- "There's a saying on my home planet, Ostrogoth. Only a fool turns his back on an unpaid debt. You think about that.[…]Or else the rest of the academy will soon see a side of you that I don't think you want them to see—a very unflattering side."
Jura Ostrogoth was a Human male who served the Sith Order as an acolyte during the period of strife that followed the Great Galactic War. Ostrogoth hailed from the Inner Rim planet of Chazwa, but spent much of his teenage life on the frozen Sith academy planet Odacer-Faustin, studying to become a warrior and leader of the Sith Empire. Sith training was brutal and unforgiving, especially within the Odacer-Faustin Sith academy, overseen by the reclusive Sith Lord Darth Scabrous. During the early days of his instruction, Ostrogoth was assaulted and humiliated by the Sith apprentice Mannock T'sank, but was saved by Zabrak acolyte Scopique. Scopique's act of compassion was, in truth, merely a ploy to gain leverage over Ostrogoth, which he later used to manipulate the Human into infiltrating Darth Scabrous's tower. Rumors fostered by the students on Odacer-Faustin held that Darth Scabrous had been abducting Sith teenagers and either subjecting them to heinous experiments or grooming them to be his eventual successor. Scopique wished to know the truth, and so forced Ostrogoth to enter the tower from which Lord Scabrous oversaw the academy and report back.
Ostrogoth found that Scabrous had indeed been performing experiments within his keep—the Sith Lord was attempting to create an elixir that would extend his life indefinitely. The young Sith discovered that Scabrous's attempts were unsuccessful, and he instead created nothing more than a virus that destroyed living flesh and turned the dead into cannibalistic monstrosities. Ostrogoth was killed when Scabrous was forced to throw the first of his creations—the recently deceased Wim Nickter—out of the window of his tower. Ostrogoth was in the trajectory of the reanimated Nickter's body, and flew out the window beside it. The young man died after falling over one hundred meters to the ground below. Nickter's body, which was still functioning under the influence of the virus despite the massive fall, immediately began to feast on what remained of Jura Ostrogoth. In defiance of its death and subsequent mutilation, Ostrogoth's body was reanimated as a flesh-eating monster under the will of Scabrous's disease. The Ostrogoth creature immediately traveled to the academy dormitory, where it ambushed and infected Scopique. The Zabrak was able to decapitate Ostrogoth before he was similarly transformed into an undead beast.
Student under fire
- "You look good lying there on the floor, newbie. You know what you'd look even better doing? Licking my boots. Go ahead, newbie. Give them a good tongue-polish."
- ―Mannock T'sank to Jura Ostrogoth
Jura Ostrogoth was a Human male who hailed from the planet Chazwa, a chilly world in the Orus sector of the Inner Rim. Ostrogoth was born during the latter years of the Great Galactic War between the Sith Empire and Galactic Republic. The conflict ended in 3653 BBY, and saw the Empire victorious over the Republic and its Jedi Order and a fragile peace established between the two belligerent governments. While the Republic attempted to recover from its losses, the Empire set out to capitalize on the situation and expand its already sizable forces. To that end, the Sith continued to draft Force-sensitive youth into academies where they would learn to use the dark side of the Force and become warriors and leaders of the Empire. Ostrogoth was found to be sensitive to the Force, and so was sent to a Sith academy on the frozen world of Odacer-Faustin.
The ancient training grounds on Odacer-Faustin was overseen by Darth Scabrous, a reclusive Sith Lord who exerted his will from within the confines of his tower—a massive structure that served as the focal point of the academy. Scabrous encouraged the students to struggle with one another to become the strongest, which created a violent and fearful atmosphere for the less-skilled Sith Acolytes attending the institution. Jura Ostrogoth experienced this firsthand when he arrived on Odacer-Faustin in 3649 BBY. The young man understood the danger he faced as a new student, and so committed to a low-profile approach while he attempted to acclimate to the academy's culture. The approach ultimately did him little good, and on the third morning of his tenure at Odacer-Faustin, a much larger and older Sith apprentice named Mannock T'sank struck Ostrogoth between the shoulder blades while the younger student was making his bunk. Ostrogoth fell to the floor and had the wind knocked out of him as a result of the blow, placing him directly at the feet of T'sank. The older apprentice demanded that his victim lick his tauntaun dung-covered boots, but Ostrogoth refused. The new arrival's defiance enraged T'Sank, who drove his fist into Ostrogoth's face at full force. The young acolyte blacked out for a time, returning to consciousness only to find himself completely naked and tied to a dormitory bunk. T'Sank had shoved a dirty rag far into Ostrogoth's throat, preventing him from speaking or screaming, and very nearly causing him to choke to death. Mannock T'Sank laughed as Ostrogoth began to cry in fear, but was soon rendered unconscious himself when the Zabrak acolyte Scopique sneaked up behind him and delivered a blow to the back of the head. Ostrogoth believed Scopique was there to save him, but the Zabrak chose not to untie him immediately—he instead used his holocam to capture video of the beaten and humiliated Ostrogoth. When he was satisfied with the footage he had recorded, Scopique removed the rag from his classmate's mouth and went about releasing him. Only when the Zabrak tucked away the video of Ostrogoth did the Human realize that the apparent act of compassion was little more than a ploy to gain leverage over him.
Scopique held the footage over Ostrogoth's head for the remainder of their time at the academy, as a reminder of the fact that the Zabrak could always expose an "unflattering side" of Ostrogoth if the Human were to ever cross him. Regardless of the difficult days he had when first arriving at the academy, Ostrogoth persevered and remained on Odacer-Faustin for a further four years. The young man trained in the art of lightsaber combat under Sith Blademaster Shak'Weth, eventually becoming one of the most skilled duelists in his group. By 3645 BBY, Ostrogoth had become accustomed to most aspects of life as a Sith student, and was relatively unfazed by the violence and ruthlessness that occurred around him on a daily basis. Around that time, rumors began to circulate throughout the student body regarding Lord Scabrous and his activities within his tower. The Sith Lord had a habit of testing his pupils in order to cull the weak from the ranks, and in one instance he even released unakki eye spiders into the academy, which ultimately resulted in the deaths of two students. However, during Ostrogoth's fourth year of instruction, three students disappeared from the academy. Ostrogoth's classmate Mnah Ra'at formulated a number of different theories, most of them revolving around Scabrous abducting the acolytes so as to personally train a successor or to use them for alchemical experimentation.
During one of his group's morning lightsaber training sessions, Ostrogoth bore witness to a practice duel between Wim Nickter—a relatively unskilled student—and Rance Lussk, who was arguably the most talented acolyte within the academy. Lussk had challenged Nickter to the contest, which surprised his classmates, as it would do little to increase the former's already considerable prestige. The outcome was as expected, and Lussk handily defeated Nickter; news of the event spread through the academy quickly, and by noon it was the crux of the school's gossip and rumor mill. Ostrogoth discussed it briefly with his classmate Kindra while the two headed from the library to the dining hall, but found the topic to be less than interesting—he assumed that after losing, Nickter simply fled to the infirmary or back to his dormitory so he could recover out of the sight of his fellow students. It was not until he reached the dining hall and sat down to eat lunch that he discovered Nickter had since disappeared. Scopique and his companion Hartwig confronted Ostrogoth and informed him that after the duel, Wim Nickter went to the infirmary but soon vanished, much like the three other students who had gone missing throughout the year.
Ostrogoth was still unconcerned, but Scopique refused to follow his comrade's indifference. The Zabrak had been listening to Mnah Ra'at's theories and believed that some of them may have held some truth, and was determined to discover what was really happening within Lord Scabrous's tower. When he attempted to force Ostrogoth to aid him, the Human became enraged and jumped from his table. Ostrogoth clasped his hand around Scopique's throat and squeezed with just enough pressure that cartilage began to rupture within the Zabrak's neck. As Ostrogoth held Scopique, the latter quietly insinuated that if the Human chose not to assist him, the entirety of the student body would see the video he had recorded of his humiliation years prior. Ostrogoth understood the threat and released Scopique before storming out of the dining commons to wander the Odacer-Faustin campus. Still incensed by his classmate's ultimatum, Ostrogoth ducked into a small alcove and reflected on the beating he had taken from Mannock T'Sank years prior and the position in which it now put him. The memory only enraged him further, driving the boy to concentrate his anger in the Force before shooting bolts of Force lightning into the rock wall before him. He resolved to uncover the information Scopique desired, but only if he could find a way to make it the Zabrak's undoing.
- "Two bodies fell out of Scabrous's tower. They hit the ground. I saw them hit, I heard the noise they made—they were dead. But then they got up."
- ―Mnah Ra'at
Over the next several days, the academy experienced an unusual number of visitors. Jura Ostrogoth overheard the academy's hangar technician Pergus Frode speak of two bounty hunters who had arrived and entered Scabrous's tower, but never returned to claim their ship. The following morning, after his group's lightsaber training session, Kindra informed Ostrogoth that a Whiphid and a young girl had also entered the tower, but had not yet emerged from within. Seeing his opportunity, Ostrogoth hid behind a ruin facing the tower's entrance and waited for someone to emerge. Before long, the Whiphid exited alone, and while the door to the building was still open, Ostrogoth slipped in. He rode the tower's turbolift to the highest room, which opened up into a large, darkened laboratory. While hiding in the shadows of the lab, Ostrogoth witnessed Darth Scabrous standing beside the young girl, the two of them watching as a caged Human thrashed within the confines of a cage on the laboratory floor. Ostrogoth quickly realized that the caged Human was, in fact, Wim Nickter. Half-naked, Nickter was covered in blood and sweat and had apparently been surgically inserted with six tubes that penetrated directly into his vertebrae. The tubes ran to a machine operated by Scabrous that pumped an alchemically-created elixir into the boy's body.
Scabrous's actions were torturing Nickter, and by the time Ostrogoth discovered the scene, the imprisoned acolyte was attempting to either render himself unconscious or commit suicide by slamming his head against the cage. The boy died shortly after Ostrogoth arrived, but his body was quickly reanimated by the fluid Scabrous had created—a virus that fed on living flesh and reanimated the bodies of the dead. The Sith Lord had created it with the intent to achieve immortality for himself, but it instead only yielded an undead Sith teenager. Ostrogoth watched in awe as Nickter's body burst from his cage and attacked Scabrous, ripping away a chunk of the Sith Lord's face before being thrown into a shelf of beakers. While Ostrogoth was distracted by the young girl fleeing the lab and escaping into the turbolift, the Nickter creature rose once more to attack its creator. Darth Scabrous used the Force to hurl the monster away from him—directly toward Ostrogoth. The acolyte realized it too late and was impacted by the flailing corpse. The two fell backward into a viewport that served as one of the laboratory's walls and broke through the transparisteel, falling over one hundred meters to the snowy ground below. The impact killed Jura Ostrogoth and badly mangled his body, broke his neck, and crushed his skull.
Life after death
- "Whatever you are, say good-bye to your head."
- ―Scopique, to Jura Ostrogoth's reanimated corpse
Immediately after the bodies came to rest on the snowy ground beneath the tower, Nickter's corpse rose again, this time to feed on what remained of Ostrogoth. Ostrogoth's broken bones had punctured his own skin and the remnants of his face were little more than pulp, but the Nickter creature nevertheless began to devour what it could. The acolyte's body was tossed aside when the monstrosity found a new target in Mnah Ra'at, but was soon itself given a new life when the virus controlling Nickter's body took hold in Ostrogoth's. The newly-born Ostrogoth zombie awoke and dragged itself to the academy dormitories before locating and lying down in Scopique's bunk. The Zabrak discovered the corpse and initially believed it to be some kind of sick prank, but the Ostrogoth creature quickly leaped up and attacked the acolyte. Scopique avoided the first attack, leaping up into the ventilation fixtures to avoid the zombie's attempts. While hanging from the vents, Ostrogoth's old rival armed himself with a fixture and used it as a weapon to decapitate the attacking corpse. Despite this, Ostrogoth's body continued to function, eventually grabbing its own head from the dormitory floor and lobbing it at Scopique. Ostrogoth's dismembered head bit down on the Zabrak's arm upon contact, ripping through flesh and muscle to bite all the way to the bone.
Scopique tried in vain to pry Ostrogoth's head from his arm, ripping hair from the cranium and slamming it against the floor. The Zabrak eventually succumbed to the virus as well, first dying and then being reanimated. Within the thirty minutes following Scopique's death, a group of students returned to the dormitories to find Jura Ostrogoth's severed head and destroyed body before being killed by Scopique.
Personality and traits
- "Everyone knows you have the survival instincts of a hungry dianoga."
- ―Scopique to Ostrogoth
Jura Ostrogoth was raised on Chazwa, which allowed him to cope with the cold temperatures of Odacer-Faustin better than other acolytes. Although he faced a number of challenges while enrolled, Ostrogoth became accustomed to many aspects of life at the academy, but admitted to himself that one thing he could never get used to was the ashy smoke that billowed from Darth Scabrous's tower. The culture within the Odacer-Faustin Sith academy drove Jura Ostrogoth to be coldly ambitious, but the young man did not begin his tenure at the institution with that mindset. Ostrogoth simply wished to go unnoticed upon first arriving at the school, not wanting to attract attention from either his fellow students nor their instructors. His plan quickly backfired, and Ostrogoth was left beaten and embarrassed at the hands of Mannock T'sank and Scopique. After four years at the academy, Ostrogoth developed into a typical Sith student: averse to forming relationships, easy to anger, and preoccupied with the thought of losing or gaining face with his peers. Like the other students, Ostrogoth chose not to develop friendships, and ate alone during meal times. He tried not to partake in gossip or the rumor mill, and was skeptical of Mnah Ra'at's theories. Despite his cold outward demeanor, Ostrogoth allowed for a limited relationship to grow between him and a female student, Kindra. He took the lessons of his Masters to heart, and tried to save his darker emotions for times when they could be used for his benefit. Although his peers believed Ostrogoth had the "survival instincts of a hungry dianoga", the young man identified himself as a weak, broken, and incomplete individual.
The embarrassment he had suffered years earlier continued to haunt him, both in his memories and Scopique's threats. Ostrogoth despised the Zabrak for the attempted blackmail and very nearly strangled the acolyte to death when Scopique attempted to use the footage of his beating to force the Human to infiltrate Darth Scabrous's tower. Despite his anger with Scopique's request, Ostrogoth knew he had to acquiesce, lest the Zabrak reveal the video of him naked and crying to the entire academy. As was expected of a Sith student, Ostrogoth decided to use the knowledge of Scabrous's activities to Scopique's detriment. He was unsure whether or not he would try to kill his classmate, but the decision was never made—Ostrogoth was killed before he could return to Scopique with the information.
Powers and abilities
Jura Ostrogoth was considered to be one of the most proficient duelists within his class, in a league that included Rance Lussk, Nace, Scopique, and Mnah Ra'at. Ostrogoth was also able to cast Force lightning, which was an ability usually restricted to Sith Masters. Following his death, the virus created by Scabrous allowed for Ostrogoth's body to live on, despite high-speed impact trauma, brain damage, profuse bleeding, and decapitation. When its head was separated from its body, the Ostrogoth zombie was still able to function, and even threw its own cranium at Scopique with considerable accuracy.
Behind the scenes
Jura Ostrogoth first appeared in Red Harvest, a 2010 Star Wars horror novel by Joe Schreiber. Red Harvest served as a prelude to Death Troopers, Schreiber's first Star Wars novel that was published one year prior. This has been Jura Ostrogoth's only appearance in canon to date.
- Red Harvest (First appearance)
Notes and references
- Red Harvest
- Although Red Harvest makes no specific references to the Sith Empire of the post–Great Hyperspace War era, this government is the only Sith organization in operation during 3645 BBY, the year in which Red Harvest takes place. References throughout the book show that Darth Scabrous's academy is part of this larger group.
- The Essential Atlas
- Jura Ostrogoth is stated to be a teenager during the events of Red Harvest, which takes place eight years after the end of the Great Galactic War, as seen in Timeline 1: Treaty of Coruscant, The Old Republic: Deceived, and Star Wars: The Old Republic, Threat of Peace.
- Timeline 1: Treaty of Coruscant
- The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance