Knights of the Old Republic: Convict's Dawn is a fan fiction novel written by user Jedi Master 76. Convict's Dawn was the first novel written in the Days of Dissidence Series; however, it is not the first story chronologically. Developed and written during the course of 2008, the story was first released on Star Wars Fanon in the summer of 2008. After several months on the wiki, the story was removed for an extensive rewrite. It was released in its third and final edition during the summer of 2009, one year after its original release.
Convict's Dawn is the first story detailing the life of the young Sith learner Raen Benax. Betrayed by the Sith after undertaking a crucial mission, Raen is exiled from his home on Alderaan and is forced to flee in search of asylum and new allies until he becomes strong enough to enact his vengeance against the Sith. During his travels, he meets Gaiel Remus, a Jedi Knight seeking answers surrounding the mysteries of the Jedi Civil War, and Ralina Venli, a smuggling captain indirectly working for the Jedi Order, among others, who shape the universe of the Days of Dissidence Series.
In order of appearance and/or mentioning.
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Vehicles and vessels
While the Jedi Council try to guide the amnesiac Revan toward the light, another front of the Jedi Civil War is being waged. In the years following the Great Sith War, cultists on Alderaan who followed their native son Ulic to the dark side constructed a hidden academy in his honor. After the Mandalorian Wars, this same academy was seized by Darth Malak's servants, and he intends to see the "heart and soul of the Republic" conquered as a staging ground for an attack on the Core Worlds. However, the master of Alderaan's academy has another agenda in mind. And so begins another tale in the chronicles of the Old Republic...
Three Jedi Knights linger in an asteroid belt around the frozen world of Polus. Gaiel Remus, Syme Devor, and Betror Sylan had been sent to Polus hoping to find Celsus Djan, a legendary Jedi Master who had performed incredible feats in the Mandalorian Wars. Before he and several other Jedi had tried to infiltrate Darth Malak's academy on Korriban, they sent word to the Jedi Council of their plan from Polus. No one has seen or heard from them since.
After a brief search turns up no leads, the Jedi prepare to leave, but a small battle group under the command of Sith Captain Vaerk Luus—the alias of former Republic pilot Lucius Velle—arrives in system hoping to capture Jedi before they can escape with knowledge of the secret Sith facility located on the planet's surface. Captain Luus is newly promoted and inexperienced; his harsh demeanor and his reputation as a sycophant has earned him the ire of his crew. When his ships engages the Jedi, a Republic task force led by Captain Danters arrives in system to help them get to safety. Although they outnumber the Sith, the Republic vessels are outgunned and outclassed by the larger Sith warships, so the Jedi form a strike team to cripple the Captain Luus' ship from the inside.
The strike team makes progress toward the bridge, but most of the Republic commandos are wounded or killed by Dark Jedi defenders. The pilot and demolition specialist Jacques stays behind to ensure Captain Danters' adopted daughter Nyalla is safe while the Jedi head for the bridge. Further ahead, a treasonous officer attacks Captain Luus, hoping to incite a mutiny and take control of the ship. Although he is wounded, Vaerk Luus fights off his attacker without help from his apathetic crew. Before the trio of Jedi can reach the bridge and take advantage of the situation, they are confronted by a small team of troopers and Dark Jedi led by Lamiya, Darth Malak's pupil and his representative for the course of Captain Luus' mission. Syme fights well, but he is no match for her. She manages to kill Betror and wound Gaiel, leaving Syme for last. The Jedi Knight makes a valiant attempt, but he too is defeated by Lamiya, losing his right leg in the process.
Captain Danters' cruiser is crippled and the strike team defeated, but the sudden arrival of Jedi Councilors Northeus Ulsan and Lonna Vash turn the tide of the battle. Captain Luus bests the officer who attempted to usurp him but the rest of the crew, seeing the battle turn against them, also try to seize and kill him. He barely escapes with his life by fleeing in his personal escape pod, leaving his crew for dead. Lamiya too knows that the Sith will lose the battle, and she kills Jacques and trades places with Nyalla, dressing her in her Dark Jedi robes, hoping to escape undetected. After the Jedi Councilors disable the Sith warship, they find the injured Gaiel, Syme, and Lamiya and—thinking her to be a Republic pilot—take them from the ship. Captain Danters is severely injured as the remaining Sith fighters assail his ship, but the survivors escape the system thanks to the help of the Jedi Masters.
One year before this battle, at the height of the Jedi Civil War, Raen Benax studies under the Sith on Alderaan. A troubled and petulant youth, his raw power and skill in matters of the Force and blade have awed the other students, but he is too arrogant to appreciate his talents and the guidance of his masters. His teacher, De'dlay, is the only mentor and parental figure in his life; his father spends all of his time managing his vast company and his mother plays socialite for Alderaanian nobility. He is amicable only to the Iridorian G'aull, who is enlisted along with the rest of his clan to fight at Sluis Van, and his older brother Jaeln, a Sith learner of equal renown.
Although he is unaware, Raen has become caught up in the intrigue and treachery that surrounds the Sith on Alderaan. Dynatha, one of the Sith Master Calay's students, finds herself attracted to Raen. Calay knows of her feelings and knows that Raen will not return these affections; she has convinced her to contact Preux, the enigmatic Sith Lord of Alderaan, for help. Calay has been using her own agents to feed news of Dynatha's doings to De'dlay, but making it seem as though her pupil is conspiring with Preux. She intends for De'dlay to learn about these things and have him do something foolish, allowing Jaeln to take his place as a Sith Master. While they conspire, De'dlay has been informed that the Jedi Master Tor'chal is coming to investigate the rumors of a Sith presence on Alderaan, and he intends for Raen alone to deal with him. His choice fosters the growing rivalry between the two brothers.
When Tor'chal arrives, he is contacted by one of the Jedi Shadows stationed on Alderaan. However, the Sith intercept his message and send Jaeln Benax to deal with the undercover agent. Before he can do so, Tor'chal's ship arrives. Jaeln fools the Jedi Master, with some difficulty, into believing that he and the Jedi he had spoken to were old friends, and he brings Tor'chal to the Benax manor before going to deal with the undercover Jedi Knight. Raen leads Tor'chal inside and introduces him to his father, Raystin Benax. Although Raystin and his wife Junara attempt to make the Jedi Master comfortable at dinner, Tor'chal retires early. When he checks the messages on his comlink, he realizes that he has been fooled; the Jedi he was meant to meet has already been killed by Jaeln and Calay, and he is in great peril himself. Nevertheless, he tries to contact the Jedi Council on Coruscant.
De'dlay sends Raen after Tor'chal alone. The young Sith apprentice takes several droids with him to the Jedi Master's room and forces his way inside. Tor'chal quickly dispatches the droids and challenges Raen. Although the old Jedi is far more skilled and has the advantage of wisdom, his body is old and frail, and he underestimates the raw power Raen possesses. Tapping into the dark side, Raen ultimately defeats Tor'chal in a battle of the Force that leaves the old Jedi crushed beneath chunks of the wall and durasteel. Raen takes the old Jedi Master's lightsaber and returns to De'dlay. De'dlay, who has become paranoid after learning about Dynatha's rendezvous with Preux, believes Raen to be involved. He fears that the two young Sith will work together with Preux to overthrow him, and he tries to kill Raen after realizing that Raen failed to kill Tor'chal. The old Jedi Master, crippled and near-death, sees a vision in which Raen becomes a Jedi, and he defends the betrayed Sith against De'dlay's assault. While Raen escapes his father's mansion, he uses both Tor'chal and De'dlay's lightsabers to fend off the guards and servants in his way and—unwittingly—burns a wing of the building with pyrokinesis.
In the safety of the hills, Raen contacts G'aull to help him escape. While he waits for the Iridorian, he meets Jaeln and Calay as they return from killing the Jedi who had tried to help Tor'chal. Jaeln doesn't understand what happened or what Raen is doing, but Calay fears that Raen has betrayed the Sith and is going to kill Jaeln, so she fires at Raen, forcing him to flee from them both and threatening his brother. While Jaeln returns to his home to deal with the fire and seek answers, Raen takes one of his old transports and flees to Taris hoping to find refuge with his extended family.
In the space around Telos IV, the Republic pilot-turned-smuggler Ralina Venli and her crew aboard the Cerulean Wolf have escaped from a dogfight against pirates who attempted to relieve them of their cargo. With their work completed, Ralina ordered the crew to head to the nearest friendly spaceport for repairs, but they are interrupted by their newest employer. The Jedi Knight who hires them wants them to intercept a civilian transport and kill both the Sith scientist and the captured Jedi under his care, and then to take the scientist's notes and personal affects. Although none of her crew trusts their employer, Ralina is comforted by the amount of credits he is offering. They attack the Luminous Daybreak—the same transport that had brought Tor'chal to Alderaan—as it reverts out of hyperspace to pick up new coordinates from a nearby hyperspace beacon, disabling the ship with their illegal ion cannons.
Ralina, her navigator Manda, and their technician Halendot board the civilian transport first and clear the hangar. The first mate Fetcher and their gunner, Delvin Cortes, arrive later and go immediately to the security and tech room, where they disable the doors and force the few guards aboard to deal with them. Ralina and her team bypass the barracks and reach the medical center after only a few firefights. Inside, Halendot deals with the Sith scientist and Ralina captures his nurse. However, before they can secure the room and gather the scientist's belongings, a mysterious figure who the crew assumes to be their Jedi target arrives and kills Halendot. He threatens Manda and Ralina, both stunned by their companion's death, and kills the nurse Manda had taken as a hostage to prove his ruthlessness. Ralina is prepared to die for the sake of Manda and the others, but before the mysterious figure can end Ralina's life, Fetcher arrives and beats him down.
The old civilian transport was not designed to endure even the slightest attacks, and the damage from the Cerulean Wolf's ion cannons cause a chain reaction in the hyperdrive. Ralina orders Fetcher to take the killer as a bargaining chip to use against whoever his employer is, pulls the plug on the comatose Jedi in the room with them, and the crew takes anything of value they find in the medical room before fleeing the exploding ship. They make it out just in time and escape before Telos Security arrives on the scene.
Raen arrives in the Telos system after a long flight. An old family droid, T1-N7, had been tending the ship when he escaped Alderaan and so is his only companion. Though Raen manages to bypass orbital security with a bit of guile and Force persuasion, the old transport is not powerful enough to make to the surface and begins to fall apart in atmosphere. He tries to save the ship in vain. Rescuing the droid from certain doom, Raen leaps from the collapsing ship and slows his descent with the Force, although he only barely injures himself in the process of landing and is seen by hundreds of people just before his ship crashes nearby.
Meanwhile, four operatives of Taris Central Paramilitary, have been instructed to investigate the Deathly Stars apartment complex and deal with suspected weapon smugglers who have made their hideout inside. Their commander is Celsus Djan, who left the Jedi Order two years ago after his failure on Korriban and fled to Taris. None of his companions know of his Jedi past or his Force-sensitivity, and he intends to keep it that way. He leads the three junior agents inside, and despite their suspicions, they encounter no difficulty getting inside or investigating the apartment. While the other members of his team scour the area for clues as to the whereabouts of the smugglers and his supply of illegal weapons, Celsus tries to gain access to the smuggler's computer. When he realizes that his team has not reported in in some time, Celsus searches for them, only to realize that there are Sith troopers in the building. With some reluctance, he calls upon the Force to deal with them, but he is too late; his team, meant for dealing with local criminals, have already been killed by Sith troopers. Celsus takes the computer's memory unit and flees the building, escaping with their pilot, Bramhon, just before the Sith troopers gun him down on the roof.
When Raen wakes up, he finds himself in the apartment of the Togruta Selias Siital. After a brief confrontation where Selias bests the haughty Sith apprentice, Raen fumes over his own weakness while Selias asks him about himself and explains to him what happened since he crashed on Taris. When he asks her why she saved him, she becomes evasive, but she does confess that she wants Raen to escort her into the Lower City, thinking him to be a Jedi. Although he is initially hesitant, Raen agrees to help her, figuring she will help him find his uncle later. While they travel, Raen notices that the locals are staring at them, and Selias explains the xenophobia of the Upper City. Raen finds himself sympathetic to her plight despite himself. Just before they reach the elevator to the Lower City, a cadre of nobles, led by Oryan Tempaar, try to manhandle and have their way with Selias, presuming her to be Raen's slave. Raen scares them off and earns Selias's respect.
A group of mercenaries led by the Zabrak Gheas linger in orbit above Taris. They work for Preux himself and have been tasked with hunting Raen. When Darth Malak's forces begin their invasion of Taris, bolstered by forces on the ground supplied by the weapon smugglers Celsus and the other paramilitary forces had been searching for, Gheas and his mercenaries join them.
Raen and Selias enter the Lower City and head toward Javyar's Cantina, one of the larger and seedier clubs in the area. Inside, he meets Gadon Thek, leader of the swoop gang known as the Hidden Beks, and Sir Neebs, a prominent offworld businessman who is responsible for financially supporting the gang. He learns that Selias is part of Gadon's gang, and she has been tasked with rescuing Neebs' daughter from the Legion of Zhell, a Humanocentric crime syndicate who intends to sell Neebs' daughter into slavery. Raen is hesitant to get involved with such local disputes, but he owes Selias his life for saving him after he crash-landed on Taris and agrees to continue helping her. Selias introduces him to Donnel Ioca and Ranval Messor, two other Hidden Beks, and they go to the bridge where the exchange with the Legion of Zhell is supposed to take place.
At Taris Paramilitary Headquarters, Celsus meets with the assistant director after a long wait since Director Dandek Benax is missing. The assistant director is not as amicable toward the commander as Director Benax, and he is suspicious of the fact that Celsus manages to survive and excel in his missions while at the same time losing many valuable operatives under his command. The Sith attack is worrisome, but the assistant director tasks Celsus with accosting the Hidden Beks who have been aiding the Sith in trafficking in arms from offworld. Celsus agrees, begrudgingly. He returns to the barracks and talks with Bramhon about the situation, and he is surprised to learn that the assistant director has put Bramhon in charge of the mission instead of him. With the Sith approaching and his own leadership position in Taris Paramilitary in jeopardy, Celsus realizes that he has been foolish to hide from his destiny for so long and vows to return to the Jedi Order.
Raen and the Hidden Beks reach the bridge where the ransom is to be paid. Raen goes to look for gunners hidden along and above the bridge while Selias and Donnel go to deal with the Legion of Zhell. The Legion's representative seems to appreciate Selias' attempt to pay the ransom, but he reveals that the Exchange also is interested in purchasing Neebs' daughter—to gain control of his immense ship-building and weapons factories on Sullust—and outbids the Hidden Beks. Raen's arrival causes the situation to devolve quickly, and the Wookiee slaves of the Legion join him in his attack. While Raen and the slaves fight the Exchange and Legion, Selias and Donnel escape with Neebs' daughter. After the death of the Wookiees, Raen manages to hold his own, but the prolonged engagement exhausts him and he tries to flee. He is at the mercy of Canderous Ordo and would have died if not for Selias convincing Ranval to turn around and save him because she thinks that his Force powers can save her sick brother, Sanar. Ranval arrives just in time, rescues Raen, and they bring Sir Neebs' daughter back to Gadon at the cantina.
With the Sith invasion well underway in the Upper City, the Republic and Taris Police Department declare martial law. Oryan Tempaar believes that the Sith will win the battle, conquer the planet, and persecute nobles like him, so he goes to a local trader and tries to seek passage offworld. However, he is captured by the mercenary Gheas and his comrades. Gheas killed Dandek but did not find Raen. After a brief investigation, he meets with one of Oryan's friends who claims to have seen a Jedi earlier that day. Although Oryan tries to assist them, his information is less-than-useful and Gheas leaves him for dead as they continue their search.
Raen and the Hidden Beks return to the cantina with Neebs' daughter in tow. Returning the young Sullustan to her father, the businessman thanks Raen and the others for saving his child and makes it a point to leave the planet quickly. Raen and Selias linger in the bar for a moment, only to be caught up in the Taris Paramilitary raid for the Hidden Beks. As Javyar's Cantina erupts into chaos, Raen leads the Lower City patrons into battle to distract the paramilitary forces so Selias can escape. Celsus, who had until then been guarding Bramhon, notices Raen and realizes what he is doing. He pursues Selias to lure Raen to him. Raen follows him and engages him in a duel. Although Raen fights well, he is overpowered by the Jedi Master in disguise, and he has Raen at his mercy. Although Celsus initially plans to kill him, assuming he is a Dark Jedi, Raen confesses that he is the nephew of Dandek Benax, the director of Taris Paramilitary and he holds back. Before the two can escape together to find Dandek, Bramhon confronts them and accuses Celsus of betraying them. Bramhon's family was killed by Jedi during the Mandalorian Wars, and he blames Celsus for the misdeeds committed in the name of the Jedi Order. Celsus tries to assuage his confused and indignant companion, but Bramhon will have none of it. Nevertheless, he cannot bring himself to kill his old commander, and it is with great reluctance that he allows the two Force-sensitives to flee.
The Hidden Beks, Celsus, and Raen reach Selias' Upper City apartment at dawn the next day. Selias explains that her brother Sanar was infected with the rakghoul plague, and she hopes Raen could heal him. Raen confesses he has no such skill, but Celsus vows to do his best. Despite his efforts, though, his Force power only aggravates Sanar's condition, and he nearly transforms into a rakghoul during his attempts at healing. Celsus and Donnel try to kill him before he can transform, but Selias and Raen hold them back. Ranval deals the killing blow to Sanar and Selias, delirious with grief, strikes at him before fleeing the apartment. Raen attempts to comfort her with little success. While he talks with Selias, he realizes that a nearby burned building was once the home of Dandek Benax, and he was evidently killed before Raen arrived. With Dandek dead, neither Celsus nor Raen have a reason to stay on the planet and ask the Hidden Beks to take them to Sir Neebs so they can leave.
Gheas and his mercenaries intercept them while they head to the spaceport. Injuring Selias and destroying the Hidden Beks' vehicle, Raen challenges Gheas and his comrades and they tell him that it was Lubain, a Mandalorian commando working for Darth Malak, who killed his uncle. Nevertheless, Raen and Celsus dispatch the mercenaries and reach Sir Neebs while Gadon Thek arrives and deals with Sith reinforcements. Once Sir Neebs' ship is in orbit, Celsus confesses to Raen that they must part ways; Celsus intends to finish the mission that he failed so long ago, and he advises Raen to go to Dantooine. Although he is hesitant, Raen decides to listen to his advice.
A year later, just before Revan completes his apprenticeship under the Jedi Council, Gaiel is recovering from the battle over Polus at the hidden Jedi enclave on Dantooine. When he wakes up, the medic explains to him that he has been unconscious for several days, and everyone who he had fought with—Captain Danters, Jacques, Nyalla, Betror—are either missing or dead. Only Syme has survived with him. He finds the whole situation very strange, and he is told that he ought to speak with the Jedi Council to remedy his confusion. However, the Jedi Master Vandar Tokare does not have enough information to assuage his fears; he can only insist that the Lamiya is dead because Northeus and Lonna confirmed it. He sends Gaiel into the countryside to consult with his old master, Bolook, who is tending to a criminal case amongst the planet's settlers.
By the time he arrives to help Bolook solve the murder mystery, Revan had already done so, and Bolook both confesses as much to his former Padawan and accidentally reveals that the former Dark Lord has returned as a Jedi. This angers and confuses Gaiel and he leaves to clear his mind. While he reminisces on Revan's actions in the Mandalorian Wars, he finds himself near the Rakata ruins and senses a dark presence nearby. He investigates and encounters Raen fighting three Jedi Knights—members of the Jedi Watchcircle Dominus. Raen deals with one of them before they all notice Gaiel's presence, and the leader of the group, Knosar, encourages Gaiel to help them deal with Tor'chal's murderer. Raen incapacitates Gaiel and challenges the two other Jedi. He manages to defeat one, but Knosar proves stronger than him and destroys one of his lightsabers. Gaiel returns to the battle and wounds Raen, forcing him to plead with Gaiel. Raen and Knosar both try to convince Gaiel that the other is the real enemy. It is only because Gaiel insists on taking Raen before the Council that causes Knosar to attack. Gaiel defeats the treasonous Jedi Knight, but he kills himself in lieu of being taken before the Jedi Council. Although he is hesitant, Gaiel agrees to take Raen before Vandar and the other Councilors to plead his case.
In the depths of space, Fetcher works on the bridge of the Hound's Sapphire, Ralina Venli's new ship, long after the others have retired. Jon, the ship's artificial intelligence, tries to annoy him by playing a song that he and his deceased mate loved. Ralina confronts him while he chides the AI, and the two get into an argument about their respective pasts. Fetcher admits that he will serve Ralina only so long as he is in her debt; Ralina appreciates his candor but is worried about him all the same. After their sleep cycle, Ralina confronts the assassin they had captured a year ago, who goes by the name Tserne DeLarane. He has proved difficult to interrogate, and neither the Bounty Hunter's Guild, the Exchange, nor the Hutts know him. She has considered killing him many times to avenge the death of Halendot, but every time she truly considers it, he tempts her with treasure and follows through with his promises. His latest promise is of a vast treasure trove aboard the Convict's Dawn, which coincidentally is the location of their next assignment, and Ralina is eager to get its location out of him. He is fickle and teases her, but she is insistent. She decides to take him with them while they search for the things their employer has requested they seize from the derelict transport, much to her crew's chagrin.
Inside, Fetcher, Manda, and Delvin ensure that the ship is empty and safe before Ralina and Tserne arrive. Upon making their way to the barracks, Tserne saves Ralina's life and helps her get inside a sealed room, easing her mistrust of him. She claims the Jedi and Sith holocrons that their employer wanted and returns to Tserne just as a Sith Interdictor-class cruiser arrives in system. Running out of time, Ralina decides to forsake the treasures Tserne promised and leads Tserne back out. The pair makes their way back to the Hound's Sapphire and they manage to escape the Convict's Dawn just before its core explodes and destroys the entire ship. The Sith Order's flagship, the Leviathan, pursues them and keeps them from escaping into hyperspace thanks to its gravity well generators. It is only thanks to the timely arrival of her employers in the form of a Jedi Watchcircle task force that she and her crew manage to escape. Under the guidance from their employer, Ralina orders her crew to set a course for Dantooine.
Raen Benax stands before the Jedi Council and pleads his case. He confesses to them that the Jedi Watchcircle has hunted him since he has arrived on Dantooine and has killed several settlers in their attempts on his life. The Jedi Council is dubious; Master Vrook Lamar notes that the Jedi Watchcircle was dissolved at the start of the Mandalorian Wars and Watchcircle Dominus' leader, Avaran Whell, died around the same time. Although they believe that there are Sith on Alderaan, they are hesitant to let Raen deal with the situation. Instead, they decide to send Gaiel and Raen on a mission to Polus to deal with a supposed Sith outpost before going to Coruscant to stand trial. Raen reluctantly agrees, seeing no other way of potentially going to Alderaan and exacting revenge on De'dlay and the others. After talking with the Jedi Masters about his doubts, Gaiel finds his own fears assuaged and he leaves them in good spirits. The Jedi Council, on the other hand, knows more than Gaiel realizes; the man known as Raystin Benax, according to their records, had no children, and no living relatives to whom Raen might have been related. One of their reasons for not executing him right away was their desire to figure out what had happened to the Benax family since their records ended many years ago.
After Raen and Gaiel leave the enclave, they are pursued by the Jedi Watchcircle under the orders of its apparent leader, Telerus Eston. The two Jedi reach the city of Garang without incident, but they are confronted by a team of rogue Jedi under Telerus' assistant Macallan in the central square. Although they initially intended to leave Gaiel alone, his refusal to hand over Raen to them forces their hand. Gaiel refuses to fight, so Raen engages them alone. His pyrokinesis and lightsaber skills make short work of most of them, but the few who remain prove stronger than the others. Gaiel convinces them to stop fighting and work together, appealing to their common allegiance to the Jedi Council; Macallan agrees, but Raen uses the opportunity to kill Macallan's remaining allies. Macallan, enraged, attacks Raen and nearly kills him. It is only thanks to quick thinking from Gaiel that the fighting is stopped, and Gaiel takes both of their lightsabers away to protect them from each other. Once Gaiel explains the situation, Macallan agrees Raen is not a threat and decides to consult his master, but not before directing Gaiel and Raen to Ralina who is waiting in a nearby cantina for her payment.
Raen took a seat in the cantina while Gaiel searched for Delvin, who Macallan noted was Telerus' contact. However, Raen's seat happened to be Ralina's, and the two of them got into a scuffle that was only resolved after Gaiel, Tserne, and Delvin together stopped the fighting. Delvin agreed to assist Raen and Gaiel get to Polus in exchange for a hefty payment; he didn't tell Ralina about this until the two Jedi had left for the Hound's Sapphire. Telerus killed Macallan for his failure just before entering the cantina to meet with Ralina. In exchange for the holocrons that Ralina and her crew had taken from the Convict's Dawn, Telerus gives them their payment and threatens Ralina after she told him her crew was no longer interested in working for them. Ralina, quite furious at him, doesn't tell him about Raen and Gaiel. While Ralina and her crew bargained with Telerus, Raen and Gaiel headed to the hangars. On their way there, a strange individual hands him a mysterious holocron before disappearing into the crowd.
Telerus has his agents pursue the smugglers in retaliation for lying to him. However, he is more interested in returning to Alderaan to rescue Tor'chal, who survived Raen's attempt on his life and has become a Sith prisoner. Telerus' agents only pursue Ralina and Manda until they reach the hangars and then let up. After a bit of bickering with their new Jedi companions, Ralina's crew prepares the Hound's Sapphire and they all begin their trip to Polus.
Behind the scenes
Unlike the other novels in the Days of Dissidence Series, Convict's Dawn retained its title throughout each stage of development. Following its initial release, the story became the most comprehensively outlined and planned for of the entire tetralogy. In the third edition of Convict's Dawn, a few characters were added or named, and the writing was improved, but few plot details changed. Ultimately, the story has seen the most editions of all the stories in the series, with three official rewrites.
Polus was chosen to be the first world seen in the series because Jedi Master 76 took a liking to the planet while playing the video game Star Wars: Empire at War. Most of the second and third acts takes place on Taris and Dantooine, respectively, because of their importance to the first Knights of the Old Republic game. Both planets featured a plethora of characters as well, giving opportunities for cameos, homages, and interaction between the series' original characters and recognized canon characters.
The decision to base the Sith on Alderaan stemmed from a line in Knights of the Old Republic. During the course of the gameplay, the player character could tell Sith Admiral Saul Karath that the Jedi were "on Alderaan" (itself an homage to a line from A New Hope). Karath knows you're lying because Alderaan is known as a world of artisans and scholars; however, Jedi Master 76 took the idea further and decided to plant a Sith base there. The presence of a Sith base was cemented in Jedi Master 76's mind when he remembered that Ulic Qel-Droma had been born on Alderaan and fallen to the dark side less than fifty years before.
The Benax family's meeting with the Jedi Master Tor'chal was one of the earliest scenes imagined in the novel. Very little changed between any of the drafts or editions, eventually leading to the climatic lightsaber fight and Tor'chal's survival. The decision to keep the Jedi Master alive was made very late in the story's writing, so it could tie into Knight of Alderaan.
Ralina and her crew were included very late in the original writing. Ralina's name was not decided upon until the third edition; prior to the latest release, she was known as R'alina. Her crew's part in the novel is reminiscent of Han Solo and Chewbacca's roles in the original trilogy; however, care was taken so not too many parallels were drawn. Halendot was the only member of the crew created specifically for the rewrite; Delvin Cortes was originally supposed to die instead. The artificial intelligence known as "Jon" was inspired in part by HK-47 and in part by HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The character Jhosua and characters introduced with him were meant to be included in Convict's Dawn, but time restraints and pacing forced Jedi Master 76 to nix all relevant segments. His story was expanded and became the short story Vanguard of the Republic. The scenes involving the Hidden Beks, Neebs, and Taris Paramilitary were rewritten several times to achieve the desired quality; the Taris Paramilitary subplot had not featured prior to the third edition. Much of the Tarisian scenes drew inspiration from Knights of the Old Republic's campaign and the Mass Effect series. The creation of the Jedi Watchcircle was planned since the earliest concepts of the series' metastory, but they would have been introduced much later in the series.
Convict's Dawn draws heavily from Star Wars canon, particularly the Knights of the Old Republic metaseries and the original trilogy as a whole. Furthermore, inspiration for characters and events were drawn from the video games Fire Emblem, the Tales of series, the Halo series, Mass Effect, and the books in the The Lord of the Rings series, Frankenstein, and A Tale of Two Cities. The title references both Raen's exile from Alderaan, his flight from those criminals that wish to pursue him, as well as being the name of an Alderaanian ship that plays a role in a revelation later in the series. The story's overarching themes revolve around self-reflection and the quest for identity.