Thread Used in: Star Wars: Revanchism [Mandalorian War/Knights of the Old Republic]
Name: Ihna Zhiss
Rank/Title: Jedi Knight
Planet of Origin: Iridonia
Zabrak tend to be of various coloration, but Zhiss is red-skinned with black horns running from the top of her hairline over her scalp, though her hair conceals these to a degree; she wears that tied back, but never bothered to cut it short. Her face is tattooed in the manner of the Zabrak, which generally means that she is tattooed to identify her homeworld and lineage to other Zabrak; in the case of Iridonia, there is a line down the middle of the face, and then a circle that encloses the brow, cheeks and chin. Standing about 5'7", she likes to self-deprecate to a degree; she looks more like a diplomat than a warrior.
- Telekinesis - The ability to push/pull, a basic of the Jedi, but Zhiss does it with a degree of style and integrates it very well into her combat. She has been known to disengage blaster packs and turn off light sabers, particularly after her time in Slooga the Hutt's barge as a prisoner. Beyond that, there is a question of brute strength; Zhiss is one of the most powerful telekinetics in her generation of Jedi, possibly in the Order, once she develops it.
- Battle precognition - What makes Zhiss one of the best duelists of her generation are her reflexes -- in a one on one fight, she is deceptively skilled, able to instinctively predict the movements of her opponent through the force. While all Jedi are able to do this to a degree, Zhiss is even more deeply in touch with the force in this regard, perhaps because of the sort of esoteric training her master, a Consular, focused on. However, she has great difficulty seeing the future in other ways; her precognition is most potent in fighting, but much of her training was cutting off her instincts, as part of trying to curb her impulses, and she still suffers mental blockage in this regard.
- Jedi Reflexes - All Jedi have this, but hers are a cut above the usual.
- Form V: Shien - Most Shien practitioners are a little taller, a little more imposing, but Ihna Zhiss infuses a certain grace to her form; it is disconcerting to face her in a fight for the first time, because she is not tall, but this works to her advantage in the domination stages of any sort of duel. She is far more elusive than the usual towering Form V practitioner. She brings a raw ferocity into it that more than compensates for stature. She is also known to practice Form V's subform, Djem So.
- Disable Droids - Learned on Nar Shaddaa, this is a sort of jolt of force power intended to disable droids, though it is possible, though she dared not explore it, that such a thing could be used against people if altered somewhat.
- Demolitions and Electronics - She is currently learning skills related to demolitions and electronics, realizing ever since Slooga's barge that such skills are necessary.
- Impatience/Impetuousness - Never one for subtle or elegant solutions, Zhiss very much likes to cut the Gordian Knot. Sometimes this works, other times she ends up in a Hutt's barge as a prisoner, tortured. If she has time to think about it, she is capable of being diplomatic or planning things out, but she reverts to 'lightsaber first' as a natural state when startled. She fights from her instincts. It's a bit of an Iridonian Zabrak thing and a lot of Jedi discipline only manages to mute it rather than do away with it entirely.
- Not Warm and Fuzzy - if anyone epitomizes the reserve and hauteur of Jedi, Zhiss is it - but it's compounded with a manner that comes off as more arrogant than humble. She tends to set people's teeth on edge and isn't very good at being charming off the cuff or relating well to other people. The words 'stiff-necked' are the kindest often used to describe the phenomenon. It's mostly an overcompensation defense to hide self-doubts that exist under the facade.
- Broadcasts Feelings - Zhiss is no Jedi Shadow; she is easier than most to pick up by the force, and she sometimes feels as if there is no privacy in her life around other force users. It annoys her that she is so easy to read, and perhaps that is why she prefers her isolation -- she likes the idea of being around non-force users, people who can't sample her emotional content with impunity. This also tended to get her trouble in training; it was known when she was annoyed and used against her. While she can mask things, training to do that is an ongoing and only semi-successful experience.
- Blue Dual-Phase Lightsaber; her hilt is longer than most because she likes the extra leverage; the metal is lined with small dimples to assist in gripping. She fights with her hands further apart on the hilt, and her lightsaber design reflects this. She prefers to keep the switches internal so as to present an enemy with no real opportunity to use the force to turn off the blade, a trick she likes to use on her opponents. The Dual-phase controls are also internal, though she has little difficulty tapping them with the force in the middle of a fight, drastically lengthening or shortening the lightsaber as she finds necessary and convenient.
- Disruptor Pistol - technically illegal, she has one anyway. It is even more random and imprecise than a blaster, but it's a dirty weapon for a dirty job and she keeps it tucked away quietly. It's a Nar Shaddaa holdout job with only a few blasts per charger, and she used some of her newfound interests in tech to smooth out the edges and make it a better conceal carry piece.
- Throwing knives - hers are made from hardened polymers, intended to pass through a scanner without triggering it, but are sharp and well balanced. She uses them in unusual ways, capitalizing on her telekinetics to multiply their utility.
- A small belt-pack of technical tools; while she is possibly the inventor of 'force spanner' she doesn't like to rely on that too much. Having learned the hard way, she considers it useful to have things like small spanners, wire cutters and other tools for the job. She's also trying to learn how to employ explosives and electronics, the little things that can make a difference.
- Robes; cut from black Cyrene silk, primarily out of a concern for movement, but again also to let people underestimate her upon first glance -- they see the silk, they don't consider the freedom of movement the silk affords. The robes are further modified with cuffs that elasticize on command so as to keep her robe cuffs from interfering with her fighting. She was censured a bit by the council for vanity when she got these robes made for her, and yet she considers the weight savings to be worth the price, though she also realized that black is a bad color for operations in natural terrain and let these robes sit in a chest for her first operation with IRSOG.
- New: Robes - for an operation on Tranoraan, she modified a set of robes she borrowed for mobility; light tan colored, they blended with the sand and rock. She kept the hood but drastically cut the cloak down to allow for free and clear movement. She also used looted Mandalorian belts and pouches to carry grenades and other equipment.
- A pair of tough, well-broken Iridonian field boots.
- A pair of goggles and a breather mask.
- A pair of gripper gloves.
- A commlink grabbed from the IRSOG armories, throat-mic'ed.
- A pair of macrobinos with a zoom and nightvision function, from the same.
Zhiss is like many Zabrak, in that she considers most anything in reach, and believes that it is a matter of finding the right tool, technique or thing to say to get the job done. This can-do attitude springs from her trials, which were fairly harsh by even Jedi standards; she has the immense self confidence, bordering perhaps upon pride, that she can find a way out of most jams. On the other hand, it is reassuring to those that she leads or works with that she generally seems to think 'out of the box', a legacy of her own master's rather unorthodox training methods. Her master was a consular jedi, often tasked with negotiations, and that is why she spends time primping and preening somewhat. She has experience with diplomacy and infiltration, but when the mask slips, the claws come out.
Born on Iridonia, she was detected at an early age and brought to the Jedi Praxeum on H'ratth. Her powerful connection to the force was noted, but so too were her problems with some of the training; she was entirely too headstrong and required extra disciplining and lessons to try and bring her around; her instincts had to be curbed, and her raw strength tempered. Despite this, she was chosen to be a Padawan to Master Uarda, a Consular, perhaps to help her develop her potential in a balanced fashion; she was powerful, but impulsive.
Little during her time as Padawan was as clear and simple as it seemed, because Master Uarda seemed to take on difficult and murky assignments, things that took them into situations where force alone would fail or where the use of force would mark the failure of the entire mission, where knowing when and how to fight, if at all, was necessary. She learned hard lessons and was wrong often before she learned to use the force to help her see through things and cut to the heart of matters. It also took much patience on Master Uarda's part to steer the young Zabrak away from the lightsaber first. While Zhiss would never be a consular, she was trained in ways that made her a more rounded out Jedi in the end. On the other hand, Uarda seemed to consider it important to encourage Zhiss to embrace those traits already strong within her, headstrong and resolved, as he took her back to Iridonia in order to take part in her rite of passage.
When it was clear that she'd mastered her feelings to the satisfaction of her Master and the Council, she was given leave to attempt the trials and become a Jedi Knight. While she passed the trial of skill easily and with a certain feral elegance to her movements, the trial of Courage presented a more difficult problem -- she was assigned to infiltrate the Hutt cartels as a dancing girl in order to locate and extract their agent, Marto Zamiss, out of Nar Shadaa in an intricate operation that required her to fundamentally develop her own contacts and assets in order to perform the mission -- moreso than demonstrate her ability to fight in single combat, her trial of courage seemed to require more in the way of patience, and staying calm even during the hard part -- the waiting.
As it turned out, her trial of the flesh came out of her own foolhardiness -- a capture at the hand of Slooga the Hutt, who tortured her for information on the escaped Zamiss aboard his own yacht over Nal Hutta; she carries the scars of the heated needles that were inserted under her fingernails. The escape required her to work out the flaws in the containment system in her cell; she managed to expose wiring by focusing her telekinetic ability to the finest sort of details, what she likes to jokingly call 'force spanner,' and use it against the barrier that kept her cell closed. From there, she then managed to use the air duct systems to her advantage in retrieving her equipment, which she used to disable the ship's weapon systems. Fighting her way toward the escape pod system, she managed to sent a distress beacon and go into a state of suspended animation, waiting for a Jedi rescue.
When the nature of the imprisonment and escape became obvious, the Council decided that the requirements of the Trial of Insight and the Trial of Flesh were satisfied, but there remained the trial of Spirit, where she nearly failed; she does not discuss much of it; she awoke from it sweating and gritting her teeth, obviously rattled by what she saw.
When Revan made the call and others were flocking to the ranks of the Revanchists, she held out, influenced by her former master, Uarda, who warned that war was as much a harm to the warrior as to those that the warrior brought down and her own trial of Spirit, which showed her glimpses of a future where the Sith would return, and of her own fall. She felt the lure so strongly that she wanted nothing more than to avoid it. Nonetheless, others on the council sent her, deeming her loyal to them and not Revan, as a mole within the Revanchists, to report on what Revan and the others were doing and planning, to build a case against them in the Council. Spying on fellow Jedi was not precisely a dangerous assignment, though others had an inkling of what Ihna Zhiss was about and why she was there, but it promised to be a morally exhausting assignment to deal with the resentment of fellow Jedi and her own doubts about the mission.
Her attitudes were shaken considerably when she landed on Cathar with Revan and the others. Prompted by the visions of the genocide on that planet at the hands of the Mandalorians that all Jedi there shared when Revan picked up a piece of a Mandalorian helmet, she found that her own previous faith in the stance of the Masters was shaken, her own inner conflict intensified by what she experienced in that vision. Sticking with the Council's own mandate that she continue to observe, she stayed with the Revanchists as the plans were made for war, but found herself more torn than ever, particularly as she was surrounded with people who had more faith in the decision to go to war, less hesitancy. Perhaps influenced by what she has seen first hand of the devastation of the war, from places like Cathar, she is slowly coming around to the viewpoint of Revan and the others, moreso than that of the masters, detached as they are from the suffering of the people. Surely, wanting to help is part of the Jedi, as much as the rest of it, right? Compassion is a Jedi's mandate.
She finally threw herself into the fight, where her skills placed her on IRSOG 37, where she intends to make herself very useful indeed. The other Jedi may yet suspect her motivations, but it is hard to deny that Zhiss is a fighter, and that's what the Republic needs right about now; while there are questions about where her ultimate loyalties lie, there are no questions about her capabilities once in the fight and she's at least signed up for the fight. The rest can come later.
Relationships and Acquaintances:
She knows Knight Azor and is on friendly enough terms with him, largely because they are sparring partners. She knows Knight Dwex, but the disdain for one another is mutual; she was not pleased to be put in the same group as Dwex, but is resolved to do the job professionally. It's entirely possible she resents Knight Dwex for being an oddball that thumbs her nose at the council when the Masters went through such an effort to curb many of the headstrong tendencies of Knight Zhiss.
Like all the Jedi who fought in the Mandalorian Wars, except for Meetra Surik, the Jedi Exile, Zhiss was intended to fall -- that was the point of the plots she was used in. In her case, I gave her an edge and an anger that developed in prolonged exposure to the rigors of combat...without the guidance of a Master to help her reconcile the psychological impact of combat. The masters failed the Jedi by sitting on their hands and offering no guidance, which was their mandate, and an entire generation of Jedi fell as a result. Zhiss' predicament of being sent into it unwillingly is a microcosm of the greater issue for the larger group of Jedi as well -- the Masters were so concerned about falling that they sent someone out as their sacrificial lamb; they ran away from their responsibilities.