Jedi Trials of Xel'Karn

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Jedi Trials of Xel'Karn

Post by Notorious » Tue Jan 31, 2006 12:24 am

Danolie Notorious had an apprentice once before. His name was Kellith Star, and he progressed excellently with his training. At age fifteen he was already a talented swordsman and found his niche in using the Force to mend minds and bodies. He would have made a wise Jedi Knight, but alas his life was cut short by a Dark Jedi. Too many suffered such a fate these years...

Danolie was pained by the loss of his friend and apprentice, but as a Jedi he was strong enough to move forward. He took on another padawan learner named Xel'Karn, a man only a few years younger than himself with many years of training already under his belt. It was a challenge training him after he had learned so much, but Notorious felt it was his duty to pick up where another had left, and to finish his own journey as Master.

Master and apprentice, Danolie and Xel, sat together in a speeder cruising the beautiful countryside of Naboo. The air was fresh, the plains were green, and the sky was bright blue. A beautiful planet, Naboo, and a historical place as well. It housed the secret love of Anakin and Padame Skywalker, a marriage that never should have been. Naboo was the home to all of their good times and happy memories, before Anakin turned to the dark side. It seemed like a worthy place to meditate - perhaps even the perfect place.

The Jedi Knight, still young at only twenty-five now, used no directions or maps as they cruised along. He simply followed his feelings, trusted in the Force. This technique brought them to a country house by a lake with plenty of open space around it. They both sensed where they were at, but neither of them voiced this knowledge. Danolie stopped near to the shore and hopped out.

"Here we are," Danolie announced. His hood was lowered, blown back by the wind while driving the speeder. "The Force is strong here. You feel it, no doubt." Notorious walked a few paces away from the speeder and sat cross-legged in the grass. Xel followed him closely and did the same.

"Now we meditate," Danolie said. The turmoil in the galaxy... the evil and corruption mixing with misunderstanding and deception was flowing freely in that day an age like any other, but the Jedi always had meditation to relax. It wasn't an escape, no, but it was a peace of mind. It was enough to keep one sane and in control.

The two Jedi sat together in silence for a while. Danolie dove deep into the Force, swam through its limitless ocean in search of a realm rarely sought by living man. He saw unfocused faces from the past drift before his eyes. Voices whispered words of wisdom but most of them were unintelligible. Danolie was seeking some one in particular, and that being could only be found if he wanted to be. Master Tahnn G'Nall.

One of the blurred images stood out to Danolie. The Force urged him on, pointed him in the direction of one ghost. There… Notorious ‘stepped’ closer, examined the unfocused figure, and before he knew he had entered the nether world. No longer was Danolie on Naboo, his body perhaps, but the Force had taken him away from reality as it was known. The stars and blackness of the galaxy disappeared completely, and Danolie Notorious was face to face with a Master from the Clone Wars. They stood in silence for a moment, the setting slowly materializing around them as Danolie concentrated harder and harder to strengthen their connection. They were in a scene of Tahnn’s choice - it was his arena after all - and every sound made in this mystical place reverberated as if spoken by a giant in a concrete coliseum. Tahnn’s body did not have a bluish glow to it as Danolie had expected since he had not come to their reality, but rather Danolie was the one who emitted a soft golden light.

“Master G’Nall,” Danolie said, bowing deeply before the much older and experienced man. “I come before you because I have decided that your former apprentice, Xel’Karn, is ready to hold the honorable rank of Jedi Knight. He has faced many trials in his travels with me, including his own defeat by another apprentice. Xel now understands that death is around every corner, and despite the abundant nature of life - it is precious. He is a great warrior and a wise teacher, a level-headed tactician and a compassionate friend. Xel’s knowledge of the living Force has grown since we’ve first met, and I believe it will only progress more once he has taken his first steps into Knighthood. There is nothing more I can teach him than brotherhood.”

“I wish to bring him here before you, Master Tahnn, so that you and I can perform the ceremony together. That is his final trial. To arrive here where I have traveled.”

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Post by WedaScami » Sat Feb 04, 2006 4:02 pm

The nether regions of the Force held many mysteries that even some of the greatest masters had not uncovered during their lifetime. It was a place—if it truly could be made to be “anywhere” per se—that ebbed and flowed just as the galaxy itself—perhaps it was as vast as the universe itself. Very few definite facts existed concerning the mystical nether regions. Yet here was Danolie Notorious. He walked here, undaunted by the shear vastness of the task that was set before him. He was of steady mind and will; the Force would guide him in his journey to find a vaunted Jedi master of the Clone Wars.

One of the few to survive the issuance of Order 66, Tahnn G’Nall later worked to rescue the remaining Jedi that were stranded due to the Emperor’s vile order to destroy the Jedi Order, while laying the foundation for the resistance against the Empire. His efforts saved countless lives before he was forced to go into hiding on Tatooine, where he befriended the young Weda Scami and began the young boy’s training in the Force. A number of years after, however, the Empire became aware of Tahnn’s presence and perused him. Tahnn was viciously slain over the surface of the desert world in an escape shuttle. Weda barely escaped the encounter himself, and went into an exile of his own with his brother, Kyle. The brothers’ family slain, and the name Scami tainted across the Outer Rim, Weda chose to change his name to Xel’Karn.

And that is where Tahnn’s story ends. Though his legacy lived on in Xel, the Jedi master was lost in the nether regions of the Force. It was only until a few months prior to Xel’s arrival on Naboo that the young man was able to perceive Tahnn’s presence, and the Jedi master able to commune with his former apprentice. Though the reigns had been handed over to Danolie Notorious, Xel felt the same bond with Tahnn that he did Danolie, even after so many years.

Danolie approached the presence of Tahnn, which had not yet completely manifest to the living man’s eyes. Though Notorious did not need to see with his eyes to perceive Tahnn. He was there, a beacon in the Force, beckoning him closer. Danolie was first to speak, “Master G’Nall,” Danolie said, bowing deeply before the much older and experienced man. “I come before you because I have decided that your former apprentice, Xel’Karn, is ready to hold the honorable rank of Jedi Knight. He has faced many trials in his travels with me, including his own defeat by another apprentice. Xel now understands that death is around every corner, and despite the abundant nature of life - it is precious. He is a great warrior and a wise teacher, a level-headed tactician and a compassionate friend. Xel’s knowledge of the living Force has grown since we’ve first met, and I believe it will only progress more once he has taken his first steps into Knighthood. There is nothing more I can teach him than brotherhood.”

Their surroundings slowly came into view, a lush, green jungle spreading before them. It was teeming with life, animals scampering over fallen logs and through the canopy of the trees. The hulking skeleton of an ancient gunship lay intertwined in a matrix of vines and leaves, barely visible through the encroaching foliage. The two men stood facing one another as this came into existence, Danolie seeming to take the scene in with wonder. The place had surrounded them as if it had all been a holo image, but it seemed as real as if they were actually… wherever they were supposed to be.

Tahnn offered the younger Jedi Knight a lop-sided grin as he bowed respectfully, listening closely to his request. Master Tahnn was honored that Danolie would come here to ask his hand in elevating his finest apprentice, Xel’Karn. Tahnn began with a question, “Do you know where we are, Danolie?”

The Jedi Knight was almost taken by surprise with his question, as it didn’t seem to deal with the situation at hand. “Actually, I was just about to ask,” he replied—though he might’ve known where they were, Tahnn must’ve had a reason in appearing here.

“This,” he gestured around him with an open palm, “Is Duxun. I’m not sure if you’re up on ancient history, but thousands of years ago a great war was fought here. When the Mandalorians were a threat to life in the galaxy, the Republic was charged with holding them at bay. It was known as the Mandalorian Wars, which soon sprung the devastating Jedi Civil War. You may still feel the scars that war here, if you focus, but time and the Force have healed even these wounds. Just as they have Xel’Karn.”

Danolie considered this, and it appeared as if he really did feel as if a war had concluded here in ancient times. Tahnn continued, “I’m sure you know of a certain… Damien Notorious? It was here that I elevated him to the rank of Jedi Knight, after he survived Order 66 on Coruscant. He even faced Darth Vader and survived. Damien was invaluable in aiding me through the trials that followed our flight from Coruscant. I could not have helped the Jedi I did without his and Cherise’s help. How ironic it is that the name Notorious is not as alien to me as perhaps you thought. Damien was a great Jedi, perhaps one of the most skilled I knew in my time.”

“But that’s ancient history now,” he said with a wave. “The matter of Xel’s ascension is still at hand. Karn, like this planet, still carries the wounds of the past. Even without my guidance, he tried to bury them, but found that it only made him more susceptible to giving into his emotions, allowing the grief he felt for the loss of his family to overcome him. Temperance allowed him to see through this, though, as well as your council. You cannot guess how you’ve helped shape him into the Jedi you know today. Into the Jedi Knight he is destined to become. With any luck, he will become half the Jedi that you are, Danolie. I could not have prayed for a greater master to finish his training.”

“That is why,” said Tahnn as the vision faded slowly, and the two were back on Naboo, Danolie sitting cross-legged in front of Tahnn, who now glowed a vibrant blue, “I will aid you in this most vaunted ritual.”
Last edited by WedaScami on Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Greatness is not measured by how well you speak of yourself, but how well others speak of you."

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Post by Notorious » Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:03 pm

OOC:

I think you mean Damien Notorious :P Lol, apparently I'm not the only one who is tired.

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Post by WedaScami » Sun Feb 05, 2006 8:49 pm

OOC: Lol wow. As you can see, it's been a while since I've looked over our Enemy of the Republic stuff. Nothing a little edit job won't fix... :P
"Greatness is not measured by how well you speak of yourself, but how well others speak of you."

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Post by Notorious » Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:51 pm

OOC: Workin on post. English essay and another couple thousand votes away

One day I will be famous... and... then... I'll... roleplay a lot

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Post by Notorious » Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:20 pm

A living JedI has little strength in the nether regions. Danolie could use the Force to sense and see, but the environment was not under his control. The JedI Knight experienced a weightless sensation as the mystical haze around him disappeared and in its place materialized a lush jungle piece by piece right beneath his feet. Life was everywhere, he could feel it, but all of it had a visual quality like static, like they weren’t really there. However, it was real - the Force assured him. But where were they?

Master Tahnn now stood before Notorious in complete clarity. He appeared younger than Danolie had imagined him, and there was a lively look on his face. Notorious briefly wondered what it was like to be one with the Force, but he quickly cleared his head of any questions. This was no time leave the subject matter behind. Danolie listened intently to Xel’Karn’s old master, and he gained new knowledge about his apprentice by doing so. The young JedI Knight also became under the impression that Tahnn had been watching over them for some time - especially Xel.

“I’m sure you know of a certain… Damien Notorious?”

‘Yes… I do.’ Danolie thought to himself. ‘He was my father…’

Master Tahnn G’Nall, JedI Master of the Old Republic and General during the Clone wars, knew his father? Perhaps it was destiny that they meet… what could it mean? What was the Force trying to tell them by bringing these people together in such odd ways? Danolie knew so little about his father and his past that he didn’t even wonder about it; Damien was all but a name. What did Master Tahnn know? Once again Danolie cleared his mind of questions, but the desire remained some where in the back of his thoughts.

The thick jungle terrain and ancient wreckage soon disappeared and were replaced by the peaceful meadows and lakeside of Naboo. The three of them sat together while a soft breeze played with Danolie and Xel’s hair but did not affect the JedI Master’s apparition.

“Xel,” Danolie spoke softly to his apprentice who was still drifting in meditation. “Master Tahnn and I wish to speak with you.”

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Post by WedaScami » Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:53 am

“Go, Weda,” it wasn’t a request. No, he demanded it. And Weda wasn’t about to disobey the man he’d called “master” for so long. Not now; not ever. “My time here is almost at its end… but you must endure…”

“Do as he says,” came his father’s gruff voice, the man’s back propped against his place of cover as he reloaded a gas cartridge into his blaster.

Tears streamed down the boy’s face, his brother Kyle tugged sharply on his arm, jerking the bewildered and hysterical child away from the only people he’d ever loved more than anything else in the entire universe. The entire scene was a blur—whether it was his tears or the utter and overwhelming confusion he was experiencing, he couldn’t say. Perhaps it was both, attempting to overwhelm his senses, disrupting that delicate balance that a Jedi was supposed to uphold and maintain within himself at all times.

But how? How could he deny his emotions, which were so potent now, that his master would no doubt feel them? How could he maintain that equilibrium within himself, stay himself from letting his emotions pour out, and charge into the squad of stormtroopers arrayed against he and his family? To do so would be suicide, no doubt—but he almost didn’t care any more. Weda wasn’t very skilled with a blaster, and novice with a lightsaber at best—and to do this would be giving into the dark side of he Force—something that he had vowed never to do so long as he was blessed with this gift of the Force.

Durgan Scami, Weda’s father, leaned out from his place of cover behind a row of seats. The small, confined space of the passenger shuttle provided a focused lane of fire for the combatants, and Durgan was exceedingly skilled with a blaster himself—having served his more youthful days with a stint in the military, and later on smuggling. Tahnn was without a weapon—they hadn’t time to return to their household before the Imperials started perusing them, and his lightsaber was locked away in a footlocker beneath his meager cot. They shouldn’t have expected to escape safely in a passenger shuttle, either, but in their haste logic seemed lacking.

Blaster bolts sizzled overhead as Weda and Kyle retreated toward the back of the shuttle, the few passengers on board cowering in their seats as the two charged by. Weda looked back one last time, staring at the lifeless body of his mother, her skin already turned a ghostly white; then to his father, whose face possessed a bleak, absent look as he faced the stormtroopers, then to his retreating sons; and finally to Tahnn, who held up a hand as a final gesture of farewell to them both. Tahnn touched Weda’s mind then, the words would be burned into his mind for the rest of his days… “Trust in the path set before you… and I will be with you, always…

“C’mon, Weda! Let’s get moving!” shouted his older brother, nearly dragging the boy behind him. “You heard dad… we can’t do any good here.”

“B-b-but Kyle! They’re going to die!” stammered Weda, reaching back to sprint toward his master and father. He wanted so desperately just to embrace his mother again, feel her warmth as she pressed him to her bosom—he wanted to feel the pacifying touch of his father’s hand atop his head as he patted the young boy in praise—he wanted to hear Tahnn’s calm, soothing words as they explored the vastness of the Force together—Master and Apprentice…

But it would never be so again, it seemed. It was lost… it was all lost. “Don’t you think I know that?! Don’t you think they know that?! That’s why they want us to leave! There’s no sense in all of us dying here!”

Kyle’s words were cold, relentless, but in his heart Weda knew that the young man spoke the truth. Still, he persisted to struggle and return to his father and his master. Kyle easily overpowered the twelve-year-old, dragging him close to his face as he kneeled down, shaking the boy by the shoulders. “Get a hold of yourself, damnit!” a tear rolled down Kyle’s cheek—this was just as hard for him as his brother, but he had to stay strong, if not for Weda then for himself. “I can’t pretend to know the future, Weda—I don’t know what’s going to happen to them, but I also know that whatever happens won’t be good. They’ve sacrificed this—sacrificed their lives—to save ours. We can’t let that sacrifice be in vain… if we die, their strife will have been all for nothing. Do you want that for mom and dad? Do you want that for Tahnn?” Kyle’s words were softer now, though they were no less effective.

Weda stared blankly at the floor, sobbing weakly, “No…”

“Then come on! We’re getting the hell out of here…”

Kyle took the boy by the wrist, leading him through the shuttle toward the designated area where the escape pods were housed. It wouldn’t be hard to leave the shuttle behind, but once they were in space, it was difficult to say whether or not they would be intercepted by Imperial spacecraft. It was a chance Kyle was willing to take—being cooked by a blaster bolt here was much less appealing to him than being taken out in an explosion in vacuum.

The brothers found the pods quickly, but a zealous steward barred their way, saying, “I’m sorry, gentlemen, but you’re wanted by the Imperial authorities. Please stand down and be taken into custody peaceably…”

Kyle didn’t skip a beat, pulling a small hold-out blaster from under his shirt, pressing the barrel underneath the man’s ribcage with a thrust, “Get outta my way you piece of Imperial-loving shit! or I’ll smear your lunch all over the back wall!”

A barrel to the stomach was all the convincing the steward needed. He threw up his hands with a cowardly moan and stepped back. “You can’t run forever! They will find you eventually!” he shouted at the two as they strapped into the small vessel.

“I’d rather go down with a fight than lie down in submission to those sonsabitches,” quipped Kyle harshly, sealing the hatch and throwing down the manual release restraints for the pod. The vessel rocketed from the hull of the main shuttle at break-neck speed, and all Kyle and Weda could do was watch as it shrunk. Weda pressed a hand to the window as he replayed the events in his head over and over, the sobs seeming to never end. It was then that Kyle took his brother in his arms, holding him tightly, soothing, “That’s it… shhhh … it’s alright… it’s alright…I know…”



=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=


“Xel,” the words were spoken by another brother. One Karn had come to know and even love, “Master Tahnn and I wish to speak with you…”

Xel’Karn opened his eyes, a single tear rolling effortlessly down his cheek. “Wha—“ he started, wiping the bit of moisture away with a sleeve and sniffing once. He didn’t need to continue with further inquiry—his eyes told everything he desired. There, leaning against the trunk of the small oak they sat by, was the man who had first taught him—showed him the mysteries of the Force—and started him on his journey to the man he was now: Tahnn G’Nall. He appeared as clearly as Danolie did, but also somehow ethereal, a faint aura about him, as if Karn was seeing him in a dream.

“It—it just can’t be,” stammered Xel, nearly overwhelmed.

Tahnn smiled warmly. “You remember what I told you that day, all those years ago aboard the shuttle, don’t you, Weda?”

“Of course…” said Karn hoarsely, “I’ve never forgotten… ‘Trust in the path set before you--’”

“—And I will be with you, always.’ And I have been, watching you grow with the Force, mature into a fine young man. Yet I had not been able to emerge from the nether regions of the Force until recently, and now is the first time I have manifest in the form you see before you. But that is a story for another time. Master Danolie and I have decided that you are finally ready to take the last step in your ascension to the next tier in the Force. Titles are almost trivial matters, for your understanding of the Force is far different than others that have risen to the same rank, and others still before them—yet it is something that has been done for thousands of generations even before me, and you are ready to ascend into the lofty ranks of the great Jedi Knights…”
"Greatness is not measured by how well you speak of yourself, but how well others speak of you."

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Post by Notorious » Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:59 pm

"We are all here today because Master G'nall and I both recognize your strength and wisdom. You have but one trial to complete as a padawan, and it is one that some Jedi Knights have yet to accomplish. But for you, it is the only task left to challenge your knowledge of the Force, and with it completed you will have all the skills of a Jedi.”

“You have traveled to the past, the present, and the future through the Force. But there is one realm left to reach - the nether regions of the Force. It takes a deep meditation, a strong focus, and years of training to meet with those who have passed. This is a daunting trial, I know, but if you trust in the Force and follow our guidance than you will succeed. I know you will.”

Danolie took a long breath, pausing before he exhaled, and relaxed his mind and body. Xel’Karn followed closely behind with this same basic technique of preparing oneself for a difficult job. It was instinct by now.

“You will meditate just as you always have.” Danolie stated. “You will leave your body behind and journey through the present. You will look past the universe as you know it and feel the Force around you in its purest form. Then you must connect, Xel, you must leave this world behind and feel only the energy that surrounds you. Become that energy…”

OOC:

I was supposed to go to Utah for the weekend for a black belt clinic but it got cancelled due to too much snow. Sooo, I’m home for the weekend and I’m gonna roleplay! YAAAY!

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Post by WedaScami » Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:00 pm

“You will meditate just as you always have,” instructed his master. “You will leave your body behind and journey through the present. You will look past the universe as you know it and feel the Force around you in its purest form. Then you must connect, Xel, you must leave this world behind and feel only the energy that surrounds you. Become that energy…”

His master’s words seemed distant, somehow. As if he were speaking, and Karn were listening from somewhere outside his body, like he was watching the scene unfolding from a distance. Xel’Karn looked to the visage of his former master, too, whose only response was a simple nod of agreement. The task was daunting, to be sure, but this was the task he was given, and it would be the one that he completed, no matter what it took. He had come too far now to be disconcerted by a mental task such as this.

His newest endeavor reminded him greatly of the one the Jedi Morgana set he and Danolie on while staying on Cecil’s moon. The one that had advanced Xel further into the Force, and honed his understanding of the living Force. Though this task seemed wholly different at the same time. To be one with the Force was something Karn thought only able to be achieved by those who had passed from the mortal plane. Now that he knew it was possible to do so while living, his understanding became more clear.

Their flesh was merely a vessel by which to channel the Force—crude matter that acted as a medium between the luminous plane of the Force and the physical plane. When that vessel was shed through death, it became easier for their true essence to connect with the Force and become one in it The knowledge he gained here would certainly set him apart from the Jedi he once was… and allow him to truly become a Jedi Knight.

“Master Danolie and I will be here with you the whole time, though your journey will be mostly your own when you venture into the Force itself. It is difficult to describe what will happen to you when your essence leaves this plane, but you will certainly know it when you bridge that gap,” instructed Tahnn. “Now it is time to begin.”

Karn nodded slowly, crossing his legs letting his hands lay folded in his lap. He began the exercise just like he had any other time—steadying his breathing to a slow, even pace, controlling his heartbeat, and relaxing every one of his muscles. The most important aspect of this preparation was cleansing the mind of any extraneous thoughts that might be occupying the mind at that time. This was often times particularly difficult, given his youth and naturally curious nature, because so many questions floated within the endless sea of his mind.

The idea of this relaxation and cleansing process was to rid himself of any obstruction of the Force. The body itself acted as a source of friction between the consciousness and the Force, creating a certain degree of difficulty when attempting to tap into its vast power. With this last trial in the Force, it would be necessary to almost completely rid his mind and body of any resistance to the Force, so that he might travel freely within it, and eventually meld his own consciousness with it.

His eyes fluttered shut, and the world was black. Though it wasn’t long before the luminous rays of the beautiful noon Naboo sun shown down on him, warming him and cradling the young man in a warm embrace. He looked down upon himself, as a small animal within the oak above him would. The three of them sat there, though Master Tahnn’s aura seemed to shine greater about his form, nearly blotting out his physical features entirely. Karn was viewing the world through his perception of the Force, and since Tahnn was one with it, he appeared as he did within its vastness—a luminous being.

Karn soon became aware of everything around him. Even the blades of grass swaying lazily in the gentle breeze were made known to Xel. His perception brushed over the ground like a softly-caressing hand, the young man taking in everything he saw. Nearby, a bright crimson ladybug scampered over a leaf—which had a hole near the tip. He saw the birds overhead, and noticed that one of them was feeling hungry. He became aware of the bees laboring nearby, harvesting pollen from a nearby flower—he saw their rudimentary thoughts—linear thinking, focused on one task, repeated over and over. Thus was their instinct, their thoughts uncomplicated by the trivial problems of the galaxy. To them, the world was the flower and the hive; nothing else mattered in the least.

Xel decided that it was time to move on, and his perception finally moved in a flash to Theed, the distance traversed within the millionth of a millionth of a second seemed infinitesimal. To the Force, distance was a negligible variable, for everything existed through the Force. Jumping from their place on Naboo to Theed was as if moving from one atom to another within the crystal structure of a moleule in terms of the Force. And its presence seemed stronger here.

He was guided to the happenings in the capital city. People scuffled here and there preparing for the grand wedding that was to take place there soon. A voice came to him then, “So you’re looking at Theed, hm?” it was Master Tahnn. “I supposed this would be the first stop on your journey. As I said, your senses will take you through the present until you are ready to advance. Until you will it, and the Force will make it so. Do you know why you arrived here?

I’m afraid not,” responded a bodiless Xel, suddenly made aware of his ability to speak in his current “form.”

Because,” came Danolie now; Karn was comforted by his presence as well, “The Force gathers here—you know that Jade is here, along with Esran and Delth. There are other users of the Force here, too. The Force draws us to those who are in tune with it; though Jade and the others’ perceptions of the Force are different than your own.

I understand,” said Xel at length. “But why can’t I see them like I did you, Master Tahnn?

Concentrate, Xel,” came Danolie’s voice.

Karn did as his master instructed, allowing himself not to be occupied with the limitations of his own mind, and instead enticing the Force to sweep his perceptions ahead to what it intended. As his meaningless thoughts were washed away, his perception came to view another being whose aura in the mystic energy field was brightened, but nowhere nearly as bright as Tahnn’s. He came to know this person as Delth. His aura was slightly… different in a way, but it didn’t remind him of the dark side’s presence. It was difficult to explain with words.

“Well Mr. Seinar, the first thing I would like to discuss is Loris and the Wild Star Confederacy. I've been utterly confused as to Loris' intentions in all this. As their ally perhaps you could enlighten me,” he was speaking to Raith Sienar, the subject of the conversation eluded him, however.

His presence is… different,” noted Karn aloud, sure that the man wouldn’t be able to hear. His suspicion proved correct when the man didn’t seem to notice anything out of the ordinary. Karn imagined his presence there was merely but a ripple in the tumultuous sea of the Force.

His understanding of the Force is wholly different than yours or mine,” instructed Tahnn. “He strives to be unlike his father, but the man’s legacy is painted within him like a stigma. You see that he his not wholly given to the Dark side, however, which is why he appears different to us. This is an important lesson to remember, Xel. All of those who know the Force. I mean truly, KNOW the Force, all call upon the same presence in order to use their powers. It is the nature and intention through which these powers are called which sets them apart from Jedi of the light.

Karn heard and understood. So the darkside wasn’t necessarily a different part of the Force, simply the Force utilized differently. It was an interesting concept, and made much sense. “I want to know more,” said Karn, genuinely intrigued by this journey thus far. He wanted to explore the mysteries of the Force, and to know it better.

Then we shall continue…” came Tahnn’s voice, Theed melting away in an instant…
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Post by Notorious » Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:24 pm

Xel’Karn was doing well. He had reached an elite level of meditation, and Danolie couldn’t help but feel proud as he followed his apprentice on this journey. The Jedi Knight could sense the young man’s perceptions and how they grew. Xel understood the Force better now than ever. He understood the universe was like a body, and every piece of matter was a living cell working with everything else to make that body function. On the other hand, distance could not be considered a factor like on a body, because the time it took to travel from one end of the galaxy to the other could be done in an instant. Time was negligible with the help of the Force, and Xel understood this as well. These were all concepts that Danolie and Tahnn could drill into him day after day for two decades, but like all padawans he would have to discover the mysteries himself.

“The galaxy is like an ocean with no obstacles. Everything is accessible, but some currents will push you away. Go to Daltera, find Bonden…”

“The weakest point of the light saber staff is the center,” Bonden declared, holding up his double-bladed weapon. “Traditional staffs require the center to be used as a blocking point, but obviously the handle is not going to be able to deflect an energy blade nor a laser. So remember, if that target is open… use it.”

Bonden Notorious paced in front of a lecture hall filled with young Jedi students. He was dressed in black from head to toe with a pair of gloves to match. If he had blonde hair and blue eyes he would have been the mirror image of Luke Skywalker, but with his long, black hair tightly pulled back and his gloomy dark eyes in complete contrast of the other Jedi Master there were some significant differences.

Bonden was not a typical Jedi, and he was not a typical human being either. He had been trained gruesomely well by the spirit of Exar Kun during his seclusion on Yavin IV, but he had been misguided as well. He aspired to become a Sith Lord, but he was manipulated by his mentor into killing his brother, Danolie. To this day, the motivation behind Exar Kun’s actions are unknown.

Some how he found his way down the path of a teacher. Granted that he was dying to get away for some adventure, but he was not the same Dark Jedi. He packed up his traditional Sith Robes and gave up the ‘dream.’ Bonden gained control over his rage and his lust for power - somewhat because he knew that these emotions left him wide-open for manipulation, but mostly because he discovered that he could channel his energy into love… love for Bree. His mind was a complicated place - powerful, no doubt, but complicated. After listening to his own philosophy, sometimes he worried that he was sounding too much like a Jedi, but pondering the outstanding differences set him at ease.

The older Notorious brother leaned against the academy wall and watched as his students sparred one another with harmless training sabers. Suddenly he felt a presence coming near… The ripples in the Force warned him long before the omniscient being arrived, but he sensed no danger in letting it come close. It felt almost like… Danolie… but younger. The presence touched his mind and yet he did nothing… he just let it roam for a minute. He then closed off the connection like a sliding blast-door and retaliated as if countering a grapple. The Dark Jedi closed his eyes and exhaled sharply, power swiftly cursing through his body. Bonden’s method of tapping into the Force was like igniting a light saber - completely passive at one moment, then a searing hot capsule of energy the next. Like a serpent striking an outstretched hand, Bonden stabbed the dark tendrils of his mind into that being who loomed over him.

Xel’Karn?’ Bonden thought. The brief moment that they were directly connected gave Bonden an insight on who this was. It was Danolie’s apprentice… but what were they doing? Xel’Karn’s defenses rose and he was quickly protected from any harmful attacks that Bonden could send, but nevertheless the window had been there. However, that was not the Dark Jedi’s intention.

Hiding your Force presence while active is one thing - hiding it while you are out of body is another,’ Bonden thought to the Jedi candidate. He didn’t know where Xel was, but he concentrated hard enough to get his message through. ‘You can’t just sneak up on a Dark Jedi like that, my boy.

He is right.’ Danolie agreed. It was exactly his point of putting Xel against Bonden. ‘Before we take the next step, you must learn to be a ghost. Force-users will sense you coming if they are attuned enough, so you must block them. Put up your barriers to prevent attack, and instead of exploring freely… think of yourself as a thief sneaking into a home. Don’t let anyone know you are there.

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Post by WedaScami » Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:50 am

And with but a whisper, Daltera appeared before them. Tahnn, too, would know this place well—for it was where Xel’Karn finally resumed his training under Danolie. His master led Karn to a person that the man new well—Bonden Notorious, a Dark Jedi by title. Xel’Karn, having been trained in the traditions of the Jedi of the Old Republic, was warned vehemently to stray from giving into his more base emotions, thereby giving into a more seductive power. Though as Xel traveled throughout the universe, and encountered more and more individuals with different understandings of the Force, he realized that these supposed “Dark Jedi” were simply using a different aspect of the Force. While Karn would not give in to his feelings, he both understood and accepted different philosophies of the Force.

Bonden was in the middle of teaching class when Karn arrived. The subject of the day’s lesson was the Sith lightsaber—the double-edged staff that was the bane of Jedi for centuries before the Sith order collapsed. Some Jedi of the light side now used such weapons, and the “Sith” connotation it brought was lost to time and understanding. The effectiveness of such a weapon was undeniable in the hands of a skilled Force-user, but the learning curve for it was tremendous, and took vast amounts of focus and dedication to master with any potency.

Karn simply listened to the brother of Danolie for a few moments before he moved in to know more, to see the mind of this brilliant Jedi. As he flowed closer, Bonden seemed to take notice, and his mind lashed out simply to discover who was probing near him. His presence seemed to explode outward as a squid’s tentacles, Karn fortifying his mind against any negative influence Bonden may attempt to administer—though his initial reaction was simply one of defense, when he realized that Karn intended no harm, the Jedi seemed to install a lesson into his mistake. His voice rang through Xel’s mind, a valuable lesson being administered, “Hiding your Force presence while active is one thing - hiding it while you are out of body is another You can’t just sneak up on a Dark Jedi like that, my boy.

Danolie reaffirmed this lesson, and Xel took it to heart. So there was a presence to be felt even when traveling the galaxy on the currents of the Force. A wake, it seemed, that he left even without a body to disturb space. Just as the Force was a single body, his presence within it—though minute-- created the smallest of dimples within its equilibrium. It was this dimple that Bonden had sensed, and it raised the question of whether or not Delth had sensed him, as well. The young Jedi would have to release the bonds of his physical body even more in order to slip unnoticed in harmony with the Force.

A valuable lesson, Bonden,” responded Karn to Notorious, “I thank you.

Tahnn watched this occurrence as a proud father watches a son grow. He was impressed with the progress Xel’Karn had made without his teaching—and knew that this is the way he would’ve wanted Karn to turn out under his tutelage. Though with this lesson learned, it was again time to move on—though not without some additional exploring of Daltera, practicing and honing the new techniques Karn was learning.

Your path to the nether-realms of the Force is almost ready to begin,” instructed the wizened Master. “But there is something else I wish for you to see before we begin. You know the Force is one body, and you know now how to slip further out of the binds of your physical body—now I wish for you to use these two teachings together at once. Use your knowledge… stretch out with your feelings, Xel. You have no doubt sensed the disturbance at the edge of your perceptions… the hint of a terrible darkness looming like a storm cloud at the brink of what you can feel through the Force. Now that you have expanded that perception, I want you to explore the outer edges of this galaxy and find the source of that darkness. I feel that you are ready to see what fate awaits the galaxy. What you see may frighten you, but I want you to look past your flesh… and see your enemy.


OOC: Dan, I’m talking here about the Xen’Chi. I’ve hinted at Karn sensing a disturbance on the Outer Rim, but he wasn’t at the level he is at now when he discovered it. I thought this would be a good lead-in to reaching a “oneness” with the Force.
"Greatness is not measured by how well you speak of yourself, but how well others speak of you."

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Post by Notorious » Sun May 14, 2006 7:30 pm

Across the galaxy, deep into the unknown regions, a new threat far greater than any danger ever offered by the Empire or New Republic awaited the three Jedi of new and old. Xel’Karn and Danolie had once dealt with Gait when they were on Cecil’s Moon being tutored by another Jedi Master. Ironically enough Cecil’s Moon was brutally taken by the Xen’Chi, and the fate of Master Morgana was currently unknown. However, almost every force-sensitive experienced the same encounter no matter where they were or what they were doing, which turned Gait into a galactically known but also veiled threat to many and not just the trio of Jedi. Gait was a powerful and mysterious being, and investigating her territory would be both challenging and dangerous. Danolie felt the tiniest hint of anxiety, but he over came the sensation just as Xel would have to.

There was a place outside of every governments’ records - a dark, dreary, volcanic planet with ashes for a sky and wickedly shaped structures made by a wickedly shaped race - and sitting on the thrown above it all was Gait: a force-sensitive artificially-intelligent organic-possessing alien; she could very well be the most paradoxical being to ever exist. Her powers, a mystery all on their own, granted her the ability to sneak her way into being the religious icon of the warrior-race, the Xen’Chi. Of course, Danolie and Xel did not know this much about her. All they knew was the dark side, the energy she emitted, the danger she posed, and the fact that a Jedi Knight died in order to release what little information the galaxy had. Very few had dared to go on the search they were starting, but then again very few had an omnipotent Jedi on their side. Tahnn was an invaluable asset for this quest because he was one with the Force and stronger than any living Jedi.

“Control your fear, my friend,” Danolie said, his words pre-emptive. For this journey there were some things that Xel needed to know before he experienced them. “To be successful you must not be perceived by any force-user, and emotion is the strongest, easiest thing to sense. We will be with you every step of the way, but danger is imminent nonetheless.”

There was another challenge for the maturing apprentice aside from masking his presence. Xel was required to find the Xen’Chi and Gait on his own. He would have to stretch his feelings to the limit, and then he would have to realize that there truly is no limit. With the Force, everything is limitless, and a Jedi Knight must grasp that concept.

Into the shadows they went. The darkness was growing like a sun slipping behind the clouds, but somehow the bigger it got, the harder it was to see. Everything was engulfed in shadows, pain, and death. The ultimate enemy awaited them…

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Post by WedaScami » Tue May 16, 2006 10:50 pm

And so it came time for Weda’s most trying test yet. He would be required to face the greatest evil he’d ever encountered, and face it from the shadows—without so much as a trace of human emotion. It was easy enough for Tahnn to do this, his presence in the Force was easily concealed—he could ride its ebb and flow undetected without so much as batting an eyebrow. Such was the power of one totally in tune with the Force. It seemed that Karn’s newest task would bring him as close as ever to coming to that equilibrium. It was ironic, almost—that he be invading the darkness from the darkness; using its own defense against itself.

His thoughts were once again cleared of any extraneous perceptions of the mind. Such distractions lead down paths which cleared the way to experiencing potent emotions. The smallest trigger could set of an electrochemical reaction in his mind which caused him to recall an event—any event—which invoked emotion, and thus gave him away and would make him vulnerable to attack. With his consciousness so far removed from his body, it was even possible to have the two separated—and the young man’s spirit wander the cosmos while his body remain comatose.

Exercises such as these were only permitted to be performed under strict circumstances, and under the supervision of a Knight of considerable experience. In Karn’s case, he had both a Knight and a Jedi Master to see him along in his journey. Though their touch would be minimal, their backing and influence would continue to be there in the case of an emergency. Now there was the matter of finding the evil which threatened all things.

It would seem that such a dark presence would be easily found by a Jedi. Indeed, many-a-time it would have been easy to overturn the rock under which such a vile presence was hiding. But this evil was such a quiet thing, its venomous talons poised to strike at the heart of the galaxy, that it was somewhat difficult to find. It did not wish to reveal itself in its entirety, so as to keep the galaxy on edge and guessing as to how massive this phantom menace actually was. And there were so many rocks to overturn in that great ocean of a galaxy…

“Where do I even begin?” was the first and most logical question by the student.

“Search your feelings,” was the only answer Tahnn would afford. “This journey is yours, and yours alone. Your heart will know where to find this Evil. The place where your heart grows still and becomes as an arctic frost. Where your deepest fears live and fester like an infected wound. That is where she lies. That is where Gait is enthroned. You must overcome your fear, or you will fail.”

Tahnn’s words were hard as stone, but he spoke the truth. These were Karn’s trials, and he now approached the part of his journey which would challenge him the most. Perhaps the knowledge he gained from the journey would even aid in resisting this blackened threat. Whatever the case, now was the time to begin this journey, where there would be no turning back.

At first, Xel wandered aimlessly through the infinite sea of stars. Jumping from one point to another in a fraction of a fraction of second, it was apparent to the onlooker that the young Jedi’s mastery of bodiless travel through the cosmos had been perfected, but it still did not get him any closer to finding Gait and the Xen’Chi. It was time to push beyond what he knew, what he saw to be the limits of the galaxy, to plunge into the unknown, and the darkness of uncertainty. Then he felt it—a sharp pinprick of coldness. He turned his attention to it, focused on its source.

His consciousness flowed hundreds of light years toward the disturbance, bringing the cold closer to him, as if he welcomed it. The young man fortified himself against the frigidness that threatened to consume him now—it enveloped him, and as expected; fear and anxiety attempted to wriggle their way through his defenses. His training with Morgana helped him to concentrate on the minutest part of his consciousness—defending it like a battlement against an encroaching army.

The sting of war touched the space over Endor. An entire ship broke apart and thousands of men lost their lives in a bitter skirmish above the forest moon. The Xen’Chi knew war and its cruel wrath well, and fear seemed to be as potent a weapon in their arsenal as any other. Karn’s consciousness watched as lives were exhausted. He watched without fear, watched without emotion—to remove one’s humanity entirely from such atrocity was a feat in and of itself, though it was also dangerous for a Jedi.

They employed some sort of energy weapon. Xel focused on the vessel of that dreaded race, explored its surfaces. The main weapon aboard the cruiser seemed to rely on a microbe of some sort—each living organism using energy to feed itself, and it was that energy that was also used to power every aspect of the Xen’Chi’s ship. The beam that erupted from the main weapon system was also comprised of these microbes, and sunk easily into the frigate which it attacked.

Karn felt helpless, his heart fluttered upon witnessing first-hand the genocide before him. His defenses were strong, and he felt as though he were in a dream—or a nightmare. Xel now knew the presence of these monsters, felt their affinity for their adversaries. He could find them more easily now—and so he did…

His path finally brought him to uncharted space—where the cold sting he experienced before was magnified ten-fold. The dark side of the Force swirled here like a maelstrom, hovering over the area like moths to a fire. At the nucleus of this blackness was a small, pitch-colored world that burned with eternal fire. The sky rained fire and ash, and the ground was cracked and rocky. Karn’s consciousness soared over the broken landscape—a small wonder these creatures were so cruel. Their world was equally as cruel and inhospitable.

Though it was not the physical portion of this odyssey that had Karn concerned. The darkness that surrounded him was nearly overwhelming. It was all he could do to press forward and fend it off. He felt cold, and exhausted—as if he had just plunged into near-freezing water and was now nearly overcome with hypothermia. He called the Force to him, but its light and presence seemed as only a distant pinprick—like a star whose light only faintly shown through thick clouds. His journey across the surface of this hellish world halted momentarily as he centered himself, collected his thoughts, but that nightmarish presence would not waver—would not go away as much as he willed it. It pressed even harder against his will…

Fear…

Fear attracts the fearful…

The strong…

The weak…

The innocent…

Fear…


Weda was almost frightened. Only the thought that he might be lost in the Force and to the dark side kept him from losing all sanity. He felt alone, isolated here on this world. Far from family, from friends, from Danolie and Tahnn. He was alone, and afraid…

No!” his mind screamed.

This is it, Xel!” came Tahnn’s steady voice. “Trust in your feelings! Trust in your wisdom and in your knowledge! Push through what you know to be your physical boundaries and embrace the Force! Let yourself become it!

I… yah! Ah!” stuttered Karn, threatening to give himself away to that terrible presence that would reap him of his spirit so far from his physical body.

Trust yourself…” came Danolie’s voice. “Trust us. You can do this, we are here, always.

Xel could feel himself fading, his spirit giving way to the incalculable darkness. He was dying—a slow and painful death, more insufferable than anything he had ever known. Physically he would have appeared normal all those light years away from his spirit, but here on this desolate, forgotten place, he was in agony—and that did not begin to describe what he was going through. “I… will… not… give in!” The blackness closed in around him, suffocating him like a pool of tar, drowning out all light. The light was fading all around him.

Suddenly, as he was about to fade into oblivion, his pain evaporated. He forgot about the darkness and the cold as it suddenly disintegrated. There was no more suffering—all he knew was the Force. His agony was gone, as if it had never existed. Suddenly he became aware of all the blackness that coated that planet like a parasite, feeding off the emotions of that dark ruler—Gait. She was there, but suddenly she had become insignificant—a mere speck in his eyes. And what did he see?

Everything. The galaxy was as small as a molecule in his eyes. He saw the vitality of all living things—even knew the presence of inorganic, inanimate objects in their displacement of the Force… of himself. He saw Gait and nearly scoffed—she was a being limited by her hatred, and in her short-sightedness did not see what she could truly become a part of. The young Jedi did not yet fully grasp what had happened. One instant he was on the brink of death and the next he was looking down at the greatest of evils without so much as a flutter of an eyelash. All of a sudden he was everywhere, and he was nowhere. He was everyone, and he was no one. Xel’Karn had become one with the Force.
"Greatness is not measured by how well you speak of yourself, but how well others speak of you."

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Post by Notorious » Wed May 17, 2006 1:52 am

‘He has done it!’

Though his spirit and mind were millions of light-years away in what might have been considered another dimension by the reasons of science, Danolie’s body somehow accomplished a smile as a result of the intoxicating happiness the Jedi Knight felt in response to Xel’Karn’s, or Weda Scami’s, success in reaching the ultimate goal of all Jedi. Notorious could not have been more proud, and from his position he could see a new light radiating from his recently promoted apprentice. The newly acquired power and wisdom of infinite strength and reach were as visible as a new haircut when observed with the Force. Xel’Karn was a new man; he was a Jedi Knight.

‘Congratulations, my son. A promoted Jedi Knight is an honor to far more than just the Jedi promoted.’

Danolie noticed a new voice - a fourth one completely unheard by his two companions. Only he could hear this new addition to the group, and it arose some curiosity in him. Who was witnessing this ritual from the outside and why? Notorious reached out and tried to touch this individual, but he failed. As quickly and quietly as the presence had appeared it was gone without a trace. Danolie abandoned his efforts and returned to the situation at hand without a whim or trace of emotion aside from curiosity. He would deal with the matter later, but for the moment there were more important things. After all, Xel had successfully completely one of the most difficult Jedi Trials ever held.

The darkness washed away. The planets soared by like a backwards trip through hyperspace. Trillions upon trillions of life forms were sensed and then passed. Tahnn, Danolie, and Xel all traveled together to the reality of Naboo, to the now. Danolie eased himself out of his meditation and exhaled softly. Master Tahnn was already standing before them with a smile on his face and an idea in his head. Xel’s eyes began to flutter, meaning that his spirit was quickly returning. Danolie stood to his full height of six feet and five inches, then joined Master Tahnn’s side. While Xel gradually returned from his enlightening experienced, Danolie and Tahnn were waiting for him.

Notorious pressed the activation switch on his silvery hilt and a pale blue blade leapt from the lifeless metal. Once Xel’s eyes were wide open, locked on his, and completely aware of the situation, Danolie positioned his blade above one of his apprentice’s shoulders.

“Congratulations, Xel’Karn. You have proven your skills, your worth, and yourself a thousand times over. As a Jedi Knight of no order but the Force, the infinite and omnipotent resource from which all of matter is related, I hereby pronounce you…” Danolie lifted his saber and placed it above the other shoulder, “…defender of peace and justice, philosopher and historian, diplomat and warrior, a new hope to the galaxy in this coming storm, Xel’Karn; Jedi Knight.

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