In 3631 BBY, a rescue operation was organized by Lana Beniko to free the Commander from carbonite imprisonment within the Spire on the planet Zakuul. Beniko and Koth Vortena, along with the astromech droid T7-O1 and bodyguard droid HK-55, were successful in infiltrating the Spire and freeing the Outlander, escaping the pursuit of High Justice Vaylin. The damage caused to their shuttle forced them to crash-land in the Endless Swamp surrounding the Spire, where the team found the Gravestone, an ancient warship that was capable of going up against Arcann's Eternal Fleet. After repairing the ship to the best of their ability, the team was located and was forced to hold their position against a host of Skytroopers and Knights of Zakuul. The arrival of rogue Knight Senya Tirall to their aid earned them a moment of respite, allowing the group to get the Gravestone airborne and leave the planet. In orbit, they were faced with the Eternal Fleet, but a single blast from the Gravestone's omnicannon destroyed more than two dozen Eternal Fleet warships in a single shot, enabling the Gravestone to jump into the safety of the hyperspace.
In the aftermath of the Eternal Empire conquest, the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire signed treaties with Zakuul, leaving them in a stranglehold, slowly depriving them of resources and trade. Hoping to spark the galaxy into action against the dictatorship of the Eternal Emperor Arcann, former Sith Intelligence Minister Lana Beniko travelled into Wild Space. There, she hoped to learn the fate of the one blamed for the assassination of Valkorion - her ally from the Revanite crisis whom Zakuulans come to know by the moniker "Outlander". Early on, she met and exchanged information with Senya Tirall, a former member of the Knights of Zakuul, who resigned after Arcann ordered the massacre of the Scions of Zakuul. She later encountered an exiled Zakuulan naval officer Koth Vortena, who defected following the Occupation of Denon along with his crew. Beniko and Vortena spend a lot of time opposing the Eternal Empire together, growing to trust each other. Beniko also obtained a bodyguard droid HK-55 and an astromech droid T7-O1.
Five years after the assassination of Valkorion, Beniko was finally able to learn that her ally was frozen in carbonite and kept by Arcann in a secured vault that housed his most prized possessions. Beniko mounted a rescue mission and in 3631 BBY she and T7-O1 infiltrated Zakuul's capital city of the Spire, while Vortena and HK-55 waited in the shuttle that served as their escape vehicle. Locating the Outlander inside Arcann's vault and unfreezing them, Beniko noted that the Outlander suffered from carbonite poisoning and quickly administered an antidote. Almost immediately they were attacked by Skytrooper guards and Beniko proceeded to escort the Outlander to the extraction point while T7-O1 went a separate route to generate false alarms in other sectors. Their escape discovered, the two here pursuited by High Justice Vaylin, Arcann's sister and an extremely powerful Force user. Meanwhile, Vortena's shuttle was also spotted and he was forced to evade his pursuers, asking Beniko to move to another pickup spot. Attempting to cut off their escape route, Vaylin destabilized a Sun Generator, forcing Beniko and the Outlander to make their way inside a Skytrooper droid factory, where they destroyed ZX-199. The generator threatened to overload and explode, risking innocent lives, and Vortena demanded that the Outlander take a detour to disable it before it went critical, despite Beniko's protests. Vortena's shuttle was eventually shot down, crashing on a shuttle pad, where Vortena and HK-55 were cornered by Zakuulan forces. The two managed to eliminate their attackers, after which Vortena stole a nearby shuttle and rushed to pick up Beniko and the Outlander. With Vortena having problems with their escape vehicle, Beniko and the Outlander had to hold their ground against two Knights of Zakuul named Novo and Tanek. They prevailed, through Novo managed to escape, but were then cornered by Vailyn. Beniko prepared to sacrifice herself to buy the Outlander time for escape, when Vortena's shuttle arrived and open fire on the High Justice, mowing down her skytrooper escort. Vaylin telekinetically shielded herself with a piece of debris, before throwing it at the shuttle, causing it serious damage. Vortena managed to keep the shuttle in the air long enough for the Outlander and Beniko to get aboard, after which they fled the scene. They were about to fired upon by defense turrets, but T7-O1 remotely shut them down, before continuing with his next mission on Zakuul.
The internal fires on the shuttle forced Vortena to put it down, crashing in the Endless Swamp. Beniko and Vortena stayed behind to hide evidence of their crash-landing, while the Outlander and HK-55 went ahead to investigate a large technological object that the droid detected on his sensors. When Beniko and Vortena caught up to their companions, HK-55 informed them that the object was not native to Zakuul and Vortena quickly identified it as the Gravestone, the legendary starship that single handedly stood up to the Eternal Fleet. The team got working on repairing the Gravestone, eventually restoring major systems to working conditions. At some point Beniko sent a message to Senya Tirall asking her to join them and provide backup. Meanwhile, Arcann determined that the damaged shuttle could only land in the Endless Swamp, and ordered the Skytroopers to sweep the region, focusing on areas with large metallic sensor readings. Arcann's forces soon located the Gravestone, which came under attack by Skytroopers and Zakuulan Knights. Vortena and HK-55 stayed on the bridge to get the ship ready to fly, while Beniko and the Outlander held off the attacking forces outside. Senya Tirall arrived to join the defense of the Gravestone mid-fight, helping the Outlander defeat Knight-Captain Draynon Atrus and an Eternal Empire Walker piloted by Dru Velton. The Knights then used Zildrog's Wedge to isolate Beniko from the rest, managing to disarm her. Vortena and HK-55 arrived to finish off the last of Zakuulan forces, but more reinforcements were on their way, and the group prepared to leave Zakuul, with the Force-users helped raise the ancient starship from the swamp. After everyone got onboard and the ship left the atmosphere, the Eternal Fleet appeared to intercept them. The Outlander fired the Gravestone's omnicannon, destroying more than two dozen Eternal Fleet warships in a single shot, and enabling the Gravestone to jump into hyperspace.
The Gravestone suffered damage during the escape, with both the omnicannon and the hyperdrive losing their functionality. The group decided to make a stop at the Asylum shadowport for repairs, where they picked up Vortena's crew of engineers to restore the ship to full working condition. Their position was eventually giving away by Heskal, leading to the Battle of Asylum, in which the Gravestone once again managed to escape the Eternal Fleet.
Behind the scenes
During the escape from Zakuul in Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire the player is faced with three major choices. The first is to make a detour to disable the Sun Generator as a Light Side option or let it explode and take thousands of lives in a Dark Side option, which will permanently sour the player's relationship with Koth Vortena. The second is to led Zakuulan exiles from the Endless Swamp onboard the Gravestone as a Light Side option or deny them aid as a Dark Side option. The third is to decline Valkorion's offer of power as a Light Side option, or use it to save Lana Beniko from a wound as a Dark Side option, which could potentially lead to Valkorion taking control of the player's body during a duel with Arcann on Asylum.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire (First appearance)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Chapter III: Outlander
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Chapter VIII: Taking Flight
- According to Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire takes place in 3636 BBY and the ninth chapter in 3630 BBY. The expansion states that the Outlander woke up five years after the events of the first chapter, placing the Chapters II through VIII in 3631 BBY. the first chapter of
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Chapter V: From the Grave
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Chapter IV: The Gravestone
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire—Chapter VI: Asylum