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- "One of our sisters has yet to return the Talisman of the Raven."
- ―Clan Mother Talzin
The Talisman of the Raven was a ring used by the Nightsisters of Dathomir as a Talisman of Transformation that allowed the user to assume the form of a raven. According to Mother Talzin, who led the united clans of Nightsisters during the Clone Wars, the Talisman would tap into the prime raven spirit in the spirit world and lend its powers to the user. Originally held under the custodianship of a Shaman of the Nightsisters, it was stolen by Sister Charal, one of the Dathomiri witches. She fled to the moon Endor and never returned the Talisman to the coven.
Charal used it to great effect during her service to the Sanyassan Marauders, a band of Sanyassan pirates. However, the Talisman was later seized by the Marauders' leader, King Terak, who wore it around his neck. Eventually, the ring was destroyed in an encounter with the moon's native Ewoks. The great power of the ring was unleashed upon Terak, burning him to death. As Charal was flying around in raven form during the fight, the untimely destruction of the Talisman trapped her in this shape with no hope of escape.
- "Talismans of Transformation allow the wearer to change shape in the physical realm, to become an animal and tap into the animal's spirit essence, for example."
- ―Clan Mother Talzin
The Talisman of the Raven allowed its user to assume the shape of a raven. Such pieces of arcane technology were created by the Witches of Dathomir, a society of all-female Force-users. Both Sith alchemists and Jedi scholars could not fully explain how the artifacts worked and unsuccessfully tried to replicate their effects. A Talisman of Transformation, the Talisman of the Raven consisted of a red gemstone set in a golden ring.
On the planet Dathomir, a clan of dark side witches known as the Nightsisters would create such artifacts by empowering receptacles of various types with the power of what they called "the spirits"—their way of describing the work of the Force. According to Talzin, Clan Mother and Shaman of the united Nightsister covens during the time of the Clone Wars, the realm of the spirits was populated by the life-energies of beings that corresponded to real animals in the mundane realm, and was ruled by the universal manifestations of male and female energy. She believed every existing species to have a correspondent representative ur-spirit in the spirit realm—for example, all the ssurians of the material plane would have a single corresponding "ur-ssurian" spirit in the immaterial realm. Talismans of Transformation were believed to allow the wearer to turn into a specific creature by tapping into its ur-spirit's energy.
The Talisman of the Raven had been impregnated with the energy of the raven's ur-spirit, granting its wearer the power to take the shape of the black bird. In order to draw on the ur-raven's power, the wearer needed to give the stone a twist. That effect could also be achieved accidentally by the impact of a blow imparted to the ring. If the Talisman was lost or destroyed while the user was still subsumed by the ur-raven, the user would be trapped in raven form.
As with all other magical artifacts, the Talisman of the Raven belonged to the community of the Sisterhood. According to Talzin, the keeping of the talismans was the responsibility of the Nightsister Shaman—an elder witch whose role was to interpret the will of the spirits. Any Sister who wanted to use the ring was required to borrow it from the Shaman, and was expected to return it to the coven afterward. In Wild Power, her main manifesto on Nightsister philosophy, practice, and role in the galaxy, Talzin complained about a Sister—Charal—never having returned the Talisman of the Raven.
- "You may have the ring back only when you find me the magic crystal."
- ―Terak, seizing the Talisman from Charal
The earliest known owner of the Talisman was the Shaman of the Nightsisters who served during the first century before the Galactic Civil War. Sometime before 96 BBY, Sister Charal, a member of the clan, managed to escape Dathomir, taking the Talisman, on lease from the Shaman, with her. Pursued by her fellow witches, Charal traveled from star system to star system with the stolen ring. She joined with a band of space pirates, the Sanyassan Marauders from the nearby planet Sanyassa, led by King Terak. Together, they were eventually stranded on Endor, a distant moon untouched by galactic civilization, where many intergalactic travelers had found themselves marooned due to the stellar anomalies surrounding it, such as the Endor Gate black hole. Unlike many other castaways, the Sanyassans were aggressive, and they desperately sought to escape the forest moon, scavenging whatever technology they could find. Charal used the ring to great effect during that time, intimidating the Marauders with displays of its power, and eventually becoming Terak's partner.
In 3 ABY, Charal became a victim of her own magic ring during a showdown with Logray, the shaman of a tribe of Ewoks inhabiting in Bright Tree Village, and his young apprentice Paploo. While she was fighting the two Ewoks, Charal's talisman was struck by Paploo's slingshot, which activated the artifact's powers in the heat of battle. The witch then made a strategic retreat, electing to take her revenge another time. A little later, in 3.5 ABY, a Human youngling named Cindel Towani crashed on Endor with her family. Charal and the Marauders saw a chance to escape their place of forced exile in the family's starship. The Sanyassans believed that ship's crystal oscillator held the "power" that would allow them to return home. Cindel's parents and older brother were murdered by Terak and Charal, and the little girl was captured. When Charal was found unable to "conjure" the power of the crystal, she was put in jail along with Towani and had her ring confiscated. A young Ewok warrior named Wicket W. Warrick teamed up with his friends to rescue Towani from Terak's Keep, and they ran off with the crystal oscillator and headed to their own crashed ship.
King Terak, intent on revenge, decided to carry out a punitive expedition. He ordered his minions to recapture the crystal oscillator. He allowed Charal to use the ring, but took it back immediately after her transformation—he wanted to keep Charal in bird form so she would track the group without betraying him and running away. When the Marauders found their targets, a pitched battle between the two groups ensued. Terak fought with the Talisman of the Raven in a pendant around his neck. During the melee, a rock slung from Wicket's slingshot hit the ring, breaking the Talisman and releasing its power. The ring shattered and pieces of the magic stone were driven into Terak's chest. Terak clutched at his heart, and he burned to death on exposure with the ring's "spirit" energy. According to the shamanistic Dathomiri beliefs, the raven ur-spirit that was trapped in the ring returned to the spirit realm at that moment. Because the transformation spell was still active when the ring was destroyed, Charal was doomed to remain a raven forever. The transformed witch was last seen dropping down to the ground in the hope of reclaiming her broken ring; then she flew off into the woods.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "Talisman of Transformation: This lets people turn into animals and references the 1985 TV movie Ewoks: The Battle for Endor, specifically the magic ring worn by the evil witch Charal (which allowed her to turn into a raven)."
- ―Daniel Wallace, in his endnotes for Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
While early sources implied Charal's ring could turn its wearer into virtually anything, Daniel Wallace's Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side stated that Nightsister Talismans of Transformation have limited powers and can only transform people into one specific creature. In his endnotes for the Book of Sith, Wallace revealed that the Talismans of Transformations had been specifically created with Charal and her magic ring in mind.
There is a conflict between several sources regarding the death of King Terak. While Terak's Databank entry on StarWars.com stated that he was burned by the power of the ring, other sources like the children's book The Ring, the Witch, and the Crystal: An Ewok Adventure stated the Sanyassan King was turned to stone. This article follows the Databank's version of the facts, as it was once the most official Star Wars database.
- Star Wars: Ewoks—Shadows of Endor (as "raven talisman")
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (First appearance)
- Ewoks: The Battle for Endor book-and-record
- The Ring, the Witch, and the Crystal: An Ewok Adventure
- A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Encyclopedia (under "Charal")
- Endor and the Moddell Sector"—Star Wars Gamer 9 "
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 10 (END4, The Forest Moon of Endor)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File 123 (TOW1-4, Cindel Towani)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (Indirect mention only)
- "Secrets of the Force"—Star Wars Insider 123
- Star Wars: The Official Starships & Vehicles Collection 74
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side (First identified as Talisman of the Raven)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 119 ("Charal")
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Star Wars: Ewoks—Shadows of Endor
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2
- ↑ Endor and the Moddell Sector"—Star Wars Gamer 9 "
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 10 (END4, The Forest Moon of Endor)
- ↑ The Official Star Wars Fact File 123 (TOW1-4, Cindel Towani)
- ↑ A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition
- ↑ Daniel Wallace (April 23, 2002). Endnotes for Star Wars: Book of Sith (part 4). Daniel Wallace's Geekosity. Retrieved on June 24, 2012.
- ↑ The Ring, the Witch, and the Crystal: An Ewok Adventure