A read-only archive of discourse.darkjedibrotherhood.com as of Sunday May 01, 2022.

Always Second Chances


((Author’s notes - This was written for the Shore Leave: For a Friend competition, but usual paranoia surrounding the quality of my work forced me to hide it. After discussing things with Blade, I am posting a visual version here. As such, please do not give me Clusters of Ice for this, as I have already received it.

Also, please ignore the lack of factual correctness when it comes to the forging techniques, this was purely a style over substance approach this time.))

Isolation was easy to come by on Daleem. With broad stretches of untamed wilderness, and
a veritable network of caverns, tunnels and ruins dotted across the world’s surface, anyone
could lose themselves here. Given the state of the war, given the constant infiltration efforts
by the Inquisition, solitude might have been an ill advised effort, but sometimes privacy was
needed. Especially when it came to forging a work of art.

Standing at the waterfall’s edge, Ka Tarvitz’s hammer rose and fell with every breath,
smashing upon the anvil again and again. The makeshift cavern he had set up as his
personal smithy, at least for the coming months, amplified the sounds of rushing water,
burning fire and pounding metal, making the act of building the weapon the sole focus of the
room. With the area lit only by the molten orange of the nearby forge, the sliver of metal held
before him seemed to pulse amid the darkness. Brief crackles of inner light raced across the
weapon with every fall, resisting every effort to remake it. Every lump of cold steel had its
own spirit, or at least Tarvitz liked to think so. Each reacted differently to being brought
before the anvil, as they were rebuilt and remade one time after the next. Some folded
easily, quite literally in fact, as they were molded into their new roles. Others, such as the
one held before him, fought for supremacy, struggling to retain their raw shape. The best
among these - with a belligerent and tenacious will born not of poor quality but something else - tended to make the best among these weapons, especially when they matched the sheer resolve of their intended wielder. Or their history.

The raw materials of the current example before him had been built from assorted previous
blades. Items taken from Inquisitors, warriors of the Iron Throne or simply criminals preying
upon the weak. Each had been filtered down until only a dozen or so remained and then
reduced to superheated liquid once their nature, bereft of Sith Alchemy, had been
determined. The one who had commissioned this particular weapon had been adamant
about that last fact, despite Tarvitz’s protests. He had attempted at first to try and sway
them, but both their rank and steadfastness had eventually earned his silence. It had been
only one of two demands after all, the other being that he should not reveal their name. The
Jenssarai smirked at that particular thought. The more clandestine nature of the Jedi - at
least those who fought in this war - was something he would never get used to. True, he
didn’t know the full history behind the warrior it was intended for - save for the bare basics -
only that she had lost her original weapon and another befitting her role was needed; but
half-truths and subterfuge tended to make life so needlessly overcomplicated.

“Right then,” he exhaled after some time, setting the hammer aside and admiring his work
for a moment, holding it up to the moonlight filtering in through the running water “That’s the
difficult part over and done with.”

Turning to one side, thrust the weapon into the waterfall. It hissed as water cascaded off of its surface, rapidly cooling the metal as the orange glow died way. Nodding with some satisfaction after a few minutes, Tarvitz brought the sword to one side, tempering and polishing the surface before sharpening its edge once again. For all the nebulous claims that such swords needed to be folded over a thousand (or was it a million?) times, Tarvitz had often found that such ritualized processes were unnecessary. Time consuming and needlessly tedious, the quality of a hammer, plasma forge or even use of the Force tended to more than make up for abandoning such aged traditions. Especially when compared with what that time could be spent adding to the
weapon, such as fulfilling the second of his order’s two demands.

Leaning to one side, Tarvitz pulled the datapad out of his rear pocket, double checking the
design present on the screen. It was a curious thing to be sure, certainly a far cry from the
typical icons many favoured, but he could still appreciate it. There was a strength to taking
the features of animals into a weapon, and given how much time he had spent crafting a
personal helm to emulate the features of a Vorn tiger, he was hardly in a position to criticize
the choices of others. He simply hoped that its intended owner would agree with the chosen icon.

“And how long did this take you?”

“A few days,” Tarvitz shrugged, quietly wondering why people kept asking him that whenever
he brought them something “I’m sorry I couldn’t finish it faster, but the detailing on the hilt
was difficult to perfect. Krayt dragon hide is hard to work with, and harder to come by, especially given how many people seem to think they’re extinct.”

He was exaggerating of course. The last few “days” had been spent simply trying to find its
owner, as he had gone from Odanite ship to ship, trying to track her down. It had been
fortune more than skill that had finally allowed him to find her on one of the Solari’s
observation decks. While there was something to be said for the glimmering starfield and
view of the world below, the resulting meeting had lacked some of the fanfare he had

As she looked over the new weapon, Aurora Ta’var’s features were difficult to read.
Astonishment was there, along with a hidden joy in the half smile she wore, but Tarvitz kept
feeling that he saw sadness somewhere in that. More than once her eyes flickered from the
weapon to the smith himself, especially when she stopped at the acid-etched patterns which
ran at the blade’s base. Each looked at first to be a constant stream of water, like an
oncoming tidal wave, before you picked out the multitude of pale faced canine creatures
which made up each wave.

“Something of your own?”

“Not exactly,” Tarvitz laughed “I’m usually stuck with wood carvings most days, that was an
image I simply copied i’m afraid.” He paused for a few seconds as she continued examining
it, adding “Of course, if you’re not happy with it, I could always make another one. Truth be
told, katanas were never high on the list of demands here or-”

“No, no, it’s fine,” Ta’var interrupted, shaking her head in amazement “It’s just that- Why did
you make this?”

“Because I was told you lost your last one,” he shrugged “Really, do I need another reason?”

She gave him a suspicious look but said nothing, evidently knowing that there was more to
the story. Tarvitz was just thankful she didn’t press for further information, instead opting to
make a few practice swings with the weapon, testing out its weight and balance. As she did,
Tarvitz simply nodded and turned to leave.

“Ka?” he heard her ask as he made for the door, making him pause.

“Sorry, was there something the matter?”

“Thank you, really,” Ta’var said sheathing it at her belt “There aren’t many who would have
done this.”

“Trust me,” Tarvitz smiled “there are more than you would think.”

Leaving the Jedi to her thoughts, Tarvitz turned and left, heading back to the cruiser’s
hanger. As he did, he pulled out the datapad again, checking over the information present on
his credits account. All there, all five thousand in total. Then, pausing for the briefest
moment, he hit the refund option. For once this had been a job which had paid for itself, and
he was more content with a sincere thanks than having a few extra coins to call upon in
his time of need.