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Saga - PT Saga - OT [DDC 2018] Shaman, Traveler, Oracle: Journal of an Exile of Lasan (OC; Lasan Series)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Findswoman , Jul 8, 2018.

  1. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Shaman, Traveler, Oracle
    Journal of an Exile of Lasan


    Saga—PT, at the time of the Siege of Lasan and afterward. (The “18 to 1 BBY” tag above is the best I can do in terms of dating, as there is, oddly, no established date for the Siege of Lasan!) If it happens that the action extends into the Saga—OT timeframe, I’ll update the era prefix accordingly. It does, and I did.

    Shulma Trilasha Orrelios (OC, Lasat female); other OCs (who will be identified as such in the notes); occasional EC appearances and mentions, especially Garazeb “Zeb” Orrelios and Chava the Wise

    Diary (DDC 2018), drama, introspection, adventure

    A chronicle of the exile, travels, trials, and adventures of a young Lasat shaman following the Imperial invasion of her homeworld and the near-genocide of her people.

    Author’s Notes:
    This is a “half-marathon” diary project written for the 2018 Dear Diary Challenge (DDC). Shulma is one of the central OCs of the Lasan Series; for other stories about her, see the link. By the time this diary begins, she and Zeb have been married for some years. He is captain of the Lasan High Honor Guard, and she is a first-degree shaman of the Royal Lasat Academy of Shamans under the mentorship of Chava the Wise.

    Like the other stories in the Lasan Series, this diary incorporates the Lasat fanon lore devised by @Raissa Baiard and myself and detailed in our Lasat fanon post. In particular, most of the details concerning Lasat shamanism are fanon. In general, whatever Lasat lore you can’t find on the Wook can probably be found in our post. Many entries will include explanatory notes.

    I thank Raissa for beta reading and for her invaluable feedback and support throughout the writing of this. And I thank all my readers, whoever you may be! @};-

    There will probably be between twelve and fifteen entries in all, of varying lengths. If all goes well, I hope to update this roughly every other Sunday. (That means some months will feature two updates, some three.) Currently looking at 27 28 29 entries in all, updated biweekly (Sunday and Thursday), running through late March 2019. Thirty entries of varying lengths, posted between 8 July 2018 and 2 April 2019.

    Contents: 1 (below) | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 (with guest writer TheRynJedi) | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 and 30 |
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  2. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014

    The sunrise over the cliffs was most magnificent this morning. It was as though all of Lasan’s colors passed before me within the space of half an hour: deep violet to crimson red to ruddy gold, with a tinge of lush green. The guard towers, the cliffs, the spires, the treetops were washed in light as in dew; I could feel its luminous coolness on my face and my footpads as I walked along the trail to Mount Straga. And the view of the transfigured landscape from the funicular car—truly with each dawn Lasan is born anew and births us all anew.

    I try to remind myself of this each time I awaken with one of the headaches or cramps: it is merely the same process taking place within, the Ashla working inside me. But they are becoming more frequent of late, and more of them have been bringing me visions. Wise Chava has advised that I continue to keep track of them in this journal, and I try to do so, though I do not always remember them once they have happened. Many are just shadow-images: I am walking through some ruined town, or some barren landscape, that moments later disintegrates into reality; it never lasts long enough for me to be able to tell if they are places I know or not. This morning it was a mountain with its top strangely scorched and blunted; I do not know which mountain, or where. It disappeared, and only searing pain remained.

    It is all particularly worrying in light of what G. has said about the mounting tensions with the Empire. It has grown so serious that he has put the Honor Guard on high alert. There are threats of invasion, or worse...

    Dearest G.—as if his military duties didn’t already weigh heavily enough upon him, he has managed to be quite the mother avian about these headaches of mine. He insisted that I not go in to the Academy today, that I stay home and rest and finish the pot of blumfruit-queen’s heart tea he made for me. He relented somewhat when I reassured him that transcribing ancient manuscripts and teaching chant to the initiates is not likely to stir up my currents beyond normal parameters; if anything, my Academy work has brought me calm during these tense times. Still, G. has been comming at regular intervals throughout the day to check on me. (I suspect he is concerned about another eventuality, too—though there seems to be little chance of that, given what Yhazi said last season about my predisposition to vision shock.)

    But my Zeblove should not fret so much over his wife’s silly ailments, not when the safety of all Lasan is at stake. May the four protecting cloaks of the Ashla be over him and his comrades!

    In the meantime I am once again in the funicular car, traveling down Mount Straga as the shadows lengthen over the cliffs. It has been a calm and productive day. I am almost finished with Osthi’s early journals, and the initiates are doing beautifully with the daily rites; in not too long they will be ready to learn the ancient modes. Tomorrow, if all goes well O ASHLA O SOVEREIGN SPIRIT WHAT HAS HAPPENED WHAT IS HAPPENING
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    SHULMA DEAR SWEET SHULMA! [face_dancing] Oh I will be devouring this one for sure, for sure! And Zeb :) [face_sigh] He is such a nurturing darling, isn't he? :)

  4. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    =D= Hurray! So glad to see this diary coming to life! Of course I’ve loved Shulma from the start and it’s fabulous to this look into her thoughts. She’s a bit older here—a full shaman and a wife (squee! :zeb:), instead of the young initiate we’ve seen her as before, it she’s still the same sweet young woman with the same dedication and joy in serving the Ashla and the same tender love for her dear Zeb!

    Your opening description of the sunrise is so beautiful and lyrical[face_love] and so very Shulma, both in the way she enjoys the beauty around her and the way she connects it back to the glory of the Ashla creating life anew each morning, and even ties this process to another, less picturesque “birth”, her headaches that give rise to strange and sometimes disturbing visions, And then comes our first hint of trouble—the visions are doubly concerning because of the situation with the Empire and threats of invasion!

    But dear, sweet the midst of all his worries still has time to fuss over his beloved wife (squee again!). Of course he does! He’s above of all a man of honor, and though Shulma is no doubt capable of taking care of herself, I’m sure that Zeb sees it as his duty (and privilege!) to protect and care for her nonetheless. I can completely see Zeb as mother avian making tea! (and I love that it is “queen’s heart” tea; Shulma truly has the heart of a queen!) But of course Shulma isn’t one stay idle, and I can see that her work would give her both something to take her mind off the political situation and give her some spiritual comfort as well. It’s nice that we get a little peek into her daily activities here...and I see she still has an interest in the prophetess, Osthi.

    And then CLIFFHANGER! :eek: Wow, you’cove gotten us off to a momentous start here! I can’t wait to see how this plays out and I look forward to further entries!

    Keep the purple prose coming! =D=
  5. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Shulma!! [face_love][face_love]

    First off, I have to say that I love the voice you gave your heroine. She's grown so much from what I've read of the Lasan Series. She's so . . . earthy and spiritual at the same time. I honestly felt like I was reading an Emily Dickenson poem with your prose - with the colors of the sunrise, and the presence of Ashla being reflected in the rebirth of the land and even in the cycles of her own body, for the good and bad. I love how much ambiance and scenery you were able to build, even with the sometimes limiting first person POV of the diary - your doing so was a deft turn of the pen, and rewarding for your readers! [face_love]

    As for plot particulars, I love that her Zeblove ([face_love]!) being such a mother avain. Of course he is concerned about her physical and mental ailments, and he's trying his best to alleviate both. But he understands that there's fulfillment in her work, and he appreciates that her staying busy helps take her mind off of her maladies. He's striking a beautiful balance that is sometimes hard to find in a mate! :p It seems that Shulma has similar concerns for Zeb, though, with the tension with the Empire and the threat of invasion building as it is. But one of the things she loves most about him is his honor and his sense of duty - which is definitely a trait they seem to share. I look forward to seeing how she's going to get through the dark days that are to come. Especially with the cliffhanger that you left us all at for two weeks. [face_worried]:eek: [face_waiting]

    But this really is off to an excellent start, and I can't wait to see where you go from here! =D=
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  6. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 20, 2018
    Love this so far :) Zeb and his people very quickly became one of my mew favorite Star Wars species during Rebels. Always excited to read more about them, fanfic or canon.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thanks so much to all who have read and commented, or even just left a “like”! It’s all so much appreciated. @};- If it’s all right, I think I’m going to take the approach of “rearranging” the individual portions of your comments so that I’m addressing related topics all together—hope that will be clear, and of course please know that my taking that approach does not mean that I do not appreciate each and every word of each of your comments!

    Oh, thank you all so much! I’m so glad you are enjoying this character of mine and these first attempts at writing this part of her story. <3 The support and enthusiasm you folks have given her from the beginning have really meant a lot to me—it’s been humbling, really! @};- ^:)^ I’m glad too that her growth, and the growth of her relationship with Zeb, work and feel believable so far, since that kind of writing (of the same character(s) over a period of multiple years) is still a bit of a new thing for me. I’ve really had such a wonderful time writing both of them in this way, and this diary just seemed like the logical next step.

    Shulma’s headaches and visions
    Thank you both so much; those compliments really mean a lot to me from such insightful, sensitive writers as you are. <3 And ohmigosh, Mira, your compliment really made my day—Emily Dickinson has been one of my favorites since high school! One thing I’ve always loved about Dickinson is that same mix of senses and spirituality, and the sense of the connectedness between the inner self and the outer world, and I guess it’s no surprise that those are some of the recurring themes with Shulma, too—even to the point where they cause her a certain amount of pain. (And here I’m indebted not only to Dickinson but to other female creative and mystical figures whose own physical pain has been a source of creativity and vision—people like Hildegard of Bingen, Teresa of Ávila, etc. Gosh, I wish my headaches would bring me things like that! :p )

    But back to the connections between the outer and inner worlds of a character: I’m finding that the first-person format of the diary really has the power to hghlight those connections in a special way—so I’m so glad that is working well for you so far, and it’s something I’m looking forward to exploring further as the story goes on. :)

    Zeb as mother avian
    Zeb’s got a truly caring heart under that tough exterior, and it seemed only in character for him to go all out in taking care of his wife the moment he sees her not feeling quite right—even to the point of being a little overprotective. We know from Rebels that he does nothing by halves, especially for those he cares for. So of course, given the chance, he’s going to go all out in taking care of his wife the moment he sees her feeling not quite right.

    Plus, I just love the notion of the mighty Honor Guard captain doing something as tender as making a pot of tea for his wife first thing in the morning! @};- Queen’s heart did indeed just seem right for her—as did blumfruit, of course. :D

    And naturally none of her husband’s care is lost on her—quite the opposite, and it’s probably a large part of what allows her to carry on as she does despite both her painful visions and the looming threat of Imperial invasion. And indeed, as you say, she too has a strong sense of duty and commitment to her calling, which is carrying her through these rough times as much as it is him. It took a bit of doing and Raissa probably remembers how much I struggled with it and tweaked things but I couldn’t resist trying to get a little something about her everyday life into this first entry—to highlight, in that way, that her calling as a shaman of Lasan is as as important to her as Zeb’s calling as Honor Guard (and that they know that about each other, if thatt makes sense). Once again, it makes me so happy to know that that came through—so thank you folks once again! @};-

    Well, shucks, thank you both, and thank you again for all your interest and support! I’ll take your remarks about the cliffhanger as compliments, smileys and all. :D ;) Not too long and you’ll see what happens next, though I have to say this likely won’t be the last cliffhanger in this story. (I know, I know—sorry! :p )

    Thank you so much, @TheRynJedi, and it’s great to see you here! I am totally right with you about the Lasat—over the last year and a half or so I’ve had so much fun writing about them and coming up with fanon about them, and I haven’t gotten tired of it yet and don’t plan to. :p I really appreciate your being here and giving this story a go—many thanks once again! :)

    And yes, because I can’t say it enough, thank you all once again. :zeb: @};- Entry 2 incoming shortly...
    Vek Talis, Kahara, TheRynJedi and 2 others like this.
  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014


    Ai rrhu’khu’ ai karabast’aka, no!

    The Academy of Shamans—the holy place of the Revered Masters—gone! Destroyed! With nothing but rubble and blackness in its place! How can this be—and yet—O Ashla, gracious Ashla—

    The charred, blunted mountain in my vision—it was Mount Straga. It is Mount Straga.

    I don’t know how long I have sat here. I don’t know if I have been unconscious or just in shock. All I know is—there was a loud sound, and the roar of starships’ engines, and the mountain shook, and—I remember nothing till I turned to look out the window, up toward the mountaintop…

    Meanwhile the upper end of funicular car seems to be mangled, and it is stuck less than halfway down the mountain. How is it that I am safe? Am I safe?

    My comm has lost its signal. The last thing there is a message from G.: the invasion has begun. All forces mobilized. LOVE YA DARLIN WHATEVER HAPPENS. Oh, I must find him—

    I must find all of them. Mama, Papa. Chornogar, Chornozod. My teachers. Rishla, Yhazi—

    But first to get down from here. I have a thought. My staff was in my study chamber at the Academy, of course, but I do still have my stone…
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb and heart-wrenching post! Her sense of shock and anguish all mingle together in her words ... =D= [:D] The sense of uncertainty as to who has survived is just as gut-wrenching as finding out. :( I want Shulma to know, to KNOW that Zeb is safe... Her thinking he was lost would be too shattering. :eek:
  10. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Wow! This brief entry packs all sorts of punches! Its very brevity in contrast with the lyricism of the first entry and the conveys Shulma’s jumbled emotions, shock and horror. Of course in her present emotional state these few sentences are all she is capable of writing; what a terrible situation she’s found herself in!

    Poor Shulma—her visions have come true in the worst possible way. The blighted landscape of her nightmares is one she knows well, her beloved Mount Straga, the holiest of sites on Lasan. Its destruction is a blow on top of the knowledge that the Empire has invaded her planet, and another level of gut-punching for us readers who know the extent of the destruction they’ve wreaked on the Lasat. :( Reading her desperation to find her loved ones, knowing what has happened... :_| Zeb’s characteristically laconic “Love ya darlin’” is another heart wrencher; I can imagine him taking that moment to send Shulma the message before unslinging his bo-rifle and charging into battle :zeb: [face_love]

    And you leave us with another cliffhanger, darn it! Even though I have an idea of the devastation that awaits once Shulma once she frees herself from the funicular car, i’m eagerly awaiting the next entry. Many hugs to our brave heroine—and to you for bringing us this compelling story!
  11. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh, poor, dear Shulma! :(

    The brevity of this update made it pack even more of an emotional punch than a few thousand words more could have lent. Her shock and grief were palpable through the text - her exclamations in her own language, her interrupting herself with more expressions of disbelief and her inability to form wholly complete sentences all really gave her grief a first hand, intimate edge. Knowing what has happened to Lasan from an outside perspective, with a grasp of the wider picture, made this an even more difficult read! Sadly, her beloved holy places are only the beginning of the destruction the Empire wrought, and my heart just aches for her knowing what she'll find of her loved ones in the end.

    But Zeb! Zeb! [face_love] Even just a few short words and he was perfectly in character - which was another sucker punch to the gut. I too could easily imagine him taking a moment to send that message before charging into battle - it's firmly etched in my mind's eye. :( [face_love]

    And that's quite the cliffhanger again - but I'm curious to see what Shulma has in mind, and how things are going to go for her here on out . . . [face_thinking] [face_plain]

    Fantastic work, again! =D=
  12. Kahara

    Kahara Chosen One star 4

    Mar 3, 2001
    The sickening shock of a whole familiar place just suddenly being gone is all through Shulma's latest entry. I feel so bad for her realizing -- too late to do anything -- what the strange, desolate mountain of her visions was. :( The barrage of questions and worries plus her current position in a non-functioning transport adds up to be almost overwhelming for her, and no wonder. :eek:

    On a lighter note, I loved the portrait of Shulma's relationship with Zeb in the first entry. They are so sweet and thoughtful to each other and it's just adorable. He makes her tea! Of course he does. [face_love] There is so much about her visions and connection to the Force that he can't really directly affect, but he's still there for her when she struggles with the side effects (vision shock, now that sounds very unpleasant). And of course Shulma knows that Zeb's job is growing ever more perilous as the Empire grows more aggressive. All the little details of how they both know they can't fully carry each other's responsibilities but do their very best to give care and support anyway are really heartwarming.
  13. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    As always, thank you all for reading and commenting. @};-

    Thanks as always for your support. :) It really is a no-win situation for Shulma here: finding out is going to be just as horrible for her as not knowing. :( As for that last bit... well, just see what happens in the next couple entries...

    The shock of this disaster has all but taken away her capacity to express herself, and that’s saying something for a verbal, emotive sort like her. And since she’s trapped in the funicular, she can’t spend too much time writing anyway, because she has to figure out how to get out of there!

    That’s the kicker for her at this moment—not just that her homeworld is being ravaged, but also that she saw it happening in her dreams and visions before, and she didn’t fully realize back then that it was actually this beautiful, holy place that she knows and loves so well. :( I imagined Zeb doing exactly the same thing—even in the heat of battle he does not forget those he cares for. :zeb:

    Yes, I’m afraid so. :p This whole DDC business has helped me appreciate them in a new way, though I must say! :D

    Thanks so much! You (and she) will soon see the full extent of what has happened. There is definitely no time in her life that she’s needed a hug more—and that at a time when there’s no one to give it to her, except mabe us readers in a figurative way. <3

    The enormity of even just the destruction she can see has almost literally taken away her powers of self-expression—it’s so unthinkable that it just can’t be put into words in a coherent way. (Even though, in way, she did already “think” it in her visions—though, again, without fully realizing what it was.) As you say, it will be all the more so once she realizes the fuller extent of what has happened…

    Mine too—it seemed like the sort of thing he would do, even (especially) in such a situation. In that message, he is present with her in her own predicament, in some small way—just as I can imagine his thoughts of her strengthening him on the field of battle. <3

    Well, thank you, as always, and you very soon shall see how things pan out! She has been shaken to her core, yes, but she is also not one to succumb to despair…

    Thanks so much for this—I always appreciate your comments and insights more than I can say. @};- That combination of circumstances is indeed pretty much more than she, or really anyone, can take; I’d be overwhelmed too! But even so, she manages to muster just enough courage to come up with a little bit of a plan; even just those little bits count.

    Oh, thank you so much! I am glad you are enjoying these two as a pair; I sure am (f I do say so myself :p ), and they just seem like the kind of couple that would be that way toward each other, even (and especially) in a time of adversity. One thing I have tried to emphasize in writing them is the way they honor each other’s commitments to their very different callings, and that’s going to be so essential at a calamitous time like this, even when they’re apart. @};-

    Again, many thanks to you all—next entry’s right around the corner!
  14. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014

    So much has happened. So much has changed.

    So much has been destroyed.

    It has all been like some horrible, feverish storm-vision. My currents have been wracked to their utmost, and I can barely believe I am where I am now. But I am, and I see my faithful little journal is still here in my bag—so I shall write everything down, just as Wise Chava advised me. (My dear teacher, thank the Ashla you’re safe! If only I could be with you...)

    I see I last wrote from the funicular; it seems ages ago and worlds ago now (that latter is certainly true, at least). With my focusing stone I somehow managed to work up enough of a Journeyer’s Lightning to get the mangled car moving down the slope and guide it into the station at the foot of the mountain. It was more effort than I thought it would be in my agitated state, and even though I knew I had to go and try to find G. and my parents and brothers, I think exhaustion got the better of me. Again, I do not know for how long.

    When I awoke, I had to decide whether to head southeastward into Lira Zel to see if I could find G. and Mama, or westward to Flowstone Vale to look for Papa and my brothers. I decided on Flowstone Vale, since it is technically slightly closer, but not before dashing off a quick comm message to G. (probably something like ZEBLOVE WHERE ARE YOU AM SAFE MORE SOON) on the remote chance a signal could somehow get through. Then I ran without stopping down the trail. Oh, how changed it was from the days when he used to walk me home at day’s end, when the wildflowers smiled at us and the purple cliffs silvered over in the twilight! All was black, charred, and barren—the ravaged landscape of my storm-visions...

    I reached the cliffs that overlook the town from the south, near the mine. I only needed one glance to see what had happened. Buildings razed, houses torched; I could see my old family home at the end of Maznaberry Lane, burnt almost to the ground. Bodies lying in strange, contorted shapes in the streets and all over the grounds of the mine. The headframes mangled, their cables slashed, the shafts caved in...

    Papa, Chorg, and Chorz still underground with all their comrades. O Ashla, how…

    And still no signal, no comm response from G.

    I ran again, back along the trail toward Lira Zel. I was so desperate and fatigued that I must have stopped at least a few times along the way. It was the same there, of course, only more so, and worse, for this time I wasn’t merely looking down from a cliff. The smell of death hung everywhere. I still do not know why all the bodies I saw lay in those twisted shapes, only that they must have died in horrible pain…

    I passed what was left of the Mining Ministry, and my heart heaved in my throat as I saw a heap of the twisted bodies that seemed to have been thrown from the windows. The corner of a black-and-white-checked skirt was peeking out from the center of the pile, and a broken necklace of multicolored quartz lay a little ways off…


    I picked up her quartz beads and put them in one of my satchel’s inner pockets, next to the one with my focusing stone.

    Rrhu lir’Ashl’aka, how the pain blooms in my head again! I must rest before I write any more. I have a some time, at least; the navcomputer readout is showing eight hours. Hopefully the ruffian will not manage to free himself in that time…

    Journeyer’s Lightning: In the Rebels episode “Legends of the Lasat,” Zeb channels mystical energy with his bo-rifle (in what I call “ancient mode”) to move the Ghost through the secret hyperspace pathway to Lira San. “Journeyer’s Lightning” is my fanon name for this technique, and in this case Shulma is performing it on the funicular car she’s stuck in, using the focusing stone from her Ashla staff. (Chava keeps her stone separately from her staff in the same episode as well.)

    “I still do not know why all the bodies I saw lay in those twisted shapes, only that they must have died in horrible pain”: the result of the use of the T-7 ion disruptor rifle during the Siege of Lasan, first described in “Droids in Distress.”
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    ACK! Dear Shulma! Now she knows! :_|

    That she can be as coherent as she is is a reflection of her indomitable spirit. [face_love] @};-
    Vek Talis, Kahara and Findswoman like this.
  16. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Oh, poor Shulma!
    This says it all, really, and like this entry, conveys the enormity of what has happened on Lasan restraint and an economy of words. Shulma is eloquent, but she's never been prone to hysterical outbursts, and even now in, that inner strength shows through in her journal. She doesn't wail or wallow in the gory details of the slaughter she's seen, and that makes the horror of the details that she does share all the more powerful--her childhood home burned to the ground, the mine where her father and brothers worked destroyed with them still inside, the smell of death and the contorted bodies... Everything has changed from what it was, what it should have been. Her poetic side comes through a bit
    The romantic landscape where she and Zeb used to walk hand in hand is now the blighted, blackened landscape of her nightmares; the contrast couldn't be greater.

    And then when she went to the Ministry of Mining... You sometimes refer to Zeb and Shulma as "big purple trolls", well, my dear, you made my heart break for these purple trolls=(( Again, the selection of details is masterful here-- the corner of a familiar skirt peeking out of the pile of bodies, the broken beads... I think it conveys the despair and horror of Shulma's situation better than any graphic description of the carnage could. (Though I know that is not your style).

    Once again you leave us with a cliffhanger and some very tantalizing hints about Wise Chava, and a ship who's navcomputer shows eight hours...and a ruffian who Shulma hopes will not free himself! There's an interesting story yet to come, and, I fear more heartache for our dear Shulma. So once again, I leave her and you with many hugs to steel her for what's to come.
  17. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Ack!! :eek: :_| Poor, sweet Shulma. Again! And, knowing that's going to be the tone of the diary - and thus my reaction, for some time, I just want to pass on all of the good wishes and thoughts of fortitude to this lovely lady. She's already quite burrowed into the canon of my heart, and it's more than easy to accept this entire series as part of the official lore! I can't be told otherwise. [face_love]

    As for this update, I have to echo the above reviewers who applauded how much you were able to say with so few words. You were deftly able to convey just how trumatic and horrific the destruction of Lasan was with just a few short words, and it hit hard.

    Oh, fascinating! I love the term you were able to give to this technique! I was immediately able to call the Rebels episode to mind and knew what you were conveying, even before your note. I love the worldbuilding you're able to incorporate, as always.

    Ack, my heart! Once again, you're able to convey just how deep and meaningful their relationship is without even having Zeb present. And knowing how long that state of affairs is going to last just hurts. =(( =D=

    I love how eloquent Shulma is - even here. Or, especially here, I should say. There's no better way to describe the devestation of her world than to juxtapose something familiar and adored to her with what's left after the Empire's attack. :(

    This is certainly one of the passages where less was more. You didn't need to detail the carnage; instead, she would notice her mother's skirt. I'm glad she was able to take her necklace, at the very least.

    Oooh! [face_thinking] Both of these details hint at some very interesting events that we're skipped over by our narrator - I can't wait to hear the full story, but certainly admire the way you were able to use the diary's format to the full in the meantime. You continue to have me hooked and eager for more! Fantastic work, again. =D= :D
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
    Vek Talis, Kahara, TheRynJedi and 3 others like this.
  18. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you all once again. What a wonderful bunch of readers! <3

    Alas, she does indeed, and in this case it is even worse than not knowing. :( But she isn’t one to give in to despair—a true shaman of Lasan perseveres in adversity, and that she will do.

    She’s in kind of an in-between place here: now that some time has passed she’s regaining some of her powers of expression, but the enormity of the loss is still pretty new and fresh that it’s hitting her hard even as she recollects it. And why wouldn’t it, when this is her family and her beautiful home we’re talking about here? But writing about it is a way she can process it all, just as Chava suggested she do with her visions—how much more so when it’s no longer just visions.

    Again, we get to see her expressive abilities come back a bit, now that some time has passed; they are perhaps a way she can try to process the unbridgeable difference between the bright, happy landscape of her memories and the ravaged landscape that she thought was just a storm-vision. And as a corollary of that, she walked through that bright, happy landscape with her true love by her side, but is running desperately through the ravaged one all by herself, not knowing where he is—that adds an extra dimension to the grief.

    <3 Thanks so much! I love these "big purple trolls" so much, and it's hard to write about them going through horrible ordeals like this, so that makes me doubly glad this scene worked well for you; the Mining Ministry scene was a relatively late addition to this part of the story, but I thought it too could be a good way to give a brief posthumous picture of the family members Shulma has lost. Sometimes just a single tiny visual detail like that can have a huge emotional impact; I had in mind the little girl in the red coat in Schindler’s List, whom we follow visually through the film until her body ends up being carted away. That checkered skirt and that quartz necklace are things Shulma has seen so many times before on her mother that they're all she needs to see to know exactly what happened. :_|

    Ah, these cliffhangers! :D I have to say, there's something about the diary format that kind of invites them...the diarist knows exactly what's going on, but because she's writing only for herself and not an audience, she can drop such hints into her writing without feeling the need to explain everything it detail. All those things will become much clearer in the next installment, I promise. @};-

    Wow—thank you so much for that! That is a compliment that I feel extremely honored and humbled to receive from you. ^:)^ It means a lot to me that you are enjoying this character and her story, and she and I both take those good wishes and thoughts very much to heart. @};-

    Thanks so much—that was definitely my intention, and I’m glad it came off all right. When it comes to describing disastrous occurrences like this, I often feel that the understated approach is ultimately more effective than minute descriptions of every single bit of carnage. That way one can more easily focus on the characters’ emotional reactions, I think.

    Thanks so much! I really appreciate that—that is such a wonderful moment in such a wonderful episode that I just had to add it to the lore as a standard technique, and that you as a reader caught it is such an extra-special bonus! :D That episode is one of the main sources for all the lore Raissa and I have devised, and how could it not be—it really packed it in. (And this is all reminding me that I really should update that fanon post soon—once I do, Journeyer’s Lightning and some of the other shamanic techniques will be in there.)

    Oh, that it does for sure—I’m right there with you on that—and it’s going to be hard to write. I won’t lie, it already is. We don’t know if he got that message—it occurred to me that he might have, and might have been about to reply to her just before communications gave out—in which case the last thing he heard from her was a “MORE SOON” after which no more came. Ouch, indeed! =( :_|

    Here, too, was a place where I wanted to emphasize the character’s emotional reaction to the destruction as a way of emphasizing the destruction all the more, if that makes sense. It’s not just cliffs and wildflowers that were destroyed—it was an entire landscape of love, tenderness, and peace, a feeling as well as a place.

    Little familiar things like that can catch our attention just by being familiar, and I can imagine that being all the more so in a disaster like this one (though thank goodness I have never had to live through such a thing myself). Again, I had in mind the red coat girl from Schindler’s List, plus the notion that the character is desperately searching for any little thing related to anyone she knows, and every little bit is like a lifeline—or like a stab to the heart. =(( There will be more of the same in the chapter to come, too.

    Ah ha! Once again, you will get some answers in the next installment, which is on its way soon. I am really enjoying working in this diary format, and having wonderful readers like you just adds to the enjoyment. Thanks so much once again for your readership and support! @};-
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  19. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    By way of warning: some violence in this chapter.


    I feel much more rested now. The navcomputer now reads 6.25; I must have been more exhausted than I thought. But I must and shall continue: for my currents, for Lasan—and for you, my lost warrior!

    After finding Mama, I checked the comm again; still no signal, and the power cell was close to running out. I ran as fast as I could up Palace Street and did not stop till I reached the Parade Grounds, even as the rubble and grit and broken glass abraded my footpads. By now I knew what I was going to find, though the sight still jarred me to my core. The Royal Palace—jewel of Lasan, stronghold of the Royal Houses for millennia—reduced to a smoldering, corpse-filled ruin. The Royal Parade Grounds a battleground, strewn with the twisted, broken remains of Lasan’s finest warriors. I could tell they had been cruelly outnumbered by the Imperial forces. But they had fought bravely and had held the palace to the end: I could see how many of the invaders they had taken with them. And you, dearest, bravest G., had led them!

    I set about looking for you, even as I feared what I might find. I do not know how long I wandered through the carnage and rubble and blood, from one end of the parade grounds to the other, up and down the main courts of the palace, not finding my warrior among the living or the dead. As I walked I chanted the Consecration of the Fallen, and my voice quavered just as my heart did. How strange it felt to be uttering any sound, now that all of Lasan had gone silent. And yet how could I not commend all those departed brave spirits to the one sovereign spirit of the universe? Along the way I remember chalking the glyph of the Honor Guard on one of the ancient, iron-banded doors, and the Lightning of Eternity encircling it—emblem of the One Light that will shine upon them always.

    At last I reached the Inner Court. The old, familiar pain rose behind my eyes as I looked around. Yet more of the horribly contorted bodies lay strewn about. I saw among them our brave queen in her full ceremonial armor, still clutching her bo-rifle. And there, floating in the reflecting pool—O dear Ashla!—one of the young princes, maybe the Crown Prince’s elder son? A kit of no more than five dust seasons… Sickness welled up in me and I turned away.

    I noticed a broken bo-rifle lying in one corner, an AB-75; I tried to read the name engraved on the grip, but it was too scuffed and obliterated. Then a metallic glint in another corner caught my eye. My head twinged even more keenly as I went over to examine it: it was a standard-issue Honor Guard utility knife, lying atop a pile of broken stone. On the hilt was a design of a rampant konculor with teeth bared, wielding a bo-rifle, and your name engraved below, my love, with the date you took the captaincy… oh, how I kissed that dear blade and pressed it to my heart!

    Then I heard voices, or at least sounds. They seemed to come from northward, from the terrace overlooking the lake; I stashed the knife in my satchel and ran out to see what it was. A small ship was docked at the eastern end of the terrace, where the parkland (or what once was parkland) begins. Beside it stood a Guardsman that I recognized as one of G.’s lieutenants—Tarbigron, I think it was, Tarbigron Stultzfoss; he was talking to three Wookiees and was carrying someone in his arms, someone small. A little closer and I could see who it was: Chava! Dear, wise Chava, chief of the Revered Masters and my own beloved teacher! I thanked the Ashla that she was safe, though that I saw that her foot hung limply, as if broken.

    She noticed me and pointed in my direction, and Lt. Stultzfoss began to call and beckon to me. I ran over to them, embraced her (though gently, for it turned out that both her feet were broken), and asked if either of them had seen G. The lieutenant said they had not; he told me of how he had found her in the Royal Cabinet of Books, half crushed beneath fallen furniture, and how later the Wookiees had found them. He begged me to go with them to safety, for there was always the chance that the Imperial forces would return to “finish the job,” as he said. It was a tempting offer, though I still did not know what had become of G.—and if there was any chance that he was still alive, still somewhere on the palace grounds, it would be wrong to leave him behind. So I asked if I might first finish my search for him. Chava and Lt. Stultzfoss consulted for a moment with the Wookiees, and Chava translated their reply: yes, but I must hurry, for if the Imperials returned they would not take kindly to finding them there.

    I thanked them and ran back to the palace. My heart thudded and my whole body trembled as I made my way back through the wreckage, scanning the carnage for any sign of him. Nothing, nothing—not even the smallest button or clasp or rank pip. I called to him, screaming that beloved name again and again at the top of my lungs. Nothing! Still nothing! And the ache in my head grew and grew…

    Suddenly someone grabbed forcefully from behind with a thick, gray-sleeved arm. I struggled and screamed; the arm gripped harder. Hot breath reeked against my cheek. A voice sneered: what have we here and you’re a fine prize and scream all you want animal woman it’s not like anyone else can hear you. The barrel of a blaster jabbed me in the small of my back…

    I awoke to find myself tied to the bed in the stateroom of this shuttle. I heard the sound of engines powering up, then felt a violent jolt; from that I knew I was on a ship that had entered hyperspace. I struggled to tear myself free. Fortunately it did not take too long, for the cords were not very securely tied (they might hold a Human, but certainly no Lasat more than fourteen dust seasons old). Just as I did so the door slid open, and in walked a large, disgustingly heavy Human in Imperial uniform—my attacker—who immediately threw himself on me, slavering and leering and taunting: oh look the animal woman has gotten loose feisty aren’t you I bet you’re insatiable. I struggled under his weight but finally managed to get a grip and lift him from me—then I shoved him against the wall again and again till he fell unconscious. His mouth gaped stupidly as he slumped downward. I doubt he expected his “prize” to put up such a fight! But I am Lasat, and all of us have some of the Warrior in us.

    I gagged him with one of the bedsheets, took his pistol, and cuffed him with a pair of stun cuffs he had in one of his pockets. I searched the ship and found a cargo hold—more like a cargo closet—and dumped him in and locked the door. Then I rummaged through his effects and the ship’s records just long enough to find out that he is Moff Smodas Belphagor, governor of the Svivren Sector. For whatever that may be worth. Likely nothing.

    I found my satchel lying in a corner of the stateroom. Nothing was missing, thank the Ashla.

    So here I am, hurtling through hyperspace in the shuttle of this Moff Belphagor. 4.5 more hours, according to the readout. I think I can hear the ruffian thumping about in the hold. Struggle all you want, you Bogan-spawn! It’s not like anyone else can hear you! At least I am safe and unhurt.

    But I did not find you, my warrior—

    [here the ink trails off and bleeds]

    The scene in the Inner Court of the royal palace ties in to two other stories in the Lasan Series, both by Raissa Baiard. The body of the kit floating in the reflecting pool is indeed the older son of the Crown Prince and thus the older brother of Prince Ludovek, who in The Lost Prince and the Captive Knight is described as having seen “his grandmother, parents and older brother… torn apart by Imperial disruptor rifles.” Shulma’s finding of the broken bo-rifle and Zeb’s knife are references to events at the end of chapter 4 of The Beginning of Honor, when Zeb finds Shai’s broken, abandoned bo-rifle and throws down his own knife when he finds Shai’s.

    Lt. Tarbigron Stultzfoss: This is meant to be the Gron of “Legends of the Lasat”; he and Chava are the two refugees that the crew of the Ghost rescue from the Imperials. Their rescue by the Wookiees is fanon but based on a remark made by Zeb in “Droids in Distress” (“I owe those hairy beasts—they saved some of my people”). Unfortunately, given what happens to Chava and Gron later, I imagine that these Wookiees were later intercepted by the Empire.

    Royal Cabinet of Books: In ancien-régime France, the king’s private library was called the Cabinet des Livres du Roy. I’ve adopted the same thing for the Lasat monarchs.

    Moff Smodas Belphagor: A joint OC with Raissa Baiard, first mentioned in her The Lost Prince and the Captive Knight.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  20. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Ah! Love seeing the Wookiees helping out. I can totally understand Shulma's actions and reactions. I wish I could ASSURE her that dear wonderful Zeb is safe. But what I REALLY want is to get them in a room together [face_laugh] [face_mischief] SQUEE! They deserve it. [face_love] ;)
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  21. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Nov 22, 1999
    Oh, dear sweet Shulma...! Things just keep getting worse for her! After seeing the wreckage of her village and home and finding her mother :(, she continues on her quest to discover the fate of her beloved Zeb. I can picture her making her way through the the dreadful silence that hangs over Lasan, a silence broken only by the sound of Shulma chanting the rites for the fallen. Even now, her piety and dedication shine through. At the Royal Palace, instead of finding any clue of Zeb’s fate, she finds only carnage. Once again, you convey the horror of the scene with a few well chosen details: the Queen in her armor who has died fighting and, most tragically, the body of the young prince, only five years old. This really drives home exactly how brutal the Empire is; not even a child this small has been spared a cruel death. =((

    Then Shulma finds Zeb’s knife... of course, you and I know why the knife is there, but Shulma must have thought the worst when she discovered it abandoned like that! No wonder she clutches to her breast like a talisman. But there’s a ray of hope among the ruins—Gron and Chava and the brave Wookiees who helped them. (I can imagine that Chava was trying to save some priceless history tomes from the cabinet of books). I can’t blame Shulma for continuing her search for Zeb, but, oh, the image of her calling ever more frantically as the pain of her headache increases!

    Perhaps that headache was meant as a warning, because the slavering, slobbering Moff Belphagor finds her and seizes her—he never could have taken her fairly! What a nasty, horrible excuse for a Human this sorry Imperial is! Ugh! The bits of dialogue Shulma reports really get across his depravit and leave no doubt what he’s got in mind for her. Her struggles and the fact that she’s an “animal woman” clearly make things all the more exciting to him—who’s the insatiable animal here? But go, Shulma! Of course the skeevy Moff’s gotten more than he bargained for with her!
    And the Moff deserves all he gets—thumped unconscious, gagged, and thrown in a closet!—and then some! I join with Shu,a in telling him “struggle all you want; no one cares!”

    So now Shulma is alone, away from Lasan and on her way to a strange world. My heart goes out to her, even as I await the next installment in her saga, to learn what will befall our brave heroine!
  22. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh, dear sweet Shulma! (One of these days I'm going to stop opening an review that way, but today is not that day! =(()

    This was another intense update where you managed to say so much with so few words. Through it all, Shulma's faith, devotion, and inner fortitude managed to shine through - brilliantly so. She really is a dear, strong character - and a more than fitting match for Zeb! [face_love]

    The carnage she found at the palace was devestating - from the queen to the prince to the dear members of he Guard. Once again, the details you included were succinct and all the more heavy hitting for being so. Of course the Lasan put up a fight worthy of the Warrior. They are not the mindless animals the Empire thought them to be and they fought back to protect their own. But, sadly, the end result was inevitable. :(

    Speaking of putting up a fight: GO SHULMA!!! She certainly packs a punch when necessary and I'm glad she was able to put the sleemy Imperial slimo where he belonged. His hypocrisy was unbelievable - she's the 'animal' but who's the depraved, honorless beast in this situation? o_O :mad:I'm glad she was able to save herself with 'relative' ease - the less emotional scars she bears from this day the better!

    Oh! My heart. Her despair was so tangible, and the details about her tears blotting out the ink were incredibly poignant. But again, her fortitude and resilience are so moving to read about.

    Well done putting such a difficult, horrifying day in Shulma's life into words. I can't wait to see where our heroine goes from here. [face_love] =D=
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Many warm thanks to all of you once again. @};-

    Thanks as always for your support and enthusiasm, which are always a daymaker on posting day! @};- Well, I definitely agree that they do deserve that (though I am a bit biased, of course), though at present I can say no more than “[face_whistling].” But not to worry:
    later in this story Shulma will get the assurance that her husband is alive and well. And you shall see from what source…

    Well, thank you, and I'm glad this felt effective; it was definitely not the easiest to write, because of the carnage and destruction (of a world you and I spent so much time devising fanon about!) but also, or especially, because of the emotional effect on Shulma. I'm indebted to you for the suggestion about the queen out there fighting with her own bo-rifle, which was too wonderful an image to leave out (she's maybe in her 50s–60s), and even though writing about that young prince floating in the pool was very difficult to do for those very reasons you mention ( =(( ), I was glad of the opportunity to tie in to your wonderful "The Lost Prince and the Captive Knight." Once again, as I see it, the details can be sparing, because the main point is the emotional impact on the character, particularly at a moment like the one you describe next:

    I wanted to make sure to get Gron and Chava in to this part of the story, to make their role more concrete, and the comment about the Wookiees in "Droids in Distress" seemed like the perfect opportunity. It's a moment of relief and hope for Shulma, for sure, but it's also a difficult moment of decision because she still doesn't know if her husband is out there and doesn't want to leave him behind—though she knows time is short, too. You've probably noticed that headaches are a recurring thing with her; the stress of the situation is bringing it on, of course, but as you observe just below, they often serve as warnings or premonitions to her too:

    Here too I was glad of the opportunity to tie in to "The Lost Prince" and to flesh out (!) this thoroughly disagreeable character; it always seemed to me that this particular kind of unpleasantness could be a plausible consequence of the Empire's anti-non-Human attitude. And of course the fact that he totally underestimates her reflects just how little he really knows about the species he and his ilk played a role in subjugating. (I just couldn't help having her turn his own words against him!) You'll see more of what becomes of him in the next chapter; it'll be no more than he justly deserves.

    You shall see very soon! More challenges definitely await her, and new ones, but she will find some much-deserved lights in the darkness, too. @};-

    Not to worry at all; I have been feeling the same way about her lately myself. ;) @};-

    Thank you so much; once again, that compliment means so much to me coming from such an accomplished characterization maven as you. :cool: I am so glad you’re liking Shulma (and her with Zeb); I have really been enjoying writing both of them recently, even though some of the events I’m writing about are sad and difficult ones. The quality of inner strength that they share is, in my view, one of the things that attracts them to each other.

    Unfortunately so. As bravely as the Lasat fought back, the Empire simply had much bigger numbers and much bigger, deadlier technology at their disposal—that, and a willingess to fight dirty and unfair, and that is ultimately caused the worst destruction of all.

    Oh, that sicko well and truly underestimated her! That’s what he gets for treating her as an animal who will accede to his desires—and like it, because insatiable. [face_annoyed] Again, that whole attitude seemed like an all-too-plausible possible result of the whole Human supremacy business. But she’s shown him, she definitely has, and won a small triumph over that system in doing so. And though the horrible sights and events of the day will undoubtedly remain in her memory (how could they not?), she is a strong, resilient woman who will carry on without abandoning hope.

    Oh, thanks! I’m glad you found that little detail effective. I wanted to make it clear that she had broken off writing from being overcome with tears, but was not sure at first how to express that—so I’m glad that little “editorial note” ended up working. :)

    Thanks once again; I do appreciate it very much, as I always appreciate your insightful reviews. [face_love] I won’t lie, it definitely isn’t easy to put a character through the wringer like this. At least she will soon have a break from this kind of trauma and destruction, though there will be other challenges facing her too.

    Again, many thanks to you all! =D= Next entry inbound soon...
  24. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014

    The navcomputer alarm went off about an hour ago. There was another great jolt, followed by the whine of the hyperdrive shutting down, and it seems I am now in the Svivren system, in orbit around the planet of the same name. And then a comm message came through—someone at docking control in the city of Rills? Whills? Wheels? Something like that; I have always had trouble understanding Human accents. Their resh never quite sounds like a real resh.

    In any case, I was asked to transmit an authorization code. That was a tense few moments indeed, as I had no idea where to find such a thing on a shuttle like this (the last time I had any experience with docking authorization codes was when G. and I borrowed Chorg’s airspeeder for our second trip to Moonflower Springs—which I shall try not to think about now). I managed to stall for a time with a little bit of no speak good Basic in my own accent; try as I might, I couldn’t access the ship’s computer beyond the simplest functions, and I even ran back to the stateroom and rummaged in a few drawers to see if I could at least find a code chip or some such thing. (Akh karabast’aka, how I wish I had not done that… the candy wrappings and sigarra ends were the least of it!) By that time the docking control agent had become impatient and was threatening to send a shuttle up to board and search mine—and just then I heard a second voice, in the background, cut in with something like, “Diane, what are you doing?! THAT’S THE MOFF’S SHUTTLE!” And so all was resolved, thank the Ashla, and they granted me docking clearance.

    So, in about three quarters of an hour, I should be above the spaceport of this Rils or Whills, and I have been thinking about what to do once I am on the ground. Well, first things first: I shall have to take care of that creep Belphagor—namely, get him as far away from me as possible. At least I am armed now: I have his pistol (and have found the locker with the spare power cells) and my husband’s knife, so he is effectively at my mercy. (Not that I would like him there for long.)

    After that? I don’t know. I suppose I should begin by considering what I have here with me. First, there’s all the moff’s effects, though except for the pistol and power cells I intend to dispose of most of them along with him. Next time I stun him I suppose I should see if he has a credit stick; that might be useful to have.

    Then there is my faithful satchel, containing the only possessions left to me in the Galaxy beyond the clothing that covers me. I may as well list them here, just to pass the time:
    1. This journal.
    2. This stylus, which will soon need a new ink cartridge.
    3. A few books: the abridged chant compendium from which I had been teaching the initiates, Maimonios’s exegesis on the Fourth through Sixth Tractates of Prophecy, and my copy of Chava’s Lasan-Straga edition of Osthi’s Stronghold of Prophecy, which she inscribed to me the day I rose to the First Degree.
    4. G.’s captaincy holo as a placeholder in the Osthi.
    5. My datapad, which is no longer receiving any kind of comm signal, even though I am out of hyperspace. I shall probably need to replace the network identification chip once I land.
    6. A tin of Shaman Rachtilios’s headache pastilles, with only three left.
    7. Two pads, which were three until about an hour ago. (Well, there is our answer yet again, Zeblove—though now it comes more as a relief than anything else.)
    8. Most of a pouchful of ritual chalk.
    9. An entire pouchful of hairpins.
    10. The pistol and a few spare power cells, as mentioned before.
    11. Mama’s beads.
    12. My focusing stone.
    13. G.’s knife.
    And then there is this shuttle. That will require some thought. Part of me wonders if it would be useful to have a ship at my disposal. Once I dispose of the Human, I could return to Lasan and resume my search for you, dearest… and there indeed are the coordinates, still in the navcomputer buffer…

    But no. It would be too great a risk. I now have seen what G. has always told me: the Empire is ruthless, merciless, uncompromising. The longer I keep the shuttle, the greater their chance of tracing it to me, and if they do, they will certainly send ships to intercept. And even if I somehow made it back to Lasan—would G. even be there? Supposing he were, supposing I found him—wouldn’t I be putting him in danger as well? I can only hope and pray that Wise Ch. and Lt. S. and the Wookiees (may the Ashla be their shield) have managed to find him themselves… though I barely have hope even of that anymore.

    Oh, they must think I am dead! How I wish I had gone with them when I had had the chance! Though I know why I didn’t—or do I?

    No, again no! This is not the time to stir up my currents about what I could have done (especially with only three headache pastilles left). What I have done I have done, where I am I am, and I can only hope that it will be for a reason. The fact is that I am far from home, in exile, and likely to remain so.

    Exile: the word wounds. And yet—in her eighth prophecy, Osthi writes of the Seer going into exile for love of the Child. If that blessed and holy avatar can endure such a thing, so can humble Shulma.

    Fifteen minutes till docking, now. And I hear my friend in the cargo hold kicking up a racket again. Time for another stun, methinks…

    “Rils? Whills? Wheels?”: The city Shulma is about to dock in is Wrils, capital city of the southern district of Svivren.

    “Their resh never quite sounds like a real resh”: See the note about rolled rs at
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
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  25. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Shulma! Darling courageous Shulma! Mulling over her best options, shoving aside the useless waste of what-ifs and if-onlies, which is all too easy to get caught up in at such moments! And that trip to Moonflower Springs! Even the name of the place sounds idyllic! I bet their time there was delightful! Shulma is waaaaaaaay more clear-headed about next steps than I know I would be in a similar situation. =D= @};- Eagerly awaiting the next update.
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