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- "«The "Believers" are a group of individuals devoted to the study and practice of the dark side of the Force. They are misguided.»"
- ―Jedi Master Kirlocca
The Believers were a Force-sensitive cult that practiced the dark side of the Force on the planet Cularin, and was initially dismissed as a rumor by the Jedi Knights. The cult became a very dangerous threat to the Jedi who saw many of their number joining the Believers during the Clone Wars. Eventually it was discovered that the cultists were using the ancient Almas Sith fortress as their base of operations. They had also spread to the ruins of the Almas Academy after its destruction. All Believers could be recognized by a distinctive tattoo, which resembled the spire of the Sith fortress on Almas with a broken lightsaber at its base.
The Believers were a Sith-worshipping cult that formed in the Cularin system during the waning years of the Galactic Republic. The cult was founded by the Human Len Markus, a student of the art of Sith magic, and they sought to study the ways of the dark side of the Force and to challenge the Jedi Order, in order to bring about a new age of the Sith, an ancient order of dark side practitioners. The cult developed a loosely-formed, matrix structure, with no centralized hierarchy, and one band of Believers fell under the command of the Mon Calamari Dark Jedi Gar Granga. The Quermian Sith scholar Murk Lundi aided the cult's development and the Believers spread across the Cularin system, establishing a presence of the planets Almas and Cularin, and in the cities Depatar, Elso Magua, Hylios, Tolea Biqua and Varna Biqua on the planet Genarius. The cult rose into prominence shortly after the Battle of Naboo, in 32 BBY. and rumors of the Believers' emergence eventually reached the wider galaxy and the Jedi Order, but the Jedi were unable to confirm whether the cult existed.
In about 31 BBY, the researcher Garvin Delquist discovered a Sith amulet inside the Almas Sith fortress, an ancient Sith construct that was built by the Sith Lord Darth Rivan on the planet Almas, in the Cularin system. The amulet granted Delquist the ability to use the Force and turned him to the dark side, and he subsequently contacted Gar Granga and made an agreement with the Mon Calamari whereby the Believers would take up residence inside the fortress. Delquist also contacted the Human Alina Impeveri, a figure in the Cularin system criminal underworld, and she agreed to join the Believers, bringing with her a large number of pirates, who enrolled in the cult and based themselves in the Sith fortress. Delquist became the leader of the combined force of Granga's cultists and Impeveri's pirates, and under his rule, the cult became more centralized and the activities of the movement became more directed toward Almas.
Killing the kaluthinEdit
- "The kaluthin are an integral part of the ecosystem—without them, this planet will revert back to being an uninhabitable rock. Something is killing the kaluthin, and we have not yet been able to determine what it is."
- ―Gilloma, on the death of large swathes of kaluthin
The Jedi operated a training facility on Almas known as the Almas Academy and Delquist plotted to drive the Jedi off of the planet by wiping out the kaluthin, a plant engineered by Darth Rivan to make Almas habitable. Under orders from Delquist, Granga and the Gungan Dark Jedi Kosa-Yin Hadu initiated an operation to poison Almas' aquifers, to kill the kaluthin. Along with a group of Believer thugs, the Dark Jedi pair established a temporary camp on an Almas hilltop, from which they raided surrounding kaluthin farms and poisoned their water supplies with a biological toxin, including an attack on the farm of the man Rashen Sotose. The Believers carried out their operations over a period of three months and succeeded in killing large swathes of kaluthin.
The scientists at an Almas kaluthin research station initiated an investigation into the areas of kaluthin extinction, and Hadu and Grangra feared that the station posed a risk to the Believers' operation, believing that the researchers might be able to identify the toxins that the Believers were using to poison the aquifers. In an attempt to mitigate the threat posed by the scientists, Hadu, Granga, and several other Believers traveled to Cularin, where they schemed to stop a shipment of supplies from being transported to the research station, to prevent the scientists from performing their studies. The supplies were scheduled to be transported to Almas by the Duros Welrin Maduk aboard the freighter Fool's Paradise, so the two Dark Jedi headed to the Fool's Paradise's landing bay in the city of Hedrett with some other Believers, planning to hijack the vessel.The Believer party then approached the Fool's Paradise while accompanied by a squad of battle droids, and prepared to attack Maduk. However, the Heroes of Cularin, a group of freelance agents who operated in the Cularin system, saw that Maduk was being threatened, and they came to his rescue. As the agents approached the Fool's Paradise, Hadu and Granga fled through a concealed entrance to the hangar, leaving the battle droids and the other Believers to face the agents alone. The agents eventually defeated the remaining Believers, allowing Maduk to travel to Almas unharmed.
Hadu returned to Almas and the Heroes of Cularin started to investigate the death of the kaluthin. Shortly afterward, several Believers traveled in some airspeeders to a rocky valley on Almas, near to a kaluthin farm, where they began emptying barrels of the biological toxin into a natural well. However, the Believers were sighted by the Heroes of Cularin, who confronted the cultists and obtained from them a datapad that revealed the location of the Believers' encampment. The agents then launched an assault of the camp and engaged Hadu and three of his bodyguards in combat, while the other Believers present in the camp powered up their airspeeders and fled. A group Jedi soon arrived on the scene in support of the Heroes of the Cularin, and Hadu and his guards were defeated.
The kidnap of Misha Quor-DinEdit
- "Surrender now, or it will not go well for you."
- ―Jedi Master Lanius Qel-Bertuk, ordering the Believers in the Almas Sith fortress to surrender
During the week prior the Almas' Jedi's annual recital of the story of the Dark Jedi Kibh Jeen, the Believers staged a drive-by attack on Remembrance Hall, a museum located in Forard, Almas' capital city. While the museum was packed with tourists, three Human Believers approached the building in an XP-34 landspeeder and hurled a couple of thermal detonators into the hall, which destroyed a portion of the museuems wall and vaporized a holoplacard created by the Rodian artist Zyk-yadoon. During the subsequent chaos, a Tarasin Believer crawled across the damaged wall and painted the words "Death to the Unfaithful" onto it. The Believers then quickly fled the scene of their crime. In the aftermath of the attack, Delquist captured the Jedi Padawan Misha Quor-Din in the Almas Wasteland and took her to the Sith fortress. Delquist had romantic feelings for Quor-Din but soon after kidnapping her, he realized that the Jedi would never reciprocate his love and the Believers planned to sacrifice her.
Around this time, a report on the activities of the Believers written by the individual IP17 in a format used by the Almas Academy was briefly posted on every HoloNet news board in the Cularin system. The report noted that indications of significant use of the dark side of the Force among the cult were overstated and also claimed that the crime lord Nirama was aware of the Believers' activities and that there was a possibility that the Believers were co-operating with the Wyrd, a group of Tarasin Force witches from the planet Cularin. The report also stated that the Believers posed a significant threat to the well-being of the system's inhabitants. A number of rumors circulated among the residents of Cularin regarding the origins of the report and some theorized that the report had been written by the Believers themselves, to spread fear.
Following Quor-Din's capture, the Believers sent out a number of security details from the Sith fortress, to gather supplies for the cult. A group of Believer pirates boarded a smuggler-operated freighter and murdered the crew, then stole three submersibles that the vessel was carrying. The pirates took the submersibles to an underground river on Almas and began to use the vehicles to transport cargo to the Sith fortress, via an underwater passage. The Jedi sent out a number of search parties to look for Quor-Din and the Heroes of Cularin formed one such team, and the freelance agents investigated the underwater river. The agents engaged a group of Believer pirates in combat, then traveled aboard one of the submersibles to the Sith fortress. On arrival there, the Believers unloading the cargo from the submersibles mistook the agents for members of the cult and they ordered the agents to unload the craft.
The agents progressed through the fortress and observed Gar Granga leading a group of about twenty cultists in chants of devotion to the dark side, inside the fortress' Grand Hall. The agents then confronted and defeated Delquist, Granga and the Believers D'randq and Sellot Kell, and a klaxon went of, calling for the cultists to withdraw from the fortress. In a state of panic, the Believers attempted to flee the facility and a number attempted to escape aboard a skiff. The freelance agents liberated Quor-Din and tried to depart the fortress aboard another skiff, but they collided with the Believers skiff and became engaged in a firefight with a large group of the cultists. Jedi Master Lanius Qel-Bertuk, the headmaster of the Almas Academy, and a number of Jedi soon arrived at the fortress in command of a brigade of armed troops and stormed the facility, while the remaining Believers scattered in disarray. Many of the surviving Believers went into hiding and a number of the cultists were captured by the Jedi. To prevent the Believers from returning to the Sith fortress, a Jedi delegation was assigned to keep the facility under permanent guard.
- "We have every reason to expect that the Believers—that is the name that has been claimed by the cult of dark side followers that has emerged in Cularin—are trying to stop the crystal from leaving the system"
- ―Jedi Master Lanius Qel-Bertuk, on the Pulas
A team of Jedi researchers recovered a Sith artifact known as the Pulas from the Sith fortress and they attempted to transport the artifact to the Almas Academy, for safe-keeping. However, the Believers learned of the Jedi's discovery and planned to steal the Pulas, and they attacked the researchers while they were en-route to the Academy. However, the Believers failed to obtain the artifact and the following day, a group of the cultists tried to break into the Academy, in a further attempt to acquire the artifact. The Believers were again unsuccessful and the group committed suicide to prevent themselves from being captured by the Jedi. Realizing that the presence of the Believers on Almas made the Academy an unsuitable location to store the Pulas, Jedi Master Qel-Bertuk assembled a small fleet of starships to fly the artifact to the planet Coruscant, where it could be kept in the Jedi Temple, the headquarters of the Jedi Order. To made it difficult for the Believers to snatch the Pulas while it was being taken to Coruscant, Qel-Bertuk placed the artifact inside a box of Mandalorian iron and loaded the box onto one of the ships in his fleet, then placed decoy boxes onto each of the other ships.
The fleet moved to depart the Cularin system and a Believer-operated Z-95 Headhunter attacked one the ships in the Cularin comet cloud, under orders from the cult to destroy the vessel but leave enough of it intact for the Believers to search the wreckage for the Pulas. The attack failed and the Jedi fleet left the system and traveled to Coruscant. However, the Tarasin Es'Loma, an agent of the Wyrd, was serving aboard a the ship carrying one of the Madalorian iron boxes and she incorrectly identified her vessel's cargo as the Pulas itself, when the ship was in fact instead carrying a fragment of the dark-side-imbued floating city Conkesta. Es'Loma contacted a group of Believers that were based in a bunker in the Coruscant Undercity and she instigated a plan whereby the Believers would raid her ship and recover the Mandalorian iron box. After Es'Loma's ship had docked with a Coruscant landing platform, a team of black-clad Human Believers led by the Omwati Bleth Fahr assailed the crew of Es'Loma's ship. The Bothan Nysis Belzara, a Jedi Knight who had been sent to escort the crew of the ship to safe-house, arrived at the scene and Fahr and his accomplices slew the Jedi, then seized the box containing the fragment of Conkesta.
The Believers fled in a starship and aimed to return to their base in the Undercity. However, they were chased by the Heroes of Cularin, who had traveled to Coruscant with Qel-Bertuk's fleet, and while attempting to shake off their pursuers, the cultists crashed their ship in the Undercity. They abandoned the Believer Blaise, who had been injured in the accident, then returned to the bunker with the box. A group of Believers gathered in the base and prepared to open the box, and while the cultists were distracted by their prize, the Heroes of Cularin entered the bunker and attacked them. The agents then overpowered the Believers and appropriated the Mandalorian iron box, and the agents transported the fragment of Conkesta to the Jedi Temple.
Shortly after the completion the Pulas' transportation, Qel-Bertuk and the Wookiee Jedi Master Kirlocca were interviewed by a reporter on the subject of the Believers' emergence, and they discussed the threat that the cult posed to the residents of the Cularin system.
Infecting the CaaritesEdit
- "We did this because it needed to be done. Or, we tried. Everyone suffers. This planet should be no different."
- ―A Believer, on the cult's attempt to disperse the anti-Caarite virus on Caarimon
Some time later, Len Markus, the founder of the Believers, seized an ancient Sith artifact known as the Darkstaff from the Cularin system asteroid belt, causing the Cularin system to be transported ten years into the future to about 21 BBY, during the era of the Clone Wars. The artifact possessed Markus and under the Darkstaff's influence, he rose through the ranks of the Believers to become the cult's new leader. The Believers developed into a formidable force and during the Clone Wars a number of Jedi stationed in the Cularin system turned to the dark side and became members of the cult. The Believers established themselves as a power in the criminal underworld of the Cularin system and in about 21 BBY, they initiated a secret campaign to rid themselves of any criminal competitors and selected the Metatheran Cartel as their first target. The Cartel was a trading concern that was led by members of the Caarite and Filordi species, and to counter the concern's influence, the Believers procured a deadly virus that was fatal to Caarites. The cultists further refined the virus and they selected a hidden Metatheran Cartel base on the moon Tilnes for use as a testing ground for the infection, because the Cartel would not publicize an outbreak inside the facility, due to the secrecy surrounding the base's existence. They released the virus into the facility via a bomb that they had wired into the complex's circuitry, and the infection wiped out all of the Caarites inside the base, with the execeptions of the overseer Ko Bas and two others, who became mutated and were transformed into raging killers.
A team of six Human Believers gathered in a bar in Tolea Biqua on Genarius and from there they traveled to the Cartel base on Tilnes, to survey the results of the outbreak. However, while they were inside the facility, the base was hit by a burst of electromagnetic pulse produced by Tilnes' core, which shut down the base's power systems. When the power came back on after the pulse had passed, the base's emergency seal activated and trapped the Believer team inside the facility. The mutated Ko Bas captured and killed four of the Believers, and the two survivors, Aris and Osia, took refuge inside the complex's security office.
The Believers carried out improvements to and further production of the virus from a secret laboratory located inside the manufacturing station S-Ipsus, on Genarius. Once the virus was ready for deployment, the Believers sent a transmission to the laboratory ordering the facility's inhabitants to abandon S-Ipsus and destroy any evidence of the cult's presence there. However, unknown to the cultists, the transmission was intercepted by both the crime lord Nirama and the Cartel. Convinced that the Believers were a threat to the Cularin system, Nirama hired the Heroes of Cularin to destroy the virus production facility, while the Cartel independently sent a strike team of their own to destroy the facility. However, before the agents and the Cartel arrived at the base, the Believers shipped large quantities of the infection from the laboratory inside three transports, which then headed to the Caarimoos system via circuitous routes, in preparation for a dispersal of the virus on Caarimon, the Caarite homeworld. Shortly afterward, the Heroes of Cularin and the Cartel team landed on S-Ipsus and the agents confronted the Believer Canduri on a thermal detonator production line, while the Cartel team launched an attack on the laboratory. The Believers inside the base were taken by surprise and the Cartel wiped out all of the laboratory's inhabitants.
The Believers hired the assassin Melo Centris to help them to disperse the virus in Caarimon's upper atmosphere, which they hoped would kill more than half of Caarimon's native Caarite population. In addition, the cultists schemed to cause a major environmental catastrophe on Caarimon, by crashing escape pods packed with explosives into some fault-lines in the Desolation region of Caarimon, to trigger a groundquake. The three Believer transports from Genarius arrived in the Carimoos system under the escort of the Z-95 Headhunter Ku'Amo, and two of the starships docked with Creautaa-V, a research station that orbited Caarimon. Centris and a group of Believers led by the former Jedi Crymsin Ost, the commander of the Caarimon operation, entered the station and released the virus, killing all of the Caarites aboard the facility. Meanwhile, the third transport landed in the city Joventusek on Caarimon and a team of four Human Believers disembarked from the vessel. The Believer team then hired some T3-OR speeder bikes and traveled to the city Effelis, where they contacted a local information broker and obtained some data regarding the world's fault-lines. Afterward, the team biked to the Desolation and planted a homing beacon, to guide the explosive-filled escape pods to the fault-lines. To prevent anyone from interfering in the cult's plans, the Believer team took up a position 30 kilometers north of Joventusek, under orders to kill any off-worlders that attempted to travel toward the Desolation.
The Cularin Militia, a military force that was active in the Cularin system, received intelligence reports that stated that a number of Believers were converging on Caarimon, and the Militia deduced that the cultists planned to release the anti-Caarite virus on the planet. To prevent the Believers from completing their plan, the Cularin Militia hired the Heroes of Cularin to thwart the cult's activities on Caarimon. The agents traveled to Caarimon and attempted to make their way to the Desolation. However, en-route the agents were ambushed by the Believer guards stationed north of Joventusek, who engaged the agents in a speeder bike chase. However, the agents defeated the Believer team and disabled the Believers' homing beacon. The agents proceeded to fly to Creautaa-V and they confronted Centris and Crymsin Ost's Believers aboard the station and prevented them from releasing the virus. During the skirmish, the agents also recovered information from Centris' datapad that implicated the Thaereian military, an armed force based in the Thaere system, as having conspired with the Believers to attempt to wipe out the Caarites. However, the agents were uncertain as to whether the data was genuine.
To congratulate the Heroes of Cularin for preventing the Believers from releasing the anti-Caarite virus on Caarimon, the Metatheran Cartel held a celebratory party on Dorumaa, the moon of Almas. During the event, a rumor circulated that someone was planning to attack the party, and some of the attendees falsely suspected that the Believers were going to launch a strike against the celebration.
At some point afterward, the Heroes of Cularin came into contact with the "shadow lurkers," disembodied spirits of the Oblee species that resided in the Cularin asteroid belt. The Darkstaff was able to draw energy from the shadow lurkers via three crystal shards that were located in the asteroid belt and the spirits requested that the freelance agents destroy the shards, to sever the Oblees' connection to the staff. The Darkstaff sensed that someone other than the shadow lurkers had came into contact with the shards and at the artifact's behest, Len Markus sent a group of Believers to the asteroid belt, under orders to either kill the individuals that had disturbed the shards, or alternately to recover the three shards. The group of Believers, which included the Trandoshans Gaar and Ulis, the Wookiee Rorvek, and several others, landed on the asteroid that housed the shards, and they attacked the Heroes of Cularin. However, the agents defeated the Believers and freed the Oblee from the clutches of the Darkstaff.
At around this time, a slicer posted a message on the Cularin holonet node, which discussed the creation and role of the Sith battlelords, a class of warriors that had served Darth Rivan. However, the Cularin system's media subsequently refused to discuss the article, out of fear that doing so would attract the attention of the Believers to the posting.
The Believers began working with the Wyrd and the cultists hoped to be able to usurp the Tarasin witches' Force abilities, to use the Wyrd's powers against the Jedi. The two organizations planned to launch a strike against the Almas Jedi and they also plotted to fracture the Cularin self-governance movement, a political campaign backed by the Cularin Militia that sought to force the Thaereian military to withdraw its troops from the Cularin system. To that end, the Believers and the Wyrd conspired to attempt to link the self-governance movement with the Confederacy of Independent Systems, a separatist government that opposed the Galactic Republic. The Believers allied themselves with the Separatists, and the cultists and the Wyrd agreed to share with the Confederacy documentation regarding how the self-governance movement could be undermined. In addition, the cult also established links with the Thaereian military. However, unknown to the Believers, the cult's collusion with the Separatists, the Thaereians and the Wyrd arose as a result of the machinations of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. The Believers eventually occupied an abandoned Separatist base located in a deserted star system.
The Clone Wars progressed and at some point, the protest group Truth For Cularin produced a number of HoloNet documentaries, in which they speculated on issues that affected the Cularin system. In one such documentary, the Human Jarik Vuintor claimed that the Believers were an arm of the Jedi Order, to which the Jedi transferred failed Jedi students that were found to be not suited to the rigors of the life of the Jedi. Vuintor also speculated that the cult was funded by Lavin Wren, the Cularin system's senator, to allow Wren to use the cult to further her political career.
In about 19 BBY, Len Markus and elements of the Believers provided the Wyrd with information that Markus had obtained from the study of Sith mutational practices. With the help of Markus' information, the Wyrd developed the Ritual of the Power of the Dark, which they attempted to use to turn the World Tree, an inter-connected network of ch'hala trees that grew on Cularin, to the dark side. However, the Wyrd's plans failed and the Cularin Armed Forces subsequently obtained evidence that the Believers had supplied the Wyrd with the knowledge that had enabled them to perform the ritual. The CAF also learned that the Believers were operating from the abandoned Separatist facility and the Armed Forces began planning an attack on the base, to capture Markus.
- The Kaluthin Are Always Greener (First appearance)
- Desert Cries (Mentioned only)
- A Dark Fortress (First identified as Believers)
- Coruscani Dawn
- (Mentioned only)
- Force Convention (Mentioned only) (As "Unbelievers")
- Caaried Away
- Open Aarms
- Belly of the Beaast
- Paarty On! (Mentioned only)
- At Your Service (Indirect mention only)
- (Mentioned only)
- The Dark Side Beckons (Mentioned only)
- A Mon Alone (Mentioned only)
- Decision: Almas
- Decision: Coruscant (Mentioned only)
- (Second article) (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- A Plague of Darkness (Mentioned only)
- A Hero Seeks Not Vengeance (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- The Heart
- The Hand (Mentioned only)
- (Mentioned only)
- (Indirect mention only)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- Rebellion Era Campaign Guide (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Darkness and Light (Card: The Call of the Cult) (Picture only)
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Darkness and Light (Card: Cularin Cultist)
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Darkness and Light (Card: Believer Initiate)
- Star Wars: The Card Game – Darkness and Light (Card: Hate) (Picture only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Heart
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 A Dark Fortress
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Recursion
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Open Aarms
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Coruscani Dawn
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 The Kaluthin Are Always Greener
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Decision: Almas
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Destruction
- ↑ Rebellion Era Campaign Guide
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Caaried Away
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Belly of the Beaast
- ↑ The Eye
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 A Mon Alone
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4
- ↑ Jedi Apprentice Special Edition: The Followers
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 The Clone Wars Campaign Guide
- ↑ The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ The Living Force Campaign Guide states that the Living Force campaign is set one year after the Invasion of Naboo, an event that is dated to 32 BBY by The New Essential Chronology. The events of The Kaluthin Are Always Greener can therefore be dated to about 31 BBY.
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 Desert Cries
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 A Plague of Darkness
- ↑ 23.0 23.1
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 24.2 Philology
- ↑ 25.0 25.1 The Living Force Campaign Guide states that the Living Force campaign is set one year after the Invasion of Naboo, an event that is dated to 32 BBY by The New Essential Chronology. As the Living Force adventure Philology moved the campaign forward ten years to the time of the Clone Wars, the events of Caaried Away can therefore be dated to about 21 BBY.
- ↑ Living Force Campaign Guide
- ↑ Paarty On!
- ↑ Decision: Coruscant
- ↑ The Living Force adventure A Hero Seeks Not Vengeance is set concurrently with the Battle of Coruscant, an event that is dated to 19 BBY by The New Essential Chronology. A Plague of Darkness is set shortly before the events of A Hero Seeks Not Vengeance and can thus be dated to circa 19 BBY.