- "The Dark Lords of the Sith have risen again. Together, we will bring down the galaxy."
- ―Exar Kun to Ulic Qel-Droma
The Great Sith War, also known as the Sith War, the First Sith War, and the Exar Kun War, or the Great Shadow Crusade to the Mandalorians, was a galaxy-wide conflict which took place in 3996 BBY. One of the largest engagements of the Old Sith Wars, the Great Sith War saw the rise of the Sith, once again in opposition to the Jedi Order. The roots of the conflict are traced back to the fall of Freedon Nadd from the Jedi way and his ascension to Dark Lord of the Sith. Eventually his dark influence was discovered on the planet Onderon and the ensuing battle saw the Jedi temporarily break Nadd's hold on the remote planet. This fight against the resurgent power of the Sith was a warning to the Jedi that something ominous was brewing.
The influence of the Sith, however, again resurfaced during the Freedon Nadd Uprising, which managed to establish the means for the Krath to grow in power and influence. Using Sith knowledge that they had gained from Nadd and his followers on Onderon, the Krath instituted a bloody coup in the Empress Teta system and began a series of campaigns aimed at Republic space. After several defeats at the hands of the Krath, Jedi Knight Ulic Qel-Droma advised the Jedi Order that he would infiltrate the Krath and destroy them from within. During his undercover mission, Ulic fell to the dark side and joined forces with another fallen Jedi-turned-Sith by the name of Exar Kun. Eventually, Kun was anointed the new Dark Lord of the Sith with Qel-Droma his apprentice, and together they ushered the galaxy into a new Sith age.
With their allies, Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma launched a series of deadly campaigns against the Republic, eventually making their way to the heart of the galaxy—Coruscant. Following this battle Kun and Qel-Droma launched an assault on Ossus, in an attempt to raid the planet of its Jedi artifacts. However, the battle of Ossus saw the defeat of the Sith forces, the capture of Ulic Qel-Droma, and the retreat of Kun to his base on Yavin 4. Broken and humbled, Qel-Droma agreed to lead the combined forces of the Republic Rim Fleet and the Jedi to Yavin 4, in an effort to defeat Exar Kun. Under the combined efforts of the Jedi, Kun was defeated and the Great Sith War brought to an end.
- "The Jedi who fall are the most dangerous of all."
- ―A line from a children's rhyme
Following the Great Hyperspace War the galaxy experienced nearly a thousand years of relative peace. With only a few minor brushfire conflicts arising, including the Gank Massacres and the Third Jedi Schism, the galaxy enjoyed the lasting peace which came with the defeat of the Dark Lord of the Sith Naga Sadow. As the galaxy continued to experience no further contact with the remnants of the Sith Empire, it enjoyed a time of new galactic exploration and expansion. However, six hundred years after the collapse of the Sith Empire, a young Jedi by the name of Freedon Nadd began his journey towards the dark side of the Force. Nadd's fall to the dark side would leave a lasting dark influence over the galactic timeline, and would usher in the return of the Sith—though this time it would be in a much more cunning and dangerous form than had been previously experienced.
Having grown frustrated with his Jedi training and feeling that his talents were being held back, Nadd traveled to various planets which he knew were imbued with ancient Sith energy. Leaving behind the Jedi academy on Ossus, Nadd traveled deep into the heart of the old Sith Empire in search of further dark side knowledge. Eventually he followed the Force to the jungle moon of Yavin 4 where Naga Sadow had, six hundred years earlier, exiled himself and created a cloistered Sith stronghold. Arriving at the primary temple, Nadd made his way to its depths, where he was confronted by the spirit of the long dead Sith Lord, Naga Sadow.
Training under the former Dark Lord of the Sith, Nadd learned much and was eventually twisted completely towards the dark side of the Force. Believing that he had learned all he could from Naga Sadow, Nadd used his new-found powers to destroy his mentor's spirit, and left the jungle moon behind him. Proclaiming himself to be the new Dark Lord of the Sith, Nadd traveled to the remote world of Onderon, which was just outside of Republic space, and established himself as the king of Onderon. Nadd instituted martial law and ruled from the walled city of Iziz with an iron fist. A policy which Nadd instituted, and which would exasperate his successors for hundreds of years, was to banish all criminals outside the walls of Iziz to be killed by the savage beasts which lived there. Eventually, a number of these criminals banded together, learning to survive, and domesticated the wild beasts of Onderon. These criminals would eventually become known as the Beast Riders and would fight a guerrilla war against Nadd and his royal line.
Freedon Nadd secretly taught his children the ways of the Sith, and made sure that his dark knowledge lived on throughout the Onderonian royalty, for the one day when it could be used against the Jedi. Even though Nadd died, his spirit lived on in his tomb deep below the city of Iziz, and it was there that he cunningly instructed his descendants in the Sith arts. Over the next four hundred years the Beast Riders would continue their war against the city of Iziz and its royal rulers, with the conflict escalating to new heights in the years prior to 4000 BBY. Eventually, under the reign of King Ommin and Queen Amanoa, Onderon joined the Republic and, against the advice of Freedon Nadd, Amanoa requested the Jedi's assistance in ending the centuries-old conflict against the Beast Riders. Little did the Jedi know that what they were to experience on Onderon would be the clandestine beginning of a massive war which would eventually engulf the galaxy in the years to follow.
The end of the Beast WarsEdit
- "The barbarians are swarming—order the wave gunners to hit them hard."
- ―An Onderonian soldier
As was the custom of the time, when a new planet gained membership within the Republic, the Jedi Order would assign a Jedi to become the "watchman" of the system. It was the watchman's duties to supervise the new system's transition into a Republic member-state, and to help with any local difficulties that the planetary governments might be experiencing. Upon Onderon joining the Republic, Jedi Master Arca Jeth was given charge of the new planet and directed to help end the Beast Wars which had plagued the planet for many centuries. As a test for his three young apprentices, Ulic and Cay Qel-Droma, and the Twi'lek Tott Doneeta, Master Arca sent them in his place to put an end to the civil war.
Once Master Arca's apprentices arrived on Onderon, they were met by Queen Amanoa, who asked the Jedi to help put an end to the ongoing Beast Wars. During Ulic's audience with Amanoa and her daughter, the princess Galia, the Beast Riders staged a bold raid against the palace in which they abducted Galia. At the request of Amanoa, Ulic, Cay, and Tott set out to rescue Galia from the Beast Riders, but soon discovered that the raid had been an elaborate ruse: Galia and Oron Kira, the Beast-Lord who ruled over the Beast Riders, were actually in love, and planned to marry each other. Their marriage, they argued, would not only celebrate their love for each other, but it would also unify the Beast Riders and the city of Iziz, thus ending the centuries-long conflict.
Listening to what Oron Kira and Galia had to say, Ulic believed that they were sincere about wanting to bring peace to Onderon. However, it was not until Galia advised Ulic that she could no longer live in the presence of the dark side of the Force that he began to seriously consider that something was indeed wrong on Onderon—Ulic had believed that the Sith were extinct, and that they had fought their last war a millennium ago. As Ulic listened to Galia and Oron tell the history of Onderon, he learned that a fallen Jedi named Freedon Nadd had learned the ways of the Sith and established himself as the ruler of their planet. Following his eventual death, his spirit stayed in Iziz and imbued the city with his dark side energy. Galia explained that Nadd's spirit had continued to teach her ancestors how to use the dark side of the Force; that it was because of his influence of manipulation that Iziz continued to grow in technology; and that it was this technology which allowed the Iziz defenders to constantly defend against the Beast Riders. Finally comprehending that the Sith had managed to return without the knowledge of the Jedi, Ulic, Cay, and Tott agreed to help lead an assault against the palace of Iziz—their plan was to dispose of Amanoa and install Galia as Queen of Onderon. This plan, however, was to only go into effect if Ulic was unable to convince Amanoa to cease hostilities and return to the light.
Nonetheless, when the trio of Jedi, along with Oron and Galia, arrived at the Iziz palace they were greeted with nothing but hostility from Amanoa. The Queen claimed that she would rather see her daughter die than be with an outcast like Oron Kira. After witnessing Amanoa give herself fully over to the dark side in an effort to overwhelm the Jedi and their allies, Ulic and the others retreated outside the city and radioed the Beast Riders. Describing how Amanoa had shunned the Jedi's request for peace, the Beast Riders launched an all-out attack against Iziz. The resulting battle was a complete bloodbath, and both sides experienced heavy casualties—even the Jedi were not immune to danger, with Cay Qel-Droma losing an arm in combat. During the battle Amanoa began using her dark side powers to influence the minds of those on the battlefield, and turned the tide of the battle against the Beast Riders. However, the timely arrival of Arca Jeth, and his use of Jedi battle meditation, helped turn the tide of the battle back in favor of the Beast Riders. Following the dark side energy into the bowels of the Iziz palace to the sarcophagus of Freedon Nadd, Master Arca confronted Amanoa, who was enthralled in the power of Nadd's spirit. Using the power of the light side, Master Arca drove off the dark powers, leaving Amanoa completely helpless. Without the support of Nadd's strength, Amanoa's withered body soon failed her, and she passed away in the arms of her daughter.
With the death of Amanoa, Galia was proclaimed Queen of Onderon, and the dark side presence of Freedon Nadd was supposedly gone. However, the shadow of Freedon Nadd was not dead, but only suppressed, and it still had an important role to play in the galaxy.
The Freedon Nadd UprisingEdit
- "The Jedi have not won today…as you will one day learn—The Jedi have lost!"
- ―Freedon Nadd to Arca Jeth
Following the death of Queen Amanoa, and Galia's ascension to the throne, Master Jeth recognized that a dark side pall was still hanging over Onderon. Realizing that the Sith power of Freedon Nadd was more powerful than he had first suspected, Arca Jeth, along with his three apprentices and Oss Wilum, attempted to remove Nadd's and Amanoa's sarcophagi off of Onderon to the beast-filled moon of Dxun for re-internment. However, during the procession of the remains, the Jedi found themselves under an attack led by the darksider Warb Null. Null led the Naddists, a Sith cult that revered Freedon Nadd, in an attempt to capture the sarcophagi that the Jedi were protecting. While Cay Qel-Droma and Oss Wilum fought Null, a powerful dark side force assaulted Master Jeth and effectively neutralized him for the remainder of the fight. With Arca Jeth powerless, and the remaining Jedi preoccupied with Warb Null, the Naddists were able to steal the remains of Amanoa and Nadd and retreat aboard a war machine into the depths of Iziz.
Following the skirmish with the Naddists, Arca Jeth sought out the seemingly senile King Ommin at the advice of Galia, who mentioned that Ommin was once a powerful dark side user, but that its use had destroyed his body. Upon meeting Ommin, Master Jeth was attacked and taken prisoner by Ommin, who was not as helpless as he had first appeared. During his internment, Master Jeth learned that Ommin had been provided with an unnatural vitality by the spirit Freedon Nadd, who was supporting Ommin through the use of Sith magic. During an attempt to free Jeth, Warb Null appeared to help in the fight. The ensuing skirmish witnessed the death of Null at the hands of Ulic, and the retreat of both Ulic and Galia away from Ommin's Sith magic. Master Jeth, however, was still a prisoner of Ommin and Nadd, and the two Sith devised a plan through which they could make Jeth fall to the dark side. Their plan called for the torture of Master Jeth to the brink of death, where they believed that he would be forced to call upon the dark side to save himself. At that point, Master Jeth's body would be destroyed and the Sith would raise the fallen Jedi as a dark side spirit, thus adding strength to their numbers.
Following the capture of Arca Jeth, Ulic Qel-Droma realized that he needed help with the Naddist Revolt and put out a call for Jedi reinforcements—in response to this, the Jedi leadership on Ossus decided to send a team of five Jedi to aid Ulic and the other Knights on Onderon. The team consisted of an all-volunteer group, and Dace Diath, Shoaneb Culu, Kith Kark, Qrrrl Toq, and Nomi Sunrider promptly left Ossus to lend aid to Ulic. Under the leadership of Sunrider, the Jedi relief team arrived on Onderon and managed to battle their way to where Ulic and the other Jedi were. Nomi led her team of Jedi in a charge against the more numerous enemy soldiers, projecting Force shields around themselves, and utilizing Force battle techniques that the Jedi had developed throughout their history. However, during the attack, several of the Jedi realized that something, or someone, was blocking their various Force abilities through the dark side. Nomi tried to combat the influences she felt, but the dark side being managed to overwhelm her defenses and knock her unconscious—during the attack, Kith Kark was killed as a result of his Force shield being neutralized by the dark side being. Following the fight, the two groups of Jedi met and joined forces. Eventually, the Jedi stormed Ommin's stronghold, launching their initial attack from the courtyard of the castle. Though the Jedi were able to defeat the guards, Ommin halted the Jedi attack by concentrating on his hatred and using its power to again overwhelm the Jedi. However, Ulic Qel-Droma charged the old man and slashed at him with his lightsaber, disarming and neutralizing Ommin. With the defeat of Ommin, the Jedi managed to free Master Jeth from the Sith torture devices.
Following the Sith and Naddist defeat on Onderon, the Jedi under the guidance of Master Jeth transported the remains of Freedon Nadd and Amanoa to the jungle moon of Dxun, where they were to be entombed behind enormous slabs of Mandalorian iron. It was hoped that entombing both sarcophagi on the wild moon would dissuade anyone from seeking out the Sith knowledge contained within.
- "I'll bet they don't even understand what they've unleashed, and that makes them all the more dangerous."
- ―Cay Qel-Droma speaking of the Krath
During the Naddist Revolt on Onderon, two aristocratic figures arrived on the planet in search of Sith knowledge: Satal Keto and his cousin Aleema, who were the royal heirs to the Empress Teta system. Having been brought up in a childhood devoid of boundaries and discipline, Satal and Aleema had grown into spoiled, bored, and rich adults. To entertain and amuse themselves, they began dabbling in Sith magic and studying Sith artifacts that were recovered a thousand years earlier during the Great Hyperspace War. Considering themselves to be Sith initiates, Satal and Aleema, along with a group of fellow aristocrats, formed a society known as the Krath, named after a dreadful legend from their childhoods.
During one of the Krath's many illegal excursions to find Sith artifacts, Satal broke into a Coruscant museum and stole an archaic book which contained many Sith secrets. However, the book could only be deciphered by one who had been truly been trained in the ways of the Sith, or by an individual who possessed a Sith tool which could decipher the text. At the insistence of his cousin, who had heard rumors of a reemergence of the Sith on Onderon, Satal and Aleema traveled to the city of Iziz. There the two met King Ommin, who was more than willing to translate the ancient Sith writing. In addition to translating the Sith tome, Ommin gave Satal and Aleema a wealth of Sith artifacts, including a unique Sith amulet. Once this task was done, Ommin left the two Krath and departed to deal with the Naddist Revolt, which was still taking place. However, Aleema and Satal were confronted by the spirit of Freedon Nadd, who foretold the eventual defeat of Ommin at the hands of the Jedi. Nadd believed that the two aristocrats held the key to furthering his plans of resurrecting the Sith, and therefore decided to guide Aleema and Satal in their quest for Sith knowledge.
Departing Onderon, the two Ketos traveled back to their home system armed with their new Sith knowledge as well as the guidance of a Dark Lord of the Sith. Marshalling the military forces of the Empress Teta system, the Krath instituted a violent coup which placed them firmly in control of the system's government. The seven worlds of Empress Teta, however, did not take well to the brutal subjugation and illegal coup which had taken place. Rising up in rebellion against their new leaders, the seven worlds launched an organized resistance against the newly instituted Krath leadership. Despite this, both Aleema and Satal were delighted to have been given the chance to further test their new Sith powers—carefully organizing their efforts, the Krath were able to put down the revolts on six of the seven worlds under their control. Koros Major was the last world in the Empress Teta system to mount an organized resistance against the Krath, and word of its fight soon made its way across the galaxy.
Word of the rebellion, as well as the use of Sith magic, eventually made its way to Master Arca Jeth. Alarmed at the reports which claimed Sith participation in yet another conflict, Master Jeth traveled to the Onderon system, where Ulic Qel-Droma, Nomi Sunrider, and many other Jedi were overseeing the peaceful transition of governing power. Upon his arrival Master Jeth briefed the Jedi on who the Krath were and how they had apparently obtained their knowledge of the Sith. Once he had explained the situation in the Empress Teta system, Master Jeth handed out assignments to several of the Jedi Knights gathered: Dace Diath, Oss Wilum, Shoaneb Culu, and Qrrrl Toq were ordered back to the Jedi assembly on Ossus. Once there they were to inform the Jedi leadership about the Sith involvement on Onderon, and how it was related to the coup in the Empress Teta system. Nomi was told that she would stay with Master Jeth in an attempt to refine her battle meditation. Once this task had been completed, both Nomi and Ulic would travel to Empress Teta system and take command of the joint Republic/Jedi fleet which would be organized for this specific mission.
Concurrent with the Krath takeover of the Empress Teta system, was the little-known Battle of Basilisk. This battle would eventually be known as the starting point of the time period which galactic historians would come to refer to as the Krath Holy Crusade.
Battle of Koros MajorEdit
- "Ulic—the dark-side energy is intensifying…prepare for anything."
- ―Nomi Sunrider to Ulic Qel-Droma
In the months following the disastrous defeat on Basilisk, the leaders of the Jedi and Republic organized a joint task force to be sent to the aid of Koros Major, the last planet in the Tetan system which was resisting the Krath coup—at the head of this fleet were Nomi Sunrider and Ulic Qel-Droma. Under the leadership of the Jedi, the battle fleet departed Republic space and made its way to the Empress Teta system. However, when the joint fleet emerged from hyperspace, it found that its destination, Koros Major, was under attack by a large Krath invasion fleet, and it appeared that the Battle of Koros Major was all but over.
At Ulic's behest Captain Orley Vanicus, Fleet Captain of the joint fleet, sent out a "cease fire" order to the invading Krath forces. As Ulic had expected, the Krath ignored the order and continued their attack on Koros Major—Ulic, likewise, ordered the joint fleet to move into attack positions. However, Aleema used her Sith powers to create enormous Force Illusions in the shape of space grazers, lifeforms which had been extinct for thousands of years. Under the control of Aleema these illusions seemed to attack the Republic ships, scattering the joint fleet. At first, Ulic and many of the Republic officers expressed disbelief and concern at the Space grazers; but Nomi was able to sense through the Force that the grazers were actually Sith illusions, and ordered the joint fleet to keep pressing its attack on the Krath ships.
Realizing they had underestimated the Jedi, Satal and Aleema formulated a new plan of action. Using Aleema's talent with Sith magic, Satal ordered a large number of Krath Chaos fighters to launch from his command ship and target the Republic cruisers. Aleema used her Sith magic to create more illusions, but this time of more Chaos fighters. As the Republic prepared to open fire on the advancing enemy fighters, Nomi sensed that it was another Sith ruse. Reaching through the Force, Nomi was able to take control of Aleema's mind, and forced her to lose control over the illusions. However, even with the false Chaos fighters gone, the Republic ships realized too late that there were still many more real fighters heading towards them. Unable to raise their particle shields in time, the joint fleet suffered severe casualties from the Chaos fighters as they rammed into the Republic capital ships. Ulic was severely wounded by flying shrapnel when a Chaos fighter crashed into the bridge of the Republic command ship Reliance I. Not yet realizing that the shrapnel had been imbued with Sith magic, Nomi used the Force to tend to Ulic's wounds while Captain Vanicus ordered the joint fleet to retreat from the Empress Teta system.
In response to severe defeat of the Republic and Jedi at the Battle of Koros Major, the Jedi leadership ordered the Jedi assembly to assemble on Deneba, where a conclave would be held to discuss the increasing hostilities resulting from the Krath.
Conclave of DenebaEdit
- "The Jedi prophecies predict a great conflict with the Dark side…"
- ―Shoaneb Culu during the Conclave of Deneba
In response to the threat posed by the Krath and their use of Sith magic, the Jedi called a large convocation on the planet of Deneba, to take place at Mount Meru. Thousands of Jedi Masters and Knights responded to the call and reported to the conclave, which was under the direction of Jedi Master Odan-Urr. As the conclave began, Master Odan-Urr allowed Nomi Sunrider and Ulic Qel-Droma to address the assembly and tell the gathered Jedi about their experiences with the Sith arts both on Onderon, and the more recent battle at Koros Major.
Explaining the threat of the Krath, and the dangers that the reemerging Sith posed, Ulic proposed a plan to deal with the Krath and destroy the threat of the Sith. While many of the Jedi gathered on Deneba wished to escalate the war and use the Republic's and the Jedi's full military might against the Krath, Ulic believed that he could infiltrate the Krath and destroy them from within. Ulic argued his plan—which he believed could save countless lives—to the gathered Jedi assembly. However, many Jedi, including Arca Jeth, Dace Diath, and Shoaneb Culu, spoke of the dangers posed by attempting to infiltrate the Dark Side. Master Jeth advised Ulic that it was not possible to destroy the Dark Side; the best one could hope was to contain it, as Master Thon had done on Ambria. Nonetheless, Master Jeth argued that through the combined efforts of the Jedi they could create a wall of light to push back and control the reemerging Sith.
Battle of DenebaEdit
- "A lightstaff will take care of these guys!"
- ―Qrrrl Toq
While the Jedi were discussing which course of action to pursue, a Tetan Corsair had managed to disguise itself among the thousands of Jedi ships orbiting Deneba. At the order of Satal Keto, the Corsair launched a large amount of Krath war droids which rained down upon the assembled Jedi on Mount Meru. Concurrent with the Krath war droid attack on the assembly, the Jedi's servant droids, which had been sabotaged by Krath spies, also attacked the Jedi. The ensuing fight was a vicious affair and saw the deaths of many Jedi—however, many of the Jedi put up a ferocious defense and managed to push back the Krath attack. During the defensive actions, Master Jeth demonstrated the Force talent of droid disable which he had perfected during the Great Droid Revolution of 4015 BBY. Despite the efforts of the Jedi defenders, some of their numbers were killed by the overwhelming droid attack, including Jeth, who was fatally wounded from a shot to the back at the hands of a Krath War Droid. In the arms of Ulic Qel-Droma, he passed on and became one with the Force. The Battle of Deneba hit Ulic hard and he was devastated by Master Jeth's death. As a result of this, he decided to go ahead with his proposed plan and infiltrate the Krath, vowing to bring them down from within, no matter what the cost.
Following the battle on Mount Meru, Ulic prepared for the mission into Krath territory and departed the Jedi assembly intent on succeeding.
The seduction of Exar KunEdit
- "Surrender to the dark side or you will die."
- ―Freedon Nadd to Exar Kun
Meanwhile, far away from the conclave on Deneba, the young Jedi Exar Kun had turned from the light and began to travel down the slippery path of the dark side. Kun believed that he could study the dark side and learn Sith knowledge without succumbing to its power—his ignorance, however, would have dire consequences for the entire galaxy. Exar Kun's fall and eventual rise to power as Dark Lord of the Sith would escalate the Great Sith War to new levels, and bring a new Sith age into prominence.
Kun was a talented individual, and strong in the ways of the Force, who began his early Jedi training under Master Vodo-Siosk Baas on the planet of Dantooine. Despite his master's teaching, Kun was an overly ambitious and curious student who secretly studied any available knowledge pertaining to the Golden Age of the Sith. Believing that the Jedi teachings had somehow lost their direction over time, Kun investigated clues from his studies of the Sith and followed these clues to the Sith legacy on Onderon.
Enlisting the help of a pair of Naddists from that planet, Kun traveled to the moon of Dxun intent on discovering any Sith secrets that laid buried in the tomb of Freedon Nadd. Encountering the heavy Mandalorian iron that Master Jeth had had Nadd's tomb forged from, Kun used his lightsaber to gain entry to the sarcophagus, where he found the skeletal remains of the long-dead Sith Lord, which were still clothed in Nadd's black armor. During his search of the tomb, Kun was stopped by the spirit of Nadd, who warned the young Jedi that the dark side was dangerous, but rewarding. Before Kun could reply, Nadd revealed a series of scrolls written by Naga Sadow, which had been hidden in a compartment under his remains, and advised Kun that a great destiny awaited him in the power of the dark side. Using the scrolls that Nadd had given him, Kun continued his exploration and search for Sith knowledge.
Following the words contained in the scrolls, Kun arrived on the ancient Sith world of Korriban to continue his search. Making his way to the Valley of the Dark Lords, Kun investigated a series of large crypts which contained the remains of ancient Sith Lords; however, in a test from Nadd, Kun was nearly killed when a tomb he was investigating was caused to collapse around him. As Kun cried out in pain and for help, Nadd appeared and told him that he would save him if Kun surrendered himself completely to the dark side. Kun agreed by making a hollow promise, but he was already too far down the dark path to make it back to the light on his own accord. The power of the dark side threw the collapsed stone off of him and filled Kun, healing his broken body, and left him laying naked on the sun-baked earth of Korriban. Having been left with feelings of frustration and anger from his use of the dark side, Kun let loose an awful cry in the Force which resonated across the galaxy and was felt by all of the Jedi assembled on Mount Meru, including Kun's former Master Vodo-Siosk Baas.
Still believing that he could learn from the Sith and not be tempted by their ways, Kun continued his exploration of the dark side—his fall, however, had already begun and several Jedi Masters, including Master Arca Jeth, could sense the currents of the Force change as Kun's choices began to influence galactic events, shifting them into something darker and much more dangerous than the Jedi had first believed.
Mission to Empress TetaEdit
- "At the last moment…when he attacked us…I felt something. Cay…Ulic is lost to us…I can feel it."
- ―Nomi speaking of Ulic
While Kun continued his journey into the mysteries of the dark side, Ulic Qel-Droma had departed Deneba for his mission to infiltrate the Krath. However, several months passed with no word reaching the Jedi or the Republic regarding his mission status. Among the Jedi who knew of the mission, several felt that Ulic might have allowed himself to turn to the dark side in order to destroy the Krath. As a result, Nomi Sunrider, Cay Qel-Droma, and Tott Doneeta devised a plan through which Nomi would be able to make contact with Ulic in the Krath capital of Cinnagar. Having organized this mission to Empress Teta, the three Jedi immediately set out for the Krath capital.
Ulic, unbeknown to the Jedi, had been unable to communicate with his compatriots due to a variety of reasons. Though he was initially able to win the favor of Aleema Keto, her cousin Satal was wary of Ulic, who was posing as a fallen Jedi Knight turned Krath sympathizer. Due to Satal's suspicions, Ulic was taken and subjected to grueling torture techniques beneath the Iron Citadel and injected with Sith poisons—poisons which would eventually aid in his fall to the dark side. Nonetheless, Ulic survived the torture and was able to convince Satal that he was sincere in his devotion to the Krath; he was eventually made warlord of the Krath military forces.
Meanwhile, Ulic's Jedi companions had traveled to Cinnagar and managed to successfully insert Nomi near the Iron Citadel, where Ulic was staying amongst the other Krath leadership. Sensing Ulic through the Force, Nomi realized that the only way she was going to be brought before him was to expose her identity as a Jedi Knight and allow herself to be captured. Making her way to the Krath palace, Nomi ignited her lightsaber and was confronted by a number of Krath soldiers, whom she then surrendered to. However, when Nomi was brought before Ulic, he was forced with a difficult decision—to save the woman he loved from execution, which he knew would ruin his cover, or to allow himself to stay in character, and therefore treat the captured Jedi like any Krath warlord would.
Making the decision to stay in character, Ulic advised Aleema and Satal that he would personally execute Nomi the following morning. Following this announcement, Ulic attempted to contact Nomi in her prison cell through programming a servant droid with a hidden message for her. The message explained that Ulic intended to stay in his disguise for a while longer, in an effort to learn more of the Krath's plans, and hopefully more attacks against the Jedi. The droid, however, was intercepted by Satal and Ulic's hidden message discovered—angry that he had been right from the beginning regarding Qel-Droma, Satal immediately set out to order both Nomi and Ulic to be publicly executed. Not realizing Ulic's true motives, Nomi managed to use her battle meditation against her cell's guards, causing them to kill one another. The ensuing confusion provided her the opportunity needed to escape the palace and request aid from Cay and Tott, who were circling Cinnagar in the Nebulon Ranger. When Cay and Tott arrived to extract Nomi, the three Jedi agreed that they must attempt to try and rescue Ulic as well. Their plans, though, were almost instantly interrupted when Satal appeared in an attempt to stop the three Jedi from escaping. Prior to the arrival of Tott and Cay, Ulic had learned from Aleema that it was Satal's idea to attack the Jedi conclave on Deneba. Furious at this revelation, he rushed to find Satal, only to discover the Krath leader attempting to confront his three Jedi friends. Announcing to Nomi and the others that it had been Satal who had ordered the Krath strike on Deneba, Ulic gave in to his anger and fought Satal in a fast-paced duel. Overwhelming Satal's defenses, Ulic struck the Krath leader down, killing him in the thrall of anger. At that moment Nomi and the others attempted to convince Ulic to leave the planet with them, but he unleashed a wave of dark side energy, throwing them away from him. Not believing what had transpired, the three Jedi boarded the Nebulon Ranger and made their way back to Ossus.
The rise of Exar Kun and destruction of Freedon NaddEdit
- "I made certain his seduction was complete. Exar Kun will use the dark side, that is his true power now!"
- ―Freedon Nadd speaking of Exar Kun
Meanwhile, Exar Kun continued to delve deeper into his search for Sith knowledge. Following his excursion to the Sith world of Korriban, Freedon Nadd directed Kun to the jungle moon of Yavin 4, where he would complete his training in the ways of the Sith.
Arriving on the forested world, Kun was confronted by the Massassi, who over the centuries had devolved into primitive shadows of the race they had once been—the Sith. Due to the episode in the tomb on Korriban, Kun had since been unable to use the power of the light side, and refused to entirely accept power provided to him by the dark side—because of this, Kun was easily captured by the Massassi and taken back to their main temple. Under the direction of the Massassi priest Zythmnr, Kun was to be sacrificed to an ancient Sith creation of Naga Sadow's. As Kun was on the verge of death in the grips of the giant creature, Freedon Nadd's spirit appeared to Kun and told him that to save himself, he must concentrate on his anger and use it to free himself. Using the dark side to grab a Sith amulet from Zythmnr, Kun focused his anger through it and used it as a weapon to free himself through blasts of energy. Finally comprehending the power that Nadd had been trying to teach him, Kun fully embraced the dark side and agreed to follow the Sith ways with absolute conviction.
Kun proceeded to kill the enormous beast that had tried to kill him, and slaughtered his captors without hesitation. Nadd was pleased while he watched Kun give into his new-found strength, and believing that Kun was ready, ordered him to use his new Sith powers to create Nadd a new body. Kun, however, had grown agitated and tired with what he perceived as constant interference from Nadd, and as a result used his powers to destroy Freedon Nadd's spirit—removing its taint from the galaxy forever. By this point, Kun had fully embraced the dark side, and he set out to turn Yavin 4 into his personal fortress, using the Massassi as his servants. Enslaving the Massassi, Kun forced them to construct new Sith temples, and to repair the relics left from the time of Naga Sadow. Kun planned to use these temples and buildings for Sith ceremonies and rites which would help focuses his Sith magic, thus making it more powerful.
As his power grew, so did Kun's ambitions and thirst for conquest. Not content with the rule of a single remote moon, Kun reached out through the Force searching for other dark side users who might pose a threat to his new-found base of power. He eventually found them in the Empress Teta system, in the form of Aleema Keto and Ulic Qel-Droma—Qel-Droma, he realized, possessed great power in the dark side, and because of this must be destroyed in case he challenged Kun's right to rule. As a result, Kun set out for the planet of Cinnagar in an effort to confront both darksiders at once.
Second Battle of Empress TetaEdit
- "In my time, even as the Galactic Republic battles us to extinction, we now secure the future, when the Sith will take their revenge!"
- ―The spirit of Marka Ragnos speaking to Exar and Ulic
Following the return of Nomi Sunrider and the other Knights to Ossus, Nomi presented a plan to the Masters that was aimed at extracting Ulic from Cinnagar—by force if absolutely necessary. The Jedi Masters, however, cautioned against the forceful removal of Ulic, arguing that it must be his decision to turn his back on the dark side, otherwise he would not learn from his mistakes. Modifying their plan to accommodate the wisdom of the Jedi Masters, the Jedi organized a task force, including the Beast Riders of Onderon under Oron Kira, and set off for Cinnagar to again confront the darkness of Ulic Qel-Droma.
Arriving at Cinnagar undetected, the Jedi fighters led the attack against the Iron Citadel which served as the Krath headquarters—the Second Battle of Empress Teta had begun. While Shoaneb Culu, Oss Wilum, and Dace Diath led the aerial assault, the Beast Riders transported Nomi, Cay, and Qrrrl Toq to the upper balconies of the citadel where the Jedi could sense Ulic and Aleema. Once the Jedi landed, both Qrrrl and Cay fought and defeated the Krath soldiers who were guarding Ulic, and Nomi attempted to reason with Ulic to return with them back to Ossus. Aleema, however, attempted to use her Sith magic to overwhelm Nomi's Force senses. Using her battle meditation to combat the Sith power, Nomi was able to neutralize Aleema and force Ulic to talk to her, as well as his brother Cay. Ulic, though, still harbored immense guilt over the death of Master Arca, and refused the pleas of his former friends for him to return with them. When Nomi and the others persisted to argue, Ulic unleashed the power of a Sith amulet that he possessed, and forced the Jedi away from him. Realizing that Ulic had indeed fallen into the trap of the dark side, Nomi issued a general retreat to those with her and the task force still fighting the aerial battle.
Duel in the Iron CitadelEdit
- "You are skilled with a lightsaber…yet even my Master could not defeat me! I am the greatest swordsman in the galaxy!"
- ―Exar Kun, to Ulic Qel-Droma
The retreat of the Jedi, however, was followed by the unexpected arrival of another threat: Exar Kun. Arriving on Cinnagar to kill those he perceived as threats to his new-found Sith power, Kun first attacked Aleema and knocked her unconscious through the use of Sith magic. The ensuing confrontation witnessed a fast-paced lightsaber duel between Kun and Qel-Droma, and while each tried to best the other, more unexpected additions presented themselves at the Iron Citadel. The spirits of a number of long-dead Sith Lords appeared, including that of Marka Ragnos, whose death had caused a power vacuum during the Golden Age of the Sith. Ragnos immediately put a stop to the duel, proclaiming that the Sith would rise again and have their revenge on the Jedi—and that Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma would usher in this new era. Ragnos proclaimed that due to Kun's devotion to the Sith way and the power that he possessed, Kun was the new Dark Lord of the Sith. Ulic, likewise because of his free-will decision to walk the dark path, was appointed Kun's first and foremost Sith apprentice. With an alliance forged between Kun and Qel-Droma, they vowed to raze the galaxy and destroy both the Republic and Jedi.
Dark Reaper CampaignEdit
Exar Kun's and Ulic Qel-Droma's first act as Sith Lords was to consolidate the space immediately surrounding the Empress Teta system. To accomplish this goal, Kun used one of the many relics of Naga Sadow's which he found on Yavin 4—the Dark Reaper. The effectiveness of the Dark Reaper lay within its ability to gather to it the Force by employing the Force Harvester. The Harvester was the heart of the Dark Reaper weapon, and it destroyed anything within the Reaper's range by draining its Force energy and focusing it into beams which could then be used offensively.
Utilizing the Dark Reaper to aid him and the Krath forces he commanded, Ulic subjugated a large portion of space around the Empress Teta system—including the planet of Raxus Prime, on which the Dark Reaper killed thousands. After Raxus Prime was hit, the Makem system was attacked by the Sith. When Kun devised a plan through which to destroy the Jedi Order using the Reaper, Ulic harbored a small amount of personal doubt; for reasons he could not understand, he still held close to him feelings for several Jedi, including his former love Nomi Sunrider and his brother Cay Qel-Droma. Not wishing to see the Reaper unleashed on his old friends, Ulic covertly alerted the Jedi to the danger posed by the Dark Reaper, and advised them of ways to resist the Reaper's powers.
The Jedi confronted the Dark Reaper on the planet of Thule, which was deep within what had once been the Sith Empire. Using the information provided by Ulic, the Jedi task force was able to attack the Dark Reaper and defeat the enemy soldiers protecting it. Proceeding to disable the weapon, the Jedi broke it apart, and took great care to hide the assorted pieces on a number of different planets. Finally, the Jedi hid the Force Harvester on the junkyard world of Raxus Prime, hoping that it would be forgotten and not be used as a weapon again. Despite their efforts, both the Dark Reaper and Force Harvester resurfaced thousands of years later during the galaxy-wide Clone Wars.
During the time surrounding the Dark Reaper Campaign, the Krath capitalized on the Republic's distraction with various proxy conflicts by entering into a non-aggression alliance with the Hutts. The little-known Battle of Ko Vari took place, where the Republic Swift Fleet stationed in the Tion Cluster attacked Hutt shipyards at Ko Vari. The Krath fleet there was decimated, and Ko Vari was left depopulated and in ruins. Throughout the Great Sith War, the Republic was too preoccupied to deal with local conflicts. One such conflict erupted on the planet Kintan, where the Nikto species embraced the resurgent Cult of M'dweshuu and overthrew their Hutt oppressors for a time.
Creation of the Brotherhood of the SithEdit
- "But I am not content to leave things hidden. I am not content to let great and useful secrets gather dust. If you are like me…if you care about the future of the Jedi…you will join me in my exploration of the most ancient, most wise, and most powerful Jedi secrets—then we can change the galaxy!"
- ―Exar Kun enticing Jedi to join him
For Exar Kun to usher in a new golden age for the Sith, he believed that he must first have a strong and united group of fellow Force users who followed the Sith ways. To this end, Kun traveled to the Jedi library world of Ossus and attempted to persuade a large number of Jedi to leave the Order and make him their new master. Arguing that the Jedi Masters had deliberately kept information from them to make them weak, Kun gave an impassioned speech to those gathered, managing to sow seeds of doubt in the Jedi Knights listening. Following the Battle of Deneba, which saw the death of Master Arca Jeth, some Jedi had become disillusioned with the Order and had begun to question their own abilities in the Force. After hearing how Kun had been able to learn many secrets from the spirit of Freedon Nadd, and witnessing demonstrations of Kun's new powers in a holocron he possessed, several Jedi Knights made the decision to follow Exar Kun to Yavin 4, where he promised to teach them that which the Jedi Order had neglected to.
While his converts prepared for their journey to Yavin 4, Kun went about his second objective which had brought him to Ossus. In his quest for dark side knowledge, Kun was eager to acquire the famed Sith holocron of Odan-Urr's which the Jedi Master had discovered a thousand years earlier during the Great Hyperspace War. Forcing his way into the private chambers of Odan-Urr, Kun confronted and killed the old Jedi, and took possession of the Sith holocron. Kun, however, was confronted by his converts while in the act of removing the artifact. Sensing an opportunity to add credit to his lies, Kun told the Jedi Knights that Master Odan-Urr had quite suddenly passed away—however, he said, before Odan-Urr had died he had declared Kun to be a Jedi Master, and had decided to pass the Sith holocron into the care of Exar as a symbol of his promotion. With the respect he needed now firmly cemented, Kun boarded his ship, Starstorm One, along with his twenty converts, and departed Ossus for Yavin 4.
Prior to his arrival on Ossus, Kun had managed to unlock the age-old secrets of the Sith on Yavin 4, and had used his powers to enslave the native Massassi. Using his new slaves, Kun had constructed a number of Sith temples on the jungle moon, which he used to focus his Sith powers. Due to the nature with which the temples had been built, and the long Sith history that Yavin 4 possessed, the moon held a dark and tainted feeling which could be felt through the Force. Upon Starstorm One's arrival on Yavin 4, the twenty Jedi from Ossus immediately could feel the dark side permeating from the jungle moon. Due to these feelings, one of the Jedi converts, Oss Wilum, decided that he no longer wanted any part in what Kun had planned. On his way back to Starstorm One, Wilum was stopped by a number of Massassi. Igniting his lightsaber, Wilum attempted to fight the Massassi warriors, and he was joined by his fellow Jedi Knights in fighting the beasts. Seeing another opportunity to further his plans, Kun used his powers to stop the fight and advised the Jedi that he, too, could sense the dark power on Yavin 4—and that he needed the combined efforts of the Jedi to help cleanse the moon of the dark taint.
Proclaiming that the first step of cleansing the moon was the destruction of something strong in the dark side, Kun pulled out Master Odan-Urr's Sith holocron. Holding it in front of him, Kun smashed the holocron, saying that its destruction would help get rid of the dark feelings. However, the destruction of the holocron released the ancient spirits of long-dead Sith, and these spirits possessed the bodies of many Jedi present—just as Kun had hoped. Under the control of Sith magic, any doubts or reservations that the Jedi might have held were washed away and they all declared their allegiance to Exar Kun and the Sith.
Battle on KuarEdit
- "My warriors need another crusade. The Empress Teta system is in chaos, overstretched by their many conquests. The witch Aleema and her Jedi devotee Ulic Qel-Droma will fall under the fist of Mandalore!"
- ―Mandalore the Indomitable
While the Krath military, under the leadership of Ulic Qel-Droma, attempted to assert their control over neighboring systems, the seven worlds of Empress Teta appeared to be overstretched by their campaigns.
Attempting to gain honor by attacking the Krath, Mandalore the Indomitable led his Mandalorian Crusaders on several raids inside Tetan space. Eventually, Mandalore attracted the personal attention of Ulic following a Mandalorian attack on an important carbonite smelting station under Krath command. Ulic contacted Mandalore and demanded the surrender of the Mandalorian army—Mandalore, however, wanted to duel Ulic in a one-on-one fight which would decide the fate of the seven worlds of Empress Teta. Having accepted the duel, Ulic offered his own terms to the outcome—that if he defeated Mandalore in battle, then the Mandalorian clans would fight under the war standards of Ulic and the Krath.
At the request of Mandalore, the two warlords and their armies gathered on Deep Core world of Kuar, on the Plains of Harkul. The Mandalorians had previously taken the world and established camps there. In an effort to diminish the effectiveness of Ulic's skills in the Force, Mandalore advised the Sith that the duel would take place far above the ground on a network of linked chains, and that Mandalore would be allowed to use his customized Basilisk war droid—Ulic, however, was not allowed any such war mount. As the fight played out, Ulic was able to make the fight more fair by destroying Mandalore's Basilisk war droid, thus forcing the Mandalorian chieftain to fight hand-to-hand. Ultimately, the Sith was able to defeat Mandalore and gain his allegiance in the war against the Republic.
Battle of FoerostEdit
- "Our enemy is Ulic Qel-Droma! We must report this to Coruscant at once. This is a dark day for the Republic."
- ―Captain Vanicus upon arriving at Foerost
With the warriors of Mandalore under his command, Ulic continued on with the plan for galactic domination that he and Exar Kun had devised. In an effort to weaken the Republic, Ulic and his military forces attacked the planet of Foerost, which housed one of the Republic's largest and oldest shipyards.
Using all advantages available to him, Ulic unleashed a blitzkrieg on the Foerost shipyards and managed to take the Republic forces that were present by surprise. Under the cover of Sith illusions conjured by Aleema, Ulic was able to sneak his real warships into strategic positions and use his Chaos fighters to pound the Republic defenses. While the space battle was taking place, Mandalore the Indomitable led his Mandalorian warriors through the corridors of Foerost's command station, destroying all opposition before him. With the combined coordination of the space forces and the Mandalorians, Ulic was able to quickly and decisively capture the Foerost shipyards, as well as the three hundred Republic ships that had been docked there.
With the three hundred acquired ships, Qel-Droma and Mandalore immediately began preparations for an attack on Coruscant in an effort to topple the galactic government. However, part of Qel-Droma's plan was to lead the Republic and Jedi to think that he was actually going to attack the outpost of Kemplex IX, which served as an important jump station in the Auril sector. His plan succeeded in drawing the Republic fleet, under the command of Captain Vanicus, away from Coruscant, therefore leaving it virtually undefended to an enemy landing force. With the galactic capital lacking the protection that its home fleet had provided it, Ulic gathered together the forces of the Krath and the clans of the Mandalorians and began his march to the center of the galaxy.
Battle of CoruscantEdit
- "I'm going to prove that the Republic is weak and vulnerable, Exar Kun."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma
With the capture of three hundred new warships to add to his fleet, Ulic Qel-Droma advised Exar Kun of his plans to invade Coruscant, and bring a swift end to the war. Kun, however, initially argued against invading the capital, stating that it would cause his plan to completely unravel—they, Qel-Droma and Kun, must build their forces slowly, add to their existing strength, and then attack Coruscant together. Nonetheless, Mandalore and Ulic stated that they could handle the invasion by themselves, without the help of Kun's Sith converts. Giving his allies his reluctant blessing, Kun advised Qel-Droma that if he failed, or was killed during the coming battle, then Kun would continue the war without him.
With the main bulk of the Republic fleet headed towards Kemplex IX, Ulic took full advantage of the feint he had created and immediately set out for Coruscant. While Ulic's fleet was in transit, Master Vodo-Siosk Baas and a group of young Jedi, which included Ulic's brother Cay Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider, arrived at Galactic City on Coruscant to discuss with the Senate certain rumors which had surfaced regarding a rogue Jedi Knight leading the attacks against the Republic. To the regret of Master Vodo and the other Jedi, Senator Netus advised them that it had been confirmed that Ulic Qel-Droma had turned renegade and was the Jedi responsible for leading the attacks against the Republic.
While the Jedi discussed the possible fulfillment of ancient Sith prophecies perpetuated by Qel-Droma and Kun, Ulic's invasion force appeared out of hyperspace and began their attack on Coruscant. Led by the Basilisk War Droids of Mandalore the Indomitable, Ulic's army swept through Galactic City in an effort to destroy the main defenses of the capital. Under the leadership of the Jedi, the Republic ground forces were able to mount a defense against the swarming Mandalorians. Nonetheless, Qel-Droma and Mandalore were able to force their way to Coruscant's war room, where Republic military officers were helping to coordinate the defense. Using the Force to subjugate the personnel inside, Qel-Droma forced the senior Republic officer to relay a set of commands to two separate Republic fleets, ordering them to the same coordinates in the Vento system with the belief that a Krath fleet was inbound. The chief Republic officer, however, refused to relay Qel-Droma's orders.
Meanwhile, the Jedi had continued in their efforts to defend Galactic City against the Mandalorians, and Aleema had decided that it was time to usurp Ulic and take his power for herself. Using her Sith magic to help Ulic throughout the fight, Aleema waited until Ulic was preoccupied in the Republic war room and then issued an order of general retreat to Mandalore and the remaining invasion force. Mandalore, at first, refused to accept the order, but complied when Aleema advised him that Qel-Droma had been captured in the fighting. Believing then that Aleema was his commander, Mandalore ordered his Crusaders to withdraw from battle.
With his forces in retreat in the belief that he was dead, Qel-Droma was left alone to continue the fight on Coruscant. Still in the war room, he was confronted by Master Baas and his group of Jedi Knights who used their combined powers in the Force to build a wall of light around Qel-Droma, temporarily paralyzing him. With the capture of Ulic Qel-Droma, known Sith and warlord of the Krath, Supreme Chancellor Sidrona branded him a traitor. Telling the Jedi that Ulic would stand trial before the Senate, the Supreme Chancellor also advised them that Ulic's punishment would be death. During their retreat, the Krath were able to score a victory in the Chazwa system and another in the Taanab system.
Meanwhile, Sith-aligned Mandalorians moved out from their homeworld, Mandalore, in two directions, galactic east and west. The western charge passed through the Ottega system to attack the planet of Iridonia alonside Krath and Sith forces, beginning the First Battle of Iridonia. On the opposite end of the galaxy, they attacked far more places, moving through the star systems Abron, Thisspias, and Contruum. They rendezvoused with the retreating Krath at this point and attacked the Gizer system with them. Some of the Mandalorians then branched off to advance up a hyperlane to the Centares system without attacking anything. The others joined with the Krath and assaulted the Nazzri system.
The Trial of Ulic Qel-DromaEdit
- "I don't plead with fools. You are puppets of a tradition pretending to be important. The coming of a golden age has no place for you. Your Republic is an empty, self-indulgent diversion…signifying nothing. The lost glory of the Sith will turn all of your supposed accomplishments to dust!"
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma, to the Inquisition
With Ulic Qel-Droma's capture by the Jedi, the Sith Lord was handed over to the Republic Inquisition for trial and sentencing. Charged with war crimes, treason against the Republic, and treason against the Jedi Order, Ulic surprised all those present, including several Jedi, by pleading guilty. Following his plea, Ulic expressed his contempt for the court, his belief that the Republic was weak, and the Sith's plan of reestablishing a Sith golden age. Due to the arrogance and lack of culpability that he showed during his trial, Ulic was found guilty on all counts and was sentenced to death by the Inquisition.
The Second Battle of CoruscantEdit
- "Go on to your higher plane, teacher. The galaxy is mine now."
- ―Exar Kun, speaking to Vodo-Siosk Baas
However, following the Krath and Mandalorian retreat from Coruscant, Mandalore discovered Aleema's treachery in deliberately leaving Ulic behind to be captured by the enemy. Leaving Aleema at the Krath headquarters, Mandalore traveled to Yavin 4 where he knew Exar Kun was training his Sith converts. Arriving at the jungle moon, Mandalore explained to Kun what Aleema had done, and asked the Dark Lord of the Sith to lend him aid in rescuing Ulic from execution. Though Kun had warned Ulic that attacking Coruscant would end badly, he agreed to help Mandalore in rescuing his apprentice.
With Mandalore and a force of Massassi warriors, Kun left Yavin 4 and set course for Galactic City on Coruscant. Arriving in the Senate Hall at the moment that Ulic was sentenced to death, Kun used his Sith powers to immobilize the entire Inquisition, rendering them incapable of movement or speech—minus the Supreme Chancellor who was presiding over the assembly. After a brief confrontation with Sidrona, whom Kun killed after declaring his intentions, the two Sith Lords announced that under their guidance a new Sith Empire would be established. However, the Jedi who were present attempted to stop Qel-Droma and Kun from escaping. Master Vodo-Siosk Baas fought Kun in a duel in the middle of the Senate chambers—during the fight, Kun attempted to sway Master Baas to join the Sith, but Vodo refused. Following the Jedi Master's refusal, Kun managed to kill him, and also fended off an attack from his former fellow apprentice Sylvar, who was enraged at the death of their master. With Kun and his Massassi warriors in firm control of the situation, the Jedi were powerless to fight back—declaring that the Brotherhood of the Sith were the ones controlling the galaxy now, Kun and his allies departed Coruscant to continue their campaigns.
With Master Baas dead, Nomi Sunrider and Sylvar traveled to the world of Ambria in an attempt to get away from the war for a few days, and also to gain further training under Master Thon. Meanwhile, Ulic returned with Mandalore back to the Krath headquarters where he was informed of the treachery by Aleema during the First Battle of Coruscant. Having realized that she had been manipulating him from the time he had first infiltrated the Krath, Ulic began devising a plan to dispose of Aleema and her greed for power.
The Jedi pogromEdit
- "Go and strike down your own Jedi masters! They will suspect nothing…until it is too late. We will be like a knife in the night—fast, silent, and deadly!"
- ―Exar Kun speaking to his Sith acolytes
Under Kun's guidance, the converts on Yavin 4 had learned much of the Sith way, and continued to excel at the things that Kun taught them.
Prior to his departure to rescue Ulic from the Inquisition, Kun believed that the time had come to strike a severe blow against the Jedi Order. To this end, Kun gathered his Sith acolytes together and made a declaration that the Jedi Masters were heretics who refused to see the truth that the Sith possessed. He explained that before a new Sith golden age could be established, the non-believers had to first be removed as threats. As a result, Exar Kun sent his Sith disciples out into the galaxy in an effort to assassinate their own Jedi Masters.
The pogrom was an enormous victory for the Brotherhood of the Sith, as numerous Jedi Masters were killed by their former students. Several masters managed to mount fleeting defenses against these attacks, and at least one, Master Dominus, was able to inflict a mortal wound upon his assassin before being killed himself. Others, such as Master Thon, were able to fend off both of his assassins completely. On the world of Ambria, Thon was confronted by the fallen Jedi Knights Oss Wilum and Crado, when Wilum used his Sith magic to call several hssiss from Lake Natth. With the help of Nomi Sunrider and the Cathar Jedi Sylvar, Thon was able to defeat the hssiss and capture Oss Wilum—Crado, however, was able to escape back to Exar Kun.
The fallout of the Jedi pogrom demonstrated to the Jedi the power and the influence that Exar Kun now possessed. Hearing reports that Kun's ship had been spotted among a Sith fleet at Kemplex IX, which was under heavy attack, the Jedi Knights Dace Diath, Qrrrl Toq, and Shoaneb Culu volunteered to go to that system and deal with the threat. While Dace and the others traveled to Kemplex IX, the other Jedi remained on Ossus, in the belief that Sith forces might attempt to conquer the world.
Battle of Kemplex IXEdit
- "Let the three of us lead the counterattack on Kemplex Nine. We'll take command of the fleet."
- ―Dace Diath to Thon.
Following the successful Second Battle of Coruscant, which witnessed the rescue of Ulic Qel-Droma from the Inquisition, Exar Kun and the other Sith leaders began planning the next phase in their war of conquest. Part of this strategy was devised by Qel-Droma, and called for a strike against a key Republic hyperspace jump-station at Kemplex IX in the Auril sector. Advancing from the Centares system, Krath forces took the Yablari system before turning their attention to the station. The Battle of Kemplex IX would turn out to be a turning point in the war, and the eventual catalyst for its end.
Qel-Droma and Kun, however, both had their own agendas for staging an attack against Kemplex IX. Following the abandonment of Ulic during the First Battle of Coruscant, many of the Krath commanders, including Mandalore the Indomitable, questioned Aleema Keto and her decision to institute herself as the leading Krath military commander. Believing that Ulic was dead, or would be executed by the Inquisition, Aleema used her scheming to usurp the power that she coveted in Ulic. Nonetheless, with his rescue by Mandalore and Kun, Ulic discovered what Aleema had done and saw a chance, through Kemplex IX, to deal with her betrayal. Ordering Aleema to take command of the assault on Kemplex IX, Ulic was confident that Aleema would meet her fate there—for what Ulic knew, but no one else was aware of, was Exar Kun's agenda for a strike at Kemplex IX. During his excavations of the Sith temples on Yavin 4, Kun had discovered an ancient ship that had once belonged to the Dark Lord of Sith, Naga Sadow. The ship possessed powerful Sith weapons which had the ability to rip the cores out of stars, thus creating supernovae. For the attack on Kemplex IX, Kun provided Aleema and her co-commander Crado with Sadow's ship, explaining that it was to be used to destroy one of Kemplex IX's stars, thus destroying any Jedi that might intervene. Kun, however, neglected to advise Aleema that the ship's Sith magic would not protect her from the proceeding supernova; nor did he explain that he had altered the ship's weapons so that the one supernova would cause a chain reaction in the immediate stars around it, thus creating an enormous supernova that would devastate the planet of Ossus—Kun's primary objective. Once Aleema had caused the supernova, Kun knew that the Jedi on Ossus would evacuate the planet, thus allowing him to loot it for ancient Jedi knowledge.
The Sith also unleashed terentateks—beasts who preyed upon the blood of Force sensitives—on the Jedi-occupied planets of Tython, Kashyyyk, and Tatooine. Krath forces under the command of Aleema began their climactic attack against Kemplex IX, and Sadow's battleship succeeded in destroying all Republic defenses in the immediate area. Eventually, word of Kemplex IX reached the Jedi on Ossus, and it was decided that the counter-attack would be led by the Jedi Knights Dace Diath, Shoaneb Culu, and Qrrrl Toq. Setting out immediately for the Auril sector, the three Jedi arrived and discovered that the jump-station was devoid of life, and that all Republic defenses had been destroyed. Nonetheless, the Jedi detected the ion-wake of a capital ship which was in the nearby Cron Cluster, a stellar body of ten densely packed stars. Making an initial run at the Sith ship, the Jedi turned around for another sweep when Shoaneb Culu sensed something amiss in the Force. At that moment Aleema activated the Sith technology aboard Sadow's ship and ripped the core out of one of the nearby stars. The resulting supernova immediately killed the three pursuing Jedi, and set off a chain reaction among the remaining stars. The resulting supernova completely incinerated Aleema, Crado, and the rest of the Krath fleet—in her final moments, Aleema realized that her betrayal on Coruscant had finally been exposed.
With the destruction of Kemplex IX, the supernova caused by Aleema was on a direct course for the world of Ossus—as such, the Jedi on the planet had began to evacuate what Jedi artifacts they could. With many Jedi already having left Ossus, Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma saw their chance to raid the planet and steal what was left of the planet's wealth of knowledge.
Battle of OssusEdit
- "Not enough… Given an entire year, we could not have salvaged enough. The rest will be lost forever."
- ―Tott Doneeta
With the supernova created at Kemplex IX on a collision course with Ossus, the Jedi Order ordered a massive planet-wide evacuation in an effort to save as many beings as possible. While the civilian population of Ossus packed their belongings and departed the doomed planet, many Jedi Masters and Knights attempted to load into their ships as many relics, manuscripts, and other antiquities which contained Jedi knowledge as they could. However, the long history of Ossus meant that the library world had accumulated an untold amount of such artifacts, and regretfully the Jedi accepted that they would not be able to save everything that had been stored there. With the Jedi seemingly vulnerable during their evacuation of the planet, Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma led a large part of their army to Ossus in an attempt to acquire Jedi relics of their own, thus igniting the Battle of Ossus. Arriving at the Great Jedi Library world, the Sith and Mandalorian forces descended upon the planet, targeting both civilian and military installations. With the cover of his force's attack, Kun was able to land his ship near the home of his first target, whom he knew harbored Jedi relics—Master Ood Bnar.
Kun confronted the age-old Jedi, who was attempting to preserve a cache of ancient lightsabers, among the first ever made, from the approaching supernova. Though Master Bnar could not hope to match Kun in a test of dueling skills, Bnar was able to draw upon the life force of Ossus and metamorphose into a giant tree, effectively sealing his cache of Jedi treasures beneath him. He and his cache would remain planted there until awakened during Luke Skywalker and Kam Solusar's mission to Ossus in 10 ABY.
Realizing that he had been bested by the Neti Jedi Master, Kun retreated from Bnar's home and gathered his Massassi warriors, who had been busy looting other Jedi locations. In the company of his Massassi warriors, Kun was confronted by Sylvar, seeking revenge for her former mate Crado's death at Kemplex IX. Nevertheless, Sylvar was kept at bay by the Massassi, allowing Kun to retreat inside his ship.
Meanwhile, Cay Qel-Droma had sensed that his brother, Ulic, was flying above Ossus in a starship. Believing that it was up to him to return his brother to the light, Cay took his own starship, the Nebulon Ranger, and attempted to contact Ulic. Ulic, however, grew angry at his brother for again attempting to influence his actions, and attacked his brother's ship. With the help of passing Mandalorian Basilisks, Ulic was able to shoot down Cay, and followed him down to the surface of Ossus. Giving into his anger and the dark side, Ulic attacked his injured brother and the two proceeded to duel each other in a lightsaber battle. Cay, however, could not fully allow himself to attack his brother, and Ulic managed to cut off Cay's mechanical arm. Still attempting to reach through his brother's anger, Cay pleaded with Ulic to return to the light. Ulic, though, gave into his anger one final time and used his lightsaber to kill his wounded brother where he stood.
Upon witnessing Cay's death at the hands of Ulic, Nomi Sunrider found herself overcome with grief and torment, and gave into her emotions—allowing the Force to flow through her, Nomi unleashed her powers upon Ulic, who had now realized what he had done. Through her use of the Force, Nomi was able to effectively cut Ulic off from the Force, severing any connections he could once feel. Due to his realization of killing his own brother, and fully comprehending what Nomi had done to him, Ulic repented to those present and agreed to help the Jedi defeat Exar Kun.
Battle of the Al'Har systemEdit
The galaxy had erupted with battles by this point, the war continuing along many other fronts—one of these was the relatively obscure Battle of the Al'Har system—much of the information concerning it was eventually lost to time. Nonetheless, it was suspected that during this time in the Great Sith War, a ship carrying many Jedi was confronted and destroyed by an enemy fleet of unknown origins. This was true and the attackers were the Krath, coming from the Malastare system. After the brief battle, the surviving Jedi made their way to the only planet nearby, Haruun Kal, and found refuge among its temperate climate. These Jedi's descendants would eventually become the Force-sensitive Korunnai people, to whom Jedi Master Mace Windu belonged. After shooting down the craft, the Krath forces moved to the Sullust system, a system important to Republic trade.
Cutting the SliceEdit
Krath and Sith forces moved on from the latest battle at Onderon to attack several worlds in the Slice, cutting the region in half. They moved to galactic south until they reached the Belasco system, where it split into three groups. One turned north to attack the New Apsolon system then assault the Randon system.
Battle of ToprawaEdit
- "Fellow Knights — the day is ours! With the courage you've all shown today, we can soon put this Sith War at an end — and we can all get back to our families I know I want to get back to mine! But today, this victory belongs to the Jedi Knights everywhere!"
- ―Barrison Draay, in a speech following the Battle of Toprawa
Elsewhere in the galaxy, Jedi forces under the command of Barrison Draay took part in the Battle of Toprawa fighting against the Sith and their Massassi warriors. Though details regarding this fight are scarce, it is known that the battle was fierce and resulted in the deaths of many Jedi. Nevertheless, the Battle of Toprawa resulted in a victory for the armies of the Jedi.
Ambush on ToprawaEdit
- "Are you sure she's down here, Haazen?"
"I told you, I saw her — the Nautolan smuggler. I chased her in here from the battlefield. I'm betting the last Sith base you're looking for is here, too."
- ―Barrison Draay and Haazen
Following the Battle of Toprawa, the failed-Padawan Haazen began searching the rubble and corpse-strewn battlefield, looking for the bodies of dead Jedi whom he could add to a funeral pyre in their memory. Encountering the Nautolan smuggler Dossa amidst the battlefield chaos, Haazen soon learned that Dossa was in fact a member of Exar Kun's Brotherhood of the Sith. Sensing Haazen's anger over his failed history with the Jedi, as well as his jealousy towards Barrison Draay, Dossa was able to convince him to help lure Draay and several other Jedi into the Ansharii Caverns, where she would lay in wait for them. Though Haazen knew that she intended to kill the Jedi that he lured there, he was ignorant to the fact that Dossa was also planning on killing him as well.
Haazen managed to convince Draay and seven other Jedi that he had chased Dossa, who he told them was in fact a Sith, into the Ansharii Caverns following the battle. Upon arriving in the caverns, Draay thanked Haazen for his good work, only to witness Haazen rush forward into the darkness, exclaiming that he had seen Dossa up ahead. The Jedi pursued Haazen deep into the winding catacombs; once he had judged the Jedi to be in the appropriate place, Haazen yelled out to Dossa that the Jedi were in position — however, before Haazen could remove himself from the blast radius of Dossa's bomb, the Sith ignited the explosives, killing all of the Jedi and severely wounding and disfiguring Haazen.
Waking up sometime later in the caverns, Haazen discovered that his broken and disfigured body had been repaired by the Sith doctor Uburluh. In place of his destroyed limbs, Haazen now had ancient Sith artifacts which augmented his natural affinity with the Force. One such artifact was the Yoke of Seeming, which Uburluh explained would let the Living Force flow past Haazen, thus causing his intentions to be clouded to other Force users. However, angry at his betrayal and disfigurement at the hands of Dossa, Haazen refused an offer from her to join the Sith; instead, Haazen allowed himself to be consumed by the dark side of the Force and killed Dossa in his anger.
Fourth Battle of OnderonEdit
- "We have reached Onderon, the former home of the dark Jedi Freedon Nadd. We will conquer this place for our Lord, Ulic Qel-Droma, as ordered."
- ―Mandalore the Indomitable
With Exar Kun's and Ulic Qel-Droma's attack on Ossus, Qel-Droma had ordered a subsequent attack on the world of Onderon. To carry out this attack, the Sith Lord ordered Mandalore the Indomitable and the bulk of his warriors to assault the planet.
Using the speed of their Basilisk war droids, the Mandalorians were spotted by Queen Galia from her position in the Royal Palace of Iziz. Calling the Beast Riders to muster, King Oron Kira led his warriors out to meet the onrushing enemy. Before leaving, Kira ordered that a message be sent to the Republic, informing them of the attack and requesting reinforcements.
The fight saw the Beast Riders and the Mandalorians on their Basilisk war droids duel amidst the sky—nevertheless, the two sides proved to be equally matched in their fighting prowess. The fight continued for a time, and just as it seemed as though the tide had turned in favor of the Mandalorians, Republic reinforcements arrived in orbit around Onderon. Under the command of Fleet Captain Vanicus, the Republic fleet arrived just in time to lend a critical hand to Oron Kira and his Beast Riders.
Realizing that they were caught in a cross fire between the Republic fleet and the Beast Riders, the Mandalorian warriors fought with a hardened resolve. Attempting to cripple the Mandalorian mounts with firepower, Vanicus realized that it would prove timely and costly due to the Basilisks' deflector-shields. Vanicus, however, ordered his gunners to keep up their heavy fire in an attempt to push back the Mandalorian fighters. Understanding that the battle was lost, Mandalore issued an order to his warriors calling for a general retreat to the moon of Dxun. Believing that he could lose the Republic forces in the moon's dense jungles, Mandalore led the retreat. During the retreat, a Republic ship fired into a group of Basilisk war droids, and managed to cripple the droid which Mandalore was flying. Having lost control of his mount, Mandalore crashed his Basilisk in a remote area of Dxun's jungle, far away from any warriors under his command.
Attempting to make his way back to his troops, Mandalore found himself confronted by several dangerous beasts native to Dxun, and was killed. Initiating a full-scale search of the moon's jungles, the remaining Crusaders split up into their respective units and searched for any sign of their missing Mandalore. One Mandalorian, however, happened to find the remains of Mandalore the Indomitable during his search. Taking the mask of Mandalore, the warrior donned it, and thus proclaimed himself to be the new Mandalore. This warrior would eventually become known as Mandalore the Ultimate, whose legacy would affect the galaxy for years to come.
Battle of Yavin 4Edit
- "Exar Kun, your dream of a Sith Golden Age is but a nightmare…from which we must now awaken."
- ―Master Thon
With the defeat and surrender of Ulic Qel-Droma on Ossus, the Jedi gained a valuable resource in the fallen Sith Lord. Using his knowledge of Exar Kun, Ulic led the combined forces of the Jedi to the remote moon of Yavin 4, which housed Kun's Sith temples. With Ulic acting as a guide, the Republic Rim Fleet joined the thousands of Jedi in their descent upon the jungle moon in their various starships, so numerous that they seemed to cover the entire sky.
With so many ships in orbit, Kun could feel the large number of Jedi presences through the Force, and immediately recognized Ulic's betrayal. Realizing that the war was lost, Kun vowed that he would use his Sith powers to survive the Jedi attack, thus allowing himself to again fight the Jedi in the future. Ordering the entire Massassi race to assemble at the various Sith temples scattered across Yavin 4, Kun used his Sith powers to initiate one final ceremony which he hoped would preserve his life force. Calling upon the dark side of the Force, Kun was able to drain the life essences from the Massassi and gather the energy within himself. The final result was that Kun was able to break free of his mortal body, and use the strength of his Massassi servants to keep his spirit alive. In this state, Kun believed that he would be able to escape the world of Yavin 4 and thus continue his fight against the Jedi.
Unaware of Kun's use of Sith magic, the Jedi believed that they must use the Force to contain Kun and his dark influences, much like Nomi Sunrider had accomplished with Ulic Qel-Droma. Under the combined efforts of thousands of Jedi, an immense wall of light side energy was directed at the various Sith temples across Yavin 4. However, what none of the Jedi were to predict was that their light side wave would collide, and react with the enormous amounts of dark side energy present from Kun's Sith magic. The result was a massive chain reaction which caused an enormous firestorm, unlike any other seen in history, to sweep across the jungle moon. Unable to control the firestorm, the orbiting Jedi were forced to watch as the surface of Yavin 4 was utterly destroyed in a wave of fire—virtually destroying almost all traces of Exar Kun and his Sith practices.
Unable to watch the destruction any longer, the Jedi forces departed the Yavin system and set course for Republic space. Not having witnessed anything before like the destruction of Yavin 4, the Jedi were stunned and proceeded to ask themselves what the final cost of their actions would ultimately prove to be.
In the span of such a short time, two Sith Lords had been defeated, and the Mandalorian clans routed. It appeared that the Great Sith War was all but over, and the Republic and Jedi set out to wipe out the only remaining threat to their security—the Krath forces. With the destruction of the Krath leadership, the bulk of the Krath military had retreated to the seven worlds of the Empress Teta system in the hope that the Republic would leave them be. However, the Republic believed that the only way to guarantee their democracy was to force the surrender of the Krath, and regain control of the Empress Teta system. Following Kun's defeat in the Yavin system, the Republic military laid siege one last time to the seven Koros worlds, eventually rooting out the enemy and scattering their remnants to distant worlds. The recapture of the Empress Teta system eventually placed control of the Empress Teta system back in hands of the Republic.
The war's falloutEdit
- "The Great Hunt was organized by the Jedi Council shortly after the war against Exar Kun. Jedi were scattered throughout the galaxy, helping to rebuild from the devastation. Many Jedi vanished during this period, disappearing from a variety of worlds without warning. We did not know they had been slain until their mutilated bodies began to be discovered."
- ―Deesra Luur Jada
Following the end of the Great Sith War, many Jedi were sent out into various parts of the galaxy to help with the rebuilding of worlds which had witnessed destruction during the conflict. However, an alarming number of Jedi had disappeared during the relief efforts, and it was only after their mutilated remains were found that it was discovered that terentateks had been behind the killings.
The terentateks were a species of creatures which were native to the planet of Korriban, and which had been genetically altered by the Sith magic of Exar Kun. These creatures fed off the blood of Force-sensitives and were known to have been fond of areas tainted by the dark side of the Force—thus, various places touched by the Great Sith War were ideal grounds for terentateks. Due to their size and strength, being roughly half the size of an adult rancor, and their natural defenses against Force abilities, a single terentatek could match the might of several Jedi at once. Due to this, the extermination of the terentateks was made the highest priority of the Jedi Order following the end of the Sith War.
Though the majority of the hunts were never fully successful, with the terentateks often resurfacing despite the Jedi's efforts, a trio of Jedi Knights had developed a great affinity for hunting the terentateks together. Duron Qel-Droma, cousin to the better known brothers Ulic and Cay, Shaela Nuur, Duron's lover, and the Twi'lek Guun Han Saresh, were sent to finish off the hunt. It was known that together, the three Jedi shared an unshakable Force bond, and it was believed by the Jedi Council that the three warriors would be able to defeat any terentatek as long as they fought side by side.
The hunt lasted for several years, and in the final days of the Great Hunt, the three Jedi were sent by the Council to the Sith world of Korriban, to destroy what they believed to be the last known terentatek. However, upon arriving on Korriban, the dark side of the Force began to infect the bond that the three Jedi shared. Due to this, the trio went their separate ways and attempted to fight the terentateks without the bond they shared. As a result, Guun Han was killed in the Shadowlands of Kashyyyk, Duron was killed in the Shyrack cave, and Shaela was killed in the tomb of Naga Sadow.
- "My fellow Jedi, thank you for coming to Exis Station for this, our first great convocation in over a decade."
- ―Nomi Sunrider
Following the end of the war, the Sith were all but destroyed, their remnants driven underground, and Ulic Qel-Droma had entered into a self-imposed exile. Under the guidance of Nomi Sunrider, who was eventually made the leader of the entire Order, the Jedi began the long and difficult path of rebuilding their numbers. In 3986 BBY, a decade after the fateful Battle of Yavin IV and defeat of Exar Kun, the Jedi and Republic focused all of their efforts at rebuilding those worlds which had experienced devastation during the war. In response to this, Nomi Sunrider called the Jedi to the Conclave on Exis Station, where she hoped they could build a united front in the face of such an overwhelming task as rebuilding their numbers as well as the galaxy.
However, one of the participants, the Jedi Knight Sylvar, manipulated much of the proceedings towards what she deemed to be the true subject for the Order—Ulic Qel-Droma. Under the careful guidance of Sylvar, a large amount of the conclave's itinerary revolved around whether or not Ulic Qel-Droma should be hunted down and brought to trial for the crimes he had committed during the war.
- "I cannot change the past. I meant to do good. But the dark side is slippery, as you yourself should know. I tried to hide. I tried to die. And finally, I tried to atone. You are not my judge, Sylvar. You are simply a pawn of your own emotions. I will not fight you."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma
Following the end of the Great Sith War, the Republic and Jedi Order began the long road of rebuilding the galaxy. Several years after the climatic battle of Yavin 4, Ulic had decided to make his way back to the destroyed moon in an effort to silence the ghosts from that era that still plagued his thoughts and dreams. However, despite this, and other pilgrimages, Qel-Droma was unable to find any sort of closure over the events that had transpired more than a decade past.
Since the end of the war, Ulic had traveled the galaxy in search of a way to regain his connection with the Force, and also to gain closure over the devastation that he had helped cause—however, no information could he find on how to accomplish either objectives. Believing that traveling back to the sites of several Sith War battles might provide him some new insight into the war, Ulic boarded his new ship, Cay's Dream, and made his way to the Yavin system. There he found the fourth moon still in the grips of the devastation that had struck it two years earlier: the entire world was scorched, the ecosystem still destroyed, and there were no life signs anywhere. Eventually making his way to the temple he knew to have once served as Exar Kun's headquarters, Ulic stood at its entrance and surveyed the devastation that his actions had caused. Realizing that there was nothing left to be found on the moon, and only feeling great sadness at his role in the Great Sith War, Ulic left the planet.
Ten years later, Ulic would travel to the frozen world of Rhen Var where he would enter into a self-imposed exile. In an effort to find the peace which had eluded him since falling to the dark side during the Great Sith War, Ulic cut himself off from the entire galaxy, hoping that one day he could quiet his ghosts.
Meanwhile, Nomi Sunrider, who by now was leader of the Jedi Order, had grown busy with the restoration efforts following the Sith War. During this time, young Vima Sunrider, the daughter of Nomi, had reached her teenage years and wished for her mother to teach her the Jedi ways, past the basic understanding that she already possessed. Nomi, however, kept allowing her duties as leader of the Order to delegate her time, and thus kept pushing Vima's training to the side. Frustrated with her mother, Vima was able to gain passage to Rhen Var, where she hoped she could convince the exiled Ulic Qel-Droma to train her in the ways of the Force.
Realizing that her daughter had left the station, and coming to the understanding of why, Nomi followed Vima to Rhen Var. Once there, Nomi was able to reconnect with her daughter, and was also able to gain closure over the pain that Ulic had caused her during the Great Sith War.
In the wake of Nomi's arrival on Rhen Var, Sylvar, too, had arrived on the frozen planet in search of Ulic. Harboring a deep-seated anger toward him for the part he had played in the death of her mate, Crado, Sylvar intended to confront the former Sith. While spending time with her daughter, Nomi felt a large disturbance through the Force. Arriving just in time to witness the final stages of the one-sided duel, Nomi and Vima watched as Ulic came to an understanding of how the dark side had manipulated him during the war. He realized that defending against Sylvar, was only allowing her anger to grow, thus feeding her thoughts of revenge—just as had happened to him following Master Arca's death. Not wishing to see yet another Jedi to fall to the dark side, Ulic switched off his lightsaber and refused to fight the Cathar further. Seeing Ulic standing before her defenseless, Sylvar realized that she could not strike down a defenseless man, no matter what her feelings were—through Ulic's efforts, Sylvar was brought back from the brink of the dark side.
Legacy of the Great Sith WarEdit
- "Will the Sith ever return? It's a probabilistically historical inescapability. But, what makes you think they haven't already?"
- ―Lecture recording from The Lundi Series, Vol. 5: Historical Reincarnation
The Great Sith War was a titanic conflict which had enormous repercussions on the course the galaxy would take. Nearly one quarter of the civilized worlds in the Republic were devastated by the conflict. With the end of the conflict, the Sith were effectively eliminated as an overt threat, and the survivors of the Brotherhood of the Sith were forced underground. However, facing increasing criticism over the enthusiasm that the Jedi had demonstrated following the end of the Great Hyperspace War, the cleanup required at the end of the Sith War was not as thorough as it could have been. Facing increasing political pressures from various members of the Republic, the Supreme Chancellor urged the Jedi to concentrate their efforts on various rebuilding campaigns and local planetary conflicts. Though the Jedi reluctantly agreed, they knew that they should have been concentrating on hunting down the surviving members of Exar Kun's Sith Brotherhood. The end results were that while local system governments were able to contain their own problems with the help of the Jedi, the surviving Sith were able to travel throughout the galaxy and spread their teachings among several groups, thus ensuring that their order would survive.
Humbled by the events that had occurred while fighting the Sith forces of Kun and Qel-Droma, the Jedi decided that a major reform of their Order was needed. To this end, the Jedi Council sought to hold both Jedi Masters and Jedi Watchmen to a higher degree of accountability than had previously been upheld before the Great Sith War; likewise, the Council stressed the need for more uniform practices among its teachers who would be helping to train the next generation of Jedi Knights. However, this type of attitude, it was noted, went against various teachings of the Jedi Code, specifically the fact that Jedi were not to rule over others, even other Jedi. Because of this, the Jedi Council faced a long and arduous campaign in gaining support for their new line of thinking with regards to unquestioned authority. Opposition arose from those Jedi who either believed in, or had become accustomed to, the looser forms of hierarchy that had been a staple of the Jedi Order before the events of the Sith War. Despite this, the Council found support among numerous groups of Jedi who saw the new reforms as progressive rather than an attack against the teachings of the Jedi Code—one such reactionary group was the secret Jedi Covenant which was formed in the wake of the Great Sith War; likewise, several outside influences, such as the Galactic Republic, believed that the Jedi's new stern approach to running their Order was a constructive one and applauded it as a positive move towards preventing another massive galactic war.
The end of the Great Sith War also saw the rise of a new leader of the Mandalorian clans—Mandalore the Ultimate. With the death of Mandalore the Indomitable on Dxun, Mandalore the Ultimate reformed the Mandalorian Crusaders into the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders, building off of their success that they had experienced as allies of Ulic Qel-Droma. Under his leadership, the Mandalorians again grew in power and began to slowly conquer worlds on the fringes of the Republic that had been left defenseless by the destruction of the Great Sith War. Taking advantage of the Republic's refusal to meet him in open battle, Mandalore led his Neo-Crusaders as they increased their aggression and invaded Republic territory. Under his command, the Neo-Crusaders nearly won a crippling victory in the Mandalorian Wars against the Republic, and it was only through the leadership of the Jedi Knights Revan and Malak that Mandalore the Ultimate was stopped.
The destruction of Ossus during the war forced the Jedi to relocate the Order's headquarters to the Jedi Temple which had been previously established on Coruscant. With the site now acting as the center of the Jedi Order, the Temple experienced a massive influx of various personnel associated with the Order. As a result of the Jedi Order being relocated to the galactic capital, their ties with the office of Supreme Chancellor grew and were strengthened, laying the foundations for even more political involvement in the Order's doings.
With the end of the war, the Jedi Order no longer had to face any large galactic threats; however, with the fallout of the Sith War, the Jedi were left to clean up a number of residual affects from that conflict. Aside from passing new reforms aimed at rebuilding the devastated ranks of their Order, the Jedi found themselves tracking down and destroying the remnants of Kun's Sith Brotherhood; rooting out the Mecrosa Order, a fraternity closely linked with the Sith, from the Tapani sector; and hunting down terentateks and other Sithspawn left over from Kun's Sith experiments. Even though the Order had a seemingly large number of important things to occupy their time, the Jedi were nonetheless able to return to some semblance of normality through such acts like hunting down pirates and criminals, taking the lead in settling planetary disputes, and rounding up pockets of Mandalorian soldiers throughout the galaxy. Despite this, the Jedi lacked the strength necessary to completely root out the Sith from the galaxy, thus allowing their teachings to hide until the time was right to rise again—one such place was the world of Korriban, which remained under Sith control.
Sith Empire/Brotherhood of the SithEdit
The Brotherhood of the Sith was a group of Dark Jedi who were led by the Sith Lord Exar Kun during the Great Sith War. Under the direction of Kun, a large number of Jedi made the decision to break away from the Jedi Order and study Sith techniques on Yavin 4. Mid-way through the Great Sith War, Kun's Brotherhood received the allegiance of the Krath, under the leadership of Ulic Qel-Droma, and would also gain the loyalty of the Mandalorian Crusaders under Mandalore the Indomitable.
The members of the Brotherhood of the Sith would eventually scatter with the defeat of Exar Kun at the end of the Great Sith War. Nonetheless, the legacy of the Sith would continue following Kun's defeat, with the next known Dark Lord of the Sith arising in the form of Darth Revan.
The Krath were a secret dark side society founded by the cousins Satal and Aleema Keto during the time of the Great Sith War. Using the Sith knowledge that they had gained while studying under Freedon Nadd's spirit, Satal and Aleema initiated a deadly coup in the Empress Teta system, and established themselves as dictators. The Krath would eventually be infiltrated by the Jedi Knight Ulic Qel-Droma, who would try to learn their secrets in an effort to destroy them. Qel-Droma, however, eventually fell to the dark side during his quest, and was made warlord of the Krath military forces. Under the direction of Ulic and Aleema, the Krath would join forces with Exar Kun's Brotherhood of the Sith and wage the Krath Holy Crusade, which comprised a major portion of the Great Sith War.
Even though the Krath and their teachings were supposedly wiped out with the end of the Great Sith War, their legacy would eventually live on through Sebban Keto, a distant relative of Aleema and Satal Keto. Thousands of years after the end of the Sith War, Sebban re-established the Krath in Cinnagar. The history and legacy of the Krath would be eventually studied by Darth Sidious while he attempted to master the dark side of the Force.
The Mandalorian Crusaders hailed from the world of Mandalore, and were the first group of Mandalorian conquerors to be widely known in the galaxy. Though they had a supposedly long history, next to nothing is known of their exploits before joining forces with Ulic Qel-Droma and the Krath during the Great Sith War. During that time, the Crusaders and their leader, Mandalore the Indomitable, swore their loyalty to Qel-Droma after the Sith Lord defeated Mandalore in a duel. Following that event, the Crusaders fought for Qel-Droma, and served him at many battles such as the Battle of Foerost and the First Battle of Coruscant. Though they would experience deception by Aleema, which caused them to lose honor during the First Battle of Coruscant, the Crusaders remained loyal to Qel-Droma and fought for him through the remainder of the Great Sith War.
Following the defeat of Exar Kun and the death of Mandalore the Indomitable, the Crusaders gained a new leader in the form of Mandalore the Ultimate, who reorganized them into the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders. Under the leadership of their new Mandalore, the remnants of the Crusaders would once again find honor during the Mandalorian Wars.
The Galactic Republic was the democratic government which ruled a large portion of the known galaxy for approximately 21,000 years prior to the events of the Great Sith War. With the Jedi Order acting as the guardians of peace, the Republic was led by a Supreme Chancellor who presided over the members of the Galactic Senate. After surviving numerous wars and events, including the Great Hyperspace War and the Great Droid Revolution, the Republic found itself at odds with the Brotherhood of the Sith, along with their allies the Krath and the Mandalorian Crusaders, who waged a galaxy-wide war against those who stood in their way. With the events of the Great Sith War reaching their climax in the year 3996 BBY, the Sith Lord Ulic Qel-Droma attempted to topple the Republic by leading a direct assault against the galactic capital of Coruscant. This battle would prove to be a turning point in the war, and several months later the Brotherhood of the Sith and their allies were defeated by the combined Jedi and Republic forces.
Following the events of the Great Sith War, the Galactic Republic would experience a time of relative peace and stability until the outbreak of the Mandalorian Wars, and later the Jedi Civil War. Though the Republic would continue to weather these wars and conflicts for several thousand more years, the efforts of Darth Sidious would eventually destroy the Republic and its ideals. With the rise of Sidious and his New Order, 25,000 years of Republic rule came to an end.
The Jedi Order was a monastic order founded on their beliefs and observance of the light side of the Force. Though their exact origins are unknown, it is commonly believed that their creation was around the year 25,783 BBY during the same time as the establishment of the Galactic Republic. They were eventually designated as the guardians of peace for the Republic, and through various wars and campaigns established their prowess in battle. Eventually, the Brotherhood of the Sith and its allies launched an enormous war against the Republic and the Jedi, hoping to establish a new Golden Age for the Sith Order. Through the determination and dedication of numerous young Jedi during the war, Exar Kun's dream of a new Sith age was brought to an end at the Battle of Yavin 4.
With the end of the Great Sith War, the Jedi found themselves dealing with the after effects of Sith magic. The Great Hunt was a Jedi led effort to hunt down and exterminate the terentateks, creatures which were believed to have been native to Korriban, and which fed off the blood of Force-sensitives. Following this, the Jedi Order fought in numerous more campaigns and wars, but were eventually destroyed during the Great Jedi Purge of which only a handful of Jedi would survive.
Key Sith figuresEdit
- "Once you accept it, the dark side is with you forever."
- ―Freedon Nadd
Freedon Nadd was a Human male who was a Dark Lord of the Sith during the time of the Galactic Republic. Beginning his career as a Jedi apprentice, he eventually became frustrated with the Jedi way and dedicated his efforts to seeking out ancient Sith knowledge.
Making his way to a number of Sith worlds, Nadd came into possession of an antique holocron and thereafter trained under the dark side spirit of Naga Sadow. Learning all he could from Sadow, Nadd killed his master and traveled to the remote world of Onderon, where he usurped the planet's rulers and established himself as King. Under his rule, Onderon experienced rapid growth and advancement, though it was all ultimately tainted by his dark side energy. Part of his policy was to banish criminals outside the walls of Iziz and into the wilderness of Onderon. These criminals eventually learned how to survive and tame the wild beasts of Onderon, and launched a deadly guerrilla war against Nadd and his descendants.
Following Nadd's eventual death, his spirit lived on in his tomb underneath the palace in Iziz, where he continued to teach his descendants the ways of the Sith. His spirit was finally vanquished by Exar Kun on Yavin 4 during Kun's search for Sith power.
- "Exar was a Jedi who was corrupted by ghosts of the old Sith, or so they say. He attempted to conquer the Republic and create a new Golden Age of the Sith."
- ―Jolee Bindo
Exar Kun was a Human male who left his Jedi training to pursue the Sith teachings during the time of Galactic Republic. He began his career as a highly talented Jedi apprentice of Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, but grew disenchanted with what he perceived as weaknesses of the Jedi way.
His descent to the dark side began with his curiosity of the Sith ways, and he eventually sought Sith knowledge on the ancient planets of Onderon, Korriban, and Yavin 4. From all of these planets he learned valuable Sith teachings, and apprenticed himself to the spirit of the long-dead Sith, Freedon Nadd. Learning what he could from the spirit of Freedon Nadd, Kun used his new Sith powers to destroy Nadd so he could rule the galaxy unopposed. After the destruction of Nadd's spirit, Kun traveled to the Empress Teta system to eliminate another threat to his rule—the fallen Jedi, Ulic Qel-Droma. Ulic, however, turned out to be a worthy adversary, and with the intervention of the spirit of Marka Ragnos, who anointed Kun the new Dark Lord of the Sith, and Ulic as Kun's Sith apprentice, the two became the new leaders of the Sith. With his new apprentice, Kun waged a brutal war against the Galactic Republic and Jedi Order, laying waste to the galaxy through several titanic battles. Eventually, Ulic turned away from the dark side and helped the Jedi defeat Kun at the Battle of Yavin 4. Kun, however, used his Sith powers to keep his spirit alive in a temple on the jungle moon's surface.
- "By the Sith power, I abjure you! May fear consume you! May your life force shrivel and die!"
- ―Aleema Keto
Aleema Keto was a Human female from the royal Keto family of the Empress Teta system. Hailing from not only a corrupt government, but also a corrupt family, Aleema was spoiled, bored, and rich. Along with a number of her friends, and her cousin Satal, Aleema dabbled in Sith magic and entertained herself with Sith artifacts from the Great Hyperspace War. She even convinced Satal to steal an ancient book full of Sith secrets from a museum on Coruscant—however, neither could read the text. As a result, Aleema and Satal set out in search of someone who could translate it, and eventually ended up on the planet of Onderon, in the middle of the Freedon Nadd Uprising. Using her money and influence, Aleema and Satal were able to speak with King Ommin, who helped them translate the text, and also gave Aleema an ancient Sith amulet. Eventually, Freedon Nadd realized that Aleema was but one key to the eventual resurrection of the Sith, and he offered to guide both Aleema and Satal in their rise to power.
Aleema would eventually become allies with Exar Kun, Ulic Qel-Droma, and Mandalore the Indomitable, and help wage an open war against the Republic and Jedi. As the war progressed, Aleema became the lover of Ulic, but her ambitions were eventually her own downfall. Betraying Ulic and leaving him for dead during the First Battle of Coruscant, Ulic survived and convinced her to go to Kemplex IX and use an ancient Sith weapon against the Republic outpost. Just as Ulic knew it would, the weapon triggered a supernova which engulfed Aleema, killing her instantly.
Key Republic figuresEdit
- "Being a Jedi will involve making such life and death choices. You'll have to face terrible ordeals. It is very easy to become trapped into a corner with nowhere to go."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma
Ulic Qel-Droma was a Human male who served as a Jedi Knight during the days of the Galactic Republic. Having grown up on the world of Alderaan, he and his brother Cay came from a family that was steadfast in the Force. Eventually, Ulic, Cay, and Tott Doneeta trained under the wise Jedi Master Arca Jeth on the planet of Arkania.
At the direction of Master Arca, Ulic traveled to Onderon and was instrumental in ending both the Beast Wars and the Naddist Uprising on Onderon. Following the events in the Onderon system, Ulic and his fellow Jedi were confronted by a new threat in the form of a galactic war. When the Krath threatened the Republic, and his beloved Master Arca was killed, Ulic attempted to infiltrate the Krath and destroy them from within. He was, however, unable to combat the allure of the dark side, and was seduced first by the Krath and later by the dark teachings of the Sith. Following his fall to the dark side, he joined forces with the newly anointed Dark Lord of the Sith Exar Kun, and was himself made a Sith Lord. Together, the two Sith laid waste to the Republic and proclaimed that a new age was upon the galaxy. Following the murder of his brother, and his eventual capture by Nomi Sunrider, Ulic led the Jedi and Republic forces to Kun's secret base on Yavin IV, effectively ending the Great Sith War. After the Sith War, Ulic exiled himself to the snowy planet of Rhen Var, where he trained Vima Sunrider; he eventually met his death at the hands of the pilot Hoggon.
Over time, the knowledge of the locations of the Dark Reaper and the Force Harvester became forgotten, even among the Jedi. Millennia later in 22 BBY, during the Clone Wars between the Republic and Confederacy of Independent Systems, the Sith Lord and leader of the Separatist movement Count Dooku discovered the existence of the Dark Reaper. With the hopes of using the ancient Sith superweapon to destroy the Republic, Dooku had the Separatists capture Rhen Var and Qel-Droma's tomb from the Republic. Upon learning the Force Harvester's location on Raxus Prime from Qel-Droma's spirit, Dooku had the Harvester dug up, and began to charge it using a number of unsuspecting Republic targets. The Jedi, having learned of Dooku's use of the Force Harvester after it was featured in a battle on Alaris Prime, dispatched Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker, along with a large contingent of the Republic's clone army, to recapture Rhen Var and uncover where the Dark Reaper was hidden so that the Jedi could destroy it. Skywalker managed to fight past the Separatist forces stationed there, as well as Qel-Droma's Spectral Guardians, and eventually entered Qel-Droma's tomb. There, Skywalker met with Qel-Droma's spirit, asking the long-dead Jedi about where the Dark Reaper was located and how to destroy it. Qel-Droma told the Padawan of the Reaper's burial on Thule, about how to resist the effects of the Force Harvester, and about how to destroy the Reaper. However, Qel-Droma warned Skywalker that resisting the Force Harvester required much power and might draw Skywalker closer to the dark side. With Qel-Droma's knowledge, the Republic launched an assault on Thule as Dooku began to unearth the superweapon. As he piloted a TX-130 fighter tank, Skywalker single-handedly attacked the Reaper just as it became fully operational. Hearing Qel-Droma's voice as he fought, Skywalker managed to bypass the Reaper's defenses and destroy the Sith superweapon.
- "He who learns the Dark Way will become infected with darkness. His judgment will become clouded and he will forget the good things he learned. If a Jedi persists in this attempt to bridge the two divergent roads, he will be torn apart in his very being."
- ―Nomi Sunrider
Nomi Sunrider was a Human female who served as a Jedi Master in the days of the Galactic Republic. As a young woman she married the Jedi Knight Andur Sunrider, and eventually Nomi gave birth to a baby girl, whom they named Vima. Following the murder of Andur, Nomi started down the path to become a Jedi Knight. She eventually completed her training under the Tchuukthai Jedi Master Thon, and was placed in charge of the Jedi relief mission sent to Onderon to aid in the Freedon Nadd Uprising. Along with several other Jedi, Nomi was able to help bring about the end of the Naddist Revolt, essentially putting an end to the reign of the Sith on Onderon.
Following those events, Nomi was one of many Jedi to participate in the war against the rise of Exar Kun and his apprentice, the fallen Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma. During the war, Nomi witnessed Ulic slay his own brother Cay, and she used her powers to completely sever Ulic from The Force. Soon afterward, the Great Sith War was brought to an end at the Battle of Yavin IV.
Following the devastation of the Sith War, Nomi was eventually made Head of the Jedi Order around the time of the Conclave on Exis Station. The details surrounding Nomi's death are not known, though her legacy was preserved in the histories of the Jedi.
- "The enemy has found me, Ulic, but the enemy knows only darkness. I know something that enemy does not…I know the Light."
- ―Arca Jeth's final words
Arca Jeth was an Arkanian male who served as a Jedi Master and Watchman of the Onderon system during the time of the Galactic Republic. After establishing a Jedi training center on Arkania, he instructed Ulic Qel-Droma, his brother Cay, and the Twi'lek Tott Doneeta in the ways of the Jedi. He was also one of the first known Force users to employ the ability of battle meditation.
In 4050 BBY Jeth was part of a Jedi/Republic task force sent to the Hapes Cluster to eliminate the Lorell Raiders, who had developed a habit of preying on Republic shipping lanes. Following a Jedi victory over the Raiders, Jeth fought in the Hyabb-Twith Campaign and helped defeat the Nelori Marauders. During the Great Droid Revolution of 4015 BBY, he fought on Coruscant and developed a Force technique that allowed the Jedi to destroy the attacking droids using the Force. Much later in his career he would mediate over the Beast Wars of Onderon, and help defeat the spirit of Freedon Nadd. He was eventually killed at the Conclave of Deneba, when the gathered Jedi assembly was assaulted by Krath War Droids.
In the arms of Ulic Qel-Droma, Arca Jeth became one with the Force.
Behind the scenesEdit
The events that create and surround the Great Sith War serve as the main underlying storyline throughout several story arcs of the comic series Tales of the Jedi—the series's second story arc, The Saga of Nomi Sunrider, though not directly involved with the Sith War, served to provide the background story for Nomi Sunrider, a character who would become one of the leading Jedi of the conflict.
Tom Veitch was the first to write the events which would eventually be collected into the conflict of the Great Sith War. He was the initial author of the Tales of the Jedi comic series, beginning with the first story arc, titled Tales of the Jedi: Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon. In this story arc, Veitch would introduce a large number of characters, including Ulic Qel-Droma, who would play important parts throughout rest of the storyline. Eventually, Veitch would pair up with author Kevin J. Anderson, and together they would write the story arc Dark Lords of the Sith, which would bring the subtle influences of Freedon Nadd to the forefront of the galaxy's attention. Later, however, Veitch would cease writing Tales of the Jedi, and Anderson would finish the remaining two relevant story arcs: The Sith War and Redemption. The reasoning behind Anderson writing at least The Sith War as a solo project was, according to Veitch, because Anderson requested to write it by himself. Nonetheless, Veitch would later comment in an interview that, "I feel now that it was a mistake to ask another writer to collaborate on that series." Commenting that he believed Ulic Qel-Droma's character was taken from him and pushed in the wrong direction, Veitch also believed that other characters he had created were neglected and that their personas were barely explored.
Tom Veitch at first envisioned a slightly different end of the Great Sith War than what Kevin J. Anderson ultimately decided upon. Veitch originally did not intend to include Exar Kun; Ulic Qel-Droma would remain a Krath general and engage in conquest for several years before joining with the Sith, and after his final defeat would never be redeemed and would die still in the grip of the dark side. This version of events was printed in the endnotes to the original Dark Empire comic issues.
The release of 2009's Essential Atlas expanded the map of the Great Sith War, as was the intention of its authors, Jason Fry and Daniel Wallace. They felt as though such a galaxy-spanning conflict was not properly represented in the comics. Wallace stated that they designed the map of the war from the perspective of the Republic generals, making what they believed would be the logical tactical wartime decisions against the Sith forces.
The Essential Guide to Warfare, released in 2012, states erroneously that the Battle of Basilisk was fought in 4017 BBY. On The Essential Atlas's map, it was placed during the Great Sith War's timeframe. However, the section in Warfare was in-universe, so it may have simply been the speaker's mistake or there could be an incorrect record of the event.
Notes and referencesEdit