CAMPAIGN [Chrysalis] Early History of the Celestials & Rakata

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Davin Kabak

Almighty HGM
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Game Master
May 2, 2017
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The following is the tale, as told by Samsaraa, Grand Master of the Order of Lanis.

"A long, long time ago, the first iteration of beings of this form inhabited a far away galaxy. There, they lived on a planet they named 'Celestis', or 'home in the sky', in their language. They lived and died, generation after generation, as all beings do. Over a vast amount of time devloped great intelligence and wisdom. Such was their knowledge that they traveled the stars, but found no other intelligent life like themselves."

"As they continued to explore the meaning of their lonely existence, they slowly began to understand that with enough time and development, they could achieve greater and greater abilities. Slowly, they came to understand that as individuals attained enlightenment, they could eventually transcend their bodies of flesh and blood and rise to a higher plane of existence. There developed two paths to this transcendence, the first through selfless faith and dedication to their religion. The second path, by acquiring knowledge and technology, through science and debate."

"Both began with good intentions, but as time went on, generation after generation, both sides grew further entrenched and fanatical in their beliefs, and their technology ever more powerful, until eventually their differences broke out into bloody conflict, which with their already advanced level of technology, would to drive their species to the brink of extinction."

"To avoid the horror, the two went their separate ways. The majority, who rigidly followed their religion, which we know only as 'The Others', remained behind in their home galaxy. The small minority following secular science and free will above all, we now know only as 'The Ancients'. The Ancients secretly built a starship to cross the great void of space, and escaped to settle in a new galaxy. In their respective seclusion, each continued their long search for the secret of ascending to a higher plane of existence, in their own way."

The Grand Master takes a pause, looking over the expression of everyone, so as not to lose the attention of those here. He resisted the urge to ask quiz questions as he would to students, but it a difficult impulse to control

"The Ancients thrived in their new home. They pursued all manner of knowledge through experimentation and observation. They began seeding the galaxy with all forms of life, and starting a second evolution of their own species. They even encountered other intelligent species for the first time, and learned how to interact with them - sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Some became allies, others became enemies, but none could challenge their supremacy, nor stop their progress. "

"They built wonders, developed fantastic technology, and experimented with all manners of physics and biology, all the while pursuing ways to accelerate their own evolution toward transcending the physical realm. Eventually, they did evolved close to the brink of the ascension they sought, and they were on the cusp of achieving what they had pursued for so long."

"Yet, not all of The Ancients were so enchrenced in belief of the absolute supremacy of science. For during this time, they discovered a pattern in the background fabric of the universe, a great secret beyond even their considerable understanding. They sent out great starships to traverse the universe, hoping to discover it's meaning."

"With this discovery, a new belief began to take hold in a small group of Ancients, doubting the absolute supremacy of science and reason. Such deviation of thought ran counter to the prevailing secularism of The Ancients, yet it was not rigidly tied to the dogma of The Others. Instead, they believed that the secret to reaching enlightmenment lay not solely with faith and submission, not only with science and free will, but in a blending of the two. They named themselves Celestials, after the planet of their origin, and as a symbol of their goal to reach enlightenment and transendence through this blending, then share it with both The Ancients, and The Others, hoping to at long last reunite their race."

"And did they?" Raine asked.

"Not exactly. You see, this new wellspring of belief in a greater power alarmed their Ancient bretheren, who had felt persecuted by The Others eons before, and feared they would become as fanatical as The Others had been and lead to conflict, or worse, would divulge knowledge that would allow The Others to finally overwhelm and destroy them once and for all. To avoid the mistakes of the past, they invoked the belief in free will The Ancients held sacred, and an agreement was reached. They would do as The Ancients had done before."

"A great Ark was constructed, large enough to support all of the Celestials on their long journey. They included the very best of their technology, the entire store of all their knowledge, and for a second time in their species' history, set out to find a new home, in a far away Galaxy."

"Our Galaxy."

"So it came to pass that over thousands of years they searched. When they arrived in our galaxy, as The Ancients did before in theirs, they began to explore, sow the seeds of life, and build grand creations. With their Ark as a base from which to build, they dominated the stars, and encountered other intelligent races in various levels of advancement. The Columi, the Gree, the Kwa, the Killiks, and more that are lost to time. Some they were able to befriend and shared knowledge with, some were afraid and fled. Others still were so alien in their thinking, that they did not possess a free will as they understood it. Many became client races of the Celestials, and even helped them in building many of their wonders."

"Their first work, Ptolus. A world created to meet their needs. Strong in energy, rich in resources, to replenish their Ark and to be a more permanant home. Others came later. It was an incomplete achievement, having anomalies and other traits less desirable, but none they could not overcome as their first home. They started first planets, then star systems, then constructs of galactic scale. As with the Ancients before them, none could challenge them."

"As they explored this galaxy, they then made an important discovery. Deep within the core of the Galaxy, they found a planet where life already existed. Yet, it was not like life they had ever encountered before. Microscopic in nature, yet seemingly existing as energy at the same time, it seemed to be completely in tune with that universal pattern buried within the fabric of the universe. They began to study it, and in the most startling discovery of all, they realized that life itself was intrinsically linked with this pattern. This led to the discovery of something. It has had many, many names throughout the ages...what would later be called 'The Force'."

"In keeping with their pursuit of greater discovery and knowledge, they began teaching these things to the client races that seemed to be receptive to it. However, knowing the existence of a thing, is not the same as understanding it. What they found, is that not all species follow the same path, or carry the same basic natures."

"Mostly, they were careful, knowing full well that some knowledge was best kept from the hands of those who should not wield it. One client race which they did teach about what we call 'The Force', was the Kwa. A benevolent reptilians with a calm demeanor and quest for knowledge, were ideal recipients, and labeld this knowledge 'The power of Infinity'. They explored, gained knowledge, and were following a path toward enlightenment that pleased the Celestials. However, still a relatively young race, they were not as careful as their Celestial masters."

"One day the Kwa used their gates and arrived on a primitive world now known as Lehon, and encountered the Rakata. The Kwa recognized the Rakata's natural attunement with the power of Infinity. Naively, they immediately set about teaching them, as the Celestials had once taught them. They tought them the construction of holocrons, the creation of technological wonders."

"However, the Kwa soon realized that the Rakata were not like them at all. They held an insatiable thirst for power, and an unbendable will to assert it and dominate anyone and anything around them. What at first seemed like a peaceful race, was soon revealed to be that way only due to the brutality with which domination was enforced. Now unleashed with this new knowledge, they sought to obtain everything from the Kwa, especially the knowledge of how to construct the Infinity Gates. When the Kwa refused, the Rakata turned on their benefactors in savage, open warfare."

"The Kwa, now fully realizing what they had done, could not let the Rakata obtain their gates. They fought back the Rakata, until the Gate could be destroyed by their bretheren, before finally succumbing and being wiped out. Though the Rakata were now stranded on their home planet, the damage was done. Their technological progress was rapid, fueled by their new knowledge of The Force and their natural ability with it, they warred among each other, and then finally, constructed their own spacecraft, and set out into the stars to destroy and conquer."

"They spread like a plague, conquering nearby worlds with ease. Warfare was not new to this galaxy, or to any other, but the speed with which the Rakata expanded was unlike anything seen before. The technology of the Rakata was fueled with the power of The Force at every level, from the microscopic to the planetary scale, and they used it mercilessly."

"They began using force sensitive creatures they encountered to fuel their devices further, until finally, their will to dominate even the universe itself led to the discovery of how to tap into an ability only the Celestials had learned to perform, the transmogrification of matter. With this, they constructed their crowning achievement, an enormous space station, fueled by the power of their system's star, and fed a constant stream of force sensitive creatures from their ever-increasing realm. It was known as the Star Forge. With the ability to now create weapons, automatons, even ships out of seemingly thin air, their spread throughout the galaxy was as rapid as it was brutal."

"Caught completely off guard by the speed with which the Rakata had advanced, the Celestials belatedly set to the task of attempting to counter the threat. However, the Rakata would not be denied all they felt was theirs for the taking, and so they entered into direct conflict with the Celestials themselves."

"For any other race, this was suicidally unthinkable, but with their numbers expanding much more rapidly, and their Star Forge to resupply their limitless fleets of ships, the Celestials themselves realized the Rakata could not be stopped, only contained. Resorting to using their most powerful knowledge, and fearing the conflict would attract the attention of The Ancients and The Others who they feared had already achieved ascension long before them, they started to construct fortresses on a galactic scale."

"They made their capital here, on this planet which they named Lanis. They constructed entire star systems, terraformed others, ensuring a vast amount of resources would be concentrated into a single star cluster. They surrounded this star cluster with artificially created black holes, creating a barrier impenetrable to ships, even in hyperspace. They constructed massive machines to manipulate the passageways in and out of this celestial fortress, ensuring that nothing could enter or leave, without permission. Then, they began their Masterwork, a construction beyond the scale of any before, or any since. With the Killiks and any others races willing, they set about using their massive machines to create a barrier across the Galaxy, in an effort to cut off and contain the Rakata in the western reaches."

"While not totally effective, such was the disruption to the gravity flux of the Galaxy, that it did limit the ability of the Rakata hyperdrives to expand their conquest to star systems that were not already extremely strong with The Force. This, then, was all that the Celestials could do. Unwilling to resort to wholesale genocide, as a complete antithesis to everything the Celestials were, two things became clear. The Rakata were a threat the younger races would have to resolve themselves. Secondly, that they themselves were in danger of losing the very thing that brought them to this Galaxy in the first place... the ability to ascend to a higher plane. Thus, they cloistered themselves off, safe from the Rakata, and redoubled their efforts to finally ascend their entire race, and fulfill their pledge to their Ancient brethren."

"Even as they completed their last preparations to ascend, they did not wish to leave the younger races, including the second evolution of their form - known as Humans, to the fate of never-ending domination of the Rakata once they were gone. No one race would be able to stand against them alone, and certainly not without developing their ability to use The Force to contend with them. So, a plan was implemented. Large starships were constructed, and sent out to gather Force Sensitive beings from many races throughout the Galaxy, and gather them on a world unusually strong with the Force, so much so that it was unstable and even dangerous to Force Sensitives, and therefore completely untouched by Rakata and Celestial alike. These ships, known as the Tho Yor, were launched, with all the technology and programming necessary to carry out that mission. To avoid detection and interception, they would travel by primitive pre-hyperspace drives to their destinations, and hold their specimens in stasis until they reached their destination. Once the Tho Yor were launched, all that was left for the Celestials to do, was to remove as much of their influence and technology from the prying grasp of the younger races until such time as they developed enough to be worthy of their legacy. With that done, they went on to Ascend."

"The Tho Yor did carry out their mission, and as some of you may already know, finally did complete their mission, carrying their precious cargo of Force-sensitive individuals to the world later named Tython. There, surrounded by The Force on a world that could have it's environment literally destabilized by it's improper use, they formed the beginnings of the Je'daii Order, and began studying The Force - and in time, later became the Jedi Order, of which, some of you, are now a part."

The Grand Master lowers his staff, and moves to take a seat on one of the benches, to rest. Though it seemed to take a lot out of him, his eyes were scanning the face of each of you, to determine how what he had just revealed had been received. The culmination of a lifetime of work and study, and now that it had come to fruition, his need to see it's result was as palpable as his aged eyes were eager.

"There is much more to know, but it is perhaps best not given as a story told by an old man with a weak heart. For that, I will leave it to *him*, to do."

The Grand Master reached over to the small case next to him, and placed it on the table. Then, he lifted the lid and set it to the side, revealing a velvet interior, within which sat what looks like a Jedi Holocron, one much more familiar to those who would have seen them, before the Clone Wars.

"Is that Broon Khvars?" Lana asked.

"It is perhaps ironic, and perhaps fitting, that a Soldier, not a Scholar, founded our Order nearly four thousand years ago. After all that happened here back then, he created our order to gather knowledge, and keep it. To ensure these ancient histories, knowledge, and relics are not lost to time, and remain preserved, ready for those who are ready to receive them, and follow the path of those who came before to enlightenment."
 

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