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Tales of New Tython, Chapter I: Lost Civilization


New Tython

The Harakoans were always a superstitious people. Constantly looking towards the heavens, the stars and planets above told of their fortunes, and their peril. To each tribe, the stars had different meanings - different constellations that were recorded through their collective memories and passed down through generations. Almost three years have passed since a supernova rocked the beliefs of the Harakoan people. The Gioki tribe, in particular, were thrown into disarray at the celestial event. Their most beloved constellation was shattered in that moment, missing a vital piece that would have held together the foundations of an ancient tale - one that has been lost since the beginnings of time itself.

Even as their stories were lost to time, their traditions lingered, and the fragments shattering in the heavens have reminded them of this lost tale. Wielding his staff overhead, passed down from his father, and his father before him, the elder sanctified the blessed ground of the sacred Tapoamūana-nuku, the Holy Blue Mountain. The Harakoans of the Gioki tribe bowed in reverence to their Tūpuna Tāne, their Great Father, pleading that one day, their tales would return and the heavens would be restored.

Soon, all of Harakoa would learn that some tales are meant to be forgotten…

New Tython

“We’ve found it, Jeryn!”

As with all secrets, a scratch is all it takes to break the surface. Organized by an eccentric Bothan going by the name of Jeryn Yorcot, the first expedition into Sanulu’s hazardous zones uncovered what they thought was a remnant of the Harakoan tribe that fled east into the calm zone, left behind in the migration to escape worsening volcanic activity in the region. It was an architecture that could be seen in most ruins on Harakoa, but this one prevailed above the others, despite the constant threat of the volcanic activity running rampant through the area.

Jeryn wasn’t fazed by anything; he was a face that appeared frequently on the holonet with his documentaries and journals on various discoveries from the Inner Core, stretching through Wild Space. He didn’t seem at all aware of the environmental suit that clung to his fur, matting the hairs he hadn’t bothered to groom since news of this site filled his ears. After this, the holonet would be buzzing with interest from this find - one of the fabled ancient temples on New Tython, still intact and unplundered. Of course, he was forced to surrender potentially dangerous artifacts to the safekeeping of the Jedi, but it never prevented him from recording every detail in his journals, right down to the scratch patterns on every uncovered relic buried in the dirt.

His producer wouldn’t normally share his enthusiasm, but he hoped that she would indulge him this one time. He had pulled strings to be sent to lead this dig site as it moved to uncover the structure. “Completely intact.” He barked, stopping one of his crew who was beginning to plant explosives around the entrance, absolute authority barely showing past the fog-covered lens of his breathing mask, “Go get something to pry open this door. I won’t risk collapsing a part of the architecture.”

Building up a steadfast reputation has earned him quite the respect through his years in the field. He didn’t mind the spotlight, it kept his crew doing as they were told, when they were told. A galaxy was watching, even if his views had dropped in the last few years down to a few million within the Core Worlds. Anxiously, the crewman picked up the explosives, exchanging them for a pair of thin metal bars from the hoversled they had in tow.

“Breaching in three… two….”

“One” Jeryn counted silently, his heart beating in his chest while his claws extended in anticipation, tearing small pinholes into his suit. “Clear!” He shouted, just after the doors had been forced open. Like the jaws of a Rancor, it stood agape. Silently, he cursed at himself for allowing the Jedi to send with him two of the Tanduran Commandos for artifact reclamation. The fools would contaminate the precious stonework with their muddied boots as they walked in through the pressurizing chamber, weapons raised.

To his calculations, the main chamber would have been sealed off completely. If anything did live in there at one point, it would have suffocated based on the amount of air rushing past the group to fill the void. If he wasn’t wearing an environmental suit, the resulting headache would send him to the on-site medical facilities.

“Nothing’s here”, one of the masked soldiers called back gesturing forward with a gloved hand, “Its safe to enter at your own risk.”

Jeryn knew what the soldier meant, he had skimmed through those cumbersome waivers countless times. Pushing his way past the crew at his back, the Bothan squinted in the dark of the temple’s interior.

“Someone get me a karkin’ light!” He ordered, swiftly snatching one from a nearby holo reporter. It sparked to life with a ‘hiss’, the chemicals from the glow rod bouncing off the stonework and several feet around him. When he finally gained a glimpse of the grandeur that was expected, his expression flashed from a frown, to horror.

Apparently, the soldier was literal when he said “Nothing.”

Save for a floor of sand and dust with the occasional stonework protruding from its surface and etchings adorning the otherwise flat stone walls, the room was bare, with no further structure that he could see in the dim lighting. Without so much as a word, the crew went to the arduous task of dusting off the stonework, revealing the intricate patterns beneath.

His producer was going to kill him.

New Tython
Arca Praxeum

The heavy box slammed down on the desk with a ‘thud’. “Take it.” The Bothan spat, “I’m done with this planet.”

Solari’s photoreceptors stared motionless at the thick-built alien, now eschewing the environmental suit in favour of an oversized duster that hung loosely over his broad shoulders - his signature outfit in front of the cameras. “I appreciate the gift, though the Ordain Vonoro Spacedock has notified me that your ship has been impounded for the time being.”

“What!” Yorcot slammed on the table with a clenched fist, “On what premise?”

Solari let the question linger in the air, giving the explorer time to calm his emotions before his vocoder broke the silence, “Intention to smuggle potentially dangerous artifacts offworld without approval from the Disciples of Odan-Urr.” He explained, in the monotonous voice that his mechanical form possessed.

“I received that approval weeks ago!” He shouted, leaving trailing claw marks in the table. Yorcot fit the stereotype perfectly; he was ambitious, cunning and mild-mannered, with an even shorter temper. If Solari could have a bodily reaction, he would have shifted uncomfortably, “I must ask you to refrain from - “

“Shut it, droid!” Yorcot interrupted, slamming into the side of the Shard’s metallic head with a clenched fist. Before Solari could respond to the sign of organic aggression, the two were cut off by another presence in the room.

“But it wasn’t approved by me.” A’lora Kituri answered, chastising in a cool-mannered tone. Dressed in a robe of hides and furs, the Togruta made an offhanded attempt to blend in, at least whilst visiting the halls of the Arca Praxeum.

Jeryn looked up incredulously, the anger on his face replaced with a scowl, “Explain.” He grunted, the snout-like protrusion on his face contorting in disgust.

“That box is filled with untranslated languages, once lost to memory. Don’t you want to know what it was that you uncovered?” She asked, taking a step around the room to examine the flimsiplast records, picking one up with callused fingers, “After all, it would be remiss to have you leave without a story, wouldn’t you agree?”

Expected as it was, the Bothan became more confused than irritated. Even those who were aware of the Consul’s talents in seeing into the possible future were often left with more questions than answers. Detailed as they were, recounts of her visions were always clouded with hidden variables that could shift the entire perspective of the event. She trusted in the will of the Force to guide her through making the right choices, and it has served her well, so far.

Jeryn stroked the matted fur on his face in deep contemplation, “Well then. Since my ship is impounded, I’ll entertain your offer…. for now.”

“We can have the Disciples of Odan-Urr work on translation of the language.” Solari reported, diagnosing his robotic host for signs of damage along the metallic cranium, “Expect results within a few weeks.”

“I’ll be looking forward to it.” Yorcot challenged, heading for the door in search of the nearest cantina.

He was going to need a drink.


Breaking News!

Famous archaeologist and adventurer Jeryn Yorcot announced today that he has uncovered a heretofore undiscovered temple on the small Outer Rim planet of New Tython. The temple, believed to be Harakoan in origin, was found on the planet’s smallest continent Sanulu. The Harakoans, New Tython’s native peoples, are a tribal society whose lifestyle has changed little in the last several thousand years despite the recent influx of new colonists to the planet.
Yorcot, famous for his holo documentaries detailing his adventures across the galaxy uncovering relics of many civilizations, is perhaps best known for his work uncovering the ruins of the Rakatan Empire, a galaxy spanning civilization that died out approximately 25,000 years ago. A graduate of the prestigious Tre’kya University on Bothawui he rose to prominence when his first holo documentary “Heart of Darkness” gave his viewers an insight into the famous Massassi temples on Yavin IV.

“It’s really quite fascinating.” Yorcot said “This temple is perhaps ten to twelve thousand years old which tells us that the volcanic instability of Sanulu, in geological terms anyway, is quite recent.”

When asked what was discovered within the temple Yorcot stated “So far we’ve found a few hundred pottery shards along with what we believe are ceremonial weapons, which leads me to believe we may have found some form of ritual temple or perhaps the residence of some ancient Harakoan king. We’ve also found several dozen intact containers made of the same clay as the shards with some very interesting artwork painted on them. Surprisingly though, we’ve yet to find any physical remains of the people that once occupied this place. It really is exciting and we’ve barely scratched the surface of the possible discoveries of this site.”
The temple itself is built of large blocks of stone that appear to come from what Yorcot believes is a quarry a few hundred meters away, with each stone being so precisely cut that not even a piece of paper can come between the blocks. Currently covered in ash from the near constant volcanic activity of Sanulu the temple is perhaps forty meters tall with the base covering approximately a square kilometer.

The clay vessels Yorcot speaks of are all between forty and sixty centimeters in height with a large round bottom flowing into a thinner more tapered neck with a thick handle extending from the neck to the base of the vessel. The paint on each intact vessel is still incredibly vibrant, a result of the temple being sealed for so many years. Most display general day to day scenes or depictions of animals however one in particular stands out amongst the crowd. Around the base we see a collection of figures, presumably Harakoans, worshiping a constellation of stars that the archaeologists say no longer appears in the New Tythonian skies.

Yorcot was invited to the planet by the Council of Odan-Urr, a Jedi led organization dedicated to upholding law and order on New Tython. A spokesperson for the Council had this to say about Yorcot and the excavations.

“We are ecstatic that an archaeologist as galactically renowned as Professor Yorcot would agree to come to our small planet and aid the Council of Odan-Urr and the people of New Tython in uncovering another piece of the past of our home”.

New Tython
The Tipsy Tusken

“This is without doubt the worst highlight of my career.” Yorcot chided himself, mulling over a Gizka Glee. His embarrassment over the holonet hadn’t been in the least offset by the strong drink’s redeeming qualities. Throughout the night, he continued to drown his bitterness over the subject with the sweetness found at the bottom of a glass of distilled Gervi fruit. He almost couldn’t taste the abundance of Gizka piss in the cognac.

Turning his gaze upwards only reminded him of his predicament. There he was, giving the worst presentation of his career over the holonet while his producer cut the majority of his content to keep with “viewer interest.” With the budget and intelligence of a famous figure on the holonet, he expected to make the find of a decade. Rooms filled with ancient treasures and the bones of an ancient civilization. Instead, he found pottery fragments and a few stone rubbings. It took a few tries to find the glass before bringing it to his lips, the cool liquid’s sweetness tracing down his throat and doing nothing for his temperament.

“Don’t look so pissed off, Yorcot.” The bartender remarked, pulling out a rag to clean the Bothan’s glass before filling it. “One shoddy documentary isn’t going to ruin your reputation.”

Jeryn lifted the glass again, slamming it down after taking another drink, “It’s got nothin’ to do with that. With my intellect, I should have been right in my estimates at having located the find of a lifetime - a chance to make my mark on the galaxy. Our budget has been run dry without anything to show this failed venture.” He stared down into the bottom of his drink, “What’s it to you, anyway?”

“It’s not your embarrassment that worries me. You’re scaring off the customers.” The bartender shrugged, nodding at the vacant seats. Two men put down their glasses and walked out the door.

“Here we were, hoping to start a hand of Sabaac.” Torin Ardell interjected from the adjacent booth. Muddied boots across the table and taking a slouched position on the padded furniture marked him as the perfect example of a Melewati from his time in the mountains.

Sitting across from the Melewati grinned a woman clad in the customary brown robes of the Jedi Order. Stirring the savory mixture of a Photiza Abaddon, Lu’aisha Gresee was recognized as a native Tythonian, born from the colonies that first settled on Harakoa. “I’ve heard rumors that a Jedi named Suur cracked the code of one of your rubbings. Might want to check in with them, could find something worthwhile.” She offered with a courteous smile.

“I was just leaving.” Jeryn growled, standing on his feet and nearly topping over in his drunken stupor. Digging his claws into the bar’s counter for support, he drew a warning glance from the bartender before staggering towards the door. “Drinks on me later.”

New Tython
Arca Praxeum

Gathered like flies to a light, the council of Odan-Urr convened around a holographic representation of the temple’s exterior, the projector’s pale glow being the sole source of illumination in the darkness of the room. Banded light patterns bounced off the faces of all those gathered, making it seem as though this was a gathering of holograms. Expressions remained neutral, the councillors still unsure of the repercussions of the uncovering of an ancient temple. Questions remained as to the fate of the explorer, Jeryn Yorcot, who attempted to leave offworld with crates of stolen artifacts for use in his documentary.

“What have we found?” A’lora Kituri broke the silence. She wasn’t known for subtlety in matters pertaining to the council, or much else. Her choice of attire in this particular matter reflected her time spent among the tribes and villages of New Tython’s natives; a tight garment of leather and hide fastened around her form, similar to that of the clothing worn in the southernmost tribes. The holographic images changed, revealing scans of the stone tablet recovered from the temple.

“Protector Suur, come forth.” Liam Torun commanded the younger man lingering out of view. In spite of his disappearance into the planet’s vast forests as an elderly hermit, his voice still retained the assertive qualities of a general. “Tell us what you have discovered.”

“Councillors.” Addressed the Protector, tilting his head in a gesture of respect, “I have translated the inscriptions. It’s unlike all other languages we’ve encountered. Apparently, it… predates the Harakoans, themselves.”

Silence befell the room, the dull thrumming of mechanical devices filling the soundless confines. “Tell us what it means, child.” asked Vorsa, who carried a motherly tone to her voice in the most desperate of times. Nervousness dissipated from the Protector, his demeanor becoming more relaxed and less formal. Realizing that his hand had been stroking the dark beard below his chin, the Jedi regained his composure.

With the power of gods we destroy
With their help we conquer
Through their guidance we rule
Against the gods we dare not
We are Maia’toa
So we pledge

“…that’s what is translates into, councillors. The rest of it is indecipherable, from my attempts.”

“Maia’toa?” Nausinikos asked through the overbite of his jaw. Like the Consul, the Draetos was dressed in a raiment recognizing his heritage from a traditional background for his species. Contrasting against the barbaric appearance of the Togruta, he was dressed almost regally in a uniform consisting of a skirt of leather strips and pieces of bronze armor for protection.

“An ancient race of Harakoan ancestors, from the limited records the Bothan tried to smuggle offworld” A’lora answered, raising the brows of a few councillors. Raising a hand as if she had sensed the protests in advance, she called for silence. “Bring him to me.” She commanded, calling out into the hall.

Jeryn Yorcot once again found himself under the watchful gazes of far too many Jedi. Marginally recovered from the previous night’s hangover, his head throbbed with a headache. In a gesture of annoyance, he swatted away the hands resting on his shoulders. “Couldn’t I have been at least given these karking translations before sticking out my neck?” He sighed, shaking his head in defeat, “What is it, Jedi?”

A’lora smiled, signaling for Solari to change the hologram to reflect the other half of the tale, “You haven’t seen everything yet.”

~25,000 BBY

We are conquerors. All that oppose us have felt the wrath of our empire; those who follow us are guided at the hands of the gods. As it has forever been told, Harakoa has been in need of strong rulers to guide those who would seek out the gods, the might of our empires being a testament to their strength and power. The armies of the Maia’toa are legion and our empires span all of Harakoa to build order from chaos. We have pledged our lives to those who created the stars, against them we would not tread.

Faint lines of worn colors depict the first known glimpse of the ancient civilization, telling a tale of the Maia’toa at their height of influence. Faded shades of crimson and blue combine to create the aesthetic of an imposing figure, dressed in a regal garb not seen in several millennia. The crest of the decorated cranium is reminiscent of the modern Harakoans, however the figure is painted as to dwarf the modern Harakoans. Bone in the appearance of teeth or talons can be seen to be sticking out from the peak and sides of the nasal crest, giving the figure an aura of ferocity. Holding aloft a staff of bronze and gold, the significance of the figure tells of countless victories in the name of their gods.

I have been called kētitieki, as the keeper and defender of the gate. My pledge to the gods was sanctified in blood to seal our bond until death. Others have called me leader - those who follow commands and march with me to defend the gates of Maunga-Kōuraura. The Golden Mountain looms over the lands of our largest empire, known as Sanulu.

More lines intersect to create a representation of their cities, built on the slopes of the overshadowing mountain. A glimmer of light is illustrated to be reflecting from the peaks of the structures - presumably representative of some metal embedded at the tallest points. The first known evidence of life once being able to be sustained within the now-rendered uninhabitable fog zones.

We are their humble servants, and the builders of wonders. It is the Maia’toa that will create a lasting peace through the conquest of the rebellious tribes of our lost brothers, and usher in a time where the gods will see Harakoa fit to walk among us as gods.