Open In Search Of A Plant

Drow Venn

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Teth. It was a jungle planet nestled in Wild Space and it lived up to the "wild part." While a small and hardy sentient population resided there, most of the planet was teeming with dangerous beasts, poisonous plants, and deadly raiders. In short, no rich person would want to touch it with a thousand-meter pole.

Which was precisely the Jedi had been set. The old money aristocrat, Nestor Praji, was currently in the possession of a valuable holocron; a holocron that Drow was desperately trying to acquire for the Order. In fact, he was so desperate, that he was willing to play Nestor's errand boy. Nestor, a curator of rare plants, wanted a loakwal tree for his personal gardens.

It seemed like an easy task since loakwal trees grew in abundance on Teth. But Nestor wanted the red loakwal, the rarest variant that some said didn't even exist anymore. However, Nestor had heard musings that an old, abandoned B'omarr monastery had once housed an old Jedi hermit dedicated to gardening in his exile. It was rumored that here could be found the last of the red loakwals on the planet. So it was that Drow Venn and his Jedi companions found themselves facing Temple ruins that had almost been swallowed up by the jungle life. It didn't look promising but Drow had hope that the inside of the temple would be more promising.

"What's your read of this place? Think the tree could be inside?" he asked Isen, a young boy who he'd proudly fought with on Sullust. Isen had bravely flown that day, before being shot down. The boy might not be an expert pilot but Drow knew he could depend on him where it counted.

@Isen
 

Isen Ramm

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Quite some time passed between the last time that Drow Venn and Isen Ramm worked together. Both Venn and Ramm were on Sullust fighting the Eternal and his minions while, unbeknownst to them, the Sith were ravaging the home of the Jedi on Ajan Kloss. It was a bittersweet victory on Sullust, one that can came a great cost with severe injuries to the Jedi on the Dark Side planet, but one that also came with the weight of wondering if they could have made a difference on Ajan Kloss if they had postponed their mission to save a hostage.

The impatient and brash Kiffar Padawan that Drow knew then was quite different now. He had learned that actions had consequences, and many of those consequences were far beyond his control. He had grown in the physical sense, certainly. He was now a promoted Jedi Knight of 18 standard years, nearly 19 now, and after working hard for many months in the mines of Mon Gozza as part of his Jedi trials, he certainly had the body of a robust man. His eyes were calmer, warmer even. But behind them, a hardened resolve- one that might even be akin to stubbornness- to not back down when right and wrong are on the line.

Isen was glad to see a familiar face. Not only did Drow and Isen share the experience of being on Sullust and facing the Eternal, but they also were part of a team on Onderon that put an end to the spreading terror of a Dark Side cult in one of the forests on the planet. For Isen, there was pleasure in familiarizing himself with Drow once more, a trust was present that can only be earned in the thick of danger and battle.

And now, a new challenge. Teth. Isen had longed wanted to visit the planet, a vibrant, living world full of jungles and beasts both big and small. A wide range of plant life thrived here from beautiful to deadly and some plants were both. Selfishly, Teth provided a possible opportunity for the Jedi to continue trying to hone his ability to tame beasts using the Force. While he was certain that Drow wanted an easy grab and go mission, Isen was hoping for a little adventure...at least in the way of wildlife.

"What's your read of this place? Think the tree could be inside?" Drow asked as they looked at the B'omarr Monastery. A great question. Two great questions, actually.

The monastery sat atop one of the many mesas on Teth, most of which had fought off the jungle growth. This one had for quite some time with the aid of B'omarr monks and then the heavy traffic of the Hutts and smugglers that controlled the building and mesa afterward. But the jungle was a living organism in and of itself and over the years it seemed to see the monastery as a thing to be swallowed. So, the jungle climbed its way up the mesa and did exactly that. To most, they see the overgrowth pouring out of the monastery and climbing up its walls as a stain on good architectural art. Isen, however, saw nature reclaiming its place. "I think it could very well be inside. The monks that lived here would want it for research much the way the Jedi research botany. And the Hutts? They'll collect anything rare if they think it has value. Either could have brought it here and left it. Or...who knows? Maybe that's why they built the monastery here in the first place."

The Kiffar looked at Drow and grinned. "But it's not abandoned. There is a powerful presence in that temple." He figured that Drow could sense it too. Isen looked back with a respectful eye toward the building in question which was now in great disrepair due to the jungle living and growing as it pleased inside of it. "I don't know if it is a powerful predator, a sentient who has claimed it as their own...or even if the jungle itself here has gained a sort of living knowledge." Isen knew that might sound weird, but in his studies, he found it was far more common than most realized. Planets, forests, swamps, and more were capable of a symbiotic sentience. In fact, on Jedha, that was one of the things the Masters there were trying to create as part of their own research. He looked back at Drow and shrugged. "Either way, I think watching our step would be a good idea."


@Fantasy Liver
 

Drow Venn

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"I sense it too." Drow mused, stroking his chin as he surveyed this Temple. While a Jedi may have indeed once resided here long ago, there weren't really many signs that he had. From the carbon scoring on the walls, he could tell that this battle had seen its fair share of action. There was also a landing pad, now overgrown, that from the worn out landing strips seemed like it had once been in heavy use. Perhaps pirates or smugglers like Isen had suggested?

"I dealt with plenty of Hutts in my day. Not to be stereotypical but they're not so much the growing type. More of the "take things others have grown and feed them to nexus" type. If anyone grew this blasted tree, I'm going to guess it was the Jedi or the monks." Drow said. Nodding at Isen's suggestion, he gingerly stepped forward and opened the main gates.

As he did so, two things happened. One, a low growling sound echoed from the interior of the monastery and reached Isen's and Drow's ears. As interesting as that was, a metallic clanking sound could be heard coming from the roof as well. Drow nodded to the main gate and towards the roof.

"Split up?"

@Isen
 

Isen Ramm

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Isen couldn't help but cock a smile at Drow's apt description of the Hutts. Isen's adventures had not yet crossed paths with the Hutts, but their reputations were well understood. As far as the rare tree was concerned, Drow was correct- the monks or some Jedi who used this temple are the most likely suspects of horticulture of this kind, but just as Isen was about to propose a third possibility- that of the unknown. The monastery was abandoned...or appeared to be. Still, for some traveler, adventurer, researcher, or other...the building, while in tatters and ruins and filled with overgrowth, still provided some level of protection from the elements of the wild and weather.

Before he could offer that third possibility as Drow opened the main gates, the rumbling, but quite loud and discernable growl came from within the monastery. Simultaneously, a loud metallic thud came from the roof. To Isen, this was pretty clear evidence that the B'Omarr Monastery was not as abandoned as many believed, and something inside it was aware of their presence.

"Split up?" Drow asked.

Isen looked up to the roof and then back to the main entrance into the monastery. Both had significant risks. Whatever was growling was likely big, bad, and dangerous. Whatever was up on roof likely was sentient and quite protective of his or her solitude. For Isen, however, it could provide the perfect opportunity for what he had hoped might happen- to get a chance at taming one of the wild, ravenous, dangerous predators of this jungle planet. He looked back at Drow and nodded. "Sounds like a good plan to me. If you don't mind, I'd like to try my hand at investigating whatever is behind that mean growl inside the ruins if you don't mind checking the roof. My old master, Izel Thral, said I need to make more friends," Isen said with a grin.


@Fantasy Liver
 

Drow Venn

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"Can't say I disagree. I'm terrible company!" Drow quipped back, giving a cheeky salute to the young Knight. Watching Isen depart, Drow prepared his older body for a Force leap to the roof. He landed successfully atop the roof...and was immediately fired upon. One bolt grazed his forearm before he managed to put up his saber to defend himself. Two haphazard looking droids stood with ancient looking blasters. Aware of the hypocrisy of being angry at these droids for defending their own property. Drow focused and Force pulled the blasters from their arms. Groaning mechanically, the droids started charging the Ishi Tib. Drow had to give it to them -they were determined, if nothing else.

"I'm not here to hurt you!"

"We have been charged by the Jedi Dune Tarn with protecting these sacred grounds! You are trespassing!" one of the droids said, trying to go in for a grapple. Drow reluctantly sliced off his legs and faced the other one.

"Dune Tarn?" Drow asked. Must have been the Jedi that was rumored to have lived here but he couldn't remember ever learning about him in his history lessons.

Meanwhile, Isen would enter the Temple and be met with yet another, louder sounding growl. And soon he would see and smell what was behind that growl.

The interior of the temple was actually pretty spacious, with a high-ceiling courtyard area that branched off into several different hallways. One of the halls led from the main entrance - where Isen had come from and Isen would see in the courtyard stood a hulking looking jungle rancor. And he looked a bit pissed. Getting to any of the other hallways apart from the one he was currently in would require Isen to get past the rancor somehow.

OOC: Fighting/calming the rancor will require dice rolls.

@Isen
 

Isen Ramm

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When Isen walked into the grand entrance of the monastery, he walked into a large, open, circular room. The open foyer entrance held the gateway to many large hallways leaving in their own directions. The jungle rancor was not shy about telling Isen he was there or where he was. Another low rumble of a growl echoed through the building, and Isen drew his eyes toward one of the halls. There the great apex predator of the jungles of Teth stood.

A jungle rancor slowly stepped through the darkened hall. All Isen could see was a silhouette in the darkness and yellow eyes that seemed to glow, floating in the black background. But Isen knew they were on Teth, and something of that size and this level of confidence...there was only thing it could be. He stepped out into the big open foyer on the opposite of the large room as Isen and roared with all his fierceness. Even across the room, Isen could got a sense of his breath and power. He was large and muscular, even by rancor standards. His skin showed scars of battles for territory and social hierarchy, almost assuredly with other male rancors. Isen could tell that the beast was out of his physical prime, but not by much. He was still so large and so experienced, he posed the most dangerous challenge to Isen in terms of taming beasts through the Force.

"Whoa, big boy..." Isen said as he held out a hand. The rancor snapped his jaws twice and took two slow steps toward the Jedi Knight.

Blaster bolts could be heard from the roof and some yelling. Isen recognized Drow's voice, though the words were muddled down here. This also got the rancor's attention who instinctively looked up to find the sound. Isen took this opportunity to run to a different location and hide behind a column. He had steel himself before he tried to use the Force to bond with this creature. But...at least he knew what he was up against.


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Drow Venn

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The other droid also tried charging Drow and ended up going over the side when the Ishi Tib nimbly sidestepped him. An access hatch to the roof opened up and two more droids came pouring out. Drow would have faced off against them until he heard a loud roar from below. A very large sounding roar. Figuring the droids could wait, Drow dove off the roof and landed on his feet lightly. Then he'd charge into the building to make sure Isen was okay.

The large roar obviously came from the rancor down below, who had come even closer to Isen. With one mighty swipe of his paws, he shattered the column that Isen was standing behind, sending a shower of stone upon the Jedi but otherwise leaving him unharmed. But now there was no column standing between Isen and the rancor. Worried for his companion, Drow let out a shout to distract the rancor and hurled a large piece of the column at the beast's head. It seemed to be somewhat successful for the rancor took a step back, disoriented and roaring to the heavens.

OOC: Dice throw for throwing the stone column: 62 out of 100 - moderate success

@Isen
 

Isen Ramm

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The burly rancor showed his experience by not attacking Isen directly, but instead opting to use the architecture of the building as a mode of offense. Isen ducked, but he soon learned that the jungle rancor had a different plan, sending a load of concrete and stone debris on the Jedi. Isen had ducked, but what he really needed was cover. Isen quickly used the force to quickly create a shield above him. The bubble was not complete, so bits got threw, peppering Isen below with small, jagged pieces of building. The larger pieces could not penetrate the shield Isen presented and bounced harmlessly to the ground.

Still, what did get through managed to cut some of Isen's robes and a few left whelps and some minor lacerations. The rancor sensed an opening, but was surprised by Drow's attack. Disoriented and stunned by the shout and the stone that struck him, the rancor paused for a moment, dazed and a bit confused.

Isen held out a hand toward his fellow knight. "Give me a chance to calm this big boy. I can do it." Isen hoped his confidence was well-placed. The jungle rancor was already disoriented, so Isen would try to use that to his advantage. Much like he had done with the hssiss on Ambria and the giant angler on Yavin, Isen used the Force to provide a total sense of confidence against the beast, but also one of benign nature. The Kiffar Jedi closed his eyes, and with nothing but empty space between himself and the jungle rancor, he held out a hand to the massive beast.

The apex predator snorted once...twice and then breathed in deeply as he took the smell of Isen into his nostrils. The rancor's body heaved as he breathed heavily, but the ferociousness was suddenly replaced with a curiosity of what this presence was that had no fear of the creature, yet clearly did not want conflict with it. Isen could feel a certain amount of mutual respect between the two, so much so that he was very confident that unless things changed drastically, he would be safe from attack. The jungle rancor's massive head tilted to the right in question, and Isen opened his eyes. He smiled at the rancor and nodded. "You're going to give a chance, aren't you?" Isen then looked back up at Drow and nodded. "I'll be fine. If you have business to finish on the roof, I'll be quite alright. I would consider it a great accomplishment if we could leave without harming this guy."


@Drow Venn

Rousing Success! (96) Isen is successful in using the Force to put the jungle rancor in the state of mind to create a Force bond and be tamed.
 

Gram Van Alasdaire

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All directions were green, filled with more forests. It was such a stark contrast to the majority of locations the Vahla frequented it almost took him aback.

Though it wasn’t as though he hadn’t had the opportunity to travel to exotic locations, the vast majority of the planets Gram had taken to seeing or living on happened to be highly industrialized or otherwise cursed in some strange way. The natural beauty of this place contrasted starkly against Moraband, or even the likes of Tatooine or Lothal. Pure nature, the wild taking claim of all that it could touch. With no industry to stifle it, the very air felt different and free. Of course, the reason for his coming was something akin to that.

He himself was finally free. Free from the oppression of the darkness that loomed in his mind. After having sacrificed his limbs in a failed attempt to rescue a Jedi Gram had worked with in the past - in addition to revealing his intent to betray the Sith - the Vahla had taken to hiding. Folded within himself as his family helped him recover from the wounds. His uncle, much like his cousin, was a natural healer, though it was Gram himself who had to fork the credits for his replacement limbs. The caretaking came without cost, and like his uncle had advised, he was continuing to study techniques that directly contrasted with his former dark side ways.

Thanks to happenstance, or maybe it was just sheer dumb luck, or maybe still the will of the Force - another Jedi had stumbled across his path. A young, seemingly forgotten Padawan by the name of Liu Wang. Despite himself, Gram had to admit maybe he felt a kinship with the young man, feeling responsible for returning him to the Jedi proper. To that end, the Vahla had requested the Padawan stay on their ship with Z9 until he was done scouting here for a potential hideout.

Ajan Kloss or Tython were feasibly too distant for the Mantis to travel unnoticed. Yavin was too close to Sith space. Now that they knew of his betrayal, the Sith and likely the female Darth herself was hunting him. So he went by ear, and if rumor had it, there was an ancient Jedi temple on this world - somewhere his enemies were unlikely to be. Though perhaps he had been wrong.

If the thunderous roar and distant sounds of combat were any indication.

From the distance, the Vahla could see what appeared to be security droids on the rooftop, and a warrior in robes. From the being’s appearance, and the weapon they wielded, the Van Alasdaire assumed them to be Jedi. After the little kick flip, Gram knew for certain.

“Well at least I know the temple isn’t abandoned. Kriff sakes.”

Emerging from the underbrush in dark robes of his own, the mystic activated his emerald blade. The droids formerly focused on the fleeing Jedi now turned and looked down towards him. He allowed the Force to unravel around him and emanate from him, no longer constrained by stealth and guile. He was certain the Jedi could handle whatever lay within.

@Fantasy Liver @Isen (OOC; Hope you don’t mind me hopping in. Forgive the long intro post.)
 

Drow Venn

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Drow had kept his saber out and activated, ready to start slicing at the rancor but it seemed that Isen had things under control. Impressed and always willing to solve things without violence, Drow stood down. Once the Sith threat had abated and the Jedi were more secure, Drow wanted to devote himself to learning some more nonviolent Force powers. He knew how to Force Heal but he felt that he was only scratching the surface of how the Force could heal things

"You're going to have to teach me that one. Couple of droids on the roof. Seems this rancor isn't the only thing protecting this place." Drow kept Isen informed of the process and nodded to the Kiffar in response to his suggestion that he go and finish up with the droids on the roof. He turned to run back outside where a sudden surge in the Force distracted him. Was the Jedi who was supposed to live in this Temple alive after all?

As such, he didn't notice that the two droids he'd left earlier had leapt from the roof already. They pointed their weapons at him and fired. Fortunately, he was able to quickly shake off his surprise and deflect the bolts back at them, turning the two robots into scrap. Keeping his saber out and sweating, Drow turned towards the presence he felt.

"I can sense you! Show yourself! If you're a fellow Jedi, you have nothing to fear from me! I'm a friend!"


OOC: Roll result- 96/100 - another rousing success. Drow successfully deflects the bolts back to the droids and neutralizes the threat.

@Aurius @Isen
 

Isen Ramm

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Isen walked closer to the rancor. The blaster fire on the roof stopped, so that was either very good or very bad. But then he heard yelling, and it certainly seemed liked Drow's voice. The words were muffled inside the ruinous monastery, but he sounded well enough. And with the blaster fire stopped, he had to assume that Drow had the upper hand at this point.

Isen felt he could safely turn his attention to the beast with the rooftop under control. The rancor was already controlled, but that was only half the battle. Isen wanted to bond with this great predator, to have their minds- the sentient and the semi-sentient to come into one accord so that the rancor would trust Isen and allow his commands to be considered sound and just. At that point, the rancor would not only be tamed, but an ally. "We're going to be good friends, you and me," Isen said softly to the rancor. He didn't seem to disagree.

Once more, the Jedi Knight reached out and tried to meld his mind with the jungle rancor's. He could sense the mighty animal's will bending toward Isen's commands, but the process suddenly came to a stop. The rancor started sniffing heavily, and he approached Isen with a different look in his eye. Something was fighting with Isen for the beast's control. The massive head dipped down close to the Kiffar, invading Isen's safety bubble- so much so that Isen opened his palm near his side in case he needed to quickly draw his lightsaber and bring this exercise to a close.

Because Isen had in fact created a Force bond between their minds, he could tell what was preventing the creature from fully giving into Isen. The stones and pieces of debris that created cuts and small gashes on Isen's skin were bleeding, and the jungle rancor smelled the life force that flowed from those small scrapes and cuts. The smell of Isen's blood was bringing out the natural hunting instincts in this massive apex predator and was fighting Isen for control. Isen used a force push, which did fairly little against the beast but allowed him to somersault backwards and create some space between them.

"Hey, buddy...I don't taste as good as I look," Isen said in soft, easy voice. The huge gray and blue rancor started to circle, and Isen could feel the tension and conflict in the animal's mind. He wanted to trust Isen, to become a friend to the Jedi in front of him...but he also wanted to eat. Isen still had work to do, and the danger had not yet passed as Isen previously thought. He was still ahead in the game, but he had to prove to the beast that Isen was better served as a friend than dinner.


@Fantasy Liver @Aurius

 
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Gram Van Alasdaire

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Gram was slightly bemused when the pair of droids guarding the Temple leapt from their locations on the rooftop to the ground. With his saber raised, the Vahla had fully expected an incoming attack - only to find the droids were prioritizing the Jedi who had moved into the structure proper.

This whole situation was beyond strange. If this was a Temple made by the Jedi Order, why were there droids here defending it instead of more Jedi? Moreover, why were the defenses hell bent on killing what appeared to be one of the Temple’s guardians? Yet another series of strange sounds came from the interior of the Ruins even as the defender from earlier emerged from its premises.

A single armed droid emerged from Gram’s left as the pair from the roof engaged the Jedi, turning to him with mechanical precision. The Vahla was smart enough to begin moving towards the Jedi even as he raised his blade in defense. A blast rung out, catching the mystic by surprise - though the blaster bolt did not impact him, it did manage to knock his saber out of his hand, sending it gliding towards Drow. The drone continued to advance on him, with the Vahla now beginning to concentrate the Force towards the foe.

“Great! I’ve always wanted more friends... why are we being attacked?!”

By this point, the Jedi would be able to see him quite clearly. His answer came anyhow, yelling over his shoulder as he focused on this single aggressor.

Dice Rolls - [D6] 1 Enemy/ [D100] 25 - Mild Failure​
@Fantasy Liver @Isen
 

Drow Venn

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Drow heaved his saber at the other droid who had showed up. The beautiful yellow blade arced forward in the air before colliding with the droid's kneecaps, sending the mechanical guardian collapsing onto the ground, beaten. It would have been a resounding success for Drow if the Ishi Tib hadn't been aiming for the thing's head. Ah well. He called his saber back into his hand and collected Gram's as well.

"If anything we're the attacking ones. Sounds like the old Jedi who used to live here programmed these things to attack anyone who got too close. That being said, who are you?" Drow asked, holding onto Gram's saber tightly until the young man answered. In these trying times, it was difficult to trust anyone with a lightsaber right off the bat.

"Correction: Jedi Dune Tarn programmed us to attack those who would jeapordize the safety of this sacred temple and the botanical library housed within." the now-legless droid piped up, apparently not quite dead as it began crawling on the ground towards its fallen blaster.

Inside the temple however, Isen would find that the rancor, while being non-hostile and opening up more to the young Jedi, had a certain sense of protectiveness over a certain chamber door behind him and convincing him to let Isen pass him and enter the chamber might take more bonding and convincing.

@Isen @Aurius


OOC: Dice rolls: 49/100 - slightly below average hit. Also Isen, the chamber behind the rancor I'm referring to contains the botanical garden that Dune Tarn cultivated during his time here. It's also what the rancor is guarding.
 

Isen Ramm

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As the jungle rancor and Isen started to circle each other, Isen unwittingly was making his way toward an entryway. Isen's full attention was on the monstrous beast in front of him, and his surroundings at the moment were a secondary concern. The rancor didn't take kindly to Isen moving closer to that corridor and let out a harsh, raspy snort. It was a warning. He still had great respect for Isen despite the fact that he was starting to consider him a potential meal and a threat to the chamber Isen was moving toward.

Isen read that as a warning to not continue, so the Jedi Knight took a survey of his surroundings and saw what caught the rancor's attention. He was guarding whatever was behind a large ornamental metal gate. Beyond that gate, Isen could see the wondrous color that awaited him. Colors of all shades of reds and blues and oranges and pinks and purples. If the tree in question was here, it no doubt was behind that gate.

But another realization hit Isen as he turned his attention back to the rancor who was slowly positioning himself between Isen and the door once more. "So, you're the guardian of that gate." Isen sighed and looked at the rancor thoughtfully. "But that means someone trained you before, doesn't it? Somebody else already beat me to the punch with you it seems."

That certainly explained the ease with which Isen was able to get to the rancor to get prepared for bonding. Training a rancor was no easy task, so perhaps the stories of a Jedi using this monastery were true. Either way, to an extent, the beast had already been broken. Once more, Isen held out his hand closed his eyes trying to connect to the beast, and the connection once more took hold. The Kiffar Jedi telepathically told the rancor that he needed to pass through that gate, but he got nothing back from the rancor. He could not read the mind of the animal all. Isen opened his eyes and took his gamble, trying to walk past the monster of a animal, but this was a mistake.

The rancor took great offense to Isen trying to get into the garden that he was trained to protect, and he roared ferociously, swiping at Isen with his massive claws. Isen barely escaped with two nimble back flips and landed gracefully in a crouched position. The rancor took his own position directly in front of the gate much like a castle guard would stand before the entrance of the keep. Isen knew that much of the progress with the beast, much of the trust was broken.

Isen, angry with himself muttered under his breath. He tried to move too fast, and it cost him. He did not want to have to harm this great protector of the Teth jungles, and now he felt that if it came to that, it would be his fault. That was something he did not want to have to live with. He nodded to the rancor, again speaking to it through the Force as well as speaking the words aloud. "My mistake. I should have had your permission first. Protecting that gate is your charge. I will respect that."

The rancor snorted again, and Isen could see the saliva dripping from his teeth and reptilian mouth. With the lack of trust in Isen, the rancor was giving even more contemplation to making the Jedi a light snack.


@Fantasy Liver @Aurius

 

Gram Van Alasdaire

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As the Vahla prepared to unleash his abilities upon the poor, unsuspecting automaton, the Jedi from earlier came flying in. Saber at the ready, the Ishi Tib cleaved through the droid - though the blow lacked a certain finesse. The mystic’s goal, it seemed, was within reach. This here was a Jedi, and perhaps through this Jedi he could learn of what happened to Tallis. Or her Padawan, Dasi. And perhaps still, they could instruct him as to what to do with the new companion he found himself looking after - and further his knowledge of the Light in the process.

Gram looked the Jedi over as he spoke, firstly explaining that it was technically they who attacked - though how he could not understand. It was only when the somewhat deactivated droid explained that another Jedi had used this temple as a safe house that the Vahla understood. Rather backwards, however, to consider members of your own Order possible adversaries.

Before he could collect his lightsaber, the Jedi withheld it, as though that made a difference. In the end, the lightsaber was simply a weapon. The Force was powerful enough to guide him if this older being really sought a battle. Would not be very Jedi-like, but then again Gram had only met a few Jedi, with only three treating him with anything but derision and suspicion. Perhaps war simply changed them.

“I nearly sacrificed my life for your Order, Master Jedi.”

The reply was short and curt, and directly answered the elder‘s caution and curiosity. The robes hiding his left arm would fold back, revealing the metal of robotics, something he did not hide as he extended the hand to the Ishi Tib to collect his lightsaber. The lightsaber the Knight held had been given to him by another, his cousin, long ago. It would be fairly evident by his calm but determined expression that Gram would not be leaving without it.

“I’ll help you if I can, but I need to ask for guidance. I have more questions than answers, and a wayward Padawan in my care.”

If this Jedi Knight lived up to the reputation that his fellow knights impressed upon the Van Alasdaire, he would be able to see the sincerity in the Vahla’s pale white eyes. But yet, Gram’s head wheeled towards the ruins. His senses told him something was going on within, a feeling of warning.
@Fantasy Liver @Isen
 
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Drow Venn

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Drow considered the man's words for a moment before tossing the lightsaber back to him. Then he made his way over to the crawling droid and kicked the ancient looking rifle further from its grasp.

"Ex-Jedi, are you?" Drow asked. Something in this man's voice made him trust him. "We can give you and this Padawan safe passage from here if you need. But we have our own mission here that we need to complete first. You're welcome to help."

"As for you..."
Drow said, kicking the legless droid over on its back. "You see how none of our lightsabers are red, here? We're all Jedi so there's no need to attack any of us."

"Assessment: you are telling the truth. Amending this unit's directives to attack you. What is your purpose here, Master Jedi?"

"Not a Master. Not yet anyways. We're trying to get a red loakwal that your Jedi, Tarn may have grown here for...reasons that I still can't believe, frankly. Know if one is here?"

"Master Tarn was a master botanist who kept many plants. One of the other units kept a catalogue of every plant species housed within the botanical gardens but unfortunately, it was terminated by you."

"Right...er...sorry about that." Drow said, a little unsure if he even should apologize for scrapping a droid trying to kill him. "What about the rancor then?"

"Dune Tarn trained several beasts in addition to droids to guard this place. When he died, most of the animals left their posts save for the rancors. They seem drawn to this place and are very protective of it. But the guard droids here have no control over it."

Hmmm...this was interesting. Perhaps a lingering Force Bond? Drow had studied up somewhat on the influence Jedi could have over animals but he was no expert. He'd certainly be recording this in his mission log when he got back to Yavin. Some smarter Jedi might find it useful to study in the future. As if to punctuate that thought, Drow heard another roar from inside the temple.

"Thanks, droid. Sorry about the legs." the Ishi Tib said, sprinting towards the Temple to help Isen, motioning for Gram to join him if he wanted. When he arrived, it looked as though the situation with Isen and the rancor had deteriorated. He looked over a bit concerned at the Kiffar.

"Any updates? Need me to run distraction?" he asked.

@Isen @Aurius
 

Isen Ramm

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As things with the rancor were starting to go south, he was happy to have Drow back inside the monastery as a failsafe. Isen smiled at Drow and shrugged at his question. "I don't know...if I keep this up, I may need a bacta bath. I would hate to hurt him though...he's not here on his own accord." This rancor was tamed and trained for this specific purpose, and as the two minds met, Isen could tell that it was in fact a Force bond that did that taming and training. It certainly appeared that the Jedi theory had lept to the top of the list of possibilities.

The jungle rancor started a slow walk toward Isen. The Jedi Knight once again tried to make a bond with the creature, but he was discovering that the bond that the previous Jedi made with with this beast was a strong one. For the first time, Isen had serious doubts if he would be able to break through that Force wall that was placed by the Jedi that wanted that gate and garden guarded.

What's more, Isen could sense a change in the rancor. As the massive reptile walked toward Isen, he was no longer in a mood to be curious. He was stalking. The rancor mixed his charge to guard the gate to the garden with his predatorial instincts to hunt and to eat. In his mind, he could now do both. Isen could tell that at least for the moment, the chance to win this beast over as a friend and ally had passed. The Kiffar opened his eyes, and they suddenly grew wide as he saw the massive claws of the rancor swiping at him. Isen dropped to his stomach, and he could feel the wind of the fast and brutal swipe pass over his back by mere inches. The Jedi responded by rolling to his back, kipped up, and started a sprint. The rancor roared loudly and gave chase.

Isen headed for the exit where he hoped the change of scenery and open jungle would make the rancor more open to Isen's bonding attempts. He yelled to Drow on his way out, "I'll be fine! You should have a clean path to the garden!" With the rancor leaving his post to chase after the Jedi Knight, Isen figured the gate to the garden would now be unobstructed.

@Fantasy Liver @Aurius
 

Gram Van Alasdaire

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The Jedi immediately became more relaxed and friendly. Perhaps war did not change them as much as war had changed him. The lightsaber was tossed his direction, almost on instinct, as much as it was instinct that Gram caught it with his cybernetic limb. He did not holster it, as the Force was clearly warning him of what may be an impending threat.

“Formerly... no. More... aspiring. Safe passage to a neutral or Jedi-allied system would be highly appreciated.

Very well. I’ll help however I can.”


The elderly Jedi then went to the semi-disabled droid, booting it’s blaster far beyond reach before propping it on its back with the very same punt. He then scolded the droid for attacking members of the Jedi Order - and much to his surprise, the droid agreed. That was the hostiles dealt with, then. If that was so, however, what in Ashla’s name was causing such a feeling of caution in the Vahla?

So this Jedi was not a master. He also seemed unaware that most denizens referred to Jedi as Master Jedi in respect of their religion and organization. Or at least, it used to be commonplace. These days it was far more likely Jedi would be faced with anger or aggression, being easily mistaken for Sith - even by their own droids.

A red loakwal tree?!

Gram turned to the elder with a look of confusion on his face. The conversation continued, revealing that the droid usually storing logistics had been disabled. That didn’t mean, however, that it was impossible to access it’s components and draw the information from it’s databank. However, the next words the Jedi pose revealed the nature of this sense of anxiety. A rancor. Gram had only briefly read up on the beasts, and had never encountered one alive. They were dangerous, ravenous apex predators that usually tore potential prey apart on sight. A roar broke out from the Temple, and Gram spurred to action. The young Vahla followed his newfound Jedi ally within. Only to find a Kiffar Jedi attempting to... tame the beast?

Oh. What the kriff. What the actual kriffing kriff.

It was a beauty to behold such raw nature firsthand. The guardian of the garden itself was also equally as majestic and terrifying as the descriptors of his race prophesized. The Vahla was now caught between aiding the Kiffar in distracting the beast, or aiding the elder Ishi Tib in collecting the tree. As his knowledge of botany was severely limited - he elected to deal with what he had experience in.

“Go get the tree. I’ll make sure your friend stays in one piece.”

As the Kiffar was attacked, Gram made his move to defend him. As rancor ran after the Jedi, the Vahla began to barrel towards it’s legs. Outstretching his hand, the Vahla slid beneath the beast and unleashed a push on it’s lower jaw. Unfortunately, the push wasn’t nearly enough to knock the creature unconscious - and now, it wasn’t focusing on the friendly Jedi alone. It was focusing on Gram too.

It was getting angry.

Dice Rolls - [D100] 48 - Barely a Success
@Fantasy Liver @Isen
 

Drow Venn

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"Right then..." Drow said as his two companions ran off and dealt with the angry rancor. Not an enviable job by any means so the Ishi Tib would make the most of the distraction. He made his way to the chamber that seemed to be radiating with the most life and was awestruck at the sheer diversity of plants that he saw. Drow was no botanist but even he could see that the old Jedi, Dune Tarn had spent a lifetime cultivating this work. And speaking of...there was Dune Tarn in the center of this great greenhouse.

Or, rather, what was left of him. A small column had been erected. Engraved upon it were the words "HERE LIES JEDI KNIGHT, DUNE TARN. A TENDER OF THE EARTH" Atop the column was an urn containing the Jedi's ashes as well as a stack of books on plantlife and using the Force to connect with nature. At the very top of the pile of books was Tarn's own journal, where he documented his time on Teth. As much as Drow despised being a rich man's errand boy, this mission to Teth may have been more fruitful than he initially expected. Taking the journal and as many books as he could fit in his pack, he left the urn behind. He didn't know Dune but he figured he'd want his remains to stay behind with his plants. Next he went to the red loakwall tree and took some cuttings of it and placed them in water. He also collected a few seedlings. It'd be difficult to transport the whole tree but Praji should be able to make do with these and grow it himself. Plus, Drow would feel wrong uprooting Tarn's garden for some aristocrat.

"Got some seeds and cuttings. I'm good to leave if you all are. Need help?" Drow commed over to Isen. Gram would also probably hear the broadcast considering how close in proximity they were.

@Isen @Aurius
 

Isen Ramm

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Isen's mind was still tethered to the rancor, and when the massive animal took a Force push to the jaw, Isen knew it immediately. The beast came to a screeching halt and turned so that he could see both Isen and the new target. Isen didn't know this guy, but he apparently was taught in the ways of the Force. He was clearly trying to help, but Isen wondered if this may have completely ended his opportunity to tame the beast.

The Jedi stopped. He was determined to give this one more try. He looked at the stranger and nodded. "Pleasure. If you will excuse my rudeness, I'll introduce myself later. For now, I want to give this guy one more chance to not be harmed." Isen heard Drow ask him if he needed help over comms. "I think we'll manage...I have a new friend here now if things go south. You're more than welcome to see if we get eaten though..."

Isen nodded up to the rancor who was extremely irritated and looking back and forth between Isen and Gram. He roared angrily and stomped his foot. He was simply deciding at this point who to try to eat first.

Isen took a step toward the rancor even as the great predator of Teth was roaring his intimidation attempt. For the first time, Isen decided to try to assert himself as the apex, a completely foreign concept to the rancor. The rancor had come to respect Isen and believed the Jedi to be his equal, but now Isen had to show that the Force was the apex in these jungles. Isen reached out with both hands and closed his fists, gripping the great beast with the Force by both ankles. The Kiffar's face was stern as he started walking straight at the rancor. The rancor tried to lift his feet to come at Isen, but he could not lift them. Isen held them in the place. As he approached, Isen told the rancor out loud, so Gram could hear what was said, but also through the tethering of their minds. "Enough is enough, rancor!" Isen said with a stern voice. "I have played nice with you, but you are going to force my hand to get rough. I want to work with you, not against you."

While he said this, Isen closed his eyes and sank his very essence into the jungle. Much like he did with the great angler on Yavin, his Force signature would be melded into the grasses, the bushes, the trees, the animals, the very planet itself. It would appear that Isen was a living representation of the planet to those who could feel the Force. As he did this, he slowly released the grip on the beast's ankles. The rancor saw Isen as the jungle itself, himself a part of this Jedi and the Jedi a part of him.

Isen opened his eyes and found the rancor calm and breathing easily no more than a few meters in front of him. The Kiffar looked up at the towering creature and considered trying to bond him with once more. He did not know if it would be possible because of what the previous Jedi already had in place. Instead, Isen would do this great predator a favor. For no telling how long, this animal had been trained and commissioned to be a guard, a protector. He still had some great years left in him and as the two minds met each other, Isen placed a hand on the massive trunk of a leg. "You deserve better than what you've had, my friend. You deserve to be free."

Once again, Isen closed his eyes and wormed into the mind of the rancor, breaking the bonds made with the Jedi that turned him into a wild, but reliable sentinel of the guardian within the monastery. The rancor lifted his head high and roared, but not a roar of intimidation or a precursor to hunting, but one of freedom. He had been given his liberty, his natural character, behaviors, and desires. He lowered his head to Isen, his massive teeth and snout dangerously close to the Jedi. But, Isen stood firm and in fact patted the beast on the nose. "I'll not ask you to do my bidding, friend. You are free. Be a wild rancor. Take your rightful place as king in this jungle."

And with that, the rancor snorted, blowing the hot air from his nostrils on the Kiffar. Isen still smiled as he watched the great predator of the Teth jungle slink back into the thick greenness beyond them. Isen stayed for a long while, watching. He may have been able to take the beast as a pet. Possibly, he could have used him as an ally, but ultimately, the rancor deserved better. He turned back to the other Jedi and bowed, immensely tired by the using the Force this extensively to save the great creature. "The name is Isen Ramm, a member of the Jedi Order."


@Fantasy Liver @Aurius

Two rolls-
Roll one- Isen calms the rancor- ROUSING SUCCESS! 94/100
Roll two- Isen is able to tame the beast- SUCCESS! 54/100
 
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