- "It's okay. He's with me."
"The figurer? The world's coming to an end and you're still keeping pets!"
"I've got to have something to take care of. It's my job, after all..."
- ―Varner Hilts and Iliana Merko discuss the former's relationship with Jaye Vuhld
Jaye Vuhld was a male Keshiri aide of the Caretaker Varner Hilts. He was a talented mathematician who was skilled with calculations. Jaye's most important discovery was that the Keshiri calendar was eight days behind the Galactic Standard Calendar since a Keshiri standard day was one second longer than a Galactic Standard Day. He developed a close friendship with his employer Hilts, who was responsible for running the Lost Tribe of Sith's archive at the Kesh capitol building palace in the capital city Tahv's Circle Eternal plaza. Unlike many other members of the Tribe, Hilts related to the Keshiri as equals. Jaye was also responsible for maintaining the Tribe's Sandpipes which were used to measure and record time on Kesh. While he was known to have been Force-sensitive, Jaye was unable to join the Lost Tribe of Sith because the Tribe was entirely Human and excluded Keshiri until the Hilts Restoration.
Jaye grew up during the Time of the Rot, a century of turmoil and unrest which lasted almost nine-hundred years and devastated much of the continent of Keshtah Minor. In 3000 BBY, Jaye was present when Iliana Merko, the leader of the Sisters of Seelah invaded the grand atrium of the Circle Eternal which contained Hilts' library. The Sisterhood was a cult devoted to Seelah Korsin, the estranged wife of Yaru Korsin, who had been exiled following a failed coup against Korsin. Iliana attempted to coerce Hilts to give a favorable reading of Seelah that would boost the Sisters' status within the Tribe. The Sisterhood's presence drew the attention of other rival Sith factions including the Korsinite League, Force 57, and the Golden Destiny to the Circle Eternal. In order to save the lives of Hilts and the other Keshiri staff, Jaye revealed his discovery that Testament Day actually fell on that very day since the Keshiri calendar was eight days behind the Galactic Standard Calendar.
Based on Jaye's mathematical calculations, Caretaker Hilts was legally able to convene the Pantheon's Peace which marked the beginning the reading of Yaru Korsin's Testament. Jaye and the other Keshiri were excluded from the meeting on the basis of their non-Human ethnicity. The meeting ultimately ended disastrously since an older recording was discovered which revealed that the Lost Tribe of Sith were merely slaves to the Sith Lord Naga Sadow, one of the last rulers of the original Sith Empire. This discredited popular myths that the Lost Tribe were great conquerors. This revelation triggered the Great Crisis which led to fierce riots and killings across Keshtah Minor. Jaye was grieved by the destruction of his beloved Sandpipes and his own hejarbo-shoot hut was almost torched to the ground. Hilts was also upset by the loss of the Tribe's archive.
Despite these setbacks, Jaye and Hilts resolved to unseal the ancient Kesh Sith Temple and the starship Omen in order to find the secrets aboard the vessel which might hold the key to the Tribe's survival. There they encountered Iliana Merko, who was seeking refuge from her Sith rivals and had stumbled across the remains of her heroine Seelah Korsin. During the exploration of the Sith temple, Jaye was killed through wounds inflicted to his chest by the Sith Korsin Bentado. Jaye's death deeply grieved Hilts who was upset at the loss of a loyal friend and servant. However, Jaye's death was not in vain because the three explorers succeeded in discovering the Tapani heritage of the Lost Tribe's ancestors and learning that Kesh had another continent known as Alanciar. Through these discoveries which accompanied the sacrifices of Jaye, Varner Hilts was able to unite the various Sith factions and ensure the survival of the Tribe. Hilts set the Tribe on a new mission of reaching and annexing this new continent.
- "I-I'm sorry for pushing you, Master Hilts. I was passing this way—"
"Calm down. Just a normal day in 'the Crown of Kesh.'"
- ―Jaye Vuhld and Varner Hilts
Jaye Vuhld was a Keshiri, a purple-skinned Near-Human species who were native to the planet Kesh. For two millennia, the Keshiri had been ruled by the Lost Tribe of Sith, the descendants of a group of stranded Human Sith, who had come to Kesh during the Great Hyperspace War. Like all Keshiri, Vuhld was taught from young that the Sith were the Protectors, ancient gods in Keshiri religion which had fought against the Destructors during a great battle. Jaye lived on the continent of Keshtah Minor, which was the Tribe's main domain and their only "known world" until the fateful events of 3000 BBY. He grew up during the Time of the Rot, a 960-year period of civil war and anarchy which devastated much of Keshtah Minor. The Time of the Rot had been triggered by the death of the reigning Grand Lord Lillia Venn in 3960 BBY and had seen the Tribe splinter into twenty warring factions. As a result of the conflict, much of the continent's cities and infrastructure including the aqueduct systems lay in ruins.
Jaye was a resident of the city of Tahv, the capital of the Lost Tribe and the 'Crown of Kesh'. He was a talented mathematician and found work as a clerk at the Office of the Caretaker, which was tasked with safeguarding the Tribe's historical archive and timekeeping. The Caretaker's office was situated in the Sith capitol building in Tahv and also contained a large Sandpipe, that was used to record and keep time for the Tribe. As of 3000 BBY, the Tribe's Caretaker was Varner Hilts, a mild-mannered Sith historian who was not interested in Sith politics but had a passion for history. Unlike his Sith compatriots, Hilts treated his Keshiri employees with dignity and respect. As a result, Jaye developed a warm and close friendship with Varner Hilts. The older Hilts became a sort of mentor to the younger Keshiri while Jaye served as a loyal and faithful companion.
Jaye was a small-built Keshiri man who did not have the skills and strength for combat. This saved him from being conscripted by the various Sith factions into their armies, which regularly waged war on each other. Many of Jaye's Keshiri colleagues shared his mathematical talents and interests. For years, Jaye and his Keshiri colleagues would gather in the capitol building's beader's hall where they would use abacuses to calculate dates to correlate with various bits of trivia which Hilts had found in the archives. The Sandpipe was located in an adjacent atrium and was one of the last operational machines from the Tribe's pre-Kesh days. It was a time-keeping device that was based on the chrono aboard the Omen, the ancient Sith dreadnaught which had brought the Tribe's ancestors to Kesh. Jaye was known to live in a hut that was made out of hejarbo shoots, a tree species that was indigenous to Kesh.
The Sisters of SeelahEdit
- "Jaye, I told you to quiet down!"
"That's funny. I just told him the same thing..."
- ―Jaye and Varner's first encounter with Iliana Merko, the leader of the Sisters of Seelah
In 3000 BBY, Jaye was walking through the streets of Tahv when he saved his master Caretaker Hilt from being crushed by falling debris from a ruin aqueduct. These aqueducts dated back to Tahv's pre-Sith days when it was still a small village but had been built upon and expanded over the successive generations. However, many of these aqueducts had become clogged with weeds and fallen into ruins due to a lack of maintenance during the Time of the Rot. While Hilts regarded that incident as just a normal day in the Crown of Kesh, Jaye regarded that near-accident as a narrow conjunction and an omen. Aware that there was a group of quarreling Sith nearby, the two men departed for the safety of the Caretaker's office within the Sith capitol building that dominated the Circle Eternal, a historic square in the heart of Tahv. Testament Day was twelve days away and the Circle Eternal's atrium would be open to the public. Testament Day was a holiday that was held every twenty-five years to commemorate the legacy of Yaru Korsin, the Founder of the Tribe. During that day, his testament was read to the Sith. Even during the Time of the Rot, this holiday was respected by the various Sith factions as the only time when they congregated together peacefully.
While in the atrium, Jaye revealed that he and his fellow Keshiri mathematicians had calculated that Kesh's calendar was actually eight days behind the Galactic Standard Calendar, making today actually the fourth day prior to Testament Day. Vuhld had compared the Tahv Sandpipe's calculations with those on the chrono aboard the Omen. He found that Tahv's sandpipes did not flow as fast as the chrono on the mountain. Jaye also commented that year's Testament coincided with the Festival of Nida's Rise, a festival which commemorated the accession of Nida Korsin to the Grand Lordship every 79 years. Initially, Hilts was disinterested in Jaye's reports and merely commented that they would be able to save on wine this year. However, the two were interrupted by the arrival of Iliana Merko, a young woman who was the leader of the Sisters of Seelah, a Sith faction that revered Seelah Korsin, the estranged wife of Yaru Korsin.
While Iliana's armed followers waited within the palace atrium, Iliana herself confronted Hilts. She also threatened Jaye with her lightsaber in order to draw Hilts' attention. Iliana then led Hilts to the atrium where her supporters had congregated. During the takeover, Jaye's abascus was crushed by Iliana. However, the Keshiri mathematician was not unharmed and he and the other Keshiri lay prone on the floor of the beaders' room. During her meeting with Hilts, Iliana expressed her anger and frustration that Seelah Korsin had been marginalized in the history of the Tribe. Since Testament Day was only twelve days away, she wanted to change the contents of the Testament to favor Seelah's memory and thus her faction. Iliana attempted to coerce Hilts into claiming that he and his Keshiri workers had discovered Korsin's "true" Testament, which declared that Seelah and those who followed her teachings today were the legitimate heirs to power on Kesh. As part of their plan, the Sisters had produced a fake scroll that purported to be Korsin's "true" Testament.
By producing Korsin's "true" Testament, Iliana intended to improve the Sisters of Seelah's standing within Sith society. However, Hilts was unwilling to cooperate with Iliana's scheme. He explained that Iliana's plan would not work because the Caretakers in reality did not actually read Korsin's Testament. Instead, Hilts revealed that the Testament was actually read by a holo-recording of Yaru Korsin himself which was kept inside a holocron, an ancient technology that was used by both the Jedi and Sith for recording information and knowledge. In an effort to buy time until Testament Day, Hilts lied to Iliana that the holocron would only activate on Testament Day. This did not stop Iliana from fiddling with the holocron in a vain attempt to activate the projector.
- "Listen, Jaye. When a man of advancing years tells you something is true, either believe him, or nod politely. The last thing you want to do is shake his faith in his omniscience."
"Even if he's wrong?"
"Especially if he's wrong..."
- ―A discussion between Varner and Jaye
Over the next four days, the Sisters of Seelah occupied the Circle Eternal's capitol building and held Varner Hilts' staff captive. The Sisters' presence attracted the attention of several rival Sith factions including the Korsinite League, Golden Destiny, Force 57. Over this period, the number of visitors which included the Human Sith and their Keshiri followers grew which increased the risk of violence on the streets of Tahv. These Sith factions camped on the palace grounds of the capitol building. They held off on violence but instead exploited the mass public gathering as a change to recruit people to their causes. While there was a festive atmosphere due to Testament Day and Nida's Rise, there was also a risk that violence could escalate due to the deep rivalries between the Sith.
While watching the ongoing developments from the palace balcony, Jaye and had a private conversation with Hilts. Meanwhile, Iliana and her followers continued fiddling with the holocron in vain. During Jaye's conversation with Hilts, the latter noted the Tribe's desire for a strong leader but lamented the poor quality of leadership within the Tribe, which had contributed to the Time of the Rot. When Jaye suggested that Hilts take up the mantle of leadership since he was well-versed in the ways of the ancient Protectors, Hilts responded that he was "too wise" for that position. Hilts knew that knowledge would not get him that far due to the toxic political environment. When Jaye responded that any free man or woman could become the Grand Lord, Hilts commented that it was a "fine thing" to believe in. However, he conceded that the "right to rule" had been abused by the Sith and had led to failure. For Hilts, the poor quality of leadership within the Tribe reflected the deep schisms within Sith society about the identity of the Tribe.
Hilts concluded that it was too late for him to assume a leadership role within the Tribe; likening himself to Donellan who never assumed power since his mother Nida had outlived him. When Jaye disagreed with Hilts' pessimism, Hilts responded that the former should never contradict a man of "advancing years" since that would shake his faith in his omniscience. When Jaye asked whether this rule applied when the person was wrong, Hilts replied that this rule indeed applied even when the person was wrong. Hilts then turned his attention to Iliana who was still preoccupied with trying to activate the holocron. Due to her lack of success, she became increasingly impatient and frustrated. Following a failed attempt to seduce the older man, Iliana ordered her followers to take Jaye aparat if he refused to cooperate. Left with no choice, Hilts reluctantly took the Holocron in his hand and agreed to activate it.
At that point, Varner and Iliana were both interrupted by the arrival of two rival Sith factions: the Korsinite League and Force 57. The Korsinite League was a Sith cult that had been founded by a former slave a century earlier which emulated Yaru Korsin and Nida Korsin. Each member adopted the name "Korsin" as their first name and their leader was Korsin Bentado. Meanwhile, Force 57 were another Sith cult that practiced ritual mutilation and scarring and were devoted to the original non-Human 57 aliens that were aboard the Omen. Since Seelah Korsin had destroyed all origins related to the Red Sith, no living Sith or Keshiri could remember how they looked like.
Before further lives were lost, Hilts was able to bring peace to the three factions by offering to do a reading from the holocron while reminding the various belligerents that the Circle Eternal was not the place for violence. When Bentado refused to accept a reading of Korsin's Testament on any day besides its anniversary, Hilts convinced Jaye to present his calculations concerning the Sandpipes. Jaye panicked and was moved to tears because he was afraid that none of the Sith would be interested. However, Hilts convinced Jaye to tell them and the Keshiri mathematician reluctantly shared his findings. While trembling before the assembled Sith, Jaye explained that the "Protectors" had brought their Galactic Standard Calendar to Kesh, which differed from the planet's length of days and years. Following their arrival, the Sith had calibrated their Sandpipes to the magical chrono aboard the Omen prior to abandoning the ship.
Several of the Sith delegates were initially bored and some of them ignited their lightsabers to express their disapproval. However, Jaye soldiered on with presenting his message. Jaye then shared that he and his fellow mathematicians had found that the sand in which flowed in the Sandpipe in Tahv was slower than those aboard the Omen. When Bentado queried about the time difference, Jaye explained that one standard day on Kesh was one second slower than Galactic Standard time. This time difference meant that the Standard Calendar was eight days ahead of the Keshiri calendar. Hilts and Jaye then deduced that Testament Day and the Festival of Nida's Rise actually occurred on that day. Thus, Hilts was legally obliged to convene the Pantheon's Peace, which marked the reading of Korsin's Testament.
Bentado initially refused to accept Jaye's findings and grabbed the Keshiri mathematician by the wrist. He demanded to know whether the "Keshiri fool" had counted all the seconds since the Omen had landed. Jaye replied that it had been more than sixty billion seconds since the Omen had landed on Kesh. Iliana came to Jaye's defense and argued that the Keshiri was telling the truth since she sensed no deception in him. With Bentado's Korsinite League and Force 57 agreeing with Jaye's findings, Bentado was forced to concede to Hilts, who now could legally declare the Pantheon's Peace. Hilts ordered the assembled Sith to deactivate their weapons and to call the rival leaders from outside. Hilts privately hoped that Korsin's Testament would bring peace to the various Sith factions.
The Great CrisisEdit
- "This is the end of times, Master Hilts."
- ―Jaye's observations of the Great Crisis
Due to Jaye's calculations, the Lost Tribe were able to convene the Pantheon's Peace and read the Testament of Yaru Korsin. However, Jaye and the other Keshiri staff were excluded from the ceremony because of their non-Human origins. Besides the convener Varner Hilts, the meeting was attended by the twenty leaders of the various Sith factions including Iliana Merko, Korsin Bentado, and Neera, the leader of Force 57. The Testament of Yaru Korsin was projected from a recording of the late Korsin which was stored in a holocron. Korsin recognized that the Tribe was prone to internal infighting and had devised a hierarchy for its members to work their way to the Grand Lordship. The Tribe's Founder also designated his daughter Nida Korsin as his successor and condoned the killing of dead Grand Lord's spouses. Ultimately, Yaru Korsin's Testament delivered nothing substantive that would end the infighting among the Sith.
While fiddling with the holocron, Hilts found that the Testament had been recorded over an earlier recording, which he likened to a palimpsest. This recording turned out to be an order from the Sith Lord Naga Sadow to his subordinate Captain Yaru Korsin, who was tasked with delivering Lignan crystals to Kirrek during the Great Hyperspace War. Thus rather than being "great conquerors", the Tribe's ancestors had been slaves: ship crew, soldiers, and miners born into slavery in the Sith Empire. The Tribe also discovered that the "Original Fifty-Seven" were members of the red-skinned Sith species, which had facial tentacles. This revelation horrified the Tribe who were ashamed of their origins as slaves. In fact, the Tribe were never the Protectors of ancient Keshiri mythology that they had claimed to be. Despite efforts by the Tribe's leaders to hide this secret, news of the recent Conclave reached their followers and this triggered riots across Keshtah's cities. Many Sith descended into a homicidal frenzy and fighting broke out among the various Sith factions.
As a result of the "Great Crisis", many of Kesh's cities were burning within eight days of Testament Day. Mob violence forced Jaye and Hilts to evacuate from the Kesh capitol building which was then looted and pillaged by Sith rioters. Jaye and Hilts took refuge in the former's hejarbo-shoot hut, which had survived the first firestorm but was in danger of being targeted during a second firestorm. Many of the Keshiri were both frightened for their lives and fascinated by the fighting among the Sith. By 3000 BBY, the Human population had been reduced to a few thousand individuals and Hilts feared that this recent outbreak of violence would threaten his species' existence on Kesh. Jaye believed that this "crisis" marked the end of times. While staring at the ruined capitol building, Hilts recalled that Korsin had spoken that the "true power was behind the throne" and deduced that it could not be referring to his estranged wife Seelah. Jaye was concerned about his master's safety and warned Hilts that the rioters would see him.
Hilts then realized that Yaru Korsin was literally referring to something behind his throne at the Kesh Sith Temple. After reciting Korsin's lines and explaining to Jaye that Yaru's throne had been his seat from the Omen, Hilts theorized that Yaru had mentioned something in the Testament that could save the Tribe from itself. In the end, Hilts resolved to travel to the Kesh Sith Temple and go aboard the Omen. Jaye agreed to accompany his master and they returned first to his museum in the capitol building, where he had kept maps of the Omen's temple. However, the Sith rioters had looted the temple and burnt every parchment in the archives. Much of the Office of the Caretaker lay in ruins. Jaye himself was driven to tears when he discovered that the Sandpipes had been destroyed.
Journey to the Sith TempleEdit
- "Jaye, cut me down!"
"With what, Caretaker?"
- ―Varner and Jaye, while navigating through the barriers leading to the mountainside Sith Temple
After gathering some supplies from the ruined Kesh capitol building, Jaye Vuhld and Varner Hilts traveled to the Kesh Sith Temple, which was located at the northern tip of a long, mountainous peninsula which ran parallel to mainland Keshtah Minor. This mountain range was known as the Takara Mountains and was difficult to traverse on foot. This journey lasted about a week and was fraught with danger and violence due to the Great Crisis. Jaye and Hilts also had to be careful to avoid roving bands of Sith thugs on killing sprees. For safety, Hilts had brought Jaye with him to dispel fears among local Keshiri villages that he was on a murderous rampage. During the day, Hilts and Jaye took shelter in Keshiri shacks and only traveled at night.
During their travels, Hilts managed to obtain a Sith lightsaber from a deceased Sith warrior who had died outside Kesh. Since they lacked any uvak steeds, Jaye and Hilts had taken the long-way to the Kesh Sith temple which involved walking along the dry and barren southern coast. This region had little shelter and sustenance for travelers. The two companions had not eaten for several days. After seven days, the pair arrived at the base of The Blocks, a series of massive granite barriers which had been placed in a narrow pass by Nida Korsin to prevent anyone from accessing the Temple. Jaye and Hilts discovered several strong vines were growing among the stone's crevices; which they used to climb up the barrier. While climbing up the barrier, his master Hilts was trapped within a thorny web of vines which tightened around his limbs.
After some difficulty, Jaye managed to free his master with a sharp rock. After climbing the final barrier, they traveled up a path which led to the Temple. While walking up this path, Hilts noticed an uvak with a rider wielding a lightsaber above them. Hilts then fell into a posthole but was unhurt. Instead, he and Jaye used the posthole as a brief resting place. Jaye had a good guide in the form of Varner Hilts, who knew the contents of Yaru Korsin's Testament and the entire layout of the Kesh Sith Temple by heart. Thus, Hilts knew that the Omen was buried beneath part of the upper plaza. They then climbed down a set of stairs which led them to the middle terrace. There, they found a freshly-killed uvak, the same one which Hilts had seen earlier.
Sensing the presence of another visitor in the wardroom, Hilts activated his lightsaber and investigated that structure. He also warned Jaye to run away if Hilts encountered trouble. Hilts noted that a statue of Seelah Korsin, the Mother of the Tribe, was built outside of the Wardroom. There, he encountered Iliana Merko, who was in a despondent state. Iliana had taken part in the fighting which accompanied the Great Crisis. During the fighting, her own Sisters of Seelah had splintered and Iliana had fled to the Sith Temple to escape her pursuers particularly Korsin Bentado, the leader of the Korsinite League whom she had seriously wounded earlier. In the Temple's wardroom, Iliana had discovered the remains of her idol Seelah Korsin. Merko was despondent because she could not come to terms that her ancestor had died alone. She was distraught that her forebears had left Seelah to die alone and forgotten on the Sith Temple. Iliana expressed her anger at the unjust treatment meted out to Seelah.
She also revealed to Hilts that she had experienced a Force vision during her childhood of Seelah telling her to avenge her. The revelation of Seelah's lowly origins destroyed the Sisters' unity of purpose and splintered the group. Enraged at this revelation, she smashed Seelah's skull against the wall which shattered into pieces. When Jaye revealed his presence, Iliana was startled but Hilts assured her that the Keshiri was on his side. Iliana was initially irritated by Jaye's presence and criticized Hilts for "keeping pets" when the world was coming to an end. Hilts merely retorted that it was his job to have something to take care of. Iliana also revealed that the other Sith factions including Korsin Betando, the remnants of Force Fifty-seven, and the Golden Destiny were after her because she had inflicted various injuries on them during the "Great Crisis." The Caretaker Hilts then succeeded in convincing Iliana to follow them since they might need her help to find what they were looking for. Hilts also surmised that Iliana was at a dead end while he and Jaye actually had a plan. Iliana reluctantly complied and she accompanied them to the Omen which was situated directly beneath the Sith Temple's main plaza.
The Ship of DestinyEdit
- "It's a sacrilege to be here. I'm a Keshiri, not worthy—"
"Forget about that. We need more light."
- ―Jaye and Hilts in the chamber which contained the Omen, the "Ship of Destiny"
Jaye Vuhld, Varner Hilts and Iliana Merko managed to find an entrance passageway which led beneath the Sith Temple's plaza where they discovered the Omen. Jaye also brought several glowrods to provide the explorers with lighting. The Omen resembled a lanvarok, an ancient Sith weapon. The ship had been preserved and protected from the elements since it was sealed within a polished stone hall. While Jaye believed that he was unworthy to be here with the Sith due to his Keshiri ancestry, Hilts urged him to forget about that belief and to focus on shining more light. They eventually managed to enter the vessel where Hilts found several ebon panels with words in Sith characters including telemetry, hyperspace and astrogation. Little knowledge about interstellar travel had survived the passage of time and the destruction which accompanied the Time of the Rot.
While none of the ship's machinery worked, Jaye and Hilts found that the ship's chrono still worked. The chrono was the model for the Tribe's Sandpipes which had been used for millennia to record time. This discovery validated Jaye's earlier theory that the Sandpipes at Tahv were eight days behind the Galactic Standard Calendar. However, they were unable to find the command chair, which was usually at the center of the command bridge, since it had been moved by Yaru Korsin to the Temple's colonnade for use on the days when he received visitors. When Iliana dismissed Korsin as a fool for abandoning work on the Omen, Hilts responded that Korsin had wanted the Tribe to commit to living on Kesh. He cited the fact that they had built the Sith Temple around the Omen.
Shortly later, the three explorers heard the voices of eight newcomers including Korsin Bentado and Edell Vrai, a young member of the Golden Destiny. While Vrai had been fascinated by the Omen, he had become disgusted that the "Ship of Destiny" was actually a "carrier of chattle" that had caused the cause for their ancestors' "imprisonment" on Kesh. Likewise, Bentado wanted the Tribe to meet its end with hatred against fate. Despite the odds stack agains them, Hilts vowed to find a way to discover what Korsin had left behind before it was too late. Hilts, Jaye and Iliana eventually made their way to the Temple's cupola where they observed thirty Sith warriors from various factions engaged in a massive engineering project. The participants included several members of Iliana's former Sisterhood and Neera, the former leader of Force 57. They had planned to use several uvaks to pull the stone tower onto the chamber that held the Omen. Despite their fierce divisions, a desire to eradicate their "shameful" past had brought the Sith together.
- "I've worked the latch, Caretaker."
"Small fingers. Helps to have someone following you."
- ―Hilts praising Jaye's nimble hands and skills
While Varner Hilts and Iliana Merko were watching the ongoing developments, Jaye Vuhld had discovered a latch which led to the Sith Temple's rotunda. There, the three explorers found Yaru Korsin's vaunted command chair and a brazier. Since they were unable to see inside the planetarium, Iliana ripped Jaye's tunic from his back and used it to start a small fire with the brazier in order to create a source of light. While Jaye was worried that their fire would attract the attention of the other Sith, Iliana was determined to discover Korsin's secret. The three explorers quickly realized that they were inside a planetarium which depicted the stars above Kesh. However, they could find nothing behind the throne and the star map above contained no clues to Korsin's secrets. Iliana argued that the star map above was useless since it only showed the sky at one time of the year. Hilts then reasoned that Korsin's secret was hidden inside the chair.
Hilts then borrowed Iliana's shikkar knife and used it to cut a hole through the upholstery behind the seat. Hilts discovered a glass vial was sewn to the upholstery which contained a single rolled-up sheet of transparent film. Hilts brought it to the fire and discovered that it contained the old cant of the Tapani, the language of the Humans under Sith rule. This film contained a message from Yaru Korsin's mother Takara Korsin to her son prior to his fateful delivery run to Phaegon III during the Great Hyperspace War. Takara had a vision that their descendants would be ruling a great people one day free of the Red Sith. She also told his son that he had enough wisdom and purpose to guide their people.
Jaye and Hilts quickly realized that this message was what motivated Yaru Korsin to find the strength to go on in Kesh. While Iliana dismissed the document as "cheerleading claptrap" from a doting mother to her son, Hilts defended Takara Korsin as a wise woman who foresaw that the Tapani ancestors of the Lost Tribe were not always destined to be slaves and had a future. Hilts believed that he could use Takara Korsin's document to reason with the other Sith and dissuade them from destroying the Omen. Iliana disagreed and argued that the other Sith were not willing to reason. Instead, she offered to rally the other Sith to her own cause. Hilts then realized that Korsin's holocron message had mentioned that the "true power" was literally behind the throne.
Iliana dismissed Yaru Korsin as a dying fool and refused to see Hilts' point. Hilts defended the Tribe's founder by pointing out that he was smart enough to conquer a whole native people and to train his daughter Nida Korsin for war under everyone's nose. Hilts then explained that this message was important to Korsin but that it was not what he meant. He concluded that the star map was merely decorative and that Korsin's real focus was on building an empire on Kesh. Iliana recalled that Yaru Korsin had made his final testament after he had been mortally wounded on the Temple's and had made his way back to the chair to record the Testament. However, Hilts disagreed and pointed out that the room was too inaccessible for a seriously wounded man to have made the recording. Jaye then reasoned that Korsin had made his recording in the chamber beneath the Omen.
While Hilts was skeptical of this hypothesis, Jaye pointed out that the Omen had landed on a slope and that its surroundings were completely leveled up with stonework. The three explorers had entered the Sith Temple through an open passage at the twenty-third step on the staircase from the middle terrace. However, he recalled that they had passed a sealed door at the seventh step and theorized that there was another chamber at the base of the Omen's support structure. Iliana was shocked that Jaye had counted all the stairs while his friend Hilts praised his mathematical skills. In the end, Hilts and Iliana decided to test Jaye's theory especially since the other Sith were closing on them.
An Untimely DeathEdit
- "I'm sorry, Caretaker. I tried...to find...some more glow rods..."
- ―Jaye's last moments
Jaye Vuhld, Varner Hilts and Iliana Merko made their way down to the sealed chamber at the seventh step. After reaching it, Hilts sent Jaye to search for glowrods while he and Iliana made their way into the chamber. Iliana and Hilts discovered that this chamber was a map room which contained a stone-carved map which depicted the continent of Keshtah Minor. This room also contained six stone panels that were the same size of the map of Keshtah Minor. Both Iliana and Hilts agreed that Yaru Korsin must have died in this room following the attempted coup against him. Hilts speculated that Korsin's chair had been left upstairs in the planetarium by Nida as a ruse to mislead people into thinking that Yaru had spent all his time contemplating the cosmos and their return. Iliana commented that Nida should have left some windows in the room where they kept the ship.
While attempting to get glowrods for his Sith masters, Jaye was spotted by the other Sith who pursued him. During this chase, Jaye was attacked by Bentado Korsin, who inflicted several wounds to his chest which later resulted in his death. Jaye managed to reach the map room and was hurled inside the room by a Force push unleashed by Bentado. Prior to his death, Jaye managed to apologize to the Caretaker for failing in his duty to find more glowrods. Shortly later, Jaye's murderer Korsin Bentado entered the room wielding his lightsaber. He was followed by several other Sith including Neera, Edell and several Golden Destiny companions. Several of these Sith were eager to seek revenge against Iliana for wounding them during the Great Crisis which accompanied the recent Testament Day. Iliana was prepared to fight them to the death. However, Hilts interrupted them and demanded to know who murdered his Keshiri assistant Jaye. The Caretaker was personally grieved and angered by the murder of his best friend and a reliable employee.
Jaye's murderer Bentado showed no remorse and attempted to justify his actions by denigrating the late Jaye as a mere Keshiri whose presence "profaned" the Temple. Hilts angrily retorted that the Keshiri had helped build the Sith Temple and condemned Bentado and his followers for trying to destroy the Temple and the Omen. Neera responded that "all life was profane." Vrai, the more moderate of the Sith, attempted to reason with Hilts by telling him that everything they knew about the Tribe was a lie and that there was no sense in clinging to ancient sites like the Sith Temple since it contributed to infighting among the Tribe. Hilts argued that the Tribe was not doomed but Edell and the other Sith refused to listen to him. In desperation, Hilts used the Force to yank the metal spikes covering the six stone panels. It turned out that these six stone panels covered a large map of another continent lying to the far side of Keshtah Minor.
After reading Takara Korsin's letter to Yaru Korsin and vowing to restore the Tribe, Varner Hilts was able to convince the other Sith to put aside their differences and to work together to reach and conquer "Keshtah Major". This work and the other Sith pledged their support for Hilt's vision. Edell Vrai praised Hilts for his knowledge of the Tapani tongue and the "old ways." Likewise, Korsin Bentado and Neera followed suit. Bentado congratulated Hilts for restoring their faith in Korsin while Neera lauded the old man for finding a path for everyone where none had previously existed. She placed all her trust in him. The assembled Sith then elected Hilts as their new Grand Lord, marking the beginning of a new era in the Tribe's history. Hilts also took Iliana as his wife and they were married a few days later.
- "Which one of you did this?"
"What difference does it make? He was a Keshiri. His presence profanes this place."
"What? The Keshiri helped to build this place. And profane? You're the ones trying to destroy the Temple, and Omen in it!"
- ―Varner Hilts confronts Korsin Bentado over the murder of Jaye Vuhld
Despite his untimely death, Jaye Vuhld's actions helped end the Time of the Rot and usher in the Hilts Restoration. Vuhld's mathematical calculations around the occurrence of Testament Day help the Tribe rediscover their "true history". His fastidious habit of counting the Sith Temple's steps helped Varner Hilts and Iliana Merko discover Yaru Korsin's secret map room which concealed the existence of another continent known as "Keshtah Major". The "discovery" of "Keshtah Major" provided a new cause for the Lost Tribe to rally around and end the infighting that had devastated their homeland of Keshtah Minor for centuries. As Grand Lord, Hilts remembered his late Keshiri friend Jaye. To honor Jaye's memory, Hilts pushed for Force-sensitive Keshiri to be allowed to join the Tribe as Sith Tyros and Sith Sabers. Prior to that, the Keshiri had been forbidden from joining the Tribe and riding uvaks. Over the successive years, Hilt's reforms thus provided the Keshiri with a limited means of social mobility in Sith society.
Within twenty-five years, Hilts's efforts to improve the social standing of the Keshiri on Keshtah Minor had paid off. Hilts succeeded in cultivating a considerable following of Keshiri who were fervently loyal to the Tribe. These "loyalist" Keshiri participated in the invasion of Keshtah Major as translators and aides to their Sith commanders. The scholar Tellpah served Hilts' friend and ally, High Lord Edell Vrai, who led a Sith mission to Keshtah Major which successfully made contact with the Keshiri on that continent, who called themselves the Alanciari and their homeland Alanciar. Similarly, the Keshiri Squab served as Hilts' "secret agent" while officially serving as High Lord Korsin Bentado's aide. He foiled a plot by Bentado to kill Hilts and create his own "Second Tribe" on Alanciar. Other "loyalist" Keshiri were used as part of Hilt's "grand deception operation" to trick the Alanciari soldier Jogan Halder into believing that the Sith were the benign Protectors. These Keshiri thus contributed to the peaceful "unification" of Keshtah Minor and Alanciar.
While Varner Hilts was working on the script of his new Testament, he missed Jaye and felt sorry that the Keshiri did not live to see this day. Jaye had enjoyed Hilts' stories while he was alive. Hilts' Testament came to replace Yaru Korsin's Testament as the de-facto history, legal code and constitution of the Lost Tribe of Sith. Unlike his predecessor, Hilts' Testament addressed the Tribe's origins as slaves to the Red Sith of the Sith Empire but stated that the Human Sith had then conquered the Keshiri and purged the Red Sith from their numbers. Hilts also explored the Tapani origins of the Sith Tribe, who were descended from House Nidantha, a minor Tapani house which had become trapped and enslaved by the Sith in the Stygian Caldera. Thus, Jaye through his actions contributed to the survival of the Lost Tribe for another two millennia.
Personality and abilitiesEdit
- "Don't you see, Caretaker? It's been one thousand nine hundred seventy-five years since Grand Lord Korsin transcended this existence and Nida succeeded him—and that's seventy-nine times twenty-five! This is the first time Testament Day and Nida's Rise have ever fallen in the same year! The first time, ever."
"Ever! So what you're telling me—is that we'll save on wine this time! We don't need any more omens, Jaye..."
- ―Jaye and Varner discussing the former's mathematical talents
Jaye Vuhld was a small-built and timid Keshiri man. He was a skilled and talented mathematician who operated the Tribe's Sandpipe machine in Tahv and discovered that Kesh was eight days behind Galactic Standard time. Vulhd also used his mathematical talents and good memory to help his Sith companions Varner Hilts and Iliana Merko locate Yaru Korsin's map room which held the "secret" of Keshtah Major. However, he was poor at combat and this saved him from being conscripted by the various Sith factions during the Time of the Rot. His timid character was reflected by his hesitance to reveal his mathematical findings concerning Testament Day to the assembled Sith leaders prior to Pantheon's Peace.
While it is unclear whether Jaye was Force-sensitive, Hilts still respected Jaye well enough and wished that he could join the Tribe as either a Sith Tyro or Sith Saber. However, this was not possible during Jaye's lifetime since membership of the Tribe was restricted to Humans exclusively until the Hilts Restoration. The Tribe was also known to admit Human members who were not Force-sensitive to its lower hierarchy. As with many of the Keshiri living on Keshtah Minor, Jaye revered the Lost Tribe of Sith as the Protectors, ancient gods in Keshiri religion. He regarded the Sith as deities who were superior in strength and Force abilities than the Keshiri. Due to these entrenched beliefs, Jaye initially believed that he was not worthy to set foot in the Keshiri Sith Temple even though his ancestors had built it in the first place.
Behind the scenesEdit
Jaye Vuhld was first conceptualized as a supporting non-point-of-view character by John Jackson Miller for his Lost Tribe of the Sith e-novella series, which ran from May 28, 2009 to July 24, 2012. He appeared in the short stories Pantheon and Secrets, which were released on July 18, 2011 and March 5, 2012 respectively. He was briefly mentioned in Pandemonium, the last short story in the series which was released as part of Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories, a paperback collection of the entire series which was released on July 24, 2012.
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pantheon (First appearance)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Secrets (First identified as Vuhld)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pandemonium (Mentioned only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pantheon
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 Lost Tribe of the Sith: Secrets
- ↑ Lost Tribe of the Sith: Savior
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pandemonium
- ↑ Lost Tribe of the Sith/Email from John Jackson Miller