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Approved Lore Solanaceae - Witches & Druids

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  • Religion Name: The Solanaceae (AKA Witches of Ryloth, Druids of the Mid-Rim, The Mandragora)
  • Religion Type: Dualtheist, Spiritualist, Nature-based
  • Influence: Interplanetary
  • Influence Area: Predominantly in the Southern and West-Central systems as the Confederacy of Independent Systems expanded. Its primary Covenstead is Vureshakkairn Castle on Ryloth. Various smaller covensteads have also been established throughout the region to help educate the masses on the spiritual world around them, and to provide supply lines to investigate mysteries throughout the galaxy.
  • Symbol: The symbol of the Solanaceae is that of Source whose light shines upon Creation bestowing life from Beyond the Veil. It is a symbol reflecting the great depth of knowledge and understanding one can reach, not through isolation, but in communion with the Living and the Spirits across realms.
  • Description: The Solanaceae is the continued spiritual growth of the Coven founded on Ryloth centuries ago by Nightsisters that migrated from Dathomir following the Battle of Dathomir. Sisters and Brothers of this Coven seek to study and learn from the depths of Creation's power including the spirits themselves, the inexpiable, the true nature of magick or The Force, what set the Design in motion, and how best to preserve it until its purpose is met. As an interplanetary body, those adept at spiritual communion or the Force throughout the galaxy are welcome to participate in the sharing of knowledge and further enrichment of the community's understanding.

  • Founder: Allya
  • Membership: To join the Solanaceae a Sister or Brother must demonstrate a thirst for knowledge and understanding with the wider world. It is not enough to learn the deepest and most shocking revelations merely to wield unspeakable power. Sharing that knowledge is paramount among all members of the Solanaceae. It is through this communion with one another and the spreading of knowledge that all life is enriched. This is as much true for other species as it is for children of believers, even those with the Blood of Dathomir in their veins; but then the women and men of those traditions hold fast to instilling proper reverence and respect for the spiritual realm. Once this commitment is accepted by the Sisters and Brothers of the Solanaceae, a ritual is held to celebrate and to bring new acolytes into contact with the spirits that travel along side their living counterparts daily.

  • Sacred: While the Deities of Light and Dark, Apo'a Ile and Ha Cokaya -- more often known as the Winged Goddess and Fanged God -- watch over the Balance and are revered among the Solanaceae, so too are all spirits great or small. It is necessary to form pacts with spirits, and at times disperse them back to the Source, but it is not acceptable to enslave them -- the Dead have as much reason to exist as the Living. Likewise, there is a Balance to Creation that must not stray too far to either extreme placing both the realm of the Living and Dead at risk of dissolution; and it is the preservation of this Balance that may force the Solanaceae to participate in galactic affairs they otherwise eschew. Material possessions are not sacred; but knowledge and understanding of that knowledge is, and so often times books are considered invaluable treasures.

  • Dogma: The Solanaceae have strong roots in the religion and belief of Dathomir, from whence the founders that settled on Ryloth came. This can be no clearer seen than in the two deities with whom they venerate -- the Winged Goddess and Fanged God. However, as happens with any group developed independently from their source, their dogma has changed and adapted to circumstances and philosophical debate among one another.
    • The Source of Power: There exists an infinite Source of Power in Creation from which all Life springs (even spirits that were never born into the world). It is from this that the Living can bend, manipulate, and even reshape the world around them; groups such as the Jedi and Sith called the source of their power 'The Force.' The Solanaceae, however, do not perceive the world in the same manner. They believe that while one can conjure magick (Force) directly, an even greater power is bestowed by communing with the spirits -- entities that reside ever closer to the Source, and whose very being is made from it. To commune with these spirits, understand them, and then form pacts with them can grant a Witch access to their power, but it is not without risk.

    • The Balance of Power: Two deities stand opposite one another, and between them is stretched the skin of Creation on which all Living or Dead reside. When one grows stronger than the other, or is beckoned by those heedless of the dangers to intervene in the affairs of the Living, the fabric can become wrinkled, begins to sag, or is stretched or torn in places. By upsetting the greater cosmic Balance, existence itself can be undone; and it is that which the Solanaceae remain vigilant to deter. Not the petty crimes committed by a hungry man, or the theft of millions by the greedy, or even the murder of a jealous husband or wife. The populations of entire planets being devoured, those seeking 'godhood,' and other attempts to 'tip' the Balance in a individual's or group's favor is what threatens the whole and must be countered before the Balance cannot be restored.

    • The Arbiters of Power: There are manyspirits that can be called upon, but there are Seven Great Spirits with standing relations with the recognized Nightmother of the Solanaceae. Each represents a different aspect and can bestow power to those that heed their counsel and form pacts with them:
      • Akicita: A Great Protector that grants their acolytes the ability to withstand considerable, physical trauma beyond that of an ordinary person. Such Witches also possess a greater affinity for learning an ability similar to Force Resistance. However, Akicita requires those that form a pact to never harm the innocent intentionally, by negligence, or through callous disregard; this includes using any power that indiscriminately drains life or harms non-combatants.

      • Akisni: A Great Healer whose blessing affords a Witch the power to heal wounds, remove poison, and cure disease, but requires her acolytes to not knowingly participate in the development of weapons of mass destruction or biological warfare; nor use magick to cause effects similar to Force Wound or its derivatives.

      • Econs: A Great Spirit that values Law & Order; one whose pact shields the mind from manipulation or intrusion. Witches that commune with Econs often show strong aptitude for powers granting the ability to see that which would normally go unnoticed -- such as seeing in the dark, discerning the nature of another, and piercing the veil of invisibility. In return such an acolyte must possess a strong sense of discipline, along with a clarity of self and of their purpose in life.

      • Icachi: A Great Spirit that values Freedom & Struggle; a pact with which can grant considerable strength and powerful area magicks, but often at the cost of control. It is only through the struggle to overcome one's weaknesses or great obstacles that bring meaning to the living, or so Icachi teaches.

      • Nama: A Great Specter that prowls the shadows discerning secrets and an expert at remaining unseen. Those who form a pact with Nama can count on being adept at sleight of hand, illusions, creating doppelgangers, possessing considerable speed or agility, and generally eluding capture. In exchange, however, such Witches will find flashy displays of great power difficult to conjure, and may be prone to speaking in riddles.

      • Nigetakiya: A Great Counselor whose insight and wisdom is unrivaled. Those that form a pact with this spirit must possess the heart and mind of an Eternal Student, always eager to learn and to share their knowledge with others. Nigetakiya embodies the driving force of the Solanaceae, but does not stand alone; the other Great Spirits enable Witches to see their Great Coven able to fulfill its mandates. In exchange for one's metaphorical ear, acolytes often find it easier to learn powers similar to Battle Meditation, Force Meld, Animal Bond, Plant Surge, and Knowledge Transfer.

      • Ozuye: A Great Warrior eager to protect the Balance by seeking out those that would harm it rather than wait for them to strike. Great power and surprising control can be obtained with a pact with Ozuye. Such Witches may find it difficult to sit and wait, however, and are less apt to be skilled in diplomacy or subterfuge.
    • The Acolytes of Power: Creatures of all species, creeds, and sexualities are welcome. While you may find many pale women hailing from a lineage of Dathomir among the Solanaceae, they do not separate themselves from the men as Nightsisters do. Nothing hinders the sharing of knowledge and a sense of family better than segregation. Whatever the background of each individual Witch, they are expected to resolve their differences with one another. If they cannot deal with the challenges of the Living, what chance would such a Witch have with the unrepentant Dead?

    • The Covenant of Power: All Witches are expected to share what they discover with the wider Solanaceae family. Retaining knowledge for one's own benefit or power is a violation of the trust among all members. The greater understanding of the wider world is only possible by sharing one's experience, perspective, and knowledge; without that the pursuit for truth only suffers. Likewise, there is no subject of study that is taboo -- provided it does not place your fellow Sister or Brother at risk of physical or spiritual peril.

    • The Intrinsic Peril of Power: There is an exception in the Covenant of Power, however. The Nightmother and those given responsibility over the Covensteads may at times 'classify' certain knowledge for examination and safekeeping within the Vault (which has Witches devoted to studying all things kept there) due to the nature or power of a new spell or artifact that is discovered. Much of the Vault can be requested for study outside of its confines, but some items are so powerful that they can only studied by a dedicated group of Witches. This is a rare occurrence, but a natural consequence of a wider galaxy eager to lay claim to objects of power left unattended.

    • The Mandate of Power: While the Solanaceae does not occupy itself policing the galaxy, it has a mandate to ensure that crimes against Nature that threaten to destroy and corrupt the masses -- acts that threaten the Balance -- are prevented or at least their damage contained. Even so, the Solanaceae will not spend its time better spent learning from Creation in a foolhardy effort to lay claim to planets or governments. It may be tempting for the young with so much power at their command, but to become mired in a desire for domination over the Living or the Dead find little growth in their personal or communal abilities or understanding. The Material Realm itself is not a distraction, but it can furnish a great many of them.
  • Reputation:
    • Confederacy of Independent Systems: The Sisters and Brothers of the Solanaceae are well-known within the Confederacy, especially on its more populated worlds where efforts to educate sentients on the spiritual are underway. They also contribute their knowledge, abilities, and wisdom to the Knights Obsidian to ensure a prosperous future of the Confederacy that helps enable the Solanaceae's causes. At first few can say they understand talk of spirits and a greater Will of Creation, but with time many at least come to accept the Witches as valued partners.

    • Nightsisters of Dathomir: While the Solanaceae have allowed males to practice in the spiritual Arts and welcome study of both Light and Dark, the two general belief systems still worship the twin deities. Each focuses more on communing with Nature rather than seeking its domination or obliteration. With such common ground, the two should be able to bolster each others' efforts to learning and understanding the secrets of Creation.

    • Others outside of the Confederacy: Views by Force Users, such as the Jedi or Sith, range from a Unique View to Backwards Primitives. Both may find it difficult to accept the Solanaceae's acceptance of both the Light and the Dark equally, however. There is no inherent animosity toward either of these philosophies held by the Witches, and largely it falls to individual interpretation and interactions. Meanwhile those not exposed to the Force or magick at all may consider it quaint or believe Witches divine the future by tea leaves -- beliefs they hope to change as they continue to spread their knowledge throughout the galaxy.

The Witches of Dathomir resulting from the teachings of Allya and written in the Book of Law (and later the Book of Shadow) largely kept to themselves, but events during the Clone Wars drew Nightsisters into galactic affairs under Mother Talzin's guidance. Concerned by the power of the Witches that answered to none but themselves, and after an assault on Darth Tyranus, the Confederacy of Independent Systems of the time -- permitted by the Darth Lord Sidious -- descended upon the remote, red world in what some chronicled as the Battle of Dathomir. Though Mother Talzin's Clan was massacred as a result of this attack, other Witches sought refuge in the dark places of the realm wary that the Sith would not be satisfied. These Sisters and Brothers resolved that their knowledge and traditions could not be lost to time.

One Clan of Nightsisters found refuge on the Twi'lek world, Ryloth around 24 ABY. They had stepped beyond the Material where time passed differently than the rest of the galaxy; upon their return and appearance in the habitable region of the tidal locked world, the Clan set to work rebuilding all that they had lost. Hardship was not foreign to the Clan, neither in scarcity of resources nor in fierce beasts that crept in from both the Brightlands and the Nightlands. Day after day they constructed homes, foraged for food and water, and soon rebuilt an altar to commune with the spirits once more.

In their communing with the natural world around them, the Witches established new bonds with the spirits of power present on Ryloth. It was from this point where they scribed the Book of Power and began a separate mystical Path than the one they'd traveled before. In time, a number of their Clan were carried to the stars to form their own Clans, and to commune with the spirits of other worlds. Sadly, many of these Clans were lost when the Gulag plague struck even the most remote of worlds in the galaxy.

The shamistic teachings of the Mandragora were revived when the Book of Power was rediscovered by slaves on Ryloth in 835 ABY. Once more the Altar of Spirits in the Nightlands had adherents come to it, and the Three Spirits -- Lylek, Jart, and Doashim -- formed pacts to enable this revival flourish.

Later, by 850 ABY, the Mandragora became entwined with the Knights Obsidian of the modern Confederacy of Independent Systems (the gods were not without a sense of irony, though the Living could not appreciate their humor). The Witches supported the Knights in their efforts, and even became caretakers of the many mystic artifacts gathered by the Confederacy.

Then, around 860 ABY, a group of terrorists led by a former Nightmother of the Mandragora led an attack to destroy the Altar of Spirits on Ryloth. While the presiding Nightmother, Vytal Noctura, would oversee rebuilding the Altar in honor of the many spirits she also took this opportunity to solidify her vision for the Coven as a whole. Renamed as the Solanaceae, they would continue honoring the natural and supernatural world alike, but they would also bring more of Dathomir back into the fold by once again recognizing the twin deities. The Covenant and Mandate of knowledge and power recognized by modern Sisters and Brothers would be further enshrined, along with the desire to delve deeper into the mysteries of Creation and bring that wisdom to the Living. There are many ways to change the face of Creation, and the Witches would seek to use that of enlightenment rather than destruction whenever possible.
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