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Tal Cuyot was born on Mandalore; his mother died in childbirth, and he grew up with a very strong bond with his father. His father, Tracyn Cuyot, had two children- Je'ka, four years older, and Tal. Tal grew up at Tracyn's side, learning how to fight the Mandalorian way; when Je'ka married and left the household, Tal stayed with his father for six more years, also apprenticing to the local smith. Tragedy struck when Tal was away, working for the Republic- Tracyn died, a faulty navicomputer sending his ship into an asteroid at near-lightspeed. By the time Tal returned to Mandalore, Je'ka had already buried their father and claimed the family farm; this drove a wedge between the two, though they had never been close. Claiming a shoulder plate from Tracyn's spare set of armor (as his normal suit was annihilated during the crash), Tal stormed off to make his own way through the galaxy.
Two years later, he was gravely injured during a skirmish; Je'ka heard rumors that he had died. After a month of recuperation, Tal returned to Mandalore, only to find that Je'ka's wife, Briika, had been killed, and that he had left for vengeance. Relations were very strained at this point- their last meeting had consisted of a short knife fight- so Tal simply left again, not seeing fit to tell his brother that he was alive.
The next eight years of mercenary work weren't good to Tal; he made barely enough money to live, and spent most of his time alone or fighting. The main distinguishing feature of his face is a large web of scar tissue on the left side of his mouth and the left cheek- he recieved a sniper's projectile round in the mouth, losing his left teeth and much of his jaw. Now sporting durasteel teeth and a permanent scowl, Tal rarely takes off his helmet in the company of others.