Tariun: “An honorable Bothan?”
Rin: “An honorable Bothan warrior.”
Tariun: “Wow, miracles do happen...”
Born in the Unknown Regions somewhere in the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob, Tarzg did not know his homeworld, as his parents were itinerant merchants. However, being Bothan, it is likely that at least his ancestors had roots in the Republic-colonized Vall`to sector.
With the outbreak of the Great Liberation and the subsequent tightening of security in the prime worlds of the Tetrarchy, the Sav'lirs lost many of their trading opportunities and were forced to shift their operations to the vassal worlds of the Tetrarchy. However, outside the better-policed spacelanes of the Mezlag and Vall`to sectors and in the midst of war, trading had become a risky venture. Barely surviving an attack by the Nightside Raiders that captured most of their convoy, Tarzg's family fled to nearby Wemod just before it was liberated. There they encountered the Glorious Armada of the Golden Empire and its master, Queen Rin Sakaros.
Receiving the refugees aboard her flagship, the Sith Star, Rin discovered that young Tarzg was Force-sensitive and asked permission to take the young Bothan into her service for training as a warrior in the then-Order of the Golden Empire. Though the Sav'lirs were hesitant, unsure of Rin's chances for victory and not convinced the life of a warrior Centurion would offer much real prestige, Tarzg himself was eager to join, and eventually persuaded his parents to surrender him.
Tarzg was an adept and dedicated student under Rin and her brother Tariun, as well as Rin's apprentice Keltrayu. Though young, he accompanied Rin to the monumental Battle of Tizgo V and personally witnessed the self-sacrificing death of Keltrayu. Tarzg was deeply moved and humbled by witnessing the honors and respect posthumously paid to Keltrayu for his action, and for the first time realized that selfless service could be its own form of reward, rather than the material. Redoubling his efforts to learn, eager to please Rin, he threw himself into his studies, eventually becoming a full Centurion at the age of twenty-one in 113 ABY.
The permanent Guard
Though winning early distinction by aiding in the Armada's extermination of Red Eclipse, Tarzg preferred to remain close to Rin, feeling he could best serve her by being at her right hand. Consequently, he became a Royal Guard in 115 ABY. Though the assignment was almost always of only a few years' duration, Tarzg enjoyed this post so much that Rin allowed him to stay on indefinitely. In less than a decade, he was the seniormost Royal Guard, and as more years passed his persona and approaches to protecting Rin became the standard for junior Guards.
Tarzg was at Rin's side for much of her diplomatic work and became a Royal policy expert himself on a range of issues. Rin began to treat him as a confidante, asking his input on some decisions or his readings of diplomats and visitors. Unlike most Royal Guards, he did not rotate assignments, and almost always served Rin directly unless assigned a special mission. Tariun, too, spoke more openly with Tarzg than he did with most Centurions, and confided to the Bothan his fear that ultimately, the greatest threat to Rin would be Rin herself.
Tarzg was part of a large party of Centurions who accompanied Rin to Nar Shaddaa after the Vagaari War. When Rin was comatose while helping Odala Kass`l return to the Force, Tarzg organized guard shifts over her, taking more than his allotted share himself. In 144 ABY, Tarzg went undercover with Breek Zagrev and Rajj-Yo as mercenaries, laying a false trail to divert the attention of the Imperial Knights away from finding Reiko Kaytana on Nar Shaddaa. When Azalyn Kass`l came to be a Novice in 147 ABY, Tarzg took a particular interest in her, sensing and appreciating the girl's deep bond of love and fidelity to Rin.
As the Royal Family expanded to include Jasmine Auroras, her daughter Katie, her three daughters Rayne, Sovi, and Taia, and Tariun and Breek's children Delliak and Nike Sakaros, Tarzg had several debates with Rin about the Royal Guard. Tarzg felt every member of the Royal Family deserved at least a pair of Centurions as bodyguards and vehemently disputed the alternative idea of training a corps of non-Force sensitives for the duty. Rin took his views seriously, though she began to feel the sheer number of her relatives would make an ever-expanding Royal Guard impractical.
In 148 ABY, Tarzg was part of a group of Centurions who traveled to Dromund Kaas in an attempt to rescue Alluria Solios and Odala Kass`l. Partnered with Vem, he dueled and killed at least one Sith Lord.
Tarzg Sav'lir: “ No. I am very sorry, my lady, but I will not let you do this.”
Rin Sakaros: “ How dare you? Stand aside!”
Tarzg Sav'lir: “ I have never disobeyed you before, my lady. I have served and protected you my entire life, and I don't regret a second of it. I will never fight against you. But I can not simply stand by and let you die for nothing. Even if you survive, Tillandra will be obligated by duty to save you, not Rayne and Te`net. They'll still die, and then it will be your fault. And if you walk through that door, then Keltrayu died for nothing.”
— Tarzg prevents Rin from exposing herself to the Sickness
During the Nightmare War, Desha Marad weaponized the Sickness, an anti-Qua viral agent, and managed to infect Te`net Organi, who accidentally infected Rayne Turgachia, Rin's niece. Rin departed for the Citadel, intending to assist Tillandra Moraes in curing them despite the risk to her own health. Tarzg, Jadian Star, Rayne, and Tillandra were unable to persuade Rin of the risks. Despairing at the possibility of watching the leader he loved and admired dying for nothing, Tarzg stepped into her path and refused to move. He threw his lightsaber aside, swearing never to fight her, but pledged he could not simply watch her die needlessly. Although it hurt him to cause Rin pain, he accused her of throwing away Keltrayu's sacrifice by her actions.
Rin was stunned into speechlessness by the accusations, especially when Jade Star stepped to Tarzg's side. Tariun arrived a moment later and persuaded Rin to listen to them. Rin elected not to punish Tarzg for his defiance, recognizing it as an act of deep and abiding love and loyalty rather than treasonous disobedience, although she warned him not to do it again.
Tarzg's action to protect Rin, knowing full well he could die for it, reverberated through the Order of Keltrayu. Though most did not discuss the incident for fear of drawing him negative attention, many Centurions came to admire the gruff Bothan all the more for it.
Looking to the future
In 150 ABY, Tarzg, Aria Nikina, and Chindal infiltrated the Jedi Temple; Master Jextar Cyern-Star, Rin's boyfriend and Jade's mother, had marooned Souv Tanake in the Empire and was making radical changes to the Jedi. Tarzg brought him a warning from Rin to act more subtly and keep his anger under control, lest he endanger Rin and the Empire.
Following the Nightmare War, Tarzg became embroiled in the debate surrounding the creation of the Household Guard. He was strongly opposed to having anyone other than Royal Guards protecting members of the Royal Family, despite the increasing strain it would place on the Order's resources as more members of the Royal Family were born and required more Centurions assigned to the Guard. Though Rin ultimately ruled in favor of the non-Force using Household Guard, she maintained Royal Guard protection for herself and the Phoenix Prince.
At the same time, Tarzg became increasingly conscious of his age. When the Household Guard was announced at the 151 ABY Consular Assembly, Tarzg was already fifty-nine. Though he was still able to defeat most other Centurions in lightsaber sparring, his friend Te`net was slowly edging him out, and Vem, Malyri Porén, and even Selkee were nipping at his heels. He began to consider a future for the Guard after himself, and to look for a potential successor. It was this that brought Azalyn Kass`l to his attention; while, like all Centurions, he was impressed by her prophetic abilities, it was her absolute, soul-deep loyalty to Rin that interested him.
In mid-157 ABY, Reiko Kaytana was assassinated and Rin suffered an agonizing telepathic backlash as a result. She convalesced for days in a stupor, emerging to consciousness only to discover her telepathy was completely cut off—she could not sense anyone, nor could anyone sense her. Tarzg became increasingly protective of her during this time, fearing her inability to sense threats would weaken her formidable fighting abilities.
At the end of the year, Tarzg suffered two deep blows, when Te`net Organi returned to the Empire from a years-long mission to Killik territory, having killed Eskol Kaartinen, who had become a Killik Joiner. Te`net was so distraught over killing Eskol and subsequently orchestrating the Massacre at Murgo that he resigned from the Order. In one day, Tarzg had lost two old and dear friends. He took charge of security arrangements at Eskol's funeral, remaining close to Rin to protect her. But at the interment in Keltrayu's Tomb, Tarzg voluntarily stood down from his Royal Guard duties for the first time in living memory in Order to eulogize Eskol; in his "absence" (though he was in the same room), he had the Chiss Centurion Vos'elk'eetash stand in for him.
After Eskol's funeral and the 158 ABY New Year Fete, Rin announced a plan to journey out of the Empire to restore her telepathic abilities. Tarzg insisted on accompanying her, and Rin agreed; Azalyn Kass`l joined the group as well. In the known galaxy, Tarzg acted as Rin's foremost protector given her telepathic incapacitation and Azalyn's relative inexperience. On Coruscant, Tarzg again infiltrated the Jedi Temple, this time to lead Jex to Rin so the two could connect. Tarzg also spent much of the trip helping Rin train Azalyn, especially in honing her danger sense and perceiving threats in situations.
Tarzg fought in the Battle of the Pit on a planet in Wild Space, in which Rin finally recovered her telepathy. Tarzg himself dueled and killed a Dark Jedi, along with several other members of the Cult of the Eater of the Self. He assisted Rin in spiriting Ventresca Tan and Sheya Lassan off Nar Shaddaa and spying on the Tapani sector before the group (now a quintet, having recruited Zivkai Rasakhar and his pet, Zavka, on Borleias) returned to the Empire and Rin retook the throne.
Powers and abilities
Like most Centurions, Tarzg was skilled in telepathy and telekinesis. He also had a hair-trigger danger sense both in combat and in anticipation of threats; Tariun Sakaros once remarked that Tarzg was so intent on protecting Rin that his sense for danger almost approached Rin's own.
Despite seeing relatively little field action except in Rin's presence, Tarzg took his martial training very seriously, constantly practicing his lightsaber technique in his free time. By 137 ABY, he was considered by the Centurions to be the second best Form V stylist in the Order of Keltrayu, after Tariun Sakaros himself, though Breek Zagrev had also surpassed him by 149 ABY. He also studied Var Shek under Tariun and Rin, practicing techniques to both subdue and kill anyone who might attack his queen. He was sufficiently talented to take down Jextar Star (who was taller than him by over a foot) with a single sweep.
Appearance and personality
Though of average height for a Bothan, at 4'11" (1.50 meters) Tarzg was much shorter than most of his colleagues, half a foot shorter than his prime protectee, Rin Sakaros, and more than a head shorter than her brother. However, he was heavily muscled, especially for a Bothan; he had particularly thick arms, and those he trained came to dread being on the receiving end of one of his punches (though Tarzg himself considered this nothing more than incentive to block). He had fur the colors of chocolate and caramel, though in later years this began to gray around his jaw, eyebrows, and temples. He had scars on his knuckles and along his jawline. These, combined with his intense look and muscular build, led to him being described as "grizzled" and "tough" by many of his fellow Centurions.
Absolute loyalty to Rin Sakaros defined Tarzg's personality, and he considered it his life's mission to protect her from any conceivable danger. This made him an attentive and capable bodyguard, though also slightly paranoid and prone to treating even mild or potential threats with severity. Junior Royal Guards considered him gruff and difficult to please, though he adopted this attitude intentionally to ensure that anyone assigned to protect his queen was qualified (to his standards) to do so.
Despite this tough appearance, Tarzg took an active interest in the protective training of the Royal Guards, and served as a mentor to the newest of them, helping them hone skills they might need in watching over their charges. He was sometimes called on by Kieran Sapphire to teach Form V to Novices.