- "No, my Lady. I don't need the Shamer's power of empathy to discern your role in luring me to this place. No, indeed. Your position is fatally compromised."
- ―Darth Vader, to Lady Dhol
Lady Dhol, the ruler of Cheelit, was a female J'feh. She lived in a floating, transparent globe in her Hive Palace, where she amused herself by playing the game of Firepath. During the Galactic Civil War, she and the Guild of Vindicators hatched a plan to assassinate Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader. Dhol lured Vader to her hive-palace and engaged him in a game of Firepath, while a Guild assassin infiltrated the hive-palace and eliminated Vader's guards. The assassin, Clat the Shamer, confronted Vader, but inadvertently stepped onto the Firepath board; the Sith Lord used the game's controls to incinerate Clat and informed Dhol that he knew of her part in the scheme. He then ignited one of the rings on the Firepath board, above which Dhol was floating, and killed her.
- "Your perception is as flawless as your hospitality, my lady."
- ―Darth Vader, to Dhol
Dhol was a native of the planet Cheelit, and a member of the J'feh species. She had red skin, with two large eyes and numerous tentacles, each covered with suckers. Dhol lived in a large, transparent globe, the height and width of a humanoid, which hovered several meters above the ground without the use of visible repulsorlifts. A member of the nobility on Cheelit, she eventually became Lady Dhol and was given reign of the entire planet. She lived in a large Hive Palace, where she often played Firepath, a two-player strategy game involving large, Human-sized pieces moving across a room-sized board. There was over a dozen "rings" built into the board, and players used a set of controls to activate certain rings, which would produce a tall column of fire, destroying whatever piece was on the ring at the time. Dhol proved to be an adept strategist. She often played the game with Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith and Imperial enforcer, who himself was a master of Firepath.
Plot to kill Darth Vader
- "Your game style has lost none of its intrigue or charm, Lord Vader. We are glad that you could come to Cheelit and accept our challenge…"
- ―Dhol, to Darth Vader
Some time during the Galactic Civil War, Dhol became embroiled in a plot to assassinate Vader. She entered into a bargain with the Guild of Vindicators, a cult known for their eye-for-an-eye beliefs and mysterious powers, who wished to examine Vader's conscience and eliminate him for his numerous perceived bad deeds. Vader was an acquaintance of Dhol's and had visited her Hive Palace numerous times before, so she was able to lure him to Cheelit with no great difficulty, under the guise of a challenge to play Firepath. The Dark Lord took the bait and arrived on Cheelit. It was a testament to their respect for each other that Vader had just two stormtroopers escort him and keep guard during the game, while Dhol had no protection at all.
Dhol was particularly hospitable toward Vader, in an attempt to mask her true motivations in inviting him to her homeworld. Her part of the plan she had made with the Guild of Vindicators comprised merely of playing him in Firepath and delaying the game as long as possible; the Guild would send one of their members, Clat the Shamer, to the Hive Palace to kill the Dark Lord. Dhol and Vader engaged in a hard-fought game as planned, and before long, Dhol believed she had discerned Vader's strategy, a common ploy known as Droom's Gambit. In an attempt to counter his efforts, she moved her Cardinal to intercept him; Vader, however, had tricked her and was actually using a stratagem called Surgeon's Variant. Impressed with his duplicitous move, she prepared to counter attack.
- "Hm. A scrappy, disappointing opening, but the endgame provided some satisfaction."
- ―Darth Vader, departing Dhol's Hive Palace
Dhol thanked Vader for accepting her invitation during the game, but the Dark Lord told her it was only part of the reason he had come to Cheelit: he somehow knew of the Guild of Vindicators' plan to kill him and decided he would fight them on Cheelit, where they were based. Vader gave no indication that he knew of Dhol's part in the Guild's scheme, and she feigned ignorance, but his revelation left her shocked and frazzled. She had no way to alert Clat the Shamer that Vader was expecting his arrival without Vader seeing, so she continued the game of Firepath regardless, hoping for the best. Her game improved, and after a time, Dhol was in the ascendancy after incinerating a great many of Vader's pieces, but he was relentless and refused to forfeit.
Clat the Shamer made light work of the two stormtroopers Vader had ordered to stand guard outside Dhol's Hive Palace and interrupted their game just as Dhol voiced her expectations that the game's end was in sight. Clat confronted Vader, telling the Sith Lord that this night was his last. Vader remained calm and inquired as to how an unarmed man would be able to kill him. Using his powers, Clat began to peer into Vader's mind and view his conscience, trying to force Vader to kill himself. However, Clat, being unfamiliar with the game of Firepath, had made a vital error: he had inadvertently stepped on the Firepath board, and Vader, fighting the implanted urge to commit suicide, incinerated the Guild of Vindicators member with a press of a button. Dhol watched on in horror as Clat perished. Vader inquired if they should continue their game, but he only maintained his charade for a moment: he informed Dhol that he knew she had lured him to her Hive Palace on behalf of the Vindicators. Additionally, unbeknownst to Dhol, Vader had manipulated the game so that, with one final press of a button, he was able to ignite the column of flame at the Sorcerer's Ring, First Stone, above which Dhol hovered. Her globe was engulfed in flame and eventually cracked, before her body burned to ash.
Personality and traits
Dhol's passion in life was Firepath, and she was one of the masters of the game. She entwined her game with numerous ploys and sub-ploys and had a keen grasp of the game's tactics. She respected those who managed to best her, and even during her final game with Darth Vader, she constantly complimented him for fine play. Dhol was a sly, scheming being, and she preferred to deal with people via guile and treachery rather than direct confrontation. She referred to herself with the plural pronoun "we."
Behind the scenes
The character of Dhol was created by Alan Moore for Dark Lord's Conscience, a seven-page comic originally featured in Marvel UK's Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back magazine in the early 1980s, where she was illustrated by John Stokes. The comics produced by Marvel UK were originally published only in black and white in the United Kingdom and did not stick with established style and continuity; as such, the stories were rarely if ever referenced, and Dhol's only appearance has been in Dark Lord's Conscience. The original black and white comics were reprinted and recolored by Dark Horse Comics in Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds 1 in 1996.
In an article, titled Cult Encounters of the Star Wars Universe, originally slated to be published in Star Wars Gamer, Joseph Bongiorno and Rich Handley made several references to Dhol, recapping the story told in Dark Lord's Conscience. The article, which briefly expanded on the history of the Guild of Vindicators, among other Force-organizations, also established that Vader filed a report to Emperor Palpatine after the events of Dark Lord's Conscience. However, Gamer was canceled before the article could be published, so it is considered cut content and non-canon. Since then, Dhol appeared in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. Dhol was again referenced in the Star Wars Blog article, Viva Space Vegas! The History of the Marvelous Wheel, which included a picture of Dhol as a representative of the "J'feh" species, identifying Dhol's species for the first time. However, Dhol is not mentioned in the article, only being used to show a representation of the species that the J'feh individual, Skijid Vrescot belonged to.
- Dark Lord's Conscience (First appearance)
- "ComicScan: New Faces Rising"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 9
- "ComicScan: Paint Him Black"—Star Wars Galaxy Magazine 11
- "ComicScan: 20 Tales To Tantilize"—Star Wars Galaxy Collector 5 (Indirect mention only)
- "Shining Stars"—Star Wars Insider 52
- Cult Encounters of the Star Wars Universe (Canceled)
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- (Picture only)