Force Organizations: Baran Do
By: Jason Dietzel
Long before the Kel Dor people joined the Galactic Republic, they founded their own Force organization. The Baran Do acted as seers and advisors for the leaders of their species’ society, using the Force to augment their natural senses, being able to predict natural phenomena, like weather patterns.
However, through diligent study and reflection in the Force, the Baran Do found that they could expand these senses beyond these insights and into the foretelling of Kel Dor society. As a result, the Baran Do became in integral part of their species’ culture, inserting themselves into key government roles in order to predict and avoid wars and policies that could trigger the collapse of their civilization.
With the admission of Dorin into the Galactic Republic, Force-sensitive Kel Dors shifted membership to the Jedi Order, and over time the Baran Do slid into obscurity, even on their homeworld of Dorin, becoming nothing more than an archaic sect of eccentric wizards according to public opinion.
The core of Baran Do philosophy was finding internal serenity by a close connection that would allow the practitioner to heed the Force’s will. As a result of the care they taught in having a calm, collected contemplation, the sages counseled against spontaneous decisions or actions; patience for the perfect moment to act was instead encouraged.
The Baran Do didn’t want to reflect themselves as “militants,” as they saw the Jedi, and therefore did not require any combat training or the creation of a lightsaber. Seeking martial arts training was an option, but those directing the organization wanted to make sure it wasn’t a major focus of their curriculum. Those who did practice martial training often utilized a basic wooden staff.
It is unknown if the staff was Force-imbued, but what is known is that the Baran Do were exceptionally gifted at telekinesis, especially when it came to controlling nature. They were able to summon powerful whirlwinds and were very proficient in the Force power Electric Judgment, which they referred to as white lightning.
There are two main ranks within the Baran Do: Novices reflecting the padawans of the Jedi, and Sages being a combination of Jedi Knights and Masters. There were also different roles Sages could play within the order. Sages filled a variety of instructor roles, like senior combat instructor. And like the position of Grand Master in the Jedi Order, the Baran Do had the role of Master/Mistress of the Order.
The Baran Do had a very minor role in galactic events. Before Dorin joined the Galactic Republic, the Baran Do limited themselves to helping progress their people. Once they became a member, most of their prospects went to the Jedi. During the time of the Great Galactic War, the Jedi boasted a repertoire of Kel Dor in their ranks: Zym as Grand Master, Gnost-Dural as head historian, Till’in as a respected and leader in archaeology, and Tol Braga as a key master on the Jedi High Council.
During the Cold War between the Galactic Republic and the reconstituted “True” Sith Empire, the Baran Do concealed a splinter cult, known for being worshipers of the dead Sith Lord Darth Sion. It is unknown what role, if any, the Kel Dor masters in the Jedi Order had in the ordeal, but the discovery of this cult did bring the Baran Do much self-inflicted shame.
However, the only known Kel Dor Jedi who retained his connections to the Baran Do was Master Plo Koon, an ace pilot who held a seat as a lifetime member of the High Council and served as a General in the Galactic Army, before his death during the Great Jedi Purge that culminated the Clone Wars.
Thanks to the Baran Do declining into obscurity within their own species’ culture, they were able to survive Order 66. However, a sub-sect within the order, known as the Hidden Ones, formed to protect their teachings and history. This secretive enclave isolated itself from the rest of the Baran Do, intent to be stewards of the order’s treasured past from a prophesized future calamity like the Great Purge.
Jacen Solo, during his acquisition of Force techniques, visited both the Baran Do and Hidden Ones, departing with a technique to mask brain activity. By the time the Skywalkers visited the Baran Do, circa 43 ABY, Tila Mong was the Mistress of the Order, and helped the Jedi duo connect with the Hidden Ones, dissolving the sub-group in the process.
The Baran Do organization was first mentioned in the RPG sourcebooks, Power of the Jedi, as well as other supplements. The group first appeared in the Fate of the Jedi: Outcast novel by Aaron Allston, but had been referenced beforehand in the Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords video game and subsequent The Old Republic online video game (MMO).