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"We didn't do this. We don't have anything to worry about. Do we? Mother, do we?"
"I don't know what just happened. But I will know, one way or another."
―Orielle and Candra Kitai's response to the assassination attempt on Lillia Venn[src]

On Donellan's Day in 3960 BBY, an assassination attempt was made on the life of Grand Lord Lillia Venn. During a rake-riding competition in the Korsinata on Kesh, uvak wrangler Campion Dey drew his lightsaber and flew his uvak toward Venn's private viewing box. Before he could reach her, Venn unleashed her Force lightning on him, and Dey was subsequently killed. While his motives for wanting to assassinate Lillia remained unknown, his sponsors High Lord Candra Kitai and her daughter Orielle Kitai were accused of instigating the assassination since they had sponsored Dey for several years.

As punishment, the Kitais were stripped of all their former titles, lands, and possessions, and were reduced to the status of slaves. To escape retribution, Orielle Kitai sought refuge with her friend Jelph Marrian, who owned a farm along the Marisota River. This set the stage for the Night of the Upside-Down Meteor which ended with the death of Grand Lord Venn and triggered the Time of the Rot, which was a period of civil war and instability that almost lasted a millennium.

History[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

"So this guy failed, and he has his own day?"
"Donellan's Day is also called the Day of the Dispossessed. And think about it. Has the Tribe ever really needed a cause for celebration?"
"No, I guess not. At least it keeps people in my line of work busy."
―Jelph of Marisota and Orielle Kitai discussing the significance of Donellan's Day[src]

By 3960 BBY, the Sith Tribe had been on Kesh's continent Keshtah Minor for more than a millennium. The Tribe were the descendants of ancient offworld Human Sith who had become stranded on Kesh during the Great Hyperspace War in 5000 BBY. Under the leadership of Yaru Korsin, the Tribe subjugated the Keshiri living on Keshtah Minor by claiming to be the Protectors, mythical gods in Keshiri mythology. Following the death of Korsin in 4975 BBY, his daughter Nida Korsin succeeded him as Grand Lord and ruled for 79 years. She outlasted her son Donellan who died an old man. Following his death, his mother instituted a succession system based on meritocracy where future Grand Lords were elected from a seven-member Circle of Lords.[3]

To commemorate the unfulfilled life of Donellan, the Tribe instituted a holiday known as Donellan's Day or the "Day of the Dispossed." Donellan's Day was held on the anniversary of his birth in 4960 BBY. By 3960 BBY, the reigning Grand Lord was Lillia Venn, a Sith woman who had been elected the previous year following the death of the previous Grand Lord. Venn had been a compromise candidate when the six other Grand Lords had been unable to agree on a new leader. As the eldest member of the Circle of Lords, Venn had been selected because the other Lords regarded her as an old and frail candidate. By that stage, two major political parties had emerged within the Tribe: the Red Faction led by High Lord Dernas and the Gold Faction led by High Lord Pallima.[3]

Following the accession of Venn to the Grand Lordship, the Sith aristocrat lady Candra Kitai was appointed as the seventh High Lord. Since she was not aligned with either the Red or Gold Factions, High Lord Kitai was able to serve as the independent tiebreaker who could select the leader's successor. This strategic position made her the second most important person in the Tribe. For that year's Donellan's Day celebrations, the Grand Lord and the Circle of Lords would watch a game of rake-riding at the Korsinata stadium in Tahv, the Sith capital on Kesh. Rake-riding was a blood sport which pitted uvaks which had their wing muscles cut at birth against each other. These uvaks would be ridden by uvak wranglers.[3]

While they were technically sporting events, these rake-riding games also served as a battleground between the various rival factions. For the games, Candra and her daughter Orielle Kitai, a Sith Saber, had sponsored an uvak-wrangler named Campion Dey whom they had known for several years. In addition, the Grand Lord Lillia Venn had sponsored two wranglers who had been recommended by Flen and Sawj Luzo, the two Luzo brothers who were her top allies. Meanwhile, the Red and Gold Factions also sponsored their own wranglers. Prior to the games, Orielle had purchased some dalsa flowers from a Human agriculturalist named Jelph Marrian, who owned a farm along the Marisota River. Unknown to the Sith, Marrian was a stranded Jedi Shadow who had come to the planet three years earlier.[3]

The Assassination Attempt[edit | edit source]

"What happened, mother?"
"You...you'd better go, Ori."
―Candra and Orielle Kitai's response to Campion Dey's attempted assassination[src]

The rake-riding games initially were uneventful. Shortly after the start, Campion Dey and his uvak broke away from the scrum and leapt onto the grandstand, scattering the passengers. Dey and his uvak ran towards Grand Lord Lillia Venn's luxury compartment. However, Lillia killed the uvak with Force lightning, causing her would-be assassin to fall onto the seats. He was immediately dispatched off by the two Luzo brothers. Orielle and her mother Candra were shocked and horrified by the incident since they had known Dey and sponsored his training for several years. They knew that they had not ordered the assassination on Venn but felt that suspicions would fall on them. Candra instructed her daughter Orielle to return to their family's estate at Starfall, which was south of Tahv, while she tried to resolve the situation.[3]

Since Dey had been killed before he could be interrogated, nobody knew who had actually staged the assassination. The Red Faction claimed that Candra had connived with the Gold Faction to assassinate Venn. Likewise, the Gold Faction claimed that Candra had conspired with its rival. Lillia Venn took the unsuccessful assassination as an opportunity to chastise her political rivals. As Dey's sponsor, Candra was accused of staging the assassination. As punishment, her entire family were stripped of all their ranks, titles, and belongings in order to make a public example of them. As a warning to other would-be political rivals, Candra was also forced to shovel manure at the city's zoo in public. In addition, Venn also ordered the immediate execution of High Lords Dernas and Pallima within their own boxes in the arena.[3]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

"Look at it this way. If Venn didn't stage the assassination and really suspected your mother, you wouldn't have been condemned. You'd be dead. But the Grand Lord doesn't have to kill you, because she knows you didn't do anything. You're more useful as an example. By making slaves out of a High Lord and her family, she's got living, breathing, deterrents in front of people for as long as you live."
―Jelph Marrian's assessment of the assassination attempt[src]

Two hours after the assassination attempt, Orielle returned to her family's estate at Starfall only to discover that her family had been disenfranchised and reduced to the status of slaves. Under the orders of the Grand Lord Lillia Venn, her own family's Keshiri slaves burnt the Kitai family's' belongings in a large bonfire. To mark her status as a slave, Orielle was called "Ori" by one of her family's slaves. While Orielle was comfortable with using her shortened nickname among fellow Humans like her friend Jelph, she had forbidden her Keshiri servants to call her by that name. This small change reflected her family's tremendous decline. Seeking to escape retribution, Orielle sought refuge with her friend Jelph.[3]

During her time there, Orielle and Jelph discussed whether the "downfall" of her family had been the result of a conspiracy engineered by the Grand Lord. Jelph advised Orielle not to return because he believed that her life was in danger. He speculated that Lillia must have ordered the attempted assassination on herself in order to make the Kitai family political scapegoats. The fact that she had spared them rather than execute them indicated that the Grand Lord had intended to make a public example of them. In the end, Orielle agreed to stay with Jelp until it was safe to return to Tahv. Still, she was determined to restore her family's position.[3]

While Jelph was out hunting one day, Orielle was visited by Flen and Sawj Luzo, the two Luzo brothers who had recently been promoted as High Lords by Lillia. They killed her uvak Shyn on the pretext that slaves were not allowed to own uvaks. Prior to Dey's failed assassination attempt, the two Luzo brothers had been Orielle's rivals while she was training to be a Sith Saber. They also produced two confessions from her mother Candra which claimed that she had conspired with both Dernas and Pallima. Under duress, the Luzo brothers also confiscated her lightsaber . To mark her new status as a slave, Orielle was given a spade.[3]

After the Luzo brothers departed, Orielle was so distraught that she entered into a fit of rage. She damaged and destroyed several items of Jelph's property including his plants, wooden cart, and barn. During that time, Orielle discovered an Aurek-class tactical strikefighter beneath a mound of manure. Orielle quickly realized that the starship could become a way for her and her mother to regain their loss status within the Tribe. Since the Tribe's ancestors had crash-landed on Kesh, the Tribe had been unable to leave the planet and return to the stars for more than a millennium. The Tribe had always hoped to return to the wider galaxy to create their own interstellar empire.[3]

By the time that Jelph had returned to the homestead, he found that Orielle had already left and that his starship had been uncovered. As a member of the secretive Jedi Covenant, Jelph was committed to eradicating any Sith influence and preventing the Tribe from posing a threat to the galaxy. Fearing that the Tribe would pose a threat to the galaxy, he resolved to stop his friend Orielle from revealing the presence of a Jedi and a hyperspace-capable starship to her people. This set the stage for a duel between Orielle and Jelph at Tahv's aqueduct.[3]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The Assassination attempt in the Korsinata appeared as the climax of John Jackson Miller's EBook Lost Tribe of the Sith: Purgatory, which was released on October 25, 2010. It was told from the point-of-view of Orielle Kitai, one of the main protagonists.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

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