I've killed something on every planet I've been to. I've killed Jedi Knights in even combat. I killed a krayt dragon with my bare hands. Rest assured, I can kill you too.
Takariak Sakaros (/tʌˈkɑr.i:ˌɑ:k sʌˈkɑ:.roʊs/), known almost universally as Tak Sakaros, was a Sith Lord who lived during the decline of the Old Republic, through the Empire, and into the New Republic and its successor state, the Galactic Alliance. One of the very few remaining members of the Sith species, Sakaros devoted himself to the study of war and combat throughout his life, focusing on lightsaber combat and the strategies of starfleets and ground forces and amassing a wealth of practical experience in both. Despite his messianic hatred of the Jedi, his contempt for Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader led him to occasionally ally with the New Republic against the Imperial Remnant before the Empire was reformed under the Fel dynasty.
Barreck: “What are we blowing up this morning?”
―Barreck and Tak plan their day
Tak: “The district power station. I thought we'd start small.”
Tak Sakaros was born in 89 BBY on the world of Andaria. His father, Nagarian, was a mid-level bureaucrat in their home city. When Sakaros was eleven, the government of Andaria collapsed and the world was consumed in civil war between the remaining Nationalist factions and the rebels. The Sakaroses tried to maintain their standard of living for the first three years, until several locally cataclysmic events occurred at once.
Velian, when he turned seventeen, joined the Nationalist forces and became a Guardsman. Anticlea, the youngest Sakaros child, was born to Nagarian and Velia. For his refusal to pay double taxes to the Nationalist government, Nagarian was executed in a raid, along with his wife. Velian participated in the raid and was left to dispatch his siblings. Filled with rage and the burgeoning power of the Force lurking just below the surface, Tak took up his family’s ancestral Sith sword and cut his brother down, escaping with his sister.
For the next four years, Tak fought with the rebellion against the government, raising his sister with the aid of other rebels. He led several successful raids against Nationalist facilities with his best friends, Barreck and Ilyana, earning a name for himself as an uncannily good warrior and demolitions expert. When Tak was eighteen, though, his entire world would be totally shattered.
Returning from patrol one day, Tak spotted his sister across a clearing, and she ran toward him. However, a Guardsman spotted her as well, and opened fire, mortally wounding the girl. Consumed with rage, Tak forgot his blaster and beat the Guardsman to death with his own rifle. Holding his sister in his arms until she died, the young Sith lost his mind to bloodlust and went on a rampage, murdering a nearby garrison of forty-two Guardsmen with his bare hands, though he sustained several grievous injuries and needed a month to recover afterward.
After he healed, Tak was a changed man, cold and bitter even to his comrades. The ambush death of Ilyana less than two months later only made him more detached, and Tak’s comrades began to worry for his mental health. It was during this period that the young man began to unconsciously touch the dark side of the Force in his anger, setting the stage for the next period of his life.
Sith Apprentice and Conqueror
Khrado Ragnos: “Learn the ways of the dark side of the Force and never lose anything—or anyone—again.”
―Khrado recruits Tak as his Sith apprentice
Tak: “Teach me!”
Six months after the death of Anticlea Sakaros, the Dark Lord of the Sith Khrado Ragnos led his Massassi army to Andaria, fresh from the conquest of three planets before. Leaving most of the fleet out of sensor range, the Dark Lord went on a recon mission to the planet alone. Guided by the whisperings of the Force, Khrado ventured down a dusty alley and, to the mutual surprise of both men, encountered Tak Sakaros.
Before either man could do more than realize they were the same species, they were attacked by a group of Guardsmen. Ragnos quickly felled several with his lightsaber, but tossed one to Tak when it became obvious the younger Sith, armed only with a blaster, was going to be overwhelmed. Confirming Khrado’s suspicions that Tak had the power of the Force, Sakaros activated the lightsaber, deflected three blaster bolts, and killed the remaining soldiers.
After retreating offworld for safety, Khrado explained and demonstrated the nature of the Force and informed his new companion of the history of the Sith and the Jedi Order. Convinced that the death of his sister had been just the latest in a long history of crimes against the Sith, and having no real attachment to his homeworld, Tak agreed to join Khrado and became his Sith apprentice.
Filled now with knowledge of the dark side that waited only for his summons, Tak went back to Andaria at the head of a contingent of Massassi warriors. Both rebels and Nationalists united against the invaders, but they were quickly massacred under the seasoned Massassi legions. In the midst of the battle, Tak confronted Barreck, offering him the chance to join the conquest. Outraged at the idea of his homeworld being subjugated by a foreigner and convinced that Tak had betrayed them, Barreck engaged his old friend in a fight instead. Though Barreck was bigger and stronger than Tak, the battle was short, and Sakaros angrily cut his friend apart with his new lightsaber, setting himself firmly on the path of the dark side. Having literally severed his final tie to his homeworld, Tak convinced Khrado to completely obliterate the world and all life on it.
Over the next ten years, the two Sith conquered a number of worlds, and made at least one voyage to the Sith worlds of Korriban and Ziost. All the while, Khrado trained Tak to use the dark side, forging him into a vicious and deadly warrior. Though not as strong in the Force as his master, Tak was nonetheless an apt student of lightsaber combatant, and proved to be an effective ground commander and pilot with a string of repeated victories against conquered systems. Though he could never out-spar Khrado with a lightsaber, Tak was a strong and capable enough apprentice to suit the Dark Lord.
Seven years into their conquests, Khrado and Tak became blood-brothers in an ancient Sith ritual. Though neither of them knew of any living family, this would later become of great importance to Tak. Despite their close friendship, Khrado was still a cold and cruelly demanding master, giving Tak no quarter in his training. Nevertheless, the brothers had deep-seated, if seldom-voiced, affection for each other.
And Sakaros wins again, ladies and gentlebeings, in a record five seconds!
—Borgo Prime Death Ring announcer
Ten years after the destruction of Andaria, while he was still only a Sith apprentice, the conquest fleet was ambushed at Khar Delba. Apparently, the occupants of some thirty systems had received word of the Sith conquest, and united their defense forces to make a last stand. Caught off guard, the Sith responded with an ill-fated all-out assault.
In the midst of the space battle Tak, who was leading the fighter squadrons from his Sith Hadrago fighter, was dealt a glancing blow by a turbolaser blast from one of the defense force ships. The hit completely fried his shields and activated his hyperdrive, sending him on an unplanned detour far into the Outer Rim. Sustaining a blow to the head on the way, Tak was given amnesia, and when his hyperdrive ran out of fuel and he reentered to realspace at Borgo Prime, he had no clue where he was or had come from.
Crashing on Borgo Prime, his lightsaber damaged beyond repair, Tak entered into involuntary servitude to an Aqualish slaver, becoming a fighter in the Borgo Prime Death Ring, a frequent event when two opponents would fight to the death barehanded. So he remained for six years, an unprecedented winning streak attributable not only to his excellent physique and martial arts prowess, but also his latent Force talents. Despite being unable to consciously control the Force, the Sith nonetheless had guidance from his danger sense, and his rage drove him to kill mercilessly with the guidance of the dark side.
In his time on Borgo Prime, Tak killed a huge variety of enemies, including Humans, Chiss, Wookiees, Gamorreans, Twi`leks, Devaronians, Bothans, Aqualish, Kel Dor, Gotals, Trandoshans, and Tusken raiders. He also befriended and fell in love with a fellow slave, a Chiss named Kai’tisy’ara, known usually as Tisya. After six years of fighting, the Aqualish slaver offered Tak a final fight for his freedom—against a young krayt dragon. Against all odds Tak won, punching through one of the krayt’s eyes and maiming its brain. However, he sustained severe injuries to his ribs, arms, and legs.
After a month of healing and solitude, the renewed Sakaros demanded his freedom from the newly-bankrupt slaver, who granted it reluctantly, but offered a parting shot; Tisya had been sold to someone else offworld. Filled with rage beyond words, Tak used the Force to strangle the slaver to death before he even realized what he was doing. Stunned and confused, but now free, fairly wealthy, and armed, the Sith escaped Borgo Prime and began the next stage of his life.
Bounty hunter and gun-for-hire
Ryman Kel-Barri: Please, don't take me back to Arba! Please! I'll do anything!After escaping Borgo Prime, somewhat confused with his inexplicable power but recognizing the value of his eerie precognition, Tak became a bounty hunter and mercenary in the Outer Rim. Working both in the Corporate Sector and Hutt Space, his reputation for barehandedly killing a krayt dragon preceding him, the Sith became an assassin feared throughout the underworld. When money was tight, he would occasionally fight in death rings in the Rim and earn hundreds or even thousands of credits, but this quickly became unnecessary, since his skill at murder kept him frequently employed.
Tak Sakaros: Anything?
Ryman Kel-Barri: YES!
Tak Sakaros: Good. Hold still.
―Tak stuns Ryman Kel-Barri
During this time, Tak took up residency on Nar Shaddaa, traveling in his Z-95 and living in various places elsewhere but always returning to the Smuggler’s Moon. It was around this time that he first became affiliated with Arba the Hutt, at first as a servant and eventually as a respected crime partner and confidante. On several assassination missions, Tak would also take his only close friend, the mysterious assassin Astariax Drago. When on Tatooine, Tak would often frequent the ship garage of fellow Sith and reputed mechanic Jehren Akai, who would become another rare friend. Throughout his life in the Rim, Tak became famed as a lover nearly as much as a warrior, seducing women both for missions and for pleasure in nearly every port. However, he never found his beloved Tisya, and never fell in love again.
In his long career, Tak tangled with some of the finest fighters outside the arm of the law, but it was a Jedi Knight and his Padawan who would put Sakaros on the next road of his life. Sent to assassinate a vacationing senator, Tak was unaware that the man had been assigned Jedi protection until he was fighting them. To the shock of all three, after taking down the Padawan with a concealed explosive, Tak took up the fallen girl’s lightsaber and began to use it against the Jedi Knight. Though he had no conscious memory of his training, the study of Djem So was so deeply ingrained in the Sith’s subconscious mind that he managed to overwhelm and kill his enemy.
Taking the Knight’s green-bladed lightsaber for his own, Sakaros would continue to bounty hunt for another decade or so, but the mystery was deepening for him. After ascertaining the lightsaber’s capabilities, he practiced with it in all his spare time, rapidly recovering much of his forgotten talent. Though he primarily used blasters, the Sith carried the lightsaber with him, and surprised more than one target with it.
Having tapped into his latent danger sense and Force-driven fighting instincts but still lacking knowledge of what he was doing, able to use a lightsaber but clueless as to why, the Sith kept up bounty hunting until 32 BBY. After the events of the Second Battle of Theed, rumors of the existence of a “Sith”, the late Darth Maul, made their way to the Rim from both Naboo and Tatooine.
The dark fire rekindled
Too long have you strayed from your path, Takariak. It is time for this charade to end.
Convinced that the “Sith” must have some connection with his strange powers, and equally sure he was no Jedi, Tak retreated to the second moon of Bogden to meditate. There, tapping into the energies of the nearby Bando Gora and his own dark side powers, he reached into the Force until he received a vision. Tulak Hord and Marka Ragnos, former Dark Lords of the Sith, restored his memory and knowledge of his powers, charging the newly enlightened Sith with recovering his former strength and becoming a Sith Lord in his own right.
His mind at last clear and many mysteries explained, Tak lived off his fortune for the next two years, constantly retraining himself to use his Force powers. He experimented with new things, honed old skills, and killed a variety of underworld scum with the Force and his lightsaber. Having remembered his messianic hatred of the Jedi, he discarded the Jedi Knight’s lightsaber and built a new one for himself, altering the emitter so it made the sound of a krayt dragon’s cry when ignited. After he made his new weapon and achieved what he considered mastery over the powers Khrado Ragnos had taught him, Tak took the title of Sith Lord.
Now on a quest to find his long-lost brother, whom he could occasionally perceive very distantly through the Force, Tak ventured out into the galaxy with new eyes. Along the way he encountered a fellow member of the Sith race, ironically named Gav Daragon, to whom he taught many of the basics of the dark side though never taking him as an official apprentice. Eight years later, though, he would be distracted by the outbreak of the Clone Wars.
The Clone Wars
Dooku: “I have good news, my lord. The war has begun.”
―Darths Tyranus and Sidious discuss the beginning of the Clone Wars
Darth Sidious: “Excellent. Everything is proceeding as planned.”
When the Separatists and the Republic broke into open conflict, Tak sided with the Separatists on instinct, given that the reputed dark sider Count Dooku was leading the Confederacy. He killed a number of Jedi, growing more dangerous all along and eventually attracting the notice of Wat Tambor, and through him Count Dooku himself. While the Count did not take Tak as an apprentice, he did teach him Makashi, forging the Sith Lord into an even more dangerous warrior, though it would be decades before Tak would use Form II regularly. Both dark siders kept details of their pasts from each other, but developed mutual professional respect.
Driven by his growing power and arrogance, Tak repeatedly sought to duel the great Jedi warriors Mace Windu, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker. He was never successful in this aim, and he grew to despise the Confederacy commander, General Grievous, viewing him as an unnatural beast. However, he remained supportive of the Confederacy because of the corruption of the Republic and his discomfort at the idea of cloned sentients, as well as his lingering hatred of the Jedi. After several successful covert assassinations, Tak went to the Outer Rim, working with the Hutt clans to back the Confederacy.
Out of the Core during the Battle of Coruscant, Tak was not present for the death of Count Dooku, and only learned of it in retrospect after the Great Jedi Purge had begun. Killing several escaped Jedi himself, he nonetheless did not report to Coruscant, more than a bit suspicious of the Emperor. His fears would prove well founded not long after.
The Imperial era
Both Palpatine and the newly minted Darth Vader had assumed the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith, and while it did not make much impression on Tak, it sat darkly in the mind of Khrado Ragnos. The Sith master had survived through the decades in the Rim and Wild Space, conquering here and there, but now he returned to the Core to do battle with those he perceived as worthless usurpers and upstarts. Surprising the Sith Lords while they were in the Works, Khrado incapacitated the Emperor and dueled Darth Vader, nearly killing him. However, when the Emperor revived, the two Sith together overpowered the Dark Lord. Struck down by Vader’s lightsaber, Khrado’s final scream rang through the Force and into Tak’s mind.
Bereaved of his brother and now obsessed with destroying the men who had killed him, Tak went back to the Rim, intensifying his training and waiting for a chance to kill Vader. He again encountered Daragon, as well as a rogue Dark Jedi calling himself Darth Maim, but these collaborations were shorter.
It was some time during the Imperial Era that Tak ventured alone into the Rim, spending a few months on a space station. There, to his everlasting shock, he discovered Razielle, the half-sister of Khrado Ragnos and illegitimate daughter of the Emperor. Respecting her for her indomitable warrior spirit and treasuring her as a long-lost family member, Sakaros was more amazed to realize that Razielle had met Khrado and was also still grieving his death. Though, as wanderers were inclined to do, they went their separate ways, both warriors would remain close for the rest of their lives.
During the rise of the Empire, in approximately 8 BBY, Tak met a sweet and endearing woman. Comforting the Sith Lord in his grief, offering him solace in his rage and something he convinced himself was safe, she became his wife and bore him three sons, Khrado, Marquand, and Tariun. However, this same wife would later betray him with other men. His trust at an all-time low, devastated anew and consumed by rage, Tak decapitated the woman himself and raised his three sons alone.
Hope, however, was rekindled for the dark side. Long had Tak known that, despite his powers and lightsaber ability that had laid low many Jedi Knights, his raw Force potential was not nearly enough to become a Dark Lord of the Sith himself. However, Khrado Sakaros had a midichlorian count far higher than Tak, higher even than his namesake. In truth, though Tak did not know it, Khrado was on the order of such beings as Yoda and Palpatine. In Khrado, Tak saw the hope of the Sith, and began to train his son as such.
The New Republic begins
In the midst of his relentless self-improvement and teaching his sons, though, Tak was suddenly without a mission: Luke Skywalker, as far as the galaxy knew, had succeeded in killing both Darth Vader and the Emperor. Devoid of a mission, he simply continued to train his sons until he encountered yet another Sith surprise: Khrado Ragnos’s full sister, Valadyn. Sith relatives began to come out of the woodwork thereafter, including Kay Larr, a member of the New Jedi Order; Adrienne Keane, Khrado’s long-lost daughter; and Razielle, returned temporarily from the Rim.
Shortly after the death of the Emperor, Tak began a love affair with Ysanne Isard, the Chief of Imperial Intelligence. Temporarily relocating to Coruscant and the Imperial Palace, the Sith Lord became her bodyguard and lover, and a commander of the Imperial forces. Hoping that the suppression of non-humans might abate with a Sith as her lover, Tak was nonetheless disappointed when Imperial policy failed to change, and abandoned Isard to her inevitable fate when the Lusankya left Coruscant.
Some time during the early years of the New Republic, guided by the Force, Tak found the remnants of his Sith master’s fleet, still operational and run by a token Massassi crew. Although not possessing cloning technology and unable to generate more Massassi through Sith alchemy, the Sith Lord nonetheless slave-rigged the sixty-odd ships and started a conquest of the territory he and his brother had fought to recapture eighty years prior.
After a few lightly defended planets fell and their jaded occupants were easily persuaded to become new ground forces and starship crewers, Tak’s Sith fleet began to gobble up more systems. While the New Republic was distracted by the campaigns of Grand Admiral Thrawn, Admiral Daala, and the resurrected Emperor Palpatine, the revived “Sith Empire” spread. Recruiting both his old allies Darth Maim and Gav Daragon, Tak came closer to reviving the Sith Empire than anyone since the time of Darth Malak.
Delays sprang up quickly, however. Fearing that they would be stretched too thin, the Sith Lords paused with their current conquests, trying to fund a larger fleet and a better army. In the meantime, Tak had finally attracted the attention of the New Jedi Order, and fought several skirmishes with Jedi Knights and Masters, winning some and fighting the rest to a draw. It was during this time of heightened power that Sakaros began to search for his niece, who had long been missing. Though he did not find her, he did encounter Valadyn Ragnos again, who had taken up her late brother’s alchemical studies. Attempting to genetically create successors to the Sith, she persuaded Tak to give her a sample of his DNA, an action which would have grave impact on the future of both Sith.
By 21 ABY, Khrado Sakaros could not only consistently outmatch his father and brothers in the use of the dark side and lightsaber combat, he was champing at the bit for a chance to confront the Republic head-on. The young Sith had mastered both Djem So and Juyo in mere years, and he was proficient in both single- and double-bladed lightsaber combat, though he preferred the latter. He felt he needed only more field experience aside from a score of subtle Jedi kills before he could claim the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. Nevertheless, Tak took a more moderated approach, picking off systems that bordered the Republic’s territory while never actually crossing over.
The flash point came at Cato Nemoidia. At the time, the Nemoidians were petitioning for admittance into the New Republic, but the matter hadn’t been decided when the Sith invaded. Though quickly subjugated, the Nemoidians claimed that Tak had attacked a Republic system. While this was not true, the Jedi, increasingly wary of the Sith Lords’ advances, persuaded the New Republic Security Council to side with the Nemoidians and declare war.Though he could have mounted an almost impregnable defense from Ziost, as was the suggestion of both Khrado and Marquand, Tak refused to bring Jedi to the capital of the Sith and instead set up his forces on nearby Dorian IV. Khrado volunteered to lead the first charge of Massassi; through the aid of Gav Daragon, they had finally acquired a supply of cloning cylinders with Darth Maim. Tariun and Daragon held the rear guard, and Tak and Marquand the fortress. Though he had wanted to lead the attack personally, Tak was persuaded by all to remain somewhat protected, a decision which would haunt him forever.
Khrado did indeed lead his Massassi legions against the Republic army and the Jedi Knights, personally slaying over a dozen Jedi with his double-bladed lightsaber aside from countless soldiers. However, the Republic force was overwhelming, and eventually seven Jedi ganged up on Khrado and cut him apart. Tariun, who had been holding the rear, sensed his brother’s death and led a second wave in rage, which caused staggering Republic casualties but still couldn’t stem the tide. Injured, Tariun himself was forced to withdraw.
When the Jedi broke into the main fortress, Marquand defended the Sith archives while Tak confronted several Jedi Masters. Tak slew three Masters before being forced to flee with his bodyguards. Marquand was less successful; while he managed to wipe out the Sith archives before the Jedi could download them, leaving only one complete copy in the galaxy, he was slain by a Jedi Master and a Jedi Knight working in tandem. Tak managed to recover his son’s lightsaber before escaping. Following the Battle of Dorian IV, Tak and Tariun Sakaros vanished with the shattered remnants of the Sith fleet and weren’t heard from for four years.
The Yuuzhan Vong War
Having retreated to the Denarii Nova, Tak was initially unaware of the invasion of the galaxy by the Yuuzhan Vong. Only when Tariun returned from a conquest bearing news of the invaders did Tak hear of the Vong, and set about learning everything he could about them. Reports that they were immune to the Force disgusted and horrified him; though he did not know it, the revulsion he felt at their very existence was approaching the way the Vong themselves felt about the rest of the galaxy.
Contempt grew as the Vong massacred civilians on Dantooine and betrayed an oath of honor during the Battle of Ithor. While Tak refused to side with the Republic which had so recently taken his sons from him, he nevertheless advised his friend Arba not to trust the Vong. His fears of their dishonor were cemented when the Vong attacked Nar Shaddaa, forcing Tak to mount a rescue operation.
When, in 26 ABY Warmaster Tsavong Lah called for the deaths of all Jedi, Tak was initially overjoyed. Even his disgust for the Vong could not compete with his hatred of the Jedi, and he was quick to dispatch a few Jedi himself, both those on Republic missions and those who had fled into hiding. His position on the matter changed, however, after the Battle of Yavin IV. Totally beside himself at the notion of his enemies deliberately targeting defenseless children, and their manic desire to see the Force wiped out, Sakaros swallowed his pride and attempted to commit his forces to the Republic.
The Republic was not initially inclined to accept his offer; Tak was not the only one who had not forgotten Dorian IV. This changed when it became obvious that the Vong were about to attack Coruscant. During the ensuing battle, the Republic accepted Sakaros's offer. Taking the partially rebuilt Ta'asyak Za`vek to Coruscant, Tak commanded the fighter contingent against the Vong while Tariun led evacuation efforts on the ground. During the battle, the Sith Star took heavy damage being among the largest capital ships, and thus among the best targets, and Sakaros ordered its retreat out of the system. Deprived of their command ship, the rest of the fleet was forced to follow suit.
Also during the battle, both Sakaroses were shot down, though far distant from one another. Fighting tooth and nail, lightsaber and blaster, Tak made his way to an evacuation transport. Taking the controls himself, he managed to pilot through the jaws of the Vong invasion and escape to hyperspace. Tariun was not so lucky, and was captured by the Vong. Tak, who had sensed intimately the deaths of his other two sons in the Force, knew that Tariun must have survived, but was consumed with fury at the idea of his son being a prisoner of war.
When the Galactic Alliance was formed, the control the Republic had tried to place on its fleets was sacrificed for military expediency. Consequently, Tak Sakaros requested and was granted letters of marque, repaired and refitted his fleet with support from both Arba the Hutt and the Alliance, and then made war. The Sith fleet was present at several major engagements, but it went truly rogue in mid-28 ABY. Tariun Sakaros had been badly tortured on Coruscant, but had finally escaped and returned to his father. The two Sith Lords unleashed their fury on the Vong, who had been pressed back already. Allied with the Bothans, who shared their genocidal hatred of the Vong, Tak and Tariun besieged world after world on the fringes of Vong control. They took no prisoners and refused to accept surrender, though they could be persuaded to take worlds in good shape and even rescue captive allies, as in their triumphant performance at the Battle of Telerath. In the process, along with several Bothan commanders, the Sith committed some of the most notable Alliance war crimes of the war, including the deliberate firebombing of a Vong nursery complex and the slaughter of several million Vong workers, theoretically to stop a worldship development. Ironically, "Sakaros" wound up translated over to Vongese as well as Basic; Tak and Tariun were dubbed "Yu`khrul" and "Uh-Yu`khrul"—"The Demon" and "The Young Demon", respectively.
During the war, Tak crossed paths with many of the famous heroes of the Alliance whom he had managed to avoid until then. Upon encountering Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker, he took an instant liking to the female Jedi Master; not only did she have more ferocity in her than the average Jedi, but she reminded him strikingly of his blood sister Razielle. He also developed a great respect for Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon, and his fanatic hatred of the Vong forged an alliance with the Bothan admiral Traest Kre'fey.
When the Vong surrendered, Sakaros publically advocated refusing their surrender until the Alliance casualties had been repayed one-for-one. Along with the Bothans, he was denied in this quest. As a tentative attempt at reconciliation, the New Jedi Order offered Tak an invitation to the Conclave on Zonama Sekot, but the Sith refused and vanished again from the galaxy for two years.
The Naboo Crisis and the return of the dark side
Defying all expectation, Tak Sakaros reappeared two years later in 31 ABY, alone and on the planet of Naboo. After initially clashing with the Jedi Master Ye`keb Auroras, in whom Tak sensed both great power and the potential of the dark side, Sakaros became a “guest” on board a Republic ship commanded by the Jedi Master Maximus Kironis. Kironis and Sakaros had a long and unpleasant history; the Jedi Master had been one of the Republic commanders at Dorian IV, then awkwardly fought side-by-side with Sakaros in the Vong War. Neither trusted the other and each was busy plotting.
Before the long-outstanding Imperial and Republic warrants on him could be served, though, a rogue Dark Jedi warlord named Teeron invaded Naboo with his fleet. With the Galactic Alliance still deeply immersed in the process of rebuilding, they were unable to mount any effective response. Sakaros and Kironis temporarily set aside their differences, fleeing to Naboo as the Alliance fleet withdrew. Teeron invaded with an army of battle droids and proclaimed himself the ruler of Naboo. A month later, however, a strengthened Alliance fleet returned, and, aided by Tak’s Sith fleet, destroyed Teeron’s armada in a fantastic space battle. Teeron himself escaped to the surface, and while Tak and Auroras engaged him in a lightsaber duel, the Dark Jedi escaped. However, he was later assassinated by his own apprentice, who himself went insane and committed suicide, ending the threat. The battle droids were confiscated by the Alliance military.
Remaining on Naboo, Tak allied with a Kel Dor Dark Jedi named Serus. Employing his remaining Massassi, Sakaros began to build a Sith Temple on Naboo. Having fought boldly to rally the citizens of Naboo against Teeron’s forces, he enjoyed the good favor of Naboo’s queen, and was thus unimpeded. With his servants working night and day, the Temple was soon completed, and established as a center of dark side power.
Leave the lies of the Jedi behind you and embrace the dark side.
—Tak to Lorelai
The Jedi, however, were not as tolerant as the Naboo. Jedi Knight Kai-Dyn Velzar and his Padawan Lorelai Whitesun were sent to investigate and deal with Tak. The two Jedi dueled the Sith Lord, but Velzar was injured and knocked unconscious. Though capable of killing Lorelai, who couldn’t balance between Sith aggression and Jedi control, Tak instead was fascinated by the rage he sensed in her. Planting the seeds of doubt in the Jedi in her, against all odds the Sith Lord withdrew from battle.
The next time Tak and Lorelai met, the result was different. Without even drawing blades, the two debated fiercely the nature of the Force, but Lorelai was eventually persuaded to abandon the Jedi and become Tak’s new apprentice. The two bonded quickly in a way Tak never had with any of his apprentices, and though he pushed Lorelai terribly hard, he also came to look on her as a daughter. Freed from her Jedi restraints, Lorelai adapted so quickly to the dark side that outside observers, especially among Lorelai’s former Jedi colleagues, were terrified.
An impediment surfaced in Kai-Dyn Velzar, who had come to reclaim—or destroy—his wayward student. He engaged Lorelai in a duel at the Jedi Praxeum on Naboo, until finally overwhelming her with Force lightning. Realizing his student had done everything she could, Tak finally intervened and cut off Velzar’s hands, and then his head. Lorelai’s link to the Jedi thus severed, the two Sith resumed her training.
The Jedi Masters and the Sith Lords
Conflict was brewing amongst the powerful Force users on Naboo, and it soon spilled over. Tak again fought with Ye`keb, and then later with her Jedi husband, Viprous Auroras. However, Sakaros was beginning to see that Ye`keb could be led away from the Jedi, to which she was already something of a rebel despite her considerable power. A supreme test for her came when she inadvertently discovered that Tariun Sakaros was still alive; both Sith Lords were prepared to kill the Jedi Master, or die trying, until she swore to keep the secret. The bonds that held Ye`keb Auroras to the Jedi were fraying, but they were not yet ready to break.
In the meantime, defying all expectation, Syrth Akai, the daughter of Tak’s old friend and mechanic Jehren Akai, showed up on Naboo, her father and grandfather apparently having been killed by Jedi. Taking the young girl under his wing, Tak nonetheless caused tension by his continued attention to Lorelai, his chosen apprentice. The fact that all three were inhabiting the same Sith Temple, along with Serus and his apprentice, only increased the hostility.
During this period, claiming to represent the Sith as a non-voting species-without-a-planet, Tak petitioned for membership in the New Republic Senate. Despite defending himself against lingering criminal suspicions and reminding the Committee for Membership of the oppression the Sith had suffered at the hands of the Jedi and the Republic, the Committee members, swayed by both Maximus Kironis and Luke Skywalker, voted to deny the application. Tak returned, frustrated, to Naboo.
Lorelai was rapidly becoming proficient in Makashi, the same lightsaber style Marquand had used, and which Tak had begun to work on anew after the battle at Dorian IV. After she had tested her abilities against a number of training partners and found herself equal to the task, Tak gave his apprentice Marquand’s lightsaber to use as her own weapon, which only served to increase the bond between master and apprentice.
Seemingly from nowhere, though, the Jedi brought forth their next generation hope: Hayden, who was quickly revealed to be descended of royal Sith blood from the Ragnos clan. Wondering how this had happened, Tak soon had his answer when his sister Valadyn arrived: she had used the DNA sample he gave her to artificially create a child for them. Horrified at this scientific abomination and that his “son” was a Jedi, but simultaneously hoping he could be turned, Tak endeavored to bring Hayden to the dark side, to no avail. It was a constant struggle that would aggravate the Sith to no end.
Tak was beginning to attract something of a cult following of dark siders; aside from Lorelai and Serus, a Dark Jedi called Rayf and a few assorted adepts found their way to the Sith Temple on Naboo. Gav Daragon returned too, but now with a twist; he was at the head of a rogue Imperial fleet, and had styled himself Emperor and Dark Lord of the Sith. While not at all pleased that his comrade had claimed the title, Tak agreed to a deception with Gav to betray the Alliance to him.
The Sith Lords intended to pull a deception on the level of Palpatine. Gav would lead the "Empire" against the Alliance, and Tak would bravely volunteer to fight the Imperials for the Alliance. Once he had earned their trust, it would be irrelevant which side won; either way, the winner would bring the other into power.
Unfortunately, the scheme was flawed from the start. First, the Alliance, at the urgings of Maximus Kironis and remembering Tak's brutality during the Vong War, did not trust Tak with nearly the forces he wanted. Second, each Sith Lord was leery of the other, and both were contemplating betraying the other if victory was achieved. Third, the size of Daragon's force, though a substantial threat along the Rim, was not nearly enough to merit the attention of Coruscant.
To convince the Alliance that they were enemies, Tak agreed to Gav bombing his Sith Temple out of existence, with the condition that the Empire would fund a new one. Once this was affected, Tak publicly defected to the Alliance. Skirmishes on the Rim went back and forth, as the Sith Lords had intended, with Tak scoring major victories and Gav defeating Alliance task forces elsewhere. As agreed beforehand, Gav invaded Kamino, and though Tak led a valiant rescue that drove the Imperials off again, they had already stolen millions of cloning cylinders. Over a hundred thousand were given to Tak, who immediately set them up in a remote corner of the Rim at great personal expense and began breeding a new Massassi army
The plan, unfortunately, hit a snag. Delving too deeply into the dark side, with too little control, Gav fell into madness and relinquished command of his Empire to Tak, of all people. Trying to keep the bargain working, Tak publicly took the office and suggested it as a form of surrender from the Rogue Imperials to the Galactic Alliance. In reality, however, he was worried for Gav’s health, and had him surrounded with ysalamiri so that the Force madness would leave him. Massassi guards were set up to ensure that the Emperor was neither disturbed nor released, and Tak reigned as de facto Emperor over his comrade's territories for a period of weeks, trying to undo Imperial institutions he despised, such as slavery. Whether Sakaros had a change of heart was unknown, though it is known that his hatred of slavery stemmed from his own time in that position and was quite heartfelt.
A more significant snag came when a Royal Guard named Xiere killed the Massassi and sprang Gav, who proclaimed himself cured and resumed the throne. Furious at the murder of his men, Tak demanded the Guardsman’s head. Gav agreed, but before the matter could be settled he also revealed the extent of his plans to his comrade. The stolen cloning cylinders were not just for stormtroopers; Gav intended to mass-produce clones of Sith to repopulate the species. Beside himself with disgust, Tak went down to Naboo to meditate.
The house of cards falls
Tak soon took a great personal tragedy. His sister Valadyn came back from the Rim, bringing with her Adrienne Keane, trapped in a coma, and Andromeda, Adrienne’s daughter and Tak’s grand-niece. Before Valadyn could use her alchemical skill to devise a cure for Adrienne, though, she succumbed to a mysterious disease and died in her brother’s arms. Consumed with grief, Tak went into solitude.
Tariun Sakaros took over in his father’s stead, keeping an eye on Syrth, protecting his cousin, and practicing with Lorelai. The young, debonair Sith Lord wound up sleeping with both Lorelai and Syrth, thinking to add them to his list of conquests. However, he found something in Lorelai that stunned him, something he had never discovered before: a match. When Tak returned, he drew the confession from his son, and though irate, grudgingly accepted the situation.
Soon it would be Tariun turning the critical lense, though, when Tak romanced Ye`keb Auroras into sleeping with him. When Viprous Auroras found out, he challenged Tak to a lightsaber duel. The clash was violent and terrible, and ended with Tak’s lightsaber jammed through Viprous’s chest. Though he had destroyed a major enemy and led Ye`keb one step further to the dark side, the real ramifications of this were to come later, when it was revealed that the widow Auroras was pregnant.
Things went from bad to worse. Gav Daragon journeyed to Korriban seeking the approval of Dathka Graush for his cloning plan. When Graush reacted just as Tak had, Daragon responded by destroying the Dark Lord’s tomb and severing his connection with the mortal world. Called from across the galaxy by his brother’s enraged spirit, Tak journeyed to Korriban at full speed and confronted Gav. The two Sith dueled briefly, but Gav fled with his forces, and Tak withdrew before he could be overwhelmed.
Faced with the destruction of his home by Daragon's Rogue Imperials, Tak fled into the Outer Rim with Lorelai, Ye`keb, Jade Star, Tariun, Adrienne, and Andromeda. Syrth Akai was captured by Gav and made his unwilling apprentice. Initially holing up in his apartment on Nar Shaddaa, Tak dispersed his company throughout the galaxy, keeping only Lorelai with him at first. In 38 ABY, though, she killed a Jedi Knight in even single combat, and Tak gave her the rank of Sith Lord.
The Swarm War provided some breathing room for the besieged Sith. With the Galactic Alliance distracted by the Killiks, the chance to spread his authority farther through the Rim was too much for Gav to pass up. The result was decreased Rogue attention to Tak and his clan, and the Sith were able to operate a bit more freely, albeit always on the alert for their enemies.
Lorelai remained an agent of her former master, but was essentially sent her own way to do as she pleased. Tak immediately took Andromeda out of Tariun’s protection and into his own, training her as his new apprentice, having been taught the basics by Tariun but nothing in-depth. The two spent the next two years on the run, killing Rogue assassins here and there, training constantly. Tariun, and occasionally Lorelai, his now permanent lover, hid with the Sith fleet in the Denarii Nova, steadily incorporating new Massassi units and preparing for war.
During Tak’s period of running, his daughter was born. Apart from Tak’s influence, Ye`keb named her Katherine. The Sith Lord rarely saw his daughter except in holos, though he constantly sent vast sums of money to them, as well as sending Tariun or Lorelai to check on them.
Back to the battles
The Sith Factions
Six years after he fled Naboo, Tak returned with his niece. He found Ye`keb and Jade, as well as his daughter, Rin. Though still a toddler, Rin was already demonstrating unusual Force talent, and her midichlorian count was higher than that of either of her parents.
Before much else could happen, though, Syrth Akai returned to Naboo, closely pursued by Gav. Sending his niece into hiding, Tak decided the time had come and challenged Gav to a one-on-one final duel. The other Sith accepted the challenge and journeyed to the surface alone to confront his old friend. Though struck a blow on his right arm that slashed through the dragon tattoo on his bicep, Tak managed to slice through the muscle between Gav's neck and shoulder, a painful and crippling blow that forced the Emperor to withdraw and have one of his Star Destroyers open fire from space to cover his retreat.
Daragon had escaped, but the sight of the supposed "Dark Lord of the Sith" using a capital ship to escape a duel badly damaged his credibility. The disenchanted Rogue Imperials were forced back to their home region of space, and in the ensuing tranquility on Naboo, Sakaros set himself up as a permanent resident. He had finally realized, as Palpatine had decades before, that the path to true mastery over others could no longer be gained by outward conquest. Having fought Teeron's forces and dueled the self-proclaimed Galactic Emperor single-handedly, Tak had acquired a great deal of good will from the Naboo, and he intended to capitalize on it.
His first chance presented itself nearly before he was ready for it. As the Corellian Insurrection prompted war with the Galactic Alliance, Tak further ingratiated himself to the monarchy of Naboo. In the unstable times, and given his impressive track record of defending out-of-the-way Naboo from overwhelming aggressors, it took little persuasion for him to be appointed Field Marshal of the Forces of Naboo, effectively supreme commander of the entire system's military. At long last the Ta'asyak Za`vek was permanently returned from Wild Space and set up around Naboo.
After the war began, Tak journeyed to the Sith homeworld of Korriban to seek his brother's advice, and was stunned to discover a group of hidden dark siders there. Each, predictably, claimed to be true Sith, leading to a clash between Sakaros and the Sith leader, Darth Krayt. Though they were evenly matched in terms of power, ages of experience and an intimate understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of Krayt's Jar'Kai style gave Tak the edge, and he cut one of Krayt's lightsabers apart. Deciding to spare the other man, Tak forced out of him their plans for the galaxy instead.
What he heard impressed him. The New Sith plan would be exploiting and damaging the Yuuzhan Vong, which pleased Tak, and more importantly Krayt's group would be distracting the Jedi from Tak and his children. Though he had for the moment no intention of recognizing Darth Krayt as the legitimate Dark Lord of the Sith, Krayt's Rule of One, which harkened back more faithfully to the ways of the ancient Sith than anyone since, was a comforting notion. Through Krayt, Tak learned of the Sith Lady Lumiya, a surviving apprentice of Darth Vader. After departing Korriban and following the career of Jacen Solo, Tak concluded that the young man was one of Lumiya's Sith disciples.
Neither Krayt nor Sakaros was open with the other regarding their reasons for halting their duel and refusing to resume it later. Krayt viewed Tak the same way he did Jacen Solo, as a useful tool to distract the Jedi from the New Sith Order. Tak, in turn, refused to associate with Krayt out of consideration for his daughter, Rin. He knew that eventually Rin would be far more powerful than Krayt, but she still needed decades of training, and would be easily discovered and eliminated if the two Sith factions allied.
When Mara Jade Skywalker was killed, Tak personally flew to Coruscant to attend her funeral as a dignitary from Naboo, though he had only been sent at his request. Dressed unusually in mourning gray robes and tunic, the Sith Lord's arrival created a bit of a stir, but several Jedi remembered him from the Vong War as an ally and conceded to his presence. Much greater was the distraction provided by the arrival of Solo, and when Mara's assumption into the Force coincided with unusual ripplings in the dark side, Sakaros began to suspect that Jacen Solo was not only the new Sith Lord, but had murdered his aunt. He kept his suspicions to himself, however, as revealing them might stop Solo too early, and departed the capital immediately afterward.
The Queen's Emissary
I like Daala. Wherever she goes, discord and violence seem to follow. She reminds me of me.
Shortly after the death of Jade Skywalker, the term of the Senator of Naboo ran out, and the Queen asked Tak to serve in his place. Though now offered more than he had asked for before, as the Senator from Naboo had a vote, after consulatation with his Bothan allies and giving the Queen the courtesy of forewarning, Tak publically refused to take a seat in the Senate, reiterating the claims of Grand Admiral Pellaeon that the Alliance had become too pervasive and powerful, and was walking the same path that had led to the Empire. He proceeded to convince the Queen to actually secede from the Alliance and throw Naboo's support, such as it was, to the Confederation.
It grated on Tak somewhat to sit on the sidelines of a war, and he almost regretted his decision after the death of Grand Admiral Pellaeon, but Tariun counseled his father to patience; if the fleet was moved and Naboo lost to the Alliance, there would be no power base even if the war was won. The defection of Naboo riled Solo and the other leaders of the Alliance, but with the Sith fleet in orbit over Naboo, the battle to reclaim the planet would be too taxing on the Alliance's strained resources. The wisdom of Tak's course was proven when the tyranny of the Alliance crumbled after Solo, now Darth Caedus, was killed by his sister Jaina and his apprentice, Tahiri Veila was apprehended by the Jedi. In the months following, as the Alliance tried to rebuild itself and cleanse the lingering taint of corruption from its popular image, Tak urged the Queen to hold off rejoining the Alliance until the ideal moment. He did, however, immediately support the nomination of Natasi Daala as the Alliance's Chief of State and publicly stated that Naboo only remained neutral to see how her reforms progressed.
In truth, Tak was perfectly aware that the Jedi Order had left the Alliance when Jacen Solo had become Chief of State, and it was only a matter of time before they swore their fealty again. The ideal moment came as the Jedi Order debated rejoining the Alliance. At Sakaros's suggestion, the Queen formally returned Naboo to the Galactic Alliance—and in doing so, openly installed a Sith Lord as a Senator. While Tak smugly moved all his personal effects and dark side regalia into the office, redecorating it in gunmetal grey, black, and red, the Jedi were forced to delay their reunion with the Alliance as they considered the new developments as he had intended. The delay lasted so long that, on his way back from the Senate one day, Sakaros was briefly accosted by a hooded figure who whispered, "Krayt sends his thanks".
Though his power as a Galactic Senator and the right hand of the Queen of Naboo was great, Tak still considered himself compromised. His illicit daughter with a rogue Jedi Master and quasi-Sith, though her potential was practically unlimited, was still in constant danger of discovery and assassination, and not even Tariun, Tak, and Ye`keb together could stave off a horde of Jedi or Krayt's combined forces. Consequently, he kept the young girl on the fortress that was the Sith Star, though she was growing increasingly restless and more aware of her powers.
On Coruscant, however, things were far better-established. The Embassy of Naboo was a fortified compound guarded by both Tak's Massassi guards and Naboo soldiers trained personally by Sakaros in hand-to-hand combat and weapons use. The Sith ambassador's presence was equally palpable in the Senate arena. He engineered a behind-the-scenes deal in which, in exchange for the support of the Naboo, Sakaros appeared to have brought Bothawui back into the Alliance fold, increasing his prestige and political clout.
The Elevator Incident
One system which proved to be harder to convince was Kuat; the Kuati ambassador distrusted Tak and had been one of the strongest of a few voices calling for a formal Senate Resolution to the Queen of Naboo asking her to withdraw Sakaros and appoint a different ambassador. Though the attempt failed, there was lingering bad blood between those Senators and Sakaros and his Senate allies. Recognizing that strict diplomacy would not succeed, Tak resorted to the more comfortably Sith strategy of deception. While arguing loudly, the two Senators boarded a turbolift in the Senate Building. The argument was interrupted when the magnetic supports of the turbolift sent both Senators and their car plummeting toward the bottom of the shaft.
Reacting quickly, Tak drew his lightsaber, cut open the top of the turbolift, and tried unsuccessfully to halt its fall with the Force, succeeding only in slowing it. Realizing that actually stopping it was impossible, he pulled out his Kuati companion and instead used the Force to open every turbolift door on the shaft. Timed perfectly, Sakaros and the Kuat senator leapt free, landing only twenty-three stories above the level on which their turbolift crashed and exploded.
Though hardly the type to make friends or to bond simply due to danger, the Kuati senator did concede that Tak's Force powers might not be a liability after all. The Senate guards investigated the mechanical failure, only to discover that the regulator had been cut with a lightsaber. Suspicion instantly went to the Sith, but Sakaros angrily dismissed such claims, asking sarcastically whether they thought he or one of his people had tried to engineer his own death. He also made the observation that the Sith were not the only beings in the galaxy who used lightsabers, in an attempt to cast doubt on the Jedi.
In truth, the system had been deliberately sabotaged by Tariun Sakaros, on his father's orders; since he was believed to be dead and Andromeda Keane had provably been at the Naboo Embassy at the time of the failure, the Sith escaped suspicion. Though most officials dismissed the notion of Jedi responsibility, a few (as well as many common people) began to wonder just how far the Jedi might go to eliminate one of their enemies.
The Sword of the Jedi and the Scion of the Sith
You're good, little Jedi. One of the best I've ever seen, and I've seen them all. But you are no match for me.
—Tak Sakaros to Jaina Solo
Following the death of Darth Caedus, Tak had developed an interest in dueling Jaina Solo, one of only two living Jedi to defeat a Dark Lord of the Sith in combat. He knew he was unequal to fighting Luke Skywalker; though he had a slightly broader knowledge of sword forms, the Jedi Master's power was beyond rival. Jaina, on the other hand, was tempting not only in her status but also the rumors surrounding her, that she had nearly fallen to the dark side. Even more, though a talented warrior, she was still young and not the dynamo of Force mastery that her uncle was.
Given the political climate, it was impossible to fight Solo with the intent of killing her; the good will the Sith Lord had struggled for decades to gain would vanish in an instant, and his credibility with the Naboo lost. Instead, he politely and publicly challenged her to a friendly sparring match, ostensibly as a way for the Sith and the Jedi to relate to one another without the threat of death. In reality, Tak hoped a victory would discredit the Jedi and embarrass one of their foremost warriors.
Unable to decline without appearing both rude and weak, Jaina accepted the invitation, on the condition that the duel be held at the site of the new Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Sakaros accepted this condition, though he was perfectly aware that the Jedi expected Jaina could tap into the Force nexus at the Temple and use the added power to defeat him. He assumed that Operation Knightfall and the Vong occupation had sufficiently contaminated the light side effects of the former Temple's presence.
Since too many rules would grossly limit the fighting skill of both combatants, Tak and Jaina agreed to use all their powers, and only dial down the power of their lightsaber blades for safety. The resulting clash was fierce, with both combatants attacking ferociously and using their Force powers to blast each other aside or fling objects at one another. During the fight, Tak used Dun Möch to taunt Jaina relentlessly, goading her about killing her own brother and how her life had no purpose but to end other lives. Though not enough to entirely break Jaina's Jedi calm, the Sith's words worked her into a sufficient fury that Tak struck two blows on her chest.
Angry, ignoring the advice of the Jedi around her, Jaina launched into Tak with renewed aggression, driving him back with her Ataru-like strikes and forcing him to abandon Makashi in favor of his original Djem So. The duel eventually became a quasi-brawl, with both combatants working in martial arts techniques among their saber strikes. In this field Tak had the upper hand, and he was able to disarm Jaina, knock her to the ground, and rest the point of his blade at her throat.
After Jaina conceded, Tak shared his thoughts that the only thing holding Jaina back from absolute mastery was her own reluctance to defeat her enemies at all costs. Recognizing the words for what they were—the lure of the dark side—several Jedi present, including Kyp Durron, cried foul and criticized Tak for crossing the line. After quipping back that it was odd to be lectured on the dark side by a man who had destroyed an entire star system, Sakaros departed with a smug smile.
The Jedi Fall From Favor
You have dispassion, Lady Solo, and ferocity. You have the drive to victory. When you embrace victory at all costs, when you unleash the power you're bottling, then you will be invincible.
—Tak Sakaros to Jaina Solo
Though he could not openly oppose the Jedi in the Alliance Senate without appearing petty, Sakaros quickly seized every opportunity that came his way to discredit them. When the Alliance began to suspect Grand Master Luke Skywalker of disloyalty, Sakaros was among several who advised Daala to have him arrested, and later exiled, realizing that death would make him a martyr and imprisonment would leave him interferingly close to the Order. With Skywalker banished for ten years, the Jedi Order was left in weaker hands and the power of the dark side grew.
Knowing Darth Krayt would make quick use of the Order’s weakness, Sakaros pressed for hard legal restrictions against the Jedi, attempting to force them to answer directly to the Alliance Chief of State, rather than permitting their quasi-autonomous state. Having suffered the indignity of having their Grand Master exiled, the Jedi resisted, and their public standing fell. Tak also called for the execution of Tahiri Veila when she was arrested for murdering Gilad Pellaeon.
The rise of Rin
Meanwhile, Tak’s grandniece and erstwhile apprentice, Andromeda, had grown tired of the life of war and deception her uncle lived. Though she was a fully trained Sith in theory, her heart was not in it, and she lacked the true depth of anger in her to command the dark side as her relatives did. She left the Naboo embassy in peace, and though Tak was sorry to see her go and kept a discrete, protective watch over her, it gave him time to focus on training his greatest student: his only daughter, Rin.
While trying to undermine the standing of the Jedi in the public sphere, in private Tak had finally begun to focus on training his daughter Rin personally. He had her moved to his private apartments on Coruscant, but her mother Ye`keb insisted on accompanying them. Tak tolerated this because it kept Rin happy, since Tariun and Lorelai could not be kept on hand, but he could see that the attachment was not helping the girl.
Rin proved herself an apt pupil, learning very quickly and rarely needing to be taught something more than once. Though her development continued at its slow pace, and she had the body and mind of a twelve-year-old at twenty, her powers were still extensive. She was capable of a Force push that could move a starfighter, and was sparring on high levels with her father’s lightsaber sparring droids.
Cooperation was strained between Tak and Ye`keb. The Sith Lord, though he had all the protectiveness any father would have for his only daughter, also saw in Rin the closest to perfection any living being could come. Her sheer raw power was awe-inspiring, her potential limited only by her imagination and discipline, and Tak wished to train her with the ruthless efficiency of the old Sith, so by full maturity she would be invincible.
Ye`keb, though no longer a Jedi, was also not fully committed to the dark side, and had a much calmer approach to Rin’s training. She saw Rin as so powerful that the girl would instinctively dictate the direction of her own training; she saw herself and Tak less as teachers, and more as guides to nudge Rin periodically in the right direction.
The two masters frequently argued over the direction of Rin’s training, and occasionally tried to undermine one another with Rin. Tapping the dark side more freely, Ye`keb gave as good as she got, and more than once she and Tak nearly came to blows. However, Rin’s obvious discomfort with such strife kept the two civil most of the time. At some points, they even had elements of the passion they had shared earlier, though they were careful to allow for no more ultra-powerful children.
A Loose End Tied
Tak Sakaros: “I'm sorry, Ye`keb. But I won't lose her. Never again.”
―Tak strikes down Ye`keb
Ye`keb Millennium: “Then I hope she takes everything from you.”
By the time she was twenty-five, with the physicality of a sixteen-year-old, Rin had gone from competent to exceptional, much more disciplined and capable of much more precise control of the Force than any similarly youthful student either of her parents had ever seen. However, she was clearly still holding back, her commitment to the traditional Sith viewpoints shaky. Tak deduced that her mother’s doting was to blame, and despite his mixed feelings about his old friend, Ye`keb, the Sith Lord resolved to eliminate the problem once and for all. He saw Ye`keb's moderating influence not only as swaying Rin away from the Sith, but actually endangering her.
Sending Rin to "train" with Tariun aboard the Sith Star, Tak confronted Ye`keb. The two fought a violent duel which ranged through the Sith Lord’s apartment complex and onto the rain-soaked speeder deck. Though her potential power was greater, Ye`keb had abandoned the light side, but not fully embraced the dark. Between worlds, her command of the Force suffered, and she had weakened enough with the indecision that Tak was able to overwhelm her. He slashed apart her lightsaber, and after a moment in which the two lovers stared into one another’s eyes and exchanged final condemning words, stabbed her through the heart and kicked her body off the balcony to the street miles below.
Rin was furious when she discovered what had happened, and in her rage attacked her father. The two fought a vicious duel, but though Rin’s anger tapped new wells of power she had never known existed, she was uncontrolled, and with great effort Tak overwhelmed her. Though the sore of her mother's death festered inside her, Rin admitted that she had never known power like she employed in this fight, and agreed to remain her father’s student.
By 65 ABY, the bad press of the Jedi had faded, and the death of the Jedi Grandmaster Luke Skywalker was a reconciling point for the Order, as most of the galaxy mourned the death of the great hero. Refusing to attend the ceremony, Tak decided to send Naboo’s Legate in his place. Further compounding his annoyance was the interference of the Jedi Master Maximus Kironis, his old rival from Naboo, who had taken it upon himself to investigate the death of Ye`keb Millennium, which had officially been ruled a suicide.
Though she was amused by the consequences her father had drawn down upon himself, Rin agreed that the Jedi’s interference was too great a liability to ignore. Tak put it out publicly that he was taking a vacation to Dellalt rather than attend Skywalker’s funeral, and through back channels that he was meeting criminal associates on the world. As expected, Kironis took the bait, planning to secretly intercept Sakaros along with six seasoned Jedi Knights. As Sakaros had expected, the vast majority of the Jedi Order was busy with plans for Skywalker’s funeral.
Tak rented a luxury ocean liner and went out to sea, and had Rin and Tariun follow seventeen hours later, landing a convoy of heavily armed pirate craft on-world and taking a speeder to meet him. The seven Jedi landed, quickly knocking the hired mercenary guards unconscious. They confronted what they expected to be a criminal deal, only to find three fully-armed Sith.
Rin launched herself on the surprised Knights, killing two in seconds. Tariun leapt in to aid her, and Tak drew his own blade to hold off Maximus. The two masters dueled, equals, out onto the deck while the Sakaros children mopped up the Knights. Though she was inexperienced against real enemies, Rin was trained well enough and strong enough in the Force that she managed to kill another Knight before leaving to aid her father. Together, she and Tak managed to overwhelm Maximus, cutting off both his arms and slicing his torso apart as Tariun eliminated the remaining Jedi.
Though the Jedi would never be able to find evidence that the Sith had actually killed Maximus’s team, Rin knew that their most powerful Masters had sensed Maximus’s death, and the wave of the dark side around it, belonging to a Sith far more powerful than Tak. In addition, she was surprised and annoyed that, for all her awesome power, she had still needed her father’s help to finish Maximus; she had sensed in the midst of battle that her own skills were not enough to overwhelm the Jedi Master. With these two points in mind, Rin announced shortly after the duel that she was leaving to study the Force on her own.
Surprised, Tak attempted to dissuade his daughter, but found her immovable. He instead gave her the refitted Vengeance, which had been his sister Valadyn’s personal ship. Taking the craft and the bare minimum crew necessary, Rin departed.
Continuing the exodus, Tariun and Lorelai decided to go their own way. The Sith Lords had been tense in recent years, and Rin’s departure broke the strongest link between father and son. Lorelai had also grown older, being human, and she and Tariun resolved to spend as much of their remaining time together as possible, free of any other constraints. With his two dark side children gone and Hayden now a Jedi Master, Sakaros was left alone.
In later life, Tak Sakaros would note that whenever fate turned its hand against him, it did so utterly. A year after Rin, Tariun, and Lorelai went their separate ways, the newly elected King of Naboo formally recalled Sakaros to Naboo and appointed a replacement for him. His battles for Naboo’s freedom being now three decades in the past, much of the Sith Lord's good will had simply faded away. Unable to struggle for his position without losing what popular support he had left, Sakaros moved his fleet to the Denarii Nova and went into temporary retirement at an estate on Naboo, which had once belonged to Syrth Akai.
Retirement did not suit Sakaros, and he began to seek opportunities to remain on the galactic stage. He was approached by Kuat Drive Yards, and while the life of a corporate executive had never appealed to him, he saw the advantage to be gained from a wide clientele and an employer with access to ships and powerful weaponry. Sakaros was hired on as Research and Design Manager for the main production line in 68 ABY.
Though KDY had a history as the Empire’s main supplier of warships, most notably the various Star Destroyer lines, by the time Sakaros joined on it was supplying both the Imperial Remnant and the Galactic Alliance. Sakaros supported this plan, and attempted to branch out into fighters, remembering the Jedi fighters from the Clone Wars. He was of the opinion that, with time, Kuat could compete with Seinar for fighter production orders.
His former connections in the Senate allowed him access to high-level government officials that his colleagues generally lacked, so he was unusually good at getting contracts for system defense forces. His facility with language also enabled him to communicate with most species in more comfortable languages than Basic without the need for an interpreter, which made him an able negotiator with those government officials he did not know personally.
Leaning heavily on the marketing department, Sakaros pushed for a massive ad campaign for the Imperial Star Destroyer, portraying it in holovids routing pirates, capturing slavers, defending systems from invaders, and occasionally hunting down and destroying Vong craft. Each ad ended with "The Star Destroyer: Protecting You." Many governments willingly purchased them, and the Galactic Alliance was pressured to purchase them in greater numbers.
Being himself, Tak had far more in the works than he let on. Given his extensive wealth, Sakaros agreed to take only a token salary, in exchange for a fully stocked capital ship of his choosing every year. The opportunity to rebuild the Star Destroyer component of his fleet was too good to pass up, and as an R&D manager, he also had access to bits and pieces with which he could upgrade or rearm the Sith ships in his fleet. Though it was a very steep benefit, KDY agreed to his terms in order to secure Sakaros’s extensive knowledge of starship mechanics and wealth of experience using such craft in actual combat.
Some of the Jedi realized what he was doing, and when asked, he was completely honest. However, he owned his own ships legally, and acquired all his benefits from Kuat above board, so nothing could be done to stop him. By 77 ABY, Tak had more than proved his worth to the corporation, and was promoted to the governing board. He relocated to Kuat with most of his effects, living alternately in small space station or onboard one of his own Star Destroyers.
The Sith Lord defeated
Changing of the Guard
In 87 ABY, Tak received a message from his fleet, urgently requesting his immediate presence. During his time with Kuat, Tak’s old friend and comrade Kartok had finally died, succeeded by another Massassi captain as caretaker of the Sith fleet. Traveling to Denarii to see to the matter, Sakaros was stunned to find his children, Tariun and Rin, awaiting him onboard the Vengeance. Rin had completed an odyssey through the far reaches of the galaxy, studying the Force and philosophy in great detail, learning from everyone but defeating every enemy she happened upon. Tariun, meanwhile, had spent his years with Lorelai as she aged, declined, and finally died. Depressed, he had surrendered entirely to the Force until it led him to Rin, and the two had traveled together for the last year.
Rin had come up with a philosophy of how the galaxy was to be ordered, and explained some of it to Tak. When he was skeptical, Rin fired back critically, asking what he had accomplished with all his power, influence, and weaponry. Ridiculing his attempts at actual domination as feeble and poorly planned and questioning whether his heart was really in it, Rin informed her father that she had a real vision for the entire galaxy, and she needed his fleet and Massassi to make it reality. She claimed the title of Dark Lady of the Sith, and offered her father the chance to give her his loyalty.
Stunned by his daughter's coolness and offended at her casual dismissal, Tak refused to simply acquiesce to Rin, and the two fought a brief, vicious lightsaber duel. Unfortunately for Tak, time, training, and distance had made Rin a substantially more capable fighter than the last time they had dueled. Her command of the Force and her blade technique were superior in every way to Tak's. Despite his experience and expertise, he was no match for the dynamo his daughter had become.
After a moment of fighting, Rin severed Tak’s right arm above the elbow. When he tried to take up his fallen blade in his remaining hand, she cut the lightsaber apart. Tak refused to yield, even defeated, and as punishment Rin cut him off from the Force and stripped him of the title of Sith Lord. She left with Tariun to assume control of the fleet from the Sith Star. Despite his shock and grievous injuries, Tak managed to escape on his Z-95.
Sith painkillers and stimulants kept Sakaros alert and out of shock long enough to reach Borgo Prime, where he took refuge with his friend Arba. Though surprised at the turn of events, Arba had been Tak's friend long enough that he gave him shelter. Tak managed to contact a team of elite Arkanian surgeons and, spending from his personal reserves, he was equipped with a prosthetic arm. Like Anakin Skywalker, Tak was prone to tinkering with the arm’s mechanics, and used durasteel shielding to bulk it up and protect the components within.
Suddenly deprived of purpose, accomplishments, much of his wealth, and the love of his family, Tak was utterly adrift in his own life. Though still a hand and gun fighter to rival any non-Force sensitive in the galaxy, he had been affected deeply by Rin's words about his half-hearted attempts to conquer in the name of the Sith, and he was left wondering what his purpose was, if any. He adopted the name Izelian Sorakas, using his middle name as his first and reversing his last. Despondent, he wandered the dark places of the galaxy, drinking heavily and killing indiscriminately those who got in his way. His bloodlust also became less controlled during this period, and without his Force instincts to protect him while in a berserker state, he suffered many injuries which he could not explain when he returned to sanity. He was also unable to return to Korriban to seek his brother’s advice, knowing he was no match for Krayt’s Sith in his weakened state.
In 89 ABY, Arba the Hutt was assassinated by a fellow Hutt gangster, adding to Tak’s list of woes; he blamed his lack of the Force and his own self-absorption for failing to see the impending threat. The former Sith Lord’s bitterness peaked, and he was consumed with hatred for both the Force and his daughter, both of which he blamed for destroying his life. Without the dark side of the Force to provide an outlet for his rage, he allowed himself to stew in his own misery. He considered committing suicide in a variety of ways, most dramatically trying to duplicate his fight against a krayt dragon on Tatooine, but he always abandoned the plans. And so it remained for four more years.
In 93 ABY, while on Gargon, Tak encountered a squad of Mandalorians. Not having fought them since the era of the Clone Wars, the Sith recklessly challenged them, thinking of death in combat with Mandalorians as a slightly more dignified form of suicide than being eaten by a krayt dragon. Since he was both sober and sane at the moment, the Sith downed two of the three Mandalorians after a protracted hand-to-hand exchange, but the third refused to fight, calling Tak a dishonorable degenerate, and saying he was unworthy to fight Mandalorians. The three left, leaving behind a distraught Sakaros.
The next day, Sakaros went to the Mandalorian enclave unarmed, presenting himself to the Mandalorians present and asking to join them. Though not overly impressed with the Sith’s obviously reduced state, the Mandalorians were intrigued enough by his obvious combat skills and apparently sincere desire to reform. They explained the Resol’nare to him, and when he agreed, they accepted him as a tentative member of their culture.
Under the influence of the Mandalorians, Tak was restored greatly in mind and body. Much of the Resol'nare already suited his temperament; he identified greatly with love and training of family, and was willing to follow a worthy leader such as a Mandalore. His facility with languages also enabled him to quickly pick up Mando'a, adding it to his repertoire of fluently spoken tongues in less than two years.
Though he was unused to wearing armor, his current state of Force deprivation forced Tak to see the wisdom of the Mandalorian way, and after some consideration he crafted a black set of armor, each major piece adorned with three bloodred slashes, commemorating both his Sith heritage and the design of his former flagship. He took to carrying several blasters and a set of Tekh'la blades he had inherited from his late friend Astariax Drago.
With the Mandalorians, Tak participated in mercenary and conquest campaigns on dozens of worlds, and in the process found himself again. He realized what should have been apparent from early on: he was a warrior, nothing more and nothing less. Though an excellent commander and leader of soldiers, he lacked the broad strategy necessary for the wide conquests of his late brother. More to the point, he realized Rin had been right; he had led voyages of conquest mostly because he felt he was supposed to as a Sith, rather than with any real plan or endgame in mind.
After his team barely survived a skirmish with a team of Jedi Knights in 101 ABY, Tak revisited his Arkanian friends and underwent an experimental and dangerous surgery. The Arkanians placed several implants in his brain, connected to his optic nerves and nervous system. The implants allowed movement and reaction to bypass conscious thought based on external stimuli, similar to blinking reflexively when something moved toward his eye. Specifically, they gave Sakaros rudimentary use of a lightsaber again. He could not match a Jedi Master and lacked his former skill, but by a combination of his brain implants and muscle memory, he could manage to fight off the average Jedi Knight, as well as deflecting limited numbers of blaster bolts. The Sith spent several months modifying a lightsaber he stole from a Knight, altering it to a style complimentary to his Mandalorian armor.
Not a Lord, but still a Sith
The Curse Broken
In 109 ABY, the Mandalorians "acquired" the world of Onderon and its moon Dxun, rich in dark side history. While the Mandalorians were on leave, Sakaros journeyed alone to Dxun. He spent days meditating, drinking little and eating nothing, trying to mentally mix the peace and purpose he had known as a Mandalorian with the bitterness, fury, and memory of power he had from his Sith days. Sinking deeply into himself, becoming unconscious of his surroundings, Tak confronted all the happenings of his life, trying to reconcile everything he had done with who and what he truly was.
After six days, Tak sank so deeply into his own mind that, twenty-two years on, he finally broke through Rin’s curse and her Force severance. Already weakened by fasting and now bombarded by a sudden and complete return to the Force, the Sith took several days to recover. When he had, he told his closest Mandalorian compatriots of his change. Though pleased for him, they felt unanimously that he no longer belonged among the Mandalorians. Though initially distraught, Sakaros quickly came to believe that the Force had returned to him for a reason, and voluntarily left his comrades. He was, however, allowed to take his armor with him.
Tak quickly discovered that his Force senses were at odds with his brain implants; each would try to force different reactions from his body, making his lightsaber technique jerky and somewhat slipshod. He visited the Arkanians once more, requesting them to remove the brain implants. They cautioned that it would be very difficult, but the Sith was insistent, and so the Arkanians did their best. The operation was mostly a success; the implants and their effects were removed, so Tak could fight solely based on the Force. However, some scarring had occurred in his brain, and he was to be prone to sporadic, painful headaches for much of the rest of his life.
Feeling déjà vu, remembering his life before the Clone Wars when he had recovered his memory, Tak went into solitude to recover his powers. Much of it came back instinctively, but deep indulgence in the dark side tended to produce a great and dangerous bitterness in him. Tak's icy Sith control was constantly threatened by thoughts of his daughter, who he had now come to believe he had betrayed and failed, and so he shied away from deep and most extreme indulgence in his powers.
However, now over two hundred years old, Tak’s body was finally beginning to transition into a Sith equivalent of human "middle age"—he recovered from injuries more slowly, and his stamina, though far greater than most humanoids, was still diminished from his youth. He practiced his lightsaber technique with even greater regularity, knowing he might one day need to overwhelm an enemy through superior skill alone, because he might not be able to sustain a protracted fight. His need to use the Force on longer training sessions and to help recover from injuries set him at odds with his goal of using it as little as possible.
As his powers expanded, Tak took to watching the events of the galaxy at large once more. He had no more forgotten Darth Krayt than he had his daughter or the Jedi Order, and the fact that the Sith Lord had not struck seemed odd to Tak. Distrustful of the Empire on instinct, Sakaros moved to Imperial space, aiming to keep an eye on Roan Fel. He also distrusted the Imperial Knights; their claim to serve the Force disgusted him, and the idea of the Emperor having his own personal cadre of Force users struck Tak as incredibly suspicious.
Quietly setting up a starship garage on Bastion, the Sith listened carefully to Imperial policy announcements and made a study of Roan Fel himself. To his great surprise, he found himself liking the man. Though Fel was not himself a dark sider, he was much more pragmatic than the Jedi or the Alliance, and his lack of allegiance to a particular side of the Force made him less viciously ruthless than the Dark Jedi.
Though he did a profitable, although low-key business as a mechanic, Tak also found himself becoming something of an information broker; his knowledge of and familiarity with the criminal underworld was simply too great to ignore. He was able to collect information on the doings of much of the Empire, and even some of the Galactic Alliance. In his efforts to maintain a low profile, Tak also spent time working on Quey'tek meditation, shielding others from realizing his power in the Force. He was not totally successful, but every time the Imperial Knights sensed something odd and came to investigate, Tak had masked himself again by the time they arrived.
The Ossus Project
Tak received word of the Jedi experiments on Ossus shortly before the Jedi announced it publicly, and was suitably disgusted that they had allied themselves with the Yuzzhan Vong, regardless of any positive consequences. When the experiments on other worlds began to fail horribly, however, Tak's hatred of the Vong was not enough to blind him to the truth. He trusted that the Jedi would not have allowed the Vong to mutilate Alliance member worlds, and since he was confident that Roan Fel would not have been responsible, his mind went automatically to the One Sith.
Tak was torn for a very long time, trying to decide what to do and how to respond. His reflections on his failures and shortcomings had not deprived him of his species-born hatred of the Jedi and their Order, and he wanted Krayt to succeed and annihilate the Order once and for all. On the other hand, Tak had hope for the Empire, and the possibility that Roan Fel might one day be of use to Rin.
The fires of war
The Sith-Imperial War
Roan Fel: “You seek to undermine your own kind?”
―Tak warns Roan Fel about the One Sith
Tak Sakaros: “You may rest assured, Your Majesty, they are not my kind.”
When the Moff Council forced the Empire into war against the Alliance, Tak watched and waited. He was intrigued by Roan Fel’s refusal to commit his Imperial Knights to the battle, and wondered how the Empire planned to defeat the Jedi without them. His question was to be answered less than a year later.
When Darth Krayt and his Order openly joined the Imperial side, Tak finally came to his conclusion on where to stand. He knew that Krayt would not be content to simply aid another to victory. Taking a newly built lightsaber, he infiltrated the Imperial Palace, using only passive Force powers until he had no other choice. His use of the Force alerted the Imperial Knights to his infiltration, but he dueled with and defeated two of them, sparing their lives and saying nothing but that he wished to see Roan Fel.
The Emperor did arrive, attended by a larger retinue of Imperial Knights, and granted Tak an impromptu audience, though he requested the Sith to surrender his weapon. Impressed when Tak did so, Fel listened as Sakaros admitted who he really was and what he knew of Krayt. Tak cautioned Fel strongly to have safeguards in place against Krayt, because he was certain the Dark Lord meant treachery. Though privately he agreed, Fel was skeptical of Tak's motives, though Sakaros assured the Emperor that “Sith” was hardly a monolithic term. Vowing to take the warning to heart, Fel allowed Tak to leave the palace alive.
Now understanding exactly who Tak was and what he was hiding, the Imperial Knights kept up close surveillance of him. The Sith kept a mental watch on them, and occasionally passed them pertinent information, but by and large confined himself to his mechanic work.
The Sith Empire
When the Empire crushed the Alliance at the Battle of Caamas and the Sith-Imperial War was, for all intents and purposes, concluded, Fel took Tak’s advice and sent a double to meet the victorious Sith Lord on Coruscant. When Krayt slew the imposter and his guards and gained the allegiance of the Moff Council, Fel formed the Empire-in-exile and, as a courtesy, advised Tak of his plan to evacuate Bastion. Realizing the One Sith would capture the Imperial capital, and knowing he was no match for all of them at once, Tak did likewise.
Tak sensed the overwhelming surge of the dark side and the massive disturbance in the Force that accompanied the Massacre at Ossus, and realized that the Jedi must also have fallen to Krayt. However, the extreme nature of the disturbance masked a more personal, painful disturbance that Tak felt, but of which at the time he made little notice. Pleased that the Jedi had been dealt such a blow, Tak imagined that it would make life easier for Rin whenever she got around to destroying Krayt.
Keeping in touch with his information sources, Tak continued to pass intelligence to Roan Fel as the Sith consumed the galaxy, and occasionally took it upon himself to murder unsuspecting Sith agents personally. He made all his kills with a lightsaber, not bothering with covert assassination, since he knew the Sith would blame the few remaining Jedi or the Imperial Knights. Deprived of his base on Bastion, he instead wandered the galaxy, storing his Z-95 on Nar Shaddaa and picking a slightly more defensible and inconspicuous Gladius-class light freighter, which he named the Dragon Slayer.
Traveling the galaxy also allowed Tak more mercenary and criminal work, and he established connections with several major underworld figures, including the Twi'lek boss Panno Caruso on Ord Mantell and the Zeltron Ara Merquise on Nar Shaddaa. He began to rebuild his fortune, which had dwindled in the days when he was among the dregs of the galaxy, and taken another hit when he set up shop on Bastion. At the same time, he began to receive fragmentary reports from Wild Space of a massive conquest fleet acquiring territory quietly, but with ruthless efficiency. He recognized the daunting flagship of the conquest fleet as his own former vessel, the Sith Star.
Tak knew of the existence of Cade Skywalker, and even met him briefly on Coruscant, but dismissed him as a nonentity in the grand scheme of events. However, he sensed the death of Darth Krayt through the Force, and realized shortly after that the highest levels of Sith government were perpetuating the idea that Krayt still lived. After telling Roan Fel of his intuition, Sakaros returned to Nar Shaddaa, intending to stay out of the looming conflict in which his son and daughter would obliterate the Sith usurpers.
Tak resumed working for Ara Merquise, now on a more permanent basis, but began to worry for his boss. She had very quickly and inexplicably acquired control over much of the Smuggler’s Moon, but seemed stressed and twitchy whenever Tak met her. He found himself drawn to her, liking her personally as well as an employer, and thought she had the potential to succeed if given enough help. Hinting toward his great age, he told he had had extensive experience with crime in general and Nar Shaddaa in particular, and convinced her that he had no desire to usurp her power. With these facts on the table, he offered his support to Ara as her majordomo. Though initially hesitant, she finally accepted.
Tak's only conditions for employment were that Ara not deal in slaves and not have any hand in killing children. Since she vowed to hold to that standard, Sakaros became her right hand, and with brutal efficiency. His years in politics and in battle command had made him a good logistician and organizer, and he quickly brought the various gangs Ara’s outfit had dominated into tight, disciplined order as a quasi-paramilitary force. He became personally feared over Nar Shaddaa, not least because he was occasionally personally responsible for dealing with debtors and smugglers who had irked Ara.
The Jedi Order, scattered by Darth Krayt's purges, had taken refuge anywhere they could to avoid the Sith Empire and try to regroup. One such small gathering was on Nar Shaddaa. While admittedly the Smuggler’s Moon was one of the last places one would expect to find the Jedi Order, their presence did interfere with Tak’s work for Ara.
Though the Republic had never extended to Hutt Space, the Jedi nonetheless took it upon themselves to try to right some of the "wrongs" of Nar Shaddaa, citing moral rather than legal authority. Tak initially attempted to reason with Souv Tanake, the senior Jedi Master of the Nar Shaddaa Council. He argued that a criminal outfit, being controlled by a single monopolistic gang, could keep as much order as Nar Shaddaa would ever see, and with a minimum of brutality. Tanake, however, refused to see the matter in that light, taking a zero tolerance stance against criminal action. The fact that her lover was a smuggler on whom Ara had placed a bounty did not help matters.
Unable to come to terms, the criminals and the Jedi began what amounted to a guerrilla war, with Jedi Knights disrupting Ara's commerce whenever possible, and Sakaros and his agents killing off individual Jedi when the opportunity presented itself. The most brazen of these attacks was a missile strike at the Jedi enclave itself, which blew up one of the Jedi sentries. The hostilities and exchanges of violence further deepened the rift between the Merquise gang and the Jedi and made coexistence even more stressful.
Tak did learn from Tanake, however, that his son, Hayden Ragnos-Sakaros, had been killed at the Massacre at Ossus. Though he had never particularly liked the boy, this information permanently erased any lingering, "fellow dark sider" sympathy the Sith might have had for Krayt’s Order.
A New Apprentice
While out wandering one night through the catwalks and back alleys of Nar Shaddaa, as he was wont to do, Sakaros was approached by a young woman. To his surprise, he sensed her in the Force before he saw her, not the same way he sensed all ambient life, but in the specific way he sensed Jedi. However, the girl also radiated the dark side. She introduced herself as Alluria Quinn, and said that she had come to Tak seeking training. When he tried to brush off the idea that he knew anything worth teaching, she replied defiantly that she was not as deaf to the obvious as the rest of Nar Shaddaa. Asking her for a few days time to consider, the Sith allowed Alluria to leave his presence.
He was greatly concerned. No longer a Sith Lord, he was not certain he was even traditionally entitled to claim an apprentice. On the other hand, he was undeniably a dark side master, and having another blade to use against the Jedi might be a very useful thing. In addition, he imagined that if Rin had wanted him to be permanently unable to train others, she would have killed him outright rather than bother with Force severance. Wrestling with the matter for a long time, Tak finally decided to train Alluria. She met him two days later at a factory into which he was smuggling disruptors, and he formally accepted her as his apprentice.
Alluria was as talented a duelist and Force user as most Jedi Knights, but initially little more than a Dark Jedi. Through traumas in her past and several years of quick indulgence in anger to solve her problems, she had never mastered much control. As a result, she struggled with many of Tak’s Sith teachings on detachment from emotion, using it rather than being controlled by it. However, she was still an adept disciple, and served Tak so well in picking of Jedi that she wound up killing more than the rest of his criminal associates put together.
An unexpected element arose when, without any semblance of forethought, Tak and Alluria became lovers. However, Tak accepted that he was so far gone from traditional conduct that one more deviation would not make or break the matter. He was still able to subject Alluria dispassionately to strenuous and sometimes lethal tests, so he did not consider the two natures of their relationship a conflict of interest.
Noticing Ara was becoming increasingly stressed, and unable to believe a handful of Jedi could possibly be the sole cause, Tak finally cornered his boss and coaxed the truth out of her. All of her financing, and the resources she had used to become a crime queen of Nar Shaddaa, had come from a Force user named Vegal. She described Vegal as incredibly powerful, strong enough to read her thoughts through a HoloNet link and torture her the same way. Tak was disturbed by this news; the extent of power suggested either Vegal was in close proximity, or very strong in the Force.
Observing and participating in a similar communication from Vegal a few days later did not comfort the Sith. Not only did Vegal already know of Tak’s position in the empire, suggesting he had well-entrenched information sources, but he also wore a red and white carved mask which Tak felt he should be able to place, but could not. Strong enough to keep Vegal out of his thoughts, Tak nonetheless could feel the other man’s voice in his mind. After the short communiqué, Tak departed Nar Shaddaa for research, leaving his own lieutenants to manage Ara’s affairs.
The only complete catalogue of ancient Sith legends was aboard the Sith Star, forcing Tak to return to the source: Korriban and Ziost. Searching the capital was easy enough, as Tak could get through the planet’s inherent defenses and dangers without aid. The tomb world of Korriban, however, was still occupied by the weakened One Sith, and only by using his well-practiced Quey’tek did Sakaros slip past them unnoticed. His searches of the ancient Sith tombs on the planet completed the legend he had discovered on Ziost, to his intense chagrin.
It seemed that Vegal had acquired an ancient Sith mask, constructed so long ago that its origins were lost, but so deeply enchanted with the dark side that its power was overwhelming. The mask lent its wearer extreme power, amplifying natural Force ability, but also twisted the wearer to the dark side, or completed his corruption if he was already aligned that way. Tak returned to Nar Shaddaa and revealed his findings to Ara, along with his grudging conclusion that he alone was not strong enough to defeat Vegal. Compromise would be needed.
Under flag of truce, Tak met the Jedi Master Souv Tanake, revealing what he had learned about Vegal. Tanake revealed that she herself had met Vegal, barely escaping with her life, and had learned more from the Mandalorian Jedi Knight Arik Andress, who had once been in Ara’s employ. Even more disturbing, she related the fact that Vegal was no mere Dark Jedi, but a trained Sith Lord. Tanake agreed to consider allying with Tak against Vegal, and to keep the matter only to those she would bring to the potential fight.
While waiting for the Jedi reply, Tak brought Alluria up to speed on his discoveries, and forbade her to participate in the battle. Though she was eager to fight, Tak knew Alluria would only get injured, or get ‘’him’’ injured as he attempted to protect her. Though she was annoyed, Alluria bowed to her master’s order, and became much more willing to do so when she learned exactly what he had in mind.
Having learned through trial and error how to treat ysalamiri while importing them to the Sith Star, Tak had become a greater expert on the procedure than most non-natives of Myrkr. Consequently, he had brought a sizeable batch of ysalamiri to Nar Shaddaa, and installed them cautiously around Ara’s office, just enough to cover most of it without covering the HoloNet transceiver and Ara herself. Tak did not wish to alert Vegal until he had the support of the Jedi. Alluria, who felt incredibly uncomfortable inside the Force-empty bubbles of the ysalamiri, was happy to let her master enact his plan far from her.
The support came in after nearly a week of delay. Souv Tanake agreed to call a truce with Ara and fight Vegal alongside Tak, bringing along two well-trained Jedi Knights. In exchange, Ara's organization suspended its attacks on the Jedi and the bounty on Souv's lover, the smuggler Flinton Hawk. Though Alluria handled the news of sparing the Jedi with less grace, she again deferred to her master’s wishes, content with his assurance that, "Truces don't last forever".
The epic trap Tak had envisioned for Vegal never materialized, however. When Tak and Ara contacted Vegal from within an ysalamiri bubble to defy him, the masked Sith’s lieutenants detonated a series of concealed explosives in Ara’s palace. The vast majority of personnel and materiel inside the palace were killed in the blasts or the resulting building implosion, and Tak only saved himself and Ara from a similar fate by killing Ara’s ysalamiri, leaping out the window, and being caught by Alluria in the Dragon Slayer.
It transpired that Vegal, who had provided all of Ara’s resources, had wired the building for detonation in case of just such a betrayal. Tak and Ara were forced to take refuge in one of the organization’s front businesses, a garage and hangar bay. Frightened by the ease with which Vegal had nearly killed her, Ara remained in the hangar complex most of the time, coordinating the syndicate’s activities from there.
Meanwhile, Tak took over day-to-day maintenance of the organization. Three of his four lieutenants had been killed in the disaster, so he appointed three more, among them his apprentice, Alluria Quinn. Concerned for Ara’s safety, Tak rarely allowed both himself and Alluria to be absent from Ara’s immediate vicinity at the same time. In this time of struggle, when many of Ara’s subordinates abandoned her to join the Hutts, it was only the intense devotion many of the men had to Ara and the force of will of Tak and his vigos that kept the syndicate together.
Vegal contracted the killing of Ara out to a number of bounty hunters, unwilling to lower himself to facing Tak and Ara personally. However, even the best bounty hunters were no match for Tak or Alluria, so the garage was kept safe. Despite this, Tak ordered construction of a new, well-fortified palace for Ara to serve as a new headquarters.
While the guerrilla war continued between the bounty hunters, other gangs, and the Merquise Syndicate, Tak and Alluria found a different kind of prey to occupy their time. Among the Jedi on Nar Shaddaa, and a personal friend of Souv Tanake, was a Jedi Knight named Reiko Kaytana. Reiko had once been an Imperial Knight, but was dismissed from the service and recruited by the Jedi. In addition, she had an unhappy personal history with Alluria, who had killed Reiko’s best friend, the crime for which Alluria was exiled from the Order, and later Reiko’s master as well.
In all these factors together, Tak saw the chance of turning one of the Jedi away from the Order. Since Vegal had not been fought, the truce between the Jedi and the Syndicate was still in effect. However, Tak and Reiko spoke privately on a few occasions; both having mechanical backgrounds, they began to cautiously bond over chats when Sakaros was working one of the gang’s garages, and in these conversations Tak discovered that Reiko had a streak of ruthless efficiency common to the Imperial Knights but alien to the Jedi. Even more intriguing, he discovered that Reiko had used the Force to recall Souv Tanake herself from death. The rare and extreme power, which Tak had seen only in Ye`keb Millennium, was the final point that inspired Tak to turn Reiko to his side.
Cheered by this prospect, when Reiko came to visit Tak while the majordomo was training Alluria, the Sith took the opportunity to nudge them both into conflict. Sensing Reiko’s temper fragmenting, Tak added the final log to the fire in lifting the truce; any attack against Alluria would not count as a Jedi violation. Goaded beyond endurance by Alluria, Reiko dueled her briefly before the bout became a brawl. The women separated to lick their wounds, but the issue was far from resolved.
The scene was to repeat itself two nights later, this time as a saber duel ending in Alluria knocking Reiko off a catwalk and into traffic. Though the Jedi survived, it was with growing anger. A week later, Tak and Alluria tracked down Reiko, traveling with her apprentice, Kalron Randelle. Keeping himself concealed in the Force, he told Alluria to kill Kalron, testing whether Reiko really had the power she claimed. In the duel that followed, as Reiko lashed out at Alluria and her apprentice rushed to his master’s aid, Alluria fended off Reiko and ran Kalron through the heart.
Outraged and anguished beyond control, Reiko lashed out with the Force, blasting Alluria back several dozen meters and forcibly returning Kal’s spirit to his body. Pleased, Tak complimented Alluria on her performance. A few days later, Tak visited Reiko, who was working at the shop of her girlfriend, Ryssa Kala’myr. The Jedi had criticized Reiko heavily for her actions and stripped her of her lightsabers. In addition, while Kalron was alive, his young mind had been badly fragmented by the process of revival. Tak lent a sympathetic ear to Reiko, praising her and speaking critically of the Jedi. In a moment without thought, Reiko had sex with Tak.
Unfortunately, Ryssa returned to the shop just as the two were dressing, and in her grief attacked them both and drove them from the shop. The parting was bad, made worse when Souv Tanake arrived, demanding an explanation, and worse still when Ryssa overdosed on spice and nearly died. Reiko was forced to perform another revival, which left her drained almost to the point of death herself. As Souv took Ryssa back to the Jedi Temple, Reiko returned to Ara’s headquarters with Tak and Alluria.
The Merquise Gang’s New Home
From that time on, though welcome among the Jedi, Reiko made her home with Tak, Ara, and Alluria. Her hatred for the Sith apprentice had not subsided, but she was able to see the benefits to be gained from training together. Though unwilling to become one of Tak’s formal students, Reiko did occasionally study alongside Alluria, whose own power was increasing daily. Meanwhile, Ara had expanded her operation, reclaiming some of her former territory. The four vigos, each with different areas of the business on which to focus, had made a much more streamlined organization.
Vegal, frustrated at the failure of hired assassins, sent one of his own agents, an Umbaran named Selian Sekot, to treat with the syndicate. Sekot offered Sakaros a chance for the syndicate to resume its former status, with even more freedom; doing whatever business it wished, but ceasing any activities Vegal found "displeasing." To reject the offer, Tak killed the man with Force lightning. However, timed with Selian’s death was a suicide run by a freighter above the hangar. Though the hardened ceiling of the hangar absorbed much of the damage, the freighter still crashed through, and the explosion moments later damaged much of the facility and some of the cargo which had been stored there. Irate, Tak had Selian’s head cut off and stuck on a pike outside the gate.
Despite his defiance, Tak realized that the hangar was a dangerously exposed temporary headquarters, and ordered his crews to redouble their efforts on Ara’s new fortress. Supervised by assassin droids day and night, the construction had been free of any sabotage by Vegal’s agents, but still ponderously slow. But a few weeks after the assault on the hangar, the fortress was finally complete.
State-of-the-art, heavily shielded, made of fortified ferrocrete laced with durasteel, the fortress was impregnable to all but the heaviest ground assault, able to withstand orbital bombardment with military-grade shielding, and could survive impact from anything smaller than a Star Destroyer. The flight path to the fortress was another matter. Tak arranged two gunships and an escort of swoops and speeder bikes, Ara traveling with himself and Alluria and Reiko together. Despite the precautions, the crew made it unscathed to the headquarters, just in time to be bombarded from orbit by Vegal. Unfortunately for the Sith Lord, Tak’s exhaustive preparations and redundant security measures paid off, and the bombardment bounced harmlessly off the shields. Defeated, Vegal’s capital ship retreated to hyperspace.
The construction of the fortress had nearly bankrupted the syndicate, but both Tak and Ara viewed the payoff as well worth the expense. The building was designed to impress, with exquisite art and architecture Tak had commissioned specifically for Ara’s pleasure. Beautiful, safe, and secure, it was a criminal hideout to rival any on the Smuggler’s Moon.
In the new facility, Tak continued to train Reiko and Alluria, while he and Ara ran the organization from the security of their nigh impenetrable hideout. In her gratitude to her majordomo, Ara gave him a variety of starfighter parts, as well as several antique fighters. Touched, Sakaros took the Zeltron back to his private apartment to show her his secret home, and there the two made love.
Meanwhile, provoked beyond endurance, Vegal finally took a personal hand in revenging himself upon the subordinate who had betrayed him. Bribing a Black Sun vigo, he arranged for Ara to be kidnapped from a meeting. The syndicate, its strength growing every day, saw the proposed Black Sun meeting as simply a logical expansion of their power. Ara finally agreed to meet with the vigo, taking only Reiko and a dozen bodyguards for protection.
Waiting eagerly in the fortress for news of an exciting new business opportunity, Tak and Alluria were stunned and horrified when the report came back that the meeting had been a trap. Outraged, he questioned Reiko angrily when she returned, but was quickly diverted by a prisoner the former Knight had brought with her. Brutally torturing the Gotal with Force lightning, Tak extracted the name of the Black Sun vigo, Xiere, before he let Alluria kill the prisoner and dispatched her to find Xiere.
Alluria was back in under forty hours, with Xiere in tow. Tak tortured the vigo as well, discovering the means through which Ara had been kidnapped: a matter transmitter. Realizing that if Black Sun had wanted Ara dead, they would simply have killed her, Tak, Reiko, and Alluria realized that it had to be Vegal’s work. Not long after, the fortress received a looping holoimage of Ara, bound and shivering on a frozen planet. It did not take Tak long to recognize the site with a sinking feeling: the planet of his own first monumental defeat, Khar Delba.
Though it grated on him, Tak’s devotion to Ara won out over pride and he called the Jedi to plead for help. Their response surprised him; Souv Tanake offered to have a Jedi strike team ready to go in two hours. Leaving Alluria to put the business on defensive footing, Tak retrieved the Krayt Dragon. He was concerned for his apprentice, but realized that he needed all the help possible at the trap, and so he took Alluria with him. Reiko, anguished over her failure to keep Ara safe, joined them too. Collecting the Jedi at the Temple, the force departed for Khar Delba.
At the frozen Sith world, the Dragon Slayer was forced down by ground fire. Taking point, Tak came upon Ara, but was stunned to have to defend himself from her blaster attacks. He sensed a painful and extremely chaotic rupture in the woman’s mind, and Souv quickly confirmed his fear; Vegal had twisted and warped Ara’s mind so that very little of her was left, and none that was gone could ever be retrieved. Between uncontrollable attacks, Ara begged Tak to kill her, and with anguish he did so, running her through heart and lungs with his lightsaber so she could die quickly.
Screaming challenge for Vegal, Tak was met first with the Dark Lord’s apprentice, a boy named Azrael whom he and the Jedi had met on Nar Shaddaa. As Reiko, Alluria, and the Jedi engaged Azrael, Vegal revealed himself, casually decapitating Ara’s corpse. Incensed, Tak attacked with Souv at his side, but the two were quickly mastered by the masked Sith. Vegal first cut off Tak’s mechanical arm, then electrocuted Souv with Force lightning. Dealing several more injuries to the pair, Vegal moved for the coup de grace on Tanake. However, in that moment, Tak and Souv were so united in their goal that they formed a Force meld, each sensing the other’s thoughts. Knowing Vegal was behind her because Tak could see it, Souv ducked and slashed through the Sith’s abdomen at the same time Tak leapt over her and impaled Vegal through the chest.
In death, Vegal’s body shriveled and blackened to a wasted husk, and his mask fell free. For a moment, Tak was tempted by the mask’s power, the possibility of restoring his former glory and power to the point even Rin could noy defy him. But he recoiled, horrified, at the last moment, and begged Tanake to take the mask and destroy it. Out of respect for the Jedi lost and for Ara’s memory, Tak offered to solidify the truce permanently, and Souv accepted. The Jedi Master’s lover, the smuggler Flinton Hawk, had arrived with his ship, so after collecting Alluria, an injured Reiko, the Jedi Zev, and a captured Azrael, the crew returned to Nar Shaddaa.
The New Regime
Upon their return to the Smuggler’s Moon, many changes occurred. As underboss, Tak assumed command of the organization, replacing Ara as the boss. Knowing that promoting Alluria to replace him would inspire too much hostility in the remaining vigos, which would harm business, the Sith disposed of the position of underboss entirely. In his first act as boss, Tak arranged a lavish funeral for Ara, inviting all the major crime leaders as well as the Jedi survivors of Khar Delba.
Once the funeral was over, the Sith and his vigos made sure the empire remained secure. The Hutt kajidics were reluctant to assault the Merquise Syndicate even in the days after Ara’s death; Tak’s reputation for ferocity and savagery had spread, and many rival gangs longed for the old days, when at least Ara was present to rein Tak in.
Meanwhile, Reiko grew steadily closer to Tak and Alluria, seeing her future less and less with the Jedi. She had been badly injured at Khar Delba, losing all but the most basic use of her left arm, and the glacially slow healing process left her frustrated. The two Sith were pleased with the addition to their team, but both were frustrated with Reiko's refusal to receive a cybernetic replacement for her mangled arm. Tak ordered Alluria to "accidentally" sever the arm during a training fight, in order to force Reiko into making what he saw as the healthier choice, but before the matter could be arranged, Reiko journeyed to Arkania to visit her family. When she returned, it was with a slowly healing arm; defying all expectation, she had found some treatment among her people. Further therapy with the Jedi healers would eventually give her back full strength in the limb.
Eager to help around the business, but not entirely relishing working with Alluria in field operations, Reiko put her skills to work in the shop instead, building various droids and devices for the Syndicate. When Tak acquired the schematics, Reiko was able to build him a series of IG-100 MagnaGuards, which the Sith used to protect high-value personnel, including Reiko and his vigos, and occasionally even Tak himself when he wanted to present a more intimidating front than usual.
Patron of the people
Though the income of the Syndicate was covering its costs, Tak was aware that his position was tenuous; he was the only non-Hutt major boss on the moon of the Hutt homeworld, and even though they feared him personally, many of the Hutts found his presence insulting. Eventually, desire to expel the alien usurper would overwhelm even the instinct of self-preservation. To guard against that eventuality, Tak outlined a bold plan for the Syndicate to his vigos.
Its activities offworld remained the same. However, the Syndicate on Nar Shaddaa began to slowly recreate itself as a helper to the citizens of the districts under its control. Tak opened a shelter for the homeless, provided loans to businesses which needed help at substantially less punishing interest rates than the Hutts would charge, and often personally received citizens of Nar Shaddaa at the ziggurat or some of his businesses, offering help with their problems and urging his vigos to do the same. Though the profits of the Syndicate suffered accordingly, pushing it close to the red, the reward in public support was great. Many people, especially those with no underworld connections or other means of protection, began to look very favorably on the Sith and his outfit. This goodwill among the people helped to root out allies of the Hutts in the Entertainment District and make the Syndicate seem less vulnerable than it militarily was.
Coinciding with the shift of the Syndicate's Nar Shaddaan focus was a change in its employment structure. Soldiers and guards were allowed to continue as at-will employees for their same salaries; however, higher pay was offered to those who swore service for a certain period of time, punishable by death for desertion. This model fit Tak's militant mindset better, and was decently received by many of his field personnel and all of his palace guard. It also served to create a tighter sense of unity, loyalty, and esprit de corps among those who opted for "enlisting."
Soon after becoming Boss, Tak began seeing a Chiss smuggler named Senesha`rae, usually called Sen. She had been recommended by Gurdo Nobb, who claimed the woman was the best smuggler he had ever known. Tak was initially startled by her resemblance to his long-lost lover, Tisya, and found himself drawn to her. However, Sen's sharp and charming personality quickly led Tak to spend more and more time with her. To his delight, she returned his affection, and the two leaned quickly toward a relationship.
Before they made a decision, however, a business opportunity came up. A cousin of Tak's vigo Ventresca Tan was leading an insurgency against Krayt's Sith on Ryloth, but the insurgents were badly in need of medical supplies and weapons. Tak and the Syndicate agreed to run the supplies through the Sith blockade, and selected Sen for the dangerous mission. Posing as a miner, she made her way down to the rebel encampment and delivered the supplies, and managed to escape the planet under the noses of the Sith admiral. When she returned to Nar Shaddaa, bloodied and exhausted, Sakaros admitted how concerned he had been for her and Sen how much she had missed him. The two were openly involved thereafter.
Though their alliance remained awkward, Tak and Souv Tanake met occasionally, both because of the ongoing intermingling of Syndicate and Jedi affairs, and to discuss Reiko Kaytana and her healing. In the course of one such discussion, Souv mentioned another visitor she had staying at the Temple: Ye`keb Millennium's old protege and friend, Jade Star. Shocked, Tak gave no reason to Souv for Jade's obvious hatred of him, but kept on the lookout for her in the future. The two met weeks later, and the meeting erupted into a brawl in seconds. However, Jade was unarmed, and though she shifted to her dragon form, Tak discarded his lightsaber to fight her with only a pair of Tehk`la blades. Though both were lightly injured, they eventually settled down enough to talk. Jade refused to forgive Tak for his murder of Ye`keb, but took enough pleasure in his agony at losing Rin and Tariun that she felt no need to actively cause him more.
The slave ring
Both Tak and his apprentice had been slaves, and both for nearly six years; consequently, they both had a great and intense hatred for slavery in all its forms. After Alluria informed Tak that she had been sold into slavery by the Jedi Council after being cast out of the Order, Tak began inquiries into the matter. When he blatantly accused a former Council member residing on Nar Shaddaa, though, the man's genuine surprise caused the Sith to look deeper.
Investigation by both the Sith and the Nar Shaddaa Jedi revealed that three Jedi Council members, assisted by a master in the Imperial Knights, had been selling expelled Jedi as slaves; the Jedi provided the bodies, and the Imperial Knight Master, Nadia Sen`tra, covered up the shipments through Imperial territory. When the Grandmaster of the Order Jextar Star, son of Tak's old enemy and Ye`keb Millennium's friend Jade Star, came to Nar Shaddaa accompanied by Sen`tra, Sen`tra attempted to order Reiko back to active duty in the Knights. Tak and Alluria saw their chance to kill two birds with one stone, and captured Sen`tra in the ziggurat. After Tak defeated her in a duel and cut off her sword arm, Alluria tortured the woman for information before killing her. The two Sith made Sen`tra's death look like an accident, stowing the body in the cockpit of her stolen freighter and sending the ship flying out of the hangar and into the ziggurat's particle shield, vaporizing most of it and causing the rest to crash.
Roan Fel came covertly to Nar Shaddaa to speak to the Jedi and attend a memorial for Nadia, but he met with Tak and his people afterward, staying in the safety of the ziggurat. Though confirming that Fel had been notified of Sen`tra's activities, Tak kept the murder a secret. Instead, he worked to secure a contract with the Imperials to run guns for them, bringing high-tech or banned weapons to Imperial Special Forces without the need for a paper trail. The new income would greatly assist the Syndicate, currently operating close to the red. Though he made no commitment at the time, Fel vowed to consider the deal before leaving.
Once Fel was gone, though, a bounty hunter captured one of the Jedi responsible for the slaving ring. Alluria tortured and killed him too, learning many of the locations of the slaves. Though they planned to mount rescue operations immediately, the Sith were soon distracted by issues closer to home.
The widespread popular love for the Merquise Syndicate in general and Tak in particular were not well-received by the major kajidics on Nar Shaddaa. The Trinivii, led by Arba's successor, had some measure of restraint concerning their old ally, but the Desilijic had no such scruples. They knew that Sakaros would be untouchable in his fortress, and decided to lure the Sith out into a trap instead.
Sen was injured in an explosion while working at a friend's factory, and Tak rushed to investigate. Near the scene, however, the Sith's gunboat was shot down, and only a Force-aided leap carried him to safety. Though Sakaros and his MagnaGuard escorts killed the assassins and rescued Sen, they quickly discovered the severity of the situation: the explosives had been carried in under the Desilijic label. Returning to the ziggurat, Sakaros issued a HoloNet proclamation to Nar Shaddaa, denouncing the Desilijic for the attempt on Sen and their numerous other crimes, promising war, and trying to rally the people of his districts behind him.
The war was fast-paced and brutal. Though more adept at the ins and outs of criminal enterprise, the Hutts were not nearly as familiar with guerrilla warfare as Tak and Alluria, who repeatedly led their elite on missions to kill Desilijic personnel, steal supplies and shipments, and sabotage enemy facilities. Adding to their advantage was the support of much of Nar Shaddaa's population, who rallied enthusiastically to the Sith's call, many volunteering to fight with the Merquise Syndicate and others providing information or supplies. To top it off, the Jedi on Nar Shaddaa, knowing that the death of Sakaros and the demise of his organization would leave them alone against the Hutt clans, also aided him with information, and some Jedi Knights even volunteered for field duty with Alluria.
In the midst of the fighting, however, Tak and Reiko discovered, to their mutual shock, that Reiko was pregnant with Tak's sixth child. Having lost three children to death and knowing the depravity of his enemies, Tak kept Reiko under guard in the ziggurat, assigning most of his MagnaGuards as her personal bodyguards. Reiko, meanwhile, became much closer with Alluria during this time. Having spent much of her childhood as a slave, Alluria had a soft spot for children, and she gradually became very protective of Reiko and her unborn child. The connection was only deepened when the baby began to dimly perceive his surroundings with the Force, forming connections with his father and mother, as well as Alluria herself.
Old friends die hard
The invasion of Nar Shaddaa
The Merquise-Desilijic conflict had been carrying on for a few months, with casualties on both sides but a significant Merquise majority of victories, when it came to a screeching halt. An Eclipse-class Super Star Destroyer emerged from hyperspace, and without firing a shot crashed into the far side of Nar Shaddaa, bringing almost half a million casualties instantly. Stunned by the overwhelming sensation of death in the Force, Tak set to identifying their attackers and securing their territories. Following the crash, additional Star Destroyers launched landing craft, which flooded the southern hemisphere with occupation troops. Though they had at first suspected the fleet might belong to Vegal's people, launching a revenge attack, the truth was far more personal.
After a few days of tense waiting, a messenger brought a holo-transmitter from the enemy commander. Activating the relay, Tak recognized the face on the other end: General Grievous. However, it was not the original, long-dead on Utapau, but the doppleganger created in service to Tak's erstwhile friend and nemesis, Gav Daragon. Grievous demanded that Tak surrender to him, but Sakaros, though stunned to discover the truth behind the attacks, refused, even when Grievous strangled a defenseless Twi'lek girl to death on the frequency. Vowing revenge, Tak cut the transmission.
Revenge, however, would prove elusive. What remained of Gav's Rogue Imperial forces had secured their perimeter well, commandeering defensive fortifications and outposts. Though the Syndicate's own border was well-defended, the elite forces proved unable to penetrate the enemy perimeter for reconnaissance, even with Alluria Quinn personally leading the missions. Operations would be further disrupted shortly thereafter.
Bombardment and Siege
Realizing a ground invasion was impossible, Fexofenadine, Daragon's admiral, ordered a saturation bombardment of the northern hemisphere over Grievous's outraged objections. Imperial bombers carpet-bombed much of the Entertainment District and its environs. Sakaros went on the HoloNet to warn the citizens to seek shelter, though he knew not everyone would reach the downlevels. Orbital bombardment commenced shortly thereafter, Daragon's five orbiting Star Destroyers strategically bombarding the moon with turbolaser shots. Irate, Tak coordinated with his fortress' shields, using the ziggurat's turbolaser to fire a retaliatory shot into the bridge of one of the Star Destroyers. Though it was not a lethal hit, the Destroyer was still forced to withdraw.
Planning to sit out the bombardment behind the ziggurat's military-grade shield, Tak was forced to adapt his plans when it came to light that Alluria, returning from the field, was under fire and trying to weave through the bombardment. Ignoring the protests of his subordinates, Tak took his modified Z-95 Headhunter out to clear Alluria's path. Shooting down several bombers and weaving through hollowed-out buildings and destroyed walkways, he came upon Alluria, flying beside none other than Jade Star. Before he could pull Alluria into his ship, though, they came under attack by half of Grievous's personal elite, the Marked 24. Alluria killed one and Jade another, and several more were caught in the crossfire by pursuing Imperial bombers; ignoring Grievous's orders, Fexofenadine had ordered his fighters to kill everything in sight. Finally pulling Alluria into the Z-95, Tak ordered her back to the ziggurat and leapt out to deal with the last two Marked. The three stared each other down before going for their weapons; Sakaros drew his two WESTAR-34 blasters with the Force and shot both men through their visors before retreating to the safety of the ziggurat.
Once most of northern Nar Shaddaa had been flattened, the ziggurat entered a state of siege; its shields could not be broken down by the Imperial bombardment, and that same bombardment (coupled with periodic fighter patrols) kept the Syndicate from leaving for supplies. Complicating matters further, in addition to his own people, Tak was also housing some fifty citizens who had come to him for sanctuary, as well as a dozen Jedi Knights who had been at the ziggurat at the time of the attack. Only Jade Star, Souv Tanake, and Alluria felt comfortable enough to move in the open; though he had the skill, Tak refused to leave the ziggurat (and, more to the point, Reik) unguarded.
While visiting the ziggurat, Jade found herself overcome, and spoke to Tak in a very different voice, and with a very different demeanor and Force signature. Tak was stunned to discover that Ye`keb Millennium, whom he had killed decades before on Coruscant, had latched onto Jade's body even as her spirit fled her own. The dead Jedi Master could periodically assert control over her friend's body, when something occurred to draw her out. Though disbelieving, Tak finally accepted the reality, and used the opportunity to apologize for killing Ye`keb. He also showed her two images which Sen had discovered when Tariun and Rin had taken the Chiss Ascendancy, pictures of Rin herself. Thanking Tak, Ye`keb yielded control back to Jade, leaving both the shapeshifter and the Sith thoroughly unnerved and confused.
During the siege, Tak began to plan for the ultimate disposal of Daragon himself, knowing Grievous and Fexofenadine were only the pawns of their master. However, he was not at all certain of the duel's end; he and Gav had been equals in every way, knowing each other's moves through decades of cooperation and practice. He privately instructed Alluria that, if it came to a duel, he would take Souv Tanake as his second; though Alluria was offended, she forgot her anger when Tak explained: Tanake was a better swordsman, and more of a match for Grievous (who Tak assumed would be Gav's second); she was also better able to sense a trap; and most importantly, Alluria would burn anything and kill anyone to protect Reiko, whereas Souv might not. In leaving her out, Tak was entrusting his only child to his apprentice, who accepted the charge.
Katie, forgive me. Katie, I love you.
—Tak Sakaros to his daughter, his last words
After a few weeks, supplies in the ziggurat began to dwindle, and Tak and Sen spent hours trying to coordinate a supply run. Meanwhile, Grievous had hatched a plan to bait the Jedi into a trap, hoping to wipe them out and deprive Tak of a valuable ally. He put out word that Gav's forces had captured hundreds of Nar Shaddaan children and put them to slave labor in a factory. In truth, the cyborg general had taken in some street urchins who had been stealing from his forces. Rather than punish them, he convinced them that Gav's fleet was only there to apprehend the dangerous mass murderer Tak Sakaros. Blaming Tak for both the bombardment and the crash of the Destroyer, Grievous convinced the children to reveal to him a series of long-forgotten underground water and sewer lines that led beneath the surface of Nar Shaddaa, all around the moon.
Grievous's trap, however, drew a very different prey than he had expected. Tak and Alluria were enraged at the idea of Gav using their own people as slaves, and Alluria mounted another recon mission. This time her team was successful, locating the facility. However, Alluria was ambushed by Grievous himself, and though the two were evenly matched, Alluria was momentarily distracted when the "slaves" refused to be freed, and was captured. Grievous called Tak to boast and challenge him, and the outraged Sith accepted. However, he knew that a rendezvous with Grievous was really going to be a match with Gav, and this time it would not end with both combatants walking away. Pausing only to kiss Sen goodbye and say a silent goodbye to the sleeping Reiko Kaytana and his unborn son, Tak and Souv departed the facility for the duel.
When they arrived, both masters had to fight through a series of traps and enemies, killing them all before Gav finally appeared in person to face his old friend. Sending Souv to rescue Alluria, Tak faced down his old friend, and the two Sith engaged in a vicious duel, using blades, Force powers, and hand-to-hand combat against one another. Souv and Alluria escaped, returning to the ziggurat to find it embroiled in a battle. Using the underground tunnels, Grievous's forces had arrived unexpected. But Reiko and Ventresca Tan, commanding the defense, were keeping them at bay. The arrival of Alluria, Souv, and a force of Jedi turned the tables on the Imperial forces.
Meanwhile, Tak and Gav seemed locked forever, neither able to triumph over the other. In the end, Gav leapt in for a lethal strike; though his Sith instincts were to counter, some deeper part of Tak recognized a chance to keep Reiko and his son safe, and he sacrificed himself, allowing Gav to strike him in exchange for landing a killing blow on the Sith Lord as well. Mortally wounded, the two Sith spent their last minutes speaking weakly to one another; though neither asked nor gave forgiveness, they reached some measure of catharsis, dying clasping hands. As he breathed his last, Tak reached out in the Force to touch those he loved. An invisible hand smacked Alluria on the head, causing her to refocus after sensing her master's death and deflect a blaster shot that would otherwise have burned through her heart; Reiko felt a comforting hand pressing on her abdomen over her unborn son; and Senesha`rae felt Tak's fingertips on her cheek. And far away, in the Sith Star orbiting Csilla, Tariun Sakaros felt a proud hand clasping his shoulder, and Rin felt one brushing her hair affectionately. Though his vocal last words were to Gav ("See you soon, brother"), Tak's spoke through the Force to his daughter as he died, apologizing to her and telling her he loved her one last time.
To my son with Reiko Kaytana, I have little to give you that will be of use to you. But I give you the name Nagarian. It was my father’s name. He was never a powerful man, never had any great fame or prestige. But he was a good man. I hope you will be too.
—Tak Sakaros's will
The attackers at the ziggurat were massacred by the defenders and their Jedi allies, and Daragon himself was impaled through the heart by Grievous. Following the death of his master, Grievous assumed command of the Rogue Imperials and ordered a full retreat, leaving Nar Shaddaa behind. Daragon's body was claimed by his wife, Syrth, and taken to Korriban for burial.
Tak left leadership of the Merquise Syndicate to Ventresca Tan in his will, charging Alluria to execute Koswee Alwos, which she did before the startled Falleen could react. His assets were divided among Reiko, Sen, and Alluria; he also bequeathed his father's name to his unborn son.
Tak Sakaros was given a hero's funeral at the ziggurat, with a stirring eulogy delivered by his apprentice, Alluria, and a funereal escort including handpicked elite troops and a saddled, riderless Cracian thumper to signify a fallen leader. Crowds turned out in massive numbers to honor their patron. While the body was being escorted into the ziggurat, the procession was halted by two dark-garbed beings: Rin and Tariun Sakaros, who had journeyed in secret to see their father one last time. Surprised and humbled by the outpouring of genuine grief she sensed all around her, Rin posthumously restored her father's rank of Sith Lord, and Tariun replaced Tak's Sith sword in his hand. The fallen Sith was laid to rest in a tomb beside Ara Merquise inside the ziggurat. Seven years later, when Reiko and her family were preparing to leave for Belsavis, Rin, Tariun, Alluria, and Jarek Solios relocated Tak's body to a hidden tomb far down on Nar Shaddaa's actual surface, for fear that a reversal of fortunes for the Syndicate in the future might allow Tak's body to be desecrated by the Hutts.
Despite his conquests and brutality in his youth, Rin and Tariun both came to believe their father had genuinely reformed to some degree in his last years. He was long remembered on Nar Shaddaa as a champion of the people, and revered for his self-sacrifice in bringing down Gav Daragon.
Powers and Abilities
After the death of Darth Vader in 4 ABY, Tak Sakaros was considered by both the Jedi Order and his fellow dark siders to be one of the greatest living Djem So stylists in the galaxy, and among the best lightsaber fighters. The ability to focus his rage into the use of his lightsaber was considered by many, including Sakaros himself, to be his greatest Force talent, giving rise to his reputation as a warrior. In his long life, he mastered Djem So and Makashi, as well as developing working knowledge of both Juyo and Vaapad, learned from stolen holocrons that had belonged to. Knowledge of Vaapad made Sakaros an especially deadly combatant when he used it; instead of letting himself act as a circuit loop for the dark side, he would add his own rage into the mix. As a result, when fighting Dark Jedi, Sakaros could quickly achieve power levels greater than those of his enemies. Though he was not one to readily admit it, Tak also had working knowledge of Soresu, developed from years of training with Khrado Ragnos and being constantly on the defensive, waiting for an opening. In addition, Sakaros was known to use Dun Möch and saber throws in combat, and was proficient in the Jar`Kai style, though his skill decreased without practice later in his life.
Having lived much of his life on Borgo Prime and Nar Shaddaa, Tak was well-versed in mechanics and was a capable starfighter mechanic himself. He was known to repeatedly modify his Z-95 Headhunter rather than replacing it with a more modern vehicle, and also made modifications to other small craft he owned. From years of using the Headhunter as his only means of transport, Tak was also a very competent fighter pilot, and usually only Force-adept pilots could hope to rival him.
Though powerful enough to earn the title of Sith Lord Sakaros’s real gift for the Force was his lightsaber proficiency; almost none of his other powers were extraordinary. His concentration during battle was noted by many opponents; the Sith was known for using the Force to fling objects at enemies, casting Force lightning at one enemy with one hand while dueling another with his other hand, etc. However, he seems to have lacked the more fantastic dark side disciplines, such as Battle Meditation and the ability to conjure Force Storms though he was known to have done the latter with help from a few Dark Jedi. Sakaros was known to have used the Force to perceive the future, but only rarely and generally in a very narrow context. His use of telepathic powers to invade people’s minds were generally limited to those weaker than himself, though it took beings on the order of Yoda or Palpatine to penetrate Tak’s mind.
Tak Sakaros was also known to be a formidable battle commander, though better in space than on the ground. Whether using his own personal fleet or those of allies, Tak had great success as a starship commander, with an over seventeen-to-one victory:loss ratio. His success on the ground was much more limited; though he had an unusual gift for making any defeat a Pyrrhic victory for his enemies, Sakaros was nonetheless beaten as often as triumphant in ground command.
Often the most unexpected aspect of Tak’s character was his skill at language. He was fluent in Huttese, Sith, Galactic Basic Standard, and Bocce, and even mastered the difficult Ryl, usually holding up his left hand and twitching his fingers to mime the movements of Twi`lek lekku. While serving with the Mandalorians, he also became fluent in Mando'a. During his time on Borgo Prime, his lover Tisya taught him the basics of the Chiss language Cheunh, and though he used it rarely thereafter he could recall parts of it when needed, though he spoke with a noticeable Huttese accent. Additionally, Sakaros could understand Rodese and speak enough to get his point across, as well as understanding bits and pieces of Shyriiwook. He could read Ancient Sith for meaning, but could not speak it out loud.
While best known among enemies for his lightsaber skills, Tak was also proficient in other modes of combat. His years as a bounty hunter made him a good marksman with a blaster pistol, but it was martial arts that were his favorite form of combat. Known to have mastered Sith and Twi`lek combat styles, gained a working knowledge of Echani fighting style and Broken Gate, mostly from fighting off Jedi, and possessed at least familiarity with Teras Kasi, Sakaros was unbeaten in hand-to-hand combat for his entire life.
Though Tak was an exceptional lightsaber duelist even early in his conquests under Khrado Ragnos, his training was incomplete by the time of the Battle of Khar Delba and he remained a Sith Apprentice. After escaping Borgo Prime, he slowly recovered some of his Force powers and a shadow of his former lightsaber skill, but it was not until released from amnesia by Tulak Hord that the Sith would recover any serious powers. After years of solitary training, he claimed the title of Sith Lord.
Only Sakaros's close confidantes were aware that he did this only reluctantly, and due to what he called "extenuating circumstances." In truth, as Tak himself said, if the old empire still stood, he would have never risen higher than the rank of Sith Marauder; his skill was combat and in combat he was a master, but his Force powers were simply insufficient to meet the classical standards of the Sith Lords. However, with the Sith species hunted almost to extinction, Tak was one of only a handful in the entire galaxy, and even fewer who had been trained in the dark arts.
Sakaros's followers, of which, for all his relatively average powers, he amassed a sizeable number, repeatedly pressed him to claim the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith, a call Tak always resisted. With so few dark siders the galaxy over, his claim to being a Sith Lord was at least defensible; a claim to the Dark Lord's throne would not be. Though he at one point during the early New Republic era finally yielded and briefly referred to himself as Dark Lord, Sakaros did so only to appease his allies and forge political unity; he relinquished the title after the Battle of Dorian IV and did not take it up again.
In 63 BBY, during the reconquest of the old Sith Empire, Khrado Ragnos appointed his brother Tak as Steward of Ziost; in essence, were no man fit to be Dark Lord, Sakaros would have administrative reign over the Sith Empire until a worthy Dark Lord emerged. Almost a century later, Sakaros did still refer to himself by this title, and used it to establish his rank to those with any knowledge of Sith history.
Though he fit the technical definition of a Sith Master, one who has trained another to full competence in the dark side; the equivalent of a Jedi Master, many times over, Tak never referred to himself as such, since Ragnos had used "Sith Master" as a pseudonym to keep his true name from him his enemies.
After their duel in 87 ABY, Rin stripped her father of his titles of Sith Lord and Steward of Ziost, and though he took the loss bitterly, Tak still considered Rin a legitimate claimant to the Dark Lord’s throne and never used either title again, even going so far as to correct those who called him “Lord Sakaros”. At his funeral, Rin posthumously restored her father's rank, and both she and her brother Tariun referred to him as "Lord Sakaros" or "Lord Tak" when discussing him with others.
Appearance and Personality
At six feet tall, Tak Sakaros was not incredibly tall, but he was powerfully built and had the hard features of the Sith species, giving him a somewhat more formidable appearance. He also had lightsaber scars on his left cheek and stomach, both from duels with Jedi Knights, as well as scars on his chest from his fight with the Krayt dragon and various burns. Sakaros sported a tattoo of a dragon and a star on his right upper arm, bisected (though not overly distorted) by a lightsaber strike from Gav Daragon and its providence known only to the Sith Lord himself. While often dressed in typical Sith robes, Tak was also at home wearing a flight suit and jacket, which he often wore in disguise. After his defeat by Rin and obtaining a cybernetic right arm, he took to wearing a leather glove to cover the replacement limb. Tak was also ambidextrous, which contributed to his early love for Jar'Kai.
Very early in life, prior to the death of his sister, Tak Sakaros was a fairly friendly and outgoing, if occasionally brooding, young man. He was fanatically loyal to allies, and expected loyalty in turn; treachery was the utmost sin to his mind. After his sister was killed, Sakaros became cold and distant, and a dark fire kept him constantly gnawing at himself. It was this change that made him a perfect candidate to be trained as a Sith mere months later.
Common perceptions of Tak’s personality represent a duality; his enemies found him to be cold, vicious, sadistic, ruthless, and evil, while friends and family considered him warm, comforting, protective, and loyal. Both sides agreed, however, that he could be very detached and calculating if the need arose, as well as charismatic. This last, however, developed progressively in life; earlier on, even while training as a Sith Lord, Tak was rash and confrontational almost regularly.
Unlike Darth Sidious, who valued nothing except his life, his power, and his ambitions, and also unlike Khrado Ragnos, who was truly merciless and cared for almost nothing, Tak was not completely evil. He had a highly developed sense of honor which distinguished him from other dark siders; notably, Sakaros disliked killing unarmed or vastly weaker enemies, and though skilled at the practice he rarely indulged in torture. He also earned the respect of his troops by repeatedly fighting at the front lines.
Even more distinct is Tak’s relationship with his apprentices. He was known to subject them to barbarous and dangerous conditions repeatedly, but only for the purpose of crafting them into stronger warriors. He held genuine affection for all of them, especially Lorelai Whitesun, and while he often tried them against powerful opponents, he would intervene to defend them if need be. It was a rescue mission to retrieve his final apprentice, Alluria Quinn, that led Tak to his final duel against Gav Daragon.
And for all his faults—which, make no mistake, were extensive and numerous—he loved his family, and he tried to put them—us—first. He failed from time to time, but he kept trying.
—Tariun Sakaros reflects on his father
If he was noticeably protective about his apprentices, Sakaros was almost frighteningly so with his family. The loss of his sister early in life scarred him badly, and he initially sought the power of the dark side to prevent ever losing anything so valuable again. Tak went to extraordinary lengths to safeguard his niece, Adrienne Keane, and her daughter, and spent a fortune keeping his own daughter safe. Notably, Tak was less protective of his sons, though he lamented the loss of his elder two. This is possibly because they were not only male, but powerful fighters in their own right (Khrado was actually more powerful than his father).
Like many Sith males (including Khrado Ragnos and his own eldest son), Tak suffered from bloodlust. He first experienced it when his sister was murdered, and subsequently killed forty-three people with his bare hands. After decades, he began to exert some control over the disease, though it could still flare up unexpectedly when sudden and extreme emotional distress occurred.
In the decades following his defeat by Rin, Tak became very bitter about his past failures, most notably his failure to appreciate his surviving son and daughter. While he eventually developed sufficient control over these emotions that they did not present a regular interference in his life, any reminder (even inadvertent) of the past often caused a crack in his Sith control.
Due to his willingness to fight on the front lines in conflicts and the leadership skills he developed as a result, Tak was widely respected among those he commanded, first his Massassi troops, later the Naboo insurgents against Darth Teeron, and much later the Merquise Syndicate soldiers on Nar Shaddaa. He had a practiced ability to incite crowds, and often used this skill to his advantage against numerically superior enemies. However, toward the end of his life, many of those closest to him believed the Sith's concern for the people he led (not just his own soldiers) became much more genuine, and that he had a real interest in the welfare of the people of Nar Shaddaa. Rin Sakaros came to believe her father had found some measure of redemption for the crimes of his early life in his service to the citizens of the Smuggler's Moon, and ultimately in sacrificing himself to destroy Gav Daragon, and with him the threat to his unborn son.
“A work of art, as indestructible as his will and as powerful as his rage.”
—Tak Sakaros, about Khrado Ragnos’s lightsaber
After over a century of life on many worlds, Tak had amassed an odd collection of things, some very valuable.
- A number of lightsabers (see below)
- Two WESTAR-34 blasters
- Two DC-15s blasters
- A smaller, holdout blaster, usually worn up one sleeve
- A set of Tehk'la blades
- A series of safehouse apartments on Nar Shaddaa
- A vast fortune in credits (total unknown, but estimated to be over 100,000,000 credits at peak)
- The broken pieces of Khrado Sakaros’s double-bladed lightsaber
- Two tuk`ata, Tyrant and Terror, yet another inherited possession of Sithmaster’s; both were usually sent with Adrienne Keane. Both were killed some time after the Naboo Crisis.
- A ring, worn on his right ring finger, a gift from his sister, worn concealed under a glove almost all the time. After the arm was severed by Rin, Tak recovered the ring before fleeing.
Even noting his long life, Tak used a high number of different lightsabers, many more than most Sith or Jedi, even of species with similar longevity. With the single exception of the stolen Jedi lightsaber he used from 42 – 31 BBY, all had red blades.
- In 71 BBY, Tak built his first lightsaber after being accepted as the apprentice of Khrado Ragnos. He used this weapon for a decade, when it was destroyed during his crash-landing on Borgo Prime after the Battle of Khar Delba.
- In 42 BBY, Tak murdered a Jedi Knight. Though he possessed no conscious memory of his Sith training, he had enough muscle memory and Force instinct to use a lightsaber, and took the Knight's weapon for himself.
- When Tak's amnesia was lifted in 31 BBY, he discarded the Jedi's weapon and built a new lightsaber for himself.
- While serving as one of Count Dooku’s dark side acolytes during the Clone Wars, Tak built a second lightsaber for himself, a mirror match of his existing one, and began practicing Jar’Kai. One of these was destroyed during the Yuzzhan Vong War.
- During the early days of the new Republic, Tak broke into the Emperor’s storehouse at Mount Tantiss and recovered his brother's Mandalorian iron lightsaber. He carried this as his primary weapon until the 40s ABY, when he gave it to Ragnos's granddaughter, Adromeda Keane.
- When Khrado and Marquand Sakaros were killed at the Battle of Dorian IV, Tak was given their lightsabers. Khrado's had been cut in pieces, but Marquand's was intact. Tak never used it himself, but later gave it as a gift to his apprentice Lorelai Whitesun.
- In the time he spent on Naboo, given his more frequent clashes with Jedi and Dark Jedi alike, Tak built a curved-hilt saber, patterned after the weapon of Count Dooku. When he gave Khrado Ragnos's Mandalorian iron saber to Andromeda, the curved-hilt saber became his primary weapon, as he could use it for both Djem So and Makashi. This lightsaber lasted him until 87 ABY, when it was destroyed by his daughter Rin during their duel.
- During the dark side crisis on Naboo, Ye'keb Millennium gave Tak an electrum lightsaber, which he used occasionally as a compliment to his curved-hilt weapon. It was on the Sith Star during his duel with Rin, and thus lost.
- When Tak received Arkanian brain implants to allow him rudimentary use of a lightsaber in 101 ABY, he built a new lightsaber, patterned after his Mandalorian armor. He ceased using it in 109 ABY when he left the Mandalorians, though he kept it.
- Having fully recovered his Force powers, Tak built a new, straight-hilt lightsaber in 110 ABY. He almost never used it and did not always even carry it, in keeping with his desire to use his Force powers as little as possible. When he moved to Nar Shaddaa, however, he began to carry it more often, though always concealed.
- While preparing for his duel with Vegal in 138 ABY, Tak built a second, curved-hilt lightsaber. Though he knew the weaknesses of Jar’Kai and expected Vegal might be able to exploit them, he wanted the option in case it became necessary. This weapon became his primary blade, and he was buried with it in 139 ABY.
Touch her and die.
—Tak Sakaros, to a bounty hunter, about his niece
Tak was born the second of three children, and the second of two sons, to Nagarian and Velia Sakaros on Andaria. He had an older brother, Velian, and later a younger sister named Anticlea. Nagarian and Velia were both killed by Velian (a Nationalist Guardsman), who was himself killed by Tak in rage. Anticlea was murdered four years later by Guardsmen, an event that was to forever alter Tak’s personality.
Seven years into their association, Tak and Khrado Ragnos underwent the ritual of blood-brotherhood, by which they eternally bound themselves and their families to each other. As a result, Tak considered Khrado’s family his own, and treated them as such. He was particularly fond of Khrado’s sisters, Valadyn and Razielle, as well as Khrado’s daughter and granddaughter.
Tak’s only wife bore him three sons, Khrado, Marquand, and Tariun. Barely three years after Tariun’s birth, the wife slept with another man in one of her husband’s military absences. Devastated, Sakaros put her to death personally and resolved never to marry again.
Tak had a total of six children.
With his wife, Lady Sakaros:
With Valadyn Ragnos:
With Ye'keb Millennium:
With Reiko Kaytana:
Behind the Scenes
Tak Sakaros is something of a “Banquo” character in the Star Wars fanon universe; he is the relative of several people who either claim the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith or have the power to, but he does not have the power to do so himself. As such, he is frequently in the position of aiding or training future Dark Lord potentials.
The title "Steward of Ziost" was based on the Steward of Gondor from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series; both titles, though the holder wields political power over a formerly great kingdom, afford only a shadow of the power of a superior title such as Dark Lord of the Sith and King of Gondor, respectively, and can be immediately revoked by the arrival of a legitimate claimant.
Though Tak Sakaros and all six of his children bear the same surname, Tak is considered the user's namesake article.