Mandalore was an outer rim planet plenty of people had heard of. It was the birthplace and seat of power for the Mandalorian people. However these days it was a desolate world, scared by war and atrocity after atrocity. But like the people that made up the warrior culture, Mandalore persisted and still held life in the domed cities. Even after the Mandalorians had been driven out during the age of the Galactic Empire the large cities stood and now different Mandalorian clans were showing themselves again.
Roland came to Sundari awhile back, after that he even took a pilgrimage to the black keep and has returned for the latest time to make sure he didn't miss anything in terms of evidence or clues. The Mask of the Eternal had shown itself and disappeared inexplicably. Doubts about finding anything new were at the forefront of his mind as he walked around where the phantom sith army had rushed into the city.
The mask wasn't the only thing that brought the Lieutenant to the capital of the Mandalorian people. There were others here that noted his presence and had probably tracked his arrival from the point he entered the planet's atmosphere to the point where he disembarked from his ship. Mandalorians traveled in warbands and groups. Sometimes they composed of a single clan or a cornucopia of Mandalorians. Roland was looking for a specific kind, or at least information about them
His own symbol, of clan rook was plain to see on the back of his cloak. The purple serpent rippled as he walked through the delapidated city. It would take re-establishing infrastructure and uniting the Mandalorians to return this place to its former glory. But part of the man wondered if that would even possible.
Sundari was another planet vastly different than Takodana; surrounded by sand outside of the city while the inside was reminiscent of some of the lower levels in coruscant. Nima's appearance was definitely off-putting to most, so she couldn't help but draw attention from the few surrounding citizens. However, she was here for another job, finding the Mask of the Eternal. She wasn't given any information about the mask, just that she would know when she saw it. Nima was also informed that there will probably be Sector Rangers whom she already has a sub-par relationship with. The whole mission felt like a pain, but a lot of money will be offered if she retrieves the mask.
Walking through the city Nima couldn't help but notice every few blocks individuals would have some sort of symbol on a part of their clothes. It was like each area was controlled by some sort of gang. One particular symbol Nima remembered seeing was a purple snake; it was on a man's cloak. She wondered if the lotus symbol on her own short cape would make people believe she was a part of some gang. After walking for some time, Nima took a break from walking; she was currently in some market area and she took a seat on a nearby bench. She was unsure where she should begin her search, but getting to know the layout of the city wasn't a bad idea either. Nima was also wary about letting her droid freely search the city, so she continued to keep the small surveillance droid within her cape.
Hearing about a Sector Lieutenant flying to Mandalore got my attention but hearing he was from Clan Rook made me fly with my ship to the home of my people. Though my blood was not of Mandalore my soul now belonged to the honor and code of those that called it home. My ship exited hyperspace revealing the dying world that once held a powerful civilization. I read the histories of how Mandalore was once a power that influenced the shape of the galaxy. Even to this day the reputation of those born of this planet is considerable. So much so that we were somewhat spoken in the same breath as the mystical Jedi and Sith. Though it is clear our numbers have yet to bounce back like those two ancient orders.
Landing on the dome city, I brought with me all my usual gear, no telling what I would find on this world. An now I have to go find the Lieutenant, and hopefully get a connection to my clan that I have lacked for quiet some time.
Walking off the ship, I found the dome city quiet, empty and spooky. How was this to be the once great home of my people if it is left in such a poor state. The old scars hadn't quiet healed yet and there was no telling how many of the way were left in the galaxy. Doubtful that it would be enough to fill this planet to the numbers it once had. A sad state for a once mighty people.
I walked through the docks hoping to find another ship, and a symbol of Rook. On myself was a painted symbol of Rook on my breast plate hopefully my Vod would be able to see it. For now though I walked in a holy place for my people listening to the winds that carried the dead's words of wisdom to my ears. This place was hurting and the planet needed its children once more to return to help it live once more.
Indy was many things... but for today, a Jedi she was not. Perhaps, however, she would act as a historian, and as a friend. That much she could do, and quite easily.
Sundari was not a place she had ever anticipated visiting, but she would pay her due respects as a Jedi here. This place, though, the closer she got, felt as steeped in blood, in anger and horror as she had never felt before... and the keening of it through the Force made her own chest ache intensely. But she had to set aside those feelings for now. Roland had been there for her in her time of need, it was only fair she repay the favor in full.
Even before she arrived, she knew exactly what she would get here; outsiders would not be welcome here. But she kept a low profile, and an even lower expectation for success. He was looking for something, and for what she knew of the Mandalorian culture and the threads of its' history, she would help. Her face was covered, as was the rest of her. She would show respect, and keep herself silent.
But she paced after him, golden eyes peering.
She somehow felt part of this was not helped by the Jedi. If there was any way to make historical amends... she would take it. She just had a feeling it might bite her in the butt later.
Talon nodded as the Mandalorians led the kid away from the Reaper; he hadn't known what they'd wanted with the boy. Runaway? Thief? Regardless, him and Adenn had run him down within a few hours. He was no expert at avoiding bounty hunters, that was for sure.
The two had just met up in Sundari a few days ago and taken the job more or less for the fun of it as they waited for another Vod to show up. The three had a meeting that day, and hopefully Dol could make it...regardless, they had some time to kill. Talon glanced back to see that his fellow Mandalorian (@Timmen) was following and then slowly stalked into the streets.
He thought he'd enjoy being in a place with so many of his kind when he first came to the planet--but he liked it less and less every time he landed. The quietness, the eerie sadness, the gloom that defaced the once mighty power...the loss of his people was more and more of a burden, one that he'd have to live with yet hope to live without.
Talon's dark beskar'gam wasn't the prettiest, but the jai'galaar stood out like a sore thumb. Elsewhere, the sigil might scare some people off, but here...it was a birthmark. The shriek-hawk was obvious, looming, powerful, everything his Clan was...but it also brought with it pain, selfishness, and defeat...everything his Clan had experienced. @Darasuum@sayso@Killa Ree@Richie B.
the target had come quietly enough, wasnt much older than Etr at 17. he gave a sigh thinking the boy's fate, who knew what the client would do with him... he tried to crush down that feeling.
the dust swirled around the Reaper, no doubt dragged in from outside.
The city seemed emptier than it was last time and so quiet... it was like the end of time. Adenn couldn't bear it. "Is there any sadder scene in all the galaxy than this empty shell of a city?"
he shook his head. the jewel world was decaying, its people were dissapearing. Adenn wondered at how long even the scenes of Dolworths clan would last. numbers for a people in retreat can only ever shrink. He wished he had gotten to interact further with the Jettii on Dantooine more. their archives might still hold the secret to the planets recovery. he followed his comrade closely and brought the bounty with them.
Dolworth's ship came screaming out of hyperspace and gazed upon the barren planet that his people considered holy. He looked with awe as he let the situation he was in sink in: For the first time in his life he was about to make pilgrimage to Mandalore. He had made it a point to not come here. He and his brother Raza swore they would come here together. Now with Raza dead there seemed to be no weight to that Vow. That and his fellow Vod said they needed him for something on Mandalore so he couldn't say no. He had asked Raza for forgiveness before jumping, now he looked upon the planet as they made their approach. He gave a sigh as he let Dusty take control of the ship, telling him to place in the codes and wherever they wanted him to dock they docked. He climbed out of the seat, climbing back towards the bunk and slapping the boot of Etr who Adenn left with Dol to ensure the job he was on wasn't too dangerous. Given it was not, he had asked Dol to bring him as well.
"Hey" said Dolworth, "Wake up! Were here!" he said as he opened one of the small lockers behind the bunks. Out of it he pulled an old hooded cloak from the compartment, throwing it over his armor and upon its tattered tan fabric was brazenly displayed the sigil of Clan Solus. The red and black Direbadger almost snarled at Etr as Dol clasped the hooded cloak around his beskar'gamm. He turned and hosltered a single DL-44 and his Vibroblade. He was not going fully armed, as he would consider it shameful. To him, Mandalore was Holy Ground.
Among the Mandalorians there were people that kept to certain traditions. One major divide among the various clans was that some did not keep to The Way of the Mandalore. But most of the people in Sundari were not strict adherents to the same religion as Roland. Most Mandalorians wore their armor though some had their helmets removed. Others seemed like travelers or civilians from any outer rim planet though they could also just be Mandalorians without armor. He had heard of the pacifist Mandalorians that existed prior to the Galactic Empire. They had been the ones that had occupied the domed cities originally.
Indy followed him and remained quiet. Roland couldn't blame her for covering her face. It was probably best for her to keep her anonymity, especially as a Jedi. "You probably heard about what happened the last time I was here." He said to her. A Jedi with an eye patch and Master Zapan had been here when the Eternal's mask made an appearance. In the days following, Roland had replayed the series of events and the images of the ancient battle. The Solus clan member he had witnessed fight the Eternal in what he understood as a hallucination had been shared with everyone present. Even those that lacked an affinity for the Force had felt something that day. If that's the Dark Side, perhaps the Jedi don't get enough credit
"Badgers, snakes and hawks. Badgers snakes and hawks." He muttered to himself as he looked around. He was keeping an eye out primarily for the symbol of the Vizsla clan. The image of the jai'galaar was primarily associated with the Vizsla clan members but were also associated with the Protectors and Fighting Corps. The icon of the snake, or more specifically the fanned rawl, was far less common though Roland remained watchful. The sigil of clan Solus was the Badger and traditionally they wore black and red armor. But these days there were numerous Mandalorians that preferred personalized armor colors over their clan's.
While Roland's armor was a blued steel hue, the traditional colors of the Rook clan were purple, yellow and grey. Since joining the Rangers, Roland altered his armor's color to distance himself from his past an represent the change in his life. "I need to get a better forge." He spoke to himself, mentally critiquing how he had let his armor get worn out. Perhaps he would come across an armorer on the visit.
Most of the city felt unoccupied. Some of the buildings had not seen attention in over a hundred years it would seem. But they still stood strong even if they were a reminder of better days that none of them had ever experienced. It was a strange sensation, a longing for a home that he never knew. As they walked, Roland explained some of the sigils he was looking for so that Indy could help keep an eye out. "Always assume someone's watching." He warned her and dragged his palm lightly down the front of his visor as if to silently say 'keep yourself covered even if you think you're alone'. Maybe this would be a little taste for her to feel what it was like to to be a Mandalorian, if only for a day.
After taking a little break, Nima decided it was best to view the city from above. Getting up from the bench, she looked around to see what would be a good place to look from. Out in the distance, there was an old abandoned-looking building; it was around 6 to 7 stories tall. It was a few blocks away so Nima took one of the main streets to get over there. There were a fair amount of destroyed buildings and small shelters during the walk; Nima did not know the history of this planet, but she wondered what had even happened for a 'protected city' to be in such a state. Right before she arrived to Sundari, the thought of a city covered by a protective dome was to be a utopia, but this was far from a utopia. During her walk she saw more figures wearing the same type of helmets, however, a few of them had different symbols on their armor. The helmets were clearly a part of a tradition of some sort, either that or the symbols were establishing ranks. Either way, Nima stood out like a stain on a white shirt.
The tall building Nima was heading towards was not entirely abandoned, but it was in poor shape. It appeared to be a few sick people in the bottom floor of the building, but Nima didn't pay much attention to it. Using her force powers, she scaled the building leaping from window sill to window sill. Once she reached the top she took out P-o-TC and had it survey the surrounding area. It appeared that the man dawning the cloak with the purple serpent was moving somewhere with intention, and behind him was a feminine figure covering her face. She would have the surveillance droid follow them from a safe distance, but was commanded to return if the droid was in any danger. While the droid flew away, Nima began to look around the surrounding area to see if there were any other points of interest.
"wuh? we're here already?"
Etr was excited to see Mandalore. hed heard so .uch about it from the other Mandalorians and from his own reading. He leaned out, trying to see the majestic world. the land was a pale white. out of his bunk trying to see out the Raza's porthole.
"The planets so beautiful in winter."
he said naively, this idea was quickly dispelled as they landed. he could now see the sand and craters. he would bring his New Westar Dragoon. they were supposed to meet Adenn and Talon somewhere, a cantina no doubt. the city seemed desolate, its air swirling with dust from outside. "Where is everybody, Dol?"
"Probably inside Sundari already" explained Dolworth, feeling the Raza landing and clamping down as it was brought into the domed city. Dolworth and Etr stepped into the artifical sunlight of Sundari, leaving the Raza behind after having the Security Forces clear their ship. It helped that they were Mandalorians and they were less critical of their vod. After entering a few more passages they stepped onto the main streets of Sundari, with Dolworth looking around and through the massive scape.
"By the Badger's Beard!" spat Dol, chuckling as he looked down at Etr, "First time as well Vod?" he asked as he clicked on his comms, "Dol to Adenn and Talon. Me and Etr just arrived, where are you guys?" he asked.
She nodded along, keeping easy pace with Roland, glancing around the domed city in covert speculation. "A tree sprouting in the middle of a city with the Mask of the Eternal? It was the topic for a while, yeah," she replied quietly, giving him a small bit of personal space. He seemed occupied, more than he usually was, though she didn't detect any stress from him yet. He merely seemed contemplative. Was he looking for someone?
Something about animals. Giving another covert glance, she knew that several Mandalorians had clan animals assigned to them... was that what he was looking for?
At hearing his statement and seeing his hand pass over his visor, however, she gave a short, clipped nod, her own voice calm. "I'm used to being watched," she commented dryly, golden eyes glittering. Perks of being a Pantoran, you were always mistaken for Chiss. Or, barring that, the unusual coloration earned a variety of colorful nicknames over the years. Though for now she was covered... it would perhaps earn some respite and allow her to remain under the radar.
However, there was the feeling of being watched prickling at the back of her neck. She couldn't explain it... but even with as minimally populated as Sundari seemed to be, there were eyes. She scanned again, her senses open.
Whoever it was, she hoped they were friendly. Or at least friendly enough to let her use her blaster instead of her lightsaber. "Badgers? Snakes?" she inquired quietly, stepping in closer to him. It wasn't her business... but if she was to help, she hoped to be a little more useful than a tourist.
Talon shrugged; he could think of a lot worse places than here, in terms of what...sadness? Despair? Is that how he judged the places he went and the things he did? On a scale of 1-10...which is more depressing? Talon sighed. One of his goals in life was to protect his people, but it wasn't too fulfilling when their great capital was practically in ruins.
He got Dol's comm call and responded back; "On the way to the rendezvous point, meetcha there." He glanced at some psycho...or genius, who knew these days? clambering atop a building. He shrugged but looked back at where he was going too slowly and stumbled in the path of...Talon stared at the sigil. Hadn't seen a Rook in a while. Some guy and his companion; he glanced at her quickly and took a mental snapshot, trying to analyze the mysterious figure.
He coughed out an apology hesitantly and glanced to ensure Adenn was close by just in case these too weren't the friendliest. He doubted he had anything to fear from a Vod, but you could never be sure...
Ademn was surprised somewhat by Talons indifference over Sundari, but but ultimately brushed it off... Talon hadn't seen what he saw the last time h came here. The force energy emitted by the mask then was palpable, the visions were nearly apocalyptic and it had left the Alor of Clan Rytt with a hunger to find more knowledge on the topic. He wanted to see the world restored and knew deep down it could be done but the how was still the question. Adenn's train of thought was lost as he watched the Man climb the building, same as Talon.... very strange
Dol chimed in over their comms stating he and Etr had arrived. just in time for the rendezvous. "Right. on the way then."
I nodded in response to Dolworth. "The badger's beard is right! this place is massive!"
the height of the buildings caused me jerked back, the place was like Corellia on steroids... Symmetrical architecture, warm artificial and cosmopolitan public spaces fit neatly into a dome. Dol and I left the sight behind as we descended into the city, moving through the corridors an streets towards their destination, not that I really remembered where that was. still, Dolworth was taking the lead so he assumed the vod knew where he was going. the Mandos in the city seemed qquite proud of their heraldries, sporting them on their armor. "Rau, Wren, Ordo, Ordo, Elder. heh, quite a collection of Mandos. and now? Two Rytts a Solus and a Viszla."
There were many, to my surprise that had no helmets on ir even armor among some. many were older, maybe converts? I jadnt been part of Mandalorian culture or met enough to know how common my story was.. a slave made a Mando? Not as likely, actually most slaves were weak and stunted, left like bilge rats in the filthy cargo holds in the bowels of ships for months at a time while on transit to the market. "Some of them arent wearing armor...Are they pacifists?"
I whispered that last word to avoid causing any trouble. but I had read somewhere that during the years before the end of the clone wars that Mandalore had become pacified.
"Heretics. Heretics and heathens"
as Adenn explained them in his usual sermon. I wasnt sure but if they reject the resol'nare then they were barely Mandalorians aside from having lived on the planet. We would continue on to meet up with Talon and Adenn.
The Mandalorian looked over his shoulder every now and again to just make sure that Indyana was alright. "Members of Clan Solus, Badgers. Members of clan Rook, snakes. Our sigil is the fanned rawl but there are other Rooks with different...scales." As they continued further into the city, Roland saw a sigil he was looking for. The Jai'galaar on a black armored Mandalorian was obvious. It looked like the duo had their own place to be but Lieutenant quickened his step a little.
"Excuse me, you" He called out and noted the familiar Mandalorian in yellow armor. "You belong to house Vizsla?" That or the fighting corps.
"I'm looking for Protectors if you've seen or heard anything." Hopefully they knew what he was talking about. If they didn't then it wouldn't be much good asking. The last time a member of the Rook family joined with the major clans was back before the galactic civil war. The Mandalorians were spread out and scattered but there was still the possibility to make some change in the galaxy for his people.
She nodded, pacing alongside of him now, a bit less shy of the domed city surrounding them. Even just being here... there was a whisper of something in the Force that lingered still. Something that hummed of old angers, old pains and bloodshed. Even now, millennia later, she had no doubt that deep wounds still lingered here.
History repeated itself many times; hopefully, she could avert some of the past mistakes into the present, but she was more pragmatic than practical.
Badgers, rawls. To an outsider, perhaps, it might have seemed fanciful, even colorful. But considering her own people's proud view of clans... she could respect it. More than once she had met another Pantoran who gave her a deep distrust for the simple lack of clan sigils displayed on her cheeks; the Jedi were her family now, and such open displays of her affiliation could get her killed in many unsympathetic places.
That being said, when he addressed another openly, she kept herself silent, and watchful.
She had a feeling they were being watched that persisted... but hopefully he would find what he was looking from via the Viszla. Truth be told, she wouldn't speak up unless it was necessary, and so far, it didn't seem really all that necessary. Unless there was trouble.
There always was trouble with Ranger Rook involved.
Talon eyed the Mando, nodding in response to his question. "Vizsla." He stopped dead at the second inquiry, however; Protectors? Now he was confused. He found himself staring at the woman beside Roland, not sure as to whether or not he should trust her. Not like he had anything to say, regardless.
He turned back to the man in armor and spoke slowly in Mando'a. "There haven't been any protectors in years, Vod; can't have a royal guard without a Mand'alor." He paused in thought; "At least, I haven't heard of 'em anytime recently...sorry to dissapoint." The protectors had been slaughtered years ago, succeeded only by Fenn Rau. Did this Vod know something he himself did not?
Nevertheless, he stuck out a hand, and, in basic, "Talon's the name. Just here on some business with some other Vods of mind. Any specific reason why you ask about the Protectors?"
The droid watched and recorded the conversation between the man with the purple serpent cloak and the man with yellow armor. The recording was being transmitted to Nima, so she paused for a moment to listen in. She wasn't really sure what they were talking about, but it seemed like the conversation might be important. Nima noted the position of the group, and began to make her descent down the building.
Landing on the ground, Nima began to walk towards the direction of the group until she realized a few people around her were staring at her. It appeared she started a bit of a commotion, and Nima began wondering if it had to do with her skin. She quickly ran towards an alleyway, cutting through different corners, until she found an exit. However she happened to crash into a man dawning black and orange armor
Dolworth gave a dry chuckle at Etr's question, looking at the lad who was starting to grow, "No, not all of them" he replied as they passed by a few, some of the children looking up with hung open mouths as the two passed them, "Just some that think that our Beskar'gam is the equivalent to a bullseye" he stated grimly, "But me? I'd rather wear my armor and let some idiot give me some practice than be a hutuun." he responded as he continued on, "However, not all are cowards..." he tempered, "Some are doing what they must to protect their family" he placed a hand on Le'wvan's shoulder and looked down at him, "If there is anything i teach you that is important Lew is this: Family is the only real worth to a Mandalorian. Honor...Gold...Even Beskar...these will inevitably rust away with time. Family? If you forge a strong bond, not even the gods can render it" he said, recalling the words of his Father to him and Raza.
Dolworth choked up a bit before resuming their walk, "Thankfully, you have many years ahead of you before you have to think about your own personal fam-" Dolworth's second sermon was cut short by someone crashing into him. He pushed a foot back, catching him and whoever "bodyslammed" him. It was more of a bump than a slam as Dol grasped the persons shoulders lightly and held them back at a distance to right him and the person, "Whoo!" he gasped under his helmet as he recovered his faculties, "In a hurry are we?!" stated Dolworth with a laugh, the chuckling stopped as he got a look at what was clear to be a woman, Hope it's not for a wedding he thought humorously. He released his grasp, helping her dust while searching himself in case something was taken. Nothing was before he turned to look at her again, "Looking for someone miss?" he asked as kindly as he looked around in case some troublemaker took advantage of the situation...