Knights of the Old Republic: Hands of Evening is a fan fiction novel written by user Jedi Master 76. Hands of Evening was the third novel in the Days of Dissidence Series, and the seventh work written overall. The work was written over the course of 2011 and released to the Star Wars Fanon wiki in its entirety in the fall of 2011.
Hands of Evening is the third story in the Days of Dissidence Series to center around the protagonist Raen Benax, a former Sith apprentice who has allied himself with the Jedi Order and seeks to redeem himself for the actions of his past. Escaping the purge of the Jedi on Coruscant, Raen Benax and a team of Jedi Knights, led by the Councilor Northeus Ulsan, travel the galaxy searching for any surviving Jedi. During the course of their journey, supporting characters from previous stories—smuggler Ralina Venli, retired Republic soldier Jhosua Weros, and mercenary captain Lucius Velle—find themselves all fighting a common enemy in the form of the GenoHaradan and one of its Hutt allies. However, the involvement of the GenoHaradan assassins points to a larger conspiracy against the Republic and the increasing power of the Sith that paves the way for the return of a Sith Emperor whom Revan warned of.
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- Section 2
- Section 3
- Section 4
- Section 5
- Section 6
- Section 7
- Section 8
- Section 9
- Section 10
- Section 11
- Section 12
In order of appearance and/or mentioning.
|Organizations and titles||Sentient species||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Vehicles and vessels
Five years have passed since the events of Knights of the Old Republic and Knight of Alderaan. The Jedi Civil War is over, but the Sith threat has not yet been vanquished. Two months before the Jedi Exile, Meetra Surik, returns to known space, Republic Army Captain Rajes Thonnel is on his way to Coruscant. He intends to meet with his family, ostensibly as part of military leave. His father contacts him just before he arrives and proves displeased at Rajes' plans to visit. Rajes had yet to meet his father's expectations as the scion of such a prominent family. Nevertheless, Rajes intends to see his family.
Elsewhere on Coruscant, Gaiel Remus and Syme Devor, two Jedi Knights, are training in the Jedi Temple. Since the end of the Jedi Civil War, most of the senior Jedi either left the Order or disappeared without a word. Though the Jedi Order remains in theory, in practice there are less than a hundred Jedi active across the galaxy, and most of the Jedi Council has spread out to avoid another disaster like the annihilation on Katarr. After a brief training session, the two Jedi Knights are attacked by Sith assassins. They manage to best them and rescue a younger Jedi named Doreva. They send Doreva to inform Northeus Ulsan, the only Jedi Councilor on Coruscant, of the attack while the two of them deal with the assassins in the foyer.
Doreva stirs Northeus from a vision he had been experiencing while meditating. Convinced that the hero he saw in the vision is in fact Raen Benax, Northeus sends Doreva back to Gaiel and Syme while he goes to free Raen from imprisonment. Raen, who had accepted his sentence for the death of Jedi Master Tor'chal during his time as a Sith, has been imprisoned for five years. The Ghoul, the Force-sensitive Givin assassin whom Tserne and Lonna Vash had dealt with on Humbarine, became his cell mate some time ago. Northeus frees them both, though only lets the Ghoul go after Raen makes a case in his defense. Sith assassins attack them on their way out of the prison block, and it is only thanks to the sudden arrival of Gaiel, Syme, and Doreva that Raen and the Ghoul manage to survive the encounter.
They go to the Jedi Council chambers to meet up with the rest of the Jedi defenders only to find that they have all been killed by Darth Sion and his elite assassins. Northeus and the others barely manage to win the battle and secure the Jedi Council chambers. Northeus convinces his companions that they cannot hold the Jedi Temple alone, and they flee for the hangars. They manage to reach it only to find it sealed. Gaiel goes back to unlock the door and turn on the hyperspace beacon in orbit, leaving the others to deal with the Sith assassins wandering around the temple. Once Gaiel opens the door, the Jedi and their formerly imprisoned allies attempt to retreat, but they wait for Gaiel as long as they can. Darth Sion and Gaiel both return at the same time. It becomes obvious that they cannot face the Sith Lord, and Northeus urges them to retreat. When Syme proves hesitant to retreat, Gaiel locks the hangar bay doors behind him and sacrifices himself so the others can escape Coruscant. He fights valiantly against Darth Sion, but he ultimately succumbs to his wounds and becomes one with the Force in death. The survivors, led by Northeus, travel to M4-78 to meet Lonna Vash.
Elsewhere in the galaxy, Nafyan has cast off his guise as a simple servant and taken on the role of Sith Master once again. After escaping the Phantom Rising, he joined Captain Tara Isinn of the Asylum and a mysterious warrior he calls Master Preux; together, the three of them scoured the galaxy for allied forces left behind after the collapse of Darth Malak's empire. Exhausting their search, Nafyan has ordered them to go to Obulette, where a major lord of the system has some loyalties to the Sith and their cause. Although the reigning nobleman there, Tadeus II Bulger, is initially hesitant to help them, his imperialistic ambitions and the sudden appearance of the old Sith Vice Admiral Kvorkasir convinces him to reunite his order of assassins with the Sith once again.
On Ord Mantell, Ralina Venli and her crew, working for Mercium the Hutt, receive an abnormally large shipment of goods. She and her crew had been impressed into serving the Hutt after a botched job at smuggling goods through his territory. The dockmaster, Belsio Molir, is an old friend of hers, and he allows her to sneak in and out of Ord Mantell without issue. However, an anomaly directs his attention to two ships that pursued Ralina's freighter into space, and he is nearly killed by a Sith double agent upon investigating. Though he manages to kill the spy, he cannot relay to Ralina the fact that she is being pursued by pirates.
Jhosua Weros moved to Derra IV after being discharged from the Republic Army, and his alcoholism has hindered his efforts to keep steady employment. His most recent work as a bouncer in a nightclub and bar, only sates him because it reminds him of his time in the military. His constant companion and paramour, Verita Ladola, works with him and keeps him out of trouble. The relics he had uncovered on Wayland before his discharge included a Jedi holocron and a suit of armor that—infused with the Force—causes him to experience strange and maddening symptoms not unlike his brother had before he died.
Inside the club, Paelopia Atronis, the wife of Taris Paramilitary officer Bramhon, meets with an Arcona crimeboss and tries to pay off her debt. However, when it becomes obvious that she doesn't have the credits, the criminal informs her that she is to work for them to pay off her debt. Jhosua notices her disappearance and intends to save her. Verita, worried that he is going to lose his job for a woman he scarcely knows, tells him to stay put and let the manager take of the situation. Jhosua doesn't listen and involves himself in the crimeboss' business. He is trounced by the Arcona's guards and they would have carried Paelopia off if not for the sudden arrival of Selias and her mercenaries. Their arrival kicks off a fight in the club, and in the course of the commotion Jhosua loses sight of Paelopia but manages to beat most of the crimeboss' guards. When he is beaten unconscious, Verita and Selias' mercenaries finishes the job. Selias and her mercenaries explain that, although they lost Paelopia and her captor in the commotion, they could find him again by using Verita as bait; the Arcona was eager to collect bounties on Jedi, and they would eventually come looking for her. Although Jhosua wasn't comfortable with the idea, they knew it was the only way to find the crimeboss—and his potential superior.
Tserne and Dynatha had left the GenoHaradan two years ago and fell in with Lucius and his crew. Though there were still tensions, the five of them have become a roving mercenary band, gathering credits and taking out the agents of the GenoHaradan who still pursue them. They travel to a distant world called Herzob, where the shipbuilder and mechanic Oryan Tempaar lives alone with the droids he has created. Once they enter his domain, Oryan brings the crew together, thinking they intend to harm him. However, Lucius and the others are only looking for the surviving leaders of the GenoHaradan, and they knew that Oryan has been in business with them for some time. He confesses that he does not exactly know where they are, but he is willing to help them in exchange for seeing one of their chief agents, Skullduggery, dead. The crew agrees so long as he helps them.
The Jedi under Northeus travel to M4-78. The droid world has been heavily radiated by some sort of nuclear calamity, and the Jedi Knights and their allies are forced to land in the wastes away from the major cities. While Northeus scans for messages from the Jedi on the surface, Doreva and the Ghoul end up finding Celes Sunrider and Khondine Basilaron, two Jedi Knights who had been tasked with helping Lonna Vash. At the same time, Syme is attacked by a fallen Jedi from Master Vash's party, and he strikes him down just in time for his two erstwhile companions to see. After a brief engagement, Doreva explains the situation and stops the fighting. Khondine explains that Master Vash had authorized use of nuclear explosives to defeat the Sith but failed to clear the radiation due to a failure in the planet's environmental control droids. She and Celes were separated from Master Vash sometime thereafter. Taking an all-terrain vehicle to the capital city, Khondine and Raen are sent inside in EVA suits to find the missing Jedi Councilor.
The duo tries to reach one of the city's artificial intelligence agents, ES-05, but the very same AI hinders them by sending wave after wave of combat droids after them. Raen and Khondine decide to take a roundabout way and head to the industrial AI, IS-24. It is more pleased to see them and helps them rid the surrounding area of radiation. Once it is cleared, it opens up a maintenance shaft so they can reach ES-05's control room. Once they reach ES-05's chambers, they learn that Master Vash's apprentice had been impersonating ES-05 for many days and used M4-78's droid armies to kill both Jedi and Sith. Master Vash struck down her fallen Padawan just before Khondine and Raen arrive and restores the planet's central artificial intelligence. With M4-78 freed from the Sith and the radiation removed, Master Vash follows the pair back to Northeus and the others in the outskirts of the city.
The two Jedi Councilors disagree on the best way to proceed. Only Master Vash, Khondine, and Celes remain of nearly a dozen Jedi that had arrived to liberate M4-78 from the Sith. Master Vash intends to take Celes to Dantooine to meet with the surviving Jedi Councilors after investigating Korriban. The other Jedi are worried for Celes and insist that Master Vash leave the young Jedi on Ambria with Thon; Master Vash agrees. Master Ulsan decides to take the Jedi under his command, ignoring his fellow Councilor's warnings, and head for Teya IV to investigate the dark side presence in the area. Khondine decides to take her leave of Master Vash and joins Northeus' group.
Two weeks after the fall of the Jedi Temple, Ranval Messor receives a message from the late Gaiel. Having lost his hands in battle against the Sith on Alderaan, he was assigned to the young Senator Eliorae Latona by the Jedi Council. He knew that the appointment was done to relieve him of his other Jedi duties, and he resigned. Nevertheless, he continues to serve Eliorae faithfully. Her efforts to memorialize the fallen Jedi Order was met with jeers, but Ranval comforts her in her failure. In fact, most of her proposed bills had failed in the Senate. Ranval suspects this is due to the Heritage faction opposing her until she supports them as her father did. They agree to meet with some members of said faction at an upcoming political fundraiser and gala.
At a nearby restaurant, Rajes Thonnel meets with his father and discusses business. The young captain learns from him that his mother died some time ago, and his reaction nearly spoils their meal together. Nevertheless, his father agrees to set up a meeting with Oro Malthesinores so that the old senator can put a good word in for his son.
Jhosua and Verita are asleep at a very late hour on Derra IV when Selias contacts them about a new lead in Paelopia's disappearance. Traveling across town, they meet up with her and take her transport to where Selias and her mercenaries believe the Arcona crimelord has stashed his hostage. En route, Selias explains the plan and gives them more equipment and supplies. While Verita deals with the generator, the rest of them assault the the crimeboss' safe house. Jhosua and Selias are the first to reach the room where they suspect Paelopia is being kept, but they are both subdued by the sudden appearance of a Sith apprentice. He seizes Jhosua's armor, making him resistant to typical Force-based attacks. Although Selias' mercenaries try to defeat him, it is only with Verita's arrival that he is put in a precarious position. Even Verita is incapable of defeating him, and only after he is exhausted by Verita and Selias' mercenaries that Jhosua gets a lucky shot in and kills the fallen Force-sensitive. After dealing with him, Selias provides Paelopia a way to a new life and Jhosua and Verita go to deal with the rogue Jedi who had killed Paelopia's husband.
Ralina and her crew enter Mercium's territory only to be assaulted by the pirates that followed them from Ord Mantell. They put up a good fight, but the freighter Mercium loaned them to use is not as able in a firefight as the Hound's Sapphire. Only the arrival of Mercium's lieutenant, Rashinodies, saves them from certain disaster. Upon arriving at the Hutt's base of operations on Caillte, Mercium proves himself a troublesome employer. After refusing to pay them and forcing them to kidnap a Jedi for him, the Hutt makes them comply by shooting Fetcher and keeping him hostage. Ralina and the others are furious, but they can only obey.
Lucius and his mercenary company, with Oryan in tow, arrive on Chazwa to deal with Skullduggery. After a bit of planning, the six of them reach one of her compounds and attempt to infilitrate the building. Their attempt ends in failure, and Dynatha is imprisoned. After a bit of mockery from the GenoHaradan agent known as Skullduggery, she reveals to Dynatha that Oryan betrayed them; he had led them into a trap so that the GenoHaradan could capture and punish them for their own betrayal. She mocks Dynatha, tells her Lucius, Syrook, and Raxsus are dead, and that Tserne returned to the guild of assassins. But several rooms over, Skullduggery has Tserne imprisoned as well. Though he is separated from the others, he is told that they are alive. For now, Skullduggery is fine with torturing Tserne and messing with his head. She leaves him to the mercies of the guards while Lucius and the others are similarly tortured in a nearby room.
Ranval and Eliorae attend the gala, and the young senator meets several prominent of the Heritage faction of the Senate while Ranval listens from a distance. Self-serving and arrogant, the other senators try to coerce Eliorae to join them, but she refuses all of their offers. Once she departs, the senators bemoan their luck and talk about using underhanded tactics to get rid of Eliorae and her influence over Alderaan. While Eliorae meets with the other Core World senators, Rajes and Ranval make small talk. They are interrupted when Senator Malthesinores arrives, and he urges Rajes to meet him in a few days, promising a good word for him in the military. After the event, Ranval considers Eliorae's next course of action, realizing that there is little she can do in the Senate on her own. He is contacted by Selias just before he sleeps, who informs him about their latest mission and the situation across the galaxy.
On their way to Teya IV, Raen struggles with his identity, unaware if he is drifting further from the dark side or merely concealing himself from his Jedi allies. Syme is angry with him, more so due to Gaiel's death than anything he did, but the others are willing to help him on his journey to become a full-fledged Jedi. Although he isn't aware of Northeus' plans, the Jedi Councilor intends for Khondine to escape with Raen if the situation on Teya IV becomes perilous, fully believing him to be necessary to defeating the Sith threat.
The Jedi have difficulty finding the praxeum amidst the forest of trees and the presence of the dark side, so they land near a settlement to get directions. However, the locals are hostile to them, having been raided by Force-sensitives claiming to be Jedi. When Doreva learns of their suffering, he convinces the others to help rebuild the town under the leadership of the enigmatic wanderer Castan Herox. Although they make good on their promise and fix what was broken by their fallen brethren, some of the townsfolk, especially those who lost loved ones to the Jedi, still despise them.
On Khar Delba, Nafyan and Danc meet for the first time in many months, and the Zabrak informs him that the other faction of Sith have attacked Onderon. Together, they go to Preux and demand that he seize Malachor V from the rival heirs to the title of Dark Lord. Preux, however, is less than interested in the ancient Sith worlds and sees more value attacking the Jedi holdings in the Deep Core. Nafyan, who is not used to being overruled, seethes with anger in silence and continues to bide his time until he can overthrow Preux.
It takes the Jedi about three weeks to complete the construction. Once they are finished, Castan agrees to guide them to the praxeum. After a long trek, the mysterious Force-sensitive parts ways with them, not interested in the secrets that the Jedi sanctuary holds. Northeus and the others investigate the area and find the praxeum abandoned. Northeus even finds one of the masters of the sanctuary, killed by a lightsaber. While Northeus investigates further, Raen and the others head to the Cave of Truth, where they suspect they will find more Jedi. Instead, they find a crazed Duinuogwuin who kills Doreva and nearly kills the rest of them before he reveals himself to be the ancient Jedi Master Lywin. After he had learned of the destruction of the Jedi praxeum he had founded and the deaths of his many pupils, he had been so caught up in the dark side he could no longer tell friend from foe. Only the sudden arrival of Northeus saves Raen and their companions from death.
Master Lywin explains that a group of men claiming to be Jedi Knights were responsible for the destruction of the praxeum and the nearby settlement. He urges Northeus and the others to stay with him for a time. Northeus, seeing no other option and believing the Jedi totally extinct, agrees. Later that evening, Raen and Khondine see one of the townsfolk at the edge of the woods, and he reveals to them that Watchcircle Dominus is responsible for the calamities that befell the planet before dying. The Jedi Covenant members who had pursued him attack Raen and the others. When it becomes apparent that they are outnumbered and in danger of being defeated, they retreat toward the Foray-class blockade runner that they had arrived in. Master Lywin sacrifices himself to destroy their ship, saving his Jedi allies from their bombardment but destroying the praxeum, Cave of Truth, and creating conflagrations in the surrounding forests. Northeus and the others manage to capture one of the Jedi Watchcircle agents, and he agrees to take them back to their homeworld.
On Coruscant, Senator Latona is on her way out of the Senate chambers when she meets Senator Calon D'et of Corellia. He intends to speak with her in private, but when they approach her hovercar the vehicle explodes. The assassination attempt causes a stir across Coruscant, and the senator is immediately taken to her suite where Ranval is waiting. D'et explains to Ranval that he wants to help Eliorae avoid the mistakes he made as an upstart politician, and he is certain that the Heritage faction were responsible for the attempt on her life. Leaving the senator in D'et's care, Ranval goes to confirm the Corellian's suspicions.
Disguising himself as a rogue Jedi, Ranval decides to approach the chief decision-makers in the Heritage faction one-by-one starting with Senator Ubens of Foerost. In an audacious maneuver, Ranval kidnaps the senator's young son from his nursery and holds him hostage. He is at odds with himself and nearly returns the boy, realizing that he has gone too far in his quest for revenge. Knowing that the safety of Senators D'et and Eliorae are on the line, he holds fast. Senator Ubens meets him at a specified location and tries to pay the ransom for his son, but Ranval only wants information. When he realizes the senator knows very little and was probably not responsible for planning the assassination, he returns the young boy to his father. Once the boy is safe, the senator's guards nearly shoot Ranval and barely escapes with Selias' help.
In the lower city, Rajes contacts Ducian Eto to make final arrangements before his first meeting with Senator Malthesinores. Eto is pleased, but he urges Rajes to be careful. He goes to meet with the senator and finally gets to see him after several hours of waiting. Rajes tries to get him to admit to his misdeeds specifically, but Senator Malthesinores proves too clever. The senator offers to give him a promotion in exchange for dealing with Ducian and his associates, startling Rajes. He asks for a few days to think about his answer; the senator agrees.
Jhosua, Verita, and Kerre traveled across the system Paelopia's husband's murderer dwelt in and cast off separate pieces of the Sith armor he was wearing. The armor itself is inhabited by an evil spirit, and when Jhosua tries to rid himself of it the dark side power severely damages the aft section of their transport. They crash into a beach nearby. Verita is unconscious from the collision, so Jhosua and Kerre tend to her wounds and theirs. Qual, a former Jedi Councilor and member of the Watchcircle, approaches them after sensing the dark presence of Jhosua's discarded armor. He attempts to kill Jhosua and is only impeded by Verita. While the two Force-sensitives struggle, Ralina and her crew arrive on the scene and intend to capture Qual for their Hutt master. Jhosua and the others know that the Jedi Master is too dangerous to keep alive, especially as a captive, and plan on killing him. After a brief spat with Rashinodies, they manage to kill Qual and incapacitate the Trandoshan. For the time being, they intend to bring Verita to Mercium and let him think that she was the Jedi who killed Paelopia's husband and was raiding the spacelanes in the region.
Dynatha, still imprisoned in Skullduggery's compound, is suddenly freed by Oryan after a long time of not seeing either of them. Oryan confesses to her that he always inteded to help them defeat the GenoHaradan operative, but he could not do so without first catching her off-guard. Paranoid and Force-sensitive, she had been watching Oryan for months and counted on Dynatha and the others approaching him. He had to let her assume she had won before they could deal with her. Although Dynatha, Tserne, Lucius, and the pirate duo are skeptical of his explanation, they owe him their freedom and decide to trust him so far as dealing with Skullduggery is concerned.
Oryan leads them to Caamas, where Tiron—the current overseer of the GenoHaradan—and Skullduggery intend to make several deals with the Sith. Tiron meets with Senator Malthesinores' aide and informs him that all GenoHaradan assets will be diverted to the Sith. However, while he is dining, Syrook and Lucius cause a commotion that allows Raxsus to sneak up and shoot him. Tiron confesses in death that Skullduggery, not he, is the true overseer and he is only a decoy. The trio escape before law enforcement arrives. While they dealt with Tiron, Oryan flies Dynatha and Tserne to the rooftop where Skullduggery is having a meeting. Oryan interrupts first, positioning himself between the GenoHaradan and the criminals they're dealing with. While Oryan explains the situation to her, Tserne and Dynatha deal with her companions. By the time Lucius, Syrook, and Raxsus arrive, Skullduggery knows she is bested and tries to flee. Tserne kills her after a brief chase. With her death, the GenoHaradan are no more.
On Coruscant, Eliorae confronts Ranval. Selias has told her everything he has done for the sake of finding the assassins, and she is livid. He refuses to stop hunting for the threats to her life, but her words make him rethink his methods. Disguised yet again, he arrives at the home of Senator Sonin of Abhean just after Captain Thonnel does, and they both catch him in an intimate moment with his physical trainer. Although Senator Sonin has nothing useful to say about Senator Malthesinores at first, he did confess that the assassination of Senator Latona was the idea of Senator Nyvenek of Kuat. Pressed further, he reveals that Senator Malthesinores has been providing funding—and assassins—to the Heritage senators for a long time. Ranval goes to stop Senator Nyvenek from leaving Coruscant while Rajes intends to arrest Senator Malthesinores.
By the time Rajes and his company of soldiers reach Senator Malthesinores' office, the senator has already fled Coruscant with many soldiers and ships loyal to him. In his place, he left Rajes' father to die when his office exploded. Rajes tries to free his father, but he is rebuffed. His father demands vengeance and he assures his son that he has done him proud already. The younger Thonnel leaves just before the explosive goes off. He only survives the traitors waiting for him because Senator D'et convinced the Senate to carry out an investigation and sent soldiers to aid Rajes. Knowing that Senator Malthesinores' treachery means Ducian can be reinstated, Rajes urges his allies to bring him to the ex-Colonel to organize a plan to deal with the traitorous senator.
In the meantime, Ranval pursues Senator Nyvenek and barely manages to reach her shuttle before it takes off. She is cocksure and unwilling to divulge anything at first, but Ranval gains the upper hand on her guards and threatens her. Fearful for her life and yet willing to taunt him for his failure, she explains that Eliorae will be assassinated by Senator Malthesinores because Ranval chased her instead of staying by her side. Ranval takes one of her swoops and rushes to Eliorae's suite. The GenoHaradan arrive before he does, and Eliorae manages to evade detection just long enough for her to find Ranval's lightsaber and use it to defend herself. Ranval manages to reach her just in time and kills the assassins. The two reconcile after their earlier argument, and Eliorae confesses her feelings for him just before Senator D'et and Coruscant's police forces arrive on scene.
Raen, Northeus, and the others arrive at Besero, where their Twi'lek captive insists they will find the Jedi Covenant's base. Though the other Jedi are dubious about finding any allies, Northeus is insistent on gaining the assistance of any Force-sensitives to save the dying Jedi Order. When they arrive at the compound, they are introduced to a crowd of Watchcircle operatives, and they see an immense statue to Ashla—fashioned after Dynatha—in the forum. Jasparan, an old comrade who had been inimicible to Raen years ago, greets them. He proves patronizing and unwilling to ally himself with them, although he does answer a few of their questions. He reveals to them that Jedi Covenant Knights were going to Dantooine and Ambria to kill the last of the Jedi Order. Northeus intends to stop them, but he is halted by other members of the Watchcircle. Before Northeus can fight his way out, the former Jedi Master Tor'chal reveals himself, alive, to the visitors. His survival terrifies Raen, convinced that he had killed him years ago and punished for doing so, and alarms the other Jedi as well.
Tor'chal convinces his fellow Watchcircle members to let Northeus and the others leave, but Jasparan continues to mock them even as they depart. Eventually, he hits a sore spot by mentioning Gaiel and insulting his legacy, causing Syme to attack him. Before their internecine feud begins, Lord Preux reveals his presence to them. The Twi'lek who had guided them moved in to attack and was easily dispatched. When Preux launches Force lightning at Raen, Ghoul leaps in between him and the attack and dies in Raen's place. Sith reinforcements arrive just in time to aid their master against the Jedi Watchcircle. The battle begins in earnest. While Northeus, Raen, Syme, and Khondine aid the Watchcircle in their fight against Preux's minions, Tor'chal and Jasparan attack the Sith leader himself. Preux is confident in his abilities, and the two Watchcircle leaders fail to wound him. Using Tor'chal's family as leverage, Preux convinces Tor'chal to abandon the Watchcircle and join him. Worried about his family, Tor'chal betrays Jasparan and fatally wounds him.
Gaining Tor'chal's allegiance, Preux destroys the statue of Ashla-Dynatha and leaves through a hidden passageway. Syme alone pursues him. Although he puts up a good fight and manages to defeat Tor'chal, Preux proves too strong and lands a killing blow on his chest. By the time Raen arrives, Syme is near-death. Just before the Sith Master flees, he reveals his identity to Raen: he is Jaeln Benax, and he intends to carry on the cause of the Sith that their father started. Goading his younger brother to follow him to Antared V, he leaves just before Northeus and Khondine arrive. Although the latter two Jedi are hesitant, Raen is insistent on pursuing his brother. Neither of them are willing to let him go alone, so they decide to join him in his fight.
Ralina and her companions, including Jhosua and Verita, arrive at Mercium's fortress and attempt to convince him that Verita is the Jedi he was searching for. However, Darth Traya had informed the Hutt that their target was male, so any plans Ralina and the others had failed. Just before a shootout began in the Hutt's chambers, Caillte is suddenly attacked by Oryan's droids, though the Hutt and Ralina's group think that they are Republic adversaries. Lucius and the others followed the data trail from the criminals the GenoHaradan was negotiating with all the way back to Mercium. Seeing this as a chance to get even with the Hutt who had nearly killed them, Lucius and his allies begin their attack. Ralina and her companions agree to help Mercium only until Ralina can rescue Fetcher in all the commotion.
The battle rages across the plains outside Mercium's fortress. Jhosua and Verita drag the fighting on by ensuring neither side gets an upper hand. Rashinodies, many kilometers away, tries to tip the scales for his Hutt master using artillery, but Syrook manages to find and execute him before he can cause a great deal of damage. Ralina rescues Fetcher and the two arrive at the elevator just in time to meet Raxsus and Dynatha. When it looks like Ralina's companions are about to gain an edge, Tserne appears and threatens to kill Ralina. It takes them a moment to recognize each other, and both factions realize that the other is not an enemy. The Vultan pirate is confused at the sudden alliance, but Lucius arrives and convinces him that everything is okay. Ralina, stunned to see her fiancé alive after so many years, embraces him and they share a tender moment while the rest of their comrades go to Mercium's chambers to deal with the Hutt. After a brief scuffle with the Hutt's bodyguards, Ralina uses a thermal detonator to eliminate Mercium the Grandiose.
Before they leave the system in the Hound's Sapphire, Ralina and her crew are confronted by an engimatic individual. He claims that one of their friends is in danger and needs their assistance—Raen. He tries to convince Ralina to go to him, but she proves uninterested. Before the strange figure departs, he gives Dynatha the holocron that he had given Raen on Dantooine but left behind before they arrived on Polus. He urges her to use it to bring hope and light to the galaxy. His words resonate with Dynatha, and she urges Ralina to go to Antared V where they are needed. Ralina ignores her but eventually changes her mind.
The three surviving Jedi Knights arrive on Antared V and are greeted by Tor'chal. Northeus challenges the Ithorian to a duel and distracts him while Raen and Khondine pursue Jaeln. The duo follow the Sith Master into a winding cavern, but Khondine is separated from Raen when Danc, her former pupil and the man who murdered her brother, goads her into challenging him. Only Raen reaches the apex of the mountain where his older brother is waiting. He tries to convince him to stand down and join him, but Jaeln rebuffs him, forcing them to duel. Northeus manages to defeat Tor'chal and kills him, hoping that his death will force Jaeln to spare his family. When Tor'chal dies, Nafyan takes his place and challenges Northeus. Khondine manages to overcome Danc, but only by falling to the dark side. By the time she meets the two Benax brothers dueling, she is already exhausted, and Jaeln summarily dispatches her. Rage gives way to indignation as Raen tries to avenge her death. His best efforts prove to be lacking, and Jaeln vanquishes his brother. Killing the two of them increases his own power exponentially, and Jaeln is physically incapable of the Force power flowing through his body.
Northeus senses Raen's and Khondine's deaths and is stunned that his interpretation of the vision he had received on Coruscant is wrong. He believes the Jedi Order is doomed. Nafyan uses this moment to cut off his left arm, and it is only thanks to the sudden arrival of Ralina and her companions that he manages to escape the planet. Once the Hound's Sapphire is gone, Antared V is destroyed by Jaeln's immense Force power. When he awakens sometime later, Nafyan convinces him to go with him to Dromund Kaas to see the Sith Emperor.
Once the Hound's Sapphire returns to known space, Ralina's many comrades go their separate ways. Jhosua, Verita, and Kerre go to Dxun to join the Mandalorian clans. Tserne and Dynatha go to Alderaan. Raxus and Syrook wander off without a word. Northeus departs in exile. Only Lucius, Oryan, and the rest of her crew remain on the Hound's Sapphire, and she orders Fetcher to take them to Telos, where they can start anew.
Behind the scenes
Hands of Evening was the only novel in the series to be published from a first major draft. The ideas and plotlines contained within the released story were not necessarily envisioned in the initial draft, but no previous copies of Hands of Evening exist. Like many works in the Days of Dissidence Series, Hands of Evening went through several working titles, including Hands of Twilight and Hands of Eventide.
The scene which introduces the Jedi and their Jedi Temple was heavily inspired by a line from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords in which Kreia says, "[t]he Jedi Temple on Coruscant lies empty. The waters in the Room of a Thousand Fountains have fallen still." The attack itself draws parallels to the execution of Order 66 and, specifically, Operation: Knightfall, but also to the so-called Jedi pogrom from the Tales of the Jedi comics and the Padawan Massacre of Taris in the Knights of the Old Republic comics. Gaiel's sacrifice was meant to be reminiscent of Kit Fisto's ultimate fate in Revenge of the Sith—specifically, the novelization—but also the death of Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace.
Away from the Jedi they had ferried around in the last two novels, Ralina and her crew were meant to have a minor role in this work. However, Jedi Master 76 saw a way to tie in the disjointed plotline of Mercium the Hutt and his actions in Absolution to the larger narrative, and as a way for them to meet Jhosua and Verita. In early outlines, Jhosua would have stayed with the Republic and become a special forces operative, while Verita would have either returned to the Jedi Order or joined him in his missions as an adviser. In later outlines when Colonel Eto and Captain Thonnel were added to the narrative, this was seen as superfluous because Jedi Master 76 truly needed only one Republic point of view.
The entire Coruscant segment was added late in the outlining and writing stages. Ranval was initially supposed to join Northeus, Raen, and their company on their hunt for Jedi. He would have died in the final battle trying to help Raen defeat Jaeln; however, Jedi Master 76 realized that his death would have been pointless and saw much more potential moving him to Coruscant and having him survive the novel. Hinting at a devious plot involving the Republic and its leadership, it was only natural that Eto and Thonnel's actions took them to Coruscant, and the Galactic Senate sections were included to show how Eliorae responded to her newfound position and leadership roles. Although technically disjointed from the rest of the story and only interacting with the main characters through agents, the characters and their actions on Coruscant move on to play large roles in the final novel of the series.
The mercenary segments with Lucius, Dynatha, and Tserne were envisioned quite early in the series, but their purpose was not clear before finishing Absolution. In the initial outlines, the mercenary company under Lucius merely travels the galaxy, fighting minor villains and not interacting with any of the other major characters. When this was deemed underwhelming, Jedi Master 76 forced them to resolve the GenoHaradan plotline of Absolution and eventually meeting up with the other spacers to finish off Mercium the Hutt. This of course alludes to the unfinished and ultimately cut plotline of The Sith Lords, in which the remnants of the GenoHaradan attempt to kill the Jedi Exile and collect the bounty that has been placed on her head. To explain away the absence, Lucius and his company eliminate the GenoHaradan leadership and fool them into trying to collect another Jedi's bounty.
The places the Jedi visit on their quest were either nods toward The Sith Lords or meant to pay homage to obscure Star Wars lore. M4-78 and the adventures that occur there were taken almost directly from cut content in The Sith Lords, in which the Jedi Exile and her party go to the droid planet, meet Lonna Vash, and stop the Sith from disturbing the planet. Most of the characters on the planet Teya IV were taken from the short story "The Most Dangerous Foe". Wilmm Lywin was meant to be seen as a wise character akin to Yoda or Obi-Wan Kenobi, but if they were driven to madness or made an error so great it made them incapable of further teaching. The character of Castan Herox could be seen as a foil to either Northeus Ulsan or Willm Lywin, in that he neglects combat and searching for Jedi aid against the Sith in favor of helping those who are hurt because of them.
Raen Benax's death in the penultimate novel was planned since the series' inception. His death is a call-back to when the Days of Dissidence series was a Knights of the Old Republic mod. After the mod of the first game was completed, Jedi Master 76 would have created a mod for the second game, The Sith Lords, as well. In this mod, the player would recruit Raen Benax into her party and, in the same vein as the other characters in the party, his fate would have been tied into the the player's influence with him and alignment. He would leave the party before the battle of Telos IV and confront his brother on a distant planet. If the player was dark-sided, he would have triumphed over his brother and declared his intention to hunt down the remaining Sith, starting with the Jedi Exile. If the player was light-sided, Raen would have died and his brother would flee from known space to avoid the reborn Jedi Order. This was planned before the announcement of Star Wars: The Old Republic; if Knights of the Old Republic 3 would have been released as a single-player game like its predecessors, Jedi Master 76 would have concluded the remaining Benax sibling's plotline then.
In the final battle, a major emphasis is placed on Raen Benax's affinity for fire, as was his brother's attachment to darkness. The fate of the Benax siblings, by in large, was meant to be reminiscent of the in-universe story of the Qel-Dromas, and the tale of Cain and Abel from the Biblical Book of Genesis.
The story draws heavily from Star Wars canon, particularly the Knights of the Old Republic metaseries and the original trilogy as a whole. Inspirations for character and events have been drawn from the video games Fire Emblem, the Tales of series, the Halo series, the Mass Effect series, as well as the film The Lord of the Rings, and the stories the Odyssey, Dracula, and Treasure Island. The title primarily refers to the Sith and their encroaching power, both those who serve under Darth Traya and those who aid Jaeln Benax. However, it could also refer to the Watchcircle Dominus, due to their nefarious dealings, or it could refer to the smugglers, mercenaries, and operatives who work under Mercium the Hutt and aid the Sith in secret. The story's main themes are centered around the casualties during conflict between good and evil and perseverance in hardship.