5 Jinsai Tribunes
Fal Dara, Odia
|Chronological and Political Information|
- “Till shade is gone, till water is gone, into the Shadow with teeth and blade bared, screaming defiance with the last breath, to spit into Darkness' eye on our Last Day.”
- -The Jinsai Creed
The Jinsai, or Jinsai Order, were a warrior-like group that originated in the Maridis Sector during the early days of the Antrixian Commonwealth, before the government of the Commonwealth was officially formed. The Jinsai were initially created as a religious or spiritual sect of the Antrixian society, but they quickly evolved into a culture based on martial prowess and combat abilities, separate from the mainstream Antrixian society. Force-users within the Jinsai Order were held in high regard and became vaunted warriors and peacekeepers much like the Jedi of the Galactic Republic.
During the era known as Rise of the Empire or Fall of the Republic, the Jinsai, along with the Antrixian Commonwealth, allied heavily with the Galactic Republic. The Jinsai refused to join the ranks of the Jedi Order due to conflicting views of the Force and organization practices. Prior to the Clone Wars, this opposition had dissolved and talks were underway to pave the way for Force-users of the Jinsai to join the Jedi Order. This never came to pass as the Jinsai were attacked by Clone and Republic/Imperial forces at the close of the Clone Wars, resulting in the Antrixian Purge.
The Jinsai remained apart from the Jedi at least until 20 ABY when the High Lord of the Antrixian Commonwealth petitioned the Jinsai Tribunal to allow a Jinsai Gai’din to join the ranks of the Jedi as an ambassador to both orders. By this time, the Order had been reformed into a stream-lined group of just a handful of trained individuals, almost completely separate from any government, answering only to the High Lord of the Commonwealth.
Dating back to approximately 27,575 BBY, a group of Humans banded together and fought against the Rakata and the Infinite Empire in a small rebellion. By stealing Rakata tech, a handful Force-sensitives were able to utilize the tech and whisk the rebels away to a safe location. Hidden on a desert world in the area of the galaxy that would become part of the Inner Rim territories, the rebels contemplated their next moves.
One of the Force-users, Telin Zrokk, would have a dark vision concerning a great threat that was hidden away from the galaxy for many years. A force, focused on death and destruction would be unleashed and if not defeated, would cleanse the galaxy of all life. This was said to herald the return of the Rakata to the galaxy. The only way they could be stopped was by a group of Force warriors and their acolytes that would arise, different from the Jed’aii (Jedi).
This group went on to assist in the creation of the Shrines of Kooroo on various worlds, in part to watch for the Rakata and to also read the Force and see the destiny of the galaxy. Leaving behind a primitive holocron based on Rakata technology, the rebels hoped to someday amass a force that could fulfill the need for this Force-based group of warriors which had been envisioned. The rebels knew that they had time to prepare, but they were also hunted by the Rakata and had to flee. Their artifacts were left and eventually forgotten or lost to their meager forces.
Over four thousand years later, the Antrixians began colonizing and populating the area of the Inner Rim which would become the Maridis Sector. One planet, named Arakus, was a vast desert planet that would later become a major mining and production world. The Antrixian wanderer, Fren al’Mordraygan, made his way to Arakus to attempt a spiritual cleansing and personal sorjourn.
During a severe sand storm, Fren took refuge inside a cave, where he discovered alien artifacts. Being Force-sensitive, Fren was able to activate the Rakata-based artifact. He discovered the information that had been left behind eons before. Fren spent many days researching the artifact. A month later, Fren returned to Antrixies as a changed man. It was at this time that Fren founded the Way of the Gai, which soon afterwards became the Jinsai Order.
Fren knew that he had stumbled upon his destiny, by finding the artifacts, but feared that he would be labeled insane if he openly told anyone of his discovery. Instead, he began teaching a philosophy of patience and logic, tolerance and calm. He also began working on a martial style to focus the mind and body, relying on a peaceful demeanor, yet ready for action, in order to resolve conflict and disorder. As the colony worlds of the Antrixians began to become engaged in more and more conflicts, Fren resolved to find solutions to these conflicts. While he envisioned peaceful solutions, he had to make sure that he, or his followers, were ready to defend themselves or others. The founding of the martial arts style of Shao’dengia came from this. Fren would change the name of his group from the Way of the Gai to Jinsai, meaning Silver Blade in the Antrixian Old Tongue.
During the founding of the order, Fren kept the secret of his discovery on Arakus hidden from everyone. His focus was instead on preparing the Jinsai to fulfill their destiny and defend the galaxy from the Celestial-created species that would someday threaten the galaxy.
The Jinsai Order came into prominence over the next thousand years, especially the Force-sensitive Jinsai that became known as the Jinsai Gai’din. Initially, all the Jinsai regardless of Force-sensitivity followed the same belief system, using force only when needed and matching in response to the threats that were presented. This system tapped into parts of the Force that the Jedi labeled the Dark side and shunned. The Jinsai believed that even if they had to resort to brutal actions, as long as they maintained their pure lives before and after the actions, they could stay within a balance with the Gai (The Force).
In approximately 22,500 BBY, twelve Force-sensitive Jinsai broke away from the Order and fled to parts unknown at the time. These twelve called themselves the Chosen, had been contacted by an off-worlder which told them of great knowledge and power outside of their worlds. The twelve gathered a few followers of their own and left.
Almost twenty years passed before the twelve returned to the Maridis Sector, bringing with them a sizable military force. The twelve, now calling themselves Dreadlords, began attacking the outlying systems of the Maridis and Relkan Sectors, starting the War of Shadows. Led by a charismatic Arthan Rystia, the Dreadlords plunged the worlds of the Antrixians into conflict for fifteen years. Pitched battles ensued, until a unified front of force, led by Lord Kil’ar Corrino, cornered the Dreadlords and their forces, all but destroying them. The Jinsai would be instrumental in imprisoning the Dreadlords and keeping their existence secret for years after.
Headed by the then forming Jenn clan, the Jinsai assisted in building the secret Shadowmoon facility known as Guardian One. Here, the Dreadlords were imprisoned in a stasis containment unit. The order feared that the Dreadlords would be able to utilize the Dark side of the Force and that their spirits would inhabit new bodies if their real physical bodies were destroyed. It was thought best at the time to keep them in stasis until a solution to the problem could be found.
After this, the Jinsai were integrated into the newly formed centralized government known as the Antrixian Commonwealth. Within the Commonwealth, the Jinsai acted as peacekeepers and guards to the Houses of the Landsraad.
Service to the Commonwealth
The Jinsai came to be revered within the Commonwealth as guardians of the people and a hand of justice. Their signature presence and chosen weapons were an inspiration to the people of the Commonwealth and helped to stabilize the Landsraad. As the ideals spread, so did the amount of followers who wished to become Jinsai. Initially, the cultural phenomenon swept across the worlds of the Commonwealth, where hundreds, upon thousands, began to act as the Jinsai. A Jinsai Council eventually set up trials of mind and spirit in order to tailor the numbers of actual worthy candidates down.
In the years after the formation of the Commonwealth, the Jinsai Order grew and was integrated as a paramilitary group into the Antrixian Defense Forces. The Jinsai divided into clans to match the major Houses of the Landsraad to also ensure a close system of checks and balances. The clans also divided in to specialized societies in which they integrated among the clans also, allowing the clans to share members amongst each other without any one clan becoming too powerful.
During the Hyperspace Wars, the Jinsai and the Commonwealth finally made contact with the Galactic Republic. Forging an alliance, the Jinsai fought along side the Jedi Order in combating the Sith Empire. This was the beginning of a sharing of knowledge with the Jedi and vice versa. The Jinsai Gai’din began using lightsabers and other Jedi weapons which they adapted into the customs of the Jinsai Order.
Several times over the course of years, the Jinsai Gai’din were petitioned by the Jedi to join their ranks. However, due to the difference in philosophies in the Force, the Gai’din refused, but maintained that they would honor the alliance with the Republic and stay as close allies to the Jedi.
During the Great Sith War, the Jinsai assisted the Commonwealth and the Republic in repelling Sith forces along the Rimma Trade Route and the Inner Rim. But during the Jedi Civil War, the Jinsai withdrew, along with the Commowealth, to defend their own borders and kept the Sith at bay. The Jinsai remained isolated during the Mandalorian Wars also.
During the Great Galactic War between the Sith Empire and the Republic, the Jinsai once again provided aid to their allies, fighting against the Empire. The Jinsai, along with the Commonwealth, were more involved than in any previous conflicts. The Jinsai often went toe to toe with the forces of the Sith, either combining with Republic forces or as Commonwealth forces.
After the end of the war, the Jinsai once again isolated themselves until around the 1010 BBY when the New Sith War broke out. Once again, the Jinsai combined with the Antrixian Commonwealth forces to assist the Republic and the Jedi. After this, the Jinsai opened themselves up to the Jedi in much the same way as they initially had during the Hyperspace Wars.
The First Peruvian Conflict in the Peruvian Sector sent a small fleet of Dominion Imperium ships fleeing from their home sector in search of the homeworld of the Founders. Crossing into the Maridis Sector, the Dominion attacked a Commonwealth settlement sparking conflict between the two forces. The Jinsai and the ADF responded and attack the Dominion, all but destroying them and fostering a grudge between the two factions.
During the time leading up to the Clone Wars, the Jinsai began talks about finally allowing the Gai’din to join the ranks of the Jedi Order. The Strykia twins, Graydon and Allyson, born in 27 BBY, were to be the first Jinsai Gai’din to join the Jedi Order. In 19 BBY, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious revealed himself and took over the Republic. He initiated Order 66, which sent the clone army of the Republic against the Jedi. The Jinsai were seen as the same as the Jedi, regardless of Force affinity or not, and were exterminated without prejudice. The Jinsai also faced betrayal from within as the Gai’din Dontaine Strykia attempted to lead a revolution against the Landsraad to seize control of the High Seat and the government of the Commonwealth. Allied with Dontaine were members of the Shaido Jinsai clan. Those members of the Shaido not involved in the revolt disavowed their fellow clan members and left their clan.
With the Republic changing to the Galactic Empire, the Jinsai found themselves hunted by the Imperials. Most that survived went into hiding or joined the Antrixian Resistance. During this time, the Antrixians formed the Shadow Wardens, a covert group of individuals trained as Jinsai, to seek out and guard Antrixian refugees that were in hiding.
A New Era
After the defeat of the Emperor at the Battle of Endor, the Imperial war machine was thrown into chaos. The occupation forces with the territory of the Antrixian Commonwealth attempted to make a pocket empire out of the Maridis and Relkan Sector but were confronted by forces loyal to the Antrixian Resistance and House Strykia. What was left of the traditional Jinsai, along with the Shadow Wardens aided this force and defeated the Imperials, forcing them out of the Commonwealth and returning the territory to the control of the Landsraad and the noble houses of the Commonwealth.
The Jinsai went through a complete restructuring over the following years. No longer would the Jinsai be trained in large numbers. Instead, the Jinsai were carefully selected and trained to be elite members of the Commonwealth, guardians of peace and justice. They were meant to be a symbol of the Commonwealth rather than a fighting force.
Culture and Society
The Jinsai held personal honor as their first and foremost principle. Jai’Ento, or Honor and Obligation, was the cornerstone of Jinsai culture. This honor not only transferred to their family members, but also to their fellow clan members. To act dishonorably could bring about dishonor to one’s family and clan. Individuals found to be dishonorable were branded Gai’shain, lost to the way. The Jinsai felt that they were obligated to serve and protect their families and homes also.
The Jinsai Gai’din held Jai’Ento in high regard also, which sent them at odds with Jedi beliefs. The Gai’din believed that emotional attachments did not provide distractions, instead strengthened one’s resolve to act. Combined with their honor system, the Gai’din pledged to serve and protect, always keeping the honor of those they cared about in high regard.
Clans and Societies
14 clans would eventually be formed, matching the major noble Houses of the Commonwealth. Each clan intermingled with each other to ensure that no House could sway the power of the clan that operated within it. Just as the Landsraad had formed three separate branches to serve as a system of checks and balances, the clans were an extension of this.
The clans were: The Jenn, The Shiado, The Taarad, The Da'shain, The Shaarad, The Codarra, The Chareen, The Goshien, The Reyn, The Nakai, The Sovenne, The Andraad, The Daryne, and The Magaami. Most clans formed by family ties, but even more so, the clans formed out of political and spiritual beliefs and practices. Clans such as the Jenn and the Taarad were formed on the views of maintaining traditions and honorable deeds. The Shiado were more militant in their beliefs.
A clan was governed by a clan leader known as the Car'a'can in the Antrixian Old Tongue. The clan chief had final say within the training compound, or clan Hold, while his subordinates assisted with order outside the Hold with lesser clan members subordinate to the leader. All clan leaders deferred to the Jinsai Tribunal.
As the clans developed, along with teachings, Jinsai who were skilled within certain areas joined with each other to form societies. Those who were skilled with diplomacy and negotiations formed the Siea'Sai (Peace Blades). More aggressive individuals, skilled in unarmed combat, formed the Sovin Nai (Knife Hands). The Cor Darei (Night Spears) were skilled with the now legendary Warblade and the other bladed weapons of the Jinsai. Athen' Dor (Red Shields) were often assigned to be honor guards to those holding a House Seat within the Landsraad. Far Dareis Sai (Daughter of the Blade) formed strictly for female Jinsai who felt they were ostracized from other groups because of their gender and eventually became a prideful society for women who felt they could best any male. In return, the Far Aldazar Din (Brother of the Eagle) formed to counter the Daughters. Tain Sharr (True Blood) became a society for those from a noble house or descending from those of noble blood/in service to noble bloodlines. Each society holds talks on governing themselves but still defer to the Jinsai Tribunal and their clan leaders, the Landsraad, and the High Lord. No one society is exclusive any longer, but they do ask that each pledge honor their traditions when choosing their society. The only exception to this is the Grey Guard, the hand-picked Jinsai who guard the High Lord and his family.
Training and Practices
All Jinsai are trained in the martial art technique known as Shao'dengai. Through this training, a Jinsai becomes learned in the use of unarmed combat and melee combat using the various traditional weapons of the Jinsai Order.
The Jinsai hierarchy is broken down by earned ranks. The first rank, Shodan, is achieved by initiates to the Jinsai Order. Most Shodan Jinsai possess a Shao skill of 2D after their initial training after being accepted into the order. Godan is the second rank, where a Shodan moves to training individually with a master, rather than in a group. Godan possess a skill of 4D in Shao'dengia. Norudan are Jinsai who have passed the trial of Sho and now study independently. A Norudan has a Shao skill of 5-6D, but can not apprentice anyone. A Kyudan, Jinsai Master, is able to train anyone lower than a Norudan. A Kyudan possesses a skill in Shao of at least 9D. A Rokudan is a Grand Master, possessing 12D in Shao Weapon skills and Unarmed Shao skills, along with 8D to 12D in History: Shao'dengia. A Grand Master also may possess Technical skills such as Blacksmith: (A)Bladesmith. There were only 4 known Grand Masters in the galaxy just prior to the beginning of the Clone Wars. Force-sensitive Jinsai are held in high regard, regardless of their learning rank. They are given the title rank of Gai'dan (Guardian or Warder) and are respected, even by Grand Masters. No Gaidan is above the laws or beliefs, however. It is common for Jinsai to address each other by their Shao titles in public, as a gesture of honor towards each other. They are very informal in private though.
When a Jinsai is first initiated into the order, they are put to a test of mental purity. The initiate must fast for 3 days and attend a Py'reyn, where the initiate sits for an entire day, near a roaring fire, to sweat "away impurities." If the initiate can not complete this test, they are turned away. Most initiates partake in this test at the age of 7 or 8 standard years. Once a Shodan reaches the accepted level of training and skill, they are tested in technique and skill before being taken before a council of 7 Jinsai masters. At the council, the Shodan holds the ancient staff known as the Oath Rod and speaks the 3 Oaths. The Oaths are: 1) To speak no word that is untrue. 2) To protect, above all else and bring no dishonor to family or clan. 3) Honor life and the harmony of the galaxy. The Oath Rod is speculated to be an ancient Force artifact that binds the oaths to the person when spoken. The Oaths are breakable, but it is said that breaking an oath causes unspeakable scars to an individual, possibly even terrible illness. Force-sensitive Jinsai are said to be affected the worst, as their midi-chlorians re-align, scarring the individual. Jai'Ento, Honor and Obligation, as the Jinsai call it, is the code that all Jinsai follow. To break the code or Oaths, brands a person as Gai’shan and they are required to atone for their actions by a "quest of purity." Records indicate that only 7 Gai’shan have ever been able to atone and retake their former titles and positions among the Jinsai.
Common EquipmentIn combat, unarmored Jinsai often cover their face with a hood-like covering, called a Son'fa, leaving their eyes uncovered. The Son'fa is dark in color and is worn draped about the neck. Jinsai do not wear these with their ceremonial armor or when they are unarmed. Jinsai and their dark Son'fa have led to the coining of the phrase "The veil of black death is upon you." Some Jinsai where armor, more suited to combat, but most prefer to set their armor aside, except for traditional reasons.
Using a standard combat technique throughout the order, the Jinsai use many melee weapons which were prominent throughout their history, carrying over into modern times. The Warblade Claymore is the most noted of these weapons.
In more recent times, Jinsai serving within the rebel and military forces of the Commonwealth have taken to wearing armor that is more contemporary to other armored units, such as the Stormtroopers. These sets of armor are mostly military grade and possess some of the same additions to them that are found in Imperial armor.
For the most part, the Jinsai Order respected and revered the Force as the divine power to which they allied themselves. The view of the Force was that it created life and therefore was served by protecting life. Most Jinsai believed that the Force possessed a type of divine conscious and was omnipotent, creating a grand plan and destiny for the galaxy and individuals within the galaxy.
By the time of the Russan Reformation, the Jinsai began to infuse more and more practices gleaned from their association with Jedi into their basic practices and principles. The traditional view of the Force was still that of the Force providing a great, predetermined destiny. The concept of the Living Force also began to gain a wider acceptance among the Jinsai, while some still clung to the original concepts and that of the Unified Force.