The Matriarch Returns
As Tasha stepped out of the small transport, the hot winds of Ryloth danced around her body. She smiled as she gazed up at her estate. It was a large earthy colored mansion surrounded by an ornate black fence to keep outsiders away. Walking closer past the gate, she entered a small courtyard with a couple of male and female Twi’lek statues on either side of the path. These statues were made in honor of her long gone relatives of old. Looking to the left, she still could see the beautiful garden her grandfather had tended. Several beautiful flowers adorned the small patch of earth. “I see they kept it according to my wishes, good.” She always had loved his garden. After he passed away, Tasha would always take a stroll and tend to that garden. When she had to leave, she made sure that was one place that would always stay beautiful.
Once past the courtyard, she opened the door to her estate and entered. Already,she smelled wisps of her favorite meal coming from the kitchen. Nerf steaks seasoned with sweet and spicy herbs. She continued walking down a long corridor that opened up into a magnificent ballroom. Tasha couldn’t help but take a small leap into the room and started dancing. She remembered dancing here many times with her family. The thought warmed her heart as she laughed softly and spun herself around the room.
“A sultry Twi’lek dancing. I think I am going to like this place.” She stopped a moment and looked at Bentre. He was leaning against the side of the door,obviously admiring the view. Smiling back, she walked towards him. “I think it’s time we get ready for our new additions to the family. They will be here soon. As you can see, I had the staff prepare us all a meal for after the ceremony.”
Bentre followed the Marka Ragnos Quaestor through the ballroom and up some stairs. As they made their way through the hallway, Tasha pointed out one of the pictures of her grandfather in his younger days. He was a blue Twilek male wearing a black military looking uniform. In his right hand, he held that same blade Tasha always carried on her and seemed to be staring straight at Bentre. Even though was a picture, he felt as if the grandfather were looking into his soul and determining what kind of man Bentre might be.
“As tough as he looks in that picture, He always cared about and protected his family. He loved them very much and I plan to follow as he did and protect my own family as best I can.” Tasha remarked as Bentre stood there gazing at it.
“He seems like the sort I would have enjoyed challenging.”
“Anyhow, it is time we get dressed up for the occasion, the rooms are down this hall.” Tasha continued down the hallway and stopped at one of the doors. “In here you will find the ceremonial Patriarch robes of the Versea family. I will be changing into mine in the next room.”
“What I wouldn’t give to watch that.” He winked at the semi-blushing Twi’lek before heading into the room.
“ Such a charmer.” She laughed as she walked into her room.
After a few moments, the two emerged from their respective rooms with the traditional Versea family garb. Bentre pulled a bit on his collar. “This outfit is so stuffy, why on earth would you have people wear this?”
Tasha laughed. “Because it’s how it’s always been done, so stop stalling and let’s get on with the ceremony.“
The two walked down the hall and into the large chambers. Inside, they could see two very ornately decorated seats to sit in. As they sat down, Bentre was given a scepter with the family’s crest as Tasha was given a tiara symbolizing her as the matriarch.
She then stood up and had Bentre come before her.
“As part of our family, you will be branded with our families crest with sith lightning. Now where would you like this mark?”
“My right shoulder, Tasha.” He replied.
“Very well, this may sting a bit.” As Bentre removed his shirt, Tasha approached from behind and raised her hand. Blue lightning began to form as she placed the metal crest of her family upon Bentre’s right shoulder. He braced himself as he felt the sting of the lightning impacting his flesh as it branded his right shoulder. After a slightly agonizing few minutes, it was finished. Tasha removed the metal copy from his shoulder and gazed at the newly tattooed mark.
“Very nicely done, Bentre. Welcome to the family. Rise and take your place again. We have company.” As the two returned to their seats, the front doors opened revealing Lilith and Bentre’s apprentice, Janos.
Smiling, Tasha greeted the pair before her. “Welcome to the estate Janos and Lilith. I hear you wish to become part of our family. That can be arranged, but first are you both willing to take the crest of the Versea family?”
Stepping up and bowing slightly, Janos smiled. “Aye, that I am willing Lady Tasha.”
“As am I.” Lilith remarked as she looked up at the Twi’lek.
“Then by the power vested to me as the Matriarch of the Versea family, I hereby commence the branding of the family crest. Bentre please take the metal symbol with our family’s crest and use sith lightning to mark Janos. I shall mark Lilith. May I remind you both this will sting quite a bit.”
Tasha approached Lilith with the symbol she had marked bentre with and spoke. “Where would you like this mark?”
“In my left arm.” She answered as she held it out for the Matriarch.
Placing the symbol upon her left arm, Tasha once again summoned the beautiful blue lightning from her hands and began the ritual. Focusing herself, she began to send the lightning into the metal to brand Lilith. The knight gritted her teeth as the sting of the lightning burned into her flesh. After several moments, Tasha stopped. She then removed the metal from the skin. In its spot, was the crest of the Versea family, perfectly copied.
“Very well done, Lilith. You are now part of the Versea family, congratulations.”
Meanwhile, Bentre grabbed one of the many metal crests sitting by the chairs and stood in front of his apprentice. “Where do you want the family crest?”
“On my upper right arm, Master.” Janos replied as steadied himself.
Bentre then placed the crest upon his upper right arm as white-blue lightning flowed into his fingertips and struck the metal crest. Janos let out a slight groan, steeling himself as the lightning dug its mark into his skin. Moments ticked by before Bentre stopped and pulled away the metal crest. Looking at the arm, it had made an exact replica of the family crest. Satisfied with the outcome, he returned back to his seat. As Tasha sat back down and looked at the two new members of her family.
“You both are now part of the Versea family, welcome to our humble estate. I figured after this event that you may be a little hungry, so I had the staff prepare us all a nice banquet in your honor as new members. So if you would all follow me, I shall take you to the dining room.”
Tasha began to make her way towards the two large ornate doors and stopped momentarily. Her face a picture of sternness. “May I remind you all that now you are a part of this family and that means you will honor our name. If there is any who shame the Versea family name, I will personally see to it that they are removed and made as if they never had joined. Is that clear?”
Bentre, Janos, and Lilith nodded in agreement as Tasha then smiled. “Good, now let’s eat!”