The Witches (or Dathrus natively) are a group of psionic users native to the planet Dathri in the Azaria system. They are also known as the Daughters of Allya in honor of the wayward Esper Knight Allya, who arrived on the planet during the civil war, and who founded msot of their traditions. Like much of Azarian society, Allya’s descendants, are entirely female-dominated. Many variations on their traditions exist however they all hold one rule above all others: “Never concede to evil”.
During the Civil War a Esper Knight named Allya arrived on the remote planet Dathri, as a rogue exiled by the Knight Council for her actions during the time. On her arrival, however, she encountered the Azarian slaves and the pirate slavers who ran the system. Eventually she rallied the other women after the pirate fleet had been crippled and lead the uprising to overthrow the slavers.
An abundance of psionic potentials had been kidnapped and enslaved by the pirates, though besides Allya few had any training. It is believed the Galactic Empire may have planned to boost their ranks of psionics by acquire slaves with abilities. Though a darker possibility exists that they wanted women with psionic abilities or potential for breeding stock. Either way their plans never reached fruition on Dathri.
When Allya assumed leadership of the population, events were set in motion that would lead to the development of a unique culture on Dathri. Having suffered as slaves to the all male pirates they would go on to enslave their former captors. The female psionic warriors would then own the male population. Rumors suggest the initial enslavement was meant as a punishment and after Allya’s death was continued because it had become culture. However Allya would create the ‘Book of Law’ and recruit some of the local predators as companions and pets of the psionic women.
Native accounts sometimes attribute the shaping of Dathri society entirely to Allya. The present her as a lone woman enslaved by a band of ruthless men capable of the most depraved acts. She would set the women free and enslave the men to save them from a hapless fate against the packs of hungry predators. These traditions further insinuate that Allya reduced the male population to willing subjugation by allowing some men to escape and becoming food for the predators if they would not follow her. Among her followers favored slaves were offered the chance to become mates, in the knowledge that if they fathered sons they would be enslaved or feed to the predators. Boys were raised by other slaves to become slaves themselves, whereas the daughters of Allya were raised by her and trained in the ways of their psionic powers.
This account claims that Dathri society was forged in a single generation and traces the ancestry of every person on the planet to a single mother and her daughters. The eldest of whom was said to have been just sixteen local years old (about twenty standard years) when her mother died. She would someone have also had to produce children of a half dozen races, suggesting no one ever really intended this to be an accurate account. Instead it’s more a legendary tale describing the contribution of a person everyone wished was part of their direct lineage.
The “Book of Law”, a codification of the moral and ethical laws that Allya wished for her daughters to follow, was written down shortly before her death. The final entry of the Book of Law was the same as Allya’s last words to her daughters: “Never concede to evil”.
Over time the Dathri divided into a number of distinct groups, a process sometimes framed in tales as a power struggle between Allya’s elder daughters. These groups were named after regional landmarks, and although they shared a common tradition, each group eventually developed their own traditions. These groups would form into the modern Azarian Houses which would compete with each other resources.
Each early Dathri house 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 they could be to close to 300 local years old (four centuries standard). Men were used only for breeding and slave labor, and neither they nor the women seem to have realized that many retained latent psionic potential. Typically, warriors were expected to find mates by capturing runaways or slaves from other houses, but the leading clan sisters could purchase men from each other. 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 house.
Crimes were often punished by exile, particularly psionic acts of evil, but punishment was scaled to fit the crime. If a warrior wished to return to the clan she would have to undergo a period of exile for purification purposes before she would be allowed back. This period would often extend for several years. Exiles sometimes banded together to form a house of their own or occasionally took over an existing clan.
As a warrior society, the Dathri Witches trained daily in the art of war, and used both their muscles and their psionics to aid them in combat. They would train in a variety of weapons and wear a variety of armor. Over time, the psionic powers of the Witches have become largely defined in the form of “spells”, where they chanted a specific set of words to produce the desired effect.
Dathri possess the full range of psionic abilities as possible powers. Unlike most cultures they will take whatever edge they can get in life or battle.