I decided to try a piece of prose for this origin. The name may be unfamiliar, but the lexicon is one that we all love. Renko Alis'Abba was the name of the first Jedi. Thanks for reading!
In a time in the long forgotten past, before the world that we know now. The galaxies were yet to be united, and civilization was still in its infancy. In the far reaches of space was a small sparsely populated planet, covered mostly in water. The continents comprised of dense jungles, expansive grasslands and vast mountain ranges. ValenWyr, was a beautiful planet with a bright future. This seemingly unimportant planet held would play a very important role in the future of the entire multiverse. It wasn't because of an impressive army, or an advanced technology, or a valuable resource. It was the birth of a child, Renko, first of his order. The eldest son of Lord Iren Alis'abba, would be heir to a small province on the southern coastline of Salafit. His ascension and teachings would come to shape the organization of the unified galaxies.
This is his story.
“My lord, your father calls for your presence in his chambers.” Jun'al, Captain of his guard said.
“For what purpose?” Renko replied
“That is of no concern to me. He commanded, and I relayed that command.” Jun'al said
“He seeks to prohibit any fun I may encounter, no doubt.” Renko said disdainfully
“You are heir to his seat. You must behave in an appropriate way, my lord.” Jun'al explained
“I need no reminder of who I am, and what my duties are. Do you? Servant?” Renko spat
“Appologies, my lord” Jun'al bowed deep to one knee and held the position.
Renko swallowed the last of his wine, set the cup down, and stood up. He walked past the guard, touching his back on the way by.
“That's better. I wish to go to the markets to find the rarest Red from the Isati vineyards.” Renko demanded calmly
“Your father has called for your presence, its best you don't upset him.” Jun'al said
“You worry about what I wan't, I will worry about my father. He has probably already forgotten.” Renko said pulling on his fine gold silken cloak embroidered in red with the arms of his family.
The sun began to set over the markets district of Coruba Deng. Renko lazily wanders from stall to stall, taking in the delights and delicacies from all over ValenWyr. Fine aged wines from the eastern vineyards of Isati. Painted toads from the seers of the Swamps of Lothyr who are said to give everlasting luck to the ones who possess them. Exotic salts from the bays of Tyrdor, who's restorative properties heal injuries in moments, and halt the aging process.
His attention bounces from maidens to merchants and back again, never stopping on one for too long. There was one thing that caught and held his attention, a large ornately decorated book. Red leather bindings with golden clasps and a woven symbol on the front that resembled a pyramid. This was one of the forbidden texts of the sages of the far western Forests of Daella. Tomes that have instructed the students of the arts of the earth. The mastery of the elements. Feared by those that do not understand. The forbidden knowledge held within the pages captivate the young lord as he thumbs through its ancient pages.
“The hour grows late, my Lord. It is time we attend the feast.” Said Jun'al, captain of his guard.
“Then why don't you and your battle monkeys go and save me a seat near the dancers. I am perfectly fine on my own.” Renko spat
“We are by your side, my Lord” Jun'al said biting his distaste
“Then be a good monkey, and pay the man.” Renko said sliding the Ornately bound golden book into a bag another one of his guards was wearing.
“Your father won't approve.” Jun'al responds defiantly
“I care not if my father approves, I want it, you have my money, so just pay the man. I'll deal with my father if need be.” Renko said establishing dominance.
Begrudgingly Jun'al pulls a fist full of coins from the purse and hands the purse to the seller. An old man in plain gray robes, weathered in appearance. His pale blue eyes expressing knowledge that was not easily won. He stretches out a hand to take the pouch and quickly stows it into the sleeve of his robes.
“The book that you now own, is yours, it recognizes no other owner. Only you can truly understand what is writ.” The old man began.
“In its pages, there are truths, not to be taken lightly. What you learn you may not like, but that is of no consequence. The truth is the truth whether you like it or not. The truth will show itself to you. You will come to a crossroads where your life will change for better or worse. Do not allow fear to live within your heart. You were destined to have the book, the reasons only the gods know. In time you will have more questions. When that time comes, we will meet again. Go know, back to the delights of this world. You are changed now, and yet to discover how.”
Renko's expression turns from smugly indifferent to gravely invested as the sage divulges this knowledge. Unable to process completely he blinks and looks away from the man for only an instant before locking gaze once more.
“I will honor its teachings” He said with a croak. Humility strained his voice, for maybe the first time in his life.
“You will, or you will pay the price.” The old man responds, holding his gaze for a long moment before sinking back into the tent.
Renko is shaken and unable to understand why. The man was neither menacing nor rude. The things he said weren't particularly different from any of the speeches the merchants spew so proudly. Giving the buyer a show is half of the experience. Wine sellers routinely explain in painful detail just how warm and intoxicating their vintages are, potion makers astound audiences with spectacular claims of the effects of their wares. It was something else, something inside him that was stirring. A voice he cannot hear, but one that he can feel, is telling him, to believe. To listen, and to take heed. A voice that has always been there, but now the volume has been turned up. He has taken his first steps down a new life path, and he feels the immensity.
A burning need to read the book overcomes Renko. His thoughts race of the teachings inside its yellowed pages, even though reading is an impossibility at this moment. He is seated upon the raised dais honoring his father and his family's elevated position. The dancers spin staffs of fire at the base of a sixty foot straw effigy of Nomrud, the deity of the dry season. Ordained in rich tones of red and orange and doused in strong smelling oils. The leader of the dancers, wears an ornate mask carved of a single piece of teak painted in bright hues of green lined in bright gold leaf, adorned with a large head dress crafted from the brightly colored feathers of the jeweled peacocks of the emerald islands. His elaborate dancing, mesmerizes the crowds in a beautiful array of colored flames.
His routine nears is completion as he runs directly for the effigy, somersaulting deftly rising to his feet and throwing the staff like a spear setting the effigy ablaze. Signaling the end of the dry season, and beckoning the will of Qua'lin, deity of the rains. The crowd joins hands and approaches the effigy getting as close as the sweltering heat will allow. Singing the songs of the rains. The dais remains seated as they do not participate in the dealings of commoners, they are above the rest, below the gods, but in the playing fields of neither.
Renko looks on as the Giant straw man burns, and his thoughts are of nothing other than the book. The sights of the festival used to enthrall him. Tonight, he offers them not a moments attention. He realizes this and wonders if he has begun his change already. The old man said, that the book will exert its will upon him. Is this happening, or is he simply wanting it to happen? In this moment, watching the gigantic fire before him, he resolves to himself silently. Today is the first day of his life, his true life. Everything before this has been a distraction, and everything ahead of him is destined. He bows his head and speaks in a low voice to an unnamed god that he has yet to know.
“I speak to the god who holds my fate. I do not know you, not yet. I know you are there, I can feel your will working with in me. In this moment, I bind my soul to yours. I will discover you and learn how to honor you. Through me, your will shall have life. I am your servant, and I will stop at nothing to discover your name.”
His eyes clinched tightly for a long moment. He opens them slowly, he is now different. His features remain identical, but his essence is somehow different. More solemn, more grave, and more wise. It will take a while for people to comment on this change, but it will be instantly noticed. Last night, he was the eldest son of Iren Alis'Abba, tonight he is someone new. Someone nameless. Someone searching for the truth.
The following morning, Renko summons his guard and informs them of his intentions in returning to the palace immediately instead of his planned touring of the lakes district. It was a seven day ride in the back of his palanquin from Coruba Deng back to the palace on the Bluffs of the Tam-sin Coast. His mind was consumed with the book, he did little, else save eating and sleeping. The members of his guard were beginning to notice a change in the young lord. Usually he rode atop Danion, his prized horse, scoping out the lay of the lands and making his presence known. Jun'al worried he has taken ill, and kept a close eye on him for the duration of the trip home.
By the time they reached the palace he had read the book cover to cover nearly three times. It wasn't exactly what he thought it would be, he had expected there to be guidelines. Steps to follow, a general process, but it was little more than philosophy. “Look inward for truths, refuse the binds of possessions”. The old man had been right, his instincts tell him just how important the book was, but he has questions. He is unable to put the pieces together himself. The old man hadn't given Renko his name, and Renko was sure that he had moved on. The only thing he can do now is wait.
He tries to go back to life as he had known it, but it wasn't the same. Things he had used to relish in, no longer held their appeal. Hunting had been his favorite past time before, now he found it utterly pointless. The killing of beasts for sport had once filled him with pride of victory, now it just feels like murder. This opinion he voiced on afternoon after a successful badger hunt. He saw the animal as a worthy opponent, but felt no elation in its demise. Those around him cheered for him, but he just told them not to cheer, this was no happy moment, it was a sad one. His party was taken with confusion. In a contest of man an beast, man had won, it had won him glory and pride, yet the young lord rejected it. Jun'al had finally had enough, he confronted Renko on his meaning.
“My lord, you have become different since, Coruba Deng. The men are beginning to talk, and it isn't good. They fear you have lost your will.” Jun'al said.
“I have changed, Jun'al, I haven't lost my will. I believe I have found it. Until now I did what was expected of me, I said what was expected of me, I even thought what was expected of me. Now I have ideas that I can't ignore anymore. The question “why” has crept into my soul. I can no longer do things, just because it is expected of me. There has to be a reason, and that reason must make sense.” Renko replied casually.
“The old man, and that book?” Jun'al asked
“Yes.” Renko replied
“That book is dark. They have been forbidden for a reason, they are dark. They pollute those who set eyes upon them. The old man was a messenger for the darkness. The book needs to be destroyed.” Jun'al added strongly
“No one will lay a single finger on that book. It belongs to me and no one else.” Renko spat with venom
“My lord. It has tainted you.” Jun'al said defiantly
“It has not, it has made things clear for me. I have decided I am going to leave. I don't know how long and I don't know where to. I need to learn more about the book, and I need to find a teacher to help me.” Renko said
“I can't let you leave.” Jun'al commanded
“You must. I am not offering a choice, I am explaining my plan, and now I am done doing that”
Renko mounted his horse and took off.
He had made his mind up days ago. The old man told him if he had questions they would meet again. Thus far, he had questions but no one showed up. He was growing impatient, and decided it was time to take things into his own hands to find the order himself. He didn't know where to start, and he didn't know what to look for.
The Forests of Daella, the origin of his book, land of the forsaken, home to the cursed. The region was largely uncharted, and said to be full of thousand creatures from the bowels of the underworld. A place of dark magic, where only fools would venture. It was clear that this would be his destination. Two hundred leagues to the north, in the coastal mountain ranges. The journey would take nearly a fortnight, if the gods favored his aim. He rode out of town on the back of the harvest moon. The rainy season had begun, and the ground had saturated completely leaving pools of water turning the dirt into mud. The hooves of his horse pressed deep into the soft soil. The journey ahead of him promised to be difficult, but he trusted the nameless voice inside him, and he pressed on.
Before he is able to leave the grounds he is intercepted by Jun'al and the rest of the Lords men, they escort him to Lord Iren at the palace gates. Renko, says not a word to any of them nor will he look them in the eye. Renko dismounts as soon as he is within walking distance of the gate.
"Father, I am leaving." Renko calls out from a few paces back.
"You are not." Iren replys
"You cannot stop me. I am leaving to find the sages of Daella, and that is that." Renko says
"Jun'al told me of your ideas. This is ludicrous, you will not be following that evil thing to the forests to learn from those warlocks. You are my son, you have duties. You will not leave these gates." Iren commanded
"I care not of what you say, or what my duties are. I must leave. I have no need of your approval." Renko said
"Then you will have no need of my name as well" Iren spat
"If that is your demand." Renko said bowing low. "I accept" He said standing
"You will meet no more resistance. You are no longer my son, your brother is now heir. Do not look to my lands, my men, or my house for any aid or protections. You are Renko, alone." Iren said callously.
Renko lowered his head and walked past his father. Once through the gates he whistles a four note tune. His horse Danion sprints after him. He grabs the hoses reigns and climbs on his back in one deft maneuver. Looking over his shoulder, he realizes that he is not being persued. It is done.
He followed an old cattle trail out of the northern portion of the city in attempt to draw as little attention as possible. Both from his fathers men, and the many bandits on the prowl for travelers to overwhelm. Hardly a days ride from the gates he came upon a small farm. The house lay in ruins, burned to the ground, all was gone. He ventured near despite the defiance of Danion.
As he got close he saw a man, late in years lying among the ashes. He called out to the man, and there was no response. Fearing the man dead he dismounted and approached on foot. The man lied on his stomach in the middle of what used to be a home, his home probably. The body lie motionless as Renko approached. He places his foot on the back of the man and pressed down gingerly. Trying to elicit any sign of life he could. With no success he rolled the man over to see his face. Perhaps he would know who it was, The province is a small one, and everyone was at least familiar. As he rolled, the man let out a groan. Startled, Renko drops to his knees to aid the man.
“Sir, what happened here?” Renko asked.
The man groaned weakly. Trying to speak. Renko put his ear closer.
“Bandits...stole my daughter... burned down....killed me.” the man said, breath barely holding the words.
He reached his hand to where he had been lying, desperately grasping for something. Renko looks, and realizes in horror, that he was lying with the burnt corpse of a woman. Probably his wife.
“Kill me... please.” The man croaks
“I'm sorry.” Renko says as he draws a dagger from his hip and slips the blade under the mans rib cage and into his heart.
Overcome by the moment, Renko sobs into the dead mans chest. This is the first life he has taken. Battle is for the warrior caste, his is of the rulers. This was never his destiny to take life. The weight of it he had no way of predicting. All he could think of was the dying man, desperate to be with his wife, that he lay with her corpse for who knows how long. Out there somewhere his daughter was being subjected to unknown ills. All of this seemed so unjust, and cruel.
He recognized the man as a cheese maker who held a booth in town. He had never been a patron, but he remembered the kindly old man who gave him big hunks of soft goats cheese when he was younger. He had know way of knowing why this happened but he knew the man and his family did not deserve their fate. He pressed on quietly plotting what he would do to those responsible if he were to happen across them. Introduce them to a similar fate.
It had been more than two weeks since the farm, and the memory still flashed in his mind frequently. The low road took him near the coast through the finger mountains of the coast into wine country. Finely manicured fields of grape vines, teeming with men, women and children tending to the vines, and transporting picked product.
A small river runs along the boarders of one of the fields, bending into a slow moving pool. He leads Danion to the pool's edge, dismounts and Danion begins to drink. A small girl of no more than seven brought him a bundle of grapes for him and another for Danion.
“Thank you.” Renko said to the small girl whose eyes wouldn't leave Danion. “His name is Danion, a marvelous creature.”
She looked at him and back to the horse.
“You can pet him if you like.”
Her eyes grew large as she stepped up. She patted his neck gently. Danion turns his large head to look directly at the girl, he whinnied and the little girl laughed.
“My name is Renko, what is your name?” Renko asked her
She opened her mouth to answer, when a different voice shouted.
“Lila! Get back over here!”
A look of fear overcame the girls face and she ran back into the rows of vines, picking up her basket.
A large man on horse back began berating the small girl for abandoning her job. He screamed at the child like she were a grown man. Renko approached the man.
“What is the meaning of this?” Renko Demanded of the brutish man
“Mind your business traveler.” The man barked
“I am no mere Traveler. I am heir to Iren Alis'Abba, Your lord.”
“This is of no concern of your lordship. Lila is on duty, she has no right to leave her position until directed otherwise.”
“She is a child”
“She is a slave, a worker, and a poor one. She is lucky my mouth yelled and not my whip.”
“How dare you threaten a child.”
“My lord I do not threaten a child. I threaten livestock. She has one purpose, and that is to work. When she doesn't it is my job to make her. You dare not to interfere with the business of this vineyard. Go now before I make you leave. You are no longer welcome to stay.”
“I am your lord, and I will be regarded with the respect my position deserves!”
“You are the son of a lord, and you are outside the bounds of your fathers lordship. These lands are overseen by Mikan Red'aryn. So you dare not question his rule, and you will now be on your way.”
Renko knew in that instant he had been beaten. His name held little sway here. There was nothing he could do. Now because of his outburst, the kindness shown him by Lila may be repaid in violent punishment by this beast of a man.
Slavery is deplorable, and most of the realm is of the same opinion, however it is still legal in some parts of the country. The closer to the Forbidden Forest he gets the more barbaric the people become. The injustice is hard for Renko to swallow but he must. This is a battle for another time, by other people. Once again he is on his way north. His resolve is strengthened with each new vision of injustice in his world.
A few more days of hard riding are all that stand between him and his fate in the forest. What he will encounter, he hasn't a clue. He is excited for the prospect. Everything inside of him tells him that he is nearing the end of this journey and on the precipice of beginning a new one. The rolling hills have turned into small mountains, and the trees have grown from 30 feet to 300 feet. The legends say that these trees were here in the beginning of the ages, ancient, and alive. They move as they will, and the constant creaking of their trunks evidence to their being alive. High up in the canopies of the giants, live creatures beyond counting, ones who know nothing of the world below, and have never set foot on the ground. The road has trickled down into a mere dirt path. The suggestion of a direction to follow. He is following his instinct more than his mind. Ahead of him he sees a large granite bolder standing at the edge of a clearing. Shining in the distance. As he nears, he sees, that the boulder is carved into the face of a man, 20 feet tall and almost as wide, the gnarled roots of trees climb on and around the sculpture. The peoples that made this must be long gone, as it looks as ancient as the trees that accompany it.
A large white owl perches on the nose of the sculpture. Watching with wise eyes. Renko stops his horse before the stone and the owl. For a long moment the two stare at each other motionless.
“I am a friend, and I seek safe passage into the forest. I am pure of intention.” He calls out.
The animal stares at him judging him. The owl let out a long loud screech, then fluttered to the ground. Leading him into the forest one hop at a time. This owl was like none he had ever seen before, this owl was large, bigger than any bird Renko has ever seen. Bigger even than the hunting dogs his father kept at the palace. He trusted the animal, and dismounted Danion and followed. The tree cover became so dense the light barely penetrated dall the way down. It was dark, dank, and damp. After about an hour of trudging through the undergrowth, the bird chirped and flew away. Renko stopped, Either he had reached the destination the bird was leading him to, or he was abandoned by the bird. In the distance he heard what sounded like music.f
He follows the sound. Just ahead, the ground began to slope down, to a large lake surrounded by the trees and dotted with islands. The sound was coming from one of these islands. Without being told he knew what to do. He patted Danion on the head and told him to wait here, and he walked into the water. The water was shockingly warm and it felt different than the water he was used to. It felt as if the water held him up, like it would be impossible to drown. As he made his way towards the big island in the middle with a giant tree growing on it, the music grew louder. A melodic hum resonated through the forest. When he reached the island. The ground was extremely soft, covered in supple mosses that begged to be lied down on. When he got to the base of the tree he heard the Owl again. He looked up and the bird was high up in the tree. He understood, he must climb.
The deeply grooved bark of the ancient tree offered ample hand holds and spots for his feet. The climb was difficult but achievable. After nearly forty feet of climbing he reached the first limb. The limb is as big as the trees in the courtyard of the palace. He found a chair and a pitcher of water on near the trunk. He sat and he drank. Behind him a voice rose.
Renko was startled and he jolted around. The old man from the market stood on the branch behind him.
“Congratulations on your journey, initiate. Welcome to the Life Tree.” The old man said
“What is this place?” asked Renko
“You have made it to the sacred forests of Daella, and this tree is home to the order of Ashla.”The old man answered serenely
“What is that?”asked Renko
“Ashla is the goddess who bestowed upon mankind her life force. That force lives inside you. It guides you. It knows right and wrong, and through it you are connected to everything and everyone. You were chosen by Ashla to have one of her books, and it has left its mark upon you. That much is clear. You are no longer Renko Alis'Abba. That life died the moment you bought the book, you are reborn into your destiny. This new life needs a new name.”
“What is my new name?” Renko asked
“That is not for me to give. Close your eyes, and try to listen to the force inside of you. It will guide you and give you your true name.” The old man said.
The old man sat down, crossed his legs, and placed his hands upon his knees, and finally closed his eyes. Renko followed suit. His mind raced with excitement, the force inside him told him this was true. He had achieved what he needed to achieve. A new life awaited him in the next few moments, and he needed to set out on that path.
The voice inside of him whispered, “ shhhh”. Instantly his mind quieted and he was calmed into stillness. His heart began to beat slower, and time itself felt as if it slowed. He asked the voice inside him to reveal his true name. There was no answer, not right away. A low tone different than the one he was used to whispered to him. It whispered something he already knew a long time ago, but had forgotten, something the world around him had never known.
“Your name is Jed'i and you are destined for greatness. Your name will strike fear into the hearts of evil, and your followers will be many. They will adopt your name as their own, as a title of reverence. Stand now Padawan, and begin your training”
Renko Alis'Abba was more than a man, he was a model. The force manifested in him like never before, bestowing on him abilities that would come to define his entire order. Those who came before him were only concerned with mastering the arts of the earth, and keeping it to themselves in secret. They recruited those they found worthy with the enticement of books, and clever use of psychic control. They kept to their treetop monasteries, in service to their god.
Renko was different. He wasn't able to reject the world he came from. He saw it as his duty to use his gifts to help the world around him maintain a balance. Injustice would be met with justice. From then on he set out looking for those like him. Others blessed with the force. He taught them what he knew, and told them what he believed. Together they created the order of Jedi, named after him in hopes they would not forget his teachings. He was born into wealth and privilege but left it all in favor or honor and service. Today his teachings have spread throughout all the known systems in the entire multiverse, and his followers are the keepers of the peace.