“I think he was the only Sith in history that killed out of boredom.”—Anonymous historian
Tulak Hord was a Human Mandalorian Dark Lord of the Sith who lived during the days of the Galactic Republic. He was well-known for his talent with a lightsaber, despite some of the early restrictions. He was taken into the Order at a young age, and, after he was Knighted, began to question the philosophies of the Jedi. In a search to center himself and be alone, he came across a giant battlestation named the Andromeda. When he later turned to the dark side on persuasion of the current Dark Lord of the Sith, subsequently killing him and taking the mantle himself, he returned to the Andromeda feeder ship to wage his private war against the Jedi. He married fellow Mandalorian Chirene Arenzu, who was talented at posing as Jedi Knight despite having no Force-sensitivity. She ran away from him when she found she was pregnant for fear of what Tulak would do to her baby. After Tulak had killed many Jedi, a Shisavanen Jedi master named Strider cast the Andromeda into a moon, destroying it. Tulak later killed Strider for what he had done, continuing his massacre without the power of the Andromeda. He was later confronted by his son, where he was killed in an acid pool.
“If you were to face an ancient Sith lord in combat, you would learn that we are as children playing with toys compared to the prowess of the ancient masters.”—Kreia, referring to Hord's finesse with the lightsaber
Early life and trainingEdit
Tulak Hord was born in 5179 BBY to a small family on Althir. Being born to a Mandalorian home, he was taught Mandalorian customs from a young age. However, while a Jedi Watchman was checking up on their village, he noticed some Force-sensitivity in the boy, and inquired of his parents whether they wished him to be trained. They consented, but they charged their son to watch over the Mandalorians during his knighthood and to help promote their welfare. Upon agreeing, it was not long before he was taken to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. He was taught much while there, and retained much of their teaching. While not specifically talented in one power, he seemed to be equally good at all of them. What he much enjoyed focusing on, though, was lightsaber combat. In his spare time he would spend hours in the training room, sparring with anyone he could find, and sometimes with people he imagined, if no one was around. Possibly because of his heritage, he enjoyed the finer points of battle and dueling, spending much of his time in practice and in strategy. During his training, he became attracted to Revia Sarsa, a fellow lightsaber aficionado. They frequently sparred and began to be interested in one another, and making an effort to get to know one another.
This caught the eye of the Fosh Jedi Knight Carraim, who took amusement in the thought of training someone so unlike himself. Carraim took Tulak as his apprentice, spending more of his time teaching the Human to think critically of everything, including what Carraim himself taught. This confused Tulak, which may or not have been Carraim's purpose, though Hord made an effort to understand. Though under Carraim he did not get in as many hours in lightsaber training, he did learn the value of contemplation, but also the mistake of hesitation. Despite this, he never really liked Carraim, he was too confusing and contradictory, and he even sometimes blatantly seemed to think highly of some rather dark ideals. In addition, Carraim made an effort to keep him from even seeing Revia, to the point that she began to think he was avoiding her and lost all interest in him. Thus it is little wonder that when Tulak was knighted at the age of twenty-one, he made an effort to get as far away from Carraim as he could, watching over the affairs of the Mandalorians. Carraim was granted the rank of Master after Tulak was knighted, and Hord suspected that might have been Carraim's purpose the whole time.
Overseeing the MandaloriansEdit
Though things were tense between the Jedi and the Mandalorians, Tulak made an effort to ease tensions by helping the Mandalorians as much as he could, though his superiors supervised him for fear that he would be too biased for the Mandalorians' sake. He was annoyed by this, a suspicion and a bitterness gained by his time under Carraim, but he complied with their relatively loose rule. Tulak helped police the Mandalorian-owned planets to the best of his ability, and helped set up a successful trade between the planets. However, a group of Mandalorians despised being overseen by a Jedi, and began an uprising.
Under orders of the Jedi Council, he did his best to peacefully negotiate with the Mandalorians, but it was fruitless. Because of their determination to make war with him, Tulak was ordered to pull away from Mandalorian affairs, but in a last effort to stay a rebellion, he attempted one last negotiation, but it ended in an assassination attempt for Tulak's life where he was shot in the upper arm. Disregarding his orders to avoid rebellion at all costs, Hord retaliated, first working to forcefully disarm his opponents with his lightsaber then by killing those who continued to try to kill him. Despite being done in self-defense, the rebellious faction saw it as an open invitation to war, and began besieging cities who sided with the Jedi, especially Tulak in particular. In an effort to undo the harm he had done, Tulak did his best to end the uprising as quickly as he could manage. This, however, equated into needless deaths, something that Tulak did not want to do. After trying and failing several times to stop it by capturing, or assassinating, key individuals, Tulak was forced to give in to their requirements, and returned to the Jedi to leave the Mandalorians to themselves.
Upon his return to Coruscant, he was reprimanded for his acts and banned from outside activities for several months so he could contemplate his actions and to give him some peace in which to grow closer to the Force.
During his quarantine in the Jedi Temple, Tulak began to amuse himself by observing others around him go about their daily lives. He also tried to get back on friendly terms with Revia, but it had been too many years, and she felt that such a relationship would be dangerous, and avoided him. Crushed, Tulak began to bury himself in his studies of the Force and his frequent lightsaber combat practice. Such sparring became a way to help him think, and he would sometimes practice maneuvers and sparring with an imaginary partner just to help his thought processes. As he began to branch out in his style and abilities in lightsaber combat, he became aware of how very unwieldy and cumbersome the lightsabers were, since they had to be connected to a power pac stored on a belt, severely limiting him. Though not technologically bent, in his spare time, he tinkered with ways to eliminate the need for the power pac, but he came up with nothing.
As he watched the lives of others, one attractive young woman caught his eye, a Jedi Knight named Chirene Arenzu. She had sought refuge at the Temple on Coruscant because the enclave she had been a part of had been destroyed, and all of the records lost. Feeling sorry for the loss of all those close to her, and as an excuse to get to know her better, he introduced himself and offered to help her. Though he sensed something off about her, he ignored it and nurtured their friendship. He became smitten with her, something she seemed to find both delightful and amusing, but she reserved her feelings more, claiming it was caution but Tulak could sense it was fear, and not fear of the Order.
His curiosity spiked, Tulak decided to spy on Chirene, though it made him feel guilty. However, he determined that if she was hiding anything terrible from him, than he had a right to know. His spying led him to witness her forwarding information to Ranchint Githrand, a Dark Lord, about happenings and plans being perpetuated by the Jedi, and for a large fee. He also discovered that Chirene had no Force-sensitivity at all, and that her story was completely tailored. Shocked, he returned to the Temple to meditate. It hurt him that someone whom he thought so highly of would betray the Jedi like this; to him it did not make sense. He had thought her a very nice girl. Crushed, he tried to find some redeeming factor in the equation that would allow them to continue to be friends. He thought back to what Carraim had told him, to try to understand both sides of an argument, so he branched out his thinking to encompass her side of the story. However, the conflict of ethics left him completely confused.
To try to buy some time to think and make a judgment on the facts, he requested leave to meditate alone in a secluded area of the galaxy. So he would not be forced to be around other people to gain lodging, her requested that he live out of a ship during his hermitage. Though wary of letting him be around technology while meditating, they allowed it. He was given to use the Shadowbane, but only after they disabled all connections to the outside—HoloNet, outside communications and the like—except what was absolutely needed by Tulak. Tulak chose a rather dull and uninhabited spot of void, and decided to stay there to rest and center himself.
When he arrived at his grim destination, far from any planet or star, he began his thinking and communicating with the Force, trying to make sense of the mountain of conflicts he was facing. As he let himself become deeply in tune with the Force, he felt a large disturbance that was relatively close to him, deeper into the dull void of space. Curious, he made his way to the nexus of the disturbance, only to find a massive battlecruiser about half the size of a small moon. It was strange, insectoid in shape, and obviously ancient. The station gave off waves of dark side energy and of pain and agony, which caused Tulak to be wary of going near it, but his curiosity was stronger than his fear. As the Shadowbane approached the vessel, Tulak had to go through a thin cloud of some kind of debris that resembled the bones of skeletons, a foreboding warning. Finding a docking area in the belly of the station, he proceeded to look around with great caution. The station seemed abandoned. However, upon first arriving in the vessel, his head and mind was traumatized by an intense pain, though it soon subsided, and Tulak Hord continued on. Inside, also, there seemed to be a meld of at least three different design methods. Though thousands of years in age, the alien machinery of the station was in perfect working order, though obviously unused. It had many weapons, leading to the conclusion that it was a battlecruiser as its first appearance dictated, but it also seemed a prison ship, with levels upon levels of cells and bonds meant for many body types, though most were for humanoids. The place continually gave off dark side energy, which made Tulak increasingly suspicious. However, he was drawn to continue searching.
As he looked, he came across what seemed to be the bridge of the ship, a surprisingly small space for such a large vessel. The large, luxurious, but highly practical seat, the only one in the room, was set behind a large red crystal imbedded in the control board. Within the seat was the first inhabitant Tulak had come across. Saricron, as the serpentine creature introduced himself, claimed to be the sole inhabitant of the Andromeda, as he called the battlecruiser. Saricron seemed to trust Tulak, and thus recounted to him the history of the Andromeda and its purpose. The Andromeda was built many millennia years ago by an unknown insectoid race. The race dedicated all of its members to build the Andromeda, but had only completed the outside and the specialized core functions when they were killed off by a race of feline humanoids. These felines continued building the Andromeda, adding all of the genius of their own race with it when they were conquered by another race, Saricron's own race, who also wanted control of the Andromeda. The serpentine race finished the Andromeda, but the ‘‘Andromeda’’ itself killed all but one male and one female. They were commanded to continue their line, only allowed one son and one daughter, until only a son was born, who would be the keeper of the Andromeda until one who could truly unlock the Andromeda's powers came.
The Andromeda was a sophisticated battle machine and weapon, able to act almost sentient, even capable of defending itself. The Andromeda's massive 'legs' could actually move to ram and destroy enemy vessels, and jets of energy could be spat out of most of the outside frame of the vessel. Only one of great power in the dark side could only control the ‘‘Andromeda’’ at a time, as that was what it was built for. From the one seat in the bridge, one could control every aspect of the Andromeda with his mind alone. The large red crystal was a funnel for the dark side of the Force, channeling it so it could be easily used, and was connected to every single function, gun turret, and system in the vessel so it could be monitored in the commander's mind. Though obviously able to destroy any enemy, the Andromeda was not meant for battle. It was a feeder ship, a ship meant for capturing enemies and those owning the Andromeda wished to enslave. The sentients would be hooked up to one of the Andromeda's cell's bonds, and would use the dark side energy of the place to sever the life force of the sentient from the creature's body. The Andromeda would then turn the life force into usable power that would never run dry. The life force was what powered the vessel, using the life forces of countless millions of sentients to power itself with an undying fuel, as the life forces seemed to last forever. The bodies would be ejected into the space around the Andromeda, thus explaining the cloud of bones. Any unused life forces were stored indefinitely in massive holding silos within silos within silos around the core of the vessel. It was from these restless life forces that the wave of pain and agony came. Though frightened somewhat by the revelation, he was intrigued at how some of the life forces' power was put to use, especially in how Saricron had a ligthsaber of his own powered by a life force, and thus had no need of a belt power pack. When Tulak asked Saricron how he understood him, Saricron recounted that the Andromeda had ripped the Basic language from Tulak and forced it into Saricron, and could give Tulak Saricron's language if Tulak was a darksider.
Tulak was interested in Saricron, who seemed Force-sensitive but was untrained. He felt sorry for the creature only being exposed to this dark side energy all of his life, and determined to bring him back to train him in the light side of the Force and show him a different way of life among society instead of living alone. Saricron agreed, reasoning that the Andromeda could easily take care of itself. However, when Tulak did return to the Jedi, he found himself unable to tell them about the Andromeda, wanting to keep the intriguing thing of the dark as a secret of his own. He figured that he would decide what to do about it later. However, the real reason behind his desire to keep the Andromeda to himself was because he found the dark energies there somewhat invigorating, and he did not want it destroyed.
Almost a year passed without Tulak having a chance to revisit the Andromeda and further investigate it. When he did return from his discovery, he was still faced with the problem of what to do with Chirene. Not knowing what else to do, he kept up his friendship with her, though he was cautious and guarded. Despite the fact that he wanted to get to know her better to hear her side of the story, he could not gather the courage to ask her for fear she would leave him. To occupy his time, he had Saricron to teach, but it proved a challenge, as Saricron questioned every doctrine of the Jedi, even causing Tulak to doubt. As Tulak battled these thoughts, trying to train Sariron all the while, as well as juggle his feelings and his duty with Chirene, he knew something was going to have to give. After finally gathering the courage, Tulak confronted Chirene alone about what he knew she was doing, and asked her why she was doing it. To his delight, she seemed unperturbed by his announcement and question. Convinced that he would not turn her in—he'd had a year to do it in and still had not, and kept up their friendship all the while—she calmly explained to him that she was doing it for the money she was getting and the danger that thrilled her; though it was by now getting dull. Because she was taken care of by the Jedi and watched night and day, her credits were not being put to use, so she had stored up her money for when she was caught, so she could escape and live comfortably in unanimity. She was beginning to feel that it was rather pointless by now, and was starting to request of Lord Ranchint for him to devise a way out of the deal. He had promised a way, but had so far not delivered. Since he would be able to hunt her down should she try to escape, she was in a fix, stuck spying for him.
Even after this revelation, Tulak was still confused as to how he should proceed, so unbeknownst to him, Chirene chose it for him. She later told him that someone wanted to meet him alone in a somewhat secluded spot on Coruscant. Curious, Tulak took the bait, only to find that he was seated opposite the Dark Lord of the Sith himself. Though at first making ready to strike Ranchint down, he was persuaded by the Sith's genial demeanor and nonthreatening attitude to at least find out what he wanted. After all, he couldn't kill an unarmed opponent, Dark Lord of the Sith or no, and he couldn't get up the gall to make a move to cause his arrest, especially since he knew that Chirene had taken great pains to get him to meet Ranchint. He also thought that it might prove a way for him to persuade Ranchint to let Chirene off the hook to begin her new life, so he allowed himself to speak with the Sith. Surprisingly, it started out a small talk with nothing too deep. As they began to talk, however, Ranchint began asking innocent, even curious-sounding questions about the morals that showed when Tulak spoke. Ranchint never let the conversation drop to an all-out debate, or even a mild debate on ethics. The entire time he just seemed to spout what sounded a lot like common sense, and made Tulak's beliefs sound so silly as to make Tulak seriously doubt. Not once did Ranchint patronize him or try to proselytize him, which surprised Tulak immensely, making him question why Ranchint was even speaking to him. When asked this, Ranchint merely replied that he found the Jedi Knight to be interesting, and more open-minded to other views, even open to the idea that the Jedi Code might be corrupted. When Tulak was worked up over the Sith's last point, Ranchint acted disappointed in him and began to gently point out the errors in Jedi philosophy. Utterly confused by this paradox of Ranchint being both a gentlebeing and a Dark Lord at once seemed to be irreconcilable. Though Tulak openly stated that he did not agree with Sith philosophies, Ranchint did not press him, and told him to make his own decision. Convinced that most of Ranchint's points were right, and convinced by his arguments, Tulak allowed himself to believe the Jedi Code was wrong, but made sure he had clearly drawn the line there.
But it didn't end there. Tulak wanted to continue being a Jedi, but he could not live under such an obviously flawed code, even before Ranchint he had questioned it, and now the Sith had made everything so plain. He allowed Ranchint to teach him more, but he determined that he would not be a Sith. During the conversation, however, he had told Ranchint of Chirene's plight and had gotten the Sith to arrange for a way out; she would be deemed dead and free within a week, he promised. Faced with the prospect of pretending to be a Jedi under a broken Code alone without Chirene discouraged him, and he determined to break away from the Order as soon as he could manage it, becoming a lone maverick in the fight for peace and justice. With Chirene, of course. Free of the restriction of attachments, he could enjoy a much more fulfilling relationship with her. In a hurry, Tulak decided to cut all ties to the Order the next day, before he talked himself out of it.
When it was done, he waited for Chirene in the place Ranchint had set up for her when the Sith had set up her death. It was a nondescript but comfortable place where Chirene could live until the news died down somewhat and she could go away and live in peace. As he was in hiding as well, he 'coincidentally' chose a spot to live in for a while that was close to her place. Because Tulak had abandoned Saricron, the serpentine Force-user returned to his home on the Andromeda, vengeful at Tulak for breaking his promise to train him. As Ranchint continued to teach Tulak, and then train him, the young ex-Jedi made frequent visits to Chirene's apartment, at first to make sure she had everything and was all right, then just to be around her. By a month's time, Tulak was Ranchint's Sith Apprentice all but in name.
As Tulak and Chirene spent as much time together as they could, given their schedules, they began to have feelings for one another. However, when Chirene was given the green light to move to the planet where she wanted to live out the rest of her days, Ranchint would not allow Tulak to go with her or to move closer to her. He decided that the emotions he would feel because of it would help him in his training, and that he was too distracted. Reluctantly, Tulak continued his training, though he began to harbor ill will towards the Sith. Tulak based more of his study on lightsaber combat than Ranchint would have liked, to the point where Ranchint set aside only certain times of the day or week that he could do so, forcing him to spend the rest of his free time doing something 'useful,' such as honing his Force powers or nourishing his anger, fear, and aggression. By doing this however, Tulak's anger and hatred were nurtured against Ranchint, and his aggression was released as much as he could managed during the times he was allowed to practice combat. However, it became dull without a partner to spar with, so as to help release his anger and use his aggression, he suggested that Ranchint spar with him. However, Ranchint had other plans, and only sparred with him with the Force. This angered Tulak, since now his lightsaber practice was reduced to nil.
When he received a distress message from Chirene asking for help due to her being discovered by the Jedi, Tulak rushed to make arrangements to travel to her rescue as quickly as he could, but he was stopped by Ranchint. Enraged, Tulak demanded to go to her, to which Ranchint remained firmly opposed. The Sith explained that she was a distraction to him and a great hindrance to Tulak's training, also saying that if she wasn't strong enough to get herself out, she wasn't suitable for a mate anyway. All of his hatred for Ranchint came to a head when Tulak drew his lightsaber and fought with the Dark Lord. Though Ranchint was more well-versed in Force powers, Tulak was better with brute power and lightsaber combat, and decapitated the Sith, unwittingly taking on the title of Dark Lord in the process.
Now free to come to the aid of Chirene, Tulak traveled to her home as quickly as he could, but he was too late; she had been taken to Coruscant. He followed her captors to the galactic capitol, where he managed to find and free her from her cell before she was executed for treason due to charges found and filed by the Jedi. In his hatred for the Jedi Order, which had been nourished during his apprenticeship to Ranchint, during his escape he made it a point to personally kill all of her accusers, declaring a personal war against the Jedi from then on to prevent them from hurting and deceiving anyone else.
He took her back to Mandalorian space, to start life again with her sizable fortune she still had control of. Their relationship blossomed into love, until they decided to get married. Both being a Mandalorian and him being a Sith, they decided to have a half-Mandalorian, half-Sith wedding. They already had all they needed for the Mandalorian half, but in order to preform the Union of Darkness, they needed to find the soul of a dead Sith Lord. Thus, in his search, Tulak traveled Ziost, and then made his way to Korriban in search of a Sith Lord to perform the ceremony. During his search on Korriban, he was attacked by the Sith inhabiting the planet. However, he was able to hold his own against them, earning him their respect and even their worship when they discovered that he had taken the title Dark Lord from Ranchint by killing him. However, he was disgusted by their display, and utterly ignored them, preferring to continue alone; with Chirene, of course. They eventually came across the tomb of Ajunta Pall, whose soul still wandered through his burial chamber. It was he who preformed the union, and they were finally married.
When they returned to their attempt at a simple life, Tulak began to find it dull. In order to amuse himself, he erratically decided to leave Chirene for a week or so to hunt down and kill at least one Jedi as a kind of pastime. He craved action, and it was not often that he could get it, so he was forced to amuse himself in this way.
Meanwhile, Saricron, who had left him nearly a year before, had been planning his revenge on Tulak for betraying his trust. Using the power of the feeder ship, he found three mechanical battlelords locked away deep within the vessel, one built by each race that had helped to build the Andromeda. As he could not set all three loose as they would work to destroy each other, he first loosed the Doombringer, the battlelord created by the first race of insectoids. The Doombringer was a powerful machine, which utilized the power of life forces to work, thus giving it something near sentience, with a high intelligence and even mild Force powers. All of these combined with the fact that the Doombringer was about twice as tall as Tulak caused Saricron to choose him first to kill his enemy. Before he set him on Tulak, however, Saricron installed a device that would allow him to watch what the Doombringer 'saw,' thus allowing Saricron to learn about Tulak should the Doombringer fail.
Once Saricron had set him on Tulak's trail, it still took the Doombringer a month or so to locate Tulak. When the powerful battlelord finally did locate him, it wasted no time in working to end his life. Tulak was forced to fight for his life, working to hack away at the supposed droid. Because it was not built in the time of lightsabers, it was not built to withstand the blows of one. However, though Tulak continued to chop off parts of the Doombringer, every part able to move continued to try and kill him, some with enough life forces even using their power to float. With every slice Tulak made with his lightsaber, the more enemies he gained as each part did what they could to kill him; hands tried to crush him or choke him, sharp parts worked to cut at him, and others just threw themselves at him in an attempt to knock him out or otherwise harm him. However, Tulak managed to defeat the Doombringer by inserting his lightsaber into the battlelord's main electrical generator, causing a large explosion that destroyed everything around him for a small distance, and would have killed him had he not shielded himself with the Force.
During his fight with the Doombringer, Tulak felt the strange agonizing sense in the Force that reminded him of something he seemed to have forgotten, but he was determined to find out what the feeling was. His fight with the Doombringer also caused a large commotion, as the Doombringer had found and confronted Tulak not far from a rural town, incidentally destroying a fraction of it in the Doombringer's explosion. This commotion brought them much more attention than was safe, and he and Chirene once again had to relocate. Not knowing where to go, Tulak and Chirene lived out of the Shadowbane, the ship he had taken from the Jedi when he left the Order, only stopping on planets to pick up supplies. However, the Snadowbane was not suitable for Chirene as she still wanted a home near trees and grass and growing things, as she was used to. It was not suitable for Tulak because it was too dull an existence for him, he needed action, he needed to kill Jedi. However, life on the Shadowbane did not allow it, for if he stopped at one place too long, he would endanger the life of his wife.
Though enraged by the failure of the Doombringer, Saricron had learned that the Doombringer was unprepared to fight against a lightsaber-wielding person, despite the power of the life forces to continue fighting. The Doombringer had provided too big a target and it was too slow. As well, bullets made of energy were too easily deflected by lightsabers, thus making the Talonscythe Saricron's next choice. Having been built by the feline race, the Talonscythe was built to be incredibly fast, and was roughly three-fourth's Tulak's height. Blades could extend out of most places along the outer frame of the battlelord, and the battelord's large gun carried both explosive ordnance and poison darts, which Saricron modified to be especially effective against Humans. The Talonscythe was made using the life forces of the feline race's own prisoners. Because of this, it was given the intelligence of the race, learning capability, and the willingness to fight hand-to-hand instead of using its gun, even going so far as to try to climb on its victim to better cut at it, which would hopefully reduce Tulak's chances of survival.
Again, it proved difficult for the battlelord to locate the now-mobile residence of Tulak. However, the Talonscythe managed to follow a few small bits of information to predict where his next stop would be, and waited for him. When the Shadowbane landed in the middle of a field to avoid much detection, the Talonscythe was there ready for them. However, it was Chirene who came out first and discovered the machine. In an effort to keep her from giving away its location, the Talonscythe knocked her out. This, though, only further alerted Tulak to the battlelord, as his connection to Chirene made him aware of her having been hurt, causing him to rush to her side. The Talonscythe then jumped him, beginning to claw at Tulak. Tulak had faintly sensed the machine's coming, however, keeping the Talonscythe from shooting several poison darts into him. As Tulak led the Talonscythe away from his wife, he worked to keep the thing off him. The creature was fast, preventing him from getting him in a position to begin a battle with him. Tulak was thus forced to use the Force to predict the mechanical creature's movements, managing to slice the Talonscythe in two. The Talonscythe did not miss a beat, using the same technique as the Doombringer, the Talonscythe was able to animate both halves, doubling the attackers bent on the destruction of Tulak Hord. While the half without the gun worked to keep Tulak's attention by viciously clawing at him, oblivious of any cuts made to it that only increased the amount of attackers, the half with the gun stood at a distance and shot round after round of poison darts at Tulak. Finally, three darts hit their mark in Tulak's upper arm.
The poison took effect immediately, deeply affecting Tulak's nervous system, working incredibly quickly at death by heart failure. However, using the Force techniques he had been taught, Tulak managed to neutralize the poison, but he was too late as the distraction had been long enough to give the Talonscythe enough time to pin Tulak and try to make a slash at his throat. Before the Talonscythe could make the fatal slice, however, Chirene awoke and interfered, cutting at the device with her lightsaber. Seeing that parts of the Talonscythe were now after her life, Tulak fought again with renewed vigor. Using one of the explosive slugs shot at him by the Talonscythe, he blew up the contraption, protecting his wife and himself with the Force.
It was obvious to Tulak that both the Doombringer and the Talonscythe were from the same person, both because of their ability to fight even cut to shreds and because they felt the same way in the Force: as if they were made of dozens of alien screams. Being exposed to the feeling again, he remembered its source. He recalled that the Andromeda, which he had not visited in two years, held the same feeling within its very walls because of its use of life forces. Using this information, he surmised that the battlelords were Saricron's doing and that the serpent had returned to the Andromeda. Tulak, determined to confront him, made his way to the feeder ship.
Though again disappointed and angered by the battlelords' failure, Saricron had learned something valuable from the loss of the Talonscythe; Tulak had someone that he loved. Wielding this information, Saricron sent the last battlelord to wait in the bowels of the ship where the main hangars were, as Tulak had taught him enough about foresight for him to sense that. The Death's Hand, built by his own race, was capable of disappearing due to its use of a complicated arrangement of mirrors. The Death's Hand was about the same size as the Talonscythe, and was only slightly slower. So better capture its prey, Saricron covered the droid in the neurological poison he had earlier given the Talonscythe, and set him loose. However, Saricron had programmed it differently, instead of going after Tulak, now moved to second priority, the Death's Hand was to attack and kill Chirene.
When Tulak finally returned to the Andromeda and docked, he sensed something amiss and decided to look around to see what was wrong, inadvertently letting the Death's Hand enter the Shadowbane via the ramp he had walked down. As the Death's Hand made its way through the ship to Chirene, Tulak's sense of danger grew stronger than before, until he finally realized what was wrong and ran back to Chirene too late. The Death's Hand had already had run three gashes across the side of her throat with its hand and Chirene was now near death from the poison. He moved to run to her side, but he was hindered by the Death's Hand, who seemed bent to keep him away from her. Much to his and Saricron's surprise, Tulak found a deep well of anger and hatred within himself and unleashed it on the battlelord, throwing it through the Shadowbane's viewport as he knelt at his fallen wife's side. She was barely alive, and it looked as if there was no chance for her survival. It took the Death's Hand no time at all to reach the cockpit again and move to strike Tulak, who was cradling Chirene in his arms. In his deep and terrible anger, when he saw the shadow of the droid over him, he used the Force to crush it and mutilate it, thus destroying it.
Desperate for a way to save his wife, he tapped into that intense anger again and funneled it into a way to save her life. Using this power, he purged the poison from her, though he could not heal the gashes across her neck.
Enraged at Saricron for attempting to kill his wife, he set out to kill him after making sure Chirene was resting comfortably in the Shadowbane's medical bay. Saricron, knowing that the Death's Hand had failed, planned to keep Tulak wandering lost in the Andromeda forever, as, using his control over the feeder ship, he could make the rooms shuffle and rearrange themselves, the floors turn and switch, as well as change the gravity. Although it was not logical that such a thing could occur, the strong dark side influence on the near-sentient feeder ship allowed the impossible to happen. Tulak continued to stumble through room after room, unsure whether he was going forward or backward, not even sure which way was up or down due to the confusing movement of the feeder ship's rooms and corridors. Several times Saricron tried to crush Tulak by increasing the gravity thirtyfold or more. This would have killed the Dark Lord, had his power over the dark side not been as strong as it was. He was able to resist the strong pull and walk on as if the gravity was near normal. Suddenly, the Andromeda's inside stopped shuffling and remained still, puzzling Saricron, who continued to try and keep Tulak lost. Despite Saricron's attempt at controlling the ship, the Andromeda had found a new master.
The Andromeda started moving the rooms around again, this time to lead Tulak to the cockpit in little or no time so he could take over the feeder ship. Pleased with this turn of events, Tulak challenged Saricron and engaged him in combat. Though Saricron had an advantage because his lightsaber, powered by life forces, did not need a belt-mounted power pac or cord, Tulak still had vastly more experience with the blade. As Saricron realized he was going to lose the battle, he made every effort he could to cut the cord connecting the power pac to the ligthsaber. To better accomplish this, the serpent-like creature called for aid from the dark side of the Force. However, the Andromeda cut Saricron off from the dark side, as the feeder ship did not want its former master to live. As terror took hold of Saricron, it did not take Tulak long to strike him down. Pleased, the Andromeda released a wave of dark side energy into the room to refresh and invigorate Tulak.
Under Tulak's guidance, the Andromeda was at last put to use. Tulak and Chirene moved into the Andromeda, which made every effort to please them both. Because of Chirene's fondness for flowers and growing things, the feeder ship set aside rooms which it filled with some of her favorite flowers and plants, arranged however she desired. It decorated and furnished rooms for them in the style they liked and enjoyed. It could even simulate sunlight and the outdoors. At times when the Andromeda was especially satisfied with the Hords' control and guidance, it would use the Force to serve them, not unlike an invisible butler.
The way the Andromeda was satisfied was with killing or working on plots to kill lightsiders, especially Jedi. It furnished Tulak with the means to kill Jedi by imbuing him with an intense amount of dark side energy, though he would usually leave the Andromeda to make his kills because he still wanted to keep the feeder ship a secret. However, when he did go out to hunt, he usually if not always brought back a Jedi for the Andromeda to toy with as a cat with a mouse. In addition, Tulak brought back several Force-sensitive prisoners that he allowed the Andromeda to play with maliciously, but he commanded them to be left alive. When finished with them, the feeder ship would bring the prisoners to Tulak, who would use the Andromeda's numerous draining cells to strap the prisoner in and sap away their life force to empower whatever the Dark Lord wished. Of course, the Andromeda would be sure to suck away their life force slowly to cause the maximum amount of pain. Several life forces went into creating new cordless lightsabers for Tulak to practice with in sparring rooms designed especially for him. The Andromeda would sometimes even conjure up a manifestation of an opponent for Tulak to spar with. Tulak, Chirene, and the Andromeda became close friends, in a sense, due to their relationship. The Hords thus took good care of the Andromeda, as best as they could, at any rate, as a kind of payment for the kindness the feeder ship had shown them.
This went on for several years, Tulak killing Jedi after Jedi, seemingly unstoppable. No one could find from whence he was striking or where he could be found, nor where he had gotten the strange, cordless lightsabers he was so known to use. As Tulak slowly whittled down the Jedi's forces, first one at a time then several at once out of boredom, the Jedi were thrown into a panic, desperate to find Tulak's weakness.
Their searches proved futile, however, as Tulak moved the Andromeda to different places during his slow conquest of the Jedi to keep it from being found. His extermination of them was brought about by his desire to avenge their attempted execution of his beloved wife, to prevent them from deceiving any more in the galaxy with their twisted philosophies, and an untamed hatred for their kind. He also killed them to break up the boredom he sometimes felt. The Andromeda, of course, was all too happy to oblige this twisted justice.
As Tulak continued his reign of terror, he slowly began to tighten the noose around the remains of the Jedi Order, when he discovered a wonderful surprise: Chirene was pregnant. While he was happy about the development, Chirene became anxious. She knew her husband well; she knew the kind of training he'd been put through as he was trained to be a Sith, and she knew how brutal he could be. If her child was Force-sensitive, Tulak might put their baby through some torturous ordeals to 'strengthen him in the dark side.' She also feared that if their baby was not Force-sensitive, Tulak might harm it or kill it, since she knew he wanted someone he could teach the dark ways. As she began to think, she realized how terrible some of the things Tulak might put the baby through might be, and it frightened her. Chirene had also studied some aspects of the dark side via watching her husband and with some old documents and holocrons he'd allowed her to view despite her lack of Force-sensitivity. She knew that the constant exposure to the dark side that practically seeped through the Andromeda's walls might have drastic effects on their child, to the point of disfigurement or worse. As her pregnancy wore on, it also occurred to her that such a torrent of dark side energy on their developing baby might kill him in her womb. She was convinced of it, as her pregnancy was growing increasingly difficult, more so than normal, she knew.
With all of this in mind, she knew she had to get away from the Andromeda, and that she had to prevent Tulak from following her and hurting her for doing so. So she decided that she had to kill Tulak. It broke her heart, but she decided that it was the only way. She knew she could not kill Tulak herself, the strain would surely harm her baby, probably causing a miscarriage, so she had to get someone else to do it; such as the Jedi Order. However, first she had to escape the Andromeda, something the feeder ship did not want to allow. Although it was gentle with her because of her condition, it shuffled around rooms to keep her within it. She finally tried to reason with the Andromeda, pouring out all her worries and fears to it about their baby. She implored the Andromeda to let her go because keeping the baby alive would make Tulak happy, and she promised that their baby would return to the Andromeda one day to put it to use after Tulak was dead. The Andromeda listened, and then consented, moving the rooms around so that she could reach the hangar bay quickly.
Using the Shadowbane, Chirene left the Andromeda and went into hiding, using the money she still had earned from posing as a Jedi to support herself. However, she first commed in a message to the Jedi Order, relaying to them the location and what abilities she knew of the Andromeda, as well as how to dock in the feeder ship. Though she regretted the action the rest of her life, she managed to complete the transmission and settle comfortably into nonentity.
When Tulak discovered his wife and the Shadowbane missing, he grew livid and was angry with the Andromeda for not stopping them, questioning the feeder ship. The Andromeda revealed to Tulak all of Chirene's fears for her child, and though saddened, Tulak accepted that fact. However, he was determined to find her and live with her until their baby could stand the intense powers of the dark side that the Andromeda offered. As he began his search, however, a small patrol boat sent by the Republic to check Chirene's claims popped into hyperspace near the Andromeda. Believing it to be an accident and not wanting the ship to comm back what he'd found, Tulak had the Andromeda strike the small corvette with one of it's massive, powerful 'arms,' utterly destroying the vessel and all within it; though not before the patrol craft could transmit one small message, "Affirmative."
Though anxious about the craft and desiring to move, he decided not to, should Chirene decide to come back and not be able to find him. This proved fortunate for the Jedi Order and the Republic, as it was not long after this when an entire attack force showed up at the site of the Andromeda. Enraged and incensed, Tulak showed no mercy to the oncoming legion, and unleashed the full power of the Andromeda on the cruisers and corvettes. As Chirene did not know of the feeder ship's true power, she had not been able to properly warn them of the upcoming carnage, leading some to believe that she had led them there just to kill them. The feeder ship even had them shooting their own vessels as the dark side clouded their minds. As Tulak and the Andromeda massacred the attack force, they were blinded to the smaller force that used Chirene's own code to get clearance to land in the vessel. The group of about twenty or thirty individuals was composed of powerful Jedi, sent to stop Tulak and the Andromeda from any more killing. As both the master and the ship was occupied with the ships exploding and being torn to shreds by the ship's 'legs,' they did not notice the Jedi as they made their way to where Chirene had said the cockpit was. The Andromeda, being so involved in the fight, enjoying every death it felt, itself believed the trick that it was only Chirene, and alerted Tulak of her supposed arrival.
Overjoyed, and convinced that the feeder ship could take care of itself, he rushed down to meet her, only to be confronted with the group of Jedi. Angered, and suspecting the feeder ship had tricked him, he alerted the Andromeda to the group's presence, which totally surprised the ship. In the millisecond it had taken to communicate this, the Andromeda immediately brought Tulak his lightsabers and turned its thoughts inward, giving the attacking vessels a break as it used its powers to separate the attack force and torture the invading Jedi to death as Tulak fought with the rest. It was tiring for him, but the intense dark side presence invigorated him and smothered the Jedi, allowing him to fight many at once as the Andromeda took care of as many as it could. Slowly, the attack force was obliterated, save one younger Jedi.
Tulak commanded that this last one be left alive and let the feeder ship turn its sights back on the remaining Republic vessels, now retreating. Tulak maliciously brought the Jedi to one of the Andromeda's most prized torture chambers and gave the Jedi a thorough work over, using the power of the feeder ship to keep him just barely alive as Tulak put the Jedi through immense physical and mental suffering. Finally, Tulak asked of the Jedi who had told them of the Andromeda, and who had given them the codes. When the Jedi refused, Tulak continued to brutally torture him until the Jedi screamed to him that it had been a girl named Chirene. Upon discovering this, Tulak finally killed the Jedi by running him through with the Jedi's own sharpened lower leg bone. Tulak knew that the Jedi had not lied, and was utterly crushed and heartbroken by the revelation that his beloved wife had tried to kill him. He wept there as he tried to discern why his Chirene would do such a thing, but he could think of no reason. Dejected and alone, Tulak decided to consume himself with his vengeance on the Jedi, blaming them for the choice his wife had made. Tulak, utterly betrayed, decided not to go after his wife to kill her for what she had done, and allowed her to live as she wanted while he made his living and revenge on the Andromeda.
As Tulak bitterly continued killing off the Jedi, seeming now an almost immortal force due to his friendship with the powerful feeder ship, Chirene at last gave birth to their baby on an outlying world named Ruusan. Afterwards, Chirene confronted a Jedi that lay in solitude there to see if her baby boy was Force-sensitive. The Jedi Master said that he doubted it. Dismayed, Chirene wondered what to do. She had been hoping beyond hope that her boy, Kent, was Force-sensitive, so the Jedi Master could raise him as a Jedi, and perhaps face Tulak to try to either redeem him or kill him. At last coming up with an idea, she secretly returned to the Andromeda, imploring that the feeder ship did not alert Tulak to their presence. The feeder ship consented, abstaining from killing her and her baby for what they had tried to do because of Tulak's great love for them and the pain he would feel should they die.
Chirene secretly made her way to one of the silos that held the life forces of Jedi, and requested of the Andromeda that it give one of the stronger life forces to boy, so he would be given Force-sensitivity—so that he could be the feeder ship's new master when he matured and Tulak died, she claimed. The Andromeda did so, imbuing the little baby with strong Force powers. Happy, she thanked the Andromeda and apologized for hat had happened, she was truly sorry for doing what she had done, but at the time it had seemed like she had had no other choice. Thus, when she left, the feeder ship kept its promise and neglected to mention her brief visit to Tulak. Back on Ruusan, Chirene again showed Kent to the Jedi Master, who now noticed his high Force-sensitivity, and agreed to informally train him.
Over a decade passed since the battle for the Andromeda, with Tulak still waging his war with the Jedi, slowly killing them off. However, after Chirene had told them of what she knew all those years ago, it proved easier for them to stop his attacks, something which angered him and made him even more determined to wipe out their order. However, his private war was becoming redundant without someone to enjoy it with, and the Andromeda was not at all the same as his wife had been to him. This only made his suffering worse, as he had tried to bury himself in his justice to forget her, but he could not take pride in or forget himself in them without her. He began to be drowned in a sea of monotony when something changed the odds.
A Shistavanen Jedi Master named Strider came out of hermitage to stop Hord's crusade on the Jedi, determined to fight and kill the Dark Lord. Using his powers, he was able to locate Tulak, and even managed to trick Tulak into letting him on the Andromeda, playing on his pride by saying that Tulak would not let anyone fight him on his own ground, and even then would only fight if his 'precious little ship' fought with him. Enraged, Tulak thus commanded the Andromeda to let Strider come to him and commanded the feeder ship not to intervene. Besides, Tulak was looking forward to a challenge. Strider made his way to the command center, where Tulak was waiting for him. There they began their fight. Though Tulak was more experienced in lightsaber combat, Strider's power in the Force was much more intense than Tulak's own. Using this to his advantage, Strider threw things at Tulak to try to bog him down or slow him up enough to where Strider could kill him. Strider and he were evenly matched in this game; the Shisavanen's own powers even absorbed the dark side energies of the feeder ship and converted them into light for his own use. Finally having a challenge, Tulak dove into it, enjoying the feeling he used to have when fighting Jedi and now only rarely went through. As Strider and he battled, suddenly Strider let himself be wide open, allowing Tulak to hit him. However, Strider absorbed the end of the blade and turned it into raw energy, which he used to cause the lightsaber's hilt to explode in Tulak's hand. Suddenly Strider had the upper hand, as the explosion had blown off Tulak's lower right arm. Incensed, Tulak continued the fight with renewed vigor, ignoring the pain in his arm as he fought left-handed, using the force to control several other lightsabers as they fought. Despite these powers, though, Strider was starting to gain the upper hand. When the Andromeda saw how vulnerable its master was becoming, the feeder ship defied Tulak's orders and began using its powers to help Tulak, which the Dark Lord commanded it to stop it is meddling the entire time. However, it was because of this move that the Dark Lord was not killed, and Tulak finally had Strider, now weakened by the Andromeda's assault, where he wanted him.
Before he could strike, though, Strider gathered his power as hurtled the feeder ship towards a moon. Distress coursed through the Andromeda as it tried to stop or even slow its course, but it ran true. Surprised and even slightly panicked by the turn of events, Tulak, hesitated long enough for Strider to escape, the Shistavanen making his way to the ship he had come on as he continued to throw the Andromeda towards the nearby moon. In an effort to try to protect the feeder ship, Tulak stubbornly remained on board, despite the vessel's offer to take him directly towards the hangar so he could escape. Tulak tried his hardest to funnel his powers to stay the vessel's course, but Strider was too powerful for him to stop.
At last, the Andromeda had to use its powers to force Tulak to leave, pushing him into the corvette waiting in the hangar bay and using the Force to move it out into space, almost too late to save Tulak as the feeder ship crashed violently into the moon. The shock waves from the crash brutally rocked the corvette, smashing him into walls and even causing fires in the ship. This gravely injured Tulak, almost fatally, but his will to live was strong. When things had settled down on the ship, the onboard medical droid, miraculously unharmed by the carnage, moved the unconscious Tulak into the medical bay and helped keep him alive. Nearly half of Tulak's head had been either smashed or blown off during the shock waves and explosions, forcing the medical droid to give the Dark Lord prosthetics for his head and hand, and, using knowledge of his preference for the color red, gave him a glowing red replacement eye.
Upon awakening and finding himself permanently maimed, Tulak was angered by his loss of both flesh and the duel. In an effort to cover up this stain on his record, he took to wearing a black Mandalorian mask over his face at all times, and when planning to do battle, he would don matte black armor. For what Strider had done to him, Tulak was determined to find and kill the Shistavanen. However, Strider was nowhere to be found. For years, Tulak searched for him, using what meager credits he had to live off now that the Andromeda was not taking care of his needs. To support himself, he stole several large bank accounts by changing their affiliation, subtly. In addition, to provide a steady income so that the Jedi would not have to look through the recent thievery of bank accounts to find him, he hijacked an acid plant that manufactured a strong acid for standardized engines. He kept and ran the small operation under the name of Carraim Arenzu, after his former master and his wife. He named the little company he owned Andro Acids, after the Andromeda. While not extremely profitable, it was enough for one used to comfort to live on well. He did not need to hire labor as he could manage the facility himself using the Force, but to keep from looking conspicuous and to look over things while he was away he did hire a skeleton crew to manage the place.
Now not totally infused with the dark side as he had been while partners with the Andromeda, he found that his Force powers were diminished, and he had to mostly use his finely-tuned talent in lightsaber combat to defeat his foes. This gave the Jedi more of an edge, and slightly slowed his conquest over them, but he was still a bitter opponent in battle; his only loss being to Strider, whom he sought year in and year out. His search and secret conquest went on for seven years, during which time he worked on practicing more of his Force powers along with his lightsaber combat abilities, working himself up to the level of power he had been to with the Andromeda by the end of that period. Finally, Tulak found a thread of a lead that supposedly led to Strider being on Ruusan. Following that lead, he found more and more evidence, until he took a leave of absence from Andro Acids to stalk Strider.
While on Ruusan, he managed to hunt down the Shistavanen, and challenged him right then and there. Thus, they fought, causing a great clash in the fabric of the Force as two great powers met and fought. The duel was claimed to have lasted for days, but this is not confirmed. As they fought, Tulak used everything he could think of to gain the upper hand of his opponent, until, finally, the Dark Lord managed to strike Strider down, running him through with his blade and killing him. With his triumph over the most powerful of Jedi Masters, Tulak began to think of himself as invincible as he continued his study of the dark side of the Force, even dabbling into several aspects of Sith alchemy.
However, unbeknownst to him, Strider had an apprentice which he had continued to teach up until his death; the young Kent Arenzu. Upon his master's death, seventeen-year-old Kent took up Strider's lightsaber as his own; as he had not been made to build one yet. With Strider's death, Kent was allowed to look upon several of Strider's holocrons, both to continue his training and as a way to tell Kent of who his father was should Strider not have been given the chance. With this revelation, the artificially powerful Padawan used the power he had in discernment and discovered that it had been his father who had killed Strider. His newfound knowledge and this revelation combined instilled in him the need to fulfill the destiny his mother had wanted him to take up long ago: to either redeem or kill Tulak. However, Kent, now knowing the extent of the wrongs Tulak had done, believed Tulak irredeemable, and resigned himself to having to kill him. However, first he had to gain more knowledge of the Force; but in his intense raw power given to him, he felt himself ready to face Tulak only months after his master's death.
Thus, Kent began the hunt for Tulak, something that at first seemed insurmountable since all of Republic Intelligence and the power of the Jedi Order could not locate him, but being his son, Kent had a special connection to Tulak that allowed him an advantage. Following threads of power in the Force, after a little over a year Kent located the Dark Lord of the Sith, working innocently in an acid refinery. With this knowledge in mind, Kent returned to Ruusan to prepare and to tell his mother of his plans; that it would not be long now before he and Tulak would face off.
Upon discovering her son's plans, Chirene worried about what to do. It seemed that Kent was not planning to give Tulak a chance at redemption, and, with the power her husband had already displayed, she feared for her son's life. Thus, unbeknownst to Kent, she traveled to the Andro Acids space station and requested to see Tulak. Upon hearing her name, Tulak allowed her inside and dismissed all of those in the general vicinity of his main office. When they were finally alone, Chirene fell into Tulak's arms and begged him to stop his conquering, or to at least go into hiding again. Though he still loved Chirene, he had become bitter about what she had done, and shoved her away as she continually begged him, though she did not reveal that it was their son that was planning to kill him. Upon hearing that someone would be coming to try to kill him, he trumped up a claim of a health violation in the facility, and gave everyone leave until further notice, running the whole facility with the Force in the meantime.
Not at all frightened by the possibility of death, Tulak ignored Chirene's pleas. When she began to get annoying, he harmed her, but still she begged for some kind of compromise. Finally, in an effort to shut her up, he asked where their child was, the one he had never gotten to know. Though she did not reply, as a kind of answer he felt his son's presence enter the abandoned Andro Acids. Shocked, dismayed, and disgusted to find that it was his own son that was determined to kill him, he forcibly took Chirene as his prisoner, strapping her weakened form to his back in an effort to buy time with his son. He was surprised by the amount of power he had felt in Kent, but this as not the reason he had tied Chirene to him, but so that Kent would have to listen to him or else risk the death of his mother. He also did not want to face the possibility of fighting his only son, and gave him some bargaining time in which to perhaps turn Kent.
When Kent entered the main control room, Tulak was waiting. A conversation ensued, in which Tulak told Kent to stand down and called for them to speak. Kent continually denied Tulak's temptations to turn to the dark, something that saddened the Dark Lord. Tulak had wanted to rule with his son, not wanting to remain alone his entire life. Kent continued to resist, forcing Tulak to resign himself to the fact that Kent must die. Kent, however, did not make a move to harm Tulak, as a strike at the Dark Lord would probably maim or kill Chirene as well.
When Tulak made the move to kill Kent, Chirene, fearing for the life of her only son, reached down to Tulak's belt, from which several lightsabers dangled, and grabbed the nearest one. In a split second after grabbing it, she turned it on as she had seen Tulak do so many times, and thrust it through her own abdomen, running her husband completely through the center of his chest, fatally wounding them both. To keep himself alive, Tulak drew upon the Force, and cut himself free of the weakening Chirene, leaving her to die.
Instead of taking this moment to strike at Tulak, Kent ran to his fallen mother's side, using the Force to try to heal her wound. Tulak did not give him the chance to do so, however, as he brought his lightsaber crashing down towards Kent, forcing him to fight. Kent had apparently inherited his father's talent with a ligthsaber, and his powers were strong, making the duel long and vicious. Their clash brought Tulak's attention off of the acid refinery, causing it to begin to fall apart, that plus the fact that the two great powers clashing with each other caused great stress on the facility.
As they fought, their intense duel brought them down to the lower levels, in the lookout post overlooking the giant tank of acid. Their duel caused the both of them to be thrown out of the lookout window and into the pool of acid beneath. However, because of the breakup their duel was causing, there was much floating debris in the acid for them to continue fighting on. Thus, the duel raged on. However, as they fought, the debris they were awkwardly forced to make their stand on slowly dissolved. This forced them to jump from one piece of metal to the other as their ground melted away beneath them. As their fight intensified, Tulak gained the upper hand, forcing Kent off the edge of one of the pieces of debris. Kent managed to hang onto the edge as Tulak looked on, somehow unable to kill his only son, just watching in conflict and horror, mind working desperately to figure out some way of disabling Kent without harming him. In anguish and in some way of finding a weakness, Tulak funneled his powers to probe into Kent's mind as the boy gathered enough energy to Force jump himself back onto the ledge.
Tulak finally came to the answer when the spear of his probe dug deep into Kent's subconscious, to when he was only a baby, and imbued with the Force. At last, Tulak had the answer, and with this knowledge in mind, faced his son as kent landed on the dissolving ground behind the Dark Lord. Tulak focused his powers to a fine point, and forcibly ripped all of that artificial power from the boy. Suddenly stripped of all of his talent in the Force and the power that had graced his hands for so long, Kent was weakened to the point that he fell to the ground in agony, unconscious. Overjoyed that he did not have to kill his son, Tulak cradled his son in his arms and picked him up to carry him to safety. However, it was too late.
The acid had eaten most of the debris away, and Tulak was not powerful enough to Force jump all the way to the top of the silo with his boy. In one last ditch effort to save his son's life, the Dark Lord of the Sith used the Force to make his lightsaber float to the top of the silo and cut an opening in the ceiling, and used telekinesis to life Kent up and through the opening to safety even as Tulak's feet began to be eaten away by the acid. As he fell into the acid pool in agony, he released his frustrated and heartbroken last words:
“What have the Jedi done to my son?”—Tulak Hord's last words
Legacy and post mortemEdit
Kent, after coming to, realized that his father had died for him, and that his connection to the Force had been severed. Severely weakened by this experience, he managed to make it back to where his mother lay, already dead. Grieved at the loss of both of his parents and the Force, he shut himself off from outside influences and lived alone on Ruusan, where Strider had lived and he had grown up, working to center himself. During this time, he made friends with the Bouncers, who helped him heal emotionally.
After several years of isolation, Kent went on a search for the remains of the Andromeda in an effort to use it to regain his powers. Using what he remembered from what little Strider had told him of the incident, it still took him nearly a year of searching to find the moon the Andromeda had rammed into. Probably because of the use of durable life forces, the parts that had not been destroyed still worked, meaning that nearly a fourth of the Andromeda was still intact and working, which included several of the life force silos. However, when finally faced with the ability to finally have his power in the Force back, he denied himself the chance. He realized that with great power came great responsibility, and he did not want to follow in his father's footsteps nor make his mistakes. It would also be taking the Force into his own hands, something Strider told him not to do, but to let the Force guide him, and though he could feet it no more, he knew that the Force was not guiding him to artificially give himself the power.
He thus left the Andromeda, but his surrender to the Force's will and not his own plans reawakened a part of him that had not been lost. Kent actually had a bit of natural Force-sensitivity with him, which Tulak had not taken away. Upon realizing this, he nurtured this ability, one powerful in foresight, and brought himself to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant to finish his training. However, his facing Tulak and then denying the power he could have wielded once more with the powers of the Andromeda convinced the Council that his training was complete, and they knighted him. He became a wise and powerful Jedi Prophet and Battlemaster in the years to come, and died happily.
Unbeknownst to Kent and the entire galaxy, Tulak managed to transfer his soul into his armor, resting untouched in the upper chambers of Andro Acids. Before the Republic could tear the station down, the Sith caught word of Tulak's whereabouts and took his armor and lightsabers and buried them in a tomb in the Valley of the Dark Lords on Korriban, in honor of his considerable power. There, Tulak's soul released itself from his armor and instead attached itself to his tomb, where he waited there alone for millennia. In later years, both Revan and the Jaxia Veers visited his tomb, though by the time Jaxia arrived, the entrance had been closed off and his tomb looted. Tulak did not disturb them as he did not feel the need in his loneliness and despair. However, as several more long millennia had passed, Tulak began to be driven mad by the need for power and consumed by the want to return to his former state of Dark Lord of the Sith, once more to hold the galaxy by the throat.
This drove him to be willing to possess almost anyone who came within reach of his tomb, but this would not be for a long while yet. It took until 18 BBY for someone to enter his tomb after clearing a way inside. However, the Sith, a Miraluka named Jaiga, unconsciously revealed to him that one with stronger physical capabilities was coming soon, and that, if he waited, he would find a much better host. Fortunately for him, even if the vessel he had chosen was not Force-sensitive, his soul would make him so, making that obstacle a moot point. True to his thoughts, a middle-aged Jedi Master named Savill Tahl entered, but of much more interest to him was the one he brought with him, a younger male Shapeshifter. Maliciously overjoyed at such a find for his vessel, he began setting all of his powers into driving the Shapeshifter, named Zenethir Rodiron, insane, to lower his defenses so that he could enter him.
However, the Jedi Master and the Sith helped the Shapeshifter get away before he was driven mad, and escaped Korriban in their ship. Tulak, though, used his power to go with Zenethir to Alderaan, where he waited until he was alone. That night, Tulak firmly locked the door then raised Zenethir from his slumber to prey upon him. Zenethir was not strong enough to resist him for long, but the Shapeshifter did try. It took around five minutes of making him writhe in pain as he worked to control him before he was about to gain some leverage with him. Before he could take full control of him, however, a girl Jedi named Rem broke into the room and helped the Shapeshifter fight off Tulak, lending some of her Force power to help him get free. Upon noticing what she was doing, Tulak took control of the Shapeshifter's hand and arm and began to choke her. Upon seeing this, the Shapeshifter somehow discovered a quick burst of newfound strength and threw off Tulak from him. This was only temporary; however, as Tulak again waited back at his tomb, biding his time, knowing that his vessel would come.
As he predicted, Zenethir did return to Tulak's tomb with Rem and the now-redeemed Jaiga to fight off Tulak once and for all. To gain the upper hand, he used some of the feelings the Shapeshifter had for Rem by cutting her off from the main group with a rockslide. He proceeded to try to capture her for a bargaining tool, appearing as a manifestation of his previous form before his accident at the destruction of the Andromeda and fighting her with a somehow corporeal lightsaber blade. Before he could disarm her, however, the Shapeshifter used his morphing powers to get to her side of the rockslide much sooner than Tulak had planned, thus forcing him to try to kill the girl to weaken Zenethir. He managed to run her through, but with the girl's natural talent in Force absorption, she was able to absorb the energy from the blade and push his spirit away form her. With the combined powers of the three, they managed to banish him to Chaos in one final explosion that brought his whole tomb crashing down, forever ridding the galaxy of Tulak Hord.
Personality and traitsEdit
Tulak Hord was a curious soul as a younger man, with a curiosity that eventually led him to Ranchint. He also had a sense of justice, which became prevalent, though twisted, when he decided to wipe out the entire Jedi Order for what he perceived as corruption, and especially for trying to execute his wife. He was a loyal soul, completely loyal to his wife even after she left him, and continuing to love her still even then, though that love was marred with bitterness as the years passed. He also showed this great love towards his son, whom only when he first met him he worked to try to turn him and save Kent's life at the expense of his own. A kind of this love was also shown to the Andromeda, with whom he became great friends, in a sense, during their time together. Tulak also hated to be alone, something which also drove him to turn his son to the dark and which drove him mad during his years of isolation in his tomb. He was a firm believer that the Jedi were evil and needed to be wiped out, and blamed them for anything terrible that happened in his life, from his wife leaving him to his son determined to kill him. This belief never faltered, and grew with every passing year, to where he believed that the dark side of the Force was the only path to fulfillment and happiness, so set in his ways that it rendered him irredeemable. Tulak was also a determined individual, and never gave up on something that he started, save his training in the Jedi Order, but that was a matter of principle, so he believed. He continued to hunt down after the Jedi even when it became dull and his resources were nearly spent, and never gave up the search for Strider, even though it took him seven years to locate the Shistavanen.
Talents and abilitiesEdit
His training in the dark side allowed him to well use a wide amount of abilities, though none of him he was especially proficient with except for telekinesis, which he used when he sparred with more than two sabers. He could read minds, and knew several aspects of Sith Alchemy, something he used at his death to bind his soul to his armor.
Tulak Hord was, above all else, an extremely skilled lightsaber duelist, outclassing any before him or since. Besides having a natural affinity for it, he would practice this ability almost every day, pushing himself to the limits. It also pushed him to find a way to fight with cordless sabers, something he was able to do with the power of the Andromeda. Using the Force, he was able to use multiple sabers at once, all with expert control gained through experience. He did not follow one specific form, but instead to use his own specialized version, which proved quite effective against most foes. He also was talented at building lightsabers, and would sometimes do so in his spare time, to allow him to use even more blades at once. The most blades he was able to wield at one time were seventeen.
Though he had many lightsabers, he was especially fond of three. One was his first lightsaber, which originally came with a cord, but he later chopped off the cord and infused the aqua-colored lightsaber with the power of a life force. His second and most prominent lightsaber was of a much more engineered design, with a pointed end that stretched beyond the emitter. The blade was purple, and later excavations showed that the two focusing crystals used in the life force-powered blade was a firkrann crystal and a bondar crystal. His third favorite lightsaber was red, was much more modern than his other two, and was powered with a life force.
Behind the scenesEdit
Telos donated the image of Tulak and Kent fighting amongst the blue acid.
At first, nothing but Tulak Hord's encounter with Zenethir was known, considered, or created by the author, as he was used in an RP. However, the other RPer provided the name and identity. Only recently was his back-story developed.
Strider's name and hints of his back-story are references to J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, in which Aragorn's alias as a ranger was Strider.
The mention of the Jedi Exile's name being Jaxia Veers is a reference to Brandon Rhea's novel, Shadows of the Jedi: The Legend of Ussej Padric Bac, in which he decrees the Jedi Exile's name as being Jaxia Veers.