Zan Rhysling



Race:                Human

Age:                  23

Height:              1.75m

Weight:             102kg


Appearance:       Snow white hair worn straight at shoulder length.

                        Deep indigo eyes (appear almost black)

                        Usually dresses in dark blue coveralls with many utility pockets


Lightsabers:       Zan carries two lightsabers, preferring the balance of wielding the two weapons together.  His lightsabers have light green blades.





Zan Rhysling was born on Ossus, home of the Jedi Academy. From the time he could speak, he wanted to grow up to be a Jedi like his grandfather. Zan’s mother would often lull him to sleep with tales of her father’s great deeds on behalf of the Republic and the light side of the Force.


Zan’s father, Isher, had been a member of the Freedom Guards, the elite fighting unit of the Republic military. He was injured in an accident shortly after Zan’s birth and forced to retire. He opened a weapons repair shop using his pension money and did enough business to keep Zan and his older sisters well fed and comfortable. As Zan grew towards manhood, Isher’s business thrived, primarily because he had developed a reputation for doing excellent work amongst his old companions in the Guard. Even Jedi Knights would occasionally make use of his abilities. Zan apprenticed under his father and became quite good at repairing things in his own right.


When Zan was 13, his father gave him his grandfather’s lightsaber and began teaching him the mundane uses of the weapon. Zan was an enthusiastic student, but seemed to struggle with many of Isher’s lessons. He often complained that he would suddenly feel off balance when using the saber. His father assured him that this was probably a normal adjustment period, and that he would eventually adjust.


One night as Zan lay sleeping, his grandfather appeared to him in a dream, telling him to build a copy of the saber that would be his alone, and then use both sabers together. When Zan awoke, it was as though the plans for the new lightsaber were etched in his mind. He quietly began acquiring the parts using connections he had through Isher’s shop. After a year of scrimping and saving, he finally had two fully functional lightsabers!


The first day his father was away from the weapons shop, he anxiously tried out his new blade. He was amazed at how much more comfortable he felt wielding two lightsabers instead of just one. It was if all the pieces of what his father had been trying to teach him clicked into place. Some days when he practiced it was even as though his grandfather was standing nearby, watching over him.


The years of practice paid off. When he was 16, he attracted the notice of Jedi Master Keg Tural, who sponsored him successfully to the Jedi Academy.




Background Story


Zan turned, bringing his right arm up quickly as the remote made a pass at his head. Thin green bolts of energy lanced from the sides of the tiny sphere as it dove towards him. With a fluid motion of his wrist he deflected the bolts in rapid succession with the blade of his lightsaber. The second remote chose this exact moment to fire at his legs. He pivoted slightly and caught these shots with his other saber, narrowly avoiding a hit to the left knee.


“Hold,” said a commanding voice.


Zan quickly aborted his next parry and took a step back from the two automated attackers. A quick flick of both thumbs deactivated the lightsabers. Taking a deep breath, he let his arms relax to his sides and watched the two remotes retire to a position several meters away, hovering quietly at eye level. With a shake of his head he cleared several strands of his shoulder-length white hair from his slightly perspiring face.


“Very impressive,” the voice said. “Against remotes.”


“Thank you, Master Tural,” Zan’s father replied. “I’ve tried to teach him as best as I could, but much of what he knows he has learned on his own.”


As Master Tural turned his attention to Zan’s father, Zan allowed a small smile to steal onto his face. His father was always overly modest. Isher had spent the last 16 years focused on one goal: teaching his only son Zan how to fight. Zan knew that his father’s greatest hope was that his son would grow up to be a Jedi knight. And he had spent as much time as possible preparing him in the only way he knew how.


“So tell me, Isher,” Tural continued, “You say the boy built the second saber by copying his grandfather’s?”


“Yes, Master Tural,” Isher replied. “I had given him the saber as his grandfather instructed as soon as he was old enough, and began teaching him its rudimentary use. But he often complained that it somehow felt wrong. He seemed to struggle with the drills and be constantly off balance. Several years passed, and one day I discovered him here behind the shop when he thought I wasn’t around, practicing with both sabers.”


Tural turned to Zan and beckoned him over with his eyes. Zan quickly approached where the two men were standing. Tural held out his hands, palms up, and Zan gingerly placed the hilts of the two lightsabers in them. The Jedi master examined the weapons with his eyes, yet Zan could tell that some deeper investigation was also taking place.


“So tell me boy,” Tural asked with quiet menace in his voice, “how did you come by this knowledge?”


Zan held his head up and met Tural’s eyes. Trying hard to keep his voice steady, he replied with the truth. “Sir, my grandfather showed me how.”


There was a long moment of silence as Tural’s gaze seemed to bore into Zan’s mind as if seeking to uncover every lie he had ever told in his life. Out of the corner of his eye, Zan could see that his father’s hands were knotted together, the knuckles turning white.


Tural’s face suddenly relaxed, and a slight grin washed across his features. “The truth. Very good.” He offered the lightsabers back to Zan, who returned them to their clips on either side of his belt. “It’s good to know that your grandfather is now truly one with the Force,” he continued. “He was well liked by many of us during our Academy days.”


“I’ve told his mother for years how much Zan takes after her father. And not just with his looks,” Isher gushed proudly.


“If he becomes half the Jedi that his grandfather was, then your family will be remembered for generations to come, Isher,” Tural replied.


Zan’s spirit soared as Tural’s words registered. Jedi! Was Tural going to accept him for admission to the Academy?


Isher’s next words echoed Zan’s thoughts. “Th-then you’re going to sponsor him to the Academy?” he asked with a quaver in his voice.


“So it would seem. Provided he passes one final test,” Tural replied nonchalantly.


As Zan began contemplating what the test would entail, the attack came almost without warning. The energy blade of Tural’s saber seemed to materialize out of thin air right in front of Zan’s face. Barely in time, he reflexively ducked the deadly blow, feeling the edge of the blade singe several hairs on his forehead. Dropping into a crouch, he tore his lightsabers free from his hips and activated them with a frantic motion. He managed to cross the two blades over his head just as Tural swung downward. The three blades met with a horrendous crackling sound, and Zan’s weapons were nearly forced downward into his upraised face. For a split second Zan registered his father’s look of complete surprise and Master Tural’s emotionless visage, then he lashed out with his right foot, seeking to knock the Jedi’s legs out from under him.


His foot found nothing but empty air, and he realized too late that Tural was now somehow behind him. He quickly recovered by channeling his momentum from the misplaced kick into a forward shoulder roll that put a few meters of distance between him and his assailant. Rising to his feet and spinning, he found Tural closing in and aiming a clumsy swing towards his midsection. He parried the incoming attack with his right saber and brought the left one quickly down on Tural’s blade, seeking to disarm him. Realization was again slow in coming, as Tural’s “clumsy” attack swiftly became something else entirely. He seemed to slip free of Zan’s parry almost effortlessly and deliver a powerful blow upwards against Zan’s incoming left saber. The shock of the blow flung Zan’s left arm aside and left his hand momentarily numb. It was all he could do to hold on to his weapon. He sprang backward quickly, leaving Tural to slice the air where he had been standing a split second before.


Not giving Zan a moment to catch his breath, Tural moved in again, raining a series of quick strikes at the boy, which he desperately parried as best he could. Each time Tural’s blade struck, Zan was forced to back up a step or two. After Zan had managed to fight off several of these attacks, he found himself with his back against the stone wall at the rear of the courtyard. Tural feinted left; then quickly slashed right, this time successfully knocking the lightsaber from Zan’s already weakened left hand. With the loss of one of his weapons, Zan seemed to lose what little energy he had left. Collapsing to his knees, he tried to bring the other saber up to protect himself, but it suddenly seemed as though he were trying to lift a great weight. Tural stood over him; his lightsaber held menacingly over the boy’s kneeling form. Zan looked up defiantly into the Jedi master’s eyes.


For a split second it seemed as though the universe paused.


Then Tural stepped back.


The blade of his lightsaber disappeared as he turned and strode away from where Zan sat frozen on the ground. “He will do,” Tural said as he passed Isher’s shocked form. “Say your goodbyes tonight. I will return tomorrow and accompany him to the Academy.”



Author’s Note: The preceding account was paraphrased with some dramatization on my part from accounts given to me by Jedi Master Keg Tural himself several years before his death. Some time after Tural ‘s untimely passing, I was approached by a very close friend of the Jedi Master who claimed that Tural had once confided certain secrets to her. She told me that at the exact moment when Zan Rhysling was at his mercy, Tural was struck by a powerful vision of a horrible future where the Republic had been destroyed, and the Jedi Knights had been hunted to extermination! The woman further claimed that Tural had been horribly tempted at that moment to strike Zan dead where he sat, believing that his death would somehow avert this dark vision. Needless to say, this claim is dubious at best, and dangerously alarmist at worst. That such a great evil could someday arise from the actions of a Jedi who was as revered in his time as Zan Rhysling is beyond the belief of this chronicler. I remain however, a faithful reporter of the truth as best as I can determine it. Hace Alma, Jedi Scribe