|Chronological and political information|
Liya was born and grew up in a peaceful, prosperous farming community in the Panathan rain forest. Her parents owned a medium-sized farm, which her mother managed, while many hired hands and droids did all of the heavy work.
Liya's father, Liam Tawaza, was a fearsome bounty hunter and a member of the Bounty Hunters' League of the Pacanth Reach, although his identity was a secret. The neighbors all thought him to be a traveling businessman, and the children did too, until they were older. Liam's rare homecomings were a glorious occasion for Lio and Liya, who could always expect some new trinket or other gift from a far-off world.
As a child, Liya spent many long hours alone, deep in the rainforest, reading, playing in a small stream, or studying the local plant life. The lush rain forest and the acres upon acres of cultivated crops gave Liya a childhood interest in botany and medicinal herbs. In contrast, Lio, two years her elder, cared little for the natural world. Rather, his time and interests centered around the farming droids, and he was a great help to their mother in improving the automation and efficiency of the family farm.
When Liya turned six, her father Liam began to give her basic lessons that would prepare her, she thought, for the required Epicant military service. She learned to swim, and to run long distances, and to climb the trees of the rainforest, and to shoot a blaster and a slugthrower. Later, when Liya was fourteen, Liam revealed his real profession, and at some point soon thereafter, Liya joined the League as well.
Liya was not as surprised by her father's revelation as Liam might have expected. Once, she had secretly followed him all the way to the spaceport in Tree City, and has seen his armor and weapons. That had been enough to know that he wasn't a salesman, although she had only generically guessed mercenary or security work for the government. Bounty hunting seemed little different. It was accepted on Panatha as a legal way for the government to pursue criminals beyond its borders. Everyone knew informal, illegal private bounties existed, but they were taboo.
Lio did not join his father and his sister in the League, although he knew their secret. Liam was frustrated with his son's lack of interest in anything except machines, and was somewhat relieved when he left home to become a military mechanic in the Epicanthix army. He had not originally intended for his daughter to join his profession, but she had proven to be the more physically qualified.
Epicant Military ServiceEdit
At the age of sixteen, like all Epicant children, Liya was sent to a military boarding academy in Tree City for two years of intensive training, to be followed by at least three years of military service. Secretly, it would also provide ample training for her future profession as a bounty hunter. School holidays were spent accompanying Liam on "business trips" across the Reach.
Liya's vast bontanical knowledge indicated a future track toward the medical corps, but the appeal of idle sciences had been an innocent childhood dream of her past. Bitten by the adventure bug from her first travels with her faher, she craved action. With Liam exerting pressure and influence on her behalf, she won acceptance into the exclusive explosives specialist training program. This prestigious and well-paid specialty numbered only a few hundred among hundreds of thousands of active military members, and Liya found herself the only woman in a class of a dozen candidates.
Behind her back, there were whispers that she did not have the scientific knowledge to pass the training and that she had only been given a spot as a favor to her father, thus excluding a more worthy candidate. Liya proved them all wrong, working tirelessly and scoring the best marks among the five candidates who graduated.
Upon completing her two years of training, Liya was assigned to a garrison base on Bunduki, a Pacanth Reach planet conquered by the Epicanthix. Unable to continue any involvement in the League until her three year tour of duty was over, Liya nonetheless found plenty of opportunities to hone her skills and abilities in the line of duty.
While on Bunduki, she met Kim Zawadi, a member of the Followers of Palawa, viewed as a cult by some Epicanthix, and learned of their martial art, Teräs Käsi. While Liya was suspicious of the Followers' teachings of a mystical energy field (the Force) and wary of the potential stigma of being associated with a 'cult,' she saw the value of Teras Kasi itself. Determined to use her spare time to add an advancement for her career in the League and surprise her father, she convinced Zawadi to secretly teach her the basics of the martial art.
Leaving the Pacanth ReachEdit
Her Father Liam's DeathEdit
Her military service kept her largely out of touch with the League, and in fact the League encouraged her to focus on her national duties until her three years were concluded. But all was not going well for the League, with a political power struggle simmering between the veteran Liam Tawaza and a relative newcomer, a Mandalorian named Atoll Fett, leader of one of the League's most ruthless hunter gangs. Sensing the risk that the entire League would be destroyed, Liam conceded defeat, and Atoll pledged before everyone that he would respect the old ways and that Liam was like a brother to him.
Not a month later, on a mission on Ravaath, Fett betrayed Liam, abandoning him alone and unarmed in enemy territory, where he was shot dead by a spice cartel boss. Liam's friends in the League were furious, although they could not prove what Fett had done, nor did they have the strength to fight Fett and his gang. Instead, unable to trust one another, they agreed to a peaceful split into two organizations.
Liya, however, now twenty years old and two years into her three-year military assignment, snapped. In a rage, she deserted her post on Bunduki. Zawadi found her as she was about to leave the planet, and reminded her that desertion could be considered a capital crime. Liya was too angry to care about being branded a traitor (family came first) but the thought of a search party hunting her was unpleasant. With Zawadi's help, Liya faked her own death in a carefully designed explosives "accident," before leaving Bunduki. She implored Zawadi to come with her, but the Palawa feared association with Liya's "death" if she left the planet -- she foresaw that it would imply guilt and create problems for the Followers.
Making her way to one of the League's favored cantinas in Tree City, Liya tracked down some of her father's friends, demanding information and their help in taking revenge on Fett. To a man, they sympathetically told her all they knew, but refused to help, fearing to spark a gang war that would endanger innocent Epicanthix and end the League's bounty license.
Beginning to realize that her quest to bring Fett to justice would be a solo mission, Liya made her way to Ravaath, and discovered the whole truth of her father's betrayal. Returning to Panatha, she made her way to the farmlands of her childhood, to break the news to her mother. Her old home town seemed quaint and boring now, and Liya realized that she was very different now from the little girl who loved to sit alone and watch the jungle. Arriving home, Liya sprinted through the farm house, at last finding her mother in the kitchen, baking bread. Liya's mother took one look at her daughter's face, read the whole story before Liya spoke a word, and fell down dead of a heart attack.
Crushed, Liya didn't even stay to speak to the neighbors or hired hands, hurrying back to Tree City and buying the first star freighter she could find. By chance, she found Lio at the spaceport, still serving as a military mechanic, and found that she hardly knew him anymore. He had a mind of gears and wheels, and could not understand his sister's anger. He did care enough, however, to slice the city's central computers and download all of Fett's travel data and reported landings and departures. These showed that Fett and his gang had left the Reach, no doubt aware that someone connected to Liam would be gunning for them now. It was a big galaxy, and they probably felt safe as soon as they had left the Reach. Liya had other ideas. For the next year, she stalked Atoll Fett and his gang, killing them one by one, finishing with Fett himself.
And then she found herself, quite suddenly, twenty-one and utterly alone, without any occupation or goal in life.
For two years, Liya roamed the galaxy aimlessly, descending into deeper and deeper trouble in the Outer Rim, as she worked her reputation as a ruthless assassin and her father's vast network of criminal contacts. Only when she was on a mission, surrounded by danger and focused on a goal, did she feel like she had a purpose in life. In between, she was subject to spells of depression, and destructive losses of control.
Angry and alone, she found a job with the Sith Lord Dragus, who hired her to help wreak wanton destruction on the Jedi-aligned world of Talus. Knowing little of the Jedi or the force, except the rather negative fairy tales told to her by Zawadi, working for a Sith was merely one more job to Liya. Travelling to the Galactic Core for the first time, she eagerly joined in the violence. Her greatest feat on Talus was the hijacking of a fuel tanker in Qaestar Town, which she later rigged to ram a column of CorSec SWAT officers who were closing in on the gang's lair. Liya was forced to flee the planet when Dragus' plans were undone by infighting with in the Sith ranks.
Momentarily sustained by the money paid to her by the Saurian Sith and his minions, Liya returned to the Outer Rim and visited her father's friends on a number of backwater worlds near Bespin.
The Fel CrewEdit
A Chance EncounterEdit
Recieving a coded tip, Liya travelled to nearby Varonat, where one of her contacts now worked as a barkeeper on the Mandalorian colony world. She knew she had Mandalorian blood on her hands, and this would be a test. Almost to the Epicanthix's disappointment, the planet's security hardly paid her any attention at all. Arriving on Varonat, she learned of a Falleen named Xaxan Zadicus, who was hiring bounty hunters for his syndicate.
By special (no doubt meaning corrupt) arrangement with the Mandalorian colony's governor, this Zadicus was operaing some sort of criminal enterprise from a fortified compound on Varonat. Approaching the compound, however, Liya found little signs of life. Creeping through the dense jungle vegatation, Liya blundered quite accidentally into a raging gun battle among the trees, between a small, mixed band of tenacious fighters, and a uniform but unorganized paramilitary force in black uniforms.
The Epicanthix are noted for their height and deceptive strength, and Liya is no exception. She stands a little over six feet tall, and while slim in appearance, has been trained to use her strength to its full extent, exceeding that of a standard human of her size.
She has blue-grey eyes, and light brown hair of near shoulder length, although her hair is usually kept carefully contained within her helmet. She usually wears a black jumpsuit and heavy black combat boots of military origin. These are covered by light body armor painted a matte black, and a chin-fastened helmet which leaves her face exposed.
Liya is left-handed, and around her left wrist and forearm is a customized computer that includes basic comlink, beckon call, data storage, and holonet access capabilities. Her hands are almost always protected by black leather gloves, either full or finger-less, depending on the situation.
Liya is cool, collected, calculating, and protective --- protecting herself and/or trusted associates can justify any action. She is slow to trust, but loyal to the death once trust is earned. To Liya, a 'friend' or 'partner' is someone who has earned this trust and become one of the team. Anyone else is a nobody, not to be trusted. She may use the term 'partner' sarcastically, when addressing someone who should try harder if they want to earn her respect.
Methodical and supremely confident, will not concede defeat until the odds are truly zero (this is different from outwardly surrendering to gain a tactical advantage). Thought process can be heartless and mechanical when on alert or performing a mission, but cares deeply about her friends and will show emotion readily when at ease.
She holds death grudges for life against those who cross her or the team, and will take nearly any opportunity whatsoever to kill such a person, no matter the circumstances or how old the grudge is. Forgiveness is not impossible, but it is not easily earned.