The true test of a hero is learning when the greater good will be served by an evil act.
—Ussej Padric Bac II
Ussej Padric Bac III, sometimes referred to as the Morning Star, was born on Aquilae to Ussej Padric Bac II and Tesiana Al-Dubrir during the Second Ashlan Civil War, making him a part of a long line of legendary war heroes, politicians, tyrants, Jedi Knights and Bendu Knights. He was the third man of the Bac family to bear the name “Ussej Padric Bac”, and was the first to bear the name after the tradition began to name every firstborn male of the family “Ussej Padric Bac” in honor of his grandfather, Ussej Padric Bac. Because of his abilities and his family name, he became the Bendu High Priest and led the Bendu Order during the Great Sovereign Crusades. During that war, he was also said to be a catalyst in bringing about a consequential holy war that exiled the Jedi Order from Coruscant. This act also brought the Third Sith Empire to power once again and nearly brought about the decline Galactic Republic in the process.
During the war, Ussej was one of the players in a trinity of three individuals from three different backgrounds. Falling in love with Isabella Dashin and eventually allying himself Kalel Esunkit, Isabella’s eventual lover and father of her daughter, he was able to use the trinity to rectify his mistakes, thereby becoming knowing as the Morning Star and being welcomed as a Prophet of the Order of the Whills. His spirit was carried to Ashlan Four after he sacrificed himself to save Kalel and kill Carden Mannux, his arch enemy, in the Temple of the Ancients on Lehon. After visiting his home one last time in the form of a spirit, he made his way into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Ussej’s mistakes during the war brought about an age of awakening for the Bendu Order. After Ussej’s death, his greatest friend and successor as High Priest, Josiah Rendar, helped the order rebuild itself from the ground up. Josiah always remained cognizant of his friend’s life story to ensure that what happened during his time would not happen again. During the age of awakening, there were not only changes in appearances but a change in the way that the order viewed itself in comparison to the rest of the universe. Ussej, along with his father and grandfather, was able to help the order realize what would happen to someone if they allowed pride get the better of them. For that, Ussej was never forgotten.
Ussej Padric Bac III was born to Ussej Padric Bac II and Tesiana Al-Dubrir on Aquilae into the Bac family, making him part of a long line of war heroes, politicians, tyrants, Jedi Knights, Sith Lords and Bendu Knights. Ussej was one of the major controversies of the Second Ashlan Civil War, as the Bendu Order did not approve of the fact that Ussej the Second and Tesiana conceived a child without being married, but more so because of the fact that Tesiana’s father Husen Al-Dubrir was the dictator of Had Abaddon and the sworn enemy of the Bendu Order. Al-Dubrir did not care about Ussej’s conception or birth, despite what he said, but rather he was insulted that his daughter was involved with any member of the Bendu Order, especially a member of the Bac family.
Shortly after his birth, Tesiana was killed by radical citizens of Had Abaddon after a fierce chase through the streets. His father brought him to Ondos for hiding, and shortly thereafter his grandfather Ussej Padric Bac was killed while fighting Adena Qel-Droma, sacrificing himself to save the life of his son and infant grandson. Ussej’s father also spent a great deal of time faced with the repercussions of the war, meaning Ussej was left with his aunt Niamh Bac many times during his early years. Because of that, his early childhood was filled with loneliness and a longing to be with his father, as well as the longing for his mother to come back from the dead.
Shortly before his tenth birthday, his father was set to become a Bendu Priest, meaning that Ussej would have to move to the city of Vattica and leave his friends and family. Shortly before accepting the promotion, Ussej the Second chose to travel to Dxun, the moon of Onderon, to recover an ancient Jedi Bendu artifact that had supposedly been located by young scouts. Before he left, his father spoke to him about responsibility, and his final words stayed with the young boy for many years, resonating in many of the decisions he made and the actions he took.
After two months, the Bendu Council of Priests had yet to receive any word from Ussej the Second. They sent a scouting party led by David Rendar to ascertain why they had not heard back from him, and when they arrived they found his decaying body in an abandoned Mandalorian dueling ring. Ussej was given the news and spent weeks in solitude alone in his personal quarters at the Temple of Light. However, Ussej finally came out of his personal exile to live with his aunt Nimah in Ashla Prime. Ussej also spent a great deal of time with the Rendar family, particularly Josiah Rendar who was his age. Ussej and Josiah became very close, and many who did not know them believed they were brothers. They received apprenticeship together and both studied under David.
When he was eighteen, Ussej’s training was deemed to be complete by both David and the Council of Priests. He immediately began his Trial of Wills, the first trial towards Bendu Knighthood that was the same for all Knighthood hopefuls. As his task, he traveled to the bottom of the Well of Souls and found the first of three sacred stones that were grouped together to form a jewel to hang around his neck and adorn his blade. He discovered why it was called the Well of Souls when the souls of the dark warriors from the Valley of the Shadow of Death attacked him. At first, he could not find a way to defeat them, but after he dove through a small shaft and grabbed the first of the sacred stones he held it out in front of him, causing the souls to scatter in all directions.
When he left the well, he began an ascent up into the mountains. He stopped at an old Jedi Bendu enclave and found the second stone. Despite the sun having set, he was determined to finish so he pressed on during the night. When he reached the summit, he made his way onto the Holy Ridge of the Shaman of the Whills and found the third stone and placed each piece upon an altar at the edge of the ridge. The stones fused together, creating his symbol. After completing his long descent back to the Temple of Light, he showed the jewel to David who told him that he had passed his trial. It was then that he began preparing for the Trial of Fear.
After three days of rest and recovery from his toilsome journey, Ussej took his Trial of Fear, the final test in becoming a Bendu Knight that would determine whether or not he had the appropriate mindset to be considered a noble and virtuous defender. David reached into Ussej’s mind to find his deepest fear and what he found was the fear of failing his friends, his family and his people. David created a vision of Ussej fighting on a lush and beautiful world, surrounding by water and crashed starships. There, Ussej fought against a blue skinned, red-eyed demon to defend a woman, a young man and an older man from death. In the end, Ussej saved most of their lives, but the vision showed him that his own life had ended in the process. When the vision ended, Ussej spent a week pondering what he had seen. When the council was satisfied that his fear had subsided, they granted him the rank of Bendu Knight and placed the jewel around his neck, dubbing it the Crest of Ussej Padric Bac III. Ussej described it as his proudest moment, and he could only hope that his father would have been proud as well. Though his birth family was not there to celebrate in his accomplishment, Ussej was able to celebrate with Josiah who had also been promoted to Bendu Knight.
After a few weeks of typical around-the-temple Knighthood duties, Ussej was selected to go on his first solo mission. Three weeks earlier, it had been reported that Bendu Knight Jack Prime traveled to the outskirts of the farming community of Setena to help calm a land disagreement between two neighboring farmers. After three days, he was to report to the Council of Priests to discuss his progress. However, he did not report in and the farmers claimed they never saw him, despite testimony from locals who said that he did arrive in their village. The Council of Priests told Ussej that they believed Prime was either being held captive by one of the farmers or had been murdered. They assigned Ussej to question them and locate the missing knight if at all possible.
When Ussej arrived in Setena, he immediately questioned the two farmers. The first farmer he questioned was Montague Capulet, who claimed that he would have been more than happy to welcome Prime into his home but that he had never seen him. After the interview was over, Ussej questioned Sandral Matale, the second farmer, who had been less than enthusiastic about the prospect of having to deal with a Bendu Knight. Not surprising to Ussej, Matale also claimed to have never seen the Bendu Knight. After a three day investigation, questioning many members of the community, Ussej uncovered that Prime had been captured and was being held hostage by Capulet. Ussej took him into custody and, because Capulet was the only member of his family, the land of the Capulet Farm was given to the Matale family. After taking Capulet into custody, Ussej brought Prime back to the Temple of Light where he was given proper medical treatment. Two weeks later, Ussej learned that Capulet had been tried and convicted for kidnapping a Bendu Knight and conspiracy to kidnap a Bendu Knight. Ussej also learned that Prime had been released from the medical center. He went to visit the recovering Bendu Knight at his home and, within a short amount of time, the two became good friends, despite the fact that Prime was nearly twenty years Ussej’s senior. Prime was unable to express how grateful he was for Ussej’s help, but Ussej told him that there was no need to express any thanks or gratitude because he was only doing the right thing by helping another person.
Ussej received high praise from the Council of Priests for his performance and was immediately given a new assignment. According to the council, the then-still young democratic government of Had Abaddon was having trouble with a vicious bounty hunter called “Slayer” on the planet’s southernmost continent. Instead of finding and arresting the remnants of the former dictatorial regime of Husen Al-Dubrir, Slayer was said to have been disrupting government and private operations. Normally, the Bendu Order would have left the matter to the Had Abaddon military, but Slayer had killed a Bendu apprentice so they decided to bring him to justice. Ussej was sent to the planet and, once there, he apprehended him and returned him to the Temple of Light for trial where he was convicted and sentenced to death for his crimes.
When Ussej was thirty years old, the Council of Priests let go of their resentment towards the Bac family and elected Ussej into the Bendu Priesthood. Just as he had been when he became a Bendu Knight, Ussej was immensely proud of his accomplishment and could only hope that his parents, had they been alive, would have been as well. Not long after he became a Priest, Josiah was also elected into the position. The two had a week before they would be sent out into the villages to begin their duties, so they spent a great deal of time together as they knew that it could have been some time before they saw each other again in person. After the week was over, they bid farewell to one another and received their assignments.
Ussej became the Priest in the city of Vattica, one of the larger villages of the planet that had come to be known as an actual city. He served there for two months before a deadly virus broke out among the population. No one knew how it had manifested itself into so many people, but in the end hundreds had contracted it and dozens died within weeks. At the end of every week, Ussej gave a sermon to all those who had become sick and prayed that those who had already passed away were receiving eternal love and warmth in Heaven. During one of the sermons, Ussej met a young woman named Jana DesOrz whose father had just died from the disease. Ussej immediately felt a strong connection to her and they began to frequently see one another.
After six months, Ussej asked Jana’s mother for Jana’s hand in marriage. Though her mother was hesitant at first about Jana marrying a member of the Bac family, she gave Ussej her blessing and told her how she had noticed that her daughter had been incredibly happy since they had met one another. Ussej thanked her for her kind words and left to find Jana. Ussej brought Jana to the Holy Ridge where his grandfather had sacrificed his life. Because it was a clear day, Ussej brought her to the edge of the ridge and showed her the vast landscape of the planet. It had been the first time she had been up that far in the mountains, so she was completely enamored by the view. Before leaving, Ussej got down on one knee and proposed to her. Without a second’s hesitation, she accepted his proposal.
Ussej and Jana immediately began planning their wedding. They decided to get married on the shores of the Ashlan Sea, right on the edge of the mountains that had their base very near the water. When the wedding day finally came, Ussej welcomed Damien Nightblade to Kal’Shabbol for the first time since the funeral of Ussej Padric Bac II. Along with Damien came his grandson, Ein Nightblade. Damien introduced the two and while their views on certain issues were certainly different, Damien later noted that he could tell that the two had the potential to become good friends. Damien and Ein took their seats when Ussej made his way to the altar, and as Jana made her way down the aisle Ussej could not believe how beautiful she was. Within half of a standard hour, the ceremony ended and Ussej and Jana began their honeymoon where they made love for the first time.
Two months later, when Ussej and Jana were eating dinner in their home in Vattica, Jana felt ill. Ussej took her to the city's best doctor who examined her. After only ten minutes, the doctor found the cause of Jana’s brief illness. He told the couple that Jana was two months pregnant with Ussej’s child. They could not have been happier, as they had both always wanted children. Ussej, however, could not help but be worried, as his own birth and the birth of his father were filled with complications. However, he tried not to let that preoccupy him during what he knew was supposed to be a joyous time in his life. Ussej and Jana immediately decided that they did not want to know the sex of the child or anything about it other than whether it was healthy or not.
When Jana was six months pregnant, she became worried about her pregnancy. In her mind, she was much larger than most women in their sixth month of pregnancy, as she felt that she looked more like she was eight or nine months along. Ussej told her that some women simply are larger than others when they are pregnant, but Jana was not convinced. The next day, they went back to the medical center to see if everything was proceeding with the pregnancy as it should have been. What the doctor told them came as a pleasant surprise: Jana was carrying twins. When they heard that news, they decided that they did not want to wait for anymore surprises so they asked the doctor the sexes of the babies. They were ecstatic to find out that there was one boy and one girl, though Ussej still could not help but feel nervous as the news of twins only made him fear more complications.
Later that day, they decided to pick out names for their two children. They decided to name the girl Elizabeth Tesiana Bac in honor of both of their mothers, and the boy would be named Ussej Padric Bac IV in honor of the tradition started by Ussej’s father. Picking names made the idea of twins a lot more realistic for Ussej and Jana was able to sense his apprehension about it. Knowing he could not hide anything from her very well, Ussej confided in her about his fear of complications. Always the optimist, Jana assured him that everything would be fine and that he should concentrate on the happy life that they would have with their family.
Jana went home to Vattica for the two months to spend time with her parents, but returned to the Bendu Temple of Light at the beginning of her ninth month. Less than a week before she was due, Jana wanted to take a shuttle back to Vattica to visit her parents one last time before she became a mother. Ussej, however, protested. He said that it was too dangerous considering she was only a few days from giving birth, but she disregarded her warnings and left anyway without his knowledge, as he was on the other side of the planet tending to plague victims in the far away villages. She told herself that she would only be gone for a few hours and that he would never notice anyway. Not even fifteen minutes into her shuttle flight, Jana went into labor while flying over the Ashlan Mountains. Because she had been flying on a manual setting, the intensity of the pain that the contractions brought prevented her from piloting the craft. She quickly lost control of the shuttle and crashed in the snow-covered mountains.
Ussej was soon informed of the crash and took a shuttle with a Bendu Medical Officer into the mountains. When they arrived, additional medical personnel had already arrived on the scene. From what Ussej could tell, Jana had been thrown from the shuttle before it had become mangled and filled with twisted metal. As he approached her, he could see that she had hit her head and that there was blood everywhere, most of it from the childbirth. Ussej noticed a small, covered bundle wrapped in the arms of one of the medical technicians. The technicians told him that it was Elizabeth who did not survive. However, they believed that the boy would live. When Ussej Padric Bac IV was born, the medical personnel quickly took him away to the warm shuttle for treatment. Jana lay dying in her husband’s arms and he tried to keep his composure long enough for her to be able to pass peacefully. With her last breaths, she told him not to worry and that everything would one day be fine again. She apologized for taking the shuttle and told him that he was right, though he calmed her by telling her not to worry and that she did nothing wrong. With that, she died in his arms, shattering Ussej’s heart and mind.
Three days later, both Jana and Elizabeth received a traditional Bendu burial ceremony and were buried within the Bac family cemetery just outside the Temple of Light and the capital city. Jana’s parents were present and they thanked Ussej for everything he had done for their daughter. Ein Nightblade had also made the journey from Shaderon to console his friend, a gesture that Ussej greatly appreciated. With his infant son in his arms, Ussej did not know how he would be able to survive about his wife. What he did know was that he would somehow find a way to do so.
A New Mission
For the next twenty years, Ussej raised his son in the ways that he wished his father had been able to raise him. Because Jana had died, Ussej had a great deal of help from his aunt Niamh. Ussej also trained his son in the ways of the Bendu Order and watched him become a Bendu Knight when he was nineteen years old. During that time, Ussej also became the High Priest of the Bendu Order, becoming the first member of his family to be elected to such an honor. Josiah became his most trusted Bendu Priest and Ussej ensured that Josiah had a seat on the Council of Priests. Ussej enjoyed his day to day work that included monitoring training and making sure priests were sent out where they were needed, but he especially enjoyed the governmental aspects of the job as he was essentially the King of Kal’Shabbol.
Ten years after the death of his wife, Ussej considered looking for love again. He tried to date a few women, though the painful memories of Jana’s death were simply too strong. He broke off every relationship he found himself in and vowed that he would not seek out love, but rather he would wait for it to come to him as he was longing for companionship from someone. Ussej also considered seeking out and finding information on the Mandalorian Clans, wanting to know everything he could about the people who were responsible for his father’s death. He hoped that the information about the Mandalorians, combined with information he wanted to find out about the war his father died in, would give him insight into why they would have killed his father. However, he decided against it as he did not want to risk finding himself caught up in a personal vendetta.
Twenty years after Jana’s death and shortly after Ussej turned fifty standard years old, a large disturbance in the Force of Others was felt by every member of the Bendu Order. Ussej was in a council session when it happened and they all fell unconscious because of it. When they awoke, Ussej attempted to meditate on what he felt during the experience, though he was not able to gain any insight into it. Hours later, as his patience was wearing thin, a piercing ring overtook all of his senses. No one else heard it, though it was painful for him to hear. He followed the sound with a shuttle to the ridge that his grandfather had died on, and when he arrived he was sucked into a portal that brought him to an unknown world. After looking around for some time, Ussej realized that he was on Ashlan Four, the planet that was said, in prophecy, to house the Order of the Whills and the Shaman of the Whills.
Ussej tried for some time to get answers out of the Whills that were in the area of their monastery, though none would answer. He finally was able to find one that would and the Whill pointed to a figure sitting on a horse in ruins up on a ridge. The figure began to ride away when Ussej saw him, but Ussej ran to a nearby stable and took one of the horses for himself. It took him nearly half of a standard hour to catch up with the figure who had already made his ways to the side of a lake. When Ussej arrived, he recognized the figure from portraits and realized that it was his grandfather, the first Ussej Padric Bac. His grandfather explained to him that the Prophecy of The Voyager was true and that he did become the Shaman of the Whills upon death. When Ussej questioned why he had been brought to Ashlan Four, the Shaman told him that a new Dark Lord of the Sith had awakened, even though the galaxy had believed they were extinct after the Great Rim Lines War. The Shaman said that the Bendu Order would have to put aside its prejudices against the Jedi Order and travel into the known galaxy to help them against a common threat. Although Ussej was initially reluctant to accept the task, he did so nonetheless. Before leaving, the Shaman gave Ussej an ancient pendant belonging to The Skywalker that would help prove that he was on Ashlan Four.
When Ussej was returned to Kal’Shabbol, he convened an emergency meeting of the Council of Priests and told them about what had happened. They questioned whether or not it was a real occurrence, believing that it could have simply been the aftermath of the disturbance, so Ussej showed them the pendant and they were able to verify it using quantum dating technology. They agreed to allow the order to travel into the known galaxy and offer assistance to the Jedi Order, though it would not be the entire order. They agreed that some priests, knights and all of the apprentices would stay behind to concentrate on training and the traditional duties of the order. Ussej decided that he would lead the order to Coruscant while Josiah took over his duties of High Priest on Kal’Shabbol as a de facto leader. Ussej also decided that his son would remain on Kal’Shabbol, though the younger Ussej was not initially pleased that he would have to miss out on helping his father. Ussej began to have doubts about whether he was taking the right course of action, though after speaking with his aunt she was able to convince him that what he was doing was right and just.
One week later, after initial plans for the arrival at Coruscant were drafted, Ussej called a conclave of the entire Bendu Order in Vattica. All members of the order were given a chance to state their opinions on the matter and many of them initially disagreed with the council’s decision to get involved in affairs that had no direct involvement with the order. However, in an address that was broadcast on all of the planets in the Ashlan Expanse, Ussej said that he recognized how people would believe that, though he stressed that the Sith were the enemies of civilization and that the Bendu had sworn an oath to defend civilization when need be. Some of the hesitant Bendu reluctantly agreed and at the end of the conclave it was decided who would be traveling to Coruscant. One week later, Ussej and those that were chosen said goodbye to their families and friends. When they were through, they boarded the Bendu flagship Ashla's Light, and began their month-long journey out of the Unknown Regions.
During the trip, the flagship dropped a number of sub-space transmitters along their flight path so they would be able to remain in contact with Kal'Shabbol. Ussej spent a great deal of time meditating to make the voyage pass by more quickly, as did many others. He tried to reach out to find additional guidance from his grandfather, though for whatever reason he was not able to contact him on Ashlan Four. He was, however, in frequent contact with Josiah and the younger Ussej to make sure that things were running smoothly on Kal’Shabbol. As he became more pleased with how they were handling things, their conversations became shorter and less frequent to the point where they stopped communicating altogether.
When they arrived in Republic space one month later, they began to search worlds that they knew had Sith holdings on them rather than initially meeting with the Jedi, as they hoped to have done something productive before they met with them. They initially traveled to Korriban, though they did not find anything. Next, they traveled to Ziost where they located a large outpost with only minimal signs of life. Choosing to go ahead and scout the area, Ussej took a shuttle to the surface and noticed a duel between what he believed was a Jedi and the Dark Lord of the Sith. Ussej climbed a ridge to maintain the element of surprise, and when he arrived he ran to the aid of Jedi Master Arlon Kyjar, whom Ussej surmised was the grandson of his grandfather’s friend Dexon Kyjar. The other combatant was the Dark Lord Darth Viscerus. During the duel, Kyjar was struck down and Ussej’s leg was injured, forcing him to flee with Kyjar’s body. However, he was able to injure the Dark Lord as well. Ussej made it back to his shuttle and returned to the flagship and changed course for Coruscant.
After a day of additional travel time, the flagship arrived in orbit around Coruscant. Flanked by two of his guards, Ussej brought Kyjar’s body, which had been placed into a torpedo casing out of respect, into a shuttle and made his way to the Jedi Temple. After being granted permission to enter, Ussej introduced himself to the Jedi High Council and gave a brief introduction about the Bendu Order. After being offered a seat next to Ein Nightblade, who had become the liaison from the Shadourian Order to the High Council, Ussej had his guards present Kyjar’s body. When they Jedi realized how grave of a situation they were in, Ussej expressed the importance of stopping the war before it began. To help fight the threat, the three orders agreed to make an alliance with one another.
After leaving the council chambers, the leaders of the three orders began putting together a plan to attack what they believed was a Sith outpost on Yavin IV. When Ussej finalized his draft of a battle plan, he returned to the Jedi Temple where a large parcel was handed to him at the base of the staircase. He opened it to find the deceased body of Darth Viscerus, and when he showed the Jedi Council the body they could come to only two possible conclusions: first, he died due to wounds he received during the duel on Ziost; second, he had an apprentice that killed him. Ussej assumed the latter, though he knew that assumptions could have been dangerous at such a desperate hour. Because of the death of the Dark Lord and the assumed chaotic state of his empire, they decided to send a small team to Ziost to investigate the death during the mission to Yavin IV. Ussej went back to the flagship to ready his men for the battle, and when the Jedi and Shadourian forces arrived in orbit they made the jump into hyperspace.
Ussej and his men were the first to land on Yavin IV. Once they scouted the area, they sent the strike teams coordinates to a location a few kilometers from them where they detected a great deal of activity. When the team arrived at the temple, they found that the Sith forces, combined with a small force of Kaleesh warriors, were waiting for them. A large engagement erupted between the armies, and Ussej was able to fight his way through the Massassi Temple as he assumed the leader was inside. He made his way to a throne room where he found the man that he assumed was the Dark Lord of the Sith. However, the man introduced himself as Carden Mannux, the Commander of the Obsidian Guard. Not knowing what Carden was capable of, Ussej knew that he would have to be cautious.
When the throne room doors slammed shut, Carden attacked Ussej. The duel was relatively brief and uneventful, as each of them fought mainly to understand the weaknesses and abilities of the other. When Ussej felt that he understood Carden well enough to act, he used an ancient power that rendered an opponent unconscious for a brief period of time. Ussej considered killing him, but striking down an unarmed opponent was not in his nature nor did he feel that it was worth his time, as Carden was not the Dark Lord of the Sith and did not appear to be any sort of immediate threat to him. Therefore, in order to help the rest of his men and the strike force, Ussej fled the throne room for the exterior of the temple.
When he made his way back outside the temple, he was dumbfounded at the site that he saw. The Jedi forces were in disarray and the Sith were running rampant across the area. He even saw two Jedi Apprentices kissing one another while a Sith Knight charged towards them. He began to believe that the Jedi Order was incompetent, and he did not intend to let that stand. Ussej ordered his men to retreat from the area back towards the shuttles, and Ein did the same with the Shadourians. The Jedi were reluctant to leave without their mission objectives accomplished, but they were forced to as they did not have enough forces to stay. Ussej intended to remain on his flagship for some time to meditate on what had happened, though duty forced him to spend only a few days on the ship before returning to Coruscant.
In the weeks following the Battle of Yavin IV, there were additional moments where Ussej felt that the Jedi had become incompetent since his grandfather was part of the order. One such case was on Alderaan when a Sith warrior spread a deadly virus into the water supply of Aldera and the surrounding towns. The Republic was unable to deal with the problem due to their still-crippled state and the threats they faced from the Sith and, from what Ussej was told, the Mandalorians, so Alderaan pleaded with the Jedi Council for help. Instead, in sessions that Ussej was a part of, the council debated the issue rather than acting upon it. During that time, thousands died on Alderaan due to the aftereffects of the virus.
For a few days, it seemed as if the problem was handling itself on Alderaan as there were fewer and fewer reports of outbreaks. However, just when it seemed as if the crisis would pass, reports came in from Corellia and Mon Calamari that said there were people exhibiting the same systems. When the water supply was tested, the tests came back with the same results as they did on Alderaan. However, the Jedi still did not act on the problems. In an emergency session of the Jedi Council, Grandmaster Khaluq Chan'drane asked for Ussej’s opinion and he let them know how disappointed he was, though they seemed to turn a blind eye to his protests.
Unable to deal with what they were saying to him without becoming too angry, Ussej left Coruscant and returned to the Bendu flagship. He remained there for a few days and even contemplated bringing the order back to Kal’Shabbol, as he began to believe that the Sith would not be able to be defeated even with the aide of the Bendu considering the state of the Jedi Order. Before he could make a decision, he received an urgent distress signal from Ein Nightblade saying that the Jedi Temple and the surrounding area had fallen under attack by the forces of the Dark Lord Darth Dire and King Bree Mibu of Kalee. Adding to that, the distress signal warned that a deadly toxin had been spread into the atmosphere, much like the ones that had been released on Alderaan, Corellia and Mon Calamari. Fearing the worst, Ussej took a shuttle to the surface, though he ordered his people to stay on the ship as he did not want to subject them to a problem that he said that the inaction of the Jedi Council had caused.
When the shuttle arrived at the surface, he was nearly shot down by the anti-aircraft turrets that had been set up by the Sith around the temple. He made a second pass towards the temple and was able to disable one of the turrets long enough with a missile to make a quick crash landing on one of the lower landing pads outside one of the temple spires. He made his way into the temple and was forced to fight his way to the lower levels where he went to the Jedi command center to help a group of Jedi Padawans that were trying to escape through the catacombs. While he was helping, he was suddenly overtaken by a group of Kalessh warriors, though he was able to escape from them. He continued to search for some of the Jedi Council members when he went to the upper levels. When he arrived in the Room of a Thousand Fountains, he once again came face to face with Carden Mannux. Carden vowed vengeance on him for the embarrassing defeat at Yavin IV and attacked him. However, as they fought, the central spire of the Jedi Temple began to crash and fires broke out around them. They ran in separate directions to avoid the rubble and destruction, though they found each other again within minutes.
Ussej knew that he had little time to continue the fight with Carden. As Ussej began to retreat, another explosion went off and it threw them both a few meters, causing Ussej to sprain a bone in his leg. He managed to begin limping away, though he was forced to avoid a barrage of dark lightning being thrown at him. Regardless, he was able to escape to the upper levels and hide his presence from Carden while hiding himself in a pile of rubble. Even so, Ussej knew that Carden would not be fooled by it for long. Carden caused the rubble to collapse through two stories of the temple, but Ussej anticipated that and was able to jump out of the way before he hit the ground. Because of what Ussej assumed was arrogance, Carden believed that Ussej was dead and left the area. Ussej made his way to an external ledge that had been created in one of the explosions and Carden found him there. When Carden began to charge, Ussej called upon the powers of Winds of the Ashla to teleport him a few hundred meters away from the temple, though he knew that it was not the last time he would be confronted by Carden.
Ussej was forced to quickly make his way through back allies to get out of sight. He managed to find a damaged security shuttle so he took that back up to the flagship. When he arrived, he sent a message warning them not to open the doors to the docking bay once he was inside as they would risk being contaminated by the virus that he was exposed to. When he was inside, he entered a stasis sleep that shut down all of his bodily functions and rid himself of the virus within a matter of hours. When the stasis was complete, he and his top men began drafting a possible counter-attack to use against the Sith, though he did not know if he would share it with the Jedi Council or not.
Two days later, Ussej received a message from Coruscant saying that Supreme Chancellor Cos Jonathan Dashin wished to meet with him. Ussej made his way to the Galactic Senate and introduced himself to the Chancellor, who told him that he was pleased with his performance, far more than he was pleased with the performance of the Jedi Council. They spoke at great lengths about how an organization called Galactic Aid quickly found a cure for the virus, and about the Bendu Order, though Ussej kept getting the feeling that Dashin was hiding something from him. Regardless, Dashin requested Ussej’s help with a personal favor, so Dashin told him that his daughter was headed for Utapau and that she would need protection. Ussej asked why he did not ask the Jedi to do so, and Dashin told him that he would rather have had a Bendu take on a task that was so important to him. Ussej accepted the mission after Dashin told him that he did not fully trust the Jedi, though he was still reluctant to take on a guard job.
After returning to the ship, Ussej was contacted by Ein Nightblade who, like Ussej, was awaiting transmission from the Jedi Council about the location of the temporary Jedi base. Ein wanted to meet with Ussej to talk to him about something important, so Ussej suggested just outside of Theed on Utapau as he was headed there anyway. Ein agreed, and they met each other there the next day. When they met, they began to speak about their concerns with their alliances with the Jedi Order, fearing that the Jedi were not going to be able to adequately protect the galaxy from the Sith or any other threat that revealed itself. Ein seemed to be quite adamant on leaving the alliance, though Ussej was unsure as to what course of action he was going to take.
During the discussion, Ein proposed an alliance between the Shadourian Order and the Bendu Order without any Jedi involvement, as the alliance would be opposed to the Jedi’s mandate of them being the guardians of peace in the galaxy. The alliance would be used to launch attacks against the Jedi Order in a type of holy war in order to get them to change their ways or back down to let the Bendu and the Shadourians properly protect the galaxy. Ussej was initially opposed to taking such drastic action against people he believed meant well, but after he considered everything that had happened in the weeks since Yavin IV he knew that it would have to be an option that he considered. Ein urged him to think about it, and shortly thereafter Ein left Utapau to consider more plans for a conflict.
A New Love
The next day, Ussej went to a local bar called Bar Bar Drinks for a drink and relaxation. While he was there, he spoke with Frank Palpatine, the owner of the bar, about how Utapau was trying to build itself into one unity government. While they were talking, a young woman named Isabella sat down beside him. When she saw his sword, she asked him to try to get two men that were following her away from her, and with a simple wave of his hand the guards left. They began to talk and she eventually mentioned that her father had sent her to the planet for protection, making him realize that he was talking to the Supreme Chancellor’s daughter. Isabella was not initially pleased that he had been sent there to protect her, though Ussej assured her that he was not going to be ordering her around or second-guessing everything she did.
After a few hours of getting to know one another, the two walked through the city and eventually made their way to the waterfalls, as Isabella had told him that she was always mystified by them. While they were talking, Ussej felt a strong connection to her that he could only compare to when he had first met Jana. It puzzled him, as he did not know if he could handle such a connection again. Ussej told her stories of Kal’Shabbol and the Bendu Order, as well as what he had done so far in the war. He tried to kiss her when he was done speaking, but she pulled away and requested that he bring her back to the inn where she was staying.
Three days later, Mandalorian forces assaulted Theed, proclaiming that they were there to capture the Queen of Theed. The inn that Ussej and Isabella were staying in was nearly destroyed from a bombing and they were forced to flee across the rooftops. While they were fleeing, they met with Kalel Esunkit, a friend of Isabella’s, and they launched a mission to try to rescue the city’s queen. Once they fought their way to the throne room, Kalel left to contact Chancellor Dashin for additional forces. When it seemed that the palace would fall, Ussej rushed to the queen’s rescue only to see that Isabella had been left behind. He helped her avoid a war droid that crashed through the walls, but he was knocked unconscious because of it. When he awoke, he found himself being scolded by Kalel because Isabella had been kidnapped by the Mandalorians and Kalel blamed him for it.
Ussej and Kalel returned to Coruscant to brief Dashin on what had happened. Shortly thereafter, the Republic began to uncover intelligence about the Mandalorian attack and what they had done. According to it, Isabella had been taken to Onderon. With the help of Joshua Reytel, the Supreme Commander of the military, Ussej and Kalel began to put together a plan for a rescue mission. The plan also was created as a means of liberating Onderon from the Mandalorians, who had captured it months earlier during the First Battle of Onderon. During a classified meeting, Ussej presented the plan to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Dashin, who approved it and put Ussej in charge of it. Minutes after the meeting ended, Kalel joined Ussej and Dashin in a tense meeting. Kalel did not believe that Ussej was fit to lead the mission as he still blamed him for the kidnapping. However, Dashin disagreed and forced to Kalel to back down. Regardless, Kalel was placed in charge of the forces that would assault Dxun. Twelve hours later, the Republic fleet made its way towards Onderon.
When they arrived around Onderon, the Mandalorian fleet was waiting for them, though it was much smaller than they had originally anticipated. The Republic Navy surrounded the Mandalorian fleet long enough to allow Kalel and his soldiers to disembark for Dxun, thus officially beginning the Second Battle of Onderon, and to let the drop ships Ussej commanded descend towards Onderon. Ussej was in his own fighter and led a squadron to take out the orbital and anti-aircraft defenses that the Mandalorians had taken control of. When the assault was finished, Ussej led the soldiers up the Sky Ramp to the royal palace where they believed Mandalore the Resurrector was commanding the forces. When they fought their way through, they realized that the throne room and all of the control centers were empty. The only person in the throne room was Isabella, so after he freed her from her restraints he brought her back to fleet only to find that the Mandalorians had retreated from orbit. The liberation of Dxun had also been a success.
When the fleet returned to Coruscant, Ussej made sure that every officer and soldier involved in the rescue received a commendation from the Supreme Chancellor. Dashin thanked Ussej and Kalel together for their bravery, and after making sure that Isabella was safe and would recover he returned to the Bendu flagship for meditation. While en route, he contacted Kalel to thank him for his help, though Kalel ignored him and cut off the transmission. After he returned to the flagship, he began to reflect on all that had happened and began to seriously consider what Ein had proposed on Utapau.
A few days after the rescue operation, Ussej was called to the Jedi Temple by the Jedi High Council, as they wanted to speak with him about the liberation of Onderon. When he arrived, they began questioning him about what happened and he told them the facts. Some of the council members, however, accused of him deliberately subverting the will of the council, despite the fact that he had been directly asked by the Supreme Chancellor to lead the operation. They scolded him for his actions and he attempted to defend himself, though they would hear nothing of it. From what Ussej could perceive, they were discriminating against him because Dashin had asked him to lead the operation rather than the council.
In the days and weeks following the meeting, Ussej put a great deal of thought into what Ein had proposed. He had no choice but to recognize that his opinion had been shunned and that he had been accused of trying to insert his own beliefs into the Jedi Order, and that the Jedi Order had ignored the calls for help from millions of people. He had assumed any initial discrimination would have disappeared eventually, though he knew that it had not happened. Had it not been for the meeting a few days earlier that opinion might not have been reinforced, though he had little choice but to recognize it. However, before he could make any final decision, he decided to use the sub-space transmitters that the flagship had placed along their travel path to contact Josiah for advice.
When Josiah responded, Ussej gave him a report about what had happened so far and explained that he was considering forming an alliance with Ein, whom he knew Josiah had met before. When Josiah questioned what that meant, Ussej told him that he was considering launching the crusade and told him of what he perceived to be their incompetance and inability to protect the galaxy. Josiah protested the idea, stating that it would have untold consequences on the Bendu Order and the galaxy-at-large. However, Ussej and many others had already made up their minds so Josiah told Ussej that he would be forced to live with his decision. Therefore, he contacted Ein and told him that he had decided to go along with the plan. The only condition was that they both would first have to speak to the High Council to let them know what their opinions were.
One week later, Ussej and Ein arrived at the temporary Jedi base on Hoth to inform them of their opinions regarding the actions of the council. Ussej stated that he was going to rise above the discrimination, though he did continue in saying that he was dissatisfied with their handling of the recent events and mentioned how they were once again forced to move to another part of the galaxy, much like they did during the Great Territorial War, while the forces of the Sith were growing each day. Khaluq presented Ussej and Ein with a choice of staying on the council as liaisons or leaving, and they chose to stay on it in order to avoid any potential suspicion.
With the meeting behind them, Ussej and Ein met on the Shadourian flagship to discuss the first series of attacks. They agreed to set up the first one or two missions in a way that the Jedi would not be able to trace it back to them. It would also be helpful as Ussej intended to use propaganda to turn public opinion away from the Jedi. After they were presented with information by a group of Shadourian operatives, they devised the first plan. They would hire a man named Jensen Adun, an ailing mercenary who had always dreamed of dying for a cause that meant something. With the plan finalized, they both began to make their respective preparations.
Ussej traveled to Nar Shaddaa to find Jensen in the refugee sector. After nightfall, Ussej met up with him and told him of the plan, which Jensen agreed to as he did not believe that the Jedi were fighting for those less fortunate than them. Ussej told Jensen to travel to Barab 1 and disguise himself as a port authority mechanic so he would be able to load fuel tanks onto a Jedi shuttle that would be landing there the next week. Once aboard, he would ignite the fuel and destroy the starport, along with however many Jedi were inside of it. Jensen agreed and left for Barab 1 to wait for the Jedi while Ussej went back to his flagship with Ein to monitor the situation from the Outer Rim.
The day before the attack was to take place, Ussej meditated within his chambers to try to clear his head and find guidance. After closing his eyes, he felt a sudden sense of displacement, and when he opened them he saw that he had somehow been taken to Ashlan Four. He found his grandfather waiting for him once again, and the Shaman immediately told him that he should not be bothered by simple and primitive discrimination. Ussej the First also went on to express his disagreement over the impending crusades and asked his grandson what his reasoning was for launching it. Ussej told him that the Jedi had become old, corrupt and incompetent, along with the fact that they were not able to protect the galaxy. The Shaman told him that it was up to him to do what he felt was necessary, though he strongly suggested that he did not take action against the Jedi. Before Ussej could respond, Ussej the First disappeared and he was taken back to the flagship.
The next day, Ussej met with Ein in the Bendu Command Center to monitor the situation. They were a few sectors away from Barab 1, though they were able to place sensors in the area around the planet to monitor it. According to the images they received every few minutes, the Jedi envoy landed with Jedi Masters Sen Helto and Xiantos Zosimus in command. When they left their vessel with a group of Jedi Knights, Jensen approached them. A few minutes later, Jensen made his way onto the ship stating that he was there to refuel it. Moments later, the ship burst into flames, which also destroyed the starport.
After the explosion was detected by the flagship, they waited an hour and then set a course for the planet. Ussej sent a transmission to the surface hoping to hear from one of the Jedi, though none of them responded. While Ein remained onboard, Ussej made his way to the surface with a large shuttle to pick up any of the survivors. When they arrived on the surface, they found the ruins of the starport and were able to recover the black box from the Jedi shuttle.
A few minutes later, Helto and Zosimus arrived at the starport with a group of their guards and surrounded Ussej and his men, immediately accusing them of being behind the attack. Ussej said that he had detected a distress signal from the shuttle and made his way there, though he could tell that the Jedi were not convinced. Regardless, he continued to deny the charges, and when they stood down he offered them safe passage back to Coruscant which they agreed to. When they arrived back on the ship, Ussej had his technicians fabricate a false distress signal, as he knew that Helto would ask to see it. When he did, Ussej presented it to him. Ussej then showed the Jedi the black box from the shuttle, which showed Jensen destroying it. However, Ussej did not know if he had convinced the Jedi Masters that he was not behind the attack.
Spinning the Web
After returning Helto, Zosimus and the other Jedi to the Jedi Temple, which the Jedi had returned to in the months since the Sith attack, so they could begin to analyze the data from Barab 1, Ussej and Ein began planning their next attacks. However, what began as a plan of attack ended up becoming a conspiratorial plan to use propaganda to sway public opinion. During this time, they forged a fake suicide note from Jensen and made sure that whoever analyzed it would be able to authenticate it. Ussej knew that in order to do carry out the propaganda, however, he would need Dashin on his side as he needed the political leverage Dashin held to cause people to believe him. Ein was unsure as to whether or not involving the Supreme Chancellor was a good idea, though Ussej knew that Dashin did not trust the Jedi Order so he would be able to use that and the fact that he saved his daughter to convince him of their cause.
Hours later, Ussej arrived at the Galactic Senate offices and met with Dashin. Though he did not admit that he was behind the attacks, Ussej told him that it was important to inform the Senate that the lack of action from the Jedi was responsible for the destruction of the starport and the deaths of half a dozen Jedi. Dashin was initially hesitant about speaking out against the Jedi Order considering how powerful he knew them to be, but Ussej was able to convince him that it was the right course of action. What worried Ussej, though, was that Dashin had a sense of guilty surrounding him, though he was not able to ascertain what it was.
After the meeting with Dashin ended, Ussej received a transmission that was sent to all members of the Jedi Council to meet in the council chambers at the Jedi Temple. When Ussej arrived, they questioned him about what he had been witness to on Barab 1 and he told them what he had told Helto and Zosimus when he had first rescued them, though he added that he blamed Helto for allowing the attack to take place as he should have been aware that there was something suspicious about Jensen. The meeting turned into a form of an interrogation session, as they wanted as many answers as they could find. At the conclusion of the meeting, Khaluq asked every member to keep the information about the attack from reaching the media, though Ussej said that he could not do so as the public had a right to know. The council attempted to change his opinion, but they were not able to.
After the meeting, Ussej had a chance encounter with Isabella. She originally did not want to speak with him as she felt that he had abandoned her after her rescue, but he was able to convince her that he was simply trying to give her space to recover in private. She told him that she understood that and that she was grateful for everything he and Kalel had done for her. Hoping to catch up on what had happened with each other since Onderon, they made their way to the Outlander’s Club for a drink. Isabella talked about how she had considered receiving weapons training from Kalel, as she did not want to find herself in a situation like the one with the Mandalorians again. Throughout the evening, Ussej’s feelings for her grew and he felt that it was entirely possible that she would be a woman he could spend the rest of his life with. He did not know, however, whether or not she felt the same.
After a few more days had passed, Ussej and Dashin called a live HoloNet press conference outside the Galactic Senate offices to speak about the Barab 1 attacks. Ussej spoke at great lengths about what had happened and he showed the sensor information that the Bendu flagship had received as the attack took place. The reporters had dozens of questions and he answered them as best as he could, though for a time he did not get the answers that he wanted. After nearly half of a standard hour, one reporter asked Ussej who he blamed for attacks, which was exactly the question that he wanted. Ussej blamed Sen Helto for allowing Jensen, who he referred to as “the terrorist”, onto the shuttle and the Jedi High Council, stating that their complacency and incompetence was what caused someone to want to cause them harm in the first place. One of his men approached him as he answered further questions and handed him a pad containing the forged suicide note, which he then read to the crowd. When he was finished, he gave it to Dashin for authentication. Dashin then ended the press conference.
At the conclusion of the conference, Ussej returned to the flagship with a proposal for a second attack. He suggested that they contact another mercenary and have him or her destroy another Jedi building. Ein initially opposed it, saying that he would rather admit to being behind the first attack so they could launch an all-out war, though Ussej urged patience. Ein agreed after some convincing, and Ussej once again went to the refugee sector on Nar Shaddaa to find a mercenary that would be willing to perform the task for them. When he arrived, he found a man named Toral Qionus who had heard about the attacks on Barab 1 and who wished further destruction of Jedi property. Ussej asked him if he would be willing to fly a shuttle filled with explosives into the Jedi Praxeum on H'ratth, as he knew it was a treasured location for them considering Andur Sunrider had resided there for many years. Toral agreed, and before he left Ussej had him write a suicide note stating that it was a copycat attack. It was then transmitted to Coruscant.
Two days later, Ussej received word that the praxeum had been significantly damage, though no one was killed. Despite the lack of casualties, which Ussej was comfortable with, there were many injuries. Ussej attended a meeting of the Jedi High Council hours after the attack, and he could tell that suspicion had been taken away from him considering the fact that the suicide note stated it was a copycat attack. Though the council was once again sworn to secrecy, Ussej and Dashin called another press conference where they reiterated the points that they made in their first one. Though he had assumed he would be returning to the flagship to plan the next phase of the war, Dashin asked him to meet him in his office later that evening. Before he left, however, he saw polling that indicated that support for the Jedi had dropped significantly.
Ussej made his way to the Galactic Senate offices at the time that was requested of him. When he arrived, Dashin began to speak about Isabella and how he felt that she needed someone to help her settle down into a productive life. He also told Ussej how Isabella had talked about him for days after they returned from Onderon and that he could tell she had grown fond of him. He said that he could see in Ussej’s eyes that he also cared for her. Dashin asked Ussej to propose marriage to Isabella, though Ussej knew he could not do that as he felt it would not have been proper considering they did not know each other very well. Dashin, however, was persistent and was able to convince Ussej to at least consider it. In the event that he agreed, Dashin gave Ussej the ring that his wife had worn until the day she died.
Ussej spent the night in his chambers thinking about what he would do. He knew that he did not know her very well, though he also knew that they cared for each other and that he longed for companionship. Therefore, he decided that he would ask for her hand in marriage, despite the fact that he did not know how she would respond. Hoping to find some advice, Ussej decided to contact Kal’Shabbol. He spoke with his son who at first asked him how the war effort was going, though Ussej was not comfortable talking about the conflict with the Jedi over an open channel. Instead, he told his son that he was planning on asking Isabella to marry him and the younger Ussej was very happy for him. Ussej the Fourth also told his father that he had asked Ashinia to marry him and that the ceremony would be two weeks later. Ussej told him that he was sorry that he would not be able to attend, though he sent his best wishes to him and Ashinia before ending the transmission.
The next evening, Ussej made his way to Isabella’s apartment and waited outside in the rain. When she arrived, she founding him standing there and brought him inside to dry off, as she was worried he would get sick. When they sat down, Ussej told her how he felt about her and how he hoped she felt the same. He took out the rink that Dashin had given him and asked her to marry him. It did not take her long to reject the proposal, and Ussej saw a genuine look of disgust and embarrassment on her face. He immediately left with what felt like a broken heart, yet he cared for her enough to want her to be happy even if that meant being happy without him.
As he made his way back to the starport, Ussej’s thoughts centered on what had happened that day and he tried to figure out what made him propose to her in the first place. However, he knew he had to tell Dashin what had happened, but as he turned towards the nearby Galactic Senate building he saw a thin red blade move towards the window outside Dashin’s office. He took out his electro-binoculars and centered on the figure, realizing that it was Carden Mannux shattering the window. Fearing an assassination attempt, Ussej quickly made his way to the Galactic Senate. By the time he arrived, Dashin had already been knocked unconscious and Isabella was in Carden’s grip. Ussej was taken by surprise and was hit with a wave of energy, throwing him up against the wall and knocking him unconscious as Carden escaped with Isabella. Before Carden escaped, however, he threw a small and weak detonator into the office, throwing the now-injured Ussej and Dashin into the halls.
Ussej woke up a few minutes later and quickly made his way to the starport, assuming that Carden was going to attempt to leave as fast as he could. He followed Carden’s vessel into orbit and a dogfight erupted between the two of them, neither one of them being able to make a proper hit against the other. As they weaved around cargo and passenger ships, Ussej flew as fast as he could to try to rescue Isabella. He fired at Carden’s engines, though the blast appeared to be too much and the small ship was destroyed, seemingly killing Carden and Isabella. Overcome with grief, Ussej unleashed his angry and tore apart the interior of his vessel.
When he returned to the surface, Ussej went back to Dashin’s office and told him what happened to Isabella. He did the best he could to apologize for his actions, but Dashin would not hear anything of it. Ussej asked him for some sympathy, knowing that there must have been a point in the Chancellor’s life when he made a mistake he regretted. That seemingly made Dashin even angrier, so he demanded that Ussej leave his office and never return. Honoring the request, Ussej returned to his flagship and entered a meditation session that would result in days of solitude.
The next day, Ussej contacted his son once again and told him what had happened. Ussej the Fourth told him how sorry he was, both for the rejection and Isabella’s death. Not wanting to dwell on it, Ussej made sure that the transmission was secure and he gave his son an update on what had happened in the conflict with the Jedi. The younger Ussej told his father that the approval of the action against them was fairly high on Kal’Shabbol based on the information that they had received, though others such as Josiah continued to be against it. Regardless, Ussej vowed to continue, realizing that if the Jedi had taken action against the Sith then it was possible Carden would have been killed and Isabella would not have been killed. Before ending the transmission, Ussej the Fourth urged him not to turn the war into a personal vendetta.
Hours later, Ussej received a broadcast to all Jedi asking for anyone who was available to return to the temple for an important conclave. At the meeting, Ussej found out that many Jedi had gone missing after taking it upon themselves to try to launch an attack on Korriban, reinforcing his beliefs about the supposed incompetence of the order. Ussej took this as an opportunity to grandstand the meeting, letting them know just how dissatisfied he was with recent events. Helto and Khaluq demanded that he leave, though he refused and said that he would only leave if he was removed from his liaison position. Before they had the opportunity to do so, he admitted that he was the one behind the attacks on Barab 1 and H'ratth, and he immediately fled the area afterwards so he would be able to leave them dazed and confused as he escaped. Though he had not anticipated letting them know at that point, he felt that it was the right moment.
In the weeks following Isabella’s death and his revelation to the Jedi Council, Ussej remained on the flagship in solitude while it was stationed in hiding in the Outer Rim along the border to the Unknown Regions. Because of his proximity to the Ashlan Expanse, he had Josiah set up a video feed that allowed Ussej to watch his son’s wedding from afar. Though he wished he could have been there, he was very proud of him for making the first steps into a new life. He kept recalling his wedding to Jana, wishing she was there to see her son get married.
After the ceremony was over, Ussej spoke to his son in private to congratulate them. While they were talking, Ussej the Fourth told him that Ashinia was three months pregnant with a son, whom they planned to name Ussej Padric Bac V in continuance of the family tradition. Ussej was very proud of his son and was excited to hear that he was going to become a grandfather. Ussej later spoke to Josiah and told him that he had admitted to the Jedi Council that he and Ein were behind the attacks, and therefore the war could truly begin. Josiah continued to articulate that he was against the war effort, though Ussej said that he had no choice but to continue what they had started. Josiah demanded that Ussej end the war, though that only made Ussej angry and forced him to end the transmission.
With a continuing determination, Ussej contacted Ein and the Shadourian flagship met with the Bendu flagship in the Outer Rim. They began planning their next assaults on the Jedi, which they knew did not have to be as covert considering they were no longer hiding anything. They considered targeting the Great Jedi Library on Ossus or Centerpoint Station at Corellia in an effort to damage trade routes, though they decided against harming the Republic. Instead, they decided to attack the rebuilt Jedi Tower on Taris and the ancient Jedi Academy on Telos IV. However, they decided to wait in the hopes that the Jedi would remain complacent, rather than attacking again so soon when they may have anticipated it.
During the two weeks that they decided to wait, Ussej and Ein remained on their respective ships in waiting. Ussej continued to grieve and feel sorry for what he had done to Isabella. One month after her death, Kalel tracked down the Bendu flagship and requested permission to board. Assuming he was just going to be scolded again, Ussej granted it even though he had no desire to speak with him. However, he was too caught up in his own guilty and self-pity that he no longer cared about what Kalel or anyone else had to say to him about what had happened.
Once Kalel arrived in Ussej’s chambers, they exchanged a few heated words. Kalel told him that he and Isabella had formed a strong romantic relationship after Onderon and that he was planning to ask her to marry him. When Ussej demanded that he leave, Kalel became angry and attacked him. During the fighting, a torch was knocked from the wall and a fire erupted in the chambers. The duel moved out of the chambers and into the hallway, though the fire continued to spread around them. A large section of the ship was badly damaged as they fought, though they did not pay any attention to it as they were both focused on finishing the duel, though they each had different goals. While Ussej did not want any harm to come to either of them, Kalel appeared to want Ussej to die.
Eventually, Kalel’s anger and Ussej’s sorrow gave Kalel the upper hand, though Ussej was able to conflict him with the memory of Isabella. Ussej told Kalel that Isabella would never want him to become a murderer simply to avenge her. Kalel spared Ussej’s life because of it, saying that he was not worth it. He then left the ship, though he promised that he would one day return and finish the job that he had started. By that point, Ussej knew that there was only one person he could talk to. That person was his grandfather.
Before attempting to communicate with the Shaman of the Whills, Ussej first decided that he needed a long-nights sleep. In his dreams, he relived the days that Jana and Isabella both died, as the guilt from both of them was consuming him. He woke up in a cold sweat and spent a few hours pondering what he could have done differently in both situations. While he knew that Jana had taken the shuttle despite his own advice, he could not find a way to justify innocence with Isabella’s death. He knew for certain that he was the one to blame.
That morning, Ussej made his way to the lower decks of the ship. Inside the general meditation area, he began to pray at the statues of Ussej Padric Bac and The Skywalker, though before he began he asked everyone else in the chamber to leave. After falling to his knees, he asked for either of them to respond though for a few minutes there was no answer. As he was preparing to give up, his prayers were answered as his grandfather’s voice overtook the room, though he knew it was most likely just his mind. Though he could not see him, Ussej sensed his presence.
Ussej pleaded with his grandfather to bring Isabella back to the realm of the living, though Ussej the First said he did not have such powers. Instead, the Shaman lectured him on what was happening with the war, though he was able to give him some comfort by saying that he was doing all of the wrong things for all of the right reasons. The Shaman agreed that the Jedi Order had become corrupt and stagnant, knowing that it had started when he was a member of the order, but he expressed the same feelings about the Bendu. Ussej the First recounted how he and Shamus Malachor had tried to fight against the corruption in the Council of Priests during the days leading up to the Second Ashlan Civil War, especially against then-High Priestess Andromeda Dulerium. Though they were unable to finish removing what he referred to as corruption and fanaticism, the Shaman said that he had hoped Ussej would have been able to finish what they had started. Insulted, Ussej asked him to return to his own realm and the Shaman honored the request.
For the first time, Ussej could not help but feel that his grandfather had betrayed him. Even so, what he perceived as the Shaman’s arrogance gave him a newfound resolve to continue forward with the war to ensure that no harm ever came to someone he cared for again. Before leaving, Ussej said one final prayer to the statue of The Skywalker, asking him one final time to bring Isabella back even though he knew doing so was in vain.
Ussej conferred with Ein after he left the chambers and they finished their final preparations for the next stage of attacks. When they were completed, Ussej led a group of fighters to Taris and targeted the rebuilt Jedi Tower, removing it from the Tarisian skyline that was still virtually destroyed due to the attack by Darth Malak decades earlier. However, because the building had been virtually unused, no one was killed. At the same time, Ussej believed that Ein was leading a group of technicians to plant bombs at the Jedi Academy on Telos IV in order to destroy a Jedi complex. When the job on Taris was done, Ussej returned to the Outer Rim and docked on the flagship.
After the ship intercepted the Shadourian flagship, Ussej and Ein exchanged data on what had taken place during their respective missions. Ussej saw in Ein’s data that instead of going to Telos IV, he destroyed the Jedi Academy on Corellia, killing nearly two dozen Jedi. Ussej was furious and attacked Ein by forcing him against a wall, as he could not believe that Ein would have murdered people considering that was what Ussej desperately wanted to avoid. Not only that, but Ussej Padric Bac had been stationed on Corellia with Kit Corwin Rendar for months, so there was some personal attachment to it. Even though he was furious, he was able to explain that to him and Ein apologized for his actions, though he would not apologize for murdering the Jedi inside of the academy. Knowing that they had to put it behind them, they decided to contact the Jedi Council.
When they finally contacted the council, they informed them of the destruction that had taken place on Taris and Corellia and how many people had been killed, though Ussej told them that it was not intentional. Regardless, the Jedi Council still labeled them terrorists, stating that Republic law said that even if it was unintentional there was still forethought involved. Ignoring their accusations, Ussej offered an alternative to the bloodshed: they would have to immediately and unconditionally surrender to the forces of the Bendu and the Shadourian Orders, giving them the authority as guardians of peace and justice. The council refused without hesitation, leaving Ussej and Ein promising to carry out more attacks, even though Ussej was beginning to reconsider whether or not they were doing the right thing.
After the conversation with the Jedi Council, Ussej and Ein plotted to attack the Great Jedi Library on Ossus, though Ussej made sure he was in charge to ensure that no one else was killed. Days after finishing the plan, they brought the minimal amount of fighters that the Shadourians had to the planet and opened fire on the library. However, the Jedi had upgraded their defenses in the wake of the other attacks, so there were squadrons of starfighters waiting for them there as well. Because they were under attack, Ussej knew that he had little choice but to actually fire on the Jedi ships, though as he fought he made sure that his men did their best to simply disable the other crafts. The Jedi, however, did not extend the same courtesy and many of the Bendu and Shadourian fighters were destroyed. Realizing that they were out-gunned, Ussej ordered an immediate retreat.
When they returned, Ein was furious that Ussej had ordered a retreat. He believed that in a situation where they could not have won, they should have sacrificed themselves for their cause. Ussej disagreed and was surprised that Ein held such a belief, causing Ussej to begin reconsidering some of the ideals that he held during the war. He had not realized that Ein had become what he perceived to be as fanatical, and Ussej truly did not want anyone else to die. However, he had committed himself to a cause and he knew that the Republic would be better off with the Bendu as their guardians much like they had under their Jedi Bendu ancestors.
Ussej knew that because of his loss on Ossus, it was less likely that he was going to be able to convince the Jedi to back down. He started to become somewhat desperate, realizing that he needed to carry out a larger act in a very short period of time. Deciding not to contact Ein about the next attack as he wanted a minimal loss of life, he decided that he would attack the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, though he would not destroy it as his grandfather and many of his grandfather’s colleagues had served there during the Great Territorial War. He also decided that in addition to an attack, he would take four hostages including Jedi Master Kal Yast. After a few days of preparation, the flagship set a course to Dantooine.
While en route to the planet, the Bendu were intercepted by the Sith fleet. Realizing he had little other choice, Ussej was granted permission to board the flagship and he was brought before Darth Invidius, who he learned had become Dark Lord of the Sith months earlier. Ussej was surprised that Invidius was still alive as he knew that he and his grandfather had once been enemies, so for that reason he told him that his name was Padric DesOrz as he did not want to risk being killed out of revenge. Ussej learned that Invidius was also planning on assaulting Dantooine, so to spare Bendu losses in the battle Ussej allowed Invidius to take control of the mission so long as he would be able to take his own hostages prior to the battle. Much to Ussej’s relief, Invidius agreed.
When the vessels arrived in orbit, a Bendu fighter squadron knocked out all communications and both hangar bays, leaving the planet isolated from the rest of the Jedi Order. Shuttles filled with Bendu Knights were sent to the surface, though Ussej stayed on his ship out of caution, knowing that he could not trust the Sith to keep their word. Nearly half of a standard hour later, the shuttles returned with three Jedi Knights and Yast, who had been sedated before being brought back on board. Ussej contacted Ein about the battle and Ein overlooked the fact that Ussej had not told him. When they were finished speaking, Ussej made preparations to contact the Jedi Council.
Less than an hour later, the Bendu left the Sith forces behind on Dantooine and Ussej tried not to think about what was happening. He contacted the council where he attempted to use the hostages as leverage in forcing the Jedi Order to surrender. However, the council continued to refuse and Ussej was forced to threaten to kill Yast if they did not comply, something that greatly disturbed him. The Jedi did not back down, and Ussej therefore beheaded Yast. When the council continued to refuse, Ussej knew that more drastic action would be needed, although he was beginning to question whether or not he was doing the right thing. While he told the council that he was going to shoot the other hostages out of an airlock, he actually put them into an escape pod with long range communicators so they could contact the nearest planet for assistance.
At the behest of Supreme Chancellor Dashin, Ussej returned to Coruscant following the murder and made his way to the Galactic Senate. When he arrived, he once again told Dashin how sorry he was for Isabella’s death, though Dashin was surprisingly understanding. He told him that he forgave him weeks ago and that all Ussej needed to do was forgive himself. When Ussej asked him why, Dashin admitted some guilt by telling him about what happened during the final battle of the Great Rim Lines War. Dashin fought alongside Ussej Padric Bac II during the battle, and when Dashin was preparing to leave he saw Ussej the Second being taken away by the Mandalorians. He could have ordered his ships to return to help, but he did not want to risk any of his men. Because of that, Dashin admitted that he felt some guilt for Ussej’s father’s death. Ussej forced him against a wall and nearly let his anger get the best of him, but Dashin explained how sorry he was and he had to make a choice based on what was best for his men. Ussej understood and let him go.
With the apologies out of the way, Dashin told Ussej that he had seen the transmission of Kal Yast’s execution and that it deeply disturbed him. Ussej admitted to being behind all of the attacks, though he also admitted that he was having regrets about it. Much to his surprise, Dashin told him that although he did not condone terrorism he too wanted the Jedi Order off of Coruscant. He no longer trusted them to protect the people, and the polls also showed that the people felt the same way. Therefore, Ussej was granted full authority over the Republic fleet with Supreme Commander Reytel and full access to any resource he would need to force the Jedi off of the planet. Ussej accepted the responsibility, albeit reluctantly.
Later that evening, after Ein had arrived, Ussej ordered a group of Republic technicians to begin altering two Republic shuttlecrafts so they could be controlled via remote control. High-yield explosives were then placed into the cargo holds. Kilometers away from the temple, a technician remotely piloted the shuttles into the traffic lanes as Ussej, Ein and Dashin watched. Without any warning, the shuttles moved out of traffic and flew into two of the Jedi Temple spires. Though the spires themselves remained intact, the exterior walls collapsed to the ground, leaving the interior exposed. Dozens of Jedi died in the explosions, much to Ussej’s remorse.
Later that morning, the commanders of the fleet began moving their vessels into the atmosphere and surrounded the Jedi Temple. Ussej, Ein and Reytel were on the bridge of the lead ship and Ussej made contact with the Jedi Council, giving Khaluq and the rest of them two options: the Jedi Order would give up its mandate as the guardians of peace and justice and leave Coruscant peacefully, or they would die as the fleet fired upon the temple. The council reluctantly agreed to leave and, by the end of the day, the Jedi Temple was completely empty. After months of war, the Bendu and the Shadourians had finally defeated the Jedi Order. Though Ussej wished that no one had been killed, he could not help but feel proud for proving his grandfather wrong.
After he left Coruscant, Ussej was drawn to Anaxes, though he did not know why he was. However, it did not take long to discover why, as he found Khaluq there waiting for him. Because she did not immediately see him, he followed her for a short time but when she realized it the search became more difficult. He finally tracked her to an abandoned warehouse where he was able to bring out her darker emotions such as anger and vengeance. When the time came, she used her anger to strike against him, though due to her unbalanced state she was no match for him. Despite being in a position to strike her down, Ussej backed away. He knew that he had beaten here and that was more than enough for him.
Ussej returned to Ashla’s Light to allow his people to celebrate their victory, though Ussej planned to meditate on what had happened. When he arrived, he found his son Ussej the Fourth there waiting for him. Ussej was surprised to see him and was worried that he had put himself into danger, though Ussej the Fourth told him that he was worried about him ever since they last spoke and knew he needed to see a familiar face. Regardless of the danger, Ussej was very happy to see his son and was finally able to congratulate him in person for his marriage and his unborn child.
Not long after, the flagship’s tractor beam locked onto a small shuttle that was adrift in space. Ussej made his way to the shuttle bay and, when the doors were opened, discovered something that he did not think was possible: Isabella was alive, albeit unconscious. Her body was naked and battered with obvious signs of torture and rape, so as she was taken to the medical wing Ussej sent a message to Kalel to deliver the news to him.
Kalel arrived the next day and immediately attacked Ussej, blaming him of bringing about everything in the first place and how tortured he had been because he thought Isabella was dead. Ussej wanted to tell him that he too had been tortured, but he could not. As he listened to Kalel’s words, Ussej realized that he did not truly love Isabella, but rather he loved the idea of loving her and the idea of no longer being lonely. Knowing that Kalel and Isabella were destined to be with one another, he vowed to no longer stand in their way. He allowed Kalel entry into the medical wing and returned to the bridge.
When he arrived on the bridge, he was shown a HoloNet broadcast of Chancellor Dashin giving a speech. In it, he told the Galactic Senate that he had been attacked by a Sith Lord who threatened that he and his loved ones would be murdered unless he resigned. Therefore, in the interest of the Republic and his family, he announced his resignation and placed his support behind long-time friend and ally Romulus Augustus. Ussej returned to the medical wing to tell Kalel the news, and after he did they both found out news that startled them: Isabella had given birth to a child that belonged to her and Ussej. Ussej swore that he had nothing to do with it and the doctor confirmed that, saying that the child was a binary clone created with DNA from Ussej and Isabella. Dashin arrived a few hours later and he too found out about the child.
Only three days later, Coruscant fell under siege by the Third Sith Empire. It was revealed that Chancellor Augustus had been controlled by Darth Invidius to make it easier to invade the planet and set up a Sith capital on Coruscant. After the Sith took over the planet, Invidius announced that the Jedi no longer being on the planet was what made the invasion so much easier. Ussej apologized for his actions to Dashin and, while the Chancellor was upset at what had occurred, he told Ussej that there was no way he could have known that something like that would have happened. Ussej, however, told him that he should have.
Ussej had no time to think about what had taken place, as the flagship was assaulted by a fleet of Jedi vessels. Some of them boarded the ship in an attempt to either arrest or assassinate Ussej. They nearly succeeded in killing him, but as Xiantos Zosmius prepared to strike Ussej down Ussej the Fourth stepped in front of him and was stabbed with the lightsaber. Zosimus and the other Jedi were surprised and Ussej was devastated as his son died in his arms. Ussej had to be held back from throwing himself on the other Jedi, as he wanted desperately to kill the Jedi. The Jedi, however, left the ship and Ussej finally made the decision to end the war and return to Kal’Shabbol, knowing that it had taken the victory of the Sith and the death of his son to make him see that no one else had to die for his cause.
Days later, the Bendu were prepared to return home. Ussej said goodbye to Kalel and Dashin, though for some time Isabella would not talk to him because she felt betrayed that he was leaving. When she finally spoke to him, they argued about him leaving her and their child as if they were nothing, but Ussej said that he had to think about the well-being of his people. She accused him of letting his son’s death cloud his judgment, but that only angered Ussej. Isabella left without a true goodbye because of her frustration with him. Ussej regretted what he had said, but he knew that regrets no longer mattered as there was nothing he could do to change the past.
Hours after the Bendu disembarked, they intercepted the Shadourian flagship. When Ussej went onboard, he told Ein his feelings about the holy war and that the Bendu Order was returning to Kal’Shabbol. Ein tried to talk him out of it, but Ussej felt that he was doing the right thing by leaving considering he had already caused so much damage. Ussej left the ship, though he could tell that Ein also felt greatly betrayed by the look of anger in his eyes. As he left, Ussej could only hope that Ein would not do anything that he would regret.
After weeks of traveling back to the Ashlan Expanse, the Bendu flagship finally arrived in orbit around Kal’Shabbol. Thoughts of people, including the apprentices and priests that remained during the war, came from their villages when the drop ships landed to greet their loved ones and witness the return of their protectors. Ussej was greeted by Josiah Rendar who told him how sorry he was for Ussej the Fourth’s death. Ussej also apologized, telling Josiah that he had been right about the holy war all along. Regardless, they knew that their return was a happy moment and that they did not want to place blame at that time.
Before Ussej returned to the Temple of Light, he went to his son’s home in Vattica to meet his daughter-in-law Ashinia, who was then seven months pregnant with her son, and tell her the news of her husband’s death. She was devastated by the news and Ussej expected that he would never have anything to do with her and her grandson, though as he prepared to leave she told him that Ussej the Fourth had told her of the risks before he had left. Although it would take her some time to fully trust Ussej for his actions during the war, she wanted him to be a part of her son’s life because she knew that her son would need a male figure in his life.
Later that evening, Ussej traveled to the ridge where his grandfather died, which had been renamed the Holy Ridge of the Shaman in his absence, to watch the sunset and think about everything that he had done. Josiah arrived a few hours after he died and the two began talking about the war. While they were, Ussej could tell that Josiah was trying his best not to scold Ussej for his actions, though he knew that he deserved a scolding anyway. Josiah told him that although he knew that Ussej had a great deal of remorse and that he was suffering because of his son’s death, he still had to be impartial and speak his opinion when Ussej debriefed the Council of Priests. Ussej agreed and told him that he would ask nothing less of him.
The debriefing on all that had happened during the war was held two days later. Some of the members were still supportive of what he had done as they had strong prejudices against the Jedi Order, though others such as Josiah were very vocal about how strongly they felt about how the war had damaged their credibility. Ussej agreed with the opposition and offered to resign from his position as High Priest if they felt it necessary, though they did not as they felt that he was still the most qualified person for the job.
In the months that followed, Ussej was able to establish a relationship with Ashinia, helping her through the final months of her pregnancy both spiritually and economically. He felt that she was able to come to trust him during those two months, though he was always able to feel a sense of uneasiness as if she blamed him for her husband’s death. He could not blame her, however, as he too felt responsible for the death of his son though he tried his best not to dwell on it as it would only plague him if he did.
During the end of those final two months, Ussej received word that the other planets of the Ashlan Expanse wished to have a debriefing on what had happened during the war. He met individually with Empress Reagan Athena of Decarte, Prime Minister Jamfr Mesan of Had Abaddon, Prime Minster Salfi Loflo of Ondos and First Monarch Colel Kenew of Aquilae. After he finished speaking with them individually, he held a conference on Aquilae to address all of the planetary leaders along with the heads of government about what had happened. He knew that he had to explain a great deal, and by the end of the conference he knew that it would be many years before the people of the Ashlan Expanse fully trusted the Bendu Order as their protectors once again.
When Ussej returned to Kal’Shabbol, he received a message saying that his grandson had been born while he was away. He traveled to Vattica and met Ussej Padric Bac V for the first time and to tell Ashinia how proud he was of her. One week later, Ussej baptized the child in a proper ceremony while Ashinia watched on. He also blessed the child as the newest member of the Bac family, giving him all of the honor and prestige that went along with it. After the ceremony, Ussej offered Ashinia residence in the temple, though she declined and said that she preferred to live in the city. Ussej understood, though she did promise to allow Ussej the Fifth to begin Bendu training when he was of age.
Paying a Price
In the three years that followed the return from war, Ussej was able to help return the Bendu Order to their mandate of serving those who lived in the Ashlan Expanse, and he had a great deal of help from Josiah while doing so. Proper sermons and prayer sessions were held throughout the expanse once again, and Ussej and the rest of the Bendu were able to enjoy a return to normalcy. Because he had returned to performing his normal duties as High Priest, along with guidance from Josiah and his family, Ussej was able to come to terms with all that had happened and was able to effectively put the war behind him. From his point of view, it seemed as if nothing could harm the Bendu any longer.
Ussej also spent a great deal of time helping Ashinia raise Ussej the Fifth. Because he had a great deal of experience as a father, Ussej was able to fit in naturally as the child’s surrogate father, even though he was actually his grandfather. Being with Ashinia and his grandson helped Ussej put his life back into perspective, especially once Ussej the Fifth became a three year old toddler. Ussej was able to spend more time with him and began teaching him the very early facets of the life of a Bendu, knowing that the early training would help him in his later training like it had helped Ussej the Fourth. Even though the boy was still young, Ussej had started planning how he would carry out his training, as it was only natural for him to train his grandson in the ways of the Force of Others.
Despite a feeling of normalcy, the calm times on Kal’Shabbol did not last. Without warning, a squadron of unidentified starfighters descended over the mountains and began bombarding some Bendu holy sites, including the outskirts of many settlements. The fighters made their way across the country side until they reached Ashla Prime. When they did, they began to decimate many parts of the city as they made their way to the Temple of Light, a great deal of which was damaged. Once the Bendu were able to get their anti-aircraft defenses online, the starfighters turned away though there was a report that some of the fighters crashed in the mountains.
Taking a team of knights and guards, Ussej and Josiah made their way into the mountains to track down the crashed fighters in the hopes of finding out who was responsible. After many hours of searching, they were able to find five fighters, though the pilots of four of them were killed in the crash. One remained though was close to death, but before he died Ussej and Josiah were able to interrogate him into telling them that he was a member of the Shadourian Order. When they were satisfied with the information, they returned to the ruins of the temple.
When they returned to the temple ruins, they were told that nearly two hundred Bendu and two thousand civilians had been killed with thousands more injured. The body count included men, women and children, both civilian and Bendu. Ussej could not believe that Ein had gone so far as to attack and kill so many civilians, even after three years since the holy war ended. Ussej knew that he had to do something about the Shadourians before they attacked again, though he also knew that wished to remain on Kal’Shabbol to help the Bendu Order rebuild.
Seeking guidance, Ussej made his way to the Holy Ridge so he could speak with Ussej Padric Bac. Ussej was taken through the portal to Ashlan Four where he found his grandfather waiting for him. The Shaman told him that it would be Josiah’s responsibility to rebuild the Bendu Order, whereas Ussej would have to correct what he had wronged with the Sith and the Shadourians. Unsure what he meant at first, Ussej realized that he would have to attack the Shadourians and kill Ein. Ussej the First realized how difficult it would be, and it was personal to him as well considering his friendship with Damien Nightblade, though the Shaman told Ussej that it had been Damien who first became corrupted within their order and then spread that corruption to Ein. Ussej the First led Ussej into the Whill Monastery and stopped just outside the chambers that housed The Skywalker. When they arrived, Ussej was given Excelsior, the sword of The Skywalker, to help him in his journey back into the known galaxy.
When Ussej was returned to the ruins of the Temple of Light, he worked with Josiah and other tacticians in the order to create a battle plan to strike Shaderon. Ussej knew that Ein would be there, not expecting a retaliation from the order. Once the plan was complete, Ussej selected a small group of knights to travel to Shaderon with him. He addressed Kal’Shabbol before he left, telling them what was to take place and how proud he was to have served them. He then relinquished his position as High Priest to Josiah, who was immediately and properly elected just before that. Before leaving, Ussej traveled to Vattica and said goodbye to Ashinia and Ussej the Fifth, knowing that it was possibly the last time he would ever see them. With their farewells out of the way, Ussej made his way to the flagship and began the two week journey to Shaderon.
When the two week journey was over, the flagship arrived in orbit around one of the other planets in the Shadourian’s star system. When it was nighttime on Shaderon, a group of drop ships carrying a few hundred Bendu descended to the planets. By the time they reached the Shadourian Temple, the sun was beginning to rise so they knew that they would have to act quickly. Ussej ordered the front gate of the temple to be blown off, and minutes later it was. When they entered the temple, they were met with minimal resistance considering it had been a surprise attack. Ussej fought through the Shadourians who attempted to stop him and eventually found his way to Ein’s chambers, though it was empty. When he looked out the window, he could see Ein and a large group of Shadourian women and children heading into the distant hills.
While he would not harm the women and children, Ussej left the chambers and began a chase towards the group to intercept Ein. The Shadourians saw him and picked up their pace, though Ussej was able to speed himself up and intercept them. Ein ordered the other Shadourians with him to continue bringing the others to safety and then he attacked Ussej. Their fight lasted for quite awhile and eventually it brought them back closer to the Shadourian Temple. As they fought, Ein was hit with sniper fire in the back, causing him to fall and drop his lightsaber. Ussej used the opportunity to stab Ein through the chest, effectively killing him. With their leader dead, the surviving Shadourians retreated and the Bendu were able to return to the flagship. Before they left orbit, they bombarded and destroyed the empty Shadourian Temple. When the temple was destroyed, Ussej told his people that he would not be returning with them and instead took his personal ship and continued his voyage to the known galaxy.
When he arrived in Republic space two days later, he began searching for the Jedi Order’s base of operations, assuming that they had not retaken Coruscant. He searched on Hoth, though that had been abandoned. He finally found them on Baltimn and sent them a cryptic message that told them “the crownless shall again be king”, symbolizing that he intended to help return them to their mandate. Despite not knowing who he was initially, as he did not sign the message as himself, he was granted permission to land on Baltimn. When he did, he was immediately arrested and brought before the council who demanded that he face trial. He tried to assure them that he wanted to help them, though others such as Khaluq were not open to it. He was forced to flee from the area as they tried to arrest him once again and tried to leave Baltimn.
As he attempted to flee, he found that the Republic headquarters was also on the planet. He was able to arrive there safely and found Dashin there as the Supreme Chancellor once again, who demanded that the Jedi let him go. When they did, Ussej met with Dashin and Reytel and he helped them begin formulating a counter-attack against the Sith to take back Coruscant. Ussej believed that if the Republic, which had been able to greatly build up its fleet over the three years, was able to decimate the Sith fleet then he would be able to kill Invidius. Dashin and Reytel agreed and they immediately began making preparations, though the Jedi Council refused to be a part of the attack as they assumed it would fail.
Once the plans were finalized and the entirety of the Republic fleet was mobilized, Ussej and the others launched the Second Battle for Coruscant, knowing that they could potentially end the war. When they arrived at Coruscant, the Republic forces allowed Ussej to lead a convoy of drop ships to the surface. When they arrived, Ussej made his way to the throne where he was attacked by Invidius. During the fighting, Invidius told Ussej that Carden Mannux had made his way to Lehon two years earlier and that it was the last time they had spoken.
The duel continued to be brutal and Invidius had the upper hand for most of it, and he swore to kill Ussej out of revenge for Ussej Padric Bac being responsible for placing him in the Citadel of Sorrow. However, Invidius became arrogant after greatly injuring Ussej and Ussej was able to exploit it, allowing him to kill Invidius. When he returned to the city, he found that the Sith forces were in disarray after being forced back by the Republic and after sensing the defeat of their leader, so they prepared to retreat back to Korriban. Before Ussej left the fleet, Dashin and Reytel thanked him for his helped and offered him medical assistance, though Ussej lied and said he did not need it.
Nearly a day after the battle ended, Ussej landed on Arcura and made his way to the home that he found out belonged to Kalel and Isabella. However, he collapsed outside of their doorway. He woke up two days later to find Kalel and Isabella tending to his wounds. He told them that he was grateful, though he would not be able to stay very long as he had to complete a mission. Ussej explained that he had been told were Carden was, so Kalel told him that he and Isabella would help though Ussej refused. Kalel, however, told him that there was no way he could stop him and that he would need all of the help that he could get. Isabella was particularly intent on going as well, as she wanted to find her and Ussej’s son.
As they were debating whether or not they would all be going, a nearly three year old girl ran into the room. Isabella said it was her and Kalel’s daughter, Kathryn Esunkit. Ussej was surprised to see that they had a child, though he was very happy for them nonetheless. Isabella brought Kathryn away, saying that Ussej needed his rest before they all talked again. After a few hours, Ussej woke up and found Kathryn standing beside him. He introduced himself and told her that he was a Bendu, and she asked to hear a story about them. Knowing he could not refuse her, he happily told her the story of what he referred to as a “great prince” who once went on a quest to find a group of ancient relics, and at the end of his quest he became a hero to millions before becoming a spirit who watched over the entire galaxy. Though he was referring to his grandfather, he did not say who he was talking about. Shortly thereafter, he spoke with Kalel and Isabella once again who convinced him that they were going to be going with him. Therefore, once Dashin arrived on Arcura to take care of Kathryn. Before the three left for Lehon, Ussej asked Dashin to speak to the Jedi Council if anything was to happen to him and tell them that he thanked them for helping him realize his arrogance.
When they arrived on Lehon three days later, they carefully searched the planet for the Temple of the Ancients, as they assumed it was where Carden had been residing. They met immediate resistance from guards when they arrived at the temple. Kalel and Isabella agreed to fight the guards while Ussej made his way into the temple. Once inside, he also encountered resistance, though he found the guards to be somewhat weak and untrained. Ussej pushed open the doors to Carden’s chambers and found Carden waiting for him, as if he was expected. Carden immediately attacked him, pushing Ussej onto the defensive.
Moments after Ussej was attacked, Kalel and Isabella arrived and joined the fight. Isabella pleaded with Ussej to find their son, so he broke away from the fight and made his way into the catacombs. After searching dozens of corridors, he came upon a chamber inhabited by a sleeping three year old boy. However, before he could approach him, a group of guards moved in and shot Ussej in the back. As they prepared to drag him out, the boy woke up and Ussej put his hand onto the boy’s forehead, trying to impart his compassion and wisdom into him. After the guards dragged him out, Ussej fell unconscious though he was kept alive so Carden would be able to make the death blow.
Ussej woke up a few minutes later, though he was much weaker due to the loss of blood from his wound. He returned to Carden’s chambers where he found Kalel mourning over Isabella’s body that had fallen limp, as she had been killed by Carden. Kalel was ready to attack, but Ussej restrained him and reminded him that he had a daughter who needed him more than ever. Kalel agreed to leave and he took Isabella’s body back outside and headed back towards their ship, though before he left Ussej took an explosive from Kalel and then made him promise to retrieve the sword of The Skywalker if anything happened to him and bring it to Kal'Shabbol using coordinates on a piece of paper that he gave him. Kalel agreed and left the area.
To try to gain the upper hand, Ussej attacked Carden and their duel brought them to the upper control platform of the temple. As they approached the edge, Carden stabbed Ussej in the chest, forcing him to the ground. Carden warned Ussej that he would not be escaping alive, but Ussej told him that he did not plan on it. Ussej was able to trip Carden before he struck him down and managed to force him to the ground. Before Carden could get up, Ussej threw his sword off of the temple roof and activated the explosive. Seconds later, it exploded and destroyed a portion of the temple, ending the lives of Ussej Padric Bac III and Carden Mannux in the process.
Immediately following the explosion, Ussej transcended reality and was carried to another plane of existence. It did not take him long after a bright white light dissipated to realize that he was on Ashlan Four once again. When the light disappeared, he found his father and grandfather waiting for him. The Shaman welcomed him as a Prophet of the Whills and told him that the war was a test to see if he was ready to become a prophet, something that was unknown even to Ussej the First. It also was to serve as the beginning of an age of awakening for the Bendu Order. Ussej then embraced his father for the first time in forty years and agreed to serve for eternity, or at least as long as a required, as a Prophet of the Whills. He knew, however, that there was one last thing he needed to do before finally taking on such responsibility.
After placing Isabella’s body in his ship, Kalel returned to the Temple of the Ancients and found that nearly half of it had been destroyed by the explosion. He found the sword of The Skywalker a few meters from the ruins and took it as Ussej requested. He then returned to Acura and delivered the tragic news about Isabella to Dashin. Dashin was mortified, though he could not help but be proud that his daughter and good friend had died saving the lives of countless innocents. Dashin and Kalel buried Isabella later that day, and after the service Dashin thanked Kalel for everything he had done and returned to Baltimn, leaving Kalel and Kathryn to be with one another in mourning.
When he arrived on Baltimn, Dashin honored Ussej’s request and told the Jedi High Council what he had requested him to say. The council knew that it would be very hard to forgive Ussej for what he had done, but they were able to accept that he had changed since the holy war, taking the destruction of the Shadourians, the liberation of Coruscant and his sacrifice into account. Dashin also told the Jedi that he hoped to reestablish the strong relationship that the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order had lost during the war, something which the council agreed to.
Three weeks later, Kalel and Kathryn arrived on Kal’Shabbol with the sword of The Skywalker. He was greeted by Josiah who brought the two of them to the parts of the temple that had been rebuilt for a ceremonial dinner in their honor and in Ussej’s honor. The next day, the Bendu Order assembled in formation before the ancient Jedi Bendu monastery a few kilometers from Ashla Prime. Kalel was surprised that so many people gathered for one sword, but Josiah told him that they had gathered to recognize him and his heroism. When he was told that, Kalel begin reconsidering many things that he had believed were firm truths about certain people.
After placing the sword into a proper resting place, Kalel brought Kathryn to the beach at the Ashlan Ocean so she could play in the water. As she was doing so, Kalel thought about everything that had happened since he had meet Ussej on Utapau. He came to realize that he truly respected Ussej, and as he did he noticed that Ussej’s ghost was standing meters away down the beach watching him. Ussej had a look of respect in his eyes, telling Kalel that he felt the same way. As Ussej smiled and faded away to return to Ashlan Four, Kalel realized that he had made a severe mistake in judgment about a great many things.
Throughout the war, it was clear to most people that Ussej’s actions were a grave mistake. However, that was only when his actions were looked upon with short term consequences, as many of the actions he took ended up serving what those who followed the light side referred to as the greater good. One of the more immediate events in the aftermath of the war was the beginning of an age of awakening for the Bendu Order. After Ussej died, Josiah helped the Bendu Order rebuild itself literally from the ground up, starting with the temple to make sure it remained a symbol of peace and prosperity. There were also additional changes not only in appearance to a more formal and sometimes monk-like style of dress, but also a change in the way that the order viewed itself. Throughout the rest of his life, Josiah was able to essentially immortalize the Bac family, saying that it had helped the Bendu and the people of the Ashlan Expanse realize what happens when pride got the better of people, even those held in high regard.
Kal’Shabbol itself also went through many changes. Fearing annihilation from another attack, a few dozen citizens began protesting the Bendu-led government. They stated that the recklessness that Ussej and the Bendu showed during the war was what caused the Shadourian attack. Though the Council of Priests could not deny such claims, they were not prepared to sacrifice their mandate as the protectors of Kal’Shabbol and the rest of the region. They had essentially done that during the war and there were too many massive consequences. While the council was debating on how to handle the situation, the citizens of Kal’Shabbol banded together and exiled the protestors to Decarte where they were not heard from again. Following the incident, the Bendu returned to their old ways of peace and harmony, only involving themselves in conflicts within the Ashlan Expanse.
During this time, a way of thinking about Ussej and Ussej Padric Bac II emerged. The Bendu began to look at the death of Ussej Padric Bac II as the death of what it meant to be a true Bendu, considering all of the sacrifices and trials he had been through during his life. For that reason, they referred to him as the Evening Star. However, they saw that a dawn had emerged with the reforms to the order that were brought about because of Ussej’s actions, so they referred to him as the Morning Star, somewhat of a mirror of his father yet one that brought about a new age. However, they continued to see both of them as being responsible for the new age in the Bendu Order.
Even with all of the reforms, Josiah wished to change the policy of non-intervention in the affairs of others once again. He spent nearly twenty years writing down such reforms for the order, as he was unable to keep his mind off of the fact that the Bendu had done so much harm to the galaxy by exiling the Jedi Order off of Coruscant. The one thing that he thought of the most was the binary clone of Ussej and Isabella. Knowing it had been raised by Carden Mannux, he feared for the child’s safety and eventually launched a plan to try to find him and bring him to Kal’Shabbol.
Although Josiah felt that his efforts to bring the child of Ussej and Isabella to Kal’Shabbol would be futile, he attempted it nonetheless. Along with Darius Dracskul, a Bendu Knight that had become one of the brightest albeit one of the most mysterious in the Bendu Order, and Ussej Padric Bac V who had turned twenty shortly before that, Josiah set out to locate the child, although at that point he knew that the child was actually at least twenty years old considering the amount of time that had passed since Ussej’s death.
After many weeks of searching, Josiah and the others ending up joining with Kalel and Kathryn, who had grown into a young woman. Their search eventually led them back to Lehon where they found that the Temple of the Ancients had been fully rebuilt by Damien Starkiller, which they learned was the name of the child. According to records, Carden Mannux had named the child Damien after Damien Nightblade out of spite for the Bac family, and that Starkiller had been chosen as the surname as Carden felt that he would help to destroy the galaxy.
After a day of observing the few followers that Starkiller had, Josiah decided to make their presence known and they confronted Starkiller, much to Kalel’s dismay as he felt that taking them on was not a wise decision. Regardless, they confronted the group which revealed themselves to be called the Dark Guardians of Lettow. After some time, Darius’s weaknesses were exploited and he turned to the dark side as one of the leaders of the Lettow, and shortly thereafter Josiah was killed. The rest were forced to flee.
The Lettow continued to operate with much larger numbers under the Starkiller line for thousands of years. They officially became part of the Order of the Sith Lords during the Millennium of Hiding when Darth Vectivus found them on Lehon. He and Deak Starkiller, who later became Darth Ujur, decided to join together and this alliance remained intact until the reign of Darth Plagueis, who forced them away from the Sith as he felt that they were unneeded.
Decades later, after the Jedi Order had been all but destroyed, the Dark Lord and his apprentice Darth Vader brought the Lettow back into the Order of the Sith Lords. Only a few years later, the Bendu Order remerged to help the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War and were faced with the forces of the Lettow on more than one occasion, thus bringing the actions of Ussej and Carden full circle. The circle was completed when the Bendu Order, under the leadership of Ussej’s descendant Ussej Padric Bac LXIV, destroyed the Dark Guardians of Lettow at their base on one of Coruscant’s moons.
Ussej's legacy continued to be noticed even thousands of years after that. When Ussej Padric Bac LXIV and Luke Skywalker created the Second Jedi Bendu Order at the end of the Galactic Civil War, it seemed as though peace would reign. However, that was not the case as the Rizen Order, made up of the descendants of survivors from the Shadourian Order, re-started the crusade that Ussej and Ein had carried out. Although the Jedi Bendu were victorious, some were forced to flee the galaxy before finding out about that. These Jedi Bendu eventually made it to Earth, which was also referred to as the Planet of God.
On Earth, a group called the Prophets of Lettow attempted to resurrect Carden Mannux through a form of dark magic. In an attempt to stop them, the Jedi Bendu of Earth, who called themselves the Third Jedi Bendu Order, enlisted the help of Patrick Keylan Bac, a descendant of Ussej who was also known as Ussej Padric Bac CXXII in keeping with the tradition. Although Ussej briefly became the leader of the Prophets of Lettow, he was redeemed by his love Elizabeth Covet and his best friend Taylor Rendar, who was a descendant of Josiah, and destroyed the Prophets of Lettow along with their leader, Jonathan Daniels. However, Patrick was killed in the process. This sacrifice not only ended the Prophets of Lettow and the legacy of Carden Mannux that Ussej had helped to create, but it also ended the tradition of naming the first born son “Ussej Padric”.
Personality and traits
In many respects, Ussej was a great deal like his father. He was very reserved, making him the type of person that someone could easily get along with but not easy to get to know. To those people who did not know him well, he appeared closed off from everything and everyone. However, those that did know him knew that he was a good friend, a good father and a compassionate person. His closed nature ultimately came from his own inability to trust those that he did not know, which came from the loss of his parents at such an early age.
Ussej struggled greatly with the task given to him by his grandfather to seek out and help the Jedi Order combat the Sith. The prejudice held towards the Jedi by the Bendu had been held for thousands of years, ever since the schism that had broken the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi apart, and because the Jedi did not know of the Bendu Ussej tried to put it aside, knowing that it could easily manifest itself if he was not careful. He had high hopes for the alliance between the Bendu, the Jedi and the Shadourians and felt that the Battle of Yavin IV could have been a monumental victory on behalf of the three-sided coalition, so he was not only disgusted by the actions of the Jedi but he was thoroughly disappointed.
Despite this disappointment, it was not until Ein Nightblade spoke to him that he decided to take any sort of drastic action. Agreeing to that meeting came from a culmination of events that started with Yavin IV, continuing with the events on Alderaan, Corellia and Mon Calamari and eventually ending with the loss of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Even though, he was hesitant to go to war with the Jedi as he felt it would be a distraction from his purpose, but Ussej was easily manipulated by the Shadourian leader because of the prejudice that he held.
Ussej spent a great deal of time justifying his agreement to go to war, not realizing that he was being forced to rationalize it to himself. He decided that to have true peace and justice, a corrupt organization like the Jedi Order would have to be cast aside to be replaced by a pure one such as the Bendu Order, not realizing that the Bendu themselves had become corrupt religious fanatics. When he was able to convince himself that it was the right thing to do, he thrust himself into the position of leadership and micromanaged the entire operation, as he was the type of person who would not accept failures and wanting everything to be carried out his way. He later felt that it might have been one of the reasons that Ein reacted so negatively when Ussej decided that he had made the wrong decisions.
Despite this aggressive behavior, Ussej was not without compassion and remorse. When he realized that the Sith had risen to galactic dominance due to his actions, he was devastated. Though he did not make the decision to return home until after the death of his son, which devastated and forever changed a very large part of him due to his relationship and friendship with his son, he did give the order to return to Kal’Shabbol where he hoped that he would be able to live in peace.
When the Shadourians attacked, Ussej finally decided to accept his overall destiny and willingly led the charge against them, the Sith Emperor Invidius and Carden Mannux. He took that task very seriously and carried it out as easily and effectively as possible, even sacrificing his own life to accomplish it. Selflessness had always been a part of his personality, even though it was sometimes a warped sense of selflessness, and it remained so until his final moments during his duel with Carden Mannux on Lehon.
Many historians looked at Ussej and felt that he was a war-monger, someone who wanted nothing more than to recreate the galaxy in his image through violence in bloodshed. He and many others would have argued that he hated war, even though he tried to use it to his own advantage. In reality, he was a peaceful man who felt that war could be used to bring about peace, although in the end he simply found that waging war in the name of creating peace simply brought about destruction on all sides, something that was continually and constantly proven throughout history.
Talents and abilities
From a very young age, many senior members of the Bendu Order felt that Ussej was one of the more competent duelists that they had seen, though certainly not the greatest that the order had ever seen as there were always more ancient members that would far surpass anyone, such as the founder Zios Malachor. David Rendar encouraged Ussej to constantly practice his techniques to further his competency and expertise. Ussej felt that such encouragement was wise and ended up practicing with a sword for almost two hours every day while he was undergoing training, and sometimes even longer than that once his training was over.
Shortly before the end of his Bendu training, Ussej began developing a new style of sword combat, spending many hours in a week trying to flesh out the techniques and utilization of it. He came to call this form of combat Corusco Boreas, which meant “Fast Wind” in the ancient language of the Ashlan Expanse. When the form was developed, it ended up being frighteningly unique to many who witnessed Ussej practice it. The hilt of his blade would be constantly changing between his hands to keep an opponent off-guard. This was done by using the Force of Others to transfer it smoothly between the hands while attacking or defending, which meant that the blade would mostly be in flight. He ensured that the only time a grip would be necessary was when one was executing an attack.
Utilizing the form took a high level of training and a great degree of concentration, which was why Ussej only taught it to a select few. He also taught it to only a few because masters of the form would have to execute it flawlessly, almost on instinct. He first began teaching it to Josiah Rendar, feeling that his friend had a great degree of competency to do it. Later, he taught it to a select few members of the Council of Priests, and then the last person he instructed with it was his own son, Ussej Padric Bac IV. However, he was never able to complete his son’s training with it, and he later felt that the younger Ussej might have survived his duel on the Bendu flagship against the Jedi if he had completed the training.
Because Ussej also had a large attunement to the Force of Others and was greatly adept in its ways, he was able to perfect a power that was initially developed by his grandfather, Ussej Padric Bac, and the late Priest Shamus Malachor before the Second Ashlan Civil War. The power was called Incendo Eminentia and it could be used for both offense and defense. As an offensive power, it was in the form of a bolt of energy that appeared as a stream of light so bright that it could burn through its target. If used to a lesser degree, which it typically was due to the immense amount of power required to utilize it, it would simply blast an enemy away.
The offensive form of the power was essentially completed when Ussej began looking into it. What Ussej felt he needed to perfect was the defensive capabilities of it, as he knew that it was something that did not just need to be used to attack someone. As a defensive ability, he allowed it to temporarily blind an enemy combatant, causing enough disorientation so that the user could not be tracked through the Force of Others as he or she escaped from a situation, as the light had its own signature within the Force of Others that would also distract the enemy.
Both Corusco Boreas and Incendo Eminentia were used by some Bendu throughout the thousands of years after Ussej’s death. They were generally taught by High Priests or High Priestesses to members of the Council of Priests and other powerful Priests and Priestesses, though they were rarely used in actual combat considering the isolationist nature of the Bendu between the Great Sovereign Crusades and the Galactic Civil War. One of the only times they were used in combat was by Ussej Padric Bac LXIV, who used Corusco Boreas to great effect against Kane Starkiller during the Galactic Civil War, particularly the Battle of Endor and the Second Battle of Alderaan.
When Ussej first met Jana DesOrz, he was immediately taken with her. Their relationship initially began as a sympathetic friendship as Jana’s father had died from a disease that was killing many citizens of Kal’Shabbol shortly before then. However, that friendship did blossom into a romantic relationship, and like most relationships it did have its ups and downs. Ussej was frequently busy because of his responsibilities within the Bendu Order, and because of that there were periods of time where he and Jana were unable to see one another. This put a strain on their relationship as Jana felt that she was being prioritized lower than Ussej’s work, and she also began to fear that his profession was too dangerous for her to handle. However, she was able to overcome that and Ussej was able to find a balance between his professional life and his personal life.
A few months into their relationship, Jana was attacked by thugs that had traveled to Kal’Shabbol from Decarte. She was hospitalized with only a few scrapes and bruises, but the event made her realize that she was defenseless and did not know how to properly defend herself. The first person she turned to was Ussej, and she asked him to teach her how to use a sword. He felt that it would be difficult considering she was not Force-sensitive, but he decided to teacher her nonetheless.
For the next few months, Ussej and Jana spent two hours a day practicing with a sword until she was becoming proficient enough to be able to defend herself. As a test, Ussej sent a Bendu Apprentice dressed as a thug to attack Jana in the same manner without her advanced knowledge, and because the apprentice was instructed not to use his powers by any means Jana was able to cause him to flee. When she found out about it, she was initially furious but she came to realize why Ussej had done it.
All of the events over the six months that they knew one another caused Ussej to realize that he was in love with Jana. After their wedding, they were thrilled to find out that Jana was pregnant, though they were surprised and somewhat worried when they found out that she was pregnant with twins, as they had no idea how to raise twins. However, they continued through the blissful time and greatly looked forward to the birth of the children.
The tragedy that took the life of Jana and their daughter Elizabeth Tesiana Bac was not foreseeable at all, so for a time Ussej felt that the life had been drained out of him. It was difficult for him to raise his son by himself, though with the help of his aunt and those close to him he was able to do so. However, he continued to have a strong sense of loneliness, one that did not manifest itself for some time. After it was manifested, Ussej was later forced to admit that what he felt was love for Isabella Dashin was merely love for the idea of no longer being lonely. Many ended up crediting Jana’s death with some of the things that Ussej did in the war and with Isabella and Kalel, as much of it was done through loneliness. Some felt that this cheapened Ussej’s life, making it seem as if he was just a weak and lonely old man who did was everything out of his own personal selfishness and despair.
Despite what these people said, those who knew Ussej were well aware of the fact that it was not true. They simply knew that Ussej was never able to get over the death of his wife, and this made people realize how strongly Ussej and Jana loved one another. It was a story that was passed on for generations within the Bac family, as many within the family felt that such a love was something that they could only aspire to rather than actually achieve in their lives.
Out of all of the relationships and friendships that Ussej had in his life, the most curious one was with Isabella Dashin as many people had a hard time referring to it as a relationship or a friendship. Ussej believed that he was in love with Isabella for a great many months, and it was one of the reasons that her death, which he had believed he had caused, hit him so hard. It was not until after he saw her and Kalel Esunkit together did he realize that he truly loved the idea of her, and what hit him hardest when he believed she was dead was actually the idea that he would continue to be lonely, something he thought Isabella could cure.
Despite his acceptance that he did not actually love Isabella, Ussej certainly cared for her a great deal. It took him quite awhile to accept that he and Isabella were not meant to be together, but when he did he knew he wanted her to be very happy even if it meant being happy without him. When they were reunited three years later, Ussej was surprised yet happy to see that Isabella and Kalel were still together and had welcomed a daughter named Kathryn. At that point so much tragedy had happened in his life, so he was happy that the two of them were able to find happiness.
The most challenging part of the relationship was the creation of their son, Damien Starkiller, by Carden Mannux, though in reality it was truly a binary clone. Ussej at first wanted to forget about the fact that the child existed considering the fact that he had lost his actual son only a few days before he found out about the child, but Isabella was determined to find him so she was devastated when Ussej pretended as if it did not exist. However, they were eventually able to locate Damien, though they were both killed before being able to rescue him from Carden Mannux.
Ussej Padric Bac IV
The greatest joy of Ussej’s life was being able to raise his son. After Ussej Padric Bac IV was first born, Ussej was in a deep depression because of the deaths of his wife and daughter. He was forced to accept help from his aunt and his friends in raising his son, though after a time he was able to put aside his grief and raise his son properly, though he always had support from Niamh and those close to him. It was an experience that he quickly began to cherish, as he realized the magnitude of being able to shape a young life into a valuable member of society and, in his case, the Bendu Order.
Taking on the tradition set by his grandfather when he trained Ussej’s father, Ussej decided to take his son as his Bendu apprentice. Although they would have spent a great deal of time together in home life, this allowed them to spend even more time together as they saw each other at home and in their training sessions, as well as the occasional mission that Ussej brought him on. This allowed them to become friends as well as father and son, something that Ussej always cherished as he felt that his son was his greatest friend. When he thought about it, he realized that it was because a son is far less likely to reject a father for mistakes like a normal friend possibly would.
Ussej hoped to see his son grow up into a successful member of the Bendu Order, possibly even becoming his successor as Bendu High Priest and establishing a precedent in having members of the Bac family holding that position. Although he hesitated in referring to his idea as one for a dynasty, it did appeal to him. Ussej felt that this was coming true when he learned that his son had become married and later had a child, Ussej Padric Bac V, with his wife.
Having never gotten over the deaths of his wife and daughter, Ussej was nearly destroyed from within when his only son was killed by the Jedi. Although it was incredibly tragic and hard for him, good did come from it. Ussej at first thought that he would want to avenge his son’s death and kill Xiantos Zosimus, the one that killed his son, but in the end he realized that it was not what Ussej the Fourth would have wanted. Instead, Ussej used it as a means to end the war against the Jedi and return to Kal’Shabbol, where he was forced to live alone once more.
Out of all of the friendships that Ussej had in his life, none were more complicated than his friendship, if it could be called that, with Kalel Esunkit. Not only that, but it went through more changes in such a short period of time than any of the others as well. Immediately upon meeting one another, Isabella Dashin was kidnapped by the Mandalorians and Kalel blamed Ussej, so it did not take long for him to see Ussej as someone who was incompetent and incapable of performing even the simplest of tasks. It was one of the many reasons that Kalel was not happy about having to serve under Ussej during Isabella’s rescue on Onderon, and although he disagreed with Cos Jonathan Dashin on it he did accept it and perform his duties.
Ussej and Kalel did not see one another for weeks. Their next encounter saw them both trying to kill the other, though it was a conflict that was sparked by Kalel’s rage over Isabella’s perceived death, which at that point they both believed was a result of Ussej’s actions. It was not until after Isabella was found to be alive and Ussej realized that the two were in a relationship were they able to put aside their animosity, though they were very hesitant to refer to each other as friends considering the tumultuous events that they had been through together.
After the three years that Ussej spent on Kal’Shabbol after the war, Ussej and Kalel were reunited once more when they decided, along with Isabella, to confront Carden Mannux once and for all. By the end of the confrontation, Kalel was the only one of the four people involved to emerge alive. His relationship with Isabella and the sacrifice that Ussej made to help him escape made Kalel start to rethink some of his beliefs about Ussej and judgments he had made in the previous years. This line of rethinking was finalized when he traveled to Kal’Shabbol to return the Sword of The Skywalker to the Bendu Order. When he found that the Bendu were not like he expected, he realized that he had made many mistakes in judgment.
The fact that Kalel was able to accept those mistakes was one of the reasons that he had decided to join with Josiah Rendar and others to seek out Damien Starkiller. Had it not been for Ussej’s sacrifice, combined with numerous other events such as his relationship with Isabella and raising his daughter, Kathryn, it was likely Kalel would not have agreed to travel with them. However, he did so as he knew especially that it was what Isabella would have wanted him to do, and he felt he owed it to her and Ussej.
Cos Jonathan Dashin
The friendship between Ussej and Dashin was filled with many regrets. Ussej knew that he had been manipulating Dashin from the moment he met him, as he had been exploiting the prejudices the Chancellor held and his bad experiences with the Jedi Order for Ussej's own advantage during the war. This allowed him to easily gain access to many critical Republic resources, including the backing of the Chancellor while he was putting forth his propaganda about the Jedi Order. Not only that, but had he not been able to use the Coruscant defense fleet when he removed the Jedi from Coruscant, then it was very likely that Ussej would not have been able to force them to comply as he would not have had a strong show of force.
Despite this, they both felt that they could confide in one another, as they saw themselves as the two major persons that truly understood what the Jedi were, that being an incompetent and corrupt organization. However, their friendship and understanding were strained nearly to a breaking point when it appeared that Isabella had been killed, which left them both with a profound sense of regret. Ussej held a great deal of regret over what had happened, as he knew that he had been responsible for what seemed to be Isabella’s death, and Dashin felt regret as he was beginning to view Ussej like a son.
Eventually, it was Dashin that reached out to mend their friendship, telling Ussej that he forgave him for what had happened to Isabella. At the same time, Dashin confessed what had happened on Dxun when he saw that Ussej’s father was being captured by the Mandalorians during the aftermath of the battle that had taken place there. Ussej also allowed himself to forgive Dashin, and they were able to move on with their friendship and their quest to restore true peace and justice to the galaxy. However, Ussej continued to blame himself for the continuing problems, especially once Dashin was forced out of office by the Dark Lord of the Sith.
The deaths of Isabella and Ussej on Lehon hit Dashin hard. He not only had lost his true daughter and only child, but he also lost the man that he was able to think of as a son, despite having just less than two decades of age separating them. He was impressed with the Bendu Order and was able to see very clearly the good people that had given Ussej what he believed were strong values, morals and convictions. He had hoped years later that Josiah and Kalel, along with the others that were with them, would be able to rescue Damien Starkiller from the dark side, but against his hopes, that was not the case, and Dashin was unable to see that resolved before his death.
Not counting his own son, Ussej’s closest and most trusted friend was undoubtedly Josiah Rendar. Because Ussej did not have any siblings of his own due to the deaths of his parents at early ages, he considered Josiah his brother, and people frequently mistook them for that. They looked and dressed somewhat alike considering their Bendu upbringing, and they were frequently seen in each other’s company either through training or just to spend time with one another.
Although Ussej’s legal guardian was his aunt Niamh, he spent a great deal of time with the Rendar family. He certainly loved his aunt and did live with her, but he felt more at ease with Josiah as he could not help but think that by living with his aunt he was holding her back from her career, which caused some awkward tension when he talked with her. When he was with Josiah and David Rendar, however, that was non-existent and he was able to be in a very relaxed setting.
When Ussej worked his way up to the level of High Priest, he ensured that Josiah became one of the more senior members of the Council of Priests. By doing that, Josiah was able to become his confidant and he was able to rely on his advice very often. That was very helpful to him in his position, as there were still many Bendu who were wary of Ussej and his family because of everything that had happened in the years before and during the Second Ashlan Civil War, particularly with his father and his grandparents.
One of the more important discussions that they had was when Ussej was trying to decide whether or not he should take his grandfather’s mandate and help the Jedi fight a war against the Sith. He was very torn and after talking with his aunt for counsel he also spoke to Josiah, who was able to convince him to do nothing more than what was right because, as he said, it would be what was right. It was that faith that they had in one another that allowed them to remain such good friends and offer one another advice, and in the end Ussej chose to help the Jedi, though that did not last for very long.
Their friendship nearly took a turn for the worst when Ussej began considering the holy war against the Jedi Order. Josiah strongly disagreed with the idea and tried his best to talk Ussej out of it, and he later said that he had never seen Ussej act so arrogantly about a particular decision. He felt that Ussej was being manipulated by Ein Nightblade and what Josiah described as dangerous Shadourian ideals, and that he was being blinded by his family’s loyalty to Damien Nightblade. In the end, he was unable to talk Ussej out of it, and he could only hope that their friendship survived their arguments.
Ussej and Josiah spoke about the war effort every few weeks, and each time Josiah urged Ussej to reconsider what he was doing. All of that, however, was in vein and Josiah had to wait months before the war finally ended. When Ussej and the rest of the Bendu returned to Kal’Shabbol, where Josiah had been during the war, he and Josiah were able to mend the rifts that had been created between them, and after three years their friendship was back to how it was, seemingly as if the war had never taken place. For a time, it appeared like it would stay that way.
Unfortunately for both of them, the Shadourian attack on the planet ended their friendship, though it was not because of any falling out or any additional rifts. It was because of Ussej making the decision to help liberate Coruscant and then kill Carden Mannux, which in turn ended his life. However, Ussej’s memory was what compelled Josiah to try to save Damien Starkiller from the dark side, a quest that ultimately caused Josiah’s death.
One of the most remarkable attributes of Ussej and Josiah’s friendship was their ability to forgive one another and rise above past mistakes. Such was the case with Ussej’s actions during the Great Sovereign Crusades. After the Shadourians attacked Kal’Shabbol three years after the holy war ended, many people would immediately blamed Ussej and possibly ceased speaking with him. Josiah, however, understood that Ussej did not intend for anything such as that to happen. After the battle, Josiah even went so far as to help Ussej track down a Shadourian fighter that had crashed to find out who had attacked them. It was one of the many testaments to their friendship.
Ussej’s friendship with Ein Nightblade was a complex one, which mainly stemmed from the fact that it could barely be considered a friendship. After Ussej and Ein first met when they were introduced by Ein’s grandfather and Ussej’s grandfather’s friend Damien Nightblade, they did develop an acquaintance with one another, enough so that Ein and Damien were both invited to Ussej’s wedding to Jana DesOrz. However, they did not have a great deal of contact until the Great Sovereign Crusades began and they found each other in the Jedi Council chambers.
Ussej was very hesitant to agree with Ein over the prospect of the holy war against the Jedi Order. He believed at first that Ein was entirely misguided in what he wanted to carry out, despite agreeing that the Jedi Order did not serve the best interests of the people of the Republic. Ein was eventually able to exploit and manipulate Ussej’s life-long prejudices against the Jedi and convince him to help carry out the war. Even so, Ussej was not immediately aware of the manipulations, which was ironic considering it was the same thing that he later did to Dashin.
Eventually, after a great deal of thought, Ussej realized that he had been manipulated by Ein and that he did not truly agree with the holy war. However, he had to suffer a great many personal tragedies to get to that point. Those tragedies included the death of his son, the loss of his relationship with Isabella and the resignation of Dashin, to name only a few. It was at that point that he realized he needed to the end the war and return home.
Ein took Ussej’s change of heart as an incredibly insulting betrayal, one that he would not let pass. It took him three years to locate Ussej and Kal’Shabbol, and when he did he ordered his forces to attack the planet. When Ussej found out that it was the Shadourians who attacked his home world, he himself led the charge against the Shadourian Temple on Shaderon, which effectively ended his friendship with Ein. However, although he had no desire to take anymore lives, he was forced to kill Ein. This also marked the end of the relationship between the Bac family and the Nightblade family, one that had seemed to be everlasting based on the friendship of Ussej Padric Bac and Damien Nightblade.
Though the relationship was over, the legacy of it lasted for thousands of years. During the Reunification War, the Rizen Order did not know what had happened to Damien Nightblade. Ussej Padric Bac LXIV told them that Damien had turned to the dark side and become the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis, though they did not believe him until he was able to find proof. Despite what he had hoped, this only fueled the Rizen war effort, as they blamed the Bac family and the Bendu for Damien’s fall.
Throughout the history of the Bendu Order after the Great Sovereign Crusades, young Bendu were frequently told about the conflicts between Ussej and Carden Mannux. What tended to surprise them was that Ussej and Carden met face to face only four times, as the consequences of their meetings proved to be cataclysmic from their first encounter on Yavin IV to their final encounter before their deaths on Lehon. Despite encountering one another only those four times, it was due to Carden’s actions and views regarding Ussej that their fierce hatred for one another became one of legend.
Ussej did not think much of Carden at first encounter during the Battle of Yavin IV. However, because Ussej defeated him, Carden took that as an insult to his pride and vowed to extract vengeance on the Bendu High Priest for shaming him. He attempted to do so during the Battle of the Jedi Temple, though because Ussej outsmarted him it only made Carden angrier. They did not have any further encounters for many months, not until after Carden took the throne of and resigned from the position of Dark Lord of the Sith, though Carden thought of Ussej daily.
When the time was right for Carden to begin his experiments for the Dark Guardians of Lettow, he decided to create a child that would be summoned by his will on the child’s eighteenth birthday and be the first leader of the Lettow. In an attempt to shame Ussej, Carden decided to create a binary clone of Ussej and Isabella, who Carden knew Ussej cared about. However, because Carden needed a female host to carry the child until it was ready to be born, he knew he could further insult Ussej by having Isabella carry and give birth to the child before sending her back to Ussej as a means to lure him into a trap.
It was not for three long years that they finally met once more. During those three years, Carden had raised Damien Starkiller as his own and was preparing him for his destiny. He accepted the fact that he was headed for his death when Ussej arrived with Isabella and Kalel, and gladly welcomed it when it arrived as his legacy would live on. That was certainly the case as it lived on through the Galactic Civil War, though Ussej’s descendants were able to carry out the destruction of the Lettow, thus causing Carden to lose the final battle between his legacy and Ussej’s.
Ussej Padric Bac
Ussej did not know his grandfather Ussej Padric Bac during the latter’s mortal life, instead coming to know him after it was discovered that he had become the Shaman of the Whills after fulfilling the Prophecy of The Voyager at the end of the Second Ashlan Civil War. Despite having been the first to be named due to the Bac family naming tradition and having a grand image of his grandfather, Ussej found that his relationship with him was awkward almost immediately due to conflicting points of view. Ussej the First tried to calmly and rationally explain things to Ussej such as the need to help the Jedi rather than fighting against them, though Ussej was arrogantly steadfast in his convictions and thus his relationship with the Shaman suffered because of it.
Because of Ussej’s actions in defying his grandfather and, essentially, the will of The Skywalker, the Order of the Whills and The Skywalker were forced to accept that they were mistaken in believing that there was only one set future. However, the Shaman also felt that he could perfect what he was doing and cause one particular future through careful planning. Because he knew he would have to oversee the destiny of the Chosen One once the Chosen One was born, Ussej began planning nearly one thousand years earlier.
Shortly after the New Sith Wars, Ussej guided a group that was made up of remnants of the Order of the Jedi Bendu of the Ophuchi on Tatooine and helped them to create the Ophuchi Clan. He aided them for an entire millennia until he chose their leader Sarus to be a mortal guide for the Chosen One, a young man named Annikin Skywalker. The Shaman felt that the Chosen One would follow his destiny as was planned, but Annikin showed that there was more than one possible future and ended up turning to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader, though he was later redeemed due to the actions of Luke Skywalker, his son. The Shaman finally accepted that there was no such thing as a pre-determined future while dealing with Patrick Keylan Bac.
Ussej’s relationship with the Shaman being awkward and essentially incredibly tense and uncomfortable translated into the relationship between the Shaman and Annikin. Like Ussej did at first, Annikin had no desire to accept that his destiny was to be the savior of a galaxy, and for many years he continued to refuse to accept it. It was the insistence of the Shaman that finally allowed Annikin to accept it, though it was that same insistence that helped Annikin fall to the dark side and pervert his beliefs as Darth Vader much like Ussej had done during the war, though Ussej never actually fell to the dark side.
Ussej Padric Bac II
As his father, Ussej Padric Bac II was arguably the single most important person that was in Ussej’s life. Ussej was not raised by his mother as she had been killed shortly after his birth, so the only parent Ussej knew was his father, although he was also raised by his aunt Niamh. Ussej learned a great deal from his father during the ten years before his father was killed on Dxun, though not enough from his future perspective as he was not old enough to truly grasp some of them.
Regardless of not being able to fully comprehend everything that his father taught him at a young age, Ussej the Second still taught him one lesson that had a profound influence on him for the rest of his life. That was the idea that the true test of heroism was knowing when the greater good would be served by an act that could have been perceived as evil by some, such as murder. It was not until the end of the holy war that Ussej realized that although what his father said was true, it was also important to know that it was a true test of leadership and responsibility to know when those acts were necessarily acceptable and when they were not.
Despite this, the brief father and son relationship they had along with the lesson on heroism was what helped rationalize his actions during the holy war. Not only that, but because of his actions it was later accepted that the relationship and the lesson were large contributors to the age of awakening that the Bendu Order went through after the Great Sovereign Crusades. While the Bendu and the people of Kal’Shabbol would have preferred that they did not take place because of the repercussions, they realized that they helped them move on from religious fanaticism.
Behind the scenes
The first role-playing character created and used by author Brandon Rhea was Ussej Padric Bac, the grandfather of Ussej Padric Bac III. Around September 2005, Rhea began formulating ideas for how to continue the Bac family into his rewrites of the Star Wars films, called the Alternative Star Wars Saga, which at that point were merely story summaries. He began thinking of these ideas because the role-playing character Laili Jeyna Rendar was already pregnant with Ussej’s child. The idea that Rhea settled on was the idea of the tradition where the first born son of each member of the Bac family would be named “Ussej Padric” in honor of the sacrifice made by Ussej Padric Bac.
At the end of October 2005, the members and staff of TheStarWarsRP.Com, which at that point was still simply The Star Wars RP, decided to have their timeline jump seventy-five years into the future. This meant that everyone would have new characters in the new storyline. Originally, Rhea planned on making his primary character a bounty hunter named Matchek Al-Dubrir. However, he dropped this idea and instead decided to incorporate the Bendu Order, a group found in his story drafts for the film rewrites, into the story, though in a very minor capacity.
When it came to developing a character, Rhea decided to develop a grandson for Ussej Padric Bac so he could continue role-playing the Bac family story. This early version of Ussej Padric Bac III, which was role-played, was drastically different than the final product. The character was a peaceful younger man who lived a serene life on Kal’Shabbol. He did not have any prejudices towards the Jedi Order, nor did he or Rhea have any intention of having the Bendu leave Kal’Shabbol to join the war. His appearance was also different. He had a brown Jedi robe with a strange looking lightsaber hilt, along with a black lightsaber with a blue glow. His hair was also a long white. All of this was very different from the final version, which utilized Viggo Mortenson from The Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy.
Although Rhea did bring the Bendu Order into the war effort, the war against the Jedi Order was never planned, although Ussej was shown to be opposed to much of what the Jedi Order did. The idea of the holy war came from John Thomas O’Connell, a former staff member on TheStarWarsRP.Com who was also the creator of Damien Nightblade and Ein Nightblade. When he proposed it, Rhea was initially against it as he did not like the idea of the Bendu going to war with the Jedi. However, after thinking it through, he was able to come up with the idea that the Bendu Order had become corrupted by religious fanaticism over the millennia, and because of that the holy war seemed like a logical step in the Bendu storyline.
Ironically, even though Rhea was the one who was initially opposed to the holy war storyline, he was the one that ended up having to carry it out, mostly by himself. O’Connell and the other members that role-played Shadourians disappeared from the site or became increasingly less active. Rhea carried out many of the attacks by himself, and in the end he was the only one between the two orders that was present when the Jedi were finally overthrown, as there were no other active members of the Bendu Order at that time either.
The storyline with Ussej, while said to be large in scope and design due to the many persons involved in its conception and development, did end up, in Rhea’s opinion, hurting TheStarWarsRP.Com more than it helped it, specifically because of conflicts of interest he held in role-playing other characters. After the storyline between Ussej, Kalel, Isabella and Carden came to a close, the role-play began to drastically slow down. People started becoming bored and there were very few major events. In a period of one year, there were only three or four battles that took place. Rhea cannot fully explain why this is the case, though he does put a great deal of blame on himself for it, though he cannot completely regret it as it did lead to the launch of a new and unique timeline with the Alsakan Crisis.
Like many other stories that were adapted for the Alternative Saga, Rhea did make changes to the storyline and some parts deviated from the role-play. Though they are far more minor than those made to the Great Territorial War, some were significant. For example, he took some liberties with characters and events, one example being how he turned the character Kage Tatsujin into Ein Nightblade. The ending of the story on Lehon also was loosely based on a possible ending for the role-play created by Rhea and his fellow role-players Kurt M. Fox and Kevin Arthur, though that was never role-played. It was planned, though the role-play never took place. All changes were made with the consent of those who role-played the specific characters or events.
There are very few non-canon appearances of Ussej in other works, though Rhea did grant permission for fellow role-player Steve Young to use him in his own series of fan fiction, albeit in a different way. Young’s character Skyu Lon had a vision where he saw a terrible war coming to Dorin, his home planet. The battle was going to be led by Darth Nefarius, a Lord of the Sith who sought only the utmost of victories for the Third Sith Empire. The Jedi Council would neglect the needs of the people of Dorin and would not try to help them in their time of need. With an army of Sith, Nefarius slaughtered most of the population and corrupted many others.
Knowing that the Jedi would do nothing, the Bendu Order would decide to try and defend the planet. However, Ussej would be struck down by Nefarius while Ussej was defending a small group of Force-sensitive children. Before he could leave, Nefarius would then corrupt everything that he could before killing the rest of the people in his wake mercilessly and brutally, leaving their bodies scattered across a barren world. Skyu would spend many years attempting to make sure that this did not come to pass, for the sake of all who were involved.
In early 2008, a Star Wars Fanon user named George Skywalker requested permission to use Ussej in his fan fiction novel titled Star Wars: Vector. Rhea denied the request as he did not want Ussej being used improperly, especially because the novel was to be set thousands of years after Ussej had lived. According to George Skywalker, Ussej was meant to fulfill the role of the "Storyteller", which appears to be a sort of narrator for the unfinished novel. Once Rhea turned down the request, the Storyteller role was changed from being a title for a character into an actual separate character.
- Great Sovereign Crusades (First appearance)