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Before the Saga The Quest

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by CaraJinn, Jul 22, 2018.

  1. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Author: CaraJinn
    Era: Jedi Apprentice era
    World: AU
    Genre: Adventure/Family
    Characters: Tahl Uvain, OC
    Summary: Upon request from Jedi Masters Yoda and Mace Windu Tahl Uvain is sent off planet to investigate the possible family line of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Her quest will lead to surprising discoveries.
    Author's notes: This story is my first attempt on going AU. I wanted to keep it mostly canon, but during the writing I could see that it trailed off more and more into AU. I'm not going to change the galaxy, though... I also wanted Tahl to have her own story for once, so she will be the main character throughout the entire story.
    The story can (I hope) be read as a stand alone, but it can also be read as a sequel to "Origin". Reading "Origin" first will make the two first chapters make more sense. On the other hand - I try to explain the background so reading both could lead to some deja vu experience too.

    The story is also being posted on ff.net.


    ...........

    Chapter 1: The Quest

    Two beings were sitting in the High Council Chamber in the Jedi Temple of Coruscant. Their mood was a mixture of curiosity, somberness and if one looked closely…disturbance, and if anyone randomly had passed by he or she would have felt the tension in the room as thick as Master Yoda's infamous stew.

    But the two men were alone.

    "We may have neglected this too long," uttered Mace Windu, Master of the Order. "First he was delivered on our doorstep, literally spoken. Then he was abducted as a four year old, and now he was attacked at Stewjon. Force alone knows what will happen next unless we find what is going on around young Kenobi."

    The other being, the old Grand Master of the Order, nodded thoughtfully: "Clouded his destiny is. Clouded his background is. Clarity in this matter we must search, and afraid I am that the Force alone will not show us all the shatterpoints in this web."

    "I assume not," Master Windu answered, "we will have to make some investigations on Stewjon, I think. We need to know if there is something in Obi-Wan Kenobi's unknown past that may have lead to these…incidents. We cannot allow these attacks to continue, in case he's actually the child from the prophecy."

    "Allow them we can not. Prevent them we can not until more we know. An investigator we should send. A sole knight this time, " Master Yoda agreed.

    "But whom? We cannot send anyone without at least informing them to some extent about the background and I fear that any knowledge about the potential Chosen One from the prophecy will get the gossip running like a herd of wild bantha's."

    "More than a minor problem it would be, yes. Anyone comes to your mind, Master Windu?" The old green troll's voice was filled with a hint of amusement as if he knew what his friend was about to suggest.

    "Actually, yes," Mace Windu answered. "Master Uvain has not been out for any missions for a period of time and she happens to be one of our best undercover agents if needed. She's also an old friend of Qui-Gon's and myself and she knows Obi-Wan very well too. I think she would be perfect for this mission."

    "Settled it is then, " Yoda agreed. "In the early morning hours speak with Master Uvain we will."

    ….

    Jedi Master Tahl Uvain was mercilessly pulled out of her sleep at the fourth hour of the day by the commlink's intense beeping.

    "By all the nine Sith hells," she cursed,"if this is someone calling the wrong code he'll pay for it."

    Revenge was really not the jedi way but every now and then a good scolding might come in handy. Comming anyone at a sithly hour like this truly qualified.

    "Uvain here," she answered in a much more civilized tune.

    "Good morning, Tahl, " Mace Windu's uncharacteristically merry greeting startled her, "would you please get to the Council Chamber in ten minutes? We seem to have a new mission for you. An undercover mission that is, so we would appreciate it if you don't tell anyone."

    She made it in eight.

    "Good morning, Masters," she greeted and made the ceremonial bow to the two masters present.

    Why in all the stars' and galaxies name have I been summoned here with only two of the Council members present? This is highly unorthodox. Is it so that not even the Council should know about my mission?"

    "Good morning, Tahl," Mace repeated, "we will keep this on an informal level since so few of us are present."

    "Thanks, Mace," she retorted, "what's going on? From what you said I had expected the entire Council to be here, not only two."

    Master Yoda nodded: "Understandable it is. But understand will also you why a secret this must be when informed you about your mission we have. For more than thirteen years only two of us have been informed, now the third you will be. Want you to exploit Padawan Kenobi's origin we do."

    "What? Why? I know I helped him finding that he was originally from Stewjon, but is it more to it than that?"

    Yoda closed his eyes for a moment: "For many years mysteries have surrounded young Obi-Wan. Brought here in secrecy he was. Attempted abducted as a child he was. Attacked he also was when he visited his home planet. Something behind these incidents we believe it may be. Discover the reasons we should."

    "But why should anyone want to attack Obi-Wan? He surely is a nice boy but he's been in the Temple since he was an infant. That much we found out when we investigated his origin. There's no way he can be involved in anything."

    "By doing, no. By birth maybe," was Yoda's cryptic answer.

    Mace Windu steepled his fingers and stared directly at her.

    "As you know Stewjon has been a republic for the last 300 years. Before they changed their way of ruling it was a kingdom. The last ruling King of Stewjon was King Ker-Wan Kh'enbi. We believe he may have been one of Obi-Wan's ancestors."

    "But what has this to do with our Obi-Wan?" Tahl asked. "Even if he is descending from the old Kh'enbi bloodline, who would try to get rid of him now? First of all, it's 300 years since they ruled, secondly there must be hundreds of others by now."

    "The history says that the Kh'enbis never got many children," Mace explained. "so he could very well be the sole heir to Stewjon's throne, but apart from that we don't know why he might be of such importance to 'someone'. That is exactly what we want you to try to find out. Because there may be another reason why he's important to both the people of Stewjon and the Jedi Order."

    "Know you do about the old prophecy of the Chosen One?" Yoda asked gently.

    Tahl nodded.

    "Yes, Master. We read about it in the lessons of Jedi history," she confirmed, "I don't remember much of it now, I'm afraid. It is something about someone bringing balance in the Force, isn't it?"

    "That's right," Mace Windu confirmed, "but the people of Stewjon have a similar prophecy of a person in the Kh'enbi bloodline who shall bring balance between light and dark forces."

    Tahl's eyes widened as the implication of what Mace just had said reached her brain.

    "Oh. Oh! You mean that if Obi should happen to be the last of his bloodline he may be…? No! He cannot be. He's just a friendly, gentle boy. There is no way that…. Is it?"

    "Know this, we don't," Yoda interjected."Know this maybe we should not. But if there is a connection between the Kh'enbi clan and our Obi-Wan and if this connection really is a threat to young Kenobi, then we should know. Free from this threat young Obi-Wan should be. Many dangers a Jedi's life beholds, but this one he should not have to live with, at least not without knowing."

    "Are you willing to accept this mission?" Mace Windu asked. "We ask you simply to dig up as much as you can about the Kh'enbi's and try to find out if Obi-Wan is their descendant, and if possible this has something to do with the attacks he's been a victim of. For reasons you probably understand, this must be strictly between us and you cannot tell neither Obi-Wan nor Qui-Gon about our suspicion. That would put too much burden onto both Master and Padawan."

    Tahl nodded slowly. "Yes, Masters. I can see that. Obi-Wan feels enough pressure as it is. Knowing that he may be heir to a throne, albeit an abandoned one, or even worse - the Chosen One of no less than two prophecies would be a crushing weight to him. I accept the mission and I will do my best to investigate the potential link between Obi-Wan and the Kh'enbis and if possible try to find out who his persecutors may be - that is, if he actually has any."

    "It's settled then," Mace answered, "we have already informed the dock that a ship should be awaiting you between tenth and eleventh hour. That will give you time to pack some gear and have first meal before you leave. The strategy for your investigation will be up to you, but we recommend that you visit the Museum of Stewjon upon arrival. There is a statue and a painting of King Ker-Wan there and we think that Obi-Wan may have visited the museum immediately before he was assaulted. Maybe you can find some who have seen and heard something. Qui-Gon was more preoccupied by getting medical attention to his Padawan so he didn't do any investigation himself at the time."

    "I will leave as per your request, Masters."

    And with that she gave a deep bow to the two Masters and left the Council Chamber.

    The two Masters looked silently at each other.

    "Did we do the right thing?"

    "Know that we will later, if the Force so wills it. An even more grave danger to the boy this might have become, if sending Master Uvain on this quest we didn't."
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2018
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  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_dancing] [face_dancing] Tahl has her own adventure. If anyone can uncover the mystery and keep Kenobi safe as well, it's her. @};-
     
  3. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    She will do her best. The rest of you will have to be patient, because Chapter 1 and 2 follows a storyline you may have seen before. However, I promise it will spin off into a standalone adventure.
     
  4. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Cool. I try to follow Trahl´s adventure. =D=
     
  5. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 2: Museum of Stewjon

    Tahl immediately left for the refectory, hoping that neither Qui-Gon nor Obi-Wan would be there so early in the morning. The wish was granted but on her way back to her apartment her luck ran out. The Master-Padawan pair was just exiting the turbolift when she was about to enter the other.

    Blast it. I don't want to lie to them but Mace's orders were very explicit. I cannot tell them anything .

    "Tahl," Qui-Gon exclaimed, "what are you doing here so early in the morning?"

    "I could ask the two of you the same thing," she said blithely, "young Obi-Wan is not overly fond of early mornings, as far as I remember?"

    The Padawan blushed fervently.

    "He's not," Qui-Gon confirmed, "but for some reason this was the only time today we managed to find a dojo so we could spar and 'saber training beats even late mornings."

    "Master!" Obi-Wan protested, "I'm not that late. We usually get up at sixth hour."

    Tahl chuckled. For Obi-Wan sixth hour was more than early enough, while Qui-Gon was an early bird and preferred to get up at fifth hour.

    "Well, I guess you have to hurry before someone else is getting to that dojo," she said, "for myself, I will be off to a new mission in a couple of hours. I don't know for sure when I will be back but I assume I will be away for a couple of weeks."

    "A mission?" Obi-Wan questioned, "What kind of mission?"

    "I'm sorry, I cannot tell, not even to the two of you. Mace was pretty clear that it would have to be a secret mission. The only reason for telling you is to avoid that you start asking for me while I'm gone."

    "Will you be safe?" Qui-Gon asked, regretting the question in the same moment, as he saw her beautiful green-gold eyes flash towards him.

    "Blast it, Qui. Do you believe I'm a fresh initiate who's able to take care of myself? Do I have to remind you of all the times I've actually beaten you in our sparring matches? Besides, this is not supposed to be a mission filled with aggressive negotiations."

    This time it was Qui-Gon's time to blush a little while Obi-Wan watched him with some interest.

    "Master, has she really beaten you so many times? Is that why I have never been allowed to see the two of you spar?"

    "Impertinent brat," Qui-Gon complained, "let's get to the dojo before I…ah…encourage you to run the Temple perimetry a couple of times, just as a warm up exercise."

    "We may have a sparring match when I return," Tahl promised, "but for now I'd better pack and get going. I trust you to keep this stubborn bantha ass occupied so he doesn't worry about me, Obi-Wan."

    And with that she entered the turbolift.

    ….

    Stewjon City was a beautiful place. Broad boulevards intersected with more narrow streets. The brick buildings was shining with a friendly glow in the evening sun, and in-between the buildings and the streets small peaceful parks and green lounges were to be found. For a moment Tahl saw herself, Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan strolling the streets on a leisure trip. She shook off the feeling and reminded herself that she actually was here on a mission, not vacation. The Museum of Stewjon was fairly easy to find as it was located in a street crossing the main avenue of the city. She read the opening hours and found that she had a little more than a standard hour before it was closing. Enough to take a brief look.

    She paid the entrance fee and entered the first exhibition hall. Nothing of particular interest was to be found unless you were overly interested in vases from the planet's early history. Tahl wasn't, so she proceeded to the next hall.

    This room was more interesting as it was containing a rather huge collection of statues of people from the various eras of the planet's history. She had to stifle a laugh when she passed by a statue of a rather pompous looking person, pictured with a huge amount of medals and orders on the chest of his uniform.

    "It's really a luck that this guy wasn't taller," she silently chuckled to herself, "else he would have tipped over by the weight of all his decorations."

    She continued her stroll and stopped abruptly. In front of her stood a grown up version of Obi-Wan, albeit clad in robes than in no way resembled Jedi tunics and definitely more colorless than the Padawan. But the features were strikingly alike.

    This must be King Ker-Wan. He really looks a lot like Obi-Wan, or rather how I imagine Obi-Wan may look 10 -20 years from now. No wonder that Master Yoda suspect a relationship between the Kh'enbis and Obi-Wan.

    A brief look at the information tablet next to the statue confirmed her suspect. The statue really was of King Ker-Wan Kh'enbi.

    Then I should find the painting in the room next door…

    She looked up and saw an opening in the wall leading to a adjoining room, and with determined steps she went towards the opening. The main painting in the room was painted in vivid colors and the pictured person had an even more striking resemblance to Obi-Wan than the statue. Still the clothing was different but the red-gold hair color was almost identical and so was the fair skin. The artist had even managed to show a few freckles scattered above the king's reddish beard.

    "If this is not a distant relative of Obi-Wan's, I'm a full grown krayt dragon," she whispered to herself. No doubt she was in the right room, the one Master Yoda had described to her. Then the transcription of the Kh'enbi Prophecy should be found in the same room, unless someone had re-arranged the room during the last century or so…

    They hadn't.

    The book with the written prophecy was still there, exhibited in it's transparisteel casing. So was the transcript of the text:

    From the land of the suns he came

    Born of the light, bore light within.

    For peace he did fight,

    his weapon the word.

    Balance he kept, blazing the sword.

    When darkness has fallen, again he will rise.

    Bearer of light, the darkness will fight.

    Brothers two, one bright and one dark

    Against darkness his presence again lits the spark

    Restore the balance of day and of night.

    Tahl read it once, then again, trying to decipher the text and compare to the Jedi prophecy. Silently she cursed herself for not going to the archives and re-read the prophecy before leaving.

    Huge mistake, Uvain. Huge! It very much resembles the prophecy we read so long a go, but I cannot really remember the phrasing. However, I have no idea of how it fits with Obi-Wan, if he should happen to be the last of the old Kh'enbi bloodline. He is definitely rooted in the light, that much is certain, and as a Jedi he will fight for peace and justice in the future. He also have a way with words…

    A small smile lit up her face when thinking about the verbal sparring between Obi-Wan and his Master before she left.

    He's definitely adept with the sword, and our lightsabers could definitely be mentioned as 'blazing swords' by someone who didn't know the concept lightsaber. On the other hand - it might only be a metaphor? On the other hand, Obi-Wan doesn't come from a land of suns. Both Coruscant and Stewjon has only one sun and neither of these planets qualify for being extremely sunny. And who are these brothers? If Obi-Wan isn't the sole remaining Kh'enbi, there must be another, and then some of the logics fails. But what if there is another, a 'dark' brother? Could he be the one behind the assaults on Obi-Wan through the years? No, that doesn't make sense either. The first incidents happened so long time ago, that if this hypothesis is right there has to be a tremendous distance in age between those two brothers.

    Tahl startled out of her musings when a metallic voice proclaimed: "10 minutes until the museum is closing. We wish all our guests to proceed towards the main entrance and exit the building. You're very welcome to visit us again at a later occasion."

    Obediently she returned the way she had come, but not before the built in holorecorder on her commlink had archived a nice picture of the prophecy.

    Piling up before the exit (the museum had to be larger than she'd anticipated to contain that many people) she cast a glance to her co-visitors. Somehow a vague feeling of…well…uneasiness was sneaking in on her, and she had an impression that 'someone' was partly curious about her, and partly wanted her to be gone. However, she couldn't see anyone overly interested in her. The queue moved forward in good pace and soon she stood on the walkway outside the museum.

    In the corner of an eye she could see a figure coming out from behind the corner of the museum and began walking down the narrow street away from the main entrance. The person appeared to be a human woman, clad in some uniform. Maybe a janitor or a cleaning lady? And suddenly all of her instincts yelled at her: "Follow that woman!" With long, determined strides she set off down the street in the woman's wake.

    The crowd soon became thinner and it was difficult to hide from the woman. Not that Tahl cared overly about that. After all she had no intentions of harming the woman. She just wanted to talk to her. About what, was still a bit unclear to her but she trusted that the Force would help her find the right words when the occasion was there. Even without the Force's help she suspected that she would find some. Usually she didn't have problems with communicating.

    The distance between them soon diminished and the pursued woman suddenly cast a glance over her shoulder and increased her pace.

    Oh, so… You've discovered me? Well, I can ramp up speed too.

    Tahl increased her step frequency as well.

    The woman began to run, Tahl followed. It was an unfair race. The woman seemed to be almost twenty years older than Tahl, and besides Tahl was a well trained Jedi Knight. When flight didn't work, the woman turned to fight mode.

    "Who…are…you," she gasped, "and why….are you following….me?"

    "I'm sorry if I scared you," Tahl gave a slight bow sensing no immediate danger coming from the woman, "I noticed your curiosity when I was visiting the Museum and wondered what I had done to earn such interest. My name is Tahl Uvain, by the way."

    "Oh?" For a moment the woman appeared dumbfounded. "You noticed?"

    "So I did," Tahl answered gently.

    The silence hung deep between the older and the younger woman, for something that felt like an eternity.

    "I guess," the woman said, "I wondered why you were here. I saw you inside the museum and usually people don't pay that much of interest to King Ker-Wan. It's all history now."

    "Is it?" Tahl prodded gently.

    The woman's gaze flickered slightly. "No, maybe you're right. Maybe it isn't."

    Tahl nodded.

    "If there is something you can tell me about…ah…history, I would be an eager listener," she said. "Maybe we could find a more quiet place than this street and talk for a while. I really would like to learn a bit more about the Kh'enbi's kingdom."

    After a small period of silence the woman agreed: "If you're truly interested I will tell you about our history. There is a small park around the corner where we can sit down. It's peaceful there at this time of the day."

    Together the two women strolled down the street.
     
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  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Loved the banter and Tahl seems to have met with someone who can give definite historic context, without hopefully getting injured in the process :oops: =D=
     
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  7. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    This is a story that @earlybird-obi-wan would like very much for many, many reasons.

    "Master!" Obi-Wan protested, "I'm not that late. We usually get up at sixth hour."

    Tahl chuckled. For Obi-Wan sixth hour was more than early enough, while Qui-Gon was an early bird and preferred to get up at fifth hour.

    I will point it out to her.
     
  8. teamhansolo

    teamhansolo Jedi Knight star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 25, 2018
    This story is really interesting. :) I had some fun trying to interpret the Prophecy myself. :D I can't wait for more!
     
  9. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Reading this prophecy, it is clear. There is not one Chosen One, but two.

    From the land of the suns he came (Tattooine)

    Born of the light, bore light within. (Young Anakin was a bright light in the Force, and he had no father)

    For peace he did fight, his weapon the word. (As an adult, Obi-Wan was known as The Negotiator)

    Balance he kept, blazing the sword. (Yup, lightsaber)

    When darkness has fallen, again he will rise. (Obi-Wan survived Order 66)

    Bearer of light, the darkness will fight.

    Brothers two, one bright and one dark (Anakin and Obi-Wan were like brothers. Anakin fell to the Dark Side, becoming Darth Vader, leading to his fight with Obi-Wan on Mustafar)

    Against darkness his presence again lits the spark (When Obi-Wan resurfaces after years in hiding, they meet again on the Death Star. Vader kills Obi-Wan, but the spark that will burn the Empire down has already been lit, as Luke Skywalker has begun to discover the bigger things he has always known he was meant for)

    Restore the balance of day and of night. (Anakin eventually comes back to the light)
     
  10. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    You're all very good at reading prophecies - but you know part of the answer already . Poor Tahl doesn't. So she will continue her quest. Actually, writing the prophecy was rather fun too, as it was a bit challenging doing so in my second language and trying to get it expressed in a convincing language.[face_dunno]
     
  11. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 3: Beatha's Story

    The park was, as Beatha had promised, a peaceful spot and the two women sat down on a bench that was partly hidden behind some bushes.

    "I don't know how much you know about Stewjon and the Kh'enbis?" Beatha asked. "I take it you're an offworlder?"

    "I am," Tahl confirmed, "and I know the basics after my visit to the museum. I know Stewjon was a kingdom ruled by the Kh'enbis for centuries until it was peacefully transformed into a republic about 300 years ago."

    Beatha nodded.

    "That's right. The formation of the republic was done by means of a referendum, and the Kh'enbis respected the will of their people and left the capital to live on one of their properties in the mountains. That's more or less the official end of their story on this planet."

    "I take i there is an unofficial story then?" Tahl prodded.

    "Basically there is. Even though the transition was peaceful there were some sworn royalists left who rather wanted to preserve or rather reinstall the kingdom. Over the years they multiplied in numbers as the descendants of the original royalists were taking on their ancestors' case, and pledging to the royalist case too. They weren't very visible in the community as such but they were alwaysthere.As they grew in numbers they began to send couriers to the Kh'enbi Castle in the mountains pledging for the potential King or Queen to reclaim the throne. Typically this happened once or twice every generation. As you may expect they were turned down every time and came back emptyhanded. The Kh'enbis had settled nicely in their Castle and had no intention of disobeying the will of their people by claiming the throne back."

    "But if the Kh'enbis declined and the royalists respected their point of view, what was the problem then?"

    "For many years there wasn't a problem at all. The Kh'enbis refused, the royalists accepted and all was well and good. About twenty years ago that changed somewhat. The economy of Stewjon had a period of recession and many people lost their jobs. Unfortunately we had a fraction of extremely sworn republicans in the government at that time. They kept the royalist party under close surveillance. As could be expected, the royalists made their move in times like that and the more or less traditional courier was sent to the mountains to visit the head of the Kh'enbis, Ben-Kaw Kh'enbi, and ask him to reclaim the throne. What they didn't know was that he under no circumstances would be able to do so, even if he had wanted to. Some years before he had fallen off his beast when he was out riding and his spinal chord was damaged so he was not able to walk any more. That in itself wouldn't have been enough to exclude him from taking the position as King of Stewjon of course, but at this time of our history he was weakened by mountain fever and his survival was uncertain."

    "So that solved the matter?" Tahl asked.

    "No, not really," Beatha continued,"because there was a potential heiress. Ben-Kaw was a widower, but he had a daughter, Eni-Wan who potentially could become the Queen of Stewjon. But, naturally, she refused the offer too, following the tradition of the Kh'enbis."

    So far Tahl had followed the story easily enough but she felt that there was more to it. Somehow this had to end up in how Obi-Wan had come to the Temple if he actually was related to the Kh'enbis.. However, with the Kh'enbis steadfast refusal of claiming the throne, she still couldn't see where a conflict between the royalists and the republicans might appear.

    "Please continue your story," she pleaded. "This is interesting. However, I cannot see any real conflict between the royalists and the republicans as long as the Kh'enbis continued to refuse to claim the throne?"

    "You're right, for all practical purposes there wasn't any. But then the bad luck struck. You know how sometimes all bad things seem to coalesce in one single focal point in time? That was exactly what happened. As I mentioned the republic party had a couple of extremely hot-headed members and they decided to end the 'royalist problem' once and for all. For the first time in history they set out to the mountains too, determined to put an end to the Kh'enbi bloodline by killing the heir.

    It was a rash decision and certainly not one approved of by the republic party as such. One member of the aggressive fraction set out on his own with the aim to kill. Under normal circumstances he might not even have been able to enter the castle but the evening it happened the circumstances were highly unusual. Both Ben-Kaw and Eni-Wan had the gift of precognition but at that evening they both were ill. Ben-Kaw was still out cold with his fever and despite all precautions Eni-Wan had been infected too, so everyone present believed that their ramblings of 'danger' was only an effect of the fever.

    In short, no-one suspected anything, when the two assassins struck. They met Eni-Wan's husband in the antechamber in front of Eni-Wan's bedroom. He put up a hard fight but finally he went down with knife wounds all over. He died a few hour's later.

    Eni-Wan woke from the noise and despite the fever she must have realized that something was utterly and terribly wrong so she managed to instruct the servants who was present in her room to bring her little boy to safety. They obeyed and grabbed the child and escaped through a backdoor. In the moment his father was killed by the assassins and his mother died from the combined effect of the hard delivery two days earlier and the fever she had gained afterwards, the boy was safely out of the castle."

    "A boy?" Tahl interjected with renewed curiosity, "did Eni-Wan have children?"

    "A child," Beatha corrected, "as I said she had just given birth to a baby boy a couple of days before the assassin attempt and due to her weakened state after the hard birth she was infected by the same fever that had already struck her father."

    "Can you tell me the child's name?" Tahl asked, knowing fully well that she was entering dangerous waters.

    The older woman looked pensively at her.

    "I belive I can. You are a Jedi, are you not?"

    "I am," Tahl confirmed,"how did you know?"

    A smile struck the woman's face: "You told me you sensed me inside the museum. That's not something an ordinary person would do, and then I saw something that resembled a saber hilt under your robe when we sat down…"

    "Oh…" For once Tahl was dumbfounded. Her attempts on hiding the 'saber had obviously failed.

    "The name of the child?" she tried again.

    "Oh, yes. Eni-Wan had given the boy the name 'Obi-Wan'. She had originally intended to name him after his grandfather but her husband wanted him to have a part of her name."

    "Obi-Wan," Tahl whispered, "so he's really a Kh'enbi."

    "You know him?" Beatha asked eagerly. "He's alive?"

    "Yes, he is," Tahl confirmed softly, "he's alive and well."

    "Thank the gods," Beatha sighed, "I have wondered for so many years whether he made it or not. His grandfather should be told this."

    Tahl startled: "What? His grandfather is still alive?"

    "He certainly is. The assassins were stopped by the guards before they managed to get to the old man. He was ill for weeks but slowly he recovered after his fever. It took weeks before anyone dared to tell him what had happened to his daughter and son in law, and that his grandchild had been taken away. It was a hard stroke for the old man but he accepted it when he was told that the intention was to take the boy to the Jedi Temple, hoping that he would be safe there."

    "What happened to the servants who rescued the child?" Tahl asked, sensing that there was even more to this incredible story.

    Beatha carefully dabbed a couple of stray tears from her eyes. "Well, that's partly a mystery to me as well. I…we …my husband was the one who took the child to the Jedi Temple. He never came back. I never got to know what really happened to him and the boy. I was the 'maid' of Eni-Wan and I had followed her since her mother died when she was fifteen. My husband was employed as a janitor in the castle. Two days before the attack, and before the fever struck, Eni-Wan told me 'If something ever happens to me and my husband, please take Obi-Wan to the Jedi. I believe they can take care of him and keep him safe'. So that's what we did. We didn't know at that time that Eni-Wan wouldn't survive the fever but we thought that the child would be safe with the Jedi and if things changed his mother could always claim him back again when she was healthy again and if the danger from the republican fraction was eliminated. Unfortunately none of this happened and I was left behind hoping that my husband would return and that the child was safe."

    "I see," Tahl said thoughtfully, "Obi-Wan was found by the Temple entrance, but there was no traces of the one who left him there. I'm sorry I cannot tell what happened to your husband."

    Beatha sighed. "I gave up hoping for his return years ago. I stayed in the service of Mister Ben-Kaw for a couple of years hoping that my husband would appear on our doorstep again, but no such thing ever happened, so eventually I resigned. After all there wasn't really any reason for me to stay after Miss Eni-Wan passed away. I moved to the capital and got a job as a cleaning lady in the Museum."

    "What about the Kh'enbi prophecy?" Tahl asked, "Do you know anything about the backstory of that?"

    The woman shook her head. "Not really. I know the basics from the information at the museum. The prophecy has followed the Kh'enbi family through the years but no-one really knows what it means. However, since Obi-Wan is the last of the bloodline he may, I guess, be the child of the prophecy somehow…"

    Beatha's voice trailed off and Tahl felt a sudden shiver go through her own body by the thought of the implications this might mean.

    Again there was silence for some minutes, both women were sitting in deep thoughts. Beatha was the one to break the silence.

    "The boy!" she exclaimed, "That was Obi-Wan, wasn't it?"

    "What? What boy?"

    "The boy in the museum. A couple of months a go I met a young boy in front of the huge painting of King Ker-Wan in the museum. He was the spitting image of the King, or rather - he will be some years from now. He was of course curious about the painting and I told him the official story about the Kh'enbis. One of my co-workers who is a devoted royalist panicked and struck him unconscious so that I couldn't tell him any more. It was a tremendously stupid thing to do. He checked that the boy was still breathing and carried him outside so that he could be found by by-passers."

    "He's just a boy and you didn't think of calling an ambulance?" Tahl was incredulous.

    Beatha looked slightly ashamed. "No, well, yes. I would have done so if the situation had been slightly different, but you see - my co-worker is also my son in law and I didn't want him to get into trouble. He has regretted his actions ever since. I hope the boy is well again?"

    "He has recovered nicely," Tahl confirmed, reining in her anger, "but he has amnesia about what happened. The last thing he remembers is eating a bread roll out in a park. It must have happened before he entered the museum."

    "What will you do next?" Beatha asked.

    "I think I will head south, and see if old Ben-Kaw is willing to see me. You have given me answers to a lot of things that we have wondered about when it comes to young Obi-Wan's past, but I would like to ask if he knows more about this prophecy. If it actually concerns Obi-Wan it would be good to know as much as possible about it."

    Then a sudden thought struck her.

    "By the way, as a child Obi-Wan was attempted abducted. Do you know anything about that?"

    "No, I'm sorry. I have no idea," Beatha answered, "The perpetrators killing his father was imprisoned and they're still serving their sentence as far as I know. The republican party initiated a huge investigation in their own ranks but I assume that one or more of the activist group may have escaped. That would be my best guess. I'm fairly certain that the royalists wasn't involved in that. If so, I would probably have heard rumors about it."

    "I must thank you for telling me this story,"Tahl proclaimed. "I guess I will have to find a guest house for the night and travel south in the morning. Do you, by any chance, know how to get to the Kh'enbi Castle?"

    "There goes a shuttle to the nearest town, Faaran, twice a day, so I recommend taking one of those. When in Faaran you will need to rent a land speeder to get to the castle. It will take you about 30 minutes getting there from the town."

    "Thank you so much," Tahl said and rose from the bench. "It has been a most informative conversation."

    She ensured that nobody was following her when she returned towards the central station to find a place to stay for the night.
     
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  12. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Beatha has a lot to tell: from firsthand experience and a lot of insight into the Royalist motives. Looking forward to the meeting at the castle.
     
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  13. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    I have another solution, you need to write Cowgirl Jedi into the story and then she a) explains the prophecy to everybody b) kicks some arse and c) will look smart & beautiful by doing all those things!!!
     
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  14. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    OMG! [face_rofl] I knew there was a reason I liked you!
    (Other than the fact that you're completely likeable, of course.)
     
  15. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Oh, noooooo. Now you have given me ideas @AzureAngel2. How can I make Cowgirl sound more...SW'ish??? [face_thinking] But, really, you should all be able to understand the prophecy. After all you've seen all the movies...[face_rofl]

    Castle is soon coming up. Well, actually it's been there for centuries.
     
  16. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 4: Kh'enbi Castle

    Stewjon really was a beautiful planet, Tahl concluded as she sat comfortably in the shuttle on her way to Faaran. As soon as they had left Stewjon City they entered an agricultural area where wide acres could be seen. Scattered among the fields were small and bigger farmhouses and as they proceeded southwards small villages and larger towns appeared. As could be expected the shuttle stopped in several of these villages to pick up new passengers while others departed.

    The seats were comfortable and after a while she fell asleep, even though the guesthouse she had spent the night in had provided a good night's sleep too. When she woke again they were out of the agricultural landscape and vast green plains were stretching out around the shuttle. From a distance she could see a mountain ridge stretching out.

    That has to be the mountains where the Kh'enbi Castle is situated. I wonder how easy it will be to find transport from Faaran to the Castle?

    Finding a land speeder turned out to be extremely easy as the speeder rental office was found across the street of the shuttle station. The sun was still high on the sky when Tahl disembarked the shuttle, and she decided to continue towards the castle right away.

    The owner of the speeder rental was more than a little flirtatious. In addition he was not overly tall, with a round face where two gentle blue eyes shone with good humor.

    "But of course, lovely lady. I have just the right speeder for you out in the backyard. It's only a year old and green as the color of your beautiful eyes."

    "Would it be possible to rent it for a couple of days, maximum?" Tahl asked. "I assume I will be back tomorrow, but better safe than sorry."

    "No problem at all. We don't have many visitors here at this time of the year. They mostly come in the fall to hike in the mountains. Be careful if you go up there. The peaks are quite rugged, and the morning fog makes it impossible to see the paths sometimes."

    "I will be careful," Tahl ensured him in a neutral voice. She didn't really feel like telling himall about her errand.

    "If you need shelter for the night a cousin of mine runs a little lodge half way up the mountainside. His wife is a marvelous cook so I can really recommend the place if you need somewhere to stay overnight," he continued, and Tahl inclined her head gratefully once more.

    She paid the fee and got the code for starting the engines and soon she was on her way over the open grassland towards the mountains. The hummed silently and made good speed forward.

    After hearing Beatha's story the evening before she had began imagining the Kh'enbi Castle like something from a horror holovid, dark and somber squeezed among tall, steep cliffs. She soon realized she was totally wrong. It was located up in the mountains, that much was true, but apart from that it was totally different from what she had expected. The castle was founded on a wide open plateau. A steep cliff could be seen a klick or so behind and to the right of the castle but behind the building the landscape opened up into a green valley. A winding road lead from the grasslands below and up to the main entrance.

    The castle itself was a three story building, built in honey colored sandstone and with large friendly looking windows. It was more of a mansion than a real castle, though two towers were decorating the corners of the buildings facade. The huge gates in front of the castle were open and no guards were to be seen so she took a calculated risk and drove the speeder upfront the building. A wide stair made from the same type of sandstone as the rest of the building was leading up to a wooden door decorated with geometric carvings.

    It's truly beautiful here. I wish that Obi-Wan could see it too. Most likely he's the heir to all this and if he ever were to see it he might not want to go back home again.

    She rang the old-fashioned doorbell and waited. Everything was quiet and peaceful and she could hear the distant sounds of birds singing and the muted thunder of a small waterfall where a creek was tumbling down the mountainside.

    Then she heard light steps coming towards the door, and the door opened from inside.

    The person inside was a small, chubby white haired woman.

    "Good afternoon, ma'am. How can I help you?"

    "Good afternoon to you as well, ma'am. I am Jedi Master Tahl Uvain and I would like to have some words with the master of the castle, Mr. Ben-Kaw Kh'enbi, if possible?"

    The woman's deep blue eyes shone with curiosity, but she kept her friendly attitude.

    "A Jedi Master? Here? That sounds mysterious," she said with a smile. "Do come in and I'll check if Ben-Kaw would like to meet you right away."

    Tahl bowed politely. "I would appreciate it. Thank you."

    The woman disappeared down a corridor and Tahl was left to herself in the grand hall. A staircase lead up to the higher stories of the building and on the wall behind the first repos a huge painting could be seen. The painting showed a young couple standing in front of the castle. The man was half a head taller than the woman and had a well groomed blonde hair and beard. The woman was slim except from a visible bump on her belly. Red curls were cascading down her shoulders and she looked adoringly up at her presumed husband.

    "They were a good looking couple, weren't they?"

    A youthful voice startled Tahl out of her reveries and she turned towards the voice. An elderly man came towards her in a hooverchair, and she immediately recognized him. Unlike the painting of Ker-Wan in the museum, this man was not Obi-Wan's spitting image, but still she could see the similarities. Most stunning were his blue-green eyes that shone with the same slightly mischievous expression as Obi-Wan's. No doubt that this man had to be Obi-Wan's grandfather.

    Tahl bowed deeply.

    "It's a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Kh'enbi," she greeted, "I am Tahl Uvain, and I would be very pleased if you would give me some of your time."

    The man chuckled: "Well, I'm an old man so I'm not sure if I can giveaway some time, but on the other hand, beautiful Jedi Masters does not visit me often so it would be a pleasure sharing some time with you."

    And with that he gestured for her to follow him down the corridor. The view from the veranda on the backside of the castle was even more stunning. The garden opened up towards the green valley she had seen from the front of the building but from this side she could see the small stream crossing a corner of the estate and widen into a pond where multicolored water lily grew.

    "Now, young lady. I take it that you have something to tell me. You didn't come this far only to marvel on the view?" The youthful voice was still speaking lightly, almost jokingly but as a trained listener Tahl could sense the underlying tension.

    He knows. He doesn't know exactly what I'm going to tell him, but he knows it's something of importance. Beatha was right, the Kh'enbis are gifted with precognitions. And now he's aching to hear if it has something to do with his grandson.

    "Yes, Mr. Kh'enbi. You're right. I have reason to believe that one of our young Jedi may be your grandson. I have tracked his origin here and he is the spitting image of King Ker-Wan as he is portrayed in the Museum of Stewjon. When I learned that there still were Kh'enbis living here I felt that I had to come."

    "Are you…certain of this?" The old man's voice was low, but yet not trembling. "I had a grandson for a couple of days, but he disappeared years ago."

    "I wasn't certain," Tahl said slowly, "but now when I have met you, I am. He is very much like you. His name is Obi-Wan and he is fourteen standard years old now. He was given to the Jedi by some unknown person. We found him on the stairs in front of our Temple on Coruscant. He's very gifted, and he has the same quiet - well, sometimes not so quiet- good humor as I sense from you. And he has your eyes."

    Ben-Kaw nodded slowly.

    "Fourteen years. Yes, that could very well be him. So, they made it that far. It's good to know. How is he? Is he happy? Does he have friends?"

    "He is well," Tahl ensured him. "He is the padawan, apprentice, of one of my best friends and they have become close since they became Master and Padawan. I believe he's happy. He has always wanted to be a Jedi Knight. And yes, he has friends. Good friends who care a lot about him."

    "It is good to know," Ben-Kaw said quietly, "do you think it's a possibility that he'd ever… No, maybe not."

    The unspoken "would come visit" hang quietly in the air for some seconds.

    "I don't know," Tahl said honestly, "this is a beautiful place and I'm sure he would like to meet you, but…I don't know. I have a feeling it wouldn't be wise. I'm sorry, I cannot explain the way I feel."

    The old man sighed. "I suspect you're right. I can sense it too. It…would change something that maybe not should be changed. However, there is one thing…you don't have a holoimage of him somewhere? Do you? It would be nice just to see him."

    Tahl opened her comm link and a small holoimage of Obi-Wan appeared.

    "This was taken a little more than a week ago. We'd been having dinner together."

    Ben-Kaw watched the image silently for a long time. Then he switched off the comm link and handed it back to her.

    "Today you have made an old man very happy," he said, "and I would be honored if you would stay until tomorrow and have dinner with me tonight."

    A slightly ironic smile appeared in his face: "My chef is rather competent. And I will ask Ellie, my housekeeper, to make one of the guest rooms ready for you."

    "It will be a pleasure," Tahl answered.
     
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  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful confirmation for Tahl and a great bit of closure for the delightfully easygoing and hospitable Ben-Kaw. :D The castle is indeed in a gorgeous setting!
    =D=
     
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  18. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    Next thing you need to write is a castle romance, @CaraJinn. Not necessarily a Birk & Ronja thingy... ;):p... but something classy, you know. I think you are very capable of it.

    Especially since you can write beautiful female Jedi masters & kind old noble men.
     
  19. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Ben-Kaw is nice, isn't he? I tried to capture a bit of an older Obi-Wan in him, but without the warrior part.

    Aaaah, now I can see it clearly. I may be the future romance writer of the Jedi.@};- Or not.
     
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  20. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 5: Family History

    The dinner was exquisite, and so was the company. Ben-Kaw Kh'enbi obviously was a well read man who knew a lot about interplanetary politics, geography and history among many other topics, and their conversation moved lightly while they worked their way through the three course dinner. When they approached the dessert (a local speciality called Stewjon cheese cake, accompanied by wild sky berries) Tahl felt like she'd known the man for years. The slightly sensitive topic of Obi-Wan had not even once been mentioned even though the man simply had to be curious about his unknown grandson.

    The bubble had to burst.

    "What's he like?" The question came quietly and reluctantly from the old man.

    "He's… a kind soul," Tahl answered. "He's modest almost to the degree of self depreciation but yet he's full of life and good humor when he's among people he likes and trusts. He has a sharp wit, and an equal tongue and I guess he could talk himself out of any trouble he might be in. Only that he hardly ever gets into trouble. He's very loyal to his friends and to his Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, and he seems to appreciate history and diplomacy lessons just as much as he despise astronavigation."

    Ben-Kaw chuckled: "Just like his mother. She could talk herself out of anything, but she mostly ended with both legs into the same 'anything' so she needed to be able to do so."

    "Was his mother your only child?" Tahl asked.

    "She was. For some reason my family line never get many children. Mostly it's one, but every now and then there has been two, but then only one of them have had children to bring the lineage further."

    Tahl nodded, a bit sad.

    "You look sad?" The old man was nothing but perceptive.

    "Well," she admitted, "I just found the thought of Obi-Wan being the last one of your bloodline to be sad. As a Jedi he will most likely not get any children of his own."

    "He will not?"

    "No, attachments are forbidden according to the Jedi Code. Having a partner could mean danger to any Jedi or any Jedi's partner and constraint the Jedi's ability to perform his or her duty, so it's not allowed. Thus - there are no children of jedi either. At least not officially."

    The last part of the explanation came with a glimpse of mischievousness.

    "I see," Ben-Kaw sighed, "so this will be the time where we learn to know the truth then. I'd really hope it wouldn't happen in my era."

    Tahl immediately understood, and regretted she hadn't seen that coming. She really wouldn't make the old man sad, but she had felt so comfortable in his company that she had let her guard down. That truly was a mistake.

    "You mean…the prophecy?" she said quietly.

    He nodded. "Yes. I take it you saw it in the museum? We've never really believed in it. It has been more of a joke in the family, actually, but…well, if Obi-Wan doesn't get any children of his own he has to be the child of the prophecy, since none of our other family members have turned out to be so. If there is a trace of truth in it, that is."

    "Do you know more about the prophecy than what's said in the exhibition?" Tahl asked curiously.

    "No, not really. The only thing we know for sure is that it has followed the family for a very long time. It was found in a book supposedly coming from the first King Ker-Wan, but the original book has been lost during the centuries. Only the prophecy remains, and that is most likely because every child born in this family has learned it by heart, silently pondering whether he or she would be the one fulfilling it. I know I did, but fortunately I was wrong."

    "I see," Tahl sighed. "Where did your family originally come from? Is this estate a place which has followed them since their early days?"

    Ben-Kaw shook his head.

    "Yes, and no. It has been in our family for generations. That much is true. But according to family history it was originally built by the first King as a retreat. It's said that he liked the waterfalls and the mountains here."

    "Where did he come from?"

    "Actually. we don't know for sure. Rumors says that he was an offworlder. We have never been able to prove it, nor have we been able to reject the rumors. We simply don't know. For all we know he could have been a local farm boy being chosen for King by some obscure reason. But please tell me, young lady, why this interest in our old prophecy. I can sense there's more to it than just general interest?"

    For a moment Tahl considered possible ways to talk herself out of the question, but then she changed her mind. Kriff, the old man deserved to know the truth, or rather her truth. He wouldn't tell anyone.

    "Yes, there is," she calmly confirmed, "we have known for some years that there is an old Jedi prophecy that has a lot of similarities with the Kh'enbi prophecy and we wondered if that is a mere coincidence or if it's actually two prophecies about the same…fate. I was sent by the Jedi council to investigate the issue."

    "Do you believe that your prophecy has something to do with my grandson?"

    "We don't know. That's why I was sent. We would very much like to know, that's for sure. Our prophecy is found in the archives of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, but we are bewildered when it comes to how it arrived there."

    Ben-Kaw nodded in agreement. He hadn't reached his rather advanced age without having a sense of whether people told him the truth or not. In this case he trusted the Jedi. So far she seemed to have been truthful.

    "Well," he said thoughtfully, "it's not like we haven't searched our library before, but if you'd like to stay for a couple of days you'd be welcome to roam the bookshelves. Maybe you could come up with something we have overseen."

    "I would be happy to have a look at it," Tahl confirmed, "it's very kind of you."

    "If there's anything I can do to help Obi-Wan, even from a distance, I'd gladly do so. And besides, having a beautiful and intelligent woman as a houseguest isn't much of a sacrifice," he joked.

    "Please tell me more about your family," Tahl asked. "It may be of help when I begin the search."

    "I will, but let's proceed to the salon, Ellie has made some caf for us, I believe."

    And with that he maneuvered his hooverchair towards the double doors leading to the salon. Tahl sat down on the couch and for a moment she allowed herself to marvel at the view through the windows. The last rays of the evening sun shone over the landscape and for a moment she really sympathized with the early King Ker-Wan, for choosing this place as his summer home. The king had a good taste, she silently concluded.

    As soon as the caf had been served in thin china cups Ben-Kaw began his story.

    "As I told you, we really don't know where the first King Ker-Wan came from. The story about him being an off-worlders has been circulating for generations and I have no idea when it started. As you probably saw when you passed through our capital most people of Stewjon are dark haired and not overly tall. For us, the Kh'enbi line, most of our family have had hair in various nuances of red, and I believe that we also were taller than the average inhabitant. Over the years as we have married the locals we have become less tall but the hair color is stubborn," he finished with a glimpse in his eye.

    "Somehow like the Jedi our family have had what the people of Stewjon call 'supernatural powers'. That is rubbish of course, but it is a fact that several of my ancestors have been cursed with the ability of having precognitions. As a ruling King it might have been useful, but as per today it's just a nuisance."

    "You have bad experience with that?" Tahl asked.

    "I do indeed, I saw my daughter die a couple of weeks before the murder. Unfortunately I was ill when it really happened so that night I was almost in a coma. All these years I've kept wondering if I could have done something about it if I had been conscious. Unfortunately I never gave her any warning either. She was in the last state of her pregnancy and I didn't want to make her disturbed. That was my life's biggest mistake."

    The two were sitting in quite contemplation for a while, then he continued.

    "It was also said that the first Kh'enbis were cunning warriors. I have no idea whether that was true or not. What we do know was that there were a lot of skirmishes between different clans and that King Ker-Wan somehow managed to talk them into laying down their weapons and begin a peaceful co-existence. After that he was elected as King since most of the clans trusted him and his judgment. He accepted, or so says the story, quite reluctantly."

    "Are there any paintings, flimsies or even papers from the early days of the Kingdom that may have some information about how he came her and where he came from?"

    "Not as I know about,"Ben-Kaw said, "after I became disabled I have had plenty of time searching the library but I haven't found anything older than 500 standard years. That is, about 200 years before the last King abdicated. However, I would recommend you to start searching in the upper shelves. For very good reasons I haven't been able to search thoroughly there. After all this is a hooverchair, not a space chair," he said with a boyish grin that made him look remarkably like Obi-Wan when he was exchanging jokes with his friend Garen.
     
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  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent exchange of information and family facts @};- ... The family resemblance in personality is also striking. :)
     
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  22. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    We are straight into a murder mystery, yeah! [face_party]Knowing you this is going to be a thrilling ride.
     
  23. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 6: Bookshelves and Dust

    At fifteenth hour the following day Tahl Uvain was a very dusty, quite sweaty and slightly frustrated Jedi Master. The library of Kh'enbi Castle was huge. Admittedly not as huge as the Jedi Archive, but the Castle had no archivist so she had to do all the searching by herself. Without any register. Ben-Kaw had joined her for the first part of her search, pointing out the places where his most frequently read books was put so that she at least could avoid those areas.

    Still, there were more than enough shelves to search. At first she had tried the systematic approach, beginning with the shelves where the apparently oldest pads and books could be found. The idea was good, the result was meagre, to say the least.

    "This is annoying," she muttered to herself, "I should do better than this."

    Behind her Ben-Kaw chuckled: "You're doing fine. At least I now have cleaner bookshelves than I've had in centuries. Well, not me, but the family."

    "Well, at least I'm good for something, " she sighed, "but really, this is too slow. There's no way I can get through all these shelves in a reasonable timeframe."

    "I see what you mean, there really area lot of books. Don't you have any jedi tricks to help you out?"

    "Jedi tricks?" Tahl laughed. "I really don't think… "

    Her voice trailed off, as her brain shifted gears and she understood what Ben-Kaw said. Of course she could. She'd been so occupied by the task of investigating the shelves that she'd forgotten to think. And even worse, she'd forgotten to be in sync with the Force. If there was something there that the Force wanted her to see, it would help. Mentally she slapped her brow and relaxed.

    "You're absolutely right. I may have a 'tricks' or two up my sleeve."

    And with that she sat down on the floor (quite unnecessarily so, but she needed to relax the tense calves after standing in a ladder for hours) and closed her eyes, and sunk into the Force's ever present waves.

    At first she didn't sense anything, she just relaxed. Then she felt her mind flutter and move along the shelf covered walls. Nothing…nothing…and…wait… Half way around the room she felt something pulling at her. Calmly she opened her eyes and stared in the direction the 'feeling' had come from.

    "What's up there? In that corner? Above and to the right of the fireplace?" she asked.

    "I have no idea, I've never explored that…oh… Do you think that…? "

    "Yes!" Tahl confirmed energetically and sprang up from the floor. She grabbed the ladder and climbed up. The corner was even more dusty than the areas she had explored earlier that day, which in some ways had to be a good sign.

    Carefully she began to pull out the books. Real books, she realized. Leather bound (no synth-leather) and with real paper pages on several of them. Reverently she looked at this treasure.

    "Geography," she mumbled, "more geography - wait, what's this?" She had pulled out several books and brought them down to Ben-Kaw's waiting hands when she saw it. In the inner corner there was a small crevice going into the crossing wall and inside the crevice she could see a small leather bound notebook. Carefully she pulled it out from it's hiding and blew off the dust. It turned out to be a mistake. A massive sneezing seizure made her almost drop down from the ladder.

    When she'd recovered again she climbed down, still very careful not to put any pressure to the fragile book in her right hand. She immediately handed it over to Ben-Kaw.

    "It looks very old," she said, quite superfluous.

    He opened the book gently.

    "What is this? I don't understand a word. It's not aurebesh, that's for sure."

    Curiously Tahl peeked over his shoulder.

    "No. It's…yes, it is aurebesh but in a very old-fashioned handwriting. Look - there is a 'krill' and there is a 'rash' and the letter in-between has to be esk though it looks more…swirly than the esk we see in today's writing."

    "You're right," the old man exclaimed, "I just didn't see it at first. So if that weird sign there is a 'nern' it actually says 'Ker-Wan'? "

    "It does," she confirmed," I believe we've found the diary or notebook of one of the King Ker-Wan's in your family, and if one should judge from the age of this book it may very well have been the first one."

    They moved over to his desk and sat down, a white and a dark head together, both focusing on an old book written by an unknown man centuries ago.

    Reading it became easier with practice. As soon as they began to recognize the letters in the slightly swirly hand writing it became easier, still parts of the book were unreadable since the time had bleached the ink to invisibility.

    The first part of the book was mostly about daily work. Tahl recognized routines which would have fit nicely into any Jedi Temple. With astonishment she realized that the later King Ker-Wan must have grown up in a monastery with daily routines very much alike those she was familiar with. She almost snickered when she read the short line "was beaten in saber class by Rhian today, must improve". She could easily hear Obi-Wan's voice uttering those words if Garen ever beat him in a 'saber class.

    The book, however, didn't reveal any huge secrets until they had passed 3/4 of it. Then came a part which caught their attention - in the same time as Ellie peeked in the door and announced that dinner would be served in 20 minutes if they wanted to clean off some dust first.

    The two partners in crime looked at each other. They were both a sight to behold with grey spots all over their clothing and as for Tahl all over her face as well. The sneezing had spread the dust well…

    "Maybe we really should take a break," Ben-Kaw suggested, "we've had nothing but a couple of sandwiches all day and it would be good to wash off some of this dust too."

    Tahl nodded. The old man was right, even though she would have liked to continue deciphering the old book right away.

    It was probably the fastest dinner ever consumed in the castle and half an hour later they were safely back in the library again, each with a steaming mug of caf by their side in a safe distance from the book.

    "Tonight something incredible happened. It was like the earth shook and for a moment all of us were scared, even though that's a feeling we're not supposed to have. It wasn't the rumbling of an earthquake, we've had some of those before, it was more like the earth was shivering for very long moments. As we rose this morning we were sent out to see if we could find any cause for the disturbance.

    I was assigned to the north east sector. It took me all morning to search the area without finding anything. It wasn't until long after noon when I was on my way back I saw it. There was a crevice in the mountain that I'd never seen before. Curiously I stepped closer to it and it felt like the Force itself emanated from it. I have never felt anything as powerful in my entire life until then."

    "Wait a minute," Tahl interrupted, " he's referring to the Force. Is the Force known in your family, Ben-Kaw? Or rather, has it been until now?"

    "No, not really. We've heard about it in more…ah…academical terms, but it never was a part of our family, so to speak. Not until unknown Jedi began to turn up at our doorstep." He cast her a mischievous glance and continued to the next page.

    "None of the other had found anything so maybe the crevice I found was the only sign that anything had happened at all."

    The following pages were impossible to read, and Tahl wished fervently that they had been in the Temple now. Master Nu would surely had a way of reconstructing the ink again. Then came another couple of pages that were readable again.

    "…I decided to go down alone. I was slim and I believed I could manage to squeeze myself in. Oh, how I wish I hadn't done that. If so I would never have met the old man, and I would never have been the one to carry his secret. They say that a burden shared is a burden split, but not so much for the receiver. But I did and I will forever regret it.

    The crevice was narrow and I was barely able to get inside. Luckily for me it widened a bit when I was inside and I was mostly able to walk on my own two feet. It was an eerie feeling there. The Force was warm and strong and it felt so strong that I felt almost numb. I should have felt revived by it, but it wasn't entirely so, because the Force I felt was not entirely of the light. It felt like a constant battle between darkness and light, and I could feel mighty powers of hate and greed and sacrifice along with the living, breathing Force trying to soothe and calm the uproar. The Force was a total mess down there and it felt like a war was raging in the Force itself.

    I must have walked a distance resembling that back to the Temple when the crevice opened to a real cave with a curved ceiling which made it resemble a dome. It was a relief to get more space but the cave itself was not comforting. The center was a calm white light as we're taught the Force should be but the walls seemed to flicker in shades of white, gold, red and black as if the Force fought itself. In the center there was a stone circle which appeared to float on the crystal clear water surrounding it.

    I felt almost dizzy so for a moment I sat down on a rock close to the pond in the center of the cave, as close to the white light as I could get. I felt more secure that way.

    That's when the old man appeared. Suddenly he stood there. In the light. He must have come from somewhere, but I really cannot fathom wherefrom. I guess I must have been blinded by the light for a moment, or the dizziness must have been stronger than I thought. I looked at him in astonishment and asked who he was.

    'I'm Ben,' he answered."

    ""No!" Tahl complained. "Not unwritten pages again…"

    But the following pages were undeniable pale and quiet. Ben-Kaw sighed and rubbed his tired eyes.

    "We really should go to bed now. It's already second hour but there are only a couple of written pages left, I think. I assume neither of us can sleep if we leave those unread now."

    He was rewarded with a tired, albeit happy smile: "No, at least I won't. Let's continue and then we can discuss it tomorrow."

    "…and that's why I made the decision to leave and go here. I knew my home was doomed, and I realized that my only chance to change the destiny the old man had foreseen was to leave and make a family of my own. I cannot tell my children what he told me, but the essence of his story is given in the prophecy he left behind, or rather the notes I made after our meeting. I find it hard to believe, but I will leave the notes so that my descendants will remember, and be ready to meet their destiny when time is right. I should have shred this book to pieces, but instead I will hide it. If anyone finds it, they will hopefully see it as a delusional old man's folly. No man or woman should have to bear this knowledge."

    "What in all the nine kriffin' Sith hells is he talking about?" Tahl exclaimed. "Here we seem to have the background for the entire prophecy and then the pages are blank."

    For a moment she rested her head in her hands.

    "I'm sorry, Ben-Kaw. I'm eternally grateful for you letting me rummage through all your shelves like this and for learning your family story. I'm just frustrated that so much of the text is lost. Basically we're now stuck with the knowledge that your great x something grandfather, Ker-Wan was the one who wrote the prophecy, but we have no idea where it came from or who the old man was."

    "Let's both sleep upon it, and discuss it over first meal tomorrow," Ben-Kaw suggested. "I will leave a note so they make it a latefirst meal."
     
  24. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb! Very compelling air of mystery and tantalizing revelations mixed with frustrating blanks. :p Some of that is deliberate and some the ravages of time.

    =D=
     
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  25. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Chapter 7: Deduction

    It really became a late breakfast. They didn't meet in the dining hall until tenth hour. From her life as a Jedi Knight and later Master Tahl was used to little sleep when on missions but still she felt uncannily tired when she walked down the stairs. Ben-Kaw was already sitting by the table.

    "Old people like me doesn't sleep very well," he explained.

    "I wonder if Master Yoda ever sleep, if that is the truth," Tahl mused, but kept silent. She restricted herself to greet her host a polite good morning. It wasn't until they had downed their third cups of caf that Tahl opened the conversation.

    "What now?" she sighed. "Ker-Wan's diary was definitely interesting reading but I am still uncertain of what we really read. It seems like he wrote down the prophecy himself based on what the old man he met in the cave told him. By the way, do you have any idea who that old man might be?"

    "None at all," Ben-Kaw sighed."I realize that quite a lot in my family have been named 'Ben' but apart from that I have no idea."

    "After reading the description, is it possible that Ker-Wan came from this planet or was he really an off-worlder? Seems like he grew up in a monastery or temple or something like that."

    "I'd say he was an off-worlder," Ben-Kaw said thoughtfully. "The people of Stewjon aren't very religious people, and I guess even less so back then. At least it seems like he travelled far to get here. From the last part of his book it appears like he wanted to get far away from his home to a place where nobody knew him from before."

    Tahl nodded silently. It was something about Ker-Wan's description of his temple that made her think of her own order. He knew the Force, or at least some kind of Force. He definitely referred to a temple and something obviously had happened that made the young man examine the vicinity closer.

    "Are there any 'special powers' granted to the people of your family? Obi-Wan is for sure force sensitive, and I heard mentioned that the old kings of your line had the advantage of precognitions. Is there anything else? "

    Ben-Kaw looked at her over his fourth cup of caf. Truly, it hadbeen a late morning. "Well, many people in my family have been able to sense things before they really happen something which likely helped them acting as diplomats, and others have been good healers too. From the family history some of the old kings were cunning warriors too, if that counts for something?"

    Tahl chuckled. "Right now you are basically describing your grandson, you know. He has precognitions and he will most likely be a cunning warrior as well, when taken his love for 'saber fighting into consideration. He's surely no healer, but he is a promising diplomat."

    The old man brightened at the thought of his grandson.

    "I really would have liked to meet him," he sighed. "Now, let's see. Assuming that Ker-Wan actually was a Jedi before he came to Stewjon, where is it most likely he came from? Would he have come from your Temple on Coruscant?"

    "I'd say 'no' to that," Tahl answered calmly. "Somehow I believe we would have known about it from our history lessons or archives. Jedi usually don't end up as kings."

    "A very valid point," Ben-Kaw agreed, "do you have other temples spread around the galaxy?"

    "Yes, we have many, but mostly they're abandoned," she explained. "We have a couple of groups which have departed the order and are staying in old temples, and our own order has some other temples around the galaxy as well, but not many."

    A contemplative silence fell over the room before Tahl spoke again: "I would guess that Ker-Wan might have come from a temple that now is abandoned. The last part of his diary indicates that 'something' made it difficult to live there after 'whatever it was' happened."

    "How many of those are in reasonable vicinity of Stewjon?" Ben-Kaw asked.

    "Could be any of them," she sighed." We don't know what means he used to come here. Let's see… There's a Temple on Jedha, but I guess that's not it then. It's still in use actually, though not by Jedi per se. Then we have the Temple of Lothal. But that planet is too…normal. According to the book something very unusual happened there. Then we have Vrogas Vas, but I doubt that anyone even wanted to live there in the first place. I have no idea why we established that one…"

    Her voice trailed off.

    "Suns and stars, we have too many of them," she complained.

    Ben-Kaw chuckled.

    "Obviously you do. I didn't know that the Jedi had so many hideouts."

    "Me neither," Tahl became silent again.

    "What is it?" Ben-Kaw prodded.

    "It's..there is one more. Well, actually there are many more, but there is one in particular. They told us briefly about it in the history classes. I just cannot remember… Wait, it's Almeda. No. That's not right…Auratera! It has to be that one. I'm certain."

    And by that she felt the well-known confirmation from the Force. The feeling that never ceased to amaze her. The feeling of being absolutely , 110% certain.

    "What, or rather where, is Auratera?" Ben-Kaw asked patiently, while pouring another (it had to be the fifth) cup of caf.

    "Auratera is in the outer rim, and it is a planet. There is a Temple there but we abandoned it years ago. There is a vergence in the Force there and it became so powerful that it actually became dangerous for knights and padawans to live there. The Force is very strong there but so are both sides of the Force, both the light and the dark one, so anyone who lives there for a longer period of time may be susceptible to fall for the dark powers from the Force. The risk is simply too high. We have one in our Temple on Coruscant as well but it's much milder than the one on Auratera and by far less dangerous."

    Ben-Kaw looked quizzically at her.

    "Dangerous? Shouldn't a concentrated spot of the Force be a good thing?"

    "It should. And it probably would for a few people, but most of us are both of light and of darkness, and so is the Force itself. If the vergence is strong enough it will enhance both sides, and sometimes the dark side is easier to enhance than the light side, because it's so much easier," she explained.

    "So the Force of yours is acting upon what's inside a being?" he asked again.

    "Yes, you may say that. We are trained from childhood to turn to the light and stay in the light, but if the Force's presence were overwhelming it would be easier also to fall to the dark side, and that is something we definitely don't want. Force sensitive beings of the dark side are…unpleasant."

    The old man nodded in agreement: "I can see your point."

    Tahl folded her hands under her chin an rested her head upon them.

    "I need to go there," she concluded."To Auratera."

    "You certain? Wouldn't it be dangerous to you as well?"

    For a moment she was touched by the sincere concern in the old man's voice.

    "It might. But just going there to see what I can find - if anything at all, should be quite unproblematic. It's not like I intend to stay there for a longer period of time. And I ama Jedi Master. I'd like to think that I can persist the temptations from the dark side of the Force, at least for a while. I think I should try to find the cave mentioned in Ker-Wan's diary. That is where he found the information behind the prophecy and that's where it's most likely that I'd find what it actually means."

    Ben-Kaw's face lit up in a sad smile.

    "I wish I was forty years younger. Then I would have followed you on this adventure. As it is now…"

    He shook his head apologizing.

    She smiled at him.

    "I'd like to have your company, but I'm afraid this is for me alone to do."

    "Yeah, after the description Ker-Wan gave of the opening to the cavern I believe it would be difficult to get my hooverchair in," Ben-Kaw concluded dryly. "So I'm afraid I would be of little use."

    Tahl chuckled. "I can see some potential difficulties with that, yes."

    "Well, now. Let's have the lunch Ellie has prepared for us and then we'll dive into the holomaps to find the shortest route for you to Auratera. I suggest you stay until tomorrow and then set of on your quest. You need a good nights rest after yesterday's late night. And promise me one thing - tell me what you find, at least if there's something that is worth knowing for my family. My grandson may be the last of our bloodline and I will not interfere with his…destiny, but I'd really like to know the answer to this family riddle of ours."

    "I will let you know, if I find something worth sharing," Tahl promised.

    The remaining day was spent partly in the library rummaging through holomaps, and partly in the shadow on the terrace outside the house. Before the evening Tahl had a good impression of what would be the shortest route to Auratera.
     
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