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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 Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow! I'm absolutely not surprised Shulma and Telfien reacted as they did. The joint meditation or invoking the stillness of the fog, what a cool description, worked as did using Sennah's healing methods. @};- *gasp* Five years intervened at the beginning? [face_dancing] for all the "in-between" story potential.
     
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  2. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    Whew!! And with that stunning exclamation point of a last entry, I am all caught up! :D [face_dancing] [face_love] [:D]

    First off, I have to apologize for falling so far behind - it's been a crazy few months, and every time I caught up reading and tried to type out a comment worthy of this story in reply I seemed to fall back behind again. [face_blush] But, here I am now! I know that these few words aren't nearly going to be enough to express everything I've enjoyed in the interim, but I will do my best anyway. :)

    Where to even begin . . . in the last handful of updates, I will start by saying how much I enjoyed just how far you were able to expand the story by adding in a heist, of all things! What a wonderful additional genre that gave all of the characters a chance to truly shine and develop on their own merits, as well as on a whole through their innerworkings with each other. The part where Shulma zapped the wig (you go, girl!) was an absolutely riveting, liberating moment of writing! I could easily read an entire novel about these ladies being their awesome selves - so, truly well done on developing such a wonderful, diverse cast of OCs!

    Then, as always, I remained mesmerized by the differences and similarities in Shulma and Telfien's ways of perceiving the Force through their own respective traditions. It was incredibly thoughtful, and made this galaxy far, far away even richer than before. When Shulma's vision finally revealed Zeb to her (and more about that!! in a moment), and the borrowed OCs (what a wonderful touch that was!! [face_love]) juxtaposing their own ways of viewing the Force, one through 'song' and a traditional Padawan as we may better know them made for even richer reading. That was a brilliant combination, and I enjoyed every word!

    Then: adding the Seer to the prophesy of the Warrior, Child, and Fool just had me grinning like you wouldn't believe. That was some top-shelf fanon, yes it was! Thank-you, canon, but you are official excused in my heart. Shulma's finding this new tome of Osthi in a Hutt's court, of all places, even such a mahvelous Hutt's court, was just a wonderful touch! What an unexpected boon! And, you know, with the Force/Ashla not doing coincidences at all, for her to find an ancient work that she's empathizing with almost as if it has been written for her. I had goosebumps reading that entry, you have to know, such goosebumps! [face_mischief] :eek:

    But, the true crowning glory of what I caught up on was Shulma's realization that her dear love is out there alive in the galaxy. Her elation and sorrow were so beautifully, powerfully portrayed that I had to put down my phone from reading and walk off my own empathetic giddiness for a moment. And of course the epiphany rocked her so strongly that she had such a physical reaction to her vision. Those were a powerful few updates where my heart was in my throat!

    And now with a time jump forward - wow! As much as I am curious about the intervening time, I am eager for what else time may be inexorably drawing Shulma closer towards [face_mischief] [face_dancing][face_love] Here we are with the events of Rogue One (oh Lua! =(() and the destruction of Alderaan itself. It's a sobering thought, but more than understandable that such an atrocity would resound across the Force to impact anyone with a connection. Both Shulma and Telfien have suffered dearly for their empathy, but I was glad that Shulma was able to help heal her friend of her vision shock, just as she was once aided. Again, the lyricism of your language is to be commended - I really appreciated Shulma's descriptions of what she saw through Telfien's visions, and the calm she felt at the end. They're going to need that calm with the events that are just right around the corner, now more so than ever.

    Once again, I have to thank you for sharing this truly wonderful tale with us -- even when I grew remiss on commenting on each individual update I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying every word. Keep up the fine work as you enter this home stretch for Shulma! [face_love] =D= [:D]
     
  3. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Wow, just five years and we're at the Battle of Yavin (well, almost there). Though it may be A New Hope in one sense, there's no doubt that difficult times are not just coming but already here. I really liked Shulma's description of the way the Force feels in this uncertain time.

    Poor Lua, this is going to be devastating for her and she doesn't know the whole story yet. :( At least she has the support of a lot of good friends, but it's still an unimaginable pain.

    The destruction of Alderaan coinciding with Shulma's attempted meditation was quite scary. What a terrible thing to experience at full mystical blast! For someone so sensitive (in both senses of the word) it would be utterly awful, and that comes through very clearly. The loss of a whole planet is truly a terrifying thing. I was worried for her, but thankfully she seems to be stunned but coping -- and her determination to go help Telfien, who was in much the same boat, is really admirable. I really liked how the book that Rishla and Yhazi used to assist Shulma all those years ago and the knowledge that she seems to have picked up from Sennah both were instrumental in her meditations.

    The imagery in this was really nifty, and of course Shulma catches a glimpse of silver eyes...
     
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you so much once again for reading and reviewing! :)

    A sudden annihilation of life on that kind of scale has got to send some kind of palpable shockwaves through the Force—as Shulma observes, the war really is affecting the Force itself here. It’s a good thing these two Force-sensitives have each other to help each other make it through these kinds of times. And yes, I freely admit to using another “diary trick” there, and I definitely hope to write some stories about the Rose Evergreen’s adventures in the in-between time.

    No worries at all! I definitely know how RL can be. It always is a daymaker to see you here, whenever it works for you, and I’m so glad you are continuing to enjoy this. :)

    Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed that chapter; it was great fun to write and to have them all work together as an “ensemble cast.” The wig-zapping scene is something I’ve had in my mind almost since I first wrote about the wig in Three Strands, and I’d originally thought it (and the whole heist story) would be a separate story, but I must say I was very glad for the opportunity to work it into this one.

    Oh, it really was a huge joy to have @TheRynJedi and her characters on board for this—I agree that they added so much to the story that wouldn’t have been there if it had just been me on my own! And yes, one of the great things that came out of that was yet one more way to juxtapose all those different Force traditions (always something I enjoy doing)—having Sennah there really did add a whole other dimension in that regard.

    Well, gee, thanks. :) The Seer crops up in one or two of my other Lasat stories too, and I see the prophecy of the Four as kind of an alternative version of the prophecy of the Three that is transmitted in some sources but didn’t achieve quite the same canonical status. You may have a guess as to who the Seer’s “present-day” avatar might be... ;) @};-

    It certainly doesn’t do coincidences at all, you bet! That text was exactly what she needed to find at that moment, after all those difficult travels and tribulations, to remind her what it was all about. (And perhaps it shows her a way the prophecy involving the Seer might end up being fulfilled, speedily and in her own day, as hinted above... [face_batting] )

    Well, shucks, thanks, I’m blushing now, and I am so glad that moment came off well to you, because it was one of those spots I angsted over in an “oh noes it has to be absolutely perfect and I’m not going to do it justice” type of way, and of course it was super emotional on the writing end too. @};- I figured such a momentous revelation would have no small physical, psychosomatic effect on Shulma, especially given her tendencies toward intense visions and vision shock (and @Raissa Baiard knows which two Bernini sculptures depicting near-painfully ecstatic experiences I had on my mind...!).

    Time is definitely pulling them all onward toward somewhere, something(s), and again it’s no accident that she’s taking up her journal again at this portentous moment (plus, diary trick, of course :p ). Given what’s coming for the Galaxy and for the Force itself, it’s so good that these two friends have each other and can support each other in this unique way. They’ll help be each other’s calm as history (the Galaxy’s and their own) moves to a climax.

    You are so welcome! @};- It’s been such a wonderful experience to work with this character and tell her story—I haven’t really taken quite this kind of approach to any of my other OCs before—and I’m just so happy to have such wonderful readers like you who are willing to stick with it all through thick and thin. [face_love]

    Thanks, and great to see you here again, as always! :) Yes, it’s clear even in the films that something is happening to the very Force itself at this portentous period in Galactic history, and those closely attuned with the Force are inevitably going to feel it.

    Indeed, it is, and the worst of it is still to come for her. =((

    It was harrowing experience for Shulma, for sure, but it didn’t take away her empathy, especially for a fellow mystic who was also intensely affected by the disaster. Shulma remembers the way Telfien and the others helped her through the vision shock she suffered after her revelation about Zeb, so she naturally wants to be able to

    Thanks! Yes, indeed she does, and...

    I know you know whom they belong to! A story I have to finish sometime... part of why I’ve been keeping the references to it so vague within this story. Of course there, too, Telfien’s own naturally reticent personality comes in handy. Maybe in some future story, once I’ve sorted things out a little better myself, Telfien will be able to confide to Shulma about her own experiences. @};-

    As always, many thanks, and stay tuned for more to come soon! :)
     
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  5. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    I’ve fallen behind again. I’m so sorry!

    20.
    First off:
    I see what you did there. ;)

    :eek::eek::eek:Is Zeb seeing her too? Is this her desire to see him made manifest in some kind of Force vision? Is this a vision of the future, when they are reunited?

    [face_thinking]Could it be a kyber crystal??

    Oh no she didn’t. So that is where the wig wound up! I’m glad Shulma destroyed it. Her hair will not be a toy to decorate a spoiled, taste-lacking Imperial bully. And I’m glad Telfien got her sash back too. Stealing from other cultures to feed your own dull amusement is not cool.[face_shame_on_you]

    Oooh a little blackmail! Good for them.:D

    Well, this was quite an adventure for Shulma! She has come so far from the dedicated scholar of the Ashla to an accessory to a jewel heist!


    21.
    Hmmm. They must be kyber crystals. And this is a nice indirect nod to Rogue One and the search for kyber.

    So she is going to meditate at this focus of Force energy, along with Telfien. They’ve already had a team meditation and it was a powerful experience. This will be even stronger. I hope it doesn’t get out of control for them.


    22.
    This is a great description! I really get the idea of this overwhelming immersion into the Force. Hang on, Shulma. This is gonna be a turbulent ride!


    Okay, I get Hera (the “queenly leader” with “graceful tentacles”) but not the other woman. The older bald man -- Saw? (Edit: nope, that’s Rex.) The young woman in armor is Sabine, the bearded man is Kanan, the boy is Ezra. The two droids -- C-3PO and R2? Or is one Chopper?[face_thinking]
    At least she knows that Zeb is alive and loved, with a new family that cares about him.

    Okay, that is beautiful. Reminds me of the famous passage in Joyce’s Ulysses. And now that I see the endnotes I understand why lol.:p

    Wait what? Who is the Jedi who has Shulma’s journal? How long has Shulma been out? I was afraid this might overload her.

    It’s really kind of amazing to think about Shulma’s love and devotion to her Zeb. She’s Penelope to his Odysseus. It would be understandable for her to let slip that former life, to start over and give up. But she waits for him, she hunts for him. They are tied by unbreakable bonds and she will move stars if she has to in order to go back to his side.[face_love]


    23.
    Sennah is remarkable. Shulma is so lucky that Sennah was able to help her, and that she had the time and the patience to sort through poor Shulma’s matted and tangled psyche.

    Ah, the healing properties of music! I like how these Ryn use music and sound to focus and manipulate the Force. Why not? If a wave of a hand can do it, then surely the notes of a song can, too. Such gentle and generous beings!

    Can I just say that when you write about music, I can tell how much it means to you?@};-

    * * *

    I’m going to come back and reply to the rest in a little bit. Don’t want to get TOO far behind again! ;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  6. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Don’t expect all Ryn to be so generous, btw. This particular crew suffers from being led by an extremely generous, caring, former Jedi healer. There’s some pretty rough mercenary Ryn clans out there (one will someday feature in a rescue story).

    It was awesome guest-writing with @Findswoman and getting to work out some of Sennah and her family’s later story.
     
  7. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you so much for commenting and weighing in, divapilot! Always a great pleasure to see you, and I'm so glad you're enjoying things. :)

    No worries! RL hits us all (it's been hitting me pretty hard too).

    Ah ha, I figured you would! ;) So, this location and its name were actually already established in my story The Jewels of . . . WHAT?!, and the reason it's a silly, goofy name is because that's kind of a humorous, goofy story—that somehow ended up being in this less goofy story as well. So it goes in fanfic! :D

    Ah ha again! Maybe, indeed maybe, to all of those! ;) [face_whistling]

    It's akin to kyber, yes—it's another variety of Force-sensitive crystal that comes up in Legends lore, one of the many varieties introduced in KOTOR and KOTOR2 (see https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Solari).

    Oh yes she did (if you mean Shulma)! Or, if you mean the moff, I'm afraid she did. I have to say, writing that scene was really satisfying for me, too. Both these women deserve at least this small amount of closure, after what they and their respective peoples have suffered at the Empire's hands.

    Yep! :D This was a suggestion @Raissa Baiard gave me while I was stuck writing this, and it was too perfect not to use. Couldn't happen to a nicer moff, I say! :p

    They're not mutually exclusive, I guess! :D In a way, what she and the others did was an "anti-heist": they retrieved the jewels in a perfectly lawful way, with the permission of the culture minister, for the purpose of transporting them to safekeeping. The "heist" part of things was to rescue the culture minister and wasn't part of the original plan; they embarked on that only because they couldn't reach her to confirm they had gotten the jewels and didn't feel right not making sure she was OK. But hey, along the way, they managed not only to recover Telfien's stolen sash and deal with the wig, but also to garner some information useful in taking that tasteless moff down several notches! A double whammy! :D

    See above on the crystals. I'm imagining that the Empire is interested in any and every kind of them at this juncture.

    Yep, that's the idea, and it definitely will be even stronger owing to the mystical properties of the place—as you saw.

    Thanks! It's the Force nexus that's causing everything to feel so magnified, of course, and as two very sensitive Force-sensitives both these women really feel it. But they have a purpose to carry out in going there, and won't leave the place till it's achieved.

    The other woman crowned with tentacles/tails is Ahsoka. :ahsoka:

    Yep, all correct: Rex, Sabine, Kanan, Ezra. :)

    The shorter one is indeed Chopper; I thought of the taller one as being AP-5.

    Yes, and knowing that makes things an even bigger relief for Shulma, because she knows that even though her husband has been displaced and exiled, too, he is at least not going it alone.

    Thank you! That was definitely intentional, and I figured you might pick up on that little bit of borrowing. :cool:

    Ah ha! Well, I see you found out the answers to both questions as soon as the next chapter began. ;) This really did overload her, even more than she anticipated, and it definitely is a lucky thing her friends were able to find some expert help.

    A beautiful and very apt comparison. And what's more, she's a Penelope who actively goes out there to find him—and now that she's had this revelation that he's alive, she's all the more strengthened in her resolve.

    Isn't she, though? Shulma could absolutely positively not have asked for a better healer to shepherd her through this ordeal. Sennah is absolutely all-around awesome, and I am so, so grateful to @TheRynJedi for agreeing to my wacky little idea of bringing her into this story this way. We’ve been wanting to give our characters the chance to meet for a while, and it was great to have that materialize. :) (And I’m hoping, if it’s OK with her, to have them meet again soon! ;) )

    Music can be very powerful that way—penetrates right to the psyche, right to our very core, and that’s part of what gives it its healing properties. To quote another wonderful line from Ulysses, “It’s on account of the sounds it is.” And precisely that power makes it an ideal way for the Force to manifest. In TheRynJedi’s work, Sennah often perceives other people’s Force signatures as songs or melodies or music, and given that she is a musician too (on top of all her other amazing talents) this kind of musical healing just seemed like a natural outgrowth of that. <3

    Wow, well, gee, shucks... that’s really an incredible compliment. Thank you so much. @};- I guess there is a bit of a “write what you know” element at work there, too, of course.

    All right, I’ll be here, and take whatever time you need; it always is a joy to read your comments and have you as a reader! Many thanks yet again—can’t say it enough. @};-

    Sennah definitely does stand out for those characteristics, it’s true, and her husband and crewmates are super, super lucky to have her, as are we. :) Though her more rough-and-tumble cospeciesists (!) will no doubt be amazing to meet, too, and I do look forward to that! :D

    Oh, likewise, absolutely likewise, RynJedi! @};- I really, really enjoyed working with you on this—thanks so much for letting me make Sennah part of Shulma’s story! (And I hope to be in touch with you soon with ideas about their next meeting... though I know things are busy on your end right now, so take as long as you need for the dust to settle.)

    Finally, just want to take this opportunity to say a huge and heartfelt thank you to those who have nominated Shaman, Traveler, Oracle for various categories in the Festival of Fanfic Favorites! What an honor and joy it is to see this story and character getting so much love—thank you, thank you, thank you! @};- Hoping to have more on its way soon, if RL cooperates.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  8. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Once again, my most abject apologies for falling behind on this mahvelous story, dahling! /Bonvika.

    Okay, major ketchup time...

    24. It’s always a joy to visit the court of the mahvelous Bonvika, who truly is unlike any other Hutt! If Shulma has to start over again, at least this time she’s found someplace that’s not just safe, but cultured and gracious, too! For someone like Shulma who can truly appreciate beauty wherever she finds it, this bastion of the finer things in life must seem like a little bit of paradise after living in a cramped starship. I love her reflections on Bonvika’s inability to pronounce her reshes properly [face_laugh] and how Zeb would react to her effusive dahling-ing. Yes, I’m fairly sure I know what he’d say, too, and it involves a great many karabasts!

    And the library! Blessed quiet and books—nothing better in this Galaxy or any other! I can imagine how Shulma must have felt to find such an oasis, and on top of that, to find an unknown work by the seer that she reveres most? If Shulma didn’t feel like she was in paradise before, this must have clinched it!

    25. Oh, I love how Shulma is like a kid who’s been given a candy bar with the new Osthi manuscript, only allowing herself little nibbles here and there, because she must be good and finish all her work before her treat! :D Another fun peek into Bonvika’s court here, with a familiar musical work being performed and a familiar character giggling in the audience (Soozoo! Alrighty-doo!)

    Finally, Shulma gets to read her beloved Osthi in full! We can see what Shulma, with her characteristic modesty, won’t admit: her trials have been exactly like Osthi’s Seer—
    And we also know something she doesn’t: that Zeb is the Child of prophecy, so she is, in effect, the Seer, searching for him and mourning his loss. Like the Seer, she doesn’t mourn alone, because the Ashla is with her. It’s one of those moments where in wish you could reach into the story and tell her that indeed her tears are that powerful and beautiful, and that the Ashla (And our dear author, no doubt! :D ) have something wonderful in store for her.

    26. A year has passed in the tranquility of Bonvika’s court. Not only has Shulma transcribed Osthi’s work, but is translating it for publication! (You go, Shulma! And take that, Empire, for thinking you can wipe out all traces of the Lasat!) I love how Lua is rapturously re-upholstering everything in the palace—my mother is also a seamstress, so I get Lua’s pleasure in a nicely pressed seam :D The two of them still keep up with Glockel and Telfien, and the Rose Evergreen’s mission. How characteristic of Shulma is it that even though she’s settled into a more scholarly and genteel life, she’s still helping with things like cleaning the ‘fresher and moving cargo! Love that their “supply run” is for embroidered damasq, but it still requires the presence of someone big and tough, and I can just picture Shulma doing her best Zeb impression. I guess when you’re two meters tall, you have a certain presence even if you are dressed in a velvet cloak!

    And SQUEE for Jade’s Irregulars! Aww, thanks so much for the tribute to Doran [:D] He’d be a little flummoxed at the thought that a indifferent, trouble-making padawan like Domnic Jade could inspire a Rebel cell, though he’d appreciate the “Irregulars”, because he certainly was (and is!) that. :

    27. What with one and another, time passes... and I hope that stories of those missing five years will be “chronicled elsewhere”!

    The events of the Galaxy catch up with Shulma, and there’s another moment I wish I could hug the characters, because I know things they don’t: the fate of the Rogue One mission and the fact that the Ghost (and presumably Zeb) fights at Scarif.

    And in a tragic, cosmic joke, when Shulma performs the holy ritual of Storm Solstice, she experiences not the radiant light of the Ashla, but coldness and death in the destruction of Alderaan. With destruction and loss of life on that scale, it’s small wonder that two such sensitive souls like Shulma and Telfien succumb to vision shock and sickness in its wake. Thank goodness that Shulma is able to aid Telfien in restoring her spirit to calmness, using techniques that friends—Rishla and Yhazi, and later Sennah—used on her. I can see how invoking their memories and remembering those connections could help her recover her own trust and calmness in the Ashla.

    This is so sad and true, because she does. The same impulse that led the Empire to punish Lasat’s resistance by unleashing genocide on its people reaches its ultimate expression with Alderaan. They make the planet an object lesson, but unfortunately for them, the lesson the Galaxy learns from their brutality isn’t the one they intended to teach.

    What an emotional entry! As always, hugs to our brave heroine (and her writer) and May the Ashla be with her in all that still faces her!
     
  9. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Wonderful to see you back, Raissa! I know things were very busy on your end for a while, so no worries—you know I'm always glad to see you here whenever. :)

    Oh yes, this pretty much is paradise after all she's been through. It isn't her real home, not by a long shot—but it's at least a place where she can feel more at ease than she has in a lot of her travels so far. I think you're right about Zeb's likely reaction to Bonvika—perhaps someday he too will get to meet her! :)

    The books and quiet what really makes this a paradise, of course. Especially for a scholarly sort like her. [face_love] She finally has found the right place to continue her work of writing down her people's lore and scripture.

    Yes, Shulma's totally pinching herself to make sure she's not dreaming—but she isn't, for real! And very good Easter-egg catches there. ;) That recital scene was basically an incursion of a different little plot bunny into this one, in kind of a "ships passing in the night" manner—perhaps in the interest of incentivizing myself to expand it into its own story someday. :D

    Yes, spot on, on all points—not much more to add here. :cool: As to what I have in store, well, all I'll say is that I hope it won't disappoint! @};-

    As someone who works in academic publishing myself, I couldn't resist giving her the chance to do that—and I figured it's only logical that she would. She's basically making a new and original contribution to her people's lore even after it's been essentially wiped out—how awesome is that? And as you rightly say, this just goes to show how much the Empire has failed in its attempt to eradicate all memory of this proud, strong-willed people. (Though notice, too, that Shulma's publishing her edition in the Outer Rim, which seemed sensible given the circumstances.)

    Lua is in paradise at Bonvika's court too, with all those beautiful fabrics and hangings! And of course Bonvika notices and appreciates good talent, too. :) Shulma is always glad to help her friends on the Rose Evergreen in any way she can, because she hasn't forgotten how much they've done for her. And you know, those textiles depot people can be

    You're so very welcome! As soon as you mentioned Doran lived on Nar Shaddaa at one point, that got the wheels turning in my head, and I wanted to get a little nod of gratitude into the story given all you've done in helping me shape it. :) I think for the members of that cell, Domnic's "irregular" side must have been one of their greatest inspirations—because under the Empire basic things like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have become pretty irregular, to say the least.

    Hoping so! Another little incentive to myself there (as well as an old diary trick, I freely admit). :D

    Which was another reason I made the time jump: I wanted her to be able to comment on that time (because I knew she'd have things to day about it) without making this diary draw on too long. More about that Rogue One mission very soon, I'm afraid...

    "Tragic, cosmic joke" isn't a bad way of putting it: she was performing a ritual that celebrates the sustenance of life through the sun and the seasons, opening herself to the Ashla to experience that light and life herself—and that was the very moment that everything exploded in destruction, death, barrenness. Even if Telfien was presumably "just" meditating or similar at that moment, she was open to the Mists in the same way. But they at least now can be there to help each other through their times of shock and sickness, and in a way that carries on the legacy of past friends and mentors. Yhazi and Rishla may have perished in the Siege of Lasan (and I can barely say that without a pang because I love them!), but this is a chance for their legacy of friendship to live on in Shulma and Telfien's friendship. And that, indeed, is what restores calm and light to the Ashla.

    She does indeed know, better than many. That bolded point is exactly what she is realizing here: she once thought that what happened on Lasan couldn't be possible, either. And she too, in her way, will be one of those who keeps that object lesson from being taught the way the Empire hoped it would.

    Well, thank you so much, as always, and hugs right back to you! @};- Two more chapters of this diary remain, and indeed the Ashla will be by Shulma's side in all that she does. (As her author, I am 100% sure of that! :D )
     
  10. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Penultimate entry here, everyone! Many thanks again to @Kahara for filling in on beta-reading. @};-


    28.

    O Ashla, spirit of mercy, preserver of my tears! What news I have heard: news that brings joy, relief, and gloom all at once to my heart.

    I have just come from Bonvika’s main audience chamber, where we were all watching the latest breaking holonet news report. There is a Rebel Alliance. They have just won a decisive victory against the Empire in the Yavin system, where they routed the Imperial fleet and destroyed an entire battle station (rumored to be the one that destroyed Alderaan). The system’s fourth planet was their base of operations, it turned out, and they showed a picture of it: I gasped as I recognized the two pyramidal towers that I had seen in that vision so long ago, full of beings waving happily. They were not so full of beings this time, but my heart pounded all the same: was my love there? Was Lua’s son Pao? (And—admittedly a long shot—what about Telfien’s old friend with the silver eyes?)

    My first thought was to urge that the Rose Evergreen be made ready and that we go there immediately. But we cannot. Already the Empire has begun blockading the system. It would be too great a risk; the Rose Evergreen is a small ship, barely more than a starfighter (but I won’t let Glockel see me write that).

    O spirits, why? Why do you snatch from me this one chance to find my love, to learn for certain of his fate? And I feel for Lua, too: will she be able to reunite with her son? I do not know if my Zeblove ever was at the base on Yavin—I never really did—but certainly Pao was? Or is? I suppose it was never more than an inkling, a wisp of a guess, based on one fleeting vision long ago…

    But my heart rejoices that the Empire’s power has been broken, at least for now. May no other world in the Galaxy ever know the sufferings of Lasan, Pipada, and Alderaan.

    * * *​

    Now, much sooner than expected, we have news of Pao—and it is the news we have all been dreading.

    Lua received the transmission this morning, from one General Draven of the Rebel Alliance; I was with her at the comm suite. Her brave son, her freedom fighter, gave his life in battle. Not at Yavin itself, but in the earlier mission she had told me about, the one made against his commanders’ orders. All fifteen of his comrades perished on that mission as well.

    Poor, dear Lua! How stiff and pale she turned from pure shock! She did not seem to hear the rest of the general’s words: that the victory at Yavin would not have been possible without their sacrifice, that the Alliance would always remember their courage. I held her a long time; I don’t know how long. For several moments she was silent, unable to utter a sound from pure grief, until finally she began a low, monotone keen—tones and words of lament in her native language, so plaintive that they needed no translation.

    Very quietly, under my breath, I joined my voice to hers, chanting the Consecration of the Fallen.

    * * *​

    G. beside me as I got up.

    And again at breakfast.

    And again, after I finished morning rituals, smiling one of his smiles… I could barely look.

    And my Zeblove again at evening tea. Sovereign Ashla, what is happening? And why now, why again, amid so much sadness…?

    General Draven: https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Davits_Draven

    “All fifteen of his comrades”: Per the Wookieepedia page (https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Rogue_One_(squad)), there seem to have been a total of sixteen members of the Rogue One expedition.

    “so plaintive that they needed no translation”: The lore describes Drabatan love songs this way (see http://swbloodlines.wikia.com/wiki/Drabatan; note that this isn’t Wookieepedia), so I thought it likely that their laments might be similar.

    Consecration of the Fallen: See entry 4.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh ... [:D] [:D] for Lua! And [face_dancing] now Shulma REALLY needs to go after Zeb. [face_laugh] [face_love]
     
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  12. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Sigh. Behind again. lol
    24.
    As for the "luxurious dinner of Lebnan delicacies in the Great Hall, with live musicians performing from the minstrels’ gallery" - have you been peeking at my daughter's graduation party Pinterest?[face_laugh]

    :eek: Whoa. Where did Bonvika get THAT from??? What is it doing there? In a way, at least it was saved from the destruction, and who better than Shulma to discover it? I wonder how accidental that was, having it show up here. [face_thinking]

    25.
    I can't help but think there is some kind of purpose for THIS particular work to be found by THIS particular woman. Only Shulma can fully appreciate (never mind read) the book. And the title is so indicative of her own personal situation.

    Lol that's what it's like for me, every time I accompany any of my classes to assemblies. And I did remember them from your story "Two Girls and a Man in Red" - nice callback.

    Well, that is just lovely! I really like your creation here of the mythology of the Seer. So beautiful, that the tears of the Seer are the foundations of stardust itself. Imagine the great, bright power of those reunited tear-sparks!

    26.

    :eek::eek::eek: A YEAR?????

    lol. Lua would do something like that. "UGH! Look at this mess! I can fix this. Lemme get my sewing machine out."

    She will never be at peace until she is back with him. They are two tear-sparks, longing for reunification, and when they meet again the brilliance will be breathtaking.

    I wonder if Shulma will find herself becoming more political as she searches for Zeb. So far she seems to pretty much keep out of the Empire's way, and they leave her alone too for the most part. But she may find that needs to change - she may have to declare a side here at some point.

    27.
    [face_hypnotized] we're coming to a close????? :( NEED MOAR

    INTERESTING. First of all, that there is five MORE YEARS between the two journal entries. Secondly, that "NR" had to use chemdating to determine this. How old IS this journal? Who is reading it? are they in the far future and this journal itself is as much an artifact as the tome Shulma found in Bonvika's library?[face_thinking]

    Oh how difficult that must be for her! The Ashla has been a constant companion; her focus and her mainstay. To think that it is so far from her now. What a terrible feeling of loneliness she must have!

    Oh, Pao...:_| You've made me feel the sorrow of the loss of this character who isn't even directly in this story. Another casualty of Scarif. At least he got to tell his mom what was happening so she will have some resolution. I think the worst thing would be not knowing at all.

    So she felt the destruction of Alderaan too (I sneak peeked ahead. I'm not THAT smart.). That's interesting. I suppose Obi-Wan wouldn't have been the only Force sensitive to have felt it, after all.

    I'm glad that Shulma was able to soothe Telfien's distress.

    This is lovely. What a nice way to say "May the Force be with you."

    28.
    Wow. I love how you've brought this right back to ANH. Of course, this is where she saw her vision, and yes, Pao was definitely here. I like how she honors the lost worlds; they are reminders of the cruelty of the Empire. And unfortunately, the Galaxy does experience those same atrocities again, even as recently as the destruction of Hosnian Prime.

    I knew it was coming, but it's still heartbreaking to read. No mother should grieve the loss of her child. All the general's fine accolades for Pao are meaningless. Her son is gone. That's all she will ever hear or remember from this. Then, the piercing language of sheer grief.

    What is happening!?! WHAT IS HAPPENING??? ([face_praying]please have a happy ending please have a happy ending please have a happy ending)


    I just want to say that this story is amazing and I have truly enjoyed all of it. I hope to read a LOT more about our dear Shulma again! She's like family now.@};-
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
  13. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Thank you, as always, for sticking with this! @};-

    Oh, I know... it was seriously hard to write that part, though I knew I was going to have to somewhere down the line. :_| And yes, that she definitely shall have to go after him for real now... more on that in the next (and final) chapter. [face_whistling]

    Hah! That sounds like a graduation party of which Great Bonvika would definitely approve—divadaughter has mahvelous taste, dahling! :D

    All good questions, and I’ll admit right now that I haven’t yet come up with the story of how the Osthi MS got in to Bonvika’s library beyond “just one of those rare books things.” [face_blush] But you’ve got me thinking about it now, and as for whether it’s accidental, well, this is definitely one of those “Ashla doesn’t do coincidences” things. ;)

    I can’t help but think you’re absolutely right! :D It is there for her, at this particular time, for a reason: perhaps to show her that she is the one who, with her own trials and tribulations, is fulfilling this ancient prophecy.

    Aw, thanks, and great catch, of course, too—yep, those are indeed Soozoo and Talloïse! ;) That bit was part Easter egg and part notes for a possible future story idea / plot bunny. :D

    Thank you! I am so glad you like that little addition to the lore, such as it is. :) Tears shed from the depths of a sincere heart are powerful and beautiful—as powerful and beautiful as stars themselves. This ancient text, found at this particular time, is a reminder to Shulma that her own tears are that powerful and beautiful, too. @};-

    Yes indeedy, though again, who’s to say there won’t be stories about the intervening time? ;)

    Yes, that’s definitely what Lua would do! What with all these luxurious fixtures that need fixing, she’s in seamstress’s paradise. :D

    Could not have said it better. @};- As to breathtaking brilliance, well, all I can say is that I shall endeavor not to disappoint!

    To that, at this moment, I can’t say much more than [face_whistling]. She’s definitely had her run-ins with the Empire in the form of Moffs Belphagor and Waddsley, and Embra’s words (combined with what she little knows about what Pao is doing) definitely give her some food for thought.

    Don’t worry, moar there definitely will be—the story will continue, and that soon! <3

    Ah ha, much [face_whistling] here! :D All good questions, again, and I see you’re onto something—though for now I can just say that “NB” is not a perosn’s initials but just the usual “nota bene” abbreviation we use here on Earth. (Yes, Earthism, I know... don’t judge... :p just pretend it’s “translated” from some GFFA equivalent, or some kind of scholarly abbreviation in Olys Corellisi or similar. :D )

    That’s what war and loss and destruction on this scale can do to the very fabric of the Force, as the Saga has shown us at various points. And, perhaps ironically, it’s a strong Force-sensitive who will feel that absence of the Force all the more strongly.

    Agreed, and because I knew the loss would be difficult enough for Lua already, I didn’t want to put her through even more hell. Plus, the sap in me wanted Lua to be able to have one more chat with her son before his fatal mission.

    Indeed—again, if the Force is the sum total of the energy created by all life, then the destruction of life on that kind of immense scale is going to have no small effect on it, or on those sensitive to it.

    <3 She would see it as pretty much the least she could do—Telfien, after all, played an important role in helping her through her own terrible case of vision shock that time, and they’ve become close friends.

    Thanks again. :) The Force is with her again because she was able to bring it back to her friend, so to speak—it’s one of those “gain by giving” situations.

    Yes, that’s absolutely true, which is why writing even this bit gave me a pang: that cycle of destruction will go on, even if it has been stopped for at least the time being.

    Exactly, spot on. Again, this part definitely wasn’t easy to write—as the mother of an only son, this kind of grief is something more than I can or want to imagine. =(( None of those victories can make up for a loss of this magnitude, and there is nothing left to say—only sound.

    [face_whistling], [face_whistling], [face_whistling]! Soon and very soon... ;)

    Oh, wow, well, shucks... [face_blush] thank you so much. That’s an immense compliment coming from the creator of some of this board’s most compelling stories and OCs. I most certainly endeavor to give satisfaction, and I can promise you that there will indeed be more about Shulma quite soon! She’s become very dear to me, too. @};-

    So many thanks to you wonderful bunch of readers, as always! =D= The last chapter(s) of this diary are coming anon, but the story is going to continue beyond them, too...
     
  14. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Oh, Lua....:(=((:_| Even though we knew what was coming, your description of her shock and grief at the news of her son’s death is heartbreaking. It’s good that Shulma is there to offer what comfort she can, both as a friend and Shaman. It’s small comfort at this moment of loss that Pao’s mission was successful and led to a great victory. Someday, it may, but for now Shulma doesn’t try to convince Lua that his death was “noble” or “heroic”, she simply joins her friend in her grief.

    Shulma’s emotions are turbulent from all the jumble of good news and bad news she’s received. Good news: there is a Rebel alliance, they won a decisive victory and they’re on a planet that coincides with one of her visions of Zeb! Bad news: the Empire has blockaded the planet and there’s no way she could get there to find out if her visions are true! :p I can’t blame her for questioning the Ashla, under the circumstances.

    And then....SQUEE!...her visions of Zeb have started again! What’s happening? Oh, I have a fair idea :D:zeb:...And I can’t wait for the next chapter!
     
  15. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Once again, I won't lie, it wasn't easy to write that part of the story, even though I knew (we all knew) it was coming. =(( I guess in a way writing it filtered through the viewpoint of a friend made it slightly easier to write? Though not by much, because man, what a thing to suffer. :( At least, as Telfien says in "Till the Shades Lengthen," Lua won't have to suffer in solitude, because Shulma is right there at her side from the moment she hears the terrible news. And Shulma is an empathetic sort who knows that the language of grief needs no translation—only presence. <3

    Oh yes, all these turbulent changes and events in the Galaxy, all at once, are making her own currents turbulent too! And all of it is part and parcel of the upheaval in the Ashla, as if even the Ashla is questioning itself at the very same time—and that says a lot! It's a lot to make sense of even during the best of times. But Shulma's not one to give up...

    Ah ha, indeed, hold that thought, because something definitely is happening! ;) And you won't have to wait long... (For real this time—I know I've been putting it off, which is partly because I can't believe it's come to that point at last... [face_hypnotized] ) As always, thanks so much for all the support and love you've given this story over the months it's run. @};-
     
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  16. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    So, here they are: the final chapter(s) of Shulma’s diary. What a feeling to arrive at this point at last—it hardly seems possible! And what can I say besides some final heartfelt thanks:
    • to @Raissa Baiard for being at my side from start to finish with keen-eyed and supportive beta-reading, and for her collaboration on the Lasat fanon and shared ocedarium that forms the heart of this and our other Lasat stories;
    • to @Kahara for filling in on the keen-eyed and supportive beta-reading in Raissa’s absence;
    • to @TheRynJedi for an absolutely awesome collaboration in chapters 22 and 23 and for the generous loan of her amazing OCs;
    • and to all of you readers who have followed Shulma on her journey—which is by no means over and will continue very soon. @};-


    29.

    I am in the library now, at my favorite table beside the window, with my notes on the Book of the Four Protecting Cloaks before me. It is just dawn. The gardens are truly a glorious sight in the morning twilight, with all the leaves and flowers passing through dim purple to fiery red and then to lambent gold as the sun mounts in the sky. I see them and recall how the cliffs and wildflowers around Mount Straga went through the same lovely transformation each morning, and how their rebirth was my own.

    As it still is. The Ashla is the sun that never sets. Truly its infinite fiery sparks are renewed with every dawn, and its light transfigures us all, wheresoever we may be, howsoever much we have lost.

    And how active that light is this morning, as I turn and see my own smiling warrior-love sitting beside me—and then disappearing again...

    Ah, well, time to get to work.

    * * *​

    A holomessage cube was waiting for me in my quarters when I returned there. It was from Culture Minister Ardyse Goldfleck-Straz of Khorassan, of all beings, and I had to read it twice to make sure I hadn’t mistaken or misunderstood. She has invited me to take the role of the Veiled Queen at this year’s Days of Love and Light! Oddly, the datestamp of the cube is from almost four months ago; it must have fallen victim to the transmissions delays that the war has been causing throughout the Galaxy. But I am lucky it arrived when it did, for the festival is in only two weeks’ time.

    Ah, I am staggered! This is an immense and unique honor, and Minister Goldfleck-Straz is so thoughtful to remember me after all this time. But I do not know if I will be able to accept. The date is so close, and the hyperspace journey from Nal Hutta to Khorassan is a substantial one. Besides, it feels strange—wrong, even!—to be thinking of festivals at a time like this, with the war still raging and with Lua’s loss hanging so newly over us.

    I must think on it further. But I cannot take much longer: my response is required by tomorrow. Should I ask for advice? The message warns me to be very careful in whom I confide, for the identity of the queen is to remain a secret. Perhaps Telfien, once she is finished with her morning meditations. But that will not be for several hours.

    O Ashla, guide me…!


    30.

    [Here the handwriting becomes shaky, agitated, and almost illegible.]

    MY QUEEN

    Oh, my head, my currents—

    Those were his words—that is what he said to me as stood in the doorway of my bed alcove, extending his strong arms toward me, before he disappeared (as always)—

    MY QUEEN oh that was what he called me on our wedding evening, too—

    O Ashla O sovereign spirit of the universe I need not ask for advice for I understand now—

    I must go. I must go!

    Because that is where I will find him: not on Yavin but on Khorassan, at the festival, in the temple. The temple where I first learned, after years of exile, pain, and loss, that my Zeblove was not lost. The temple where I shall don the veil and jewels of the Queen of Love and Light. (The decoy jewels, of course. The real ones will stay safely here, in secure storage, until the threat of the Empire is past for good.)

    And there I will once again be your queen, my mighty bristlecone, my Garazeb!

    I must find Telfien and Glockel and Rika at once. We must go.

    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .

    [My mother’s journal ends here. I have yet to locate the full, detailed account of her second visit to Khorassan, and her reunion with my father, though she has already told me some of that remarkable story. For the time being, at least, I offer this work as a labor of deep love and honor for an extraordinary daughter of Lasan, and I commend it to the Ashla of all being, now and forever. —Ch. Y. O.]

    fin

    “its infinite fiery sparks are renewed with every dawn”: a paraphrase from a verse of a medieval Hebrew piyyut (paraliturgical poem) recited during the Rosh Hashanah morning liturgy: “All the fiery sparks are renewed each morning: the Lord reigns!”

    “My queen”: Zeb does indeed call Shulma this on their wedding night, in Feel Safe at Night.

    And the story will continue...
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Gorgeous description of the dawning splendor of colors! I love how she finally decides to go to the Festival, how her written words brim over with joy and anticipation... And then the final paragraph ... fascinating, a time jump and a different "voice" concludes. [face_thinking]

    I need hardly say that any and all future writings on Shulma and on Garashul will be EAGERLY devoured! [face_love] =D= on concluding this riveting and poignant journey!
     
  18. Mira_Jade

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

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    IT'S OVER, HOW IS IT OVER??? :eek:

    But, what I love best is that this feels more like a beginning as it is the end of this particular story! While this marks the conclusion of Shulma's exile, it's the beginning of so much more, and I CANNOT WAIT for the next chapter in her and Zeb's story. [face_love]

    But, first! :D

    There was such an element of so close, so far! to this, and especially with this passage in particular! Honest to goodness I was as jittery with anticipation while reading this as Shulma was in her own expectation! [face_dancing] Well, almost, of course. :p

    I really appreciated the wider view to the success of the Rebellion this little bit offered. Usually we are up and front with the heroes, but this is what they're fighting for on a larger scale. Justice for Shulma and so many others was what defeating the Empire truly meant!

    Oh. :( :_|

    I knew that reading Lua's grief was going to hurt when it came, and my but it did hit like a punch to the emotional gut. I think it was the detail of the monotone that really got me the most. For the vivacity of her speech patterns, there is no truer sign of grief. =((

    I really appreciated how strong Shulma was for Lua in this scene. She didn't try her hand at useless consolation. Instead she was just there for her friend, and shared her grief like a bulwark. :(

    SUCH A RIOT OF EMOTIONS, I JUST CAN'T EVEN!! YES!!! HOW FITTING IT IS THAT EVERYTHING COMES FULL CIRCLE IN THIS WAY!!!

    [face_dancing] [face_love] [face_sigh]

    AND NOW I WISH I HAD SOMETHING EVEN MORE EMPHATIC THAN CAPS LOCKS. Because: SQUUUUUUEEEEEEEE!

    Okay, in all seriousness now that my family is staring at me funny, I appreciate how almost anticlimactic this was, in a way. Because of course we all wanted an actual reunion, but I appreciate why Shulma wouldn't have to tell her exile's journal about what's to come - and now I am doubly looking forward to a further story from here on out. :D

    And, what's more than that: we now have a Zeb/Shulma little 'un! There can be no better happy note to end this story on, and I cannot wait for more!

    Here at the end - of this chapter in their tale, at least - I have to thank you, again, for sharing this wonderful journey with us. Shulma is irrevocably a part of my heart!canon now, and there she will so happily stay!

    =D= ^:)^ =D= [:D]
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2019
  19. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Oh you two, you two! Thank you so much for those wonderful comments and compliments!@};- I will respond to all your points in more detail anon—but for now I did just want to offer some reassurance on one point:

    Just by way of reassurance, there will most certainly be a Zeb/Shulma reunion story. (And heck, I don’t need to bother putting that in a spoiler tag, because I’m sure no one is really all that surprised to hear that. :p ) That story is indeed the “further story” that’s coming next, and I’m maybe 1/3 of the way done with it at present. If all goes well, I may even post its first post in a couple days or so, so watch this space. ;)

    But most importantly, thank you again for your encouraging words—which are a more-than-welcome motivator for me during a busy and stressful time! I feel newly motivated to get down to business with this thing, thanks to you (thanks to all of you readers, really). @};-
     
  20. Kahara

    Kahara Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 3, 2001
    Ooh, it's very interesting that Shulma may now be involved in that Festival of Love and Light yet again -- this time as the Veiled Queen. I loved her sudden realization that this is no coincidence and that it's all part of the threads that are now drawing her and Zeb back together. [face_love]

    (And that postscript was such a delight! [face_dancing] I didn't expect that sort of time jump and it's wonderful to know, just a little, that whatever journeys Shulma takes to find Zeb will be rewarded in the end.)
     
  21. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    This has been such a treat to read. Your descriptions and world-building are brilliant. I'm amazed at how intricate and wonderful this Lasat culture you've created has become. Between you and @Raissa Baiard, there is an entire new universe here.

    What a great description. This kicks back to the myth of the fiery tears of the goddess, from an earlier chapter. I love the idea of the Ashla having an infinite ability to transfigure and transform. Then, in the very next paragraph, we have an example of that very transfiguration - the sight of her Zeb, sitting beside her.

    She is a queen, isn't she? Not just to Zeb, but to everyone. She has such wisdom and grace!

    AH! So that is where the journal comes from! It's so cool to think that Shulma and Zeb become parents themselves. When you write a diary, inevitably there are questions that come up that are exterior to the plot of the diary itself. Who is the diary being written for - who does your character intend to be the reader of her words? How long ago was the diary written? Is the diary a treasured artifact, or is it an afternoon's diversion? It tells us a little about the reader of the diary, too. For example, I know that Shulma's daughter is like her mother, devout to the Ashla, and a curator and academic. Like her mom. @};-

    Edit: actually, it doesn’t say whether this is a male or female, so maybe it’s Shulma’s son.


    This has been a fantastic story, well deserving of all the mentions that it has been receiving in the Favorites of Fanfic. Thank you for this gift!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  22. Seldes_Katne

    Seldes_Katne Jedi Grand Master star 2

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2002
    I have been reading pieces of this story over the last year or so, but have finally sat down and read the whole piece over the course of a few evenings. A few general comments: your world-building, as a whole, is delightful. You’ve obviously put a lot of thought into your vision of Lasan, including both the planet and the culture.

    What I especially appreciate is the way the Lasat culture is rooted in the natural world – acknowledged changes of seasons like solstices or the Dust Season, the building materials used, the goods produced, etc. The spiritual descriptions do this as well – the Flowing Lightnings, the Four Protective Cloaks, etc. I’m curious as to whether the Lasat take these things literally or figuratively? How much of it is historically accurate, and how much is metaphor?

    My greatest interest in this story (outside of your characterizations) is the Lasat religion/spiritual practices. Your short story “Sparks” explains some of Shulma’s vision sickness, but I’m curious as to how it compares to the Force experiences we’ve seen in the movies. Is this a case of walking into that Shadow Space on Degobah, or Rey hearing the voices of long-dead Jedi?

    I do like both your exploration of those who have alternative experiences of the Force (Mists, Ashla, hearing it as song, seeing sparks, etc.)

    Also, in Shulma’s case, it’s nice to see someone who is intensely spiritual but practical as well. She basically rolls with whatever the universe and the Ashla throws at her.

    I find the mix of technologies, from holos and datapads to chalk, pen and ink, both interesting and down to earth (if I may use that phrase here). It does have a Star Wars feel to it.

    One question I do have is how did Bonvika (who, like many Star Wars aliens, I would be happy to meet in person) acquire a sacred Lasat text? (I would also like to make the acquaintance of her library!) Did I miss the explanation on that, or is to be revealed in a future story?

    This was a great opportunity to get acquainted with several alien species, including the Gand, the Drabatan, the Ryn, and the Theelin. What fun! Just out of curiosity, how do you come up with the names for your characters?

    Despite its length, this really is an easy read once I got started. I recently complimented another author here on the fanfic boards on writing something that read like a professionally published novel, and this story has the same quality. Even more impressive is the fact that whole thing is carried by OCs. (OCs who are established through other stories, admittedly, but still, it’s nice to see characters who aren’t related to any of the major movie characters.)
     
  23. Findswoman

    Findswoman Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Just last night my night was made by a notification that the awesome @Seldes_Katne left a comment on this diary! And when I went to read her lovely comment (thank you so much, Seldes!), I found that there were other comments, both also from awesome fellow authors and forum mates, that I neglected to ever respond to even though they were made more than a year ago, now. @Kahara and @diavpilot, please accept my most sincere apologies for that! :oops: [face_blush]

    So, let me rectify that situation right now by thanking all of you for reading and commenting! @};-

    Thanks so much, Kahara! Yes, you definitely were onto something with that comment—coincidence it most definitely is not, and indeed the Ashla, as we know, does not do coincidences! ;) Glad you liked the postscript, too—I enjoyed throwing that in as a little extra hint at Shulma and Zeb’s happy ending (and it helps explain some of the bracketed notes, etc., in earlier chapters, things like “here the ink trails off and bleeds”). :)

    Oh thank you so much, diva, and thank you for having been such a regular reader and supporter, both of this diary and this universe of stories! It’s been my great joy to create for both. @};-

    Yes, indeed, bang on! And to her description of the morning sunlight and its renewal all the way back in Chapter one, too—it’s come full circle to herald a new beginning. The Ashla, the Light, and Lasan are one, and they are always transfiguring, always transforming.

    Oh, thank you! I sure see her this way, if I do say so myself. @};-

    Oh yes, those are all good questions that come up for both readers and writers of diaries! We know from early chapters that part of why Shulma began the diary was to keep track of her visions at a time when they were coming to her fast and furious—but certainly along the way she must have figured that her experiences might be worthwhile recording for posterity, of Some kind, just in case. And this shows us that that “just in case” does indeed come to pass! (Which of course we now know from Stand Together on the High Places. :) )

    Your initial guess was correct—this particular child of theirs is indeed a daughter. :)

    Thank you so much for that wonderful compliment! I was definitely very delighted to see this story get mentioned in the Festival of Fanfic—it means a lot to me that it has been so loved and supported by so many people, and indeed is really pretty humbling! So you are very welcome, and thank you again for being one of those who have loved and supported it. [face_love]

    Thank you so much! I was just thrilled out of my mind to see your comment the other night—it’s a real honor. And thank you so much for that compliment—again, worldbuilding is one of my favorite things in fanfic, and this particular worldbuilding has really been an immense joy.

    Now, I am going to do my best to answer your excellent questions in what follows—but I’m going to have to admit (and to blush to admit) that some of this I haven’t thought through very much yet, and thus I apologize in advance for the fact that some of my answers may be kind of half-baked! [face_blush] But hey, this is at least an opportunity for me to begin thinking about these things, so I thank you very much for that! :)

    Ooh, hmm, I guess I’d say... probably a combination of both? Things that nowadays are regarded mostly as metaphors (at least by some) could well have had roots in history or sacred legend or both—and might still occasional literal manifestations even now, as we’ve seen with Shulma’s sparks. Lightning and sparks and what one might call moving light are indeed regarded as some of the primary manifestations of the Ashla, and of course one of the areas where the motion of that light is seen most strongly is in the cycles of the natural world. I always have envisioned those things as being foundational to Lasat culture and spirituality. Another way to put it is that I see that culture and spirituality as being deeply rooted in the natural, physical world of Lasan itself, if that makes sense.

    Yes, I’d say it is not too dissimilar to that. Though, in a way, it’s a matter of a Shadow Space coming upon her rather than of her walking into a Shadow Space, if that makes sense, and the intensity with which it stirs up her currents and visions can sometimes cause physical pain, even as it brings deep revelation. Again, I hope that makes some kind of sense—I’m still just sort of brainstorming some of these issues at this point, but I’m glad to have had the stimulus to do so! :)

    Thanks! That is indeed something do indeed love writing about, which perhaps is why I gravitate toward OCs like Shulma to begin with! As to hearing the Force/Ashla as a song, for that I have to give credit to @TheRynJedi—it’s a concept/motif that she brought to the story in the sections she guest-wrote and those including her borrowed characters, and that comes up often in her own stories (which I highly recommend—her Ryn Jedi healer Sennah is among my favorite OC Force users).

    Thanks! Yes, I guess she has turned out to be very grounded and down-to-earth (!) character in a way, as cerebral and spiritual as she is, and I like that aspect of her too, because it’s something I personally wish I could do better! I guess maybe it helps that her brand of spirituality itself is very grounded by its nature—perhaps the spiritual and the physical worlds become one that way.

    Thanks so much! That very juxtaposition is one of the things I just love about the Star Wars universe—it’s got the best of both worlds, kind of, in terms of elements from science fiction combined with elements of high fantasy—so I’m so glad that worked well for you, too. :)

    Ah, not to worry, you haven’t missed any explanation at all—because (and again I blush to say) I don’t yet have one. [face_blush] That’s not to say that I won’t ever come up with one—it’s a story that could well become written sometime—but at present it’s a little like the question of how Maz got hold of Luke’s first lightsaber. ;) The surface explanation is that Bonvika is a collector of various ancient, beautiful things, and that it probably came up in one of her dealings or purchases just generally as an ancient and beautiful book. I’ll think on it some more, though! (And I am glad you like Bonvika—thanks so much! She is an OC that goes back to my very earliest times on these boards.)

    Glad you enjoyed seeing all those various species! As you know I just love the alien species of SW, so I just felt like a kid in a candy store bringing them all in. .:) (Once again, though, full credit for the Ryn appearances goes to @TheRynJedi—she’s singlehandedly responsible for all I know about that very cool species.)

    And oh wow, the naming of characters... that’s one of my favorite things, and I can talk about it till the banthas come home if given half the chance! :D It’s a mix of things, really; often I just choose something that I think sounds nice or sounds like it fits, but I do fold in some RL inspiration, too. Shulma, for example, is adapted from the Shulamite in the Song of Songs, while Bonvika (Bonvica) is pulled wholesale from the name of a character in a Restoration-era play. Telfien was a name I came up with just because I thought it sounded sort of pretty-yet-alien—and then I later found out it had a meaning in a RL language appropriate to the character, as it’s also an inflected form of Maltese telfa ‘loss’. Just a few examples there, though I’m glad to explain how I came up with names for pretty much any given character of mine—just ask. :)

    Wow! Thank you so much—that is an immense compliment and a real honor from you! :) And I really appreciate so much that these OCs spoke to you and that you enjoyed them—I personally love writing and reading OCs, but I know that not everyone in the fandom does. So this compliment really means a lot to me. @};- Thanks so much once again for your readership and for your wonderful, insightful comments and questions that I hope I’ve done justice to! =D=