Star Wars: Pandora's Legacy
Sinya is a small Twi’lek, standing about 5’2" with delicate features. Her skin is of a smoky green hue and her lekku are shaded with a diamond pattern of a deeper green. Her eyes are a bright blue and often spark with an intense curiosity. A childhood spent in the Temple on Ry’loth and an adolescence spent on Tattoine have given her a preference for modest dress; she wears subtly colored robes and often braids light scarves around the tops of her lekku. On her left wrist, she wears a simple circlet of hammered metal given to her by her childhood best friend.
Shala’sinya was born on Ry’loth, the only child of Shala’firith, a spice merchant from one of the minor Twi’lek clans and his wife, Shala’aayla, a child of the higher caste estranged from her clan for marrying Sinya’s father. Despite being raised in the lower caste of Ry’loth society by a common merchant, Sinya enjoyed a peaceful and, by Ry’loth standards, happy childhood. Her parents doted on their daughter, providing her with the best they could afford; Aayla, who had been been sent by her parents to study at Alderaan Royal University, took it upon herself to educate her daughter in their home and the girl grew to love books and the tales of her culture.
From birth, Sinya was unusually empathic and contemplative; it surprised no one of her clan when, at the age of five, she expressed a desire to enter the service of the Mother in the Temple. What did surprise them was when Aayla, a deeply spiritual woman, began taking Sinya to the Temple for prayers daily and convinced a young priestess to offer tutoring and spiritual guidance to the girl. Sinya’s mother ignored the gossip of her clanmates and encouraged her daughter in her learning, much to the dismay of the clan leaders. As an eldest daughter of one of the lower caste clans, Sinya was to be offered up per the tradition of Vassij’ra to be sold into slavery in order to further guarantee the Twi’leks’ economic survival on Ry’loth—a condition that Aayla had agreed to in order to avoid exile after marrying Sinya’s father in secrecy. In the eyes of her clanmates, Sinya’s mother was, at best, needlessly encouraging her daughter’s dreams of serving in the Temple and, at worse, hinting at open defiance of one of the most necessary Twi’lek customs. Sinya’s father, brother to the head of the Shala clan, quieted the protests somewhat by insisting that his wife was simply attempting to imbue the child with as much knowledge of her culture as possible prior to sending her away from home and family. Sinya’s uncle was sympathetic to the plight of his niece (and of her best friend, his own daughter, Shala’shiri) and allowed his sister-in-law to continue with the child’s training until both girls came of age.
And then, the unthinkable happened.
On the night before Sinya’s eleventh birthday, on the eve of her being made aware of the Vassij’ra ceremony that would occur the following year, Sinya’s family fled Ry’loth. With only the few belongings they could carry, her parents hurried their daughter through the night to the small, dilapidated craft of a Ryll merchant who had agreed to smuggle the family to one of the outlying worlds. When word of the escape reached the Shala clan, Sinya’s parents were labeled as heretics and criminals.
Sinya’s family struggled in exile, but her father eventually established a small trade in general (in addition to contraband) goods and Sinya and Aayla continued to practice the rites of the Mother. However, the story of her near-fate and the presumed fate of Shiri, her cousin and friend, haunted her. One morning, while conversing with traders who did regular business with her father, she was told of the existence of a movement to free and assist escaped slaves—many of whom were Twi’lek women who had been sold by their families. She convinced one of the traders to assist her in finding and joining this movement and, as soon as she was able to put together a small savings, she left—with her parents’ blessing—to find and free her cousin and to fight to end the practice of slavery in the Empire.