The youngest of the Sakaros brothers, the sons of the Sith warlord Tak Sakaros, Tariun Sakaros was a Sith Lord during the New Republic era. A famous lover and master of Jar'Kai, Tariun was his father's most loyal agent and his right hand man for decades before siding with his half-sister Rin against Tak and becoming her foremost general and the new Steward of Ziost. He became the first Prefect of the Order of Keltrayu and Prime Legate of the Golden Empire, and was instrumental in the Empire's development.
Early life and training
In 1 ABY, Tariun was born into a family which could be described as dysfunctional at best; his father was a Sith conqueror, his oldest brother Khrado was constantly criticizing and badgering his other brother Marquand, and within months of Tariun's birth, his mother was decapitated by his father for infidelity. Remarkably, Tariun would grow up to become the most well-adjusted of the three brothers.
While Khrado had disliked Marquand from the onset, viewing him as both weak and a competitor for power, he took a more neutral view toward Tariun due to the ten-year age difference between them. By the time Tariun was four years old, Khrado was fourteen and already an expert lightsaber duelist, so he occasionally assisted his father in training the young Sith. Possessing a weaker midichlorian connect to the Force than Khrado, Tariun nonetheless had greater Force potential than Marquand, roughly equal to his father.
After developing formidable skill with a single blade, Tariun, like his brothers, began to search for a more personalized style of combat. He found Khrado's style too incapable of defense, and Marquand's not powerful enough to suit his tastes. Instead, the young man adopted one of his father's preferred fighting styles, Jar'Kai. To him, it seemed the perfect form: twice as many blades, and one could either have double defense, double-offense, or both at the same time. Like Marquand, Tariun bested Khrado once with his mastery of an alternative style.
During his training, Tariun developed a fondness for leisurely activities. Somewhere between irritation and amusement, Tak constantly challenged his son in new and brutal ways, but Tariun always came out successfully, so Tak indulged the boy's hobbies. Tariun was a talented Sabacc player and a skilled fighter pilot, far better than either of his brothers and nearly as good as his father. He stumbled across his favorite pastime, however, on a mission in the Outer Rim.
The star-crossed lover
In 17 ABY, Tariun was sent to Nar Shaddaa with Khrado to visit Arba the Hutt. While Khrado handled negotiations, Tariun found himself more interested in the Hutt's dancers. Khrado was irritated, but Arba, a very old friend of Tak's, was amused and gave the Twi'lek girl the rest of the night to spend with Tariun. The next morning, the young Sith was a changed man.
On subsequent solo missions throughout the galaxy, in the midst of gathering resources or allies for his father, Tariun would always find at least one woman at every spaceport he stopped in. While his earlier conquests were marked by mixed success, sometimes forcing him to resort to mind tricks, he gradually developed a reputation as a lover that stretched for Nal Hutta to Borgo Prime. When word of this reached Tak from a now-deeply amused Arba, the elder Sith Lord commanded his son to maintain a lower profile and most often sent him in the company of one of his brothers.
However, Tak was quickly forced to admit that Tariun was far better on his own, and often a more useful agent than either of his brothers. He was more ferocious and resourceful than Marquand, but also more subtle and tactful than Khrado. Khrado was a weapon to be used against any enemy; Tariun was a silver-tongued diplomat as much at home wooing useful contacts and trading diplomatic barbs as wielding a lightsaber.
While the Sith brothers were performing their various missions in training, Tak was leading his armies through the Outer Rim, conquering systems that had once been part of the Sith Empire. In 21 ABY, however, he launched an attack on Cato Neimoidia while the Neimoidians were applying to join the New Republic. Seeing a chance to rid the galaxy of a cadre of dangerous Sith, the Jedi persuaded Republic Chief of State Ponc Gavrisom to agree to the Neimoidian request for a counter-attack. The three brothers foiled an assassination attempt by Republic Special Forces, leaving only three to report back to Gavrisom and confirming that a massive battle was unavoidable.
After the Sith decided to hole up on the fourth moon of the Dorian system, Khrado was assigned to lead the vanguard. Though still a just an apprentice, Tariun was allowed to lead the rearguard, the last line of defense before the fortress in which Tak and Marquand were holding the last redoubt. The battle initially favored the Sith; from his vantage point, Tariun watched gleefully through his electrobinoculars as his brother slew Jedi after Jedi. However, the Jedi finally realized that Khrado was the lynch-pin of the counterattack, and four Jedi Knights attacked him together, slicing him and his lightsaber apart.
His brother's final cry ringing through the Force, Tariun bellowed in rage and led his rearguard in a second attack. He engaged the Jedi, killing a Knight before being struck an injury. Tariun was willing to fight to the death, but was dragged from the field by his father's Massassi general, Kartok. Once inside the fortress, Tariun was unable to prevent the death of his brother Marquand, but escaped with his father to the Sith fleet in orbit. Together, the Sith Lords vanished into hyperspace.
During their years of self-exile, Tak and Tariun continued the younger Sith's training, but given his defeat of a Jedi Knight in even combat, it was not long before Tariun was declared a Sith Lord in his own right in 22 ABY. Tak decided to wait out the aftermath of his defeat, letting the Republic focus on other concerns and forget about him. Discontent with sitting around and practicing his Force powers, Tariun traveled the galaxy, spreading his reputation as a connoisseur of alcohol and women. Over the course of a decade, he managed more conquests than even his father.
In the downtime between these more pleasurable pursuits, Tariun occasionally lent his services to Arba the Hutt (with his father's consent), dealing with the gangster's enemies and amassing favors to be later owed to his father. On one such mission, though, he was stunned to encounter his cousin, Adrienne Keane. While she did not return with him to the hidden Sith fleet at the Denarii Nova, she nonetheless provided Tariun with a long-absent connection to family.
The Vong War
From first blows to Coruscant
Given his propensity for traveling the galaxy's fringes, it was Tariun who first received word of the invasion of the Yuuzhan Vong. Like his father, he was initially content to let the Vong consume the Republic as a vendetta. However, when the depths of Vong barbarity became common knowledge, he began to urge his father to consider a temporary truce, leading to several spats between the Sith Lords. The fall of the Jedi Praxeum on Yavin IV finally led Tak to ally with the New Republic.
The Sith fleet tried its blade against the Vong in the Battle of Coruscant, and Tariun was an active combatant. Though the Republic leadership was still unaware of his survival, he led several Sith drop ships to the surface of the besieged capital, attempting to evacuate survivers. His third run, however, finally ran foul of Vong craft, and several drop ships were destroyed. Tariun managed to weave through the attacks as his ship plummetted back to the doomed capital.
On the ground, the young Sith came out swinging, both lightsabers tearing into the Vong warriors who had taken the ground. Though he left a pile of corpses around him, Tariun finally suffered a paralyzing bite from an amphistaff. He was left to watch in impotent rage and despair as the Vong warriors broke his lightsabers, bound him, and carried him off.
Captive on the capital
Tariun was taken prisoner to a Vong damutek and made to assist the workers as they went about Vongforming Coruscant. His Force powers useless against the Vong and their biotechnology, the Sith Lord had no choice but to work as directed. However, very slowly and with extreme caution, he began to collect small, seemingly useless pieces of technology: wires, steel tubes, bits of rubber, buttons, and a small red jewel.
The Vong were undecided on what to do with Tariun. Initial plans to "shape" him were quickly aborted when word of Tahiri Veila's exploits on Yavin came in. Knowing him to be a Force user (though they simply called him "Jeedai"), they considered executing him immediately. However, a Hunter named Vahlung Rek took special interest in Tariun; more specifically, in debasing him. He forced the Sith Lord to serve him personally in addition to working with the slaves, and never missed a chance to mock the proud warrior for his weakness without the Force. When the two broke into a hand-to-hand fight, Tariun was quickly subdued and tortured by other Warriors.
Totally alone on the world, surrounded by enemies and other prisoners who blamed him for the war (as they, too, considered him a Jedi), Tariun began to sink into himself. His use of the dark side to date had generally been offhand, strong but lacking the bottomless reservoir of hate his father and brother Khrado had. His captivity by the Vong changed this, and much of the wry, debonair wittiness which had characterized him began to burn away, replaced with icy determination.
Having inherited his father's linguistic abilities, after several months of servitude Tariun had learned the essentials of the Vong tongue, which would prove instrumental in his escape. Assigned by Vahlung Rek to massage nutrient oils by hand into the flesh of a minishal, Tariun served beside a group of Shamed Ones who had taken to the Jeedai heresy. While he had no interest in any Vong, he recognized the opportunity and began to encourage them in this direction. His attempts to add a doctrine, that of the Sit'o, a superior branch of Jeedai, met with mixed success.
The second element of Tariun's eventual escape was a polyp planted near his slave quarters, on which three amphistaves were being grown. When the plant had obviously reached maturity, he made certain he was in the area, and seized one once it had broken off - then dropped it. Having bound itself immediately to Tariun, the amphistaff would serve no other master, and was discarded as useless. Tariun recovered it and took it back to his barracks, alongside his technical components, to which he had added more circuitry and a belt clip. He later began wearing the amphistaff as a belt, its distinctive head tucked into his shirt.
The opportunity for escape finally came in 28 ABY when Vahlung Rek discovered a glowrod and asked his slave (whom he had taken to keeping on a leash) what it was. With a look of manic desperation, Tariun assured him that it was a sacred object to the Jeedai, upon which Rek promptly smashed it apart underfoot with a grin. Screaming and pretending to weep in despair, Tariun threw himself on the pieces, pocketing the power source. When Rek laughed and began to drag him along, however, Tariun, drew his amphistaff in a flash, whirling it like a whip and slicing into the astonished Rek's thigh. Breaking away, he returned to the slave quarters and added the final piece to his months-long project: a makeshift lightsaber.
Yelling to the slaves in Vongese that he, the Jeedai, needed to escape, Tariun managed to rouse enough heretics to distract the warriors and make good his flight. On the way to the Coruscant downlevels, he encountered Rek, armed with his own amphistaff and Vonduun crab armor. Igniting his blade for the first time, the Sith Lord dueled the Vong Hunter, lightsaber to amphistaff. Though most of his Force powers would not affect Rek, Tariun still had a lifetime of reflexes, and wove around the deadly staff and the enraged Rek, using Force lightning when the opportunity presented itself. At last, drawing his own amphistaff, Tariun struck Rek full in the face, the staff's poisonous fangs digging into one of his eyes. As Rek screamed in agony, the Sith Lord struck three precise blows, removing both of his tormentor's hands and his legs at the hips. The blinded and dismembered Rek was left to scream uselessly after Tariun as the poison ended his life.
In the downlevels of Coruscant, past even the Vong lines, it took only a few days for Tariun to find a serviceable crashed ship. Two weeks more of scavenging and repairing had its engines and shields working, and the Sith Lord blasted off in a roar past the startled sentry craft. By the time they realized what was happening, Tariun had escaped to hyperspace.
Reunited with his father at the recently liberated world of Dellalt, Tariun was instantly observed by all concerned to be a changed man. His humor was more forced, and, free of the confining biotechnology of the Vong, his powers in the dark side had grown substantially. Tak allowed his son time to rest and recover, including a pleasure-stay on Zeltros, but Tariun was restless and returned to the front after less than a month, during which he had spent as much time training and building new lightsabers as he had seducing Zeltrons.
In world after world as the Sith assailed the weakening Vong forces, Tariun unleashed all his fury on his enemies. In a back-to-back fight with his father on Telerath, the two Sith slaughtered a force of Vong warriors and liberated the planet with their Massassi army. While Tak preferred to rain destruction on the Vong with the full might of his fleet, Tariun became fond of his newfound understanding of the Force and enjoyed the tactile pleasure of slashing Vong apart in melee combat. When the Vong were ultimately beaten back and into surrender, Tariun enjoyed a private smug moment at the role of the Jeedai heretics in the liberation of Coruscant. However, he stayed out of the limelight as his father publically pressed for punitive surrender terms for the Vong; the Jedi as a whole had not learned of his survival after Dorian IV, as they preferred to stay as far from Tak Sakaros as possible when he was "working". Keen to keep this arrangement, he obediently returned with the fleet to Denarii after his father rejected an invitation to the Conclave on Zonama Sekot.
When Tak Sakaros returned to Naboo in 30 ABY, Tariun remained hidden with the fleet; the elder Sith had not forgotten his lost two sons, and was not eager to lose the only child he had left more permanently than he already had. However, the appearance of Darth Teeron at Naboo necessitated the intervention of the Sith fleet, which Tariun led into combat. Nevertheless, his identity was not revealed to the Jedi at the time.
After Naboo had been liberated and the Republic presence minimalized, however, Tariun began to become more free with his visits to the planet. On one such visit, though, he was discovered by the Jedi Master Ye`keb Auroras. Tak and Tariun prepared to kill the woman or die trying, but stunningly, she was prepared to keep the secret, so they let her live. It was during this same trip that Tariun first encountered Tak's newest apprentice, Lorelai Whitesun, as well as the Sith Syrth Akai.
In 32 ABY, Tak Sakaros struck a deal with his old ally Gav Daragon to undermine the Galactic Alliance. Daragon, leading a rebellious faction of the Imperial Remnant, declared war, and Tak allied with the Alliance. Either way, a Sith would be among the victors, and in place to destroy the Jedi. Over a year of battles in the Outer Rim, Tariun frequently led all or parts of the Sith fleet to "victory" over the Rogue Empire. The Imperials grew to fear him and the Allied worlds to appreciate him, though neither side knew his true identity and he was referred to melodramatically as the "Dark Hand of Sakaros".
Things began to fall apart for the Sith in early 34 ABY. Gav Daragon, having touched the dark side too deeply, fell into madness and bequeathed the Empire to Tak, who imprisoned him and cut him off from the Force with ysalamiri, ostensibly to help him recover. However, Daragon escaped and announced his plans to repopulate the Sith through cloning technology, which both Tak and Tariun found reprehensible. The alliance was breaking.
To add to the misery of the Sith Lords, Tak's sister Valadyn returned from Wild Space, bearing the comatose body of Adrienne, who had entered such a state after an alchemical experiment went horribly wrong. Shortly after, Valadyn (who had been poisoned in the same incident) died, driving Tak to grief. The Sith vanished with his niece to put her in hiding, leaving Lorelai, Syrth Akai, and Adrienne's daughter Andromeda Keane under Tariun's protection.
Realizing he was risking his father's displeasure, Tariun nonetheless slept with both Lorelai and Syrth, initially thinking nothing of it. As he spent more time with Lorelai, though, he began to see in the fiery young woman something he'd never encountered in a lover: an equal. Intoxicated, the Sith Lord started an affair with her which would persist, on-and-off, for years. When Tak returned and discovered what had happened, he was angry, but dismissed the matter, as he had greater problems, and realized his apprentice's new passion could connect her even more with the dark side.
Flight and fight
When Gav Daragon and Tak Sakaros came to blows, Tariun helped evacuate Lorelai, Ye`keb Millennium, Ye`keb's student Jadian Star, and Andromeda off Naboo and into hiding. While Tak went on sabotage and insurgent missions with Lorelai, Tariun kept Andromeda at Denarii, teaching her the basics of the dark side and lightsaber combat. In 38 ABY, Lorelai was proclaimed a Sith in her own right, Tak took Andromeda as his new apprentice, and the roles were reversed; it was now Tariun conducting the raids and assassinations. He personally assassinated two Imperial governors who had hunted his family most ruthlessly, and sent holovids of their (gruesome) deaths to Gav Daragon.
By 40 ABY, nineteen years after the deaths of his brothers, Tariun's existence was still known only to a handful of close allies, and the Sith Lord had Lorelai as his now-consistent lover and the Sith fleet at his disposal. He began to search out an apprentice of his own, having mastered the Force and being eager to mold a mind to his service. Before he could locate a suitable candidate, however, matters grew worse in the galaxy and the Sakaroses began to stand against the Alliance in earnest.
When the GAG was formed, Tak found its activities suspicious. Though pleased that Jacen Solo was arresting or wiping out Jedi, he was less pleased that all Force-users were being given similar treatment, though far more subtly. Tariun Sakaros made it his business to assassinate GAG forces when he found them, and many of the small operational forces in the Outer Rim were quietly eliminated.
After Tak assumed the post of Field Marshal of the Forces of Naboo, Tariun brought the Sith fleet to permanent orbit over the once-peaceful world. He himself rarely stayed with the fleet, however, working to collect information in the Mid Rim and even the Core with his lover Lorelai.
The great love
Change in the winds
During the Confederation-Galactic Alliance War, Tariun counseled his father to remain out of the active fighting, even as Naboo seceded from the Alliance and joined the Confederacy. He feared that the departure of the Sith fleet from Naboo would make the system an easy target for Darth Caedus's wrath, leaving the Sith without a power base even if the Alliance did lose. Though he agreed with his son, Tak became somewhat resentful of the decision following the death of Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon, whom he had respected and admired.
You may be the oldest Sith Lord among us, but you are not the only one!
—Tariun Sakaros to his father
Despite opposing active military intervention against the Alliance, Tariun wanted to attack Jacen Solo himself. He and Lorelai both volunteered for the mission, but were refused permission by Tak. Tariun and his father descended into an angry argument, with Tak demanding the obedience of his one-time apprentices and Tariun snapping back that Tak was not the Dark Lord, and thus had no right to command any Sith but himself and his students. Though the argument did not persist and was rendered a moot point with the death of Caedus mere weeks later at the hands of his sister, it was the first of several fraying points in the relationship between father and son.
When Tak took the seat of the Naboo Senator on Coruscant in the reuinting Alliance, Tariun elected not to accompany him. Though he technically had diplomatic immunity, Tariun felt his full abilities would be wasted on Coruscant, where his father needed to act only within the confines of the elaborate public facade he had constructed. Instead, Tariun split his time between adventures on the Rim with Lorelai, including campaigns against both pirates and Mandalorian sub-groups, and providing early, rudimentary training to his half-sister Rin onboard the Sith Star.
Shades of love
Tariun and Lorelai both bonded with Rin easily. The half-Sith, half-Qua was easy to love, and her raw Force power was far beyond anything Tariun had ever encountered. Ye`keb, Tak, and Jade were Rin's regular teachers, but Tariun made it a point to visit her whenever he could and helped her with lightsaber combat. Lorelai, too, was taken with the girl, who viewed Lorelai as a big sister. They trained her for some time aboard the Star until Rin began refusing to use her powers until she could see her mother again. Tak relented from keeping the two apart, moving Rin and Ye`keb to the Naboo Embassy on Coruscant. Ye`keb was convinced she could shield Rin from the notice of the Jedi, but Tariun and Lorelai had no illusions that they would avoid notice given enough time, and they became occasional visitors to Rin rather than residents.
With little to do for Tak, Tariun and Lorelai continued their journeys together across the galaxy. They had similar senses of humor, and enjoyed working as a team. Sometimes one of them would be captured by local authorities for some crime or other so the other could stage a rescue. Tariun taught Lorelai to play sabacc, and they broke the banks in several minor casinos, though they were careful not to attract so much attention that they would be documented elsewhere. The two were in the Outer Rim during Abeloth's depravities in 44 ABY, and made the mutual decision to stay out of the whole affair.
As they journeyed, the two Sith realized that they had gone beyond simply being lovers and friends. They were married in a private ceremony on Agamar. While Tak was disappointed at not having been invited when they returned to Coruscant, he gave them his blessing, and Rin was overjoyed to have Lorelai really be her sister, as she saw it.
Tariun and Lorelai continued to help train Rin on occasion, but generally preferred to keep up their private life together. On occasion they discussed having children, but both had hesitation; Lorelai's early sufferings in life made her skittish about bringing children into the world, and, having lost two brothers to the Jedi and seeing the cloistered life Rin was forced to lead, Tariun thought it was too dangerous. Each of them secretly wanted children, but was unwilling to push past the other's objections.
They kept up their adventurous lifestyle through the galaxy, visiting far-flung worlds as far away as Wild Space and roving the Core and Inner Rim as well. They brought gifts for Rin from various planets whenever they visited Coruscant, and both marveled at the development of "their" sister's powers even as her physical growth remained markedly slower than the Sith or Human norm.
Eventually Tariun and Lorelai did decide to have children, but were unable to conceive. Both became depressed for a time, with Tariun blaming himself for not trying earlier and Lorelai wondering whether her acceptance of the power of the dark side had changed her. In time, however, their love for each other carried them through.
In 60 ABY, Tak called Tariun back to Coruscant for a training session with Rin. Taking his sister aboard the Sith Star, Tariun helped her practice telekinesis, and was encouraging her progress when she suddenly screamed and dropped everything she was holding. Confused, Tariun demanded to know what was wrong, but Rin simply screamed a moment more, then stormed out of the training room and announced she was returning to the planet. Tariun tried to stop her, but she flung him into a wall with a Force push so powerful he was knocked out instantly.
When he came to, it was some time before Tariun could raise Tak on Coruscant. When he did, he was irritated with the reply. Tak had deliberately sent Rin offworld and used the time without her to kill Ye`keb in a duel. Though Tak insisted he had kept Tariun out of the loop so Rin could not sense the trap, Tariun was greatly offended at being duped, and he departed the Star without another word.
Breaking the ties that bind
Tariun and Lorelai did not see Tak for five years, preferring to spend their time with one another. Tariun was older than Lorelai, but his half-Sith physiology kept him youthful and fit. Lorelai, by contrast, was fully Human and in her forties. While she kept herself fit and in shape, and the couple never discussed the issue openly, Tariun knew that she had passed the prime of her life and would die long before nature claimed him. The Sith Lord resolved to spend as much time as he could with her and tried not to think about the future.
Tak called for them in 65 ABY as he planned a trap for his nemesis, Jedi Master Maximus Kironis. The two Sith Lords considered the idea of not going; Tariun's loyalty to his father had diminished to practically nothing, and Lorelai had been deeply affected by Tak's decision to murder his daughter's mother. However, Tak was planning the trap with Rin, and in the end Tariun went alone to look out for his sister, arguing with Lorelai for a long time before they finally compromised on Lorelai acting as a sentry; Tariun successfully persuaded her that the presence of so many dark siders at the trap site itself would be impossible to conceal from the Jedi, especially if one of them was Rin.
Tariun was startled by the change in Rin; in their five years away from one another, she had embraced the dark side and the cold, ruthless power of the Sith. Her mother's murder, and her own failure to defeat Tak in the duel that followed, had driven her into an intense, single-minded dedication to growing more powerful. Rin knew that Tariun had no knowledge of Ye`keb's murder until after the fact, but the reunion between siblings was still awkward.
The trap went off without a hitch, and Tariun killed several Jedi while Rin dispatched others and helped her father kill Maximus. When the battle was over, however, Rin announced to Tak's surprise that she was leaving Coruscant to study the Force throughout the galaxy. Tariun was sympathetic and wished her well, but when she was gone, he seized on the moment and coolly informed his father that he would be spending what time he had left with Lorelai, and there would be no reason for them to speak again.
Time runs out
Tariun and Lorelai continued to wander the galaxy for a few years, but as Lorelai entered her fifties they began to settle down. After a series of luxury apartments on numerous worlds where they would not be noticed, the couple made a home for themselves back where they had originally met: Naboo.
Tariun and Lorelai lived on Naboo until 86 ABY, even as loving Lorelai turned into caring for Lorelai. Though she was strong in the Force and trained as a Sith, Lorelai's suffering early in life and her hedonistic lifestyle during her early years with Tariun had finally caught up with her. Lorelai died in 86 ABY, and a grieving Tariun buried her on Naboo, leaving a second space beside her for himself.
Without Lorelai, Tariun was lost. He wandered the galaxy aimlessly, drinking and getting high on spice, getting into fights and injuring or killing others without thought or remorse. The agony of losing the woman he loved had shattered him much more deeply than the loss of his brothers so many decades before. He worked his way through shadowports and scum holes around the galaxy, wanting to die and seriously considering killing himself.
How to save a life
Tariun was on Junkfort Station, drunk enough to kill some weaker Near-Human species, when Rin found him. Through a haze of alcohol and lingering spice, he barely registered her words or presence. When she tried to pull him away from his collection of bottles, he clumsily attacked her. His hand had barely begun to grope for one of his lightsabers, however, when Rin knocked him out effortlessly.
Tariun awoke aboard the Vengeance with Rin caring for him as he slowly sobered up and dried out, occasionally giving him small injections of her own rejuvenating blood to repair some of the damage to his arteries and internal organs. When Rin spoke to him, Tariun broke down in tears and told her of Lorelai's death. He could feel her surprise and grief, but could not bring himself to comfort her. Rin reassured him instead and let him sleep.
When next they spoke, Rin told Tariun of her dream for the galaxy, bringing it under her rule by forging an Empire in the Unknown Regions. Tariun was skeptical about the feasibility of the idea, both the prospect of toppling all the other governments of the galaxy and the notion that people would accept Rin's rule. However, he could clearly see that the path Rin had set for herself would be perilous, and she would need loyal and dedicated warriors to protect her. With nothing left in his life but his brotherly love for her, Tariun agreed to join her quest.
Forging an Empire
A new brother
When Tariun had recovered, Rin introduced him to Keltrayu, her apprentice of ten years. Tariun was surprised by the development, especially because Rin had given no indication of Keltrayu's existence during his own convalescence. In the other man Tariun could sense quiet, competent skill, accompanied by a ferociously protective attitude toward Rin. It endeared Keltrayu to Tariun immediately.
In the following days, as they helped Rin iron out her plans for her new government, Tariun and Keltrayu became fast friends. They sparred and tested one another's powers often, and while Tariun's greater experience gave him an edge in dueling, Keltrayu's eclectic background of martial arts and Force abilities gave him an inventive, unpredictable style. Each learned from the other, and Tariun, who had not had to fight another Force user since the death of Maximus Kironis more than two decades before, felt the dark side empowering him again.
Tariun and Keltrayu assisted Rin in writing the Charter of the Golden Empire, but all three accepted that they could not forge even the smallest Empire with only the Vengeance and its crew of Massassi (and the Nelvaanians Rin had picked up over the years, much to Tariun's bemusement). Keltrayu was stymied by the problem, but Tariun and Rin realized almost in unison that there was a well-stocked and decently crewed fleet within reach.
Into the void
As they journeyed to the Denarii Nova, Tariun was uneasy about the idea of Rin facing Tak to demand the fleet. He knew his father was a capable warrior, and Rin had not beaten him the last time they fought. He wondered whether Tak might even be willing to strike Rin down if she pushed him to it. To allay his fears, Rin sparred with him, commanding him to attack her with the full extent of his abilities. Tariun was unnerved to discover that not only could he not beat Rin, but even as he gave up favoring her and truly unleashed himself on her, she defeated him handily. Even fighting two-on-one with Keltrayu at his side, they could not match her. Reassured even as he was thoroughly humbled, Tariun voiced no further objection.
They called Tak from Denarii, and Rin had Keltrayu wait in her personal shuttle, the Wanderlust. The siblings met Tak, and Tariun managed to maintain his composure as he explained Lorelai's death and his allegiance to Rin, though he shrugged off his startled father's words of comfort. Privately, Tariun was filled with loathing that Tak had not sensed Lorelai's death himself. Rin explained her plan and demanded the fleet, and Tak balked. Though Tariun was willing to stay, Rin had him leave before it became a fight. Tariun restrained Keltrayu from intervening in the duel that followed, and when Rin emerged victorious, the three journeyed to the Sith Star and assumed command.
Rin took the fleet to N'zoth, where she practiced instinctive astrogation until she was sure she was prepared. Then, slave-rigging the entire fleet to the Sith Star, she took them through the hyperspace disturbance at Galactic West. The trip was slow and perilous, and they narrowly avoided collisions with stars, comets, and various other astronomical bodies. After more than a week of stop-and-go travel, however, the fleet finally emerged in the Unknown Regions.
Before they could do little more than take in their surroundings, an unidentified object approached the Star. Tariun ordered the fleet to battle ready, but Rin belayed the order, and Tariun and Keltrayu watched in blank confusion as a Duinuogwuin perched on the bow of the flagship. It carried on a telepathic conversation with Rin for hours before departing.
Rin's stated intention was to find Quadia, Ye`keb's homeworld, but she followed her instincts and took them to Abstalia first instead. Tariun accompanied her to the surface, along with Keltrayu and a company of Massassi, arriving at a Meet of the native Abstalians. The Sith Lord was willing to fight the natives when they attacked, but Rin waved him down and casually flung her attackers back before requesting their allegiance. Startled by Rin's powers, they nonetheless told her to slay the Abstalian Phoenix to win their loyalty.
Rather than simply take over the world by force, Rin took up the challenge. Tariun was uneasy as she ascended the volcano, but Keltrayu was utterly unconcerned, even when the giant Phoenix burst forth from the lava and Rin took off on its back. Keltrayu's absolute confidence in Rin reassured Tariun, and the two actually made bets on whether Rin would fall off, though Tariun tensed again when she actually did. But she incited the Phoenix to catch her and blasted it to death with Force lightning. As the awed Abstalians pledged their loyalty, the Empire had a world to its name.
Tariun fought alongside Rin, Keltrayu, and the Massassi in the Liberation of Quadia, and took savage pleasure in freeing the Qua slaves and giving them weapons to wreak their vengeance on the captured slavers. He oversaw the crucifixion of several other slavers, leaving them to die of asphyxiation or exposure.
Among the Qua, Keltrayu found a Force-sensitive boy named Te`net Organi, and Rin persuaded him to enter the service of the Empire. Over the following years, more Force adepts were identified and added to the Empire's ranks. Tariun assisted Rin and Keltrayu in the early training of these disciples, though more than once he asked Rin what she planned to do with them. She avoided a cold, ruthless Sith style of training, but nor was she pursuing anything like Jedi teachings.
By 94 ABY, there were too many Novices to simply continue developing them as vague agents of the government, and Rin formed the Order of the Golden Empire. She appointed Tariun its leader, giving him the title of Prefect. She intended the officers of the Order, called Centurions (of which Keltrayu was the first), to be her own brand of Jedi, but more warriors and law enforcers than peacekeepers and mediators. Though it was not publicly discussed, they would also be a ready pool of assassins.
Keltrayu was technically Tariun's subordinate, but they worked together often. Tariun conducted the training of the first generation of Novices while Keltrayu took field assignments for the Empire, although Tariun joined him on particularly difficult missions.
In addition to his role as Prefect, Tariun was the informal commander of his sister's forces. He had far more military experience than anyone else in the Empire, and helped the Massassi draft plans to train the Empire's new species in military service. When Iscandar was added to the Empire, Tariun welcomed the spacefaring Iscali and their small but useful fleet. The Iscali became the first major presence in the Royal Navy apart from the Massassi.
Tariun also taught tactics and strategy to Rin and Keltrayu. With her prophetic talents and her ability to combine political, economic, and military resources into combined strength, Rin was better suited to grand strategy. Keltrayu, like Tariun, was more of a tactician, and he won the respect of the Massassi by fighting at the front lines of the Empire's various conquests.
Keltrayu, Tariun, and Rin formed a sort of triumvirate at the head of the Empire. Though Rin's command was unquestioned, the three all had skills which added to the Empire's success. Being the only fully trained Force users at the Empire's beginning, a close bond formed among all of them. Tariun and Rin had always been close, but the Sith Lord found the connection growing stronger. Keltrayu, meanwhile, became his best friend, each rubbing off on the other. Keltrayu's sense of humor became drier and more sarcastic at times, while Tariun picked up some of Keltrayu's innate optimism and confidence in Rin's destiny.
Some time after the beginning of the Empire, Tariun began romancing various women on new worlds. At first he felt unsure, having not been with anyone since Lorelai. But he ultimately shrugged off his concerns; he got pleasure from women and gave them pleasure in turn, but he loved none of them—none of them would ever compete with the true love he had lost. Rin learned quickly not to bring up Lorelai with her brother, and Keltrayu followed her lead.
The Great Liberation
In 100 ABY, Tariun had trained Aquila Corcer to Rin's and his own satisfaction, promoting him to full Centurion status. The Order had dozens of Novices and sixty-three inhabited worlds, as well as exploration of others underway. In that year, the Empire encountered the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob in a Skirmish at Quadia. When Keltrayu departed into the Tetrarchy on an espionage mission, Tariun sat in on interrogations of prisoners from a subsequent Skirmish at Yin, evaluating the capabilities of the prisoners themselves and their captured ship.
Tariun raised several specialty units in preparation for war, including the Combat Saboteurs and an elite Hadrago squadron he called Red Squadron. Keltrayu returned with details about the enemy, and, obedient to Rin's wishes, Tariun drafted an invasion strategy. The nearby Xoquon sector was newest to the Tetrarchy and less protected, and Tariun allowed Keltrayu to command the fleet at the Battle of Wemod while Tariun himself flew as Red Leader at the head of his elite squad.
Wemod fell and the native Minetii eagerly embraced the Empire. Using their new pool of recruits, they learned more about the Tetrarchy and liberated more systems in the Xoquon sector. Tariun and Keltrayu engineered a shadowfeed into the Tetrarchy HoloNet, undermining Tetrarchy propaganda with a mix of truth and propaganda of their own.
Clinging to life
Knowing the Tetrarchy would retaliate with overwhelming force if given the time, Rin ordered a strike deep within Tetrarchy territory to preempt and off-balance the enemy. Tariun talked her out of attacks on Mezlagob and Ommol, and though he was not much more enthusiastic about attacking Hudrel, he finally conceded to her plan, preparing an attack fleet to raid the droid foundry world.
The Battle of Hudrel was a disaster for the Empire. Tariun finally got the chance to square off against Garyth Quorr, the famous Supreme Commander of the Tetrarchy military. Despite his tactical skills, however, Tariun was too badly outnumbered. After the loss of the Star Destroyer Overlord, he finally conceded to the inevitable and ordered a retreat.
Staggering from its defeat at Hudrel, the Empire's Armada was forced to abandon the Xoquon sector to the Tetrarchy's reconquest. Tariun and Keltrayu led an unsuccessful defense of Tershin, and failed to save Irestego as well. Costly battles saved Yin and Bolera, but Tariun could tell the Empire's war machine was hemorrhaging.
After the fiasco at Irestego, Rin called together her commanders and proposed the idea of a massive strike to disrupt the Tetrarchy's attacks. Tariun was highly skeptical, reminding her of the defeat at Hudrel, but Rin was unwilling to sit back and slowly be strangled. The three and their tactical advisors debated for hours until Tariun and Keltrayu united behind an all-out attack; they would take Rin's theory, but commit every ship and soldier to the assault. The Empire would triumph or be destroyed. Rin eventually agreed, and the three selected Tizgo V as their target world.
Leaving the fleet and the space battle in the hands of Massassi Captain Zogryth, Tariun joined Rin and Keltrayu for the invasion of the surface. He stayed near Rin for most of the battle, directing forces by holocom and sending Keltrayu and Corcer where they could cause the most disruption. By evening of the first day, Tariun's forces had combined with Keltrayu's to overrun the planetary capital and seize the military district there.
The remaining Tetrarchy forces united overnight and the second day was consumed with a pitched battle outside the capital. On Keltrayu's advice, he and Tariun led a concerted attack on the Tetrarchy left flank that collapsed the attack there. Keltrayu, sensing Rin's fatigue from carrying on Battle Meditation for a day, convinced Tariun to return to their side, arriving just in time to see a shock tank closing on her position. The Sith Lord and the Centurion tried to fight their way through, but were unable to make headway through the Tetrarchy lines. Focused on trying to slaughter his way past the enemy, Tariun didn't see what Keltrayu was doing until Rin's sudden despair speared him in the Force. He looked up in time to see his friend leap on the shock tank, impale it with his lightsaber, and die as it exploded.
Rin's grief and rage exploded into the Force in a Force Scream that tore at every mind within a kilometer, and even Tariun was not immune. Beyond physical pain, he felt his sister's power reaching into his mind and forcing him to relive memories of Khrado's death at the hands of the Jedi and Lorelai slowly losing her strength in his arms. Finally managing to rebuff Rin's powers with his Sith control, Tariun was aghast to find both armies writhing in obvious agony. Hundreds of soldiers on the Tetrarchy side committed suicide rather than watch what Rin was forcing into their heads. Leaping onto Rin's command bunker, Tariun grabbed her and shook her out of her insane rage, bringing her back to reality.
As both sides reeled, Tariun called on his men to avenge Keltrayu, leading the charge with the 11th Massassi Cohort right behind him. In the ensuing massacre, he ensured compliance with Rin's order that every Tetrarchy soldier was to be killed, personally executing several who tried to surrender. By the end of the day, Tizgo V had fallen and every Tetrarchy soldier was dead.
Drive to victory
Within days of Keltrayu's death, Tariun organized and led a strike team to Ommol in a raid on its shock tank factory. He succeeded in sneaking onto the system and blowing up the factory, striking fear into the heart of the Tetrarchs at the idea that the Empire had penetrated the Mezlag sector at last. He went back to his shadowfeed to personally confirm the mission and mock the Tetrarchy's suggestion that it had been an industrial accident.
Scarred by the loss of Keltrayu, Rin and Tariun took the war back to the Tetrarchy, freeing Royal worlds taken by the Tetrarchy and capturing the Xoquon sector again, this time taking the sector capital of Xoquon itself. Tariun finally got his rematch with Garyth Quorr at the Battle of Baes, though the Mezzel admiral escaped. Tariun caught him again for the Battle of Vall`to, and this time baited Quorr into a trap. Rin's precise telepathy allowed Tariun to bring in reinforcements behind the Tetrarchy lines, trapping Quorr in the crossfire. As his ship went down in flames, the Mezzel sent Tariun a message by secure com: Well played.
After dispatching the token defenses left at Hudrel and Dolomir, Tariun braced for a fight at Mezlagob, but in the "battle" there, the Tetrarchy Navy surrendered rather than be destroyed. After Rin had executed the two surviving Tetrarchs, Tariun led the Empire's fleet to the final engagement of the war, the Battle of Ommol.
Rin's right hand
With the demise of the Tetrarchy, Rin set to governing her newly acquired systems and expanding the Empire. She created Tariun as Prime Legate, effectively making him Supreme Commander of the Armada and answerable only to Rin herself. Within years of the Tetrarchy's defeat, she also made him a Royal Executor, giving him much of her own authority so he could act as her personal agent even when dealing with Consuls and other high-ranking officials.
With Keltrayu gone, Tariun was Rin's only true confidante, and he immersed himself in his work for her. He worried for her as she constantly tried to manage the Empire herself and worked for days on end at times. It was Tariun who coaxed Rin to form the Grand Council of the Golden Empire, delegating some executive authority for the sake of efficiency. It was Tariun, too, when more Centurions had been added to the ranks, who formed the Royal Guard to be Rin's bodyguards. Rin conceded to that engagement somewhat reluctantly, mostly to appease Tariun, and later evened the score by appointing more Royal Guards for Tariun himself.
When the Citadel was built in 105 ABY, Tariun spent much of each day there, overseeing the training of Novices. He had the Citadel's hyperwave transceiver installed so he could communicate with other parts of the Empire and run the Armada from his Prefect's office.
After the defeat of the Tetrarchy, the Empire inherited some of its problems, including raids by the pirate Nightside Raiders. Tariun used his joint authority as Prefect and Prime Legate to coordinate the efforts of Centurions and the Royal Navy in hunting down the pirates; while several raid groups were captured, their leader, Kilwyo Kesh proved more elusive. It was Rin who came up with the solution, branding Kesh an Enemy of the Empire; he was stabbed to death in a bar mere days later by a civilian. The Armada swiftly mopped up the remains of the group before they could reorganize.
The Empire also had to deal with Red Eclipse, a slaving syndicate on the fringes of its territory. Tariun again used all his resources for the Hunt for Red Eclipse, and personally led the Empire's assault in the Battle of Harth Gool. Like Rin, he was infuriated by the deaths of Aquila Corcer and Melnanooin in the Engagement on Synno, and praised Eskol Kaartinen and Rajj-Yo for their victory over Zhin-Vel on Haerch. Tariun commanded the Ambush at Bolera, watching with smug satisfaction at Sayl Leikvold's command ship exploded.
Tariun sometimes accompanied Rin on diplomatic missions, and he often seduced various minor (and sometimes major) court officials and nobility. Rin was tolerant of his dalliances, mostly because they did not seem to distract him. Tariun did not lose his military edge, and usually commanded the Empire's conquests, from Waldragos to Shel Du. It was the124 ABY Battle of Sanduluc, however, that would change his life.
Leading an invasion force with Sato Raltharan and Kieran Sapphire, Tariun was casually mowing his way through native resistance when he sensed a disturbance in the Force. Leaving Sapphire to command his regiment and meet up with Raltharan's cohorts, Tariun followed his senses down an alley, finding a young girl there. She opened fire on him with a blaster, but he casually deflected the shots and plucked the weapon from her grip.
Startled, she tried to run, but Tariun caught her easily. Though scared, she remained defiant, and Tariun was impressed with her strength of will. She spoke Sandulucian Basic, and the Sith Lord learned her name was Breek Zagrev. A war orphan, she was living on the streets. Tariun felt a touch of destiny in her and invited her to join the Order. Though she was skeptical and distrustful, Breek cautiously agreed.
Taking her before Rin, Tariun presented his find. Rin could sense the deep anger and bitterness that had scarred the eleven-year-old, but also that fate was connecting Breek and her brother, and approved the situation. Tariun enrolled Breek as a Novice, but took a much greater hand in her training than he had any other student, even in the early days. He taught her to harness her rage and fear, turning them into weapons with a Sith style of control. His tutelage was often brutal, harsher and more demanding even than the strenuous training of the Novices, and more than once he reduced her to tearful sobs that she could not do what he asked. But even as he pitilessly goaded her on, he also gave her the tools necessary for success. Slowly, past the hate forged by training, a bond formed between them like master and apprentice.
The Chiss campaign
In 130 ABY, Rin began discussing the idea of invading and annexing the nearby Chiss Ascendancy, knowing the Empire was encroaching on its territory and conflict was inevitable. Tariun was wary, aware of the Ascendancy's reputation for military might and efficiency, but he began drawing up invasion plans all the same. The Empire slowly shifted to war footing, with the Armada ordering new capital ships and existing battle groups and fleets conducting war games and training exercises.
Tariun also worked to develop the next generation of military leaders. He identified several promising tacticians and leaders and steered them into command positions, Torin Saedrin and Tarse Medrego among them. He also worked with Sorrik, a promising Umdal Centurion. Since Royal Intelligence was unlikely to ever get through to the Ascendancy, Rin used her prophetic abilities instead, trying to predict Chiss defenses.
Not long after Tariun and Rin had their initial discussion, both sensed the death of their brother Hayden at the Massacre on Ossus. Tariun was pained to have the ancient sensation of losing a brother renewed, but he kept his head level in the face of Rin's grief and rage. Reminding her that she could not try to punish the One Sith without exposing them, he helped her regain focus on the war. Despite his objectivity, Tariun was an enemy of the One Sith and Darth Nihl particularly from that day on.
Even while preparing for war and leading the Order of Keltrayu, Tariun continued to give Breek special attention. He had forged her into a relentless, powerful warrior, detached and cool but loyal to Rin and Tariun. Despite having a weaker bond of family with her fellow Centurions than many others, Tariun still pronounced her fit for commissioning and had her take her Centurion's examination in 135 ABY. She passed without difficulty and became an officer of the Order.
Tariun also took to mentoring a pair of Novices, Tamlok and Maliya. While he did not devote as much attention to them as he did to Breek, both Novices had an interest in piloting and reflexes suited to the task. Tariun allowed them ample time with flight simulators and even let them take out actual Hadragos.
With the military geared up and the Order primed for combat, Tariun and Sorrik launched the Conquest of the Chiss Ascendancy. Tariun led the Battle of Cormit, cutting off the Chiss Expansionary Defense Force from the known galaxy. He orchestrated the Armada's harassment of the various Chiss colonies, including a feint attack on Csilla itself. In the early engagements of the war, Tariun allowed the Chiss to engage his fighters and capital ships more freely than he might otherwise have done, trying to understand their tactics.
By the Battle of Naporar, however, Tariun had completed his tactical analysis and used it to decimate the CEDF force and the Colonial Phalanx there. Breek acquitted herself well in the planetary invasion, earning praise from her fellow soldiers and Sato Raltharan, and Tariun gave her a rare compliment on her return. When the Empire returned to Csilla, it was to conquer, and the Second Battle of Csilla saw the surrender of the Ascendancy's leaders.
You'll have to excuse my sister, she's not used to being around people who have any expectation of privacy in their minds.
—Tariun Sakaros to Alluria Quinn and Reiko Kaytana
The year after the war, Breek became one of Tariun's Royal Guards. Their affectionate relationship gradually became flirtation, which itself became an on-and-off sexual relationship. Rin was concerned over the development, although it did not interfere with Breek's performance of her duty. Both Tariun and Breek carried on occasional trysts with other people, although they had more affection with each other than either did with anyone else.
In 139 ABY, Tariun and Rin were on the Star debating expansionary strategy when Tariun suddenly felt someone put a hand on his shoulder, and an inexplicable feeling of pride. He turned, and no one was there, but a second later Rin stiffened, and in the next instant they both felt their father's Force signature die. Retreating to Rin's chambers, the siblings shared their grief, and both were confused by the depth of their reaction.
Traveling to Nar Shaddaa together in disguise, the Sakaros siblings were startled to discover a crowd of thousands assembled for their father's funeral at Ara Merquise's Fortress. As they listened to Alluria Quinn give Tak's eulogy, Tariun was filled with a mix of shame and bitterness; while Rin obsessed over how she had failed to see the turnaround of her father's destiny and denied him her love, Tariun's thoughts were more on the callousness and indifference he had shown his father in the last decades they had known one another. The two siblings relied on each other for support.
Rin, however, dragged them off to intercept her father's body, returning his Sith sword and posthumously restoring the rank of Sith Lord to him. When they were met by Alluria, Rin introduced them both, and Tariun took a liking to her. They both also met Reiko Kaytana, and Tariun was surprised to discover that Reiko was pregnant with Tak's sixth and final child. While Rin simply marveled, Tariun recovered some of his humor, impressed at his father's seduction of a woman two centuries his junior. The two Sith stayed with their new friends for a few weeks, during which Tariun and Alluria had a brief affair. Tariun was not particularly enthused when Jadian Star accompanied them back to the Empire, but did not object, sensing Rin was adamant.
Tariun and Rin returned to the Empire, but Tariun returned not long after to see his new baby brother, Nagarian, and to spy on Souv Tanake, a Jedi who had become suspicious of Rin's Force presence on Nar Shaddaa. He took Breek with him, along with Tamlok, Khoro`ly`ooho`sh`lyhoo, and Jira Seezhli. During that visit he had a sexual liaison with Odala Van Meer, Souv's apprentice, and later took Breek and Khoro to rescue Odala from the clutches of the Desilijic kajidic.
On a visit of her own to Nar Shaddaa, Rin was startled to find Jarek Solios there. Jarek, as it turned out, was the grandson of Tak and Rin's cousin Andromeda, and he confided that Andromeda was on Coruscant, suffering from the Taren Plague. Rin immediately sent Tariun, Breek, and Chindal to retrieve her.
They found her without difficult and secured her belongings on their ship. Before departing Coruscant, Tariun had Chindal stop in at an art gallery where Rin's half-sister, Jasmine Auroras, was selling some of her work. The Dronos bought a painting of Naboo waterfalls, which Tariun took back to the Empire as a gift for Rin.
There was a brief delay in presenting it, as Rin insisted on helping Tillandra Moraes heal Andromeda of the Taren Plague, and subsequently contracted the Plague herself. Tariun spent several weeks fending off rumors that Rin was dying, keeping the government running efficiently so that Rin would still have an Empire to rule when she recovered. Over his objections, she began to resume some of her duties before she was completely well. When she finally did recover, she was touched by the gift of the painting and hung it in her private art gallery.
Based on the information Tariun had discovered on Nar Shaddaa, Rin sent Chindal to invite Souv to a parley at the Denarii Nova, while Jira carried the same invitation to Alluria and Breek tracked down Odala on Zeltros. Tariun was at Rin's side for the parley, although partway through he had to call Sorrik over and dispatch him to deal with yet another rebellion crisis on Shel Du. Souv consented to share her memories of Tak and Hayden, who had been her master, with Rin, who extended them to Tariun as well.
As Souv considered Rin's offer of alliance, Tariun spent time with Odala, and the two had another brief tryst. As they departed, Rin shared her confidence that Odala would become Alluria's new apprentice, leaving Tariun somewhat discomfited. Tariun had also noticed the affection between Rin and Jedi Master Jextar Cyern-Star, Jade's son. He did not like the idea of a Jedi in love with his sister, and even when Rin explained that he had helped Hayden keep the Jedi in the dark about her existence, Tariun still distrusted Jex.
In late 140 ABY, the Empire began to experience pirate raids near what had once been the Chiss Ascendancy. Deducing that the next strike would come at the tibanna-producing world of Lebyool, Rin sent Tariun to deal with the situation. He took a small strike force, commanding from the Star Destroyer Assassin. He also took Breek, Tamlok, and Maliya. Expecting easy pickings, he flew a Hadrago with Tam and Maliya as his wingmates.
The Battle of Lebyool was a rout for the Empire. A small fleet of Star Destroyers counterattacked, and the ambush became a desperate battle for survival. A turbolaser blast fried Tariun's systems and incincerated Maliya. Ordering Breek to retreat, Tariun allowed his fighter to be tractored into the enemy ship's hangar bay, then came out lightsabers swinging. He slaughtered a number of enemy soldiers before they finally managed to stun him.
In captivity, Tariun was interrogated and tortured, though his Sith skills blunted most of the pain; indeed, his captors had nothing on the Yuuzhan Vong. They were baffled to discover he was a Sith Lord and, having lost their own Sith leader to a duel with none other than Tak Sakaros, tried to recruit Tariun to be their master. They were perplexed as to why a "Sith Lord", as they knew them, would ever willingly serve another without intending to ultimately usurp her throne.
Eventually, Rin found the fleet, arriving with a force of hundreds of capital ships. She boarded the command ship and freed Tariun, having the gunner who killed Maliya mauled to death by Vem and strangling the enemy commander herself. The rest of the fleet was incorporated into the Royal Navy. Tariun and Rin had a long debate about her plan to let most of the enemy troopers continue serving as Royal Navy personnel, but Rin was adamant that most of them bore no personal malice. She sent Tariun to recuperate from his ordeal on Nar Shaddaa, taking Breek and Tamlok (who were delighted to see him) along.
A woman scorned
Tariun went, using the resources of the Merquise Syndicate to build himself a new pair of lightsabers. Breek was relieved that he had survived, having felt personally responsible for his capture, since he had given her overall command of the Battle of Lebyool. He assured her that he did not hold her responsible, and the two slept together again.
During the "vacation", Tariun also eased Tamlok's conscience and wound up sleeping with Reiko, too. Breek, meanwhile, encountered Shaydow Tynblade. The Drakonus had known Rin as a child, and Breek marveled at some of his stories about her. She also considered the very real possibility that she might have to kill him, since beings in the known galaxy were not supposed to know of Rin's existence. However, she was floored when Shaydow casually mentioned that Tariun had been married.
Rin telepathically called her brother home; the Empire had been attacked. As they returned, Tariun noticed Breek's discomfort and awkwardness, both of which were very unusual for her. When they arrived, she confronted him about Lorelai. Tariun had done his best to keep those memories submerged, and he reacted angrily. The two got into an acrimonious argument, with Breek offended and hurt at not knowing the truth and Tariun coldly telling her she had no right to it.
The Vagaari War
Fighting the slave lords
Tariun had little time to dwell on Breek's anger, because he had to conduct a war with the Vagaari Empire. Consul Tesshen Manytrek had been killed during the Fall of Tenupe, and Rin was determined to get revenge. Tariun consulted his senior Chiss commanders, as well as data from the Expeditionary Library on Csilla. Rin permanently relieved him of his role as Prefect of the Order of Keltrayu, giving the position to Eskol Kaartinen to allow Tariun to focus completely on the war.
Dividing the response fleet in half, he gave Sorrik one command and took the other himself. They had fought only a few engagements and made some headway into enemy territory when the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium attacked the Empire's southern border. Tariun sent Sorrik south with his command to repulse the Ssi-ruuvi Incursion, promoting Tarse Medrego and Salome Hrek to Legate status and giving them parts of his own fleet. With Sorrik's ships gone, however, the Empire found it more difficult to hold its ground.
Enemies on both sides
Fighting at the edge of Chiss Space, Tariun had his plans complicated further when the Chiss Rebellion broke out. Kaartinen persuaded him not to send Centurions to fight the rebels, keeping them on the Vagaari front and scoring a few small public relations points with the Chiss. Unwilling to leave Medrego or Hrek even more exposed, Tariun took ships from the Prime Fleet to put down the rebellion. They succeeded in containing the revolt to a handful of systems, but trade through the Ascendancy was disrupted.
Tariun sent Aria Nikina to disrupt the Vagaari in their own territory, but slowly fell back into the Empire's border systems. The only thing which kept his own force alive was Jira Seezhli, who discovered that she shared Rin's gift of Battle Meditation. Tariun ordered Jira to train with the ability whenever she had free time. The two became close, and Jira was at Tariun's side when he sensed Breek in mortal danger at the Battle of Shest Minor. Though he knew he was much too far away to help, and despite his lingering anger at her, Tariun was briefly pained by the prospect.
During the Chiss Rebellion, Tariun began keeping an eye on Chiss Novice Vos'elk'eetash. Her brother, Vos'yru'sadan, was fighting for the rebels, and Selkee was obviously conflicted. Eventually, Selkee snuck out of her room, making her way to a communications center. Tariun followed, discretely cutting off access to the terminal, but keeping his Force signature concealed in order to watch the girl. Though she agonized over her decision, Selkee ultimately decided not to send her brother any covert messages. She was terrified when Tariun revealed himself, but the Sith Lord was understanding; he knew full well the call of loyalty to a sibling. Feeling Selkee had learned her lesson and proved her loyalty, Tariun cautioned that ultimate judgment would be up to Rin, but pardoned her himself in the interim. He used Royal Intelligence to identify Syrus's ship and ordered his commanders to take it alive at all costs.
In late 142 ABY, Rin made an alliance with the P'w'ecks and together they drove the Ssi-ruuk away from the Empire. Sorrik returned with his fleet, dispatching a battle group to put down the Chiss Rebellion and bringing the rest to relieve Tariun. The Sith Lord divided the ships among his group, Medrego's, and Hrek's, and the three fronts pushed back into Vagaari territory.
Rin declared that the Vagaari were to be subjected to speciecide for their crimes against the Empire and their enslavement of sentients, and Tariun took up the challenge. He led the bombardment of Vagar Praxut, turning the Vagaari homeworld into a radioactive wasteland. By the end of 143 ABY, when Rin declared the war concluded, the Vagaari were functionally extinct.
After the war, Tariun and Captain Torin Saedrin led the call for Jira to be awarded the Crown of Deliverance for her role in saving the fleet, although Rin ultimately overruled them and continued her policy against Centurions receiving military decorations. Having heard the story of Selkee's aborted betrayal, Rin agreed with Tariun's judgment, though she cautioned Selkee that no further disloyalty would be tolerated. Relieved, Selkee was very grateful to Tariun, and the two forged a friendship. Selkee suspected Tariun's involvement in keeping her brother alive, and he became one of the few people she trusted and admired.
A dark year
Rin relieved Tariun of his post as Prime Legate, which he had expected, and command changed to Sorrik. However, Tariun had expected to be reinstalled as Prefect of the Order and was denied. Though clearly conflicted, Rin was firm in her decision, and made it clear it was the penalty for getting Maliya killed at Lebyool through his carelessness. Tariun, however, took it as a personal insult and a lack of trust.
Breek approached Tariun shortly after the war, hoping to reconcile. She apologized for asking about Lorelai, though Tariun irritably told her to drop it. Breek pressed Tariun to speak about his feelings and finally told him she loved him, but Tariun rebuffed her, saying she was a good commander and a gifted killer, but nothing more to him. Stung, Breek argued with him, and the argument quickly became a fight. After a few pushes, Tariun backhanded Breek and split her lip, and she broke his nose. They had their lightsabers out when Tariun's Royal Guards came through the door, but Tariun stopped it from becoming a fight. He ordered Breek out, but pardoned her for attacking him and told the Guards to drop it.
Jextar Star obtained for the Empire a copy of the schematics for an Imperial Super Star Destroyer, and Rin commissioned the craft. Tariun was put in charge of the project, and he went out to the building site with no enthusiasm, taking his two new Guards, Sovi Evnairis and Ghess, with him. Over the months he spent in deep space, coordinating foremen as the skeleton of the Super Star Destroyer started to come together, Tariun took to drinking again. Eventually, he used his authority to smuggle in spice as well. He managed to keep himself together during work hours, but was often drunk on his own time. His despondency over Rin's perceived lack of trust—and, confusingly, the almost equally painful remorse over the demise of his relationship with Breek—chewed at him constantly. Tariun managed to pull himself together enough to give Jira away at her wedding to Wyro Zaffrod, but Breek was present as Jira's maid of honor, and that only deepened Tariun's depression.
In late 144 ABY, Tariun abandoned the project briefly, ordering his Guards to stay behind while he went to visit his brother Nagarian. Reiko, Alluria, and Jarek were concerned over Tariun's obvious signs of alcoholism and drug abuse. Tariun spent a night carousing through casinos and bars on the Smuggler's Moon, getting into a few fights. As he staggered back to the ziggurat the next day, he found with some annoyance that Sovi had followed him to Nar Shaddaa, although Ghess was keeping up the pretext of his presence in the Empire.
However, Sovi's presence turned out to be fortuitous. The drugs and alcohol finally caught up with Tariun, and he suffered cardiac arrest at the ziggurat. Reiko managed to administer emergency aid until Sovi arrived and delivered a Soju electric shock that stabilized his heart rhythm. Before he came back, however, Tariun had a vision of Lorelai. He hoped that he could rejoin her in death, but she told him it was not yet his time, and urged him to follow what he knew his heart wanted.
After he recovered, Tariun took Sovi back to the Empire, collected Ghess, and went to find Breek. She was currently aboard her personal command ship, the Valkyrie, and Tariun boarded it without her knowledge, pulling rank on Captain Salin Tesshir and the bridge crew. Leaving Sovi and Ghess with his ship, he made his way to Breek's stateroom, greeting her as she left the shower.
Breek was not pleased to see him—and upon discovering an intruder in her bedroom, she nearly impaled him with her lightsaber before recognition kicked in—and she was deeply skeptical of Tariun's casual attitude. However, he finally dropped his pretenses and was open with her, showing her a holo of Lorelai and explaining his relationship with his late wife. She could sense the emotional drain that it was on him, and her own feelings softened. Tariun apologized sincerely for his treatment of her, and admitted that he had come to realize he loved her too. Though he knew it would take time for Breek to completely trust him, the bond between them was restored and stronger than it had ever been.
Tariun's next trip was to the Sith Star, where he apologized to Rin for his various failings in his duty toward her. Rin was conciliatory, accepting his apology but making it clear how much she trusted and valued him. Tariun also discussed his relationship with Breek, and Rin assured him of her blessing, as well as granting her permission when the time was right.
The time turned out to be right a few months into 145 ABY, when Tariun proposed to Breek and she accepted. The two were married at the end of the year, and Nagarian and his family were allowed to come to the Empire to witness the ceremony. They honeymooned in the known galaxy, Tariun taking Breek to a number of worlds, including surfing the waves on Kamino.
Tariun continued to oversee the Super Star Destroyer project, although Breek was allowed to visit him and he her. In 146 ABY, she bore their first child and only son, Delliak Sakaros, whom Tariun gave the middle name "Marquand" for his late brother. Their first daughter, Nike Sakaros, was born in 148 ABY.
In 149 ABY, the Empire was attacked by a group of Dark Jedi, leading an army of insectoid Skavik warriors. After hastily organized Royal forces held the invaders off at Daispin and Rykar, Sorrik organized the Xoquon and Romasi Sector Fleets to defend the Empire against the invaders. Tariun was given command of the Xoquon Sector Fleet, while Breek assumed command of the Romasi. Delliak and Nike were safely ensconced within the Sith Star, which was not participating in front-line battle.
Though Tariun longed to duel some of the Dark Jedi personally, his field command was brief. Leading his fleet from the Tempest with Tarse Medrego as his second-in-command, he arrived at the Battle of Feldirjo to find the native Ossaki had dealt with most of the invaders themselves, limiting the fleet's involvement to a bombardment of the surviving Skavik. Tariun commanded the Battle of Harth Gool, but that engagement was a calamity; the Reawakened fleet withdrew, but Tariun was forced to bombard a town of innocent Heshoos out of existence to kill off the Vyrak Legions there before they could spread over Harth Gool.
Rin recalled Tariun to the Sith Star, leaving Medrego in command. Tariun ruled the Empire as Regent while Rin and Selkee used Sith alchemy on Kavez Massass to create the Shadow Massassi and the Anzat hounds. When Rin raised the Vengeance from Kavez Massass and used it to transport her creations back to the Prime Fleet, she put Tariun in charge of their use. He deployed Shadow Massassi as guards for Consuls and Tribunes on high-risk worlds, and gave Breek and Medrego Anzat hounds to employ against the Vyrak Legions. He also kept numerous Hounds aboard the Sith Star itself for emergency deployment.
After Rin destroyed Kizav, Tariun went on the Royal HoloNet to declare the Empire victorious and openly mocked the Dark Jedi. As Rin expected, Ador Hentral rose to the bait and arrived for the Battle of Dolomir. Tariun initially stayed on the bridge to assist Sorrik and Captain Meerk Hozzit, even when the enemy boarded the flagship. When Voara Culee and Charg led a squad of Anzat clones to attack the Citadel, however, Tariun and Jira went to the aid of Kaartinen, Selkee, and Organi, who were holding the door. Arriving to find their comrades badly outnumbered and wounded, Tariun encouraged Selkee to unleash a Force storm. When she did, and subsequently incapacitated the surviving Anzati, Tariun and Jira slaughtered them.
The reform era
In the aftermath of the Nightmare War, Tariun initially remained close to Rin as the Sith Star spent a month in drydock at Mir Kaldu`uz being repaired. When Jade Star was reeling from the loss of her husband Tekk, Tariun was uncharacteristically sympathetic; he identified sincerely with the agony of losing a lifelong mate. Jade's departure into self-imposed exile surprised him less than most of Rin's other advisors.
The Sith Lord was pleased when Rin appointed Breek Consul of Baes, although substantially less thrilled when Rin assigned the "orphaned" Kyriel Windrunner to Breek's tutelage. He constantly complained to his sister, but Rin proved immovable, and finally sent him to check on the Super Star Destroyer project just to be rid of him. With Rin's consent, Tariun began transferring control of the project to Torin Saedrin. When she proposed her 65 Reforms, Tariun traveled extensively through the Empire to shore up support for the changes.
In 150 ABY, the Human Unity Front attempted to assassinate Delliak and Nike, although they failed and Kyriel and Consular Security officers apprehended the assassins. Under torture, the assassins revealed their links to the Vall`to-based humanocentrist organization. Although Tariun volunteered to personally exact vengeance, Rin sent Rajj-Yo, Aria Nikina, and Ghess instead; though disappointed to not be directly involved, Tariun was comforted by the knowledge that, with Rajj-Yo present, many of his enemies would die badly.
Tariun visited Breek at least once that year, enjoying both seeing his wife and children and needling Kyriel, especially after discovering her attachment to Raynar Tarq. Breek became pregnant as a result of his visit, and gave birth to their third and final child, Amina, at the Consular Assembly the following year. Amina had to be operatively delivered and Breek briefly hemorrhaged, causing Tariun great disquiet until Rayne Turgachia and Tillandra Moraes got the situation under control.
The same Consular Assembly saw the enacting of the 65 Reforms, and Tariun was seated shortly thereafter as a member of the inaugural Sovereign's Council.
Around the time of the Nightmare War, Rin became increasingly concerned about Tariun's health. His alcohol and drug abuse, though discontinued, had damaged his cardiovascular system, and his 144 ABY heart attack had compounded much of the damage. With Tillandra Moraes's consent and supervision, Rin began giving her brother periodic partial transfusions of her own blood. She reasoned that sharing a father would make his body less likely to react badly to the transfusion, but her Qua side would still heal some of the damage. She eschewed transfusing pure Qua blood from a donor, although Te`net Organi volunteered; Rin feared her brother would develop an addiction to pure blood, but felt being half-siblings would help his body avoid any dependence on her blood.
The results were mixed. Rin's blood repaired some of the damage, but the repairs were always temporary; the basic conditions of Tariun's vessels and heart were too far advanced. Though the siblings usually performed the transfusions once a year, Tillandra estimated, based on the progression of Tariun's condition, that in the future he might require more frequent transfusions to achieve the same effect. In order to prevent Tariun from losing face in front of those he commanded, only those who absolutely needed to know of the procedure were brought into the loop. This initially consisted only of Rin, Tariun, Breek, their Royal Guards, and Tillandra, although Rayne Turgachia was brought into the circle eventually too.
While Breek ruled Baes and Rin governed the Empire and its newly organized sectors, Tariun was often in the field, supervising the implementation of the new sector governments and troubleshooting for his sister. He visited Baes when he could, enjoying spending time with his wife and children even though he continued to disdain Jinyx. Tariun also regularly checked in on Torin Saedrin and the Super Star Destroyer project. Tariun sat with the rest of the Royal Family in the royal box at Jira's 153 ABY concert at Samayus.
When Breek became a Royal Executor in 154 ABY and began moving through the Empire aboard her Valkyrie, Amina came to live with Tariun until she was ready to become a Novice. He enjoyed having her aboard, and was indulgent of her antics and limitless energy; he often took her with him to meetings, letting her run around with a toy starfighter making engine noises, realizing the parties with whom he was conversing might find it distracting, but would never dare raise the issue to him.
Amina became a Novice in mid-155 ABY, but shortly beforehand, she was attacked by Nightmare and Nocturne and saved by Jinyx and Rin. Tariun asked Rin's permission to kill the tuk'ata, but grudgingly accepted her refusal. Though he was still distrustful of Jinyx, Tariun conceded to Breek's point that the woman had acted to protect Amina and willingly gave her a lesson in Jar'Kai to allow her to benefit from his experience and (in his mind) square their debt.
I think they're a punishment for what we did earlier in life.
—Tariun to Alluria Solios, about Amina, Orion, and Reia
Tariun went with Rin to visit Nagarian on Belsavis in late 156 ABY, leaving Breek in command of the Empire. He enjoyed the time with his brother and Reiko; Reiko and Tariun spent time tuning and racing speeder bikes. Tariun also found Amina's interactions with Reia and Orion Solios amusing, though he had to retrieve Amina from performing Force-assisted jumps across a vine coffeine field a half-kilometer above the ground below. At the end of the visit, Tariun sensed a disturbance in Rin's mind, and eventually got out of her that she had sensed she would never see Reiko again.
Greatness or calamity?
No more dead brothers
Reiko was killed by Imperial Knight assassins in mid-157 ABY. Sensing a major disturbance in the Force, Tariun knew something was wrong with Rin before Tarzg contacted him. He returned to the Sith Star to find his sister catatonic, her Force signature so chaotic and jarring that it gave him a headache to be close to her. Eventually, Tariun, Selkee, and Azalyn Kass`l worked out what must have happened, and Tariun went to Belsavis personally to retrieve his brother, returning with Nagarian, Kylar Tanake, Magnus, and Kylar's dog Spanner.
Tariun could sense Nagarian's rage, though the younger man had it well-bottled for Kylar's sake. When Tariun got Nagarian alone, however, it took little effort to coax Nagarian's anger and bloodthirstiness to the surface. Realizing his brother would never be able to let Reiko's murder go, that Rin would never authorize a punitive campaign against the Knights that could expose the Empire, and that Nagarian was going to seek revenge either way, Tariun agreed to take Nagarian as a Sith Apprentice. When Rin awoke, neither of them told her of Nagarian's ultimate plan, and she was unable to sense their plan—the intense psychic trauma she had experienced from Reiko's death had caused her to go telepathically silent, unable to perceive the thoughts of others or be perceived by them. Tariun was disquieted by effectively lying to Rin, but silenced his conscience with memories of feeling or seeing his three other brothers die and realizing that, by training Nagarian to seek revenge skillfully, he might actually guarantee Nagarian's survival.
Rin did consent to Tariun training Nagarian, and Tariun journeyed to the largely-completed Super Star Destroyer, finally allowing Torin Saedrin to resign and assuming direct supervision of the project himself. There, light years from any system, Tariun began to train his brother in much the same way Tariun himself had been trained by their father. In one of the earliest lessons, Tariun pitted Nagarian against a convicted murderer in a life-and-death battle with shivs; Nagarian ultimately accepted his fury and drive to live and brutally stabbed the man to death. Relations between the brothers were often testy as a result of the Sith training, but Tariun also worked to expand Nagarian's knowledge base, involving him in the Super Star Destroyer project and some of his own design projects.
Tariun and Nagarian both attended Eskol Kaartinen's funeral; Tariun served as a pallbearer and eulogized his successor in Keltrayu's Tomb. When Rin resolved to leave the Empire on a quest to get her telepathy back, Tariun persuaded her to give Breek the regency rather than himself, ostensibly so he could maintain supervision of the Super Star Destroyer but also to keep Nagarian's Sith training a continued secret. Tariun used his senior authority only once during Breek's regency—when Selkee expressed concern about Rayne Turgachia's continuing despair over Te`net's departure from the Order, and Tillandra, Aria, and others shared her concern, Tariun ordered Rayne to go find Te`net and bring him back to the Order.
Powers and abilities
As strong in the Force as his father, Tariun Sakaros was inferior to the elder Sith only in terms of experience, and the expertise it brought, although they would have been equals by the time of Tak's death. He was a master of the Jar'Kai dueling style, using his own dual-blade variants of Djem So and Ataru. In the early days of the Golden Empire, only his sister Rin could defeat him and only Keltrayu could equal him. Eventually, Eskol Kaartinen became sufficiently skilled with a blade that the two would fight to a perpetual stalemate. By 149 ABY, Kieran Sapphire considered both himself and Breek Zagrev Tariun's equals in lightsaber combat.
Tariun was capable of using Force lightning, and could modulate its "voltage", from punitive levels when used against misbehaving Novices up to lethal intensity when used in battle. However, he often preferred more creative methods of combat, such as Dun Moch and performing saber throws with one lightsaber while attacking with the other. As an outgrowth of this, he developed skill at telekinetic lightsaber combat, using one lightsaber as a Force-controlled boomerang and fighting two-handed with the other. Like his father and eldest brother, he was trained in Var Shek, and though he preferred his lightsaber, it was a rare enemy that got the best of him by hand.
Like his father, Tariun was a fighter pilot with hundreds of kills, preferring Sith fighters to his father's Z-95 Headhunter Mark II, and though he initially lacked the elder Sith's knack for ship modification and mechanics, he eventually learned enough to work on his own craft. His knowledge of engineering later became sufficient for him to make some suggestions in the design of the Empire's warships.
If you wish to know of wine, women, or warshipsss, I sssuggessst you asssk that red-ssskinned warrior there. Only keep an eye on your femalesss; one look at him and they may desssert you.
His frequent outings to less-than-reputable worlds in the Outer Rim led Tariun to mastering many skills some considered to be unsavory. His alcohol tolerance was high enough that he could drink amounts that would kill pure Humans, partly due to Force manipulation but largely due only to practice. This ultimately began to diminish around the 140s ABY, as Tariun's years of alcohol consumption and occasional drug use began to catch up with him and his health deteriorated. He was also a very good sabacc player; his Force powers gave him the ability to sense unease or fear in others, and his luck was almost uncanny. Surpassing them all, though, was his prowess and fame as a lover; women the Rim over knew his name and desired his company.
I was a Jedi killer; now the only people I kill, I have to kill through cannons and soldiers. I can park my ass on a chair and give orders with the best of 'em.
—Tariun grumbling to Alluria Solios about his command role in 156 ABY
From years of co-leading or directing his father's Sith fleet, Tariun became a formidable space commander, and was widely feared by his enemies when engaged. He experimented off and on with Battle Meditation without success, though often his presence was enough to inspire his officers. On the ground, Tariun preferred to fight rather than command; with two lightsabers, he could cause devastation to massed enemies in a very short period of time. However, his troops followed him without hesitation.
Appearance and personality
The shortest of the three original Sakaros brothers, Tariun stood 1.83 meters (6'0") tall, and had an athletically muscular physique like a kickboxer. The resemblance between Tariun and his father was a source of shock for many who saw them together after Tariun had grown up. Both had dark black hair and reflective, emerald green eyes, and carried two lightsabers on their belts. Tariun wore his hair in a ponytail during his youth, though he cut it short at some point during his time in the Golden Empire. He sometimes wore a goatee. Though he normally wore a Sith tunic and robes in private, he often sported leather and Coruscanti fashions in clubs. Also like his father, Tariun was ambidextrous.
Considered by many women to be charming, sophisticated, witty, and debonair, Tariun was the consummate romantic. He had a gift for saying the perfect thing at exactly the right time. Nor was this skill limited to sexual conquests; Tariun was equally at home negotiating or in the field of diplomacy. He had a strong appreciation for the finer things in life, and would occasionally go out of his way to obtain them for himself (and later for Lorelai). In the Golden Empire he saw less diplomatic work, as Rin was an even better negotiator and Tariun was her best commander. This emphasis on military commander hardened Tariun a bit, drawing out his Sith side, though he could still be diplomatic and flattering when he wished.
Given his generally smooth attitude, many underestimated Tariun or dismissed him as an idle, rich fop. When pushed, however, he could transform into a focused and merciless warrior. It was often said by Centurions and Novices that his use of two sabers was like watching art; he treated the blades as extensions of his arms and will, and it gave his dueling style a graceful flair. Nevertheless, the aesthetic qualities belied the ferocity of his power when it was provoked.
Tariun's mediative nature in his youth led him to be the go-between for his older brothers, who hated each other. He was closer to Khrado than anyone, and a good friend to Marquand as well, so he often kept the peace, fulfilling his father's wish that the brothers work in concert (whether they wanted to or not). Despite his peacekeeping, Tariun also had his father's sarcastic sense of humor, and was unafraid to tell either brother exactly what he thought of him.
The deaths of Khrado and Marquand, and especially captivity by the Vong, wrought a change in Tariun. While he remained charming and witty, there was an edge to his personality that had not been there before. His bright eyes were a bit harder, his views a bit firmer, and his mercy noticeably less reliable. Those who knew him before and after Dorian IV remarked on this change with some alarm, but Tak viewed it as a much-needed grounding in reality for his only remaining son. The deaths of his brothers (first at Dorian IV, and later Hayden's death at Ossus as well) were sore points for Tariun for the rest of his life, though he was able to discuss Khrado objectively with Odala Van Meer by 140 ABY.
Throughout his whole life, four relationships had major impacts on Tariun's character.
Tak and Tariun Sakaros always got along when Tariun was young, but became particularly close after the Battle of Dorian IV and the deaths of Khrado and Marquand. Tariun was his father's most trusted agent for years, especially during and after the Yuuzhan Vong War. After Gav Daragon was forced to retreat from Tak, though, he and Tariun began to grow apart. Tariun's relationship with Lorelai led him away from his father's service, where he felt stagnant, and by the time Rin broke away from her father and set out on her own, Tariun felt nothing to bind him to Tak. He had no remorse for Rin's defeat of their father, though he felt guilt decades later when Tak died and it was revealed that he had deliberately concealed their existence from prying eyes.
Tariun had initially treated most women as disposable pleasures, giving them pleasure in the moment but sparing them no thought after. Lorelai Whitesun was the first woman he ever loved, and the first he considered an equal partner. Apart from her strength in the Force and her Sith training, her sarcasm, sharp edges, and adventurous nature matched and challenged Tariun's own. Loyalty to Lorelai became his primary concern after they married, and losing her shattered him.
Since Rin Sakaros's birth, she and Tariun were always close. He doted on her even as he pushed her in training, and she adored her big brother. Especially in the wake of Lorelai's death, Tariun's relationship with Rin became the most important in his life. He was very protective of Rin, and initially volunteered to help her form the Golden Empire in order to keep her safe. His life in the Empire was devoted to her service, and he was ruthless in the pursuit of enemies who threatened her.
Having discovered Breek Zagrev as an eleven-year-old, Tariun initially had no romantic interest in her at all. He felt connected to her through the Force and was impressed with her resilience, courage, and power, and trained her almost as a personal apprentice. When she became a Centurion and his Royal Guard, their relationship strayed out of the purely professional. Tariun was initially surprised, but it was clear Breek was no longer the little girl he had found on Sanduluc. He did not, however, perceive her love for him until she all but spelled it out, and his clinging to his unresolved grief over Lorelai prevented him from reciprocating. When he was finally forced to accept that he did love her back—and that loving Breek did not mean he had any less loyalty to Rin—Tariun finally allowed himself to love again. The difficulty in winning Tariun's love had burned away the last vestiges of childish infatuation in Breek's own feeling, and the two entered their relationship as equal partners and lovers.
Apart from the major influences on his life, Tariun had several friendships with various Centurions. Keltrayu was his best friend aside from Rin, and though he was not as devastated by the man's death as Rin, it still pained him intensely. Tariun took an interest in the military careers of several Centurions, including Sato Raltharan, Sorrik, Tamlok, and Maliya. He was also on good terms with Selkee, and each was fond of the other.
|The Sakaros Siblings|