(Ed. Note – this is some older writing brought forward – I thought it was fun, and may offer some arpeez to anyone who would like to abuse it.  If you'd like to roleplay against the Guardian or incorporate this into larger scenes and I can help?  Let me know!)

 

There is a holocron, once available in the Sith Archives on Korriban.  It's gone around the galaxy a few times, when one apprentice or another took it with them – and in recent days has vanished from the Archive itself, and could be found anywhere.  It's a subpar device, visibly cobbled together in a way that the older, more elegant devices of an earlier age are not. A rounded cube, it moves between a subtle red and faint gold when activated. 

The Guardian is a Twi'lek in a simple robe, leaning on an old-fashioned staff. Her lessons are meditations on the Code, and the nature of the force.

"By this time, Seeker, you likely know the Code. Hidden within it are – as you've been told by your overseers – the keys to power, the very root of all speculation on the nature of the Force. There are reams of meditations on the force itself, and listening to one more, while never remiss, would not be of significant immediate value.

"Let this, then, stand as a warning on the traps hidden within the Code, the stumbling blocks that will prevent you from reaching your full potential, as they have me. Take my life as a warning – seek not to emulate it, rather, seek to transcend it.

"Begin by recognizing that the Code of the Sith and the Code of the Jedi are both intentionally flawed. They are simple, surface explanations of deeper concepts that take a lifetime to comprehend, and cannot be mastered. There is always more to learn, always more to grasp, and more than can be wrung from your understanding. The first trap of the Code, then, is hubris.

"Never assume you have mastered even your basic skills. Always strive to reach farther, to understand more, to test your assumed limitations. Being certain in your own power to the exclusion of respecting the potential power of others, or, worse, discounting the potential of others, will be your death."
 

On the code:

"Peace is a lie, there is only passion.

"These words are at the core of what it means to be Sith – and they were written, as history notes, as a direct response to the Jedi, and the code that had come to be. They are a reminder from our philosophical ancestors about the trap inherent in the mysticism of the Jedi.

Peace, then, must be viewed through the light of what the Jedi claim it to be, and how they practice its implementation.

"For a Jedi, peace is not the interlude between wars, or the idyllic notion of green fields and simple living. Rather, it is the peace of nonattachment – the so-called peace that comes when the world ceases to affect you. Fearing their emotions, the Jedi withdraw, choosing to feel nothing, choosing to act only when it is done without anything more than what they claim to be the ‘will of the force’ to guide them.
They claim that, in this state, the user becomes attuned to what the force ‘wants of them’, submerging their ego and thus ensuring that their motives remain ‘pure’. I would ask this, however – what motives can one have when the ideal state is to be utterly unaffected by the events that transpire? What possible worth is mastery of the Force, when it comes at the expense of the will to use it?

"In this way does the Sith code posit something more. It shows us that the peace of the Jedi is an illusion, a false path, one that creates individuals who no longer have the will to change the galaxy or the motivation to act when it is required. The so-called ‘light side’ grants ability at the expense of impetuous, clarity without reason.

"The Sith Code reveals that the only reasonable path is that of our passion, regardless of source. When our command of the Force is bolstered with the fire of our emotion, we show the true capabilities of the Force – we gain the power and will to change the universe to our whim, rather than to sit in passivity and watch it pass by, filled with tremendous potential but unable to release it in a meaningful way."

The guardian continues – 

"Through Passion, I gain Power."

"Out of all of the lines of the Code, many filled with such potential confusion and the hidden traps of the mind and the Force, this one is the most straightforeward. Passon fuels the Sith, and our passions give us focus and allow us to bend the Force to match our will.

"However, passion is dangerous – the Jedi fear it. They speak to it in their own code, contrasting it against the ‘peace’ they seek – “there is no emotion, there is peace”. As with all things the Jedi do, it behooves us to examine their tradition, to understand why they fear what they fear, and what we can learn from their understanding; it is another thing that separates us. Simply, the Sith are free to use all tools at their disposal, and it would be a poor member of the Order that let wisdom lie simply because its source is objectionable.

"Why then, is passion something the Jedi fear? Simply, passion unbridled, unleashed without any semblance of reason or restraint, becomes destruction for destruction’s sake. The very strength of the Order becomes its undoing as that directionless impulse to tear down the foundations of civilization and discourse annihilates any hope of a lasting future.

"While complacency and inaction is the Jedi’s downfall, leading their order to stand idly by while the galaxy changes around them, the destruction of all outside the self – the loss of a higher purpose in the midst of the pursuit of power – is the cliff to the side off the path of the Sith. To live the code is forever an act of balance: we must seek strength in our passions without allowing them to consume us utterly.

"Ethics are foolish, and morals are dictated by the needs of the moment – these are true statements. That said, in the pursuit of power, one must never lose sight of the larger picture, nor must one be tempted by the moment at the expense of the great. Pursuing power is the very definition of being Sith, but we often fail in understanding how to use that power to its proper end.

———

"One of the things you'll learn, Seeker, as you investigate philosophy among the Order, is that those who are minded to do so find themselves at odds over the simplest of concepts – definitions, raw and base understanding, are notoriously slippery in Basic, and in most of the other sentient tongues. It is the classic philosophical conundrum: while it is perfectly possible to identify something as 'red', when I tell you to picture 'red', the shade you chose in your mind does not match the one I see in my own.

"So, too, is the inherent difficulty of the Code. 'chains' comes to mind as a particularly difficult word, a remarkably bad choice for poetic phrasing in the core philosophy of the Order. What are chains? How can they be defined? What do they represent?

"The answer, insofar as I have been able to determine it, is that chains are those connections which burden you, rather than empower you. They can be obvious: in war, a broken supply line is an obstacle that absolutely must be overcome. An initiate often must kill their rivals to become an apprentice – ties of friendship or comraderie in the Academy are never anything but a burden.

"Things are far murkier in the reality of life within the Order, however. Each Sith must serve, and must be served in turn. Service, therefore, cannot truly be a chain as long as it serves your own ambitions. Personal relationships that render you vulnerable are chains, but those that improve you, intensify you, focus your understanding or ignite your ambitions? That is something else entirely. It is obvious, then, that 'chains' are the obstacles and bindings that stand in the way of our choices, that lead us away from our own desires into passivity and loss of focus.

"Then, these chains are addictions: addictions to pleasure of the flesh, drugs, even pain and rage. A chain may be a one-sided relationship, one in which the Sith is dragged down by the person to whom they are bonded, rather than buoyed by them. Loss of ambition may be a chain, as may a dozen other potential situations.

"It is important to note, however, Seeker, that the simple axioms taught by many in the order – 'love is nothing but chains', or 'friendships, affection – this way leads to burdens only'? These are foolish. They certainly lend to personal power, to ruthelessness that serves a Sith well, but it ignores that one of the greatest sources of lasting power is the willing service of others, the respect that comes when a leader leads well, and the connections made that transcend payment or fear.

Through victory, yes, your chains can be and are broken – but you cannot break a chain you do not understand, nor see as one.

On Deception:

"It is worth, I think, Seeker, to discuss the idea of deception – too often we get entangled in the outdated, moralistic nonsense that makes up 'honor' or 'correct behavior'. In doing so, we lose what it means to be Sith.

"Honor, glory, recognition – these are outmoded concepts, useless appendages to be tossed to the side, wielded when their use is appropriate, but left to rust when they are not. In the end, there are only ends – does it matter if your opponent dies to your saber blade or to a well-placed poison? Dead is dead – there are no 'good deaths' or 'bad deaths', there is no place for being squeamish over methodology, and one should never allow a misplaced sense of altruism to still an intended blow for some insignificant reason like 'honor'.

"Deception, then, is a fundamental weapon – and likely the most dangerous in the arsenal of skills and tools available to the Sith. Well-placed deception is a better protection than the thickest armor or most alert awareness in the force: if the blows are never aimed at you, how can they connect? It is a better weapon than blaster, saber, or even an entire fleet: if the enemy never knows your own stroke is coming, how can they defend against it?

"Never allow your motivations to be visible. Never seek glory or recognition unless they are tools to a larger end. Be wary of titles that you have not taken; fame that is granted to you limits your mobility and ability to respond to rivals. Above all, remember that the best deceptions predicate on truth; the truth that raises them up strengthens them, makes them more difficult to perceive, and all the more dangerous when the deception is rejected in its entirety when it is seen through.

"Deceptions are never permanent. They must end, because a deception without purpose is a waste of energy and attention – they must exist for their reason, and they must be discarded when that purpose is at an end, or when it is no longer viable.

"Above all, you must keep your ends firmly in mind – the correct action is always the one that brings you closer to your goals, and you must ever be honest with what your goals must be. All other considerations are secondary to the victory you have set out for yourself.

"Finally, remember this: a deception is not a lie, rather, it is an obfuscation of truth and motive, an attempt to shift another's perception of reality to elicit a specific action from them. A lie is too easily discovered, too limited in scope. Reality is what it is, and cannot be blithely ignored – anything contrary to that reality will be found out and rejected, often violently, by even the most untrained mind. This is where your plans will fail.

On Purpose:

"A Jedi does not require purpose; they thrive in purposelessness, in the absence of ambition. In that state, they can leverage their passivity into something more than mere complacency – it can become a powerful tool for reaction. Think of the Jedi philosophy as a great well with a small tap – there is phenomenal power in their approach, but their ability to apply it is limited by their fear of power. In that sense, reaction serves them better, allowing them to apply a minimal force to change the direction of events.

"The Sith are something else – the Dark Side is a blade, a weapon, a scalpel, a storm. It is at its strongest when wielded in firm conviction, in pursuit of the passions that drive us to ever move beyond ourselves. We are the instigators, the throwers of rocks, and a rock is at its most powerful when thrown with overwhelming force.

"A Sith without a goal is a sad and aimless thing, a spectre of sorts, driven to conflict only for conflict's sake and to the accumulation of power without reason or focus. This can never create greatness, rather, the sort of scattershot ennui that comes from this empty waiting can only mark time and lend to the kind of self-destructive contemplation that lies at the core of the traps of the Dark Side. It is through focus that we are granted power, through targeted ambition that we achieve legendary feats.

"Yet, it remains important to recognize that not all goals are grand ones. For each Sith engaged in actions that shape the very nature of the galaxy, another quietly pursues their own aims that are both personal and potentially forgotten but no less useful or focused. To be Sith is to recognize that you have the freedom to choose your own path, and the vitality and importance of that path is your own.

"Not all are made to pursue the conquest of the galaxy or the reshaping of the very destiny of the universe. All could do so, but simpler ambitions are no less valid – as long as they are ambition, and not simply marking time.

"Remember always this truth: it is in our lack of direction that we destroy ourselves, for it is ever the nature of the Dark Side to destroy and – lacking another target – it will turn on ourselves, on our own structures, and our own existence. There must always be purpose and direction, or there is nothing but decadence and doom.

 

Author Aunne
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