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Balance of The Force is necessary for the universe to thrive. Without balance, everything falls apart…we are charged with maintaining this balance, which is how we realize the truth: all parts are needed to create a whole…
The Gray Jedi Order was a branch of the Jedi that broke off from the Order in 132 BBY. It originated as a splinter group from the exiled Potentium. The lead proponents of the Gray and Potentium philosophies, Leor Hal and Leor Danal respectively, shared more than the surprising similarities of their names. The two often debated with each other and various Jedi Councils over the nature and history of the Force. These disagreements culminated in the expulsion of Hal's followers and Danal's resignation in protest. Danal and his followers went on to establish a separate Order based on the marriage of Light and Dark side philosophies.
The Gray Jedi believed in balance, not only in the Force, but in every other aspect of the galaxy as well. However, unlike the Potentium, the Gray Order preferred an active role in shaping the ebb and flow of the Force in the galaxy, keeping watch over galactic affairs without intervening unless they deemed it necessary. They believed that the Force did indeed have distinct Light and Dark sides, inherently good and evil, regardless of the user's intentions. But, without one side, the other could not exist, and to truly be one with the Force, both must be mastered. Like all Jedi, they wielded lightsabers but, unlike them, studied and practiced all aspects of the Force.
There can be no chaos without order, no good without evil. Such is the way of the universe. The Force flows through us all, in all of its peace and passion. This, the Gray Jedi believe, and by this, we shall live…
In 132 BBY, two groups broke off of the Jedi, The Potentium and the Gray Jedi. Both groups were similar, but their views on the nature of the Force differed slightly. The Jedi believed that the Force was composed of two distinct sides: Light and Dark, and held that the light side and the forces of good was needed to defeat the dark side and forces of evil. The Potentium believed that the Force was a singular entity, with no intentions of its own; it was the practitioner who colored their Force use with good or evil. They advocated total exploration in all aspects of the Force, since, if the user's intentions were good, the Force could be used in any way he or she wish without being 'tainted by the dark side.' The Gray Jedi firmly held the middle ground. Their view of the Force had it being composed of the two distinct sides, inherently good and evil, regardless of the user's intent. Like the Jedi, the Gray Order believed in the Living Force having a Will of its own. However, like the Potentium, they advocated study and use of all aspects of the Force. Without good there could be no evil, no light without dark. If evil was exterminated, the galaxy would grow complacent and dormant, weakening its ability to sustain its own peaceful state. Evil could easily fester and return to completely wipe out the Jedi and take hold of the galaxy. However, if evil was allowed to win, then the galaxy would be plunged into chaos and death. The Gray Jedi couldn't allow either of these outcomes to happen. Their solution was to make sure that both sides were kept in balance, neither becoming dominant in the galaxy. The Light must always be tempered by the fires of the Dark.
At its conception, there were only six Jedi who broke away to become Gray Jedi. They included Jedi Knight Jonah Kass, Master Derak Ja'huni, Padawan Arla Kress, Jedi Knight Tera Byysta, Jedi Knight Arlac Thene and Master Leor Danal. Because of their views, they were ostracized from the Jedi and in 132 BBY, they left Coruscant and the Jedi, never to return. Together, they sought out a self-exiled master named Dade Leviathan, who they had learned of from Leor Hal, one of the leaders of the Potentium movement at the time. Finding him on Dagobah, they held council, seeking guidance from the old sage. They soon discovered that they shared the same beliefs with the old Master. There and then, it was decided to form an Order of their own, with Dade at the head. However, he refused for reasons he would not share. Instead, he nominated Leor Danal to be at the head of the new Order. Thus, Leor Danal became the first unofficial Kage of the Gray Jedi.
A living breathing planet…I find it unbelievable, but at the same time it explains how this planet is able to move about the galaxy at will…
After traveling the galaxy as nomads for a time, the Gray Jedi chose Zonama Sekot as the homeworld of their order in 128 BBY. upon arrival, the six other Jedi did not believe Dade when he said that the planet itself was a sentient being. They quickly discovered that they were very wrong. The planet's sentient mind, which called itself Sekot, spoke to the Gray Jedi, telling them that it also believed the same things they did about the Force. It showed them how the planet itself had amazing, if unrefined, Force powers and how the planet could build living, breathing ships. Without a second thought, the Gray Jedi chose to make the planet their permanent home.
Traveling to the mountains of the planet, Leviathan and the Gray Jedi decided to make camp in the mountains. They found a large cave that extended down into a glacier. The natives simply called it the Dragon Cave. The Gray Jedi would later use this cave as the location of the trials that a Gray Jedi Teidowan would be required to complete in order to reach the rank of Knight.
Upon gaining the respect of the native residents, the Ferroans and the Langhesi, the Gray Jedi were able to get their help to build a secret temple in the valley behind the large mountain range. The temple was simple, yet elegant. While lacking the grandeur of the Jedi temple on Coruscant, the Gray Temple was beautiful in its own right. It was built of completely natural elements from the planet itself. These elements made it so the temple was a living organism as well as a building. This allowed great security for the Gray Jedi, as they could make sure that none but their allies would be able to enter.
A Force Genocide
A young Jedi named Darth Vader, who was a pupil of mine until he turned to evil, helped the Empire hunt down and destroy the Jedi Knights. He betrayed and murdered your father. Now the Jedi are all but extinct.
—Obi-Wan Kenobi, speaking of Anakin Skywalker to Luke Skywalker
The Gray Jedi were not exempt from this extermination. While it was much harder to find them, many Gray Jedi fell under the blade of Darth Vader as well. The Order was forced to escape the purge using the massive hyperdrive on Zonama Sekot and find safe haven in unknown territories of space.
In The Shadows and the Sith-Imperial War
The Gray Jedi were forced to operate in silence for the next few decades, until the Battle of Yavin. Once the Battle of Yavin was over and the first Death Star was destroyed, the Gray Jedi deemed it was safe to begin allowing their existence to be known again. During the Disciples of Ragnos crisis, the Council of Balance approved a galaxy-wide intervention to aid the efforts of the New Jedi Order. Although they did not coordinate efforts with the New Order, Gray members led independent investigations into the Disciples search for and smuggling of Sith artifacts of power. Coming in and out of the woodwork of the galaxy, they added just enough help to the Jedi for them to triumph over the Disciples and destroy the cult.
For the next century and a half, the Gray Jedi operated from the shadows, with very few people knowing of their existence. Even Luke Skywalker was never contacted directly by the Gray Order, although he heard whispers and had encounters of his own that suggested another independent Jedi organization. One of the few Jedi with whom the Gray Order became directly involved was Kol Skywalker in 130 ABY when Dade Leviathan helped fight off Sith during the Massacre at Ossus. Dade, however, was clothed in silver and blue robes with a black mask that resembled a Krayt Dragon's skull. Kol didn't find out that it was the legendary Gray Jedi until Dade's mask got ripped off in a duel with one of the Sith Lords right before Kol was killed.
Because of Kol's death, the New Jedi Order never received any substantial evidence of the Gray Order's existence. Dade Leviathan quickly reattached his mask after defeating the Sith, and went on his way. Cade Skywalker was now out of his reach and Kol Skywalker was now dead. He had no business left on Ossus.
During the Sith-Imperial War, the Gray Jedi were extremely active. The dark side reigned due to the combined efforts of the Sith and the Imperial Remnant. The Gray Jedi were determined to restore balance to the galaxy and the Force.
It was partly because of their efforts that eventually the Empire under the Sith was destroyed and democracy was restored.
Legacy of the Gray Jedi
After Darth Krayt was defeated, a time of peace ensued. The Gray Jedi were able to return their focus to the Force.
It was 179 ABY and the Sith were now led by a beautiful and deadly Dark Lady of the Sith who called herself The Dragon's Eye. She seemed content to have the Sith portrayed as petty criminals. In secret, however, they were searching for anything in the galaxy that could bring them more power. They were extremely covert knowing that if they were discovered, the Gray Jedi would view it as a disturbance to the balance, and the Jedi would view it as an act of aggression. In their current status, the Sith would be no match for either group.
The Sith continued their search until 200 ABY, when they fell upon what they had been looking for all along. Far in the outer-most reaches of space, they found the scattered remains of something enormous. Upon inspection, this turned out to be nothing less than the remains of the Star Forge. Using the original designs of the Star Forge along with the technical expertise of The Dragon's Eye herself, they were able to reconstruct the technical horror. Using the power of the Star Forge, they began manufacturing ships at an enormous rate. Within two years, the Sith armada had gone from five capital ships to nearly 500, and from 200 fighters to over 2000. They were now close to being able to challenge the Galactic Alliance itself.
The Third Sith Wars
It was during this time, in the years of 205 ABY to 210 ABY that the Gray Jedi began getting whispers of something evil that the Sith were doing. Spurred by a horrific vision in which the Sith slaughtered the whole galaxy, two Gray Jedi by the names of Guido Sunrider and Kev-Mas Colcha investigated the Sith world of Korriban. They found nothing in the space around the planet or anywhere on the surface. However, upon entering a secret cave while under-cover, they discovered something horrible: the Star Forge had been rebuilt around the planet Lehon.
Upon arriving on Lehon, their ship was pulled from the sky by some unseen force. It was apparent that the Sith had figured out how to get into the ancient temple and activate the disrupter field which caused Dade's ship to short circuit and they crashed on the beach of one of the larger islands on the planet.
They made their way to a large building near the base of a cliff near the island and there they were confronted by four Sith: the new Dark Lord, Darth Alastor, Darth Shadow, Darth Verus and Darth Iniquitous. The Dragon's Eye had mysteriously disappeared, leaving Darth Alastor in charge. Darth Alastor challenged Dade Leviathan to a one on one duel, and The Kage accepted. The Sith and Gray Jedi engaged in an extremely heated duel, with both exhibiting a tremendous amount of power. However, experience and wisdom was on Dade Leviathan's side and in the end, Darth Alastor retreated, badly injured. Almost all of his bones were broken because of a tremendous force throw that Dade Leviathan had performed on him, and he used all of his Force power to keep himself upright while the other three Sith carried him away from the duel swiftly.
However, Dade Leviathan was not without injury. A few of his ribs were broken and his leg had been shattered. The Gray Jedi with him carried him to the ship and as he healed himself with Force heal and Midichlorian manipulation, they scouted for parts to repair their ship. The Gray Jedi had to retreat from the world of Lehon without being able to stop the Sith in their use of the Star Forge.
These events lead to the Gray Jedi formally declaring war against the Sith plot to abuse the remade Star Forge, starting the Third Sith Wars.
The Second Battle of the Star Forge
The Third Sith Wars lasted for four bloody years, from 210 ABY until 214 ABY. In 214 ABY that last battle of the Third Sith Wars was fought: the Second Battle of the Star Forge. During the battle, the Galactic Alliance fleet, led by the Gray Jedi attacked the enormous Sith fleet which was stationed at the Star Forge.
A team of fifty Gray Jedi infiltrated the Star Forge and engaged Darth Alastor and Darth Verus as well as many Sith Warriors. Most of the Sith and most of the Gray Jedi died in the confrontation, leaving only Dade Leviathan, Ralem Jin-Qua and Kev-Mas Colcha to face the Sith lords Darth Alastor and Darth Verus.
Ralem was busy in putting the self-destruct sequence into the computers of the Star Forge while Dade and Kev-Mas engaged Darth Alastor and Darth Verus. The two Sith eventually retreated when they realized that the Star Forge was beginning to self destruct and the two Gray Jedi did the same. The three remaining Gray Jedi barely made it to their ships in time and flew from the Star Forge just as it exploded. The Sith had escaped to their fleet and jumped into hyperspace, thus fleeing the attack and retreating. As the Gray Jedi returned to the Galactic Alliance fleet, they took the rest of the Gray Jedi fleet and returned to Zonama Sekot in victory. Thus ended the Third Sith War.
The Force Wars
For 125 years, there was peace in the galaxy. However, it was not to last. In 339 ABY, The Sith succeeded in placing a puppet Supreme Chancellor in the Senate. The new chancellor succeeded in passing laws that gave more and more power to Darth Alastor and Sith, including control over the Galactic fleet, and Galactic Army. And in 345 ABY, the Sith succeeded in actually getting Darth Alastor in the Supreme Chancellor's seat. The Dark Lord declared himself emperor soon after, and declared the beginning of an Empire of Darkness. All the worlds that tried to rebel against the new order were met with swift and vicious punishment. The Sith had once again established an Empire over the whole galaxy.
One by one, worlds fell to the enormous Sith Fleet and vast army. The Gray Jedi decided that something must be done. In 346 ABY they signed a treaty with the Jedi and then in 347 ABY they officially declared war against the Empire of Darkness, thus starting the First Grey War.
The First Grey War lasted for five years between 346 ABY and 351 ABY. It ended with the Fourth Battle of Coruscant, where the Sith conceded and fled.
Only two months later, the Sith had recovered and attacked Coruscant in the Fifth Battle of Coruscant. This became the first battle of the Second Grey War. The Second Grey War lasted for another five years, from 351 ABY to 356 ABY. One of the most famous battles, The First Battle of Zonama Sekot, was marked by the surprise the Sith encountered when the planet itself attacked them. As the war raged on, many lost their lives, especially during the First Battle of Korriban, where over half of the whole Jedi order lost their lives in the gigantic battle. The Sith were eventually beaten into a retreat, ending the Second Grey War. Many thought this the end of the war and celebrated. The tenacious Sith returned after a scant six months and attacked with new vigor, marking the beginning the of Korriban War. For five years, battles raged across the planet of Korriban, with both sides losing many lives. However, in the end, it was the Jedi's turn to retreat, along with the Gray Jedi. This ended the third war in the series of The Force Wars.
The Thirty-Five Years War
Wishing to ensure a more concrete end to the Sith aggression, Gray Jedi and Jedi forces led by Gray Jedi Kage Dade Leviathan attacked the Sith once again on Lok, in the Second Battle of Lok. They had no idea that this war would last for over thirty-five years.
The Thirty-Five Years War eventually ended with the utter destruction and annihilation of the Jedi. In the Sixteenth Battle of Dantooine, almost all of the Sith, Jedi, and Gray Jedi were slain. Among the still living combatants, were Gray Jedi Kage Dade Leviathan and Darth Alastor. After a duel that lasted over almost 6 days in length over almost the whole planet, Dade Leviathan finally bested the Dark Lord. With one swift strike of his lightsaber, he beheaded Alastor, thus finally ending the Thirty-Five Years War in 387 ABY.
An Order Destroyed
After the Thirty-Five Years War, the Gray Jedi were in tatters. The only had three members left: Dade Leviathan, Arta Starkiller, and Kev-Mas Colcha. Dade Leviathan then left for the Gray Jedi home planet of Zonama Sekot where he and the other two remaining Gray Jedi used the planet's hyperdrive to move the planet into an unexplored section of space.
The Gray Jedi were almost totally destroyed during the Sixteenth Battle of Dantooine and a good many had died during the Thirty-Five Years War, including Ralem Jin-Qua, Guido Sunrider, Lilly Capari, Greyst De'nali, and Revan Lightwalker. It was because of this that the three remaining Gray Jedi went into the unknown regions using the hyperdrive on their planet of Zonama Sekot. They began rebuilding the order, and finally in 400 ABY, the Gray Jedi reappeared in the galaxy.
A New Order
The New Order of the Gray Jedi was very much the same as the old. They strove to guard the balance of the galaxy, except for the New Order of the Gray Jedi the past was somber. Dade Leviathan, Kev-Mas Colcha and Arta Starkiller were the only remaining masters of the old order. They had lost all of their friends in The Force Wars and Kev-Mas had even lost his wife during the Thirty-Five Years War. For them, it would never be the same without their old friends, such as Guido Sunrider, or Ralem Jin-Qua.
However, they trudged on and further proved to the galaxy that they were the three most powerful Gray Jedi to ever live. In later centuries they became known as The Immortal Shadows because of not only how powerful they were, but how they saved the Order from being utterly destroyed.
Background and Philosophy
The Jedi Order was born from the destruction of the Je'daii, the first large-scale organization dedicated to training Force-sensitives and safeguarding the common good.
Discuss Je'daii philosophy and Bogan/Ashla and brief summary of their downfall.
Discuss Jedi differences and focus on Ashla, Sith differences and focus on Bogan.
Discuss good/evil vs neutral perspectives and differences from Potentium. Specify differences with Je'daii.
And thus, Teidowan of mine, I confer upon thee the title Gray, first rank of Knight. Rise, Arla Kress, Knight of the Gray Jedi.
—Leor Danal to Arla Kress after completing the Gray Jedi Knight Trials
Around the time of their initial incarnation, the Gray Jedi decided that they needed to distinguish themselves from the Jedi. They created a similar ranking system, but with much more emphasis on education and training. While the Jedi Order had five ranks, the Gray Order had seven, three of which were co-rankings which recognized a member's ability to teach and have apprentices. The Gray Jedi deemed that levels of mastery should be broken down into two separate ranks in an effort to ensure a recipient of rank was deserving. Among those aware of their existence, the Gray Jedi gained the reputation of having a much more rigorous and involved training regime.
Teidowan was the title given to the lowest ranking of Gray Jedi. A Teidowan would learn from a master as soon as they were old enough to begin training. Whereas the Jedi trained younglings, and often padawans, in larger classes called clans, the Gray Jedi believed that one on one teaching from an early age fostered greater respect, and mastery of skills. Also, the Gray Jedi prized companionship above many other things, and having a master since initially joining the Gray Order would easily foster a close bond between the Teidowan and their master.
Gray was the initial level of knight, given to a Teidowan who had successfully completed the Gray Trials. A Gray knight essentially an introductory rank before conferral of the full rank of Knight. A Gray knight was permitted individual study and pursuits within the Order without constant supervision, but could not go on missions alone, as they had to be accompanied by another of equal or advanced rank. After two years of training and missions, Gray knights would be offered the option to take the test to leave his or her apprenticeship behind and become a Koawan.
A Koawan was allowed to go on missions as a full-fledged Knight, without accompaniment, and showed complete mastery over the skills learned during their time as Teidowan. After a reasonable amount of time and missions completed as a Koawan, they would be eligible to take the test to raise to the first level of master.
Silver was an advanced level of Koawan were permitted to take on Teidowan trainees themselves. These qualified Koawan were entrusted with the responsibility of a Teidowan, training him or her until they were able to take the Gray Trials. To become a Silver knight, one had to show exemplary mastery of their skills, and good technique at teaching skills. Not all Gray Jedi chose to pursue this rank, and only those Koawan who excelled as both masters and teachers in the ways of the Force rose to the level of Silver Knight.
A Maenowan was the first level of the rank of master. When a Koawan had shown exceptional prowess in their studies and field missions, they were permitted to take the test to become an independent agent of the Order. Solo missions and pursuit of individual interests and studies in specific aspects of the Force were the privileges awarded to Maenowan. Only those who attained this rank could be accepted by and begin training with any of the four sects of study within the Order: the Fire Warriors, Water Warriors, Wind Sages, or Ice Sages.
Gray Jedi Master was the highest level of master that a member could reach. Only Masters were allowed to apply for election to a seat on the Council of Balance, and they were regarded with the utmost respect. The only person who held more respect than a Maenowan Master was the Kage.
Kage was the term that the Gray Jedi gave to the head of the Council and the Order. They believed "Grand Master" or "Leader" were much too monarchical and unbalanced in terms, so it was decided to use a different term for the one whose wisdom exceeded all others. He or she was referred to as "Baransu no Kage, or simply "Kage," meaning "the balance of shadows" in reference to the ability to exist in harmony with the dark and the light. Unlike the Jedi Order, the Kage did not retain his or her position for life. Instead, he or she served a ten year term and then had to apply for re-election.
Rise of the Force Guardians
The Gray Jedi Order began as a single group. There were those, however, who believed that pursuing various goals and individual interests would more quickly further the Order's understanding of the Force as a whole. Thus, in 68 BBY, several members formed the first subdivision of the Gray Jedi Order, unofficially dubbed the Force Guardians. The Force Guardians dedicated themselves to studying the Force in all its splendor and figuring out new ways to use the power of the Force, eschewing most field work and active missions.
The Force Guardians became the first sages of the Gray Order, contemplating the Force almost all of their time. For all questions regarding the Force, the rest of the Order began relying the Force Guardians more and more. Spurred by a vision of galaxy-wide crisis facilitated by the return of Neakiirin Sheene from a long expedition into the Core Worlds, the Force Guardians became an official sect of the Order in 50 BBY.
The formation of the Force Guardians spurred other members to create different sects. In 28 BBY, a group broke off and formed a sect that they dubbed the Inner Flame. The Inner Flame believed the most effective combat practices centered around raw power and what they referred to as "inner fire," a barely controlled and volatile emotional state of focused, passionate rage. In 26 BBY, the Inner Flame was made an official sect of the Gray Jedi, and they changed their name to the Fire Warriors.
Several years later in 22 BBY, another sect began. Founding its beliefs on the principle that a warrior should be as flexible yet unyielding, the Water Warriors were born. They believed that to be a successful warrior, a Jedi did not draw on their inner fire, but on their inner calm: making one's mind like the moon or water, to observe everything around oneself and reflect back. They believed a good warrior should counter an opponent's attacks perfectly, because the perfect warrior knew an opponent's attacks before the opponent knew themself.
As these martial groups had been forming, the Force Guardians had broken in half. One half wanted to be the perfect balance between intellect and power, whereas the other wanted to study the force one hundred percent of the time. They broke into the Wind Sages, who focused on unarmed combat and a perfect mastery of the Force, and the Ice Sages, who focused on perfect mastery of the force without dwelling on its martial applications. All three sects, the Water Warriors, Wind Sages and Ice Sages became official around 20 BBY. This would be the system that the Gray Jedi would use for the remainder of their existence.
Behind the Scenes
The concept of Jedi who have left the Order but not turned Sith or become Dark has been around at least since Episode 1 (Qui-Gon Jinn) and solidified with Knights the Old Republic (Jolee Bindo). However, an official organization has never been officially created, canon being content to portray Gray Jedi as rogues or exiles. This is one vision of an organized group of Gray Jedi with ambitions of actively pursuing further understanding of the Force beyond the scope of the Jedi Order. This article has multiple contributors who have each helped create this vision by either adding characters and storylines to give the Gray Order a place in the Universe or by developing the details of the Gray Order itself. Suggestions and new contributors are welcome, please begin a Discussion or comment below if you wish to suggest new content.