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Knights of the Old Republic: Jedi Mourning is a fan fiction novel being written by user Jedi Master 76. It is the fourth and final novel in the Days of Dissidence Series. It is also the last chronologically, taking place nearly twenty years after Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, a video game produced by LucasArts in 2004.

The novel's first segment was released July 6, 2013. The novel's second segment was released September 9, 2013. The third segment was released February 14, 2014. The fourth segment was released December 15, 2014. The fifth segment was released October 11, 2015. The final segment was released February 9, 2016.

Opening Crawl

Knights of the Old Republic
In the years since the Jedi Civil War, the Galactic Republic has returned to its former glory, and the Jedi Knights, guardians of peace and justice, have since rebuilt their Order. Their ancient foe, the masters of the Sith Empire, have been defeated, and the Mandalorians have also been humbled. None can challenge the supremacy of the Galactic Republic, and so begins what appears to be a time of prosperity and expansion.

Yet all is not as it seems. In the farthest reaches of Republic space, a scouting force comes upon the derelict remains of a Sith warship, a remnant of a war that has long been concluded. The Republic spacers sent inside quickly discover that the ship is not as abandoned as it appears, and the Sith are not as dead as they had assumed.

In the shadows, unseen masterminds move their pieces across the galaxy. Though many kill and are killed to gain a brief upper hand, none of the players have noticed a single Jedi Knight hidden in plain sight, bound for negotiation with an underworld kingpin. Her erstwhile guardian, an assassin working for a notorious smuggler, has been tasked with eliminating that same crimeboss. This pair may yet play a part in deciding the fate of the galaxy, and whomever could draw them to their side would be gain an upper hand indeed...



In order of appearance and/or mentioning.

By type 
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea


Galactic Repubic

  • Karlem - Navy Commander (First appearance)
  • Belsio Molir - Navy Captain
  • Shiira Nos - Marine Master Sergeant
  • Carth Onasi - Fleet Admiral
  • Calon D'et - Republic Supreme Chancellor (Mentioned only)
  • Eliorae I Latona Panteer - Senator-Queen of Alderaan (First identified as Panteer)
  • Daltes Ghoaad - Army Major (First appearance)
  • Ducian Eto - Army Brigadier
  • Rajes Thonnel - Army Lieutenant Colonel
  • Thertos Velle - Army Private (First appearance)
  • Osar Hije - Army Private (First appearance)
  • Holbes Rueni - Navy Rear Admiral (First identified as Holbes)
  • Xerro - Army General (First mentioned)
  • Ebel Ubens - Senator of Foerost
  • Juleth Ilen - Army Captain (First appearance)
  • Cede - Navy Admiral (Mentioned only)
  • Svarsk Mazro - Navy Admiral
  • Xera Yur - Navy Vice Admiral (First appearance)
  • Rel Marathos - Navy Admiral (First appearance)
  • Opelle - Navy Vice Admiral (First appearance)
  • Toredo - Army Sergeant Major
  • Uriv - Army Captain (First appearance)
  • Quven - Army Sergeant (First mentioned)
  • Uerjo - Minister of Defense (Appears in hologram)
  • Gabran - Navy Rear Admiral (First appearance)
  • Jesiv Ha'ntesh - Navy Captain (Appears in hologram)
  • Calad - Army Lieutenant General (First appearance)
  • Velthini - Army Colonel (First mentioned)
  • Felstan - Army Major (First mentioned)
  • Bo'rtho - Army First Sergeant (First mentioned)
  • Me'sthon - Army Colonel (First mentioned)
  • Olsh - Army Major (First mentioned)
  • Abros - Army Lieutenant General (First mentioned)
  • Phelteron - Army Lieutenant General (First mentioned)

Mandalorian clans

  • Jhosua Weros - Field Marshal
  • Glacis Weros - Warrior
  • Mandalore the Preserver
  • Garol - Captain (First appearance)
  • Tyrollian - Commander (First appearance)
  • Verita Ladola Weros - civilian
  • Kerre - Field Marshal
  • Fier Weros - civilian
  • Kelborn - Field Marshal
  • Bralor - Field Marshal
  • Briggs - Warrior (First appearance)
  • Mandalore the Survivor (Mentioned only)
  • Adebes Cor - former Commander (Mentioned only)
  • Mandalore the Ultimate (Mentioned only)
  • Tra'viss - Master Sergeant (First mentioned)

Preux's Sith faction

  • Falmas Nyral - Sith Marauder (First appearance)
  • Calnin "the Beast" - Sith Marauder (First appearance)
  • Nafyan - Sith Master
  • Nadmith Kvorkasir - Admiral
  • Jaeln Benax - Sith Marauder
  • Preux - Dark Lord of the Sith
  • Tara Isinn - Admiral
  • Hendor Keth - Admiral (First appearance)
  • Cav Acophy - Admiral (First appearance)
  • Malfon Benax - Shadowhand (Vision)
  • Oro Malthesinores - General
  • Sallos - Sith Marauder (First appearance)
  • Tadeus II Bulger - Grandmaster of the Mecrosa Order
  • Thoronim - captain of the guard (First appearance)
  • Avaran Whell - former Sith Lord (Appears as a ghost or spirit)
  • Boergo Alejis - Krath noble (First appearance)
  • Xatara Alejis - Krath noble (First appearance)
  • Verunth Alejis - Krath warmaster (First appearance)
  • Calay - former Sith Master (Mentioned only)
  • De'dlay Yavalaaka - former Sith Master (Vision)
  • Tiv Maera - General (First mentioned)
  • Hiryant - Sith Master (First appearance)

Sith Empire

  • Vitiate - Sith Emperor (Mentioned only)
  • Glorbung Mauch - Admiral (First appearance)
  • First Hand of the Emperor (First appearance)
  • Naga Sadow - former Dark Lord of the Sith (Mentioned only)

Jedi Order

  • Dynatha Aris - Jedi Knight
  • Ixi Meffa - Jedi Knight (First appearance)
  • Ojon Therdan - Jedi Knight (First appearance)
  • Revan - Jedi Knight (Mentioned only)
  • Harin Sunrider - Jedi Padawan (First appearance)
  • Nocion Ahasies - Jedi Knight (First appearance)
  • Celes Sunrider - Jedi Master
  • Marcellan Q'endel - former Jedi (Appears in hologram)
  • Ranval Messor - Jedi Knight
  • Mical - Jedi Councilor
  • Keval Raffaan - Jedi Master (Mentioned only)
  • Atris - exiled Jedi
  • Atton Rand - Jedi Councilor
  • Visas Marr - Jedi Councilor
  • Brianna - Jedi Councilor
  • Nomi Sunrider - former Jedi Grandmaster (Mentioned only)
  • Vima Sunrider - former Jedi Grandmaster (Mentioned only)
  • Deesra Luur Jada - Jedi Master
  • Meetra Surik - Jedi Knight (Mentioned only)
  • Thon - former Jedi Master (Mentioned only)
  • Joerbos - Jedi Master (First appearance)
  • Elni - Jedi Knight (First appearance)
  • Aecus Vithion - Jedi Master (First appearance)
  • Raystin Benax - former Jedi Master (Appears as a ghost or spirit)
  • Juhani - Jedi Councilor
  • Nisna - Jedi Padawan (First appearance)

Watchcircle Dominus

  • Delvin Cortes - Lightbearer
  • Telerus Eston - High Lightbearer
  • K'thoi - Acolyte (First appearance)
  • Via - Acolyte (First appearance)
  • Jram - former Lightbearer (Indirect mention only)

Ranval's commandos

  • Wendel - operative (First appearance)
  • Selias Siital - Commander
  • Meldeg - operative (First appearance)
  • Omel - operative (First appearance)
  • Ranz - Squad Leader
  • Lree - operative
  • Artinan Neim - operative (First appearance)


  • Sharzin - Exchange crimeboss (First appearance)
  • Afe Quyen - Captain of the Horizon Bound (First appearance)
  • Peldor Urbol - pilot of the Horizon Bound (First appearance)
  • Tserne DeLarane - assassin
  • Fetarollias "Fetcher" Niridiacher - Captain of the Hound's Sapphire
  • 3C-AD - Tserne's utility droid (First appearance)
  • Ncrall Redwing - criminal (First appearance)
  • Zalee Forol - crewmember of the Hound's Sapphire (First appearance)
  • Mercium - former crimelord (Mentioned only)
  • Posh Sees - crewmember of the Hound's Sapphire
  • Oryan Tempaar/Virtual Cruiser Assistance Program 2040 "Jon" - crewmember and artificial intelligence of the Hound's Sapphire
  • Haphren Marhe - Captain of the Lost Oath
  • Lespar Owae - crewmember of the Lost Oath (Indirect mention only)
  • Bogga the Hutt - former crimelord (Mentioned only)
  • Coroq Lotte - Exchange mercenary (First appearance)
  • R'obel Lotte - Exchange mercenary (First appearance)
  • Charak Lotte - former Captain of the Shadowchaser (First mentioned)
  • Utin Lotte - Exchange mercenary (First appearance)


  • Iea Keradyle - entrepreneur (First appearance)
  • Ralina Q'endel Velle - Telosian civilian (First identified as Q'endel)
  • Manda Revv - Telosian civilian
  • Lucius Velle - Telosian civilian
  • Darth Malak - former Dark Lord of the Sith (Mentioned only)
  • Northeus Ulsan - Force-sensitive
  • Raen Benax - Force-sensitive
  • Aquin of Ten Million Eyes (Mentioned only)
  • Ernar Humbar - entrepreneur (Vision)
  • Satal Keto - former Krath leader (Remains)
  • Aleema Keto - former Krath leader (Mentioned only)
  • Norvos Teltol - university chancellor (First appearance)
  • Phaevn - former Sith guardsman (First appearance)
  • Lalun - former Sith Master (First appearance)
  • Honjenber - Ailon Major (First appearance)
  • Castan Herox - Force-sensitive
  • Pelpos - Ailon Lieutenant (First mentioned)
  • Ibrays Weros - Force-sensitive (Heard only)


Vehicles and vessels

  • Commencement - Republic Hammerhead-class cruiser
  • Asylum - Sith Interdictor-class cruiser
  • Horizon Bound - smuggler Heraklon-class transport
  • Fate & Luck - Exchange space station
  • Phantasm - Sith modified Inexpugnable-class command ship
  • Grimtaash - Tserne's Fidelity-class light freighter
  • Whirling Fire - Velle family Heraklon-class transport
  • Hound's Sapphire - smuggler Lethisk-class armed freighter
  • Reconciliation - Republic Hammerhead-class cruiser
  • Blind Guide - Ranval's Starscape-class yacht
  • Palatine - Republic Palatine-class heavy cruiser
  • Indefatigable - Imperial Sith Dominator-class battlecruiser
  • Shadowchaser - Lotte clan's modified K16 Cinnagar-class civilian transport
  • Diligent Watcher - Republic Foray-class blockade runner
  • Bravery - Republic Foray-class blockade runner
  • Kuat's Pride - Republic Hammerhead-class cruiser
  • Oathkeeper - Republic Hammerhead-class cruiser
  • Basilaron - Panteer family's J8 Alderaan-class armored transport
  • Trill-1 - Mandalorian Shaadlar-type troopship
  • Alor'ad - Mandalorian Kyramud-type battleship
  • Cabur - Mandalorian Kyramud-type battleship
  • Sojourn - Republic Hammerhead-class cruiser
  • Beacon - Jedi Irid-class cruiser
  • Ashla's Banner - Watchcircle Hammerhead-class cruiser
  • Defiant - Republic Centurion-class battlecruiser
  • Eviscerator - Sith Interdictor-class cruiser

Plot summary

Spoilers below

The conclusion of the Days of Dissidence Series, Jedi Mourning, takes place 19 years after the events of The Sith Lords and Hands of Evening.

Part 1

A Republic patrol comes across the derelict remains of the Asylum, the flagship that had belonged to Jaeln Benax during the Dark Wars. The captain of the cruiser sends Captain Belsio Molir and his pilots to help the Republic Marines investigate the abandoned vessel. They don't learn anything useful about the fate of the passengers or why the ship ended up where it did, but several members of their team end up being killed by Sith agents lingering in the derelict. Though they clear the vessel, a Sith spy manages to infiltrate the Republic in the meanwhile.

At the edge of the frontier, on the space station Fate and Luck, three Jedi Knights meet with a Falleen crime boss, hoping to work out an agreement between him and the Republic. Dynatha Aris and her fellow Jedi Ixi go to negotiate with him while their companion Ojon stays on the ship. Their meeting quickly becomes unruly. When the criminal tries to kill Dynatha and Ixi, Tserne DeLarane arrives unannounced and executes the Falleen on Fetcher's behalf. His sudden appearance both angers and confuses Dynatha, whom he had abandoned several years before. During their way out of the station, Tserne tells her that he intends to recover a dangerous Sith artifact and needs her help. Dynatha refuses. With the help of Ojon, the Jedi and Tserne make it out of the space station alive. The three Jedi report to the Jedi Council, and to Dynatha's surprise, they advise her to follow Tserne, acquire the dark artifact, and then arrest him for his criminal activity.

On Coruscant, a young Sith assassin named Falmas kills Onderon's senator after she is for dalliance in his personal chambers. She manages to escape unharmed, but her companion, the ugly figure known as the Beast, fails to kill the queen-senator of Alderaan, Eliorae Latona. They report their failure to Nafyan on their way back to the Sith fleets. In the years after the destruction of the Sith triumvirate, the Sith under Jaeln Benax—now known only as Preux—have become stronger but also have several leaders vying for his favor.

The Mandalorians, having regained much of their lost strength after their defeat in the Mandalorian Wars, are clearing nearby space of their enemies. Jhosua Weros, having become one of Mandalore's most dependable aides and achieving the rank of high marshal, leads a unit of commandos in a fight on some world far from Republic space. He and his elder daughter, Glacis, lead the Mandalorians to victory, although only Mandalore himself appreciates their efforts; the men he leads see him as clanless and distrust his daughter due to her mother's Jedi heritage. On Dxun, Verita awaits the return of her husband. She and Fier do not fight with Jhosua and Glacis offworld, and Verita has become increasingly disillusioned with the Mandalorians' methods of war and way of life.

On their way to an ancient Sith world, Tserne confronts Dynatha. He tries to make her understand his reasons for leaving, but she is less-than-receptive. Nonetheless, Dynatha cannot help but open up to her former paramour. While they journey to Tserne's Sith artifact, Ixi and Ojon travel across Suurja helping the natives. They are suddenly confronted by mercenaries, paid for by the Sith, who mistakenly assume Dynatha is with them. The pair only survive the encounter thanks to the sudden arrival of Harin Sunrider, son of Celes Sunrider and great-grandson of the legendary Jedi Master Nomi Sunrider. He and his master help Ixi and Ojon get offworld after they escape the mercenaries.

Having received news of an impending hostage situation, Major Daltes Ghoaad and his team, Tython Squad, head for a train on Iggron III. However, Lieutenant Colonel Rajes Thonnel is already there and ready to defend the corporate executive that will become the target of the raid. Sure enough, mercenaries and thugs led by Ncrall Redwing invade the train and kidnap the businesswoman. Together with Tython Squad, Rajes frees the passengers who had been taken hostage, fights his way through the train, and manages to free the captive CEO. Ncrall manages to escape, but Rajes discovers that he is being financially backed by the Sith, which gives him a lead.

A few days later, Thertos Velle and his company of Republic infantry are on leave on Telos IV. When he goes to pick up a friend who lingered in the red-light district, he is suddenly attacked by an undercover Exchange assassin. Fetcher and the rest of the Hound's Sapphire crew arrive in time to save him and his friend. Once he is certain they are both okay, Fetcher takes Thertos to visit his family. Ralina and Lucius are both rather displeased that their son decided to join the military, but Ralina more so. When Lucius returns home, he tells Ralina that he has been employed by the Jedi and plans to leave Telos with them. The news angers the rest of the family but Lucius holds firm. Fetcher departs while they bicker and narrowly escapes a surprise inspection of his ship by the local security forces.

Tserne and Dynatha arrive on Krayiss Two, an ancient and abandoned Sith world, in search of an artifact that Tserne believes will restore his lost memories. Though the two of them manage to get inside the forgotten library, the Sith spirits seize Tserne and nearly kill him; Dynatha nearly succumbs to the dark side trying to save him. Selias and a team of commandos arrive and save them both before the Sith spirits can corrupt them completely. When Dynatha wakes up, she finds herself aboard Ranval Messor's ship, the Blind Guide, and she is informed that he, Delvin Cortes, and Celes Sunrider all came to save her and Tserne. Delvin came out of concern for Dynatha, Celes out of respect for the Jedi Council's wishes, and Ranval because he wanted to know who Tserne is working for. In an effort to save Tserne from the curse the Sith spirits placed upon him, they travel to Ambria to meet Northeus Ulsan.

On Telos, Ixi awakens from a kolto submersion and returns to active duty. While he watches Ojon and Harin duel, the young Sunrider's master, Nocion Ahasies, enters a restricted area and frees Atris, the former Jedi Councilor and current prisoner, because the Force has told him that she is a necessary component to defeating the Sith. Later, he takes a message from his Sith commander, discussing his agenda as a double-agent. Only his love for Celes and his son, Harin—though no one else knows they are related—keeps him from revealing the hiding place of the Jedi Order.

After sparring with his daughter, Jhosua joins an assembly led by Mandalore, who is eager to reclaim their ancestral homeworld. Verita causes a scene, which embarrasses both Jhosua and Mandalore, though her advice is ultimately accepted. Jhosua is so busy with official business that he forgets to join Glacis at target practice, and she gets herself into a fight at the bar when several other warriors insult her family. Their old family friend Kerre steps in to keep her from trouble. She and Fier bond while Jhosua and Verita try to reconcile their recent coldness toward one another.

The team of Jedi led by Ranval arrive on Ambria. While they gather their belongings and disembark around Thon's abode, Ranval goes in search of Northeus. Though the elder Jedi Master is rather hesitant to train them as Ranval wants, he eventually agrees. Selias and Delvin watch over Tserne in his abscence, and they note that his status hasn't changed since they first picked him up on Krayiss Two. He and Ranval return just in time to save Dynatha and the others from the dark side creatures inhabiting a lake near Thon's homestead.

Aboard the Phantasm, the floating fortress that has been Preux's base of operations, Nafyan meets with agents from the True Sith Empire. With Tadeus away and his allies separated from him by many light years, Nafyan hopes to begin a coup that will give him control of Preux's vast army and navy. Though the loyal officers are quickly dealt with by the Sith Emperor's men, Preux arrives with his bodyguard, Thoronim, and deals with the traitors. He is strong enough to force the First Hand of the Emperor and his expeditionary fleet leader to submit to him. Before he kills Nafyan, Preux reveals him to be a clone; for many years, Preux has been killing clones and summoning new ones whenever they are necessary. In this way, Nafyan's unique skills can be utilized and he is never in danger of overt treachery.

Fetcher receives a proposition from a mysterious individual—who happens to be Ranval—for his next job. Although he is initially hesitant, he decides to take Ranval's plan with him to a smugglers' meeting on Taloraan. There, he goads the smugglers in attendance into joining him in an attack on Sleheyron. Ostensibly, he is after their oil reserves and intends to split it equally amongst everyone who helps him. In actuality, he plans on taking most of their fuel for himself and giving what's left to his allies. Furthermore, Ranval intends to use Fetcher to sever the clandestine Sith-Hutt alliance that has been developing, but Fetcher is unaware of his intentions.

The next day on Ambria, Celes, Delvin, and Dynatha undertake a trial to see if they are worthy of being trained by Northeus. While they begin their test, Northeus goes to investigate the pirates who have landed on the planet. However, he is too late. Coroq Lotte, the leader of those criminals, is searching for Tserne in a quest for revenge, and he tracked the comatose killer to Ambria and assembled many mercenaries and pirates to help him. Coroq's minions attack Ranval, Northeus, Thon's home, and the Jedi-in-training simultaneously, but the Jedi come out victorious every time. Selias and her commandos are barely able to hold Thon's home by themselves, and they are only able to reach the safety of Ranval's ship thanks to Tserne's sudden recovery. Northeus deals with the pirate base and the others defeat most of Coroq's forces, liberating Ambria and forcing the mercenary captain to flee.

Several days before, Ranval's other commandos carried out two missions at once. On Ordo, one of his teams attacked the Mandalorian compound and tried to assassinate Mandalore and Verita. Though they manage to cause some damage and kill a few high-value generals, his team ultimately fails in their mission and is forced to retreat. Across the galaxy, near Sluis Van, several Jedi Shadows—including Ojon—discover another of his teams recovering from their latest mission. Presuming them to be Sith, the Jedi are about to attack their base when Tadeus destroys the base and kills the entire team himself. Facing down the Jedi, who don't understand the situation, Tadeus kills all of the Jedi except Ojon, who he takes prisoner. Back on the Phantasm, the newest clone of Nafyan is introduced to the spirit of Avaran Whell which is possessing Preux's body. Although he is powerful, he and Preux vie for control and Avaran is not in complete control despite his best efforts. Nafyan agrees to aid both of them so long as he can.

It is not long before Dynatha and the others arrive on Truuine, per Northeus' advice. They are guided to the Jedi praxeum on the surface and are greeted by Force-sensitives on the planet's surface, although they are not Jedi. Northeus knows, but does not reveal, that their hosts are remnants of the Krath cult that escaped the Great Sith War. While Dynatha and her company hunt for the dark artifact that Northeus says they must destroy, the Krath siblings and their minions plan to steal their ship, killing Ranval and the others if they have to. After a day of merrymaking, Northeus attacks the leader of the settlement while Dynatha investigates a hidden chamber alone. She is captured by the elder Krath sibling, but he is defeated by her and Tserne. When the young Krath sibling arrives, she nearly defeats them both, but Dynatha's mastery of the light helps them secure the day. Northeus, too, defeats the Krath siblings' grandfather. The rest of the Jedi defeat the various Krath minions and make the praxeum safe again.

Though they manage to imprison the elder sibling, Falmas arrives and kills him before he can reveal anything that would hurt the Sith cause. Ranval defeats and takes her prisoner before she can escape. The following day, Northeus brings them to the tomb of Satal Keto, where he has Dynatha purge the dark energies from its sarcophagus. Once that is dealt with, Northeus hands out rare crystals to his pupils and urges the whole group to consider departing soon. Although they are all weary, Ranval agrees to leave Truuine within the day. They are nearly intercepted by Coroq as they leave the planet, but Ranval and his crew manage to evade them.

On Gamandar, Republic forces fight against separatist rebels. Thertos is caught up in the fighting, having been driven to the front lines after heavy losses. His company is ambushed by mercenary forces while on their way to link up with friendly units, and he nearly dies during the retreat. Harin Sunrider arrives on the scene and drives the enemy back, saving Thertos and many other Republic soldiers in the process. In space, Ixi is aboard the lead Republic ship, which has been reduced to a fraction of its strength due to the many Gamandar ships it has been forced to fight. Hutt reinforcements seem to spell disaster for the weakened Republic battle group, and the Republic admiral is ready to begin a suicidal attack on his enemies, but Admiral Marathos brings the Republic Navy's flagship, Palatine, in from hyperspace and drives back the enemy just in time.

With the sudden arrival of reinforcements, the situation on Gamandar changes in favor of the Republic. In a matter of days, the Republic Army began a fierce counteroffensive that seized most of the rebel territory on Gamandar. Thertos and Harin are among the many soldiers who attack the capital city. Shockingly, it was the king himself who led the rebellion, despite rumors that he had been killed at the war's outset. Harin tries to convince the mad king to surrender, but he refuses and threatens to take the Jedi and all of his allies to the grave with him. It is only thanks to Thertos' sudden thinking—and the fact he has been mind-controlled by Nocion—that Harin gets a chance to defeat the king. However, the explosives still go off, destroying the royal palace and burying many Republic forces.

During the course of the fighting on Gamandar, Eliorae travels to Ordo to speak with Mandalore himself. She is assailed en route by Sith forces, and she barely survives; only she and Artinan, an undercover agent working for Ranval, manage to survive the attack. By the time they reach Ordo, the Mandalorians are well on their way preparing for an invasion of their ancestral homeworld. Jhosua goes to assist his leader, but his family life is disintegrating; his daughters are traumatized by the terrorist attack on their camp, and Verita wants to leave. Nevertheless, he helps Mandalore negotiate with the senator. While they discuss the issues, Artinan gives over a collection of files Ranval has assembled to one of Jhosua's underlings, revealing the high marshal's former life as a Republic soldier and slayer of a false Mandalore.

Northeus leads Dynatha and the others to Sernpidal. They intend to land on the planet and invade the hidden Sith research facility on the planet and use its computers to track down the location of the Sith Lord they have been fighting in the shadows. Before their plan can get underway, Republic forces under Rajes Thonnel suddenly arrive and disrupt their efforts. Northeus and Tserne split up from the others to help fight off incoming fighters, and they are eventually split up by the heavy dogfighting in atmosphere. Dynatha, Ranval, and the others descend into the base to find the computer room, and they don't even get halfway inside before they are ambushed by Rajes and his troops. After a short bout of friendly fire, the Jedi and the Republic soldiers join forces and continue deeper into the base. Celes brings Delvin back to the ships because he is too wounded to move. However, instead of waiting for her allies like she said she would, she returns to the Jedi Order with a wounded Delvin in tow.

Northeus discovers an astrochart inside the base that marks the locations of star maps across the galaxy, not unlike those found by Revan and Malak many years before. Tserne is unable to stop Sith double-agents from sabotaging the facility's reactor, forcing the pair to flee without their comrades. Rajes, Dynatha, Ranval, and the others manage to reach the computer room, where they confront Tadeus and the Beast just as emergency klaxons begin to sound. The Republic-Jedi team proves outmatched by the Sith, and they find themselves in a fighting retreat. Ranval's operatives hold the line against the Sith while the Republic commandos pursue Ncrall and Ranval escapes with a wounded Dynatha. The pair of Jedi only barely reach the Blind Guide in time. All of the Jedi and Republic forces escape before the base is destroyed, though they are split up in the ensuing chaos.

Part 2

Ralina and her family follow the Jedi Order to the distant world of Falang Minor. Even Thertos, having been relieved of duty after a mental breakdown on Gamandar, is with them. Ralina and Manda cause mischief while Lucius is away. The Jedi have imprisoned Harin for his part in the disastrous final battle on Gamandar, but more so to keep him safe from Republic prosecution. Nocion doesn't feel the same way, and the fact that his son is in prison causes him to doubt the wisdom of the High Council. Ixi struggles to come to grips with the loss of both Dynatha and Ojon. Having abandoned their previous base on Telos, the Sith agents Nafyan sent to track the Jedi fail to come up with anything conclusive. His failure at tracking down the Jedi, coupled with the admirals' discovery of Nafyan's identity as a disposable clone, have allowed them to usurp his authority. Desperate to redeem himself, Nafyan schemes with General Malthesinores and the Sith Emperor's faction—currently in forced servitude to Preux.

On Ordo, Verita watches her husband leaves while she herself prepares to leave him with Fier. The battle for Mandalore is swift and goes in favor of the Mandalorians; the Republic ensured most of their settlers were offworld before the attack. Just when the battle seems won, Mandalore himself is attacked by rebellious forces and is nearly killed. Jhosua goes to help him alone, and he discovers that the information that Artinan gave his subordinates has inspired them to revolt. Jhosua, Mandalore, and their Basilisks fight against the rebels and barely defeat them. Mandalore dies defending Jhosua from the traitors, and Jhosua buries Mandalore and sea and takes Canderous Ordo's identity as Mandalore the Preserver. He returns to the Mandalorian camp and defends the Mandalorians from the Sith envoys who arrive to recruit them to the Sith cause. Nevertheless, the Sith Empire uses Mandalorian civilians as leverage, and he is forced to acquiesce to their demands.

Ranval sends Selias and the rest of his operatives to gather their scattered allies from across the galaxy. Once they depart, he thinks he is alone on the ship with a comatose Dynatha and an imprisoned Falmas, but the Beast managed to sneak on the ship while they were escaping Sernpidal. It frees Falmas and the two attempt to kill both Jedi on board. Ultimately, they fail because the Sith damaged the Blind Guide too much, in their haste and desire for freedom, and the ship crashes on Mimban.

Dynatha awakens several days later, alone in what had once been the medical bay of the Blind Guide. She is found by Phaevn, the last servant of an ancient Force-user named Lalun who lives on Mimban. He takes her to the village where Lalun lives and Dynatha learns from her that Ranval is alive, but he is currently fighting the duo of Sith and keeping them distracted. In the meanwhile, Lalun offers to train Dynatha. She agrees. She goes to an ancient temple deep in the jungle and undertakes Lalun's test, where she sees visions of her past and overcomes them with her wisdom and resolve. Even so, a vision of the future proves too much for her, and she falters. Phaevn waits for her to come to, and he leads a defeated Dynatha back to Lalun's home.

On the way back, they encounter Ranval fighting the Beast and Falmas. Although the Sith put up a tough fight, Dynatha manages to defeat the Beast by appealing to his emotions and urging him to release the pain that has kept him entrapped by the dark side. The Beast ends his own life to keep himself from returning to the darkness. Falmas, distraught and beaten by Ranval, flees into the jungle alone. Ranval buries the Beast and the two Jedi return to Lalun's home, where they learn much about the former Sith Master. Before she passes on, she gives Dynatha a fragment of the kaiburr crystal that she had acquired many years before. Dynatha, Ranval, and Phaevn together take Delvin's shuttle and head to Ambria.

Celes arrives on Falang Minor without Delvin. She raids the prisons in an attempt to free her son, and she learns from him that the Jedi Council has been imprisoning many Jedi for apparently speaking against them. In reality, these Jedi are spies for the Watchcircle Dominus and were caught sending secret information to Byss. Celes and Harin try to escape, but they are stopped by the combined might of the Jedi Council. Nevertheless, Castan Herox, an immensely powerful Force user, manages to sneak into the Jedi vault and steal several valuables during the commotion.

Fetcher's impromptu smuggler fleet attacks the Hutts on Sleheyron. Ranval sends an automated Sith warship to distract the Hutts and also uses a vast fleet of cargo freighters to collect the fuel from Sleheyron's orbital stations. The smugglers' actions coupled with the sudden arrival of a Sith warship make the Hutts think that the Sith are betraying them, and they back out of their alliance with the Sith. While the smugglers skirmish in orbit, Tserne and Northeus arrive on the planet's surface and find an ancient temple which houses a Rakatan star map not unlike the ones on Dantooine, Korriban, and elsewhere. Tadeus, who followed Tserne and Northeus while they were fleeing Sernpidal, arrives and tries to kill them both; however, Northeus betrays Tserne and leaves both assassins for dead. In a brutal one-on-one fight, Tserne barely manages to triumph against the Sith assassin, but he is left for dead.

Castan arrives on the scene and saves him from death. Though Tserne does not quite understand what is going on, Castan tries to explain the nature of the Infinite Empire's ruins that they find themselves in. He reveals himself to be the last in a long line of servants of Raktans who rebelled against the Infinite Empire for their war-mongering and dark side-influenced ways. He tasks Tserne with going to the lowest level of the temple and finding an artifact of immense Force power to turn the tide of the coming battle. After some hesitation, Tserne obliges and discovers a sword that houses the disembodied spirit of Raystin Benax, a deceased Jedi Master. Raystin uses the sword to restore Tserne's lost Force-sensitivity and they use the Infinity Gate hidden at the lowest level of the ruins to escape and travel to Byss.

When he wakes up after the time-space travel, Tserne finds himself in ruins being excavated by members of the Jedi Watchcircle, including Delvin. Although the sagacious Jedi Master tries to reason with him, Tserne still ends up as their captive. After a day of waiting, he is brought before Telerus Eston and the other Jedi Covenant leaders. Although Tserne tries to defend himself, Telerus is prepared to kill him and nearly does so. Raystin reveals himself and saves Tserne just before Telerus attacked. He convinces them that Dynatha—they presume she is a goddess and avatar of the light side—is in danger and Tserne is the only way to find her. Without delay, the take their ships and rush to her aid with Tserne in tow.

Nafyan and the Sith Emperor's fleet attack Rodia in a show of force. While they bombard the Republic world, the Emperor's First Hand sabotages Republic military facilities in the Core Worlds, causing panic and fear across the Republic. Ducian Eto and Eliorae are the first to hear the news, and they route the information to Carth Onasi, but reinforcements arrive only after the Sith flee Rodia. He is prepared to return to Coruscant, but the Sith begin their attack on Falang Minor while he is preparing to leave. Afraid that Revan has failed and the Sith have begun their invasion of the galaxy, he ignores the Supreme Chancellor, gathers his comrades-in-arms, and heads for Falang Minor.

Dynatha and Ranval arrive on Ambria first, and they are ambushed by Dark Jedi and Exchange thugs left behind by Coroq Lotte. Northeus arrives during the course of the battle and aids them. Dynatha is grief-stricken to discover that Tserne was left behind, presumably dead, but Northeus convinces her to press on. The three of them take Tserne's ship and go to defense of the Jedi Order. Elsewhere in the galaxy, Fetcher receives a transmission from Ralina requesting his help getting off Falang Minor. He and several loyal smugglers head to the Jedi world as fast as they can to save her.

The battle for Falang Minor begins when the Sith Emperor's expeditionary fleet, with Nafyan in tow, attack Falang Minor and its orbital station. Although their initial assault is rebuffed, the Jedi defenders in orbit take extensive damage and the entire planet is blanketed in jammers that prevent any further communication. Preux's main fleet arrives and dispenses most of their ground troops before concealing themselves and waiting for the expected Republic reinforcements. In the meantime, the Sith Emperor's ships do most of the fighting. Sure enough, Carth leads several Republic fleets to relieve the Jedi. He attacks the Sith Emperor's fleet, assuming that is the all that remains of their forces, but the primary Sith battle fleet arrives in system and ambushes the divided Republic armada.

With the Jedi too busy defending themselves from invaders, the Jedi Covenant spies in the temple free their imprisoned brethren and the Sunriders. They run into Selias and her commandos attempting to recover the shuttle that Celes commandeered to get to Falang Minor. With an uneasy truce, they all agree to escape the world together, but Celes urges them to help her find Nocion before they depart for good.

During the course of the fighting, the Jedi send many of their knights and masters to assail the enemy flagship and defeat the Sith Lord from within. Carth contacts who he presumes to be Canderous Ordo and tries to get him to join their side instead of fighting for the Sith, but Mandalore will only turncoat if the Republic saves his civilians from a Sith blockade. Once they are free, Mandalore, his warriors, and his ships betray the Sith. With the blockade gone, Verita—who had been trapped on Ordo—goes to aid Jhosua, though she does not know that Mandalore and he are one and the same. The sudden betrayal of the Mandalorians forces Preux to play his hand, and his own spies and the Sith Emperor's spies within the Republic suddenly betray their superiors and create havoc. Belsio, leader of the Republic's largest starfighter wing present, barely survives the betrayal of one of his pilots because of Falmas' sudden arrival.

Dynatha, Ranval, and Northeus arrive. Before they can join the battle, however, Northeus tries to kidnap Dynatha and bring her before the Sith, revealing his betrayal of Tserne and the fact he is also possessed by Avaran Whell. When he fails, he teleports to the planet's surface alone. Dynatha, Phaevn, and Tserne's droid go to the Sith flagship to stop the Sith Lord while Ranval goes to the surface to summon reinforcements to aid her. On the ground, Northeus goes to the spire where Ralina and Manda had stolen a valuable piece of masonry and tries to use its power to aid him in his quest of defeating the Sith. Ranval reaches a smugglers' outpost and saves the population from Coroq and his mercenaries, and the smugglers whom he saved repay him by pointing him toward the Jedi sanctuary.

Nocion continues the hunt for his family. He meets Nafyan and Atris, who has become a prisoner of the Sith. Atris, guilty for her betrayal of the Jedi and eager to redeem herself, attacks Nafyan and points Nocion in Celes' direction. Atris manages to hold off Nafyan for some time, even wounding him, but she ultimately fails and dies by his hand. Across the continent, Celes, her son, the Jedi Covenant, and Selias and her commandos do their best to defend a shield generator, but they are ultimately outnumbered. Republic reinforcements arrive to help them pull back, although they take heavy losses due to the presence of enemy tanks and the First Hand of the Emperor.

Tserne and the Jedi Covenant arrive and bolster the strength of the Jedi-Republic alliance. He immediately heads for the surface, where Raystin says Dynatha is waiting for him. However, when he reaches her location, he discovers Verita instead. Whether by design or in error, Raystin led him to her. The pair break out of the Sith encirclement and, together with a team of Mandalorians and the Jedi Covenant acolytes assigned to Tserne, head to the Republic headquarters. While they're on their way, the headquarters is attacked by Sith forces, and many of the leading officers are killed by traitors within the Republic Army. General Malthesinores takes command of the situation and leads the Republic forces into disastrous positions.

Celes and her companions arrive at the tower where Northeus gathers his power. Celes challenges the First Hand, who somehow beat them there, while her son fights Northeus. Both Sunriders are in danger of losing, but Nocion's appearance turns the tide. Though he is killed by the First Hand and Celes herself gravely wounded, Harin manages to kill the First Hand and helps Selias kill Northeus. Northeus, finally free of the dark side and no longer possessed, explains that he had intended to use an ancient ritual in conjunction with the ancient tower to destroy the Sith Emperor, but he lost sight of his original plan long ago. He urges the Sunriders and their allies to flee before the tower explodes due to an imbalance of power caused by the missing masonry Ralina and Manda stole.

Having made his way to the Jedi sanctuary, Ranval is intercepted by Falmas. To his surprise, she surrenders to him and wants him to train her, willing to forsake the Sith to do so. Ranval is dubious but agrees. The two reach the Jedi sanctuary and find it mostly empty. The Sith under Nafyan arrived beforehand and killed most of the defenders. Thinking up a plan, Falmas makes it seem as though she defeated Ranval and brings him before Nafyan. When it becomes clear that there is no easy way for them to separate Nafyan from the valuable artifacts he intends to bring to the Sith Emperor, Falmas and Ranval attack. Though they manage to best him, Falmas' face is brutally maimed and Ranval is exhausted. They only manage to send Nafyan's explosives away from the Jedi sanctuary before fleeing.

Republic commandos under Rajes' lead and Mandalorians manage to eliminate the Sith who took over the Republic HQ. Glacis kills Ncrall, and Rajes kills Oro Malthesinores; however, Ducian was tortured and is near death due to his injuries. Rajes only gets to talk with him briefly before he dies. The Republic HQ is firmly back under their control by the time Tserne and the others arrive, and Verita is delighted to see her family safe. She and Tserne leave them behind to find Jhosua while the Republic decides to rebase at the Jedi sanctuary to the north.

While the fighting rages outside, Dynatha meets Preux, or as she knew him, Jaeln Benax, for the first time in many years. She is led from his meditation chambers to a vast observatory at the center of the ship. Tserne hurries to her location with Verita in tow, but their ship is slow and cumbersome and at a disadvantage in the vast fight taking place in orbit. First Fetcher and then Delvin sacrifice their own lives and the lives of their crew to ensure that the pair just barely reach the Phantasm. Dynatha engages Preux in battle while Tserne and Verita fight Thoronim. In both cases, the Sith hold the upper hand against their Jedi foes. When the situation seems dire for Dynatha, Verita urges Tserne to leave the guardsman to her. Although she manages to hold the titanic bodyguard at bay for a time, she is ultimately defeated by Thoronim. Just before she dies, she attacks him from behind and kills him before he can aid his master. Tserne and Dynatha together manage to outmatch Preux and Avaran, in part thanks to the aid of Raystin. Tserne is grievously injured, but Dynatha manages to banish Avaran's dark spirit and destroy Preux's body entirely.

With the death of Jaeln Benax, the dark shield he had placed around the Phantasm fades away, and the Republic ships can attack it directly. Belsio and his starfighters bombard the mostly defenseless flagship while the Jedi escape. Ixi, having rescued Ojon and the other prisoners, leaves with the Jedi Order. Dynatha, Tserne, and Phaevn join with the Jedi Covenant acolytes who had been assigned to Tserne and flee the ship in Tserne's personal transport. Desperate to save Tserne, Dynatha sacrifices her own connection to the Force to preserve his life. They manage to escape just before the Phantasm explodes from the combined strength of the Republic and Mandalorian turbolaser fire.

Several months later, Rajes is married to the CEO he and Ghoaad's commandos rescued on Iggron III. Thertos and Jhosua's daughters attend the elaborate wedding, as do the Republic admirals who survived the battle at Falang Minor. Thertos intends to join Telos Security and Fier intends to stay by his side. Glacis intends to go with her constant friend and lover wherever the Force takes them. The admirals themselves have been mostly dismissed from their posts or forced into tedious work behind desks due to their disobedience to the Senate. Indeed, since the battle at Falang Minor is classified at the highest level, it is seen as a military debacle. Military funding is slashed, its organization decentralized, and many prominent politicians like Eliorae are shamed and dismissed.

On Mandalore, Jhosua is alone. His wife is dead, his daughters are gone, and his most faithful advisers and friends died in battle. Grief-stricken and suffering from a mental breakdown, he is barely cognizant and able to maintain control of the Mandalorians; his generals have mostly taken over. He wrestles with his sorrow and his decision to take Canderous' mantle. Sith warriors arrive, intending to exact retribution for his betrayal of the Sith over Falang Minor. He challenges them without a word, but he is killed, Mandalore's mask taken, and his actions portrayed as betrayal to the Mandalorian people. Hoping to take Jhosua's place, his generals begin a civil war that ultimately divides the Mandalorians and leaves them leaderless for many centuries.

Ranval's operatives meet the Sunriders on Alderaan. Ranval and his company are heading to the Argazdan Redoubt to deal with the crisis in the region, and the Sunriders intend to wander the galaxy as pilgrims, helping those in need. While the two groups gather supplies in the marketplace, Ranval watches over them—and Eliorae—from the hills near Aldera. He speaks briefly with Raystin's ghost about the past, the Sith, and the future. With his failures dealt with and his time amongst the living expired, Raystin bids farewell to Ranval. Tserne and Dynatha live out of the rest of their days on Ambria, watching over what Thon and Northeus had created.

Behind the scenes

Major spoilers below.

Jedi Mourning is the last novel in the Days of Dissidence Series, the last novel chronologically, and the last novel to feature the characters introduced in Convict's Dawn and Vanguard of the Republic. The title has always been more or less the same, but early on it was written Mourning of the Jedi, akin to Star Wars's final film Return of the Jedi.

The prologue is an allusion to the scene in Phantom Rising where the Jedi Order find the derelict vessel after Jaeln and Nafyan eliminated the crew and abandoned it. Dynatha's introduction is meant to parallel the introduction of Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace, though much of her mannerisms are based off Nomi Sunrider from the Tales of the Jedi comics and Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi. Tserne has always served as a foil to Dynatha, and in this novel that doesn't change. Dynatha has doubts about herself and her abilities, but she is loyal, kind, and honorable to a fault. Tserne, on the other hand, is one-minded about everything he does, has dubious loyalties, and is cold and aloof. The two of them together become the hero and heroine of the novel, with Dynatha being the first focal heroine of the entire series.

The Mandalorian subplot was one that was added relatively late during the series' development. Only coming to play after Hands of Evening, the entire subplot was meant to answer questions brought about by The Old Republic; namely, how the Mandalorians became divided and leaderless after apparently being united by Canderous Ordo after the events of The Sith Lords. Although the author thought it was an interesting subplot, its weakness was apparent in editing. In retrospect, it adds only minor tension to the story and makes some finale events rather cumbersome.

Jhosua and Verita's marriage, regardless of the overall Mandalorian issue, was always going to play a key role in the last novel. Subsumed by the thrill of battle, the thought and experience of combat overwhelms him, leaving him with little time for anything or anyone else. This obsessive and dangerous attitude causes a rift between him and his wife, who only wants to settle down and live out her life in peace. There are hints throughout the novel that one or both of Jhosua's daughters, particularly Fier, is not his own. Though the question is left up in the air at the novel's conclusion, the author affirms that they are indeed both his daughters. The questions arise as a result of Verita's worry that Jhosua may discover her illicit affair and Jhosua's loss of trust in his wife, but their faults and doubts drive them both to ruin.

In earlier drafts, Verita would have left Jhosua much earlier and returned to the Jedi with her daughter. Jhosua would have reached out to his old mercenary contacts and eventually started working together with Lucius, Tserne, and Dynatha as freelance bounty hunters. In these drafts, Lucius had yet to reunite with Ralina (so Hands of Evening rendered it moot), Tserne and Dynatha never separated, and Jhosua and Verita had only one child. As bounty hunters, they would have taken odd jobs and eventually ended up fighting the Sith, and from there they would meet Ranval and Northeus and become caught up in the main plot. This was essentially a continuation of their old plot in Hands of Evening, and when that was changed, so too was the conclusion of that plot dropped.

Since Ralina and Lucius have gotten married and settled down, what had been their roles in the plot becomes divided: Fetcher takes over her crew and becomes the smuggler for the course of the novel, and Thertos joins the army to reflect his parents' pasts in the military—which is only alluded to. Thertos takes on the point of view of a green soldier, similar to Jhosua's role in Vanguard of the Republic, whereas most of the other Republic and Sith soldiers are higher ranked officers or commandos. His role is still relatively minor, however. On the other hand, Fetcher's role as a chief smuggler is quite prominent and contrasts with Ralina's leadership over the past few novels. Fetcher collaborates with his fellow criminals and operates efficiently and with a slight underhandedness, but Ralina was rather eccentric, preferred to work alone, and was so generous that she was swindled on quite a few occasions. The scene where Fetcher meets with the smugglers on Taloraan is an homage to the strange meeting of "pirate lords" in the film Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.

The subplot involving Celes Sunrider and her family was a late addition to the novel. In sort of a generational irony, she takes most of her mannerisms from her mother, Vima, and her son Harin is more like Vima's mother Nomi. Nocion Ahasies was always meant to be Celes' lover, and he was always meant to be an undercover Sith. However, in the outline of Jedi Mourning, he is the progenitor of the Ovair family and the first of such agents to infiltrate the Jedi Order. This was changed just before writing began because the author thought that Nocion ought to be a more sympathetic character; if he had been an Ovair, he had to be evil and irredeemable in the end. Celes would have been betrayed by her lover in the final battle, and Harin would have fought his—unknown to him—father to avenge her. Since Harin would win the battle, this would leave the Jedi Order with the knowledge that the Ovair family was evil, creating a continuity error in canon.

The idea that Nafyan is a clone of Avaran Whell only surfaced after writing Dark Covenant. This creates some weird but not entirely unrepairable issues in previous works. For one, Malfon/Preux knew that Nafyan was a clone of his old Sith Master but kept him around. In Hands of Evening, Nafyan recalls serving the Sith Emperor and is actually serving them instead of the Benax line of Sith. Also, his initial focus on Force powers over bladework seem to contradict Dark Covenant's description of the clones. All of these issues are resolved in this novel. Malfon kept Nafyan because the clone reminded him of Aurek, the first clone that sacrificed his life to save him. The Nafyan serving Malfon and the Benax family was never replaced, because even though he has a tendency for betrayal, he is "instinctively" loyal to Malfon just like his predecessor was. Nafyan's memories of serving on Dromuund Kaas are implanted memories that servants of the Emperor gave all the clones, unbeknownst to Avaran and Malfon. Also, although it is not stated outright, it is implied that some clones of Avaran are better at combat (the elite Sith troopers wearing black armor as seen in Convict's Dawn and elsewhere), and others are meant for planning, teaching, and using the Force like Nafyan.

This is the second time that the Jedi go to Ambria, and the first time without Thon, who has passed away in the years after the Jedi Civil War. It is implied, but not stated, that he died defending Celes from Jedi Covenant members who tried to kill them during Hands of Evening. During the course of the Ambria subplot, we see the Jedi struggle to prove themselves to Northeus much like Raen, Ranval, and Jasparan did in Knight of Alderaan, but their training is cut short by the arrival of Coroq Lotte and his men. On Ambria, the reader meets many heroes for the first time and learn more about existing characters. In particular, the scene at Lake Natth, aside from being a Tales of the Jedi allusion, highlights for the first time that Dynatha is susceptible to the dark side. Indeed, coupled with her trials on Krayiss Two, it becomes apparent that her greatest weakness is her affection for Tserne. If the situation arose, she would abandon the Jedi and become a Sith to save and be with him, much like Verita was willing to leave the Jedi and elope with Prince Geryon.

Much of Truuine is an homage to the Tales of the Jedi comics, particularly the Krath storyline on Empress Teta, from the initial friendly greeting-turned-ambush by the enemy to the presence of the Krath themselves. Bergo and Catara themselves are near identical in mannerisms, personality, and function to Satal and Aleema Keto. The author thought that this faction was sorely underused in the comic and is further underused in later media, particularly the games, and he was happy to include it. It is noteworthy that Northeus finds "solari" crystals here, but the astute reader will notice that these crystals do not resemble the description given in the games or other comics, and it is only because of their rarity in-universe that none of the other Jedi realize Northeus' deception.

The Gamandar subplot was one that was meant to take place throughout most of the second act and involve many more characters—especially Republic—but it was cut down significantly when pacing became a concern. The situation on Gamandar is both a callback to the uprising on Alderaan in Knight of Alderaan where the locals overthrow the ruling dynasty for the Sith (although it later becomes apparent that it was the king's doing all along) as well as Vanguard of the Republic, in terms of the Republic's tactics and combat effectiveness. The entire situation is somewhat based off the canceled subplot from Dark Covenant where Malfon, Raystin, and the others go to deal with a rebellion in a distant Republic world but discover that it was a plot by a lesser prince to gain power for himself.

Eliorae was always meant to be a background character in this novel, given her duties and position in society. However, she was meant to have an entire scene to herself, besides the meeting with Mandalore, where she and Artinan would have dealt with Sith invaders trying to board her ship. This would have been an extensive homage to the beginning of A New Hope and would have culminated in Eliorae dueling the Sith Marauder sent to kill her. However, this was cut because it was ultimately superfluous.

Falang Minor, the location of the hidden Jedi sanctuary and the final battle, was originally Haashimut, another Jedi fortress world. It was changed only because it was featured in a recent comic and its geography and topography did not match the author's intended vision for the final battle. Mimban and the subplot there was a late addition to the novel which originally only included Dynatha traveling there, finding the kaiburr crystal, and leaving. However, the author expanded the subplot substantially. Indeed, Lalun is sort of a heroic counterpart to Avaran, and her overall character is similar in personality and traits to other characters from the era like Odan-Urr and Vodo Siosk-Baas.

Nafyan's two Sith apprentices, the Beast and Falmas, are as Nafyan says late in the novel, the "perfect pair, ugly inside and out". Falmas is incredibly beautiful, but for most of the story, she is vain, cruel, and uses her seductiveness to murder and stir up trouble. The Beast is ugly on the outside, but his constant pain makes him servile and dependable. She was always meant to betray the Sith after the Beast died, but she herself was originaly meant to lose against Nafyan. While Ranval went to deal with Nafyan's explosives, Falmas would have fought her old Sith Master, been bested by him, and her entire body carved up not unlike what had happened to the Beast. In that way, she would have become the new Beast, drawing parallels to the notion of a recurring Darth Traya. Ranval would defeated Nafyan and found her, horrendously maimed and dying, and comforted her in her final moments while she confessed her affections for him. Aside from the fact that many prominent characters had already died in the final battle, even the author felt that this was too grim, cut back on her injuries, and kept her alive.

Thoronim was meant to play a far larger role in the final battle and the plot overall. Originally meant to be either a Gen'Dai or Taltorai whom Jaeln saved after Hands of Evening, he would have fought alongside his master in the final battle and proved nearly as implacable as Preux himself. However, Preux would have been overcome by Avaran's will, and Thoronim would try to defeat both the Jedi and destroy his deceased master's possessed corpse. This would have resulted in a three-way battle where Avaran-as-Preux would have wounded Dynatha, only for Thoronim to help Tserne defeat the Sith Lord. After that, Tserne would have been bested by Thoronim, and Dynatha would kill him in turn. This sequence was seen as too prolonged and quite similar to Tserne's previous battle with Tadeus, so most of this scene was removed. Indeed, the addition of Verita to the final duel changed almost everything about Thoronim's involvement. She was added after the editor's thoughts that her original death was too "underwhelming". Although the author wasn't sure about this change, he thought the Tserne-Verita dynamic worked well enough to go with it.

Raystin's part as a mentor and guide, especially given his position as a spirit inside a sword, draws from ancient and contemporary fiction regarding ghosts or spirits living inside such weapons, most common in Japanese folklore. Just as Lalun is a foil to Avaran while he was alive, Raystin is his heroic counterpart while they are both deceased. The sword that he dwelt in was initially meant to be a much greater and more ominous artifact, meant as an ultimate weapon for the forces of good created in ancient times to deal with the Infinite Empire. Tserne and Northeus would have found it on Lehon instead of Sleheyron, but Northeus, possessed by Avaran, would have abandoned Tserne upon seeing Raystin. In the first draft of the ending scenes, the sword would have shattered upon either defeating Jaeln or healing Tserne, freeing Raystin's ghost but rendering the weapon useless.

Like the previous novel, most of the locations visited by the cast pays homage to more obscure works of Star Wars fiction, particularly those set in the Old Republic era. The scene on Krayiss Two was inspired after a reading of the short story "A Tale from the Dark Side". The Vento system shipyards, Suurja, Truuine, and Ordo are all mentioned in the Knights of the Old Republic metaseries, while Telos and Ambria feature extensively. The quest to Sernpidal mirrors the events portrayed in the roleplaying scenario The Betrayal of Darth Revan. Sleheyron and Taloraan were featured because of their status as cut planets: Sleheyron was originally supposed to contain the sixth star map in the original Knights of the Old Republic, and Taloraan was a planet set to appear in the canceled Knights of the Old Republic 3.

Like all previous works, prominent named starships are either given titles that refer to their owners or else a major or developing plot point. For example:

  • Commencement is the Republic cruiser on which the story begins.
  • Phantasm relates to the hidden nature of the Sith and their 'shadow war' against the Republic and the Jedi after the disastrous Dark Wars.
  • Blind Guide, Shadowchaser, and Defiant refer to their owners, Ranval, Coroq, and Admiral Yur, respectively.
  • Hound's Sapphire is so-named because it is the most valuable possession of the Hound of Baskarn, i.e. Fetcher.

And so on.

Aside from Star Wars lore, inspirations for character and events have been drawn from the video games Fire Emblem, the Halo series, System Shock and its spiritual successors, the Fallout series, as well as the novels The Forever War, Ender's Game, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and film Man of Steel, as well as the universe surrounding the roleplaying series Warhammer 40,000. Locally, certain off-handed remarks, events, and motifs are in homage to Atarumaster88's Force Exile series, Goodwood's Tales from the Corps series, and Solus's An Inquiry into the Nature of the Sentient Species. and The title primarily refers the grief-stricken Northeus and his descent to the dark side, but it could also relate to Dynatha and her longing for Tserne, the Jedi Order and its concern for Revan and the Exile, or else Raystin's haunted spirit lingering among the living. Majors themes include hope, love, the nature of sacrifice, and the idea of good overcoming evil.

Chess prophesy

In Convict's Dawn, Raystin Benax (Malfon) is playing chess with his servant, Nafyan, when Tor'chal enters his manor. As a seer, Malfon plays the game and loses on purpose. The pieces that he allows his servant to take and he himself takes demonstrate that he knows who will live and who will die in the coming wars. The game has relevance both to the battle for Alderaan, in which he dies, and to the final battle at Falang Minor. Out-of-universe, this is why most of the characters who die in Jedi Mourning had their deaths planned in advance, especially if they were not introduced in this novel.

Characters who perish during the course of the series are listed with † . Note that in his chess game, only the white king, queen, bishop, rook, and several pawns remain. Where Malfon is mistaken, the real representative is listed in parentheses. The 'pawns' are mostly prominent allies who significantly impact the plot, but their status as pawns is only meant to denigrate them in Malfon's eyes, not the reader's.

The game
Piece White Black
King Northeus † (Tserne) Malfon † (Avaran †)
Queen Dynatha Eliorae (Junara †)
Knights Raen † and Verita † Jaeln † and Danc †
Bishops Gaiel † and Ranval Nafyan † and Tor'chal †
Rooks Khondine † and Jhosua † Thoronim † and Tadeus †
Pawns Tserne (actually Delvin †), Doreva †, Syme †, Selias, Lucius, Ralina, Fetcher †, Ducian †, Rajes De'dlay †, Calay †, Pallidus †, Verricho †, Kvorkasir †, Tasa †, Oro †, Falmas, Beast †

That being said, Malfon clearly misidentifies a few characters relative to their prominence in the coming events, and he gets at least two predictions wrong. Most obvious is the black queen, whom he assumed to be the corrupted Eliorae, but it was actually his wife Junara. This failure of foresight causes him despair and leads to his death in Knight of Alderaan. Tserne, listed as a pawn for the heroes, is actually the king, but due to Tserne's lack of presence in the Force, there would be no way for Malfon to know this. Further, he misidentifies himself as the 'king' of the Sith side, when it is actually Avaran who is in complete control. He also fails to predict Northeus' and Jhosua's deaths and incorrectly predicts Falmas' death. However, most of these errors can be attributed, out-of-universe, to changes to the plot made by the author since the first novel.

Tserne DeLarane

A major plot point throughout the four main novels is the true identity of Tserne DeLarane. Indeed, it is perhaps the longest running and only unanswered question in the series. Though Tserne eventually dies without discovering who he had been in his past life, the reader has the benefit of third person omniscience and can potentially piece together his identity based on clues and themes throughout the series.

Tserne DeLarane is actually Geryon Latona, the crown prince of Alderaan and Eliorae's older brother. This can be seen in some of the foreshadowing and hints in previous works. In Convict's Dawn, Tserne admits that he works for Preux and has knowledge that he should not have about the eponymous vessel that is eventually learned to belonged to the Alderaan royal family. The first major hint is that one of the droids on the ship follows his instructions after recognizing his voice as one it should obey. He recognizes the Leviathan when Ralina and her crew are attacked by the Sith and mistakenly assumes the Behemoth, Revan's ship, will come to its aid. This was because both ships attacked the Convict's Dawn before he was taken prisoner as the prince.

In Knight of Alderaan, the king of Alderaan confronts Preux before dying and tells him that even if the Sith Master kills him, his wife, and Eliorae, his son still lives. Throughout the series, Tserne receives glimpses of his past life in dreams like Revan did after his mind was wiped by the Jedi. After being abandoned by Ralina, Tserne goes to Humbarine to confront Ernar Humbar, an old friend of the Alderaan royal family, and tries to get him to reveal more about his past. Ernar is killed by the GenoHaradan before he can do so. When Eliorae is introduced, her physical features, down to her light blonde hair and bright blue eyes, match Tserne's almost exactly. Tserne is revealed to be Force-sensitive during his time with Master Lonna Vash, just like Eliorae.

Although Geryon and Eliorae were childhood friends with Dynatha, Dynatha does not recognize Tserne. Notably, Eliorae never meets Tserne or Dynatha during the course of the series, even though Tserne himself interacts with most of the heroes in the series and Dynatha was a native of Alderaan. Malfon takes Dynatha and raises her as a Sith because he sees a future where the combined might of Geryon and Dynatha might be enough to threaten his future rule on Alderaan. Later, when it becomes apparent that Geryon is still a threat by himself due to his lightsaber prowess, Force potential, and ability to see shatterpoints, Malfon kidnaps him from the Convict's Dawn.

The GenoHaradan know about Tserne's past and the overseer mocks him for it in Absolution. In Hands of Evening, Tserne receives a vision of him being treated by the Doctor Tserne DeLarane who Malfon knew in Dark Covenant. Maddened and savage, he kills the doctor and mistakenly assumes that the doctor's name is his own. Later he sees Revan, Malak, and Malfon in a vision, and they talk about torturing him and taking his identity. This is the first time that Verita's torture at the hands of the Sith, touched upon in earlier novels and expanded in Hands of Evening, is related to him. Indeed, Geryon had tried for some time to resist the Sith tortures inflicted upon him and largely succeeded. Revan captures Verita (explaining his interest in her in Vanguard of the Republic) and tortures them both. It is not until Tserne succumbs to the pain and begs for Verita to be tortured instead of him that they both break. In despair, Verita submits to the dark side and is brainwashed. Once she falls, Malfon uses her to personally torture Tserne until his mind breaks and he loses all his memories.

In most of Verita's appearances, from Vanguard of the Republic to Hands of Evening, she mentions Geryon either offhandedly or in her dreams, and the two were said to be lovers. She ruminates on this a great deal in Jedi Mourning. Earlier in the novel, Tserne sees a vision with his father, Ernar, Verita, and Dynatha, although he does not know who she is in that vision. Later in the novel, Tserne has another vision where he and Verita are on a hill and confess their love for one another, tying both visions together. She had not recognized him when they first see each other at Mercium's citadel on Caillte, but she recognizes him on Falang Minor when he rescues her from a Sith attack. She considers telling him about their past, especially due to her troubled relationship with her husband, but ultimately decides against it. She is killed by Thoronim without saying a word to him about his past.

In Jedi Mourning, the spirits that Tserne encounters know who he is. The Sith spirits on Krayiss Two allude to his noble heritage and potential by referring to him as a "king of folly". Avaran, having gained knowledge of Tserne through Jaeln, who had gleaned it from his father's reports, uses mental manipulations to torture Tserne about his past in their final battle. He also makes many snide remarks about Tserne's former status and his feelings for the low-born Dynatha. Raystin, having delved into Tserne's mind, seems to know Tsere's true identity, but he does not disclose much to him.

The two biggest hints are actually in the names. Tserne's only personal ship, the Grimtaash, is the mythological defender of the Alderaanian royal family. It is definitely an out-of-universe hint to the audience, like most ship names in the series. Fetcher, who commissioned the ship to be made, couldn't possibly know Tserne's identity. Finally, Geryon is a giant from Greek mythology who has one body and three heads. If heads were to be taken as identities, Tserne has three metaphorical "heads": Geryon the crown prince, Tserne the assassin, and Tserne the hero. There is no real relation between Tserne and the mythological giant's role in Hercules' labor, although 3C-AD could be said to play the role of Orthus, Geryon's loyal hound, and Penelas was his loyal servant Eurytion while he lived in the palace on Alderaan. In Dante's Inferno, Geryon is a creature that dwells between the circles of violence and fraud in hell. As an assassin who uses another man's name as his own, he could be said to be guilty of both of these sins.

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