Let the Light In

Hopeless Wanderer

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- A Guiding the Next Generation Class Thread -

- Let the Light In -
Featuring: Zee Irving / Kade Darkstalker



The Ice Caves that bore down into the surface of Karvoss were known to be quite treacherous and have on numerous occasions refused to relinquish adventurers that dared to tame them. Though, the Matukai had been coming to these hallowed caverns for over a century now and had transformed a vast majority of the system into improvised training grounds. Most often, they were used by the Proselytes to test their mettle against one another outside of the Hollows and away from prying eyes. Ar'Rhan Ghol, son of Ar'Khan, had always utilized them in a different manner in honor of his father and the teaching methods that had been passed onto him.

Over the past few days, the Shistavanen had been readying the cave system in preparation for the two guests that would be arriving at any given moment. He'd taken the time to setup obstacles of varying difficulty throughout the vast network that would be for all intents and purposes a complete unknown to both Zee and Kade, the two Jedi that came seeking instruction in the way of the Force. At least, from the perspective of a Matukai warrior. So, he'd spent his time deciding on a route that would prevent his guests from getting lost, but would prove challenging in the same respect. He'd started with the trial that Zee and Kade would face last and had steadily worked his way towards the main entrance to the cave.

Now, he stood in silent contemplation. His powerful arms folded across his chest, which was void of any fabric as his thick coat of fur would provide plenty of resistance to the cold climate of Karvoss. The mind of the warrior was running through prospective lessons on which to teach the duo, but opted out of making any set plan. Due to his uncertainty of just what either of them knew in regards to the Control aspect of the Force. This obstacle course was setup to test those that had training in augmenting their speed and strength. Nothing more. Thus, he would merely wait and see what the future held. He only hoped that both of them would be able to pass his test and come out of these caves alive... I don't even want to imagine the reprecussions of allowing two Jedi. Hell, a single Jedi. To die while, under my invitation and protection.

This was something that wouldn't happen though. Ar'Rhan would make sure of it, by making sure that they were prepared for the task at hand. If that proves not to be enough to prevent any mishaps, then he'll be right along side them to help guide them. Regardless, things were about to get interesting for the lot of them. After all, this was the Shistavanen's first attempt at guiding others in allowing the Light to guide them.
 

Krajin

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Karvoss, an icy planet that was fairly unforgiving to the unprepared. Kade checked his ship's navigation system and carefully set down the large ship at an outpost near the particular caves that their host, a rather interesting Shistavanen named Ar'Rhan Gol one of the members of the Matukai order, a group that from what Kade had heard focused on the use of martial arts and the force in a powerful combination that made them formidable opponents.

Kade took a speeder bike out to the caves themselves where their host would be waiting be it inside or outside. He had forgone the use of the Paladin as that would defeat the purpose of their adventure out here. He had a long coat on, black pants, boots and a tactical belt on. Containing a basic engineers kit, med kit and four magazines for his M88 sidearm, suppressor among other bits as well as his two lightsabers. Both magnetically clamped to the belt. His powerful furry form dismounted the bike once he arrived at the caves, taking off the small eyepiece he wore that had his navigation and basic HUD. It doubled as a portable HUD based off of similar technology that the Paladin's system used. Turning it off, folding it up and tucking the device away. His nostrils flared a bit as Kade scented the air before descending into the main entrance of the cave. He was shivering a bit already from the cold, as he was not accustomed to the temperatures as much.

He spotted the powerful beast of a wolf-man and stood tall, he was roughly seven inches taller than the Shistavanen and a bit sleeker, barely though in comparison. It was interesting to see an individual of similar build and size as he, someone he wouldn't break if he punched them at full strength. The gold tiger pattered Kushari flicked his ears to get the snow off. His green eyes focusing on the man some, examining him from head to toe. "Hello there. Ar'rhan Gol yes? I am Kade. Kade Darkstalker." he greeted him. He quickly dug something out of his belt, a small canteen and took a drink from the warming liquid and set it back onto his belt. He'd never dealt with a Shistavanen before so this would hopefully not be offensive and that from this, Kade would make a new ally.
 

Zee

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After rasping her soles on the sun-blessed beaches of Kothlis, Zee found the transition to this new planet to come particularly suddenly. The home of the Matukai was a harsh, untamed, proud place. From what the Jedi had told her, fitting of the Matukai warriors themselves. The fierce cold bit her face, as Zee slowly walked towards the meeting spot. Knee-high snow creaked and squeaked under her boots. The white land stretched unsettlingly flat all around her, and perspective deceived: a dark spot could be a boulder at ten meters away, or a hill at one hundred. It made a neat detective game to look for the rock and ice formations subtly sketching the path to the Caves.

(don’t be too impressed just yet. Her lodging was barely a kilometer away)

For now, nothing betrayed the icy tunnels crawling beneath her feet. She closed her eyes, and recalled a lazy board-game afternoon, and the voice of her father enthusiastically describing Ice Caverns of Karvoss as one of the most deadly wonders that an archaeologist can get to see. Zee didn’t have the heart to tell him that she’d be taught by one of the very Matukai whose remains he had sought as an adventurous history graduate.…The Jedi had made it clear: this is not your secret to share.

Zee wasn’t sure that she liked this life.

At least, it wasn’t snowing. Important. Karvoss was a completely hostile environment for a calf-eyed mathematician who’d run off chasing interesting geometries in the middle of a snowstorm. The Basic language had a word for people like her. It called them ‘idiots’. But the embarrassing detail was that Zee kept surviving and that made her, more or less, a Jedi. Knight Kai Sera had revealed Zee’s Force-sensitivity to her in such way that she could no longer deny it. That, evidently, didn’t make her happy. Nevermind that the Force was a dangerous thing to use, but Zee couldn’t shake the feeling that the Force was using her.

Statistically, she did things that a Force-inSensitive wouldn’t be able to. Or: things just happened, what the hell. But Zee had no idea how she did it.

Was it anger at this state of affairs that made Zee seek the strangest ways of testing her abilities? Perhaps. But then again, being kept so safe for all her life, Zee didn’t quite understand physical danger. Or it could have been the charm of an old story that dragged her along.

She climbed for a little bit, glad for the thick gloves that cushioned her falls. She had two pairs of gloves. The inside one, thinner, could be kept even in case of dexterous work. That brings us to the point that if someone who mastered the art of stumbling over her own two feet could have a saving grace, it would be her well-prepared equipment. Not prepared by Zee, of course. It showed too much care for that. The breast pocket of the otherwise plain, dark-blue ‘ski’ outfit bore the wiggling emblem of the Fire Jellyfish company promising high quality in extreme environments. More importantly: Hanging from the sliders of the zippers, were little ribbons painstakingly crocheted from threads of multiple colors. The same applied to her light backpack. It was a little thing that could make a life of difference for frozen hands at some degrees below zero. Even though she didn’t know what planet her ‘lil’ sapling’ had gotten to, Zee’s grandmother would make goddamn sure that she was cared for…

She caught the ‘vroom’ of a speeder barely a second before it stopped. By sheer luck, it seemed, the girl had arrived just in time for presentations. She stumbled quickly from behind a rock formation, in the direction of the voices. Another might’ve reconsidered, the moment they realized how puny she seemed in comparison to either the Matukai teacher or the fellow Jedi padawan. In comparison with the tall furry aliens, she wasn’t even featherweight. But Zee was too simple to feel out of place.

It was a professional disease. It’s just that not many people ever noticed her. Kai Sera said that it had to do with her subconsciously using the Force in some way, not to become invisible per-se, but to push surrounding people into ignoring her presence. Until she spoke, that is. But the Jedi and the Matukai weren’t exactly usual people…

“H-hello!” She said, now standing near Kade. She looked down at her left glove, brushed the snow off her palm, then looked up again. Her eyes darted from teacher to classmate, and back.

“I’m Z-Zee Irving.”

She was little more than eyes now, bundled up as she was. From under her cap, a light brown hair strand fluttered in the wind. Her nose had turned moss-green due to the cold, in the honor of those weird Zelosian chlorophyll genes. Her lips were pale.

“Thank you for offering us training.”
She said to Ar'Rhan Ghol.

On her glove, it was written: ‘!remember:greetings/presentation/thanks’.

You can’t expect a mathematician to remember the details.
 

Hopeless Wanderer

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@Zee / @Krajin

Through eyes that were nearly hidden behind squinted lids, Ar’Rhan, watched as the two prospective students made their way to him. Each of them arriving by varying means of transportation. Kade, the hulking feline species that escaped the Shistavanen currently, rode upon a speeder leaving a trail of lifted and fluttering snow in his wake. It was rare for him to be in the presence of a larger predatory species than himself, though he was sure that it would be a nice reprieve from the traditional fragile humans that he faced on the daily. On the other hand there was young Zee, whom arrived by foot trudging her way through the thick snow until finally arriving just moments after the Kushari. She was unique and seemed to draw Ar’Rhan into looking at her… as if he were trying to figure her out. There was something about her that the Matukai couldn’t place, who unlike the cat remained a mystery to him.

He remained silent. Allowing the two of them to speak their greetings and settle into the inlet to the cave system. Once they had spoken their piece, he began. “Greetings Jedi Padawans, Kade Darkstrider and Zee Irving, it is with great pleasure that I accept you two here upon Karvoss.” His long muzzle opened and closed with each spoken word, exposing his carnivorous teeth to the four eyes focused upon him. Though, obviously in a non-threatening manner his species had been greeted with fear on numerous occasions due to being an unknown. “I am indeed, Ar’Rhan Ghol, Proselyte of the Matukai Order and your instructor today. Follow me, if you will.

Powerful legs set into motion, turning him away from the mouth of the cave and facing the darkness within. While the cave was predominately dark, there were multiple rays of light that managed to shine through the areas that weren’t as murky or dull. These beams of light were enough to provide occupants with enough vision to follow a path, yet vast expanses of each tunnel were blanketed in a sheet of black where no light passed. Making these areas particularly useful in the lesson that Ar’Rhan had in mind for these two Jedi.

Having passed down a long corridor that steadily grew narrower as you descended until only a single body could pass, forcing the trio to walk in a line for the final steps of the short trek. Ar’Rhan, taking the lead and passing through the hole probably just large enough for the Kushari to pass through. Upon entering the vast chamber on the other side of the crack at the end of the hall, Ar’Rhan allowed the Light to envelop him. Providing the necessary amplification of strength to his leg muscles that would allow him to jump the distance to the top of the largest platform in the middle of five other shorter ones. Each of varying heights and square-footage. Ladders were provided for those who needed them.

Well. First things, first. Show me what you’ve got. I’ll wait for you right here.” He said in a booming voice that seemed to echo through the cave system. Several popping noises of the ice cracking could also be heard in the wake of his powerful broadcast.
 

Kade Darkstalker

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Kade followed through behind the large predatory Canine, his tail flicked about slowly as he took in the cave system and all its beauty. The rays of light that shone through the cracks allowed his eyes to adapt and see into the darkness and spot the missed attractions that the shadows hid. Sadly though the darkest parts of the cave he could not see into even with the ambient light from the surrounding beams and cracks shining through. It was striking, as the cavern got narrower he shuffled to the back so the young lady was between himself and the large Shistavanen. He liked the idea of being around a predatory species like himself though canid rather than felinoid.

Kade squeezed through the tiny gap into the larger room once the young lady had gone through. He smiled a bit as he marvelled at the way the large Matukai warrior channeled the force and empowered his body, leaping to the top platform like it was nothing. He fluffed his fur out some, looking like a giant furball now as his body began to shiver from the extreme temperatures. Kade set his coat down and rolled his shoulders, this was training and he didn't want to much to hold him back. His powerful form shifted as he looked about and examined each of the platforms and ladders. He knew he wasn't good at utilizing these abilities, disuse had atrophied his understanding and so it took him a few moments to centre himself. He began to draw on the living force around them, letting it fill him and rather quickly despite freezing his tail off, Kade took a running start with his immense claws digging into the snow and ice beneath them which gave him traction and soon Kade was running toward a Platform. He leapt onto it and turned on a heel, gauging the next two platforms. As well as allowing the younger lady a chance to go up there. He could stick back just in case she fell, a certain degree of camaraderie could be seen as he stuck to the furthest point of the platform so she had room to move. "You're up." He motions to her, a smile on his expression, despite the cold mist coming from the large beasts hot breath making contact with the freezing air.
 

Zee

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Their steps reverberated dully on the floor of the ice corridor. Plays of light and shadows passed by. Zee glanced apprehensively at the darker corners of the cave. Anything could be living in there. Even a whole nest of Sock Monsters. The girl forced her eyes wide open, and bit her lip in frustration. She hadn’t told her companions, but Zelosian eyes were very weak against near-darkness, even weaker than a human’s. Likely, the Matukai and the other Jedi had less trouble after millions of years of predatory evolution. In some places, the shadows fell over her eyelids like a curtain of smoke. Nevertheless, the grey blur of the teacher’s large figure remained trudging ahead. Walking between the two aliens, Zee felt safe.

When they entered the natural cathedral of light and ice, the Zelosian let out a breath she hadn’t known she’d been holding. The Matukai proceeded to exemplify how the magic of the Force could empower one’s body. Almost as impressively in her opinion, her ‘classmate’ soon followed, jumping on another ice platform. Lost in concentration, she somehow managed to return a smile. Zee had tried to focus, to breathe, to calm her mind and grasp that sense beyond her senses, like Ran had taught her. She tried to forget the fact that she could practically never feel the Force consciously. She ran towards Kade’s platform, with an enthusiastic if impressive lack of skill, nearly managing to rasp her face on the floor in the process. She was determined, if she couldn’t compare with her classmate, at least to do her best.

She jumped.

It was astonishingly underwhelming.

Her eyes opened. She was hanging less than a meter above the ground, her gloves and boots resting safely against a rope ladder. Not wasting any time, the clueless Jedi proceeded to climb upwards. “Go ahead!” She shouted at Kade. The scene may have looked ridiculous, petty even. But for Zee, it was the first time in a long while that she seriously took on a challenge that wasn’t a mathematical problem. Determination glistened in her eyes. It wasn’t easy. The weight of her body brought the ladder nearer to the column in some places, making it more difficult to grasp the steps. She had to focus. Inwardly, she laughed.

‘Well then, Force! I’ve been hearing rumors that you’ve been all knight-like protecting me. Let’s see what you’re truly made of!’ Zee stated in her mind. On her lips fluttered an in-your-face smile, as she hastily climbed up. Her pulse had begun to accelerate. She wasn’t used to physical effort.

Having finally conquered the edge of the platform, the Zelosian’s face broke in a wide smile, as if she had beaten all of the Ice Caves and not just an insignificant shard. She stumbled forward, greedily swallowing the air.

And fell.

It seemed impossible, how her foot could slip that swiftly over the edge, how she did nothing to regain her equilibrium. It happened very quickly and yet with the slowness of dreams. A normal person would’ve at least raised their arms, and they would’ve sunken their fingers into the ice with the wookie strength gained by the prospect of immediate death. Dread would have twisted their features. Zee did nothing of that. If anything, she looked slightly confused as her foot continued to slide down the nearly vertical column, carrying her with. It slid very quickly: for some odd reason, only the outer edge of the boot made contact with the ice, reducing friction in the manner of an ice-skate. Imperceptible impurities in the ice combined with an almost indifferent flailing of her arms altered the girl’s trajectory slightly, towards a structure like a crystallized fang that sprouting from the side of the column. She flew over it.

And she flew on. All of this had happened in an instant.

The fang of ice had pushed her up, like a ramp. For a second, Zee felt weightless. But gravity is a habit hard to shake off. She smashed, not into the ground or the next platform, but into the platform beyond it. It hurt, and made her slightly dizzy. Her position was extremely precarious. The asperities supporting Zee were not much wider than her palms. But the ladder was close enough that she could reach it with a bit of daring. That’s when Zee spoke, in a muffled voice:

“Shtuck mah thongue.” If anything, she sounded embarrassed. It appeared that she couldn’t move her head.

Don’t tell me that you wouldn’t be curious to find out what such beautiful ice tasted like.
 

Krajin

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Kade paused a moment and watched the woman as she climbed the next set of platforms, it was like watching a slow motion cartoon happen as she fell and greeted a icicle sticking out of the ground. He moved over rather quickly, noting the precarious nature of her position and carefully he began to climb up the thick icicle with his claws leaving deep freezing gouges in the ice as he hefted himself there and carefully removed from his toolbelt a small heating element and turned it on. The unit was barely the size of a human's palm and emitted a gentle warmth that up close would help melt the ice around her tongue.

The image that was there though with this young girl deciding to lick the ice was rather entertaining to say the least and the Kushari kept a straight face, as straight as he could to be fair wasn't that good! A little grin was seen on his expression as he melted the ice just enough for her to get her tongue unstuck. "There we go. Here, I'll help you cross if you wish." He said and moved a bit so she would be able to move on her own. His foot claws allowing him to keep a decent grip in the ice and slowly, Kade moved his own furry hide across so she had enough space to move and so he was in a position where the large feline could catch her if needed. "If you fall or have trouble getting to the ladder. I will catch you. Alright?" It was that nature of the Kushari to watch their allies and in Kade's case it was also allowing her to stretch her limits safely. He continued to cling to the ice, claws sunken in, though he could feel that his feet were getting a bit colder than what they should. A tiny bit.. wet? He didn't want to look right now, his focus was on the girl. The lantern was put away back in his belt.
 

Hopeless Wanderer

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Ar'Rhan watched with an inquiring look upon his face as his two students stepped through the crack in the wall. It was obvious that the two of them were in different places when it came to their knowledge of manipulating the Force. Kade, being the more experienced of the two, as far as lessons were concerned. Though, Zee seemed to show a more natural affinity to its uses. One was practiced, while the other was raw. Which, wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

The large feline garnered a nod of approval from the Matukai in his ability to reach the podium that he'd managed to leap up onto. While, the girl had managed to do something that hadn't been done in quite sometime... cause the Shistavanen to laugh. Out of respect for her efforts though, he'd managed to stifle the laughter to nothing more than a brief chuckle. It was obvious that this was going to be a fun lesson to teach.

"Good. I'm pleased to see that you've taken the opportunity to help one another. This isn't a race against one another, in fact... I'm sure that you'll be leaning upon one another for majority of this exercise."

The comment was directed mainly towards Kade for his willingness to come to Zee's aide and help her reach the top. It showed that he was not a selfish man, too concerned with achieving his own goals. This was an important character trait for any that chose to follow the Light to possess, whether they were Jedi or Matukai.

"Call the Light into you. It can be found within every fiber of the Galax. Draw upon the essence that surrounds us and makes up what we are. Turn it inward and ask for its help and guidance, it will answer the call if you wish it too."

His words were spoken in a warmly manner in an effort to help guide them in the task at hand. This was nothing more than a simple exercise, meant to test their existing knowledge and help Ar'Rhan form an idea of what the two were capable of. Not to mention, a means of getting them accustomed to calling the Force into them and manipulating it to strength their muscles. The core element of the Control aspect of the Force.
 

Zee

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For a moment, the tiger-like alien got so close to her on the ice wall that Zee could almost poke his whiskers. The girl’s eyes filled with gratitude as he helped free her tongue. “You’re pretty good at this. Hey, don’t worry”, she spoke in a small voice. She would have wanted to tell him how nothing truly bad was likely to happen, even if she fell, because the Force was a cheating bastard and the laws of physics had stopped inviting it to their Monopoly games. The Force never asked Zee, it just worked out.

One day the girl will take a step too far. Until then, she was immortal.

Then, their teacher said something that got her clinging for her dear life. A chuckle bubbled up in her throat - even that little was dangerous in her uncertain position. How could she possibly help back? She did things, but she didn’t know things!

Zee held her breath for a few seconds, pushing away distractions. This was no longer the case that she had to succeed, but she wanted to. She wanted to reach that ladder. She breathed rarely. The texture of the ice under her gloves and the weak scritchy sound under her boots built into a model of vectors on her shut eyelids. She could hypothesize which ice fragment would hold her weight, and which would break under her feet. If the Force wanted to join in, the Zelosian mentally sneered, then it was welcome to do so. But trying to reach out to it felt as hopeless as catching wind.

She jumped. The ladder oscillated slightly under her weight. Zee had caught it with her elbow, rather than her hands, but she counted it as a success. Crawling up, she gazed back at Kade once, more to check that she was going in the right direction than out of concern for him. He looked as if he could hold his own. The teacher’s words rung in her mind.

The Light was the Force, but that was largely semantics. More important was the task of turning the Force – the Light – inward. That happened anyway, as exemplified by her earlier stunt. But drawing on the Force consciously seemed beyond the Zelosian. And, as exemplified by her earlier stunt, Zee was too little aware of where her hands and feet went. Even injuries were sometimes completely ignored. She glanced through the ice between the steps, imagining the shards of light encased in it shifting like a jigsaw.

Would her subtle Force Sense even work on someone more self-aware?

No, Zee, wrong. You can do a trick, the train of thought went. She could sense plants, fine, but where could she find a plant in this barren-

‘Oh.’ She gulped. ‘I think I got your point.’

A Zelosian, all being said, was part of the vegetation rather than fauna.

‘The input from my Force Sense has to reach my brain.’ Zee reasoned. By now she'd reached the top of the platform. ‘But it’s edited out of what touches my awareness, like my equilibrium sense or-‘ she closed one eye, ‘-my nose! My eyes can see the sides of my nose, yet my brain can’t. So…’

With her eyes closed, she looked at the green tip of her nose. She zoomed in.

It was an issue of focus. Most sentient beings were evolutionarily encoded to focus easier on things in the range of sizes stretching from a) what they could eat, and b) whatever could eat them. That’s why humans found it easier to grasp the concept of kilograms rather that nanomoles or tons. But Zee, shielded by her cocoon of Light, had never had to worry about survival. She was a person more comfortable with details.

Zee sensed the Force in the millimetric range.

There was the odd feeling of adjusting a lens on a microscope, and then the Light broke through and organized itself into vague shapes. The impression building into her mind was of a lot of cold bubble blankets on top of a jelly bed. Skin layers, cartilage? Maybe. The blurry image shook and trembled, as her will fought against her own subconscious defenses. Her focus seemed to glaze over, as if telling the girl that what she was looking at was actually not what she wanted to look at.

He said to look for the guidance of the Light, but what if the Light acted really stupid?

Before she could lose concentration, Zee tried to shift her sense into a touch, to reach out and test against her impression being a mere placebo. She fumbled, lost focus several times, frowned, tried again. However, eventually a pain as sharp as a needle pierced the tip of her nose.

“Was that real?” She gasped, her eyes on the Matukai. Her glove carefully covered the ‘injured’ area.
 

Krajin

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Kade watched as she went about her movements, tail twitching slowly as she got up top and grinned as the girl managed to make it up to the top platform. He eventually followed suit after letting go of the icicle and stepping back. Kade looked down and frowned as the tips of his toes where the claws had dug into the ice there were tiny cuts. They stung despite the ice numbing the sensations he had. A bit of blood could be seen marking the fur. Huh. He thought as the large Kushari looked up at the other platforms and then the icicles. The ladders probably wouldn't be able to hold his weight as much, if they could support a near quarter tonne of alien on them. He stepped back, forcing the distraction of pain and rolled his shoulders to loosen the musculature up.

He could feel the living force flowing here and concentrated on it, feeling it empower him though not by any real significant degree, it would be enough to allow him to start a run and jump. His right foot connecting with an icicle and propelling him up onto the ledge and he pulled himself up with his hands. His tail maintaining perfect balance for the Kushari. The second last Platform was a bit more interesting as he pushed more strength into his legs and he leapt again, grabbing the edge and swinging himself up onto it with a certain degree of practised motion. The physical side he had, the force side was another story. Finally he reached the platform where the Matukai trainer was at, Kade looking abit puffed up with his fur fluffed out to keep him insulated. His breath meeting the air in white clouds, allowing him to catch his breath from the sudden exertion of making his way up.


"Alright.. I think we're all here yeah." He grinned a bit and looked the Wolfman over briefly, noting the form, the tone and movements he made. The individual was a hunter and warrior. Something and someone he could respect. Kade quickly checked his side for the greatsaber hilt and relaxed feeling it was still there.
 
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