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The Ren: Initiations

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#1
Progflaw99

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"Beings believe what you tell them. They never check, they never ask, they never think. Tell them the state is menaced by quadrillions of battle droids, and they will not count. Tell them you can save them, and they will never ask—from what, from whom? Just say tyranny, oppression, vague bogeymen that require no analysis. Never specify. Then they look the other way when reality is right in front of them. It's a conjuring trick. The key is distraction, getting them to watch your other hand. Only single-minded beings don't join in the shared illusion, and keep watching you too closely. Single-minded beings are dangerous. And they either work for me, or they don't work at all." ― Chancellor Palpatine

--- --- ---

 

The planet of Skye was well known for its sweeping landscapes and rocky highlands, boasting an enormous number of wildlife preserves. If you were to travel North however, away from the equator and towards the Northern pole the climate changed rapidly, a cold chill piercing both the earth and sky. As the soil hardened and the tundra unfurled, even farther still were the Canaitith Mountains. Named for the highest among their peaks, the Canaitith Mountain Range was a brutal landscape, dotted with small caves and underground caverns below, the surface was hardly hospitable. Snow could be found covering the higher peaks year round, scrappy brush just barely managing to cling to life both due to altitude and the sheer chill of the polar winds.

 

High above the landscape of Skye, having just entered the atmosphere, a solitary shuttle made its way towards the Canaitith Range. Aboard, a collection of souls, each belonging to the Supreme Leader. Some were younger, some older, though all had sworn their allegiance to the Order of Ren and to the unquestionable will of the Supreme Leader. This was but a step upon their journey. Nestled deep within the Canaitith Mountain Range was a collection of buildings, a facility secreted among the many snow covered peaks and valleys. Cut off from the outside world it had been and remained the perfect place to train initiates, children and youth selected at young age to join the Order of Ren, and Disciples. Even Knights were known to make appearances to learn from the masters housed at the initiate academy. 

 

::Arrival in ten minutes. Prepare for descent.::

 

The voice cut through the darkness of Castor's mind, his eyes snapping open. The Disciple of Ren had been meditating, he found the exercise particularly helpful in making long trips much shorter, at least by perception. Calmly withdrawing a small datapad from a small inner pocket, he scrolled through the list of wards. The Order of Ren had been busy, recruiting from places that surprised even the senior Disciple of Ren. Soon these would be his brothers also, provided they survived the training and could be taught the ways of the Order. He looked carefully at the names, memorizing each one as they prepared for landing. Rising from the small seat, Castor stood, one hand reaching up to a small hand hold as he looked to the seats and read off their names. 

 

"We will be arriving at the initiate academy shortly. This is the first step upon a greater journey, a point from whence your actions will now be guided by the will of the Supreme Leader. Belonging to the Order of Ren is more than a simple association, it is a brotherhood, a commitment of body, mind, and soul; there are no half measures."

 

Castor let his eyes rest for but a moment on each of the members in the shuttle. They would gain the title of Disciple shortly and more likely than not he would be called upon to guide them in their new roles. 

 

"You may leave your belongings aboard. We will be taking this same shuttle upon our departure."

 

Turning back to the front, Castor retook his seat in anticipation of their landing. The nose of the shuttle dipped and the craft began its descent to the surface. As it dropped towards the earth, high winds buffeted the ship's hull, turbulence shaking the occupants. Castor himself had only been to the academy a handful of times though he knew as much about it as anyone. While officially housed at the Bastion of Ren, the archives were one of his favorite places to frequent. Centuries of knowledge compiled and stored within its walls. Ranging from current events to histories nearly forgotten, there were also many references to the teachings delivered at the academy complete with a current list of instructors. Over the course of their visit they would meet several Masters, Castor only hoped that the new joins would give them the respect they deserved, or else what befell them would likely be quite unpleasant. 

 

----- ----- -----

 

The shuttle came in low over the peaks of the Canaitith Mountains, the high pitched whine of the engines lost in the howling wind. The frigid wind blew snow and ice alike through the mountains, a testament as to the inhospitable climate and unrelenting weather of the region. Even within the large hollowed out hangar cut deep into the surface of the mountain housing the initiate academy the air was cold enough for breath to be seen. Small puffs of steam could be seen as the small cadre of figures stood silently, their robes disturbed only slightly by the howling wind outside. They waited patiently, hoods drawn up to protect against the cold.

 

The shuttle came in low, its large frame filling the small hangar entrance as it nosed its way in. The familiar sound of engines amplified as it entered fully, blast doors began closing with a hydraulic hiss barely audible. In a few short moments the shuttle had deployed its landing gear, engines powering down. Standing silently as they had been before the figures reached up in unison, removing their hoods. A collection of Knight instructors led by an elder man, his age deceiving. Years of Dark Side use and rigorous physical exertion had left his flesh weathered, skin tainted by the touch of Dark Side corruption. It wasn't anything drastic but an educated force user would immediately recognize the dark shadows beneath his eyes, the creases at the corners. Master Kadar was one of the most prominent bladesman of the Order, his assignment to the initiate academy fitting. While his days of expeditionary work for the Supreme Leader were over, he was no less formidable an opponent, years of honed skill burned into his body, so much that it became more of an instinct. Stubble fresh with frosted condensation from his breath he waited. 

 

With a loud hydraulic hiss the boarding ramp descended, the first among its occupants to emerge, Castor. Long strides brought Castor to within a two meter distance of the Master before he bowed at the waist, a gesture of respect. The sound of the howling wind was drawn silent as the hangar bay doors closed, a muffled boom signalling the seal. As the sound of automated service droids whirred, Castor spoke. 

 

"Master Kadar, it has been too long since we crossed blades, perhaps we can amend that soon." Motioning to his rear he gestured to the new joins. "I have brought several initiates to be joined with our order. They wish to become Disciples of Ren, at least that is what they say. As is custom I have brought them here, to be initiated."

 

Master Kadar narrowed his eyes as he cast his gaze on the small collection of stragglers behind the Disciple. A strange lot, he mused. His face as cold as the very mountain they now occupied greeted the strangers as he appraised them silently, one by one. Turning back towards Castor he spoke, his footsteps carrying him past each one of the initiates. 

 

"Perhaps we should give them a tour of the academy, give them a firsthand look at what they desire to become?" He chuckled at that. "I believe you remember the way to the reception hall Disciple?"

 

Castor's demeanor nearly cracked. Did he remember the reception hall? Numerous memories burned in the Ren's mind, phantom pains of former bruises and cracked ribs at the hand of the blade master had engraved a permanent memory of 'the reception hall'. He was loathe to return to its confines for any duration of time though he would humor the Master of Ren. With a silent nod he half bowed as he once more took the lead of the initiates. 

 

"This..." He spoke. "...is Master Kadar, the master of blade here at the academy. Perhaps one day he will teach you all as he has taught countless others, including myself." Motioning towards a small door on the other side of the hangar he continued. "Follow me if you will."

 

From where he'd made his way behind the group, Master Kadar watched, still analyzing them. A small gesture with a raised hand and the half dozen or so Knights of Ren followed behind the group. His eyes followed the senior Disciple, memories of their many spars briefly filling his mind. He had sparred with the disciple many times, his skill with a blade superior compared to many of his peers though that was not what had drawn the Master to the Disciple. Castor Ren had since moved on, living and training primarily at the Bastion, the very epicenter of the Order of Ren, but he had left his mark on the Master; but had the Master left a mark on the Disciple? That had yet to be seen. Picking up his feet, Master Kadar stalked after the small group headed for the small door. 

 

Passing through the small entry, Castor ascended a set of winding steps carved into the stone. Smooth, worn down by many feet traveling up and down the staircase he nimbly moved from step to step. Sputtering torches lit the darkened passageway, the flames flickering as each warm body passed by on their way to the top. It took the small group a full five minutes of walking before they emerged from the stairway up into a small lit cavern, the walls lined with dry, dark wood. Here the howl of the wind could be heard, a low whistle through the walls and the warmth of the stairway faded. They continued on, passing out of the rock and into the halls and rooms of the academy. Wooden rooms and modules clung to the side of the mountain here, surprisingly secure despite the precarious view. This portion of the academy had been built with an ancient aesthetic but the actual materials were anything but. Anchored securely and insulated from the cold these rooms and halls were safe from the frigid climate and inhospitable landscape, here however there was something more sinister at work, its power piercing and all pervading... the power of the Dark Side. As the small group traversed the halls, young men, boys, and girls were seen, their dark uniform robes marking them as Initiates. As the Disciples passed their eyes widened with wonder but as the Knights of Ren came into view their gaze shifted, looking down towards the floor. Such was the reverence taught to them by the Masters here at the academy. 

 

The group slowed as they approached an ornate wooden door, larger than the rest. Castor paused before its face, the power within calling out to each of the souls now before it. With a step forward the Disciple grasped the handle of the large door, pushing it inwards. He knew what awaited them but it still managed to surprise him. The room was octagonal in shape, a wide berth of small backless chairs with cushions surrounding and looking in on the recessed floor. Nearly forty meters by forty meters the room boasted a large sparring area. On the far side of the room an array of racks held weapons from every conceivable corner of the galaxy ranging from durasteel swords to strange bladed and chained weapons of every shape and size. On several other racks were held weapons obviously boasting energy blades. In the center of the room stood Master Kadar. Almost as a reflex Castor's eyes traced to the rear where the Master had seemingly been following them. To no surprise, he stood not there with the handful of Knights but indeed in the center of the room. Clad in a form fitting tunic, the Master's eyes were alight with a fire Castor had not witnessed since his initial days at the academy. The Disciple knew what came next but he kept his mouth shut, ushering the new initiates forward and taking his place behind them. With a booming voice, louder than one might have expected Master Kadar spoke, addressing the small gathering. 

 

"Here is where many of you will train and master the art of many weapons. It is fundamental among the Ren that we are versatile, a tool with many purposes for any tool with but a single purpose is weak and will be cast aside. Here you will sweat, bleed, and toil as you master yourselves. Contrary to what you may believe, the art of swordsmanship is less about blade work and more about discipline." Master Kadar paused, looking slowly from initiate to initiate. Looking towards Castor he voiced an open question to the initiates. "Which one of you can recite the classic mantra of the Jedi Code?"

 

A strange question perhaps, considering the Knights of Ren practiced the arts of the Dark Side but Master Kadar posed the question genuinely. Silence filled the air as Castor slowly but surely made his way towards the weapons racks. It had been a silent prodding but he knew the touch of the Force and recognized the will of Master Kadar well. Kadar narrowed his eyes as he awaited a response, curious as to whom would speak up first if any. 

 



#2
Morrison Jericho

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Entering such a place was not quite the Custom of Morrison. Since the Sith had caused him such pain, the knights of Ren seemed the wisest decision. It frustrated him however the men that stood around him. They felt pain and anger, but they were not damaged like Morrison. Most of them still had their arms and legs, Morrison had initally hoped he wouldn't be singled out for this, but now he was nervous. Being in such a immense hall, so many people around him, the smell of metal and stone. It made him uneasy, so he tried his best to keep himself stood tall and proud, as hard as that may be.

 

The jedi Code? What an... Odd question. As much as Morrison knew the code he wasn't so sure whether this was a test of those with less dark side affinity, or merely a test pointing to a more important subject matter. At this point Morrison had no idea, he suspected most of the Disciples around him must have been thinking the same thing to. But none of them were speaking, and Morrison was starting to get nervous that are head would punish the disobedient. He decided to get on with it, and stop being such a spineless man.

 

With his helmet firmly attached, he stood up, and started to recite the famous Jedi Mantra;

Emotion, yet peace

.Ignorance, yet knowledge.

Passion, yet serenity.

Chaos, yet harmony.

Death, yet the Force .

 

"Is that the answer you were looking for?"  

 

He had hoped so, or else this could bring up bad introductions.  

 

Castor Ren


Edited by Morrison Jericho, 01 December 2016 - 02:25 AM.

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#3
Perth Levov

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Following her exploits on Endor, Perth had committed to the Knights of Ren and as importantly to the First Order. She was a tool without a purpose and she expected rather than hoped that the Order would provide the necessary instruction to progress her knowledge of the Force specifically and her destiny in a much wider context.

 

So she was sitting on the shuttle, travelling to Skye. She was used to being a part in something much larger and so took little interest in the individuals around here. Too often new recruits would size each other up for some ranking order – based often on physical characteristics, or the amount of testosterone they could summon. Perth had never played those games. She simply worked and worked hard. Her benchmark was always herself – to push further and faster than she thought she was capable of. For being the best often was a cause for complacency – so even if she were top of a given class, she knew she could do better – for she was sure someone else would surpass her sooner or later, so she had to keep one step ahead. And here she had no idea how advanced the others were, and frankly didn’t care.

 

The countdown to arrival at the Initiate Academy began as someone read out their names. She was unsure if his speech was scripted or from the heart. But it didn’t matter – she always believed actions spoke louder than words.

 

At the comment she could leave belongings behind, she looked down at her feet. There was no bag of worldly goods. She had the clothes she sat in and a saber she’d taken from a dead Jedi. Attachments were not something she was raised to covet – and material goods were included in that definition.

 

Shortly they landed and she stood and followed the rest off of the ship. There was plenty of pomp and ceremony – which she was used to, but like her military training, she knew that there was steel behind the show.  And as they disembarked, some bowed and others did not. She was used to saluting, but this was a step further and felt unnatural to her, so she resisted for now – waiting to be instructed before voluntarily showing servitude.

 

The oldest and clearly the most senior of the Knights of Ren spoke. She felt she was being appraised but reserved any nerves for now. The time to worry was when she underperformed, not when she was introduced. So she stood to attention and remained calm and relaxed as she stood there, before being ushered to followed the procession into the academy.

 

Through an ornate wooden door they travelled coming into a large room which was clearly used for sparring. She recognised most of the weapons on display and then her eyes alighted on the Master once more and she was surprised to see he had beaten them to the room. The shock was short-lived. It was clearly part of the theatre and could as easily be due to a shortcut as a use of the Force. Regardless, it had the necessary effect on the assembled group.

 

His question about the Code confused Perth. She was about to say something when one of her fellows spoke first, reciting the initial version.

 

Once he concluded, she paused to see if it gained a reaction before she spoke. She could have kept her tongue, but she felt the need to speak. Not to show off or assert herself within the group, but because she had something to share. Nothing more or less than that reason.

 

“Before I travelled here, I studied the Force. Many aspects of it – and that includes the Jedi. Unlike the Sith, that have maintained a single version of a Code, albeit in two languages, the Jedi have cycled through four variations and different Orders tend to choose different Codes to follow. As well as a variation of the one we just heard, there are two alternatives of a second Code. And the most recent was from the New Jedi Order and states:

 

‘Jedi are the guardians of peace in the galaxy.

Jedi use their powers to defend and to protect.

Jedi respect all life, in any form.

Jedi serve others rather than ruling over them, for the good of the galaxy.

Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training.’"

 

Once finished she kept quiet, she’d answered the question and added to the previous speaker as opposed to contradicting him. Given she’d spoken, others may choose to chip in too.

 

Morrison Jericho Castor Ren


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#4
Veiere Arenais

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He sat there aboard the shuttle surrounded by those either superior to him or those sharing his fate, unable to relate to the emotions of the other soon to be disciples. Whether they were excited or nervous, fearful or arrogant in their potential to become a Knight of the Order of Ren, he simply sat and awaited their arrival. This was his decision, though it was one spent after a mile long list of days where he had had none before. The choice to unite with the First Order, the Knights of Ren, wasn't about ambition, it was a lifeline, a direction and nothing short of necessity. The lost lived without a driven purpose, a destined future. His was to be in the hands of the First Order, under the law of the Supreme Leader; though Brennan knew little about them, he had heard through word of mouth that the First Order had the drive to fight and deliver peace to the worlds under its thumb, to fight to end all fighting. That was all the incentive he needed.

 

::Arrival in ten minutes. Prepare for descent.::

 

He had come with nothing, only the clothes on his back and the lightsaber on his hip. The weapon acquired through his return to Svivren, not stolen but found in the wake of the fallen enclave, a ruin of a past life. It had been ended during his enslavement under the Sith Empire and if the First Order were to be understood correctly this was where he would be born anew; not to find his own self but become something else, a purpose and a driving force for true might. Stepping off of the vessel alongside his peers, he brought only himself, isolated in himself, a part of the group but not of the group; in his own right an individual but hollow and prepared for the reform that would become his once more. In hindsight it wasn't much different from the Jedi Order he had been raised in since the young age, to clear the mind for new ideals, those foreign but overtime to be reinforced by invigorated belief and virtue of a sort.

 

Had Master Kadar meant to be intimidating, it did not show though experience radiated from the older male as much so from the Knights of Ren that had joined him in greeting the new initiates. Castor Ren in turn greeted his superior with formality, bowing in respect and setting in stone the conduct that would likely be expected by the rest of the Order; the Sith had expected one to kneel, it put all others at their feet to remind them of their place by comparison of the Empires strength; Brennan's expression did not falter yet in mind he found it enlightening to see the stark difference between the two cultures and the similarity in the Jedi manner of formalities.

 

By now they had traded the cold and harsh outdoors for the plain and cool interior of the Academy. They passed other disciples already initiated though his eyes remained ahead of himself, not interested in their curious glances so much as he was determined to continue to progress and earn his way. The Reception Hall had been the name of the room they were approach, yet much of the rest of the infrastructure reaffirmed the First Orders iron theme, vigorous yet intolerant of misbehavior, disciplined through repetition of decree and a hard way of life; nothing short of the training that he would need to ascend the ranks and be of use to the new Order.

 

When asked if they could recite the Jedi Code, Brennan did not speak up in response. He knew the code like the back of his hand, indoctrinated by the Jedi Order as he would no doubt be bred here upon a similar mantra yet he would not answer out of turn. Unless first spoken to, his outbursts of the past had seen him disciplined with severe consequences during his time under the Sith, involuntary as it was. Morrison Jericho had spoken the Precepts and thenPerth Levov spoke of a slightly altered version of the Tenets from what Brennan had once been taught; there remained the Guidelines and the Attributes all which befell the Jedi Path and yet still, silently, he questioned what his former life would have to do with the new. 


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#5
Kyrel Ren

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Kyrel was one of the chosen few sent to Skye. He who was once a TIE pilot that suffered a gruesome accident was now remade into a mechanical monstrosity. He did not know until now that why he was rebuilt is because the Ren knew about his force sensitivity all along. They wanted to have someone that could possibly be better than what the Former Darth Vader ever was. They funded the scientists with the help for producing Kyrel's armor and using one of Cylo's old schematics for doing so. In the end what rose out of that operating table was not the same kind hearted young man,but a being more machine than man ready to embrace his full potential.

 

After discovering his force sensitivity he was at first sent to Virgilla to study the force at first. He studied both the dark side,and the light knowing all it's aspects. He felt it was better to know both than just one piece of the spectrum and found his studies illuminating to say the least. He also constructed a crude but effective lightsaber. It was similar to the one Kylo Ren fashioned over a thousand years ago,but minus the crossguard he however hoped that would change over time with his training. Before now he had aided the first order several times. He was one of the survivors of the Red Nebula incident. A defender of Virgilla,and even helped the Ren recover Lord Vader's armor which was his best achievement yet. 

 

 

He heard that arrivel was in ten minutes. He was snapped out of his reminiscing realizing that they would be reaching there destination shortly. He did not speak eyeing the others who were with him,the mechanical breathing was the only sound he did make however. He did recognize only a couple of people such as Castor Ren who he had fought side by side with during the defense of VIrgilla. He also recognizedPerth Levov from his last mission on Endor. The rest however he did not know.

 

The shuttle had landed Castor led them out. They were greeted by a man who had light facial hair,and seemed to be one of the masters of the facility.  Kyrel did not question a thing moving slowly in a mechanical way. His suit was well insulated and could withstand the climate. With the help of the force his movements were fast,but one thing that hadn't changed with the bothersome suit was the constant pain he was in. After his last mission he had heard from some scientists that a new suit will be prepared for him in the coming weeks. He kept walking along the path following Castor closely to there new refuge.

 

When they finally reached it,it looked to be of some ancient design although Kyrel was well aware that it was filled to the modern specs. He kept up with Castor and Master Kadar till they finally reached what looked to be both a training room,and a room for assembly. Kyrel was curious but said nothing as the Master spoke with Purpose. He explained what this room was,and what they will be doing. He also asked them to tell him what the Jedi Code was. Kyrel stared at him inquisitively. And than he decided to answer waiting for everyone else to get a say in before doing so. 

 

"There is no emotion, there is peace.

There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.

There is no passion, there is serenity.

There is no Chaos, there is harmony.

There is no death, there is only the force"

 

He said his mechanical baritone echoing in the room,he added. "I assume that was also what you were looking for. During my short stay on Virgilla I felt it was neccesary to study both aspects of the force than just one dogmatic view of the whole spectrum."  

 

Brennan Cabrol

Morrison Jericho



#6
Kriel Firin

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Kriel stood and awaited the shuttle. He fell in line with the other Knights that were here to welcome the new students. Although welcome was an overstatement – they stood in silence and to attention as Master Kadar did all of the talking. But he played his part, silently reaching up in a synchronised movement, removing their hoods. Due to his accident, his face was a mess and he rarely removed his mask. He could breathe without it, but it was easier with it. But today he was not wearing it. To the outside world they were faceless, interchangeable and effectively a single entity. But for the purposes of today, he was a Knight that might take one of those that descended as an apprentice.

 

Once the initial welcome was over, he adjourned to the sparring room. Master Kadar would reach there first – ahead of the recruits. Kriel followed on behind, keen to observe the young charges at close quarters. Who would stand out? And for the right reasons?

And he reflected on his own early days at the Academy and how different he was to the arrogant young man that arrived only a few years ago.


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#7
Isla Ashen

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Ashen Ren stood shoulder to shoulder with the other Knights that had gathered to lay eyes upon the new arrivals. Like many of her brothers and sisters, she had not covered her face with a mask or hood. Her solemn expression and emerald eyes were visible for all to see, as were the new scars that marred her left cheek. However, there was no room for vanity in her life, so these markings meant very little to her – only the memory of their maker remained.

 

She turned to the side; immediately finding a familiar presence among the shadowy cloaks. It was Kriel Firin , her former master. It had been long since the two had actually conversed, and she could easily see that time had changed him, too. Isla would not inquire about his appearance, surely there was a story, but it was not her place to ask. But she did reflect quietly, that it was likely the first time she had ever seen the man for herself, no mask to conceal his identity.

 

As the newcomers arrived, Isla folded her hands together and watched them carefully. Of course, she recognized the man at the lead, one called Castor Ren. His was a presence she had only encountered a handful of times, and any interactions had been brief. There was not quite enough there for her to form much of a personal opinion of the disciple, but she understood that he was a well-respected member of the Ren. The others that followed were mostly unknown to her, save for Kyrel Ren and Perth Levov . She was most interested to see that the girl with strange, pale eyes had come to join the fold.

 

When the opening remarks had been made, she remained with the group as they journeyed inside the academy. After passing through the doors of the hall, Isla took up a spot near the edge of the sparring area. Her eye twitched. Indeed, she remembered this place. When she had first arrived, discipline was something she had sorely lacked. But now, it was every apparent in her straight posture and careful gaze. She had not taken easily to the notion, Isla was a woman that liked to roam free and feral. The painful lessons were burned into her mind, an everlasting reminder of how much she had grown. Although her time with the Ren was not as long as some of the others, she had changed. It was only a matter of time before these new disciples discovered their true purpose as well.

 

From what she could see, they seemed a promising group.



#8
Progflaw99

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As the initiates took their turns speaking, Master Kadar watched with an amused smirk. He paced a small circle as they spoke, toeing the wooden slats of the floor. Though perhaps not through expression, he knew they must be wondering why he would ask them such a question. Nodding as each gave an appropriate answer he waited till they had offered their words before raising his eyes to meet theirs one by one. Eyes resting on the first to respond, he replied. 

 

"It is the code in its most basic and original form, yes. Over the centuries it has mostly stayed the same, each order putting their own twist on the original mantras." Turning his gaze to where Perth Levov stood he continued. "As this initiate has shown, the Jedi teachings have undergone at least four iterations of their code while the Sith have maintained one. Both the Sith and the Jedi have maintained codes over the centuries..." Extending his hands outward to his sides he posed a question. "...reforming and waging war against each other, Jedi vs Sith. Sith vs Sith. And in some of the most extreme cases, Jedi against Jedi."

 

He let his words hang in the air for a moment. 

 

"Jedi and Sith... Two sides of the same spinning coin, both waging war to end up on top. What are their motivations? So varied are the beliefs of the Sith, it comes down to the individual or small collective, never fully united under one banner. History is littered with the remnants of long dead brotherhoods and conclaves, and the Jedi with their failed orders and revisions. The Ren suffer not to those weaknesses. United to one purpose, bound by order and discipline, our loyalty lies wholly with the indomitable will of the Supreme Leader."

 

As Master Kadar had been speaking, he too had been making a roundabout way towards the weapons racks as well, his eyes only briefly glancing in Castor's direction. Now standing at the racks themselves he motioned towards the initiates, beckoning them forward.

 

"You will become living weapons, titans of both mind and body... Masters of the Dark Side. Some of you have weapons..." he said, his eyes passing between those with lightsabers. "...but here..." he raised his arm towards the weapons arrayed. "...are our weapons. Each tool has a purpose, and while the weapons of the Jedi and the Sith are useful, they are not always the best tool for the job. As a member of the Order, you are expected to be a weapons master, capable of using any weapon designed or improvised. Versatility is the key to survival. No, not only survival but to flourish."

 

He was almost finished with his monologue. The Order of Ren was an order of action, not merely philosophy and debate. Another smirk crossed his features. The Ren were not the Jedi nor the Sith, and while the words he was speaking were important the Ren did not speak merely to hear the sound of their own voice.

 

"Some of you will prefer the lightsaber, others may prefer weapons of solid mass such as a sword or even a blaster weapon. All have their uses. You have been brought here, to the initiate academy but as your fall outside the normal criteria for initiates, you will be immediately granted the status of Disciple. You will reside at the Bastion of Ren, our fortress on Virgilia and granted one weapon of choice from our armory here to take with you. Though you will reside at the Bastion, you will still attend training here at the academy from time to time, so it would do you well to learn this place. Aside from that..."

 

Master Kadar took a step to the side, raising an arm towards the racks before folding his hands in front of himself. He stood, eyeing the initiates first, then nodding towards the Knights in attendance. If asked, they were to provide guidance to the initiates, however Master Kadar was also there to provide guidance and answer questions if prompted. What questions the initiates asked, and what weapons they were to choose would guide them on their path to become Knights of Ren. Perhaps insignificant to the initiates themselves but it would be a telling cue for the Knights and Master who had seen countless Initiates and Disciples, Knighted. The weapons people favored always told you something, just like any questions the initiates might pose. 
 

--- --- ---

 

Castor now stood opposite of the Master, his eyes tracing across the initiates towards the faces of the Knights of Ren. He recognized some, others he did not, but Isla Ashen's fiery red hair was unmistakable. During their defense of the Bastion against the Ssi-Ruuvi Imperium they had all put up a valiant fight, forcing the saurian species back down the mountain the way they'd came but the stories of the Knight's prowess with her blade was well known to the Disciple. As the senior Disciple, he also prepared for any questions of the newest to their order. Tracing his fingers across a few of the weapons, he smiled as he picked up a short bladed weapon, its metal almost warm to the touch. Lifting it from the rack, he gave it a few playful twirls before replacing it.  This was a place of memories for the Ren, experiences both painful and rewarding.

 


Edited by Castor Ren, 06 December 2016 - 11:42 AM.


#9
Veiere Arenais

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They were each a side of a coin that did not fit in the pocket of the known Galaxy, the Jedi Order and the Sith Order; similar and yet so opposite of one another. Two vast extremes of a solo spectrum, the Force was the rope and both extremes sort to pull it to either side struggling to claim supremacy over the other for whatever they felt their reasons were justified. Through training he had learned of the Jedi, years of dedication spent only to learn of the Sith when they broke it all down and crushed his Independence.

 

Each following had it's merits. These advantages only bred through the members who would grow strong no matter their blind faith; this was the way of things in that, regardless of right or wrong, devotion and time spent would either see to growth of power or the desecration of pride and eventually the end of ones life. In continued silence, he listened and consumed the words offered. Considering his own history with both of these groups, he returned the advice with a simple, subtle raise of his head. It was a gesture of acknowledgement and understanding without the need to make light of himself as he stood within a group who alike him, sought to prove themselves as worthy of the position, the honor; The Desciples of Ren.

 

Master Kadar would soon shift the focus of the conversation towards what might be expected of them, as Initiates and future students under the Order of the Knights of Ren. To be molded to wield any weapon, shaped to harness any necessary tool of war or educated in all forms that might help to fulfill the Supreme Leaders motivations; the First Order stood as a sign of prospective peace through the declaration of strength above all others and in these weapons, Brennan felt the hunger and the thirst for direction renewed. True, he carried a weapon forged by Jedi and wielded to their purpose once, it was his only possession and yet it meant little else other than a means to defend himself. Those that were being shown to them however, a demonstration of future teachings and if strong enough, skills earned, recited more than a simple tool, they were part of something bigger than himself and unlike the reputation of the Jedi and the Sith, these weapons were those that Brennan was not familiar with. Never in his life would he have handled such instruments of pain under the tutelage of his former home and he too found himself relieved that against all the horror of enslavement, such iron and durasteel blades had not been the source of his discipline. A closed fist did not have the capacity to slice limbs as the spear or the Dirk

 

Master Kadar went on, pulling Brennan's attention away from the weapons rack to emphasis on their standing with the First Order. For whatever their 'special circumstances' were, they had been given word that on the spot then and there, they were considered now to be Disciples of Ren. It was unexpected, though his change in appearance was only subtle, a slight shift of his gaze and the brief tightening to the corner of his right eye would see his attention move across to that of Castor Ren, intrigued of what the one who had led them on into the Academy would show in his response. His curiosity met with nothing, the iron impression that was an experienced member of the First Order showed little to question in his demeanor and thus the attention returned to Kadar. Virgilia was to be his new home, the Bastion to be his roof and a weapon of his choosing to replace his arm.

 

Brennan would move in line with the others, he would not be the first to seek a weapon once the words had been said and they were free to question and express their curiosities. In time he would reach the many weapons on display and alike the others before him, and those yet to choose following him, he would make his preference known. The short sword, the large dagger, the Dirk. It took him only a moment to recognize the difference in it's weight from the larger of the steel blades yet it sacrificed only minor range in comparison to some of the knives on display. The benefit in the weapon apparent, and not so different from the use of a lightsaber only it would not cauterize wounds inflicted but leave them to bleed out; something he would need to consider when sparring with his peers. As eager as he was to prove himself, the potential killing of another disciple he assumed would end his time here with the Knights of Ren.

 

Isla Ashen |Kriel FirinKyrel Ren |Perth LevovMorrison Jericho


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#10
Perth Levov

Perth Levov

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Perth observed the other initiates silently. Not judging, just observing. If they were to be part of a greater whole, the desire to put one’s own objectives ahead of the collective had to be eradicated. It was something she’d been schooled in at military academy. Individuals excelled at different things, and that was recognised, but achievement was designed to grow the collective strength, not undermine the weakest or to gain prestige in some pointless ranking order.

 

And she listened. Wisdom was always worth listening to. Data could be gleaned from on-line resources. Information could be assimilated with a little understanding. Knowledge came from a higher understanding – but wisdom took time to formulate and was as precious a commodity as any in the galaxy.

 

Words uttered on Endor had resonated with her. A warrior without a cause was nothing more than a barbarian. If the cause was simply one’s self, that was still the neighbourhood of a savage. There was nothing noble in riches or power. It was what they were used for that defined an Empire, not the number of planets it controlled. She had almost pitied the Jedi for their passive ways – but none the less had learned from them. She despised the Sith for their inability to see beyond their own agendas, yet had learned much from their teachings. But the Knights? There was something in what was being said that resonated with her beyond mere abilities to be gained.

 

And a specific phrase of the Master struck a chord. So when he had finished speaking, Perth turned her back on the weapons. She had been trained in most and had her two vibroswords as well as the stolen Jedi saber.

 

I am the weapon,” she said simply. Was it a bold move? No, it was simply the truth as she saw it. “A Jedi Master once voiced that theory. “Learn to rely on these,” she indicated the weapons, “And once robbed of them, you become powerless – or at least you perceive your power to be taken from you.”

 

She grabbed a weapon at random, not even looking to see which one it was. She performed a few simple training moves before returning it to the wall. “I am not saying I will not continue to practise, but from this point on, I commit to becoming the weapon.” Having said this, she unclipped the vibroswords and stolen saber and dropped them at her feet. “These represent the past, I am here to be moulded into the future.”

 

Brennan Cabrol Castor Ren Isla Ashen Kyrel Ren Morrison Jericho 


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#11
Morrison Jericho

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The mans words resided well within Morrison, but it was the people around him that made his skin crawl. The woman especially. He sensed all of their pain and suffering, anger, hate. But it was nothing, dead parents, anguish, torture. They didn't know True pain... Morrison had seen true pain, mainly the reason he wore the helmet that was firmly placed on his face. The weapons stood before him, all lined neatly, vibroswords, sabers, even plain Steel swords. He was no fool, he knew the way of the saber, but he was a sith at heart, this place would provide him with the training he needed.

 

He picked up a saber that glowed a bright red. As he ignited he swung it around a bit, not wanting to give to much away, and placed it next to him.

 

"I'm just a warrior." He was not here to brag or boast, or to quote masters long forgotten, he was here to become a warrior, nothing more.

 

Nothing less..

Perth Levov

Brennan Cabrol

Castor Ren


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#12
Kriel Firin

Kriel Firin

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Kriel was here in part for ceremony and in part because you never knew which potential recruits would present themselves. Sometimes none seemed appropriate apprentices and Kriel would leave the proceedings. Other times none were an obvious match but a quiet word was shared and he accepted a charge on the basis that a master was required and he was to be the one.

 

And every now and then an acolyte would arrive that Kriel felt a connection with. He’d worked with two that had reached the rank of Knight already. Many, many more fell by the wayside. Not through any fault of the Ren – but because the dedication to progress was not in every initiate, despite their strength of connection to the Force.

 

And one potential recruit intrigued him. Not because of their demeanour, or the answers to the questions posed, or even their choice of weapon. But because Kriel felt a connection. Over time, a Master and Apprentice tended to develop a kind of Force Bond but once in a while, it was there right at the outset. Kriel felt that now, so he approached the Disciple.

 

“Am I correct in thinking you have not been assigned a Master?”

 

Brennan Cabrol


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#13
Veiere Arenais

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The sudden approach by one of the Knights of Ren took him at an advantage, he had not expected to be singled out but rather remain a faceless initiate of the First Order until he had proven himself others; yetKriel Firin acknowledged him and with the simple questioning, Brennan's head lowered almost immediate, his right hand crossing his chest to make a fist above his heart in a show of formal respect. It was the closest thing to kneeling as the Sith had drilled into him over the years, yet had already been confirmed to not be of the way of Ren. His gaze would remain to the floor until otherwise told to stand at ease; such was his discipline and his behavior in the sight of his superiors and those of such esteemed strength and command.

 

"I have not, my Lord".

 

His words were straight to the point. Had the Knight of Ren wished to beat around the bush, he'd have sort out a slave if that was their culture but here he had purpose and it was not Brennan's place to uphold such purpose. Realizing his left hand still held the sheathed steel blade, he placed it to his back and kept it there so not to show any sign of resistance least Kriel Firin take offense and seek to make an example of him.

 

They were vastly different, the Knights of Ren of the First Order compared to the Sith Lords of the now fallen Empire. The problem was that Brennan understood none of it and his actions were therefore guided by the assumption that should he mistake himself, the consequences would be likely as steadfast and brutal as his time in chains had been. Thus in the best way he knew how, he would not forsake himself by keeping his eyes open and watching not only how the Knights of Ren interacted with him but with each other as well as his fellow disciples.


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#14
Kriel Firin

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Kriel was slightly uncomfortable by the Disciple’s stance. Open defiance of his standing was at the very least foolish and at worst inflammatory. He reasoned that such would-be Knights were unable to last the course of the rigorous training they would need to endure. Their self-promotion and lack of respect would always be their undoing.

 

But the young man that stood in front of him presented a different kind of challenge. Respect was well and good – as he gave deference to Masters. But there was a fine line that meant a Disciple lacked the courage to stand up to adversity, that hid behind the skirts of hierarchy. It was a fine line, for sure, and Kriel was convinced he’s chosen wisely, and so gave the young man the benefit of the doubt, but he would need to break the habit – and soon.

 

“I shall be your Master.” The words were uttered with conviction. There was no question in them, nor room for debate.

 

“Now,” he said, his voice lowered so that the wider room would not hear, “I am not the Supreme Leader. Reserve such obsequiousness for him and him alone. Respect every member of the Knights of Ren.” He was keen to emphasise the words. The Sith that were part of the First Order were allies, but they were not part of the Ren. They received in Kriel’s eyes, no more respect than the average trooper.

 

“But do not overplay it. We are not Jedi, nor are we Sith. Our strength comes from our unity. And true unity comes from being part of a whole, not a hierarchy or a collection of individuals. You may refer to me as ‘Master’ given I am your primary tutor. But there is no bowing and scraping. I will nod in respect to a Master of the Ren, but no more. Title means little. Power means nothing. We are the Knights of Ren and our power is in our collective. Learn to play your part, to earn your share of respect – an equal share – and you shall progress.”

 

“Unlike the Jedi, we do not carry weak links. And unlike the Sith, we do not cull the unworthy. We teach and support and develop. If you fall short, you are re-assigned. But I do not plan to allow you to fall short. Understood?”

 

Brennan Cabrol


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#15
Veiere Arenais

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“I am not the Supreme Leader. Reserve such obsequiousness for him and him alone".

 

These were words he understood though he had not expected; with his eyes to the ground, they widened somewhat both in confusion and surprise before reluctantly righting his position and standing upright to face his new Master. Again he did not speak but instead continued to listen toKriel Firin 's elaboration of the First Order, or rather specifically the Knights of Ren. He spoke both of the Jedi and of the Sith yet claimed that they were not of the same ilk, similar perhaps but that they were built within the strength of unity. This came as something questionable as he had lived both sides first hand and each in their own way held their own impressions of unity, not in their ranks but in their ideals. To believe that the Disciples were of the same formal ground as the Knights of Ren, his superiors already proven, did not make sense; though perhaps he was misunderstanding.

 

"Forgive me Master, but as you are proven and I am not..." His voice faded as he reconsidered his place within the moment, the Sith would have beaten him bloodied for questioning a Superior, as placid and non-threatening as it may be; "Perhaps when I have earned my place, I will look upon you on equal grounds" He finished, the words came more confidently as was the life he had known, one that was difficult to put behind him and not due to insubordination but due to the acknowledgement of his betters and the aspirations he held in rising to their standards. That his title would mean nothing, made even less sense. He stood as a full fledged Knight of Ren where as Brennan and his peers had yet to be blooded, had yet to be promoted to such a place that they would serve directly under the Supreme Leader and above that of the First Order Military if their objectives so required. This however he did not question, despite how estranged the concept was to him, there was a hierarchy in all things and beyond that reality, all else was the illusion of comfort and tolerance. Between the pair, it was vividly apparent who was established and who was not.

 

"I mean no disrespect my Lord" He spoke again in open explanation of himself yet not a tone to be seen as groveling before his new mentor, he explained himself with a firmness in his words that would hopefully represent the faith he had in his own ability to rise up against their expectations and succeed them; "Give me a task and I will see it done; I would prove my usefulness to the First Order before I receive your respect". To understand this, the life of a slave had to be taken into mind and as Brennan had entered the Knights of Ren as a Disciple yet spoken nothing of himself, he could only assume that his new Master would struggle to relate to his stubbornness. Near on a decade, he had spent receiving nothing but degradation; while they might see this as a weakness, to Brennan he would accept nothing without first showing that he was capable of earning such grace...-And in that, he would prove his worth beyond measure.


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#16
Kriel Firin

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Kriel listened. You could not sum up the Ren’s philosophy in a few sentences, nor could you expect someone to fully understand it in the same time-frame.

 

“Proven?” Kriel responded when Brennan finished. “I am a cog, just like you. No cog is more important than any other. Even the smallest part of the machine has the capability of stopping it functioning. And wisdom may come with age, but age does not always assign wisdom. Play your part and respect your role. Respect others that deliver as opposed to carry a title.”

 

“And Master is fine. Kriel is fine. But not ‘my Lord.’ It feels wrong to me. And rest assured, tasks will be forthcoming. Not pointless tasks designed to prove some notion of worth, but practical assignments. And you already have my respect, what you need to gain is my trust. My life will one day be in your hands. Or anyone in this room for that matter. And your life in theirs. Respect is all well and good, but you need to know they will be there for you. Trust. It trumps respect.”

 

“And your first task is already decided. A small group will go to Lothal soon, it will be announced in the next couple of days. Go there. Help find crystals and ensure the group returns. Once you have, we can see about finding you your own crystal. One worthy of you.”

 

“Tell me, what experience do you have with a lightsaber?”

 

Brennan Cabrol


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#17
Veiere Arenais

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How unexpected, Respect here was mutual but trust was not. "As you wish, my....-Master" he spoke with an edge of reluctance yet took the Knight of Ren by his word and slowly straightened his posture, no longer bowing so submissively but looking his new mentor on eye level his hands found one another at his back and taking each wrist into a comfortable grasp he stood a little more at ease. It was fortunate thatKriel Firin was so vocal in his explanations as it suited Brennan's current habits and lack of communication quite well. Perhaps in time, he would learn to speak his mind a little more easily as he grew to better know the other disciples around him as well as their superiors.

 

Lothal, this was to be his first target of focus, his given task under the First Order. He knew not the details but as suggested, would keep an ear out for the news to arrive and volunteer himself for the mission whatever it may be; a crystal hunt by the sound of it. Likely for the sake of technology, the procurement of power that thrives within the shaft of a lightsabers hilt. Brennan already had his own though the crystal was not attuned to him, the weapon had been acquired in his return to Svivren before finding the First Order and so while he possessed it, it did not yet belong to him. "I will not fail you" he replied nonchalantly, as if there were no other possible alternative, he spoke with a sense of cold confidence, a matter of the fact.

 

It was then that the Knight of Ren questioned his experience with the lightsaber, such experience that would likely bring his history with the Jedi Order into light. For the most part he had been avoiding it for the sake of leaving personal assumptions out of the matter of his place in the First Order. If asked however, he would not try to hide it. His peers had already spoken of the Jedi once and though they differed from the First Order, it was the knowledge that he had acquired through them that would possibly aid him in missions and training to come. "I know of the first three forms of combat, Master" He responded quickly, though not finished in his answer; "Shii-Cho, Makashi and Soreso. I too know both Sokan and Trakata, techniques of the sword arts". 


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#18
Kriel Firin

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Kriel was experienced enough to understand not only what clues the Force gave for people’s thoughts and emotions, but also what body language told him.

 

“Respect is a face value transaction,” he said by way of explanation. “You do not need to know anyone to respect them. It is merely a token not far removed from mutual servitude. But trust? People glibly say they would trust someone with their life, but would they? I mean, grabbing someone to stop them falling from a great height? That’s a given. But to step in the way of a blaster? Or to hold a secret under torture for the benefit of another? That’s a far cry from merely respecting someone. That’s what trust is really about. Putting your fate in the hands of another? It takes time to be in a position where you’ll do that voluntarily. But that’s enough of that for now.”

 

He paused, to give a space between what was now a closed subject and their new focus. “Learn not to fail yourself. All else is a downstream consequence. Me, the Order, fellow Knights…if you take care of your own conduct and performance, to your own highest standards, you’ll fail no-one.” 

 

“And as for the saber, do you have a favoured Form? I shall teach you all – you should understand every Form to better understand every opponent – but focus on one or two. So, which do you prefer and why?”

 

Brennan Cabrol


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