- "All stations to status Red! The citadel is under attack!"
- ―A Krath soldier
A battle occurred on Empress Teta in 3997 BBY. The battle took place almost immediately after a mission in which the Jedi Knights Nomi Sunrider, Cay Qel-Droma, and Tott Doneeta attempted to make contact with their fellow Knight the undercover Ulic Qel-Droma, who they believed was posing as a secret Krath society sympathizer. Following this attempt to contact Ulic, during which the Jedi realized that he was dangerously close to falling to the dark side, Sunrider organized a second effort aimed at extracting Ulic, if possible, from the Krath capital Cinnagar.
Along with the Beast Riders of Oron Kira, the Jedi led an attack on the Krath palace where Qel-Droma was staying. Even though the attack was successful at penetrating the Krath defenses, Qel-Droma refused to return to Ossus with Sunrider and the other Jedi, choosing instead to stay with Aleema Keto and the Krath. Following the Jedi retreat from Cinnagar, former Jedi Knight Exar Kun arrived at the Krath palace to confront those whom he viewed as a threat to his Sith rule. Following a brief confrontation, the two ex-Jedi decided to join forces, and together, wage war on the galaxy.
- "At the last moment…when he attacked us…I felt something. Cay…Ulic is lost to us…I can feel it."
- ―Nomi Sunrider, speaking of Ulic Qel-Droma
In 3997 BBY, with several months passing without hearing any word from Jedi Knight Ulic Qel-Droma, who, following a battle on Deneba, had decided to infiltrate the secret society known as Krath and destroy them from within, several Jedi Knights became worried that he was in danger. The Jedi organized a mission, to be led by Knight Nomi Sunrider, aimed at making contact with the undercover Qel-Droma. The mission was successful in the fact that Jedi Knights Sunrider, Ulic's brother Cay, and Tott Doneeta managed to make contact with their undercover agent. However, the mission deviated from the original plan when Ulic unleashed a wave of dark side energy at the Jedi team, advising them that he would not be returning with them to Ossus. Believing that Ulic was dangerously close to falling completely into the thrall of the dark side, Sunrider led her team back to the Jedi stronghold on Ossus to present the situation to the Jedi Masters.
Arriving at Ossus, Sunrider, Cay, and Doneeta related to the Masters what they had experienced on Empress Teta. Presenting their shared belief that Ulic was indeed falling to the dark side, the Knights laid out a new plan to the Masters aimed at extracting Ulic from the Krath. Nomi advised the Masters that the Knights planned to attempt to persuade Ulic to return with them, at which time he could then turn away from the dark side. If that failed, they explained, they were prepared to forcefully extract Ulic if necessary. After Sunrider and the other Knights had presented their plan, the Jedi Masters proceeded to lend their voices and wisdom to the discussion. The Masters cautioned the younger Knights against forcefully removing Ulic, explaining that Ulic himself must make the decision to turn away from the dark path and return to the light. Otherwise, they argued, Ulic would not learn the grievous consequences that his actions presented. Heeding the Jedi Masters' wisdom, Sunrider and the other Knights modified their plan to accommodate the new line of thinking. With the Masters' approval of their plan, the Jedi Knights organized an attack force, which included the Beast Riders of Onderon under the command of Oron Kira, and departed for the Empress Teta system to again attempt to rescue Ulic.
- "I rest in the lightside of the Force…that is my power…as the light, I expand, filling this room…dissolving these dreadful illusions!"
- ―Nomi Sunrider
The joint Jedi–Beast Rider force managed to arrive at the Krath headquarters on Cinnagar undetected. The Jedi fighter squadrons consisting of Sabers and Stingers, led by Oss Wilum, began the attack with a strafing run against the Iron Citadel. While Wilum, Shoaneb Culu, and Dace Diath led the aerial assault against the Krath forces, Oron Kira ordered his Beast Riders to transport Sunrider, Cay Qel-Droma, and Qrrrl Toq to the upper balconies of the citadel, where they would begin their search for Ulic. Upon breaching the upper levels of the citadel, the Jedi and the Beast Riders managed to defeat the Krath soldiers who were acting as Ulic's guards. With the enemy soldiers dispatched, Sunrider attempted to reason with Ulic into returning with the strike force back to Ossus.
Ulic, however, was not alone in his quarters. He was joined by Aleema Keto, his mistress, who believed that the Jedi attempt to rescue him was powerless, and that her Sith magic could easily defeat the Jedi. Using her powers, Keto conjured up several illusions hoping to plant fear into the Jedi attackers. Nonetheless, Sunrider was able to use her battle meditation against the Sith sorceress, thus overwhelming Keto's senses and causing her to lose control of her powers. Despite the Jedi's best efforts, Ulic still felt immense guilt at not being able to prevent the death of Jedi Master Arca Jeth during the previous Battle on Deneba, and believed that he owed it to his old master to destroy the Krath. Advising Sunrider and the others that he could not return with them until he had destroyed the Krath and the Sith, Ulic turned his former friends away. Nevertheless, Sunrider and the others refused to believe that Ulic was lost to them, and persisted to plead with him to rethink his decision. Frustrated with what he viewed as needless intervention on the Jedi's part, Ulic unleashed the power of a Sith amulet that Aleema Keto had given to him. The attack forced Sunrider and the other Jedi, including Ulic's brother, Cay, to realize that Ulic was lost to them. Upon this realization, the Jedi and Beast Riders retreated from Krath space after fighting combating Chaos starfighters that had entered the battle. The Jedi then returned to Ossus to meditate on their failure.
- "Let it be so, Qel-Droma…the ancient Sith have spoken. Together we will bring down the galaxy!"
- ―Exar Kun
Witnessing the Jedi and Beast Riders retreat, Qel-Droma and Keto quietly celebrated with each other for their joint victory. However, the pair was interrupted by the arrival of an unexpected guest: Exar Kun, fallen Jedi turned Sith. Kun had traveled to Cinnagar from his Sith base on Yavin 4, intent on killing those whom he perceived as threats to his new power. Realizing that the true threat lay with Qel-Droma, Kun used his Sith powers to attack Keto, knocking her unconscious. Watching as his lover was attacked by Kun, Qel-Droma confronted him in a fast-paced lightsaber duel. The duel lasted for several minutes, with each warrior attempting to best the other. However, during the fight, several spirits of long-dead Sith Lords appeared, including that of the ancient Dark Lord of the Sith Marka Ragnos. Ragnos immediately stopped Qel-Droma and Kun, proclaiming that through the union of their power, the Sith would once again rise to their rightful place within the galaxy. Ragnos proceeded to proclaim Exar Kun as the new Dark Lord of the Sith, due to his devotion to learning the Sith ways and the tremendous power he possessed. Ragnos then named Ulic Qel-Droma as Kun's first and foremost Sith apprentice, due to his willingness to walk the dark path and shun the attachments he once enjoyed. With the two fallen Jedi united as Sith Lords, Kun and Qel-Droma swore an oath that together they would conquer the galaxy, topple the Republic, and destroy the Jedi Order.
Behind the scenes
The battle first appeared in Dark Lords of the Sith 6: Jedi Assault, an issue of the Tales of the Jedi comic series. The battle was conceived and written by authors Tom Veitch and Kevin J. Anderson, and was drawn by artist Chris Gossett. Veitch and Anderson used this pivotal battle as the springboard for the alliance between the two fallen Jedi, Ulic Qel-Droma and Exar Kun, where they wrote that both characters would be anointed Sith Lords.
Following the publication of the Dark Lords of the Sith story-arc, the battle on Empress Teta appeared in the Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama, which was brought to life through the voice acting of various cast members, including John Cygan (Ulic Qel-Droma), Glynnis Talken (Nomi Sunrider), and Jack Noseworthy (Cay Qel-Droma).
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 6: Jedi Assault (First appearance)
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Chronology
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- Chronicles of the Old Republic
- The New Essential Chronology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (Exar Kun's entry)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 5: Sith Secrets
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 6: Jedi Assault
- ↑ "Star Wars Droids: The Adventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO"—Polyhedron 170
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 The New Essential Chronology