Enter, “the Kiva”…Vanessa Darkfeather. The striking dark-haired beauty was the Hutts’ “go-to” when all other options failed. Though no one knew just where she was from…everyone seemed to know OF her. She’d make an appearance at all official government functions, usually on the arm of some high ranking official. She puts on a rather pleasant and friendly social face, fitting for someone of her beauty, but it was rumored that it was always, ONLY a façade. Apparently, she suffered from an agonizing condition where a parasitic had found its way into her brain, its tendrils fusing to her brain-stem. Slowly it grew as it fed on the proteins from her limbic system. The stronger an emotion she would feel, or the more variety of feelings she experienced, the faster the creature would grow, causing immeasurable swelling and unbearable pressure on the brain tissue. She’s also rumored to have been, at least at one time, married to the “Fist of Krosa”, the unofficial, but unchallenged leader of the separatist movement in the republic, who now had almost supreme power…save that of the Hutts. If you were to enter a tavern, and find some loose-lipped sod-walker, he’d probably tell you that this Raven-haired Angel of Death was given this parasite as a “gift” from the “Fist” as a reward for one night’s transgressions, and was made to watch her lover come to a gruesome and brutal end before her very eyes. While the latter is most likely true, as the “Fist” is a most jealous and barbaric sort, he did not think of his blushing bride as anything more than a cheap whore…something to keep his bed warm on occasion. She WAS made to watch her true love perish, and may even been beaten, herself, but Krosa would never waste such a cruel and inventive creature and means of torture on his whores. The more likely, and frankly, much more believable story is that she was kidnapped by the Hutts and infected with the creature as a means to establish a spy within Krosa’s ranks. They thought they could use the tiny creature to control Vanessa. Two things happened that the Hutts never planned on. 1) Vanessa was much, much stronger than any human they’d encountered before, and 2) The creature grew much faster than they ever imagined possible. It was only a few months before they lost all control of Vanessa and influence on the creature. Yes, she still did as the Hutts wished, but now, there were contracts for all actions…for which she was handsomely paid. If the Hutts, or another would-be employer double crossed her…the anger she felt seemed to give the creature a high of sorts. Soon both she and the creature both realized this and formed a symbiotic relationship. Vanessa…or Kiva as she was now known, grew faster, wiser, and stronger mentally and physically than anyone could have guessed.
It was with this aggressive tenacity and guile that she was eventually able to “convince” Arkhad to turn from his honest and noble ways…turning him into a mere pawn and shell of his former self, all for the always promised, but rarely rewarded affections from his new partner. The exact details of his fall are not entirely essential of the meaning of this story, but are available for reading on another thread. After months of misdirection and rather effective twisting, Kiva was able to convince Arkhad to capitulate to the Hutts…If he’s but do this one thing for her, she’d give him a lifetime with her in unending partnership of power and pleasure. The truth was, though, that once he signed over everything to the slimy worm-ridden filthy beasts, she mocked him for the sad sod he had become, and left him. Filled with lust, regret, and anger…Arkhad, feeling he’d nothing to lose, set out after her to kill her and if nothing else, regain his honor, in his own eyes. He had a few friends in low places left…and gathered himself what he needed to track the witch and end her…or so he thought. He eventually caught up with her months later…in some dank, dark, pit of an inn…waiting for her in her own room. She was so impressed with his getting the drop on her, she did not retaliate and simply kill him as she’d done so often before…rather she played upon his sympathies…after all, he gave up the WORLD for her, and did seem to be Somewhat capable on his own…perhaps she could use him further. He, likewise, was far too in love with her…or at least the idea of what he could have had with her to kill her… For years, the two cavorted across the galaxy…running all sorts of scams and schemes…getting into all kinds of trouble and making countless millions of credits. Those details, too, have nothing to do with this story, but are available on another thread upon request.
Due to his father’s rare appearance in his life, most of Lotan’s influence came from his mother. He learned the value of honesty, integrity and hard work. On occasion, too, Lotan was visited by his Uncle. Argyle Lightfinder was much older than his baby sister…but always felt an extremely close connection to her and her young son. He was a different sort of man; he dressed well, but was always completely covered in the simplest of most modest of cloaks, almost seeming a vagabond or wayward nomad. It was clear he was once a very charming and rather good looking man, but life had been clearly difficult on him…and his right cheek bore a large scar that had clearly been a serious wound on his face taking his eye…but was instantly cauterized…perhaps a sword long-kept in a smithy’s brassier. He was very loving and obviously cared for his family, but still…he talked strangely…always trying to get the young Lotan to focus on the moment…to be conscious of the future, but keenly aware of the moment. He would take his nephew on outings for days at a time. Always teaching the lad was he, trying to keep him from focusing his attention on the future. Spoke strangely about weird things did he. Often speaking of this mystical energy field was he. For the longest time, Lotan thought that Uncle Argyle was nothing but a mere failed magician; which mattered not, for he loved his uncle and cherished every moment they spent together. “He’s Just a crazy old Wizard”, others would say. But, still, Lotan would not pay heed…even beginning to speak like his uncle at home, was he. On one such outing, Lotan and his uncle were deep in the wilderness. While Argyle was meditating in a nearby cave, the young boy found himself getting lost…wandering about, NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO THE PRESENT! He happened upon a cottage and ventured right on in. He had no malicious intent, but he Was snooping where he had no business doing so. Unbeknownst to him, however, the owners of the house had been murdered earlier that day and were buried in shallow graves out back. Suddenly, the three NEW “owners” returned to the cottage to find the wayward lil boy. Not…really knowing any better, Lotan looked around and grabbed a table knife…as though he would fend them off with that terrifying weapon. Two of the grizzled thugs pulled a blaster…and the third pulled out a long elegant looking sword handle…from which…a crimson beam of light suddenly burst forth, the blade seeming to hum as it slowly moved through the air. Fear over took the boy and he gave a quick thought to his uncle before focusing Very vividly on his present state of peril. With a CRASH, a cloaked figure flew through the window behind the boy…the hum of another blade filling the room. Lotan looked back in terror…and the three attackers took a step back as they too saw the new intruder…. “The boy is with Me, filth!” As Lotan looked up at the stranger…he saw it was uncle. The strange old man now looked like a proud, noble, and mighty warrior. His face glowed blue from the gleam of his lightsaber. The thieves attacked…shooting up the room with their blasters, as the middle, taller man lunged at Argyle. The laser bolts were easily blocked with a flick or the Jedi’s wrist…and he parried the lunging blow from the taller cloaked man’s red saber. “Get behind me!” shouted Argyle. The next few blasts were blocked back toward them that fired them, dispatching them both. For the next several minutes the two battled each other…blades of energy arching and crashing into the other. They cut the inside of the cottage to pieces. Seeing no end in sight, the dark figure, reaching across the room, somehow picked up young Lotan into the air…seemingly choking him. He drew him ever nearer his glowing red blade. His feelings for his nephew outweighed his judgment and Argyle lunged forth to intercept his nephew. The villainous figure let the boy fall to his feet and slashed at the Jedi wounding his shoulder. Seeing his beloved uncle, and his new rescuer treated like this was more than he could bear. He closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them with a look of calm, calculated coldness. “Enough”, he said, as he lifted a fist toward the attacker, and then thrusting his fingers outward Lotan pushed his open fist toward the attacker. The figure flew backwards against the wall. “No, Lotan”, shouted the injured Jedi. Lotan lost consciousness and fell to the floor…the moment’s confusion offering the villain a chance for escape. Argyle, though badly injured, himself, came to the aid of his nephew.For the better part of the next two days, Lotan was in a deep sleep. He tossed and turned, being violently tormented by a series of dreams…Though he, too, was in need of healing, Argyle did not sleep or leave his nephew’s side until he finally awakened and was clearly well enough to be left alone. There in that cave, Argyle meditated for nearly a day…concentrating…using the Force to heal himself. Lotan silently watched as the sagely Jedi’s wounds were completely healed. Days later, it occurred to ask him, “Uncle…why don’t you heal your face the way you fixed your shoulder?” “That, my boy, is a story for another day”, he said with a wink and a smile. Not long after that…and a lot of arguing with his mother, Lotan accepted Argyle’s invitation to accompany him to Coruscant, the very center of the known universe, home of the Ancient Temple of the Jedi…there, after an exhausting interview with the council, he began his formal training as a Jedi padawan. However, it was not by his Uncle that he was taught, but an even older, more, interesting, and odd sort of fellow. Jedi Master Pho would become the young man’s mentor and Master…the rest, as they say, is history! :)