The Church of the Force "First comes the day Then comes the night. After the darkness Shines through the light. The difference, they say, Is only made right By the resolving of gray Through refined Jedi sight." - Journal of the Whills, 7:477 The Church of the Force is a fringe religious group, mostly found in and around the Outer Rim which is dedicated the the worship of The Force and the preaching of its associated beliefs, in a practice known as Bendu. An ancient organisation, which was rumoured to have been one of the earliest discoverers of the Medichlorians, much of the groups history has been lost to time, with the Church waxing and waning often. With the collapse of the Jedi, the group has redoubled its efforts to spread the 'good word', prompted by its core doctrine of 'Bendu' (Balance) being placed under what the Church calls, a 'rising tide of darkness in the Galaxy'. History Storytellers of the Church of the Force claim that their founding was originally in the Mid-Rim during or before the so-called Age of Darkness. Initially known as the Bendu Order, a small collection of Monks and Scholars focused on the practice and stufy of Numerology and promoting Non-Confrontationalism, the Churches history states that the group arrived on its originating world of Ando Prime several thousand years prior to the creation of the Jedi Order. During this time, the Bendu Order was one of many groups across the galaxy to discover the Force, and the Medichlorians that makes its use possible, and reformed into the Dia Bendu Monks to further study this new phenominom. Establishing a place of study, that became their first Monsatery in the Andobi Mountains, they undertook the study of the Force for hundreds upon hundreds of years. Ultimatly, it was - according to legends - this practice that was to be their undoing, with those Force Sensitives within their ranks leaving, to join the new Je'daii Order, a purer Monastic pursuit of the Force and its potential. Those few who remained faithful, watched in horror as the Je'daii soon tore themselves apart, the followers of Ashla and of Bogan turning on one another, and laying the foundation for the endless struggles between the Light Side of the Force and the Dark Side. The Faithful of Bendu isolated themselves, devouting themselves to doing what they could to preserve the Bendu, and slowly, waned in terms of strength and numbers, as like many force-worshipping groups, the lure of the Light and Dark proved to strong for many of its members. Indeed, as the centuries blurred into millennia, the history of the Bendu became mired with legend and heresay, and their message and former splendour was buried bebeanth the great torrent of sagas and tales of the Jedi and their struggles against the Sith. The Bendu, seeing the pace of change, disbanded, those few who remained, becoming the Church of the Force, doing what they could, with what little they had, to continue to spread the Book of Whills and its teachings of the Bendu Faith. It was around this time in their history, when the Jedi Order was at its zenith, that Grandmaster Shendu was to ascend to be the second holder of that rank, when he established the Temple of Kyber on Jakku to further the study of those force-embued crystals from which the Temple was to take its name. Not to be outdone by their off-world peers, those few monks on Ando Prime began the development of the martial arts form Zama-Shiwo, and allowed its spread to Jedha in due time. The Church, unable to truly interfere in Galactic affairs, as small and weak as it was, became viewed by many of the more synical modern population, as a deluded group of men and women, muttering to some ancient deity for help. Establishing orphanages on their two temple worlds, the Church managed to secure a steady supply of new recruits, to hold their numbers, not expand them, and as the Jedi fell from grace once more, and the Balance of the Force looked ever more rocky, some of its younger members began to grow impatient. Calling for the Church to do something to restore the Balance, the Church of the Force stood at a crossroads in its history. Beliefs The Church of the Force follows the broad-tent belief that the faith of the Force, and the concept that balance must exist within it, and within all things, must be taught and spread as far as possible. This belief is known as Bendu and focuses around the following core tennants: The Force exists within all living things. The Force binds all together. The Force must be kept in Balance, between the Darkness and the Light Due to the openness of these beliefs, there exist many schools of thought within the Church of the Force, some arguing that it is the Churches job to ensure that the balance exists, others arguing that the Force will correct and instill its own balance given time, and so on and so forth. Their belief system has an accompanying martial art, Zama-Shiwo, which encourages 'Mastery of the Body, and total control of the mind'. It is, in a trained user, a highly capable and deadly combat form. Their exists a written version of this, known as 'The Whills'. Structure and Organisation Disciple - The entry level rank for all members, a Disciple is undergoing their training, which can take weeks or years depending on the applicant. Often coming through the orphanages run by the Church, or off the streets, a Disciple is to be training in Zama-Shiwo, Healing and the Whills. Acolyte - Once basic training has been passed, a monk may become an acolyte. They then may enter more advanced forms of training, and can even go on a search for a kyber crystal or other lost artifacts. Teacher - Only attainable once a monk has completed a quest for a lost artifact, they then become a teacher, and are expected to travel frequently out into space and to teach the ways of the Church. Master - The most desireable rank, only open to those who have committed great deeds for the Church. They are chosen by the Grand Master of a given temple. Grand Master - There exist only two, elected by the Masters of their Temple. The only other way to become a grand master is to found ones own temple, which has not been done in thousands of years. Assets Temple of Kyber - Jedha Seat of the Whills - Ando Prime Monks within the Church hold little by way of personal belongings, forgoing such things when they join. Instead, they make use of whatever the Church has to hand - eating from the food the Temples provide, both of which being self-sufficient. All Monks have access to robes, and staffs. They are forbidden from making use of ranged weapons, or possessing material currency of any form. However, both Temples do permit their members to make use of a communal armoury when they need it, which contains bladed weapons and combat batons/staffs only. The only other form of weapon permitted is a Kyber Weapons, made through force forging. Naturally, each Monk is provided with a copy of the Whills. Intent To create a monastic order, and force-worshipping group, intended to be a precursor to the Guardians of the Whills seen in the movies. This group provides a nice setting for those warrior-teacher type characters, who are not fully force sensitive. I'm aware this is very early for the Church, so I'm happy to change it to the Dai-Bendu Monks and rework it a bit if it would be more in keeping with the sites lore. Just let me know! Also, I'm interested in making a Lore writeup for the religions core beliefs as well if that would be welcomed.