top of page
Shadow Sister Background.jpg
Shadow Sister Background.jpg

Zara Kaine

Zara Kaine

The pirate starship, Ravager 1, hovered in orbit over the planet Felucia. It was a large, imposing vessel, black as night with sharp edges and jagged lines. It looked like a cross between a warship and a bat. The ship was heavily armed, with cannons and lasers bristling from its hull. The Captain of Ravager 1, Blackheart, was a tall, imposing figure with a long gray beard, a bald head covered in tattoos, and a scar across his face. He was dressed in black leather armor and carried a blaster pistol at his side.

The Captain's Blaster is a modified DL-44 blaster pistol. It is a short-barreled weapon with a black finish and a silver barrel. The blaster has a red holographic sight. Standing on the bridge of his ship, he gently caressed the weapon's handle. He noticed how smooth it was in his hand. From its continuous use, it literally fit his hand like a glove.

Blackheart looked at the main viewer. This screen showed him a clear view of the unsuspecting target below. His target was a small arbor of trees on the planet's surface.

Felucia is a jungle planet located in the Outer Rim Territories. It is a world of lush vegetation and towering trees, home to various plant and animal life. The planet is also home to several civilizations, each with a unique culture and a unique way of life.

Tusken Warrioress

Most Felucians are peaceful people with a deep connection to the natural world. They believe the trees are a source of strength and purpose.j When trees are to be harvested, it is done with respect and prayer.

The Felucians deeply respect the trees that grow on their planet. The trees are seen as sacred, and they are essential to the Felucian way of life. Blackheart, on the other hand, had no respect for the trees. He was only interested in them for their value as a commodity. He was willing to destroy the trees and the people who lived in their shadows to get what he wanted.

One Tree, the rarest and most sacred species, was most interesting to the orbiting pirates. This was the Pryosian Tree.

The Pryosian Tree is giant, its branches reaching the sky like massive arms. Its bark is a deep blue, almost purple, and its leaves are red, like blood. The leaves continuously shiver and give off a soft red glow.

The Pryosina Tree is a rare and beautiful tree that grows only in mixed-species forests. It is a one-in-a-million combination of species that allows the Tree to grow. The Tree gets its unique nutrients from the surrounding trees through its massive root system.

Legends of the Pryosian Tree say the Tree is also a protector of children. If a child is lost in the woods, they are said to be able to find their way home if they follow the mesmerizing glow of the Prtosian Tree.

The Pirates knew the Pryosian Tree was the only source of Pryosian Spice. Pyrosian Spice is known to enhance the user's cognitive abilities, such as memory, focus, and problem-solving skills, as well as Telekinesis (TK) and Telepathy (TP). This has made it a prized resource among scholars, scientists, and even Jedi knights.

And also Pirates. Blackheart planned to take the Tree and refine it to make Pryosian Spice. Enough Spice to create a tribe of super-soldier pirates, enhance their fighting abilities, and make themselves more powerful.

On the other hand, the Jedi are worried about the spread of Pyrosian Spice because it could give non-Jedi the power to challenge the Jedi Order.

The Pyrosian Spice can only be produced through a complex and delicate process that involves burning the rare wood from the Pyrosian Tree. Nevertheless, it is the only known wood to produce the highly sought-after and valuable Pryosian Spice. And until recently, that secret about refining it had rested comfortably with the Protector Families.

The appeal of Pyrosian Spice is only matched by how dangerous it is to use it. It can be addictive and have adverse side effects, such as hallucinations and memory loss. This is because most people can't handle a sudden increase in mental capabilities. To the untrained, Pryosian Spice usually causes madness in its user.

For someone like Blackheart, who, to those unlucky enough to find themselves at the business end of his blaster, assumed he was already mad.


The Pirates stayed in orbit around their target, waiting for darkness. Once the darkness enveloped the surface below, the Red Glow of the Pryosian Tree became visible. It looked like a small beacon. It was not pulsing. Instead, it was waving gently, almost like a heartbeat. It indeed was mesmerizing.

On the planet's surface, The soft red glow of the Pryosian Tree bathed the Divine Arbor in a soothing light. The Divine Arbor is a sacred grove on the planet Felucia. It is home to the Pryosian Tree.

The Divine Arbor is a peaceful and serene place. The trees are tall and lush, and the air is filled with the sound of birdsong. The grove is home to a small community of people who have dedicated their lives to caring for the Pryosian Tree. They are known as the Protectors of the Divine Arbor.

The Protector of this particular Divine Arbor was the Kaine family. Led by Arok and Isolde.

Arok is a tall, muscular humanoid man with dark hair and brown eyes. He has a kind and gentle face, but his eyes are sharp and intelligent. He is clean-shaven, and he has a short haircut. He has tan skin and black hair. He is often seen wearing a simple robe or tunic, carrying a staff wherever he goes. Arok's staff is a symbol of his leadership. It is made of Pryosian Wood, is made of many colors, and is engraved with the symbols of the Protectors.

Isolde, his wife, and daughter Zara are also Protectors. At 16 years old, Zara hopes to carry on the family tradition and become the lead Protector at this Arbor.

Zara's mother, Isolde, is a beautiful woman who has lived in the jungles her whole life. She has long, flowing hair that is the color of sunlight, and her eyes are a deep green. She is tall and slender, with a graceful figure. She is strong and hardworking, but she is also kind and compassionate.

Isolde has just left Zara at the Pryosina Tree to go to Arok, who was in their home, just a short walk away. Zara was praying at this Tree before she turned in for the night.

Zara was kneeling before the Tree, looking up into the glowing red leaves from underneath. The soft pulsing light was relaxing and peaceful. But, before Isolde left Zara at the Tree, she admired the red reflection of the Tree gently dancing in Zara's eyes.

"You are so beautiful," Isolde said to Zara.

Zara is a Felucian girl with golden skin, long dark hair, and deep green eyes. They appear almost black when she looks directly at you. She is tall and slender, with an athletic bearing. Strong and agile, she moves with the ease of one at home in the forest.

Zara smiled at her mother. Then, as Isolde walked a few steps away toward their home, Zara looked again at the Tree. The soft, warm glow of the Tree swayed gently in the breeze. It was silent in the Arbor. Small insects were playing their nighttime songs.

The dancing red light in Zara's eyes ended suddenly.

With an incredible flash of white light, the soft red glow disappeared. And with an earthshaking 'boom,' the gate to the Divine Arbor also disappeared. The Pirates had blown up the entrance to the Arbor with a thermal detonator.

From the smoke, Blackheart appeared. Blackheart walked through the gate, his boots crunching on the gravel and debris. He looked around the Arbor, his eyes taking in the destruction. The gate was blown, and many trees were scorched and blackened. Some of the residents of the Arbor were represented as bodies lying on the ground. The air was filled with the smell of smoke and blood.

The blast's shockwave had blown Zara away from the Tree and into a nearby garden, where she lay, stunned and confused.

Isolde had also been pushed by the force of the blast. However, the energy of the explosion pushed her from the back, slamming the front of her body directly into the side of her home.

Blackheart smiled when he gazed into the Arbor and saw what he was looking for. A massive tree with a blue multicolored trunk and red leaves that gave off a soft red glow. He walked over to the Pryosian Tree and reached out to touch it. The bark was smooth and cool to the touch, radiating a strange energy. Blackheart closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He could feel the power of the Tree flowing through him.

Blackheart was so fixated on the Tree that he barely heard the commotions in the background. The once calm night was now infected with sounds of blaster fire, screaming, and profanity. The rest of the pirates were ransacking some of the homes. Blaster fire came from random places, usually followed or preceded by a cry for mercy.

Awakened by the chaos, Arok Kaine sat up in bed, his heart pounding. He could hear the loud noise outside, along with shouting and laughing. The smell of smoke and sulfur blew into his home.

"Isolde!" he called anxiously.

Isolde managed to fall into the open door of their home.

Arok ran to her. He looked at his wife and said tremblingly, "Isolde, what..?" His voice trailed off for a moment. Then he followed up with one more word, "Zara?"

Isolde looked up at Arok, her face dirty with soot and fresh blood. "Pirates," she whispered. Then she answered his second question. "I don't know."

Their home was closest to the Tree, as they are the protectors. But, unfortunately, this also meant they were the closest to the invading pirates.

Isolde squeezed Arok's hand very tightly. Partly out of fear and somewhat to steady herself. Her ears were still ringing from the blast, and she was off balance.

Arok gazed into Isolde's eyes with love, concern, and urgency. "Go," he said softly. "Find her."

The words were simple but filled with a father's love for his daughter. Arok knew that seeing Isolde leave to find Zara may, in fact, be the last time he would see her. This saddened him, but the fear their daughter would be hurt or, worse yet, taken by the Pirates gave him the strength to send Isolde away.

Isolde could see the love and concern in her husband's eyes, and she knew he was right. She needed to go find their daughter, just as he needed to confront the Pirates approaching them.

She nodded and turned to leave. "I'll find her," she said over her shoulder.
Arok watched her go, his heart filled with both love and fear. He knew she would do everything possible to find their daughter, but he also knew the dangers were great.

Isolde ran out of the rear of the home, looking for Zara. She called her name, but there was no answer. Dread filled her heart as she peeked around the corner of their home, looking into the front area.

There she saw smoke, rubble, and dead bodies on the ground. And, sadly, those bodies looked familiar. Isolde's blood went cold with the thought that one of the fallen was Zara.

Arok, armed with his side arm blaster, ran out of the front of the home to confront the invading pirates. He was at first angry, but when he saw his dead neighbors, friends, and the pirates, he became scared. However, he was not scared for himself but of his inability to keep his family safe. He stood still, blaster in his hand, then met one of the Pirate's gaze.

The pirate captain, Blackheart, approached Arok. Blackheart walked slowly over to Arok; he did not seem very concerned that Arok was holding a blaster. The Pirate did not seem to have a care in the world.

Arok could feel the tension in the air, like a thick fog. He knew that this was not going to end well. "Why are you doing this?" Arok asked, his voice trembling.

"We're here for the Pryosian Tree," Blackheart said.

"It is not for you," Arok said.

"We'll see about that," Blackheart said. "My men are going to cut it down. And if you get in our way, we will also cut you down."

"You don't understand," pleaded Arok. "The Pryosian Tree is not meant for you."

"I don't care about your superstitions," the pirate captain smirked. "We're going to take that tree, and there's nothing you can do to stop us."
The pirate captain turned to his men.
"Cut down the tree!" he ordered.

Arok felt his heart sink. He knew that he was no match for Blackheart and his men. He was outnumbered and outgunned. But he also knew he couldn't stand by and let them cut down the Pryosian Tree.

He also was not sure what to do about his family. The other pirates were going door to door and taking what they wanted or who they wanted.

"This Tree is sacred. So please, you must leave it alone," Arok said.

The pirates raised their vibro blades and began to slice into the Pryosian Tree. As the edges cut into the bark, the Tree shook like an injured animal. With each blade pass, more and more leaves fell to the ground.

The Pirates were soon ankle-deep in leaves. Then, the majestic and mesmerizing leaves that once graced the Arbor turned quickly to a dark burnt red and began to crumple to ash. Arok watched in horror as the Tree was being mutilated.

"Stop!" Arok shouted. "Please, stop!"

Arok's heart pounded in his chest. He knew he and his family were in danger but didn't know what else to do. He had never been in a gunfight before and was scared. So finally, in desperation, he raised his blaster toward the Captain. His hands shook so badly that he quickly caught the attention of Blackheart.

The pirate captain, Blackheart, was a different story. He was a seasoned warrior, and he had seen it all. He had fought in countless battles, and he had killed more men than Arok could imagine. Yet, he was cold and calculating and had no mercy for his enemies.

Blackheart smiled, amused that Arok was aiming a gun at him. This sent chills down Arok's spine. Then, in a brief second that felt like an eternity, there was a bright flash of light for the second time that night.

Suddenly, the world went silent. This confused Arok, and looking toward the Captain, he noticed that he was holding a blaster pointed directly at him.

Arok felt the blaster bolt hit him like a hammer blow. He staggered back, his chest burning, and fell to the ground. He tried to raise his blaster again, but his hand shook too much. The Captain fired again, and this time the bolt hit Arok in the leg. Arok was now screaming in pain. The force of this blast caused his gun to fly from his hand.

The Captain walked over to Arok and stood over him. He raised his blaster and now pointed it at Arok's head.

"Any last words?" the Captain asked playfully.

Arok glared up at the Captain.

"You can't do this," Arok said.

The Captain smiled.

Alarmed by the blaster fire so close to her home, Isolde screamed and ran to her husband's side. She dropped to the ground, not paying attention to the Pirate. Her only concern was getting to her husband. And cradled his head in her arms. "No," she cried. "Please, no."

This made Blackheart's smile turn into a laugh. The Pirate walked closer to Isolde and Arok. "Excuse me, I don't mean to interrupt," The Captain said as he aimed his blaster at Isolde.

With a slight nod, Blackheart offered, "Fear not, woman! He won't be dying alone."

Isolde closed her eyes, held on tightly to her husband, and waited for the Pirate's gun to fire.

Despite the deafening sound of the blaster, Isolde didn't feel anything. But then, she opened her eyes and saw the Pirate standing with a staggered look above her.

As Isolde felt her chest, looking for a wound. When she realized there was no one, she looked over at Blackheart and saw a smoldering bloody hole in his chest.

Zara stood behind him, tears streaming down her face. She held her father's blaster, which she had retrieved from the ground after it was knocked out of his hands. A thin wisp of white smoke rose from the barrel, which had just been fired and ended the Pirate's terrible career.

Blackheart collapsed to the ground, dropping to his knees and falling forward onto his face.

Once blocked by Blackheart, Zara's figure came into full view as the Pirate collapsed.

"Zara," Isolde said, her voice hoarse. "What happened?"

Zara looked at her mother, her eyes filled with tears. "I had to," she said. "He was going to hurt you."

Isolde nodded. "I know," she said. "You did the right thing."

Zara ran to her mother and hugged her tightly. "I'm so sorry," she said. "I never meant to hurt anyone."

Isolde hugged her daughter back. "It's okay," she said. "but we are not safe."

Zara pulled away and looked at her mother. "Because of him?" she asked, pointing to the Pirate. Zara thought to herself there would be some kind of punishment. Then she looked at her father, unconscious in her mother's lap. "I don't care if there is a punishment for killing this man. I am glad I did it," she thought to herself.

Isolde sighed. "He's dead," she said. "But you did what you had to do. But now, you need to listen."

This commotion had garnered the attention of the Pirates nearby, standing just beyond a dense clump of trees. They did not know what exactly happened, but they understood whatever it was, needed their immediate attention.

Isolde took this moment and spoke quickly to Zara, "You need to run! Run to the trees, and don't look back!"

Zara looked into her mother's while her brain feverishly assessed the situation. She quickly came to the dark conclusion that they would probably die. Those Pirates were only 40 or 50 feet away. They would be here in seconds.

"No!" Zara said while she shook her head. "I can't leave you."

Isolde could see the Pirates running toward them. She knew the other pirates would not take this gesture of killing their Captain calmly. She held on tight to her husband, knowing he would also die soon. Isolde would try and buy Zara time to hide. Isolde pulled the blaster from Zara's hands and yelled, "Run!" then she began firing at the remaining pirates.

Zara hesitated momentarily, but then she saw the determined look on her mother's face and knew she had to obey. So she turned like a rabbit and ran towards the trees.

The pirates returned fire, but Isolde was a good shot. She hit two of them before she was hit. Then, she slumped over, clutching her chest.
Zara heard her mother cry out in pain and paused briefly. Then, she listened to a dying cry from her mother, "Run, Zara!".

This cry from her mother acted like a starting pistol. Zara pounced into a sprint straight into the thick, dark jungle.

Zara ran through the forest's edge; her heart pounded as the jungle's trees, plants, and sounds enveloped her. It was like the forest reached out and embraced her with a hug. She had grown up in this jungle, and running into it was like running home.

She could hear the pirates crashing through the underbrush as they crossed into the jungle's darkness. They were close behind her.

She recognized the female Pirate as a Trandoshan. Her lizard-like appearance was unmistakable. They were known as excellent hunters and preferred to hunt sentient Wookies without regard. Zara's first thought was that they would take her to Trandosha, where she would be hunted for sport. This thought fueled her with a mission to escape.

The other Pirate was male, but Zara did not recognize his species. He was tall and muscular, with green skin and sharp teeth. He was carrying a large blaster rifle, and he looked like he was ready for a fight.

Zara had the darkness and her knowledge of the jungle on her side. The trees and plants whipped past her, and the sound of the pirates crashing through the underbrush was getting closer. She could smell the damp earth and the rotting vegetation and feel the sweat dripping down her face.

She knew that she had to lose the pirates and that the only way to do that was to take them deep into the jungle.

She burst through a thicket of bushes and found herself on a steep hillside. She didn't hesitate. She leaped up the hillside, her feet barely touching the ground as she scrambled for purchase on the slippery earth and tangled vines. She could hear the pirates shouting behind her but didn't look back. She just kept climbing.

The hillside grew steeper and steeper, and the air grew thinner. Zara's lungs burned, and her legs started to ache. But she refused to give up. She knew that if she stopped, the pirates would catch her.
Finally, she reached the top of the ridge. She collapsed on the ground, gasping for breath.

Zara looked down the hillside, watching the pirates struggle to keep up. She smiled briefly and took off running. She had put some distance between her and the Pirates. But it was not a comfortable distance. In a drastic move, she ran for The Crystal River.

The Crystal is a river that flows through the planet's crystal caves. It is a clear river, and it is home to a variety of crystals, including the Felucian Blue Crystal. Unfortunatly, these crystals are jagged and sharp and protrude up through the water. So it is not the best place to swim unless you wish to be cut to shreds.

She ran for what felt like hours until she came to a precipice. The Crystal River was far below her, about a 40-foot drop, depending on when it swelled.

As Zara approached the edge, she couldn't help but smile. She remembered all the times she and her friends had dared each other to jump into Crystal Lake. However, they had to be careful because the water had sharp crystals. They could easily get cut if they didn't dive in the right spot.

She looked down at the crystal clear water and began to count in her head. She knew the pirates had not given up and would be getting closer to her.

Nervously, she kept her gaze on the River, still counting in her head. Then, she quickly glanced back to the treeline just in time to see her two "friends" bursting into the clearing.

"There she is!" shouted the male Pirate as he and the Trandoshan came over the ridge. "She is trapped, about 50 yards up, at the cliff's edge!"

The male Pirate spotted Zara standing in a clearing. She was not hiding but standing there, looking at the pirates running toward her. The wind had picked up, and Zara's hair blew wildly in the wind.

Coming to a stop, breathing heavily, the male Pirate took aim at Zara and fired his blaster. Luckily, the Pirate's fatigue from running so far through the woods affected not only his breathing but his aim as well.

He missed Zara, but it was close enough that she could feel its heat as it flew past her. She stepped back, taking her eye off the Pirate and looking over her shoulder at the Lake.

She struggled to concentrate but kept counting in her head while looking down at the River.

"I've got her!" shouted the Trandoshan. "You useless idiot!"

The female dropped down to one knee. The tall grass the Trandoshan knelt in kept Zara from seeing exactly what she was doing.

The Pirate pulled a long, black blaster rifle from her backpack. It was a sniper rifle with a long barrel and a powerful scope. The gun was made of polished black metal and gleamed in the sunlight.

Keeping her eyes trained on Zara, she cocked the rifle and pulled the protective case off the scope. The Pirate held the rifle to her shoulder and sighted down the barrel, keeping her eyes trained on Zara.

The male Pirate had stopped running and was watching the Trandoshan. He had seen her work before, and he believed their chase was just about over.

With calm precision, The Trandoshan adjusted her sights. The sound of a few clicks broke to silence, as did the slow, controlled breaths of the Trandoshan. Zara came clearly into focus in the green crosshairs of her scope.

Zara looked away from the Lake again, glanced over her shoulder, and looked directly at the weapon aimed at her. She knew this was a terrible position to be in. A killer at one end and a 40-foot drop to certain death at the other end. Zara stood still and tried to calm her breathing.

The sniper's scope reflected in the light.

Zara counted, but this time it was out loud. "Three, Two"

The Trandoshan, looking through the sleek black scope, lined up the cross hairs directly at Zara's forehead.

"It was nice of you to hold still for me," whispered The Trandoshan.

The Trandoshan took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, calming her nerves. She, too, counted out loud, in unison with Zara, "Three, Two."

"One," both Zara and The Trandoshan said at the same time.

The charge from the rifle ignited the entire hilltop. The sound it made rang and echoed loudly. This was a sound the Transdoshan found soothing. She loved the hunt, and she loved the kill, and she relished in the booming echo.

She closed her eyes and listened. She was waiting to hear Zara scream in agony.

Zara had leaped up and off the cliff when she counted down to "One." Just as she dove toward the water, the bolt from the blaster, which had been on target to put a hole in Zara's head, passed just inches above her. She had managed to jump at the exact moment to avoid the fatal shot.

Not being shot in the head was a happy coincidence. However, this was not why Zara was counting.

Crystal River had other unique qualities besides the jagged children shredding crystals. One of the most striking things about the Crystal River was that it appeared alive. The water would swell and recede every few minutes as if the River breathed. The legends of the River said that the River was actually a giant crystal dragon and that the swelling and receding of the water was the dragon's breathing.

Zara knew this phenomenon was caused by the crystals breaking off the riverbed and releasing pressure from the caverns below. When the pressure was released, the River would swell. When the pressure escaped through underwater channels, the River would recede.

She had grown up near the River and spent many hours swimming and playing in its waters. She knew the River swelled and receded every four minutes, and the deep water cycle was four minutes long.

By jumping when she did, at the very end of the deep water cycle, Zara knew she would give herself a four-minute head start. If they dared, the pirates would have to wait four minutes to jump after her.

The Trandoloshan, still looking through the scope of her rifle, saw Zara's body fall from the cliff. At this, she smiled and lowered her gun. "Got her," she said with a smile.

She looked over at the male Pirate. He was just looking at her, gently shaking his head from side to side.

"What?" she yelled.

The male Pirate, still shakings his head, said, "You missed."

"What do you mean I missed?" barked the Trandoshan.

The scent of a blaster recently fired filled the air. The Trandoshan turned to glance at the cliff and, clutching her rifle took off toward the edge. Smoke from her blaster still hung in the air as she ran, with the male Pirate following closely behind.

The two Pirates simultaneously reached the cliff's edge and peered down the 40-foot drop, searching for Zara's body.

Zara took a deep breath before she jumped off the cliff. Her body tightened into a compact ball as she fell through the air, bracing for the impact of the water below. The sound of a rushing wind filled her ears, and her heart raced with adrenaline. Finally, with a resounding splash, she broke through the water's surface, and the cool liquid enveloped her body in a refreshing embrace.

Zara's leap was executed flawlessly as she landed precisely at the culmination of the water's ebb and flow. This enabled her to land at the bottom of the River, and upon touching the water's surface, the River slowly retreated, setting her down comfortably on the bed of the crystalline River.

As the Pirates peered over the edge, they were shocked to see Zara on the riverbed, alive and well. Even more surprising was the sight of her smiling and extending her middle fingers in front of a crooked smile. Then, before they could react, she swiftly stood up and vanished into the nearby forest.

"What now?' asked the male Pirate to the Trandoshan.

"We are done here," she said with disgust. "We've been gone too long. Let's get back. Eventually, she will have to head back home. We will see her there."

Zara ran deep into the woods, skipping over stones and sliding under branches. She knew she had at least 4 minutes to run and believed she could effectively disappear in that time. So she continued as the coming sunlight led her to The Forest Watchtower.

The Forest Watchtower is a natural formation that rises above the surrounding forest. It is a large, flat rock surrounded by trees on all sides. The top of the rock is covered in moss and ferns, and a small clearing in the center offers stunning views of the forest below.

Now, the Forest Watchtower is a place of refuge for Zara. From this vantage point, she can see the Divine Arbor. From here, she watched the pirates finish their business in the Arbor. Tears came to her eyes as the pirates ransacked her village. She had already seen them kill her parents, friends, and neighbors and burn her home to the ground, but she continued vigil.

She observed the pirates depart as the sun began to rise. They were busy loading their ship with the looted items. Yet, the pirates were in high spirits, laughing and joking as they departed, leaving her village devastated.

Zara was filled with anger and despair, but she knew that screaming and crying wouldn't solve anything. So instead, she made the decision to remain strong.

Zara started to walk back to her home. She knew her mother was now dead, along with her father, but she still had to return. She had to see for herself. She couldn't just leave her parents lying on the ground.

When she got to the Arbor, she saw it was in ruins. The pirates had destroyed everything and taken most of the sacred Tree. Zara stood among the burning remains of the tree stump and saw her parents lying in a macabre death embrace.

High in the sky, Zara witnessed the Pirate Ship leaving the atmosphere.

Blackheart, once a fearsome pirate captain, now lay lifeless on the ground, just a few feet away from Zara's parents. His once imposing figure was reduced to a bloody and naked husk, stripped of valuables by his callous crew. His body was left in the same position that Zara had last seen him, slumping over on his face, a gruesome sight that sent shivers down her spine. The once mighty Blackheart was now nothing more than a discarded corpse, abandoned by those who had once followed him to the ends of the earth.

Zara approached the Divine Arbor. Her heart was heavy with grief. The once-beautiful sanctuary now lay in ruins, ravaged by the merciless hands of pirates. The air was thick with smoke and the acrid smell of burning wood. The ground was littered with the bodies of people she once knew, their lives brutally taken. The once-pristine walls were blackened and charred, their divine beauty reduced to a mere memory. Yet, Zara knew this was the only place her parents could rest in peace despite the desolation, and she was determined to give them a proper burial.

Zara's once-clean clothes were now tattered and caked with dirt, sweat, and blood. Her hair was matted, and her face was streaked with grime. She looked like she had been running through the forest for days without rest. Yet, despite her exhaustion and filth, she was determined to give her parents a proper farewell. She gathered their bodies and carried them to the Arbor, her muscles aching with every step. With trembling hands, she dug two graves, one for her mother and one for her father. As she laid their bodies to rest, she couldn't help but feel a part of her had died with them.

She gazed upon the ruins of the once-beautiful Divine Arbor. It starkly contrasted the memories she held dear of the place where she and her parents had once shared happy moments. Yet, even in its current state, she knew her parents would have found peace and happiness there. Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and held onto the memories.

Zara turned slowly away from her parents' freshly dug graves and looked at the remains of the Pryosian Tree. The Pirates had brutally cut down the sacred Tree but, in their haste, had made a mistake. They had left a portion of it behind.

Zara knew that all Pryosian Trees have a single seed cocooned deep inside the Tree, which can be used to grow a new Pryosian Tree. She was hoping that the pirates did not know this.

With her vibroblade, she cut into the smoldering stump, hoping against hope that the pirates had not taken or destroyed the seed. Finally, after a long search, she reached into the ashes and carefully removed the dark blue Pryosian wood cocoon.

She held it up to the light, and inside, she could see a minuscule yet breathtakingly vibrant green seed. The seed emanated a luminescent green glow that seemed to enrapture her. This seed was no ordinary seed; it was the singular source of growth for a new Pryosian Tree.

As Zara stood before the Tree's remains, her gaze fixed firmly upon its decaying form, she couldn't help but feel a sense of regret for what had befallen it. She took a deep breath and cut the seed from the cocoon with one swift slice of her blade. Suddenly, a low, mournful howl reverberated through the woods as if the surrounding trees were lamenting the loss of another life.

With a resolute yet solemn demeanor, Zara embarked on two distinct undertakings. The first task was to plant the Prysoian seed that had been freshly extracted at the resting place of her dear parents. Then, with great reverence and the utmost care, she carried out this ritual, honoring the memories of her beloved parents in her own unique way.

As soon as she finished her previous task, she shifted her focus toward the much-prized Pryosian Spice. The process of making this delicate Spice was complex and intricate, demanding her complete attention and skill. By immersing herself in this process, Zara showcased her unwavering dedication and commitment to her family and craft.

In a world where the creation of Pyrosian Spice was considered forbidden, Zara knew the risks she was taking when she decided to pursue its production. She had witnessed pirates kill her parents to steal the Tree used to make the Spice, and she was determined to hunt them down and take her revenge.

Zara knew the Spice could give her the telekinetic and telepathic abilities she needed to find the pirates. Still, she also knew that it could drive her mad. She didn't care. She was willing to do whatever it took to get revenge.

Zara gathered the ingredients she would need and set to work. She knew the process would be long and complicated but determined to see it through. As a keeper of the Tree, she knew the process but had never dared to make the Spice.

The main ingredient was the Tree itself. Any part of the Tree could be used to make the Spice, but the Seed's Blue Cacoon was the most coveted part. This blue wood, which held the lone Pryosian Seed, was the most coveted piece of wood from the Tree to use. Zara just happened to have this cacoon in her hand.

She had been lucky. When the pirates had stolen the rest of the Tree, they must not have known of the seed and cocoon buried deep inside the Tree. She had already removed and planted the seed at her parent's grave, and now it was time to put the cacoon to use as well.

Zara followed the instructions carefully, gathering the blue wood from the cacoon and burning it in a fire made of specific types of wood. She observed the fire, ensuring the temperature was not too high or too low. After several hours, the fire had burned down, and Zara was left with a pile of ash.

Zara carefully collected the ash and placed it in a vial. She then added a few drops of water to the vial and shook it gently. The ash and water combined to form a thick, green liquid. Zara took a deep breath and looked at the substance in the vial. It was the Pyrosian Spice.
Zara hesitated momentarily, then closed her eyes and opened her mouth. She took a small sip.

At first, nothing happened. But then, she felt a strange tingling sensation. It started at her fingertips and spread throughout her body. She opened her eyes and saw that the world around her was beginning to change. The colors were brighter, and the sounds were clearer. She felt like she could see and hear things that she had never been able to see and hear before.
Zara had unlocked her telekinetic and telepathic abilities. She was now powerful, ready to use her powers to find the pirates and take her revenge.

Zara was now on a new path. One that would one day lead her to the Shadow Sisters.

To Be Continued:

bottom of page