- "Reading life-forms inside the building. Looks like…three."
"Only three? This might be too easy."
"Don't count on that."
- ―Valenthyne Farfalla and Sarro Xaj
A lightsaber duel took place in 990 BBY between the surviving Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Bane and his apprentice Darth Zannah, against a group of five Jedi led by Lord Valenthyne Farfalla. After her escape from the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, Zannah arrived on the Deep Core world of Tython to warn Darth Bane of the Jedi's awareness of their existence and subsequent pursuit. The Sith barricaded themselves within the abandoned fortress of the long-dead Dark Lord Belia Darzu, in expectation of imminent combat with their enemies. Intent on the destruction of the last of the Sith, the Jedi descended upon Darzu's temple and engaged Darths Bane and Zannah in combat. Despite their strength in numbers, however, all five Jedi were slain by the two Sith, who proved stronger with both the lightsaber and in the Force.
Ten years after the destruction of the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness, a Force-sensitive young man named Darovit ventured to Coruscant to bring proof to the Jedi Council that Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Bane had survived the war's final battle. He was forestalled, however, when he unexpectedly sensed his cousin Zannah in the Jedi Temple Archives, just as the disguised Sith apprentice's false light-side aura wavered. Darovit had a sudden change of heart upon sight of her, and warned Zannah of the Jedi's intention to pursue her and her Master. Despite her resultant anger, Zannah quickly resumed her false aura and completed her research mission into the nature of orbalisk parasites for Darth Bane, who had become infested with them ten years prior. Zannah also learned of the healing abilities of Darovit, and resolved to exploit them in an attempt to free Bane of his orbalisk infestation. After they acquired an old hyperspace route to Tython from an Archive computer, Zannah quickly exited the Temple with Darovit in tow and left Coruscant aboard her personal starship, the Loranda.
Elsewhere in the Jedi Temple, Jedi Johun Othone had gone in search of his former Master, Valenthyne Farfalla. Othone believed he had the necessary proof of the existence of the Sith, based on the testimony of Darovit, so he brought Darovit with him to Coruscant for a meeting with the Jedi Council. Othone finally caught up with Master Farfalla and explained the situation. They then proceeded to the Archives where Othone had left Darovit, only to find that the young man was no longer there. After some hasty investigating, the two Jedi discovered that Darovit had fled to Tython with Zannah. Armed with this knowledge, Farfalla then gathered a team of four Jedi: Raskta Lsu, Johun Othone, Sarro Xaj, and the Ithorian Master Worror. With Farfalla himself as the fifth, they left aboard Master Lsu's personal attack vessel, Justice Crusader. The Jedi arrived on Tython and landed their ship near the Loranda and Bane's ship, the Mystic, and entered the temple of the ancient Dark Lord Belia Darzu. There, the Jedi Masters and Knights immediately initiated combat against the two Sith Lords, Bane and Zannah.
- "Johun! Sarro! We need reinforcements!"
- ―Valenthyne Farfalla
The room in which the duel took place was circular, with a door on either side. Empowered by Jedi Battle meditation, Farfalla and Lsu entered from one side while Othone and Xaj came in through the other. Their plan was to mount a two-pronged offensive, while simultaneously eliminating a potential escape by the Sith Lords. Worror entered last and behind the other Masters, focusing on his Battle meditation rather than actual combat. Upon seeing the Jedi, Bane rushed towards the Masters with his lightsaber drawn. His initial charge was met head-on by Raskta Lsu, Echani Jedi Weapon Master. She attacked Darth Bane but was unsuccessful in dealing any significant damage, thanks to the benefit of his orbalisk armor. As Bane charged towards her, Lsu evaded him, but then Bane's attention was drawn to Farfalla, who also had to dodge the Dark Lord's forward charge. Lsu again leaped towards Bane, only to be met with a powerful Force push that sent her flying across the room. Her saving grace was the Force barrier Farfalla threw up around her to cushion her impact. She was back on her feet, but Bane's attention was now on Farfalla.
Bane unleashed a barrage of purple Sith lightning towards the Equine Jedi, but Farfalla again used a Force barrier to protect himself. The lightning tore right through the barrier but was intercepted and dispelled by Raskta Lsu. Bane audaciously charged again, and the Masters engaged him. While dueling, Bane elbowed Lsu in the ribs with enough strength to lift her off her feet and send her flying. The Echani woman was momentarily incapacitated, and Darth Bane finally engaged Farfalla. Lsu shouted to Farfalla to take heed of Bane's special lightsaber, which was giving his dueling style an unfamiliar advantage over them, but the sheer physical strength of Bane's next attack knocked Farfalla's lightsaber from his hand. He was saved again by Lsu, who managed to fell Bane with a scissor-kick from behind. When he recovered, Lsu directed her attacks at his face—the only exposed area of his body. Bane was losing ground as Farfalla tried to rejoin the duel, but Lsu saw him as a hindrance and so told him to hold back. Farfalla instead assisted his colleague by protecting her with another Force barrier. Meanwhile, Bane was being continuously backed up by Lsu. Then suddenly he disengaged her and raced towards the source of the Jedi's invigoration: Master Worror. Bane realized that Worror was supplementing the Jedi with his Battle meditation, and as Worror remained unprotected, Bane rushed him as fast as he could.
- "Go. I can handle this one."
- ―Sarro Xaj to Johun Othone
On the opposite side of the room, Darth Zannah was holding her own against Sarro Xaj and Johun Othone. Xaj, a physically large Human male who also wielded a double-bladed lightsaber (albeit much larger than Zannah's), hammered at her with brute strength, causing her to lose her footing. However, Othone's Niman style served to disrupt Xaj's assault, thereby assisting Zannah in regaining her composure. Zannah was acquainted with a purely offensive style of Djem So, having only learned to defend herself against her Master, who had little need for defense due to his resident symbiosis. She was unprepared for an opponent who incorporated defensive maneuvers into his fighting style, and Sarro Xaj's polished and refined technique threw her off her guard.
On several occasions, Xaj's strength overwhelmed Zannah's defenses, though not to the point of her being unable to fight. His ferocity was balanced by the awkward rhythm with which Othone dueled. Because of Othone's unpolished style, Xaj was forced to minimize his own assault to avoid striking his partner. This disruption gave Zannah the opportunity to resume her cadence and erect her impenetrable wall of defense yet again. An opportunity arose to cut Othone down, but Zannah declined, foreseeing and instead allowing him to be more of a hindrance to his colleagues than her. Nimbly she danced around her assailants, giving ground and regaining strength as they advanced. Suddenly the Knights were beckoned by Farfalla; realizing Bane's near invulnerability, the Equine Jedi called for help, which Othone willingly gave.
He reacted immediately by leaping over towards the Masters and joining the battle at the same time as Farfalla. With his attackers now three Jedi strong, Darth Bane was actually being held steady, so much so that he was forced to assume a defensive position. With Othone on his right and Farfalla on the left, Raskta Lsu attacked the Dark Lord from the middle, all the while playing off the clumsiness of Othone and the gracefulness of Farfalla. Lsu's skill was such that she was actually benefiting from the hindrance Othone had previously been to Sarro Xaj. But for all the strength in their attack, the Jedi could neither subdue nor defeat Bane. Othone caught a glimpse of Bane's wrist between the shells of the orbalisk armor and aimed his next strike there. The blow startled Bane, cutting him deeply and forcing him to drop his weapon. The pain, however, was fuel for Bane's rage, and with it he unleashed a Force wave that knocked his oppressors clear away from him. Now the lane was clear for Bane to cut the Ithorian Jedi down. He recalled his lightsaber to his grasp and approached Worror. When Othone realized Bane's intentions, he used the Force and pushed Worror out of harm's way. This, however, marked the beginning of the end for the Jedi.
Johun Othone's Force push saved Worror, but at the cost of his beneficial battle meditation. Immediately the effects were felt by Sarro Xaj, who was no longer as strong as he had previously been. As he turned his head to see what happened, Zannah used this opportunity to conjure her spell of insanity against him. Xaj was instantly driven to madness by its effects, and Zannah ducked in and cut him down without hesitation. She then cloaked her Force essence with her sorcery, sneaked up behind Raskta Lsu, and impaled her. Lsu crumpled to the floor, also dead. With only two Jedi left to face him, Darth Bane severed Othone's weapon-hand easily and proceeded to disarm and behead Farfalla. Bane then attacked Worror, slashing at his four throats and fatally wounding him. However, before Bane could use his purple lightning to electrocute the wounded Othone, Worror used his last bit of strength to trap himself and Bane in a Protection bubble, causing the Force lightning to electrocute him and Bane instead. Worror was dead, and Bane fell to the floor unconscious, a smoking, orbalisk-encrusted husk.
- "You can't die yet. There's so much more you have to teach me!"
- ―Darth Zannah's thoughts about her wounded Master
Othone begged for mercy, but his pleas fell upon deaf ears. Zannah ran her lightsaber blade through his chest as he lay on the floor. With Johun Othone dead, the contest was finally over. Zannah rushed to Bane's side and proceeded to aid her wounded Master. Noticing that the room outside had grown considerably quiet, Darovit emerged from the closet where Zannah previously instructed him to hide. When he saw Bane, he informed Zannah that dead orbalisks immediately release toxins upon death, and that Bane's chances for surviving their poison were small. Zannah knew of only one other individual with enough healing capacity to assist her, and he was back on Ambria. Shortly thereafter, the Sith left Tython in search of the healer Caleb on Ambria.
Behind the scenesEdit
- "The "Rule of Two" painting featuring Darth Bane and all of the adversaries battling it out was a tricky one to draw…trying to fit that many characters into a vertical composition is always a challenge."
- ―Artist Chris Scalf discusses the challenges with drawing the duel on Tython
The duel on Tython was written and conceived by Drew Karpyshyn for his 2007 novel Darth Bane: Rule of Two. Karpyshyn chose the duel to be the end of three new Jedi characters Lsu, Xaj, and Worror, as well as the already established characters of Farfalla and Othone. Karpyshyn also used this event as the catalyst for the death of the character Darovit. The duel was mentioned in the subsequent Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Guide to Warfare (First pictured)
- "The Art of Warfare"—Star Wars Insider 133
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 14 (1000 BBY 3–4, The Rule of Two)