OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: Flesh out the Shadow Knights and Eldorai lore.
- Image Credit: Here. By Traucmahr. Entry for the Zelda Breath of the Wild French contest.
- Role: Theologian, cleric, seminal figure in the Aspirant Reformation. Sahome is a religious leader for a church of Ashirans who have broken away from the Eldorai Matriarchy and the orthodox church, pursuing what they believe to be a purer way of life. In that regard, she acts as a foil towards Kaida Taldir and Vaena Askari. The former is a rebel, too, but a radical atheist, while the latter is a devout Ashiran who is trying to reform the system from within. The submission is inspired by the lives of Martin Luther, Calvin and other Reformation figures, though the story diverges since the Eldorai Matriarchy isn't the Holy Roman Empire and this isn't 16th century Europe.
- Links: Kaeshana, Church of Ashira.
- Age: 102
- Force Sensitivity: Knight
- Species: Eldorai
- Appearance: Classical Eldorai features. She is of average height, has dark hair, bright, green eyes and pointed ears. There is a scar on her right cheek, inflicted during her time in prison. Sahome favours modest, covering attire.
- Name: Sahome Tyral
- Loyalties: Eldorai, Shadow Knights
- Wealth: Low, unlike many of her former sisters Sahome lives modestly and is generous with her wealth.
- 'Copies of her 59 theses', which she may have nailed to a cathedral door.
- Force imbued blade
- Heavily annotated copy of 'Liber Ashira' - the Ashiran holy book.
- Cleanse Mind
- Force Healing
- Force Valour
- Force Vision
Personality: Believer. That is a good word to describe Sahome. Or at least one to start with. Sahome is someone who long searched for a deeper meaning to life. An independent-minded woman who strayed from the expectations of her family, she believed she found this meaning by dedicating herself to the faith. However, she was exposed to the corrupt practices of the Ashiran Church.
Rather than turn away, she strove to reform it, but was betrayed and exiled by reactionary forces. The reformer became an outcast and eventually a rebel whose actions ushered in the foundation of a new church that stands in opposition to the orthodox Ashiran clergy. She now sees that the orthodox church and the crown are shackles on the true belief of Ashira. Justification by scripture alone is central to her beliefs. To return to the true ways, the Eldorai must cast down the flummery and trappings of the old church. Each sister can seek the divine in her own way and communicate with the Goddess directly, rather than requiring the Star Queen to serve as an intermeditary between the profane and the holy.
Sahome is an extremely stubborn woman, especially when matters of the faith are concerned. She is an accomplished orator, theological and legal thinker. Her oratory skills and relentless pursuit of what she considers to be right have gained her many followers. She has the ability to instill great fervour and devotion in her disciples. Her conviction makes her remarkably strong-willed and extremely resistant to mental manipulation or domination. Yet she is not free of self-doubt. For in a way her actions accomplished the opposite of what she intended to do. She wanted to reform the church, but in actual fact contributed to a new schism. This weighs heavily on her and is something she broods on a great deal. These days, she lives and preaches among the Shadow Knights, a renegade movement composed of revolutionaries and exiles that have split off from the Eldorai Matriarchy. While many of the Shadows are still Ashiran believers, others are atheists or Illyrians. Sahome's relations with the last two are obviously extremely poor, for she holds both in disdain. As a young priestess, Sahome was a monarchist who upheld the authority of the Crown. These days she is disillusioned and has promoted republican views. However, being an Eldorai she still believes in a hierarchy and is thus suspicious of democracy. Her political views are a lot closer to oligarchy.
Sahome dresses modestly and has a frugal life style. This is in stark contrast to the high-ranking clerics of the establishment. However, her life does not begin an end with with prayer, though it is obviously a big part of it. She is an accomplished composer and hymnodist, authoring hymns such as 'A Mighty Fortress Is Our Goddess'. She's also quite good at playing the waldzither. Despite technically being a renegade, Sahome corresponds with Vaena Cadalthor, known to her close friends as Vaena Askari. The two became acquainted during the Netherworld event. After Vaena was unexpected ennobled as Duchess of House Cadalthor, Sahome sent her a message urging her to take up Ashira's sword and pursue the cause of righteousness. It is probably for the best that Sahome doesn't know about Vaena's relationship with a Force Dead Knight.
- Weapon of Choice: The Force, Force imbued blade. Sometimes a blaster pistol.
Combat Function: Sahome's primary offensive power is pyromancy. With this power she can summon flames, heat objects by touch, burn opponents and cook dinner without an oven. She can also summon blasts of bright light to blind opponents and dissipate or absorb concentrated heat to protect herself. However, Sahome performs better in a support role than in direct combat. She is a cleric, not a soldier. Her role is to guide and inspire. Force Valour enables her to boost her allies, while she can use her healing skills to aid the wounded.
Sahome knows how to defend herself with a blade, staff or pistol, though she does not excel with them. She lacks proficiency in the use of heavy weapons and is not a good shot with rifles. Moreover, she has the usual Eldorai strengths and weaknesses: Greater resistance to diseases and infections, impressive dexterity, hearing and hand-eye coordination, but she is also physically weaker and less durable than most humans. During her exile Sahome learned how to pilot a shuttle or freighter, but she has no training in fighter piloting and is not a combat pilot.
Sahome was born in the town of Nadana, Kaeshana, a bit away from the capital city Santaissa. Her mother was a copper miner, who eventually became a town councillor. She had several brothers and sisters and was especially close to one of them, Silaqui. Her mother was ambitious for herself and her family and was determined to see Sahome, her eldest daughter, become a lawyer.
In accordance with her mother's wishes, Sahome enrolled law school. However, she dropped out almost immediately, believing that law represented uncertainty. She sought assurance about life and was driven to theology and philosophy. She was deeply influenced by two tutors, who taught her to be suspicious of even the greatest thinkers and test everything herself by experience. This fuelled her desire to find her own answers.
Philsophy proved unsatisfying, offering reassurance about the use of reason but not about the Goddess, which to Sahome was more important. Eldorai could learn about the Goddess only through divine revelation. This was a time about uncertainty and transition for the Eldorai. After centuries of isolation, Kaeshana was being slowly opened up to the outside Galaxy. Some foreigners came as peaceful merchants, but many as slavers and raiders who wished the Eldorai ill. In many cases, the offworlders possessed advanced technology, which the Eldorai both feared and craved. However, the Church proclaimed them to be demons. One of Sahome's sister was killed in a raid.
Sahome decided to join the church. She later attribute this decision to an event: she was returning to university after a trip home. During asthunderstorm, a lightning bolt struck near her. She is supposed to have later told her mother she was terrified of death and divine judgement. According to her writings, she cried out, 'Help! Heavenly Mother, I will become a priestess'. She came to regard this as cry for help as an unbreakable vow she could never deviate from. Her mother was furious over what she saw as a waste of Sahome's education, but Sahome stuck to her guns. She left law school, sold her books and entered a monastery. One friend attributed the decision to Sahome's sadness over the death of her sister. It is certain that this shook Sahome to the core.
Sahome dedicated herself to the Church, devoting herself to fasting, long hours in prayer, pilgrimage and frequent confession. Her drive to be a good Ashiran seemed obsessive. Later on she described this period of her life as one of spiritual despair, noting that she lost touch with Ashira the Merciful and had instead turned her into a jailer of her soul. Her superior turned her mind away from constant reflection on her sins towards the merits of the Goddess. She was soon ordained and began to teach theology at a local university.
She visited Santaissa on behalf of her order and was appalled by the corruption she found there. Her journeys to various backwater settlements had exposed her to the poverty many ordinary Eldorai lived in, yet many of the high clerics were corrupt and debauched. At first, Sahome seemed like an orthodox cleric with a bright future ahead of her. Orthodox thinkers praised her when she published a rebuttal of the theories of the heretic Charae Dawai, who had been imprisoned for claiming that humans and Eldorai shared a common origin. When Star Queen Tirathana VI banished an entire commune of Illyria worshippers, Sahome wrote an article praising the sovereign for removing demon worshippers from Kaeshana. The authorities took notice and expected great things of her. Eventually she was made an Abbess.
However, she became increasingly angry about the clergy selling indulgences. These promised remission from sin and were supposed to work in a dead soul's favour when it was being judged in the afterlife. Sahome regarded this as hypocritical, for scripture said that it was the Goddess and her court who deliberated upon whether an Eldorai's good deeds outweighed her bad ones. Those judged as good-hearted were granted entrance into heaven, while the wicked were cast into Illyria's hellish pit. The Goddess' favour could not be bought.
A believer could aspire to Ashira's grace by faith alone. She became enraged when the Ashiran Church sent a cleric called Johaena Teatzel to her home province to sell indulgences to raise money in order to build a grand temple in Santaissa. Both clerics clashed in public. Indeed it is said that they came to blows and Sahome tore up the commissioner's indulgence papers, though this might be embellishment. Sahome insisted that, since salvation was the Goddess' alone to grant, those who claimed indulgences absolved buyers from punishments and granted them entrance into heaven were in error. She objected strongly to a saying attributed to Johaena that 'as soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul into heaven springs'. Whether the commissioner actually said this is a matter of debate. The often quoted saying was not representative of contemporary thinking, but rather a reflection of Johaena's ability to exaggerate. However, the Church certainly benefited from the actions of its eager commissioner and many common Eldorai believed this to be official dogma. After a public clash, Sahome wrote to her Cennobite, whose role was the equivalent of a bishop, protesting against indulgences.
Finally, Sahome published her 59 theses, attacking clerical abuse and the sale of induglences. It is said that she nailed them to the door of a church where her rival was preaching. However, this has been disputed by contemporaries. Regardless, the theses soon spread like wild fire. Students and young clerics thronged to Nadana to hear her Sahome speak. At this stage she was still a moderate, believing she could reform the Church from within. She was also a strong supporter of the Monarchy. To her, the Star Queen was still Ashira's viceroy. Rebellion against her was not just treason, but heresy. Indeed, Sahome seemed convinced that the Queen herself was righteous, but misled by bad advisers. However, this rosy view of the Queen would not last. She wrote a series of pamphlets outlining her ideas, such as 'To the Ashiran Nobility' and 'On the Freedom of an Ashiran Woman'.
However, her actions attracted the attention of the Temple of Ardarvia. Arvardia was the Eldorai Goddess of Law, Order and Justice and her clerics acted as inquisitors, charged with ensuring that all believers remained true to orthodoy and did not stray. During a sermon, Sahome was arrested and informed that the Star Queen had excommunicated her. She was then brought to Santaissa, where she was put on trial by a religious court. What worked in Sahome's favour was that some nobles felt sympathy for her cause - or at least saw her as a useful pawn in the game of thrones.
This may have prevented her from having an accident on the way. Or just being sent to the Island of Fallen Angels. After being interrogated by the inquisitors, she was put on trial. There Sahome was given copies of her writing and asked if the books were hers, and whether she stood by their contents. Sahome confirmed that she was the author, but refused to recant. The Ardarvian cleric presiding over the tribunal declared her a Dark Eldorai and heretic. This made it a crime for anyone to give her food or shelter. Anyone who aided her would be declared an enemy of the Crown and the Faith. It also permitted anyone to kill her without legal consequences. Her family was put under pressure to disavow her. However, her allies managed to break her out of prison, posing as guards. Otherwise she would have probably been executed.
Forced to flee from Kaeshana, she soon acquired a following among the Eldorai exiles. Her followers called themselves the Aspirants because they aspired to Ashira's Grace. In exile, Sahome unleashed a barrage of polemics and theological writings, taking advantage of the fact that she was now out of reach of the Eldorai religious police. Despite strict censorship and border controls, some of her writings were smuggled into Kaeshana by sympathisers. Her boldest assertion was that the Star Queen did not possess the exclusive right to interpret scripture. Exposure to dissidents who propagated republican ideas caused her to reevaluate her earlier stance on the monarchy.
For a while, she was sponsored by the Evoras. This was a branch of the royal family that had been deposed by Tirathana VI. Contrary to official court history, she had not been the next in line for the throne after Tirathana V died. The losers were declared heretics and exiled. However, the Evoras had not forgotten this betrayal and constantly schemed to reclaim what they regarded as their rightful inheritance, rallying mercenaries and fellow exiles to their cause. Someone like Sahome seemed like a useful asset to them. Sahome was hesitant, but accepted an audience with Taenarys Evora. Tasayia called herself the 'rightful Star Queen of the Eldorai' and had awarded herself a host of other titles, such as Breaker of Chains, the Queen Across the Stars and She Who Was Promised. She offered Sahome a position in her 'shadow court' as Grand Chaplain if she and her followers submitted her.
However, Sahome had learned her lesson. She'd believed in Tirathana's righteousness and been disappointed. The audience was a bit awkward, as Taenarys expected the preacher to bend the knee and support her claim to the throne. From her perspective, Sahome would be a good propagandist. However, the exiled cleric refused to become a pawn. Instead she questioned the pretender on matters of the faith, on how she intended to cleanse the church of corruption and help the common folk. Despite her defiance of the church, Sahome was still quite conservative.
So she took offence at the presence of foreigners at the Taenarys' shadow court. She was disgusted when she heard rumours about the pretender sharing her bed with a foreign sellsword. It did not take long for the 'rightful Queen' to grow irritated, especially after Sahome said "Idle hands and pretentions are the idle hands by which Illyria corrupts the works of Ashira". To make an example of her, Taenarys sentenced her to death by immolation. However, Sahome managed to quell the fires, showing that she was divinely protected. As a result, several of Taenarys' followers turned on her. Motivated solely by credit, the foreign mercenaries still stood with the pretender. This left the situation a stalemate, but Sahome took control.
Refusing to spill blood, she called on her supporters to leave this den of iniquity with her, though not before making some ominous predictions about Taenarys' fate. Frustrated and angered, the claimant vowed to 'take back what is mine' and punish those who defied her. Shortly thereafter, the Evora claimant launched an attack on Santaissa. Since her support among the Eldorai exiles had diminished many of her soldiers were sellswords. Thus the attack went poorly. A cabal of mercenaries betrayed her at a crucial moment and sold her out to the authorities, expecting to be rewarded. However, Tirathana had her warriors execute the mercenaries anway because they'd sided with a traitor. Taenerys shared their fate. The executions were extremely grisly. When Sahome learned of this, she was saddened, but found herself validated.
Her network among the Eldorai exiles grew. But her work was hampered by the fact that many of the aforementioned exiles spent more time bickering and arguing with each other. Sahome was not innocent of this. Her opinion of atheists, Illyrians and other 'unbelievers' remained low. It was not uncommon for fights to break out between Aspirants and other groups. This impeded any attempt to unite the exiles, though the fact that they were dispersed across the stars also contributed to this. But she soldiered on. When a large freighter full of Eldorai was attacked by pirates, Sahome took her place among those who defended the fugitives from the slavers. Despite not being warrior, she displayed notable courage during the fight and used her Force abilities to rally and inspire her people.
Meanwhile, changes took place on Kaeshana. Tirathana VI was succeeded by her daughter Silaqui III. Under her reign, Kaeshana joined the Omega Protectorate and made first tentative steps towards modernisation and liberalisation. Religious persecution was rolled back to appease the Protectorate and because the new queen was not a fanatic. However, she was murdered by rebellious bodyguards during a failed reactionary coup. After Silaqui's death, her sister Anya Venari ascended to the throne. Assuming the regnal name Tirathana VII, the former exile vowed to be a queen for all Eldorai, no matter their social class, gender or creed.
Religious persecution was abolished, the Kar'zun emancipated and the Queen attempted to break or at least reduce the stranglehold the nobility and church had over the common folk. However, she had to proceed cautiously because the monarchy depended on these groups to remain in power. Proceeding too quickly could undo all she sought to achieve. Moreover, she was a fairly lightsided ruler, and thus did not want to advance her agenda through excessive bloodletting. She received the support of Firemane Industries due to her close relationship with its two directors. The corporation helped the Eldorai modernise their army and fleet and its mercenaries fought in many battles alongside them. Sahome was not enthusted about all these changes. Distrustful of foreigners, she could not abide the influence they now possessed. Several 'Dark Eldorai' she knew regarded the new government as a puppet regime and took up arms against it. However, Sahome was also increasingly troubled by visions. She had received those since childhood, but now they became more vivid and grim. In them she saw tidings of great tribulations that would befall Kaeshana. So she made the decision to return to her homeworld, taking advantage of an amnesty promulgated by the Queen. This move was controversial and cost Sahome a number of followers.
Back on Kaeshana, several followers gave her a hero's welcome. Sahome was allowed to preach and spread her beliefs, but kept under surveillance by the secret police. Shortly thereafter, the Netherworld event occured. Across the galaxy people vanished. Kaeshana was affected, too. Many believed the end of days was at hand. Violence broke out and the streets of Santaissa ran red with blood. Sahome's congregation was targeted by Ashiran zealots and she was later arrested. Her incarceration took place without the knowledge or approval of the Queen, who had better things to do than pursue vendettas or persecute nonconformists. Rather it was the doing of Sahome's rivals. Her followers rioted, clashing with security forces and orthodox militias. Sahome was later released and used her influence to calm the rioters, doing her part to stabilise the situation on Kaeshana. To her these disappearances were the doing of the Archenemy and so the Eldorai must rally in the name of the Goddess. During this time she became acquainted with Vaena Askari. The young Angelii was one of the soldiers sent to release her from the security police's custody. After that Vaena acted as a government-assigned bodyguard - and not so secret spy - while Sahome helped calm the situation. She foiled an attempt on the priestess' life. While Vaena was an avowed monarchist, both women were extremely pious and disgusted by the corruption that festered in the church. This and their shared love of music and song gave them something to bond over.
Once the crisis had passed, Sahome believed the great doom had been averted. She was wrong. In fact, it had just begun. The story of the Exodus has been told many times. Suffice to say a massive asteroid collided with Kaeshana. Some religious fanatics saw it as Ashira's punishment for straying from the old ways and consorting with foreign devils. Having been forewarned, the Eldorai and Firemane made a colossal effort to save as many Eldorai as possible. More than three billion could be saved and evacuated to Tygara. Firemane's warships were able to drastically reduce the asteroid in size. This mitigated the destruction caused by it. However, some Eldorai had to be left behind. They were forced to eke out an existence in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and cursed those who had gotten away. They called themselves the Forsaken. Menaced by slavers and corsairs, the Forsaken vied amongst themselves over the scarce resources. Rather than save herself, Sahome chose to stay behind on Kaeshana. Some of her disciples were sent offworld to make sure her message stayed alive. Others stayed with her.
She was ministering to the Forsaken in an underground shelter when the asteroid impacted. She was among those who tried to wrest some order from the chaos. This forced her to make some rather unorthodox alliances. Perhaps this was a test from the Goddess. Initial contact with the Shadow Knights was hostile. Sahome, who was still somewhat wedded to the idea that the cataclysm might have been a divine punishment, thought poorly of them, since many of their members were secularists. They also made deals with some warlords, whom she considered to be inimical. Thus she encouraged her followers to oppose them and fighting ensued. However, this was disadvantageous, as it helped split the Eldorai. Unexpectedly, the Shadow Knights came to her aid when her followers were assailed by foreign raiders. Sahome realised that she had let pride get in the way of the greater good. Her opinion of atheists and infidels remained poor, but she became open towards cooperation. Supplies and resources were scarce, Kaeshana was facing a new ice age and a lot of Eldorai blood had been spilt over the past few months.
The network Sahome had built among Eldorai exiles and exodites gathered donations for the Forsaken, which helped them survive the Long Night. However, tensions remained strong. Indeed the Aspirants and the Illyrians among the Shadows were close to open warfare, when the GA, Firemane and the Tygaran Eldorai Matriarchy launched a humanitarian mission to help the Forsaken. The First Order also took an interest in Kaeshana, seeking to annex it. Conflict ensued, leading to the Kaeshana Rebellion. Sahome took part in the conflict alongside the Shadows and other Eldorai rebels allied with the Alliance. She helped set up a safe zone at the abandoned Citadel of Dusk. However, the Shadows were forced to retreat after the Alliance's forces withdrew from the planet.
For the time being, Sahome and her closest followers are part of the Shadows' nomadic fleet. However, they maintain congregations on most worlds on which Eldorai have settled, such as Tygara and Arkas, while also maintaining a presence on colony ships. Ironically, despite Sahome's personal feelings on the megacorporation, Firemane space stations and worldships are a good place for the Aspirants to congregate on and proselytise because the company has a policy of religious tolerance. Sahome and Vaena met again during the Kaeshana Rebellion. Their relations are still good, despite Sahome's feelings on the monarchy and her penchant for giving Vaena advice the young Duchess has not asked for. By contrast, Sahome's relations with Kaida Taldir, the Shadows' new chief military officer, are extremely poor since the frost elf is a militant atheist. Sahome gets on well enough with Naesala Faethyra, the Shadows' Archon, who is a pragmatic woman and still believes in Ashira, though she is part of a fringe sect. Sahome was nominated for a position on the Shadows Knights' Council, but declined a seat because she viewed it as incompatible with her calling and believed it would send the wrong message. However, some of her followes have been elected instead.