- "The Krath have unleashed the dark side with great malevolence."
- ―Arca Jeth
The battle on Deneba took place in the year 3997 BBY during the Krath Holy Crusade, and was one of the earliest known Krath offensives to occur during that conflict. From his main base in the city of Cinnagar, the Krath leader Satal Keto remotely launched a large army of war droids against the Jedi assembly, which had gathered on the planet Deneba in order to discuss the rising threat of the Krath in the Empress Teta system. The Krath war droids initially caught the convocation unprepared, but the Jedi were able to mount an organized defense and stop the war droids' advance. During the battle, Jedi Master Arca Jeth, who was famous for his role in ending the Great Droid Revolution, Beast Wars, and Freedon Nadd Uprising, was slain while protecting his onetime student, the Jedi Knight Ulic Qel-Droma.
- "The Krath conspiracy must be torn out by its roots before it can spread out to other systems."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma
Following the Battle of Koros Major, which witnessed the defeat of a joint Republic-Jedi task force that had been sent to restore order, the Jedi Order called for a large convocation on the planet of Deneba, to take place at Mount Meru.
Hearing the call sent out through the Force, thousands of Jedi Masters and Knights reported to Deneba and assembled together under the guidance of Master Odan-Urr. As the conclave began, Odan-Urr allowed Nomi Sunrider and Ulic Qel-Droma to address the assembly; they did so, informing the gathered Jedi of their experiences with the Sith during the Freedon Nadd Uprising, and the more recent battle in the Empress Teta system.
Explaining the threat that the Krath and their Sith magic posed to the continued security of the Jedi and Republic, Qel-Droma proposed a plan to the gathered Jedi assembly through which he could deal with the Krath, and eventually destroy the threat of the Sith. Among those gathered on Deneba were many who believed that only by marshaling the full military might of the Jedi and the Republic and launching a full counteroffensive could the Krath be defeated. Qel-Droma, however, believed that through infiltrating the enemy's ranks he could destroy them from within and thus preserve thousands of lives that would otherwise be lost to a protracted military campaign. Firmly believing that his plan was the right course of action, Qel-Droma argued his strategy to those who were gathered.
Many Jedi, however, including Qel-Droma's former master, Arca Jeth, Knights Shoaneb Culu, Dace Diath, and Master Shayoto, spoke of the dangers of attempting to destroy the dark side from within. To further support this side of the argument, Master Jeth warned Qel-Droma that he could not destroy the dark side entirely, but merely contain it as Master Thon had done with the dark forces on the planet of Ambria. Furthering this line of thinking, Master Jeth continued by stating that even though the Jedi could never hope to destroy the dark side, through their combined efforts they could create a wall of light to contain any dark presence they encountered.
- "A lightstaff will take care of these guys!"
- ―Qrrrl Toq, during the fight
While the conclave was getting under way, an unidentified Tetan Corsair had managed to insert itself amongst the combined mass of Jedi ships gathered in orbit around Deneba. At a prearranged time, decided upon by Satal Keto, who was safely ensconced in the Empress Teta system, the Corsair launched its complement of escape pods, each of which contained a number of deadly Krath war droids. Unknown to the assembled Jedi, the Krath war droids had begun their mass descent through the atmosphere of the planet. The Krath hoped to catch the Jedi unawares in the hopes of delivering a devastating blow against their numbers, thus causing even more chaos and turmoil to engulf the Jedi Order and diverting their attention from further Krath offensives.
The war droids rained down upon the Jedi assembly, which was gathered on Mount Meru. While the Jedi responded to the unforeseen Krath attack, their servant droids, which had been sabotaged by Krath spies, were activated and ordered to attack the Jedi. With two separate groups of droids now attacking them on two fronts, the fight soon turned into an unorganized brawl. The initial stages of the battle witnessed the deaths of many unsuspecting Jedi. Nevertheless, the majority of Jedi were able to put up a barely-organized defense, managing to halt the Krath attack and eventually push it back. It was during this time that Master Jeth demonstrated his mastery of the Force talent of Droid Disable, which he had perfected during the Great Droid Revolution of 4015 BBY.
Despite the efforts of the Jedi defenders, however, many more of their number were killed in the fighting; included among the casualties was Arca Jeth himself, who was fatally wounded by a blaster shot in the back while at the same time saving the life of Ulic Qel-Droma. Qel-Droma, wracked with immense grief, held Master Jeth in his arms as the old Arkanian passed away and became one with the Force. Following the battle, Qel-Droma stayed at the location of Master Jeth's death for many hours. As a result of the battle's outcome, Qel-Droma chose to go ahead with his proposed plan of infiltrating the Krath, vowing to bring them down from within no matter what the cost to himself or those around him.
- "Nomi…I will do what I said I would do. I will destroy the Krath from within."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma
Following the battle on Mount Meru, Qel-Droma prepared for his mission into Krath territory and departed the Jedi assembly intent on infiltrating the Krath. His mission was thought to have failed, however, after several months passed with no word of his status making its way out of enemy territory. In response to this development, Nomi Sunrider organized a search and rescue mission in hopes of extracting Qel-Droma from the Empress Teta system.
Behind the scenes
The battle on Deneba first appeared in the issue Dark Lords of the Sith 3: Descent to the Dark Side of the Tales of the Jedi series of comics. The battle was conceived and written by authors Tom Veitch and Kevin J. Anderson, and was drawn by artist Chris Gossett. Veitch and Anderson chose this battle as the point from which their lead character, Ulic Qel-Droma, would begin his fall to the dark side of the Force.
The battle would eventually be featured in the Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama, which witnessed the death and destruction of the battle take on a whole new personality through the voice acting of John Cygan (Ulic Qel-Droma), Glynnis Talken (Nomi Sunrider), and Jim Ward (Arca Jeth).
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 3 (First appearance)
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 4 (Mentioned only)
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 5 (Mentioned only)
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 1 (Indirect mention only)
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 3 (In flashback(s))
- Adascorp Fiscal Period Financial Report and Outlook: Field Report: Project Black Harvest (Indirect mention only)
- Knights of the Old Republic 48 (Indirect mention only)
- "Straight from the Horse's Mouth: A Guide to the Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Universe, Part 1"—Star Wars Insider 26 (Indirect mention only)
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Chronology
- The Essential Guide to Droids
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook
- Chronicles of the Old Republic
- The New Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Essential Atlas