Lillianne Crasse's Training

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Josiah Rendar

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*Josiah drew his tunic over him and tucked it in before fixing the collar properly. As he threw his cloak over his shoulders, he stepped into the main audience chamber of the High Priest’s Chambers. He looked out into the mountains, watching the sun rise slowly over them just as it did every morning. He walked to the large, open window that stood before him and took in the cool, early morning breeze. It was refreshing, soothing. It was what fully woke him every morning, the relaxing chill overcoming him as Mother Nature blew her breath towards him.

Sitting down upon the cold, stone altar, he awaited the arrival of the newest Bendu Apprentice. As always, he did not know much about the young girl, as he had always felt that the best way to learn about each student was to watch them open up about their lives before them. The way one spoke could reveal far more than any computerized biography that the Council of Priests had compiled.

Training to become a Bendu was not an easy challenge. He knew that full well. It had been almost thirty years since he completed his training, but he had trained dozens of Bendu and watched them grow into Knights and Priests. He had every confidence that he would watch this new apprentice do the same, though it would take some time. Every Bendu had a beginning and every journey had a first step.

The apprentice would find that through his guidance and his wisdom until she could prove that she could shape and control her own life and her own destiny. The moment the young one stepped through the doors that sat unopen before the High Priest, she would begin to seize her own destiny. Until that moment arrived, Josiah would wait patiently for her, meditating in prayer to God and his prophets as he did every morning.*
 

Lillianne Crasse

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The first night in a strange place was always one filled with a restlessness. Lillianne didn't know what would befall her on these hallowed grounds. In fact, she was wary of what the new day would bring. She had been told after being settled in her room that her training would begin early in the morning the following day. Apprehension of what the new day might bring was enough to set the girl on edge.

Instead of sleeping, she decided to take a walk around the grounds, those she was allowed access to. Suprisingly, she found that they were almost as active at night as they were in the daytime. Still, she found comfort under the same moons that she had sat under many times. Looking up at the distant stars and the soft light of the two moons, she began to feel the tension of the unknown flee. Two hours later, she returned to her room to ready herself for bed, more at peace for this new life.

She awoke early the next morning, and prepared herself for training. Slipping on her new robes, she quickly got ready and quietly slipped past the others who were already beginning their morning prayers and rituals. She had been told that her training would take place within the High Priest's Chambers. Merely the assumption of being trained by the High Priest was enough to cause her nervousness for she knew being accepted for training was not the end. Those who did not meet the expectations of the Bendu would be expelled.

Yet, as she walked toward the chambers, she could feel the cool breeze and hear the sound of the early morning wildlife greeting the day with renewed joy. It built her confidence with each step she took. When she finally stood before the chamber doors, she had a smile upon her face. Pushing the door open only enough for her tiny form, she slipped inside and immediately looked around.

The room was framed with large windows, for which she was thankful for. The cool breeze drifting into the room was refreshing and eased her spirits. Seeing the figure of a man sitting upon the cold floor, eyes closed. She silently closed the door and made her way toward him.

Standing before him for some time, she opened her mouth, ready to introduce herself, but quickly stopped. There was a peacefulness to this room and to this man. To speak would have shattered all that was here. Instead, she smiled and knelt down before him and closed her eyes, wanting the peacefulness to envelope her as well. With steady, slow breaths, she began to relax and welcome the silence.
 

Josiah Rendar

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*Though he had maintained the image of being completely devoid of any realization of what was happening around him, seeming peaceful and content in his meditations, he knew full well that his newest pupil had arrived for her training. He could feel the apprehension within her, questioning whether she would succeed or fail in the latest chapter of her life. Josiah had every confidence she would succeed, though sometimes fate through a curve into the equation that changed all pre-conceptions that one might have had. However, he was comforted by the fact that she tried to have the peaceful aura he expelled to overcome her as well, though he knew full well that peace was a natural current and you could only ask it to overcome something so many times.

Despite her arrival, he continued to meditate. For almost two long hours, he continued to make the young woman wait within the chambers. He had used his power to close and lock the door behind her, making sure that all the apprentice could do was wait for him to finally acknowledge that she had even so much as entered the room. He had used the technique for many years with his students to test their patience. Doing so was a reliable indicator of what he would need to teach someone during their sessions.*
 

Lillianne Crasse

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The first hour and a half continued to pass in the same manner between the two. It was almost as if they were communing in some fashion and getting used to the presence of the other, or so Lillianne believed. As time continued to pass for them both, she felt somewhat distant from the Temple. Instead, it was as if she was back on the tree stump near her home feeling the cool breeze drift over her face.

With the sound of life awakening around them, she felt the urge to join in their song. Very quietly, she began to hum the tune she often sang to "him". It was almost an open invitation for him to come and join them in their communing. However, Lillianne didn't know that Josiah was already communing with the same "man" in his own way. With each bar she hummed, she began to feel "him" open "himself" up more and more to her. Once she felt "him" close, she once again fell into silence, listening to her spirit to guide her as "he" led her now in her thoughts. It was, afterall, upon "his" urging that she fell silent again and waited.
 

Josiah Rendar

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*Lillianne waited and continued to wait, just as Josiah wanted her to. The only true way to see if someone was patient was to actually test it and make them wait for something they desperately wanted. In her case, she no doubt wanted to begin her training as a Bendu. What better way to test her patience then to make her wait a few hours to take the first step on the path to the future? He was pleased to see that rather than growing impatient, the girl had taken to meditation and spoke to Yahweh. It was a sight he cherished, as he knew that the girl was ready for the next step. Opening his eyes, he stood up and asked the Force of Others to alert Lillianne to stand as well.*

"I am Josiah Rendar, son of Neil, son of Aletra of Kit. I am your leader, the High Priest of our order. You are Lilliane Crasse, though this is all I know of you and your past. I will speak to you of my own past, but I first wish to know about yours. Speak, my child."
 

Lillianne Crasse

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As he broke communion with "him" and rose, she felt a sense of sadness overcome her. "He" was urging her to do the same and slowly, she opened her eyes and looked at the High Priest.

"I am Josiah Rendar, son of Neil, son of Aletra of Kit. I am your leader, the High Priest of our order. You are Lilliane Crasse, though this is all I know of you and your past. I will speak to you of my own past, but I first wish to know about yours. Speak, my child."

She rocked back onto her heels, head downcast, as she slowly rose to her feet.

"It's an honor to meet you, let alone be chosen as one of your students, Master Priest," she said quietly, then shyly raised her face to meet his.

There was a sadness in her eyes that wasn't there when she entered the room. There was a sadness in his spirit as he spoke the names of his ancestors, she noted. It was for this reason that she too felt sad, as if sympathizing with him.

"There is not much to tell about my past. My father was...is a renowned scientist and my mother is a talented pottery worker. We had a simple life. All that we owned, my parents worked hard for. I've learned an appreciation of life, the sciences, art and tradition from them. However, "he" teaches me what they do not know. They did not understand when I spoke of "him". I was often subjugated to evaluations to make sure I was normal," she told him in the same gentle voice.

"They just did not understand is all," she said quickly, making sure he knew that she held no hard feelings for her parents' actions.
 

Josiah Rendar

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*He could immediately see that she did not feel completely comfortable discussing the topic of family, something he had seen all too often. When she first entered, there was an air of happiness and anxiousness about her. However, that smile quickly disappeared when he asked his question and she responded, a sadness filling her eyes. He no doubt had shown traces of sadness when he spoke of his father and grandfather, though it was unintentional. It was simply one of his bad habits, one of the hardest to shake. Hopefully, though, he would not make her feel too sad or too uncomfortable.*

“It is difficult to understand the divine gift when one has not been honored with it like we have. I was fortune to come from a long line of those that did understand it. I was born the son of Neil and Larali Rendar. My father was the son of Aletra Jekkura and Kit Corwin Rendar. I am sure you have heard the story of my grandfather. He was famed Jedi Master and feared Lord of the Sith, though he was redeemed by his sister and her lover, Laili Jeyna Rendar and Ussej Padric Bac, respectively. Kit was slain by the Empress Viea while saving Ussej’s life, but Aletra had already become pregnant with my father at the time. Kit was fortunate enough to die surrounded by all those who loved him.

*He turned away from the young girl, as the story had always been hard to share with others. He had never found it easy to share the demons of his family’s past with anyone, especially with someone he had just met. However, he always managed to tell it, though sometimes he left out the larger details. Lillianne had been well educated, so she obviously knew of the tale, though he still found it prudent to warn students about temptation, arrogance and pride.*

“Ussej, Laili, their son and Aletra escaped into the Unknown Regions. Six months later, Aletra went into labor on the ship. Ussej set the ship down on the nearest habitable planet where she gave birth to my father. That was this planet. She named the child Neil and he grew up alongside Ussej Padric Bac II. They became the best of friends, damn near brothers. Neil then met Larali and she became pregnant with me. I was born around the same time Ussej the second and his wife, Bara, had their child, Ussej Padric Bac III, and the death of Ussej Padric Bac. When Ussej the second and Bara were killed, Ussej the third lived with me and my family and he truly became my brother. We both served on the Council of Priests and a few years before the war, he became High Priest. When the war ended and he was presumably killed, I was elected to take his place. Now, here I am. I myself have no wife and no children. I live alone in my quarters. However, despite feeling alone sometimes, I am happy. Do you have any questions for me before we continue?”
 

Lillianne Crasse

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Lillianne had watched his face, his body language, the whole time he recounted his family's past, as well as his own past. She could feel the pain inside of him, though he did try to hide it. Tilting her head to the side a little, she just listened in silence, but secretly wondered about him.

"Do you regret any of your decisions? you following their footsteps? not having a family of your own?" she asked, curiosity taking hold and turning the conversation back to him. "You say you are lonely, yet you haven't taken any actions to satisfy that loneliness. Why?"

Yet, before he could respond, she pushed him further. "Forgive me, Master Priest, but it seems to me that if you were happy in your current state, you wouldn't focus upon your loneliness and solitude..."
 

Josiah Rendar

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*He smiled, as it was a good set of question. He didn’t expect them, as most students simply nodded their head in what he assumed was an unjustified intimidation. Luckily, he had finally found an apprentice that showed true initiative. He could already see a Priestess within her, which was odd for the first day of training.*

“I regret none of my decisions, young one. I am happy, despite the occasional longing for companionship. I focused upon this with you as a way of teaching, a way to show you that despite being alone you can still be a very happy person.”
 

Lillianne Crasse

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She turned her gaze to the floor just to the left of him, chewing upon his words.

"So," she said while obviously deep in thought, "do you look to 'him' to complete what you lack?"

Raising her eyes to the High Priest, he could see the genuineness of her question. She was truly trying to learn of their ways.

"To deny a longing is to invite trouble into your soul, or so my parents always told me," she told him in a compassionate, tender voice. "If you feel a longing for something, and you deny it, it can take root and turn into an obsession, or worse. Usually, if you feel an emptiness, you find a way to fill it, be it good or bad. So, how do you fill that void in your life?"
 

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*The child was very perceptive of the ways of the Force of Others and the Bendu Order, or else she would not have been able to ask such thought-provoking questions. Truth be told, he never gave the so-called “void” much thought as he was always busy doing other things. For a moment, it did bother him, as he did not want the Rendar line to simply end with him as an old man on his deathbed. However, he would not allow such things to bother him. He was the High Priest of the Bendu Order and he had a job to do. Thinking back to her final question, the answer came easily to him.*

“I train the next generation of Bendu. There is no greater honor for me than that.”
 

Lillianne Crasse

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She smiled at him and nodded her head once, while clasping her hands in front of her. She could feel that he still held the longing, but there was truth in his words. He did focus all of his attentions upon the students. It was evident in how the Temple was run.

"It is a noble thing indeed to sacrifice for the betterment of others. I am pleased to hear you speak from your heart, Master Priest. Thank you for honoring me with the truth. I have been chided in the past for such blatant questions," she said as she bowed her head to him.
 

Josiah Rendar

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*He nodded, agreeing with her statement. He had always felt that it was noble to give his life to train the next generation of Bendu Knights, Priests and High Priests and it was what he would do until the day that the order was ready to venture back into known galaxy and aide the Jedi in their efforts against the Empire of the Sith. Though she believed that his answer to her was him honoring him with the truth, it was no honor. It was her right to know what he was doing, as he her leader. He was the leader of all the citizens of Kal’Shabbol and he was accountable to every single one of them.

Bringing himself back the present, he suddenly remembered what he was planning on asking her before they spoke of his feelings on loneliness and his own life. He would need to test her understanding of the Bendu Code, though he had no doubt that she would have the understanding needed to proceed. If she did not, he was confident that she would if he explained it to her. Either way, the mastery of the Bendu Code was but one of the first steps into the larger world called the future.*


“Before proceeding into the more difficult levels of your training, I need to ensure that you understand the basic concepts of the Bendu Code. First, know that there is a major difference between the way we look our code and the way the Jedi looks at theirs. While the Jedi see their code as a set of laws and rules, one that is a burden to them as they always must be sure to follow it, our code is means much more. It was written by our blessed founder Zios Malachor himself and it states what we can do by using the Ashla. We see it as a prayer as opposed to a burden or law. It is as follows:

Through the Ashla, we find emotion;
Through the Ashla, we find peace;
Through the Ashla, we find knowledge;
Through the Ashla, we find passion;
Through the Ashla, we find courage;
Through the Ashla, we find eternal life;
Through the Ashla, we find love.
Love is the answer to the darkness.
Love can ignite the stars.

As Ussej Padric Bac said shortly before his death, ‘wherever your journey may take you, let this prayer be your guide. Your wings may take you so very far away from here, but always remember that this prayer is what makes you who you are’. Please explain to me how you interpret this and our code.”
 

Lillianne Crasse

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Unlike some of the other padawans, Lillianne was not one that had spent hours upon hours going over the texts assigned to them when they first entered the Temple. Hearing the Bendu code and way from the High Priest, she withdrew within herself, deriving from what she had learned from him during her own personal meditations. Smiling at the High Priest once, she began to walk around the room, hands clasped behind her as she spoke from her own experiences. He did ask her what she believed the code meant.

"Through the Ashla, we find emotion...to be disconnected from our feelingss and emotions and to be uncaring of the feelings and emotions the others around us hold: those we help and those we come across, is to be heartless and cold, uneffective. The Ashla show us to care for one another, offering compassion and sympathy when it is needed, even a shoulder to cry upon. There is even a time for anger when it serves a better will, say to encourage others to take up the good fight or turn from their destructive paths. For our emotions are a gift to us and were given for a reason. Yet, we must not let our feelings and emotions drive us to seek out our own will and our own betterment. We must focus upon what is right and just.

"Through the Ashla, we find peace...unless we are completely centered upon the leading of the Ashla, we cannot be assured we are following the right path. We must meditate and center ourselves from the chaos and business that constantly surrounds us, seeking to steal our joy and happiness as well as break our mind from the will of the Ashla. It is only through the peace that we can see our way more clearly and encourage a search for peace to others who are distressed.

"Through the Ashla, we find knowledge...what would we be if we do not consistantly seek knowledge to better understand our world and the beings that inhabit this world and universe? How can we help others in which we do not understand? How do we communicate with others unless we take the first step to meet them where they are and help them in their time of need? We should always seek knowledge and trust the Ashla to guide us in this endeavor. Just as all life is touched by the hand of the Ashla, the Ashla know this world better than we could ever hope. We must constantly revise our old ways of thinking and bring new ways of thinking into the light, discovering the truth behind it all. We must evolve and flow just as the Ashla flows through us even now.

"Through the Ashla, we find passion...how can we help those if we do so through obligation and not out of an inherent need and want to help them? When we allow the Ashla to set our spirits on fire for a cause, we are more effective and more productive. When we allow ourselves to be passionate about what we are doing, a fire is instilled upon each of those we touch in turn, instilling a want for what is right and sense for what is just.

"Through the Ashla, we find courage...just as with passion, we must have courage to stand up for what we believe and to combat that which threatens to steal away life, hope, happiness and justice. We are not afraid of what may befall us, for our life was given from the Ashla and the Ashla will always be by our side, helping us as long as we stay true to the path and do not stray toward the darkness.

"Through the Ashla, we find eternal life...when we devote our whole life to the way of the Ashla and the Ashla's will, we can become one with it, flowing through all of life, forever joined. It is the greatest honor and priviledge. To know that we may be flowing through other disciples, guiding them along with our ancestors, providing a light to the darkness is a wonderous thing and truly humbling, but I digress," she said and turned to smile at the High Priest.

"Through the Ashla, we find love. Love is the answer to the darkness. Love can ignite the stars. This is my favorite part of the code," she said. "Through the guidance and grace of the Ashla, we learn to see people as the Ashla does. Every person is important and has their place. We are to encourage them and love them. For there is nothing that is greater than love in this whole galaxy. Love can melt the hardest and coldest of hearts and shine a light in the darkest of souls. It is through the Ashla that we learn to see everyone as someone unique and lovely, each with their purpose. When we work together, we can make the world a beautiful place, a haven.


"As Ussej Padric Bac said shortly before his death, ‘wherever your journey may take you, let this prayer be your guide. Your wings may take you so very far away from here, but always remember that this prayer is what makes you who you are’....the Ashla guide us all and it is from the Ashla that much is given to us. We must never forget our place and what our purpose is. No matter how far we wander, we must not forget from where we have come and our roots. This is what I believe the code to mean, Master Priest."
 

Josiah Rendar

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OOC: Totally lost track of time. I didn't realize that I hadn't responded for two weeks. I thought it was just a few days!

*He nodded, her response adequate and impressive for a pupil at her stage of training. Though what he was preparing to ask could have come as a surprise to her, it would be necessary. Ussej had never required the masters during his time as High Priest to teach about why it is different from the Jedi Code, but Josiah decided that it would be an effective tool in teaching the order about their distant brothers. The more knowledge one held about the Jedi Order, the less prejudice would be held.*

"Very impressive, child. Now, did you ever read about the Jedi Code? If so, tell me, what are the differences between ours and theirs?"
 

Lillianne Crasse

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Lillianne bent her head in shame as he asked this of her. Surely the other apprentices would have known more about this topic than she had. Were she to have spent more time in her studies, she might be able to answer him more easily.

"Forgive me, master priest, sir," she said, clasping her hands before her and raising her eyes to meet his. "I have not studied as I should. I promise I will do better. It's just...well, sir, to be frank, it's hard to concentrate when the beauty of Yahweh is all around us and I can feel the Ashla moving through it, through us."

Before he could chide her, though, she quickly started again, enthusiastically. "Yet, I think I know of one or two differences between the two codes. The Jedi are aloof in their manners and how they approach the Ashla. They do not let their feelings and emotions enter into their decisions, driving them to act on the behalf of the Ashla, the oppressed and hurting. Instead, they seek the way through knowledge and wisdom when the way cannot be clearly determined in such an approach..."
 

Josiah Rendar

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*Josiah could not help but be amused at her personality. It was clear to him that she could easily become emotional in certain situations, as she seemed to believe that he would become angered with or disappointed in her if she was to make a mistake or not know a certain part of the training curriculum. If that were true, then when it came to many students he would do more disappointed lecturing than he would teaching. Not knowing the answer to a question was certainly not a curse. It was simply an opportunity to learn something new and to further their knowledge of the given subject. There were times when he envied students of the Way, as he had learned almost as much as he thought he ever could.*

"While you are correct, for the most part, you are also incorrect. The Jedi may seem as if they do not let their feelings or emotions enter their decisions, but that is simply false. There are times when they repress their emotions so much that when it comes time to make a large decision they are influenced by their negative emotions. That is why we do not make our people repress anger or other darker emotions. We realize that if they are repressed, there could come a time where those bottled up emotions could be released in a catastrophic manner."

*Pulling back his robe, he removed a small data stick from the parcel on his belt and handed it to her. The information would be very valuable to her and she would need to spend some time reviewing it.*

"If you place this data stick into your computer, you will find information on the Jedi Code. Review it tonight and we will discuss what you learned tomorrow morning. That will be all for this session."

OOC: The link is to Wookieepedia. I know you probably don't need it OOC, but I figured I'd hand it over anyway.
 

Lillianne Crasse

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She took the datastick from the High Priest and bowed her head once to acknowledge his instructions. "Yes, Master Priest," she answered in a quiet tone, staring at the stick as if it were a delicious cake she were about to consume. "Thank you." He could tell by her reaction that she would indeed study the material contained on the datastick.

Bowing to him, she turned and headed out the door, desperately wanting to feel some sunlight on her face after the long lesson.

OOC: I'm not going to RP her looking over the information...lol. That's pretty much assumed by this post. :P
 

Brandon Rhea

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OOC: Yeah, that's not really necessary. Whenever "she's done", you can just RP her coming back to the chambers for her next session.
 

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Lillianne had spent much of the night awake, studying the interesting ways of the Jedi. It only seemed to pique her interests in them even further. She now wanted to meet one of these outsiders, ask them some questions and see them in action. Perhaps this would come as part of the lesson, yet the more she thought about it, the more unlikely it seemed. The people of Kal'Shabbol were isolationists at best. Still, her mind couldn't help but wonder about these strange people, maybe brothers of the Ashla, though wayward brothers at that.

As the light began to creep across the mountain, Lillianne quickly readied herself and hurried down the hallways, still cold from the night. Once at the High Priest's chamber, she paused, catching her breath and double checking to see if the chip was in her pocket. Then and only then did she slowly push the chamber doors open, peeking inside to see if he was waiting.
 
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