Strozzi (Race)

Home Planet:  Kortholt

Affiliation:  Rebellion

Description:  A proud race of humanoid warriors that are strongly dominated by the females.  As a protective evolutionary feature, hard, sharp bones protrude from their bodies to protect the more sensitive areas such as the spine and shoulders.  They tower above the average human by about two feet.

Because of their dangerous exoskeletons, only males of this species have been able to successfully mate with the females and live to tell the tale, their bodies specifically designed to fit the contours of the female.  Because males do not carry the young of such a great race they are considered to be the inferior gender.  The males live freely, not as slaves, but hold large ceremonial battles where they must fight to earn the right to mate.

This species is divided up by tribes but each family seems to live a considerable distance away from each other.  As far as scholars can tell, an extremely advanced trading route seems to exist to allow the strozzi to live in such a fashion.  Though how, exactly, the trade route works remains a mystery.

Strozzi are in favor of the Rebellion but are not thus far actively involved in any of the conflicts that take place outside of their homeworld.  As far as they are concerned, theirs is the superior race.  If the Imperium wishes to convince them differently, they are welcome to try.

Focused Body, Focused Mind (Adventure) - Uxel Herum Saga 9

"Stop looking around!  I told you: watch one spot, nothing more."

Uxel readjusted herself on her perch, a special piece of furniture her master had put together for her use alone.  He had been extremely meticulous while assembling, careful not to have his orders seem suspicious but at the same time wanting to know exactly what Uxel preferred.  Uxel had been unsure of what to make of such a grandiose gesture.  She barely remembered her parents and since their deaths no one had given a 'vert as to whether she was alive or dead.

"The burdon of learning should never fall solely on the student's shoulders," Master Achushnet had explained.  "Teaching is a skill in and of itself.  I teach you things and you teach me things in return.  A student cannot learn in an environment that feels uncomfortable.  Consider the perch my welcome gift to you."

That had been weeks ago and the excitement had long since been worn off by the acute sense of frustration building up inside of Uxel.  These drills seemed to be going nowhere.  Master Achushnet refused to move her on to other material until she had learned to control her body.  Her very survival had depended on her being in constant awareness of her surroundings.  How was she supposed to override a lifetime of habits with his stupid drill?

"You let your emotions get the better of you, Uxel.  You are only frustrated because you allow yourself to be so.  Patience does not mean an absence of frustration.  It means that you are completely in the moment.  Enjoying and fully aware of everything going on in this instant and not all the things you could or would rather be doing.  Only with patience will you heighten your awareness of your surroundings.  Try it again."

Uxel glared at her master skeptically.  But it did strike a chord with his last speech.  She had never considered that this exercise might make her more aware of the details around her.  At least that, if nothing else, was something she could take away from these lessons.  Readjusting herself on the perch she calmed her mind and went through the steps of meditation.

Her mind instantly recoiled when it realized what she was trying to do.  But instead of fighting the need to wrestle with the frustration she let it wash over her.  There was no where else she needed to be.  No one she had to talk to.  Nothing.

The frustration became less insistent and Uxel began to focus on her breathing.  In and out... slowly... deep breaths.  She made no effort to control the stray thoughts, she let them come and pass through her mind at their own accord.  All that mattered was the breathing.

A sense of calmness started to creep in, not as fleeting as a stray through.  This emotion was much deeper than that.  She felt the need to scratch but ignored it as she continued to breath.  In and out until she suddenly realized that she was thinking about... nothing.