- "The Jedi are disturbed at how quickly Satal and Aleema have mastered the Sith powers. They've called an assembly of all the Jedi in the galaxy. We're on our way to Deneba."
- ―Nomi Sunrider
The Conclave at Deneba, also known as the Grand Assembly, Jedi Assembly, or the Great Council of Deneba, was a Jedi Convocation that took place during the Krath Holy Crusade, held on the planet Deneba in 3997 BBY. The gathering of Jedi was called in response to the growing threat of the dark side that was previously thought to have been eliminated on Onderon during the Freedon Nadd Uprising a year earlier. Nearly ten thousand in number, the Jedi gathered in an amphitheater in the valley at the foot of Deneba's Mount Meru, where the spokesman for the Jedi Council, a Master named Odan-Urr, spoke of an ancient prophecy that stated that the legendary Dark Lords of the Sith would return to the forefront of galactic events. Many other Jedi spoke at the event, including Ulic Qel-Droma who brought forward the controversial idea of infiltrating the Sith-inspired Krath in order to destroy them from within. Qel-Droma's plan was immediately met with scorn from many of the Jedi present, including his former Master Arca Jeth, as well as the aged Jedi Master Shayoto. The conclave was then brought to recess, allowing many of the later arrivals to situate themselves as the meeting began again.
One such latecomer was the Krevaaki Master Vodo-Siosk Baas, who arrived just as a surprise attack, initiated by the Sith-inspired Krath, interrupted the assembly with a bombardment of life-pods. The pods contained deadly Krath war droids, which, upon release, began to attack the assembly. The ensuing battle resulted in the deaths of many Jedi, including the Arkanian Jedi Master Arca Jeth, as well as further influencing Ulic's choice of infiltration. In spite of the numerous warnings against such action, Ulic indeed pursued the Krath, to their home of Koros Major.
Trouble in Empress Teta
- "Master Arca…Despite all the appeals of the Galactic Senate, the brutal atrocities continue in the Empress Teta system…"
"Yes…The Krath have unleashed the dark side with great malevolence."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma and Arca Jeth
In 3998 BBY, Jedi Master Arca Jeth led a team of Jedi Knights and fought a series of battles on the planet Onderon, known as the Freedon Nadd Uprising. Freedon Nadd, an ancient Dark Lord of the Sith, had held Onderon under the sway of the dark side of the Force for nearly four centuries, until the arrival of Master Jeth, when Jeth banished Nadd's spirit and liberated the Onderonian people of his dark influence. In doing so, the Jedi believed that the dark side had been kept in check.
In 3997 BBY, the Jedi learned that the Empress Teta system had suffered a violent political uprising, staged by the heirs to the thrones of Empress Teta, Satal and Aleema Keto. The Ketos had also been on Onderon during the last battle of the Uprising, and had acquired knowledge of ancient Sith magic. Newly armed with their sorcery, they established the Krath, a secret society of Sith sorcerers. To solidify their rule over the system, the Krath laid siege to their own homeworld of Empress Teta, which was the last of the Tetan worlds to resist the coup.
Master Jeth was suspicious that the unrest in Empress Teta was somehow connected to the uprising on Onderon, so he and his Knights accepted guardianship of the Tetan system. The Jedi then engaged the Krath, with assistance from the Galactic Republic, intending to restoring peace in Tetan space. However, when the Krath manifested their Sith powers, the joint Jedi/Republic effort was bewildered and defeated. Considering how briskly the Krath managed to spread the influence of the dark side across the galaxy, the leaders of the Jedi Order became increasingly concerned that an ancient prophecy which stated that the Dark Lords of the Sith would rise again was on the verge of coming to fruition. The result was something that had not happened in hundreds of years: a gathered assembly of all Jedi was called.
Arrival on Deneba
- Arca: "I have lived for many, many years…and this is the first time, that all the Jedi have gathered in one place."
- Ulic: "Master, are all the Jedi in the galaxy really here?"
- Arca: "All but a few."
- ―Arca Jeth and Ulic Qel-Droma [src]
Because the dark side played an integral part in the Krath's rise to power, the Jedi Masters decided to meet and discuss whether the situation warranted a renewed Jedi war effort. Almost every Master, Knight, and Padawan in the galaxy was summoned to Deneba, numbering close to ten thousand in total. Among those present were Master Arca Jeth and Ulic Qel-Droma, Nomi Sunrider along with her daughter Vima, and the Tchuukthai Jedi Thon. Sunrider and Qel-Droma had returned from a recent failed relief mission to Empress Teta where, in an attempt to drive the Republic Navy out of Tetan space, real Krath CX-133 Chaos starfighters began making suicide attack runs in the midst of illusory ones. Qel-Droma was injured during the assault, and the Republic fleet was forced to retreat and rethink their battle strategy. The Jedi began to discuss the battle that Cay Qel-Droma had missed, but, as the conference was about to begin, they proceeded to take their places in the amphitheater.
Message to the conclave
- Ulic: "By the Force! How many Jedi are here?"
- Arca: "Thousands. The Jedi have guarded the Republic for centuries, and we have grown strong."
- Cay: "And I'll bet we'll continue to grow strong for centuries to come. What could ever bring the Jedi down?"
Arca: "That remains to be seen, Cay. But quiet now. Prepare yourselves. The spokesman for the Jedi is a Master named Odan-Urr. He is a telepath; and if you've never experienced his form of communication, the first time can be…disconcerting."
- ―Ulic, Cay, and Master Arca [src]
The convocation of Jedi gathered in a massive hollowed-out valley at the center of Mount Meru, with a great stage in the center of the valley. Recognized as one of the oldest and wisest of the Jedi, the Draethos Jedi Master Odan-Urr sat on that stage, and as the spokesman for the Council, Odan-Urr was also chosen to preside over the convention. Just as the assemblage was beginning, Master Jeth cautioned Ulic and the others about the Draethos, humanoids that used telepathy as their natural means of speech. Before he could finish, their minds were suddenly filled with the voice of Odan-Urr. Though unnerved at first, the Jedi relaxed and listened intently as Odan-Urr recounted the prophecy of the return of the Dark Lords, and also of the catastrophe at Empress Teta. The question he posed was whether the Jedi should send a mightier force to deal with the dark-side threat, just as was done with Onderon. It was at this time Ulic Qel-Droma approached the stage.
- "The darksiders act in complete secrecy, until the leaders of society have fallen to their evil seductions. Then they strike with great suddenness, bringing down civilizations it took aeons to build."
- ―Master Arca, warning Ulic Qel-Droma about the wiles of darksiders
Qel-Droma was acknowledged by the Draethos Jedi, and through the Force, Odan-Urr delivered Ulic's words to the minds of all the attendees. He began by discussing the past events, and how the wrong approach had been taken in dealing with the Krath. Qel-Droma felt that the Jedi were mistaken, that overwhelming military strength would never be capable of completely eliminating the dark side. He believed that even if the dark side were defeated in Tetan space, there was nothing preventing it from taking root elsewhere in the galaxy and spreading again. However, Qel-Droma's history of success in battle was questioned amongst his associates; he had just returned from a defeat, and many Jedi were unsure if he was capable of leading them to any sort of victory. He then unfurled his true plan: not one of direct confrontation, but infiltration. Qel-Droma proposed that a Jedi be chosen to effectively become a double-agent, feigning allegiance to the Krath while secretly learning their ways and plotting to destroy them.
The assembly was in an uproar; Qel-Droma was proposing the unthinkable. Many of them, including Master Jeth, advised him against such foolishness, saying that the only way to defeat the dark side was to face it down. Knights like Shoaneb Culu and Dace Diath, who fought with Ulic on Onderon, also spoke against his plan. The aged Master Shayoto spoke of the dangers of attempting to destroy the dark side from within. Master Jeth agreed with Shayoto, and warned Qel-Droma that he could not destroy the dark side entirely, but merely attempt to subdue it as Thon when he trapped the darkness of the planet Ambria inside of a lake on that world. Jeth continued, 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 drive the dark side away. A recess was then called, as several other Jedi arrived on Deneba.
The shadow of Freedon Nadd
- Exar Kun: "Master Vodo! Master Vodo!"
- Arca: "Did you feel that?—"
- Vodo: "Oh, Exar Kun…it is as I predicted. Darkness has found you!"
- Arca: "You must help him, Vodo!"
- Vodo: "Yes…I will meditate in the Force, try to draw it's power around him…Exar Kun. Exar Kun!"
- ―Arca Jeth and Vodo-Siosk Baas, feeling Exar Kun's distress through the Force [src]
Only a small number of Jedi were absent from Deneba, and during the recess many of those arrived late, as the distance they traveled was so great. Among the tardy was Master Vodo-Siosk Baas. The Krevaaki Jedi was in terrible dismay; his greatest student, Exar Kun, had left him in search of dark-side knowledge, and this worried Vodo tremendously. He knew that somehow Exar Kun would be swept up in the dark times ahead. Vodo was looking for Master Jeth as he came across Ulic and Cay Qel-Droma, just as Cay was admonishing Ulic for his bold proposal. After a brief exchange, Vodo was pointed in Arca Jeth's direction. Greeting each other, the two Masters walked abreast while discussing Exar Kun and his fascination with the dark side. Suddenly, both Vodo and Jeth felt a violent call through the Force, and Vodo instantly recognized it as his apprentice Exar Kun. Unknown to him or any of the other Jedi who heard the call, Exar had been severely hurt by the dark side by the dark spirit of Freedon Nadd, who was tempting him to join the dark side in order to avoid death. At Master Jeth's behest and Kun's cries for help from his master, Vodo reached out with the Force and meditated around his student. When Nadd's spirit realized that Exar Kun was receiving outside assistance, he set his attention on Vodo. Vodo sensed it too late, just as Nadd lashed out at him through the Force. He was knocked back, and his connection to Exar Kun was lost. Knowing there was nothing more he could do for his student, Vodo and the other Jedi took their places in the arena, as the convocation was about to resume.
Battle of Deneba
- "Assimilating Jedi battle tactics."
- ―Krath war droid before being destroyed by Cay Qel-Droma
Before the conclave could resume, the Jedi were ambushed by hundreds of life-pods that fell from orbit to Deneba's surface, unleashing a deadly cargo of Krath war droids. When the pods opened to reveal the droids, the unsuspecting Jedi became quickly embroiled in a fierce battle. Master Jeth quickly suggested that they erect a protective shield wall with the Force, but Cay Qel-Droma noted that it was too late. He then instructed his T-12 servant droid to investigate the area, but upon receipt of the order the droid's programming changed, and all of the servant droids received new instructions to eliminate the Jedi. The Krath droids put up a formidable offensive, but despite their intense assault the Jedi emerged victorious. In the heat of the battle, however, Master Arca Jeth was killed by a war droid.
- "Your Master is gone…what will you do now, Ulic?"
"Nomi…I will do what I said I would do. I will destroy the Krath from within."
- ―Ulic Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider, shortly before he departs for Cinnagar
After the battle, the day's events were recorded into the personal holocron of Master Vodo-Siosk Baas. He recounted the travesty of Arca's death, and also mentioned the discovery of the Krath being responsible for the war-droid attack. Meanwhile, Ulic Qel-Droma sat with Master Jeth's robes, while suffering feelings of incredible guilt for his Master's death. He vowed to carry out his plan, despite the warnings of the Masters. Sunrider implored him to change his mind, saying that an idea like that would only result in calamity, but Qel-Droma was unmoved. Cay tried also to sway his brother from making desperate decisions like this one, but he too was unsuccessful.
The Jedi returned to Ossus, where Qel-Droma and Sunrider sought more information regarding the Empress Teta system. Qel-Droma spent the next days learning everything possible about the Krath and their home system, in order to develop a better understanding of what he was dealing with. Traveling to the Great Jedi Library, he and Sunrider were greeted by Master Ood Bnar. Bnar provided Qel-Droma with a comprehensive history of Empress Teta, but also warned him about his rash decision. Before leaving, Bnar brought the Knights before Master Odan-Urr, the Jedi Keeper of Antiquities. Odan-Urr then revealed his rare Sith holocron, and displayed for Sunrider and Qel-Droma stories of ancient Jedi who fell to the dark side. However, the young Jedi Qel-Droma was unmoved. He stated that he was not seeking the Masters' approval, but only their understanding. The Masters recognized his determination, but also knew that attempting to hinder him was folly. Ood Bnar and Odan-Urr then departed, offering Qel-Droma their blessing.
Before leaving Ossus, Ulic Qel-Droma had a conversation with his brother Cay. Cay adamantly believed that his brother was making a foolish decision, and was nervous that he would never see him again. All his attempts to sway his brother were naught, as Ulic's determination remained unwavering. The two brothers embraced one another as Ulic assured Cay that everything would turn out all right. Ulic then spent the next morning with Nomi Sunrider, preparing himself and his starship for departure to the Tetan system. Refusing repeated offers of assistance from Sunrider, he left her with a passionate kiss and departed for Empress Teta. The Jedi would not hold another convocation until the Conclave of Exis Station in 3986 BBY.
Trained by the ancient Celegian Master Ooroo, Odan-Urr himself grew into one of the oldest and wisest Jedi of the Order. As a young Padawan he was an avid learner, relentlessly studying Jedi lore and history, and learning ancient and forgotten Force techniques. He played an influential role in the Unification Wars of the Empress Teta system, displaying his proficiency in the rare art of Jedi battle meditation. During this time, he became a personal advisor of Empress Teta herself. In 5000 BBY, a prophetic vision forewarned Odan-Urr of an impending invasion from the fabled Sith Empire, which lead to the Great Hyperspace War. As a Knight Odan-Urr again went to battle, alongside his warrior Empress and the Galactic Republic. After the Sith were defeated, Odan-Urr found a Sith holocron in the spoils of one of the abandoned Sith warship. In the wake of the war, Odan-Urr founded the Great Jedi Library on Ossus, where he kept his prized Sith holocron among other antiquities. Odan-Urr eventually attained the rank of Master, and by the time of the conclave on Deneba, Odan-Urr had presided over Jedi assemblies for nearly six centuries. He was the acting spokesman for the Jedi Council.
Ulic Qel-Droma was a famed Jedi Knight and, along with his brother Cay, was the apprentice of Arca Jeth. During his time as Master Arca's padawan, Qel-Droma was assigned to a diplomatic mission to the planet Onderon. Together with Cay and the Twi'lek Jedi Tott Doneeta, he traveled to the dark-side world, where their mission utterly failed. The Jedi became involved in Onderon's Beast War conflict, and assisted Beast-Lord Oron Kira in defeating Queen Amanoa and her dark-side legions. In the wake of the Beast Wars, Qel-Droma and his Jedi companions battled Amanoa's husband, the sorcerer King Ommin and the dark-side spirit of Freedon Nadd. After emerging victoriously over King Ommin, Qel-Droma was one of several Jedi aware that the dark side had not been entirely defeated, and had made its way to the Empress Teta system. As such, Master Arca and his apprentices accepted watchman duties for Empress Teta. Arca then sent Qel-Droma and Nomi Sunrider as Jedi liaisons to the Galactic Republic, where they again requested assistance on behalf of the Tetan worlds. The Jedi-Republic effort was unsuccessful, and during the battle for Empress Teta, Qel-Droma was deeply wounded. As a result of the mission failure, the Jedi Order called a Jedi gathering to the planet Deneba, where Qel-Droma revealed his plan to secretly infiltrate the Krath. Despite the unanimous opposition of the Jedi assembly, Ulic Qel-Droma was intent on destroying the dark side from within.
Arca Jeth of Arkania was the Jedi Master of Ulic and Cay Qel-Droma, as well as Twi'lek Tott Doneeta. During his time as Knight, Arca participated in the Hyabb-Twith Campaign of 4050 BBY, a Jedi effort to rid the Hyabb-Twith Corridor of the infamous Nelori Marauders. Thirty-five years later, he played a major role in the Great Droid Revolution, where he revealed a little known Force power that allowed a Jedi to disable a droid's internal mechanisms with the Force. As the watchman of the Onderon system, Arca Jeth sent his three Padawans in his place to mediate the civil instability of the system's namesake planet. When his apprentices proved unsuccessful, Master Arca intervened, using the power of Jedi battle meditation to soundly defeat Queen Amanoa and her dark-side army. Arca and his apprentices battled the dark side again, this time in the form of Amanoa's husband King Ommin, and the spirit of Sith Lord Freedon Nadd. Arca and his Jedi eventually triumphed over Ommin, and managed to cleanse Onderon of the darkness. Arca was also aware that Sith magic had escaped Onderon, and taken root in the Empress Teta system. When the Jedi were called en masse to Deneba for a discussion of the darkness in the Tetan system, Arca was adamant in his stance against Ulic's plan to ally with the Krath.
Shayoto was an aged Jedi Master, who lived though the times of such galactic conflicts as the Gank Massacres of 4800 BBY, and the Vultar Cataclysm nearly five hundred years later. Shayoto was also very familiar with the machinations of the Sith, and advocated fervently against Ulic Qel-Droma's intentions of joining the Krath. After being overlooked and nearly ignored by the assembly of Jedi, Shayoto was finally allowed to speak, and was given the floor by Arca Jeth. He then recounted such previous conflicts as the Great Hyperspace War, and spoke of how his Master's Master told him of the Hundred-Year Darkness. From this ancient Jedi, Shayoto learned how the darksiders implemented their evil schemes, acting in utter secrecy and only striking when their victims were most vulnerable. He warned Ulic and the assembly of Knights about the dangers and wiles of the dark side, and how in the past darksiders were successful in toppling entire civilizations.
Behind the scenes
The Conclave at Deneba first appeared in the issue Dark Lords of the Sith 3: Descent to the Dark Side, for the Star Wars: 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 to use the conclave as the backdrop for the death of Arca Jeth, which itself was a pivotal moment from which to build on Ulic Qel-Droma's fall to the dark side. The Conclave at Deneba was also featured in the Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith audio drama, with voice actors John Cygan (Ulic Qel-Droma), Glynnis Talken (Nomi Sunrider), and Jim Ward (Arca Jeth), adding a more detailed perspective on an already established story. The warning about darksiders given to Ulic by Master Arca in the audio adaptation was spoken by Master Shayoto in the comic version.
The Star Wars Insider 26 article Straight from the Horse's Mouth places the Conclave at Deneba at 3996 BBY, rather than the established date of 3997 BBY. As Straight from the Horse's Mouth contradicts several other established dates, this article treats it as incorrect.
- 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 (Indirect mention only)
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 5 (Mentioned only)
- Adascorp Fiscal Period Financial Report and Outlook: Field Report: Project Black Harvest (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Codex entry) (First identified as Conclave at Deneba)
- Champions of the Force (First mentioned)
- "Le facteur X"—Casus Belli 115
- (First mentioned)
- "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)
- "Straight from the Horse's Mouth: A Guide to the Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Universe, Part 2" – Star Wars Insider 27 (Indirect mention only)
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- "Straight from the Horse's Mouth: A Guide to the Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Universe, Part 3" – Star Wars Insider 28 (Indirect mention only)
- "ComicScan: Telling Tales" – Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 13 (Indirect mention only)
- 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
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (First identified as Grand Assembly, Jedi Assembly, and Great Council of Deneba)
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and references
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 3
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith (audio)
- "Le facteur X"—Casus Belli 115
- Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi — The Freedon Nadd Uprising
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 1
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 2
- Tales of the Jedi – Dark Lords of the Sith 4
- The New Essential Chronology
- Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi — The Golden Age of the Sith
- Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi — The Fall of the Sith Empire
- Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi — Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon
- Tales of the Jedi Companion
- Exar Kun's entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Tales of the Jedi – The Sith War 2
- "Straight from the Horse's Mouth: A Guide to the Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi Universe, Part 1" – Star Wars Insider 26