|“||In the shadow of the Shepherd. For all mankind, he saved us from the fire that consumed the Earth. In the light of Shepherd for all mankind, he will save us from the war to end all wars.||”|
|— Doucette reciting the Disciples' prayer [src]|
The Disciples, also known as the Disciples of a Greater Truth, were a military group of very technologically advanced humans, founded by people fleeing the Earth's destruction through the Temporal Anomaly who then formed a colony on Bardo. They are very well trained, disciplined and loyal to their leader, and the mysterious figure, known as "the Shepherd" who is in fact Bill Cadogan, the leader of the Second Dawn doomsday cult whom the Disciples are descended from. They have mastered the control over the Temporal Anomaly and use it to travel between planets connected in the network.
The Disciples began as a guard faction within the Second Dawn cult after the first nuclear apocalypse, who had remained loyal to Bill Cadogan. At some point, they encountered Becca Franko, who had come down from space. When Bill showed Becca the Anomaly Stone, she was able to activate it due to her bonding with the Flame. Becca warns Bill not to enter the Anomaly, but he is more interested in why she could instanly interact with the stone. When he realises that it is due to her link with the Flame, he demands that she give him the Flame. When Becca refuses, they lock her up. The group plan to kill Becca, as they know from her journal that the Flame will leave her once she dies. Becca tells Callie Cadogan to retrieve the Flame once she dies, and asks her to protect it. Led by Reese Cadogan, the group kill Becca by burning her at the stake. Callie and her group of Second Dawn members demand that Reese surrenders the A.I., but Reese and his group, who already refer to themselves as Disciples, refuse to surrender the Flame. Reese and Callie challenges to a fight to gain control of the Flame, but Callie shoots Reese, takes the A.I. and she and her group escape the bunker. Bill and the Disciples activate the Anomaly Stone and enter through to arrive on the planet Bardo.
On Bardo, the Disciples discovered that a now-extinct alien species, known as the Bardoans, had previously inhabited the planet. The Disciples went on to further develop the advanced technology left behind by the native Bardoans, including energy weapons, cloaking devices and body suits that allowed them to retain their memory while traveling through the Temporal Anomaly. Fanatically religious, the Disciples came to believe that the Shepherd saved them from the fire that destroyed the Earth. They also came to believe in some kind of great war which they called "the war to end all wars". The Disciples eventually learned to control the Anomaly and use it for transport between planets. At some point, a Disciple landed on Skyring, died under unknown circumstances and was buried in front of Doctor Colin Benson's cabin there. They eventually came under the leadership of a man named Anders. At some point, they also started using Nakara as a burial ground for their dead.
Six years after being stranded on Skyring, Octavia Blake tossed a message in a bottle through the Anomaly in the hope of reaching her brother Bellamy. However, the message instead traveled through the Anomaly to Bardo where it was found by the Disciples who learned of Octavia, Bellamy and Charmaine Diyoza. Traveling to Skyring four years after the message was sent from Octavia and Diyoza's perspective, the Disciples captured the two women, though Octavia was able to hide Diyoza's young daughter Hope from detection. The Disciples brought Octavia and Diyoza back to Bardo through the Anomaly, leaving Hope behind on Skyring.
Subsequently, the Disciples turned Skyring into a prison planet they called Penance for their unbelievers and lawbreakers, stranding them there for ten years before coming back if they survived until their time was up. Due to the time dilation from a black hole, five years on Skyring was likely far less time for the Disciples on Bardo. One such prisoner, a Level 7 named Dev, arrived a few months after the capture of Octavia and Diyoza and trained Hope to survive. The two plotted together to ambush the Disciples coming back for Dev on his Absolution Day, steal their suits and travel to Bardo to rescue Diyoza and Octavia. However, though they succeeded in killing the Disciples, Dev was killed in the process, leaving Hope to continue their mission alone.
Eventually, Octavia was apparently able to escape from the Disciples and return to Sanctum through the Anomaly, but lost her memory of her time away from Sanctum upon her return to the moon, preventing her from warning anyone of the threat. Anders made a deal with Hope to spare Diyoza's life in exchange for Hope tagging Octavia to send her back through the Anomaly. Anders apparently issued orders that Bellamy, Gabriel Santiago and Echo were to be captured and taken to Bardo to his followers, but Hope was to be killed on sight. Clarke Griffin, who is considered to be the key to winning the war the Disciples believe in, is also to be renditioned to Bardo, but is to also be considered armed and extremely dangerous. Despite this, the Disciples still see Clarke as a chosen one, known as "the Key", which is later revealed to be the Flame.
Throughout the SeriesEdit
In The Blood of Sanctum, after Octavia Blake activates the Anomaly Stone, Hope emerges from the Temporal Anomaly and tells Octavia that "he" has her mother before apparently stabbing Octavia. As the Anomaly vanishes with Octavia, Hope collapses in Gabriel Santiago's arms.
Everyone born on Bardo becomes a Disciple. They are raised and trained to be the strongest warriors. They have a very strong belief in serving their master, to be his "sword" and his "shield". They have a very strong goal about protecting mankind. The Disciples are shown to have levels that their members are ranked by going up to at least Level 12. Level 12 appears to be a Master rank as Orlando was referred to as "Master Orlando" by other Disciples and is known to have trained many of them. Hope Diyoza states that Level 12's are "badasses" and having one on their side would hold the key to infiltrating Bardo. The number of symbols a Disciple has on their face denotes their level ranking.
If they are not devout or strong enough they are sent to the prison on Skyring. Breaking a commandment such as not taking a day of rest is enough to trigger this. Absolution Day is when the Disciple prisoners are returned to Bardo to atone for breaking the law.
Murder and killing of a Disciple is punishable by death or 20 years imprisonment on Skyring. It can also be a life sentence.
The Disciples' beliefs surround the Shepherd that saved them from the fire that destroyed the Earth. The Shepherd appears both from the myth surrounding it and Orlando ordering Gabriel Santiago not to speak the Shepherd's name when he asked about it. To the Disciples, the Shepherd seems to be a powerful figure that they worship. They also believe in winning the last war humanity will ever fight, "the war to end all wars." According to Anders, Clarke Griffin is key to winning this war somehow, but the "Key" is revealed to be the Flame which can help them figure out the Anomaly Stone code they need. Cadogan later shows Gabriel, Jordan Green and Niylah logs left behind by the Bardoans describing entering the code and the effects it has. After examining the logs closer, Jordan believes that the logs were actually mistranslated by the Disciples to refer to a war. Based on his own translation of the logs, Jordan thinks that it actually refers to a test rather than a war, a single individual using the code and representing their species in a test to determine that species' fate. When Madi Griffin reveals the truth to Bill Cadogan, he feels that the Last War and the test could be the same thing since a war could be considered a test. However, Cadogan also admits to welcoming a solution that does not sacrifice many of his "children".
In their religion, the Shepherd, who is actually Bill Cadogan, teaches the Disciples that winning the Last War brings upon the final evolution of a species. The Disciples believe in Transcendence, which is through the Anomaly Stone. As they harness its power, the Disciples wanted to unlock the Anomaly Stone's true power.
Unlike most humans, they are not born to regular parents but instead are grown from embryos in gestation chambers. The Disciples are capable of fixing various health afflictions in the growing infants and state that having a mother and father is as foreign to them as their practice is to everybody else. They also use M-Cap to treat mental ailments such as PTSD.
Transcendence is a religion that the Disciples believe in.
In their religion, the Shepherd, who is actually Bill Cadogan, teaches the Disciples that winning the last war brings upon the final evolution of a species. The Disciples believe in Transcendence, which is through the Anomaly Stone. As they harness its power, the Disciples wanted to unlock the Anomaly Stones' true power.
Loving and caring about only just one person is not allowed, but loving and caring about all mankind is.
Cadogan himself, believes in Transcendence and peace by winning the Last War. He teaches his people that they're all tiny in comparison to the universe. Due to his experiences on Etherea, with his own life, he saw testament of those that ascended and knew his life was not in vain. Just as Cadogan foretold, his beings are with the civilization that ascended. He spoke of the beings on Etherea in the cave, of their ascension.
Cadogan believes in the bond that unites all mankind, that everyone's all connected.
In "The Last War," the Disciples belief in Transcendence is proven to be correct when humanity is transcended after Raven Reyes passes the Judge's test, the Disciples having been wrong about it being a Last War.
- First Disciple - The stand-in leader of the Disciples, there is usually a new First Disciple chosen every 20 years and they meet the Shepherd once to check on the progress of the Last War.
- Conductor - A title given to operators of the Anomaly Stone and is the second highest rank. Stone Conductors are set to replace First Disciples in the event of one's death.
- Master - Usually a title given to Disciples who reach Level 12 in training. Orlando had this title, and was considered to be one of the highest ranked Disciples.
- Captain - A title given to leaders of teams that go on missions through the Anomaly.
- Seeker - They will be trained for the Disciples' cause.
Unknown Status Edit
- * Kelly's condition is unknown since his face was not seen when he was with three other Disciples and later two of them died and the other two lived, but it is not certain if he was one of the dead or of the survivors
- The special helmet protects against memory loss caused by the effects of the Anomaly (also works without the suit).
- The suits are thought controlled and contain files on Disciple targets and codes for controlling the Temporal Anomaly.
- They use high powered energy weaponry.
- Locator tags that when injected into a person can pull them through the Anomaly.
- Retractable blades attached to their suits.
- A flamethrower.
Notes and Trivia Edit
- After training Gabriel Santiago, Echo and Hope Diyoza for approximately 4 years, 8 months and 17 days, Orlando marked them as Level 12 Disciples due to how far they had progressed in their training.
- They send their law-breaking members to the planet Skyring, which they call Penance, until their "Absolution Day" when they are taken back to Bardo.
- They first came to Bardo through the Anomaly, as there was an Anomaly Stone present somewhere on Earth. It was previously thought that they had arrived as part of Eligius III, but it was proven wrong.
- Orlando mentioned that Shepherd's Law Number Four, which decrees "the day of rest" is one where everyone abstains from work in order to be more efficient the rest of the week. It is just like the religious Sabbath in real-life.
- Anders told Gabriel that he and the other Disciples had been studying the Anomaly Stone for 1000 years.
- The Shepherd was revealed to be Bill Cadogan in "The Queen's Gambit."
- Jason Rothenberg confirmed that the Disciples are descendants of the Second Dawn cult.
- The Disciples were named after the Second Dawn's guard faction, which is also called the Disciples, a predecessor to the regime.