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 [White Paper] - Masters of Light & Shadow: The Disciples of Twilight - Belloq Tull

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Rennek Cor
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PostSubject: [White Paper] - Masters of Light & Shadow: The Disciples of Twilight - Belloq Tull    Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:30 am

Masters of Light and Shadow:
The Disciples of Twilight:

"They arrived without warning and attacked us with illusions so real that we emptied all of our blaster packs, then frantically searched for more. The visions terrified us to the point that we buried our heads in the dirt, at least, those of us who hadn't already fallen unconscious from fright. Then, when we'd finally regained our senses, we watched them calmly vanish into the shadows right before our eyes. The men have respectfully asked that we be relieved of this mission, and never sent back to this accursed moon again."
    -- Part of an intercepted military communique transmitted from an area within the Varada sector

The Founding of The Disciples
Known Force Discoveries
    Cloak of Shadow/Shadow Armor
    Shadow Vision
    Shadow Enemies
Source Material

•• Introduction ••

There have been many Force-user affiliations throughout time, the most well-known being The Jedi Order and The Sith. These ancient groups have perfected their knowledge of the Force over millennia, spreading throughout known space, and influencing or directly creating other Force user groups in every corner of the galaxy.

One of the youngest and most reclusive of these derivative groups is the little-known order that calls itself The Disciples of Twilight. Located in the far southwestern corner of the galaxy, the Disciples do not seek out new members, nor do they allow non-members to train in their ways. Their methods and techniques are known only to themselves and a select few outsiders who have either left to found affiliated (and equally secretive groups), or who work to maintain the same code of ethics the Disciples call "shadow justice."

The reason the Disciples are so interesting is due to their unique accomplishments in Force manipulation. Where other orders have long ago settled in the specialization of telekinetic or mind-affecting powers, the Disciples have mastered Force skills uniquely suited to their homeworld. More than any other comparable group, they have developed a set of powers that appear perfectly suited to their particular circumstances.

•• The Founding of The Disciples ••

Nine hundred years before the current era, so the Disciples' own legends tell, a female known to history only as Twilight left her fellow Force users elsewhere in the galaxy, and found herself on the small moon Dyspeth. It's not clear whether she sought out the moon on purpose, or whether her arrival was an accident (though there are some Force users who claim "accidents" are merely the will of the Force acting behind the scenes). Regardless, soon after her arrival, she began to organize and train the few humans on the dark and shadowy moon in the ways of the Force as she'd learned them.

But she began to teach them something more. Dyspeth was a dark and foreboding location, about the same size as the planet-moon Endor and covered with a similar forest-jungle environment. The difference was that Dyspeth was perpetually enshrouded in shadow, due in part to the thickness and opacity of its atmosphere. The indigenous flora and fauna had long ago adapted to the low-light environment, and the human population that had settled there had chosen the isolation of that moon in order to separate themselves from the incessant warring that had plagued so much of the galaxy.

This female Force user, whom they soon dubbed Twilight, began to adapt and modify her superior skills in manipulating the Force to the local conditions of Dyspeth. With the help of local Force adepts, she began to experiment in using the Force to conceal a user as well as objects and, for those truly gifted, entities as large as space-going vessels. Her early adherents also developed skills for penetrating the darkness, allowing for improved means of detecting enemies. On top of these unique skills, she added her already considerable talent of creating illusionary enemies, a subtle variation on the iconic Jedi skill Mind Trick.

In time, the nascent group became skilled Force users of the highest order, specialists in the art of camouflage and concealment. Living in their moon's ever-present darkness allowed them to hone their Force abilities to such an extent that they became experts in the art of light and shadow, talents that few in the galaxy had ever even guessed at.

In return for the training and guidance that Twilight provided, the local human population shared their dedication to an ideal they called "shadowy justice," revolving around the protection of the weak against the tyranny and greed of the strong. As the Force would have it, that view fit in perfectly with what Twilight considered her own goals, and their bond grew ever deeper.

When she passed away many decades later, the group had grown into a true Force discipline, capable of training new members of their small community and further enhancing the discoveries Twilight had helped them perfect. In her honor, they began to refer to themselves as The Disciples of Twilight, or more simply among each other as The Disciples. Their dedication to her honor, as well as to their own core beliefs, has remained strong into present times, some nine centuries later.

•• Known Force Discoveries ••

The one particular Force skill that the Disciples seemed to have mastered above all others is a rare skill known to other Force groups as Force Cloaking. The Disciples' variant is much more than the limited camouflage that the occasional Force user has some inherent talent in, for it's a skill that is rarely taught even among the Jedi. The Disciples' use of it approaches true invisibility in a way that few others in the galaxy have realized, save perhaps the Fallanassi, an all-female group located in the Koornacht Cluster, in their special haven on the planet J't'p'tan. The Fallanassi have also discovered techniques of bending light using the Force, though they reserve their skill primarily for the creation of powerful illusions.

The Disciples, however, have been in existence for many more centuries, and have benefited from those years to attain a much greater mastery of this cloaking technique. They have perfected their understanding to such a degree that an expert can remove all traces of heat signature as well as electromagnetic radiation from an entire area, in addition to visible light and other similar spectra. Where other users, such as the Jedi, would leave a faint wisp surrounding themselves even under the best of conditions, the Disciples can achieve for all intents and purposes true invisibility, extending to mechanical means like those employed by droids and even the most powerful of sensors.

Its ability to render a user completely immune to all detection has led some in the community to dub the skill Force Armor, though their natural desire to remain apart from galaxy-wide warfare means that it is more commonly referred to as the Cloak of Shadow.

Living in such perpetual darkness dictated that the human population needed to be able to pierce those shadows to protect themselves from predators both natural and sentient. They developed a Force skill known as Shadow Vision, which grants practitioners the ability to see with perfect clarity even in the darkest of conditions, and allowing them to negate any concealment or attempt at stealth. The ability to see in utter darkness, combined with their skill at invisibility, has given the Disciples an incredibly effective dual means of defeating any intruders that dare venture to Dyspeth's inky surface.

Such experimentation into the use of visible and invisible sources of radiation led to the discovery of a secondary skill which they call Revelation. This ability, whether intentionally or not, mimics the residual trace energy left behind by practitioners of the inferior Force Cloak skill. Those Disciples who call upon the Force to grant them this Revelation find that their potential enemies are outlined with a faint illumination, making even those who might consider themselves experts in concealment and camouflage stand out like glowing torches.

Along with enhanced vision and concealment, the Disciples have become experts at creating powerful Force illusions, which they call Shadow Enemies. These illusions can be fully controlled by the Disciple, to the point where an opponent would see them even in an electronic display, though upon playback, no image would be present. Though they have been studious in avoiding choosing sides in the many wars since their founding, the Disciples have no qualms about using the full might of their skills to defend their community against any and all unwelcome intrusion. Many a potential student has been sent screaming in terror through the darkened forests and jungles of Dyspeth, begging only for the chance to reach their ship and get away from this nightmarish land.

•• Conclusion ••

Where this paper has covered Force powers that are considered "conventional" by the Force community at large, there is general agreement that such powers fall within the bounds of similar Force skills as practiced by other Force groups. But when we discuss the way in which they can seemingly make objects disappear from sight, we're venturing into less conventional practices. When we try to dissect their ability to manipulate the Force to conceal themselves, a location or an item, we're trying to comprehend a skill that is very different than most other sets of Force skills, using a technique only the Disciples themselves truly understand.

Uncounted documents and tomes from ages past describe how Force users can manipulate the living Force (under all of its various names) to accomplish seemingly impossible achievements. But all of these powers rely on the well-understood fact that the Force is created by all living things, from the smallest bacteria and vegetable matter on up to fully sentient beings. The Disciples, though, appear unique in their ability to carry their skills off-planet and into deepspace itself, where no planets or creatures exits. The question then is, how do the Disciples manage to power their skills in the empty vacuum of space, where no living material manufactures the necessary Force?

There are those who claim to know how their effects are produced, using something called zero-point energy, but this connection remains an unproven theory. There have been recent advances in grasping the concept of how the vacuum of space can contain supposedly limitless energy, but there are only a handful of top scientists who are pursuing this line of research, and few of their employers appear willing to let them share their conclusions with the rest of the galaxy. The greater majority of the scientific community currently accepts that zero-point energy does indeed exist, but that the harnessing of such energy as a viable power source is merely pseudoscience, and not worthy of serious debate.

For now, we have to be content in the knowledge that the Disciples possess a set of talents that few others in the galaxy can duplicate, and leave it at that.

There will doubtless be others who will want to investigate their skills in depth, but the modest community has demonstrated an incredible resiliency to coercion, whether through offers of personal gain or threats of violence. They have been so extremely selective in whom they share their techniques with that few sentients offworld have been willing to even discuss their skills in public.

This limited look into their background, and the accompanying overview of the achievements they've made in using the Force, has only been published with the aid and permission of certain high-level members of the Disciples themselves, in hopes of reducing the number of requests to study their techniques, and limiting those who, for their own purposes, desire to add their skills to their own repertories.

The Disciples wish merely to be left alone, to live among the shadows of their small moon, and to practice their unique arts in peace and isolation.

•• Source Material ••

Please note: As indicated above, the Disciples are interested primarily in being left in peace by the rest of the galaxy. Requests to study any of the skills mentioned in this paper will most likely be met initially with polite but firm refusal, and if that fails, with more aggressive responses.

Any interested parties who wish to learn more about their techniques are requested to contact the author of this article, Imperator Belloq Tull of The Wraiths, who will no doubt be happy to share the results of his research with all reputable parties and respectful individuals.

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[White Paper] - Masters of Light & Shadow: The Disciples of Twilight - Belloq Tull
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