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Dathomir and the Severed HeadEdit
The Squadron of the Severed Head was a piracy faction who tormented the Hydian Way (Outer-Rim Territories) hyperspace route and surrounding branches from 3,689 BBY (36 BTC) to 3,667 BBY (14 BTC). A large hyperdrive barge used as a home base by the group; the Severed Head not only supported general living spaces, a slave quarters for workers and barracks for soldiers--but it utilized it's massive gravity-well projectors to pull craft from hyperspace for ambushing. The vessel was a constant work in progress--with new additions to living compartments and space defenses as the group grew in numbers--through slavery and indoctrination to their savage way of life.
During the Great Galactic War, the Squadron found it to be a plentiful period--interdicting small Republic or Imperial transports and raping them of anything of use. The pirates of the Severed Head found the orbit of Dathomir a suitable retreat point--as they had many times in the past--to mend wounds and to repair ships. Despite their being the occasional Jedi or Republic vessel in the system, the Severed Head would return to the planet when losses to the crew were taken--or during spice trade rendezvous. While slaves were attained on other systems as well--Dathomir remained the Captain's favorite port of call. Increasingly under the thread of Republic and Sith forces, they persisted this action up until the Battle of Dathomir--when faction control in the area was identified and it became too dangerous to travel into Dathomirian space. They were rumored to be a major part of the final conflict there.
Used as a penal colony by the Paecian Empire; those Dathomirian natives who endured the dangers of the planet's wilds and deserts, tended to be of a hardier stock that was suitable for the harsh reality of piracy. Whether placed on planet due to crimes against the Paecian Empire or exiled due to other circumstances--these slaves and, inevitably, soldiers were deemed invaluable to the command of the Severed Head. After breaking wills, the women pleased the Captain and the men served him well. These pirates would help thin the population of Dathomir nearly as much as it's indigenous Rancor population--rounding up those generations who had survived Dathomir's harsh conditions, though few there were to begin with.
The slaves collected from Dathomir, while strong and well-schooled in hardship, were not as advanced as other cultures. Through the time spent on planet--without transport--they adopted a more tribal society made up of different generations of survivors. Still, few of the Dathomirian men and women were force-sensitive. To give them hope during desperate times, these slaves tapped into their force-sensitivity through the means of arcane and shamanic ritual to improve their day-to-day life and increase their chances against the beasts that roamed the planet. Because of this, occult beliefs transferred to the Severed Head and were adopted by the Captain, Vandermast Nova--becoming a form of terrible sacrificial magics, where he murdered slaves in order to instill control and attain power over all under his command.
Use of these magics were immediately mandated against by the Captain--while he became obsessed with his newly acquired powers--forcing those who utilized such techniques to teach him every scrap they knew--before being sacrificed to keep him superior. This went on for a decade or so--and played a major role in the fall of Vandermast Nova, the destruction of the Squadron of the Severed Head and the rise of the one they would call Ravenous.
Vandermast Nova had a taste for women. Every night, before his rituals--he would call for one or more slaves to join him in his chamber. Nova's twisted concepts of the 'family system' and increasing egocentric zealotry justified his ravenous desire for gratifications of the flesh. The Captain spread his seed among the women--allowed them to birth a single child only, unless they were special to him--then cast the used female to the dogs that were his crew.
A child was born of a Dathomirian female named Shirray in 3,679 BBY (26 BTC).
Upon her initial presentation upon the Severed Head, Shirray was plucked from the fresh batch of slaves--due to her beauty and alluring grace. During this process, two pirates were killed by bladed weapons Shirray smuggled aboard--as Nova watched, admiring her animalistic fighting spirit and attempt to escape. A witch priestess of moderate influence upon the planet, Shirray chose to conceal her talents. Fighting with tooth and nail, not spell--until she was subdued by the Captain--and brought to his chamber. She had foreseen this event. Knew that if she let Nova know her capabilities that she would be fed upon and disgarded for his own power. She knew the child that lived within her womb was not going to be this vile, foul man's--and she had to conserve her strength for him.
She did not expose her magic in defense, as the Captain forced himself upon her. Despite this, Nova could sense something about her--could see fire in her eyes, the need for revenge--and something else, not easily identified. She was thrown into the worst area in the space barge to weaken her disobedient resolve.
While some of the slave compartments aboard the Severed Head were more adequate for maintaining life than others, Shirray was kept in one of the less fortunate arrangements. Many died of infection and disease or neglect within these additions to the vessel, which were added in haste due to overcrowding. Bodies were left to rot for days until the scent irritated the guards. Living areas were not cleaned nor freed of human filth except once monthly. These living areas were a perpetual nightmare portraying the intense cruelty and lack of reality that plagued Nova in his final years. It was there, nine months later, that the child was birthed in the palpable darkness and noxious bowels of the Severed Head.
Weak from malnutrition and pained from the act of birth, Shirray managed to cast a spell upon the boy--with the help of two other slaves who were tending to her. In an effort to insure the child had the strength to escape and survive as he grew older--Shirray transferred all her magical potential and lifeforce into his small, newborn form. With her last breath, she named him Daevorak--meaning Manumit. Once discovered, the child was taken from the cold, dead grasp of his Mother's arms and placed with the other children. Since Shirray had been taken by the Captain--the guards had no doubt that the child was of Nova's blood and began his steps toward indoctrination. Meanwhile, Daevorak's true Father lay a corpse upon Dathomir--having been seeded in Shirray's womb a day before her capture.
The pirates were strangely organized with their internal propoganda and mind-control techniques. From the start, Daevorak and other children were schooled in the glory of Captain Nova, their Father. They were taught to love him--to honor him--to die for him--and to fear his powers. Unlike those in his class, Daevorak seemed innately immune to the brainwashing--knew he was somehow set apart by those who drank from Nova's cup of lies.
Though never achieving the power he wanted, Captain Nova became proficient in instilling fear and control over his crew and slaves--through the use of minor vampiric spells and through the act of having others witness his insane sacrificial rites. His choices were life and death for all those who fought and served him. Never allowing free-expression or the ability to learn of the universe--those who grew up under Nova's command were sheltered and corruptable. This turned the Squadron of the Severed Head into more of a cult over time--based on the ever-expanding ego of the Captain.
In 3,673 BBY (20 BTC), at the age of six, Daevorak began his training into the slave-scouts, named the Crawlers of the Severed Head. With little regard for the safety of the children, they were to be used as a means to acquire information for potential 'job' opportunities. Trained in simple mechanics and piloting, geared to retreat or commit suicide if captured; the slave-scouts were sent in to collect information about expensive cargo runs, enemy defensive emplacements, or counter-intelligence circumstance. Death among these ranks were seen as population control.
Daevorak excelled well at his position--surviving years past most in his class. Acquiring high value information for the pirates with stealth and speed--with an innate ability to predict danger and escape capture--Daevorak was seen as impressive, yet untrustworthy due to his lack of worship to the Captain. He was even called 'Daevorak the Dark' by pirates and slave alike--in both mockery at the child's dark demenor and his ability to hide in the shadows.
In 3,670 BBY (17 BTC), at the age of nine, Daevorak was paired with another slave-scout of Nova's brood--named Severin. Though not allowed to carry blasters on any of their missions--to deter any attempted escape--they were trained in the use of lightweight short-swords and vibroblades. The two 'brothers'--the last left of their class--had proven themselves as worthy scouts, though each had their own styles--and were given more dangerous missions as a result. The thought being that if they survived--they would one day rise to become true members of the Squadron. Daevorak systematically began to hinder his progress within the pirates--through acts of disobedience. While Severin became cruel and calculating in his devotion and desire for blood.
Daevorak spent all his time, when not on a mission, escaping the chambers of the slave-scouts and exploring the Severed Head. During this time, he began to map locations of interest such as the main reactor, communications consoles and armories. Severin never liked Daevorak--due to the fact that the boy did not love their Father as he did. Pirate guards would often be tipped off by the boy as to Daevorak's explorations. Daevorak would be discovered and put through rigorious interrogations and torture as a result. This did nothing but harden his resolve to leave the hyperspace barge and cause the destruction of the group.
During these times, Daevorak would be treated for his injuries by the slave-crow caste--women with will that kept their frail bodies alive during their hardships aboard the vessel and an ability to hide their minor powers in witchcraft from their masters. The slave-scouts rarely got to see those who were fifty-percent of their heritage--the Captain afraid that they could convince the children of his lack of omnipotence. Some of these slave caretakers--through unknown means--knew Daevorak as the child of Shirray.
The slave-crow began to school him in meditation techniques to block pain, minor magical workings to increase stealth--ways to use mental magics to decieve or seduce--as well as give him an understanding of his mixed culture. Daevorak found himself in their care more often than not, as he increased his trouble-making in order to see them. Soon, though, he was cut off entirely--as Severin began to catch on and alerted the Captain. The Captain, aiming to strike fear into Daevorak's heart, forced him to witness one of his dark rituals.
No one was certain what occured within the Captain's chamber--but there was much screaming from the women who had helped Daevorak--and the boy came out pale and shaken. Thought to be broken of his young disobedience since he seemed to conform in the following months, the pirates allowed him to partake in missions once more--with Severin as watchful eye. This created a bond of hatred between the two--Severin and Daevorak--in which both attempted to be one step ahead of the other.
Daevorak allowed Severin to take point in most of the missions they went on--hoping he would either be a fool and get himself killed or they would advance him past the slave-scout caste and into the warrior caste--where he would no longer be a threat to Daevorak's ambitions. The latter did indeed occur--and Severin was transferred into membership of the Squadron. Without Severin's watchful and suspicious glare, Daevorak began practicing the minor magics the women of Dathomir had taught him--began to understand the flow of energy through experience-and continued his steps toward escape.
The Battle of DathomirEdit
In 3,666 BBY (11 BTC), the pirates of the Severed Head