(This is the story of Kirienne's training and knighting as both Riddari Warrior and Jedi Knight. It's in her own words as told to a Bard and Scribe from the Isle of Rionnag) Kirienne sat in the laird's chair, at the high table, on the dais of the Great Hall of the Riddari Keep. This keep was in the SidheKing forest, and was near Castle Lonach. Since the SidheKing had held formal court earlier in the day, she was still dressed in the formal attire of King's Champion; her's consisted of a nubby silk, dark green tunic that reached mid calf, and was slit front and back for ease of movement in combat and revealed black leggings worn underneath. Her feet were clad in dark green, suede low-cut boots. A small hint of chain mail could be seen peeking out from sleeve and neck areas. She was, as is her custom, very well armed. Her long, silver hair was styled in what was called the 'warrior's braid', hair hanging down long with a thin braid framing each side of her face. She sipped at her mug of strong, dark ale as she awaited the arrival of her guests, the Bard and Scribe sent by the Righ Council to learn her story. 'Why am I here', she thought to herself, 'why did I ever agree to tell the tale of me knightly training?' A quiet voice inside her mind answered quickly, 'because your King, your Liege Lord has asked it of you. Would you deny him a boon when he asks so few?' Kirienne knew that voice; her conscience was right. Her king had bestowed upon her a great honor and high rank within his court, with that came the responsibility to do his bidding. He'd never asked much of her, other than her loyalty, how could she deny him this? Though she was known to dislike talking about herself, she had agreed to tell, in as much detail as she could remember, the story of her training and Knighting as Riddari Warrior, and Jedi Knight. Her Riddari training had been mostly informal, since for much of her childhood she had been raised off world on a smuggling ship. Thus the story of it was of interest to many. The story of her Jedi training was even more desired for it was quite unorthodox, by most training standards. The SidheKing wanted Kirienne's story committed to the memory of the Bards, and written in the Records of Heroes manuscripts. Kirienne snapped to alertness as the massive wooden doors of the Great Hall were opened. The Bard, Fain MacKelric and Scribe, Brianne Tayallor smiled broadly as they walked the length of the hall. Before taking the seats to Kirienne's left, as she indicated, they bowed deeply giving her the reverance due her rank by all Riddari. Her cupbearer, the wood-sprite known as Dubh Arrow, filled the mugs of all three with the best dark ale the brewery had to offer. Kirienne smiled, looked deeply into their eyes and began. "I ha been trained all me life to be a warrior. In fact, me birth runes read that I would 'go in the way of the sword'. Me Riddari training began very informally before I were the age of five winters old. Me earliest memories of this training are of sitting either on the lap or at the feet of Barad Volrath, me foster Da. He told me the stories of the Riddari heroes, and the Sidhe. He told of fierce battles on land and at sea, and great victories. He told me, too, about the bonny sea farerers, of sea and sky. I learned all the legends of the Isle. When I was of an age that I could begin to ken these stories, and could hold it easily, I was given a wooden practice sword to play with and began training as a Ghylie Beag, the first stage of Riddari training. I loved the training. At that early age the training is designed to be like play, I imagined meself fighting alongside all our champions and heroes. As a child, all the toys I was given were meant to inspire me as a warrior. As Ghylie Beag, I was given duties aboard the ship to help me foster da; had we been on the Isle, I would have done the same tasks for the Rigs's and the Riddari Warriors. Since I was raised aboard a smuggling ship most of the time, the training was adapted to fit our situation. I would practice with that sword for several hours a day. I received basically the same education all children on the Isle receive, except that I had lessons with a tutor, who was of course, a Bard. With all the swordplay, lessons and duties to do for Barad, there was not too much time to just play, but I never felt deprived; the whole ship was my playground. I had the run of it as long as I didn't push any buttons or pull any levers. When I was old enough I was given a real sword with blunted edges to train with and in time, was given the real thing, sharp edges and all. I was never shouted at when I made mistakes in weapons training, I did have to repeat the drills until I had basic moves down perfectly; but that was to insure that when me life depended on it I could fight without having to think about it. I was trained to be fast and accurate with a blaster and ships cannons as well. I dinna like using a blaster, it always felt strange in my hand; the sword always felt like part of me. I was thoroughly schooled in the arts of smuggling, and spent many hours manning the ships guns. Through the years, I were treated like a young warrior and expected to think and behave like one. I were expected to follow the Riddari honor code even though I had not yet sworn the oath." At this point of the discussion, Kirienne pulled a dagger from a sheath worn at the small of her back. As she placed it on the table, the beautiful Sidhe workmanship nearly overwhelmed the bard and scribe, who were not of full Sidhe blood. "Look intae the blade so that I might show you a thing insteada tell ye," Kirienne gently commanded. Using her Sidhe magic, she proceeded to share with them a vision, a flashback of memory. Her two guests obeyed her command and gazed deeply at the blade. The scene began to take shape --** A smallish youth stood before the tall, well muscled, much experienced Riddari Armsmaster. The man spoke kindly yet firmly to the youth, "Lay on child, I would see what ye have been taught." Their blades crossed time and time again, the youth met most slashes and thrusts with blacks and parries, even getting in some good attack moves which seemed to surprise the battle- seasoned armsmaster. Both combatants took bruising blows with the practice weapons that were made to mimic in weight and feel, the real greatswords used by the Riddari Warriors. The strain on young muscles was obvious as the youth fought desperately to remain standing. After a long quarter of an hour, the armsmaster called a halt to the session, praising the youth. "Hold, ye have done well lass. Ye dinna let me put ye on your arse no even one time. Ye are no longer a child, ye are now to be known as young warrior." ** The scene faded away from her blade, and Kirienne continued with her story. "That is what befell me on the first trip back to the Isle after me foster da was killed, and I found Jarek, me true sire. From tha day on, Jarek treated me like a warrior, and I was expected to act like one, no matter what. Me training continued daily with Jarek, aboard the Star Chaser. Along with masterin me skills as pilot and gunner, I were taught the finer points of smugglin, the makin of deals and seeing to the arrangements and the like. I was taught navigation, both the ancient way, and the modern. I learned, also, to shoot an arrow with a greatbow. Da showed me more than once that it was possible to pick off a stormtrooper in full armor, if your aim was true. When I was sixteen winters old, I was gifted with a fine greatsword, forged on the Isle, made special for me. To this day it hangs with me other blades. When I was eighteen winters, me da, Jarek, were ' killed' in a battle. Me training continued under Tylen, who was his co-pilot, and is now me life-bonded husband; he was already a full Riddari Warrior and Bard. He was usually brutal tae meself in practice and to this day, I thank him for it. Then came the day, many years later, when we finally had the time to come home for the entire nine day Summer Solstice festival. There was finally enough time for me to go through alla intense testing I had to pass in order to become a Knighted Riddari Warrior. The testing of a prospective Riddari Warrior is spread out over several days it is intense and thorough. The first test had me standing for many hours before the gathered Righ Council, reciting story after story of our heroes and history. I also had to answer many questions about the Riddari honor code, the history of the Isle and the Riddari. The most difficult part about that was that I ha only the very basic of bardic training and it is quite stressful trying to recall the legends in a time span of a few seconds. Now that I look back on it, the natural bardic talents I possess as Sidhe came to the fore and I easily passed those tests with the same score as the bardic students. Once I passed this test to the satisfaction of the Righ's, I had to endure the formal lists, which is actually the most difficult of the tests. It is the formal weapons and combat testing. The lists were my favorite of the testing, and the event I scored the highest on. I was surprised that I were the only one of the prospective Riddari standing at the end of the grand melee; all others remaining upright were seasoned warriors with many years experience. For those who dinna ken, the 'lists' is an event open to public viewing, indeed, the spectator areas are full to capacity to watch the display of combat. It is an event in which the Riddari display their fighting skills in various contests competing against each other. Warriors not yet knighted may have to fight Knights with many years experience, or you may fight someone equal to you in experience. The match up is determined by luck of the draw. Nothing is held back in these displays of fighting skill. The final event of the lists is the 'grand melee', --all warriors charge the field at once as if it were a real battle. After all the tests are completed, a feast was held in honor of those who were to receive the accolade. After the feast came the Knight's Vigil when all who were to be knighted made their way to places held sacred by the Riddari and the Sidhe. There in those places, we spent the entire night in contemplation of what it would mean to swear our oaths and what it would mean to finally become Riddari. The vigil is kept in absolute silence. For the vigil, each warrior to receive the accolade is allowed to have at his or her side one who is already Riddari; naturally I chose Tylen. We went to the Ring of Stones in the SidheKing Forest. I would show you that night rather than just tell you, so look you into me blade once again, and see for yerself." Bard and scribe again looked intently at the blade of Kirienne's dagger, they saw another flashback of her memory. They saw Tylen sitting off to the side, with his back against one of the stone pillars, softly playing his clarsach (wire strung small harp). The scene changed rapidly to show Kirienne sitting in the center of the 'Ring'. She sat stone still, cradling her greatsword in her arms. It appeared that she was either very deep in thought or in the midst of a 'seeing'. She was dressed in dark green open tunic over a lighter green shirt, brown leggings and soft leather shoes the same green as her tunic, the laces wrapped loosely around her ankles. The scene in the blade faded from view and Kirienne continued telling the tale. "I stayed in that position for the whole of the night, no saying a word, no having even a small sip of ale. At dawn Tylen led me to a place deep in the forest where I had tae show myself to me king, who has final say over who is to receive the accolade. The Riddari Warriors are his, we are sworn to obey his laws and commands. He had remained hidden from view, but had watched all the testing and all of the vigils. Finally the time came on the actual High Feast of Solstice that we were given the accolade. I would again have ye watch the blade and see how it was, for I dinna have the words to properly describe what that honor meant. Again, they watched as the dagger's blade showed them what Kirienne was remembering of the event that took place in the Great Hall of the Righ Council Keep. **The Righ Council was seated on the dais along with their personal guards and Bards. The Armsmaster stood at the back of the hall- almost to the massive wooden doors. Kirienne stood calmly at his side. She nearly glowed with pride of her accomplishment. She was dressed in what the warriors call 'sleeves', the belted tunic with the huge bag like sleeves; her tunic was a deep crimson in color, with embroidered trim in gold and silver, she like the other warriors wore no trews. The belted tunic reached to a few inches above her knees. The belt was of very soft yet sturdy leather with colorful knot work designs stamped into it. Over the tunic, she wore the doublet like Ionar; it's sleeved untied and hanging open. It's fine embroidery was partially hidden by her long hair. She was noticeably naked of weapon; her sword and daggers would be formally presented to her after she swore her oath of fealty to the Righ's. The two of them walked slowly down the length of the hall. Once in the presence of the Righ's, she gave a nod of reverance and approached them closer. She was given a mether filled with mead, the ancient sealer of oaths and drank deeply before swearing her oath. She swore her oath as she held the ceremonial greatsword of her clan. She stood motionless, the huge sword held high, it's blade pointing to the rafters of the hall; she spoke loudly and clearly as she swore "I Kirienne, do swear upon this sword and me honor that I will do the bidding of Himself, as one of his Riddari Warriors. I swear tae champion those what canna fight for themselves and I will use my skills as a warrior to stand against evil and tyranny. I will, when called upon in need, take up arms to defend the Isle of Rionnag as well as alla other Highland territories of Corellia. I will remain with honor at all times e'en should it mean me death. Battles I will fight with fairness and chivalry and ne'er will I attack an unarmed opponent. I will remain true to this oath for as long as I live."** The vision in the blade faded away as Kirienne refilled their mugs. She drank deeply of ale and continued. " After I swore me oath, I was lightly struck three times on each shoulder and upon me head with the sword of me Clan Righ. I was given the title of Riddari Warrior and all privileges and responsibilities that go with it. Me surcoat was draped over me head and alla me weapons were strapped to meself by those that had long been Riddari. I turned and gave the assembled guests a salute with me sword then turned to again face me chieftain who placed the torc of rank and status around me neck. When the accolade ceremony was over, meself and all the other newly knighted Riddari were taken in armed procession to Waylend's Grove deep in the forest, where we swore oaths of fealty to the SidheKing. I still remember every word of that oath, ' Me Ard Righ, this day I do pledge fealty to yourself and take you as me Liege Lord. I pledge to use sword and life in your service.' Once we'd sworn our oaths of fealty, we returned to the great hall where a grand feast awaited us. The festivities spilled out into the bailey and out the outer walls themselves into the surrounding glen. It was dawn of the next morn before Tylen and meself made our way to our pavilion, which was set up just inside the border of the forest. After forty-eight hours of tests, oaths and ceremony, no to mention all the feasting, drinking, and dancing, I was indeed ready to sleep." "Milady", the Bard Fain spoke softly as he took Kirienne's hand in his and kissed it softly. "Me thanks to you for sharing so much of your personal memories." He released her hand and she poured them all another mug of the rich nut-flavored dark ale. She summoned the wood-sprite servants and the young Ghylie Beags' to bring in the meal she'd had the kitchen staff prepare for her self and her guests. As they ate, she told the next part of her story. Kirienne and her guests sat back in their chairs and adjusted their positions slightly for comfort; she'd mentioned that her story was 'no so short'. Fain noted the 'far-away' look in Kirienne's eyes as she continued. "I'm told that the Jedi training I had were no the usual. I was not taught under formal circumstances, and I was not an apprentice to anyone. Most of the training I was given came from Luke Skywalker and the ancient Jedi Warrior/Knight Gylpyn Cairbre; some of it, came from data holos me da had made. Me earliest Jedi training came while I was in the brig of the Alliance medical frigate. I were there, as a patient but became prisoner when I attacked the Baron Calrissian. I blamed him for the hurts done to Luke and Han while they were on Bespin. Ya see, I had 'seen as well as felt' every torture done to them there. When the Falcon landed, I was ready. I came out of hiding as soon as Lando started to walk down the ramp. I was hauled off to the brig and somehow, the Force itself told Luke about me. He dinna even allow himself to be fully de-briefed before he came to see me. He said he'd been guided. E'en though I had me back to the door of the dark cell, I 'felt' his approach. We'd spent a little time together on a mission or two, but didn't know each other well at all. Look ye once more intae me blade and see that meeting." **Kirienne used her magic to enable the bard and scribe to see yet another flashback of her past. They looked into the blade and watched as Luke keyed the cell door. He heard her before he saw her sitting on the floor of the pitch-dark cell. "Skywalker, why do ye come here? Ye'd be better served by a medic than a crazy Corellian fighter pilot." Luke illuminated the cell and looked at her face, when he looked at her pewter grey eyes, he suddenly felt a surge of power come from her; a power he'd never felt before on any of their previous meetings, a power that seemed strangely ancient and somehow familiar yet different. He crouched to her side and spoke "Kirienne, I am a Jedi Knight now. What is this strange power I feel, could it be that you are… the Force and something else flows so strongly around and through you. You must be trained in its' use. We must somehow get you trained before the Empire finds out about you." While Luke gazed into her eyes, he felt himself starting to feel as if in a trance, he forced himself to look away, breaking the contact. Kirienne reached out and took his one hand in hers and poured out her pain, fear and confusion. "Ye were tricked lad, by tha man all in black who wore the battle helm on head and face. He tortured Han and encased him in a metal and gave him tae the bounty hunter" Luke was stunned, no one except Leia, Chewbacca and Lando should know the details of what had happened on Bespin, but this Corellian fighter pilot did, somehow she knew. "Kirienne, how do you know these things?" He asked. She started to sob softly as she told him. "Och, Laddie, I saw, as well as felt, every hurt done." Luke glanced around the small cell and saw some of the things she'd been allowed to have, as well as a few items that were no doubt smuggled in. There was some food, mostly bread and cheese, some gaming dice, playing cards and a flask, which he didn't think contained water. He called the objects to him and began levitating them as he started to teach Kirienne about the Force. ** The vision faded from the blade and Kirienne continued to tell her tale. "Luke showed me how to relax every muscle of me body and how tae control even the blinking of me eyes. Finally, he showed me how to levitate a few things. Wi effort, I found me dice and cards floatin in the air. I couldna see much sense in levitatin cards and dice, so I tried something useful, I visualized every component of the cells locking device and suddenly, it was opened-unlocked. Luke made me promise not to escape; he said it'd no be honorable, so I gave him me word. He left me to practice while he went for more medical treatment, he told me that as soon as scheduled permitted, he'd take me to Dagobah and train me. A few months later, I found meself flying me A-wing tae the place Luke called Dagobah. The dense foggy mist surrounding the planet was no hard for me tae see through, for I ha no trouble seeing e'en when it's fully dark out. I think I impressed the lad wi me landing. Although I shouldna been able ta see more than the tops of the trees, I saw everything verra clearly through the mist and I set me ship down as nice as could be -- on dry land. I remembered Luke telling me one time, how he'd crashed his X-wing intae the swamp. Well, I think he told me anyway, maybe I "saw it", since I've always had "The Sight". Anyway, Dagobah be a hellhole if ever there was one, when we arrived, I was immediately disheartened. The place be a swamp, a dirty, slimy, smelly swamp. Now, I've been in many a battle where conditions were rude, but at least I'd always had me proper ship, the StarChaser, with me so I could at least bathe and sleep in me own soft bed. Luke had forbidden me to bring any ship except my A-wing. I'm sure if looks could kill, I'da murdered the lad many times o'er in the time span of our first hour in tha Sidhe forsaken place. No only did bugs crawl up me legs, fly at me face, try tae take up residence in me hair, but a snake slithered right o'er me boot, causin me tae nearly jump outta me own skin. There was swamp as far as I could see, which be verra far. No green or purple hills or bonny glenn of forest, just slimy swamp. "Luke," I said to me teacher, "If ya think I'll be bathin in tha water, yer crazy." He smiled at me as if I were a confused child and dared to reply, " No, it would not be wise to bathe there. You'll have to forgo that luxury for now, as well as many others." Tha first day, we spent most of our time makin our camp, such as it were; the rudest camp I ha e'er in alla me days yet seen. He expected me tae sleep ona hard ground in a wee tent, no longer than meself when I be layin down. We were tae ha no cozy fire either, just a hint of one just big enough tae boil a pot of stew over. After we set up camp, he dragged me on a run 'round the swamp wi him. Stars it were amazing how much ground there were tae cover, I thought I'd die of exhaustion when we got back tae our 'lovely' camp. Dinner was another shock, this teacher o'mine was daft, he boiled weeds for our meal, weeds -no meat, no roots, just weeds. I was glad I'd packed ship rations which I detest, but tae me kennin they were better than weeds. After we ate our meal, he put me through a few mental drills -levitatin things like twigs and rocks and then he had the bloody nerve tae send me tae bed like a child. Stars I hated tha man then. We rose before dawn for another brisk run around 'paradise', then we spent the day climbin trees, swingin from vines, and levitatin rocks. This was the days work for many long days, no once in alla the first two weeks did I see any light saber, or any other any weapon for that matter. The only thing what made it bearable were the sight o' Skywalker. He be a bonny lad, doncha ken. He were quite a bonny lookin warrior wi a glistening of sweat and smudges of dirt upon him, some days it were all I could do to keep me mind ona drills, and offa him. Most wha he were telling me, I dinna ken. It made no sense, he were askin the impossible of meself. It seemed tae mean so much to him for me tae be trained tha I let him think I had kennin of what I were tae do. There was this old warrior who would come to me after I were in bed, it was sorta like a dream but was real -for I could reach out and touch him; he told me I was from the line of the ancients, then he explained in the ancient tongue of Rionnag wha Luke had been telling me. He seemed tae ken all about me and me home world. I thought he was one of the Fair Folk but he said he wasna. When he explained tae me in words I could ken, alla Luke's teaching, it made more sense and I were able tae do the drills. Luke was patient but firm, he scolded many times when I were in playful moods and couldna shake them. It was to be all work and no play while we were there, 'cause we'd no been given long leave tae see to me training. Finally I got to train wi the light saber, but e'en that made Luke frustrated. He was glad I caught on so fast, and why shouldn't I since I ha used swords from the time I was wee, but I destroyed his targeting remotes in seconds. I did what he'd said to do, but he wasn't expecting me tae do it so fast. I ken he was not sure what to do with me after that, he told me he'd ne'er met anyone like me before. Anyway, I ended up leavin Dagobah without Luke. I got so frustrated and was feeling such a failure; I just left and went back tae the base. As I left, he told me I'd be back. I dinna listen. When I got back tae me quarters on the base, 'the old guy' was waiting for me. He is the ancient warrior that had come to my tent to translate Luke's teachings for me. (Since I know him to be ancient, I call him the old guy). He was scolding even as the door whooshed open, telling me that I couldna run from me destiny and that if I wanted to live much longer, I needed to trust Luke and treat him the way I would treat the Riddari Armsmaster. Finally, after going on a long while, he told me in words I fully understood, that I had to 'string me bow and sharpen me blades, and that I had to above all else, keep me aim true'. He told me he would complete me training if I would go back to Dagobah, alone. I dinna even want to hear the word Dagobah, so I sulked -a thing I had never before done. A few weeks later, Luke came to see me, he had a gift for me; it was an old box he'd found at a bazaar-it contained some very surprising objects, a practice light saber that had belonged to me Da, and a holo tape he had made for me, just before he'd fought his last battle. Luke had taken the liberty to turn the practice saber into a fully functioning and lethal weapon, it was made of materials he'd never seen before and felt strange to his hand. When I took the saber, it felt like part of me somehow and felt oddly familiar. I now know that this was because the weapon is made of the fair-metal, one of the few the alloys that willna burn those of Sidhe blood. He told me he'd also arranged leave time for me to go back to Dagobah, alone. Well, I did go back tae that swamp, it'll ne'er be said tha Kirienne ran from a challenge. I swore an oath on tha light-saber tha I would show Luke a thing or two, and I would be a Jedi Knight. I spent two exhausting weeks there; training like me life depended on it. I have always kept myself battle ready, but during that time, something seemed to come to life inside me that had lain dormant for so long; I felt a strange surging of powers and I 'knew' somehow, that there was more to it than just the Force. The 'old guy' beamed with pride as I tried to explain the sensation to him, he told me I 'would know all that I needed to know, in due time,' I know now that it was the awakening of my stronger Sidhe powers. What I did not learn from my da's holo, or remember from Luke's teachings, the 'old guy' taught me. He told me that I was from the most 'ancient line of warriors', and that fighting style would soon find me if I just allowed things to 'happen according to the spinning of the wheel.' At the end of two weeks, I sent for Luke, he was not far away -about a day's flight; he had brought me unit SilverFlight and they were in orbit. When he arrived in the Silver's shuttle, I gave the lad a bit of a surprise. I was sitting in the open hatchway of the StarChaser, levitating several wee glasses of long-aged Corellian brandy, I dinna even spill a drop. Luke said he could feel the control I had. He admitted that he'd had a vision of me being strongly confronted by the dark side, and that I had not given into it's luring ways even though in the vision, it meant me death. He said that's when he knew I was a Jedi and all that remained was the formal knighting and oath taking. I was formally knighted at one of the gatherings at the neutral Port Lansing; there minutes after my knighting that had been attended by curious Imperial and Rebel alike, I was given a compliment by way of a threat. A mighty foe had told me to "enjoy knighthood my dear, it won't last long." Well, truly I think it lasted far longer than he hoped. Now, many years later, I ken that it was nae me Da's dan (fate) to become a Jedi, it was his though, to see that his daughter had a weapon meant for one of her blood, and to see that she was fully trained. Well there me friends, ye have in as much detail as I can remember, the Riddari and Jedi training and the double knighting of Kirienne."
Members Only Main Page
What's New Page