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5,000 BSW4
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 run.

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 Goluud.

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 fortress.

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 hull...



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