“Tell Lord Vader to stop sending his pawns, and to come himself…”
—Ronin Soloki 
Ronin Soloki was a Rodian male Jedi master, who lived during much of the events of galactic history.
Early life (61–55 BBY)Edit
Ronin was born on the Smugglers' Moon of Nar Shaddaa, to a Rodian pirate named Vak and a Rodian dancer called Aliooli Soloki. His pirate father left when Ronin was very young leaving his young mother to look after him. They lived in the slums part of Nar Shadda and never had much money. Even at an early age Ronin showed a love of rain, often sneaking out of their small one room apartment to play in the downpour. Despite the rough times, Aliooli never gave up on her child. Often times taking whatever dreadful jobs she had to, in order to support Ronin. One day though, Ronin’s mother was abducted from their apartment by a band of human slavers, and sold to a Huttese crime lord to be his personal dancing girl. Having hid her child in a closet though, Ronin was spared a life of slavery and torment.
Only six years old, Ronin was orphaned; alone on the cruel streets of Nar Shaddaa. He tried begging for food at first, but most ignored him. “Little thief”, they would call him, and ignore his pleas because they would not trust a young Rodian. With no other way to keep from starving, he began to steal to survive. One day, little Ronin tried to steal from a man wearing a long brown robe. The man sensed Ronin and whirled around. But instead of rebuking or hitting him across the face, the man kneeled down kindly and gave him several credits for food. Later during the same day, Ronin met the man again, only this time in an alley. The man appeared to have been robbed and beaten within an inch of his life. Clutched in his hand was the most interesting weapon Ronin had ever seen. It was cylindrical and emitted a bright glowing blade when ignited.
Ronin helped the strange man, and he later learned that the man was a Jedi Knight. The Jedi sensed the force in Ronin and asked to give him a midi-chlorian test. Finding that Ronin was strong in the Force, the Jedi asked him if he wanted to come and train at the Jedi temple.
Suddenly, a group of several Weequayan gangsters returned down the alley. The Jedi drew his lightsaber and managed to take out many of the attackers, but was knocked down by one of them. As the thug set his blaster to kill, Ronin grabbed the Jedi’s lightsaber. Suddenly, he felt like energy was surging through him. With a cry, he leaped on to the Weequay’s back and drove the lightsaber through his head. Impressed, the Jedi and Ronin left for the Jedi Temple on Coruscant where Ronin was taken in to be trained.
Knighthood (43 BBY)Edit
At the age of eighteen, during the year 43 BBY, Ronin was promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight. On one of his many travels across the galaxy, he visited the planet Rodia where many of his species come from. While on a mission there, he came across a village in the swampy forest and met a young Rodian girl named Ladria Jesseu. Ladria was the daughter of the clan leader, and only eleven years old.
She had actually been taken to the Jedi temple as an infant, but when she grew older Ladria snuck out of the temple and stole away onboard a space freighter returning home to her parents.
When Ronin discovered this, he contacted the Jedi council right away. They advised him to return her to the temple at once. Still, he couldn’t help but feel sorry for the girl. Unsure of exactly what to do, he stayed overnight at the village in an empty hut. Ronin was unable to sleep though, and even meditation didn’t seem to help. Suddenly, he heard a scream. Running outside, he found the villagers in panic. Ladria and her youngest cousin, Pqweeno, were missing. Most of the clan members were unwilling to search for them though, as the jungle could be a deadly place at night. But Ronin, Ladria’s father, and Pqweeno’s brother spread out searching for the childen. The Jungle was steaming and thick, while the sky itself was pitch black. None of Rodia’s moons were visible through the thick layer of clouds above. Still, Ronin searched on. Suddenly, he stumbled into a nearby ravine. There, right in front of him, Ronin saw a huge Ghest beast. A terrible predator on Rodia, Ghest attacks claimed many lives each year. Nearby the monster were the trembling forms of Ladria and Pqweeno. Ladria stood protectively over her cousin, defending him with a small sharpened stick. With only seconds to spare, Ronin drew his saber and attacked the Ghest. But the creature was faster than he expected, and while Ronin tried to stab it, the Ghest rammed into him knocking his lightsaber aside. Ladria shrieked as the beast turned around and leapt at her and Pqweeno. Just as it was about to tear them apart with its claws, Ronin stretched out his green hand and touched the creature’s mind. It shook it’s head stupidly for a moment, then laid down and started to sleep.
Ladria and Pqweeno seemed paralyzed with fear, but with no time to waste, Ronin carried the young Rodians away from the Ghest’s den and out of the dark forest. Returning the younglings to the village, he discovered that Ladria had run away from her home to keep Ronin from taking her away. Pqweeno had followed her, and the two had become lost. The Jesseu and Hykas families were delighted to have them back, and thanked Ronin repeatedly. Still, as he was preparing his starfighter to leave, Ladria ran up to Ronin and asked shyly if she could return with him to the temple. She had changed her own mind about becoming a Jedi, and her parents had given their consent. Still, she had one condition: that she could regularly return to visit her family. Remembering how much he loved his own mother Aliooli, Ronin promised, and the two returned to Coruscant.
Teacher (37-33 BBY)Edit
The council agreed to let Ronin train Ladria as his padawan despite his age, because no other master had wanted to train her. Most Jedi found her to be a rebellious youngling, and had trouble dealing with her. Ronin understood her though, as her behavior reminded him of his own attitude when he had been trained. In order to get away from everyone else, Ronin took Ladria to the remote planet of Dantooine where they spent many years training. While she seemed distant at first, her anger gradually softened. Ronin learned that his apprentice loved nature and animals, so he would often incorporate the native creatures into his lessons. One thing that she seemed to pick up the most was his teaching that “life is precious”. The two developed a very strong bond, and it was evident in their fighting styles. Whereas Ronin was fast and aggressive, utilizing martial arts along with his lightsaber, Ladria was lithe and defensive, focusing more on using the Force within her. Still, they did not always agree on everything. It was during one of their adventures together that an idea first came to Ronin. They had spent much of the day exploring the ancient ruins of Dantooine, and observed many ancient texts by long lost civilizations. Upon reading one particular inscription, something seemed to click in Ronin’s mind. A philosopher, centuries before, had speculated that perhaps the Force itself was sentient. With that hypothesis, Ronin spent several weeks thinking. Perhaps, he speculated, the Force itself was what created life in the universe. Ladria remained skeptical though, as his theory contradicted most of what the Jedi High Council had taught for ages. “I think you just enjoy challenging authority.” She chuckled.
Despite their disagreement in this though, the two had enormous respect for each other. Ronin treated Ladria less as a student, and more as an equal. Upon their return from Dantooine, the council sent them on many missions ranging from peacekeeping to diplomacy. Ronin despised diplomatic missions.
On the year 33 BBY, the council called them to a new assignment: To investigate a possible threat to the Jedi order. A Dark Side threat. On the planet Byss, a human named Norrek Kaan had started a cult of dark side users that had terrorized citizens and government officials across the planet. Masters Yoda and Mace Windu outlined the plan to them. Ronin and Ladria were to arrive peacefully and surrender themselves to the cult, in a bid to convince their leader Norrek to stop the destruction. Since Norrek had once been an honorable Jedi Knight, the council was sure they could negotiate with him. Arriving on Byss, Ronin had a bad feeling about the mission, but they followed the plan to the letter. Once they were taken prisoner, the cult threw them into a dark palace cell. The cult agreed to take Ladria to see Norrek, but despite his protests, Ronin was left in the cell. Still, he reached out with his mind, and stayed in constant mental link with his padawan.
The cultists brought her before Norrek Kaan, a dark and powerful looking man. Ladria would not be intimidated though, and tried to get the former Jedi to return to the light. But he merely laughed at her pleas. To her dismay, he made his dark intentions clear: He desired to restore the ancient order of the Sith, and rule as dark lord of the Galaxy. When Ladria started to point out the flaws in his logic, and the silliness of his plans, Norrek became increasingly angrier. Ronin smiled to himself as he listened to her arguments. Then, the unthinkable happened. Norrek stood up in a rage. Screaming “For the Sith!” he stabbed Ladria through her back with a long vibrosword. Time itself seemed to stop. Green blood dripped on the floor. Ladria’s shocked gasp reverberated through the mind link, then suddenly nothing. Ronin stood in his cell for a moment, horrified. Norrek laughed and threw Ladria’s limp body over an abyss, to a dark underground lake below his throne.
Then the dark leader told his followers to dispose of Ronin, for they would soon be the masters of the universe. As they approached his cell though, they heard an inhuman scream of pain and rage, and the door was violently blown open by a wave of force energy. With that, Ronin killed the entire cult, and hunted down Norrek. The two engaged in a duel, ending with Ronin using the force to crush Norrek’s throat, and impale him with his own blade. After that, Ronin searched for Ladria’s body, but never found it. Thus he left for Korriban to explore the powers of his newfound dark side. Little did he know that Ladria had survived, and recovered from her wounds with the help of one of the cult members who had not followed Norrek.
Dark Jedi (32 BBY)Edit
When Ladria finally recovered she begged to the council to try to find Ronin. She was sure he would return to the Jedi if he knew of her survival. At first the council denied her requests to search for him, because of her bond with Ronin. They felt she would be unable to confront her master, and would only get herself killed. Some even considered the fact that Ronin was beyond their help now. Still, Ladria was persistent, and did much investigating without the council’s permission.
Ronin, still emotionally consumed by grief and rage, had been scouring the entire planet of Korriban. Investigating stories of Sith practices and rituals in a blind search to find something that could help his fallen Padawan. For weeks, Ronin wandered across the wastelands, deserts, and canyons without food and inadequate water. The darkness of the planet seemed to saturate his soul, and drove him to keep walking towards some nameless and mysterious destination. Coming across a ruined crypt built into a canyon wall, he read an inscription carved upon the rock. It told of an ancient Sith Lord during the time of the old Republic.
The Sith had been a part of Darth Revan’s Sith order, but had been expelled for experiments too horrible for even his dark brethren. Upon his departure, he was hunted by both the Jedi and Sith until finally finding sanctuary in a hidden system that was not on any of the star charts. It was on one of these undiscovered planets that the Sith lord found time to continue his experiments. Fascinated by the limitless powers of the force, he combined hundreds of techniques to connect his being with the dark side. Nightsister magic, force manipulation, dark rites, and more. According to the inscription, these experiments claimed his very soul, mind, and body. But he was finally successful. He had merged himself with the dark side, and was granted incredible power over life and death itself. Upon his return to the known galaxy, he traveled to Korriban in a bid to consume the dark energies embedded within the planet, but was instead trapped within a prison of his own design by the other Sith. The prison became his tomb, and his legend was long forgotten.
Ronin was ecstatic though, as he had finally found what he had searched for. Entering the crypt, he crawled through caved in hallways and dark shafts towards the main burial chamber. A massive chasm greeted him, with a narrow bridge leading to a small platform suspended in space above the abyss. Standing erect upon the platform was a sarcophagus, inscribed with ancient Sith symbols. Ronin activated the external lock, but to his dismay he found only a corpse. Withered and decayed, despite the lack of air in the coffin. Upon the shriveled body’s face was adorned a cloth mask, and a lightsaber was gripped firmly in its hand. Disgusted, Ronin turned to leave. But suddenly a shadowy figure emerged from the corpse. It was unlike anything Ronin had ever seen, a billowing cloud of black smoke in the form of a man towering above him. It was almost indistinguishable, but for two glowing red eyes. Ronin tried to defend himself, but the monstrous apparition opened the Rodian’s mind and forced him to his knees. Already exhausted from weeks of starvation, Ronin had little strength to resist. “You feel.” The spirit’s whispering voice chilled his bones. “Give yourself to me…” Though he tried to fight it, a small part of Ronin’s mind still felt grief for the loss of his padawan. And that was all it needed. With that, Saroph bonded with Ronin, enslaving the Jedi’s mind to his own will.
On Coruscant, the Jedi council began to hear reports from Korriban. A geological expedition to the desert planet had been attacked by a dark Rodian; and the entire team had been mercilessly slaughtered. Realizing this could only be Ronin, they organized a task force to confront him including Jedi masters Mace Windu, Adi Gallia, Sassee Tin, and Yaddle.
Ladria was stunned when she learned of what Ronin was doing, and refused to believe it. Though she was only 21 years old, she was already a capable young padawan, and was assigned to the task force. As the Jedi transport approached Korriban, Mace asked the young Rodian if she truly believed that Ronin would turn from the Dark side. She answered yes, almost instinctively. Mace replied, “Don’t let your feelings get in the way of what you may have to do.” Ladria sat there for the rest of the trip, looking at the floor with her large orbous eyes and dreading what she would find when they arrived.
Once they emerged from hyperspace, they immediately received a distress signal. Landing near a small settlement, they discovered Ronin. Saroph was immensely more powerful than anything they had seen before, capable of manipulating dark cloud like energies around him. Ladria pleaded with Ronin, but the Sith merely mocked her, using Ronin’s voice to hurl insults close enough to something Ronin would say that they seemed to cut to the bone. Knocking her aside, Saroph engaged the Jedi. Despite their skill, they were no match. The Sith disabled them with a lightning and attempted to feed off of their life energies. Ladria recovered though, and stood in front of the masters. Saroph laughed at her for her age and bragged about he had slain many of her species. Ladria realized that this monster was not Ronin, and engaged in a blistering lightsaber duel with the Sith, ending with Ladria being blasted with a wave of force lightning. As the Sith punished her with stronger and stronger charges, some part of Ronin within seemed to rise to the surface. He screamed with a double voice, and collapsed to his knees. Feeling his power diminishing, the spirit poured out of Ronin’s snout and entered Ladria’s body instead. But while transferring to his new host, Saroph forgot about the other Jedi. Master Windu, Ronin, and the others all focused their power together and drove the spirit from Ladria. Shrieking and screaming, the spirit hovered above them for a moment, and finally disintegrated into nothingness. Overwhelmed with joy, Ladria embraced her master, much to the disdain of the other Jedi.
Returning back to the temple, Ronin spent several months recovering from his injuries. While he was admitted to the order again, he never forgave himself for what he had done under Saroph’s influence. And though they didn’t know it at the time, Ronin and Ladria would retain several side effects from their brief possession by the dark spirit. One such effect was their aging had become suspended, leaving them both virtually immortal.Due to their gifts though, this was not the last they would see of Saroph.