A year before the Battle of Naboo, an alien infant was left on the steps of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. The child with blue skin, blue/black hair, and glowing red eyes was a species unknown to the Republic. Among the child’s scant possessions was a note, poorly written in Aurebesh, saying only “Tranoj”. The Jedi, assuming this must be the child’s name, had him tested and discovered a strong aptitude to touch the Force. Tranoj proved to be a very disciplined and gifted student, taking upon himself lessons that were far beyond other students his age. In addition, his species apparently matured quickly, especially mentally. Because of this, as a youngling Tranoj passed quickly through the early stages of Jedi training. By the time he was six, the Jedi Council ruled that he had reached mental maturity sufficient to move to the next stage of his studies. He was awarded full Padawan status and an apprenticeship to the Baundili Jedi Master Trouper Siralos. In 27 BBY, Shortly after the pairing, Master Siralos and his learner were assigned, by the Jedi Council at the urging of Chancelor Palpatine, to investigate the status of the Outbound Flight Project which had entered the Unknown Regions three weeks prior. Reports from the Jedi Masters running the project had ceased abruptly a week earlier causing the High Council to fear for their welfare. Palpatine, who had actually arranged for the destruction of Outbound Flight, handpicked Siralos for the mission in a secret attempt to further reduce the ranks of powerful Jedi in preparation for the coming destruction of their order. Trouper Siralos and his young Padawan were well into the Unknown Regions in pursuit of Outbound Flight when they were ambushed by crippled remains of a taskforce under the command of Kinman Doriana. The Jedi vessel was severely damaged in a brief firefight with the Trade Federation cruiser and forced into an asteroid field. Through some clever maneuvering, theatrical pyrotechnics, and the help of the Force, Master Siralos, despite injuries sustained in the attack, faked his craft’s destruction amid the asteroids. Satisfied that their mission was complete, the Trade Federation vessel departed leaving the disabled Jedi ship on a crash course with the uncharted, nearby planet of Mantithea. Although the injured Baundil was able to guide the ship down with enough skill to keep it intact, the effort cost him. Trouper Siralos died shortly after landing, leaving his young Chiss Padawan alone on a strange undocumented world. In the short time Tranoj had been with Trouper Siralos, he had come to respect and rely on the older Jedi very much. The boy felt lost and heartbroken, but knew he must go on regardless. The ship was in utter ruins and with no life support, communications, or propulsion, was little more than an unstable shelter. Tranoj salvaged everything he could carry, including the broken hilt of his Master’s lightsaber, and set out across the grassy plains of this new planet. The entire incident of the attack, the crash landing, and the solo departure of the young boy on his journey was witnessed from orbit and the safety of the asteroid field by a pair of Thatramorian vessels under the leadership of a young Chiss commander named Mitth'raw'nuruodo, who had been the mastermind behind the crippling of Doriana’s taskforce and the obliteration of the Outbound Flight vessel just days prior. Mitth’raw’nuruodo, who had been tailing Doriana to ensure that he left the Unknown Regions, did nothing to help Tranoj, but instead catalogued the Padawan’s existence and circumstances for future reference and continued his pursuit of the Trade Federation Vessel. Tranoj used his Jedi training to live off of the land for nearly a year before coming in contact with the Aquavians, one of Mantinthea’s two sentient species, near one of the planets many vast seas. While the Aquavians had developed space faring vessels, they had not established links to Republic communications. They had a proud history of isolationism and, as a result, were not eager to breach it by helping this new stranger contact his order. Instead, the boy was taken in and immersed in Aquavian culture. While he was much different than them physically, he grew to view life and society as they did, going so far as to embark on a traditional Aquavian rite of passage in his fourteenth year. Upon completing the rite he was given permission, as was customary, to wear a facial tattoo depicting his ordeal. Over the next few years, Tranoj struggled to find himself and define his role in Aquavian society. Despite their isolationism, Aquavian vibroblades and metalwork were considered some of the best in the galaxy. Being physically ill equipped to hunt and fish as Aquavians did and having no one to further his Jedi training, he decided to embrace bladesmithing, which was an honored profession among the species. He pushed himself hard to learn all he could from smiths and swordsmen alike, and in that time he became skilled not only at creating but also at wielding the blade. Tranoj had begun to earn a name as an honored tradesman when a stranger arrived in orbit requesting a meeting with the young man. Confident in his skills and eager to learn of events in the greater galaxy, Tranoj agreed to be shuttled to the meeting aboard a huge, unfamiliar vessel. There he found himself face to face with another of his species. Mitth'raw'nuruodo, who had been banished from Chiss space for what his government viewed as radical ideas, had circumspectly come into the employ of the Galactic Empire. Thrawn, as he was now known, had earned command of the Imperial Star Destroyer Admonitor with the mission of mapping the Unknown Regions. On his agenda was the task of learning what he could about the planet Mantithea from the boy he had left abandoned there years before. The encounter with another member of his species excited Tranoj. He was, however, unsure of the stranger and his motives. The meeting lasted nearly a day with Tranoj giving Thrawn much information about the geology and climate of the planet (most of which was obvious from preliminary scans), but divulging very little about his life or the Aquavian culture and technology. Thrawn, in return, gave the younger Tranoj a small taste of Chiss culture but, likewise, held back any information that Tranoj could not have already guessed. The obvious stalemate left both men frustrated but anxious to earn the trust of the other and further the relationship. Tranoj left the Admonitor, having agreed to meet again with Thrawn a few weeks later after he had time to digest what he had been told. Tranoj returned to his home with many questions. After several meetings with community leaders, he was given permission to pursue, through Thrawn, his own heritage. He was, however, forbidden to divulge any information about the Aquavian economy, or technology. They did, however, allow him to discuss the basis of Aquavian culture including the species’ art. Where their cautious skepticism of the outside galaxy would have kept their secrets safe from most, Thrawn quickly discerned all he needed to know from the information he was given. As a showing of gratitude, he visited nearly a dozen mores times over the next decade, teaching Tranoj more about his true heritage on each occasion. Throughout that time, Tranoj could not quench his thirst for knowledge about both his Chiss ancestry and the Jedi Order. Through speaking with Thrawn, he realized that the events in the rest of the galaxy could mean a great many opportunities to the isolationistic Aquavians. As his prominence and reputation grew among the Aquavians, he spearheaded a movement to enter the galactic mainstream. Tranoj’s challenge of convincing the fiercely private race that they might benefit from contact with other worlds helped him become a talented diplomat. The Aquavians eventually bought into Tranoj’s ideas and agreed to the wisdom of at least knowing what else was out there. Never a species to act rashly, they let Tranoj design a galactic ambassador program in which single Aquavians would be sanctioned to explore, participate, and report their findings. As the program’s curator, Tranoj organized and trained the ambassadors while being the first to receive the information they sent back once commissioned. All the while, Thrawn watched the progress of his pupil with interest. From his meetings with Tranoj he had deduced the power and quality of Aquavian technology as well as loyalty with which these people defended their beliefs. He knew that these were all traits that could win a war. As he watched the rebellion against the Empire grow, he also knew that an all out war was inevitable and allies would be needed. Thrawn did not use the information he had gleamed from Tranoj to act directly on Mantithea, but rather to misinform the Min, of neighboring Minshasa, about the Mantithean peoples’ quest for sector dominance. He did this in an attempt to heat up the centuries old feud between the Min and Mantithea’s other sentient species, the Vourren. By escalating this conflict, Thrawn hoped to draw the Aquavians and their technology into a state of war, and furthermore, into the galactic arena in the name of the Empire. The Min’s reaction, to the lies they had been told, was to turn the two races of Mantithea against each other through subtle political and social sabotage. Knowing that the hated Vourren had the resources to wipe out the Aquavians, they began to renew and escalate their purchase of Aquavian warships in a blatant attempt at goading the Vourren into open war. In addition, they began secretly kidnapping and staging the slaughter of Aquavians while framing the Vourren for it. The Aquavians, peaceful and unusually tolerant of their ravenous neighbors, did not jump to proclaim war as Thrawn had hoped and expected. They deliberated for many months over the disappearances and sacrifices of their people. For reasons unknown to Thrawn, they did not fully suspect the Vourren of the attacks. They instead formed an investigatory expedition to learn more of the beings with which they had coexisted for so many years. Tranoj, now in his late thirties had come into his own within Aquavian society. On top of his reputation as a respected bladesmith, swordsman, and diplomat, he was now one of the Aquavians’ premiere experts on the galaxy outside the Covalta system. As the expedition was formed, he was asked to join collection of skilled scientists and investigators. His contributions would be great, ranging from his ever-growing knowledgebase, to his ability to look at the situation as an outsider. The culmination of the expedition was the exploration of an ancient Vourren hive city. In the collapsed ruins of the magnificent structure, the Aquavians found all of the answers to their quest, freeing the Vourren from blame and uncovering the Min’s and the Empire’s hands in the conflict. Tranoj, however, discovered something much more important. In the rubble of a collapsed hive, he discovered a Vourren memory gem recorder. Upon activation, Tranoj found that it actually held the life essence, in the form of a hologram, of Jedi Knight Jordan Farseer. Farseer, had essentially become a Force ghost, trapped in the device 300 years prior in his final battle with Darth Temptuous. He was no longer able to touch the physical world, but could, in effect, exist within range of the recorder. Tranoj recognized what he had and talked Farseer into becoming his master and completing his training as a Jedi.
like the sword