Three weeks after Dara had her heart-to-heart with Hiccup, the teenage-Dragon-riding-Padawans were all sitting on a mixed array of crates, barrels, and sacks. Accompanied by their Dragons and watching the stars from the unique vantage point granted by the Dragon/Jedi Academy's location.
Stoick had needed help clearing the path to an outlying storehouse that had been cut off by a rockslide, so he had asked for Dara and Salak to assist him and a couple of the other villagers, their ability to move boulders with the Force would surely come in handy. So, it was left to Terrwyn to watch the Dragon Riders; and the stars above.
Terrwyn would always try and do this; whenever she visited a new planet, or a new area of an already-visited one, she would try and spend at least one night away from civilization (more accurately, the light pollution associated with such places) and observe the stars. It never ceased to entrance her with the unique patterns exclusive to each planet, a sign that everything was distinct and separate, yet at the same time, connected. It never failed to remind her of the nature of the Force. 'The Force that was now so out-of-balance', she mused regretfully.
Terrwyn tugged herself from her introspection, silently scolding herself while doing so, she had to watch the Riders! Normally, that wouldn't have been a chore that didn't allow a Jedi a little time for some introspective wandering. But, of course, the Riders practically attracted peril and mayhem.
She could hear their highly animated voices right now, lively discussing one topic or another. So, Terrwyn finally pulled herself fully out of her meditation to observe the conversation.
"…but my scar is so much bigger than that!" Snotlout boasted.
'Great.' Thought Terrwyn with a long, drawn-out mental sigh, a 'my-Bantha-is-bigger-than-your-Bantha' competition. 'So this was what I ended my meditation to listen to?' she sighed wryly.
Terrwyn's attention was pulled back to the present as Astrid pointed out a particularly large scar that had been concealed under one of her arm-wraps.
"Can any of you beat that?" she said rather sassily.
"Wow!" whistled an awed Ruffnut, "how'd you get that!"; pointing to Astrid's scar.
"An Outcast hit it with an axe" Astrid recounted with pride, "It went all-the-way through the shield and got me! Can any of you beat that?"
Terrwyn was mentally cycling through possible ways to turn this into something 'teachable' when she heard a rather blunt statement that would inevitably cause her to have to intervene.
"Well, I think Hiccup's got all of you beat," said Snotlout, for even if he couldn't 'win' the argument, even with the Jedi disciplinary training, which he was starting to take seriously, it was still a rather bitter pill for him to swallow to have 'lost'.
Before the others could scoff or challenge Snotlout's claim, he had elaborated, "I mean, doesn't that count?" pointing at Hiccups bare stump, Terrwyn quickly realizing that Hiccup, who hadn't joined the conversation, mind you; had taken off his prosthetic to massage what was left of the limb.
The arena went silent, and Terrwyn figured that now she had to intervene, for the whole atmosphere of the conversation had changed, Hiccup's lost leg was a rather… sensitive subject, and most, if not all, of the situation's levity had evaporated instantaneously and was completely gone by now.
This conversation would be getting rather uncomfortable rather quickly if she didn't step-in.
"Astrid" started Terrwyn, "why do all of you have such an interest in each other's scars?"
To Terrwyn, this was an honest question. However, the looks of confusion she received equated to if she had just said something in a foreign language.
"Um…well, uh" Astrid started and stopped several times, and Ruff was the first one of them to respond in any sort of coherent fashion.
"Well… uh, our parents always told us 'It's only fun if you get a scar out of it'" she replied rather slowly.
Terrwyn blinked once. Truthfully, she hadn't expected an answer that thick. But, she supposed, this gave her something to work with, at-least.
"Hmm…" Terrwyn hummed to herself, seemingly in deep contemplation. Then she shifted a crate over toward the others with a wave of her hand so as to be sitting level with them.
"It's an… interesting opinion." she finally admitted, "But perhaps you would like another point-of-view." she continued as she folded her hand underneath her chin, "It is something that Master Yoda often sai-"
"Master who?" asked Ruff
"Master Yoda" answered Terrwyn, "He was the last Grandmaster, the leader of our order, before it was annihilated." Terrwyn exhaled melancholily, "He was the wisest being I've ever had the privilege of knowing. Though, to be fair, if I were eight-hundred-odd years ol-"
Fishlegs, who had been taking a swig from his waterskin, suddenly began to cough and choke harshly as Terrwyn revealed Master Yoda's age, and she had to quickly whack his back several times to clear the water from his windpipe.
"You alright?" Terrwyn asked, rather concerned, as Fishlegs took in deep breaths.
Fishlegs nodded mutely.
"How old?" asked Hiccup incredulously, believing he must have misheard her.
"Over eight-hundred" replied Terrwyn clearly, so as to make sure that there was no mistaking what she said, "He comes from a species that has an incredibly long lifespan."
As the group began to internalize the information, Terrwyn returned to the original topic at hand. "Anyway," Terrwyn said with a dismissive wave of her hand, "Master Yoda had an old saying, he often said 'Wars not make one great'"
If Terrwyn thought that her earlier question had elicited strange looks, they were nothing to what she received now. Their looks of disbelief were actually rather amusing, if not more than a little disturbing… she hadn't expected the idea to be that ingrained, after all.
The Dragon Riders continued to stare at her, obviously they wanted her to either elaborate, or defend her point; probably both. 'Which is something, I guess', she conceded.
"Well" she began again, "Let's start with an example." Terrwyn then took off her right boot, and rolled her pant leg up until it was just above her knee. There, permanently etched on her blue skin, was a large ragged scar. It easily measured over eight-inches long, and was staggered into three sharp 'humps' as it traced its way up her calf.
The group was still silent, though Terrwyn could feel interest, and, to be perfectly honest, envy, coming from most of the riders. So, she continued, "This was the first permanent scar I got in the war."
Finally, someone else spoke, "Well…uh, what happened?" asked Ruff.
Terrwyn grimaced at the memory, "I was with a convoy of sixty Clones." she said, "We were supposed to help a local group of civilians who had fled their homes get medical att…"
"Why'd they leave?" asked Fishlegs suddenly.
Terrwyn sighed, "The Separatist Army was had gone through their village, burned and bombed it to rubble. Over half the population was killed, and at least half the survivors were wounded. Some quite badly."
Now Astrid spoke up, "Wait? Were these people part of the war, I mean, you know… soldiers?"
Terrwyn frowned deeply at the memory, giving Astrid her answer even before the older Jedi spoke, "No. Their town was along a route the Republic used to get supplies to one of our bases. It's part of a technique called 'resource denial'. Basically, you either take or destroy supplies, services, or anything else you opponent needs so that they can't get it. This time, it was so we couldn't refuel our ships, pretty much like feeding a pack animal on a stopover during a long trip" Terrwyn added, as the Rider's weren't likely used to the concept or refueling, "so we couldn't get our medical supplies around when we needed them."
Three emotions summed up the Rider's faces quite well; revulsion, disgust, and horror.
Now Fishlegs spoke up, "That's awful! How could they do that to innocent people! I mean, all they did was be in the wrong place!"
Terrwyn looked down, "Sadly, it's a common tactic." realizing the possible implications of what she had just said, she quickly added, "But one the Republic never used. If we ever attacked a village or homes, it was after the inhabitants were long-gone, hopefully fled."
Hiccup locked eyes with her and said with admirable, and, credit where credit was due, unexpected, conviction, "That's not right… I mean the attacking innocent people, part. I mean, it's just wrong, I can't really even begin to explain how wrong it is."
At this moment Terrwyn was truly impressed, and, in a word; proud. Here was a group of young people who looked like they were prepared to, and probably would have, tell the Chancellor to his face that the practice of hunting innocents to help win a war was purely barbaric and morally unjustifiable. Truthfully, Terrwyn felt great respect towards them in that moment.
Terrwyn nodded, "You're completely right Hiccup, it's just plain wrong…"
The evening went on, Terrwyn detailing how the scar on her leg was caused by a Commando Droid's wrist-mounted-buzzsaw. How the droids had been hiding under a sand dune and ambushed her convoy. How mines had blown up two of their transports, killing the forty clones inside either instantly in the blast, or slowly as the wreckage burned. How she had lost another five clones to the Commando droids before they were all destroyed. How she found that the refugees were being held as 'prisoners of war', another new concept for the Rider's to come to terms with, and that, from a village of six-hundred, only thirty-eight made it to the evacuee camp.
She watched their faces, and their feelings through the force, tell her as much about them as she told about herself. She told of the attack on her medical relief group during the Battle of Jablim. Of the Separatist fleet in the Arkanis Sector bombarding the Holo-communication stations on Rendal-V from orbit. About when the children of the ruling class of the planet Kavado were held hostage so that the planet wouldn't provide aid to partisan groups in nearby systems, at least before a small strike team of Jedi, of which she was one, and ARC-Troopers freed them. She told of comrades who died, of horrible injuries and maimed civilians. Of wounds that even the Jedi couldn't heal.
Truthfully, when Salak, Dara, Gobber, and Stoick came to the arena a few hours later to check on the group and call it a night, the Riders were absolutely convinced that fighting a war indeed did not make someone 'great'.