- Intent: A compilation resource bridging IC threads with established faction practices in order to codify the board lore concerning the Witches of Ryloth into an introductory resource for new writers who may be unfamiliar with the unique history behind this Chaos interpretation of the Witches of Dathomir.
- Image Credit:
- Canon: Witches of Dathomir
- Permissions: N/A
- Links (Development Threads):
- Mandragora [CIS]
- Return to the Dead | Mandragora
- Unity Among Shadows
- Degrees of Darkness
- A Witching Hour
- Devotion. Bravery. Sacrifice [Knights Obsidian]
- A Tome Made of Human Flesh
- Proof of Their Fall
- The Talay Incident
- Welcome Darkness
- The King and the Witch
- Eater of Worlds | The Confederacy
- The Witch's Consultation
- Set Upon Dark Shores
- Mother, Sweet Mother [CIS]
- Bright Lights, Bigger City
- [CIS] Burn It With Fire (Mandragora)
- Sworn Oath of Samhain (Knights Obsidian/Mandragora)
- Limited by Preconceptions
- Bastion | Knights Obsidian
- Links (Locations):
- Links (Artifacts):
- Religion Name: Mandragora (Witches of Ryloth)
- Religion Type: Dualtheist/Nature-Based
- Influence: Interplanetary
- Influence Area: The southern galactic systems within the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The cultural capital of the Mandragora is Ryloth, where its primary temple is located. Other significant areas of concentration include Golbah City on Geonosis and Shaol'mara on Talay.
- Symbol: The icon of the Mandragora was styled along traditional Dathomirian mystic symbolism, representing the clans and covens that comprised the Witches of Ryloth.
- Description: The Mandragora are a modernist interpretation of the ancient Dathomiri cultural traditions. Predominantly centered on the planet Ryloth, the religious works of the Mandragora continued the Nightsister rejection of the Force. Instead, the Madragora believed that power stemmed from the conflict between two deities -- the Winged Goddess and the Fanged God -- beneath which existed a spirit realm occupied by avatars that represented different flora and fauna spirits present in the natural world. What the Jedi and the Sith interpreted as the Force was judged by the Mandragora as merely being the evidence of the presence and power of the spirits.
- Founder: Allya
- Membership: Most commonly, people are born into membership through hereditary connection to the Dathomirian culture. This group is predominantly composed of Nightsisters and Nightbrothers. Those who join from outside the Dathomirian bloodlines are still expected to respect the traditions of the Dathomiri, and typically join through some connection with a clan or coven. Ultimately, it is the individual faith in the spirits that marks one as an adherent of the Mandragora, typically through a pact with one of the three familiar spirits native to Ryloth; Jart, Doashim, or Lylek. This pact is forged upon first communion with the Book of Power.
- Sacred: The core, sacrosanct principles of the Mandragora concern belief the Spirit Realm and the Twin Deities of Light and Dark. This shamanistic view denied the existence of the Force, maintaining that what others referred to was merely the works of the spirits -- the evidence of things unseen. Because of this, the Mandragora held neither Light nor Dark as sacred, but rather sought equilibrium between the two in order to maintain natural harmony.
- Dogma: Intertwined with the culture of the Dathomirians, the tenants and beliefs of the Mandragora included both spiritual and secular rules for interacting with both the spirits and society.
- The Force does not exist. The Force is a lie perpetuated by those who see only the effect and think themselves the cause. It is the evidence of things unseen, the works of the spirits and familiars. Their power flows from the immaculate form of the Winged Goddess and the terrible might of the Fanged God. Two there are, Light and Dark. One must never be more than the other. Two there are and two there shall be, maintained in harmony. For nature abhors a vacuum, and we dare not spur the spirits to take action. Disturb the balance at your peril, for the spirits will act to correct it.
- Rule of the Daughters of Allya. Beware the promises of men. Mankind cannot be trusted with power. Teach your daughters, train your sons. Each has their usefulness. Both daughters and sons are the warriors who embody the will of the Mandragora, but it is the Daughters of Allya who lead it.
- Pact of Ryloth. The Mandragora believe that the first communion with the Book of Power forges a connection between the witch and one of the spirits of Ryloth; traditionally Doashim, Jart, or Lylek. This pact manifests itself differently with each individual, though shares some common tenants:
- Doashim is the pact of the warrior. This most often presents itself as a brand upon the body. Those Mandragora with the mark of Doashim upon them are fearsome combatants. They demonstrate an affinity for the power of Force Body, but may succumb to a berserker rage when doing so.
- Jart is the pact of the seer. This most often presents itself as an otherworldly tattoo upon the body. Those Mandragora with the mark of Jart upon them are shamans and sages. They demonstrate an affinity for Telepathy, but may suffer headaches from use of this power.
- Lylek is the pact of the shadow. This most often presents itself as scarification upon the body. Those Mandragora with the mark of Lylek upon them were fierce hunters. They demonstrate an affinity for Force Stealth, but may suffer paralysis from its use.
- Reputation: Mixed. On a secular level, the gender bias exhuded by the Mandragora clashed with many culture's beliefs in gender equality. Additionally, the rejection of the Force and belief in the spirits was often viewed as backwater shamanism by the Force Users of the greater galactic community.
- Within the Confederacy the Mandragora were integrated as a third division within the paramilitary organization of the Knights Obsidian, the Force Order that served the Vicelord directly. In this capacity, the Mandragora were viewed as the spiritual sect of the Knights, as opposed to the martial Wardens or the inquisitor-focused Pathfinders. Because of the spiritual nature of their beliefs, the Mandragora were often not well understood by their secular counterparts in the Knighthood but were respected for their unique perspective.
- Among the Jedi the Witches of Ryloth were seen as an oddity, almost primitive in the shamanistic interpretation of the Force. The gray nature of the Mandragora was of concern, as the Witches of Ryloth viewed the Dark Side of the Force (Fanged God) as having equal legitimacy as that of the Light. Despite this, the Mandragora generally maintained good relations with many of the Jedi that were active in the mid/late 850s ABY.
- Among the Sith the Witches were generally viewed as both primitive and mistaken in belief. The Allyan tenant of maintaining harmony was seen as a shackle that limited the Mandragora, preventing them from achieving real power; generally interpreted as being the domain of the Dark Side of the Force.
Various NPCs and PCs.
Player characters associated with the Mandragora include, but are not limited to:
Vytal Noctura , Nightmother of the Mandragora (current)
Katrine Van-Derveld , Nightmother of the Mandragora (former)
Muad Dib , the Shaman of Doashim
As a denomination or off-shoot from the main Dathomirian religion, the Mandragora has its roots in the Clone Wars. During the last days of the Old Republic, the planet Dathomir was subject to a number of assaults committed by the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The increasing acts of aggression and hostility triggered several departures from among the Nightbrothers and Nightsisters, who struggled to maintain their simple and ritualistic lifestyle among the wider galaxy. When the Nightsister Clan was nearly eradicated by the Confederates, the news prompted many of the wandering ex-patriots to seek shadowports in which to maintain a low profile for themselves.
One such coven established itself on Ryloth, maintaining the traditions of Dathomir. Between 19 BBY and 424 ABY, this coven established customs and traditions that were unique to it, with the first formal writing on this separate dogmatic tradition being the recording of the Book of Power, though the exact date of authorship is unknown. By the time of the Gulag Plague, there were several Mandragora spiritual texts that were based on the Book of Power rather than the preceding Dathomirian religious body, such as the Book of Briar. Additionally, by 428 ABY, the Witches of Ryloth had spread beyond that singular world and established off-shoot covens on worlds such as Talay, where the Mistwalker Clan was established at Shaol'mara.
Many of these covens of Mandragora were decimated as a result of the Gulag Plague and the resulting Four Hundred Years of Darkness caused the Witches of Ryloth to seemingly become extinct and forgotten by the galaxy at large, maintained only by small pockets of faithful -- such as Shaol'mara on Talay -- that were cut off from the galaxy writ large.
By 835 ABY, the return of extragalactic politics to the planet Ryloth prompted a religious renaissance for the Witches of Ryloth, when slaves uncovered a copy of the Book of Power. No longer was the Mandragora practiced by Dathomirians, but knowledge of the faith passed now into a new congregation that was majority off-worlder. As the worlds of the Southern Galactic Systems were reconnected, this fledgling Mandragora renaissance was able to connect with the coven at Talay to discover more of its roots, as well as establish new covens at planets such as Geonosis.
By 850 ABY, the Mandragora had become closely aligned with the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Originally operating alongside the Knights Obsidian, by 858 ABY the two groups had been merged into a single, secular agency of the government -- with the Witches of Ryloth serving as the spiritual wardens for the Grey Force Order that served the Vicelord. Because of this, while the spiritual home for the Mandragora was the planet Ryloth, many Mandragora operated from Knights Obsidian bases on Geonosis and other Confederate worlds.