Pre-TFS RP: Mud, Grime, and Fight!

GABA

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It was Spring time in the mud flats on Talus. The sky was clouded and soft rumbles could be heard in the distance, letting the young Jedi know her time was limited. A slight breeze carried the warning of rain and for Nora, it smelled terrible. Her nose wrinkled and she resisted her next inhale as she carried on through the muddy path, she wasn't sure why she was still following the trail, she had lost her prey thanks to the rains that kept coming and going. She would have to wait until the rains cleared before she could resume her hunt for a sludge panther that was terrorizing livestock of a homestead near the flats.

Nora assumed that food was scarce, normally the creature didn't venture too far from its territory in the flats. Regardless, Nora decided to turn back for the day, her boots were suctioned with every step as she tried to pull herself from the mud. Her staff wasn't much help to pull her along as it became stuck also. She knew her abs and thighs were going to burn in the morning from the extra effort and to her fortune, the new rains decided to letdown its waters.

The Jedi was soaked by the time she reached solid ground and her lower half was caked in mud. She looked down, and let out a sigh, accepting her new style until she could get back to the homestead to change. It would take her several hours before she reached the farm.

After a few laughs and an amazing laundry trick to remove the mud, Nora sat at the fire of her camp as she waited for her clothes to dry. Her clients didn't believe anymore rain would come and the young Jedi felt relieved. Sitting by the fire, the girl lost herself in thought, taking small bites of a salty jerky as she looked for meaning in her past actions. Though before she delved too deep, Nora was pulled to a presence, subtle, quiet, not looking for trouble, but the girl pulled the blaster from her resting utility belt and stood up quickly.

Her ears listened carefully, picking up changes in the rustle of grass, the quiet of insects, or the sudden disturbance of birds as they flew into the setting sun. Someone approached, she could it was a human male; she watched him for a moment, blaster still at hand, "Travelers should be weary of this road." she called out.

@ContraDantes
 

ContraDantes

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Justinian had landed on Talus in hopes to find one of the exiles who’d rooted themselves deeply within the core worlds, but thus far he’d found little more than the intermittent bursts of rain that had fallen upon the muddy world, and of course the accompanying stench of feted marshland. Still, he enjoyed the calm peace that coated the area in it’s quiet embrace. He hadn’t gotten much peace during the war, a consistently, and constantly oppressive atmosphere began to bear down upon his everyday life, bringing a sort of dreariness that had begun to lift only recently.


Justinian would make no secret of his status as a Jedi Knight, wearing his lightsaber on his hip proudly as he made his pleasant trek through the muddy landscape of Talus. Still, what little convoys, and merchants he ran into seem to have an air of distrust about them. It wasn’t noticeable, at least not immediately, but the longer these conversations with strangers went the more he picked up on it. It began as a crooked eyebrow, or a sideways glance towards the ribbed, silver, and black saber that hung lackadaisically from his belt, but soon it began to develop into something more sinister, shorter more curt answers, and a sort of manner of veiled hostility, which made the Jedi Knight sufficiently uncomfortable enough that he did not speak to anyone for too long.

Justinian’s stomach, despite the Jedi’s best efforts to focus on the task on hand, would begin to growl with hunger, Still, the Knight would attempted to continue to trudge through the mud, and ignore it, a wet squelch filling the air with each rhythmic step of his heavy brown boots, coated with the moist dirt of Talus’s surface. Just as his hunger began to reach its nadir, and pangs began to trouble his poor stomach Justinian would spot the faint smoke of a fire in the distance.

The man smiled beneath the hood of his heavy robes, which were still wet from the previous rainfall. With a tug of his black beard he’d take a hold of his poor stomach and force himself to continue on for the last mile or so till he reached the source of the smoke. In his hunger Justinian had forgotten himself, making no attempt to conceal his presence as he approached, rustling grass and alerting every critter within earshot.

As he stepped out of the tall grass he heard a voice ring out "Travelers should be weary of this road." He laughed, looking to the owner of the voice, a human woman standing at about 5’7” and pointing a blaster at him. He’d look her up and down with a set of weary cornflower blue eyes and flash a warm perfectly imperfect sort of smile. “Do you make a habit out of pointing a blaster at every traveler to cross your way?” He'd ask in a matter of fact way, seemingly unworried by the woman's weapon.

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GABA

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He smiled at her and spoke, his words soft and not alarming to the young Jedi.

"I...uh," she looked down at her blaster and shrugged, lowering it to her side, "I can never be too careful." she said, her eyes scanning the man and catching the glint of the silver hilt of his lightsaber. She trusted her instinct, and gave a small nod, "I'm Mavis Azure." she introduced herself, "You're welcome to join me if you wish to rest." she said gesturing to her small camp. "Are you hungry? I have some jerky and fresh fruit from the farmers up the road." she said opening a small basket and took a seat on a small stone offering the Jedi something to eat.

The girl studied the man for a few more moments, not out of curiosity, but with purpose as she tried to decide who this traveler was. The flock that was disturbed earlier finally settled as the creeping night begun its crawl through the sky. The stars shone unusually bright even by the fire of the camp. "What brings you all the way out here?" she asked him, holstering her blaster back into her utility belt as she moved on to check if her clothes were dry. She would admit she felt awkward being in the presence of company in just shorts, her boots and a tank top. Feeling her clothes were no longer damp, she pulled them down off the tree branches and wrapped herself in her cowl.
 

ContraDantes

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Justinian would nod softy in response to the woman’s initial question, raising two freckled hands towards the heavy brown hood that covered his head. With a quick jerk the cloth falls back, revealing a youthful face with a shaggy mess of charcoal hair and a matching untrimmed beard. The man seems to take a moment to consider the question before nodding with hungry eyes “I’m afraid I would hate to impose, but if you would share your meal with me I’d be ever grateful.”

“As for what I’m doing here”
he cuts himself off with a low, melodic laugh “Well in truth I am here in search of those who have lost the light. The poor exiles of the order who have strayed from the flock” his voice would grow sterner as he speaks, brow furrowing “I search for them in hopes that I may return them to the fold of the order, or at the least convince them to leave the darkness behind if I’m able.”

His demeanor would relax once more as he cast off his cloak, leaving only the sandy tunic below to fight against the nip of the night wind. Justinian would slowly make his way towards the fire He’d pause for a moment, realizing in his hunger he’d entirely forgotten to introduce himsel “I am Justinian, Knight of the Jedi Order. Perhaps I could assist you with something in exchange for the food? I must admit I’m not the most apt in regards to survival skills, but I’ve got two legs, and a strong back. I’m sure I could be of assistance”


 
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GABA

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Nora listened carefully as she watched the Jedi take a seat by the fire. She stepped out of her boots and slipped on her pants and then took a seat. He explained his purpose for being her and she quirked her eyebrow, an unease grew in her stomach. She had fallen off the radar for about a year now, and a thought crept into her mind leaving her bothered. Did the councilors think she abandoned the Order?

Returning to the fire, Nora took a seat also and after taking another piece of jerky, handed the basket to Justinian. She held the piece of jerky with her teeth freeing up her hands to slip back into her boots.

"Your path is very noble..." she replied and then took a bite of her dried meat; however, the girl continued her conversation within her head, though I assume who refuse to return will be slaughtered like livestock.

She frowned internally to her own thoughts, "Its nice to meet another Jedi, I feel like they're all too spread out." she took another bite thinking on his offer of assistance.

"So much so, it makes it difficult to practice..." she said pick up her staff and gave it a twist, releasing part of the rod and revealing a lightsaber hilt. "Its been a few months since I've used this thing, care for a sparring? E'be good practice for you in case someone decides to go for your throat instead of returning to the Light." she gave him a light grin.
 

ContraDantes

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It was serendipity, not the Jedi council that had brought Justinian to the young Jedi. He felt an unease grow within her as he explained his purpose but he simply chose to respond with a small smile, as if to show that he bore no ill will towards her.

Justinian would accept the basket of salted meat gratefully, pulling a strip of the jerky out with a calloused hand. Mentally Justinian was conflicted, on one hand it’d been some time since he’d eaten meat, on the other it was right there and he was voraciously hungry. Ultimately practicality won out over his moral compass and Justinian devoured the strip of salted meat. Through the course of his conversation with the woman sitting across the fire he’d consume two more, and some of the previously mentioned fruit from the farmer up the way. It’d seem he has an appetite that’s for certain.

The Knight nodded slowly as he heard the woman speak “Yes, I do believe I agree with you there. This past century has been disastrous for the Order. I find that many who have lost their way have only done so because they are unable to seek guidance from their Masters and peers. Though each day more and more of the galaxy’s lost appear in Jedha. One can only hope the storm has passed” He’d stand up from near the fire and dust himself off, unclipping the silver saber from his hip with a smile “I’d be more then happy to practice, any opportunity to hone my skills is one worth taking.”
 

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The evening breeze blew, giving Nora a small shudder as she felt an ease projected from the Knight and a relief washed over her. Her thoughts cleared as he responded, they were comforting to the young Knight, and agreed about those losing their because of the distraction of the fight. She wished her Master had seen it as so too, she wished he'd listened and not acted on impulse instead. It could have brought understanding, as the girl had so many questions that her Master firmly refused to answer.

Though, when Justinian agreed to a sparring, a smiled crossed her face. Stuffing the rest of the dried meat into her mouth, she chewed as fast as she could while leaping to her feet. "Storms will always pass..." she said between a long chew, "But if the conditions are right, there can always be more." Nora replied, removing her cowl and setting it down on the rock before grabbing her staff.

"This way..." she said leading Justinian to a slight clearing. The ground was bare and soft from the rains; small shrubs and bushes laid scattered throughout the area and the only light they had would be from the campfire and now the blue hue of Nora's saber as she ignited it. She rotated the saber, and then her staff loosening her wrists as she cleared her footing, rolling away stones that would cause an unwelcomed ankle roll.

Nora stepped her right foot back, her body turned slightly to keep face to face with Justinian. She gave another spin of her saber and staff and rolled her shoulders back. "Tell me when you're ready." she grinned.
 

ContraDantes

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Justinian would nod in agreement at the young Jedi’s words, rubbing his mud caked boots on the floor to scrape off some of the excess dirt as Nora rose to her feet. With a role of his neck he’d slowly begin following her towards the clearing. As they walked Justinian would begin to reach out with the force, mental tendrils sprawling from the Jedi towards the birds, the trees, and even the most minut insect connecting with them. Justinian would let out a hum as he began to grow more intune with the nature around him, seemingly expanding his force energy outward, as he looks inward for focus.


Once properly attuned Justinian would breath in deeply, his freckled nose wrinkling at the scent of the Talus mud flats. With a small burst of energy Justinian would clear the area around him of stones, and other debris much as Nora had just done. Finally he would reach for the metallic cylinder around his waist, his gloved right hand wrapping tightly around the ribbed lightsaber. With an audible *BEEZCHW* the weapon would ignite, it’s green light shining bright upon the star pocked eternal empire that had sprawled across the night sky.

Justinian held the Saber in a balanced two-handed guard, grasping it vertically with both palms, on the right side of his body. A trained duelist would easily notice that this was the opening stance of Form IV: Ataru. Once happily sufficient with the stance he had taken Justinian would begin speaking, his voice calm, and centered, as if he was in tune with the world around him.

“I am ready”


After speaking Justinian would pause a short moment, as if to allow the woman to acknowledge his words, but soon after he would leap forward employing what most Jedi would know as a falling leaf technique in an attempt to hammer down upon Nora with a rapid strike. Although the opening salvo was thunderous, and flashy to boot, it was obvious that Justinian was holding something back
 

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She had not been around very many other Jedi, but when she was, there was a sense of curiosity that rose within her to see how they connected with the Force. Calm, like before a summer rain. He had ignited his lightsaber and moved into his opening stance, Form IV. He spoke, and Nora gripped her hilt and staff tighter, bending in the knees slightly as if ready to leap from her spot. However, he would leap first.

It was undoubtedly a showy move, nothing she particularly would open with personally. He spun with his lightsaber and the young Knight would keep out of reach moving to Justinian's right and backwards in order to keep him turning if he wished to strike her. Nora's footwork was graceful as they slid one right over the other as she moved in order to get behind him.

She held up her saber in front of her, angled slightly pointed to him, "That it?" she asked with a coy grin.
 
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