The story begins, as we travel from the Big Bang to the Great Hyperspace War...
"The complete history of the Old Republic would fill a thousand libraries..."
"Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith" (1996)
A young Jedi scholar named Odan-Urr
is sent by his master Ooroo to the Koros system, where the young
and beautiful Empress Teta battles to liberate Kirrek, the last
of the seven worlds of her system, from guerillas.
Hok and Timar Daragon of Koros (a
husband-and-wife team) run relief supplies for the soldiers of
Kirrek, and are ready for another run in their ship (the Shadow
Runner) thanks to the repair team at Aarrba the Hutt's supply
dock (and Aarrba's willingness to extend credit). Their young
adult children, Gav and Jori, have to stay behind with their ship
(the Starbreaker 12) while they go off on their supply
Odan-Urr is met on Cinnagar (capitol
city of both Koros and the entire Teta system) by Memit Nadill,
Teta's Jedi advisor. Nadill shows him in to the royal palace where
Teta has converted her throne room into a war room.
Urr suggests using a technique he
learned in the archives -- Battle Meditation, in which a Jedi
can influence the outcome of a battle through his mind. Nadill
and Teta agree, and the Empress' warfleet is launched for an all-out
assault on Kirrek. Working together, Urr and Nadill use this Battle
Meditation to break the spirit of the guerillas holed up in the
main citadel while encouraging the soldiers and hostages below.
Some of the guerillas, though, vow
to die fighting and open fire just as the Shadow Runner
arrives. The cargo ship is blown apart in mid-air, Hok and Timar
killed instantly. The Tetan forces swoop down and easily take
the city, but Urr can only think of the supply ship caught in
the crossfire. "I never want to see war again." On Cinnagar,
Aarrba sadly informs Gav and Jori of their parents' deaths, and
tells them the Starbreaker 12 (which he was holding as
collateral) have been paid for with Hok and Timar's blood.
A few months of failed hyperspace
exploration later, Gav and Jori are not faring very well financially
-- up to their eyeballs in debt to Aarrba, Cinnagar Control and
too many others. They've had to sell their home and live in the
streets just to keep going. Still, they keep trying...
The crippled Starbreaker
limps back to Cinnagar, and Aarrba tells them he's not giving
the ship back until their debts are paid in full. Gav frantically
promises incoming profits from a recent route he and Jori mapped
in the Goluud Corridor. "Hoo! Look at their assigned risk
factor -- no one will use this route."
Or so the Hutt thinks. A Cha'a merchant
lord, Ssk Kahorr, is willing to try the Daragons' hyperspace route
to run mining equipment to the colony on Goluud Minor. The automated
drone ship Zeta Five is dispatched on the route -- and
flies right into a solar flare from the red supergiant Primus
Kahorr has the Daragons' bonus for
the route frozen, Shodon Ko (the Navigator's Guild member who
approved the route) killed and "wanted dead" bounties
put out for Gav and Jori both. "Unfortunately, nobody will
much miss them -- but I'll be satisfied when they're dead."
Assassins corner Gav and Jori in
an alley, and it seems their bad luck has finally run out -- until
Odan-Urr and Memit Nadill arrive and cut the assassins down. Nadill
urges the Daragons to leave Koros, and the siblings decide to
go for broke -- they steal the Starbreaker 12 from Aarrba's
hangar, flee into space with patrol ships firing at them from
behind, and (with Jori making the calculations at random) make
a blind all-or-nothing jump into hyperspace...
The planet Korriban, far beyond
the borders of the Republic. A hellish canyon with massive stone
tombs carved into the rock walls. A massive, gold plated coffin
is carried at the head of a long procession led by Ludo Kressh,
a powerful Sith who orders the procession to hail the memory of
Marka Ragnos, the late Sith Lord in the coffin. Another Sith arrives
late to the funeral -- Naga Sadow, a hybrid (half human, half
Sith) arch-rival of the full-blooded Sith Kressh. After Sadow's
coffin is placed within its' huge tomb (and sealed in along with
several live and terrified slaves), Ludo orders Naga to turn around
and head home -- his rebellious nature threatens them all. "The
Sith Empire is stagnant!" Sadow retorts. "For centuries,
we have done nothing but wallow in our riches and relive our ancient
conquest of these worlds. That is no longer enough!" Drawing
his crystal-bladed sword, Sadow calls Kressh out.
As the procession watches, the two
Dark Lords clash with sword and Force alike, seemingly doomed
to kill each other -- until a spectral image appears...
The spirit of Marka
Ragnos has been awakened by the battle, and he urges his two former students
to remember what brought the Sith to this point -- the battle
against the Jedi, the exile, the building of their Empire. Now,
he warns, all that they have gained is in danger. "Choose
your course wisely.... fight the correct battles.... or else all
is lost!" The two rivals aren't too happy about being told
to make peace, but suddenly the warning of Ragnos gains form --
the Starbreaker 12 lands before the tomb, and Gav and Jori
step out and issue a warm welcome on behalf of the Republic! The
Sith instantly take the two captive. Kressh wants them killed
immediately, fearing invasion; Sadow sees in the Daragons a door
to the Republic -- and conquest...
On Koros, Teta promises an angry
Aarrba she will arrest the Daragons if they return. A disturbed
Odan-Urr walks in and addresses Teta and Nadill about a strange
dream he just had -- a dream about the ancient Jedi exiles. Teta
decides to inform the Senate of this dream when she travels to
Coruscant in three days' time.
Ludo and Naga return to the planet
Ziost, capitol of the Sith Empire, where they hold a meeting of
the Sith Lords at Marka Ragnos' cliffside fortress. The Sith Lords
are equally divided on what to do with Gav and Jori, who are being
held in the icy dungeons far below the fortress. Finally, the
two (cursing their bad luck) are visited by Simus -- the disembodied
head of an ancient Sith Lord encased in glass. Simus, who had
sided with Sadow, reluctantly relays the council's decision: The
Daragons are too much of a risk and must be executed at once.
Inside a holding bay of the fortress, an agent of Sadow bullies
his way past the guards and checks out the Starbreaker 12's
interior, where he steals the Daragons' blasters. He is observed
(via holo) by Sadow from his private stronghold on the dark side
of the moon Khar Shian. Sadow then orders all his Massassi warriors
and his warships prepared for an stealth attack on Ziost...
Once they break into
the fortress, Sadow and his forces kill everyone who sees them
with the Daragons' stolen blasters -- even Simus, Sadow's old
friend. They free an astonished Gav and Jori and leave the blasters
on a pile of corpses before fleeing back to Khar Shian. Sadow
pauses only long enough to drop off the Daragons before rushing
back to Ziost to find a panicked council convinced the Republic
has attacked them. Kressh orders the entire Empire put on alert,
but Sadow smoothly gets a word in and takes it further -- in retaliation
for this assault, he demands the Empire prepare for war.
The council immediately
agrees -- all except for a furious Kressh, who smashes his own
crystal sword on the floor and vows to sit out this planned war
with his own supporters before he walks out on the meeting.
Formally claiming the
title of Dark Lord, Naga has his forehead tattooed with a Sith
sigil by a pair of scorpions.
Empress Teta flies to Coruscant
with Memit and Odan-Urr, requesting permission to address the
Senate. In the open-aired Senate assembly, Teta informs the Senators
and other visiting Jedi of Odan-Urr's premonition. The Senators
laugh at the warning: "You can't be serious, Empress Teta,
that we should sound a call to arms because your young pup had
a bad dream about a mythical enemy!" Teta isn't surprised,
and promises a disappointed Odan-Urr that "we can still summon
our own forces."
At Khar Shian, Gav is held alone
in his quarters. Sadow begins to teach Gav how to use the Force,
along with Sith magic. The Sith Lord learns that Ludo Kressh is
personally guarding the impounded Starbreaker 12, and decides
now is the time to "flush out the weakness in our Empire...and
cauterize it!" He heads to a decoy fortress on the adjacent
moon of Khar Delba, where Jori is being held. The terrified young
woman wants only to return to the Republic, and the coordinates
there are in Starbreaker 12's computer. Sadow promises
he has made "some rather extreme arrangements." On Ziost,
the arrangements involve Sadow's men slaughtering the guards at
the impound hangar and taking off in the Starbreaker 12
-- this time leaving a medallion with Sadow's forehead sigil on
the corpses. Kressh retreats back to his fortress on Rhelg, where
he summons two Sith Lords (Horak-Mul and Dor Gal-Ram) who have
harbored doubts about Sadow as well. He presents them with news
of the attack and Sadow's sigil, then orders them to gather their
warfleets for a surprise attack on Sadow.
Back at Khar Delba, Naga presents
Jori a holomessage from Gav, and then with the recovered Starbreaker
12 -- but before they can take off to get Gav, a warfleet
led by Ludo, Horak and Dor begin an orbital bombardment of the
Over at Khar Shian, Gav watches
in confusion as another warfleet lifts off and heads into space...
Jori takes off and shoots past the
orbiting warfleet, dodging their fire and shooting into hyperspace.
As soon as she's gone, the other warfleet from Khar Shian appears
and smashes into Ludo's. Sadow sends a signal that has sleeper
agents assassinate Horak-Mul and Dor Gal-Ram in their own ships.
The two vessels, as one, unite and gang up on Ludo's flagship.
Wounded but defiant, Ludo retreats into space with what's left
of his fleet. With the Sith Empire now unquestionably in his grip,
Sadow orders a massive military build-up in preparation for an
all-out invasion of the Republic "now that Jori Daragon will
lead us straight to their heart." For as the Starbreaker
12 races towards home, a homing beacon beeps on its' outer