- "Yun-Ne'Shel the Modeler was invoked by shapers, the members of the bioengineering caste."
- ―Voren Na'al
Yun-Ne'Shel, the Modeler or She-Who-Shapes, was the Goddess of Life among the Yuuzhan Vong.
- "Yun-Yuuzhan shaped the universe from his own body. In the days following his great shaping, he was weak, and in that time Yun-Harla tricked him into giving her some of those secrets. These she passed to her handmaiden, Yun-Ne'Shel, and thence to me. I am the gateway of that knowledge."
- ―Supreme Overlord Shimrra
As with all of the lesser Yuuzhan Vong gods, Yun-Ne'Shel was created by Yun-Yuuzhan, the chief deity of the Yuuzhan Vong pantheon. Yun-Yuuzhan vowed to Yun-Ne'Shel and her divine compatriots that they would ascend as he had, once mortal beings had reached perfection of their own and taken the place of the lesser gods.
The legend went that after Yun-Yuuzhan's creation of the universe, however he was tired and weary from his labors. Approached by one of the lesser deities, Yun-Harla, the Goddess of Trickery, Yun-Yuuzhan was tricked into revealing the secrets of his creation. Yun-Ne'Shel, as the handmaiden of Yun-Harla, was then granted the information. With it, Yun-Ne'Shel possessed the power to model and shape life, earning her the sobriquet of the Modeler. In other interpretations, Yun-Ne'Shel was granted the tools to model life directly by Yun-Yuuzhan.
Despite the differing interpretations on how Yun-Ne'Shel received the secrets of creation, Yun-Ne'Shel was subsequently seen as the deity responsible for creating the basic appearances of all living beings and arbitrating their life cycles. Yun-Ne'Shel hoped to build a paradisal existence, peaceful and harmonious, with her new tools. Her vision was shattered by Yun-Yammka and Yun-Harla, the Twin Gods and the deities of war and trickery respectively, who introduced pain and suffering into the Modeler's paradise. Rather than Yuuzhan Vong legends crediting Yun-Ne'Shel as a visionary, however, most condemned the hermaphroditic deity for her naivety and foolishness—the beings she had modeled were supposed to compete for the rank of godhood, which Yuuzhan Vong believed could only be achieved through the pain, treachery and suffering invited into Yun-Ne'Shel's paradise by the Twin Gods.
Yun-Ne'Shel was often portrayed as a close ally of the Lovers, Yun-Txiin and Yun-Q'aah, the god and goddess of love and intimacy, who were in turn rivals of the Twin Gods who had introduced pain and suffering into the Modeler's paradise. She had a rapport with Yun-Shuno, the patron of the downtrodden and the hopeless, who could ask Yun-Ne'Shel to look kindly upon her worshipers.
When the Yuuzhan Vong launched their invasion of another galaxy in 25 ABY, following millennia traveling the intergalactic void, a trait arose among the species of associating characteristics of several of their deities with those of Jedi who defended the galaxy. Onimi, a shunned Shamed One who used the Force to control Supreme Overlord Shimrra, the leader of the Yuuzhan Vong, began to view certain Jedi as the incarnations of the gods, whom he believed were conspiring against him. Tahiri Veila, a young Jedi girl who had been subjected to Yuuzhan Vong genetic experimentation, was believed by Onimi to be the living incarnation of Yun-Ne'Shel, both due to her past and the fact he could sense her in the Force.
Characteristics and roleEdit
- "[The Jedi] revere life, as does Yun-Ne'Shel, the Modeler."
- ―Nom Anor, in his guise as the Prophet Yu'shaa
Yun-Ne'Shel was a hermaphroditic Yuuzhan Vong deity usually recognized as being of the female form. Young, benevolent and kind, she was also deemed foolish and naive by sections of Yuuzhan Vong society. The goddess of creativity and childbirth, Yun-Ne'Shel presided over the gentler aspects of Yuuzhan Vong life, although the organisms she had shaped were often used as weapons by the Yuuzhan Vong in their warlike existence. Due to her role as the deity responsible for the outward appearance of living beings, Yun-Ne'Shel played a role in the lives of the Shamed Ones, those Yuuzhan Vong whose bodies had rejected the implants that came with rank and who were shunned by society. Shamed Ones would often pray to their patron Yun-Shuno, who was in legend was able to approach the Modeler and beseech her to ameliorate the lives of the more worthy Shamed Ones.
Yuuzhan Vong statuary and art differed in its portrayal of the gods depending on the domain producing the work, although Yun-Ne'Shel was always depicted in such mediums with infants, agricultural implements, gentle beasts and artisan tools. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, a heretical movement arose among the Shamed Ones, who began venerating the Jedi. The movement's leader, the Prophet Yu'shaa, associated Yun-Ne'Shel with the Jedi Order, due to the fact that both the goddess and the Jedi revered life.
Veneration and worshipEdit
- "Even now I can see the glow of the divine in you, Yun-Harla. As Yun-Yammka glows in the Jeedai called Skywalker; Yun Shuno in the Jeedai called Jacen; Yun-Ne'Shel in the Jedi called Tahiri…"
Yun-Ne'Shel differed markedly from other Yuuzhan Vong gods in that she did not require sacrifices from those who sought her aid. Instead, the Modeler would observe the actions of those who were in need of her help and respond accordingly. Priests of Yun-Ne'Shel existed, as they did with all Yuuzhan Vong gods, though they were often forced to recognize that the idealism of the goddess had been foolish and futile. Almost any female Yuuzhan Vong who was impregnated in society would beseech Yun-Ne'Shel, as the goddess of childbirth, for a healthy offspring and a sound pregnancy. The Modeler's priests would, on payment from the supplicant, assist in childbirth.
Members of the intendant caste—those responsible for the bureaucratic and administrative aspects in Yuuzhan Vong society—often appealed to Yun-Ne'Shel when they needed creative inspiration during difficult tasks. Warriors, despite their impatience for Yun-Ne'Shel's misguided idealism, would sometimes invoke the Modeler's name when implementing new strategies and tactics. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, Warmaster Tsavong Lah of the warrior caste brought together an armada to crush the New Republic presence at Ebaq 9. Each battle group of his armada was named after a Yuuzhan Vong deity; only Yun-Shuno, Yun-Lingni and Yun-Ne'Shel were not honored in this manner.
- "As warriors take on the the outward aspects of Yun-Yammka, so we take on the inner qualities of Yun-Ne'Shel, she-who-shapes. The Vaa-tumor is her most ancient gift to us. Yun-Ne'Shel plucked a fragment of her own brain to make it. As it grows, it models our cells, changes our very thoughts, takes us nearer the mind and essence of Yun-Ne'Shel. The journey is painful. It is glorious. And, regrettably, we must return from it, excise her gift from our bodies. But though we return to a semblance of who we were, each time we are vessels for that pain and glory we are forever changed. Something of it remains in us."
- ―Master Shaper Mezhan Kwaad
Yun-Ne'Shel was worshiped primarily by the shaper caste—the caste responsible for creating and maintaining Yuuzhan Vong biotechnology—due to her role as the goddess of creation and design.
Those shapers deemed skilled and successful in their manipulation of Yun-Ne'Shel's gifts were said to have the eyes of the goddess upon them. Decades after the Yuuzhan Vong War, members of the shaper caste helped terraform worlds ruined by the invasion into verdant paradises alongside the Jedi Order. Master Shaper Nei Rin came to believe that the Jedi Master Kol Skywalker, with whom she worked alongside on the Ossus Project, as the initiative was named, was looked kindly upon by Yun-Ne'Shel.
Grotto of Yun-Ne'ShelEdit
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory I: Conquest (First mentioned)
- The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory II: Rebirth (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee (Mentioned only)
- The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force (Mentioned only)
- Legacy 12: Ghosts, Part 2 (Mentioned only)
- I, Yuuzhan Vong"—Star Wars Gamer 8 "
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 The New Jedi Order Sourcebook, p. 10–11.
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory II: Rebirth, p. 287–288.
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force, p. 458.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, p. 360–361.
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic II: Refugee, p. 70.
- ↑ The New Jedi Order Sourcebook, p. 13.
- ↑ The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way, p. 374.
- ↑ Legacy 12: Ghosts, Part 2