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Approved NPC Raekana

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Kaida Taldir

Ice Lady
Character

OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
Intent
: Codify a character established in rp.
Image Credit: Here.
Role: Leader of the Sicarii, an Eldorai cult of assassins and Illyrian zealots.
Permissions: Can use Firemane equipment because I write the company's owner. Permission for all subs made by Laira Darkhold's writer here and here.
Links: Eldorai, To Hell and Back, Yuuzhan Vong, Kaida Taldir, Ashiranism, Siona Vaerum, The Harrowed, Kaeshana, Harbingers of Twilight.

PHYSICAL INFORMATION
Age
: 92
Force Sensitivity: Force Dead
Species
: Eldorai.
Appearance: Raekana is an Eldorai female of average height for her kind. Her expression is sombre, thoughtful and reflective. She has dark hair and eyes, but pale skin. She wears her dark hair long and is fond of headbands. Raekana is not interested in finery, but efficiency. She prefers covering attire that gives her flexibility. She is far from dainty, but graceful in her movements. Raekana is always armed and will carry at least one concealed weapon on her person.

SOCIAL INFORMATION
Name
: Raekana. This is a nome de guerre. Her birth name is Sirave Miayra.
Loyalties: Sicarii, Shadow Knights, Court of the Shadows, Emissaries of Illyria.
Wealth: Raekana is not rich. She has earned money from bounty-hunting and assassination assignments. Moreover, she has loot stashed away, though it is not always easy to convert it into hard currency. However, she has influence due to her role as leader of the Sicarii and her connections to other Illyrian groups. This can allow her to requisition resources.
Notable Possessions: Owns a Class-D Disruptor, a stealth field generator and a Cloak of Nuun. She has a copy of the Gospel of Illyria, an Illyrian holy book. She has an apartment on board the Defiance, the worldship and mobile 'capital' of the Shadow Knights. Her abode is regularly swept for bugs. She carries a BCC BC-11 Comlink for secure communications and a Multi-Weapon for silent assassinations.

One of her possessions is a Sarix, the traditional blade of the Angelii and Eldorai officers. Leaving aside its obvious practicality in combat, carrying what used to be a symbol of the royalists is a way of mocking them. One of her trophies is a mask she took from an Imperial warrior. It looks like this, resembling something a Vader zealot would wear. Another one of her trophies is a single bladed, red crossguard lightsabre. Raekana has not been trained in lightsabre combat and thus does not use it. This is probably for the best since the blade is unstable. She also owns a Ghostsuit, which is helpful for stealthy operations, and carries a
Hold-out Bolter.

Skills: Raekana is an assassin and a survivalist. Rather than confront her enemies directly, she uses stealth, subterfuge and trickery. She is skilled in assassination, sabotage, poison and trained in a variety of ranged and melee weapons. She is good at stealth, sniping, mimicry and martial arts. As her name implies, she is fond of knives. Moreover, she has some skill at piloting. She likes to use darts laced with Malkite Themfar Poison and similar toxins. She is a competent tracker and bounty-hunter.

Raekana had to fend for herself in a harsh, inhospitable environment after Kaeshana had been devastated by the cataclysm. This has made her resourceful. What she could steal or hunt, she had to scavenge or barter. As a result she has good survival abilities. She has some mundane, but vital skills that helped her survive in Kaeshana's post-apocalyptic wasteland. These include living off the land by fishing and hunting, as well as digging a well. She and her followers set up their own underground shelter.

Raekana has conditioned her body to be very resistant to poisons. She has done so by taking poison in small doses for a long time. This does not translate into total immunity, but makes her more resilient. The fact that Eldorai have a secondary liver for processing toxins and an unusual organ near the stomach which seems to purify the blood like the kidneys also helps. On the academic front, she has a good knowledge of Illyrian and Ashiran theology, enabling her to hold her own in the religious disputes the Eldorai are so fond of. Raekana has artistic talent. Indeed, being an artist used to be her job. She has a habit of creating a painting to commemorate important events. Painting relaxes her, and she accepts commissions occasionally.

Personality: Raekana is the leader of the Sicarii, a secretive group of assassins, spies and irregular fighters who worship Illyria, the Eldorai Goddess of Death and the Underworld. Like all members of the sect, she is Force Dead, which is regarded as a blessing from Illyria that liberates her and her fellows from the manipulations of the spirits. Her faith is considered heretical by orthodox Eldorai, for the Book of Light proclaims that Illyria grew haughty and rebelled against her the Great Goddess Ashira. To mock Ashira's creation of the Eldorai, Illyria spawned demons and abominations. After failing to slay Ashira, she was imprisoned in the underworld. Despite being reviled, the Illyrian has spawned many cults, especially among those who rebel against the Eldorai's theocratic, absolute monarchy. Raekana has faith in her deity. Becoming Spiritblind, as the Eldorai call the Force Dead, enabled her to retain her sanity while many others lost it when Kaeshana was pulled into the Netherworld.

Raekana is not her true name, but a nome de guerre. She was born as Sirave Miayra, but does not respond well when people use her birth name. She was an empath and fully exposed to the staggering loss of life caused by Kaeshana's desolation. The ensuing death and destruction caused such a strong psychic wound that the shock would have killed her, if she had not, unconsciously and instinctively, severed her connection to the Force. Now she called herself Raekana, which is a reference to her dagger.

This rebirth is central for Raekana's character. She has seen her homeworld be devastated while the upper classes abandoned it. She watched a once proud civilisation shatter, as warlords and gangs vied for power. She saw slavers and foreign imperialists try to subjugate the ruined world. And she took up arms to fight them. However, she uses stealth, subterfuge and cunning rather than brute force. She is a dagger, not a broadsword.

Raekana has a methodical approach and a strong sense of mission. She is confident, to the point of arrogance. The Eldorai has absolute confidence in her own capabilities and judgment. However, she is quick to recalculate and adjust her approach, rather than stubbornly clinging to a method that had proved inefficient. For instance, she was naturally suspicious of outsiders and reluctant to accept their aid in overcoming the barrier that kept the Forsaken trapped on Kaeshana, but did so regardless when her own methods failed to work. Whenever she has murdered a warlord, slaver, imperialist or collaborator, she has left a calling card, as if daring their allies to pursue her and exact vengeance. Time spent in the underground has made her suspicious and secretive.

But she is patient, and knows when to hold back, analyse a situation and come up with a plan of action. She is a thoughtful, reflective woman. Prior to the cataclysm, Raekana had never left Kaeshana. This changed when the Forsaken were left to fend for themselves, as they had to take to raiding to supplement their scarce resources. But even so her knowledge of the outside Galaxy is limited, though she is working on rectifying this ever since leaving the devastated Eldorai homeworld for good. For all her flaws, she is loyal to her group, and they respond in kind. But she has a strong sense of 'us' versus 'them'.

Fittingly for an assassin, she is very observant and has an eye for detail. However, she also lacks tolerance. Raekana's mannerisms can be described as imperious. Her past and her beliefs have made her suspicious of off-worlders and royalists, especially Angelii. This includes royalists who have defected to the rebellion, as she suspects them of being spies or opportunists. Some have accused her of paranoia, and this undoubtedly has some truth to it, though her stance is not without merit. She displays a warmer, more personable attitude to fellow Illyrian Forsaken. One example is Siona Vaerum, a Harbinger who was part of the Shadow Knight rescue force.

Predictably, she and Kaida Taldir do not get on. Raekana distrusts the former royalist, who was a loyal enforcer of the ancien régime and only recently defected to the rebellion. There was a time when Raekana lapsed in her faith and renounced her goddess because she feared she would be martyred otherwise. This time was an enduring source of shame for her, for she had friends and family who chose to pay the consequences. As a result, many of the hardcore believers rejected her. Though she is a different person now, this period still influences her behaviour.

Raekana is not a social butterfly. However, she has a spark. She has a good understanding of Illyrian and Ashiran theology. She runs her group not just through intimidation and threats, but also charm and respect. She makes a habit of learning as much of others as possible, right down to their personal habits and tastes. She makes an effort to come across as being on top of her brief. She is not above being manipulative in order get to someone on her side.

COMBAT INFORMATION
Weapon of Choice
: Blasters and slugthrowers, as well as sneaky weapons such as garrotes, daggers, darts laced with various forms of poison. She is also fond of employing disruptors.
Combat Function: Raekana is an assassin, bounty-hunter and irregular fighter. She is a scalpel, not a hammer. Rather than confront their enemies directly, she uses stealth, subterfuge and trickery. Given the nature of her work, she stresses initiative, self-reliance and, above all, patience. Raekana can operate alone, but she is also a leader. Thus she supervises teams of Sicarii or leads them in the field.

Moreover, she is Force Dead. Thus she is completely void within the Force. She has no presence within the Force and thus cannot be sensed in it or mentally manipulated. The operative possesses an immunity comparable to that of Vong and their biots, meaning she is unaffected by most Force powers targeted directly against them. Even a normally powerful telekinetic blast that was capable of launching an ordinary opponent off their feet at high speeds simply caused a Yuuzhan Vong either to stumble, or lose balance temporarily. Her Force Dead nature can give her a notable advantage over Force-users in combat. Indeed, she specialises in hunting and killing Force-users.

However, while being void in the Force is a great benefit, it also has all the associated drawbacks as she cannot be aided by the Force either. Moreover, for obscure reasons, Force Dead beings are not immune to Force Lightning and can be indirectly affected by the Force. For instance, a telekinetic push will not do anything, but using telekinesis to lift a boulder and throw it at her obviously will. Raekana has a preference for lightweight armour that allows her to stay mobile and stealthy.

Strengths:

  • Force Dead. Like all Sicarii, Raekana is Force Dead. Thus she is completely void within the Force, cannot be sensed in it and possesses an immunity to direct Force powers comparable to that of Yuuzhan Vong and their biots. Force-Users cannot use their abilities to anticipate her actions or mentally manipulate her.
  • Raekana is a highly skilled stealthy operator and assassin. She is observant, patient and a silent killer, who is skilled in the use of a variety of ranged and melee weapons.
Weaknesses:
  • She is Force-Dead and thus completely void within the Force. While a great benefit, it does have the normal associated downfalls in that she cannot be aided by the Force either. Beneficial techniques such as Battle Meditation, Force Meld and Force Healing will not work on her. Additionally she is not immune to Force Lightning or Force Net, and can be indirectly affected by the Force.
  • Preference for light armour makes her agile and stealthy, but also more vulnerable to heavy attacks.
HISTORICAL INFORMATION

In Eldorai mythology, Illyria is the Goddess of Death, ruling over the hellish underworld. Orthodox Eldorai do not worship the reviled deity. This is because she rebelled against the Great Goddess Ashira, the supreme deity of the Eldorai Pantheon, who is credited with fashioning the first Eldorai from clay, breathing life into them and endowing them with souls. According to Eldorai mythology, she created heaven and earth. Moreover, she hammered the eternal mountains overlooking what would become Santaissa inti plains for her people. However, her daughter Illyria was prideful and envious of the heavenly mother. Determined to surpass the Great Goddess, Illyria utilised dark sorcery to create demons, twisted parodies of Ashira's children. Illyria's children were demonic abominations and endangered Ashira's glorious Creation.

Upon being confronted, Illyria refused to see the error in her ways and beg forgiveness. Instead, she turned on the Eldorai Pantheon, unleashing an army of demons. The conflict between the two is known as the War in Heaven. Angels and the other Eldorai deities rallied around Ashira, who led them into battle against the forces of darkness. While their armies clashed in an epic battle, Ashira and Illyria duelled upon the surface of Kaeshana. Illyria was able to stab and wound Ashira severely. However, though weakened, Ashira cast her down into the underworld.

Then the supreme goddess ascended to heaven. Until this fateful day, the members of the Pantheon had walked the earth, but now the Star Queen and clerics would be needed to communicate with them and guide the faithful. This is how the Ashiran scriptures record events at any rate. While Ashira is associated with light, fire and air, Illyria is the embodiment of darkness. However, because orthodox Eldorai society is built upon the bedrock of crown-temple-nobility, many dissidents and renegades have embraced Illyria, regarding her as a liberator who stood up to the powers that be, who was unjustly vilified.

Queen Tirathana VI, whose own legitimacy was somewhat questionable after deposing the Evora family, made a concerted effort to enforce religious orthodoxy and thus strengthen her claim to the throne, as the queen was not just a temporal ruler, but the Defender of the Faith. The dreaded Investigators of Ashira's Truth were endowed with sweeping powers to root out bastions of heresy and unbelief.

This would have dire consequences for religious nonconformists and nonbelievers. Raekana was one of them. Back then she was called Sirave Miayra, her birth name. She was born in a remote province located in western Kaeshana, far from the gleaming capital of Santaissa. It was ruled by a governor appointed by the Queen, but while the inhabitants paid tithes to the Church and the Crown and provided soldiers for the royal armies, enforcement of the religious laws was lax. It was far from the centre and not the most propserous or resource-rich domain of the Phoenix Crown.

The Eldorai Matriarchy held sway and presided over a highly stratified society. Men had to be subservient to women and do menial jobs, and everyone had to be subservient to the clergy and nobility. The Star Queen ruled as an absolute monarch. Disobedience to her was not just treason, it was heresy, for she was Ashira's emissary and viceroy in the mortal realm. Sirave was not born to a life of privilege. Her parents were poor farmers who owned a small plot of land, and had to pay tithes to the Church. Formally, the land had only been leased to them. The girl grew up poor, but her parents loved her. As she had only one sibling, a brother, the family was very tight-knit. Sirave had a fairly uneventful childhood. Life was defined by toil and she had to help out from an early age, but it was not miserable. Outwardly her family were normal, Goddess-fearing Ashiran peasants.

However, they differed from mainstream society in one crucial respect: they were Illyrians. To them, Illyria was not an arch-traitor or a mother of demons, but a liberator who had stood against the Great Oppressor. Ashira was the goddess of the rich and the powerful, but Illyria of the poor people who chafed under their yoke. They believed in Ashira, but attributed to her all the evils of the world she had created. The supposed Heavenly Mother was an evil being who had created the Eldorai to oppress them.

Indeed, she fed off their devotion to her. Proof of this could be seen in the fact that as Ashira was all-knowing and all-powerful, the only explanation for bad things happening to the innocent was that she wanted it to happen. Illyria had led her rebellion to free the universe from divine tyranny. As punishment she had been banished into a pit, and was only able to help a small number of Eldorai. Her bad reputation was the result of lies spread by heaven.

Sirave was secretly initiated into this faith. Her family and other acolytes of Illyria had to be perform Illyrian rites in secret. At the time there was a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy about the presence of Illyrians in the province. Any overt manifestation of Illyrianism was crushed by the state authorities, but the Cennobite did not bother to look for secret Illyrians. One of Sirave's ancestors was said to have fought for Aedema Cytani, the founder of the Illyrian Heresy, but those days were long past. Her parents were peaceful and did not take part in insurrection. Rather they saw it as their duty to keep the gospel of the Great Deliverer alive. Sirave was raised accordingly. She was educated about the teachings of the sect, but it was also drilled into her skull that she had to keep her true faith secret.

But her parents could only offer her so much, so she was given to the church of the enemy. It was the only way out of poverty. Sirave spent the next years in an institution run by the Church. Under the stern gaze of the priestesses of Ashirah, she had to deny her true self and embrace Ashira. Her tutors were not cruel, for they wanted to turn their pupils into good Ashiran girls. But the temple had its share of fire and brimstone preachers, who threatened those whose devotion was considered insufficient with hellfire.

Moreover, because the Crown wanted more money, the clerics sold indulgences, which promised remission from sin. Sirave, indentured to a cleric to pay for her education, found this absurd. But nonetheless she had to help her patron in this task. Seeing the powers that be exploit the faith of the common people in such a manner made her contemptuous. But Sirave remembered the words of her parents and did well in her studies. Studiousness was next to godliness, after all. She was identified as a Force-User, so she had to undergo training at the Academy of Four Powers. However, though she had empathic talents, her Force-Sensitivity was minor, so she avoided conscription. Sirave displayed artistic talent, which was noted by her teachers, and she was encouraged to pursue it as a career.

The Eldorai Matriarchy was a totalitarian, theocratic monarchy, so art was political as well. Ironically, one of the priestesses who regularly invoked the wrath of Ashira upon the unbelievers was secretly an Illyrian. She identified herself to Sirave by using a secret phrase known only to the acolytes of the Great Deliverer. She supported the girl's artistic talents. At first Sirave created religious-themed paintings. Her patron was an artisan and so Sirave learned how to design stained glass windows and icons that celebrated the glory of Ashiranism.

However, as with many things about her life, this was deceptive. She was actually creating art for her fellow Illyrians, but disguising it as Ashiran. Each piece of art made by her contained little codes and symbols only her fellow believers would recognise. The local Ashiran religious leaders turned a blind eye. Indeed, the Cennobite was so impressed that she picked some of her works for her private gallery in her opulent mansion. For a while, life was good. She was even able to help her family a bit.

However, then things changed in a manner that was beyond her control. For a long time, Kaeshana had been isolated from the rest of the Galaxy. Officially Eldorai were the only intelligent form of life in the universe. All offworlders were ghosts or demons. However, while Kaeshana slept, the rest of the Galaxy had advanced. More and more off-worlders came to Kaeshana. Some came to trade, but others were raiders who attacked settlements and took Eldorai as slaves.

Others tried to meddle in the Eldorai's government. Taenarys Evora, an exiled pretender to the throne, tried to usurp Tirathana VI by hiring an army of foreign mercenaries. Her coup was foiled due to poor planning and treason. Tirathana gave her 'dear cousin' a 'crown of gold' by pouring molten gold over her head and had the mercenaries publicly executed. But a precedent had been set. Though she claimed otherwise, the Star Queen knew that the outsiders were not demons. But their technology was superior to that of the Eldorai. If Kaeshana was opened up, the people might question the true way. So her decision was to isolate Kaeshana. Strict controls would be imposed on foreigners, who would be limited to an isolated district in Santaissa.

The government had to scramble to keep the peace and that meant cracking down on any heresy or dissent so that off-worlders and returning exiles such as Taenerys would find no support. This had dire repercussions for Sirave, her family and people like her. Tirathana's own legitimacy was dubious, as she had come to power through a coup. She tried to put any doubts to rest by being the most orthodox Ashiran Queen. Conveniently one of Taenarys' lieutenants had 'confessed' to being an Illyrian heretic. Moreover, the usurper had enlisted - and shared her bed with - 'foreign devils', which was something only a demon-worshipper would do.

The Investigators of Ashira's Truth launched a crackdown. It was accompanied by a propaganda campaign, accusing Illyrians of murdering Ashiran children in order to use their blood for demonic rituals. Moreover, they were in league with the foreign devils. Sirave tried to keep her head down. For a while, her association with the Cennobite protected her. However, the cleric was removed from office and tried by an Inquisitorial tribunal on account of being too soft. Her replacement was a religious hardliner, who accused the Cennobite and other members of the local clergy of corruption.

They had shielded Illyrian heretics and abused their power to enrich themselves. This was true, from a certain point of view. A young Sahome Tyral, future leader of the Aspirants, was one of the Goddess-fearing Ashiran priestesses brought in to separate the wheat from the chaff. Sirave came under investigation. At first she was able to defend herself. She was well-versed in Ashiran scriptures and used it to refute their accusations. However, she was denounced by a friend. All members of the community had to publicly profess their unwavering loyalty to Ashira and denounce the false goddess. Those who refused were threatened with dire consequences. There was a lot of concern about whether to lapse or stay true and potentially be martyred.

At first Sirave tried to resist, but her family's life was at stake, too. The authorities were exiling and even imprisoning entire families. Her brother was still young, but a careless remark made by him had put him in their crosshairs. Sirave confessed and renounced Illyrianism to save him. She had to publicly renounce her faith and make obeisance. A large group of Illyrians who refused to do so was herded in primitive starships and banished to 'join their demon friends in the stars'. The conditions in the transit camps they were held in before being deported were deplorable. Many did not survive long in space, for the ships were extremely primitive. A group of them was captured by Yuuzhan Vong slavers, who conducted vile experiments of them. The survivors of this tragedy became the Harbingers of Twilight, a vengeful sect of Force-Dead Illyrian raiders and cultists.

Sirave was spared this fate, for she was allowed to remain on Kaeshana. But she had lapsed and betrayed her community. As she saw them being herded like chattel and forced into waggons that would deliver them to the starships, she could not help feel immense guilt. In the eyes of those who had refused to lapse, she was a traitor. Illyrian religious texts that had been in her possession were burnt. She had to light the pyre.

Her younger brother was unable to bear the humiliation. Deciding that martyrdom was preferrable to forsaking his true faith, he ran away and joined a group of Illyrian rebels. Their rising did not last long. He was burnt at the stake. A number of other Illyrians followed him there. Sirave was shaken with guilt. They had died, while she took the 'easy way out'. Regardless, they were gone and she had to live with it. Part of her blamed herself for putting Illyrian symbols in her art. Another part thought she had been a coward for refusing to join the ranks of the martyrs.

Although she had renounced Illyria, she was still not entirely trusted. She and her parents were spared, but Sirave was exiled to another district. It was far away from civilisation and conditions were poor, though bearable. Sirave went back to toiling in the fields and chopping wood. She was able to make some money through embroidery and by selling art. However, she did her best to stick to nonpolitical themes, such as painting landscapes. Sometimes she was able to send some money to her parents, who had been exiled elsewhere. However, more often than not corrupt bureaucrats pocketed it for themselves.

Cut off from the rest of Kaeshana, she seldom received word of outside events. Thus she only learned of Tirathana VI's death months later. By then great changes had taken place on Kaeshana. As is common for an autocracy, the struggle for the throne began while the Queen, nicknamed the crone for her longevity, was still alive. It boiled down a power struggle between the decadent, but comparatively liberal Princess Silaqui and the militaristis, conservative Princess Nalia, the Queen's daughter and niece respectively.

Silaqui's exiled sister Princess Anya, a liberal progressive, returned from exile as an emissary of the Omega Protectorate. After negotiations between the two parties failed, civil war broke out. Siobhan Kerrigan slew Nalia during the melee. With the backing of the Omega Protectorate, Silaqui ascended to the throne and lifted Anya's exile. While no reformer, Silaqui lacked her mother's appetite for religious persecution and wanted to look good in the eyes of her foreign patrons. So she decreed that all but the most notorious political exiles would be allowed to return home.

Sirave was one of them. However, her home town had changed a lot. Tirathana VI might be dead, but her legacy lived on. The local Illyrian community had been deported, banished or martyred. The Ashiran fundamentalists the late Queen had promoted were still in power. Returning exiles found that they were strangers. Moreover, the apparatus of autocracy was still intact. Sirave found it difficult to get a place to live, let alone a job. Her time in exile was a black mark against her. The constabulary answered to the local oligarchs, and so she had to deal with harassment. Some nonconformists left Kaeshana, others turned to armed resistance, which often spiralled into terrorism.

A few sought peaceful reform, believing that Kaeshana's foreign overlords would help them. Sirave became an activist. She could have kept her head down, but regarded such behaviour as shameful. However, her former friends distrusted her. She was not accepted into an Illyrian congregation because she had lapsed. Undaunted, she publicly renounced her conversion, and wrote about her experiences under the yoke of the 'tyrant', as well as the murder of her brother.

Sirave had to deal with death threats. Intruders broke into and ransacked her apartment. The constabulary ignored this, especially after she wrote about police brutality and demanded that the government not just pardon the exiles, but clear them of all charges. She was also attacked by thugs. Ironically, some Illyrians suspected her of being a provocateur. At the time Illyrianism was still illegal, though tolerated provided the 'demon-worshippers' did not make loud noise about it.

It did not help that there were radical Illyrian groups that pursued a campaign of terrorism. Hard core believers would not let her back into the community. Her treatment had given her a healthy dislike of the Angelii, the government and even the mass of people who took the expedient path. The latter was probably also a form of self-loathing. This also drove her to perform criminal acts.

An Ashiran sect had built a shrine upon the grounds where Sirave's brother and other heretics had been martyred. Sirave and other Illyrians wanted to claim this space to commemorate the fallen, and build their own place of worship. Sirave marched at the head of the protest that tried to claim the shrine. They clashed with an Ashiran procession, and things turned violent, triggering a riot. As Sirave stood upon the 'hallowed ground', she denounced the Church of Ashira. At the same time, her empathic talents were triggered. She soaked up all emotion from the raging throng of people annd remembered the rage and the guilt she felt while her brother burnt. This drove her to violence. Her empathy might have also spilled over to the others. Though injured by a vibroblade, she and others threw petrol bombs at the shrine. The town was rocked with violence.

The situation had deteriorated to the point that the central government had to intervene. In the meantime, Silaqui had been murdered by treasonous Angelii who believed she had chosen lukre over the Goddess. Their coup was thwarted by Firemane and loyalist Eldorai forces. Anya Venari became Queen, assuming the regnal name Tirathana VII. Now she had to deal with the sectarian strife.

Martial law was declared, and the army was deployed to take over from the local militia. Sirave was imprisoned as one of the instigators of the riot. Though pressured by conservatives, the new Queen had spent too much time abroad to be in the mood to burn heretics. Her verdict was to carry out a partition. The Illyrians would be made an allowed religion, and get moved to a new home. They were sent away to a sparsely populated part of Kaeshana that could use economic development.

It left Sirave with a bitter taste in her mouth. They would be free from the Ashirans, but still have to kowtow to a government run by them. Conditions in the new colony were far from ideal, but the members of the sect were an industrious lot. Ironically, an Illyrian zealot tried to murder Sirave due to seeing her as not being radical enough. The assassin may have also hoped to instigate further tension, but Sirave survived.

Refusing to be beaten down further, she started preaching, though she had not been ordained and the hard core of the Illyrians still saw her as tainted due to her lapse. Others believes she had redeemed herself and they listened to her words. She became a kind of teacher, trying to keep the flame alive. The community struggled, particularly during the harsh winter. But it managed to survive and even make a profit. They were industrious, which attracted some offworlders. Sirave had never left Kaeshana and disliked Firemane, but was ready to deal with the foreign traders and smugglers. Her empathic talents turned out to be useful, as they helped her discern hidden motivations. She also used them to unmask a mole the Investigators had snuck into the settlement. This won her some trust, but there was still a ceiling.

Her resentment of the royalists remained, though she tried to be productive about it. But the community and Kaeshana as a whole was hit by a series of calamities. First, the Netherworld Event sent the Galaxy spiralling into chaos. Turmoil broke out on Kaeshana, which was hit by a wave of sectarian violence. Taking up arms herself despite her inexperience, Sirave joined the local militia to protect the settlement. Her foes were not just Ashiran fanatics, but also Illyrian zealots who believed this was a sign from the Great Deliverer that the end of days was at hand and that this was the time to rise up.

Sirave had no love for the government, but she rightly feared retaliation. She showed strong nerves, and emerged as a community leader of sorts. The Eldorai Matriarchy managed to stabilise itself and contributed troops to aid the crumbling Protectorate. They fought gallantly at Eriadu and Sullust, but the Protectorate's decline could not be halted and it dissolved. As if this was not enough, the Eldorai leaders learned that an enormous asteroid was on collision course with Kaeshana and would impact in about a year. It was too big for their warships to destroy.

Firemane could not stop it either, though they could mitigate the damage and evacuate most Eldorai - but not all. Some would have to be left behind. At first the government tried to keep the coming apocalypse secret to prevent a mass panic. This would allow it to make preparations for a massive exodus. However, inevitably the news leaked to the public. The much-vaunted obedience of the Eldorai broke down, and it became a naked struggle for survival. Desperate elves tried to get off the planet. Fanatical cults preached that this was the Goddess' punishment for the Eldorai turning away from the path of their foremothers.

A lottery system combined with a pick of the best scientists and vital trades had been set aside to be evacuated. The rest would have to try and get aboard any ships if they could. Understandably, order had started to collapse. The famed obedience and faith of the Eldorai people was evaporating like summer mist, and any ship which landed without protection was liable to be hijacked by desperate people.

As doom approached more and more people turned to apocalyptic cults and religious bands. Perhaps if they prayed to the Great Goddess Ashira the planet would be spared. Perhaps if they purged the outsiders and Kar’zun and Illyrians who had brought this catastrophe about (or so they felt) the Goddess would spare them. The cities became battlegrounds between those who were slated to be saved and those who would do anything for a silver ticket of embarkation. Sirave was not among those who received the cherished ticket. Dissidents were not among those who were prioritised. She had to toughen up and learn how to fight in earnest.

Feeling abandoned, she and her community took up arms. They raided the arsenals of retreating garrisons and clashed with Ashiran groups, burning down a church. A group of foreigners, who purported to be part of a humanitarian group, offered them transport off-world. However, Sirave grew suspicious. Her Force talents were minor, but she was an empath and felt that there was no emotion inside them.

She was proved right, for the supposed benefactors were genocidal HRDs who were looking for new processing materiel. Sirave survived the fight with them when the droids tried to take the organics captive by force. She and a few survivors survived and hid in the mountains. Fortunately, they were far from the impact zone. Most of the Eldorai were evacuated before their world was devastated by an enormous asteroid, but some had to be left behind. They called themselves the Forsaken and cursed those who had gotten away. Due to her empathy, Sirave was fully exposed to the staggering loss of life caused by the cataclysm. The ensuing death and destruction caused such a strong psychic wound that the shock would have killed her, if she had not, unconsciously and instinctively, severed her connection to the Force. However, her condition went beyond merely cutting her connection, for she became dead to the Force.

She was incapable of sensing it or using it to shape the world around her. However, she herself had become a void in the Force. Confused and traumatised by what she had witnessed, she became an exile and withdrew from her people. For a while, she wandered, but in time she took up the blade. Kaeshana had collapsed into lawlessness. Warfare between warlords, religious sects and gangs was endemic. The few survivors had banded together in refugee camps or nomadic convoys. Food was scarce, and the weak were prey to those in power. Many of the cities of old lay in ruins. She soon realised that she could not stand by idly.

Sirave might have been delirious from hunger and sickness, or perhaps there was something more to it. Either way she came to believe that Illyria had a special purpose for her. It was an awakening experience for her when she was assailed by bandits. They had the Force, but it turned out that many of their Sciiac abilities could not affect her. As she took up the knife and ended her attackers, Sirave realised what Illyria's purpose for her was. From now on she called herself Raekana. She came to believe that the Spiritblind she had become was a sign from Illyria that the time to lead her people to salvation had come. For a while she attached herself to a group of scavengers and refugees. They found her odd, to say the least, but she won their respect through her fierceness in combat.

Raekana started gathering a small band together of loyal followers. Then she carved out a little area in the anarchy. For a while they occupied an old Ashiran shrine in the mountains. Once it had been a sacred place for the Kar'zun, before Ariane's army had claimed and 'cleansed' it. Ashira, in Raekana's view, had forsaken them, so it was only fitting to claim the sacred space in the name of Illyria. Raekana was new to leading a band of fighters, but she was quick to learn and led by example. Some of her first followers were surviving members of her old congregation, others refugees they found on the way or captives they freed.

They swore a blood oath to each other and Illyria. They would fight the warlords, slavers and foreign collaborators. Whenever Raekana sneaked into their homes to punish them, she left a calling card, as if daring them to pursue her. Her followers called themselves the Sicarii. Their base in the mountains gave them a highly defensible locations. Raekana brutally punished Sicarii who abused the common people, and so the locals supported them, warning them when enemies approached their camp. Indeed, she became a bit of a folk heroine, leading daring raids against Archangel HRDs and raiders.

Her test came when the Redemptionists, a radical Ashiran faction, laid siege to her mountain stronghold. The Redemptionists believed that Kaeshana must be redeemed through blood. They had managed to get weapons the offworlders or the Eldorai military had left behind to work again, including a few artillery pieces. The enemy they faced drove Raekana even more into being a holy warrior dedicated to overthrowing the Queen. The Sicarii were unable to match them in direct combat, so Raekana and her followers used guerrilla tactics to stall, harass and terrorise them.

Taking advantage of the terrain, they used snipers, traps and explosives to whittle down enemy numbers. They also poisoned nearby water supplies. The Redemptionists had many Sciians in their ranks, but Raekana was Spiritblind. At one point, she led a daring raid during night time, sneaking into the enemy camp to murder some of their officers and sabotage some of their artillery. Raekana left a note attached to a poisoned dagger embedded in the skull of an Ashiran war priestess. When the invaders tunnelled under the fortress, the Sicarii pumped smoke into the tunnels to suffocate them.

However, the outnumbered Sicarii had to fight tooth and nail. Finally, only a few of them were left. They repulsed one last assault on the fortress. With their ammunition all but spent, the Sicarii snuck out, employing deception to convince the enemy they were still there. They left some 'surprises' behind. Eluding their pursuers, the Sicarii bands regrouped in the icy wastes. Raekana made a painting celebrating their success. Teir tenacity had not gone unnoticed. The Harbingers of Twilight had returned to Kaeshana to aid their people. They dispatched scouts to look for her and bring her into the folld. One of them was Siona Vaerum. Like Raekana, the Harbingers were Spiritblind.

What she learned from them furthered her belief her that condition was a gift bestowed upon her by Illyria. When the Illyrians who believed that being Force Dead was a blessing from their goddess formed the Emissaries of Illyria, Raekena joined them. However, there was a schism in the Illyrian movement. Those who rejected the idea that they could reach the goddess by becoming Force Dead formed a counter-movement, which sought to commune with her through the dark side. Eldorai, no matter what their religion is, are very fond of schisms. Being part of the Shadow Knight coalition was uncomfortable for Raekana, for it also included the Aspirants, Ashiran reformists led by Sahome Tyral. It was very much an alliance of necessity neither side wanted to last. So she kept her distance and accepted contracts from the Shadows. She would eventually make good on her warning and poison the Redemptionists' 'commander of the faithful'.

To raise funds, the Sicarii acquired a spaceship and began to operate outside of Kaeshana, accepting bounties and assassination contracts. Raekana was very ignorant about the outside Galaxy, but learned from smugglers as well as Eldorai exodites who had returned to Kaeshana to help their people. These were desperate times, so she and her followers were not particularly picky about who they worked for, though they would not exploit their own people. They gained a reputation for their professionalism, but also their ruthlessness.

During a mission offworld, Raekana crossed path with a Dark Master called Darth Verrat. This Sith Lady tried to manipulate her and her followers by offering to restore her connection to the Force. Raekana had learned the value of deception, so she pretended to indulge the arrogant Sorceress. Then she ambushed and murdered her, using poison, a hold-out bolter and a black market disruptor. Wanting nothing to do with the dark sorceress' 'poison', Raekana tossed her artefacts into a black hole.

The Shadows backed their estranged cousins as well as Firemane and the Alliance against the First Order during the Battle of Kaeshana. Raekana was deeply suspicious of her people's estranged cousins, though she fought nonetheless. Her Sicarii were among the Eldorai rebels who fought in the storm-wracked ruins of Santaissa, where the First Order had crucified people. However, she took care to preserve their strength. Her caution seemed to be validated when the Alliance was forced to withdraw. She and her closest associates were among the Shadows who stayed behind on the planet to continue the struggle against what they saw as a foreign invader. Amidst dwindling supplies, they fought a partisan campaign from the mountains. Raekana was ruthless in dealing with enemy soldiers as well as native collaborators.

The Sicarii's partisan campaign came to an end when one day Kaeshana was dragged through the Netherworld by a warp storm. The planet had already been devastated by the asteroid collision, but this cataclysmic event turned the planet into a haunted, twisted hellscape. Raekana and her surviving followers were among those few who were still on the planet when this happened and survived. Her Force Dead nature made her able to avoid many of the deceptions and tricks of the Nether. Thus she was not haunted by the spirits and illusions, but being trapped still took a toll on her. Exposure to the Nether caused several of her remaining followers to undergo the same transformation. She became a prophetess to some of the survivors and organised them to protect themselves against the terrors of the warp.

She also had contact with the Harrowed, a mixed group of Eldorai and Kar'zun who had banded together for mutual survival. When Kaeshana emerged from the warp, the few survivors found themselves on the other side of the Galaxy. As if that was not enough, the time the planet had spent in hell had created a disruption field, which caused ships that tried to take off or approach the planet to crash. Raekana and her followers were able to locate the source of the disruption field, an anomaly, and set off to try and pierce the barrier. What they found was an anomaly; a curtain of red, a dome of crimson surrounding a darkening void. The heart of the anomaly was a pure pierc eof Nether energy, which should not exist inside the realspace of this galaxy. Therefore, the Force had formed a barrier around it. However, this in turn had caused an opposing barrier of Force null to form.

Thus the barrier was composed of three layers, and the party required the three opposite to penetrate through: A Force-User, a Force Dead being and a Non-Force-User. This meant the Sicarii could not penetrate it on their own. While Raekana and her followers studied the barrier, the Shadow Knight task force led by Kaida Taldir showed up. They were accompanied by Morwen's Hellbreakers and the Harrowed.

Raekana was very distrustful of the newcomers, as they were led by a former Angelii. Ignoring Kaida, whom she rejected as a royalist lackey, she conversed with Siona, who identified herself as a fellow acolyte of Illyria. Swayed by this, Raekana agreed to cooperate. The party was able to overcome the barrier by working together. Much to Raekana's amusement, Kaida lost her Sciia and her companion Eyrecae Alzari became Spiritblind. In any event, the Shadows were able to dispatch a rescue fleet to evacuate the survivors of the Kaeshana Conundrum. They were brough to the Defiance, the Shadow Knights' worldship. There Raekana soon got involved in Shadow Knight politics.
 
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