Lanius Qel-Bertuk was a renowned male Human Jedi Master who was Headmaster of the Jedi academy on Almas. Lanius Qel-Bertuk was considered by some to be one of the wisest Jedi in the Order and somewhat of a maverick by the Jedi High Council.
Discovered to be Force-sensitive by Acquisition Division recruiter Jonas Fel'Kona, Lanius Qel-Bertuk was taken to the Coruscant Jedi Temple when he was old enough to dream of his future achievements, although he might have already began his training at that point somewhere else. It was there that he discovered the legends of the Jedi he knew were quite different from reality.
Qel-Bertuk was trained in the Force as a Padawan by the Twi'lek Jedi Master Nerra Ziveri. Ziveri brought Qel-Bertuk with him when he became headmaster of the Almas Academy, and began training Qel-Bertuk to replace himself as headmaster for the future. Achieving the rank of Jedi Knight after passing his Trials of Knighthood,[source?] Jedi Qel-Bertuk found he had a talent for teaching, and was one of the most popular instructors there. Honing his precognitive talents at this point, Jedi Qel-Bertuk was selected to become the Jedi Watchman of the Cularin system.
In 56 BBY, Ziveri suddenly made Qel-Bertuk a Master, as well as the headmaster of the academy, before disappearing on a mysterious mission. Qel-Bertuk continued Ziveri's policies, even the experimental ones that some frowned upon, such as the Jedi quests. He also increased the students' lessons in areas not directly related to the Force, believing that "A Jedi should know as much as possible about everything," reflecting his studies as a Sentinel.
Master Qel-Bertuk had a great talent for discerning the future, something Grand Master Yoda commented upon when visiting Almas. He sensed the disturbances associated with the return of the Sith and the growing strength of the dark side before others. He began to spend more time in meditation trying to discern the source of the disturbance clearly, which was a detriment to his teaching duties.
Around 42 BBY, Tarasin Jedi Constanten finished her training at the Almas Academy and was faced with a choice: remaining on Almas or being transferred to Coruscant. Qel-Bertuk explained to her that there was no wrong answer, but she would face a greater challenge on Almas, because a Jedi must be free of any attachment, and this was hard to do when living in your native system. Constanten decided to leave, but she returned to the Almas Academy two decades later, as a Jedi free of attachments.
Later, Qel-Bertuk contacted Coruscant-trained Jedi Valiri, who had recently finished his own training. Qel-Bertuk offered Valiri a job at the Almas Academy as an instructor and protector of the Academy. Valiri, who knew Qel-Bertuk only because of his reputation, meditated on it and eventually agreed.
In 31 BBY, Master Qel-Bertuk felt a disturbance in the Force coming from the nearby planet Cularin, which he correctly assumed was related to recent disappearances of people from the cities of Gadrin and Hedrett. Assuming that he and his Jedi were too famous on Cularin to be effective as investigators, he sent E1-6RA to search for some independent agents who would perform the research, in exchange of having Qel-Bertuk as a contact. The results of this outsourcing are unknown.
The missing people had really joined the Cularin resistance to find proofs of the illegal acts of the Metatheran Cartel in the planet and expel them from the planet, something they eventually achieved. The Cartel blamed his envoy Velin Wir for the crimes and sent a new envoy, Thurm Loogg, to ask for permission to remain in the planet. Governor Barnab Chistor of Gadrin left the matter up to a vote. Some Padawans attending the celebration abstained, although many people had thought that the Jedi Order were going to vote as a block. Master Qel-Bertuk did not assist, although he sent E1-6RA as a representative.
When the Clone Wars erupted between the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Master Qel-Bertuk exercised his Right of Denial and turned in his lightsaber rather than become a General in the Grand Army of the Republic.
In 20 BBY, the Almas Academy controlled the Almas Sith fortress, built centuries before by Darth Rivan on the other hemisphere of the planet. Qel-Bertuk sent a group of Jedi there, both as researchers and to protect the fortress from a possible attack of a dark-side sect, the Believers. As the fortress was laid with mechanical traps and the power of the dark side, many parts of it had not been studied by the Jedi yet. Qel-Bertuk organized the shifts so that there would always be twenty Jedi at the fortress at any given time.
The fortress was attacked, although by an unknown group. During a sandstorm that disturbed communications and recordings, the invaders took care of six Jedi guards in one entrance; three of them would be found dead, and the other three were missing. Qel-Bertuk organized different elite search groups to explore the insides of the fortress. As he was afraid of the attack being a bait to attract the most powerful Jedi of the Academy, and due to the enemies being able to defeat some of the most powerful Jedi warriors he had, he wanted to recruit some non-Jedi, and sent Jedi apprentice Janiah with messages to some of them.
Qel-Bertuk met with at least three search teams, one of which probably included Jedi Mistress Devan For'deschel and six high-ranking Jedi, and divided the fortress in parts for them to search. The search was fruitful: At least two of the missing Jedi (Constanten and Valiri) were found, alive but without their Force essences. Five other people, including Dark Jedi Karae Nalvas, were found in a similar state. The "empty" bodies were carried to the Almas Academy.
There, Jedi librarian Oden Malksch accidentally possessed Nalvas's body and accessed to a part of his memories, providing Qel-Bertuk with important information such as the involvement of Chevin slaver Phylus Mon. Qel-Bertuk assumed that Phylus Mon could also be responsible for the disappearance of several Force-sensitive Tarasin children. Qel-Bertuk organized a new team to attack Phylus Mon's secret headquarters, as pinpointed by Malksch, and to recover the lost Force essences.
After the success of this mission, Qel-Bertuk greeted the heroes and organized a little celebration at his own office, where they would know the gratitude of many knights of the Academy, Governor Barnab Chistor, Senior Counselor Westa Impeveri, Nadin Paal, and Senator Wren's assistant Sa'arli.
Qel-Bertuk died circa 19 BBY, while defending the ch'hala heart tree from the Wyrd. He returned as a Force ghost and tried to comfort the Padawan Meera Lisso following the destruction of the Almas Academy.
Personality and traits
Master Lanius Qel-Bertuk always remained the picture of composure, the serious-but-kind educator who took the lives of his pupils, and the rest of the galaxy, very seriously. He had a phenomenal memory, always recalling the names of the Jedi he had met. He had a disconcerting habit of not looking at the face of the person he was speaking to, instead wandering around and muttering to himself because of his ability to perceive movements in the Force. Qel-Bertuk possessed ice-blue eyes, raven-black hair and a graying beard in a friendly, commonly smiling face. He had a burn scar on his left cheek and was missing the third finger on his left hand.
Notes and references
- A Plague of Darkness
- Living Force Campaign Guide
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- A Mon Alone
- The Resistance Within
- A Revelation
- An Uneasy Peace
- The Living Force Campaign Guide states that the Living Force campaign is set one year after the Invasion of Naboo, an event that is dated to 32 BBY by The New Essential Chronology. As the Living Force adventure Philology moved the campaign forward ten years to the time of the Clone Wars, and the adventure Night's Homecoming established that by Year 4 of the campaign over a year had elapsed since the events of Philology, A Mon Alone can therefore be dated to circa 20 BBY.