"Tytos now forever, so pure, so rare! Yet supreme!"
- stone-stunned owlet chanting Pure One rhetoric, The Journey, page 217
The Tytonic Union of Pure Ones, better known as the Pure Ones, were a inter-provincial supremacist military organization consisting mainly of owls of the family Tytonidae, more commonly known as Barn Owls. They valued social conditioning, indoctrination, aristocratic governments, and Nachtmagen. They were known to have a bitter rivalry with the owls of St. Aegolius' Academy for Orphaned Owls, which may have its roots in St. Aggie's advanced knowledge of the nature of basic magnetism. The Pure Ones eventually defeated them for good after the events of The Siege but in-between the events of The Shattering.
- 1 Culture
- 2 Military
- 3 History
- 4 Members
- 5 Quotes
- 6 Trivia
The Pure Ones had a rigid social hierarchy, which regulated Barn Owls to different levels of purity depending on the whiteness of each species' face. At the top of the chain of command was the High Tyto and his mate, followed by the Barn Owl higher officers; they were always members of the Tyto alba species. They were followed by the Masked Owls (Tyto novaehollandiae), then the Grass Owls (Tyto capensis and Tyto longimembris). At the bottom of the social ladder were the Sooty Owls. Greater Sooties (Tyto tenebricosa) were better off than the Lesser Sooties (Tyto multipunctata). However, the Sooties tended to be given dirty-sounding names like Mud Wings, Ash Beak, Dustytuft, or Smutty, and were also given the most menial and worst of jobs.
The Pure Ones valued rage; they equated it with courage and had ceremonies intended to develop it. These ceremonies often included maiming and/or murder of other animals, often fellow owls. The most infamous of these ceremonies was the one called Tupsi, which called for the murder of a fellow owl close to the Pure One completing the ceremony, often a family member.
Any owl not belonging to the family Tytonidae was considered "impure" and therefore was either only fit to serve the Pure Ones or be eliminated. Owls of the family Strigidae were often victims of Pure Ones' brutality, which may be due to Hoole being a Spotted Owl.
The exact number of owls is unknown, but according to the series the rough estimate of all the owls excels at 5,000. The army is composed of many divisions. Later in the series, after multiple confrontations with the guardians, their numbers dwindled greatly. In the Wolves of the Beyond series, however, General Nyra was said to have been leader of a "hellish legion of owls", raising their numbers to approximately 3,000 to 6,000.
Their ranking system consisted of:
- High Tyto
- Adjunct General
- Lieutenant Major
Before the Books
The Pure Ones are known to have existed long before the events of the book series, but little is known about their history. The Pure Ones at the time of The Capture had roots in the League of Ice Talons, which may have started their aristocracy. However, they had already begun the process of having a leader called the High Tyto. It's also known that they used the powers of small magnetic flecks of iron as weapons, which could disorient a birds' navigational skills and even their minds. The Pure Ones captured hatchlings and brainwashed them by the use of flecks.
A young male Barn Owl named Kludd, living in the forest of Tyto, was recruited for the Pure Ones by a female Barn Owl named Nyra, who had been a hagsfiend in her past life and reincarnated. Kludd rose in rank and eventually killed the former High Tyto in ritual combat, but at the cost of a large portion of his face, which he replaced with a mask of mu metal. This earned him the name "Metal Beak" by the owls, such as the Guardians of Ga'Hoole, that were unaware of his true name. Taking Nyra as his mate, he assumed the mantle of High Tyto and contemplated a plan to capture and brainwash the old sage Ezylryb, a warrior turned poet also known as Lyze of Kiel, with great knowledge of the Northern Kingdoms- knowledge the Pure Ones could use to their advantage.
Unfortunately, before the plan could be put into action, a patrol from St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls discovered their base and snatched all the hatchlings for use in their own to conquer the owl world. The Pure Ones fought to return the hatchlings, whom they viewed as rightfully theirs, and the hatchlings were dropped. This event was later known as the Great Downing. The Guardians of Ga’Hoole recovered most of them and reversed the Pure Ones’ brainwashing, alerting the owl world to the Pure Ones’ presence. Ezylryb was dispatched to discover the cause of the event, and fell right into a trap, being lost among triangle of flecks, or the Devil's Triangle, specially arranged so that within it, senses of navigation were lost, and there was no hope of escape. The Pure Ones planned to hold him there until they could find a new stronghold.
At an unknown time, another plan was implemented: to send spies to the heart of St. Aegolius and pave the way for a Pure One invasion.
Soren, Kludd's brother that was believed by him to be dead, led a small band of owls to destroy the Devil's Triangle and free Ezylryb. Kludd and nine other Tyto owls, including his lieutenant, Wortmore, were unwilling to accept the failure of his plan and attacked the unarmed owls. However they were surprised by Twilight's taunting and the fact that their enemies fought with fire. Soren managed to wedge a burning stick under Kludd's metal mask. Screaming and shrieking curses, Kludd fled as the Guardians left with Ezylryb.
Kludd dove into a lake to stop the molten mask from melting his face off, and was discovered by the Glauxian Brother Simon, whom Kludd murdered upon his recovery. He returned to the majority of his forces, and they began to assemble an army of hireclaws to lay siege on the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. The Rogue Smith of Silverveil was assigned to make Kludd a new mask, but she betrayed them upon doing so, escaping to alert the Great Ga’Hoole Tree of the oncoming siege.
Meanwhile, the spies at St. Aegolius fail to remain undercover and are discovered by the academy’s leaders, when some Pure Ones defect to the other side. However, they don't know why the Pure Ones are placing flecks in unhatched eggs’ nests (an effect which leads to shattering). A spy named Otulissa from a third party, the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, gives the academy false information regarding flecks.
Kludd's army was assembled and laid siege on the Great Tree. After a period of time, a section of the defense fell, but the Pure Ones were then caught in a pincer movement. Defeat for the Pure Ones was ensured when the extremely dangerous flying snake Slynella arrived on the battlefield on the side of the Guardians, forcing a retreat.
After the failed attempt to seize the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, the Pure Ones gathered their strength once again, but this time they launched an invasion against St. Aggie's that was led by Kludd. Meanwhile, his mate, Nyra, undertook a covert mission involving the infiltration of the Great Tree in the pursuit for the knowledge of higher magnetics. During the siege, a slipgizzle named Ginger was placed in the tree who pretended to be a defecting Pure One. Through Ginger, Nyra was able to shatter Eglantine and manipulate her into bringing back bits of information about flecks in a hollow located in the Beaks. After their plan to shatter Eglantine failed, with the Sacred Orb being smashed, they managed to conquer St. Aggie's and gained control of the massive fleck stores there.
The Pure Ones set up camp in the St. Aegolius Canyons and enforced their position using Devil's Triangles. The Guardians launched a massive counterattack in the form of an invasion, planned by the Spotted Owl Otulissa. With help from the Kielian League, the Guardians practically decimated the Pure One's ranks and set fire to the canyons, destroying the flecks and their power. During a cave battle, the High Tyto Kludd was killed by Twilight, which was a devastating blow to the Pure Ones. In the battle's aftermath, Nyra managed to survive and mourned her deceased mate, Kludd, as their son hatched from his egg.
Several remnants of the Pure Ones resided at St. Aegolius's canyons after the Battle of Fire and Ice. Nyra's son, Nyroc, was planned to be the next supreme emperor of the Tytonic Union. But as time passed, Nyroc rejected the ways of the Pure Ones and fled.
Nyra allied herself with the vyrwolves, former Dire Wolves of the MacHeath clan who had transformed themselves by drinking water from the Tunnel of Despair. Stryker managed to gain possession of The Book of Kreeth by orders from Nyra, who hoped by using the ashes of her dead mate Kludd, the book, and the water in the Tunnel to recreate her son as a hagsfiend. Their plan failed when they were attacked by a force of owls from the Great Tree led by Coryn and Soren, and a group of Dire Wolves led by Hamish and Gyllbane. All of the vyrwolves were killed, and the remaining Pure Ones forced to flee. During the battle, Nyra lost The Book of Kreeth to the Guardians.
Nyra traveled with what few soldiers she had left to the Middle Kingdoms to transform the "Dragon Owls" into their past forms, hagsfiends. Her plan failed, and only she escaped alive into a crevice in the cave.
Nyra and the Striga "reawoke" the hasgsfiends inside the dragon owls, creating a small army. However, these are killed, along with the hagsfiend eggs, by the wolves of the Beyond. In the final moments of the battle, Nyra is fatally wounded by Soren with an ice splinter, and later burned up by lava despite the efforts of the Striga to save her. Enraged, the Striga slices off Coryn's port wing, only to be brutally decapitated by Soren, who was wearing Ezylryb's battle claws. Coryn then dies of blood loss, leaving no more known living Pure Ones in the owl kingdoms.
Pure Ones' Army
- The old High Tyto - Former leader of the Pure Ones before Kludd, killed by Kludd (between the events of The Capture and The Rescue)
- Kludd/Metal Beak - leader of the Pure Ones after the former High Tyto, killed by Twilight (The Burning)
- Nyra - mate of Kludd/Metal Beak and leader of the Pure Ones after Kludd's death, killed by Soren (The War of the Ember)
- Stryker - Pure Ones commander, killed by Tengshu (The River of Wind)
- Wortmore - Pure Ones lieutenant, killed by the Striga (The River of Wind)
- Wort - Pure Ones corporal, killed by the Striga (The River of Wind)
- Ginger - Slipgizzle that infiltrated the Great Tree, fate unknown (The Shattering)
- Blyrric - Pure Ones soldier, fate unknown (The Shattering)
- Spyke - Pure Ones soldier, killed by the Striga (The River of Wind)
- Gebbles - Pure Ones soldier, killed by the Striga (The River of Wind)
- Kylor - Slipgizzle for the Great Tree that defected to the Pure Ones, fate unknown (The War of the Ember)
- Vaygar - Pure Ones soldier, killed by Uglamore (Lost Tales of Ga'Hoole)
- Smutty - Pure Ones soldier imprisoned for being cowardly, fate unknown (The Hatchling)
- Tarn - Pure Ones top lieutenant, fate unknown, likely killed by Twilight and his siblings (The War of the Ember)
- The Striga (Orlando) - Blue Owl that became Nyra's co-leader, killed by Soren (The War of the Ember)
- Dustytuft's father - Pure Ones soldier, unintentionally killed by Ruby (The Rescue)
- Flint - Young Barn Owl who was trying to help steal eggs, fate unknown (The Outcast)
- Ifghar - Turnfeather in the War of the Ice Claws, joined the Pure Ones with Gragg despite Nyra seeing little use in him, fate unknown (The Golden Tree)
- Gragg - Ifghar's best friend, convinced Ifghar to join the Pure Ones with him despite Nyra seeing little use in him, fate unknown (The Golden Tree)
- Uglamore - Trusted lieutenant that left the Pure Ones, killed by a rabid wolf while saving Coryn (The Outcast)
- Nyroc/Coryn - Son of Kludd and Nyra who was originally going to become the High Tyto but left the Pure Ones, killed by the Striga (The War of the Ember)
- Dustytuft/Phillip - Nyroc's best friend that was chosen for Nyroc's Tupsi ceremony, killed by Nyra (The Hatchling)
- Eglantine - Soren's sister, once stone-stunned and shattered by Pure Ones, living (between the events of The Capture and The Journey; The Shattering)
- Uklah - A female Barn owl who defected to St. Aggie's side after infiltrating the Academy on behalf of Kludd, fate unknown (The Siege)
"They called themselves the Pure Ones and, at first, they seemed kind. They wanted to teach us to worship Tytos because they said we were the purest of the pure of all owls, and that is why we spoke the praising songs. But it wasn't at all the way that Mum and Da used to read to us, Soren. No, not at all. I mean, you remember how Mum would try to hum a little tune and almost sing. We could not do that. They wanted nothing to do with music. They thought music was like poison."
- The Pure Ones and their political and racial ideology, hierarchy and supremacy is almost if not exactly identical to that of the Death Eaters from the Harry Potter franchise, as well as that of Nazi Germany.
- All three groups are concern about "Racial Blood Purity" and the creation of a singular "Core Master Race" which has the power and rights to dominate all other races that they view as sub-species, unworthy or weak. The Pure Ones and their leaders Metal Beak/Kludd and Nyra desire to create a wholly Tytonic/Tytonidae world of Owls just as how the Death Eaters and their leader Tom Marvolo Riddle or Lord Voldemort desire to create a world of Pure-Blood Wizards, and is similar to the Nazis and their leaders Adolf Hitler, Joseph Goebbels, and Heinrich Himmler to build a Master Race of Pure Blood Nordic Aryan Germans to rule over Europe and exterminate or enslave the rest of the other races of the world.
- Also, all three groups seem to use or employ falsified facts, lies, cheating/unfair methods to win at all cost, propaganda and intimidation, blood purity, racial supremacy, racism, and hatred in order to gain allies and eliminate their enemies.
- Bay Owls never appear in the Pure One's armies, even though they are Tytos as well. This probably means they don't exist in the world of Ga'Hoole, since they don't appear in any book. Interestingly, though, Bay Owls are mentioned in The Capture, when Soren mentions them to Jatt along with Sooty, Masked, Grass, and Barn Owls as owls that he saw in Tyto.
- However, the Pure Ones may not have accepted Bay Owls because they have different face shapes to other Tyto owls.
- Ironically, Nyra, the leader of the Pure Ones, wasn't even a Tyto, but a Hagsfiend.
- The full name of the Pure Ones, the Tytonic Union of Pure Ones, shares similar characteristics of the Soviet Union's full name, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); having five words, using the word "Union", and using their political party name.