Alright, so, while I have already written today (Without noticing, actually. Today’s earlier post originally began as an intro into this), with since that was a relatively short piece, I thought I’d throw in an extra bit today. I’ve been writing my fair share of Star Wars fanfiction, both on my own and with a dear friend. If I’ll get into the background of that I’ll be here forever, so that will have to wait for some other time (it’s coming, though!). Instead I’ll start with a single short story.
Daminia was my submission for a writing contest on the forum for the then upcoming MMORPG Star Wars. The Old Republic, roughly two years ago. The assignment was to choose a planet from the Star Wars universe that wasn’t explored too much and bring it to life in, I believe, about 750-1000 words. So, yes, it was a small world building exercise. And that is exactly why I, in the middle of a larger world building project at the moment, chose to start with this particular one. For those not too familiar with Star Wars and its terminology, this Star Wars wiki should come in handy (note: S’Ralyss, Baqi and the Qadia are my own creations and not found in the Wiki). In any case, on with the story. Hope you’ll enjoy. ^_^
Not much seemed to interrupt sea of sand spread all over of the planet surface. Here and there, small clusters of rock were scattered across the landscape, offering specks of brown as a variation to the monotone light yellow, but most of them were almost entirely buried or mostly eroded by sand and time. Daminia was a small world, S’Ralyss knew, but if all in sight was the northern hemisphere with its seemingly never-ending desert, it appeared more massive than even the great city worlds of the Core. Still, its size allowed the system’s sun to drench nearly half of the planet at once in a blistering heat, not allowing anything in its reach to grow. Even in meditation, aboard a cruiser crossing the hyperspaces lanes and many a parsec away from the actual location he observed, the Gand could almost feel the intense sunrays scorching his body. Still no sign of his prey. Although…
S’Ralyss steered his vision closer to the surface, slightly above the planet’s equator. A large mass of rock clearly stood out from the rest of the landscape; its hues black and dark grey, rendering its numerous entrances nearly invisible, its shape rugged and sharp, unaffected by the sand’s erosion that had claimed almost everything else. In fact, it appeared the sand did not reach further than ten meters around the rocks before it just, stopped, almost as something purposefully attempted to keep it away. Yes, he could sense it. A powerful presence emanated from the place. The Force was strong here.
The view of the desert and rock faded, seamlessly moving over into that of a cavern’s interior. S’Ralyss could immediately feel the difference. The temperature had dropped to more habitable levels and the aridity had made place for a more humid atmosphere, but most notably the power of the presence he had felt outside had risen considerably. Had it been somewhat cloudy moments ago, now he could almost feel it surging through him. And he could see why. Clusters of dark purple crystal were spread across the rocky walls, throwing a dim glow through the otherwise lightless cavern. There was no doubt about it. This was the Galaxy’s sole source of damind, a crystal radiating with an almost demanding presence and sought after by both Jedi and Sith to strengthen the blades of their lightsabers. Not his Jedi, though. Of course not… He hadn’t put too much hope in finding the Miraluka here anyway. There were less obvious places for a Jedi to hide.
Not losing his focus for a moment he turned to a bird’s eye view of the planet again, scanning the landscape as it rapidly passed by below him. Finally, after a thousand kilometers of barren wastes, Daminia began to show a different face. It was only from this point on, less than five hundred kilometers from the south pole that the sun started to loosen its grasp. Through small-scale xenoforming and technology picked up from foreign traders the Qadia, Daminia’s Human inhabitants, had managed to set up what had become their primary means of food production. Small yellow mudbrick towns, each encircled by pockets of farmland, started dotting the landscape. Machines that looked like some sort of moisture vaporator and water pump hybrids continuously kept the fields’ irrigation canals filled and the lands from dying. At the head of a caravan at some distance from one of the towns, Qadia traders, slightly dark-skinned men wearing light robes and cloth head coverings against the sun, led on a number of imported Ankarax lizards pulling large sleds with all sorts of products, on their way to the market of Baqi, the nearest of the Seven Cities that governed the Qadia.
Although among the smaller of the Seven, Baqi was hardly a small place. Five lean white temple spires towered over the already massive city walls and seemed to compete with the royal palace’s central domed tower for the tallest structure. The main street leading up to the palace was brimming with activity. Market stands with merchants trying to vend their wares filled every meter of both sides. Children running about, through the street and in and out the alleys in-between the square light yellow houses. Patrolling soldiers, clad in white aeien-silk turbans and light armor over their ornate dark green tunics, keeping their hands on their curved swords and their eyes on the half million people that inhabited the city. The place was perfect to hide one’s presence… Not from a Gand Findsman, though. Past the crowd S’Ralyss saw one man sticking out from all the rest, attempting to hide among them, but the presence of the Force almost glowing around him made the effort a futile one.
Content, the Gand nodded. I have you now… His employer would be pleased.