Geldar Tharn - Part 2: The Departure of Kylarra Tharn

At the age of 18 his mother payed a surprise visit to Master Orruwarr's dwelling alone and explained to him that she would be disappearing for a time to investigate reports of Trandoshan Slaving operations in remote areas of Kashyyyk. This was a very dangerous activity that required absolute secrecy and she could not even share it with Geldar's father. Senator Toban was at that time working for peace between the two worlds and was on Corruscant mediating a peace summit between their leaders. He would not be back for several weeks and Kylarra hoped to finish her investigation before he returned.

Geldar tried to convince her not to go. He had an unsettled feeling about the idea, but Kylarra insisted that it needed to be done and that she did not want to tell Geldar's father because he had enough on his mind with the peace talks. She would not be dissuaded and after a short visit, she departed, leaving her son with a kiss on the cheek and a hole in his heart. Somehow he knew he would never see her again.

That night, he dreamed of his mother's horrible death at the hands of Trandoshan slavers and woke in a cold sweat. Unable to put the images out of his mind and fearing the dreams to be more than irrational fears, he made a decision. Changing his clothes and gathering the necessary equipment, he slipped out into the blackness of Kashyyyk's surface and headed for the treetops in search of his mother.

This was possibly the most foolish thing Geldar had ever done. Even the powerful wookies shunned the lower levels of their planet due to the large predators and poisonous creatures that lived below.

Only the most powerful such as Master Orruwarr dared to live in sight of the ground and even he dared not travel at night when the largest of these roamed in the greatest numbers through the impenetrable blackness. In the three years that Geldar had lived in the master's house, they had never set foot outside after the evening meal, keeping the doors bolted until morning. And Geldar had not been without evidence that dangerous things prowled about in the night. Many a night he had been awakened by the sounds of beasts sniffing at the entrance and seen the deep claw marks in the door the next morning.

Yet, this was something he felt he had to do. He was convinced that his mother's life was at stake. He knew the first law of the Jedi code forbid this kind of impulsive action. "There is no emotion; there is peace." But his soul was in turmoil. There could be no peace for him until he knew that his mother was safe and he feared that to wait even through the night to go after her would prove fatal for her. He was armed only with a stun rod used for lightsaber practice a large hunting knife and a large glow rod to find his way in the darkness. Thus it was that he was no match for the Tree Dragon that soon hunted him down. Distantly related to the Krayt Dragons of Tatooine's deserts, the tree dragon was one of the most formidable hunters of Kashyyyk. Able to smell prey from two miles away, these giant tree lizards would stalk a victim for hours until finding the right time to strike. Many times this was from under the very branch that the victim stood on, knocking the unsuspecting prey from the perch with it's tail from one side and right into it's open throat on the other.

Again it was Master Orruwarr who saved his young padawan's life, arriving just in time to severe the monster's head from it's body before it could finish swallowing it's unconscious snack.

Regaining consciousness, Geldar was surprised by Orruwarrs words. Rather than scolding his student for being ruled by his emotion, the understanding elder encouraged him and offered to help him find Kylarra. Orruwarr had also seen darkness in the young woman's future and had waited to see if Geldar would take action, deciding already that he would help the young man. This was one of the vast differences between Wookiee understanding of the Force and the teachings of the Council of Corruscant. Wookies did not agree that all emotions and passions were to be shunned in favor of peace and serenity as the ancient code of Odan-Urr taught. Most Jedi Masters on Kashyyyk believed in the power of emotion for good as well as evil, provided it was channelled to the proper outlet and was not allowed to blindly govern ones actions. Emotion and passion were believed by the Wookiee to be the most powerful motivators on earth. Love and Joy being chief among these, were responsible for some of the greatest heroic deeds in the galaxy. The Wookiee culture prized the pursuit of Love and Honor above all else even among their jedi.

So it was that the hunt for Kylarra Tharn began. It was a very difficult hunt for the two, because they were forced to be discreet in their inquiries for fear of giving her mission away. And because her mission was so secret, there was not much information to be gathered anyway.

It was only through the guiding of the force that they finally picked up her trail. It led them half way around the planet and deep into the bowels of the jungle once again where they stumbled upon a trandoshan slave colony. How they had infiltrated planetary monitoring systems and established such a wretched place was unimaginable to Geldar but he found himself having to fight back his anger at what he saw.

Kylarra's presence could be felt nearby and Geldar could only wonder at how she had infiltrated this vast complex and what she hoped to accomplish. Her skills were no trifle, but still the odds seemed overwhelming for one jedi knight.

The End

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