Until all embrace the Void...
—Common proverb among the Savant Caste
The Savant Caste was one of the three main castes of Charon society, alongside the Zealot Caste and the Thrall Caste. Unique from the other castes, the Savant Caste was entirely made up of the Voidborn of the Charon Dominion and served as the leadership branch of the Charon in both foreign and domestic matters, including military and evangelical endeavors. Sometimes refereed to as the master caste or priestly caste, the Savants were the most feared members of the Charon Dominion during both the Oblivion Crusades and the Extant War, and were specifically dreaded by the Sith Lords and Jedi Knights alike. Among the Charon, the Savant Caste served as the equivalent of nobles in an aristocratic society, especially those with precognitive visionary abilities.
The Savants made up the smallest caste of the Charon Dominion, although was also considered by the Dominion to have been the most pristine with regards to their semi-mythological First Prophet. Believed to have been ushered into existence by the will of the Void itself, all Voidborn were required be counted among the Savants, regardless of age, ability or species. Nonetheless, some species of the Charon were treated with greater regard than others, which was influenced by the ratio of Voidborn the species produced. As Humans made up the vast bulk of the Voidborn of Otherspace, Humans were considered to have the dominant species of the Charon, and because few sapient species aside from Humans produced Voidborn, the Savant Caste possessed the least amount of diversity.
The Savants were believed to have the potential ability to commune with the Void, either consciously or subconsciously, and direct the Charon people toward their ultimate goal of the galactic absence of all life, as outlined in the religious creeds of the Void of Oblivion. The Savant Caste was led by the Prophet of the Void, who was also the leader of all Charon society within both the First and Second Dominions. For all practical purposes however, the Oracle was considered to be the acting head of all Savants. The Caste itself was governed by the Ring of Arch-Savants, the collected coven of the wisest and most powerful Savants within the Dominion.
Although a single group, the members of the Caste served different purposes, depending on their training, abilities and proficiencies. It was worth noting that most Savants, similar to many of the Zealot Caste, ceremonially and formally attired themselves in white garb, representative to them as constant reminder and visible icon of the purity of themselves and their purpose.
Age of PangsEdit
Although extensive endeavors had been made in unearthing the origins of the Savant Caste, as well as the Charon's history in its entirety, by both the Dominion and the Animites alike, the history of the religious foundations of the Charon were shrouded in mystery. Although a lack of technological or literary records was considered a contributing factor, the most severe cause of the Charon's absence of a concise historical background it widely accepted to have been the Age of Pangs, a several century long dark age that engulfed the Charr Ontee prior to their devolution into the savage Charon species.
In the aftermath of the Great Collapse, a cataclysmic spacial anomalous singularity that "flipped" a portion of the fleeing Char Ontee population of Kathol into the Otherspace galaxy, the Charr Ontee that had survived the passage through event horizon became stranded on the nearest gravitational well, which emanated from the planet of Erebus.
Following their collision onto Erebus, the Charr Ontee entered a new dark age. Marked with incessant civil and tribal wars, cultural devolution and biological alterations by the energies present in the galaxy of Otherspace, the Age of Pangs saw the fall of the Charr Ontee species and the rise of their second evolution, the modern Charon species.
The Charon began to recover much of their lost technological resources during this period as well, such as starship travel, architecture and space mapping of nearby systems. Although less defined at the time, the outworking of the Charon's caste system was already in place long before the period ended.
The Age of Pangs effectively ended with the arrival of the Chernobog, who brought an age of enlightenment for the Charon, shaping their philosophies, religion, society, and even endowed upon them technological knowledge and innovation.
Advent of the ForefatherEdit
In truth, the tales of the Forefather have always been woven in mystery. What is known is that he was a man ushered forth from the Void, and brought with him all of its wonders.
The arrival of the Chernobog, who was also known as the First Prophet and the Forefather, was arguably the greatest defining moment in the history of the Charon of both the First and Second Dominions.
A great deal of myth and legend surrounded the Chernobog, although it was commonly believed he was either sent from, or created by, the consciousness within the Void. Other contradicting reports claim that the Chernobog was a slave of the thralls that was chosen by the Void as its first champion. Regardless of what was true, one of the most notable and consistent details of the Chernobog was that he wasn't of the Charon species.
According to Charon legend, the Chernobog entered the "realm of flesh" on the site where the Holy Sanctum eventually was erected, which became a sacred site for the Charon. With his arrival, the Chernobog brought technological innovation and advancement, the creation of the "priestly caste", and the introduction of the Void itself. The religious tenants of the Void of Oblivion also saw their initial conception following the Chernobog's arrival.
Arguably the most significant change brought by the Chernobog was the initiation of a large-scale crusade against the rest of all living things in the Otherspace galaxy, which would eventually become known as the Oblivion Crusades.
At some point prior to 1,000 BBY, the Chernobog led the newly-imperialized Charon Dominion on a series of genocidal campaigns across countless worlds over the period of over one thousand years. The Dawn Campaign was the first of the military operations, and was immediately followed by the long Asepsis Onslaught.
Throughout the Oblivion Crusades, the races of Thrall Caste and Zealot Caste expanded considerably. Notably, the Ixaya became almost the icon of the Thralls, particularly as they were found to have fared unusually well to servitude and the environment of Erebus. Other species found during the Crusades also included the mineral-based "Shadowmen", the massive Herculeans, and the war-worshiping Vrathites, all of whom served to swell the ranks of the Zealot Caste.
Terminus Blitz and the Charon Civil WarEdit
The climax of the Oblivion Crusades saw the rediscovery of the realspace galaxy, although traversing to there from Otherspace would still be impossible, save for rare happenstances. The final push, known as the Terminus Blitz, was the last major campaign of the Oblivion Crusades, and involved the usage of the Atercor superweapon in purging entire worlds in the outermost regions of Otherspace. Concurrent to the Terminus Blitz was the outbreak of the Charon Civil War.
After a secretive iconoclastic religious movement known as the Cult of Light began to gain influence, the Savant Caste organized military strikes on all Cult of Light bases of power in an effort to stamp out the heretical organization in a single stroke. However, spies from the Cult of Light within the greater numbers of the Savant Caste managed to alert the cult of the impending attack, which in turn enabled the cult to turn the tide and counterattack, effectively beginning the brief, but incessant and bloody, Charon Civil War.
The Terminus Blitz had already concluded before the Charon Civil War's end, although the bulk of the Charon's forces were still months away from aiding Erebus. Nonetheless, the Cult of Light was quickly becoming overwhelmed by the more numerous Savant Caste, with both sides largely believing the cult's defeat was inevitable. However, the salvation for the Cult of Light came with their members' fascination of technology that had "fallen" into Otherspace from dimensional "cracks" in the Erebus system.
After having scavenged the Lake of Fire for starship wreckage over the course of several months, enough technology was found for the cultists to crudely recreate a makeshift hyperdrive. Hybridizing the technology with their own Phase engines, the members of the Cult of Light made a final desperate charge for the large dimensional fissure near the Eye of Atheatos. After an intense space battle over Erebus, the members of the Cult of Light charged into the dimensional fissure, activating the hyperdrive and phase engines simultaneously. The effort proved successful, as the cultists were "flipped" into the realspace galaxy, abruptly ending the Charon Civil War.
Ironically, it was the innovation of the cultists, later known as the Animites, that led to the dimensional fissure over Erebus weakening even further, ultimately resulting in the Charon's creation of the Hellmouth and the Extant War.
Even in the shadow of the Oblivion Crusades, the Ghost Wars our people waged against the Kolasi hives were the bloodiest. For the first time, we felt fear, uncertainty, and the dread of combat against an unliving enemy. Never before had any force come so near to ending our future war against the other side before it ever began.
In the aftermath of the Oblivion Crusades and the reconstruction of the exhausted Charon military forces, the Charon Dominion again became embroiled in war, ironically against an enemy that threatened their own extinction, known as the Kolasi Hives.
Named as such due to the Savant's perception of synthetic constructs as being "unliving", the Ghost Wars was the most destructive conflict the Charon's Savant Caste had ever waged, with their losses amounting to such magnitudes, that the war plans against the realspace galaxy were nearly extinguished before they had even begun.
As noted by Prescyla Osiris, and later discovered by some counted among the Galactic Emergency Coalition, the Kolasi were the only known force to nearly defeat the Charon Dominion on equal footing in warfare, in spite of the Savant Caste's full support in the conflict.
Although little was revealed about the battles of the Ghost Wars, it was clearly stated that the Charon experienced significant losses and contemplated that they would be defeated, until the repairs to the Atercor had been completed.
The Charon Dominion [...] believe themselves to be your saviors as much as they purpose themselves as your executioners. If defiance is your choice, you will only find that their terrible will is far more arduous to deny than you can possibly imagine.
The Extant War was the largest and bloodiest campaign ever spear-headed by the Savant Caste, particularly due to the vast abundance of life in the realspace galaxy when compared to Otherspace. In many ways seen as an extension of the Oblivion Crusades, the war to end all life, the Extant War was made possible by the Harbinger at the time, Krovo Scrios, who utilized the Atercor to stabilize the dimensional rupture in the Erebus system in order to create the Hellmouth. After launching a series of crippling attacks in the Outer Rim territories, the Savant Caste secretly set up a new sanctuary on one of their believed "legacy worlds" of Megiddo, utilizing it as the staging ground for military operations and meditation with the Void, allowing the rest of the galactic powers to assume that it was the region of Kathol Rift or Erebus itself that served as their headquarters.
Although largely successful, the Extant War saw a number of setbacks the Savants had never experienced before. One such unexpected obstacle was the gradual spirit of cooperation the began to bond longtime enemies, such as the Third Imperium with the Sith Hegemony and the Mandalorian Clans with the Echani Covenant. However, the most significant was the defeat of an Arch-Savant at the hands of a Sith King, Sycarion IV. Although Savants had been lost during wars, it was noted as the first time one had been defeated in outright combat, and was especially shocking to both the galactic community and the Savants, due to the almost insurmountable advantage Voidborn have over Force-sensitives. In retaliation, the Harbinger deployed the Atercor from Otherspace and used it to utterly annihilate Korriban, inadvertently sowing the fear across the galaxy that would serve as the catalyst in the Treaty of Korriban, and the prolongation of the war.
- Savant Scion – The youngest and most inexperienced members of the Savant Caste, the Scions were almost entirely Voidborn children that were in the early stages of being groomed for future positions among the Savants. Although a much rarer happenstance, older individuals could be included among the Scions if their tether to the Void was discovered later in their lives. After reaching adulthood, Scions was complete their training into one of three primary specializations.
- Savant Templar – Considered to have be holy warriors and warrior priests, Savants that were more geared toward utilizing their abilities in combat and warfare than with unlocking the arcane knowledge of the Void were tempered into Savant Templars. During the Extant War, Templars were the primary Savants seen on the battlefields of the worlds within the realsapce galaxy. Unlike the other specialized Savants, Templars were fully armored and carried deathscythes on their persons at all times.
- Savant Daemon – Infiltrators that specialized in utilizing the Void to enhance their ability to conduct espionage and gathering information, Savant Daemons were the foremost assassins of the Charon Dominion. With duties having varied from acquisitions of discovered Voidborn to acting as the unseen arm of the Ring of Arch-Savants, the Daemons had their purposes altered and redefined repeatedly. Founded during the era of the Galactic Civil War, Daemons were first created to root out and extinguish members of the Cult of Light, and since the Extant War, have also woven themselves into various and specific galactic circles. Whether acting as sleeper agents or executioners, the existence of Savant Daemons went almost completely undetected for nearly the first year of the Charon invasion.
- Savant Eldar – Only those with the deepest tether to the Void were taken to be trained as Savant Eldars. Eldars were considered to be the most precious of the Savants and were seldom permitted to depart from the Holy Sanctum. Due to the Charon placing the greatest emphasis on communication with the Void, both on the individual and social level, Eldars were seen as the most privileged class of the Savants. Usually, although not always, the Oracle and Harbinger were taken from the ranks of the Eldars, as the development of Omen was rare among Templars and Daemons.
- Arch-Savant – Savants that survived to have lead long lives of servitude and duty were eventually elevated to Arch status. Regardless of whether the Savant had pursued a war-trodden, operated behind enemy lines or unlocked esoteric powers of the Void, Savants that had become master of their chosen paths were valued for their experience and abilities. As such, Arch-Savants were expected to impart the wisdom they had attained, particularly to the Oracle and Harbinger. Collected into a single body, Arch-Savants made up the Ring of Arch-Savants, which was presided over by the Oracle and Harbinger. Savants that had attained Arch status utilized their title in conjunction with their respective specialization; a Templar achieving Arch status would be addressed as an Arch-Templar, as opposed to an Arch-Savant.
- Oracle - The Oracle was one of the most powerful of the Savants and often acted as the head of the Savants in the place of the busier Harbinger, who led the Dominion as a whole. As the chosen heir-apparent to the Harbinger, the Oracles were historically appointed to their position only if the individual held the potential to exceed the then-Harbinger, thus ensuring the line of Prophets would have remained powerful. Like the Prophet of the Void, the Oracle was required to have already awakened the power of Omen, which was required of them to ensure the Dominion would always have the Void's guidance in the event the Oracle would unexpectedly be thrust into the position of Harbinger.
- Harbinger - The absolute ruler of the Savant Caste and the Charon Dominion in its entirety, the Harbinger, sometimes referred to as the Prophet of the Void, was the most powerful Savant within the Dominion. Even by the standards of Savelle Ulesari, who was of the powerful Logos, the Harbinger of the Extant War, Krovo Scrios, was still widely considered to have been the most powerful Voidwalker alive.
Strictures of the SavantsEdit
And what is the blood of nobles to the Presence? We too soon forget that the First One of the Void was not of the ancestral race, but the lowest of the slaves.
The Savants followed a series of core principals that governed and guided their actions, both individually and as a group. The fundamentals that formed the structure of the beliefs and moral codes that the Savants followed were unitedly called the Sacred Strictures. The Sacred Strictures were seven self-restrictions Savants were to impose upon themselves in order to keep themselves pure toward the Harbinger, the Void and their purpose in regards to the Void of Oblivion;
- Restrict the Wandering Eye
- Restrict the False Tongue
- Restrict the Indolent Heart
- Restrict the Roving Feet
- Restrict the Ravenous Mind
- Restrict the Lustful Flesh
- Restrict the Errant Spirit
- —The Sacred Strictures, passed down from the Chernobog
Savants that willingly broke the Sacred Strictures were deemed heretics, and condemned to the Silence. The Silence was considered to have been a realm within the Void where life extinguished is barred from unity with the Void, and instead is excised into nothingness and destruction. The Animites, as well as their descendants and those that took up their system of beliefs, were all considered to have been heretics.
The Holy Sanctum on Erebus was the nerve center of the Savant Caste of the Charon Dominion, and was exalted as the holiest location on the planet's surface. Established on the ground of the advent of the quasi-legendary Chernobog, prior to the start of the Oblivion Crusades, the Holy Sanctum was the home of nearly all Voidborn discovered within the Otherspace galaxy.
As holy ground to the Charon, not even the enslaved Thrall Caste were permitted to enter the complex or its surrounding grounds. Said to have been constructed by the instruction of the Chernobog, the Holy Sanctum was a massive structure, approaching three kilometers into the sky. Virtually all Savants spent the vast majority of their lives within the Holy Sanctum, beginning from infancy well through adulthood.
The Sanctuary housed over one thousands levels, including subterranean levels. Within the highest floor of the tower was a chamber known as the Ring of Arch-Savants, which was where the most powerful and learned of the Savants collaborated with the Oracle and the Harbinger.
A small subterranean fortress built into Erebus' moon of Nyx, the Shrine on Nyx served largely as the maintenance facility for the housing of the Atercor, the ancient Kathol superweapon. Discovered in a state of disrepair during the Oblivion Crusades and commissioned by the Chernobog to be reconstituted for warfare, the Shrine on Nyx was considered to have been the legacy of the Kathol meant for the Charon.
Toward the Oblivion Crusade's climax, the Shrine of Nyx saw near abandonment as the Atercor was dispatched toward the farthest edges of Otherspace. Eventually, particularly after the start of the Ghost Wars, the Shrine of Nyx again served as a facility to repair and reconstruct the degrading Atercor.
The Shrine of Nyx again became a significant location as the Atercor was utilized in the creation of the stabilization of the dimensional tear between the galaxies of realspace and Otherspace, later known as the Hellmouth. Following the successful display of power by the Sith King, Sycarion IV, against the Savant Caste, the Shrine of Nyx was commissioned to eject the Atercor into the realspace galaxy to be utilized in the Extant War, with its most notable use being during the Destruction of Korriban.
The Pantheon on Megiddo was the secret headquarters of the Savant Caste, and the Charon Dominion at large, during their military campaigns and operations in the realspace galaxy during the Extant War. The Pantheon was an ancient structure, believed to have predated the Charon species by at least hundreds of thousands of years.
Although the building itself had begun to degrade over time, the design of the structure was stated by Prescyla Osiris as resembling the "Ancients", suggesting the Pantheon might potentially have once been a Kathol temple or other chapel of spirituality. At some point after the Extant War, the Void Stone was moved from the Holy Sanctum on Erebus and relocated to the chambers of the Pantheon, which was claimed to have been done in order for the Harbinger to have a direct line to the Presence during the war.