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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. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Loved the reciprocal sharing and sympathy. Lua's experience definitely helps her feel empathy for Shulma. [face_thinking] And Shulma is every bit a warrior as a literal soldier [face_love] =D=
  2. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    someone else who had been displaced from her home by the Empire’s evil actions

    Not 'evil'... Necessary. It's for the greater good. The Emperor said so. :emperor: [face_devil]

    no, I am certain it would have, if everything hadn’t been so swiftly and so utterly destroyed…

    The Empire was a model of efficiency, wasn't it? Except for that darned farmboy. :p

    What would G. think of me?

    He'd probably think. 'Hottie, let's make out' :p

    Thanks to you, my story is not over.

    Excellently done. =D=

    This story gets better and better. I love the chat with the mother of a resistance fighter and her odd speech patterns. Now she has an ally, not just an employer. Can't wait for more!
  3. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Favorites of Fanfic Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP

    Nov 22, 1999
    Aww, dear Lua! She really is just what Shulma needs, much more than just an employer, she’s becoming a true friend! [face_love] it’s wonderful that Shulma has found someone who’s had a similarly devastating experience with the Empire. Lua’s more fortunate than Shulma, in that her home and species haven’t been destroyed, but she is still in a position to understand Shulma’s grief and loss and remind her “YOU NOT ALONE’”. And from Lua’s reaction, it almost seems like Shulma could become a bit of a folk hero to the non-Human citizens of Wrils if her role in dumping the depraved Moff in that alley were known. (Though of course, it’s better that it’s kept quiet). I love how frank and yet perfectly understated her assessment of Belphagor is: “HE SICK.” Yes, that about sums it up.

    Lua’s tale of the Sa’Kalla movement on Pipada and her son (Pao!) gives Shulma some food for thought, though I wonder, given the Empire’s determination to wipe out the Lasat if having a formal resistance movement would have made much of a difference. Perhaps they might have taken more Imperials with them, but it’s hard to fight against an enemy who’s willing to use disruptor rifles. I think it’s understandable that, hearing about Pao’s involvement, Shulma might feel that she’s not doing enough to fight the Empire, and I know that you had some concerns about how she should handle those doubts, but I think resolved them in such a lovely, poignant way here, with her hearing the “voice” of Lasan itself, reminding her that she is doing more than she thinks. She is using her talents to keep the holy words of her people alive, and that is no small thing! It is her own act of service and, yes, of rebellion to save what the Empire tried to destroy. And this:
    is just perfect. It recalls what Chava tells Zeb in “Legends of Lasan”, about everyone playing different roles at different times. The important thing is that Shulma keeps hoping and working, using the talents that the Ashla has given her to save everything she can of her people and their faith. And “What would G. think of me?” He’d be immensely proud and full of love for you, Shulma, because just as you couldn't use a bo-rifle, he could never record scripture.

    So hang in there, Shulma! Keep the faith and keep up the good work. What you’re doing is no small thing!
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Again, many thanks for the readership and comments. I know I'm a broken record about that, but I mean it. :)

    Thanks! Gaining Lua's friendship and hearing her story means so much to Shulma right now—it makes such a difference to know that others, and other worlds, have been through the same hell that she has. Probably makes an immense difference for Lua, too—she too has found someone who really understands her story. And she is absolutely a warrior, in her way, in her unique and valuable way—not all warriors fight with weapons. Hers are her spiritual wisdom and her knowledge of her people's ancient lore. @};-

    Yes, he would. wouldn't he! :p Thanks once again for being here to read and comment. :)

    For sure—and we have Galen Erso partly to thank for that, of course! :D

    :D Hah! Well, her courage and inner strength are definitely part of what drew him to her, and there's no reason he'd stop feeling that way toward her now (other than being light years away, of course).

    Thank you so much. :)

    Well, thank you again, and I'm so glad you are enjoying this! Lua is definitely more than just an employer for Shulma—she's also a friend with whom Shulma shares some important commonalities, and she and her son (who is none other than Pao of Rogue One!) can be a source of inspiration to Shulma as she carries on. Thanks again for reading and commenting, and more will come very soon! :)

    I'm really enjoying writing such a warm mother-figure for Shulma at this point in her journey, because it really is just what she needs right now, and really, each other's friendship is what both of them need—their stories can inspire each other. That's already happening here as Lua hears of Shulma's brave stand against Moff Belphagor, though I agree that it's probably best for that not to get around...
    ...indeed, watch for similar issues to come up later in the diary.

    True; all good points. While a Lasat resistance might certainly have put a redoubtable cramp on the Empire's style, the Empire had an extremely unfair advantage there, to say the very least. :(

    Thanks, I'm so glad you felt that it worked out in the end, because I really did waffle quite a bit about this passage (and am grateful to your help and encouragement in helping me stop waffling <3 ). Shulma's prone to nerves and self-doubt by nature, which means that stories like Pao's are at once very inspiring to her and very likely to spur some of that self doubt: "look at what a difference he's making, while you're just sitting at a table writing things in a notebook, you lazy thing!" But at the same time, her connection to the Ashla makes her especially susceptible to hearing the kind of mystical "voice" that she does in this entry, which counters her doubts and fears with such sublime encouragement. She really is doing worlds more than she thinks in saving an integral part of her world that would otherwise be totally lost.

    Well, thank you. @};- Recalling that line from that episode ( [face_love] ) was exactly my point here, and since Shulma is Chava's student it figures that she would know that well.

    Oh, he would indeed. :zeb: [face_love] He has always loved how strong she is, and he would love how strong she's staying and finding ways to use her gifts amid all her adversity. And she shouldn't doubt it, of course—but again, it's that self-doubting tendency that she (and so many of us in this galaxy too) all too often has.

    She most certainly will, now that she has the reassurance of the Ashla itself—and that of you faithful readers doesn't hurt, either! @};- More coming anon...

    ETA a reminder of the upcoming posting schedule: the next installment will go up tomorrow, 11/18; the one after that on the Sunday after next, 11/25; and then there will be a gap of a week before the installment after that, which will be posted on 12/9. I’ll have more to say then about the posting schedule following that.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  5. Kahara

    Kahara Favorites of Fanfic Hostess Extraordinaire star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 3, 2001
    Glad to see that the job hunt ultimately ended well, those intuitions of Shulma's definitely led her in the right direction. What a grim thing, though, that the main employer in town are the ones responsible for her exile in the first place. At least there are still some opportunities outside of that! Though not all those are a good fit either -- the thing about the shoes is both a great piece of worldbuilding and utterly frustrating. What kind of shoes would one even be expected to wear?!! Somehow I don't think it would be easy to find something even if she were able to stomach the idea.

    It's so good to see that Shulma has found in Lua someone who can not only help her keep a roof over her head but has real experience and empathy for what she's gone through. Both of those were desperately needed, and now she has at least one friendly face to tell her the same thing the Force shows her through her writing/visions -- she is not alone in this. @};-
  6. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Wonderful to see you here again, @Kahara! :)

    Job hunting is not what anyone would call a fun experience in any galaxy, and it’s difficult and discouraging enough when you’re doing it on your own home planet among your own kind—how much so when you’re an exile and putatively one of the last of your species! And in this galaxy as in ours, it takes about 10 unsuccessful job applications before you manage one successful one—and one just has to “keep calm and carry on,” and try not to blame oneself for the nonsuccesses. (Easier said than done, as I know from my own experience. =(( )

    And you’re absolutely right about the shoes, too, of course. :p That manager is adhering to some rules in a very one-size-fits-all type of way, and of course there’s no reason she would be expected to know that wearing shoes is something this particular species Just Doesn’t Do. But that doesn’t mean that it’s any less frustrating for Shulma, of course. Thankfully she eventually manages to find a situation that doesn’t require foot coverings! :D

    Visions and Force promptings are great, and of course Shulma takes hers seriously, but what a difference it makes to hear an experience like that from a flesh-and-blood source! It all becomes so much more concrete that way, and Shulma no longer needs to keep all her feelings to herself. Not only does she now gain a friend, but she gains the chance to be a friend and provide that same confirmation to someone else who’s also been through hell because of the Empire—and what a fulfilling thing that is, too. And the fact that it’s an area in which she’s actually got a modicum of experience is an added bonus! Even after the devastating defeat at the hands of the Empire, it’s a way for everyone—or at least these two women—to win. @};-

    Thanks so much once again for reading and reviewing—always wonderful to have you here! :) Next installment forthcoming momentarily...
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014

    Today marks a full year since I arrived in Wrils. I came here as a fugitive, an escaped captive, fearful for my life and safety, with nothing but the contents of my satchel and the clothing that covered me. Since then, by the Ashla’s good graces, I have managed to settle into a calmer existence. I have a place to live and a place to work. I have a caring friend and employer in Lua, who still invites me for tea on Zhellday evenings after closing time. (She has even been trying to teach me how to play galactic tiles, but doubts I am quite ready to join the exuberant group of friends she has over to play on Taungsday evenings. Ah, well, I think I shall live!) I no longer have only the clothing that came with me from Lasan: besides my regular wages, Lua has paid me with two very fine everyday dresses and a lovely hooded cloak, and she has promised a heavier coat for when the weather cools off. She is truly skilled in her art, and her friendship is a bright light in my exile.

    My hair is growing back. It comes just to my chin now—enough to catch the breeze on a brisk spring evening.

    I still spend most evenings after work writing down all I can of the sacred texts. I shall soon need some new notebooks from the stationer’s; I am now more than halfway through the Fourth Tractate, and just for thrills I have started on some of the Lesser Seers as well. (I always liked the Flowing Lightnings of Berura, and she was one of Osthi’s primary influences too, of course.) I have even finally constructed a new staff housing for my focusing stone—I simply liberated a good, hardwood handle from one of the mops in the broom closet—so I can perform the morning and evening rituals in their full form, and perhaps the seasonal rituals too when the time comes. (I replaced the mop, of course. It was becoming rather moth-eaten anyway.)

    So yes, things are going well for me here, it seems. And yet I cannot rid myself of the feeling that I cannot and will not stay here forever…

    The visions have been coming to me more and more often, and more intensely. I do not understand why it is happening now, and it is more than a little disturbing. I have seen G. several times now: sometimes beside me in bed, sometimes standing before me while I am sitting at the table, a few times even in the shop—and every time he draws close as if to kiss me, then disappears. Sometimes I see shadowy forms of those I used to know, standing around my work table: Papa and Mama and Chorg and Chorz, or Rishla and Yhazi and Chukwu and the other shamans of my class, or G.’s men, or some of the Revered Masters who taught me, like Shamans Movshati and Rokseth: they stand very still around me in an arc and stare at me, then fade slowly away. I have to wonder why the Ashla has seen fit to add to my misery by continually showing me those I know must now be gone—particularly when things are going so well for me otherwise. (Oddly, I have never seen G. or Wise Ch. in such shadowy form. Whenever my Zeblove appears to me, I see him as clearly as if he were there in the flesh. In a way that makes it all the worse.)

    Just yesterday I saw something unlike anything I have before. I was in the middle of working on the buttonhole of a Pantoran gentleman’s overcoat when two bright golden orbs or spheres flared up in my vision. I thought at first they resembled the descriptions in Osthi and the later Tractates of Prophecy of Lira San and its sun, but they were different: the ancient homeworld and its sun differ in brightness, while both of these orbs were equally bright. Also, they seemed more faceted than would be expected of a planet or star, like a rockfly’s compound eyes…

    At any rate, they grew larger and larger, brighter and brighter, and as they did my head filled with blinding pain—until at last there was a large, loud crackle of lightning—and I was doubled over on the work table in agony, with the overcoat hanging partly on the floor. I think I was unconscious.

    In any case, Lua found me a little while later, weeping and clutching my head, and she insisted that I go drink some hot tea while she finished the buttonhole herself. She was kind about it, but I think she must have been as perplexed as I was (and still am). Thankfully no damage was done, but it was frightening to have such a thing happen on the job. I do not want my silly moments of weakness to interfere with my work or, worse yet, cause me to ruin a customer’s garment.

    I have another headache this morning—a bladelike pain right above my eyes, with an aura of bright, colorful specks that dazzles and blurs my vision. The spikemint tea has had no effect, and of course there are no more of Shaman R.’s pastilles. Part of me is sorely tempted to call in sick. But I have never missed a day of work at Lua’s before; should I really let my foolish infirmities keep me from doing what I have promised to do for her? Wouldn’t that be selfish and thankless after all of her generosity toward me? Besides, I do need to pay my rent…

    I can just hear dear G. now, saying the same thing he said that very morning that seems so long ago now: You’re not goin’ anywhere today! You just stay right there in bed and drink all your tea, you got that?! Oh, and now I can see him before me, brow knit, arms crossed in that Honor Guard Captain way—oh, my head!—

    No. I can’t let my currents engulf me like this now. I must have my breakfast and get my things together to go in to the shop. I think I shall bring this journal too; perhaps the visions have been affecting me so strongly because I have been remiss in writing them down as they happen, as Wise Ch. advised (also so long ago now). Quickly, briefly, and be done with it. Because they are just visions, just shadows, and it’s no use dwelling on what is gone—is it? (Is it, sweet Zeblove? Is it no use that each night I kiss your image and run my finger-pads over the blade that once hung from your belt…?)

    0655. Time to go.

    Rishla, Yhazi, Chukwu: OCs; Shulma’s friends and fellow shamans who appeared previously in The Sad, Sad Story of Porfozald Marballees! and Calm After the Storm.

    Galactic tiles seems to be a GFFA equivalent of mahjong (it was apparently invented by a Duros named M’a Jong). The Wookieepedia link shows it as an arcade game, but I imagine there being an actual tile-based game on which the arcade game is based, and that is what Lua and her friends play, of course.

    Berura, Flowing Lightnings: More fanon Lasat shamanic lore, like Osthi and the Tractates of Prophecy.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    I am so happy that things at work are going so well as well as continued teatimes with Lua.

    But the visions, and the worsening nature of these! [face_worried]

    I am intrigued that her views of Zeb are qualitatively different from those of others: more solid if that's right? Of course she doesn't know the reason for it so feels it's quite the ironic mixed blessing.
  9. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Favorites of Fanfic Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP

    Nov 22, 1999
    Time has passed, and Shulma has found her new normal and, if not exactly happiness, at least some measure of contentment. She’s no longer living in fear and uncertainty. She’s found a good friend in Lua and finds satisfaction both in her vocation as a seamstress and her avocation recording scripture. She’s even recreated her shamanic staff—and I love how she’s elevated the very mundane mop handle for this sublime purpose! :D

    At the same time, her visions are becoming more frequent and troubling. I can certainly see why! It must be quite disturbing for her to have finally settled into this new life, only to be regularly visited by images of her lost loved ones. Her visions of Zeb—real and solid rather than shadowy, reaching out to her—are particularly unsettling. The difference in his appearance, and Wise Chava’s, too, is a very important clue, if only Shulma knew it! (And I wonder if those visions of Zeb reaching out to her are moments when he is thinking of her.) On top of all this, she’s also troubled by these puzzling new visions of a pair of golden orbs of mysterious origin, not quite like planets or suns, but more like insect eyes (another clue!) And the vision of these orbs is so powerful and consuming that Shulma passes out over her work and is left with a piercing headache the next day. I have to say that your description of her headache exactly matches the auras and pain that I’ve experienced with migraines. I don’t blame her for wanting to stay in bed! I think she’s much too hard on herself, the way she terms her headaches “foolish infirmities” and believes that taking a day off would be “selfish and thankless”. Dear Shulma, Lua is your friend and would be more than understanding, especially since you passed out the day before!

    And her memory of Zeb the day of the Seige =(( The irony is that if she had taken his advice that day, she most likely would not be alive!

    Another lovely entry, and as always I look forward to reading our brave heroine’s further adventures!
  10. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Oh, I missed an update. Let me rectify that now! Because these were two truly wonderful entries, and I enjoyed every word. [face_love]

    Oh, Lua! [face_love] I liked her before, but I absolutely adore her now. What a beautiful soul - and just what Shulma needs: a friend and a confident as much as an employer. I really appreciate the consideration in Lua telling her story first, even. One has to be careful about how they speak and when, and Lua sharing her own tale helps Shulma process and grieve her own circumstances all the more so. Just beautiful.

    Oh, oh!! I can't tell you how much I adored this passage. [face_love] So much intense emotion packed into just a wonderful few lines. I'm so glad these two women have found each other.

    I have to agree with what was mentioned by Raissa and others: sadly, a resistance on Lasan most likely would have only meant that they would have taken more Imperials with them as they fell. But I do appreciate her thoughts, approving of an organized resistance. One can only imagine just where that will lead in the future. Perhaps. [face_thinking]

    YES! I love that Lua is the mouthpiece to voice what we all were thinking here! :p [face_dancing]

    It's also interesting, noting how the situation with the moff is developing. That would be quite the story for the local populance, I didn't even stop to consider before. Here's to hoping that that doesn't come back on Shulma in the future . . . [face_worried]

    Oh, dear Shumla, not in the SLIGHTEST. You banish those thoughts right now! Everyone fights, each in their own way - and it's such an amazing victory, preserving what the Empire wanted to be destroyed and saving a bit of a culture that observes the Light side of the Force when the Dark is trying to snuff it out. She's a soldier in a much larger war than she realizes! Zeb would have nothing but praise for the bravery and courage of his lady love, and to hear the voice of Lasan validate her fears right after she doubts that she's not doing enough for her people was just beautiful. Carrying on Chava's words about warriors and fools and children and seers was an intese, fitting way to conclude the entry. With both the spiritual and actual, tangible comfort Shulma received in this update, she really is moving on to a new chapter of her life. [face_love]

    Oh, NICE! I really appreciated this added bit of world building. =D=

    So a year has passed! It seems that Shulma is carving out a place for herself, for all that even she seems to understand it's only temporary. I'm more than curious to see how her path is going to wind next from here. [face_thinking]

    Oh, we know!! *waves hand* The Ashla is trying so hard to tell Shulma something, but she's not in the proper place to understand it yet. But, all in good time! Meanwhile, these are just such painful visions, showing her her ghosts time and again. And with this worrying vision of golden insect eyes, which was violent enough to make her faint during a work day . . . :eek: [face_worried]

    What, silly moments of weakness? Oh, only in that self-deprecating sense is Shulma silly! Once again I'm sad that Shulma doesn't quite see herself the way we do. But that's part of a hero's journey, I suppose. More than perhaps Shulma is acknowledging, that was a frightening thing to experience, even as an observer - and certainly Lua shares that concern and would understand her taking a day off to take care of herself! Shulma is the furthest from selfish and thankless there is. o_O

    But at least she has a plan going forward to record her visions in an attempt to make sense of them. Eventually, she's going to realize that they are far more than memories! I remain, as always, most curious and eager to see how her story goes from here. Thank you so much for sharing! :)

    =D= [:D]
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  11. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    Ah, well, I think I shall live!

    Lol, I'm certain she'll survive missing out on the fun bunch. [face_plain]

    and every time he draws close as if to kiss me, then disappears.

    That has to be quite frustrating. [face_sigh]

    particularly when things are going so well for me otherwise.

    So you continue to remember them.

    Oddly, I have never seen G. or Wise Ch. in such shadowy form.

    It's cause he's not dead and will come to you soon enough. :D And then the games shall begin! [face_mischief]

    At any rate, they grew larger and larger, brighter and brighter, and as they did my head filled with blinding pain—until at last there was a large, loud crackle of lightning—and I was doubled over on the work table in agony

    Sounds like a Jedi-strength migraine. :p

    a bladelike pain right above my eyes, with an aura of bright, colorful specks that dazzles and blurs my vision.

    Have a headache this big? Take Forcerin and feel better in a flash. Forcerin, recommended by three out of four Jedi Masters.

    Is it no use that each night I kiss your image and run my finger-pads over the blade that once hung from your belt…?

    It'll be all the more satisfying, the more she misses him, when he shows up, eh? [face_mischief] [face_whistling] [face_love]

    I seem to not be getting updates. I have this thread 'watched', and didn't get an email about it, though I get other emails about other threads. Sorry for being late and loved the update. :)
  12. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    As always, thank you all for the wonderful replies and comments, which very much brightened my holiday weekend! :)

    Yes, having regular employment can go a long way in restoring a feeling of normalcy and contentment, and it’s definitely an added and wonderful bonus that her employer is showing herself an actual friend, too!

    Ah ha, yes indeed, he is showing up as more solid—something all of you readers picked up on, and you all know the reason for it, of course, even though Shulma doesn’t yet… [face_quiet]

    Yes, things have reached a sort of equilibrium for her. Both that mundane, everyday employment and that sacred avocation are necessary for her at this stage—either one by itself wouldn’t be enough to sustain her. And that mop handle is yet another way in which her Ashla gift elevates her everyday existence and reminds her that “everything is illuminated.”

    In a way it’s the fact that she’s achieved this new routine that’s opened up the channel in the Ashla for these visions to come to her, though it’s understandably hard for her to see it that way just yet, especially with all the headaches. And yes, that is a clue of supreme importance for both of them, and the time will come when it will all become clear to our heroine... [face_batting]

    Ah, perhaps so! I hadn’t thought about that interpretation before, but I really like that and can defnitely see it! He too is more connected to the Ashla than he thinks.

    Yes, that is definitely another clue, as you shall see… ;)

    Being a shaman and an oracle can be painful sometimes, and it would be small comfort to her to know that she’s carrying on the venerable tradition of Hildegard of Bingen and Teresa of Ávila! :p At the same time, though, she knows that the pain can sometimes be a signal of a vision’s importance and is filing it away in her mind for later.

    She is definitely much too hard on herself—a trait you’ve probably observed in her before, and one that she has in common with me. [face_blush] I’ve felt this exact same way sometimes when having to miss work due to illness—but it goes without saying that Lua would have been accommodating in such a case. Shulma’s just letting her worry get the better of her, once again. <3

    Yes, that’s the thing, that’s exactly the thing... and “ =(( ” is right.

    Well, thank you, as always, for your input and readership, and stay tuned for more very soon! :)

    Thanks so much, as always! @};- Part of it is my fault; I wasn’t very clear about the changes to my updating schedule, and I’m going to try to be better about that from now on, since there will now be some weekly updates interspersed with the every-two-week ones.

    Absolutely right. Lua’s sharing of her own story, particularly at this dangerous moment in galactic history, reassures Shulma that she can safely share hers as well. It’s a way of showing genuine interest and compassion during both a perilous time for the Galaxy and a time of grief for one individual in it.

    And I’m so glad you are enjoying them—thanks so much! :) It’s a vulnerable moment for Shulma, but Lua respects her vulnerability and has compassion for it. And that she momentarily reminds Shulma of another beloved mother figure makes it all the more so! [face_love]

    Yes, unfortunately, that’s probably the case. But do indeed keep your eyes out for where those thoughts might lead...

    Yes, there is a bit of “[face_worried]” here indeed, as you shall see down the line. But it is at least a little bit of a lift for Shulma to learn that others appreciated the comeuppance she gave the moff, and to hear that others even in this very town regard him with the same kind of distaste.

    She definitely is a true warrior in her way, and Zeb would love her for that if he could see her now! [face_love] Once again, her self-doubts and worries are on the verge of getting the better of her—but once again, her shamanic gift and connection to the Ashla are there to bring her reassurance and comfort. Those things combined with Lua’s friendship definitely will help her march onward in dignity and hope.

    Thanks, and good catch—glad you enjoyed that touch! :)

    One of the things I love about the flexibility of the diary format is the way one can put as much time as one wants between entries, depending on the needs of the story. :D She’s achieved a new normal, as Raissa put it, but she’s also realizing the impermanence of that normal. A prompting of the Ashla, perhaps...?

    Yes, she’ll definitely get there! ;)

    Yes, as though the visions of familiar faces weren’t causing her enough grief and pain, there’s this new one on top of it all that’s clearly of someone or something she doesn’t know. And of course the uptick in the visions is a large part of her realization that she can’t stay in this place forever... [face_nail_biting]

    Yep, there indeed goes her old self-deprecating tendency again, though as you rightly say it is indeed part and parcel of her journey as well as of her personality. She is indeed kind of “stuffing” her feelings about the experience, or trying to, though we all know she doesn’t have to and that Lua would indeed understand. <3

    Oh, indeed she will come to that realization, and as always, you are very, very welcome—thank you for your insight and comments as always, too! @};-

    Hah, yes! Imagine the group of older ladies who play bridge or mahjong with your (i.e., one’s) grandmother—now imagine them in several different SW species. That’s about what it amounts to. :p

    Oh yes, absolutely, especially given that she believes him most likely dead. =((

    Yes, true that. @};-

    Yes, the games of Love! [face_batting] All in good time, all in good time...

    Pretty much, and Lasat-sized on top of that! And as with the Jedi, it’s a harbinger of vision.

    Hah! :D Hey, maybe that was the secret ingredient in Shaman Rachtilios’s headache pastilles! (That, or Ashlafran! :p )

    Yes, that would stand to reason... [face_batting]

    Oh, no need to apologize at all—I’m always glad to receive your comments whenever they come. :) Though that is definitely odd about the email updates. IIRC, there’s some kind of “watch thread and receive email notifications” option that comes up when one clicks “watch” on a thread, though if you already did that and it still isn’t emailing you, it might be something to ask about in the “Communications” forum.

    Again, many thanks to all of you for your comments and thoughts, and watch this space for more to come very soon! :)
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  13. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    Finally managed a quick read-through. Excellent work, as always! I love the depth and integrity of Shulma - her ability to see beauty and to soldier on (no pun intended) even when faced with the dreariest of situations. She is clever and strong, but she still has a warm, compassionate heart. [face_love]

    It's cool how you've incorporated "Three Strands" here (I wonder if that wigmaker will ever make a cameo) and how it ties into Rogue One. Very clever!

    Looking forward to reading more.
  14. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh, thank you so much, diva! So wonderful to see you here, and I am thrilled that you're enjoying this—I have had a ball writing this character. [face_love] The plan with "Three Strands" was always to eventually incorporate it back into a larger DDC—I was kind of dipping my toes into the diary format there before plunging in headlong. :p And yes, hold that thought about Rogue One, because it will be the beginning of forming some important connections for our heroine...! Thanks again, as always. :) More incoming anon.
  15. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014

    Mama, while hemming a skirt. She was the one who showed me how, long ago.

    Golden spheres again. What are they? Eyes? Jewels?

    G.’s hands on my shoulders, just like when he would come up behind me when meeting me at the foot of Mount Straga. I could almost feel them…

    Shaman Movshati, standing beside PR-L4 and watching me at work on another buttonhole. The Ashla seems to have a particular fondness for buttonholes.

    Wise Chava, standing beside the table and nodding while I was writing down all I could about the sixth through eighth chapters of the Fourth Tractate. I still do not understand why she appears as clearly as G. does. She was my beloved mentor, true, but then why wouldn’t Mama appear the same way? Or my best friends from the academy? All the same, I wonder…

    Mama, Papa, and brothers at the table at breakfast.

    Then G., looking hungry.

    G. again.

    Chava, along with Shamans Movshati, Rokseth, and Rachtilios. It was like my First Degree committee all over again.

    Wise Chava again.

    Rishla and Yhazi, at the table with their books.

    Golden spheres at evening rituals.

    G.’s hands on my shoulder. Gone as soon as I turned around, of course.

    Chava again, during morning rituals.

    [Similar entries fill many more pages in the journal, reaching almost but not quite to the end.]

    The golden spheres, while mending gloves for the Ardennian knitting shop owner who plays galactic tiles with Lua. Almost blinding. I had to turn off the machine and blink for a bit. Lua did not see.

    G. beside me while I was trying on the new dress from Lua.

    Lua had a visitor yesterday evening. I can always tell when she has visitors, because her voice is so loud (on Taungsday nights I can barely fall asleep before 2300 courtesy of the galactic tiles ladies). But this one had the same strange quirk of speaking SOME words LOUDER THAN others—another Drabatan? Also, maybe younger? I wonder if it was her son. They talked late into the night.

    It was her son. She says he visited her last night but had to leave very early in the morning. Ashla guide him wherever he may be going. (Soon after she told me this I saw G. again, smiling a smile that outshone the sun...)

    Golden spheres while eating my lunch. Again, almost blinding.

    And again, while loading the last of the dark gray buttonhole thread into PR-L4.

    Went walking in the park in the evening after work; suddenly the landscape changed and looked like the cliffs outside Flowstone Vale, where G. and I used to walk in the twilight.

    G. again, as I climbed into bed. Oh, darling, if only…

    Again the golden spheres! They blazed at me so fiercely that I almost ran the sewing machine over my fingers (another buttonhole). PR rolled up and shut it off just in time. This has to stop or I really will ruin something.

    Awoke in middle of the night with piercing headache, nausea, bright golden auras. G. beside me as I awoke, leaning over to kiss me—then all dark.

    Ardennian (species of Rio Durant from Solo): Given their four arms, I love the idea of one of them owning a knitting shop. :D
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh, I CANNOT wait for Shulma to find G. again :) :) The anticipation is killing me!

    Those golden spheres... they keep turning up. [face_thinking] What's frustrating is by the time she figures out what they are, will it be too late to give a warning, if that's what they are? [face_worried]

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2018
  17. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    I have to agree with @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha that, once G finds Shulma again, our computer screens are going to steam over and we won't be able to read anything. [face_tee_hee]

    The Ashla seems to have a particular fondness for buttonholes.

    They allow access to the other side. Symbolic, if you will. :D

    I still do not understand why she appears as clearly as G. does.

    For someone so bright, she's dim sometimes. :p Of course, so are we all at times. She should remember seeing Wise Chava being carried by the Wookiees, alive. Then, it's not so much of a stretch to say she's clear in the visions because of that very reason. Then, it's not much of a stretch to imagine her Zeblove still being alive. [face_thinking] Maybe she's trying to pretend they're still just visions because she's afraid her love will still get killed on the way to meet her or something...

    It was like my First Degree committee all over again.

    You're getting the First Degree all right, from the Force, lol.

    G.’s hands on my shoulder. Gone as soon as I turned around, of course.

    How... Frustrating. [face_mischief] :D

    on Taungsday nights I can barely fall asleep before 2300 courtesy of the galactic tiles ladies

    Oi, such a ruckus. :p

    G. again, as I climbed into bed. Oh, darling, if only…

    [face_mischief] [face_love] [face_party]

    I wonder when those blazing visions will go away? Hopefully she can figure out what's causing them soon, or else she might sew herself into someone's garment. Keep up the great work
    @Findswoman !
  18. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Whew! The Ashla certainly does have a lot to say right now, and it's more than understandable that these visions are weighing so heavily on Shulma. These snippets of vision really do read like a map without a key to decipher them. :oops:

    I adored this line. Yep. The Force would. :p

    Galactic tiles ladies! I loved that bit - and also the goings on between mother and son. There really is a whole world of resistance just waiting for if and when Shulma may be interested in joining. [face_batting]

    Ack. :( For all of her visions, seeing Zeb over and over again, so close and lifelike only to constantly wink from view must be a bittersweet thing to endure!

    I really enjoyed the structure of this update - the brief notes, jotting down her visions. It really feels like a log someone would keep to track their symptoms. My heart remains in my throat for Shulma, and I am still endlessly curious as to the source of these golden orbs! I remain rivetted, as always, and eager to read more. :) =D=
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  19. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    It will happen, it will happen, I promise. It will be some time from now, but it will happen. (That never really was a spoiler, after all! :D )

    Ah ha, ah ha! [face_mischief] In not too long (as in, a couple more installments) it'll become clear what they are—that's the best I can say at present.

    Ah, wait and see! :D Though there will also probably be a lot of crying in each other's arms. <3

    Ah ha, a very interesting explanation indeed! I hadn't thought of it that way, but isn't that perfectly true. :D

    Yep, even a smart person can miss the obvious if they're very preoccupied emotionally, which Shulma definitely is even after a full year on Svivren. And indeed there still are risks and things that Could Go Wrong, as you point out. At this point she just doesn't know (and neither does he).

    She certainly is, and it's worse than any oral exam committee! (Speaking as someone who has rough memories of my Ph.D. qualifying exam...)

    Oh, isn't it? And especially when it's happening again and again and again, it almost seems to add insult to injury. :(

    It's all very "pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little"... again, imagine one's grandmother's bridge group. :D (My grandmother had a bridge group, so that's what this is partly based on. :p)

    How did I know you would pick up on this one! :p

    Thanks as always, Vek, and always glad to have you here to read! :) She will get at least a bit more clarity on those visions in chapters soon to come, so stay tuned.

    It really is a lot to process, even for someone who's used to processing visions—not least of all because out here she has to go it alone, without the spiritual support network she had on Lasan.

    Thanks! I just couldn't resist. :D I basically just thought of the least-known-to-me sewing task there is, and used that. :p

    Galactic tiles ladies! I loved that bit - and also the goings on between mother and son. There really is a whole world of resistance just waiting for if and when Shulma may be interested in joining. [face_batting][/quote]

    There is indeed! This is one of Shulma's first glimpses into that world, which of course in term will be yet one more thing that leads her closer to reuniting with Zeb. I'm hoping to write Pao and Lua's meeting as its own story at some point, since it would fit well with a non-deadline challenge prompt I have built up from a few years back. As a mom of a son myself, I do like a good mother-son scene. <3

    Oh, definitely, to the point where she probably almost doesn't want to see those visions of him anymore and just stick to her memories. A rough thing to feel, given how much she loves and misses him!

    Thanks so much, and I'm glad the change of format worked well for you and didn't feel like too much of a jar. I have to admit too that it was also a bit of a sneaky DDC trick on my part, since it also allowed me to skip over a long period of time in a single "entry." (Which goes to show just how flexible this format is! :D )

    Once again, many thanks to you all for reading and commenting, and more will be on its way very soon!
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  20. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014

    The Bogan take those golden spheres! Why have they been haunting my visions for so long?! I have been enduring it because I must—the Ashla sends me what it sends me—but this time it is too much! Today they caused me to drop the vibrocutter so that it first cut my finger, making me bleed all over the fabric, then fell on the fabric and slashed through it—ruining a whole meter! I hoped Lua wouldn’t hear my cry of pain, but she did and immediately came running over. She sighed and tutted when she saw what had happened, gave me a bacta pad from the medkit, and sent me to help PR wind bobbins. She simply got out a new length of fabric and started cutting out the pattern again, but I felt miserable for having wasted her time and material like that. (I apologized to her later. Her response: “No worries, it ALL RIGHT, but try NO do that AGAIN, okay?”)

    Again I ask: why? What are they? Why are my visions these days only the golden spheres—and G.? It is not that I haven’t seen them before now, and of course I am used to visions. But as I look back through this journal at the visions I’ve recorded in the time since I arrived (and work with Lua has kept me so busy and so tired that I haven’t had much time to record anything else), I see that there was a time when the Ashla sent me images of many beings and things: my parents, my brothers, my friends, my teachers, places I remembered from Lasan. Only now, in the last few months, there has been no Chava, no shamans, no family members, no homeworld—nothing but strange, blazing golden spheres and the occasional Zeblove. Why? What does it mean? It must mean something—everything means something…

    I must think on it further. If I were back at the Academy, I would go to the library and consult the ancient sources that deal with visions and prophecies. I only have a few books of my own now—but I do have all those notes of mine, and, as Rossalmus the Scribe writes, the Ashla often rewards study with insight…

    * * *​

    Awoke to the golden spheres. Saw them very close: they really do look like faceted jewels. Rather pretty when they’re not interrupting my work.

    G. at breakfast, though he looked angry. I’m sorry I ate all the mealgrain, dearest…?

    Golden spheres again, momentarily, while I was writing down a customer’s order (involving, incidentally, buttonholes). I blinked a bit, but she would not have noticed.

    * * *​

    I have spent the last several days looking back through my notes hoping to gain some kind of insight into these visions of mine and perhaps even some respite from them. There is differing opinion among the ancient sages concerning recurring visions, both within the Tractates of Prophecy themselves and among the later seers and exegetes. One of the most widespread interpretations is that such visions represent one’s heart’s deepest desire—well, that would certainly explain G. (even if that desire is no longer attainable), but what about the spheres? If they were the ancient homeworld and its sun, it would make more sense; I know that Svivren is not truly a home to me. But I really do not understand why I would so greatly desire a pair of giant yellow or golden rockfly eyes…

    Another interpretation holds that recurring paired visions of this type represent, respectively, that which is searched for and that which may aid one in the search. But how can I search for G., knowing I shall never find him? And even if by some remote chance I could, how could the abovementioned giant golden rockfly eyes possibly be of any help? Though perhaps they, too, are not what they seem: if they are indeed eyes, it may be a matter of who, rather than what… again, I can only meditate on it further, and keep my own eyes out.

    Though I have one other idea. This southern hemisphere of Svivren is approaching its summer solstice in about a month. What if I performed the Storm Solstice ceremony? I know—it is strange to imagine performing the seasonal rituals anywhere other than Lasan (and that is why I have not done so here yet, even though I now have a proper staff housing). But the Sacred Light always flows so freely at those turning points of the year—why wouldn’t that be true on other worlds as well? Perhaps that is when the Ashla might finally give me some kind of sign about what I have been seeing…

    I shall do it. I shall ask Lua for that day off, and I shall begin preparing. There are parts of the chant in the little chant compendium I still have, and I used to be called on to do it often enough that I think I can piece together the rest. And there is the arboreal park outside town with that vast, lovely central lawn—what a perfect place that would be, and I bet it’s sublime at dawn…

    And now some hot tea, and off to the shop again. Fortunately no buttonholes scheduled for today.

    mealgrain: Wookieepedia has it as being Mandalorian in origin, but I imagine it can be found all around the Galaxy too.

    Storm Solstice ceremony: Fanon; described in the Lasat fanon post under “Seasons, Observances, Celebrations.”
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2020
  21. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 12, 2018
    EDIT: Ha! First post! Woo-hoo!

    and sent me to help PR wind bobbins.

    That sounds like a Lord of the Rings character if ever I've heard one: P.R. Wind Bobbins. :p

    but I do have all those notes of mine, and, as Rossalmus the Scribe writes, the Ashla often rewards study with insight…

    There you go. Study and wisdom might knock you on the head. [face_praying] Or, maybe not... who can say?

    G. at breakfast, though he looked angry.

    He says, "why don't I have beautiful Shulma in my arms right now? Grrr."

    I’m sorry I ate all the mealgrain, dearest…?

    "Oh, yeah, and you ate all the mealgrain again. Darn you." :p

    (involving, incidentally, buttonholes)


    that would certainly explain G. (even if that desire is no longer attainable)

    The Force will gift you... when you least suspect it. [face_mischief]

    Though perhaps they, too, are not what they seem:

    Ah-ha, now she starts seeing, rather than just looking at it, eh?

    Perhaps that is when the Ashla might finally give me some kind of sign about what I have been seeing…

    And now she lets that wisdom at last guide her toward answers. :D

    Excellent update!!! =D=
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Shulma has avenues to pursue at last to unlock the nature of the spheres. And not too soon it looks like what with their appearance interfering with her work. [face_worried]
    Her puzzling out their connection to Zeb ... yes, I think her theory about the home of origin for the Lasat is indeed very much what she's picking up on. [face_thinking]
    I think her strategy relating to the Solstice ceremony is a good one.
  23. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Favorites of Fanfic Artist Extraordinaire star 4 VIP

    Nov 22, 1999
    Catching up... 12: So many visions! Shulma continues to have visions of friends and loved ones she’s lost...and those who, if she only knew it, are merely misplaced . I can see her visions being both a comfort and a frustration to her. A comfort because it keeps them vivid in her memories and alive in her heart, and because the seem in some ways to offer her encouragement and companionship—her mother appearing while Shulma mends a skirt, the just way she taught her, Chava nodding while she records scripture—but a frustration because her visions of Zeb are so tangible, reminding her of everything she believes she’ll never have again.(Though I love that at least one of her visions is of him looking hungry; I bet that is an expression she knows well :D)And those mysterious golden spheres continue to appear at inopportune moments, in all their blinding glory.

    I also like that the Ashla “has a particular fondness for buttonholes” [face_laugh] and I love @Vek Talis ’s theory that they allow access to the other side =D= Once Shulma and Zeb reunite, if she ever makes her way to A Certain Moroccan-Themed Planet, I have a fugitive Jedi who could have a nice long chat with her about the Force/Ashla’s propensity for choosing mundane moments and means to communicate its messages.

    But as frustrating as those visions were for Shulma, it’s more frustrating when the images of her friends and family cease, and she’s only seeing her long lost Zeblove and those karabastical golden spheres! They continue to plague her visions for years without her gaining any further understanding of what they are or why they’re so persistent , and I don’t blame her for being a bit sick of seeing them, when so many things that have meaning to her have disappeared from her vision. But like any good scholar, she resolves to research her question; the librarian in me approves. (Lua is characteristically kind about Shulma’s injury and the ruined material; for a seamstress, an entire yard ruined could set back a project or be quite expensive, depending on the fabric!)

    I wonder what was upsetting Zeb here...:hmm:, though I do love Shulma apologizing for eating the mealgrain. [face_laugh]

    Shulma’s research leads to a couple interesting theories about the golden spheres. First, that they represent her her hesrt’s desire, and second, that the paired visions represent her desire and the means to find it, though Shulma is still confused as to how a “pair of giant golden rockfly eyes” could be either her desire or something that will help her obtain her desire. And then the thought occurs to her that if they are eyes, they could belong to someone who could help her. there’s an interesting speculation! She comes away with new resolve, not just to meditate and study, but to take action and perform the sacred Storm Solstice ritual. to help her find the answers she seeks—and why not? The Ashla doesn’t only manifest on Lasan; it’s everywhere and in all things, and it is sure to reward such faithful action.

    Looking forward to seeing the results of Shulma’s ritual; may she find the clarity she’s looking for!
  24. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Nov 30, 2005
    What are those spheres? They are almost living entities in themselves. I wonder how they manifest. They must be touching some kind of spiritual essence within her, but what is triggering them? The softness, the round spherical shapes, such a calling to the mystic feminine. If they are eyes, are they seeing in, or out? Are they watching her, or giving her a window to see outward?

    And then to have Zeb (or "G.") with them. I wonder if the two are connected; if the spheres appear when something is happening to Zeb. It's interesting that every other person seems to have lost that connection to her but this connection to Zeb stays intact.

    I hope Shulma gets some answers with the solstice, when the veil is thinnest and the Sacred Light can pierce through. She deserves some resolution!
  25. Findswoman

    Findswoman The Fanfic Mod in Pink star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Many thanks to you all, as always! :)

    Hah! I hadn't thought of that before, but it really does! :D

    Sometimes study and wisdom do knock one on the head, sometimes not, but the thing is, one doesn't know which it's going to be until one actually engages in said study and wisdom. :p

    A very plausible feeling for him! :D

    As is this one, when he's in one of his big-lug-who-thinks-with-his-stomach moods! :p

    Always, always! :)

    True, that... and with time you shall see how. [face_mischief]

    Yep, kind of one of those Sherlock Holmes things of seeing vs. deducing. Once she really puts her mind to it, it shows her there's more there than meets the eye.

    Sometimes it's just a matter of time and clarity. Approaching the issue from her scholarly side ended up giving her a lot of extra clarity that she didn't have when she was still caught up in the emotion of all these visions. (Which is a legit first phase, because how could that kind of thing not be emotional?)

    Well, thank you, as always, and I'm so glad it's still holding your interest! :) More on its way soon...

    Oh yes, that was quite a scary experience for her, and potentially costly too! Not to mention that she felt pretty crummy for messing things up for Lua. But again, just sitting down and sorting it out in her mind ended up giving her a lot of clarity on possible courses of action.

    Ah ha, you shall see, you shall see! :D The next chapter shall make a good bit of that clear—and things are indeed a bit clearer for her now that she has a plan. ;)

    This is all absolutely spot on, especially the bit I bolded. Her sensitivity to the Ashla and its currents is at once a blessing and a trial, both maintaining her link to her lost friends and loved ones and also bringing to the fore the fact that they are lost. It's as though the Force can't make its mind up whether they're really lost or not, and is kind of dangling that carrot at Shulma in a way she's not yet sure how to interpret. Yet the visions also end up affording some moments of humor in the mix—seeing her husband's familiar hungry face at breakfasttime probably brought Shulma at least a little laugh, if a bittersweet one. [face_love] And the spheres, yes, those spheres... [face_thinking]

    Oh yes, I have to say I wholeheartedly endorse Vek's interpretation too! :D And indeed, as I was writing just a moment ago about the the mix of humor and loss in Shulma's visions, Doran did come to mind as someone who'd have a lot to say about that. The Ashla definitely chooses its means and moments well, and it most definitely doesn't do coincidences!

    The change in the profile of her visions is kind of reminding Shulma how little control she has over things, and even aside from the constant reminder of her lost love, that's much of what's making them so immensely frustrating to her. But just when she's most frustrated, she is able to turn to one of her own strengths—her scholarship—in search of answers. It's a good thing she has such a caring and understanding boss at a time like this, especially when frustrating, painful accidents like that one happen.

    I admit I hadn't had a particular reason in mind for his angry expression, though it definitely could be missing her, or not getting any mealgrain, or both! (But darling, you're noncorporeal! :p )

    She's getting somewhere at last! Now that she's viewing it as a scholarly problem—an area where she has definite strengths—it all seems less daunting, and things begin to come together for her. Some answers to these questions will come with the next installment, so do stay tuned, of course!

    Many thanks, as always, and yes, you shall soon see! :)

    Those are all excellent questions, and very good ones. The best I can say at present is that she wouldn’t be seeing them, and she wouldn’t be seeing them so often, if they (or whatever it is they represent) weren’t going to be somehow important to her...

    More good thoughts and observations there. I shouldn't wonder if you are on to something. :) The next chapter will answer a lot of questions related to these spheres, so stay tuned.

    And that resolution, or at least part of it, will come—soon and very soon! Thanks so much, as always, for reading and so insightfully reviewing. :)
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