Marked of the Wanderer
Temple of Sorrow, Calabrex
Balance and Chaos
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The Marked are an esoteric cult of dark mages, sorcerers and witches. Their teachings are built around a mythical figure known only as the Wanderer, whose eternal journey symbolises the never ending search for knowledge—and, in turn, mastery of the Force. Forever shrouded in secrecy, none know exactly where or when the Marked originated, other than that it was sometime before the rise of the old Sith Empire. Their teachings first came to Antei, specifically Calabrex, through the original Star Chamber's Krath Triumvir, Tiamat.
Forgotten once again following the Obscuration, the Marked resurfaced during the age of the Galactic Empire under Kiln Tobasa, who passed his teachings onto an apprentice, Trevarus Caerick. It was through the Third Sight that Caerick glanced his vision of a future in which the dark side was finally ascendant. His vision is what led the Star Chamber's Oracle to first prophesy the Final Way—as he recorded in the Chronicle of Dark Souls, and later the Dark Side Compendium itself—believing it to be the Dark Lord of the Brotherhood who he saw seated atop the Throne of Balance as the undisputed master of all.
The first Student of Darth is known only as the Wanderer. What we know about him, is hidden in mystery and legend. In the days when hyperspace travel was still a young technology, he was gifted with the Sight to see beyond the stars. He wandered far and wide in the galaxy, seeing much in five decades, before he crashed on a far distant world. In the Tales of the Third Sight, the accounts of the Wanderer’s meeting with Darth are chronicled as coursing over three days, each day, the Master of our Masters approached the Wanderer, asking questions of him, and seeking his replies. Darth took the Wanderer as his first Apprentice, and together they traveled to the center of the Galaxy.
As the First Apprentice’s insight grew, he saw the Dark Side as the same crossed web of his own travels. Seeing much, and wandering far, he saw the interconnections of the Dark Side in all things. Even after Darth left, when the Schism between the Sons of Light and Darkness grew so great, the Wanderer was able to find his Master by tracing the connection between Master and Student.
According to an account given by the student of the Wanderer, his Master traced an eye in the middle of the his own forehead, jagged and bloody, with a sharp piece of stone from the cursed sands of Korriban. His blood spilled, dooming that world to Darkness forever, as the heart of the Sith Empire. It is said that the Eye first opened, and he was able to trace the Weavery of the Dark Side, through a strange power he called The Sight.
Over the course of ten thousand years, the Marked, as the students of the Wanderer began to refer to themselves, traveled far and wide, as did their Master. The goal of each of the Marked, is to study the Dark Side, in all its permutations, to be better able to understand the implications of the Final Order.
Trevarus Caerick reigns as Prima, after having banished the soul of Kiln Tobasa to final death. Trevarus has taken a few students, and teaches them the ancient ways of this arcane school of Dark Side philosophy.
Words of the Marked
- Balance, The: The unity of the Force before the separation of the Light and Dark Forces. Also called the Essence. Is the full some of the struggle of the War of Beginning, as it is manifested in the balance of lights and darkness in the Universe.
- Chaos: The inherent instability that is predicated on the idea of Choice. Each choice, has a particular reaction, that can establish, or destroy threads of Light and Dark influence.
- Chronicle of Dark Souls: The compilation of Dark Side wisdom assembled by the Krath Scholar, Trevarus Caerick. It is divided into three books: The Book of Memories, the Book of Wisdom, and the Book of Twilight.
- Pluck: The act of manipulating a Thread, to various ends.
- Points: A focus of Light or Dark energy, usually a person, but also pertains to places and objects, also called Nodes
- Mark, The: The Mark of the Wanderer, the strange tattoo of an eye that is marked in the middle of the forehead, of all Marked of the Wanderer. When the Sight is called, the Mark opens; it appears as a violet-red orb, with a heavy lid, glows violetly when aroused
- Mundane: Those who do not possess the capacity to become Jedi
- Third Sight, The: The power granted by the Mark, to see the interconnections of the Tapestry, and to pluck them.
- Thread: A connection between two Points, as an expression of the Balance. A thread is always light or dark, though an individual person or object may express threads of either Force. Threads vary in thickness, revealing their strength and potential possibilities; the thicker a thread, the more powerful and the more possible outcomes. Light influence will appear as a blindingly white pulse of energy, dark influences will appear as thick oily bands of shadow.
- Weavery, The: The web of connections between points also referred to as the Tapestry.
The Methodology of Madness
First, there is the Balance, as the expression of the conflict between the Light and Darkness. The Balance was once in perfect unison, neither light nor dark, but an endless Void of Nothingness. According to the Book of Memories, the War of Beginning started with the emergence of Chaos, as the expression of Choice. Choice represents the force Chaos, as the supreme radical, and unknown. Every decision made by a sentient being, is an expression of chaos. The War was fought between the Great Sword of Darkness, and the Great Shield of Light. For seven days, and seven nights, the two Forces battles, the power screaming like thunder through the Void. As they battled, great chips of each were felled. Each shard of light became a single star. Each shard of Sword, in turn became a planet, or moon.
Life, and the emergence of Choice, became the vehicle by which the Choice spread. Life creates the Force, and strengthens the War. It is the Choices between Light and Darkness that upsets the Balance.
Every decision made, is an expression of Light and Dark.
Dark Jedi uses his power to influence another, a point is established. The ancient tombs of Korriban are an utter maze of Points and Threads. Great cobwebs of interconnections stretch between the tombs themselves, and Threads even lead where none can follow, presumably into the Dark Side itself, and the spirit-forms of the entities that created the threads.
Conversely, selflessness is the heart of the Light. Expressions of love, joy, purity, and altruism create a Point and Thread of Light influence. Powerful Jedi Masters are few and far between, even with the fall of the Empire, and the collapse of the Sith Empire. Their lack of influence on the Light Side has significantly weakened the Tapestry of Light. Some records of Marked of nights long past, recount days when it was hard to follow Threads of Darkness across the Galaxy, because of the obscuring influence of so much light.
Within the Balance, there is a spectrum of connections, with there being few beings of only Light Threads, and few beings of wholly Dark Influence. Most fall somewhere in between, either towards light or darkness. Each choice, each emotion, can create or destroy a thread. As the individual moves towards either end of the spectrum, they become even more susceptible to the influence of either Force. The goal of the Marked is twofold. First, they strive to See as many connections as possible, especially within themselves. Second, they seek to influence the connections they see, to create more Dark Points.
Most of the Marked are great wanderers themselves, searching far and wide. Most recognize a thick black thread that seems to lead to nowhere, into the Force itself, apparently. It is believed that this is the Influence of the Wanderer on their spirits. In following this Thread, many have been lead to places of great importance, gaining valuable insight. It is said, that in his compilation of the Chronicle of Dark Souls, Trevarus Caerick spent the better part of three years following his own connection far and wide across the Galaxy proper.
Finally, the Marked seek to gain mastery of the very essence of Chaos. They seek to make every aspect of their existence, a careful choice. They recognize that the Dark Side requires a dangerous path. Many Dark Jedi, with insufficient knowledge, have fallen prey to their emotions, being a richer fuel for access to the power of the Dark Side. They fall to powerful expressions of anger, hatred, and other emanations of the Dark Side. While it is possible to create powerful points and threads of Dark influence though the unleashing of powerful emotions, the Dark Jedi becomes mentally unstable. Rather than creating one massive connection, the Marked seek to increase their influence, through the creation of many, smaller threads, to gain access to more power, by the exponential strength of each new connection, as it relates to the whole. They will work to instill fear, doubt and misapprehension, rather than reverting to their baser powers over the Mind, that way, there are many threads connecting them to the Dark Side itself, and if one fails, they have lost little in terms of overall power.
It is this factor, the Individual Balance, that most interests the Marked. By expelling their Threads of Light, and increasing their Threads of Darkness, they become more powerful in the Dark Side. With so many threads connecting them, it becomes much easier to use the Dark Side for more subtle, or even minor workings. A simple feat, such as a minor use of Telekinesis, is the creation of a thread, between the point of the Jedi, and the point of the telekinetically manipulated object. The strength of the Jedi’s will alone establishes that thread, but it only goes one way. It gains the Jedi some temporary benefit.
To truly establish connections, they must have others making choices about them. A thread from another, with the Jedi as the object of fear, creates a powerful Thread. The Jedi draws on this Thread for greater power.
The ultimate goal of the Marked of the Wanderer, is to herald the Final Order. According to their prophecies, the Herald shall emerge during a time of great galactic strife, to be called by the Seven Who Stand in Darkness. None is sure what this means, but each has their own ideas. They comb the Dark Side, looking for powerful connections that might lead them to a greater understanding. They believe that when the Balance is destroyed, their insight will grant them the full power of Chaos, that their own designs will govern reality, with perfect harmony.
A Practical Lesson
Transcribed by an unknown Erro from the words of Trevarus Caerick
“See the teeming masses of Mundane, young one? Look around, with your two eyes. Everywhere you look are criminals, lovers, parents, sons, daughters, and addicts. Each label, is actually a thread of influence. Each of these beings crowded in this market, is a tangled interconnection of influences, that push and pull them through their daily lives. Each choice they make, brings Chaos into their souls. Every time they look around, something is happening to bring instability to them.”
“Here are two lovers. They do not see us, but we can watch the connections pulling between them. Look at the strands of light, the way they twist and twirl around each other, like a braided cord. Each cord, or Thread, is made up of many smaller threads, these are the threads of possibility. You see how some connect the lovers, while others are frayed, and broken. Each individual Thread between these lovers, represents a relationship of possibility. Some, are thin and worn looking, less bright than others. I can pluck on each, like a fine harp. Each pull will cause some reaction. Watch his mind as I tug here….” “You saw the glimmer of revulsion, did you not? Excellent. Each thread may be affected with the proper insight. A small shadowed thread has been created now, the potential for chaos and Darkness has been increased. Use your will, and take that thread, weave it through the other strands that mark this place. Attach to that other female, and watch his eyes avert. He is lustful now, less mindful of his lover. You see more Dark threads snaking back and forth. We have caused discord, and strife. Their relationship will never be the same.”
“That thread? Why, it pleases me that you asked. Even as I touched the mind of that young man, a thread connected my Point, to his. The Darkness that marks my place in the Weavery, as you can see, is a maze of threads. Some lead in, others lead outwards. I am quite influential, and many have influences on me. This thread is of particular interest to me, and I watch it carefully, to see when…..that is none of your concern, young one.”
“You can even see the threads connecting you and I. As your teacher, my influence over your is great. You have slight influence over others, but as you rise in stature within the Brotherhood, so too will the number of threads leading from your Point. Even the Mundanes who pass by, and feel a glimmer of fear, from the radiance of my power, establish a connection to me, that empowers me. You can draw power from the connections others establish to you. In turn, you might lose strength from those who influence you. The respect that you show to the Grand Master, or your Consul, enhances their place in the Dark Side.”
“As your Sight develops, you will begin to see even more intricate and delicate weavings of influence. Each a single thread, might be a maze of deeper interconnections, exhibiting the endless possibilities inherent in Chaos. Even the manipulation of a single minute possibility, can have a massive impact on the end result. Each move you make, must be carefully considered, lest the whole scheme unravel at your very fingertips. Make judicious use of your Understanding. The Sight is powerful, and its influence great. The Strength of your will alone is often sufficient to establish a connection, without resorting to the manipulation of preexisting threads.”
“When the Balance shifts, you will be the most prepared to take advantage of the possibilities, young one. The best advice I can give for the future, will always be to travel far, and see much. Follow the thick thread that leads into the Void, let is show you mysteries that perhaps I am not even privy to. As your own knowledge increases, you affect the Brotherhood, and the Order, strengthening our resolve, and driving us closer to the Time of Unending Darkness.”
The Threads that Spin
The Marked of the Wanderer are among the most zealous archaeological lore-seekers in the galaxy. Applicants must spend at least a month in the field with a member of the School. Further, they prize scholarship and research capabilities. This requires that they bring one lost fragment of the Chronicle of Dark Souls and present it to the Master of the School, Trevarus Caerick. If he is suitably impressed with their abilities, they will be admitted.
- Rank of Krath Archpriest or Militant Equivalent.
- Active in the Krath Order for one year, or equivalent Militant Order
- Participated in three Order-wide competitions, including at least one Great Jedi War or Krath Rite of Supremacy
- Written one work (100 lines) acceptable for inclusion in the Chronicle of Dark Souls
- Final approval by Trevarus Caerick
Titles of the Wanderers
- Erro Marked of the Wanderer: These are the newest initiates into the Marked of the Wanderer. They are always the direct Apprentice of a Thrice Marked, and less frequently to a Secunda.
- Thrice Marked of the Wanderer: Generally, the Thrice Marked are high-level Equites or newly appointed Elders. They are always directly Apprenticed to a Secunda Marked. There are never more than three Thrice Marked.
- Secunda Marked of the Wanderer: These are two of the most powerful Marked, and are always the direct Apprentices of the Prima. They never number more than Two, and are always powerful Elders
- Prima Marked of the Wanderer: This Jedi is the direct representative of the Wanderer himself, and is the most powerful Marked. He oversees the whole body of the Marked of the Wanderer.
Gifts of the Mark
Due to the unique philosophies of the Marked of the Wanderer, they have many interesting ways of detecting the influence of the Force. Any Marked need only open the Mark, to identify a Jedi using a Force Power. A Dark Jedi’s power will show as a Thread of Shadow connecting the Jedi to the object of their power. In the same idea, they can detect the relative level of the Jedi’s strength, by determining the number, and power of the threads leading into, and out of the Dark Jedi. A Grand Master will have almost no threads leading in, and will have innumerable threads leading out. The relative size of their Point, will also be like a huge pool of shadow, pulsing along their connections.
A Light Jedi too, may be identified in the same way, with their threads coursing as beams of pure white light.
The most powerful of the Marked, can influence the Threads that they can see. This process, of Plucking, can adjust the way the Force influences the interconnected points. For instance, it might be possible for a Marked to cause a thread connecting a Jedi to his lightsaber to break, and the Jedi would drop his weapon. Or, a Jedi studying his opponent, anticipating his attacks, might find that his judgments are wholly incorrect, and be greviously wounded, or even slain. Obviously, the relationships between Rank still apply. A Marked of the status of Krath Priest, would not be able to easily alter the threads of an Adept.
Finally, the Sight of the Mark assists the Jedi in strengthening the interrelationships of groups of magicians, working in unison. By fortifying the bonds between the participants, their magic can be rendered all but impervious to failure.