Bendu Hopeful - A Bendu Hopeful was one who was no older than thirteen years of age who showed a great sensitivity to the Force of Others. When one became a Bendu Hopeful, they met with the Council of Priests and, eventually, only the High Priest who would then determine whether or not they would be accepted for training. If accepted, the High Priest would instruct them on where, when and with whom they would begin their training. If they were not accepted, they would be allowed to return to their lives and would never be able to request training again. Very rarely would a candidate be turned away.
Bendu Apprentice - In the first stage of Bendu training, a Bendu Apprentice would be taught the powers of the Force of Others, the intricacies of the Ashla and the Bogan and the history and philosophies of the Jedi Bendu. An apprentice would also be taught the art of the sword, though that came in later stages of training. At the end of training, an apprentice would be faced with the challenge of completing the Trial of Wills and the Trial of Fear, two rigorous ordeals that would test them physically and mentally before ascending to the level of Bendu Knight.
Bendu Knight - Only after completing the two trials and being deemed worthy by the Council of Priests could one become a Bendu Knight. The Knights of the Bendu were the guardians of peace and justice in the Ashlan Expanse. Although a knight would have completed the great bulk of his or her training, he or she would still study the ancient texts found within the Bendu Libraries and would continue to receive some instruction on more challenging forms of philosophy and powers from the Bendu Priests. Should they have been called upon to do so, a Bendu Knight would have taken on an apprentice of their own.
Bendu Priest - After the successful training of an apprentice, along with the completion of another Trial of Wills and Trial of Fear, a Bendu Knight would be considered for ascendancy to the level of Bendu Priest. However, there were a limited number of priest positions, one for each village on Kal’Shabbol and one for each planet in the Ashlan Expanse. If the Council of Masters deemed a knight to be a resourceful and innovative leader within the order and that he or she was truly ready to be exposed to a higher calling, they would appoint that knight to be a Bendu Priest. Bendu Priests did not reside with the Temple of Light, though they often visited it. They resided within the village that they were chosen to oversee and led weekly religious services. They would also help the citizens of the villages with any problems they needed assistance with. Should a Bendu Priest have shined above the rest of his or her peers, he or she would have been considered for a seat on the Council of Priests.
Council of Priests - The Council of Priests was the governing body of the Bendu Order made up exclusively of wise, experienced Bendu Priests and one High Priest. Very few Priests were invited to serve on the council and one’s seat lasted until death or resignation.Bendu High Priest - Though the Council of Priests was primarily a group of equals, one would serve above the rest. This was the Bendu High Priest and there would only be one at a time. A High Priest would be chosen for a life term upon the death or resignation of his or her predecessor and served as the leader of the entire organization. They were responsible for all training and religious activities within the order. The High Priest also served as the King of Kal’Shabbol.
Bendu Saint - An honor given posthumously to very few High Priests, and occasionally those in lower ranks, Sainthood was by far the highest honor any Bendu could ever hope to achieve. Despite this, it was rarely thought about or spoken of in public. Sainthood was given based upon the achievements of a Bendu during his or her life, and those achievements would have had to be extraordinary. The only true criteria was that a candidate brought about a major shift in any facet of the day to day life of all Bendu and that they had the love, respect and trust of all Bendu and citizens of Kal’Shabbol.
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