"I know not what this 'Plaque of Victory' is. Is all this strife over a simple metal ingot, or is there some greater force at work?"
―Kastays, from his recordings, as translated by Imperial scientist Grigor Tansad[1]

Kastays was a male Aaris who lived on the planet Aaris III several thousand years before the Galactic Civil War. A noted scholar, he worked from a tower that overlooked one of the Aaris cities. Several days after the Plaque of Victory—a sentient, inanimate artifact that influenced the minds of surrounding individuals with suspicions and violent tendencies—arrived in the city, it was given over to Kastays for safekeeping. The artifact had been causing civil unrest throughout the city, and it was hoped that if the artifact was in Kastays' tower, high above the population, its effects would be negated. Hiding it in a floor safe, Kastays recorded the events surrounding the Plaque's arrival and the subsequent unrest, which he dubbed "the last days," on the bas-relief pictographs that the Aaris used to record their history. Several thousand years later, after the fall of the Aaris civilization, his recordings were uncovered and translated by Imperial science team MS-133.


The last days of the Aaris[]

"One faction, which had direct access to the 'Plaque of Victory' has removed it from its place in the gushaz. They have brought it here, to my tower, to be hidden over all the city, that perhaps its mysterious power could soothe all the people from this height."
―Kastays, from his recordings, as translated by Imperial scientist Grigor Tansad[1]

The Plaque of Victory

Kastays was a male member of the Aaris species and lived on their homeworld of Aaris III[1] prior to 3643 BBY.[2] A scholar of some importance among the population, he worked from a tower that was part of the governmental complex at the heart of a city. One night, he witnessed a comet streaking across the night sky. Several days later, a military legion entered the city with a relic—a triangular metal ingot that they referred to as the Plaque of Victory. The relic was actually sentient, albeit inanimate, and it fed off the life-force of organic beings. The Plaque's goal was to destroy those around it, but not by any action of its own. It manipulated the feelings of individuals, causing them to act in paranoid, irrational, and homicidal ways. The Plaque was placed in a gushaz in the city.[1]

Six days after its arrival, violent crimes in the city had increased as a result of the Plaque's influence. Starting off as incidents where the crime often resulted in the death of the victim, it quickly escalated, until companies of the city guard were fighting one another, and killing innocent civilians whom they claimed had "betrayed" them. All those affected by the Plaque said that it had spoken to them, and all claimed to be its guardian. Eventually, one of the factions with access to the artifact removed it from the gushaz, and took it to Kastays's tower. They hoped that by placing it above the city, the effects of the Plaque would be negated.[1]

Kastays hid the Plaque of Victory in his floor safe, in case his tower was overrun by invaders. He then locked himself away, and began to record the fall of the Aaris civilization using bas-relief pictographs. The Aaris had a strong tradition of oral communication, never developing a true written language. Instead they recorded their history through a series of pictographs that could emit sounds emulating their language when touched. Kastays recorded the last days of the Aaris civilization as the Plaque's influence directed them into a civil war, mounting the pictographs on the wall of his chamber. As he archived his recollections, he noted that the Plaque of Victory did not "talk" to him, as the others who revered it had claimed. Instead, it showed him images of clouds and shadows that threatened to assault him.[1]


"Today we made our most ground-breaking discovery since we arrived here two months ago."
―From Lancer Brunou's journal[1]

Several thousand years later, in 8 ABY, Kastays's chamber was discovered by Imperial science team MS-133, who were excavating ruins on Aaris III. The Aaris civilization had been mostly destroyed; their great cities had fallen into ruin and been reclaimed by the jungle, and their descendants lived primitive lives in the lower levels of the ruins. Imperial scientist Grigor Tansad deciphered the pictographs that Kastays had left behind, and began to transcribe them, learning about the possible reason for the destruction of the Aaris civilization. Because the members of MS-133 had no knowledge of the true name of Kastays's chamber or city, they took to calling both after him—as the Place of Kastays and the City of Kastays respectively—as he was the only Aaris whose name they had learned. MS-133 also discovered the Plaque of Victory in the floor safe, and removed it for study. The artifact immediately set about influencing the members of the team, setting into motion a chain of events that led to the majority of the scientists deaths[1] at the hands of the primitive descendants of the Aaris.[3]

Personality and traits[]

"Many who revered it claimed to hear it speak to them. But now that it's in my possession, it speaks not to me. It only shows me things—roiling clouds seeming to enter my chamber and assault me, shadows of doubt rearing their gaping maws from the darkened corners, images from the corner of my eye which seem to threaten…"
―Kastays, from his recordings, as translated by Imperial scientist Grigor Tansad[1]

A scholar, Kastays was an important being in the Aaris city in which he lived. He was educated in the creation of the bas-relief pictographs that the Aaris used to record their history. Kastays was also trustworthy, as evidenced by the fact that the Plaque of Victory was given to him for safekeeping, even though many tried to claim it as their own. Kastays did not hear the Plaque of Victory speaking to him, as the others who sought possession of the artifact did. Instead, he perceived the Plaque's influence through imagery. He saw clouds threatening him, mawed creatures in dark corners, and images in the corner of his eye.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Kastays was created for the roleplaying adventure Artifact of Aaris, which was published as part of West End Games' The DarkStryder Campaign. Kastays is never encountered in the adventure, since he died thousands of years previously, and is only mentioned in the translations of the Aaris language conducted by Grigor Tansad.[1]


Notes and references[]

  1. 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 DSCheader.png "Artifact of Aaris"—The DarkStryder Campaign
  2. 2.0 2.1 SWTOR mini.png Star Wars: The Old Republic—Scavenging Crew Skill mission: "The Remains of Aaris" – this mission is set in 3643 BBY and establishes that Aaris III has suffered its civil war and that many cities stood abandoned.
  3. The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 154 ("Jelok")