The Jenarai were an order of psionics, who arose during the civil war. Their name was ancient for “hidden followers of truth.” Their philosophy and methodology was a blend of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ teachings originating in the Esper Knights. Their hierarchy also loosely resembled that of the Knights. The founders had once been Esper Knights and were exiled for their beliefs.
The Jenarai go back to some point during the League Era. The founder of the order, who is no longer remembered clearly by the Jenarai, was a Psychic Vamprism wielding Esper Knight. He had come across an ancient manuscript discussing the philosophical musings of earlier generations of psionics from before the founding of the League. These concepts altered his thinking and he gathered followers among the knights before being exiled and fled with his followers from the core League worlds. He and his followers eventually established themselves as the Jenarai on a distant world and started their own research into the inner concepts of psionic power.
During the early days of the civil war the Esper Knights realized that dark psionicists were behind the Galactic Empire, so they sent out hundreds of knights to try to find the origin of this threat. One group of these knights found the Jenarai and decided they could be some of these dark psionic users and so attacked. A furious battle ensued in which the Jenarai’s makeshift base was destroyed and the Jenarai leader and his most advanced followers died. However the knights died as well, leaving only the students left alive. In the aftermath of the battle the wife of one of the slain adepts took the title of Saarai, or “Keeper of Truth”, for herself and began to train the next generation of Jenarai.
While the stronghold would remain hidden and the core would stay within their headquarters, groups would slowly be sent forth. Initially these groups were seeking vengeance on the Esper Knights for the destruction of their first base and the deaths of their first leaders, later groups would often join the side of the Empire during the later stages of the civil war. However the Empire would betray them by following one of their number back to their stronghold and trying to stomp them out, preferring for their own order to foreign traditions. Yet just like the Esper Knights before them they would fail to complete the job, instead they would spread the Jenarai around the Galaxy. Wherever they went they established new strongholds and so their tradition spread.
The original manuscript delved into both the good and evil aspects of nature. One of the major themes within these writings was the concept of “integrating the shadow”. With the death of the founders, the training and direction of the Jenarai changed drastically. The Saarai was not as influenced by these writings as the founders had been and only certain aspects of those teachings remained after the initial battle with the Esper Knights. One such concept was the forging of a personal and specialized suit of armor rather than earlier Esper Knight traditions involving the forging of ones own sword.
Jenarai philosophy and abilities were thus syncretistic; the mixture of good and evil teachings that complemented each other perfectly. From their Esper Knight roots they were deeply honorable, disciplined, and respected those same traits in their enemies. From the other teachings they learned the power of aggression, though not to the point of being evil. One knight ideal the Jenarai never abandoned was the defense of peace and justice. Shortly after the death of their founders they took it upon themselves to act as custodians for the world on which the made their stronghold and continued to act as much they had during their days in the knights.
While they fight with blades primarily it is not a strong part of their culture to make their own blade like it was for the knights. Instead their goal was to forge a suit of custom armor to wear. Completion of this was the symbol they were ready to ‘graduate’ from training. First a basic generic frame was constructed before the armor was further customized to represent an animal the wearer could relate to. Though not a rule, it was common practice for armor to be styled on animals that were not overly aggressive, but were capable of adequately protecting themselves when threatened. If the wearer was so inclined, modifications to the armor included systems designed to better emulate the creature in question, such as built-in optical magnification or retractable claws. The construction of the armor was a deeply personal affair, and as such was an art form.
Their psionic abilities vary considerably and as widely as did Esper Knight powers. Though they made freer use of powers like psychic vamprism than the knights tended to. The belief was that any skills could be used equally in attack or defense.
Much like the knights they descend from, they have a rather strict hierarchy. One would start as an apprentice, graduate into a defender, and the master of their order was the Saarai. In order to become a defender, an apprentice went through a rite of passage similar to the one that knight apprentices took. Apprentices not only created their own weapon, but also their trademark armor. Apprentices trained under defenders, much like the apprentice-Master relationship of the knights.
A select group of Defenders are known as ‘Shield Defenders’ and act as both council and guardians for the Saarai. Of which their is only one at any given time.