ABY 853
Kashyyyk - Northayyk
The Longhut

"Chief Kerriissh," Seroth said.

[Young Master.]

Some fifteen generations had passed since the last occasion great Freyyr and the Longhut, straddling high up along its youngest boughs, had played hosting to a Jedi Knight. For some four weeks, Kerriissh swallowed the bait in his breath and waited on news. After Lof's absence for seven straight days, more than one adviser recommended placing a second team on her trail. The Chief didn't relent. Not after the first week or the next three, content to keep the calm until his assurances of his aide's return turned true. Than, the prior evening, the guards on patrol circuit reported the Notherworld lift beginning its ascend. All at once, speculation and an old Wookie's fear ran rife with in his imagination. Meanwhile, onlookers crowded the railings to catch a glimpse of the returning party, refusing to turn away at the guards' order. Few were privy to the Chieftains purposes in sending Lof and the Vaaczyyc on their extended expedition, so rumour brewed until there were a score of conflicting stories.

Kerriissh himself made a slow trek for the lower sub-platforms, contending with his ailing knees and throbbing spine. His proud snarl in the face of any presumptuous guards or pitying onlookers stayed any paws from helping him bear the agonies. Damn it, he was not invalid. He was not so broken by time. The Chieftain desired and needed to see the results of his appointed mission, lest he seem as though to distantly shirk the consequences of Lof's potentially failed expedition. Yet... old Freyyr seemed fit to lend a touch of Kashyyyk's blessings. The small, braced platform arrived with six individuals, one more than what had chanced the wroshyr rootballs. Cheers rose as Lof and her guard were swarmed by a jubilant crowd of rushing Wookies, with friends and family clenching them tight in crushing embraces. The Chief observed one diminutive figure extricate from the mess of hairy limbs and warbling churls.

The Chief noted he looked too young, looked torn of cloth and bruised, fair features dirtied and unwashed and unfortunately smelling of it in the same breath. But, he strolled with easy strength up to the wizened Kerriissh and took his aged paws in greeting. The boy's small smile seemed undiminished. And together, quietly conversing, they took the roundabout stairwell route to where the Longhut waited for the inevitable audience.


"Is Lof going to be well?" Seroth asked, seated deep in his too large high-chair.

Kerriissh nodded, glancing over the datapad balanced between his calloused thumb and finger pads. [She is, but has requested some time for administrative leave. Which I've granted, naturally, you don't deny that after four weeks in the underbush."

"Hmmmn..." The boy hummed.

The Longhut, resplendent with Kerriissh's black-wood throne and scaled trunk-table, was lit by low burning braziers and a mantlepiece sunken in with a roaring fire. Inky shadows danced oddly on the polished grain-walls, tapering into a high roof fixed with a venting chimney. Firelight played in the pairs eyes, quieting any boisterous moods into contemplative, even moody quiet. The Chieftain seemed even older, sitting back against his throne. The datapad skipped over the table and skidded to a halt. Seroth raised a hand hesitantly and called the 'pad to his grip. Kerriissh's gaze widened whilst he watched the Jedi absently levitate the object swiftly, smoothly into his waiting palm.

[You Jedi Knights have a habit of casually performing miracles,] The chief chuckled.

The boy blushed, thumb-cycling through the missive. "We forget ourselves sometimes. ...When did you receive this, Chieftain sir?"

Kerriissh shrugged his hung arms. [Over a month ago. Rwookrrorro forwarded it to our networks here in Northaykk and begged that I find you. ...In hopefully healthy straits. We'd have hated to reply to Coruscant with our condolences.]

As he spoke through the rolling growls and trilling grumbles, Seroth's eyes scanned over the communique... his expression falling gradually, tick by tick. Kerriissh broke his disquieted contemplation.

[Bad tidings?]

The boy shook his head. "No. Just... a summons. I was expecting one, truthfully, but... I anticipated I might have at least another month or two to myself."

[Why does a Jedi come, to disappear into where certain death is promised?] Kerriissh now asked, the wringer on the tip of his pallid tongue for the evening's majority.

"The same way Wookies can't help themselves when a whittling blade and a wroshyr log is near," Seroth chuckled. "For peace. For quiet."

[Surely not relaxation,] Kerriissh said, then guffawed at the boy's wink. [Traipsing through a light-less hell is your measure of peace of mind?]

"It's... more involved than that," He said. The datapad was turned down and onto the table. "...But I'll be leaving. Probably as soon as I can gather a few supplies after we're concluded here."

[Shame,] The Wookie sighed. [I'll have a city pulling at my ears for stories that I can't give them.]


Kerriissh nodded. [Many want to know how it is such a small human, with just his 'glowstick blades', managed the Shadowlands when grown Wookies leave and never return alive. You were gone a month or so, looking like you meant to stay. ...Sure you can't trade a tale or two? I've great-grandcubs that would love to hear a Jedi saga or two.]

"Well..." Seroth leaned forward to rest his elbows against the too-tall table grain, grey eyes glinting in the firelight. "For your troubles, Chief Kerriissh? ...I think I have a yarn or four."