My name is Iria Tuqiri. And this... is my story.
I am a Human female... mostly. I used to have one distinguishing physical feature that I couldn't quite explain... pointed ears. They were not that way when I was a little girl, but grew more and more pointed as I matured. I was often teased about them, so I learned to keep them covered with my hair. I rarely displayed them. I only mention it here because this curiosity was always in the back of my mind, lurking, as the following events unfolded and would become a major quest later in my life.
I was born on Tatooine, but my family was from off world... Coriscant or possibly Naboo, I think. But, I am not sure. I never got the chance to find out. My family landed on Tatooine while my Mother was pregnant with me. I don't know why they were there. I suspect it may have had something to do with my Father's work or perhaps my Mother went into labor with me and it was the closest planet. There are too many unanswered questions.
Whatever their reason, I was apparently born very shortly after their arrival. What happened next I only know from a rumor that I believe to be the truth. Just as my family was preparing for departure from the Mos Eisley spaceport, I was abducted. Kidnapped as an infant! My abductor raised me for a time, until I was old enough to be sold as a slave.
And I was a slave... for a very long time. And as I matured into a young, fairly attractive woman it became a very dark, depraved, and perverted existence as you can probably imagine the illicit acts and violations they forced me to do. I knew it was wrong. I could sense it. I was ashamed. But I knew no other life, and I didn't know how to fight them. I felt powerless. My only defense was to withdraw into myself... to mentally retreat. And soon, I learned how to make myself believe I was somewhere else whenever my slave master or his guests (male, female, or otherwise) would take their liberties with me.
I don't know why my parents ever left Tatooine without me. Some hinted over the years that they threated to take my older sister, as well, if they didn't leave immediately. I later learned from my slave master, in an effort that he thought was sure to hurt me, that my Father spent many years trying to earn enough money to buy me back. A ransome he called it. But every time my Father managed to come up with the specified amount, the price was raised. My slave master wanted me to feel the situation was hopeless, that I would never see my family again. But instead, it gave me a glimmer of hope. He inadvertently let it slip that my family was still out there somewhere and had not forgotten me!
And, indeed, they had not! A few years later my family returned to Tatooine in another effort to buy me! It failed of course, when the price went up. But this time, something was different. And again, I may never know the exact details... but witnesses say that my Father convinced my slave master to participate in a high-stakes game of chance, with me as the payoff. All those times my family had saved their money in efforts to purchase me was finally used in a back-up plan to try and win my freedom. I can only imagine all the sacrifices they had been making all those years to scrape the money together... for me!
I was not there when it happened, of course. My slave master was sure he would win. But somehow, my Father won! My master was forced, in front of many witnesses, to conceed my freedom! I remember when he came bounding into my tiny chamber yelling at me to get out. I had no idea what was happening. It was all a blur and happened so fast as he leaned into my face, clearly angry and outraged, and shouted at the top of his lungs at me that my family was here and that I was free and to get out before he changed his mind. He was not happy. He was furious. Seething! But I was growing more giddy by the second! My heart was beating so fast as I quickly gathered the few scraps that were my belongings and ran out the door.
The faces of three people standing outside in the street lit up when I came running out. Despite my having no memory of them and they not having seen me since I was a baby, there were cheers of joy and a lot of hugs and kisses and promises of a new start and how nice it was going to be to finally get to know each other! Tears of happiness were streaming down all our faces.
My family was anxious to leave, especially my Father. He was hurrying us along toward the spaceport, when I suddenly realized my one and only friend, a fellow slave girl with a different master, had no idea what was happening. I convinced my family to let me quickly go say goodbye to her as it was only a few streets away and that I would meet them back at the spaceport in a few minutes. They told me the hangar number, and off I ran to tell my friend the good news.
I was half way back to the spaceport when the explosion happened. As I was knocked backward to the ground, I got a glimpse of the huge fireball and smoke rising into the sky. Alarms were sounding seemingly from everywhere. It was a few seconds before I put together what was going on. As I clumbsily got back to my feet, panic and dread rushed into me and I began to run toward the spaceport dodging the chaos of swarming people, vehicles, and animals! I ducked past guards as I followed the sounds of the growing emergency into the hangar bays. Somehow I knew it... and my worst fears were verified when I found myself standing at the entrance of the destroyed hangar bay and there on the scorched wall was the remains of the same hanger number my family had given me.
Their ship was shredded, and lay in burning pieces on the floor of the bay. What was left of four bodies were found in the wreckage... two men and two women, three of which were later identified as my family, and evidence of an incindiary device. From what I could gather during the aftermath, my former slave master had spread accusations that my Father had cheated in the game that won my freedom and had snuck into the hangar bay to plant an explosive. Apparently he was hoping to kill me and my family as punishment. The bomb was supposed to go off once we had reached orbit, but he was not that intelligent and must have been trying to install the device incorrectly. It must have triggered and exploded right there, destroying him, the ship, the hangar bay, and my family.
As days went by I was filled with more and more rage and anger. It wasn't fair! I only saw my family for a few mintues! In all the excitement of the moment, they didn't even get a chance to tell me their names. I had nowhere to go. I had no money. And I was angry and depressed. The one thing that was different, though, was that I was still free. My vile slave master was dead! The following couple of months were a bit of a haze. I worked various odd jobs doing menial labor for virtually no pay until I discovered that dancing in the cantina payed better, I scrounged enough money to book passage off Tatooine... to anywhere.
I wandered aimlessly around the galaxy for years, working on various ships in exchange for passage to where ever they were going. I don't know what I was looking for. Answers I suppose. Or at least an explanation. In the meantime, I was slipping back into a slave mentality, sometimes succombing to the temptation of prostitution to pay my way. I often changed the way I looked and dressed so I could blend in and disappear when necessary. I often thought of looking up my little friend back on Tatooine. She had relied on me, but I let her down. Besides, how could I face her now? I wasn't proud of who I was. She had looked up to me, relied on me for protection. And I had just abandoned her without saying a word, back when I finally left Tatooine.
One particulary bad day I found myself stuck on Polis Massa waiting for the next ship to dock on which I was going to "earn" my passage. Suddenly I heard voices... out of nowhere! I thought I was halluncinating! But they would not go away. As they became clearer, I recognized them! It was my Mother and Father! Weeping, I yelled at them to stop! This wasn't funny! Despite my begging, they persisted. As the episode went on, they warned me that the path I was following was dark and would lead to my destruction. This grieved them, as they died to earn my freedom. They told me I would sense when the opportunity for change would come. Convinced now that this was really happening, I rattled off question after question at them... every one of them I could remember. I talked so fast between tears and gasps for air. But all they would say is that they were with me, watching over me, and always would be. And then they were gone.
I sobbed for hours. At the end of it, somehow, I could feel my hatred and anger beginning to slowly drain away. The next morning, the ship arrived on schedule. I packed my scant items and headed for the landing bay. As I was about to board-- I can't explain it. I got this sudden sense of dread and danger. I hesitated. I didn't want to board that ship and I couldn't explain why. I slowly backed away despite the angry captain shouting at me. I went back and re-reserved my room. I had no idea why or what I was going to do next. I tried, finally, looking up my old friend on Tatooine... the slave girl. I checked through all the records, but couldn't find her listed anywhere. There was no trace of her.
I stayed on Polis Massa for weeks. Each day that went by I was less and less angry. I started cleaning myself up. I didn't like the idea of my parents seeing me like that. It's hard to believe that on a virtually sunless rock the days could seem brighter, but somehow they did. I began to get to know some of the people stationed on the base. One of them had a relative coming in on a ship that was due to visit in a few days and they offered me a lift to their next destination. I didn't care where they were going. I had decided that I was going to make a new start. My anger and rage were all but gone. After all, I told myself, what had made me so vengeful was the loss of my family that I had just met. But now I knew they were okay. Somehow they weren't gone, not entirely anyway. And that reassured me.
I left with them. They dropped me off on the planet where Master Moonsoo found me a day later. Just as I had decided the previous day to try and find out how and why I heard my parent's voices and try to figure out the mystery of my ears... suddenly there she was, offering to be my mentor and whisking me away to Yavin. I can't think it was coincidence. Not after what I've seen and learned... not after suddenly finding meself amongst the company of some of the highest ranked and respected Jedi Knights and Masters. My parents were right. Change has occurred. And now I sense that light has dawned, where before there was only darkness.
My quest is now to understand, to learn, to grow in the light so that darkness will not again be able to take hold of me. If I'm also ever able to communicate with my parents again or find the truth in my lineage that would be a welcome bonus.
It's now been some time since I came to Yavin. Much has changed... both for me personally and in the world around me. I have in that time, trained my own padawan to knighthood. Not five minutes after she was knighted (the shortest Knighthood in NOJ history)... she and I, and Masters Moonsoo and Elswit split from NOJ and formed our own order... The Kalway Order of the Jedi. I have gone on to become Master, and then Council Master and as of this writing I am one of three of the original founding members and second in command of the entire order. It's been quite some journey since my slave days on Tatooine. I never imagined anything like this was possible. Here I am... a little slave girl with mysteriously pointed ears... training jedi and commanding armies.
But even more surprising... I now know WHAT I am! My ears are no longer a mystery! During an undercover mission with master moonsoo, posing as dancers... we were taken prisoner and tortured. We were left for dead by the time the rescue parties arrived... Master Moonsoo having been stabbed in the chest.. and myself... decapitated. Yes, you read that right... my head was completely severed from my body by one of our captors.
The rescue party found us about to be ground up by the recyclers... they rushed us back to Yavin, to the medbay... where Master Elswit tried her best to reattach my head. She did an amazing job... but ordinarily it would have been pointless. I should have died then... but I did not.
It seems the cells of my body have some unique properties... are able to sustain themselves if separated from my body for a long while. Anyway... during the lengthly procedure to reattach my head to my torso... I'm told my cells started twisting and rearranging themselves.... seemingly fusing back together forming new tissues, bones, muscles, etc. Within hours it was as if my head had never been removed at all. I awoke, with a bit of amnesia.. unaware of who I was for a while... thinking me and Master Moonsoo really were the dancers.
Once I regained my composure... I went to Coruscant for further testing. We discovered something truly amazing there... I have Shi'ido DNA. More specifically... I'm half Shi'ido and half human. The Shi'ido it seems are a rare shape-shifting species. Who, once they learn how, can form and shift into just about anything. This includes clothing and the ability to form storage cavaties in their bodies for such things as spare light sabers, comm devices, etc. Very handy if you ask me. Normal Shi'ido feel no pain or discomfort with shifting... but I DO. At first the pain was unbearable as my truama triggered random shifts to occur. I was able to overcome the pain through meditation and a gift from a shape-shifter of another species... a piece of technology that for them completely eliminated the pain, but for me... keeps it at a just tolerable level.
Due to the human half of my genetics... there are some.. shall we say.. side effects. That being extreme hunger due to an incredibly rapid metabolism and the processing of vast amounts of energy during shifting. Also... other chemical imbalances take place... among the more significant... are my hormone and pheremone levels. For some reason I have yet to discover... shifting sends them through the roof. The result causes... how shall I put it... extreme arousal. And if left untreated, will eventually cause significant physiological damage.
But the good news is this... I know at least one of my parents were full Shi'ido! So... it's a place to start... a clue to my heritage.
I continue to slowly discover how to use my abilities... at the time of this writing... I am stuck in a partial farghul form and I don't yet know how to shift on command to anything I want. This is my next goal.
More information about Shi'ido can be found here: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Shi'ido
" You do understand, however, that by practicing the darkside even a little, makes you part of the problem the Jedi seek to solve? You did not strike me as the type of person who could kill in cold blood, or wreak death and destruction upon a city or planet. You are sure to say you are not devoting yourself fully to the dark side and so you will be able to handle it. But in all my years witnessing people make this same choice, not one of them ever has. All are eventually consumed by the darkness. It starts small... "I'll just use force lightning this once to save that person." Even though you have the best intention, the power you will feel is intoxicating. With each use, no matter how sparse, you will want more. And each time, it will take more to achieve that same feeling of power and energy. At some point down the road, you will look back, and see the path of death and devestation you have wrought, all in the initial name of good intentions. You will feel trapped, hopeless, alone, frightened, but powerful. And in that moment, which is your last chance to turn away before it gets exponentially more difficult, the darkness consumes your soul. Past that point, there is no more gray. Past that point, there is no more you. The you you know now will be locked deep away in the recesses of your mind, screaming to get out, to stop the carnage, but you will have no control. You will become evil incarnate. I hope to the force, that you will see the signs as I have described them before you reach that point. That you will be able to make the struggle back to the light. If that point comes, we will be here to help you. Remember that, always."
— Grand Master Iria Tuqiri to a leaving Padawan who was going to become a Grey Jedi
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Trained and Knighted in NOJ
- Trained Mica Anatra to Knighthood in NOJ
- Founding member of KOJ (Kalway Order of the Jedi)
- Appointed as Master Builder of KOJ
- Raised to Master in KOJ
- Trained Samsong Blackburn to Knighthood
- Trained White Ragu to Knighthood
- Trained Taellinu Aichi to Knighthood
- All three KOJ apprentices Knighted at the same time, at the same ceremony.
- Raised to Council Master in KOJ
- Raised to Grand Master in KOJ