As a social chameleon, Merryn naturally develops emotions and feelings in tandem with others around her, by virtue of the Force's influence. While never particularly intellectual, Merryn's keen sagacity remains unaltered when she takes on the emotions of those around her. This has allowed her to control these feelings well enough that it never gave the Jedi Order reason to be concerned about this emotional transference.Description:
The Jedi Knight Val'taros returned to Coruscant from a mission one day in 3981 BBY with an adolescent twi'lek in tow. He asked that the council permit her to undergo the training of a Jedi. She sat empty, blank, and almost serene as they tested her. The masters searched her feelings and found it to be as if they were staring into a mirror. This girl, known only as Merryn, had a strange power with the force.
Unconsciously, she used the force to reach out to others and adopt their feelings and sensations as their own. This anomaly was reason enough for the Council to not permit her entry into the order. Val'taros pleaded, citing that the Force would not grant her such an ability to go unused, that she had a destiny to fulfill. He was wholly opposed, to the point that Merryn began to subscribe to that feeling as well. But the lone voice of Jedi Master Sunrider spoke out on her behalf, and after a long time of deliberation- the rest of the Council were persuaded to allow Merryn into the order, directly under Val'taros' tutelage. If only for a provisional period of one standard year.
Merryn's empty and receptive mind was almost like a blank slate. She possessed a few languages, higher end cognitive abilities, but a limited knowledge of her own life prior to meeting Val'taros. She was strongly aware of her nature, and could tell when the emotions of others were being projected upon her. This did not lessen these feelings any, but it did not conceal them from her awareness either.
Val'taros found that the young twi'lek could utilize this natural ability as a training aid, transferring his own knowledge and experience into the young girl's receptive mind. Devoid of other distractions, the young Jedi-to-be took in the precepts with as much conviction as Val'taros himself possessed. When he brought her back before the council a year later, they were indeed impressed with her mastery over herself and the force, and she was given their blessing to continue training.
Now a woman, Merryn was something of a rising star within the order by the year 3877 BBY. With her receptive mind and Val'taros' attentive training, she learned at an accelerated rate and was becoming rapidly the equal of her peers, if not outright surpassing them. Val'taros argued that Merryn had all her adult life been undergoing the Trial of Insight, suppressing the emotions of others within her heart and seeing what was objectively true about her own situation.
To confirm this, a Jedi Council observed as the twi'lek female sat before them and was asked to identify the feelings of those among her in the room. She first explained the surprise and dismay felt by Val'taros, for he believed the test too harsh to pit a mere padawan against the closely guarded hearts of Jedi Masters. Then Merryn went on to say that Master Tokare was pleasantly surprised with her quick assessment. Then she spoke of Master Lamar, who contemptuously felt that Master Tokare wasn't guarding his emotions on purpose to make the trial easier for the young padawan. As Merryn related the humor Master Stusea found in the rather characteristic and frank revelation of her peer's inner workings, she was interrupted before she could finished. Her first trial was complete.
During a mission with Val'taros in 3975 BBY, Merryn found herself set upon by a pack of Tuk'ata. Outnumbered and separated from her master, the twi'lek Jedi fought the sithspawn off until her master could arrive. When the Jedi Knight found his apprentice bleeding profusely and nearly dead, he slew the creatures and rescued his student. While still unconscious from her injuries, the Council determined that Merryn could have easily ran away from the creatures rather than face them, allowing them to endanger one of the civilians that the Jedi were asked to accompany. For this they determined that she passed her Trial of Courage. For her wounds, it was determined that she had passed her Trial of Flesh.
In 3973 BBY, while on a mission with Val'taros, Merryn found out that the Tuk'ata that nearly killed her two years prior... had in fact been under the domination of her master. That he had fallen to the Dark Side of the Force, and in setting the sithspawn upon her, he had hoped that it would endanger her to the point that she would give in the Dark Side's power, and use it to defend herself.
Merryn had known for years of her master's... feelings for her. She had assumed that he was unaware that she knew, when in reality he was purposefully projecting his emotions onto in an effort to make her return them. When Val'taros determined that her self-imposed barriers to emotion were too strong, he sought to erode them. In his jealousy and desire for her heart, the fallen Jedi sought to subtly bring her towards the path of the Sith; the path of unrestricted emotions. Once she gave in fully to her feelings, he believed that she would fall for him when their feelings combined.
After a series of words, the pair began to duel. Merryn was outmatched by the experienced Jedi Knight, unable to best him. Furthermore, he sought to use the Force to weaken her resolve and project more of his emotions onto her. Ultimately he could not overcome her mental barriers and gave into his jealousy and rage. It became apparent that he was going to fight to kill, to deny the galaxy of the woman who denied him. Eventually, these feelings overwhelmed her barriers, and the two fought with all the ferocity of the Dark Side.
In the end, she was no match for the seasoned warrior. Val'taros brought his blade to bear, pouncing upon the opportunity to decapitate the twi'lek. This attack would have left him open to a thrust from Merryn's lightsaber to his heart. He could have easily blocked it, but chose not to. Rather than allow both of them to die, however... Val'Taros, in one last final act of compassion for the woman he loved, deactivated his lightsaber and it passed harmlessly by while Merryn drove her blade through his chest to the hilt.
Ultimately, when the events of that day were related to the Dantooine Council, who then offered it up to the Jedi High Council in Coruscant for review. In a seven to five vote, it was deemed this feat was worthy of both the Trials of Skill and Spirit; for defeating a powerful Jedi Knight, and resisting her own emotions as they were being manipulated. Many on the Council objected, saying that she won only by the grace of Val'taros' mercy, and that in the end his anger transferred into her heart and caused her to impale him fatally when a non-lethal option was available.
By 3973 BBY, Merryn was shrewd, calculating, skilled, and at peace with the force and herself. She was a Jedi Knight. Then she met Revan for the first time, and her heart was swayed to his cause.Character Traits:
A striking Jedi woman, beautiful by human standards and almost obscene by Twi'lek standards, with a pair of unadorned head tails that extend almost down to her rear. Complected a colorful fuscia with striking crimson eyes and freckles upon her cheeks. Lithesome and graceful, with wide hips and a generous bosom, she has been considered a peerless beauty and the cause of many wistful sighs.Character Flaws:
Merryn can be indecisive and lenient. She has aroused the concern of a few other Knights by tolerating actions in her padawans that most would not. Though she is habitually influenced by others' emotions, she refuses to acknowledge them publicly, often speaking falsely about what she feels in her heart.