Star Wars - Knights of the Old Republic
The Story of Rai-El Hulis
“The Force is not exclusive, nor should it’s guardians be. We should embrace those connections we form through our lives. I refuse to accept the dogma that love and attachment are exclusive to the Dark Side.” – Revan.
Your earliest memories are perhaps your most cherished ones. Your mother and your twin brother were with you on a cold, but beautiful world. Your mother called it Ilum, and she said its existence was a closely guarded secret. Since its discovery thousands of years ago, only a handful of people have been fortunate enough to travel through the Crystal Caves. Your brother, Fyn, asked why. He did that a lot. Your mother was patient and beautiful. She was also human. Your father was long dead, now. He was a Miraluka, a sightless, like you. Your brother was born human, and you were born Miraluka. That was just the way it worked sometimes, your mother told you. It didn’t seem fair. For Fyn, that is. You got all the Force Sensitivity. He got eyesight.
Your mother’s name is Reisa. She is a former member of a group that calls itself the Jedi. She explains to your brother that this place, Ilum, is sacred to the Jedi. She was brought here by her former master Kreia long ago. It is an isolated place where she could feel the harmonics echoing forth from the crystals of the caves, and it helped her to understand the true nature of the Force. It was an energy shared by all living things, even Fyn, that spreads out across the galaxy and connects everyone together, good or bad, animal or plant. Here, after meditating, she could feel waves of the Force caressing her from long-distant places. She could feel the connection to all living things. She brought Fyn here to show him how beautiful it was. He was in awe of the crystal caves. They were breathtaking. She brought you here to show you how beautiful the Force is. While Fyn is preoccupied with the dazzling display of glowing crystalline formations that go on seemingly forever, you are buffeted by intense, yet soothing waves of the Force. You, like your mother, feel the flow of the Force. As a Miraluka, it is like looking out and seeing the whole Galaxy all at once.
That was the oldest and happiest of your memories. It was also one of the last memories you have held onto of your mother. You were four years old when she left you in the custody of your Uncle Tanner and his wife, Halura. She left because someone she once knew called out to her through the Force. She promised that she would come back to you, but you can see the future, and you knew she wouldn’t be able to keep her promise, no matter how much she wanted to. Your aunt and uncle became your permanent guardians a few years later, after word reached you that your mother had died. Your brother shut down emotionally. He didn’t speak a word from that day onward, no matter what you or your aunt and uncle tried. You were heartbroken as well, but you had other concerns that helped get your mind off of your loss.
A Jedi Knight and student of Master Kreia, just like your mom had been, came to visit you and ask your guardians if you could come to Dantooine to be trained among the Jedi, as your mother had been long ago. They refused the young man, saying they wouldn’t watch their little girl grow up before she had a chance to enjoy what fleeting childhood she had left ahead of her. You stepped forward and accepted the young Jedi Knight’s offer. You felt the Force on Ilum long ago, and since then you have been able to take glimpses into the future. You know that it is your destiny to become a Jedi. You knew that this young man, Revan, would come to take you to be trained among the Jedi Masters on Dantooine. It was your destiny. You also felt an odd, yet unmistakable connection with Revan.
You packed up what few items you would require for the journey and kissed your aunt, uncle, and brother goodbye. You thought to promise him that you would one-day return, but you realized that you couldn’t see that happening in your future, no matter how much you wanted it to. Another Jedi Knight, Alek, a friend of Revan, floated a stuffed animal with his mind and animated it into struggling to help you with your luggage. Despite his depression, Fyn smiled and laughed. Alek knelt down and said that he met your mother before her sacrifice. She had saved his life and that of his master, Ko’Dora Vadis. She was as beautiful a woman as he had ever seen, and he could see her kindness in your brothers eyes, and feel her warmth flowing from you through the Force. When her death was at hand, she did not die, but instead she became one with the Force.
When Revan told Alek that he was going to come and collect his sister’s daughter, he remembered something that Reisa had left behind when her body faded and she became one with the Force. Left behind were her robes, her lightsaber, and a pair of crystal earrings made from chips of Ilum crystals you took with you before leaving the Cave of Crystals. You and your brother each took one of the earrings and helped one another place them on each other’s ear. Your brother then hugged you and cried and said he missed mommy, and now, he knew he was going to miss you. Alek looked back to the doorway, where he could see Revan smiling and holding back tears of his own.
You left that afternoon, and there were tears, but there was also a sense of serenity that overtook you. It was as if your mother was still there, her warm embrace guiding you forward on your path. Revan noticed that your shoes were untied and he knelt to retie them. He looked at you, into you, through the Force, and you could feel that he was your mother’s brother.
“She was my older sister,” Revan said. “She was taken from our family by the Jedi about five years before I was even born. I was your age before I met her finally. She was walking in the promenade at the Jedi Academy on Dantooine. I had just arrived myself. She knew me right away. She came to me and hugged me and told me that, despite the fact that we had never met, she was my sister first, and a Jedi second. Her master, Kreia, told her that such displays of affection and statements of attachment were frowned upon. My sister said that she didn’t believe that a Force that holds all life together should be used to keep loved-ones apart.”
“I agreed with her, but I stayed quiet. I… wish I had told her that I felt the same way. The next time I saw her…,” Revan looks away, finishes with your shoe, and stands up, taking your hand and guiding you toward your transport. “I feel the same way she did. We are family, Rai-El. I am your uncle first and a Jedi second.”
Alek blurted out something about making good time through the Hydian Way en route to Dantooine, and that their masters Kreia and Ko’Dora would be displeased with them if they lingered too much. He then took Revan to the side and warned him against ruining your chances by filling your head with such un-Jedi-like thoughts. Revan turned back to look at you.
“I’m only telling her what she already knows, Alek,” Revan said. “Those un-Jedi-like thoughts led to her existence. My sister left the Jedi Order to pursue her love, a Miraluka, and their love produced two wonderful children.” Revan looked back to Alek. “Love is not a mistake, Alek. My niece and nephew aren’t mistakes.”
“Revan, I…,” Alek said, suddenly aware of the wisdom of Revan’s words. Revan smiled and clapped Alek on the shoulder.
“Come, friend,” Revan said, “Let’s not keep our masters waiting.”
You arrived on Dantooine and began to integrate nicely into the Jedi ways. You were elevated to Padawan status at the age of thirteen, assigned to a Rodian Jedi Knight named Haedoo Jass, and you began to explore the galaxy with him. At this time, the Mandalorians were waging war on the Outer Rim. Jass was assigned to help set up a refuge on Naboo.
You are on a refugee ship, the Sanctorum. The captain of the ship is a Corellian smuggler named Thomm Russil. The ship is essentially a cargo hauler stripped bare to the hull, fitted with cots and portable refresher stations, and housing nearly two-hundred refugees from the war front. You and Master Jass are organizing a game of crashball among the refugees, trying to get their minds off the horrors they just escaped, and the uncertainty of their futures. Master Jass was that kind of Jedi, a warm hearted outgoing person with a penchant for getting everyone in a room to like him without having to resort to a single Jedi Mind Trick or Force technique. He was just likeable.
Suddenly, you have a vision of the near future. Fire in the hold. Mandalorians. Death everywhere. It’s going to happen soon. Master Jass sees the look on your face and knows to take it seriously. He asks you what is wrong. You tell him. He grabs a comlink and asks the captain if there is anything coming up on scanners. Suddenly, the ship comes out of hyperspace and the lights all turn off. You and your master ignite your lightsabers, now the only sources of light for a room of panicked refugees. Master Jass tells you to guide them to the bulkheads while he checked out what was going on. He went through the corridor heading toward the bridge and there was a massive explosion that tore open the ship and exposed a large portion of it to the vacuum of space. You managed to seal yourself and several refugees in the port airlock, but you know the Mandalorians saw you, and they are coming this way.
A hatch opens up above you and you see a Mandalorian reach into the chamber. He calls out to you and the others “Climb up! Hurry! You don’t have much time!”
The Mandalorian helps you and the other few refugees up into the ventilation system of the ship and then he leads you to the sole remaining escape pod. One of the refugee asks why he was helping you, and he merely says “Because I am still waiting for an answer, and until then, I won’t be a party to this war.”
You lost your master, your ship, and almost two-hundred refugees that day. Your escape pod was crammed with nine people, three times the number that were supposed to fit within. The pod landed on a nearby planet, a swampy world called Dathomir. There were deadly reptilian creatures on this world called the Kwi, and you spent the better part of a year protecting the few remaining Refugees that were left from nightly Kwi attacks. You learned much from your old master, maintaining a calm attitude and keeping the eight refugees feeling as safe and comfortable as possible. You have that way about you. People hear your words and they have faith in you. Even if the circumstances are so dire that all hope should seem lost, when you tell people to have faith and follow your lead, they listen and heed your words without question.
A passing Republic ship found you about 14 months after your pod crash-landed on Dathomir. You kept all those who came to this world with you alive and in good health. You also learned that you have a unique and powerful gift. You are able to reach into a person’s mind and distort their view of the world to suit your needs. None of the refugees panicked because they literally never perceived there to be any danger. You essentially brainwashed all eight of them into believing that your encouraging words were the literal truth. They obeyed your every request not because they were grateful but because you were accidentally compelling them to do so through the Force.
Last year, you returned to Dantooine and learned that your uncle, Revan, disappeared along with Alek and a lion’s share of the Republic fleet. You were looking forward to seeing him again upon your return to the Jedi Academy. You haven’t seen him since he brought you to this place and, now, you might never see him again.
You were given time to recover and reintegrate yourself into the Jedi Order. When Alek’s former master, Ko’Dora Vadis, approached you about coming to study on her spacefaring Jedi Academy, the Broadsword, you were hesitant to say yes. You weren’t ready to continue your training and attempt the trials to become a Jedi Knight. Not yet, anyway.
A month ago, Revan and “Malak” returned. They are not heroes anymore. Revan has turned to the Dark Side of the Force, and he is now calling himself Darth Revan. There is a massive gathering of the Jedi planned in a few days, a meeting of the minds to discuss how to best handle this new Sith threat. Being that you are already on Dantooine, you can barely wait to find out what the future holds for the Jedi Order… as whenever you look into the future now… all you see is darkness.