Second Duel in the Iron Citadel

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The title of this article is conjectural.

Although this article is based on official information from the Star Wars Legends continuity, the actual name of this subject is pure conjecture.

"This must be the Sith pretender Freedon Nadd warned you about!"
"Pretender? Nadd only taught you the beginnings of Sith power, woman—but I have learned everything!"
―Aleema Keto and Exar Kun, as Kun enters the Iron Citadel — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

The Second Duel in the Iron Citadel was a lightsaber battle that occurred late in the year 3997 BBY between two fallen Jedi: the power-thirsty Exar Kun and the headstrong Ulic Qel-Droma. The duel took place in the Tetan capital city of Cinnagar, in the Iron Citadel of the dark side Krath cult. Qel-Droma, who had just recently engaged and killed the Krath leader Satal Keto, was given an ancient Sith amulet by Satal's cousin, Aleema, and was also taken as Aleema's joint partner in leadership of the Krath. Unbeknownst to them, a Dark Jedi named Exar Kun had learned of their existence from the spirit of Freedon Nadd, an ancient Dark Lord of the Sith, who had also given Kun an amulet for himself. Seeing the Krath as a potential hindrance to his vision of a new Sith Empire, Kun traveled to Empress Teta and touched down in the planet's capital city. Guided by the Force to their location, Kun stormed the Iron Citadel and confronted Qel-Droma.

What followed was a brief but heated duel, with neither combatant able to best the other. As they battled, however, the amulets in each man's possession reacted to one another and began to resonate with dark side energies. The energies in turn summoned the spirit of an ancient Dark Lord named Marka Ragnos, who ended the duel and, after a brief proclamation, bestowed upon Kun the title of Dark Lord of the Sith and named Qel-Droma his foremost Sith apprentice.


"So much for her. When she awakes, her power and her planet will be destroyed. And as for you…"
"You will not find me such easy prey!"
"Ahh, yes. Freedon Nadd spoke of another Jedi. You are Ulic Qel-Droma…prepare to die!"
―Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

Exar Kun incapacitates Aleema Keto.

In the year 3997 BBY, the Dark Jedi Exar Kun arrived on the world of Empress Teta, after acquiring tremendous Sith powers under his apprenticeship with the ancient Dark Lord Freedon Nadd. Kun believed that he had learned all that he could from the Sith Lord and used his newfound powers to destroy the spirit of Freedon Nadd, submitting him to death for a second and final time. Moments before his demise, Nadd contacted Satal and Aleema Keto, leaders of the Krath dark side cult, whom he had also initiated in the ways of Sith magic. Nadd alerted them of Kun's treachery and declared him to be a pretender to the Sith legacy. Nadd stated that the future of the Sith was in the hands of the Krath, and the Jedi Knight Ulic Qel-Droma, whom the Ketos had imprisoned and tortured under suspicion of being a Jedi spy. Nadd's spirit then departed, leaving the Ketos to contemplate the meaning of his words.[5] Kun was aware of Nadd's other apprentices and saw them as threats to his plan of creating a new Sith Empire. With plans to eliminate them, Kun traveled to Empress Teta in search of Nadd's other Sith acolytes, just as the Jedi attacked the Tetan capital of Cinnagar in an attempt to rescue Qel-Droma.[2]

The Jedi, led by Master Nomi Sunrider, failed in their extraction mission to save Qel-Droma and left him with Aleema Keto within their palace, the Iron Citadel. After he killed Satal in a fit of revenge for a previous attack on Deneba, Qel-Droma was taken by Aleema as her partner in leadership of the Krath. Qel-Droma confessed to her his plan of wanting to infiltrate and destroy her Krath cult, to which she intimated that she was already aware. Aleema then gave Qel-Droma a Sith amulet that had previously belonged to Satal. Unbeknownst to them both, Kun had recently arrived on Empress Teta with his Massassi warriors in search of Nadd's other students. When his own amulet began to resonate with the power of the dark side, Kun knew that he had indeed located his adversaries. He was led by the Force to the Iron Citadel, where he caught both Qel-Droma and Keto unawares, the latter of whom he quickly incapacitated with a blast of Force energy. With the woman out of the way, Kun and Qel-Droma drew their lightsabers and engaged in lightsaber combat.[2]

The duelEdit


The Sith amulets attract as Kun and Qel-Droma duel.

"You are skilled with a lightsaber…yet even my Master could not defeat me! I am the greatest swordsman in the galaxy!"
"Come. Let us see!"
―Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma, as they duel — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

The ensuing duel was short-lived, and for much of it Kun and Qel-Droma remained evenly matched, with neither man able to gain an advantage over the other. Unexpectedly, however, the Sith amulets that the two men wore began to interact with each other. What they did not know was that the amulets had once been a pair, separated from each other many thousands of generations ago. The sudden and unexpected reunion stirred the spirit of the long dead Dark Lord of the Sith Marka Ragnos.[2]


"In time, even as the Galactic Republic battles us to extinction, we now secure the future, when the Sith will take their revenge!"
―Marka Ragnos, to Ulic Qel-Droma and Exar Kun[src]

The Sith Brotherhood is born.

The ancient Dark Lord immediately put an end to the duel and explained to them that his appearance was the result of the reunion of the amulets. Ragnos sensed that both had chosen the path of the dark side and knew that the two before him were capable of restoring[2] the Sith to the Golden Age they had enjoyed while under Ragnos's rule.[6] He seized Kun and marked his forehead with the symbol of the Dark Lords and proclaimed him the new Dark Lord of the Sith. Ragnos tattooed Qel-Droma's forehead as well and named him as Kun's foremost apprentice. Ragnos then stated that through Kun and Qel-Droma, the foundations would be laid that would one day allow the Sith to exact their revenge on the Republic and the Jedi. Bound by destiny and united by prophecy, Kun and Qel-Droma joined forces as Sith Master and apprentice, respectively.[2] Together with Keto's Krath, the trio later terrorized the Republic in the form of the Brotherhood of the Sith.[7]

Kun and his Brotherhood were eventually defeated,[2] but a new Sith threat emerged more than 300 years later, when the remnants of the Sith Empire that had been defeated and exiled in the Great Hyperspace War of 5000 BBY returned to besiege the Republic in yet another struggle for total galactic domination. The Jedi were unaware of the existence of the previously unrealized threat, and the High Council charged Kel Dor Jedi archivist Gnost-Dural with the task of discovering the origins of the revitalized Sith Empire.[8] In his research, Gnost-Dural recounted the struggle between Kun and Qel-Droma, and its significance with relation to the return of the Sith. Upon the completion of his account, the Kel-Dor Master expressed his belief that the Sith spirits who supported Kun's ascension to Dark Lord perhaps did not agree with the machinations of the Sith Emperor whose forces had besieged the galaxy in Gnost-Dural's time.[9]

Behind the scenesEdit

The Second Duel in the Iron Citadel first appeared in the issue Dark Lords of the Sith 6: Jedi Assault of the Tales of the Jedi series of comics. The duel was conceived and written by authors Tom Veitch and Kevin J. Anderson, and was drawn by artist Art Wetherell. Veitch and Anderson used this pivotal duel to mark the alliance between the two fallen Jedi, Ulic Qel-Droma and Exar Kun, having both characters fulfill Marka Ragnos's prophecy and become Sith Lords. Following the 1995 release of the Dark Lords of the Sith story arc, the Second Duel in the Iron Citadel also appeared in the Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama. John Cygan voiced Ulic Qel-Droma, while Exar Kun was portrayed by voice actor Peter Reneday.

Krath vs Massassi

Timeline 10 incorrectly depicts Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma's duel as having occurred outside of the Iron Citadel in the midst of an all-out battle.

In October of 2010, the Second Duel in the Iron Citadel was featured in The Exar Kun War, the tenth installment of in-universe videos that provide backstory information for the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic video game by BioWare. The video depicts the transpiration of events somewhat differently than what is shown in Jedi Assault. It recounts Kun's arrival in Cinnagar as an invasion complete with a legion of Massassi warriors in tow,[9] while both Jedi Assault and the audio drama clearly illustrate an infiltration mission undertaken by Kun and his accompaniment of only two Massassi.[1][5] The timeline video also shows Kun and Qel-Droma dueling one another outside of the Iron Citadel, both with the support of their armies,[9] while the duel actually takes place within the palace confines in Jedi Assault. Also in the comic and audio adaptation, Kun becomes a Sith Lord only after the duel ends,[1][5] but Timeline 10 states that Kun had already achieved said rank after he earlier defeated the Sith wyrm on Yavin 4.[9]

In Jedi Assault, Qel-Droma's attire consists of nothing more than yellow boots, brown trousers, and an uncovered upper body exposing his wounded torso,[1] while Timeline 10 erroneously depicts him in the armor he donned only after he partnered himself with Kun and returned to the Empress Teta system,[9] which appeared in Edge of the Whirlwind, the first issue in the Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War story arc.[10] Robert Chestney, one of the game developers for BioWare's upcoming The Old Republic video game, attributed the conflicting details to the accounts of an ill-informed Jedi Master who lived more than 300 years afterward.[11]



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