- "And your job is to keep Uhrar organized?"
"Sorry, it's my first affair!"
- ―Jogan Halder and Quarra Thayn during Alanciar's first contact with the Sith
Quarra Thayn was a Force-sensitive Keshiri female from Uhrar on the continent of Alanciar on the planet Kesh. She was a wardmaster in the Alanciari military and the Chief military administrator of the city of Uhrar. She was married to Brue Thayn, and they produced three children including one daughter. As with all Keshiri living in Alanciar, Quarra was raised on the teachings of Adari Vaal, who had managed to escape from the continent of Keshtah Minor, which was ruled by the Lost Tribe of Sith. Thus, Quarra and her compatriots were indoctrinated from youth to defend their homeland from any invasion by the Tribe. She read Adari's popular history book the Keshtah Chronicles and attended the Observance Day plays, which depicted the Sith Tribe in a negative light.
In 2975 BBY, Quarra began an affair with Jogan Halder, a sentinel posted at Point Defiance, the southernmost of Alanciar's western watchtowers. During her visit to Point Defiance, the Lost Tribe sent a reconnaissance mission to scout Alanciar. The Alanciari defenders downed the enemy airships with their ballistae. In an attempt to hide her affair, Quarra attempted to return to Uhrar during the fighting. However, they were captured by the High Lord Edell Vrai, the leader of the Sith reconnaissance mission, and his marooned scouting party. In exchange for sparing the life of the wounded Jogan, Quarra agreed to guide Edell on a reconnaissance mission to Alanciar's military capital of Sus'mintri, which was located near the center of the continent. While Quarra appeared to collaborate with the invaders, she secretly intended to scare the Sith "back to where they came from."
Despite their political and philosophical differences, Quarra developed a reluctant friendship with Edell. During her travels, Quarra also experienced a Force vision where she encountered the former Sith woman Orielle Kitai and her Jedi husband Jelph Marrian who gave her encouragement to persevere. Orielle compared her former life as a high-ranking member of the Sith tribe to Quarra's station in the Alanciar military. She also warned Quarra of the dangers of "living within a dream." Convinced of the inevitable Sith take-over and intrigued by Orielle's peaceful life in the jungle, Quarra decided to remain loyal to her family rather than becoming the consort of Edell Vrai after the Sith have occupied Alanciar.
Towards the end of their travels, the Lost Tribe launched a full-scale military invasion of Alanciar. Edell's rival High Lord Korsin Bentado's Ebon Fleet invaded Alanciar but were shot down by the Alanciari military. However, Bentado and several of his followers survived the crash. These Sith regrouped and succeeded in infiltrating the Alanciari military capital of Sus'mintri where they slew the entire Alanciari War Cabinet; effectively decapitating the Alanciari government. After checking that her family was safe at Uhrar, Quarra and Edell completed their journey to Sus'mintri.
While Quarra had intended to hand Vrai over to the Alanciari War Cabinet, the two quickly discovered that Bentado and his followers had already arrived and seized control of Vaal Hall, the headquarters of the War Cabinet. Bentado then revealed his plans to take control of Alanciar for himself and to create a "Second Tribe." He also planned to kill Grand Lord Varner Hilts by shooting down his airship. When Edell and Quarra refused to support his plans, Bentado ordered his men to imprison them. However, they managed to escape and hid for a day within the secret library of Adari Vaal, the Rock of Kesh and the founder of Alanciari civilization. During this period, Quarra discovered Adari's personal memoirs which revealed that she had succumbed to weakness during an encounter with Yaru Korsin, the founder of the Tribe.
Edell also revealed that he had secretly sent her lover Jogan to Keshtah Minor, the domain of the Tribe. Despite their differences, Quarra and Edell made an agreement to stop Bentado's plans. They succeeded in entering Bentado's base in the building's "world watch" where they fought him and his bodyguards. While Bentado managed to overpower Quarra and Edell with his dark side powers, he was killed by his own Keshiri assistant Squab, who revealed that he had countermanded Korsin's orders to destroy Hilts' ship. As a result, Hilts' airship managed to land in Alanciar's capital Sus'mintri with minimal resistance.
Quarra and Edell quickly learnt that her former lover Jogan had become the Tribe's new ambassador to the Alanciari. Jogan was able to convince the Alanciari to submit to the Lost Tribe by claiming that they did not pose a threat to Alanciar. Instead, he claimed that the Tribe were the legendary Protectors, deities in Keshiri religion. Jogan also told them that Bentado and the Ebon Fleet were the malevolent Destructors, who had been expelled from Keshtah. He also explained that Edell Vrai was a "trusted friend" of the Protectors whose airships were pursuing the Destructors. The Grand Lord Hilts also disguised himself as the Kesh-born minion of the Bright Tuash, an avian Keshiri deity. Hilts supported Jogan's account and expressed remorse that the "evil ones" had murdered the Alanciari War Cabinet before the "Protectors" could arrive to stop them. He also claimed that Adari Vaal had been a well-meaning albeit misguided servant of the Tuash.
According to the Bright Tuash, Quarra was a well-trained Alanciari who had been working in concert with Edell Vrai, a secret agent of the Protectors, to defeat Korsin Bentado. Quarra and Edell were also praised for their role in stopping Bentado, who was dubbed a "servant of the Destructors." However, Quarra remained suspicious and distrustful of the Sith. While Quarra managed to make contact with her lover Jogan, he was too preoccupied with his new job of being the new "Herald." Ultimately, Jogan decide not to contact Quarra since he was preoccupied with his newly-found position. While many of her people were convinced by the Tribe's demonstration, Quarra alone remained skeptical but found little support from her compatriots. Instead she resolved to accept her destiny and guide her compatriots through the process of "Unification." She also returned to her family home where she reconciled with husband Brue Thayn and their three children.
The Frustrated Bureaucrat and WifeEdit
- "But he's not the man you married anymore."
"Actually, he is. That's the problem. In twenty years, I've gone from supply clerk to thoughtcrier to materials supervisor to wardmaster. Successful wardmasters become mayors. I always end up hating my job, too, but every time, I find a path to something better. But Brue can't find the nerve to tell off an old fossil whose authority ended before the Ancient Cataclysm!"
- ―Jogan Halder and Quarra Thayn discussing her tenuous relationship with Brue Thayn
Quarra Thayn grew up and lived on the planet Kesh's southern hemispheric continent of Alanciar, which had remained independent of the Lost Tribe of Sith until 2975 BBY. Quarra was born around 3019 BBY and was a resident of the city of Uhrar in the northern part of the continent, which was where she met a husband Brue Thayn, a glassblower who taught the art of glassblowing to elderly veterans of the Alanciari military. She and Brue produced three children with their eldest being a daughter who was almost twelve years old, making her eligible for military conscription as a trainee by the following year. As with all Keshiri living in Alanciar, Quarra was raised from her childhood to fear and hate the Lost Tribe of Sith, a group of Human Sith offworlders who had settled on Kesh during the Great Hyperspace War and dominated Keshtah Minor, Alanciar's neighbor in the southern hemisphere. In 4975 BBY, the Keshiri resistance leader Adari Vaal had escaped to Alanciar following a failed attempt to expel and destroy the Sith occupiers. She warned the Alanciari about the threat of the Tribe and the Alanciari subsequently developed into a highly advanced and militaristic society.
All Alanciari, who had reached adolescence, were required to contribute in some way to the Great Cause which entailed resisting any Sith invasion of Alanciar. Quarra was no exception and served in several occupations including supply clerk, materials supervisor and finally wardmaster, a senior administrative position. Due to her Force sensitivity, Quarra also served for a period as a thoughtcrier, a Force-user who was able to send telepathic messages through the art of "thought projection". By 2975 BBY, Quarra had become the chief military administrator of her hometown of Uhrar. Despite her respectable position, Quarra was unhappy and dissatisfied with her monotonous and boring work. She disliked having to attend frequent distribution meetings which she regarded as pointless and boring. Quarra was also dissatisfied with her relationship to her husband Brue, whom she came to resent as dull and boring. In contrast to the competitive Quarra, Brue did not strive to be any better than a glassblower instructor to the elderly even though he hated his job. His unwillingness to upskill to a better paying job became a source of contention with Quarra.
A Secret RelationshipEdit
- "Wardmaster Quarra Thayn. I've stopped a wardmaster. I'm sorry, ma'am."
"It's no problem, Captain..."
- ―Captain Ruehn and Quarra Thayn; the latter was a wardmaster, a senior position in Alanciari society
Quarra Thayn's unhappiness with her job and dissatisfaction with Brue led her to initiate an affair with another Alanciari man named Jogan Halder, who was a signal officer that was posted at Point Defiance, a seaside frontier outpost in the Six Claws of Alanciar's southern region, known as the Shank. This affair began in 2978 BBY while Quarra was making a routine visit to the city of Kerebba, an upstream military supply center on one of the canals that emptied into one of the bays defined by the Six Claws. Her cousin was a signal officer who operated the Kerebba signal station's semaphore system. Her cousin had read Halder's tales and had shared it with Thayn, who enjoyed his writings and fell in love with the author. When her cousin was reassigned, she had managed to transmit signals to Halder through the signal station at Uhrar introducing herself.
This began a secret three year secret relationship in which thousands of messages were exchanged via between Halder and Thayn. Most of these dispatches arrived overnight at Thayn's office in Uhrar and she read them in the morning. For Thayn, Halder's letters came to provide a form of solace from the drudgery of her work as an administrator and mother. She soon began carrying these letters with her throughout her rounds, reading them during her free time. Frequent distribution meetings became opportunities for Quarra to brainstorm the responses she sent him before returning home. Quarra came to find Jogan to be an understanding reader who took long nights to craft thoughtful and eloquent responses to his lover. Partly due to the fact that Quarra only corresponded with Jogan by semaphore machine, she was able to hide her affair from her husband Brue and their three children.
In 2975 BBY, Quarra Thayn's life entered an important new chapter when she agreed to meet Jogan Halder in person for the first time at his workplace in Point Defiance. For that liaison, Thayn pretended to be away on a one-week trip to the industrial cities on the Northern Slope. She also forged a letter of transit by using her travel supervisor's seal to enable her to "legally" travel to Point Defiance as a thoughtcrier. As a frontier outpost, Point Defiance was manned by only two full-time personnel: the signal officer Jogan Halder and the thoughtcrier Belmer Kattun. Due to Alanciar's emphasis on defense, the continent had two separate communications systems to provide early warning of invasion and to circulate news and information across a large landmass. Alanciar had a network of semaphore machines which transmitted information through multicolored fireglobe displays. In addition, Force-users were also used to send telepathic messages. To give a reason to be at Point Defiance, she would pretend to be Belmer Kattun's relief.
For this journey, Quarra packed her clothes and travel documents inside a duffle bag. While traveling from Uhrar to Garrow's Neck, Quarra rented a muntok, a six-legged reptilian beast of burden, from a corral in the town of Tandry. Since she did not know the animal well, she was unable to call it by its name. Quarra arrived at a fort in Garrow's Neck which guarded the pass to Point Defiance. Upon arriving, she was stopped at the checkpoint by Captain Ruehn of the 208th Training Division of the Southwestern Directorate, who requested to see her letters of transit and commission. The Garrow's Neck fort also served as a training camp for adolescent Alanciari trainees who were practicing with firing ballistae, an artillery weapon used by the Alanciari. Since Garrow's Neck was considered to be part of the Alanciari frontline, security was tightest there and the fort was stationed by some of the best and most experienced officers in the Alanciari military.
When Captain Ruehn realized that Quarra outranked him as wardmaster, he apologized to her. However, she assured him that he did not need to apologize since he was close to the "knife's point" of Alanciar, the frontier which faced the Sith-controlled continent of Keshtah. When Ruehn expressed his surprise that Quarra had chosen to visit the frontier during a time when preparations were being made to celebrate that year's Observance Day, Quarra merely replied that it was a good time to visit the front. Observance Day was a festival held every ten years on Alanciar to commemorate the ten years of Adari Vaal's secret resistance against the Sith occupiers in Keshtah. That Day also served to instill patriotic duty among the Alanciari. After Ruehn was certain that her travel documents were valid, Quarra was then allowed to continue on her journey to Point Defiance on a winding and rocky road. Air and sea travel was restricted in this area since it was a militarized zone.
A Date with DestinyEdit
- "That's not it. What are you doing here?"
"What—what do you mean?"
"I mean a woman in your position has better things to do than come out and jaw with a life in the Signal Corps."
- ―Jogan questioning Quarra's motives for meeting him in person
Near evening, Quarra Thayn finally arrived at Point Defiance, which consisted of a signal tower and a walled courtyard on top of an artificial cliff known as the "western barriers." Upon arriving at the outpost station, Quarra was greeted by an elderly Keshiri man named Belmer Kattun, whom she initially mistook for Jogan Halder. Quarra quickly realized that Belmer was the station's thoughtcrier and a fellow Force-user. When Quarra produced her documents for Belmer to examine, he told her he did not have to see since his friends at the fort in Garrow's Neck had already let her through. Quarra then entered the tower through its main gate and went into the kitchen, where she found Jogan Halder cooking a meal. Jogan was also humming a popular Alanciari sailor's song. After finally meeting her lover in person, Quarra took an immediate liking to Jogan's appearance; particularly his well-built and fit physique. After apologizing for not greeting her outside since he was browsing through Point Defiance's library, he offered to serve he stew but she declined.
Jogan explained that he had been reading a parchment which he had borrowed from the station's library, and that he liked to eat while eating. Since Quarra had come from a big city to the frontier, she was surprised to learn that Point Defiance had a library. Halder explained that having a library with books helped soldiers and signalers posted to the frontier alleviate boredom. He then asked Quarra if she had met his thoughtcrier colleague Belmer while he was on the way out. When she confirmed that she did and had mistaken him for Jogan, he commented that he did send romantic messages out under Belmer's name. He then retracted his comment, saying that he had been joking and that Belmer like fermented beverages. Qaurra commented that such characteristics were not what one wanted to find in a thoughtcrier. While acknowledging that Belmer was obsessed with lovers, he responded that the man did not drink while on duty. Jogan then placed Quarra's duffle bag, which contained her clothes, between the doors to the two bedchambers in the tower. This was the tower's equivalent of a baggage-handling system. The couple had not planned the specifics of their sleeping arrangement for the week of Quarra's visit.
When Quarra noticed the rustic and informal look of Point Defiance, Jogan Halder apologized that Point Defiance was not up to conventional inspection standards since it was situated at the end of the inspection route and was staffed mainly be old bachelors. Quarra assured him that Point Defiance was tidier than her family home, which was home to three children and her husband, Brue, who was often away at work for long hours. When Jogan asked about her husband, Quarra assured him that he was fine. Halder than took his lover and quest on a tour of the facilities at Point Defiance. First, her showed her his workstation: a semaphore station. Jogan then gave Quarra a demonstration of how to operate the complex semaphore machine, which used a fireglobe grid to transmit various colors in order to send a message. While Quarra was familiar with the semaphore system due to her basic military training, she was unable to send signals as fast as an experienced Alanciari semaphore operator like Jogan, who only took five seconds to send the destination code and begin transmitting his missive. Jogan explained that working as a signaler took regular practice and that it was a considerable amount of work just to transmit a simple sentence like "Belmer Kattun has headed off to sleep on the floor of a tavern for a week, and that his relief has arrived."
By then, Belmer had gone on leave and Quarra was supposed to be the replacement thoughtcrier. Jogan also assured Quarra that he was not using her name and that she was just one anonymous warrior for the "Great Cause": preventing any Sith invasion of Alanciar. For that weekend, Jogan and Quarra had planned to have a different "Great Cause": satisfying their romantic love for each other. Jogan showed Quarra where the thoughtcrier's meditation room was. When Quarra asked him whether he could not use the Force, he acknowledged that he was not Force-sensitive unlike her. Halder also commented that he preferred his own way of sending messages. Jogan then took Quarra to the western balcony of Point Defiance's tower, which overlooked the Coral Banks in the Southern Passage. Quarra and Jogan then shared an alcoholic beverage from Belmer's stash while the latter bantering about his own habit of writing love messages.
Jogan then pointed to the buoy below where Adari Vaal, the Herald of Keshtah, had come from Keshtah two thousand years ago. He then added that this was the same direction where the Sith, the "greatest evil that Kesh had ever known", dwelled in their domain of Keshtah Minor. He then changed the topic of the conversation by asking Quarra why she had come to Point Defiance. Quarra claimed that she had been drafted like everyone else. However, Jogan was not satisfied with her answer and demanded to know what she was doing at Point Defiance. When Quarra asked what he had meant, Halder replied that he had assumed that a woman in her position would have better things to do than to come out and "jaw" with a "lifer" in the Signal Corps. Quarra lied that she had come to see the ocean but Jogan could sense she was lying.
Jogan then asked her about her husband Brue Thayn's occupation and Quarra replied that he taught the art of glassblowing to the elderly. When Jogan asked whether her husband got a lot out of working with them, she explained that her husband hated every minute of his job. She explained that he worked with veterans who were still required to do something for the Cause. Brue resented having to work with grumpy elderly people who thought that they outranked him, which they would not if Brue had any rank at all. Jogan assured her that Brue was still putting people to use. Quarra then criticized her husband for not aspiring to be more than a glazier. While she acknowledged that he was a good father for their three children, she resented the fact that he was not interested in improving his social station unlike her. Whereas Brue had remained a lowly glassblower for years, Quarra had risen from being a supply clerk to the position of wardmaster.
Jogan tried to assure her that her marriage to Brue was not completely bad if he had the right attitude. While nothing much happened at Point Defiance, he enjoyed telling people about the things that they liked. Jogan regarded each of his reports as a little story. Before he could finish the rest of his sentence, Quarra kissed and hugged him twice while his back was to the balcony railing. At that same moment, Quarra noticed a black silhouette moving in the skies above. She sensed the presence of beings aboard the vessel and realized that it was an airship. Jogan noticed that there were three airships in the sky and quickly realized that these had come from beyond the Western Sea, the domain of the Lost Tribe of Sith.
The Sith InvasionEdit
- "You're the thoughtcrier. The semaphore stations will get the news out only so fast. You've got to call out!"
"But...I'm not supposed to be here!"
- ―Quarra's Thayn's meeting with Jogan Halder coincided with the Sith invasion of Alanciar
Quarra and Jogan quickly realized that the event that they had been preparing for all their lives had finally transpired: the Sith had finally reached Alanciar. Jogan immediately went into action and sent a message on the semaphore machine which bore just one word: "Sith", the code signifying that the most important threat facing to Alanciar had come. This message would be transmitted across all of Alanciar, allowing the Alanciari military to rapidly mobilize and neutralize this threat. However, Quarra hesitated because she was not supposed to be at Point Defiance. However, Jogan convinced her to do her duty as a thoughtcrier since thought projection could travel faster than semaphore signals. Due to her Force-sensitivity, Quarra could also sense that there was a strong presence of the dark side of the Force among the intruders. She then thought projected her message which only consisted of one word "Sith", which was enough to convey the gravity of the situation to the other thought-criers on duty.
Due to their early warning efforts, the Alanciari military was able to respond swiftly against the Sith invaders. Alanciari ballistae succeeded in downing two of the Sith airships with flaming projectiles while the third airship was pursued and harried by the Alanciari air force, which consisted of uvak-riders who were armed with smaller diamond-flak ballistae. This Sith party turned out to be an advance scouting force led by the High Lord Edell Vrai who had been set to conduct a reconnaissance probe of Alanciar prior to the invasion, which would be led by High Lord Korsin Bentado. Following a fierce dogfight, Edell and four other crew managed to survive the destruction of their airship Candra and evade their Alanciari pursuers. Edell's party then discovered an embankment which led to Point Defiance.
While Jogan was cheering as the ballista at Point Vigilance shot down the other two Sith airships Lillia and Dann Itra, Quarra was in a state of panic since she knew that she was in Point Defiance illegally. She feared that her secret affair with Jogan would be exposed. While attempting to leave the meditation room, she tripped and knocked over several of Jogan's styluses from his workbench. Jogan noticed the commotion and followed Quarra, who was looking for her duffle bag which contained her clothes. She intended to leave and return to her hometown of Uhrar while the other Alanciari were preoccupied with the fighting. While attempting to retrieve her duffle bag from its storage cupboard, she got its sting entangled with her foot. This damage the bag and caused several of her clothes to spill onto the floor.
Sensing Quarra's anxiety, Jogan attempted to assure Quarra that she was safe since they had already sent their messages. However, Quarra retorted that she was not safe here at Point Defiance because she was not supposed to be there officially. When Jogan asked her what she meant, Quarra replied that her husband Brue was thinking that she was touring the industrial cities of the Northern Slope right now. In response, Jogan suggested that he would not find out about their affair since he was not in the military. Quarra then told Jogan that meeting him was one of the best things that had ever happened to her. She praised him for being a hopeful and trusting person. However, the Sith invasion that was happening outside was the "biggest thing" that had ever happened in Alanciari history. She explained that the two of them had witnessed the invasion from the balcony and that she was the one who had sent the thought signal warning the Alanciari of the Sith incursion.
Quarra knew that a lot of people would be coming to Point Defiance soon and that everyone would find out who was there when the Sith came. Jogan tried to assure Quarra that the state had dispatched her to Point Defiance and that they would know she was there. However, Quarra then confessed that the state did not send her to Point Defiance and that she had forged her travel supervisor's stamp on her letter of transit. This meant that there had been no relief order for Belmer. Quarra feared that the captain and his men at the guard post she encountered earlier would reach the tower soon and would discover her affair. In an attempt to hide their affair, Halder attempted to help Thayn leave Point Defiance during the fighting and return to Uhrar.
Quarra and Jogan then walked to the gate of the fort where Quarra's muntok, had been tethered. However, the muntok had escaped during the fighting by chewing through its ropes. When Jogan suggested calling the beast, Quarra admitted that she did not know the muntok's name since she had rented the animal from a corral at the town of Tandry, while traveling to Point Defiance. When Jogan asked her how a wardmaster could be so incompetent, she replied that this was her first affair. At that point, Quarra sensed that an object was going to fall on Jogan. Before she could warn him, he was crushed by a fallen uvak named Starboard, which had been tethered to the Sith airship Candra. Jogan was seriously wounded and sustained several broken ribs. Before he slipped into unconsciousness, he remarked that he thought that Quarra had rented a muntok and not an uvak.
- "Don't touch him, you filthy Sith!"
"W-what did you say?"
"I said, don't touch him, you..."
- ―Edell Vrai and Quarra Thayn's first conversation
Quarra's life would take a new turn for both the better and worse when she made contact with the Lost Tribe of Sith. The High Lord Edell Vrai and his fellow survivors from the Candra, which included his lieutenant Peppin, the two Sith Sabers Ulbrick and Janns, and the Keshiri servant Tellpah, found a stony tumbledown which led to Point Defiance. However, Quarra spotted the Sith survivors and opened fire on them with her hand-ballista, which fired glass projectiles. These projectiles wounded Ulbrick's right thigh but failed to hit his companion Janns, who managed to diver for cover behind ruined hut. Quarra then spotted Edell and attempted to shoot him on the spot. However, he dodged out of her field of fire and used the Force to throw sand at Quarra, who attempted to fire another volley but found that she had ran out of projectiles.
Edell then drew his shikkar blade and attempted to run Quarra down. However, she used her Force powers to knock him to the group. Quarra and Edell then wrestled with each other for the blade. However, Edell was more proficient in the Force and was able to drain her emotions, causing Quarra to fall backwards and to drop the dagger. When Quarra fell, Edell's other companions Peppin and Janns quickly disarmed and bound her. Edell then ordered his Keshiri servant Tellpah to attend to the wounded Ulbrick while he went and finished off Quarra's wounded companion Jogan Halder with his shikkar dagger. However, Quarra interrupted and surprised Edell by revealing that she could speak Galactic Basic Standard, the same language which the Sith Tribe spoke. She managed to convince her captors not to harm Jogan.
Quarra then made eye contact with Edell's lieutenant Peppin and told her to release her. Edell then noted that the Keshiri in Alanciar, which the Sith had called "Keshtah Major", knew how to use the Force. He also studied Quarra's wooden ballista gun, which was a technology that was unknown to the Tribe. Quarra then told the Sith leader that the Alanciari had prepared for their invasion. In response, Edell expressed surprise and asked her how her people knew about them. He also asked her if anyone else was in the compound. In an attempt to intimidate the Sith, Quarra claimed that there was an entire detachment at Point Defiance but Edell quickly realized she was lying. Despite Quarra's Force abilities, she was untrained and as a result Edell was able to break through her mental defenses.
He quickly discovered that she was named Quarra and that she was alone. In response, Quarra glowered at her captor and trembled upon learning that he had the ability to read minds. Meanwhile, the wounded Jogan started coughing, which was a sign that he had woken up. Edell recognized that Quarra did not want Jogan to die and instead ordered his men to take the two Alanciari as prisoners into the tower. Quarra then warned the Sith to be careful with him since their "blasted" uvak had landed on him and broken his ribs. In response, Edell retorted that the Alanciari had brought the creature down on themselves and that they were about to bring "a lot more on themselves." As she was being led inside by her captors, Quarra taunted Edell by pointing out that the Sith invaders would never get past the Alanciari defenses. Edell retorted again that the Sith would succeed since they had already left the gate open for them.
Quarra was also present when Edell attended to his wounded companion Ulbrick, whose right leg had many splinters from Quarra's ballista. After determining that Ulbrick was unable to walk, Edell personally beheaded the Sith Saber to put him out of his "misery" and to prevent the Alanciari from capturing a live Sith prisoner. When Quarra expressed her revulsion that the Sith leader would kill one of his comrades, Edell reminded her not to forget that he could kill her if she failed to comply with her captors. Edell then ordered his subordinates to put the wounded Jogan downstairs while he examined Point Defiance. Peppin reminded her commander that they had to move quickly since Alanciari reinforcements from the Garrow's Neck fort were approaching them. Edell then ordered his men to bind Quarra and bring her upstairs since she might be able to help them find what they were looking for.
Quarra was taken upstairs where the Sith leader Edell and his Keshiri servant Tellpah rummaged through Point Defiance's belfries, looking for manuals that could help them operate the fort's semaphore machine. Shortly later, the Sith were joined by two more Human warriors who had survived the Candra's crash-landing. The captive Quarra was shocked to see a Keshiri serving the Sith and quickly realized that he had come from Keshtah, the domain of the Sith. Quarra attempted to encourage Tellpah to mutiny against his master by telling him that the Keshiri in Alanciar were free. However, Tellpah merely looked at her blankly since he was unable to comprehend the notion of the Keshiri being the masters of themselves. In response, Edell ordered Tellpah to ignore the Alanciari woman and to resume his job of finding the proper signal to send. With Tellpah being unable to find a way to operate the semaphore machine, Quarra offered to show them how to send the "all-clear" code. However, Edell did not trust her since he feared that she would alert the other Alanciari to their presence.
Unable to operate the semaphore machine, Edell smashed the stand containing the signal cylinders against the stone wall, destroying them. Quarra was pleased to see her captor frustrated which she took as a sign that he was "cracking." Edell and Tellpah then walked out onto the balcony where they spotted a ship in the horizon. Edell decided that the six surviving Sith would hijack the ship and then use it to return to Keshtah. Edell ordered Tellpah to bring Quarra downstairs into Jogan's room, where he had been dumped by his Sith captors. Quarra had her hands bound behind her back and was led downstairs. During that period, Quarra felt guilty for indirectly assisting the Sith with their invasion plans by "opening" her mouth. Quarra was also fascinated with their lightsaber technology, something which he had only encountered while reading the Keshtah Chronicles, a popular history book, written by the Keshiri exile Adari Vaal, which all Alanciari were required to read from childhood. She wanted to die but quickly remembered that she still had her children at home and that her lover Jogan was still alive but hurt downstairs. Quarra hoped that the reinforcements from Garrow's Neck would arrive and rescue her and Jogan. While Quarra feared that her marriage would not survive the Sith arrival, she hoped that the Sith would be killed by the Alanciari troops.
Meanwhile, Edell's Sith warriors began collecting the books and scrolls in Jogan Halder's private library, which would be used to provide the Tribe with information on the Alanciari and their continent. Quarra knew that the Sith would not find them very useful since most of these books were adventure and romantic stories. Quarra then attended to the wounded Jogan, whom the Sith had dumped on the floor and had failed to attend to his wounds. Quarra had already used all of her Force skills to keep him alive. Since her hands were tied behind her back, the only thing that she could do was kiss his bruised cheek. Halder commented that this was not how he had imagined getting his lover into his bedroom. He also asked Quarra whether their captors were the Sith and she confirmed that they were indeed the Sith. At that point, Edell Vrai entered the room and interrupted their conversation. He told them that the Sith had found a boat and that they were about to take a trip.
Prisoners of the SithEdit
- "...A shame to interrupt such a loving pair. But we found your boat outside. We're about to take another trip—all of us!"
- ―Edell Vrai and his captives Quarra and Jogan
Edell and his Sith party along with their prisoners Quarra and Jogan managed to evacuate Point Defiance moments before Alanciari reinforcements from the Garrow's Neck fort arrived at the signal station. After finding a boat nearby, Edell and the Sith crew rowed towards the Alanciari ship which turned out to be a fishing trawler called Mischance. The Sith party only briefly delayed to move Quarra and her companion Jogan aboard as prisoners. Throughout the journey, Quarra had objected due to the debilitated state of her friend. However, Edell needed a guide and he was able to use Jogan, whom he assumed to be her spouse, as leverage. Like all Alanciari sea vessels, it relied on sails which trapped the wind in order to propel the ship. While most of the Alanciari harvester fleet usually worked in the Coral Banks of the Southern Passage, ship captains who were behind in harvesting their quotas of seafood were known to cut corners by fishing in the Western Sea, which was a restricted military zone that was patrolled by the Shore Guard, the Alanciari coast guard.
While the Keshiri sailors aboard the Mischance had been unaware of the earlier battle and were taken by surprise, they fought fiercely against the Sith invaders. It took the Sith until dawn to secure the Mischance and all of the Keshiri crew fought to the death. The Sith managed to capture one Keshiri sailor who was then interrogated by Edell's lieutenant Peppin. However, he refused to disclose any information even under torture and succumbed to his wounds. Due to their experiences on the previous night, Edell and Peppin noted the strong martial tradition among the Keshiri they had encountered on Alanciar. While the Mischance was a lowly harvester by Alanciari standards, it was considered to be advanced by the Tribe's standards since they had never built anything larger than a boat. Unlike Alanciar, the Sith continent of Keshtah's tree species, the hejarbo shoots and vosso tree, were completely unsuitable for building seagoing vessels. Peppin speculated that the Mischance could comfortably transport 200 Sith warriors.
Edell and Peppin planned to used the captured Mischance to sail back to Keshtah through the Southern Passage which led into the Western Sea. As part of the Sith Tribe's invasion plan, Edell's mission had been to conduct a reconnaissance probe before returning to Keshtah. Another High Lord named Korsin Bentado would then lead an invasion force of airships known as the Ebon Fleet. They reasoned that the Tribe would be interested in their Alanciari captives, the captured ship, and Jogan's private library which included a copy of the Keshtah Chronicles, something which would provide the Tribe with invaluable intelligence on what the Alanciari already knew about them. Unwilling to return to Keshtah due to a nightmare, Edell claimed to have received orders to stay behind on Alanciar for a ground reconnaissance mission and instructed Peppin to follow his lead. Edell then turned his attention towards the two Alanciari, who had been tied to the ship's mast. While Edell knew nothing of the male prisoner, he realized that Quarra was someone who was important among the Alanciari based on her documents and her demeanor. He knew that Quarra knew how the Alanciari signal stations and their weapons worked.
Thus, Edell decided to employ Quarra's services as a guide for his reconnaissance mission into Alanciar's interior and its capital Sus'mintri. Edell wanted to find out more about Alanciar's military government, the War Cabinet, in order to provide the Sith Tribe with more intelligence on Alanciar. His Sith subordinates had also obtained a map of Alanciar which showed that there was a cove to the northeast of Garrow's Neck called Meori Cove, which was not under military surveillance. While Edell was talking to his Sith subordinates, Quarra eavesdropped on their conversation and quickly learnt that Edell was a High Lord, which she knew was a senior position within the Tribe based on her knowledge of the Keshtah Chronicles. She was also worried that Sith forces were already pressing into the Western Shield or the populated uplands in the interior. Quarra was also anxious for the safety of her family and co-workers including her husband Brue. For the first time since the kidnapping, Quarra longed for her husband.
Meanwhile, her companion Jogan stirred and asked Quarra where he was. Quarra confirmed that they were moving. Before they could continue their conversation, they were interrupted by Edell who told Quarra that she was coming with him. Edell expressed his displeasure that the "first meeting" between the Sith and the Alanciari had not gone well because the latter hand not provided their neighbors with a proper welcome. Quarra retorted "that was too bad." After briefly mentioning reparations, Edell told her about his planned reconnaissance foray into Alanciar. After displaying a map, Edell explained that his plan was to land at Meori Cove before traveling to Sus'mintri, a journey he estimated would take several days. He also told her that the Mischance would remain off the coast of Garrow's Neck until Edell signaled from the mountains that he had returned.
In response, she suggested that Edell use his own Keshiri slave Tellpah for that mission. However, Edell reiterated that he wanted a local guide who knew Alanciar. He also explained that the reason why he had brought Tellpah and the other Keshiri from Keshtah was to spread their religion, which was centered around the Sith "Protectors". Edell also wanted to learn more about the military capabilities of the Alanciari. Finally, Quarra agreed to assist Edell in return for them untying Jogan from the ship's and attending to his wounds. Edell agreed to Quarra's demands and ordered the other Peppin and Tellpah to untie Jogan. Jogan was conscious during Quarra's meeting with Edell and he told her that she did not have to risk her life for him since he was not worth it. However, Quarra whispered that she was actually planning to use Alanciar itself to scare her Sith captors back to "where they came from."
- "You're in no position to be cute with me, Keshiri!"
"And you're not in a place where you can push me around. I yell 'Sith' and you're dead. And probably dissected."
- ―Edell and Quarra
After depositing Quarra Thayn and Edell Vrai at Meori Cove, the Mischance secretly returned to Keshtah with Peppin serving at his helm, in the absence of Captain Edell. While Edell was aware of this, he kept this secret from Quarra. Quarra hid Edell's "Human" origins by giving him a hooded seafarer's slicker and a pair of shaded goggles, which she had found aboard the Mischance. Under the cover of night, Quarra and Edell travelled on a remote mountain highway, which led them onto the main highway. After a solid day and night of traveling, the two travelled through the wooded Eskellon Mountains. At first they encountered no one, but by the second day they had encountered several Keshiri soldiers traveling west. Due to Edell's disguise, he and Quarra were able to proceed through the various checkpoints without being stopped and questioned. Unlike Keshtah, Alanciar had no jungles since the Alanciari had cut them down to build ships and to clear land for roads and canals over the past two millennia. Alanciar's southern region, known as the Shank, had a large network of well-paved roads and canals.
While four days had already elapsed since the "first contact" with the Sith, warning sirens still rang in Alanciar's cities; which were generated by steam passing through colossal glass pipes. On the fourth evening of their travels, Quarra and Edell reached the outskirts of Kerebba. While Quarra pretended to be a soldier, Edell pretended to be one of the "Sith" performers for the Observance Day play which fell on that night. The guard at the sentry post joked that Edell would make a "good Sith" for that show. When the High Lord asked her what the guard was talking about and why he had allowed them to pass, Quarra merely replied that he would see soon. When Edell told her not to be "cute" with him, she retorted that he was in no place to push him around. She also warned her captor that she could yell 'Sith' and he would be dead and probably dissected.
During their journey, Quarra settled down and talked with Edell about her family situation. She told him that she was worried about her family particularly her children. When Edell asked Quarra why her children were not present at the signal station, she refused to answer. However, Edell read her thoughts and realized that she did have a husband but that her companion Jogan was not him. Fully aware that Quarra was having an affair with Jogan, Edell commented that he was not the only "thing" she had to hide. When Quarra complaint that she did not want to be judged by a Sith, Edell replied that he was not judging her but was merely noting that the Alanciari had more in common with the Sith than they thought, particularly when it came to adultery. During their travels, her captor Edell was amazed to find that the city's canals were used to transport goods, the wide usage of concrete for buildings, and the presence of waterwheels.
After an hour, Quarra and Edell arrived in Kerebba, a town whose buildings were built out of concrete, which the latter found uninspiring but useful. Due to the incessant warning sirens, Edell was unwilling to stay for the night in Kerebba. However, Quarra explained that they could not because the roads would be closed. The two travelers eventually arrived in Kerebba's main avenue where a large crowd had gathered in bright costumes. Edell pretended to be an Alanciari actor who was dressed up as a Sith for the Observance Day festivities. To add authenticity, he even donned his Sith lightsaber. Eventually, Quarra and Edell reached the main plaza where a crowd had gathered to watch a play. There were also several "Sith" revelers in the crowd. Since the play depicted the Sith in a bad light, Edell was unwilling to take part but Quarra assured him he did not need to take and told him just to "be his nasty self."
Edell was surprised that the Alanciari were still holding a play even when they were under siege. In response, Quarra explained that the festival Observance Day was held throughout all of Alanciar and was even more relevant because of the Sith invasion. While Edell was familiar with theaters, he thought that the outdoor theatre was amateurish compared to those in Keshtah, which were also used as a propaganda tool. During the play, a prop ship carrying an actress acting as to be Adari Vaal, the "Rock of Kesh" who was revered as a historical figure in Alanciari society, appeared on the stage while an artificial rock emerged to "bar its path." The rolling ship then stopped and dropped flat to the stage, revealing several actors who were dressed as sailors. After introducing herself, the "Adari" actress told her audience that she had come toe warn them of the "flood" to come: the Sith.
While Quarra was familiar with Observance Day from childhood, this was something new to the Sith Edell, who knew nothing about what had happened to Adari Vaal following her flight from Keshtah. Quarra explained the origins and purpose of the festival Observance Day was a ceremony that was held every ten years to commemorate the length of Adari's secret resistance against the Tribe. Quarra explained that the actress was reminding the Alanciari crowd that the Tribe was evil and posed a threat to them. For theatrical effect, several "Sith" actors emerged on the stage behind the same rock, sparking boos and jeers from the audience. The "Adari" actress claimed that the Sith were the ancient Destructors, a group of malevolent entities in Keshiri religion, but assured her listeners that they had nothing to fear from them. She went on to extoll the superiority of Alanciar's forests and wildlife, particularly the shumshur and muntok beasts, which were not found on Keshtah which only had uvaks as beasts of burden.
After a "Sith" actor interjected that his people had eaten all of the animals on Keshtah, the Adari actress went on to extoll the other positive virtues of Alanciar: the intellectual superiority of its people and their technology particularly their fireglobes, canals, and industry. This play confirmed Edell's hypothesis that the Keshiri on Alanciar were more advanced than their kin on Keshtah. He also realized that Adari Vaal had a strong influence on Alanciari society. While Qaurra and Edell were watching, the actress went on to reveal that Adari had taught the Alanciari how to speak Galactic Basic Standard, the "language of the evil ones", and that the Force was the source of the Sith's power. As the fireglobe reached the first "sailor" actor, he ripped off his outer costume to reveal a white outfit, which symbolized the presence of Force-sensitive individuals among the Alanciari.
To connect the play with the recent Sith invasion, the Adari actress injected references to the Alanciari's recent attack on the Sith airships at Garrow's Neck. She told her listeners that they had won the first battle and would go on to win again. After wrapping up the play, the Mayor of Kerebba, an elderly Keshiri man, stepped onto the stage and gave a speech informing the audience that the Alanciari military was already scouring the peninsulas for any trace of the attackers. While he predicted that more Sith would come, he assured the crowd that the War Cabinet had already deployed anti-air forces to the west. If more Sith came, they would die. As a result of the speech, the crowd erupted into a patriotic fervor and began chanting "Die like Sith." The public display of anti-Sith sentiment upset Edell and he led Quarra away from the crowd. While Edell wanted to kill the actors in stage, he managed to control his emotions. He told Quarra that they would be traveling tomorrow as soon as the roads had open and expressed his desire to see the "War Cabinet" and learn what Adari, the "Keshiri traitor" had told the Alanciari about the Tribe.
- "Oh, you can follow a dream. You can follow a dream, and you can build you whole world around one. You can live in a dream for a long time. But eventually—"
''eventually, the world will find you."
- ―Ori Kitai giving Quarra some "words of advice"
For that night, Quarra Thayn and Edell Vrai slept in a dry culvert adjacent to the Kerebba canal station. While her official status entitled her to one of the city's barracks, she was unable to convince Edell to stay with her since he was still in a bad mood because of the Observance Day which depicted the Tribe in a bad light. For Quarra, Edell's adverse reaction to the play confirmed her idea that Alanciar had been her greatest weapon against her captor. During that night, Quarra experienced a Force vision where she encountered the Sith woman Orielle Kitai, or Ori, who had lived centuries earlier on the Sith continent of Keshtah during the Time of the Rot. Quarra found that Orielle was planting dalsa flowers and noted that the Sith woman was tanner and younger than her captor Edell. When Quarra asked, Ori acknowledged that she was a Sith.
She quickly noticed Ori's husband Jelph Marrian, who was a former Jedi who had become stranded on Keshtah prior to the Jedi Civil War. Quarra quickly realized that she was experiencing a Force vision which led Ori to respond that time flowed differently in jungles and dreams. Quarra also noticed that Ori had three children, which was the same number that she and Brue had. While the children were muddied from playing in the mud, she noticed that they were still happy. Sensing Quarra's situation, Ori revealed that she once had responsibilities like Quarra but had given them up for love. When Quarra expressed her surprise that the Sith were capable of love, Ori replied that she was no longer a Sith and had not been a "good" Sith to start with. When Quarra asked Ori if there was a such a thing as a "good Sith", Ori explained that some Sith were easier to live around than others but these were not very good at "being Sith."
Ori went on to explain that love had not been the sole reason that she had abandoned her former Sith life. While she had her position in her past life, she did not like where it was leading her. Ori regarded her new jungle hamlet as one of the few hiding places left in her time. Seeing the peaceful life which Ori and her family led in the jungle, Quarra longed for her home in Uhrar to have the same sense of peacefulness. Quarra revealed that she had wanted to live apart since she was exhausted with her life. She even knew what her children's lives were going to look like before they were born. For Quarra, this had been the reason that she had wanted to create something different for herself. Quarra wanted to follow a dream even though it did not sound right. Sensing Quarra's moral dilemma, Ori advised the Keshiri that it was folly for her to build her world around a dream since the world "would eventually find her."
After waking up, Quarra and Edell continued their journey to Sus'mintri, which lay to the north of the Shank. She realized that Edell's party had been the only one that had landed so far. As they passed through several industrial towns, Quarra sensed that he was imagining the weapons being constructed there. While traveling through the town of Minrath, Quarra noted that Edell was impressed by the workmanship of the native Alanciari, who were more skilled at crafting practice implements like canals and roads than the Keshiri on Keshtah, who were obsessed with building artworks. After speculating that the Alanciari would have built better aqueducts than the Keshtah Keshiri, Edell remarked that the Omen, the ancient Sith starship which had brought the Tribe's ancestors to Kesh, had landed in the wrong continent. Quarra however disagreed and argued that the Sith arrival had instead triggered the high level of technological development he had seen in Alanciar.
Quarra then concluded that the Sith did not understand that they had indirectly contributed to the advancement of the Alanciari. In response, Edell remarked that if she thought the Sith would regret it, she did not understand his people. That afternoon, Quarra and Edell reached the countryside region known as the Western Shield. While the Western Shield was predominantly dominated by farms, there were also several military signal stations. In her thoughts, Quarra thought about Jogan and how she had initiated the relationship between them. Edell read her thoughts and informed Quarra that he had never married. Quarra then joked that she was amazed that there were any Humans left on Kesh due to the "malevolent" nature of the Sith. In response, Edell joked that he preferred building things to making company with other people. This led Quarra to ponder whether Edell's solitary nature had enabled him to become a High Lord.
During her time with Edell, Quarra realized that Edell and his Human Sith companions had a deeper understanding of the Force than the Alanciari. She also sensed that the two of them had been able to travel this far without attracting attention because Edell had used the Force to deaden the reasoning of those Alanciari who stared at him. While Quarra was able to see Edell for who he was, other Alanciari were not able to focus their attention on him without becoming distracted by something else. Since the pair were approaching a crossing, Quarra planned to find a cargo boat to ride up the canal to Sus'mintri. She instructed Edell to hide in the cargo compartment on the barge since his disguise as a Sith actor would no longer work after Observance Day. Quarra estimated that the journey to Sus'mintri would take two days. When Edell complained that traveling inside the cargo compartment of a boat would be uncomfortable, Quarra retorted that she was not looking for a luxury cabin. If he had wanted to travel in comfort, he should have flown his airships higher and not got show down.
- "What, in service to you?"
"Yes. But also in service to yourself. You could be Sith, Quarra. It's just a matter of belief. You'll never truly be Sith as long as you wear the chains of anyone else—but casting off these lesser ties is the first step."
- ―Quarra and Edell discussing Sith philosophy
Before Quarra could finish her sentence, they were interrupted by the wail of a warning siren emanating from the signal stations, which began to flash the color-coded message on their fireglobes that the Sith had returned. Shortly later, the Alanciari thoughtcriers also began relaying warnings as well. Edell also sensed the arrival of the Sith forces but expressed anger that the Sith invasion force had arrived too soon without waiting for his return to Keshtah. Shortly later, Quarra and Edell witnessed the arrival of a large flotilla of sixty Sith airships known as the Ebon Fleet, which were led by fellow High Lord Korsin Bentado, the leader of the Korsinite League, a Sith faction which modeled their lives after those of the Tribe's founder Yaru Korsin and Nida Korsin. These black airships had fearsome designs painted across their gondolas, which were made from heavy vosso wood frames. To provide a fearsome appearance, each of these airships had spears in front of the gondola.
Quarra and Edell also witnessed the swift response of the Alanciari military to the Sith invaders. Due to the highly-organized Alanciari communications networks of semaphore machines and thoughtcriers, the Alanciari military was able to deploy several mobile ballista units which were transported by muntok-driven hay carts. These hay carts carried large wooden boxes which were used to transport the ballista artillery units. These mobile ballista units fired flaming javelins and shards of glass at the airships. As a result, several Sith airships were quickly destroyed when these projectiles pierced the airships' gas envelops, igniting the volatile hydrogen gas. Ballista units stationed at a nearby fortress also entered the fray, downing more airships. Within minutes, the Ebon Fleet had been decimated and many wrecked airships crashed on the ground. While many Sith crew and warriors aboard were killed, several Sith managed to survive but were immediately hunted by the Alanciari soldiers.
Edell and Quarra were quickly caught-up in the fighting when several Sith survivors fought back against their Alanciari pursuers. Quarra fought a black-suited Sith Tyro who had killed a young Keshiri soldier. Quarra fired the Keshiri solder's repeating hand-ballista at the Tyro who parried the projectiles with his lightsaber. Amidst the fighting, Edell made contact with the Tyro who recognized him. Edell asked the Tyro why his forces had not awaited his return to Keshtah Minor when the rest of the airships were finished. Before he could finish, the Tyro saw Quarra raising her weapon and lunged at her, bisecting her hand ballista. Before he could finish her off, Edell and Quarra combined their Force powers and hurled the Tyro and his lightsaber into a nearby field. When Edell asked Quarra to explain her actions, she replied that she was merely doing her job. After kneeling to cradle the fallen Keshiri soldier whose hand ballista she had taken, Quarra reiterated that she had only made a deal with Edell and no other Sith.
Meanwhile, Korsin Bentado's flagship crashed into a nearby plateau in the east which was where they were heading. Edell and Quarra took advantage of the explosion to escape the battlefield. Quarra then announced that their plans had changed and they would make a detour to her hometown of Uhrar to check that her people and her three children were safe. Edell was initially reluctant to go on a detour since Uhrar was three-days away to the south-east of the capital Sus'mintri. However, Quarra refused to compromise on her family's safety. When Edell attempted to use her lover Jogan as leverage, Quarra insisted that her family came first always. While her Edell was unhappy with Quarra's detour, he had no choice but to travel with her since it was unsafe to be both Sith and Human in Alanciar at that time.
Quarra managed to use her credentials as wardmaster and chief military administrator to commandeer a muntok cart and team. After three days and nights of relentless travel, Quarra and Edell arrived at Uhrar, with the latter riding in the back of the cart. Upon arriving in Uhrar, Quarra visited the town's shelter where she found her children were safely asleep. She was pleased that her staff had done a marvelous job of rounding up the population and that her deputy had taken charge of the evacuation in lieu of her absence. Meanwhile, Edell waited inside the muntok cart outside of her office and ate the food she had brought for him. Despite acceding to her demands, Edell was grumpy towards Quarra since his detour was costly for him. They then continued their journey to Uhrar. Due to the aerial attacks, a blackout had been imposed on all communities throughout Alanciar.
While traveling, Edell attempted to recruit Quarra into the Sith Tribe by appealing to her desire to improve herself and her frustration with the weakness of other people. Her dissatisfaction had made her a good wardmaster. Edell also noted that she had good organizational skills and recognized that she regarded a lack of ambition as a sign of weakness. When Quarra did not respond to his comments, Edell changed the topic to her husband Brue. By reading Quarra's thoughts, Edell deduced that she regarded Brue as a burden and that had driven her to the sentinel Jogan. However, Edell argued that Jogan was only marginally better than her husband and that she would eventually become frustrated with him. When Quarra disagreed, Edell suggested that Quarra was better than him and that Jogan would eventually weigh her down, likening him to the uvak from his airships. Thus, Edell urged her to cut Jogan lose as well. However, Quarra was unwilling to make a choice like that.
Edell then attempted to introduce Quarra to Sith philosophy and likened her to an airship which had to carry more when it became larger. He explained that power was not just limited to choices but also enabled the person to decide whether they needed to choose at all. As a Sith, Quarra could not only keep both her family and her lover, but she could also extend her own authority and have everyone obey it. When Quarra asked whether joining the Sith would entail service to him, Edell concurred but also argued that she could also serve herself. For Edell, being a Sith was a matter of belief and nobody could truly be a Sith unless they were still chained to someone else. Thus, Edell urged Quarra to sever her "lesser ties". Edell's words annoyed Quarra who retorted that the Sith and their airships had a way of "blowing up."
Unable to reason with Quarra, Edell then lay down and rested at the back of the muntok cart. While Edell was asleep, Quarra secretly sent a telepathic message to the War Cabinet in Sus'mintri telling them that she had a Sith Lord with her. The War Cabinet instructed Quarra to bring Edell to them stating that they knew what to do. This message was attached with the War Cabinet's official identifier code. While Quarra still pondered whether they would execute or dissect him, she was determined to save Jogan and be a heroine for her people at the same time.
The Great CrisisEdit
- "They're telling me to let you in, Wardmaster. Both of you."
- ―Alanciari sentry allowing Quarra and Jogan to enter Vaal Hall
Quarra Thayn would face a new unexpected challenge when she arrived in Sus'mintri, the military capital of Alanciar. Unknown either to her and Edell Vrai, the Sith had already taken over Vaal Hall, the headquarters of the War Cabinet. High Lord Korsin Bentado and several other Sith had survived the battle above the Western Shield. These Sith survivors then travelled to Sus'mintri where they infiltrated Vaal Hall and slaughtered the entire War Cabinet during the night. The Sith had been able to carry out this operation without attracting the attention of the Alanciari sentries guarding the building. Vaal Hall was a strategically important location because it was also the headquarters of Alanciar's various military, industrial, and education directorates, which had previously met separately ten years before. It also contained a "worldwatch" situation room and signaling tower which was functioned as the central hub for Alanciar's semaphore system. Due to the highly centralized nature of Alanciari society, Bentado's forces were able to control the Alanciari from behind the scenes.
During their brief occupation, the Sith used this signal station to order the Alanciari to open the compound's gates, deliver food inside the gate, and to bring Sith prisoners to Vaal Hall—a subterfuge to gather reinforcements. Thus, Quarra had been communicating with a Sith thoughtcrier who was masquerading as an Alanciari government official. Upon arriving at the guard post outside Vaal Hall, the Wardmaster Quarra and her "prisoner" Edell were greeted by an Alanciari sentry who had received orders to allow them inside. The pair entered a large courtyard and were both perplexed that the War Cabinet had wanted to see the two of them. Upon arriving inside Vaal Hall, the two immediately sensed that something was wrong. Edell then realized that Quarra had intended to lure him into a trap, not knowing that Bentado had already captured the building.
In response, Quarra retorted that Edell had never told her what she had wanted to do in her "country." She implied that he wanted to visit the country and its capital, and to meet the War Cabinet. As a bureaucrat, Quarra could not just walk him through the "front door." In response, Edell told her that he was going to walk her through the "front door." Upon arriving inside the main hallway, the two travelers found several dead guards, administrators, and aides. Quarra deduced that the building had not actually been stormed since there had been no vigorous defense at the doorway. She theorized that the Keshiri had been caught by surprise and also noted that many had lightsaber wounds, which indicated a Sith presence. Quarra recognized several of her colleagues among the deceased.
Edell then asked her whether everything important was located downstairs. Quarra confirmed this was the case and two went downstairs. She also sensed that there was a pervasive dark side presence within this building and that it was spreading. Upon exiting the main hallway, they found a sitting room which had a large tapestry of Adari Vaal decorating its wall. When Edell remarked that Adari was an "ugly woman", Quarra replied that he was only saying so because he knew who she was. In the past, Quarra had visited that room frequently during her meetings with the War Cabinet. When the two entered the War Cabinet's meeting room, they found that Alanciar's entire political leadership had been killed. Sensing Bentado's presence nearby, Edell told her to follow him and to stay close.
Further inside, Quarra and Edell encountered several Sith who were guarding the "worldwatch", the large circular underground chamber which served as Alanciar's command center. These Sith sentries first brought Edell to their leader Bentado who welcomed his fellow High Lord Lord. He then ordered Edll to bring his Keshiri guide in and explained that she was the reason why he was here. Edell deactivated his lightsaber and led Quarra by her wrist into the worldwatch. After updating Edell about his escape from the Alanciari at the Western Shield, Bentado revealed that the Sith had managed to capture one of Sus'mintri's thirteen signal towers. He also explained how he had managed to use the facility's thoughtcrier center to order the Alanciari to bring their Sith prisoners to Vaal Hall. Quarra was shocked and astonished that Bentado had succeeded in toppling the War Cabinet, the organization that had provided Alanciar its strength. Edell also sensed that Bentado would claim all of the glory for himself.
Sith versus SithEdit
- "He [Edell Vrai] had help. Motivated help. I promise no one else will help you once they find you're here. And you're killed our leaders. In the bunker or no, my people will eventually come looking for them."
- ―Quarra challenges Korsin Bentado
An unexpected development would then force Quarra Thayn and her nominal enemy Edell Vrai to work together. Having decapitated the Alanciari government, High Lord Korsin Bentado decided to mutiny against his liege Grand Lord Hilts and create a new empire on Alanciar with himself as its ruler. As part of his plans, Bentado then ordered his Sith signalers to deactivate their alarms and to prepare for the arrival of a second wave of Sith airships. Edell and Bentado knew that the Tribe still had a dozen airships left on Keshtah Minor which were under the command of Grand Lord Varner Hilts, the Tribe's leader. When Edell suggested that they warn the Tribe about the threat of the Alanciari anti-aircraft ballista, Bentado revealed that he wanted the Alanciari to shoot down the Tribe's remaining airships. Bentado also revealed his plans to create a "Second Tribe" on Alanciar that would be independent of Grand Lord Hilts. Korsin regarded Hilts as an obstacle to his own succession to the Grand Lordship and believed that he could become the ruler of his own Tribe in Alanciar. Bentado hoped to control Alanciar's strong military and industrial base for his own ambitions.
While Vrai agreed with Bentado's assessment that the Alanciari had certain superior qualities, he argued that the same potential existed among the Keshiri on Keshtah since they were the same people. Korsin defended his plans by reiterating Sith philosophy about self glorification and the need for the perfect Sith to control everything and everyone. He also argued that the Tribe's founder Yaru Korsin had only succeeded in winning the Keshiri in Keshtah over but had failed to conquer them. Unlike his ancestor however, Bentado planned to conquer the Alanciari by bending their working system of government to his rule. He also claimed that he would succeed where Yaru failed because there were no other Sith on Alanciar. Edell listened to Korsin's arguments but regarded his ambitions as a grandiose and flawed. While admiring the originality of Bentado's plan to rule Alanciar as a solitary Sith, he argued it doomed to failed because he was not the only Sith present on that continent, pointing to Korsin's Sith followers.
A defensive Bentado responded that the Sith followers in the building were loyal to him, since they had been recruited from the ranks of his Korsinite League. Edell countered that he could not always rely on the loyalty of his Sith followers since they would eventually tire of hiding indoors. Quarra defended Edell by reiterating that the latter had received motivated help. By contrast, she stressed that Bentado would receive no help from the Alanciari since he had killed their leaders in cold blood. Edell tried to reason with Korsin by convincing him to work for the greater good of the Tribe by bring its airships to Alanciar safely. Unable to reason with Bentado, Edell turned to his Sith followers and told them that Bentado had successfully established control over the Keshiri of Keshtah Major. He ordered them to help him until the Tribe's reinforcements arrived. Edell then reiterated that they would work together to consolidate power on the continent in the name of the Tribe and Grand Lord Hilts.
Bentado was angered by Edell's recalcitrance and ordered his men to seize Edell and Quarra. They fled the "Worldwatch" and entered the hallway which they had entered through earlier. During their escape, Edell was wounded by Bentado who unleashed Force lightning on him. However, Quarra managed to wound Bentado's left arm with her hand-ballista, giving them enough time to reach the anteroom outside the War Cabinet's chamber. She also confused their Sith pursuers by smashing the fireglobes which lit the hallway. Due to her frequent visits to Vaal Hall, Quarra knew that there was a flight of stairs at the opposite end of this room which led to the surface level. While she wanted to escape to the surface and warn the Keshiri about the Sith, she saw that Edell had been seriously wounded and was unable to travel further.
Despite her animosity towards the Sith man, she had developed a close bond with Edell and was unwilling to abandon him to Bentado and his men, who were out to get them both. Quarra also recalled that it had been ten days since she and Edell had left Meori cove and the Mischance. She wanted to return in order to save her lover Jogan. However, Edell revealed that the ship had already left for Keshtah several days ago. While Quarra was angry that Edell had not kept his promise, she agreed to hide themselves from Bentado's followers who were out to kill them both. After calling on Adari Vaal through the Force, Quarra felt a tremor in the Force emanating from the direction of the wall tapestry of Adari Vaal. After handling the wall tapestry, she discovered that it actually led to a secret chamber which turned out to be Adari Vaal's secret library.
A Common Cause and EnemyEdit
- "Which means the only way to stop Bentado...is to stop Bentado"
- ―Edell Vrai
For almost a day, Quarra Thayn and Edell Vrai hid inside Adari Vaal's secret library. Despite her ill-feelings towards Edell for not keeping his promise regarding Jogan Halder, she still tended to his wounds; the second time she had tended to a wounded man in two weeks. Meanwhile, Bentado's Sith followers still remained outside beyond the tapestry but did not realize that their quarries were hiding behind the tapestry. For two hours, Quarra attempted to use her thought projection abilities to reach out to the other Keshiri thoughtcriers. However, she was unable to send a clear signal since the Force was clouded by the angry emotions of the Sith and the high levels of fear among the Alanciari. For Quarra, thought projection at this time was akin death by drowning. Quarra also worried about her lover Jogan due to the cold and dangerous conditions in the Southern Passage in the southern autumn.
While she still angry with the High Lord Edell, she was not willing to abandon him. Despite her ill feelings towards him for turning her world inside out and lying to her, she realized that Edell was a different person from Bentado. While Edell was still a murderer, he was not a fighter but a builder. She sensed that Edell was interested in something larger than himself, a rare trait for a Sith. Quarra had a difficult sleep through the night due to the voices outside. In the morning, sunlight entered the room through an overhead diagonal shaft. This provided here enough light to browse through the books in Adari's secret library. Besides her popular Keshtah Chronicles, the late Adari Vaal had also produced other writings during her exile in Alanciar including several biographical writings about the Sith and a series of books which compared and contrasted the mineral compositions of the two continents.
During this period, Quarra discovered Adari's personal memoirs and found a passage which revealed that she had succumbed to weakness during an encounter with Yaru Korsin, the founder of the Tribe. She realized that the "Rock of Kesh" had been tempted by the ancient Sith Lord and that she had faltered. While Quarra had contemplated killing Vrai with his own lightsaber, she realized that she did not hate him. In addition, Quarra also wanted to ask Edell whether the other Sith who were coming and their leader Grand Lord Hilts were as bad as Bentado. Edell quickly assured her that Hilts was a much better person than Bentado, and that he was old but wise. He also confided in Quarra that Hilts was a close friend of his and convinced her that it would be better for the Alanciari to live under Hilts than Bentado. Edell also related that the Tribe in the past had bad leaders who had caused Keshtah and its aqueducts to fall into ruins during the Time of the Rot, which he regarded as a millennium of chaos.
After studying Edell carefully, Quarra decided that she could trust Edell on the reasoning that "some animals were better than others." Seeking to work with someone whom she regarded as a lesser evil in order to stop a greater evil, Quarra agreed to join forces with Edell. However, she explained that she was not seeking to advance his or her own goals. Instead, she was going to stop Bentado for the good of her people. Edell accepted her rationale and then outlined his plans to disrupt Bentado's communications. They were unable to turn to the Alanciari for help because they would kill Edell since he was a Sith. If Quarra went alone to get help, there was a chance that Edell would still be killed if the other Sith found him in the library. Edell and Quarra also ruled out shooting the fireglobes on the signal tower since that would attract the attention of both the Sith and the Alanciari, and would result in their deaths. Since Quarra was unable to reach out for help through the Force, Vrai decided that the only way to stop Bentado was to stop the man himself. While Edell was worried that they only had one weapon, Quarra managed to find Adari Vaal's lightsaber, which had been a gift from Korsin, in her archive.
- "Stay back, Edell! If this purple thing means anything to you—stay back!"
- ―Bentado threatening Edell and Quarra
Meanwhile, Grand Lord Hilts' airship Good Omen arrived off the western coast of Alanciar near Port Melephos. In response, Bentado, who was still nursing his wounds, instructed Squab to order the Alanciari uvak "diamond-flak" teams to engage the aircraft. Unknown to Bentado, Edell and Quarra managed to enter Bentado's "worldwatch" room through a diagonal tunnel leading upwards from the archive. Upon exiting, Edell jumped onto Bentado, driving his head into the map surface. After rolling across the map table, he ignited his lightsaber. Shortly later, Quarra emerged and startled Squab. Edell was then attacked by a female follower of Bentado but he shoved her back with the Force. This distraction enabled Bentado to recover and snare Edell's ankle, causing him to fall to the ground. Quarra then attacked Bentado with Adari's lightsaber but the High Lord deflected hers by using his higher position on the map table. Meanwhile, Edell recovered from his fall and managed to impale another Bentado defender.
However, they were unable to stop Squab from escaping to the tower to relay Bentado's command. While Quarra could undo Bentado's grip on Alanciar from the tower, Edell feared that she could bring a host of Alanciari on his head. Before Quarra could pursue Squab, Bentado used the Force to throw her against one of the lower belfies, knocking away her lightsaber. Standing over the Keshiri woman, Bentado threatened to kill her unless Edell stayed back from him. In response, Edell threatened Squab with his lightsaber since the Keshiri servant was cowering near him besides the wooden spiral stair case which led to the signal tower. However, Bentado was unconcerned by the potential harm to his Keshiri servant since he believed that he could find more Keshiri servants on Alanciar.
When Bentado threatened to kill Quarra unless Edell yielded, Edell stood up for her by describing her as a "big help" and telling Bentado that it was rude for guests to kill their hosts. Bentado dismissed Edell as a "fool" and used the Force to throw Edell against a concrete wall. As a result of the attack, Edell dropped his lightsaber and Bentado flung Quarra to Edell's side. After Squab emerged from hiding, Bentado ordered the Keshiri to pick up Quarra's lightsaber while he took care of his two enemies himself. Bentado intended to execute his two wounded combatants but was interrupted by a message from Squab. Squab had received a parchment from one of Bentado's other Keshiri servants which carried the news that Grand Lord Hilt's airship had safely landed at Port Melephos. When Bentado asked whether the airship had been brought down, Squab confirmed that it had landed. Bentado was shocked that his plan to assassinate the Grand Lord had come apart.
In reality, Squab had been secretly serving Grand Lord Hilts and had disobeyed Bentado's command to down the Grand Lord's airship. In desperation, Bentado attempted to command Squab to order the Alanciari troops to kill Hilts and anyone with him. However, Squab countermanded that order with a new order from Hilts ordering him to kill Bentado. Squab then used Quarra's lightsaber to stab Lord Bentado through the heart, killing the Sith Lord. This effectively ended Bentado's dreams of creating a "Second Tribe" and killing his rival Hilts. Squab then handed Bentado's weapons to Edell Vrai, who was designated as the new commander of the Sith forces on Alanciar. Following the defeat of Bentado, Edell reasserted control over Bentado's men and the signaling devices.
With the death of Bentado, Squab and the Keshiri whom accompanied Bentado quickly complied with Edell's orders. These Keshiri slaves were loyal to Grand Lord Hilts and disarmed Bentado's surviving Korsinite League supporters. Edell was able to force the Korsinites to yield to his authority by threatening to bring all of the Alanciari down upon Vaal Hall if they did not surrender. Edell also communicated a deal from Grand Lord Hilts to the surviving Korsinities. Grand Lord Hilts intended to exile or enslave the defeated Korsinities. Due to their heavy losses at the Western Shield and the death of their leader, the Korsinite League was broken. Following the arrival of Grand Lord Hilts' forces over the next few days, these Korsinite survivors were taken into custody and presumably enslaved or killed. Edell also used the semaphore machines to communicate with the newcomers at Port Melephos, updating them about the recent developments in Sus'mintri and the defeat of Bentado's mutiny.
The Grand DeceptionEdit
- "But the evil ones and their leader [Korsin Bentado] have been put down, thanks to the efforts of one of my agents, working in concert with one of your well-trained Alanciari."
- ―Hilts praising Edell and Quarra for their role in defeating Korsin Bentado
Following the defeat of Korsin Bentado, Quarra Thayn and Edell Vrai contacted the remaining city leaders of Sus'mintri and told them that they had defeated the "evil ones" who had killed the Alanciari leaders in Vaal Hall. Quarra and her former captor were also present when Grand Lord Hilts' airship Good Omen arrived over the Sus'mintri parade grounds, where the Alanciari army also stood at attention. Unlike the Ebon Fleet, this airship had been painted white and adorned with jewels, tassels, artworks, and silk buntings to convey the impression that the Sith were good and had no ill intentions towards the Alanciari. Hilts' airship had already visited Port Melephos where Hilts and his new Keshiri "ambassador" Jogan Halder had managed to convince the locals there of their "good" intentions. When Quarra asked Edell if the Good Omen had been the royal vehicle he had been working on, he confirmed that this was the case but that the Sith had changed the exterior very fast.
As in Port Melephos, Jogan Halder delivered his testimony from the front balcony of the airship. He described how he had been taken by the Sith beyond the Southern Passage to Keshtah Minor following Edell's scouting mission to Alanciar. Upon landing, Jogan had been blindfolded and transported on a cart to Tahv, the capital of the Tribe. There, Jogan recalled that he had his blindfold removed and was allowed to roam the city freely. The city was filled with Keshiri craftsmen, painters, sculptors, and musicians who greeted him. The Keshtah Keshiri told him that they were a "happy and free" people who lived under the protection of the Sith, whom they called the "Protectors", ancient gods in Keshiri mythology. He claimed that the Keshiri in Keshtah had lived in peace for two millennia and had been able to commit themselves fully to leisure pastimes like the arts, painting, music, and singing. By contrast, the Keshiri in Alanciari were said to have spent the past two millennia in drudgery.
Halder was also allowed to visit the Tribe's [Kesh capitol building|capitol building]] where he befriended the Circle of Lords. He described the Circle of Lords as a council where no man or woman ranked above the other. The Sith told Jogan that they Sith did not actually pose a threat to the Alanciari. While they acknowledged that Adari Vaal had been right about the presence of the "evil" Destructors among the Sith in her home continent, he claimed that the Tribe had already purged the Destructors one day after Vaal had left the continent for Alanciar. According to Halder, if Adari had waited just one more day, those that she had feared would have been destroyed and her warning would have been unnecessary. He argued therefore that the militarization of Alanciari civilization therefore had been unnecessary.
However, Jogan also mentioned that a servant of the Destructors had risen in Keshtah again two thousand years later but had been driven from the continent. This same individual had also built a fleet of airships and had sought to conquer Alanciar. Jogan then mentioned that the Sith Edell Vrai and his airships had been sent in pursuit of those criminals. Vrai had been startled by the military and technological power of the Alanciari. He claimed that Vrai and his followers had brought him to Keshtah because they wanted to verify that the Alanciari were not the "vile enemies of legend." According Halder, the clash between the Alanciari and Vaal's forces had thus been an unnecessary and needless misunderstanding. Jogan then recalled that he had assured the Sith that the Alanciari had always been on the side of good and that they would resist any evil that came their way. He then concluded by arguing that the Alanciari were not deserving of their wrath. Jogan also added that the Sith were glad that the Alanciari were "good" and had offered to help.
Jogan Halder's testament was warmly received by the Sus'mintri crowd. Quarra quickly realized that Jogan had become the "new Herald" but that he told tales that were pleasing to the Sith. Quarra examined the facial expressions of the Alanciari crowd and quickly discovered that they were taking him seriously despite what she regarded as his "incredible" tale. Since Jogan was an Alanciari, his people were more willing to trust and believe his account. Quarra then toyed with the idea of telling her own account of her ordeal with the Sith in an attempt to convince her people that the Sith did indeed pose a threat to them. However, she was unable to do because she felt a sense of paralysis since the moment that Edell had reasserted control over Bentado's crew. Thus, there had been no chance for her to provide an alternative account. Quarra attempted to open her mouth but was immediately interrupted by Jogan, who announced that there was someone else the Alanciari had to meet.
- "They sense no malice in him [Hilts]. He never had any for you."
"There's still deception."
"Maybe these people are ready to be deceived. They're like one of your ballistae. They've been cocked for years, waiting to go off. Now that they've fired, they're ready for something else—even a pretty story."
- ―Quarra Thayn and Edell Vrai discussing the "conquest" of Alanciar
This second individual turned out to be Grand Lord Hilts, who had disguised himself as the "Kesh-born" minion of the Bright Tuash, an avian Keshiri deity. While the Alanciari crowd were awed by the arrival of this "holy old man", Edell recognized his old friend and laughed aloud. Hilts claimed that he was two thousand years old and that both the Sith and Keshiri were his children. He also claimed that Adari Vaal, the revered founder of Alanciari civilization, was his daughter and that she had been well-meaning but misguided. He backed Jogan's account and professed to be saddened that the Destructors had attacked and killed the Alanciari War Cabinet. He also assured the Alanciari that the Destructors and their leader had been defeated by his agent Edell Vrai and the Alanciari woman Quarra Thayn, whom he described as a well-trained soldier. To facilitate peace between the two continents, the "Bright Tuash" decreed that both Human and Keshiri relief workers in white robes would arrive from Keshtah over the next few days to promote reconciliation and unity.
In reality, Jogan Halder's Testament had been part of a "grand deception" staged by Grand Lord Hilts. To counter the deep-seated anti-Sith sentiment promoted by Adari Vaal, the Sith had to convince Halder and his people that while the Keshtah Chronicles were true, the Sith were actually the Protectors. To deflect attention from the Tribe, Hilts managed to depict his rival Bentado and his supporters as followers of the Destructors. This was helped by the sinister appearance of Bentado and his followers, many of whom had come from the former Korsinite League. Hilts had reasoned that Bentado's Ebon Fleet would give the Alanciari the fight that they would win. Despite knowing about the military capabilities of the Alanciari from Edell's followers, Hilts had withheld this information from Bentado since the was too headstrong to listen to reason and because Hilts wanted to eliminate a political rival.
Hilts had also tricked Jogan into believing that Keshtah was a utopian paradise by putting the Tribe's most loyal Keshiri on to the streets of Tahv to create a false carnival atmosphere. Meanwhile, the Tribe had withdrawn from public view. To perpetuate the deception that the Tribe were actually the Protectors, Hilts had ordered that "changes" be made to the exterior of the Tribe's remaining airships including his flagship Good Omen. Ultimately, this deception worked and most of the Alanciari bought the message that the Sith were actually benevolent. While several Force-sensitive Alanciari sensed that Hilts was being deceptive, they did not object because they were tired of the militaristic nature of Alanciari society and were willing to accept change. When Quarra raised her concerns about Hilts' deceptiveness, Edell merely replied that her people wanted to be deceived.
Following Halder's testament, the Good Omen landed on the Sus'mintri parade grounds. Jogan was immediately mobbed by thousands of cheerful Alanciari who regarded him as a hero for saving Kesh. Halder traveled to the city's signal station in order to transmit his message to the rest of Alanciari. He also briefly encountered Quarra Thayn but was too preoccupied to see her. Instead, he promised to meet up with her another time. Halder managed to transmit his message to the rest of Alanciar through the continent's semaphore network. As a result of Jogan Halder's diplomacy, the Alanciari peacefully submitted to Sith rule. Quarra and her former captor Edell were also praised for their role in stopping Bentado. The biggest winner of the Alanciari conquest was Grand Lord Hilts, whom not only succeeded in fulfilling his long-time ambition of conquering "Keshtah Major" but also eliminated a major threat to his rule: Korsin Bentado.
The Narrow PathEdit
- "...A number of roads are open to you, Quarra."
"No. Only one."
- ―Quarra turning down Edell's offer to join the Lost Tribe of Sith
Following Jogan Halder's Testament and Varner Hilts' speech, Quarra Thayn did not stay to greet the Grand Lord. Instead, she went to join the cleanup crew at Vaal Hall who were removing the dead bodies and restoring the building to its proper functions. Squab and Bentado's surviving Keshiri, who were now under Edell Vrai's command, had held the strategically important signal tower until the Tribe's white-suited human advisers had arrived. When Edell met Quarra, she was outside the courtyard wall feeding the muntok team. By then, Edell had become the governor of Alanciar. Several white-suited Sith advisors had also arrived in Sus'mintri and were winning the support of the Alanciari by distributing gifts. The Sith had planned to adopt several Alanciari technologies like their wooden sailing ships and fireglobes but also wanted the Alanciari to destroy their ballistae in order to prevent a rebellion among their new subjects.
When Edell asked about her sentry friend Jogan, Quarra replied that she had seem him briefly but that he seemed busy. Edell informed her that Jogan who have a place of honor in Sith society since he was the fist visitor from Alanciar. However, he acknowledged that Jogan would not be trusted as blindly as Adari Vaal had been. He concluded that the Tribe had taken Jogan in exchange for Adari Vaal. Quarra did not respond to Edell's comment and instead fastened a saddlebag to one of the muntoks and detached him from the cart. Edell attempted to recruit Quarra as an "ambassador" like Jogan or a Force-sensitive adept in the Tribe. He explained that Grand Lord Hilts had been impressed by the Force tradition of the Alanciari and had always wanted to allow Keshiri to join the Tribe. Thus, a number of roads were open to Quarra. However, Quarra disagreed and said that only one path was open to her: her husband and her family.
After wrapping up her business at Vaal Hall, Quarra returned to her hometown of Uhrar where her family waited. While traveling home, Quarra realized that there had been a purpose for her fateful journey to Point Defiance two weeks ago. She likened her situation to that of a boat on a canal which was yoked to a single direction. While she benefitted from the Sith conquest, she was unhappy that the Sith were encouraging the notion that the past two millennia in Alanciari history had been a period of collective madness. Many of her friends, neighbors and colleagues were also beginning to regard Adari Vaal, the Herald of Kesh, as a disgraced figure. Quarra feared that she would be the only one who would remember this historical figure fondly. Quarra tried unsuccessfully to inform several other Alanciari including her close friends about the Sith plot but none were willing to listen to her skepticism.
Still, Quarra took home one final warning from Adari's personal memoirs. Adari had stayed close to Yaru Korsin in an attempt to learn some way of freeing her people. While she had succeeded in this endeavor by teaching the Alanciari what she knew about the Sith, Adari had been tempted by Korsin and had succumbed to her feelings. While Adari had risen to the status of Savior for a time, she had become a close companion to the first Grand Lord. While Edell had offered Quarra the same opportunity to become his companion and attain a position of power within the Tribe, she had decided not to repeat Adari's mistake. While Orielle had told her that she could not run from the inevitable Sith conquest of Alanciar, she realized that she did not have to run towards it. Adari Vaal's memoir had confirmed that Orielle had been right. While she recognized that some animals were better than others, Quarra concluded that the Sith were still animals and that she was better with her own kind.
When Quarra finally arrived at her Uhrar home, she found her husband Brue polishing several fireglobes which he had shaped. When Brue commented that his wife had a busy vacation, Quarra concurred and asked how his work had been. Brue was pleased with his work as a glassblower since there had been an increase demand for fireglobes from the Sith, who were interested in this Alanciari technology. Quarra's children were also glad to see their mother and Quarra offered to surprise them. As Quarra entered her home, she vowed to use her position as wardmaster to guide her family and her fellow citizens through the process of Sith Unification as long as her office existed. While gazing at the stars above, Quarra hoped that there were "true Protectors" in the galaxy who were ready to save her people. However, she was prepared to be wrong.
Personality and traitsEdit
- "I mean you're moved by a desire to improve yourself—and that you despair of weakness in others. I wasn't joking. You're never satisfied. I expect that it has made you a good warmaster—"
"—a good organizer of others. You see what needs to be done, and you expect it done. You see a lack of ambition as a lack of respect not just for self, but for others. And you."
- ―Edell Vrai's assessment of Quarra Thayn's personality
Quarra Thayn was an intelligent and ambitious Keshiri woman who was motivated by a desire to constantly improve herself. Over a period of twenty years, Quarra rose from the lowly position of supply clerk to the senior position of wardmaster, which made her the chief military administrator of her hometown of Uhrar. Due to her Force-sensitivity, Quarra was recruited by the Induction Board to serve as a thoughtcrier. Quarra's competitive nature made her resent weakness in other people, particularly her husband Brue Thayn whom she regarded as dull and boring. While Brue was a good family man who provided for their three children, she was still unable to get over her frustration with her husband's unwillingness to upskill himself. In addition, Quarra regarded her job as a government bureaucrat as monotonous and boring. Quarra's dissatisfaction with both her family and work life led her to initiate an affair with Jogan Halder, a signal officer in the Alanciari Signal Corps. Despite her differences with her husband, she still loved him and their three children and was prepared to protect them from any danger.
As with all Alanciari who grew up prior to the Sith "Unification" in 2975 BBY, Quarra was indoctrinated from young to loathe the Lost Tribe of Sith and to dedicate her life to the "Great Cause" of defending Alanciar from a Sith invasion. Despite the Sith conquest, she continued to remain a faithful fan of Adari Vaal, the ancient Herald of Kesh, who had warned her forebears about the threat of the Sith. While Quarra was forced into a position of collaborating with the Sith High Lord Edell Vrai, Quarra was unwilling to become a pawn of the Sith and managed to extract some concessions from them including the "good treatment" of her lover Jogan Halder and that she be able to visit her hometown to check on the wellbeing of her three children. Later, when the High Lord Korsin Bentado mutinied against the Tribe's leadership and attacked Edell, Quarra justified her cooperation with Edell on the premise that she was stopping Bentado for the good of her people, whom she reasoned would be better living under the progressive Grand Lord Varner Hilts and Edell.
While Quarra developed a reluctant friendship with her one-time Sith captor Edell Vrai, she never fully trusted the Sith. She regarded the Sith as animals and reasoned that while some animals were better than others, nothing changed the fact that they were still animals. Thus, Quarra felt more comfortable with her own kind. Ultimately, Quarra's distrust of the Sith led her to express her skepticism of the "benign intentions" of their new Sith rulers and to reject Edell's offer of joining the Sith Tribe as an adept and becoming his consort.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
- "Nice to meet another who has the gift. But I barely heard you. You tired?"
"Been a long ride."
- ―Belmer Kattun commenting on Quarra Thayn's thought projection skills
Quarra Thayn was one of the small number of Keshiri living in Alanciar who were Force-sensitive. Due to her Force powers, she was briefly served as a thoughtcrier, an individual who was trained to send telepathic messages through thought projection, for the Alanciari military, which was the dominant means of mobility in pre-Sith Alanciar. Despite her Force powers, she only used it to amuse her three children. Still, Quarra was able to use the Force in melee combat. Despite her Force powers, Quarra lacked any formal instruction in the Force and thus did not know how to protect her mind from psychic attacks by a competent Sith warrior.
In addition, Quarra was a competent sniper and knew how to operate a hand-ballista, a miniature gun-like version of the Alanciari ballista, which was used as an anti-personnel weapon. She used a hand-ballista to injure the Sith Saber Ulbrick resulting in wounds that led to his death. Quarra was also trained to drill with bayonets. As a native of Alanciar and a prominent bureaucrat, Quarra had a good knowledge of her home continent's geography and roads.
Behind the scenesEdit
Quarra Thayn first appeared as one of the two major protagonists in John Jackson Miller's novella Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pandemonium, alongside the Sith High Lord Edell Vrai. Pandemonium was first released on July 24 2012 as part of the mass paperback Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories. This marks her only known appearance in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Miller conceptualized Quarra Thayn as a mirror to the earlier Keshiri protagonist Adari Vaal, a more wary collaborator to the invading Sith. He also conceptualized Alanciari society as a martial indigenous society which were aware of, hostile toward, and prepared for the Sith outsider. Miller likened the Alanciari situation to that of London during The Blitz in World War II and the early contact between the native civilizations of the New World and the European colonial powers. Miller intended for the militaristic Alanciari society to serve as a stark backdrop for Quarra's love affair with Jogan Halder. He chose to have the Alanciari speak Basic to avoid a retread of the linguistic problems described in the second novella Lost Tribe of the Sith: Skyborn.
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pandemonium (First appearance)
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 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 1.35 1.36 1.37 1.38 1.39 1.40 1.41 1.42 1.43 1.44 1.45 1.46 1.47 1.48 1.49 1.50 1.51 1.52 1.53 1.54 1.55 1.56 1.57 1.58 1.59 1.60 1.61 1.62 1.63 1.64 1.65 1.66 1.67 1.68 1.69 1.70 1.71 1.72 1.73 1.74 1.75 1.76 1.77 1.78 1.79 1.80 1.81 1.82 1.83 1.84 1.85 1.86 1.87 1.88 1.89 1.90 1.91 1.92 1.93 1.94 1.95 1.96 1.97 1.98 Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pandemonium
- ↑ Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pandemonium briefly mentions that Quarra Thayn had felt that she had not been fourteen years old for thirty years.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Lost Tribe of the Sith/Email from John Jackson Miller
- ↑ Lost Tribe of the Sith, 22 January 2014/Email from John Jackson Miller
- ↑ John Jackson Miller. Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith - The Collected Stories. Faraway Press. Archived from the original on January 21, 2019. Retrieved on January 5, 2013.