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Resource The Temple of Knowledge


Legendary Member
Dark Council
The world was held in the void; all was swirling blackness. Yet in the swirl of darkness structure emerged; in the shadow of Nihilas Angmah, stone and ore defying nature to form the shapes in an unnatural mind’s eye. The ground splintered, subterranean spikes rising to form a ring of both boundary and sanctuary. As the structure grew, so would all of the Dread House that were to enter.

A temple and a vault, open and guarded, repository and font.

A library and a mainframe.

The Temple of Knowledge rose.


Last edited:
20/10/20: On the Origins of the New Sith Order.

Emperor Dreadwar:
Stover did something really interesting in The Tenebrous Way; he connected Palpatine to the One Sith. Tenebrous' powerful abilities of precognition - or Bith calculation - foresaw the rise of the "One Sith" who would achieve galactic dominance and, in essence, do away with the Rule of Two. He foresaw that this One Sith would kill Plagueis, which might imply Palpatine is this prophesied One Sith, but it also indicates Tenebrous may have seen the rise of Darth Krayt and conflated it with that of Sidious.

Lord Drakul Xarxes (replying to Emperor Dreadwar):
I loved the forward you added to the file, considering Stover to be a flow-walking student of the Aing-Tii.
And, of course, that Wyyrlok III recovered taht scroll.

Emperor Dreadwar:
Given that the Book of Sith has Palpatine do away with the Rule of Two in favour of his own Rule of One, however, I tend to view this as evidence that Palpatine himself created the One Sith/Rule of One concept, and that Krayt merely continued it (while Vader's secret apprentice, Lumiya, continued the Rule of Two, which was resurrected by 140 ABY by Darth Wredd in Legacy II and attempted to do to the New Sith Order what Bane did to the Brotherhood of Darkness). This runs contrary to Wookieepedia, which separates Palpatine's Rule of One from Krayt's as if it were confirmed fact (when it is actually fan speculation; they may be the same rule, just as Wredd resurrected the Rule of Two).
(Replying to Lord Drakul Xarxes): I like providing an in-universe flair for everything.

Lord Drakul Xarxes (replying to Emperor Dreadwar):
Which is something I love. Riordan (someone who I am not any great fan of but does have that creative spark) did this excellently with his Kane Chronicles.
@Amira Syphex Tenebrous Way will take, at most, 15 min to read. It's only about 3,500 words.

Emperor Dreadwar:
My pet theory, by the way, is that the origins of the New Sith Order lie in Alkin Neret, the incredibly obscure (so obscure she doesn't even have a Wookieepedia article) secret apprentice of Palpatine from Dark Tremors, a "Dark Lord of the Sith" who was his apprentice when he was still a Senator (meaning she was contemporaneous with Darth Maul!), and who had greater Force potential than Vader (yet less training).

Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu (replying to Emperor Dreadwar):
Personally I always thought this point was mainly a reference to Palpatine's "Rule of One" from the Book of Sith. That being said, in reference to the Wookiepedia commentary, I was always under the impression that Krayt's philosophy was conceived independently and that the similarity between it and Palpatine's was merely coincidental.

Lord Drakul Xarxes (reply to Emperor Dreadwar):
You've mentioned her so many times in the last week that I feel the need to bite the bullet and read Dark Tremors.

Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu (replying to Lord Drakul Xarxes):
Alternatively one could listen to this little piece:

Lord Drakul Xarxes:
Pulled up the Dark Tremors RPG scenario. Will be reading it this evening.
--- Wars/SWD6/Misc/Star Wars RPG (D6) - Adventure - Dark Tremors.pdf

Emperor Dreadwar:
We know that Krayt did not create the New Sith Order wholesale; the Legacy Era Campaign Guide revealed that Krayt merely unified pre-existing Sith devotees on Korriban. (Who?!) Of course, in our fanon, we use this convenient retcon to accredit Darth Vassago with the creation of the New Sith Order, with Krayt unifying a divided Order after Cruor deposed Vassago. But canonically, I like the idea that Palpatine's secret apprentice, Alkin Neret, continued Palpatine's Rule o One on Korriban (drawing on the Imperial Sith Acolytes from The Force Unleashed, the Shadow Guard, the Inquisitors, surviving Prophets of the Dark Side, Byss Dark Jedi from the Dark Empire, Nightsister Sith witches, etc), while Vader's secret apprentice, Lumiya, continued the Rule of Two through her various failed apprentices.

Lord Drakul Xarxes (replying to Emperor Dreadwar):
I really like these ideas. It bothered me that Krayt seemed to just come from seemingly nowhere (to a fresh Legends fan) and had no real connection with his Rule of Two predecessors. If you then place the Rule of One origins with Palpatine, it makes Krayt's Order more pleasing to view as a reader because you can see where it came from in a familiar place.

Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu (replying to Emperor Dreadwar):
It was Ku'ar Danar all along!!

Lord Drakul Xarxes (replying to Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu):
STAR WARS Episode IX 2: Danarian Boogaloo

Emperor Dreadwar:
It's beautiful symmetry, but it also strengthens the ties between Palpatine's Rule of One and Krayt's, which, when you think about it, are actually very similar: Palpatine's Dark Empire was incredibly similar to Krayt's Sith Empire, in that both are rebranded (and literally renamed) Galactic Empire successor states reinvented as dark side theocracies ruled not by advisors and Moffs, but by powerful dark side agents such as the Dark Side Elite (e.g. Executor Sedriss) in Dark Empire and the Sith Lords in Legacy. Palpatine and Krayt both envisioned a Rule of One in which there was only the "One Sith," one supreme Dark Lord who imposed his will on the galaxy through "many agents." Both use titles for these agents that suggest they are, in a sense, part of the body of the One Sith; Emperor's Fist, Emperor's Hands, Emperor's Voice, Emperor's Eyes, etc. Both emphasise the title of Emperor above the usual title of Dark Lord of the Sith; indeed, Palpatine has almost entirely shed the trappings of Sith philosophy, just as Valkorion did, by Dark Empire, and Krayt was explicitly "Sith Emperor," just like Vitiate. Both visualised their rules as being eternal, both learning immortality and essence transference (the technique of Darth Andeddu), and both returning from death with their powers redoubled after they are betrayed and killed by their closest Sith accomplice (Vader and Wyyrlok).
Both viewed their Sith Orders as entirely expendable and were lying to their followers the entire time, and were actually building up a secret Empire and master plan for the inevitability of betrayal; Palpatine was building up the Dark Empire on Byss to slowly supplant his Galactic Empire, while Darth Krayt was building up his millions of mindlessly loyal Sith Troopers to replace his New Sith Order.
The only difference, some might say, is that Krayt's Rule of One featured an explicitly Sith Order, whereas Palpatine's followers (other than Vader) were Dark Jedi acolytes, but when you think about it, this is not so either; the A New Hope novelisation makes implicit reference to multiple Dark Lords of the Sith; several of Palpatine's followers were explicitly called Sith e.g. the Imperial Sith Acolytes and the Nightsister Sith witches, or the Prophets of the Dark Side who comprised the Emperor's Eyes, who were a Sith splinter sect and described as a full-fledged "Sith Order"; you have Alkin Neret, who is described as a "Dark Lord of the Sith" contemporaneous with Vader, etc. So both Palpatine and Krayt clearly permitted their followers to wear the trappings of the Sith (indeed, we see this even in less obscure sources, in the form of Asajj Ventress and Savage Opress in The Clone Wars), and both sought to have an entire institution of agents entirely subservient to their whim (with Palpatine using the dark side to literally empower his Dark Jedi in Dark Empire).
(Replying to Lord Drakul Xarxes): I was just about to say this. Indeed, out-of-universe, it then provides the connective tissue that not just makes good history (a little like Abel G. Pena strengthening the ties between Exar Kun and Revan by having Sion being a Kunite Sith), but also reduces complaints about Krayt stealing Palpatine's limelight by making the entire history of the galaxy, post-movies, Palpatine's long shadow, from Palpatine's literal resurrection in Dark Empire, to Lumiya's Sith and the Second Galactic Civil War in Legacy of the Force, to Krayt's Sith in Legacy.
There are also several Sith that belong to Krayt's Order that predate Krayt (Lomi Plo, Welk, Vongerella) which only make sense in the light of the New Sith Order predating Krayt. Last but not least, I read an unpublished work that gave powerful ammunition to this theory, by revealing the origins of "Vongerella" and who her Sith Master was, by revealing the ties between Lumiya and Krayt and so forth; with the permission of the author, a fraction of the lore within this work will be published in Supernatural Encounters. I even like to tie up the various loose ends this way; Sly Moore, from the movies, was retconned into a dark side adept by Abel, so I like to think of Sly Moore as being one of the Sith devotees on Korriban Alkin Neret (and Darth Vassago, in our fanon) drew together. And if Sly Moore, why not retcon Mas Amedda into a dark side agent, too, considering that he was already secretly serving Palpatine even when serving Valorum, and was a Sith historian scouting the galaxy for Sith artifacts between the prequels and the movies? Yes, I like to retcon Mas Amedda himself into Darth Wyyrlok I - we actually know Mas Amedda retreated to the secret world of Byss, where he planned the course of the "New Order" (which is where Krayt's term New Sith Order might originate) for the next ten millennia. That's right - Amedda was part of the Dark Empire being secretly built up on Byss! You can add in Cronal, too, who Abel retconned into surviving his death in Stover's Shadows of Mindor and served Palpatine in the Dark Empire, for a time, although Cronal would go on to do different things (Perek). You can add in the Mecrosa Order, who had contact with Lumiya (which is where the Vassago connection slips seamlessly in, in our fanon), the aforementioned Imperial Sith Acolytes, Nightsister Sith witches (which is how you explain Lomi Plo and Tamith Kai and thus draw in the Second Imperium, the Shadow Academy and Brakiss into this whole connective plan Palpatine leaves behind in the wake of his final death).
What you end up with is a pretty seamless continuation of Palpatine's legacy in the form of the Rule of One (which tries and fails to achieve galactic domination under the Dark Empire, and succeeds under Krayt's Sith Empire), and a seamless continuation of Vader's legacy in the form of the Rule of Two (funnily enough, the work I read was entitled Vader's Legacy), both intertwined, both sharing certain individuals (cut lore which will be revealed in Supernatural Encounters' Extended Edition).

Lord Drakul Xarxes (replying to Emperor Dreadwar):
I was about to ask if there was a way to reconcile a connection between Amedda and Wyyrlok I! Chronologically, it could line up with very little alterations to the timeline. It would just mean that Wyyrlok III was probably a little older, and Wyyrlok I (Mas Amedda) lived long into venerability.

Emperor Dreadwar (replying to Lord Drakul Xarxes):
Indeed. If A'Sharad Hett/Krayt can survive 170 years from before the prequel era to Legacy, Mas Amedda can survive less than 100 years from before the prequel era to the 40s ABY, particularly considering Force-users live, and remain vital, longer. (Dooku was in his 80s.) Wyyrlok I had injuries and a rather worn appearance, as well. His daughter, Wyyrlok II, easily branches from the 40s ABY to around 100 ABY if she lived longer than 60 years old (likely), easily allowing for Darth Wyyrlok III to be the Emperor's Voice in the 120s ABY, assuming Wyyrlok III is middle-aged in Legacy. Timeline-wise, it all lines up.

Lord Drakul Xarxes (replying to Emperor Dreadwar):
Now I need to press for a Wyyrlok lineage novel…

Emperor Dreadwar:
And I think it's possible the New Sith Order might have been waiting for Palpatine's return; imagine the One Sith prophecy Tenebrous foresaw, if the likes of Neret were aware of it, and the fact that many of Palpatine's servants believed Palpatine would return to them after Dark Empire (considering how many "final deaths" Palpatine had, this was quite sensible), and the fact there even was a believed return that turned out to be fraudulent. Imagine these devotees waiting on Korriban, building up, waiting for the "One Sith" to return, restore the Sith to glory and achieve galactic domination under a new, galactic Sith Empire. Imagine that A'Sharad Hett comes, kills a few of the leaders (this is how I like to tie up the loose end of Vader's secret apprentice Antinnis Tremayne, who I also view as one of the NSO founders), says Palpatine is never coming back, but he is the One Sith they have been waiting for who will become Galactic Emperor and rebuild the Galactic Empire... It explains where the "One Sith" terminology comes from.
(Replying to Lord Drakul Xarxes): That is very unlikely in the Disney era, but my hope is that Vader's Legacy will be authorised to be published at some point; many of Abel's Legends stories have been in the Disney era (on the Star Wars site), like The Imperial Warlords articles, SkyeWalkers and Lone Wolf & Cub. It really is a fantastic little story.
There's the Wookieepedia article for it (drawn from fans collecting various bits and pieces released about it years ago), in lieu of being able to share the story itself (sadly)!

Lord Drakul Xarxes (replying to Emperor Dreadwar):
It sounds quite wonderful.

Emperor Dreadwar (replying to Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu):
Ha! I do actually like to explore the curious synchronicity of Ku'ar Danar rising in 5 ABY, Cronal's Mindor campaigns in 5 ABY, a slew of Sith spirits rising in this post-ROTJ time period (Exar Kun, Marka Ragnos), the mysterious undead Dark Lords who counsel Palpatine in Empire's End (and are furthermore attributed with resurrecting Palpatine, suggesting they added him in the essence transference process), and Abel's last few paragraphs in Evil Never Dies which reference some of these curious coincidences and suggest there may be a sinister grand design in action.
I don't think Ku'ar Danar had anything explicitly to do with Palpatine or Krayt (I dislike retcons that upstage other powerful villains), but I do think there was something of an ancient Sith renaissance going on in this time period (and if you see the connections Abel drew between the "Sith purebloods of Tund" and the Sorcerers of Rhand in The Imperial Warlords articles, and then view that in the context of Abel making the Sorcerers of Tund the vanguard of the True Sith in cut content from the KOTOR CG later released online, you can probably guess where I'm going with this) that Danar was probably involved in independently from the burgeoning continuations of the Rules of One and Two, and I, personally, do like to think that the nameless undead Dark Lord Palpatine was speaking to in Empire's End (the one who suggests the Anakin Solo plan) may have been Danar.
In a sense, you could argue that the Rule of One, the Rule of Two, the ancient Sith Rule of the Strong and the Rhandite Way of the Dark were all making a play in the post-ROTJ era.
Oh, I forgot to mention the ancient Carbonite Sith Army, raised by Silri in the exact same year as Danar's return. I like to think of that unnamed barren dead rock of a planet (which matches the description of the dusty grey Malachor-like "underworld" of Nilrebmah XIII given in Le Facteur X) Silri finds the Carbonite Sith Army on as Nilrebmah XIII.
Secret coordinates from an ancient Sith holocron (Danar's holocron?) to some planet where an ancient Sith army is hidden, just like Danar's Sith army of skeletons? It works too nicely. This would make this the only on-screen appearance of Nilrebmah XIII in the EU (skip to 0:49), with appropriately badass theme music:

Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu (replying to Emperor Dreadwar):
Oof. Not directly related to everything else, but that is one of my most despised cop-outs in current popular culture; the insistence on upstaging the significance of previous works by undercutting and cheapening them. Amusingly the new works have a tendency of being not only worse than their predecessors, but also by themselves terrible.

Emperor Dreadwar:
Although the uniforms are Revanite, the model for the Sith Master looks pre-Hyperspace War (Andeddu- or Sadow-style hat), and we know the sleeker, more fascistic Sith uniforms of Revan's Empire were in use in the Sith Academy in Korriban in the 3,990s BBY (because we see them in the Shadows and Light comic), long before Revan himself - the same time as Danar's disappearance (when Danar and Nilrebmah XIII travelled forward in time).
(Replying to Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu): Indeed, it's an unfortunate tendency in the EU in general. I prefer a messy, realistic galaxy in which many conspiracies and grand plans are tripping each other up. This was handled perfectly in Legacy of the Force, I thought, wherein evil is interconnected but rivalrous; Lumiya and Jacen, Alema Rar and her obsession with preserving Gorog, the One Sith of Darth Krayt standing by on the sidelines. It's something Abel does well, as well; he gives everything a name and a face, and he connects everything he can in ways that make things more interesting (e.g. making Sly Moore a dark side adept, Palpatine's likely mistress and mother of his child), but it's always something that makes rereading an older work more enjoyable, rather than less.
That's what I hope to imitate in my own retcons. E.g. the mummified enthroned Sith Lords in the Great Temple need identifying
, given the role they play in Tales of the Jedi (where the spirit of Freedon Nadd is clearly subservient to them, and they are clearly pulling the strings of the great Sith renaissance in that era) and Empire's End (which is a more ambiguous role where both Palpatine and they mock each other, with them seemingly dismissing Palpatine as a temporary tyrant and suggesting he join them in the darkness beyond all dying, and Palpatine dismissing them as, well, irrelevant and dead), since it's been a ridiculously long time for such important historical figures to go completely unidentified (when we know, per Palpatine's dialogue, that they are the original Dark Jedi outcasts who founded the Sith, yet interestingly, there is more than twelve of them), but I prefer a relationship between the ancient Sith and the modern Sith that is open to interpretation. This is how Legacy nailed it, as well; Bane, Andeddu and Nihilus mocked and owned Krayt (almost as if throwing the fans a bone regarding their concerns about Krayt being a pretender; it was considered a ballsy move for the writers at the time) and Muur later half-killed Krayt, yet Wyyrlok owned Andeddu... It's something that leaves it open for interpretation, where both One Sith and ancient Sith proclaim their dominance and philosophical superiority relative to one another, yet the victor is incredibly unclear, meaning no one (Krayt or the ancient Sith that mock him) upstages or undercuts each other, out-of-universe.
Interestingly, that so-called Shadow Council - as I refer to it - of undead Sith Lords numbers at least fourteen, meaning, although they were Dark Jedi per Palpatine's dialogue, it is not as straightforward as them being the twelve Exiles. How, then, is this possible?
Well, fortunately, we have another war just following the Hundred-Year Darkness which not only explains this, but also accounts for the many, many other individuals who, all else being equal, have to be human, lightsaber-wielding Dark Jedi, yet run us over the number of twelve (particularly many of the characters introduced in TOR, such as Kallig and Ergast): the conflict in which Dreypa and other Exiles left the Stygian Caldera.
We must assume that these Dark Jedi (outside of Dreypa and his cronies, who crashed on Kesh) succeeded in recruiting many more Dark Jedi before pulling back to the Stygian Caldera (which works with Tulak Hord being part of a "Sith Empire" which reaches as far as Yn and Chabosh and engages with the Jedi, and works with Kallig being recruited and trained in a Sith Academy and becoming Hord's top general), and some of these Dark Jedi must have become the undead Sith Lords Palpatine speaks to, explaining why there are more than twelve.

Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu:
*Sigh* I've missed these conversations.

Emperor Dreadwar (replying to Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu):
Lore drops have returned.
The Enchiridion of the §ïţh’ąřï is the foundational block upon which this Temple was built.
It is only appropriate that it be stored here alongside all other pieces of knowledge that might otherwise never meet our gaze.
This work was only made possible by the denizens of House Dreadwar. This is especially the case for Lord Dreadwar, Emperor emeritus and founder of the House.
It is the product of lengthy and exhausting work and it remains open for you all.
May it inspire similar efforts from every Sith carrying the demonym of Dread.
Darr tah.
One Level Higher.
02/01/21: On Fantasy Species and Role-Playing.

The fantastic thing about Star Wars is that it's a universe so vast, spatially and temporally, that it can plausibly contain elements of every genre; indeed, although oft forgotten today, the original Star Wars was, in fact, both marketed and reviewed as a postmodern pastiche of every genre of film Lucas grew up with, a love letter to cinema itself, splicing together Westerns, jidaigeki, space adventure serials, fairy tales, dogfighting movies, and Casablanca to create an intentional collage of genre elements never normally combined.
It's natural, then, to keep that trend going in role-playing. Ever wanted to play or incorporate a character, race or concept from a certain genre, yet found it too far removed from the Star Wars canon? Well, peruse this list I have compiled for you! Chances are, no matter how zany your idea, there is a canonical precedent for it in the Expanded Universe.

  • Mermaids. On the moon of Yavin 8, there is a race of sapient mermaids (essentially identical to the stereotype), believed to be created by Sith alchemy, called Melodies.
  • Vampires. The Anzati are the usual analogue, although they suck out a victim's brain fluids (via the nose) using concealed proboscides, rather than teeth. Visually, they can look like stereotypical modern vampires (such as Sint and Nakia Yoru in the Legacy comics) or something more alien (like the Wraith from Stargate), depending on your needs, and there are even Buffy-style monstrous vampires in the form of the feral Anzati. For a direct vampire analogue (using their fangs to drain victims of life with a bite, capable of mentally dominating victims, killing them and turning them into mindless zombies), look to the energy vampires, typified by Countess Rajine.
  • Werewolves. No exact analogue exists for werewolves. Two humanoid lupine species, wearing two different werewolf prop masks, appeared in the cantina scene in A New Hope; the Shistavanen wolfmen and the Defel. There are also Wyrwulves, the childhood form of the four-armed humanoid Codru-Ji; they turn into humanoids at puberty. The Lahsbee and the Dazouri essentially transform into giant, humanoid-type werewolves when enraged.
  • Zombies. Zombies in Star Wars range from fantasy genre zombies and skeletons (in the form of Korriban zombies) to more biohorror zombies (in the form of the Blackwing zombies), both spreading their blight via their bite, to those that do not (such as Nightsister zombies), and more unique variants (such as the not-actually-undead mutant Rakghouls, the Zelosian corpse-reanimating Jumpers, the Geonosian corpse-reanimating brain worms, the vampire Rajine's drained thralls, Darth Nihilus' drained thralls, Mnggal-Mnggal's fluid-dripping vessels, Frankenstein-style zombies in the reanimation experiments of Doctor Cornelius Evazan, and even Force-wielding zombies raised by the Darkstaff).
  • Liches. If you're looking for Force-using Sith spirits inhabiting and reanimating their own corpses, look to Darth Andeddu, and the Sith Undead from Mysteries of the Sith. If you're looking for the concept of a character being unable to die until their phylactery is destroyed, look again to Darth Andeddu, and other ancient Sith Lords practicing "Transfer Essence (object)," such as Karness Muur and Dathka Graush.
  • Wraiths. Whether called such (like the Sith "wraith" referenced in Knight Errant, the "Dark Side Wraiths" from Challenge 65, and the wraiths accompanying Vitiate in Echoes of Oblivion) or not (like Darth Nihilus, the Dark Underlord, the shadow spirits from Crucible and the dark side spirits on Athiss from Tales of the Jedi Companion), faceless spectres of opaque darkness are quite common in the Expanded Universe. For similar dark side creatures, look into the Space Wraiths and the Force Wraiths.
  • Dragons. The closest analogue to a Game of Thrones-style Western dragon (technically a wyvern, with two legs and two wings) is the Arkanian dragon, a believed-extinct (but rumours of sightings persist) species of giant, semi-sapient, fire-breathing reptile native to a world with strong ancient Sith ties; the dragon-birds of Onderon, the mantigrues of Onderon and the dragons of Sith Lord Malakite are similar. For four-legged dragons, look to the Basiliskans (sapient like Smaug) and the Condor dragons of Endor. For wingless dragons, look to the dark side dragons (Hssiss) of Ambria (created by Sith alchemy), the Kell drakes (often used by Dark Jedi), and the Greater and Canyon Krayt dragons. For wyrms and other serpentine dragons, look to the marsh wyrms, the Sith wyrms, the dragonsnakes and the K'kayeh dragon; for hydras, look to the ancient Sith battle hydras; for element-themed dragons, look to the ice dragons, sea-dragons and spark-dragons; for Eastern dragons, look to the wise Star Dragons (Duinuogwuin) and Kadri'Ra.
  • Centaurs. Look to the Chironians, also called centauriforms or simply centaurs.
  • Satyrs. Upper body of a human, bottom body of a goat? They're called Half-Bothans in the Expanded Universe.
  • Giants. The stereotypical Giant is the Phlog species. A more mythological, Norse variety is the Frost Giant. The extinct Gargantelles are worth looking into as well.
This list is far from complete, but I'll be adding to it in the comments as I have time. Next up will be analogues to historical cultures (e.g. ancient Rome, ancient China, ancient Egypt). Feel free to make requests or inquiries for a canonical basis for your idea; whether it be playing a sapient Velociraptor or simply riding a horse, chances are it's possible in Star Wars!

Hapes: Ladies First
Here is a canonical (Legends) work for the Star Wars Roleplaying Game from the now-defunct Wizards of the Coast website, published in May 2004. "This month's installment offers the popular view of Hapes during the Rebellion era courtesy of the best-selling, though poorly fact-checked, datafile Planet of the Amazons: A True Story of Peril in the Hapes Cluster."

By Cory Herndon
Founded over four thousand millennia before the Battle of Yavin, the Hapes Consortium is a matriarchal society that remained isolated from galactic civilization until Princess Leia Organa and Han Solo helped forge a treaty between the worlds of the Hapes Cluster and the New Republic.
Before this groundbreaking diplomatic event, information about the Hapans and the goings-on behind the Transitory Mists -- a protective field of ionized space -- came from ancient documents or highly sensationalized "true" holofilms and datafiles. Historians knew that the formation of the Hapes Cluster was quite strange, with 63 inhabited worlds in close proximity, and protected from invasion by the ionized particles and roaming stellar bodies of their outer region. The formation is so unusual, and so effective for protecting a small empire, that many speculate it may have been a grand celestial project from pre-Republic history like the Maw or the Corellian system. Surviving Old Republic records also confirmed that the Cluster was settled by Humans when pirates known as the Lorell Raiders found a few safe routes through the Mists and used it as a hideout, kidnapping the most beautiful Human females in the galaxy as mates. After the ancient Jedi defeated the Raiders, the women of Hapes declared a matriarchal monarchy and took charge of the entire cluster.
The surviving Lorell Raiders (soon to take on the moniker "Hapan pirates") were forced to take refuge in the Mists. To this day, Hapans are considered strikingly attractive by most beings, and the pirates often marry Hapan nobles, keeping the isolated gene pool vibrant. Other than that, the only evidence that the Consortium remained strong and in power were tales from survivors of incidents on the Hapan border, many of which were impossible to confirm. For the most part, the galaxy at large simply stayed out of Hapes' way, and vice versa. During the Rebellion Era, a greatly expanded Hapan military at the order of Hapan Queen Mother Ta'a Chume reinforced this noninterference.
Meanwhile, more popular entertainments dating all the way back to the Mandalorian Wars invariably portrayed the women of Hapes as bloodthirsty amazon warriors, lusty and powerful, kidnapping men to satisfy their craven desires and keeping them as cattle, and controlling the worlds of the Consortium with a mighty fleet of Battle Dragons. The last part was right.
One such datafile straddled the factual and the mythical.
Planet of the Amazons: The Tale of the Pirate Ship Mourning Glory by Grov Bricker is indeed the actual memoir of a Corellian pirate captured by the Hapans not long before the destruction of the Death Star. This much was documented in official records. The details described by Bricker in his story, however, reflect the popularity of the "amazon" image of the Hapans, and is filled with lasciviously gratuitous elements that made it the bestselling datafile in the Empire for several months -- though few would admit they actually had a copy.
This week's excerpt describes Captain Bricker's first encounter with the Hapans. The pirate ship
Mourning Glory has been pulled out of hyperspace in the middle of trying a new shortcut through the Inner Rim . . .
Planet: Hapes
Planet Type: Terrestrial
Climate: Temperate
Terrain: Cities, forests, mountains
Atmosphere: Breathable
Gravity: Standard
Diameter: 12,254 km
Length of Day: 22 standard hours
Length of Year: 240 local days
Sentient Species: Humans (Hapans)
Language: Hapan, Basic
Population: 8 billion
Species Mix: Humans (Hapans)
Government: Hereditary Matriarchy
Major Exports: None
Major Imports: Foodstuffs, high technology
Region: Inner Rim (Hapes Cluster Interior Region)
System/Star: Hapes
Planets: Hapes
Type: Terrestrial
Moons: 7
"Just look at that, would you?" I said. Alarm whistles and flashing lights were all over the board, and I quickly shut them down so I could think. I jammed a finger at the holo our droid Arf flashed in the empty air of the cockpit. "All the data this broken-down excuse for an astromech has on Hapes. Home of the Queen Mother. That's where she lives, it says. In the center of the Cluster."
"Right," said Kelan Faal. Arf emitted a gurgling groan that didn't sound very droidlike.
"We're at the edge of the Cluster, just outside the, what did you call it --"
"The Transitory Mists region," Kelan interrupted. My Hapan first mate didn't appear disturbed in the slightest. If anything, he looked amused. The astromech sputtered as the holo went out. Arf rolled over to a dead power socket and vainly attempted to draw power, but it looked like he'd be headed back to the shop soon. Assuming we got out of this alive.
I checked the sensors to make sure my eyes were getting the same information as the ship's working instruments. The Mourning Glory was not a small vessel, easily the match of the average smuggler or another pirate ship, but we were definitely outclassed, to say the least.
"I've taken this shortcut at least a dozen times," Kelan repeated for the fourth time. "We're well clear of any hyperspace interdictor mines that I know about."
"Well, something knocked us out of hyperspace, and took the hyperdrive with it. We're running on batteries. And I haven't taken your shortcut a dozen times. So what I want to know is," I said through clenched teeth, "if we're sectors away from the Queen of the Hapan Amazons, and this shortcut is completely safe, and the coordinates were programmed perfectly, and the Queen Mum never leaves her home base unless Hapes is going to war, why in Palpatine's name are we sitting parked in front of the flagship of the Hapan fleet?"
"That," Kelan said, "I can't tell you. But I think we're going to find out one way or the other."

The Humans of Hapes exhibit mores and values shaped by their matriarchal society, and are physically different from baseline Humans in two major ways: their almost universal physical beauty, and a form of genetic night blindness. Hapans receive a –1 species penalty to all defense, attacks, saves, and skill checks in low light conditions, and –3 in darkness (in addition to any other applicable penalties). They also gain a +2 species bonus to Charisma. Their automatic language is Hapan; they must learn to speak Basic. Otherwise, Hapan characters receive the same bonuses as baseline Humans, including one extra skill point per level and one bonus feat at 1st level.

This week's pair of excerpts from pirate captain Grove Bricker's Rebellion-era memoir Planet of the Amazons: The Tale of the Pirate Ship Mourning Glory describes the Hapan Queen Mother's personal starship, Star Home, from without and within.
The ship ahead of us filled every inch of transparisteel in the cockpit, despite its still-considerable distance from the wounded Mourning Glory. Space was only visible around the edges. What I could see looked like a floating, domed castle sitting improbably in the void of space, backlit by the turbulent swirls of the Transitory Mists. The five huge pylons that curved down from the round central portion's equator gave it the look of a feeding insect. Inside the translucent dome, I could see movement -- people, droids, and small repulsorcraft.
"It's not actually the flagship; that's a common misconception," I barely heard first mate Kelan say. "Star Home is the Queen Mother's personal transport. From what I hear, it could stand up to a Star Destroyer, but not much more than that. It's the size that makes him so imposing."
"Ships aren't 'hims.'"
"Sorry, force of habit," Kelan continued. "It's a Hapan thing. Whatever the case, it's pointless to panic. We're in their tractor beam, the engines are out, the droid's frotzed, and that's that."
"We've got to do something," I said. Though stories of the Hapan amazons and their treatment of "foreign" pirates were legendary, I'd never met anyone who'd been inside personally, except Kelan, who was Hapan himself. I trusted him, though. And he'd assured me that the stories of torture and execution were greatly exaggerated. Usually, they'd just blow intruders out of the sky, or let Kelan's kin in the Mists deal with them.
"Tell the crew to lock down the cargo and get ready to fight," I said. "Just in case."
"If you want to die with the crew," he said. "Not my idea of a good time. Look, Hapans don't usually wantonly murder pirates -- not Hapan pirates anyway. It drains the gene pool. This whole region's littered with Hapan pirate bases."
"Right. Your old stomping grounds. Which, I might remind you, is why I'm worried. We're not flying a Hapan flag of any kind."
"No, but you have a Hapan first mate," Kelan said. "And at the moment, my advice as first mate is this: give me command. Let me talk to them in Hapan. It's our only chance."
"You really think that'll be enough?" I asked. "If they check the ship's registration --"
"Against what?" Kelan replied. "The Hapans and the Empire don't share files."
"Do all Hapan pirates know so much about what the Hapans and the Imperials share?"
"Some do," he answered.
At that moment, the ship lurched as the tractor operators on the massive, two-and-a-half kilometer vessel focused the beam. We picked up inevitable speed as the Glory fell into an artificial gravity well centered on the underbelly of Star Home. As my ship was dragged unwillingly beneath the behemoth, I saw two sliding doors open to reveal what looked like a cavernous hangar bay above. We weren't wriggling out of this one.
"All right, Captain," I said. "Don't screw this up."
"Grov, trust me. While we've got time, you should go tell the crew --"
"Tell them what?" a dusky female voice purred from behind my left shoulder. I shivered as Xanai Sowan's fingers came to rest on my shoulder, then winced as my Twi'lek engineer dug four fingernails into my flesh. Guess I'd be bunking in the cockpit again, or a Hapan brig, if I slept at all, and if Star Home didn't blow us to smithereens, which I had to admit was looking less likely.
Torture, then. And no Twi'lek to keep me company. Great.
Xanai gasped as her attention left my shoulder and she saw the underside of the massive ship. "What the frotz is that, Captain?"
"Come on, Xan," I said, "I'm heading below decks. You can help me give a little speech to the crew. I'll explain everything on the way, but we don't have much time." I threw a jaunty half-salute to Kelan and guided the Twi'lek by the elbow to the ladder leading belowdecks. "But first, don't call me 'Captain' for a while."
The Mourning Glory was soon drawn into the large hangar bay built into the underbelly of Star Home. As a result of communications between the Hapan "Captain" Kelan Faal and an unseen female officer on the mighty castle-ship, a violent standoff was avoided. Most of the crew was confined to the Glory, but Faal and his "first mate" Bricker were taken by a band of amazon warriors and led away, unarmed but unbound. After a less-than-polite description of his captors, their scant garments, and theoretical recreational activities among members of the Hapan military, Bricker continued . . .
As we emerged under the great dome of Star Home, we no longer stood within a starship. This was a small city living under a crystalline night sky, elegantly beautiful in design and utterly bizarre in composition. Buttresses and walls made of what looked like actual stone -- on a spaceship? -- comprised a towering central castle. Smaller stone buildings, and smaller domes, ringed the central structure, visible just over the artificial horizon. Our alluring captors marched Kelan and me up a cobblestone path in silence, striking us roughly when we dared to open our mouths. They took us past an incongruously chaotic flower garden that grew up around a small lake, and into the castle through a small side passage a dozen meters from the obvious main entrance.
We were in near darkness again, and I heard the whine of microelectronics as the Hapan amazons activated night-vision goggles. They led us along for at least a half-kilometer, and then we came to a halt before an arched metal door built into the stone. The door slid aside and I was momentarily blinded, but within a few seconds I could make out the outlines of a grand vaulted hall. A maroon carpet lay before us, ending in a high-backed golden throne upon which sat Ta'a Chume. On either side, two dozen armored Hapan amazons stood at attention, menace in their shapely eyes.
"Welcome, gentlemen," the Queen of the Amazons purred. She was a diamond among jewels -- her physical beauty unmatched, her bearing as cold as ice. A narrow golden band that looked expensive rested atop her brow. The form-fitting gown she wore was made of expensive-looking material that changed colors in the artificial sunlight within the hall, and glimmered around a stunning figure as she stood and inclined her head, briefly, at each of us. The Queen drew aside her translucent veil and continued. "You are now guests of the Hapes Consortium. You will not speak unless spoken to. You will answer all of my questions, and the questions of my subordinates, or you will die. When I learn what I want to know, you may even be allowed to go free. I am the queen mother of the amazons of Hapes, Ta'a Chume, and until I say otherwise, you belong to me."
I opened my mouth to reply, but Kelan clamped a palm over my lips and shook his head.
"I see my Hapan kinsman understands," Ta'a Chume smiled like a predator. "Follow his lead, pirate, and we'll get along famously."


Construction of the massive, ancient vessel Star Home was ordered by the very first Queen Mother, not long after the ancient Mandalorian Wars four thousand years before the rise of Palpatine. Its interior design is based on the Fountain Palace on Hapes, while the exterior resembles a five-legged bug. More floating city than starship, more museum piece than warship, Star Home's unique construction includes Hapan basalt, Charubah steel, and the finest alloys and technology from every world in the Consortium. Powerful shielding maintains structural integrity and protects Star Home from attack. Within the castle structure, thousands of priceless gifts from the 63 worlds of the Hapes Cluster are displayed in an ever-growing exhibit of royal wealth. Potential thieves would have better luck freeing a prisoner from an Imperial battle station than liberating one of the pieces in the Queen Mother's personal collection, but a few have tried and fatally failed.
Despite its ungainly appearance, the vessel is maintained in peak condition and is quite spaceworthy, propelled through hyperspace by four linked Froond-class hyperdrive engines and 24 sublight engines, each of which could propel a Victory-class star destroyer by itself. Six mighty Kerts-Bhrg power generators provide enough energy to keep the ship functioning independently for a century without maintenance.
Star Home usually orbits Hapes (constructed in space, the vessel does not have the necessary plating or shielding for atmospheric reentry), though the Queen Mother occasionally uses it for travel inside the Hapes Cluster. The ship is relatively well-armed considering its age and technically nonmilitary purpose. It also carries five squadrons of modern Hapan My'til fighters, and the Queen Mother's personal shuttle resides in the large hangar bay built into Star Home's belly. At the time of the events depicted in Grov Bricker's memoir, the ship had not been seen by non-Hapans for two millennia.
Craft: Star Home
Class: Space station
Size: Colossal (2,500 meters long)
Hyperdrive: x1
Passengers: 600 (average: nobles and retainers), total capacity 2,000
Cargo Capacity: 7,000 tons
Consumables: 5 years
Cost: Not for sale
Maximum Speed in Space: Cruising (4 squares per action)
Atmospheric Speed: n/a
Crew: 740 (500 engineers and techs, 90 starfighter pilots, 50 command staff, 100 soldiers; skilled +4)
Initiative: –4 (–8 size, +4 crew)
Maneuver: –4 (–8 size, +4 crew)
Defense: 26 (–8 size, +24 armor)
Shield Points: 600 (DR 40)
Hull Points: 900 (DR 15)
Weapon: Laser cannons (20); Fire Arc: turret (mounted on saucer equator, only two may fire on any given heading at once); Attack Bonus: +2 (–8 size, +4 crew, +6 fire control); Damage: 4d10; Range Modifiers: PB –4, S/M +0, L +2.
Weapon: Turbolasers (20); Fire Arc: turret (mounted on saucer equator, only two may fire on any given heading at once); Attack Bonus: +4 (–8 size, +4 crew, +8 fire control); Damage: 5d10; Range Modifiers: PB –6, S/M –2, L +0.
Weapon: Tractor beams (6); Fire Arc: Turret (mounted on saucer equator, only one may fire on any given heading at once); Damage: Special; Range Modifiers: PB –2, S/M +2, L +4.

As described in Grov Bricker's controversial Rebellion-era memoir Planet of the Amazons: The Tale of the Pirate Ship Mourning Glory, Bricker and his captive crew arrived at Hapes after a three-week journey. Though they were allowed a surprising amount of freedom within the crystal domes of the massive castle-ship, the Corellian Bricker and his Hapan first mate Kelan Faal left Star Home in manacles, while the Mourning Glory was impounded and the rest of her crew shipped to a prison moon. Bricker and Faal soon found themselves chained to the stone walls of a torch-lit dungeon, deep beneath the Fountain Palace on Hapes.
I wish I'd seen how that huge ship got through the mined, pirate-ridden Transitory Mists (and I know pirate-ridden, being a pirate myself). If we were going to find the crew and get out of this cursed sector, we'd need a way out.
Not that I really expected us to be going anywhere anytime soon, I didn't even know which moon the crew was taken to. I'm just an optimist by nature. But even an optimist has to recognize when he's bound in cold iron. The blindfold kept me from seeing how we got here, but it was definitely underground, judging from the long 'lift ride. We both hung with our arms above our heads and our feet barely able to touch to floor, chained to the wall. We were in a small 10-by-10-meter room that looked like it was based on the setting of a hundred ancient Coruscanti romance holos. My wrists were starting to chafe, and Kelan Faal was for some reason whistling a jaunty melody.
"Kelan, what are you doing?"
"Whistling, first mate Bricker."
"You can stop that now. It seems our little ruse didn't work."
"Sorry, captain," Kelan said. "I'm not worried, though."
"Not worried?!" I almost screamed, and then lowered my voice. "Not worried? We're in a dungeon, man. When will you start worrying?"
"Just a feeling," Kelan explained. "I've got to trust my own instincts. That's why you hired me, right?"
"Right," I sighed, and pointlessly tried to wriggle free of the iron manacles for the thousandth time. At that moment, a heavy metal door swung inward and bright yellow light flooded our dank chamber. The incongruously modern passageway outside made me wonder if the entire thing was a hallucination. The yellow glow cast the Queen Mother's shapely form in silhouette, and then without a word artificial lights I hadn't seen before raised within the dungeon and I was able to see her clearly.
Ta'a Chume was as cold and beautiful as ever. It was too bad she was probably going to kill me.
To my surprise, she went straight to my Hapan partner without speaking to or even acknowledging my existence. What the frotz?
After examining Kelan Faal like he was going to be the entrée at this evening's royal feast, Ta'a Chume smiled. I really hated when she did that. Kelan simply smiled back. "Yes?" he asked.
Ta'a Chume drew back a hand and slapped him without blinking, never once dropping her smile. "Kelan Faal, is it?"
Kelan's expression grew dark, and the smile left his face. "My name is Kelan Faal. I am a Hapan."
"You are a pirate, as are all that dwell in the Transitory Mists," the Queen replied. She sighed, and her dress shifted in a way that made me temporarily forget that she held me prisoner. "Yet you do not dwell in the Mists anymore, do you? You have chosen to leave the bosom of mother Hapes and strike out in the galaxy."
"What of it?" Kelan asked. I could see he didn't have any better idea where this was going than I did.
"I seek information about one of your . . . kinsman. Another Hapan pirate, who has also left the galaxy behind. My son, Isolder." Ta'a Chume smiled again, and a shiver went down my spine. "Surely, the galaxy is not that large. Surely, you have heard of another Hapan pirate, like yourself, who is not content to stay in the Mists. Surely, you value your own life enough to tell me." She was no longer looking at Kelan like a piece of meat -- he was a handsome fellow, I admit -- but instead almost appeared . . . concerned? Yes, concern showed behind the icy threat of her gaze, but only when she looked at Kelan.
"I don't know what you're talking about," my first mate replied. "I've never heard of another Hapan pirate working the same spacelanes as myself and the captain, here, but surely, it is a much bigger galaxy than you think. You should leave the Cluster once in a while, your majesty."
She stared long and hard into Kelan's eyes, then scowled. "Very well. I will have you executed if you do not reveal his location. You shall spill your blood on Hapan soil, pirate, and the women of Hapes will rejoice, because of the crimes they will be told you have committed. You have until dawn tomorrow to change your mind."
Tired of being ignored, I decided to try to bargain with her. "Surely you don't mean both of us, your majesty? I'm just a simple cargo hauler, no matter what you may have been told. If you release me and my crew and let us go on our way, I assure you I won't rest until I find your son."
For the first time, Ta'a Chume looked at me, and I instantly regretted opening my mouth. She smiled that cold, enigmatic smile again, and my blood turned to ice. "Kelan, needless to say, your captain shall share your fate. Until dawn."
With that, she turned and stalked back through the door, which clanged shut behind her as the lights once again dimmed and plunged us into darkness.
"Kelan, are you sure you don't know who she's talking about?" I asked.
"I'm sure," he said. "But I'm also sure we're going to get out of this. An execution, a public execution, can only happen in front of the Fountain Palace. That means there's still a chance. Just . . . bear with me for the night, Captain. She won't kill us. Trust me."
"Like I have a choice," I muttered. "You picked a hell of a time to start acting like a Corellian, Kelan."


A stunning woman even in maturity, Hapan Queen Mother Ta'a Chume during the Rebellion Era is quite possibly the most beautiful woman on a planet full of beautiful people -- gorgeous, cunning, and manipulative. New Republic scholars believe that Ta'a Chume is not her name but a title (it translates from Hapan as "Queen Mother"). Still, her actual name, whatever it might be, is never spoken on Hapes. When you accept the title of Ta'a Chume, it's for life. Around the time of Episode IV, she is searching for her son Isolder, who left home and turned pirate to hunt down the privateer that killed his brother.
She rarely leaves Hapes, but when she does, Ta'a Chume travels in Star Home, her 2.5-kilometer castle-ship, usually accompanied by a small fleet of support vessels. The encounter described in the first and second installments of this month's "Planet Hoppers" is a rare exception.
Ta'a Chume: Human (Hapan) Female Noble 19;Init +6 (+2 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative); Defense 21 (+9 class, +2 Dex); Spd 10 m; VP/WP 69/11; Atk +14/+9/+4 melee (1d3–1, unarmed strike) or +16/+11/+6 ranged (3d4+2, mastercraft holdout blaster) or +16/+11/+6 ranged (special, gun of command); SQ Bonus class skill (Intimidate), coordinate +4, favor +7, inspire confidence, inspire greatness, resource access; SV Fort +6, Ref +12, Will +15; SZ M; FP 2; DSP 10; Rep +10; Str 9, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 19, Wis 16, Cha 22. Challenge Code H.
Equipment: Comlink, headband of the Chume, expensive clothing, gun of command, holdout blaster, robes of state, veil.
Skills: Appraise +26, Bluff +22, Computer Use +26, Craft (painting) +25, Diplomacy +31, Gather Information +14, Intimidate +32, Knowledge (Hapes) +26, Knowledge (politics) +26, Knowledge (bureaucracy) +26, Read/Write Basic, Read/Write Hapan, Sense Motive +28, Speak Ancient Gallinorian, Speak Basic, Speak Hapan, Speak Huttese, Speak Ryl.
Feats: Fame, Frightful Presence, Headstrong, Improved Initiative, Influence, Lightning Reflexes, Persuasive, Skill Emphasis (Bluff), Skill Emphasis (Diplomacy), Skill Emphasis (Gather Information), Skill Emphasis (Intimidate), Skill Emphasis (Sense Motive), Weapon Group Proficiencies (blaster pistols, simple weapons).

Though portrayed as militaristic and cruel in the best-selling Rebellion Era datafile Planet of the Amazons: The Tale of the Pirate Ship Mourning Glory, the laws and mores of Rebellion-era Hapan society were eventually found to be not unlike most of those in the Old Republic. Slavery was outlawed, pirates and smugglers were prosecuted, and in some cases crimes against the state were punishable by public execution. Unlike the Old Republic, however, "crimes against the state" could be instantly redefined by the state herself -- the Queen Mother.
In our final excerpt from Grov Bricker's memoir, he and his Hapan first mate Kelan Faal face execution unless they reveal the whereabouts of Prince Isolder, the Queen's son. At dawn, unfamiliar amazon guards in dress regalia arrive and lead the chained pirates to an open-air amphitheater near the Fountain Palace...
Having gotten familiar with Star Home, I wasn't surprised to see the elegant design of the Fountain Palace, or the way it fit into the rest of the capital city like a jewel. Its size was another matter -- the version on the Queen's giant ship is built to scale, as it turns out. The real thing must have stood two kilometers away from the amphitheater where Kelan and I awaited our fate, yet it still filled the skyline behind the noisy crowd and cast a dark, gloomy shadow.
The guards hadn't blindfolded us or gagged us, so Kelan had time to explain a public execution on the long walk from the dungeon. He still seemed disturbingly jaunty for a man being lead to his death.
The execution would be carried out by the gun of command, an incredibly rare weapon built on the Consortium world Charubah. According the Kelan, it pretty much turned someone into a zombie, willing to do whatever was commanded of them. The executioner would shoot the condemned man (it was illegal to execute a female on Hapes under any circumstances) with the gun of command, hand him an ordinary blaster, and order him to blow his own head off. It was brutal, but sounded like a pretty effective deterrent to pirates or lawbreakers that dared venture this far into the sector.
We waited almost half an hour on a raised platform in the center of the amphitheater as the audience filed in, some somber, some chatting like it was another day at the Podraces. Finally, a hush fell over the assembly as the Queen's shuttle settled into the dusty ground next to the platform. A ramp lowered and Ta'a Chume descended, accompanied by a dozen dressed-up guards and another dozen robed retainers, all of whom wore hoods. The crowd roared, and the Queen Mother raised a hand to acknowledge her people as the entourage mounted the platform and arranged themselves in a circle around us.
There wasn't a male in the crowd, or among the retainers and guards. Just us two pirates.
"Women of Hapes," Ta'a Chume boomed through a comlink that must have been hidden somewhere on her embroidered robes of state, "We bring before you two men -- pirates -- who have repeatedly violated our borders, taken Hapan women as slaves, and still refuse to accept Hapan justice. We have declared them enemies of the state. You are here to witness their ultimate punishment." She wasn't kidding the day before about the crimes the crowd would be told we'd committed. I'd never run slaves in my life.
"According to our ancient traditions, the condemned have the right to ask twelve noblewomen for mercy. We assure them there is none to be found." At that, the Queen took a step backward as the hooded figures advanced.
I still hadn't seen the executioner, though I wasn't sure how I would recognize him. Or her.
"Ladies," I began, "I wish to, er, beg the mercy of the . . . court?"
"Let me handle this, Captain," Kelan said. He began to speak to them in the mellifluous Hapan language, words as elegant as the palace that loomed on the skyline.
He spoke for fifteen minutes, eloquently, passionately. Not one of the well-shaped figures under the robes moved a muscle. Finally the Queen Mother declared our arbitration period up, and the robed figures returned to their places.
"Very well," Ta'a Chume said. "You have had your last chance. More than one, in fact. We do not relish giving this order, but give it we shall. Kelan Faal, still nothing to say for yourself?"
"This is ridiculous," Kelan replied. I could have punched him. This was his plan? Insulting the Queen Mother?
"So be it," Ta'a Chume said. She nodded to the nearest guard, who I saw was wearing two blasters on her belt. There was the executioner I'd been looking for. One blaster appeared to be gold-plated, the other quite ordinary, even primitive by Imperial standards.
With a grimace she couldn't hide, the warrior unsnapped her holster and drew the golden weapon, aiming it at my first mate. It almost offended me, I have to admit, even under the circumstances. Who was the captain around here, anyway? This entire misadventure had taken a toll on my ego.
"Take aim," Ta'a Chume said.
The crowd went silent. But as the amazon Queen opened her mouth to continue, one of the robed women suddenly threw her hood back and drew a second golden blaster.
Before anyone could react, she tossed it to Kelan, who caught it in two unbound hands. I hadn't been watching Kelan's hands any more than the women on the platform, and he'd somehow unlocked his manacles as he pleaded our case. The woman shouted something to Kelan in Hapan that I didn't understand, but I did recognize one word: "Isolder."
"Thank you, Lady Elliar," Kelan said with a slight bow of the head. The guards, even the one holding a gun on my Hapan friend, were frozen, uncertain.
Ta'a Chume's eyes blazed. "Elliar, you've signed your own death warrant," the Queen Mother growled.
Kelan raised the gun of command and pointed it right at Ta'a Chume's head. He pulled the trigger without a word, and a weird distortion flashed from the muzzle and struck the Queen. Her blazing eyes dilated, and she slumped visibly.
"Shut up, mother," he said, "and order the release of Captain Bricker and the crew of the Mourning Glory. Immediately. After that, why don't you just stare into the sky for awhile?"
In a dazed voice, Ta'a Chume did just that. The guards hesitated for a moment, but at the prodding of Lady Elliar, they hustled over and undid my manacles. It seemed that no one dared contradict the word of the Queen Mother, even when it was obvious they weren't exactly her words.
"Kelan," I said. "What's going on?"
"I'm sorry, Captain," he replied. "I never thought she'd really go through with it. You probably guessed that my name isn't Kelan Faal."
He nodded lamely. "Really."

"Isolder, I presume?"
"I knew those Hapan language tapes would start working eventually. Captain, could you excuse me for a second?"
Kelan -- Isolder -- seized the comlink from his mother's lapel and turned to the assembled crowd. "People of Hapes! The inequities of our society --"
Isolder suddenly stopped and stiffened.
Ta'a Chume had not remained stunned for long. Elliar slumped in a heap on the platform, disabled while I was watching Kelan. How Ta'a Chume had moved so fast, I still don't know. The amazon Queen pressed the guard's gun of command into my first mate's back; her other hand held one sparking, severed end of a cable connected to the PA system. The loudspeakers played only static, and the crowd remained stunned and silent.
"Chume'da," Ta'a Chume said quietly as she pulled the trigger. "Leave this life and come home."
There was nothing I could do. Isolder's eyes glassed over instantly as electromagnetic energy shocked his nervous system, and his jaw went a slack. The comlink slipped from his hands. He turned to Ta'a Chume and nodded. "Mother," he said as he walked to her side.
"Kelan," I said, "Come on, pal. She shook it off. You shake it off." Out of ideas, I snatched up a dropped blaster and aimed it at Ta'a Chume. "Listen, lady --"
The royal guards finally took action. The nearest lunged from the side and grasped me in a velvet bear hug that in any other circumstances might have been extremely pleasant. The blaster dropped again to the cold, polished stone.
"I think not," Ta'a Chume replied, her voice no longer echoing within the amphitheatre but still cold and powerful. "I could still have you executed, but that moment seems to have passed. I could use this weapon to order you to leave and forget all you have seen, but eventually the memories would come back. I could imprison you forever, but frankly, your Corellian stench overwhelms me."
"So . . ." I began.
"So you shall be returned to your ship, pirate, where your crew will be waiting. The Hapes Consortium is not without mercy. Our favored son has returned to us, and you were instrumental, whether you chose to be so or not. By the time the Chume'da recovers, you will be on your way out of the Hapan system. You will meet a Battle Dragon that will escort you through the Transitory Mists, and Hapan eyes will not light on you again. If they do, your lives and your ship are forfeit."
"Your highness," I said, stunned a little bit myself. "My ship needs a first mate. If you are merciful --"
"Do not push your luck, Corellian," Ta'a Chume said. "Guards, take him to the hangar."
As the amazon women dragged me away, I got one last look at my friend Kelan, who stood hovering over the unconscious Lady Elliar. He was staring like an idiot, but a slight frown of concern was etched into his daze. I pitied and envied him at the same time. But mostly, I really wanted to get my hands on a gun of command, and get the frotz off of this planet.
I'm not without diplomatic skills myself. Surely, one of these guards would understand the concept of bargaining.
Royal Armaments Guild of Charubah Gun of Command
The Charubah gun of command uses normal blaster power packs, and can only be found on the black market within the Hapes Consortium. Only the exacting artisans at the Royal Armaments Guild of Charubah hold the secret to constructing these powerful weapons.
Cost: 25,000; Damage: Special; Critical: n/a; Range Increment: 6 m (maximum range); Weight: 8 kg; Stun Fort DC: n/a; Damage Type: Special; Size: medium; Group: Blaster pistols.
Special: The electromagnetic wave fired by a gun of command forces a hit character to make a Will save (DC equal to the total attack roll + 10). On a successful save, the wave stuns the character, who becomes unable to resist simple commands -- even lethal ones or a suicide order -- for 1d6 rounds. On a failed save, the same effect takes hold but lasts for 10d6 rounds. This special damage counts as a Force-based attack for characters with ranks in Force Defense.

15/01/21: Regarding the power of Force Storms.

Lord Sedicious:


These lovely remarks by Sidious enhance the Jedi Path and Book of Sith books.
Sith alchemy also seems more underrated than thought it was. At least, when it comes to biological alteration. Look at this:


A four-armed rancor with some barbed armor.
Borne of Sith alchemy. Mutate Life in our system.
And while I'm grabbing from The Jedi Path, let me show a not often talked about fact:


Some Jedi used Force Storm.

Lord Sedriss Nathemus:
It is curious that Jedi once used the ability. You'd think they would have always classified it as Dark Side.

Lord Drakul Xarxes (replying to Lord Nathemus):
I love when he refers to Combustion as child’s play.

Lord Sedriss Nathemus:
I love everyone's comments in the Books. The Emperor, Luke, Ahsoka, etc.

Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu (replying to Lord Nathemus):
Hail Lord Sedriss.
Hail Lord Xarxes.
Honestly I would probably classify this as more of a continuity error than anything else, particularly when considering Palpatine’s commentary on the topic.
If I had to come up with an explanation, I would probably do some semantics abuse with the book’s wording, isolating the «hyperspace wormhole» component from the cyclone of Force Lightning normally associated with it. If that was the case, this could explain the origin of the far more obscure «Force Travel» ability from Polyhedron 104. If the hyperspace wormhole described above could refer to the rift in space time and the fabric of the Force, as well as the resulting Dark influence on the user, this could explain why it was banned before we ever see one. It’s not a perfect explanation, but it would give some context as to why Palpatine seemingly needed years to learn it, his mastery of it incomplete until the timeframe of the Galactic Civil War.

Lord Sedriss Nathemus:
I can see your explanation being true. Perhaps the Jedi who banned it figured out the differences between the Wormhole variant of Storm and the far less potent Force Travel.

Lord Dreadwar:
Re. the Force Storm and continuity, The Jedi Path does contain a continuity error in describing Force Storm as being "recently" classified as a dark side power, since it is associated with the dark side in the Tales of the Jedi Companion. But the TOTJ Companion does indicate it was used by the ancient Jedi (and Dark Jedi), as well; it is not from the Sith school of techniques.
Force Storm (I refer to the hyperspace wormhole, not other powers bearing the same name, although that caused plenty of confusion for fans and authors alike, too) is simply one of those powers that has drifted from its intentions quite considerably in various directions. Initially, Tom Veitch pitched the power to Lucasfilm as an organic result of Luke and Palpatine's powerful minds meeting and grappling in the Force; he did not intend it to be a power that was solely a creation of Palpatine nor under his full control. The early EU, of course, interpreted Dark Empire in a more literal sense (and I agree with this, as if Veitch had intended something different, he really did not do a good job of it, and indeed wrote many lines of dialogue that gave the opposite impression, such as Palpatine boasting of creating storms and even bragging that he could now control them at will), and early role-playing sourcebooks - like the TOTJ Companion - treated Force Storm as a rare but "mainstream" ability learnable by Jedi and Dark Jedi alike. (TOTJ Companion is presented as an in-universe holocron of Jedi Master Ood Bnar.) Indeed, Freedon Nadd himself knew Force Storm, as he knows all powers within TOTJ Companion. Abel used Force Storm as a means of reconciling contradictions he'd created with the dating of Darth Rivan.
And then no one bothered to really play with Force Storm again, so it was largely left as some unique and extraordinary feat of Palpatine's; I think this was partly because authors drifted away from the Veitch and KJA norms of the '90s (of "excessive" Force power) in light of the relatively pitiful norms of Force usage in the prequel trilogy, so tried to retcon things (e.g. Palpatine transferring his essence prior to the battle of Endor got retconned into being a lie by Leland Chee, but then Abel proceeded to entirely ignore it and hold true to the original intention).
In reality, the most lore-faithful interpretation of Force Storm is that it is not particularly rare and that ancient Jedi and Sith alike knew the technique. This is why I've allowed its usage by high-tier characters in our system, such as Darth Vassago.
Indeed, the prerequisites for learning Force Storm in the TST stats system (Instinctive Astrogation) are taken straight from the TOTJ Companion, as are the probabilities of failure.
(Replying to Lord Sedicious): Oh, yes, Sith alchemy allows for biological alteration (and even raw creation, e.g. Monoliths) on great scales; this is why I'm emphasising the power Mutate Life in the TST system, restoring the old TOTJ/DE era depictions of Sith alchemy. (Veitch invented the concept.)
Chrysalide beasts have armour to a more or less literal extent, for example.

Lord Ānhrā Māhnîu (replying to Lord Dreadwar):
That interview where Tom Veitch tries to explain his "original idea" of Force Storms has always amused me to no end. If I remember correctly it came out in 2016, a full 20 years after the power was first introduced. In the meantime every single piece of lore that could be dug up explicitly contradicted said interpretation, not to mention how it is contradicted both in the comic itself and the audio drama, which in no uncertain terms references multiple Storms across the galaxy. Addressing the rarity (or lack thereof) where the Force Storm ability is concerned, I've honestly never enjoyed the idea that it could be a commonly applied power. Even though I do defend the portrayal of the Force in the original Expanded Universe when compared to the movies, I do think there is such a thing as going too far. Once you have introduced the ability to create space-tearing Force Lightning tornadoes large enough to potentially wipe out entire planets, proliferating and normalizing it is only going to diminish its impact. There comes a point where the escalation of stakes starts to reach a breaking point, which can lead to the story's plot becoming increasingly absurd. It can also create quite a few plot-related problems when outside the strictly enforced regulations of role-playing, as its success will have to depend entirely on what the writer thinks will be best for the progression of the story. Furthermore, having the power of an individual character put on such a high level could end up weakening the entire story, putting the emphasis on the Force over character, worldbuilding etc. This is why I ultimately do accept the far more subdued application of the Force in the movies. Having the Force be something more ethereal and small in scale prevents it from turning into a magical deus ex machine factory. Thus the writer is forced to rely primarily on good old writing involving properly established characters, plots, and settings, as opposed to turning the Force into a list of Dr. Manhattan-style superpowers that can fix any issue the characters run into. I can only say it's a shame that even some official franchise material seems to have missed this memo.

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