STAR WARS: Abandoned Heroes
The Kronos River Trial
Jedi Master Ashford found his fame after touching the depths of infamy as a double crosser, sodomite and murderer of younglings thanks to the nefarious treachery of (former) Jedi Master Jessabelle Heiser. Heiser and Ashford were well known for their less-than-friendly rivalry, both competing for the same prestigious position within the temple of which there was only one elected per lifetime, ‘Master of Initiate Training’ (a title which Ashford would be the first male to ever receive).
When faced with almost certain expulsion from the order Heiser was faced with a moral and ethical decision of gargantuan proportion, with this choice… she fell from the light. Heiser framed Ashford for her own failings; when she allowed for her group of 10 gifted younglings to die during an agricultural expedition to the mid-rim, of which they both attended.
Heiser setup an elaborate plot framing Ashford of violently slaughtering her group of Younglings in their sleep, while camping aside the Kronos River on planet Talus. Heiser would testify that gripped with paranoia of her “inevitable promotion” Ashford went mad from fear and began sabotaging her groups efforts to navigate the Kronos River. When his attempts were unsuccessful and her group made it to the foot of the River first Ashford lost control, infiltrated her Younglings Camp and began murdering her group as they slept.
Heiser would go on to testify that she had been poisoned by powerful sleeping powder Ashford mixed with her nighttime meal. Upon awaking to a belligerent Ashford bearing down on her, attempting to rape her, Heiser attacked Ashford and escaped his grasp; fleeing to the edge of the river where she discovered the drowned bodies of her young Initiates.
Heiser and Ashford would engage in a commoners dual lasting till dawn, it wasn’t until Ashford lead a foul step atop a Great Oak Tree and fell into the rapids that Heiser was able to escape. Not forgetting to heroically retrieve Ashford’s Youngling group who Heiser would state as “Under nourished, and untrusting of authority”.
During the trial Heiser would present 2D holographic evidence taken from a surveillance drone showing Ashford holding a youngling underwater, raising and dunking him over and over. The footage was short, dark and grainy but it was unmistakably Ashford in the river.
At the time of the first hearing Ikarus Ashford’s fate was unknown, but dead or alive; he had to be found.
The Coruscant News-Core were ecstatic, the Jedi Academy smeared, it wasn’t until almost three allegation filled weeks later that Ashford turned up, in a powered down ship drifting in a gaseous nebula at the edge of the Core system.
Upon being placed under arrest __ was livid, stating he had been faultily accused and sought to plead his case. However in his many weeks absence the rumors had spread, the evidence video leaked and gone viral, his name firmly stomped into poodu. Further unfounded allegations such as pedophilia, masochism and teaching forbidden knowledge ran rampant within the Jedi Order and their sympathy run dry after Heiser’s testimony of rape and murder. It seemed the universe had made their mind up about the black-sheep Ashford.
Ashford’s attempts to speak out publicly or converse with Heiser were denied by the Jedi Council whose embarrassment and hostility about defaming their organization in the public domain was common knowledge. The Council’s movements were to suppress and internalize as much of the investigation as possible. In truth, they would be contented for Ashford to never have been found to chalk up to a case of insanity or trickery on behalf of a unknown spirit.
Ashford was treated with the respect expected of a genocide heretic. However, he prevailed, waiting for his trail date in silence. Until he got word of a terrible incident, burdened with guilt, embarrassment and constant and stress from HoloNews and the Public, Ashford’s wife had taken her own life.
Loosing grip and now chaos bent on clearing his name Ashford escaped, injuring his Republic guards with non-mortal wounds. Disappearing as a phantom, not a trace left, not a clue forgotten.
His methods unknown; Ashford crawled the galaxy seeking the truth, gripped with false guilt and tormented thoughts at the loss of his beloved Wife. He did his best to remain sane as he was denied sanctuary by every known faction. It wasn’t until he was tracked down by (then) Jedi Investigator Belth Allusis that he was offered a glimmer of hope.
Having been part of the investigation team, Allusis was skeptical of Heiser’s story. He found it out of character and beyond the mental capabilities of someone who had dedicated their life training and rearing younglings. Allusis reached out to Ashford via primal techniques, as Ashford spent night and day veiling himself from the force. Allusis discovered Ashford squatting in a cave at the mouth of the Kronos River, and instead of confronting him, left a datadisk containing all files, testimonies and evidence amassed about the case for him to find.
It didn’t take long for Ashford too piece it together.
With the help of traveling privateers, Ashford gained passage to the Core where he infiltrated the the Republic Senate building posing as a Politician, shaving his signature beard and hair and wearing commoners garb. When needed he would use non-lethan force to get past guards and security, however it is only speculated how he got to the Chamber of the High Senate. But he was not alone, The Jedi Council had felt his presence and a silent alarm sounded.
Ashford was forced to cut his way into the High Senate Chambers, where when faced with the unprotected and cowardly Senators; he was welcomed to talk.
No recording or transcript exists of their discussion, but word has it that by the time the Jedi Masters had rushed their way to the top of the Senate Building, Ashford was being protected by an entire battalion of Senate Guards, Supreme Chancellor Janarus at his side.
Shocked, the Jedi Masters froze in place as Supreme Chancellor Janarus raised his pointed fist and furiously proclaimed “Bring me Master Heiser!”.
An Republic Inquisition would be immediately held at the Jedi Temple, historically this would be the only first time a Supreme Chancellor be invited to the Council Chambers. Master Heiser was immediately seized and brought before the Council, Chancellor and Master Ashford.
Rumor has it that the moment the doors of her classroom opened, and she saw the Chancellors Guards turn their bodies toward her, she broke down into hysterics. Enough proof of to the Padawans in attendance_(formerly Ashford’s Younglings)_ that they had been deceived.
Kicking and screaming, Jedi Master Heiser was dragged the 20 floors from Classroom to Council Chamber, followed by her students in judging silence. Once closed, the doors would not open again for five hours. Although there is no evidence, her students would protest that she was never heard from or seen again.
The events at the Kronos River, as well as the fate of Jezebel Heiser rests with Ashford and the members of the Council to share at their discretion.