- "But you know that all that is Kesh came from the Skyborn. Nothing can be born of Kesh anew!"
- ―Izri Dazh, to Adari Vaal
In the Keshiri religion, the Skyborn were the group of deities worshiped by the lords of the planet Kesh. The Keshiri believed that in mythic times the Skyborn battled the evil Otherside in the stars above Kesh. The Skyborn were victorious, but the blood from their wounds fell upon Kesh's seas and formed all of the world's landmass. Subsequently, the Skyborn were said to watch over the planet, which was ruled by the supposed "Sons of the Skyborn," the Neshtovar. In 5000 BBY, a group of Sith led by Yaru Korsin crash-landed on Kesh, and were found in the Cetajan Mountains by Keshiri geologist Adari Vaal. Subsequently, the Sith claimed to be the Skyborn returned to Kesh, and took full advantage of the fanatical devotion of the Keshiri masses. Once they were in control, the Sith changed the name of the Skyborn to the Protectors, de-emphasizing the tales of the Skyborn and the Otherside in favor of older myths. In the new belief system of the Keshiri religion, the Protectors battled the Destructors over the course of history, always guarding Kesh from their enemies' violent purposes. Eventually, the Sith came to accept that they truly were the Protectors and continued to be worshiped by the Keshiri for millennia.
- "This land was a part of the living Skyborn. Do you think they do not hear you? When the ground quakes, when the smokers burn—it's their remnant acting in sympathy with their wishes. Their wishes that we honor them, and hate the Otherside!"
- ―Izri Dazh, to Adari Vaal
The Skyborn were a group of deities widely worshiped on the planet Kesh, as early as the year 5000 BBY. The Keshiri natives of the planet exalted the Skyborn as "the great beings above," and the Skyborn were the basis of the story of Kesh's creation. It was believed that many ages past, the humanoid Skyborn, riding colossal crystal uvak beasts, battled the nefarious Otherside in the stars. The Great Battle, as it was called, raged for eons, and although the Skyborn were injured, they eventually defeated the Otherside. As a result of their wounds, drops of Skyborn blood fell upon the seas of Kesh, creating all of the planet's land—a belief supported in a way by the highly asymmetrical Keshiri coastlines.
The Skyborn were seen as all-knowing. Geological events such as groundquakes and volcanic eruptions were believed to be the remnant of the Skyborn acting according to their wishes that the Keshiri honor them and hate the Otherside. If one was seen as having disgraced the Skyborn, it was commonly believed that the gods would "forsake" them, bringing punishment upon the erring individual. Conversely, one could also be protected by the Skyborn, who would prevent harm from coming to that person. After the arrival on Kesh of a group of Sith claiming to be the legendary Skyborn in 5000 BBY, the Skyborn myth was changed somewhat. The names of the Skyborn and the Otherside were changed to the Protectors and the Destructors, respectively, harkening back to earlier Keshiri tales—the Destructors were said to periodically come to Kesh to bring destruction to the planet, while the Protectors were destined to defeat them. This idea was given some credence due to evidence that a planetwide catastrophe like the one that the Destructors were said to bring had been visited upon the world at least once. The Keshiri looked to the Protectors to defend Kesh from the Destructors' eventual return.
- "We are the Skyborn—and we will return to the stars!"
- ―Yaru Korsin
By 5000 BBY, the worship of the Skyborn was firmly entrenched as a dominant force in daily Keshiri life. Tradition held that in past ages the uvak-riding group known as the Neshtovar brought the knowledge of the Skyborn and the Great Battle from Kesh's Cetajan Mountains. The Neshtovar were proclaimed as the "Sons of the Skyborn," and took authority as the rulers of Kesh. In 5000 BBY, geologist Adari Vaal discovered evidence that the land of Kesh was created naturally from magma flow, rather than from the blood of the Skyborn as was commonly believed. After teaching her theories to students, she was called to testify before the Neshtovar and defend her supposed "heresy." As Vaal argued with Neshtovar leader Izri Dazh, a sudden explosion rocked the Cetajan Mountains—the Keshiri masses took it as a sign of the Skyborn's displeasure. After being harassed by Tahv townsfolk, Vaal fled into the mountain range on an uvak. There, she came across the source of the event, a group of crash-landed Sith. Vaal brought the Sith to civilization, where they proclaimed themselves to be the Skyborn of legend. Although some were initially skeptical, Sith leader Yaru Korsin dismissed those doubts with Force feats, such as levitating Izri Dazh. With a lavish ceremony in Tahv's Circle Eternal, the supposed Skyborn were welcomed back to Kesh and embraced their role as gods, hoping to use their newfound authority to find a way offplanet. However, as they would find, the planet Kesh did not have the materials that the Sith needed to get off the world.
The Skyborn went on to marginalize the Neshtovar, moving into their homes and taking away their power. In addition, Adari Vaal, once an outcast, was honored as the "Daughter of the Skyborn." Service of the supposed Skyborn became the dominant facet of Keshiri life—many priests, such as Tilden Kaah, served as little more than personal servants to their gods. The Sith gladly welcomed this sort of devotion, and looked to extend their hegemony over the Keshiri natives even more. While the Neshtovar claimed a sort of kinship to the Skyborn, no Keshiri could claim a relation to the ancient mythic Protectors, tales of whom had been overlaid by the newer Keshiri religion. The Sith ended the use of the term "Skyborn" in favor of Protectors, and the common religious beliefs were altered somewhat. This change did nothing to affect the Keshiri's fanatical devotion to their gods, and many Keshiri lives were lost at hard labor, building monuments and tributes to honor the Skyborn. One of the dead was Adari Vaal's son, Finn, leading her to head an ultimately-unsuccessful Keshiri resistance movement. The name "Skyborn" lived on in the Skyborn Rangers, a group of ceremonial uvak-riders led by Yaru Korsin's daughter, Nida Korsin. By 4975 BBY, the supposed Protectors had given up on their efforts to find a way off Kesh and signaled to the masses that they would live among the Keshiri for good.
The Sith, organized into their own tribe, were worshiped as gods for millennia, with the Keshiri none the wiser. In 3000 BBY, a recording was discovered revealing Korsin and his group to be servants of Sith Lord Naga Sadow, which had the ability to shatter the Sith illusion. However, the knowledge did not make it to the Keshiri public. In 2975 BBY, the Lost Tribe was also able to use the "Skyborn myth" to conquer the continent of Alanciar with minimal resistance. For millennia, the Keshiri on Alanciar had been separated from their counterparts on Keshtah Minor by a wide ocean. However, they also shared the same Skyborn legend. Grand Lord Varner Hilts was able to win the support of the Keshiri on Alanciari by using the Alanciari man Jogan Halder to convince his people that Hilt's forces were the Skyborn and that Lord Bentado, a rival Sith Lord, was a servant of the evil Destructors. Thus, the Sith were able to consolidate control of Alanciar with minimal blood spilled and disruption.
However, some Alanciari Sith like Quarra Thayn and Chegg realized that the Lost Tribe were not gods but were actually mere mortal beings. During an expedition to the frozen continent of Eshkrene, the Human Sith Parlan Spinner and Takara Hilts encountered the Doomed, the multi-species descendants of ancient Jedi and Dark Jedi who had discovered Kesh following the Hundred-Year Darkness which ended in 6900 BBY. They discovered that the Keshiri legends of the Protectors and Destructors, and the Great Calamity were based on Keshiri recollections of that conflict between the Jedi and Dark Jedi. In the end, the two rival Force orders made peace after the Dark Jedi overthrew and imprisoned their leader Remulus Dreypa within an oubliette.
The Jedi and Dark Jedi then migrated to Eshkrene where they created a new community known as the Doomed, who were ashamed of their Force powers and the destruction they had wrought on the Keshiri. They dedicated themselves to protecting the Keshiri and striving to find a balance between the light and dark sides of the Force. The Sith expedition to Eshkrene in 2974 BBY ended the Doomed's isolation from the rest of Kesh. However, Spinner freed Dreypa from his prison, intending to use the Dark Jedi to settle scores with the Tribe, and escaped back to Keshtah Minor. Dreypa intended to return to the stars and reluctantly agreed to stage a rebellion against the Tribe as a means of reaching the Sith capital of Tahv, where an ancient hyperspace-capable Jedi starship was hidden. Ultimately, Dreypa was defeated through the combined efforts of Spinner and Hilts but all members of the Doomed perished during the conflict.
Following the suppression of Dreypa's rebellion, Lord Hilts surmised that the Keshiri's relative quick acceptance of Yaru Korsin and the Sith crew of the Omen had been no mistake since his Sith ancestors had not been the first to arrive on Kesh. He also realized that if the mythical Protectors and Destructors still existed, the Tribe would be no match for their powers. Over time, the Sith uncovered more evidence that the tale of the Protectors was actually true, and accepted that they truly were the figures of legend.
Behind the scenes
The Skyborn were first mentioned in Christie Golden's 2009 novel Fate of the Jedi: Omen—the second book in the nine-part Fate of the Jedi series—where they were called the Protectors. The name "Skyborn" was first introduced in John Jackson Miller's eBook Lost Tribe of the Sith: Skyborn, along with much of their history and backstory. The deities were also mentioned in several other entries in the Fate of the Jedi and Lost Tribe of the Sith series, respectively.
During an email dating back to August 2013, Miller clarified that the Skyborn actually referred to the ancient Jedi who had fought the Sith Lord Remulus Dreypa and his Dark Jedi allies during the Great Calamity which occurred at an unknown period following the Hundred-Year Darkness. This event later evolved into the Neshtovari legends of the Skyborn and the Otherside. Later, the Lost Tribe of Sith imposed the names Protectors and Destructors on the Skyborn and Otherside respectively. By the time of the Fate of the Jedi novel series, which occurs about three thousand years following the events of the Spiral comics, later residents on Kesh attempted to fit the Force entity Abeloth into the earlier Keshiri mythology. Miller also theorized that two cycles of destruction may have occurred on Kesh: Dreypa's first and second attacks overlapping and Abeloth's actions co-mingled in people's minds.
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Skyborn (First identified as Skyborn)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Paragon (Mentioned only)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Savior (Mentioned only)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Sentinel (Mentioned only)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pantheon (Mentioned only)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Secrets (Mentioned only)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith—Spiral 1 (Mentioned only)
- Lost Tribe of the Sith—Spiral 2 (In flashback(s))
- Lost Tribe of the Sith—Spiral 5 (Mentioned only)
- Fate of the Jedi: Omen (First mentioned, simultaneous with Fate of the Jedi: Omen audiobook) (As Protectors)
- Fate of the Jedi: Omen audiobook (Mentioned only) (As Protectors)
- Fate of the Jedi: Abyss (As Protectors)
- Fate of the Jedi: Abyss audiobook (As Protectors)
- Fate of the Jedi: Vortex (As Protectors)
- Fate of the Jedi: Vortex audiobook (As Protectors)
- Fate of the Jedi: Ascension (As Protectors)
- Fate of the Jedi: Ascension audiobook (As Protectors)
- Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse (As Protectors)
- Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse audiobook (As Protectors)
Notes and references
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Skyborn
- Lost Tribe of the Sith—Spiral 2
- Fate of the Jedi: Omen
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Paragon
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Savior
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pantheon
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Secrets
- Lost Tribe of the Sith: Pandemonium
- Lost Tribe of the Sith—Spiral 1
- Lost Tribe of the Sith—Spiral 4
- Lost Tribe of the Sith—Spiral 5
- Fate of the Jedi: Abyss