Kurnan Witches
Kurnan Witches
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The Kurnan Witches are a sisterhood of vathroni witches.

They were also known as the Daughters of Allya in honor of the wayward Jedi Knight Allya, who was banished to the planet around 600 BBY, and who they regarded as their ancestress. By the time of the Galactic Empire, Allya's descendants had divided into female-dominated clans that were named after regional landmarks. Each clan had a unique set of rules regarding Force usage, but all the clans held one rule above all others: "Never concede to evil".

Over time, the Dathomiri divided into a number of distinct clans, a process sometimes framed in retrospect as a power struggle between Allya's elder daughters. These clans were named after regional landmarks, and although they shared a common tradition, each clan eventually developed their own set of laws about Force usage around the common core of inherited teachings, with the text of the Book of Law diverging into several distinct clan versions. The clans raided each other for mates, with low-level conflict being entered into cheerfully by the warrior women.

The number of clans fluctuated somewhat over time: in 8 ABY there were more than a dozen clans, but by 12 ABY, the number had been reduced to nine. Perhaps the most prominent of these groups was the Singing Mountain Clan, due to the contacts it established with the New Republic and Hapes Consortium, while others were located at the Frenzied River, Misty Falls, Red Hills, Dreaming River and Great Canyon.

Each Dathomiri clan was based in a fortified village at or near its eponymous landmark. Women served as warriors and leaders, with leadership typically held by the eldest in a clan. Matriarchs aged a century or more were not uncommon, and in exceptional circumstances (as with Rell) they could be to close to 300 local years old (four centuries standard). Men were used only for breeding and slave labor, clad in nothing more than leather aprons or scanty tunics, and neither they nor the women seem to have realized that they retained latent Force potential. Typically, warriors were expected to find mates by capturing runaways or slaves from other clans, but the leading clan sisters could purchase men from each other, and if a mate could not be persuaded to love his owner, the equivalent of an amicable divorce could be enacted by selling him to another woman. The only way a man could go free was if he saved the life of a woman in his clan.

As a warrior society, the Dathomiri Witches trained daily in the art of war, and used both their muscles and the Force to aid them in combat. They wore their hair in elaborate braids (sometimes with a helmet decorated with mementos) and lizard skin armor. Over time, the Force powers of the Witches came to be largely defined in the form of "spells", where they chanted a specific set of words and the desired effect was produced.

Crimes were punished by exile, particularly the use of the dark side; this was often thought of in terms of "night spells", but punishment was also applied when a sister used anger to fuel an otherwise permissible Force power. If a warrior wished to return to the clan, she had to undergo a period of exile for purification purposes before she would be allowed back, often extending to several years; but some, known as Nightsisters, remained in exile, and these exiles sometimes banded together to form a clan of their own, or occasionally took over an existing clan, although no more than one Nightsister clan is known at any one time, and they were always opposed by the rest of Dathomir.

The Nightsisters were a sect of the Witches of Dathomir who embraced the usage of dark arts within their Force-driven Magicks. The Nightsisters were originally members of other witch clans who began to utilize the dark side in defiance of the light-sided orthodoxy found in the Book of Law—the governing holy text of the Dathomiri. These witches adopted a shamanistic culture that rejected the notion of "good" and "evil", and instead chose to call upon the twin energies of the Winged Goddess and the Fanged God in order to utilize their Magicks and communicate with the spirit realm. They focused extensively on the art of casting Force illusions through "illusion spells." Witches found guilty of practicing these heretical techniques were banished into Dathomir's wilderness and left for dead. However, in the final decades of the Galactic Republic's reign, the exiled witch Gethzerion used her superior powers to unite the wandering outcasts into a new clan—the Nightsisters.

Operating under a revised holy text known as the Book of Shadows, these sorceresses used their powerful connection to Dathomir's untamed wilds to terrorize their fellow clans and fight for dominance over the planet. Although the witches had designs for galactic dominance, they were largely confined to their own world, as the Jedi Order maintained active interdiction of the planet. The Nightsisters themselves were divided into various competing clans of their own until approximately 32 BBY, when Clan mother Zalem attempted to use Dathomir's legendary Infinity Gate to destroy Coruscant, the capital world of the Galactic Republic. After the plot was foiled and Zalem was killed by her daughter, the numerous clans of Nightsisters were united into a single coven by the shaman Mother Talzin. During the Clone Wars, the Nightsisters came to the forefront of galactic notoriety when Talzin transformed her people into a mercenary society that trained in combat and Magick so that their services as bodyguards, assassins, and soldiers could be sold to off-world bidders.

The Nightsisters, like all other Daughters of Allya, attributed the work of the Force as that of the Spirits, a group of supernatural beings that were thought to inhabit a parallel plane to the mundane world. They had special veneration for the "Twin Deities," the Fanged God and the Winged Goddess, who were thought to bring balance to the universe.[1]

The nefarious witches used the Force through a series of techniques they called Allyan Magic, having developed their own "night spells" by tapping into the dark side.[12] Nightsisters were expert at casting illusions through "illusion spells," and it appeared that, like the Fallanassi, this was an integral part of the way they used the Force.[19][21][22][23]

Due to their constant wielding of dark energies, the first Nightsisters tended to display ruptured blood vessels in their bodies, especially around their eyes. Certain Jedi Masters like Yoda also believed it was their power to manipulate weather patterns that made their aspect so peculiar.

There was no "uniform" or standard dress for the Nightsisters, and each wore clothing that suited them personally, although most tended towards black robes and cloaks, adorned with tribal jewelry and accessories. Many of them also had unusually pale skin, which might be enhanced by applied tinctures. Nightsisters were known to be able to empower swords and other simple weapons with the Force, making them unbreakable even to the lightsabers worn by the Jedi and the Sith. Although they typically used more primitive weapons such as swords and spears, some Nightsisters did use lightsabers and other variants. Sister Silri used a lightwhip during the Galactic Civil War, and even Gethzerion herself was known to use a red-bladed lightsaber.

Either due to their affinity to the Force and/or their magic practices, the Nightsisters possessed advanced longevity, with some witches known to have lived more than one to several centuries. These included Zalem, Gethzerion, Baritha, Talzin, Daka, and Charal.

All the witch clans of Dathomir were matriarchal societies. Each coven was a "sisterhood" composed of Sisters under the guidance of the Clan Mother,[9][3] and the "malelings" were generally disregarded.[9][10] However, the Nightsisters of a few clans had male warriors, believing them to be beings who were capable of balancing the masculine and feminine energies of the spirit realm. Despite being considered as skilled fighters, these Brothers were still subservient to the Nightsisters, and were kept in isolation.[1]

Most Nightsisters were full-blooded Humans,[24] but some of their covens consisted entirely of Dathomirians, the result of hybridization between Human witches and male Zabrak from Rattatak.[13] However, the Dathomirian racial group was drawn to near-extinction during the Clone Wars, when the General Grievous attacked Dathomir.[19] When heroes of the New Republic visited the planet in 8 ABY, all the Force witches they encountered were Human.[9]

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