Voss was first discovered only a few years ago, and the rocky, lightly forested planet remains absent from many star charts. Two distinct cultures inhabit the world, both at a pre-spaceflight stage of development.
The first culture, known as the Gormak, is a xenophobic and violent species that dominates most of the planet surface. The second culture, known as the Voss, has been amenable to contact with outsiders and welcomes visitors to the mountain city of Voss-Ka. The Voss have a highly ritualistic society and are notable for their unusual aptitude with the Force. The Republic and the Empire have sent representatives to Voss-Ka to explore the possibility of an alliance.
- faction: Independent, levels: 44 - 47
- location: Distant Outer Rim, status: After the defeat of the Empire in an attempt to conquer the planet, two factions compete for her favor
- terrain: Mountains, forests, Plateaus
- key facts: The ruins of the ancient Jedi and Sith temples point to advance
Companion from this world: Xalek (Sith Inquisitor companion)
To the Voss, all outsiders--Imperial and Republic, diplomat and pilgrim--are ranked equally. As such, offworld visitors are all grouped together in the Alien Enclaves, specially-designated areas of Voss-Ka where outsiders can do business. This also allows the Voss to keep an eye on their visitors and control their movements within the city.
With Voss commandos constantly on guard, tensions in the Alien Enclaves run high. Nearly everyone there has the same goal--gaining the favor of the Voss--but they are also conscious that the Voss can order them offworld if they cause an incident. Ambassadors from the Empire and the Republic are icily polite; independent traders and captains carefully compete to sell their wares; Jedi and Sith walk large circles around one another. In the chaos of war, the Alien Enclaves represent islands of peaceful cooperation, albeit socially awkward ones.
The Gormak are normally a tribal people, their population spread across numerous nomadic clans numbering a hundred individuals each. However, deep in the Gormak lands lies Gorma-Koss, a massive settlement of tens of thousands of Gormak who have united their tribes in a sprawling expanse of huts, tents, high-tech defenses and amazing technological devices at the base of an unnamed mountain.
Gorma-Koss--literally "the Gormak kingdom" in the old Voss language--is rumored to be ruled over by a single powerful leader, and the Gormak who dwell in the makeshift city seem to be organized for some greater purpose. Instead of scavenging random cast-off pieces of technology, they seem to be searching for very specific items and components, as if gathering material for a massive, unknown project.
Despite their incredible affinity for technology, the Gormak are still a backward species in many ways. Although they are capable of repairing, modifying and improving tech created by more advanced cultures, they are mired in a pre-spaceflight culture and confined to their homeworld.
Now, under the guidance of Jokull--a visionary warrior who has risen up to lead his people--the Gormak are approaching the dawn of a new age. Hidden away inside Gorma-Koss, dozens of tribes have united to build a starship capable of interstellar flight. Using pieces and equipment salvaged from the Empire, the Republic and even the Voss, they have made slow but steady progress, marching towards the future.
Should the Gormak successfully complete the vessel, it will forever alter the destiny of their people by making them a force within greater galactic culture. The long-term consequences of such a radical breakthrough are difficult to predict, but the Gormak firmly believe their first starship is the key to their ultimate survival.
Said by Voss and outsiders alike to cause insanity in those foolish enough to venture there, the Nightmare Lands are a dangerous region far from Voss-Ka, overgrown with twisted forests. The weather there is unpredictable, and strange sounds and lights have been reported by distant observers. No one knows what caused the corruption of these lands, but many Jedi and Sith claim to sense a powerful dark presence within.
Despite the dangers--and numerous warnings from the Voss--some outsiders still brave the Nightmare Lands to loot the ruins or investigate secrets. A few daring Mystics have also made pilgrimages there in an attempt to heal whatever plagues the land. Most of these explorers are simply never seen again; the rest are left to wander the forests, broken and mad. The Nightmare Lands are a blight on Voss; unfortunately, they are a blight nobody seems able to cure.
Shrine of Healing
While many visitors to Voss seek guidance from the Mystic visionaries, a few desperate pilgrims come to risk the treacherous road to the Shrine of Healing. Imposing and ancient, the shrine houses the Mystic healers, whose incredible curative abilities are said to knit bones, purge disease and mend the mind and spirit.
The Shrine of Healing is not a simple hospice, but a monastery and retreat for Mystics. One of the few Voss buildings outside Voss-Ka to have survived the ages, it has rooms--even entire floors--whose purpose is known only to the healers. The shrine is protected by its own cadre of Voss commandos, who patrol the nearby hills vigilant for any Gormak.
The upper floors of the Shrine of Healing are reserved for the Trials, tests of faith and duty for Mystics and the most dedicated outsiders. Those foreigners who succeed at the Trials are highly regarded by the Voss, but these successes are rare.
The Dark Heart
The ruin the Voss call the Dark Heart lies deep in the twisted Nightmare Lands. The few surviving texts on the Dark Heart describe the complex as a maze of chambers--some sealed, others seemingly broken open from within--and vast underground corridors. It is said to be a place of corrupted monsters and ancient secrets, and based on orbital reconnaissance scans may be the oldest structure on the planet.
The Sith Lord Nerrethel spent two years researching texts concerning the Dark Heart and formulated several theories. He claimed its architecture resembled that of the ancient Sith on Korriban, and made a detailed study of the Dark Heart's orientation relative to Voss's constellations. After attempting to visit the Dark Heart in person, however, Lord Nerrethel was found dead on the border of the Nightmare Lands. His notes from the expedition contained only the words "it sees."
The Gormak Cannon
The Gormak hatred of the Voss is difficult to comprehend for outsiders. More than a simple cultural conflict, the Gormak view the Voss as a blight that must be completely wiped from the face of their world. To this end, the Gormak have begun construction of a massive weapon: a cannon aimed directly at the city of Voss-Ka.
The logistics of creating a weapon capable of launching devastating attacks on a city perched atop a mountain are difficult to imagine, but the resourcefulness of the Gormak should not be underestimated. Leveraging scavenged technology and using only primitive mining techniques, the deadly project is rapidly approaching completion and the Gormak's long-awaited day of reckoning is fast approaching.
The Ruined City
Far below Voss-Ka, at the base of the mountain atop which the city was built, are the remains of an ancient metropolis. The architectural style of the mysterious ruin is far removed from that of the Voss, and far beyond anything the primitive Gormak could create, leaving scholars to wonder who built it.
Despite the archeological evidence to the contrary, local legends hold that the ruins were indeed built by the Voss. When pressed as to why they would abandon the location for Voss-Ka, the Voss can provide no further details. It is clear that the ruins are shunned; culturally it is a place synonymous with mistakes, failure and regret, though not even the Mystics seem to recall how that reputation was forged.
The Step of Harmony
Many offworld visitors have commented on the lovely view from a certain long platform in Voss-Ka that stretches out over the mountain. Few realize that this platform, the Step of Harmony, is the Voss's method of handling individuals unable to abide by Voss's simple laws--the violently deranged or the truly heretical. Those who commit particularly grievous offenses "take the Step of Harmony" by being cast over the edge of the mountain.
Despite its grim purpose, the Voss do not view the Step of Harmony as a place of execution. To the Voss, deviant behavior is a result of being "wrong-minded"; removing such people from the city is a positive act that restores order. The Step of Harmony also serves as a powerful symbol, emphasizing that, to the Voss, there is no greater punishment than being permanently expelled from Voss-Ka... whatever route the offender takes.
Atop a sacred mountain stands Voss-Ka. The only true Voss settlement on a planet overrun by the tribal Gormak, the city is spread across several peaks, accessed by bridges spanning the vast gorges below. Notable landmarks include the Tower of Prophecy, the Alien Enclaves and the buildings assigned as impromptu embassies for Republic and Imperial ambassadors.
Under the administration of the Three, life in Voss-Ka is tranquil and orderly. Most Voss live peacefully there, caring for their families, cultivating the plants growing wild on the mountain and maintaining equipment for the Voss commandos in the war against the Gormak.
There is no dissent in Voss-Ka, and little crime. Many Exchange and mercenary visitors have tried to take advantage of the city's lack of regulation and serene attitude to law enforcement; however, persistent breaches of the peace in Voss-Ka are punished decisively, with dangerous offenders taking the "Step of Harmony" off the mountain.
All Gormak possess a natural affinity for technology, but those who are particularly adept often assume the role of shaman--a position of great respect and responsibility within each tribe. Like their kin, the shamans are fierce warriors driven by the desire to purge their homeworld of both the Voss and outsiders, and much of their knowledge and expertise is focused on devising better ways to kill the enemies of the tribe.
Other Gormak also look to these techno-priests for leadership and guidance--not just in matters of technology, but in their daily lives. In return, a shaman works tirelessly to maximize the value of any and all equipment collected by the tribe, transforming broken junk into tools and machinery to improve the quality of life for the entire group.
No Voss are more revered than the Force-sensitive Mystics. Individuals with extraordinary gifts of healing and prophecy, Mystics most often live in seclusion, using their talents to guide their people.
Mystic visionaries experience prophetic visions, which are carefully studied by interpreters at the Tower of Prophecy before being passed on to the ruling Three; it is said that no Mystic's vision has failed to come true, giving immense weight to any statement by a Mystic visionary. At the Shrine of Healing, Mystic healers use intense meditation and rituals to cure their patients, often of ailments that resist any other treatment.
Becoming a Mystic is a difficult path. After years of training, the most promising potential Mystics go on a pilgrimage across Voss, visiting holy sites in the dangerous Gormak lands and learning from their elders. Even then, not all potentials succeed. The very few who come into their full power as Mystics return triumphantly to Voss-Ka to be recognized by the Three.
There is no real distinction between the Voss people and their armed forces. As the Voss are a small, isolated population surrounded by millions of belligerent Gormak, a term of military service as a Voss commando is mandatory for all adults. The commandos defend Voss-Ka and its people against the endless Gormak hordes and act as the city's arbiters for minor disputes. Some Voss commandos choose to continue their service once their terms are over, ascending to the rank of officer.
The simple fact of the Voss's survival in the face of overwhelming Gormak numbers and hostility speaks to the skill of the Voss commandos. They are expert hand-to-hand combatants and peerless scouts, and because every Voss serves, every Voss adult is trained in self-defense. Having seen the Gormak menace firsthand, all adult Voss also understand and accept the sacrifices necessary for their society to survive.
Persons of Note
Many Republic visitors to Voss mistake Ambassador Jannik for one of his aides. Young and enthusiastic, the ambassador is determined to stand as a symbol of Republic integrity in Voss-Ka against the scheming of the Empire--but he's found it an uphill struggle. Ambassador Jannik has frequently clashed with the Empire's Sith diplomats, and is struggling to find a way to counter their smooth charm.
As part of his attempts to understand the Voss, Ambassador Jannik has accumulated a small library of Voss books and plays, and even converted to a traditional Voss diet. The Voss appear to view his efforts as merely more "outsider strangeness," but Ambassador Jannik has also commented that he now prefers Voss food to the supplies sent by the Republic.
Ambassador Yoran (Bounty Hunter)
Prior to his assignment to Voss, Methias Yoran was the Imperial Diplomatic Service's golden boy, having served with distinction through the better part of his life. Yoran was directly involved with the negotiations that led to the Chiss Ascendancy's alliance with the Empire, and proved time and again that the Diplomatic Service was a worthwhile investment of resources. Over the years, he has personally accepted the fealty of more than thirty worlds.
His more recent duties, however, have strained his patience and his abilities. In all his encounters with strange and alien cultures, he has never met a more inscrutable, evasive or infuriatingly untouchable species than the Voss.
Cultured, diplomatic and charming, Darth Serevin is as concerned with appearance and manners as he is with seeking power. He once destroyed a former apprentice, not for his clumsy scheming and attempts at betrayal, but for insulting one of Serevin's dinner guests. For these reasons, when the Empire was still smoothing over its short-lived attempt at invading Voss and a diplomatic envoy of immense skill was called for, Darth Serevin's poise and experience made him the ideal choice.
Over his long tenure on Voss, Darth Serevin has developed a liking for Voss art and architecture; he recently sent orders for his own lodgings on Dromund Kaas to be redecorated accordingly. He has also seen the value of the Voss people to the Empire; gaining an army of Voss commandos and Mystics would make the Empire unstoppable, and Darth Serevin is intent on seeing this happen.
Dokath-Ra (Bounty Hunter)
In all his years, the Voss Mystic Dokath-Ra has never once felt the stirrings of prophecy. His vision has been firmly grounded in the real world--but that isn't to say that he is blind. Decades of mending the wounded and witnessing the horrors of his people's neverending war with the Gormak have disillusioned Dokath-Ra, causing him to question the wisdom of his brothers and sisters sitting high on the mountain of Voss-Ka.
Dokath-Ra does not vocalize these concerns, but they weigh heavily on his mind as he enters his later years. Only the growing presence of outsiders on Voss and the wonders of the greater galaxy stir a hope for change inside him.
Gaden-Ko (Jedi Consular)
Gaden-Ko is the son of a sculptor and a former Voss commando who was maimed by the Gormak when Gaden-Ko was small. As is Voss custom, he was raised by his grandfather--Dajan-Ko--who soon noticed the young Gaden-Ko's uncanny intuition. This insight allowed him to aid Voss commandos by predicting where Gormak patrols would be. Thus marked as a potential Mystic visionary, he has spent years at the Tower of Prophecy studying and preparing to go on his pilgrimage.
Gaden-Ko's generation is the first to grow up in a Voss-Ka where alien outsiders are a common sight. He has always had an interest in these foreigners, even developing a friendship with the Republic ambassador. Perhaps because of these outside influences, Gaden-Ko is seen to be rather impulsive and impatient compared to other Voss.
General Thelonia Redrish (Bounty Hunter)
Born to the Kuat Sector's influential Redrish family, Thelonia left her privileged life behind during the Great War to assist with relief efforts in the Outer Rim. She served for several years as an aid worker, but it was during one of these relief missions that she became trapped on Lan Barell by an Imperial invasion. Witnessing bloodshed firsthand stirred something in Thelonia, and she laid down her medkit and picked up a weapon.
Despite her youth and inexperience, Thelonia's natural charm, selflessness and bravery propelled her into a leadership position in the resistance movement seeking to take back Lan Barell. That world would only be the first of many she would unite and liberate during the course of the war. Thelonia's efforts were recognized by the Republic after the Treaty of Coruscant and she was awarded the Mark of Victory and the rank of general in the Republic Army.
Jela Reneke (Smuggler)
Jela Reneke is Rogun the Butcher's right-hand agent on Voss, a coolly predatory businesswoman with the killer instincts of a firaxan shark. It was Jela who convinced the hostile and reclusive Gormak to form a mutually beneficial economic arrangement selling their hideous tech-beasts on the open galactic market. So respected is Jela by her crime lord employer that she routinely skims ten percent off Rogun's profits without fear of reprisal.
Jela's romantic relationship with her second-in-command, a human nicknamed "Gormak Zak," soured when Zak's interest in the natives expanded beyond economic exploitation. She has never been the type to let sentiment interfere with good business.
Few Gormak show the strength and cunning to become chieftains; to become king takes extraordinary intelligence, ruthlessness and skill. Driven by his burning hatred for the Voss, the veteran warrior Jokull has united the Gormak under his rule and devoted himself to destroying every Voss on the planet. He has sought out ways to improve his weapons, driven his warriors through exhaustive training and ordered his technologists to build dreadful machines of war. His strategies have been surprisingly effective, often catching even the experienced Voss commandos off-guard.
Jokull's single-minded aggression toward the Voss has made the Gormak more dangerous than ever. The Voss commandos are now becoming overstretched as they attempt to defend Voss-Ka. If Jokull's campaign of violence cannot be stopped, it is conceivable that he may soon break through to Voss-Ka and burn it to the ground.
Lokir-Ka appears to be the perfect Voss citizen. He obeys laws, respects the Mystics and has followed the career path his government laid out for him based on his charm, intelligence and gift for outsider languages. However, this young diplomat conceals a barely-suppressed wanderlust and unseemly fascination with foreign cultures that would shock his peers.
It never occurs to Lokir-Ka to act on his fantasies of exploring the greater galaxy, befriending alien species and perhaps even telling someone "no" once in a while. Such is the life of a dutiful diplomat. After years of working with Republic and Imperial ambassadors trained in polite doublespeak, Lokir-Ka finds the blunt statements of underworld gangsters uniquely appealing.
Lord Fulminiss (Jedi Knight)
Widely regarded as one of the greatest Sith sorcerers in the Empire, the enigmatic Lord Fulminiss is a master of the dark side's most arcane and lethal aspects. The grotesque Harrower assassins are his most famous creation, but legend has it he once summoned a raging storm of pure Force energy that disintegrated a rebellious city of natives in the Imperial-conquered Jabiim system.
Lord Fulminiss is a respected expert on the topic of mass extermination, and at the Emperor's request, he has performed extensive research into new ways of eliminating planetary populations. More than one Dark Council member has paid handsomely to obtain a record of Lord Fulminiss's work for his or her private perusal.
Lord Torius (Trooper)
Lord Torius is a top Sith diplomat who fancies himself a clever schemer worthy of the title "Darth." He takes great pleasure in flustering the Republic's representatives when they meet with the Voss and seems determined to secure the planet as an Imperial holding by any means necessary. The death of a Republic negotiator several months ago, while officially attributed to a Gormak attack, was almost certainly a murder orchestrated by Torius.
Intelligence indicates that Lord Torius maintains no close associates, seeking to prove his intellectual superiority without anyone else around to take the credit for it. He spends his private time on Voss alternating between long periods of deep thought and sudden bursts of text-entry into his encrypted datapad.
Madaga-Ru (Sith Warrior)
A Voss Mystic who exiled himself rather than taint his people with his unpopular and heretical ideas, Madaga-Ru lives as a hermit in the dangerous wilds outside the city of Voss-Ka. If asked, he admits to preferring this way of life over the false pretenses of his people's civilization; Madaga-Ru judges his fellow Voss as living in denial and only "seeing" what they want to see.
Despite this disapproval of his culture, Madaga-Ru remains a true believer in the fundamental Voss way of life--a way of balance, simplicity and faith in the visions of the Mystics. Those who refuse to respect Mystic philosophy or deliberately break Voss law receive Madaga-Ru's stern admonishment.
Senator Evran (Trooper)
Senator Evran is one of the most influential Senators in the entire Republic and a close personal friend of Supreme Chancellor Janarus. Evran's cleverness and talent for vocal persuasion have earned him the affectionate moniker "Coruscant's aurodium voice." Privately, General Garza refers to him by a different nickname: "the armchair general."
Evran is obsessed with the Voss Mystics' ability to see the future and he believes an alliance with the Voss will win the war. To this end, he has used his influence to keep a large contingent of Republic soldiers garrisoned at the space station orbiting Voss, despite the desperate need for troops elsewhere. In Senator Evran's scenario, his Republic forces will save the day when the Empire inevitably strikes at Voss, and thus win over the Voss people.
Tala-Reh (Jedi Knight)
Tala-Reh is an elite member of the Voss commandos and a veteran of battles against the hostile Gormak hordes. She is renowned among her peers not only for her martial skills, but for her deep spirituality..
Although her triumphs are the stuff of legends, Tala-Reh's history has also been marked by personal tragedy. Her devoted husband, a fellow Voss commando, was killed battling the Gormak. She has mourned this loss for years by quietly reciting a poem composed in her husband's honor every day at sunrise and sunset.
Xalek (Sith Inquisitor)
- Companion of: Sith Inquisitor
- Ranged DPS / Melee Tank
- Crew Skills Bonus: +10 Bioanalysis Efficiency, +2 Scavenging Critical
- Primary Weapon: Polesaber
- Secondary Weapon: Shield Generator
A Kaleesh warrior who was captured by the Empire in battle and brought to Korriban to train as a Sith, Xalek prefers to let his actions speak in place of words. Before even reaching Korriban, Xalek had killed several of his fellow slaves who were also intended for training--a bold statement by any measure.
Xalek melds his training as a Kaleesh warrior with a firm belief in the Sith Code. He kills without remorse, and is an expert student of lightsaber technique and martial combat.
An aggressive species of humanoids found exclusively on the world of Voss, the Gormak have an amazing ability to comprehend highly advanced technology and adapt it to their specific needs. From bits of scavenged electronics and discarded equipment, they can construct tools, machinery... even deadly weapons and cybernetic implants.
Aside from their affinity for technology, the Gormak's most notable feature is their hatred of the Voss species. The Gormak view the Voss as abominations that must be purged from their homeworld, and they are quick to extend this animosity to newcomers from the Republic and the Empire--like the Voss, these newcomers are all "outsiders."
The Gormak population is estimated to be in the millions, spread across the planet, but so far their tribal, warlike nature has kept them from uniting against the Voss. Yet over the centuries, the Voss have had to constantly fight against the Gormak to survive--and developed a hatred just as strong as the Gormak's.
The Voss are a newly discovered humanoid species with a strong affinity for the Force--though they don't recognize it as the Force. Confined to a single city, Voss-Ka, on their homeworld, they possessed a pre-spaceflight level of technology until their recent discovery by the Republic and the Empire. Today, they have begun integrating outsider advances into their own culture, but remain isolated and backward compared to the rest of the galaxy.
Voss society is difficult for outsiders to comprehend, as they are guided in everything they do by the infallible visions of their Force-using Mystics. This unwavering obedience is often misinterpreted as a stoic fatalism or a lack of emotion, but beneath their reserved words and placid exterior the Voss are a passionate and devoted people.
The Voss share their world with the far larger Gormak population, and considered the tribal Gormak to be little more than beasts. While the Voss readily acknowledge the threat the Gormak represent to their society and constantly war against them, there is never any consideration given to wiping them out entirely--as Mystic law clearly states that the last Gormak must never die.
The Gormak's fascination with technology has led them to experiment heavily in the field of organic-cybernetic hybrids, using the native fauna of Voss as their test subjects. Gormak hunting parties set out at regular intervals to trap mawvorrs, shaclaws and even the deadly vorantikus alive so that the creatures can be implanted with cybernetic upgrades, creating monstrous cyberbeasts.
While the Voss consider this practice barbaric, it is important to note that the Gormak see cyberbeasts as improved versions of what nature intended. Considering that the cyberbeasts are faster, stronger and far more dangerous than their organic counterparts, there is some merit to this belief.
The cybernetic implants allow the Gormak to influence the natural instincts of the cyberbeasts, effectively letting the Gormak program them with simple yet very specific instructions. Not surprisingly, this makes the cyberbeasts excellent guardians of Gormak lands.
Carnivorous beasts that stalk the wilderness outside Voss-Ka, mawvorrs are generally considered opportunistic hunters. They prefer striking at whatever wounded predators or wandering humanoids they come across to carefully hunting and stalking their food, though in packs they exhibit increased aggression and have been known to attack even the mighty vorantikus.
Mawvorrs also typically attack Gormak on sight, though they refuse to eat the bodies afterwards. This odd behavior has led the Voss to perceive mawvorrs as guardians or protectors who abhor the Gormak. Because of this, the Voss take steps to maintain the mawvorr population around Voss-Ka.
This symbiotic relationship can be taken to extremes during times when the mawvorr food supply is low. There is a historical account of a Mystic's vision resulting in unarmed Voss wandering out into the wilderness and allowing themselves to be devoured by mawvorr packs.
Massive, armored insects, shaclaws use their powerful foreclaws primarily for burrowing into the soil in search of the roots and subterranean mammals that make up their diet. If challenged, however, they can also use their claws as savage weapons capable of shredding the flesh or armor of their enemies.
The Gormak consider the meat of the shaclaw to be a delicacy, but within minutes of dying the insects release a deadly toxin into their tissues that contaminates the flesh. To circumvent this, the Gormak have become quite skilled at capturing shaclaws and cooking them alive.
Xenoanthropologists are quick to note that Gormak only dine on shaclaws during special coming of age feasts in which the capture and preparation of the meal is considered an essential part of the ritual celebration. The Voss reject this symbolic justification, however, and point to the practice of cooking any creature alive as proof of Gormak savagery and barbarism.
Sitting undisputed atop the Voss food chain is the terrifying vorantikus, the largest and deadliest predator on the planet--if not the entire sector. Heavily muscled and perpetually hungry, vorantiki are lone hunters that stalk the wilds in an endless search for their next meal.
Revered by the Gormak for their power and fearlessness, vorantiki are often depicted in crudely scrawled pictures found inside Gormak domiciles. Typically the scenes depict a vorantikus devouring a Voss Mystic, or laying wasted to the mountaintop city of Voss-Ka itself, though there is no historical account of any such attack upon the Voss capital.
Understanding the vorantikus may be key to understanding the evolutionary "arms race" occurring amongst Voss's fauna. The planet's wildlife is far larger, heartier and more aggressive than that of most comparable worlds, and the vorantikus represents an amazingly precise set of "alpha predator" traits. What sort of environment--or unnatural intervention--creates a vorantikus, and what effect does such a creature have on the world around it?
Black Codex: Operation: Shining Man (Imperial Agent)
[Data reconstructed from the Shining Man's databanks and files retrieved from the Tytun Rings HoloNet archive.]
The Mystics are a wildcard; they must be brought under control before the endgame. Any other opportunities Voss presents--a chance to train operatives against the Force in a controlled environment, a bauble to distract the Republic and Empire, even a base of operations--are secondary.
Follow the plan. Become what they require and make your case. We don't need to make allies; we just need them out of the way while we resolve the matters at hand.
I wish you could be here for the last days, but our "prophecy" must be sealed by sacrifice and we can't risk another layer of deception. Your time as enforcer will be remembered in the codex, and Hunter will be an able successor.
[Reconstruction ends here.]
Dream-Walking (Sith Inquisitor)
The spirit healers and dream-walkers of Voss are a strange group, even by Voss standards. Preferring to spend most of their time meditating in the wilderness of the Old Paths instead of in Voss-Ka, these Mystics work on healing the mind rather than the body.
Using the ritual of dream-walking, the Mystics enter their own minds and face their own fears, hopes, loves and rages, seeking spiritual balance and health. Such spirit healers are few, but there is evidence of their existence throughout Voss history, and an archive of their writings is kept for spirit healer initiates in the Shrine of Healing.
Gormak and Voss Origins
In the beginning, the Gormak were the only species on Voss--semisentient humanoids marked with a strong, though undeveloped, affinity for the Force. However, the history of the Gormak was forever altered several thousand years ago when they were discovered and enslaved by a small group of Sith.
A minor Jedi contingent of explorers arrived soon after. Bowing to pressure from a group of Gormak elders who had escaped the Sith, the Jedi taught a handful of the tribes the ways of the Force. They had no way of knowing that doing so would alter the path of their natural evolution so that they underwent profound physical and mental changes over the next several generations. The creatures ceased to be Gormak and became something else entirely--the Voss.
The Jedi preached temperance and defense but the newly formed Voss immediately attacked the Sith who still lurked among the Gormak primitives. The Voss destroyed the Sith, but in the process they were touched by the dark side, further altering their radically sensitive evolutionary path. Later the small group of Jedi explorers disappeared, having gone home or dying to accident or Voss aggression. Whatever the case, the strange happenings on Voss were never recorded in any archive.
Ascending to the top of Voss's tallest peak, the new species turned to its most powerful Force-users for leadership. Myths about their origins began as the newly ordained "Mystics" tried to explain what had happened and eventually it was believed that the Voss had simply always been. In time this myth became the accepted truth, until even the Mystics themselves forgot the real origins of their people.
Law and Order on Voss (Smuggler)
The legal system of Voss can be especially perplexing to offworlders, many of whom are surprised to discover criminal gangs like the Exchange operating openly on the planet. Calls by Republic officials to close down these centers of illicit trade have been met with puzzlement and refusal by the Voss, who see no harm in encouraging free trade between their people and offworlders.
Crime among Voss is nonexistent, and Voss law is a much simpler affair than the regulations governing Republic and Imperial worlds. Voss laws are established by the Mystics, enforced by the commandos and judged by the adjudicators. This last group was recently formed solely for offworlders, as no Voss citizen would ever violate their rulers' edicts.
Legend of the Shining Man (Imperial Agent)
The Voss do not, as a rule, welcome outsiders. They see themselves as unique in the galaxy, chosen by prophecy, and believe that non-Voss play another role altogether.
The Shining Man--who called himself Albathius upon his arrival--is the only known exception. He was first seen in the plazas of Voss-Ka, haggard and seeking food. No holocam or ship manifest recorded how he came to the planet, and he offered no explanation.
In a matter of days, the Shining Man ingratiated himself with the Voss, living and working among them. To the intelligence services observing, it was clear Albathius was more than he appeared--but by the time they began a detailed investigation, the Shining Man had become part of the culture, participating in Voss rituals and being adopted into a Voss family.
When the Shining Man died in his home, his status was cemented as a near-holy figure. If he had been assassinated, his enemies had made a martyr of him.
If he had chosen death himself, he had made the ultimate commitment to his cover. The only question was "Why?"
For the Voss, a Mystic's vision is a rare and solemn event. While visions are always believed to serve the greater good of the Voss people, in the short term they can mean great upheaval and suffering. Following the visions of their Mystics, the Voss have waged bloody war on one another, torn down and rebuilt half of Voss-Ka and spent centuries digging underground in search of sacred crystals--but experience has shown that those who ignore visions do so at their peril. The predictions of the Mystics have never been wrong.
For these reasons, a Mystic's vision is treated with great care. No Mystic determines himself how the Voss act upon his vision; instead, the vision is described to the experienced interpreters at the Tower of Prophecy. The interpreters debate its meaning and meditate before they present their analysis, and the Three--or another to whom the vision is directed--act on the interpretation, confident in the knowledge that whatever action is necessary, it is ultimately for the benefit of all Voss.
Potential Mystics (Jedi Consular)
Voss Mystics are both born and made. Children who show signs of talent in either prophecy or healing are sent to the Tower of Prophecy for training and study. When these potentials are old enough, they may go on a pilgrimage across Voss where they visit holy sites, fast and meditate on their future roles.
A potential's training does not end until he either performs a great act of healing or experience a vision. If a potential Mystic begins his training but fails to complete it, he is allowed to re-enter Voss society and is referred to as a "lost potential." Although there is no stigma to failing Mystic training, lost potentials are often left feeling isolated from other Voss due to their long study and experience of the rituals at the Tower of Prophecy. What greater role lost potentials will fulfill in the Voss prophecies is still an unanswered question.
The Deep Cradle (Jedi Consular)
"All that is Voss comes from Voss," run the words of an ancient Voss creation myth. According to tradition, the ruin known as the Deep Cradle marks the site where the Voss were born from the substance of the planet itself. Later stories tell of how one Voss returned to the Deep Cradle and drank from the fire at the planet's heart; he knew he would perish, but that his sacrifice was necessary for the greater good. His prophetic dying words are said to have guided the ancient Voss safely through the wilderness, until they discovered the mountain where Voss-Ka now stands.
The altars of the Deep Cradle, meditated upon by potential Mystics, reflect these myths. The Altar of Life celebrates the existence and survival of the Voss despite all odds. The Altar of Death represents the irrevocability of one's actions. Finally, the Altar of Duty stands for both the ability to choose, and the responsibility that comes with choosing correctly.
The Forbidden Ritual (Sith Inquisitor)
Little is forbidden on Voss, where life is directed by the infallible visions of the Mystics. Yet one ritual, practiced by ancient spirit healers and believed to be powerful enough to restore even the most fractured mind, was locked away within the Shrine of Healing and guarded by a Voss apparition.
The so-called "Forbidden Ritual"--its true name long lost to history--involves dream-walking alongside one of the hated Gormaks. By uniting both Voss and Gormak, it can heal the mind of its "nightmares."
The Imperial Attack on Voss
When the Empire first learned of Voss--a primitive world with powerful Force-sensitive Mystics--it was quickly marked for conquest. "Ambassadors" sent to the capital reported that Voss-Ka appeared wholly undefended. Soon after, the Imperial General Khypes arrived with a battle cruiser and several army divisions to demand that the Voss surrender.
Before any official communication could be sent to the Voss government, Khypes's battle cruiser exploded. Its escorts were destroyed moments later, whether caught in the cruiser's blast or eliminated through other means. The invasion was over before it had begun.
In the hours that followed, both Imperial and Republic forces scrambled to determine what had happened. No trace of an energy discharge was found, suggesting planetary defenses were not involved. The Empire suspected Republic sabotage or secret Voss weapons. The Republic theorized that the destruction was the result of Sith infighting. The Voss called it destiny.
Regardless, the Empire realized it had underestimated the Voss and hastily recalled its forces, claiming General Khypes was a rogue acting without orders. Soon, the Empire began to attempt more diplomatic overtures to the Voss people.
The Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Healing
Tales of the miraculous powers possessed by the Mystics at the Shrine of Healing have spread across the galaxy, and many offworlders have flocked to Voss in the hopes of being cured of their various ailments and afflictions. Before they can petition the healers, however, those seeking aid must embark on a dangerous and arduous pilgrimage to the shrine's remote location.
This journey is more than merely symbolic. Facing the trials of the pilgrimage purifies the spirit of the petitioner--an essential requirement, the Voss say, for those seeking aid. Voss healing rituals disperse an affliction across multiple individuals, diluting it until it no longer has any ill effects. If the ritual is performed on one who has not been purified, the Mystics believe there is a chance the malady will instead infect all involved in the ritual, making the necessity of the pilgrimage readily apparent.
Many outsiders believe that the Voss are directly governed by their Mystics; an understandable mistake, given the Mystics' importance. In fact, the Mystics' visions are first interpreted, then conveyed to the Three--the secular governing body based in Voss-Ka, who base their executive orders upon the visions' interpretations.
The Three are chosen by Mystics after meditation or according to visions, but have little direct contact with the Mystics on a day-to-day basis. Working from the Tower of Prophecy, the Three administer Voss-Ka, make policy decisions and coordinate the endless war against the Gormak.
Depending on the advice of the Mystics, appointment to the Three can last a lifetime or just hours. The current members of the Three are the calm, authoritative Sonn-Vi; Gunta-Mer, who was chosen by the Mystics only weeks ago; and Nen-Ji, the longest-serving member, who has been part of the Three since childhood.
The Voice of the Emperor (Sith Warrior)
For centuries, the Emperor's Voice has delivered the Sith leader's commandments to his servants. In fact, to converse with the Emperor's Voice is to have an audience with the Emperor himself, whose power and consciousness have been placed within the Voice's body.
Although the audible voice never changes, the physical individual who does the speaking has assumed many forms--various accounts describe the Emperor's Voice as anyone from a young human female to an elderly full-blooded Sith male. Regardless of physical appearance, however, the Emperor's Voice can always be identified by its emotionless, precise and controlled manner of speaking. Some have privately described conversations with this entity as extremely disturbing; there is often the sense that the Emperor's Voice is listening to another conversation even when he or she is speaking.
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