- Welk: "Force lightning. We had thought Skywalker's Jedi considered themselves above that."
- Mara: "We make exceptions… Especially in your case, Welk."
- ―Welk and Mara Jade Skywalker[src]
Welk was a Human Dark Jedi and a former member of the Shadow Academy, who became the apprentice of Tamith Kai after the death of her student, Vilas. By the time of the Yuuzhan Vong War Welk had apparently joined the One Sith, and along with Lomi Plo, a Nightsister and Sith Master, he was sent to escort the independent Dark Lady Lumiya back to the Sith enclave base on Korriban.
However, Welk and Lomi Plo were captured by the Yuuzhan Vong and taken to Myrkr, where the two eventually crossed paths with the Jedi strike force which infiltrated their prison. Aiding the Jedi for a short time, Welk and Plo ultimately betrayed them with the theft of the freighter Tachyon Flier, the strike team's sole means of escape. Badly damaged during its escape of the system, the Tachyon Flier crashed in the Unknown Regions, on the Killik planet of Yoggoy. Rescued by Raynar Thul, the young Jedi who had been unconscious aboard the starship, but horrifically scarred, Welk, alongside his master, went on to create the Dark Nest Gorog among the insectoid Killiks, thus instigating the Dark Nest Crisis, before falling to Jedi Master Luke Skywalker's blade in 35 ABY.
- "Welk… was Tamith Kai's best student–after Vilas died, of course."
Details on Welk's early life are scarce. Following his childhood, Welk was inducted into the Shadow Academy. Under the instruction of fallen Jedi Brakiss and the Nightsister Tamith Kai, Welk was taught the ways of the dark side of the Force. When Vilas, Kai's apprentice, was killed during his contention with Zekk for position of Darkest Knight, Welk went on to become the Nightsister's new favorite. Tamith Kai was killed in turn during the assault on the Jedi Praxeum, and Welk saw Zekk, who later turned to the light, as a traitor to the Shadow Academy.
Partnership with Lomi PloEdit
Several years later, in the opening stages of the Yuuzhan Vong War, he was captured by the extra-galactic race along with the Sith Master Lomi Plo during a mission to bring the self-proclaimed Dark Lady of the Sith Lumiya to Korriban. Plo would later claim to have been abducted with Welk by the Yuuzhan Vong at the planet Dathomir. Indeed, Welk may not have been Plo's apprentice at all, as another, the Togorian Morto, held that position before his master's disappearance on the mission.
Welk was taken as a prisoner with the Sith Master, and, due to their control over the Force, the two were incarcerated aboard the Yuuzhan Vong worldship Baanu Rass, where the Force-hunting voxyn were being bred to eliminate the Jedi threat. Aboard the Baanu Rass, Welk and Plo were used as live prey in the training of the creatures. Forced to run from the voxyn through the scenarios set up by the Yuuzhan Vong Shapers, Lomi and Welk soon learned their way around the cave warrens and slave cities on the worldship.
Betraying Anakin SoloEdit
- "You know you're going to get us killed? Even Yuuzhan Vong don't go down there."
- ―Welk betrays his instincts of self-preservation to Anakin over their entering the voxyn warren.
In 27 ABY the Myrkr strike team of Jedi arrived on the Baanu Raas to wipe out the cloned voxyn and their queen. The team, led by Anakin Solo, rescued Welk and Lomi Plo from the Shapers who held them captive. The Jedi believed that the Force presence they felt was of another Jedi, and when they discovered the two Dark Jedi, they were disappointed and angered, However, because the Dark Jedi knew the way around the labyrinthine worldship and because the Jedi believed they could not in good conscience leave them behind, Solo allowed Welk and Plo to accompany his team so long as they swore not to use the dark side. Zekk, however, urged Anakin to leave Welk and his companion behind.
Welk later broke his promise, strangling the life out of a voxyn which threatened Solo, but was forgiven, although he was told not to break his promise again. However matters soon worsened, and when he and Lomi Plo realized that the Jedi had no means of extraction, they decided to follow their own path. The strike team had managed to procure an aged ship, the Tachyon Flier , and was planning to use it to transport the severely wounded Anakin Solo from the worldship once they had completed their mission. Welk and Lomi wiped the strike team's memories of their presence and stunned Lowbacca, who was guarding the ship. They took off with the wounded and unconscious Jedi Raynar Thul on board, leaving the strike team to their fate.
The crash and the Dark NestEdit
- Mara: "What happened to the Dark Jedi that abducted you?"
- UnuThul: "The Dark Jedi?"
- ―Mara Jade Skywalker and the remnants of Raynar Thul.[src]
The Tachyon Flier did not get far before being detected. It sustained massive damage as the patrolling Yuuzhan Vong vessels opened fire on it, and jumped blindly into hyperspace, in the direction of the Unknown Regions. Crashing on the remote, isolated planet of Yoggoy, home to a hive of Killiks, insectoid sentients thought to have been rendered extinct millennia ago, Welk was rescued along with Plo from the inferno which soon consumed the crashed starship by Raynar Thul, who had by that time regained consciousness. The Jedi's actions saved Welk's life, but like all three survivors the Dark Jedi was horrifically burnt during their escape, losing an arm and a shoulder blade, with his face reduced to a mass of burnt tissue. Fortunately for Welk, he retained the power of speech and sight.
Once he had healed, and using his knowledge of the dark side, Welk worked alongside Lomi Plo to create the Dark Nest. As Raynar had Joined with the insectoids, he had taught the Killiks to heal the three wounded survivors, and had eventually become ruler of Yoggoy. Raynar imparted his mentality upon the hive, eventually becoming UnuThul. Welk and Lomi had different plans, however, and used their mentalities; aggression, selfishness, malice, subterfuge and a dominating will to survive, in order to create a nest of Killiks which remained hidden from Raynar and the rest of the species. Welk became Night Herald of the Gorog and protected Lomi Plo, who was to become the Unseen Queen of the Dark Nest.
The Killiks, under new leadership, did not remain unnoticed for long. Raynar, secretly under the influence of Lomi, led the Killiks to the borders of the Chiss Ascendancy and began to provoke the Chiss to war. If the Killiks could expand across the galaxy, rendering all species Joiners, Lomi Plo would attain complete control, through Raynar, over the vast majority of sentient life. Yet, on the Sith world of Korriban, Lomi's former masters had no idea of their whereabouts, or of their survival; Lomi and Welk were operating of their own accord in their bid to dominate the galaxy. However, due to the rapid expansion of a mysterious alien species, the Galactic Alliance took too close an interest the conflict erupting in the Unknown Regions, and Luke Skywalker and his order began to suspect some insidious presence was manipulating events. With Jedi such as Jaina Solo, Zekk, Tesar Sebatyne and Alema Rar, all of whom had been members of the Myrkr strike team, were persuaded by Lomi Plo, through Raynar, to aid them in the war against the Chiss, Skywalker was forced to act quickly to prevent the onset of another galactic conflict.
Duel with SebatyneEdit
On the Taat hive's homeworld of Jwlio, Welk was sent to breed assassin bugs in order to remove the threat of the Jedi Masters who were now encroaching on Lomi's designs. By this time Welk had created a new lightsaber, crimson in color, which he wielded in his human arm. However, Welk's mission was interrupted; he was tracked to an underground cave by the Barabel Jedi Master Saba Sebatyne, and there the two engaged in a vicious duel. Welk surprised his opponent, who had no clue of his true identity as a Sith apprentice, nor of the Order's continued existence, by proving his mastery of the dark side. Although he lost one of his eyes and had his Killik arm severed, he badly wounded the Jedi Master, who would remember it as one of the best 'hunts' of her life. The Dark Jedi also used Force lightning and telekinesis to overpower his opponent, but fled the cave badly wounded, leaving his assassin bugs to finish off Sebatyne. His Killiks failed, however, and news of Welk's survival, consistently denied by UnuThul, was broadcast to the New Jedi Order.
Death on KrEdit
- Luke: "Are you ready, son?"
- Welk: "We are not your son!"
- ―Luke Skywalker and Welk face-off before their brief duel.[src]
The Dark Nest was tracked to the moon of Kr, where Lomi was orchestrating the First Battle of Qoribu. Kr was infiltrated by Jedi Masters Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker. Once a substantial number of Gorog warriors and Alema Rar, now a Gorog Joiner and a fallen Jedi herself, had been defeated, Welk entered the fray, supported by Plo. He began firing his blaster at the Skywalkers, though Luke batted his bolts away and used the Force to whisk the weapon from Welk's hand. An explosion sent the Dark Jedi tumbling away, but Welk came back to the fight, now with his crimson lightsaber. Luke, fighting with not only his own blade but another which he had taken from Alema, was momentarily surprised by the might of the Force behind Welk's actions, although he still remained far more powerful than the Dark Jedi. He used Welk's strength against him; the Night Herald was pulled towards Skywalker's waiting lightsabers. Aided by Lomi Plo, Welk survived as she drained power from the blade, and was able to wound Luke accidentally across his shin. In his regret at having misjudged his foe, and running out of time, Skywalker grabbed the Dark Jedi in a Force grip and began to strangle him. Welk was given a reprieve, however, and allowed to pick up his blade for a final duel.
As the two warriors clashed, Lomi reached out with the Force and disabled Skywalker's remaining blade. The Jedi Master was too fast for Welk. Catching the Dark Jedi's wrist in a block and forcing the lightsaber up into Welk's own stomach, Skywalker killed him by tearing the crimson blade out through the ribcage. Welk died with a blood-curdling scream on his lips.
Welk's dead body was presented to UnuThul in an attempt to reveal the existence of the Dark Nest to the Colony. However, Raynar was still under the influence of Lomi Plo and was dissuaded from accepting the truth. Alema Rar would later claim that Welk had been BedaGorog, a Gorog Night Herald, and a woman.
The nature of Welk and Lomi Plo as members of the new Sith Order was not uncovered by Skywalker's Jedi, who four years later were unaware of the continued existence of the Sith. It was only Alema Rar, later encountering the new Sith Order on Korriban in 40 ABY, who discovered that Welk had gone missing with Plo on a Sith mission.
Personality and traitsEdit
In the presence of Lomi Plo, Welk was often overshadowed. He rarely spoke, but displayed, prior to his mutilation and assimilation into the Killik race, a strong propensity for anger and bitterness, in his accusations to Zekk and his murder of a voxyn through the use of Force Choke. He was selfish, only choosing to help the Jedi for his own gain, and fully prepared to abandon them on the Baanu Raas to their fate.
After his injuries in the inferno which consumed the Tachyon Flier, Welk appeared to become even more silent and brooding, speaking not once during his intense duel with Sebatyne. His immersion into the dark side was total, and he cared little for the Killiks, even those of the Gorog, whom he lived alongside. While not as subversive and manipulative as Lomi Plo, Welk's brutal nature was well-adapted to his position of Night Herald. When confronted by the Jedi, Welk displayed his anger, but also great confidence by engaging the Skywalkers, no doubt sure that his ever-present mistress Plo would defend him.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
Welk rarely demonstrated his Force powers during his time on Myrkr, but when he did he was able to strangle voxyn with ease. He was proficient with a blaster, and was possibly able to fly light freighters such as the Tachyon Flier. Welk aided Plo in their theft of the starship, which involved wiping the minds of the entire Jedi strike team.
As a member of the new Sith Order, Welk's powers were already formidable before being bolstered by the Killik hive mind. He was able to fight Jedi Master Sebatyne to a draw, demonstrating his prowess with a lightsaber, and use the Force to a large extent during the duel. His skill with the blade were no match for Luke Skywalker's, however, and during the duel on Kr Welk was aided greatly by Lomi Plo. He was as skillful as a Force user trained in the Sith arts might be.
Behind the scenesEdit
Welk and Lomi Plo were both created by Star by Star author Troy Denning. They resurfaced in his Dark Nest Trilogy as the chief antagonists of the series, but their true alliance to the New Sith Order was not revealed until Inferno, another novel authored by Denning.
- The New Jedi Order: Star by Star (First appearance)
- Dark Nest I: The Joiner King
- Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen (Mentioned only)
- Legacy of the Force: Inferno (Indirect mention only)
- The New Jedi Order Sourcebook
- The New Essential Chronology
- The New Essential Guide to Alien Species
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Unknown Regions