Ask The Path Less Traveled

Fiach Dubh

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Fiach waited as Delnor continued to climb and Isen began his preparations to do so. It seemed as if the cliff was presenting a different challenge to each of them. For Fiach, it was a reminder that the Force was not the solution to every problem – something she knew she should be mindful of. What it was presenting to the Kiffar was anyone’s guess – maybe persistence – as he tried over and over to climb the cliff, only to be rebuffed by what appeared to be the Force itself.

Finally, he made it to the top but his speech was cut short and he disappeared from view.

Delnor was almost at the top, so Fiach waited until he was over the edge before making the short journey up herself. When she arrived, she saw Delnor disappearing into the darkness of a cave and Isen was nowhere to be seen.

Stowing her cable gun, Fiach took a deep breath and followed the others into the void.

@Isen @Andrewza
 

Izel Thral

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Izel was surprised by the sudden touch, but didn't pull her hand away. She looked at Max curiously, and then felt a sudden warmth well up within her. It was as though she was standing beside a fire, but there was no harshness to the heat. She only felt her doubts slipping away and her resolve strengthened. She listened to Max's explanation and bowed her head humbly. "Thank you." She replied, and then turned her attention back to the caves.

Through the Force she could sense the Padawans making their way up the ice wall. While moving together each seemed to go about it their own way. Delnor took the slow and steady approached, measured and patient. Fiach was clever, and able to subvert the entire challenge of the climb by application of a simple tool. And Isen trusted in the Force, as Izel had taught him, relinquishing his pride and control and allowing it to guide him to the top the fastest. Izel couldn't help but feel a bit of pride herself in this. She was glad how far he had come in strengthening his connection to the Force, which was once one of his greatest weaknesses. All had displayed virtues of the Jedi in this task, and would soon be tested again. The illusions they were about to face would be more of a mental challenge than a physical one though.

"I think they passed the first challenge quite handily don't you?" She asked Max curiously. Then she remembered that he had never gone through the Gathering ritual himself. "If you never experienced this part of the training was something else substituted? Or did you just learn from direct action on missions?" Izel herself had obsessed a great deal over preparing a proper curriculum for her student, but thinking back to her own training much of what she learned she had learned through "being thrown into the deep end" so to speak. She wondered if such things were common practice or if her experience was more unique.

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Isen Ramm

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The young Padawan was sucked backwards into the pitch black off the tunnel and landed roughly on his back. His lungs compressed with the contact on the rocky floor, and Isen coughed. It echoed, and the the apprentice could tell he was brought into an empty, enclosed cavern. The walls began to light up, one of which was clear ice, clear as glass. He could see Delnor walking past, struggling to see in the darkness that surrounded. "Isen? Isen, where are you?"

The young Kiffar could hear his fellow Padawan clear as day as if the wall was not there. Isen was completely enclosed. He could not see a door or hole in the ceiling that would explain how he got here. Isen ran to the glassy, icy wall and yelled, "Delnor! I'm in here!"

"He can't hear you, Padawan," a sinister voice called to him the back of the room. Isen had not seen anyone before. It was as if he materialized out of thin air. Isen turned and saw a tall, gaunt human. His skin was gray, and his eyes were sunken but still shining a bright orange. The Dark Side was pouring out of him, and Isen didn't hesitate. Immediately, both cobalt blades of his lightsabers were ignited as Isen took an aggressive, combative posture. The man simply laughed. "Isen Ramm of Kiffex. A young warrior. A warrior that will be a man of action. This is why I have chosen you."

"I don't know who you are, but I do not wish to be selected," Isen said. "Let me go."

"But you don't know what or who I am, nor what you have been chosen for." The gaunt man took two long strides toward Isen, his long legs covering significant ground. "My name is Devoman Morse. I have been in this cavern for....for a long time, Padawan. You should hear me out."

"You're a Sith," Isen said. "There is nothing more to hear."

"Dealing in absolutes are we, Isen?" The Sith laughed easily. "You are correct. I was a member, a ranking officer of the Brotherhood of Darkness thousands of years ago. I taught the combative arts at the Sith Academy on Korriban. I was highly respected, Isen. Highly respected. You wish to be respected don't you? Above all, you want to be respected?"

Isen narrowed his eyes and clinched his jaw.

"Yes, I can feel it from you. Your greatest fear is that others will not respect your ability as a warrior. That fear pours out of you. Let me ease your fear. Destiny brought you to me. Most Jedi go to the caves in Illum to get their first crystals. Mygeeto...what brought you to Mygeeto? This was no coincidence, Isen. Who made the choices that brought you to the cliff, Isen?"

"It was a group effort," Isen said. His outward demeaner was calm, but inside, he was churning.

"Was it? Who at the fork had the gumption to say, 'we shall go that way?' Who stood at the Cliff convincing the other two to take the climb?"

Isen thought back. In fact, it had been Isen who never thought. He simply acted. "It was me."

"Yes. Yes, Isen. It was you that brought your group here because it is your destiny to be brought to me. The Force brought you here to me." Morse extended a hand, long and bony. "Join me, Isen. I can make you more powerful than you can imagine. I can make you beyond respected, Isen Ramm. I can make you feared. You can use your power for good or ill. Your power, your authority will be yours to do as you wish."

Isen stood firm, the cobalt blades ignited and lighting a blue aura onto his face. He knew this was likely a convergence of the Force. These caves would present Jedi with their greatest fears and their grandest desires. This Devoman Morse was likely not real but a mirage, a trick of the Force. Then again, the Force was a mystical thing. It was a test, no question. But the more he considered Morse, the more real he became. Isen would never admit aloud, but there was a certain seduction to the Dark Side.

He wondered what challenges and fears the caves would hold for Delnor and Fiach. But for now, his attention was focused on the Sith in front of him.


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Maxims Tionson

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She knew what he had done to assist her, to help elevate her mood, but what did that matter? Knowing that someone had sent you a gift did not invalidate the gift after all. Sometimes the gift itself was all that mattered and he would say this was one of those times. Surprise wouldn't have made it seem any greater.

And he didn't need her thanks but he took them with a smile regardless. Just because he didn't need or ask for them, didn't mean that the appreciation wasn't well received after all.

Hmm a fair question.

"My own Master was an aberration as we've previously discussed but her training methods were not what most people would consider to be sub-par."
he admitted with a small smile, "I was just mostly always busy. Spending time with people throughout the Galaxy and helping them... my past experiences as a cop meant I got sent on a lot of investigations."

He thought about it for a moment before admitting the truth.

"I was left to learn a lot of it myself... my Master was negligent of my training in many ways but I was old enough and mature enough to know not to rely exclusively on her teachings. I sought out different teachers for different subjects and did my best impression of a sponge."
his smile grew slightly wider, "Like to think some of it stuck but this? This kind of structure I can only see as a vast improvement."


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Delnor Riek

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Delnor heard a whisper that seemed to come from every where. "Delnor i am over here" Looking around Delnor could see nothing through the blackness then as if a light switch went off Delnor could see again.

Looking around it was as if he was a alone. The ice tunnel wall had a blue glow. With only one way to go Delnor moved on "Hello, Hello is there any one there"
 

Fiach Dubh

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Fiach was only a few footsteps behind Delnor and Isen could not be much farther ahead as she walked into the inky blackness. It was not that Fiach was getting blasé about Force Visions and the tricks that these caves could play on you – but it was fair to say she was both expecting something and almost wishing it to happen.

Today, however was different, as the blackness wasn’t just a lack of light but an oppressive manifestation of the dark. Not like the Dark-side, which she felt as an oily presence, but this was in some way stifling, restricting not so much her movement but her mind.

She continued to walk slowly, expecting something to happen…anything. But nothing did. ON and on she walked and the feeling of oppression did not leave her but nothing happened either. Finally she stopped and closed her eyes, connecting as deeply as she could to the Force.

Nothing.

Had she failed in her approach to the cliff? Was she in some way not worthy of the Force’s attention, even to test her? Was she not allowed any new crystals?

Her brow knitted as she contemplated these thoughts over and over. Finally, she shook her head and sat on the ground, cross-legged. Fear. These were her fears and she was not facing them but rather succumbing to them. A smile returned to her lips and she closed her eyes.

She faced those worries and dismissed them, one by one. Not through simply ignoring them, or wishful thinking – but by logic and honesty. There was no right or wrong way to approach the cliff – she had done what she had felt was right. She was connected to the Force right now, so was still worthy of being Force-sensitive. And she’d sensed the crystals when they’d first approached the caves, so that was also a fact.

This was, therefore, part of her test. And no sooner had she reflected as such than – in her mind’s eye – she was transported to a room. A familiar room – the one she always seemed to visit on these occasions. But rather than fear what she might see, and she also made the decision not to force the vision, she relaxed and allowed the images to come to her.

There were the twin cots – each with a baby. Then a new feature – two men. As they spoke she recognised the disembodied voices of previous visions – but now they had substance. And she could see the babies – no, toddlers. They looked alike – with blonde hair – but they were not twins. Except their eyes were identical…the same shade of lilac.

And the closest was now near enough that she could read the tag on her wrist – Fiach Dubh. She switched her attention to the other and the writing on her tag was blurred. Fiach strained to read it. Man–. Man-something? Man–? Manuk? The second half of her name escaped Fiach and as she tried to concentrate, her attention was distracted by new words uttered. It was not a sentence, but fragments of it. “…ready…experiment…separate…environment…midi-chlorian.”

And then, as every time before, her eyes opened and she was back in the cave.

“The Dark side has the answers.”

“What answers,” she responded to the voice.

“To what you seek above all else,” the voice continued, sounding like a whisper that was partially obscured by the rustling of leaves. Yet Fiach heard every word clearly – for she knew it was inside her head and not some stranger nearby.

“I seek to protect the weak.”

“Yes…and no. You seek more. The truth. The Dark side can share the truth with you.”

Fiach took a deep breath. Her fascination with her visions was in danger of becoming an obsession. And as much an attachment as any physical one. Something that, as a Jedi, she must avoid. Her eyes opened and she stood. “Yes, I wish to find out the truth. But the Dark-side is not a price I am prepared to pay.”

The voice laughed in her mind, a cackle that echoed for some time. “We both know that is not true. It is just that you are not prepared to pay the price today. We shall meet again, and let us see then if you are still of the same opinion.”

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Izel Thral

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The forefront of Izel's mind was focused on her conversation with Max, but tangentially she kept her Force sense attached to her Padawan as well, following his progress. Isen had entered the next phase of the trial by this point, and was being confronted by a manifestation of the dark side. This would be the first time, as far as she was aware, that he faced such a challenge. She would have liked to be at his side for this, but recognized the importance of him going forward alone. He had to reject the dark side of his own volition, or he was no Jedi. That didn't mean she didn't worry though. She felt that she had impressed upon her apprentice the importance of controlling his emotions and always remaining calm in the face of such temptations, but still she worried.

"Sounds somewhat familiar." She said in response to Max, trying to put her doubts out of her mind. "My master liked to stress the importance of independence as well. I tried to learn from whoever I could, whenever I could." That made her think of Master Zapan. Always eager to help everyone that one was. And he had certainly helped her when she needed it more than once. So had Master Grayza, and now that she thought back to places like Ifrane Max a few times as well. She looked towards the caves again, feeling the immense Force energy flowing through them and the entire valley. "The Gathering is indeed something special though. I'm glad I could bring my Padawan here." She didn't voice her fears. She didn't need to. Isen would be just fine. She had to believe that.

"Oh, and the others too of course," She said, looking back at Max. "Not that Fiach requires any more lessons. I'm sure she'll be made a Jedi Knight any day now. And Delnor... Well he seems promising. Even if I don't know much about him." Yes on the part of Fiach she had nothing to fear at all. And she was more curious than afraid to see how the Pantoran Padawan performed.

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Maxims Tionson

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The trio of students was promising that much he could freely agree with. There were often groups of students, of Jedi, who could honestly say that they needed more training and there were those who could be held up as examples. In his mind the trio here were a mixture of those two groups - they had elements of refined greatness and elements of growth and potential.

"They are coming along nicely."
he agreed with a smile, "I just hope they remember that even if, by the end of this, they are no longer Padawans, they are still learners."

He idly twisted a pebble in his free hand, a hand he couldn't even see because it was on the other side of his body. Learning was something that sometimes held hidden costs but was worth it all the same.

"Accomplishments are a fine way to learn but they will need to learn to see defeat and disappointment as teachers as well."
he added quietly, "I lost my eye when I was a Knight. Thought I knew enough that a cave of Kashyyyk spiders was no real threat and I paid for it - grew from it. They will need to learn the same."

Pausing, he added.

"Hopefully keeping their perfect vision of course. Not everyone needs their lessons to be quite so blindingly pointed out."


Ah puns.


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Isen Ramm

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"Join me, Isen. I can make you more powerful than you can imagine. I can make you beyond respected, Isen Ramm. I can make you feared. You can use your power for good or ill. Your power, your authority will be yours to do as you wish."

Isen still stood, his dark eyes fixed on the Sith in front of him...or the image of a Sith. Isen struggled to believe it was a tremor in the Force, for it was but an image, it was an image with strikling realism. And with the Force, who really knew what was real and what wasn't? Theoretically, with the Force, anything could be real and anything was possible. Isen was afraid to believe it was real- not because he feared dueling a Sith, but because he feared the seduction that a Sith could offer. This Sith knew every temptation, every button that could potentially sway Isen to the Dark Side, and that is what scared the young Padawan more than anything.

"I cannot join you, Devoman Morse," Isen said resolutely. "For you are not real. You are a manifestation of the Force, a vision, a temptation. You are a test. But you are not flesh and bone."

Morse grinned as his eyes narrowed to the Kiffar Padawan. Suddenly and without warning, the Sith's lightsaber hilt flew from his hip to his extended hand and with lightning precision and speed, he attacked Isen with a series of aggressive attacks. Isen smoothly parried and deflected each one, retreating a few steps, with the final blow resulting with the red blade of the Sith sizzling against the two cobalt blades held by Isen. They were locked together, staring each other down. Isen's countenance was steady and firm. The Sith was still grinning, but the hate poured from his features. "If I am not real my new apprentice, then what have you against your lightsaber?"

A fair question, Isen thought. Isen disengaged, and blackflipped away from the Sith. "It's impossible. You're a man. You can't be thousands of years old."

"The Dark Side has many, many wonders, Isen Ramm." The Sith's red blade retreated to the hilt, and Morse took a more relaxed posture. "I was not present at the Seventh Battle of Ruusan when the rest of the Brotherhood perished. I had been sent...here. And here I have been and will be until I have taken a worthy apprentice. I have had the pleasure of meeting several potential apprentices. But none of them, Isen Ramm, not one measures up to your talent."

Isen shook his head. "I am a Padawan to an apprentice to a Master already. And she is no Sith. She is just and she is kind. And she is..."

"Weak, Isen," Morse interrupted, and the insult surprisingly caught Isen to be angry. "Your master Izel Thral is strong in the Force, yes. But she, like you, was confronted with the Darkness inside her. The darkness we all have. The darkness that makes us strong, that helps us to create order out of the chaotic universe. She was almost strong enough to seize it, but she was weak."

Isen clinched his jaw, but otherwise showed no emotion. "Master Thral is not weak. She is..."

"Indecisive, unlike you," Morse interrupted again. "You are a man of action. You make decisions, you live and die with the consequences. You will never make it as a Jedi. It isn't in your makeup, Isen. You know it to be true. Search yourself. In the deepest part of your soul, you know that you will never be trusted. The Jedi will never trust a powerful Knight who is decisive and independent. They will ask you to be someone you are not. They will steal your strength to control you. You will never be free within their order, and if you are not free, you are chained, and if you are chained, you are crippled. If you are crippled, you are weak. Your Master, she nearly broke her chains...so close."

"I don't believe you," Isen said.

"Because I'm a Sith? Or because you don't want to believe?" Morse took a step closer. "Lying to you is not in my personal best interest right now, my new apprentice. If it were, I would lie. But it does me well to tell you the truth."

"It makes no difference," Isen said. "She did not turn. And neither will I. Now, let me go."

The Sith sighed and tutted his tongue. "I'm running out of patience, my young apprentice."

Isen took a step toward the Sith to show that he was not scared. "I'm not your apprentice. And I will not become one for you."

"Perhaps you should see what fate awaits for you then. It would be the same as the others." Morse nodded to a box that either had been lying on the ground the entire time or that the Force created for this moment. Isen could never be truly sure.

Isen bent down, unlatched a removable lid. He took the lid off and set it aside. Inside were braids of hair and several lightsaber hilts, all of which were generic sabers, handed to younglings and initiates that had not yet build their own. Isen asked the next question, even though he knew the answer. "What are these?"

"All that remains of those too weak to do what they must." Again, Morse extend his hand. "Join me. Join me, Isen Ramm. Live and become great among the living Sith, an heir to the Sith that are dead, and a legend to those who have not yet breathed their first breath. Do not end up in this box, Isen Ramm...Rise to the top with me."

Bombarded with doubt, Isen considered all that had been presented to him. The Sith had a point. Perhaps he didn't have the temperament to be a Jedi. Maybe he was more suited to be a Sith. Perhaps his father erred by taking him to the enclave on Jedha. If the Force desires balance, perhaps Isen Ramm had been training on the wrong side to achieve that balance. And the respect...Isen wouldn't want to admit it, but the Sith had him pegged exactly. And what was this about Izel Thral nearly succumbing to the Dark Side?

Try as Isen might to meditate, the Dark Side energy in this little room in the caves was pushing on him like the waters thousands of feet deep. There was no refuge from it. Morse could feel the struggle, could feel Isen's torn alliegances. "Yes, my apprentice. You are starting to see all things clearly. Quit fighting it...Release yourself to the freedom and the power of the Dark Side....yes....yes..."

The young Kiffar reached down and picked up the box. He let his mind go, using his psychometry to read the origins of the box. It was real. The Padawans...in some form or fashion were real. The lightsabers...they were real. But they were not killed by the Sith. The Padawans had met something in this room that convinced them to cut their braids and relinquish their Jedi sabers. And suddenly, Isen came to realize the truth. He put the box down and closed it.

"You are real, Devoman Morse. But, you are not flesh and bone."

Morse snarled and then screamed at Isen Ramm. "You are lost, Isen Ramm! And I will strike you down, like I have the others before you!"

"You did not strike these Padawans down." Isen put a hand on the box and sighed over it. "You converted them to the darkness." He looked up at Morse. "You have no power over the physical should I put my faith in the Force, the Living Force. It is not the will of the Force that you turn me to your evilness nor strike me down today, Sith."

Morse's blade ignited again. His gray skin was shrouded in an aura of crimson from the light of his blade. "Do you wish to test your theory, Padawan? You are a talented duelist, but do you think you can defeat me?"

Isen sat on the floor, cross-legged and closed his eyes. "I don't have to defeat you. I simply have to rest. Be mindful. Trust what the Force is telling me."

The Sith approached and put the blade to the back of Isen's neck. Isen could feel the heat from the blade, could hear the sizzle of the energy. Everything seemed so real. If he was right, he would pass this test. If he was wrong...

Morse raised the blade and paused, giving Isen one last chance to reconsider. Isen exhaled slowly and gave himself over to the Force. Though his eyes were closed and the apparition made no sound, he knew the red blade was now angling toward his neck rapidly. Isen felt relaxed, calm, and then a rush of clean, robust energy through his body. Isen's jaw dropped and he started panting as pure adrenaline exploded inside of him. He opened his eyes and the room was clear. There was no box, no Morse, and the glass wall that once stood between him and Delnor was missing. Still, the dark lurked beyond, though now he could hear a distinct ringing...the same ringing he heard when he nabbed his first crystal on an unauthorized "field trip" before Izel Thral had taken him on as an apprentice.

He had hoped this was a crystal singing to him, and he hoped that meant that he handled himself well with the test that was Devoman Morse.


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Delnor Riek

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(sorry thought i had posted all ready)

The tunnel seemed to have no end and Delnor was now actually worried where he was. He was not in in darkness, darkness had never scared him but he was alone. "Hello" The call echoed through the tunnel.

Looking around Delnor saw him self in the ice. Not a reflection but his own body trapped in the ice "Do you want to stay here for ever" Delonor looked around but could not see any one. The source of the voice all so seemed to come from every where at once. "Who are you, what are you" Delnor watched as his body frozen in the eyes looked at him. "i am you, you will stay here forgotten Unless you tap in to your true power tap in the darkness with in you"

Delnor looked disgusted at his him in the ice and shook his head "You lying, i dont even think you are real" Closing his eyes and sitting down Delnor began to focus. This must be some kind of illusion from the force he knew it had to be one.
 

Fiach Dubh

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Aware that she hadn’t necessarily passed any test but had at least been found worthy of progressing, Fiach glanced around her and smiled. She then closed her eyes and felt the draw of the crystals. They played a sort of melody in her mind, all singing a different tune but somehow they harmonised.

And as she listened, one strain began to separate from the rest. Not necessarily louder but it was more pleasing to her ears and she found it dominated the others as they blurred into more of a background noise – whereas the solo notes sounded like a soloist.

Opening her eyes again, she simply followed the sound, taking no heed of her immediate surroundings and just followed what she knew to be the crystal she most closely resonated with calling to her. As she walked, she felt in her pocket for the pouch that contained the parts for her to assemble her shoto.

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Isen Ramm

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The young Padawan, bewildered, confused, but proud that he was able to resist the Dark Side stepped into the corridor that had sucked him away from the top of the cliff. The icy walls of the corridor seemed to glow, just enough that seeing was possible. Isen looked back at the cliff, but the ringing of the crystals was coming from down the tunnel. He carefully made his way in that direction.

As he walked, the glowing of the walls seemed to get brighter as the crystals sang louder to him. He figured he must be getting closer. He could feel the presence of Delnor and Fiach. They were near, present, yet distant and absent. The Padawan called out to them, wondering if they could hear. "Fiach! Delnor! Can you hear me?"

Periodically, he would call out to the others as he continued to move toward the ringing in his head.


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Izel Thral

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Izel chittered softly at Max's joke. "I know what you mean," She agreed, thinking back to some of her own less then appealing experiences as a Padawan. "I've certainly had my share of hard learned lessons. The galaxy can be a very dangerous place for the overly confident."

She paused to reach out with her Force sense again. It seemed Isen and Fiach had both passed the second round of tests, though it remained to be seen if Delnor would pass his. She gave a little sigh of relief knowing her own Padawan had succeeded. "Although it seems they won't be having that lesson just yet."

She felt that it wouldn't be long now before the ritual was concluded. Afterwards they could get to the process of building their lightsabers. Ideally they would build a tool that reflected the experiences and knowledge they had gained here. Her mind began to drift, thinking back to what she had read about the Gathering when she was still an initiate. In time long past it was Ilum, not Mygeeto that was the place of choice for this ritual. Thanks to the First Order that was no longer possible. The Jedi had lost so much, both as the result of their own mistakes and the actions of others. It was deeply saddening to the Vratix that there were certain places she would never see as they once were.

"Do you think the Jedi will ever return to what we were before the purges?" She asked suddenly. Being nearly wiped out by the Empire, and then again by Ben Solo before his return to the light. It was frightening to think how many times their order had been almost completely destroyed, carried on by just a handful of survivors. Had things happened just slightly differently, their ways could have been lost to time. There were so few Force sensitives in the galaxy, and fewer still that followed the Jedi religion. It was a fire that would be dangerously easy to snuff out.

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Maxims Tionson

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Indeed, it seemed as though the Padawans were doing well on their own and working together. It spoke to the teachings that they had each received that they knew that working together wasn't against the rules of the experience but not openly encouraged either. If a person needed to be prompted to assist an ally, to be prompted to do the right thing? Then they weren't actually doing the right thing, they were fulfilling an obligation and nothing more.

Soon the fun part.

Or the fun part as far as he was concerned - Max was something of a fan of the construction and maintenance processes that could be accomplished with a Lightsaber. He was honestly thinking about changing up the composition of his own lightsaber but that was a thought for another time.

"Probably."
he answered just as suddenly, "And then the Order shall stray from it's purposes and ideals and it'll fracture again."

Max scratched at his beard in thought.

"The Jedi Order before the purges was bloated and served too readily the demands of an increasingly corrupt senate."
he grimaced slightly, "But history is a cycle. It will likely happen again and we shall rise, again, like a phoenix with the best ideals and intentions - which shall be eroded by the passage of centuries or decades until the cycle turns again."


@Reyn @Isen @Andrewza @Corbeau
 

Delnor Riek

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Delnor kept his eyes closed and focused. but he could not escape the voices "It will be so easy, you will gain so much if you tap in t the darkness with in you." Delnor knew it would easy but he all so knew it would be false power. "I will not tap in to darkness. The power is not mine but the darkside. I will rather be weak than have e corrupted and controlled by the darkside" The voice responded with anger and a wave of force seemed to run over delnor "In that case you SHALL DIE WEAK"

Delnor heard a new voice now calling out to him. "Fiach! Delnor! Can you hear me?" Delnor opned his eyes to the cave bright once more "Isen, is that you, where are you?"
 

Fiach Dubh

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Fiach was no stranger to the crystals. Being the Jedi she was, she researched them – naturally – but also had experience of two previous outings to collect them, albeit to a different planet. So, up to a point, she knew what to expect.

The crystals they sought, grew.

Clear as ice and cold until they found the hands that waited for them, they added structure in an ordered way, one prism at a time. And while they grew, they waited.

From time to time, someone would arrive and call to them, like the harmony of a perfect song. Each crystal had a chosen bearer, and only that bearer would hear the music and see the glow. All others would pass by, seeing nothing but more ice.

There were larger crystals, visible to all – but inert unless properly calibrated, and there were tiny ones, the size of a fingernail or smaller. Even the smallest could channel power and find a bearer. All they had to do was be patient…and grow.

There was no particular pattern for where the crystals might be found. There were some planets that hosted them in countless numbers, and those places were often considered holy or special. Pilgrimages were made and lessons learned and lightsabers crafted. And thus the light crystals went about the galaxy to be put to use.

Fiach mused about what she knew as she returned from her vision and gained her bearings back in the real world. And the next voices she heard were not in her head, but real – and she recognised them as Isen and then Delnor.

“I’m here,
” she called softly. “Are we ready to move on?”

@Isen @Andrewza @Nefieslab @Reyn
 

Isen Ramm

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"Isen, is that you, where are you?" Delnor asked around the bend from the Kiffar Padawan. Isen picked up his speed to a jog and met up with Delnor in the corridor.

"It's me." Isen nodded as he met up with Delnor. He thought about telling Delnor about his Force-filled encounter with the image of the Sith, Devoman Morse. Or was he just an image? Isen still wasn't sure. The more he thought about it, the more he thought he might save his experience for a talk with his mentor and teacher, Izel Thral. "Interesting place," is all he said.

Another familiar voice crept up on them. “I’m here. Are we ready to move on?” Fiach said as they came together as a group once again. The sing-song of a crystal that was beckoning for Isen, calling to him, filled the young Padawan's ears. And Isen was drawn to it. Still, Isen had already learned much about himself- both good and bad. He felt as if he knew what his potential could be, but also the seductions that could pull him away from the Jedi Order and to the Dark Side.

That was worth more the crystal, Isen thought.

Out of character, Isen offered a small smile to the other two. "I think we are."


@Corbeau @Reyn @Andrewza @Nefieslab
 

Izel Thral

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Izel clicked thoughtfully in response to Max's answer. "I don't think the two necessarily must follow." She disagreed. "While history is often cyclical I think it's a bit defeatist to say we or our successors are doomed to make the same mistakes. Throughout history there are some empires and institutions that have lasted far longer than others. Before Palpatine's Empire and the First Order the Jedi had an extremely long and unbroken reign. Say what you will about the Jedi of the Old Republic, but they had a very good run in my opinion. I think there's no reason we cannot forge a similarly strong chain, or perhaps even stronger..."

She paused as she looked towards the caves again. The Padawans were nearing the end now. Soon they would construct their lightsabers and then return. And just soon enough, the cold was starting to become quite the annoyance, even with the help of Force sustain. "And it's not as though the Jedi fell on their own..." She muttered a bit more softly, mostly thinking to herself. "It was the undermining hand of the Sith that has always been our doom. They are the bane of our existence. And the galaxy's. Were they not so skilled at avoiding the extinction they so rightly deserve, we might have been able to find a more lasting peace."

She knew it was wrong to speak in such strong terms but she couldn't help it. The way Izel saw it the Sith were always at the core of the problem. With everything. It was fitting then that they only existed as the result of the Jedi's failure to properly teach their own students to avoid the dark side. But how could they ever hope to completely eradicate a force of nature like that? So long as Force sensitives possessed free will it seemed inevitable that some would fall. Well, perhaps all they could hope to do was destroy the Sith whenever they reared their ugly heads, and hope beyond hope that it would be the last time.

@Nefieslab @Isen @Andrewza @Corbeau
 

Maxims Tionson

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Defeatist? He wouldn't say so. Cynical, for sure, but not defeatist. The simple fact of the matter was that if time was a cycle then things would happen. If time wasn't a cycle then they weren't sure to happen - but you couldn't accept that time was a cycle and then say "but not that bit, cus I don't like that bit" as Izel was doing. An oversimplification of her point but not, at the core, inaccurate.

"Reign is a poor choice of word."
he pointed out dryly, "But you'll notice I never specified that the time of the Order would be short, in fact I hope it is long and storied."

Ah yes.

The argument he came across so often when discussing Jedi history; the Jedi only failed because of the Sith. Certainly, the Sith played their part but the truth was never so cut and dry. The mere existence of the Sith was not a catch-all excuse for the failings of the Jedi Order.

"We have to have been weak in our own way for our enemies to find purchase when trying to pull us down. If the Orders of old were with fault then the Sith would have had nothing with which to break them."

The comment about the extinction of the Sith was said with too much emotion. Max opened his eye and stared at Izel for a second.

"Izel. Mind your feelings."
he spoke softly to her, quiet and understanding, "Our own iteration of the Order was founded on the principle that no one is too far gone. That everyone gets to come back."


@Reyn @Isen @Andrewza @Corbeau
 

Delnor Riek

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Delnor smiled on seeing Isen smile. The paddawan was all ways so somber and Delnor was glad to see him smile. Though Delnor suspected that all three of them had gone through some kind of force event. "It seems we are all here and all sane and save." The tunnel once again seemed normal with light coming from the very tunnel it self. It was all so not as cold as Delnor thought it would be for being inside of a cave of what seemed like ice.

"Agreed i think we should keep moving and see what other tests the force puts before us. Hope fully we will do them together next time and not alone"
 
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