[Story] Character of the Week – Malavar

[[ Malavar is the older brother of Zamarra, my Jedi Consular. He was reluctantly trained as a Sith Assassin but primarily to earn his own freedom. With Zamarra still missing, he decides to take matters into his own hands. ]]

Malavar rubbed his eyes, the little dots of the holo-map blurring and merging before him. He’d pored over the coordinates for hours, studying each pinpoint of light, watching — for what? Some sort of clue that he was on the right track perhaps, some flicker of her signal across the frequencies. Not long ago, that privateer had located Zamarra’s ship, docked at the fleet, of all places. She was not in it, the ship’s droid and navigation system had guided it back to safety. Kif had scoured the logs for the navigation history, but they were encoded, and Malavar had not heard anything since then. Breaking codes could take time, but the more days that passed, the more Malavar began to lose hope.

You’ve lost her again, they scolded him. Just as you did before. You couldn’t keep her safe. You couldn’t keep any of them safe.

Malavar did his best to push the voices further back; he had not long ago believed that they were actually gone, that he’d rid himself of their interference for good. And for a time they had been quiet, and Malavar had allowed himself to believe that he might be able to carry on as everyone else, have something normal after all. But it had only been a trick, another of their cruel games. Just as the world around him began to crumble apart, so too did his sense of normalcy. They had only receded, and now they flooded up onto the banks of his consciousness, as they did whenever he was distressed. Sometimes he could ignore them, at least for a short time, but they were always there, and he could not pretend not too hear them for too long.

Frowning, he tapped on a planet for a large view of it and its satellites. Belsavis, Kif had said that was the most recent location he could clearly identify. While Malavar wasn’t sure if he could entirely trust Kif, he did believe that his goals aligned with his own in this case — even if his motivations were more selfish. The blue twi’lek had been attempting to court his sister for years now, and though she’d never seemed to reciprocate, Kif was persistent. Malavar knew he’d be willing to help locate her, and he had been. But there had to be some mistake, why would Zamarra go to Belsavis? It was a remote and hostile planet, housing some of the galaxy’s worst criminals. That is, if the local fauna didn’t tear her apart first. Malavar stared at the image of the sphere, turning in its artificial orbit on the map. There were a lot of moons. Were any large enough that she might be there?

Kif’s snooping had turned up information that Zamarra had departed Tython with some children during the attacks. It hadn’t been that long ago that Malavar had seen her, and she hadn’t had any children then. But it was possible — likely even — that she’d fled with some Jedi students. A remote moon of a planet that nobody wanted to visit would be a good place to hide. But even then, why would she have sent away her ship? Likely to prevent being tracked, but then she would be stranded. He should go to her.

You’ll just ruin things as you did before. Why would you even bother? Remember your mother? And Ashara?

That was different, Malavar assured himself. He couldn’t have done anything then — he could now. He still had his ship, and he still had his saber. If he could find Zamarra, he could help her — somehow.

 

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[Screenshots] SWTOR – Ashara + Arcann

Vector also returned in this patch, but my Agent isn’t able to get him yet so I’ll try to get her through her chapters later. Still busy trying to get sewing projects going though!

More importantly though, Malavar’s long-lost girlfriend is back! I love that it kept her customization too, so she looks right in this scene.


And Arcann finally became available as a romance. Zamarra is always willing to see the good in people, so she’s a good choice for him. (Until Zenith comes back, I guess.)

[Story] SWTOR – Hidden

The fading afternoon sunlight cast a golden glow over the camp, a warm spring breeze ruffling the trees overhead. The soft grass tickled the bottoms of Zamarra’s feet as she ran after her brother. Malavar, older and taller, held an empty whiskey bottle and paused to let her catch up.

“Look, there’s some,” he said, and she followed where his finger was pointing to the little dancing specks of light. Except, as Malavar had explained, they were actually little insects. He proposed that if they caught some inside the bottle, they could bring it inside to keep their tent light enough after dark. It might take a lot of them, they were so small and the light so dim. But perhaps together, it would work. They flitted and zipped so quickly over the grass, no matter how quickly they ran, the bugs always darted away at the last moment.

They both flopped down on the sun-warmed grass, defeated. Maybe it was for the best, Zamarra reasoned. The bugs probably wouldn’t be very happy stuck inside a bottle. They belonged out here in the late spring evening, free and unburdened. Yet at the same time, she didn’t want her brother to be disappointed. He always sat near the opening of the tent while he was reading, waiting until the last possible sliver of light was gone. They weren’t allowed any holos, but Malavar found old paper books thrown out in the trash heap sometimes. Usually they were damaged, or pages were missing, but he read them avidly all the same.

Sometimes she could make things move, if she thought about it really hard. It was just a thing she did sometimes to amuse herself, but she hadn’t told anyone else. Likely they would just scold her for trying to play a trick. Could she also make something stop moving, as well? She watched one of the little light-bugs, focusing intently upon it. She had to be gentle, it was such a fragile little thing. Holding her breath, she willed it to stop moving — and it did, hovering perfectly in place just above the grass. Zamarra took the bottle from Malavar and scooped the bug inside, clapping her hand over the mouth. Her concentration broken, the insect began to move again, bumping against the glass walls of its cage.

“Zamarra, how–” Her brother’s face was wide with both awe and shock.

“I caught one for you!” she said proudly, holding the bottle up in front of him.

“But you — you made it stop moving.” Unlike her, he had some idea of what that meant. “We have to go tell Mama.”

Zamarra frowned faintly, watching the bug inside the bottle as she followed her brother back toward their tent. Why wasn’t he happy?

“Master Zamarra?” Thisiri, the little cathar girl, nudged Zamarra again. “Master Zamarra, are you all right?”

The twi’lek blinked, suddenly aware of her surroundings. “Yes,” said Zamarra, giving the girl a comforting smile. “I was just remembering a memory.”

“Was it a good memory, or a bad memory?” Thisiri asked, snuggling closer to her side.

“A bit of both, I think.”

They were within the shelter, built of intertwined branches from the dense surrounding jungle. With enough layers of leaves, it was enough to keep out the endless rains. Another layer of leaves kept the floor dry and mostly free of mud, but it was still no place for children. The planet on which they had hidden was uninhabited, which was much safer but it also meant no buildings or ruins of any kind. Zamarra fretted, but the children seemed to have adapted just fine. They took turns gathering sticks for the fire, fetching fresh branches and leaves for the shelter, and picking up fallen fruit from the ground. The two boys had even speared fish from the stream. Sometimes, the rain let up a little, and Zamarra would practice their lessons outside, otherwise they would stay within the cover of the shelter. She was thankful for their company, delighted to see their progress, but she still felt that she could do more for them. Was there somewhere else they would be safe? Possibly, but she could not take the risk of putting them in harm’s way, not after all they had already been through.

She wondered if Malavar worried about her, whether he even still lived at all. It seemed so unfair to finally find him again after all these years, only to be separated again. Was he seeking them? And if so, would the Empire follow? Every night, she watched the skies for anything unusual, but so far had seen nothing. There could be others looking for her too, though, others who might be able to help. Though he was mostly talk, Zamarra thought of the smuggler who’d been so eager to win her trust. Would he be able to help them now? It was something she had considered, but it was too risky to try to contact him. Besides, he could just as well be missing — or worse — as well. Though she tried to sense both Kif and her brother, she could not be certain whether they lived or not.

[Screenshots] SWTOR – Zamarra + Zenith

Since I had her name saved on my other server, I’ve been leveling my copycat Zamarra. I was most interested in playing her because I wanted to see all the scenes with Zenith again, her unrequited crush for the last 6 years. Originally, I think he had been intended as a romance, because I actually read guides about how to romance him, and some of his lines hint at it. But sadly, it’s not in the live game, so Zamarra will just have to go on pining, I guess. But aren’t they perfect for each other, come on?

[Story] Story a Week

[[ Trying to figure out what my non-Outlander SWTOR characters are doing. Here’s what Zamarra is up to! ]]

“Master Zamarra, are we lost?” Araalo asked, her eyes wide as she looked around the dark forest. Dense vegetation crowded around on all sides, and thick vines hung from the canopy above, making their passage difficult.

“Shhh!” hissed Malo, from behind her. “We’re supposed to be quiet.”

The twi’lek Jedi closed her navigation device — it wasn’t doing them any good anyway. Worse, its signal could be detected by anyone close enough. Zamarra could only risk using it for short periods of time, and even that was more reckless than she wished to be. “It’s all right,” Zamarra reassured the frightened youngsters, huddled together behind her. “We’re not lost, we’re — on an adventure.”

She’d managed to find five of them, dusty and bleeding and terrified as they fled the ruins of their school, destroyed in moments by the Eternal Fleet. It hadn’t been the target — the Fleet had no specific targets, it simply destroyed everything in its path. But force-sensitive children were in danger from many sides, and though she had no children of her own, Zamarra immediately took them under her wing. She had been an instructor, for a few years now, and it helped that they recognized and trusted her. It was very unlikely she could have convinced them to follow her otherwise, even if the world around them was crumbling apart. Her own ship had fuel and supplies to get them out of immediate danger, but after that? Zamarra wasn’t sure. Anywhere populated was dangerous, and her ship would easily be tracked by official channels. They needed somewhere remote, but those places were usually empty for a reason. Zamarra wasn’t much of a pilot, but her ship’s navigation was sufficiently automated that she was able to pick a point and go toward it. From the small port planet, they bought passage to this one — with only the few supplies they’d brought along. They would need to make their own shelter and find food on their own, something Zamarra wasn’t skilled in, but the planet readings suggested that it would be habitable, at least.

The dense jungles provided shelter from the rain — which was nearly constant, but at least it was warm. It also provided cover from any possible overhead probes, and the warmth might obscure heat detection. There were a great many small creatures that glided, slithered, and scurried through the jungle as well. Zamarra was certain they could catch enough of these to survive until they could clear some ground for planting. Where there were prey, there were certainly predators, and though they had heard some strange noises from the jungle, Zamarra had not seen any yet. Fortunately, she had her saber to protect them if needed. The five students were among the youngest at the school, barely just beginning their training. They wouldn’t be able to survive on their own, and Zamarra worried about being able to keep them safe. Though they were frightened, tired, and wet, they hardly complained. They looked to her for guidance, and Zamarra knew she couldn’t let them down.

Hutaxo, the little zabrak boy, perked up. “I like adventure holovids. I saw one like this one time, they were in a big jungle and they had to eat bugs for food.”

“Yech,” said Thisiri, her nose crinkling up.

Giving them a task to do was helpful in keeping them distracted from the danger at hand. “Can you remember anything else from the holovid?” Zamarra asked. “Like how to make a shelter?” Hutaxo nodded eagerly. “Stay where I can see you, and shout if you need help. Take Malo with you.” The two boys ran off to collect sticks and vines for their shelter. If they were away longer than a few minutes, she would go looking for them. Zamarra still feared the unknown dangers of the jungle, especially the predators. There could also be inhabitants here that she hadn’t yet noticed — though there were no ruins or towns that they’d come across, it was doubtful that the entire planet was empty.

“Let’s clear some of this ground so we can make a fire,” Zamarra said. The trees had formed a small natural clearing here, and the ground was relatively flat but tanged with vines and vegetation. It seemed a good enough place as any for a temporary camp, until she could scout the area more fully. The girls set to work, tugging the vines and roots free of the soil, piling the debris off to one side. It was difficult to tell, but Zamarra thought they seemed excited by the task. From their perspective, maybe it really was an exciting adventure. After all, they’d probably never camped in a jungle before. She couldn’t let her own fears overtake her mind, cloud her judgment or her resolve. Tonight she would take time to meditate and center herself, it had been far too long and she could feel the turmoil in her heart.

Part of that was worry about the others she knew. Was Malavar, her brother, safe? The Fleet had not spared the Empire its attacks, either. The last time they’d spoken over holo, he’d been researching some ancient artifacts on Voss. That was one of the places that the Eternal Empire had attacked — there were few planets that weren’t in its crosshairs. Zamarra believed that she would have sensed if something happened to him, but it was impossible to know for certain. They had a bond, but it was not as strong as it could have been. They’d spent so many years apart, only reuniting recently, and then they could communicate only with great caution. Though he had no loyalty to the Empire, the Republic still would consider it treasonous for Zamarra to contact him. They’d been using a hijacked signal, provided by Kif. She didn’t want to admit it, but she worried about him too. The routes between the planets were no more safe, with the Eternal Fleet patrolling there. She considered trying to locate him, but no doubt he had gone to ground as well — and he was much more skilled at it than she was. For now, the young Jedi were her focus.

[Art] SWTOR – Happy Birthday Zamarra!

zamarra_bday
“Hunted you this cake, Herald.”

My very first SWTOR character was born 6 years ago today (it was beta, but it still counts right?) She’s here with Qyzen, her loyal lizard pal and bodyguard.

Hope they have lots more years of adventures together!

[Screenshots] SWTOR – The Kids!

This weekend was another double XP weekend, and while I didn’t get to play as much as I wanted I still got pretty far on “the kids”. I have future/potential kids for Kazta and my Jedi Consular on a different server — I’m not the only one who makes kid characters right?

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Zamarra and Kif’s daughter got to 50 and finished her main storyline, while Kazta’s son got high enough to recruit dad. It’s really fun to RP that they are running around doing dad and son stuff together. He probably has a to-do list like in the movie “Elf” that includes baking cookies and snuggling. Also a lot of shooting, given who his parents are.

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