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Night of the Upside-Down Meteor

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"Well, Lillia Venn's life is not over. There is another peak, another place to conquer. I will begin again—in the stars. I will take you all with me, of course."
―Lillia Venn gloating about her new "acquisition" prior to her untimely death[src]

The Night of the Upside-Down Meteor was a skirmish which took place on Kesh in 3960 BBY in the Takara Mountains. The skirmish took place Jelph Marrian's farm between the former Jedi Knight Jelph Marrian and the ex-Sith Saber Orielle Kitai against the Sith Grand Lord Lillia Venn and her forces: the two Sith Lords brothers Sawj Luzo and Flen Luzo and four Sith Sabers. Through Orielle's mother Candra Kitai, Lillia Venn had learnt about the existence of Jelph's Aurek-class tactical strikefighter.

Kitai had sold her daughter out in return for "improved working conditions." Venn and her closest allies traveled quickly to Marrian's farm to find the starfighter shortly after Orielle and Marrian arrived. Kitai confronted Venn and her followers while Marrian attacked the Sith visitors with blasters. When Venn attempted to lift off from the ground in Marrian's vessel, she tripped a safety line which Marrian had connected to the fighter, causing the detonation of the proton torpedoes which Marrian had placed beneath the ground. The ensuing explosion destroyed the entire farm and killed Venn and her allies.

HistoryEdit

BackgroundEdit

Sawj Luzo: "Oh, we let Badolfa deliver your messages. Your mother made another deal."
Orielle Kitai: "What?"
Lillia Venn: "Yes. She didn't think your discovery existed—and she didn't think the other High Lords would come. So she alerted us to the meeting here."
Orielle Kitai: "In exchange for what?"
Lillia Venn: "Call it...improved working conditions..."
―Candra Kitai leaked information about Ori's discovery to Grand Lord Lillia Venn[src]

In 3963 BBY, the former Jedi Shadow Jelph Marrian had become stranded on the planet Kesh after his Aurek-class tactical strikefighter was caught in a meteor storm. For the next three years, he secretly repaired the starfighter while working as a local horticulturalist. He eventually developed a romantic relationship with a local Sith Saber Orielle Kitai, the daughter of High Lord Candra Kitai. In 3960 BBY, Kitai and her mother were wrongfully implicated in an attempted assassination attempt on the ruling Grand Lord Lillia Venn who had them reduced to the status of slaves.[3]

Orielle later learnt about the existence of Jelph's starfighter and alerted her mother to its existence in an attempt to regain her family's former status. Her mother advised her to inform four other High Lords by using the architect Gadin Badolfa as their intermediary. However, Candra secretly informed Lillia about the existence of the starship in exchange for improved working conditions. Unaware of her mother's secret deal, Kitai subsequently reconciled with Marrian and the two concocted a scheme to fool the High Lords by claiming that she had discovered four blasters at Jelph Marrian's farm; a technology unknown to the Tribe.[1]

The SkirmishEdit

"Ori, let's go!"
"Jelph, no! The Grand Lord is here. What are you doing?"
―Jelph and Ori escape the farmhouse before its explosion[src]

While flying back to Marrian's farm near the Marisota River on an uvak, Jelph and Orielle were pursued by several uvaks but managed to evade their pursuers. After touching down, Jelph fled out of sight to avoid detection. Meanwhile, Orielle confronted the visitors only to encounter Lillia and her followers. Lillia then revealed that Candra had informed Lillia herself. Lillia's bodyguards subsequently took Orielle captive and entered the barn where they found Jelph's starfighter. Lillia's entourage included the two Luzo brothers Flen and Sawj Luzo, who had been Orielle's rivals since the days she had been training as a Sith Tyro. Venn was initially jubilant that she had discovered a way for the Tribe to reach the stars and create an interstellar empire.[1]

Unknown to the other visitors, Marrian had managed to use the Force to levitate the sack of blasters towards him. Ori witnessed this and heard Jelph's telepathic call but did not inform the others. At the right moment, she fell down to the ground and surprised her captors. This distraction gave Jelph enough time to emerge from the farmhouse and open fire on Venn's entourage. The Sith Sabers were unfamiliar with blaster technology and a few were struck down. The remaining Sith attempted to use their lightsabers to deflect the blaster bolts. Ori took advantage of the chaos to break free and steal one of her captors' lightsabers. Meanwhile, Venn entered the Aurek starfighter's cockpit while the Luzo brothers guarded the barn's doorway.[1]

Jelph quickly arrived and helped Ori out of the skirmish while firing upon the Luzo brothers and the other Sith guards. Without explaining his plans, Marrian grabbed Ori and pushed her into the Marisota river. Marrian then jumped into the waters after her. Shortly later, the Aurek starfighter and the barn exploded; killing the Grand Lord, the Luzo brothers, and the remaining Sith Saber. Unknown to both Ori and the Sith visitors, Marrian had already rigged the starfighter with explosives. Following his arrival on Kesh, Jelp had already buried thousands of kilograms of volatile ammonium-nitrate explosives beneath the starfighter as a fail-safe in the event that the Aurek starfighter was discovered. The ensuing explosion also leveled the surrounding riverbank and wiped out all evidence of the farm and its occupants.[1]

AftermathEdit

"Such power. She [Lillia] won't even need us to sever the moorings."
"Moorings?"
―Sawj and Flen Luzo's final moments[src]

The events of that night would be remembered in Keshiri history as the "Night of the Upside-Down Meteor" and ushered in a power struggle known as "the Time of the Rot" which lasted almost a millennium. Lillia Venn's enemies, the Red and Gold Factions, had attacked and killed her supporters. These factions then fought each other and splintered into twenty factions. Since there were no survivors, few Sith knew the details about that notorious Night. By 3000 BBY, much of Keshtah Minor lay in ruins and the Tribe had been reduced to a few thousand individuals, threatening their survival as a race. That year, the Caretaker Varner Hilts succeeded in reuniting the Tribe and instituted the Hilts Restoration.[2]

Meanwhile, Ori and Jelph managed to escape by submerging underwater in the river. Little trace of Venn, her entourage, and Jelph's farm survived since the explosion had caused the surrounding riverbank to collapse into the Marisota River. After eight weeks of traveling deep into the jungle, Ori and Jelph established a remote homestead in the forest. Jelph also destroyed the last remaining evidence of his offworld origins: a transmitter. The Jedi had destroyed the machine after intercepting transmissions which revealed that the Jedi had collapsed into factions and were engaged in a civil war. Finally Jelph and Ori established a romantic relationship and eventually started a family in their new jungle home.[4]

Behind the scenesEdit

The Night of the Upside-Down Meteor appeared as the climax of John Jackson Miller's EBook Lost Tribe of the Sith: Sentinel, which was released on February 21, 2011. It was told from the point-of-view of Orielle Kitai, one of the main protagonists. It was later officially named in Miller's sequel story Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pantheon, which was told from the point-of-view of Varner Hilts. The Night of the Upside-Down Meteor was also mentioned in the fifth issue of Miller's stand-alone comic story Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral, which debuted on December 12, 2012.

AppearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

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