Today it’s a collaborative bit of background for the Federation-Apocalypse game.
About 3620 BBY
In the aftermath of the Great Galactic War and the ensuing Cold War, the Republic had found itself locked in a stalemate with yet another Sith Empire – in this case one that had even managed to briefly capture Coruscant. The situation was intolerable, and the Republic was less than impressed with the response of the Jedi Order to the threat posed by the resurgent Sith. With little confidence in a Jedi rally, and little hope of winning a war against the Sith in a battle of armies and navies, orders were given for the activation of contingency plan that had been held in reserve for centuries.
Three hundred years prior, during the battle against Darth Revan in the Jedi Civil Wars, segments of the Republic government had concluded that the Jedi – if less violent – were just as crazy as the Sith. Indeed, Revan himself was a case study in what was wrong with the Jedi – and how they, as a spawning ground for future Sith, endangered the Republic. Those concerned officials had – under deep cover and in desperation – launched an effort to found their own secret order of force-users for use in emergencies.
Their initial recruits were a handful of Sith and Jedi renegades – mostly trainees – who were disgruntled with both orders and with the apparently-endless cycle of Sith wars. They were sent additional untrained force-sensitive recruits when those could be found, backed in the secret collection of lost artifacts and lore from before the founding of the Jedi order, and provided with funding and hidden bases – primarily on Hoslin, a world in the deep core. Secrecy was maintained at all costs.
As research into the past of the Jedi began to shed light on the nature of the Force and the split between the Jedi and Sith, training methods were changed and adopted to compensate for what was learned – and to try to better cope with the Dark Side and prevent “Sith Syndrome”.
Preliminary research into the genetic basis of Force sensitivity led to the discovery that there were three fundamental levels of force sensitivity, although capacity varied within the two higher levels – none, latent, and active. Active force sensitives had all the genes and psychological traits necessary for force potential, had the strongest powers initially, and could access them readily in early childhood. Latent had only a portion of those genes and traits, and could only access their abilities at either a young age or after a traumatic breakthrough at older ages. Those lacking both the relevant genetic and psychological potentials could not access the force at all.
Active force users had to be caught at an early age and trained before their powers ended up killing them or those around them. This was made easier by the fact the Order was made up of close knit families, who actively searched for such potentials among their offspring. Children with no Force potential usually ended up working in support roles in the Enclaves, and were considered valued members of the family for their efforts.
Efforts into researching how to better cope with the Dark Side and prevent “Sith Syndrome” led to the transition into a familial organization. Close bond with family and friends served as a partial counterbalance to the temptations that led to the Dark Side – or at least offered a chance to break free of the positive feedback loop that led so man of those who tapped into the dark side to self-destruct in orgies of violence.
Expanding the order soon became a matter of cultivating families within the order as opposed to active recruitment of force sensitives. The age at which training began was pushed back until more of the youngsters personality could be measured and accounted for. Reliance on lightsabers – despite their usefulness and versatility – was discouraged as increasing emphasis was placed on overall martial prowess and tactical intelligence.
Over time, the Hoslin order began to focus on the arts of combating Force users – from time immemorial the greatest threat to the Republic – on assassination of mad force users, and on learning to shut down their own access to the force when it wasn’t needed without blocking themselves permanently. While that left them weaker and more vulnerable than either the Sith or Jedi in many ways, it allowed them to lead normal lives when not training or in action.
The “Hoslin” continued to seek ways to coexist with the dark side, since their interim solution of “shutting down” was anything but perfect – but it proved a successful stopgap. A step, perhaps, towards preventing the endless cycles of war. They wore white robes to better distinguish themselves from the Jedi browns and Sith blacks and used many weapons beyond lightsabers including knives, blasters, grenades, and shields. Never knowing when they might be forced to shut down their own powers made backup plans, and weapons, vital.
The Hoslin became the centerpiece of Republic contingency plans should the Sith reemerge or the Jedi go rogue.
With the Great Galactic War and the Cold War that followed, orders were given: Assist the Republic in defeating this new Sith Empire. Agents were sent out targeting high profile Sith and Imperial officials. Hoslin oversaw the secret factories and shipyards, keeping things organized through the Force. They also engaged the Sith in battle on the field, assisting the Republic soldiers where they could.
From their self-imposed exile on Tython, the Jedi watched. At first the Jedi thought the Sith were beginning the usual infighting that inevitably happens, and began to launch operations of their own against the Sith.
The first encounter between the Jedi and Hoslin at a three way battle on Alderaan between Jedi, Hoslin, and Sith. As the Hoslin and Sith fought fiercely, the Jedi assumed the two groups to be rival Sith and launched an attack on both groups. When the ensuing three-way battle, combined with the unfamiliar tactics of the Hoslin, became a veritable disaster for all three groups, the Jedi pledged to eradicate these new “Sith” along with the regular Sith.
The Jedi were most shocked to find themselves reprimanded by the Republic for their efforts and Alderaan and being told “The Republic no longer needed their assistance in this war.” The Jedi took this as a sign that the Republic had fallen prey to this new brand of “Sith” and vowed to free the Republic from both this new Sith subsect and from the greater Sith Empire.
In the course of the war that followed, Jedi fought Sith and Hoslin alike, making little distinction between the two. The Hoslin, under orders from the Republic, were more choosy in targets and hid themselves from the Jedi when they could. The Sith fought each other including the two orders arrayed against them – and quickly splintered under the stress of the fighting, dropping back into their default state of hundreds of tiny groups (each of which considered themselves the “one true Sith order”). In a colossal mistake the Jedi never did learn about, one of the final battles of the war ended with the Jedi systematically bombarding one of the Hoslin enclave worlds, believing it to be a Sith training world. The Hoslin, while greatly angered by this action, took the opportunity to go back into the depths of the Republic and bide their time until the Jedi or Sith should launch another war that endangered the Republic.