling about fire going over crystals is, of course, complete nonsense. This may or may not be the point where he realises that his arrogance caused major trouble in the past; but that this time he's gone further than ever.

    Yes, poor Paploo is drugged.

    How did Teebo find a shortcut and how did he know his love interest was in immediate danger? Stay tuned.

    At this point, the origin of one of the craziest outfits in Return of the Jedi should be making more sense. BECAUSE FASHIONABLE.