Havng just received news of the war, Piers Tisen was meditating to rid himself of the turmoil the news had evoked within his spirit when he was pulled out of his meditations by an insistent tug on his robes. A grubby toddler had seized upon the tall, lanky jedi (Piers preferred to meditate standing) as an excellent prop for pulling herself to a standing position. Having achieved this, she beamed toothily up at Piers, before taking a couple of shaky steps and plopping contentedly into a mud puddle. She pushed at the water, making splashes without actually touching it.
Saddling himself with a waif of a force sensitive was not on Piers’s agenda. Unfortunately, after attempts to locate the toddler’s parents failed, Piers did not have a choice. Fortunately, Ilse (she was able to communicate her first name, but little else about her origins), was a relatively solemn and uncomplaining toddler, and there were plenty of volunteers to look after her, most hoping to obtain preferential treatment in the daily doles, or relocation announcements.
It was several weeks before Piers could arrange for Ilse’s transport to one of the Jedi training centers. Eventually, she was sent to the praxeum on Arkania, it being the most convenient given their current location.
Ilse spent the next decade or so there, in relative safety and stability. Her lack of family never particularly bothered her, in fact, there were times when she was grateful not to suffer the homsickness of some of the older younglings. The Praxeum was home, and if she was in need of some other family, well, there was Piers, who would periodically and unpredictably, stop by to check on her, and the other charges he had discovered.
If her time in the refugee camp had affected her long term, it mainly manifested in a love of solitude and quiet. She was prone, even when it was cold, to sneaking out at night to climb up onto the roof of the main building to look up at the stars.
Take a two year old child. Every day, recite the code to them, and once they are old enough, with them. It should not be a surprise when, for at least some children, it sticks. Ilse Asteres would be amused to discover that there are people who assume she must be emotionally repressed, in danger of exploding with rage and lust and falling to the dark side. If she is, she certainly isn’t aware of it.
There is no emotion, there is peace. Cool, logical, rational, Ilse acts with deliberation and patience. She is capable of making decisions quickly, knowing that, at times, to act wrongly is better to do nothing at all. After all, doing nothing is, ultimately, its own action. She has an impressive amount of trust in the Force, believing, although she has never articulated this to anyone, that there -is- a way in which all of the flawed actions and discerning that she, that everyone, does, is in some way to bring about a better galaxy. Of course, the code leaves a light-years wide swath open for interpretation. Ilse does her best to act for the greater good, with a rational judgement, although she will sometimes sacrifice a dubious gain for more people later, to save a certain number -now-. It’s a judgement call. Someone has to make it, and she was the one there.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge. There is always more to learn. Ilse finds studies of the force fascinating, and might be tempted to simply hole up in the jedi archives and never come out, but that would hardly be practical, and there is a certain fascination to people too. Given her own inclination towards logic, simplicity and rationality, she is constantly bemused, baffled, and intrigued by the general population on both sides (or, if you count the number of independent groups, every side) of the current war.
There is no passion, there is serenity. Given her bluntness, Ilse might seem an odd choice for a diplomat. However, her genuine desire to bring peace and serenity to those she works with rapidly becomes apparent through her honesty in everything else, and while she does not enjoy people being irrational, she has gotten significantly better at taking into account intangibles and emotions in her analysis of social situations. She can empathize with people who have not had the benefits of the training she has, and her honesty and natural self-effacingness keep her from becoming unbearably sanctimonious.
There is no death, there is the Force. Some might consider Ilse naive, unaware of the true lure of the dark side, or oblivious to the true horrors perpetrated by the Empire, or the corruption of the Republic. As a healer, however, she has seen plenty of all of these. Some believe healing to be one of the most light sided uses of the force imaginable, but it is, in truth, a fine line to walk. It can be easy to take pride in lives saved, and fall. It can be easy to seek to halt, or even reverse, a slow, inevitable, slide into death, and fall. It can be easy to see the pain and the suffering, and think that this is all there is, and fall. It can be easy to look at those dying due to supplies entangled in Republic bureaucracy, and grow to hate the only force in the Galaxy that may have a chance against the Empire, and fall. Ilse Asteres hasn’t fallen.
Ilse Asteres is comfortable with stillness. Standing at just above average height, and slenderly built, it is her ability to be still that is the most eye catching. It would not be incorrect to call her graceful, but precise would be nearer the mark. She does not waste motions, does not fidget. It’s not really a good strategy for blending in, but Ilse has never been particularly concerned with whether she blends in or not. She is what she is, and her body language is as honest as her speech.
She does not consider it to be compromising this honesty that she will occasionally wear makeup, usually around the eyes. After all, in speech, depending on the planet, one will use certain words or phrases to more accurately convey one’s meaning to the understanding of one’s listeners. Therefore, it makes sense to present oneself physically in a manner that will similarly convey one’s role and intention. While jedi are called to be modest, this is not the same thing as being plain, and while some contrast with courtly demeanour may be helpful in emphasizing the apartness of being jedi- Honestly, she just likes eye shadow.
Her long hair is a pale blonde, not the white of a pure Echani. She usually keeps it pulled back and twisted into a bun, and uses a circlet to at least do something to pin down the tendrils that escape. Ilse is not overly fond of large hats, finding them overly ostentatious. She prefers robes, finding them to suit her simple tastes, while not being particularly encumbering.