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Qel-Bertuk, Lanius

this Jedi Master succeeded Nerra Ziveri as the watchman of the Cularin System, some twenty-four years before the Battle of Naboo. Qel-Bertuk warned the Jedi Council of the system's dense concentration of the Force, especially the Dark Side energies discovered on the planet Almas. However, he received little in the way of assistance from the Council, which was already being stretched thin due to the increasing unrest in the Old Republic. Thus, Master Qel-Bertuk developed a form of autonomy from the main Council, but worked to ensure that the Almas Academy continued to teach its students with the highest of ideals. After the Battle of Naboo and the rise to power of the Thaereian Military in the Cularin System, Master Qel-Bertuk found himself more and more troubled by the advance of the Dark Side of the Force. This period also saw the emergence of the Believers, a group that deeply troubled the Jedi Knights. Thus, when he was approached by Broof Yurdel and Osten Dal'Nay about a possible military action against the Thaereians, Master Qel-Bertuk found himself reluctantly agreeing to support their plans. He solidified his position when Thaereian agents cut off all transmissions from Almas to Coruscant, forcing him to act with complete independence from the Jedi Council in supporting Operation False Horizon. Once the Cularin Militia managed to gain control of Thaereian-held bases, he pledged that the Jedi Knights on Almas would provide peace-keeping assistance throughout Cularin. However, like the Jedi Council on Coruscant, Master Lanius failed to see the dark cloud that erupted into the Clone Wars. He fought inner turmoil and political reservations to keep the Almas Academy free, until he was ordered by the Jedi Council to transfer all available Jedi to Coruscant to augment the Republic Armed Forces in the fight against the Separatists. He chose to send a handful of individuals, but remained committed to keeping the Almas Academy an active training center. He reasoned that there were many ways to follow the Jedi Code, despite the unilateral call-to-arms that occurred as the Clone Wars broke out. His methods, he believed, would result in more Padawans completing their training, rather than leaving the Jedi Order to become disgruntled opponents or outright adherents of the Dark Side of the Force. His stance began to change as the Clone Wars ground on, and Master Qel-Bertuk became haggard with the effort of keeping the Almas Academy intact while the galaxy fell apart around him. He made regular appearance on the Cularin HoloNet nodes, commending the people of Cularin and begging them to continue their dogged pursuit of freedom and justice. His manner, however, suggested that he knew something more about the state of the galaxy, and not even Yara Grugara could pry any information from him. When the Jedi Council finally ordered the Almas Academy to supply its Knights and Masters to the Grand Army of the Republic, Master Lanius was the firm of many to invoke the Right of Denial.
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