|Date of Birth:||
2 BBY, Corellia
|Date of Death:|
|Chronology & Political Information|
Member of Old Folks' Home
YT-2400 Light Freighter
|[ Source ]|
- "Well, then I suggest you start masturbating yourself blind because everything else I'll suggest requires nudity."
- ―Shadow Taldrya
Shadow Taldrya was a Human male Dark Jedi who was orphaned early in his youth, shortly after the Battle of Endor during the closing years of the Galactic Civil War. Forced to grow up on the streets of Corellia, Shadow gained the quick-thinking and survival skills necessary to keep himself alive in the latter years of his life. After spending most of a decade apprenticed to a former Sovereign Protector, Shadow drew the attention of a mysterious Dark Jedi, who, rather than killing him, inducted him into the Dark Jedi Brotherhood as an Initiate in 16 ABY. Under the tutelage of such Dark Jedi as Jac Cotelin, Keirdagh Cantor, and Sharad Hett, Shadow rose quickly through the ranks to eventually become a Dark Jedi Master. Shadow garnered much praise and recognition for his leadership efforts in both Clan Taldryan and the Brotherhood.
After briefly being captured by the Force-devoid Aliens during the Battle of Antei, Shadow escaped to rejoin the Taldryan fleet and help mount an assault. But, ultimately, his efforts were in vain and the Brotherhood was defeated and forced to relinquish control of Antei to the extragalactic invaders. Though the Brotherhood was scattered, Shadow resolved to pass on what knowledge he had gained from fighting the Aliens to a new generation of Dark Jedi. To this end, he accepted the position of Blademaster, the Brotherhood's version of a Jedi Battlemaster, and spent a year training Jedi of all Orders the tactics and techniques they would need to overcome the Aliens in melee combat. Shadow did all he could to prepare the other Clans, but eventually returned to Taldryan as Consul to lead them through the Brotherhood's greatest war.
Though the Brotherhood won, Taldryan's position of dominance was usurped by Clan Arcona, a feat that had not been accomplished in more than a decade. Unable to accept his failures during the Liberation of Antei, Shadow chose to separate himself from Clan Taldryan and spent a year outside of the Brotherhood's influence and political machinations. Hiding in the expanse of the Outer Rim, Shadow was approached by a sect of Jedi calling itself the One Sith, and found himself welcomed into their ranks. For a time, the Rogue Jedi believed he would never return to the Brotherhood, but his new allegiance became strained. When he attempted to escape from the Sith, Shadow was betrayed by a trusted ally and forced to fight for his freedom. Hunted by both Sith Assassins and the Galactic Alliance, Shadow was forced to return to the Brotherhood to seek refuge with his former Clan.
Blurb about Dark Crusades and supposed death on Rhelg. Complete this sumbitch.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life (2 BBY - 15 ABY)
- 1.2 Along the Dark Path (16 - 17 ABY)
- 1.3 The Politics of Power (18 - 19 ABY)
- 1.4 In the Shadow of the Empire (19 - 21 ABY)
- 1.5 Trials of Leadership (21 - 24 ABY)
- 1.6 The Third Brotherhood Civil War (25 ABY)
- 1.7 The Long Night (26 - 27 ABY)
- 1.8 From the Darkness (28 - 30 ABY)
- 1.9 Unification (30 ABY)
- 1.10 A Wayward Son (31 - 34 ABY)
- 1.11 Legacy (34 - 35 ABY)
- 1.12 Fate of the Jedi (36 - 37 ABY)
- 2 Physical Appearance
- 3 Personality and traits
- 4 Powers and abilities
- 5 Weapons
- 6 Trivia
Early Life (2 BBY - 15 ABY)
Shadow Taldrya was born on the planet Corellia, in the heart of Coronet City, the planet's bustling capital, a few short months after the formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic in 2 BBY. His parents, Garren and Laura, were both senior officers of the Corellian Security Force, which left them without time to raise their child. Instead of parents, Shadow was raised by an ancient, semi-functional nanny droid that his father salvaged from a scrapyard and managed to repair. As a toddler, Shadow tried to follow his father everywhere he went, much to the droids annoyance. His parents lovingly called the young boy his father's little shadow, which eventually became just "Shadow", a full-fledged nickname that became the basis of his Brotherhood identity. Shadow's family lived a comfortable life during those early years, but that peaceful existence did not last.
The outcome of the Battle of Yavin had far-reaching consequences. Shortly after the Rebel victory, Garren was drafted into the Imperial Army and shipped off-planet with little chance to communicate with his family. With his father on the other side of the galaxy and his mother taking double shifts to make ends meet, Shadow was forced to grow up fast and learn how to fend for himself. Tragedy struck not long after the Empire's defeat at the Battle of Endor, Shadow's father was killed in action trying to quell the rebel populace in the Coruscant Uprising and, less than two years later, his mother was gunned down on the streets of Coronet during a raid against a local gang.
- "The Galaxy can be a big place when you're all alone, kid."
- ―Captain Odin of the Silver Tongue
An orphan at the age of eight, Shadow spent his next few years on the streets of Coronet, having slipped through the administrative cracks in the tumult that followed the fall of the Empire. Though constantly hungry and abused, Shadow was a fast learner, and with the help of the city's child gangs, Shadow learned to keep himself fed with fast hands and quick feet. Left to wander the sprawling city alone, he quickly picked up basic survival skills and managed to keep himself alive.
For the first time in his life, Shadow was truly alone in the galaxy. His parents were dead and he knew of no other kin on Corellia. With the entire galaxy before him, Shadow sought to travel to the most distant stars. Eventually, he came across his chance and stowed aboard a cargo vessel called the Silver Tongue, but before take-off, he was discovered by the ship's Captain, Odis. Odis was a fair man and decided to take the child with him as a laborer. Shadow was made to stay inside during negotiations and always had to load and offload cargo with an old lifting droid. Fortunately, the members of the crew took a liking to the young orphan boy and taught him some of their own skills, and after one particularly lucrative trip, Odin handed Shadow an old Bryar pistol and taught him to use it. Though life was tough as a trader and smuggler, and not at all as glamorous as he had dreamed, he had managed to leave Corellia, and that was all that mattered to him.
It wasn't until the Silver Tongue returned to Corellia that Shadow's life took another, fateful turn. While docked at Centerpoint Station, Odis got into an argument over payment, which led to a violent altercation. The Captain and his crew were killed before their pistols could be drawn. Shadow had reacted faster than them, hurling himself behind the ramp of the ship and drawing his Bryar pistol. He forced himself to remain still, though he had never felt more of an urge to run. Before he could make a move, he heard an odd snap-hiss followed by a vibrant humming. Shouts were quickly followed by screams and bursts of blaster fire. He didn't know what was happening, but he didn't dare run now. Quite suddenly all was silent, but for the odd humming noise. Forcing himself to move, Shadow slid out from cover and fired two shots. Both blasts were ricocheted off of a glowing red blade, then his pistol was yanked from his hand by an invisible force. Weaponless and alone, Shadow stared at a towering figure, waiting to see if he would meet the same fate as the smugglers.
- "Just keep your mouth shut and pay attention. I'll teach you how to live."
- ―Kotus to a young Shadow—the apprenticeship begins... in a bordello on Nar Shaadaa
The man turned the mysterious weapon off and handed Shadow's pistol back to him. The stranger was a human of about forty years, with prematurely white hair and sharp, angular features. He wore a tattered brown cloak, black combat boots, and limped heavily on his left foot, and yet, somehow, he had saved Shadow's life. He introduced himself as Kotus, a former Sovereign Protector, one of the elite guardsmen that had once served the Emperor. He claimed to have a limited understanding of the the Force, but was quite adept at lightsaber combat. Kotus explained that he had felt tremors in the Force when Shadow had unconsciously used it to escape detection. Kotus had reacted instinctively to the threat before discovering the boy and realizing he had some Force-potential. Kotus held out a hand and offered the young Shadow a small, unadorned lightsaber hilt... and the training he would need to use it.Shadow's apprenticeship spanned nearly a decade. During that time, Kotus taught him the intricacies of wielding a lightsaber and using the Force to enhance his battle prowess to overcome impossible odds. The lessons started out simple enough, learning of the various lightsaber and Force forms and meditating while traveling through hyperspace. He advanced quickly with the lightsaber. They began sparring every day and discussing the Force at night, though Shadow preferred the physical rigors of combat to that of the mental discipline of the Force.
Whenever they weren't training, they would be in the heart of a city, exploring dangerous slums, earning money playing cards, or betting on the local races. With his limited knowledge of the Force, Kotus always stacked the odds in their favor, which kept them well-fed and living in moderate luxury... usually with a moderately priced whore for company. Shadow's years spent training taught him as much about life and the galaxy as it did about the Force and the Jedi arts. Their travels took them from the stunning capital of Coruscant to the ghettos of Nar Shadaa and everywhere in between.
Wherever the duo traveled, however, they drew trouble to them like a Hutt draws flies. Trouble over cards and dice, over women, over the Empire. Shadow didn't buy into either the Imperial or Republic propaganda, but always backed his master, usually saving their necks when things got out of hand. Kotus would call it "hands-on training" once he sobered up, but Shadow didn't mind. He enjoyed the time he spent amongst the scum of the galaxy. Whether in the seedy bars and brothels or working for crime lords and bounty hunters, Shadow felt at home.
Along the Dark Path (16 - 17 ABY)
- "Welcome to the Brotherhood, Apprentice."
- ―Keirdagh Cantor to Shadow
His apprenticeship came to an abrupt end on a the suspended streets of the "Smuggler's Moon", Nar Shadaa, in 15 ABY, when he and Kotus were savagely attacked by a lone man wielding a lightsaber and more power than master and apprenticed combined could muster. Even as his master's body fell from sight, Shadow continued to fight, funneling the power of the Force into his limbs, but it was not enough and he was soon disarmed. Filled with fear and hate, Shadow lashed out at the figure with the Force, sending a crippling wave of telekinetic energy at the Jedi. The man waved his hand, deflecting the attack, and let out a low, mocking laugh. Enraged, Shadow jumped at him with only his fists, swinging for the man's head. The white blade flashed in the near-darkness and stopped just before his neck. Shadow stared up into the darkness of the man's cloaked face and awaited his death.
However, Shadow was once again spared that fate. The cloaked man introduced himself as Keirdagh Cantor and offered Shadow further training and more power than he could possibly imagine. Keirdagh explained that he was a member of a Dark Brotherhood, a group of fallen Jedi who had joined together after the fall of the Empire. Those with potential were brought to the planet of Eos where their training could be completed in secret—away from the New Republic and Luke Skywalker's fledgling Jedi Academy. To Shadow, the choice was obvious. Turning his back on his previous life, on the pains and hardships and weaknesses, Shadow accepted Keirdagh's offer and was named an Apprentice of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood.
- "Forget this meditating Force bullshit. Give me a damn lightsaber."
- ―Acolyte Shadow, learning Force forms
His initial lightsaber training was boring and tame, considering he and the weapon had been inseparable for almost a decade. Already well-versed in the core forms, Shadow was one of the most advanced students in melee combat, which made relearning the basic maneuvers and marks of contact very unappealing. Instead, the young Apprentice decided to prove himself worthy for advancement by challenging a group of Jedi from the Intermediate class. After handily defeating his first three opponents, the other members of the class attacked him as one. The training sabers they used were non-lethal, but the wounds they inflicted were still painful, scorching the flesh wherever they struck. All but one joined against him. A fellow Human helped him to fend off the onslaught, a young man by the named of SwipeR, who had just recently been promoted.
The two eventually managed to fight their way to a stand-off, when the senior instructors stepped in and reprimanded them both for starting the fight. Their punishment, though, was an early promotion to the advanced class. The two bonded quickly after that and worked together to complete the rest of their training.
Despite Shadow's quick succession through the lightsaber classes, the study of the Force was an altogether different matter. As his teachers so often pointed out to him, he was far too impulsive to grasp the "depth and subtle nuance" of the Force. This inability on his part didn't overly concern him. Shadow preferred to rely on quick thinking and physical skill to defeat his enemies. However, it was required that he learn something of the Force to advance so, through strict training regiments and solitary meditation, he gained a limited understanding of the most practical techniques. Instead of harnessing the raw power of the Dark Side to reign destruction upon others, he opted instead to learn abilities that would further enhance his combat prowess.
Beginning of the End
- "I win again. What's that now? Ten matches in a row?"
- ―Shadow, dueling members of the House Galeres Summit
At the meager rank of Acolyte, Shadow was more or less unaware of the mounting conflict within the Brotherhood. Grand Master Zoraan was abusing his power and lashing out at the Clans, which he felt were trying to usurp him. This power struggle quickly erupted into a full scale war, as forces from the Emperor's Hammer allied with certain Clans to take the Grand Master down. Though he was no where near the battle, Shadow was told tales of the Force Storm that was unleashed and tore the Dark Hall asunder. After the battle, and oblivious to the possible future repercussions, the Dark Council surrendered to the will of the Hammer's Fleet Commander and allowed him to appoint the next Grand Master.
Arcona had been indecisive during the conflict, instead falling prey to drawn out and pointless debates. This inaction during a time of crisis proved to Shadow that he did not belong with this Clan. His leaders were barely competent and he had received no further training since his time in the Academy. Days after the destruction on Eos, Shadow boarded the first transport off of the ice planet Garrida that would take him back to Eos, leaving nothing more than a datapad informing his Summit that he was transferring.
Shadow began to question his decision to join the Brotherhood. The galaxy was vast and his unique skillset would be an incredible asset in nearly any occupation. After arriving, Shadow was still mulling over the possibilities his future held when he realized he was being watched. He looked up to see two figures waiting before an immaculate shuttle—one brash and excited, the other cold and calculating. Shadow realized the former was his old Academy friend, SwipeR, and he was quickly introduced to the latter. Sharad Hett was a Quaestor looking for tough, capable Dark Jedi to rebuild his House. At SwipeR's urging, Shadow agreed to accompany them back to Kaiburr, the home planet of House Dinaari.
- "This is Clan Taldryan: A brotherhood within a brotherhood."
- ―Sharad Hett
Shadow's transition to becoming a member of Taldryan was as quick as it was absolute. He shared a bond with the members of his new House and Clan, one he had not truly had since his family had been torn apart. His skill with a blade was a source of pride, whereas in the Academy it had given rise to jealousy and hatred. The entire Clan fostered a sense of unity, of brotherhood, which proved to Shadow he had at last found his place in the Galaxy.
Taldryan did not support the traditional training method of master and apprentice, preferring a more communal mentoring. Elder members of the Clan taught the younger and so all shared the same drive for excellence, the same values and motivations. The constant disputes and disagreements that had defined the members of Arcona were replaced with a fierce loyalty towards one's brethren. Led by former Grand Master Jac Cotelin and his Proconsul Keirdagh Cantor, the Clan was impeccably commanded. Even the youngest, most inexperienced member was valued as an equal and Shadow spent much time learning from his Clan Summit.
This mentorship, the knowledge and wisdom passed on to him, was the primary reason Shadow was approached to fill the role of Dinaari Quaestor at the mere rank of Jedi Hunter. Less than a year after transferring out of Arcona, Shadow was appointed leader of the most powerful Obelisk House in the Brotherhood. Wary of his newly acquired responsibility, he chose to fill the vacant position of Aedile with someone he knew he could trust and that had always had his back. The choice was obvious. Shortly after his elevation, he added SwipeR to the Dinaari Summit to help him in reviving the once stalwart House and prepare for the battles yet to come.
A Jedi's Weapon
- "It's not the first one I've ever held... something tells me it also won't be the last."
- ―Shadow, upon receiving his first lightsaber
Shadow's first true leadership challenge came not long after his appointment. Sharad Hett, former Quaestor turned Obelisk High Commander, wished to test the might of the Obelisk Houses by holding a Brotherhood-wide contest of skill. To fulfill his obligations as a Quaestor, Lord Cotelin decided to promote Shadow to the rank of Dark Jedi Knight and declared that the vendetta would be a unique trial of leadership.
Shadow and SwipeR prepared their House for the feud as best they could. Together, they spearheaded Dinaari's efforts in the Obelisk Rite of Supremacy, battling side-by-side to ensure that their House would retain its dominance. After more than a month of constant feuding with the best the Obelisk Houses could marshal, Dinaari emerged victorious and regained its title as First House of the Obelisk. It was a momentous occasion and the highlight of Shadow's early career. More importantly, it had proven to the young Quaestor that he had indeed earned the right to wield his lightsaber as a Dark Jedi Knight.
Unfortunately, even the greatest of victories can have unexpected consequences. Having led his House to redemption, Shadow felt he could do no more with what training he had. His time as Quaestor had shifted his priorities to that of the House's future rather than his own and so, with little left to offer, he stepped into the Consul's office and tendered his resignation. Content with what he had accomplished during his time as a leader, Shadow returned to his own training, ever-seeking the perfection of his combat skills. Once again armed with a lightsaber, he was ready to step up and challenge himself against everything the Brotherhood had.
The Politics of Power (18 - 19 ABY)
The Royal Guard
- "We seek not fame, nor indulgence, nor glory... We stand united because we are sworn through our own blood to die as brothers, defending Him with our last breath."
- ―Excerpts from the Code of the Royal Guard
To fulfill his goal of becoming the greatest warrior in the Brotherhood, Shadow submitted himself to the judgment of the Commander of the Grand Master's Royal Guard—which served as the first and last line of defense for the Grand Master—to earn the right to join their prestigious ranks. The society was home to the elite of the Brotherhood, trained in the darkest, deadliest arts, many of which had been lost for centuries. Shadow easily passed his qualification trials and was inducted as an Initiate of the Guard. Following a harsh regiment of training and testing, Shadow proved himself a capable and loyal soldier and achieved the rank of Gladiator within a few short months. After Shadow resigned from his position as Dinaari Quaestor, he chose to expand his role in the Guard, besting his peers and rising quickly through the ranks.Shadow eventually earned himself the title of Gladiator Prime, the first member to gain the position since Sharad Hett, who was now serving as both Obelisk High Commander and Commander of the Guard. Because of his obligations with the Obelisk Order, Hett delegated many of the Commander's duties to Shadow. Shadow played a key role in recruiting and training new members of the Guard and, with Hett's approval, increased the Guard's presence in the Brotherhood. Ultimately, a new Commander was named—Ziguarath Glyndwr— a man Shadow held in great contempt, but forced himself to work with to maintain his standing in the Royal Guard. It was during a chance assassination attempt that Shadow managed to prove his worth while simultaneously discrediting Glyndwr, who was forcibly removed from his position. For his actions during the crisis, Shadow was awarded the position of Commander. It was the chance to gain a seat on the Dark Council but, loyal to Taldryan, Shadow initially rejected the offer. Unable to find another person suitable for the position, Grand Master Firefox agreed to a joint membership—Shadow would maintain his allegiance to Taldryan while serving on the Council.
- "I took this job because you couldn't find anyone else capable of doing it. Now that it's not convenient for you you're going to betray our agreement? Fine. Consider this my resignation."
- ―Shadow, resigning as Commander of the Guard
As Commander, Shadow instituted a complete restructuring of the Guard, deciding to implement stricter requirements for both induction and advancement. The Royal Guard had become undisciplined during the reign of the last Commander, leaving the Grand Master and the Council vulnerable to the machinations of the seven Clans. With his new policies in effect, Shadow gathered to him only those with true skill, a cadre of warriors trained day and night under his guidance. Old members were replaced with younger, stronger, my idealistic charges that excelled in the skill-based hierarchy Shadow created. Though many complained that this new Guard was too exclusive, too dangerous, Shadow was firm in his belief that a small unit of deadly warriors was better than an entire army with no skill.
It was during the early days of his reign that Shadow's reputation garnered the attention of the Deputy Grand Mistress, Mairin Astoris. Lord Firefox had temporarily vacated his throne for reasons unknown, which left his Deputy in command of the Brotherhood, and Shadow responsible with her safety. When she sought him out, Astoris claimed to be aware of a threat to the Brotherhood's survival. She required Shadow's personal assistance to influence the Clans into forming a great alliance against a Pirate Consortium that had attacked a number of the Brotherhood's outlying Systems. With the tactical intelligence Shadow's guardsmen were able to collect, the Deputy Grand Mistress was able to unite the Clans together for the first time since Lord Zoraan seized the Dark Throne. United under a common rule with a common goal, the Alliance of Seven proved to be an incredibly dangerous power to behold.
As the conflict turned in favor of the Brotherhood, Shadow found himself shut out of important decisions in regards to the battle and he was forced to stand idly by while deals were made with certain Clans for the promise of loyalty, with no thought to the tactical implications such promises would have. Shadow could tell the Alliance was doomed to fail, but was shunned by the Deputy completely, his advice and opinions unheeded. To further compound the problem, his allegiance to Taldryan had become a source of contention with the Consuls of the other Clans, and he found himself constantly at odds with the rest of the Council. Despite his best efforts, Shadow was little more than a pawn, used by Astoris to achieve her own ends. Having served his purpose, he was relegated back to mere guard and servant.
Shadow anxiously awaited the return of the Grand Master, hoping matters would be solved reasonably. It was Firefox who had agreed to allow him serve as both Council and Clan member, and so he assumed he would be able to restore order. However, upon Firefox's return to Eos, and despite his previous agreements, the Dark Lord sided with the rest of the Council and forced Shadow to choose between his position and his Clan. The choice was obvious. Disillusioned and betrayed, Shadow publicly denounced both the Grand Master and his Dark Council near the end of the war, then resigned from the position of Commander of the Guard. Without waiting for punishment or reprimand, he escaped from the Dark Hall and returned to the Karana System to help his Clan eliminate what was left of the pirate fleet. In the end, Shadow had been lucky to sever ties with the Deputy Grand Mistress, as shortly after the conclusion of the war, the Remnant forces of the Empire attempted to execute her for treason, a fate she only narrowly escaped. The entire affair gave Shadow a bitter distrust of the Dark Council and it would be years before he willingly served them again.
In the Shadow of the Empire (19 - 21 ABY)
- "The Seven aren't that impressive. We were telling them to secede years ago."
- ―Shadow to Sharad Hett
In the year 19 ABY, while the Alliance of Seven was forced to fight the Imperial Remnant over Eos, Shadow returned to the Karana System seeking to start anew. Unbeknownst to the Prelate, the Taldryan homeworld was already well aware of the situation between the Emperor's Hammer and the Dark Brotherhood. When Shadow landed on Sahare, Taldryan's headquarters was already under Imperial control. The Remnant's forces had infiltrated the more powerful of the Clans in an effort to quash all resistance. With the Home Guard encircled by Imperial vessels and Imperial troops on the planet's surface, Shadow drew the obvious, if devastating conclusion—Taldryan had been betrayed. While most of the Jedi left to guard the System had been loyal, they had been ambushed and taken unawares by the usurping Imperial Jedi and were forced to fight their own kin before Taldryan's Great Hall. Many of the Jedi left to guard the System had already chosen sides—pledging themselves to the Emperor's Hammer—and were in the process of torturing the loyalists they had captured in an effort to turn their allegiance.
Escape from Karana
- "There's a special place in Hell for traitors. Allow me to send you there."
- ―Shadow, fighting a former Taldryan member
Shadow fought his way through the hordes of stormtroopers that had been waiting to subdue him outside of the spaceport, silencing them before word of his arrival could be forwarded to the traitorous Jedi. Using the skills he had acquired in the Grand Master's Royal Guard, Shadow infiltrated the perimeter defenses and slipped unnoticed into the heart of the compound. Through a combination of skill, Force power, and pure luck, Shadow managed to venture through the palace without triggering any alarms and found a couple of the captured Jedi locked in force cages on the first sub-level. Shadow quickly freed Jedi Hunter Shaithis Va'arek and Guardian Benevolent Whiner—both of whom had been deemed too weak to bother turning—and learned from them the whereabouts of the other loyal Taldryans. He and the Journeymen swept through the corridors once more, but this time Shadow was out for blood. Any Imperial soldier that fell across his path was viciously and unceremoniously slaughtered.
When they found the remaining Clan members, they had been tortured and drugged, but were not permanently disabled. Shadow quickly revived those he could and ordered them to release the pilots and crews of the various shuttles and cruisers, not wanting to leave anything behind that the Remnant could use against them. After he and his companions had rescued the remaining pilots and Jedi, they fought their way to the landing bay atop the compound where shuttles waited to take them to the starships drifting impotently above. Shadow, as a ranking Jedi, was able to command the pilots and soldiers loyal to Taldryan and get the few ships that had been left to safeguard the system safely through the meager blockade into the relative safety of hyperspace.
With the loyal Jedi aboard the cruisers, the Home Guard departed from Karana for the last time, leaving it to the traitorous Imperials. They fled the System with only minor losses and plotted a course for Eos, unaware that the battle there was nearing its climactic end. Shadow's small fleet arrived moments before the Grand Masters united their power to create a massive Force Storm that ripped the System to shreds, separating the Brotherhood's Fleet from the Hammer's and bought them time to escape into Hyperspace. Their jump led them to the ancient home of the Star Chamber—Antei, which had been rediscovered by the Grand Master's scouts years earlier and would become a new home for the Dark Brotherhood.
The Third Sith War
- "You're asking us to drop everything to deal with some pirates that the Council is incapable of dealing with itself?"
- ―Consul Kir Taldra Katarn
- "Why are we sending troops to fight the Sith's war?"
"Because they can't win without us."
- ―Benevolent Whiner and Shadow Taldrya, discussing the Invasion of Antares
In 21 ABY, more than a year after the Exodus, the Clans continued their struggles to regain their former strength and recover their losses. During the attempt to find a new base of operations, Taldryan scouts located the Kr'Tal System and, with the might of the entire Fleet, overwhelmed the indigenous populace in short order. After establishing a command on the planet of Karufr, the Clan was dealt a serious blow when several Taldryan members were assassinated. Before Consul Kir Katarn could launch an investigation, he was summoned to Antei for an audience with the Dark Council. The Sith High Warrior, Xanos Zorrixor commanded the Consuls to assist in the effort to wrest control of the Antares System from its current occupants and establish Brotherhood control over the entire Antei Nebula. Though he argued, no other Consuls had the courage to back him, and Katarn was forced to acquiesce to the demands of the Council.
Refusing to let the murder of his Clan members go unpunished, Katarn contacted Shadow and charged him with the task of tracking down the assassin and discovering who had hired him. Shadow, once again the Quaestor of House Dinaari, accepted the charge and ordered his Aedile, Benevolent, to marshal their forces to aid in the Sith Invasion of Antares. Satisfied that preparations were underway, Shadow grabbed an unoccupied shuttle and set coordinates for Nar Shadaa, the best place in the galaxy to start seeking information.
Luck was with the young Quaestor as several of his old contacts were still alive and active within the city. After a few small bribes and a few more busted heads, Shadow got information on a mercenary band that had recently turned killers for hire. Disguised as a politician willing to pay to see some competition eliminated, Shadow set up a meeting with the leader of the merc/assassins for the next day. Shadow waited for over an hour at the designated meeting place and still no one showed up. It was only because of his precognitive abilities that he avoided the hail of blaster fire that the mercs used to announce their arrival. In the blink of an eye, Shadow had his lightsaber ignited, his politician disguise scattered across the ground, and was deflecting bolts of energy back towards the people who were firing them. At the sight of the lightsaber, most of the mercs bolted, their leader screaming at them to come back. A rather dull move, as it told Shadow exactly who he needed a private talk with. The Equite put down the remaining fighters and slammed the leader into the wall with the Force.
Twenty minutes later, he was back on his shuttle with a set of coordinates that the New Republic database claimed led to nowhere. The lack of information was curious, but Shadow was quite sure his unwilling informant had been telling the truth. Few people could resist an impatient Dark Jedi. While his ship traversed the galaxy, Shadow contacted Benevolent for an update on the Sith War to learn that Taldryan was faring well, but not as well as some of the other Clans. His Aedile was able to provide him with the information the Republic had not, and Shadow learned that the coordinates he was given belonged to an ancient stronghold of the Old Sith Empire. Intrigued, the Prelate scanned the planet, finding only one small power source, and landed not far from it.
A Ghost From the Past
- ―Shadow Taldrya
Dromund Kaas was immersed in the Dark Side of the Force. Shadow was overwhelmed by the currents of power, which hampered his enhanced senses and caused a kind of blindness to the Force. Without his abilities, Shadow resorted to the small scanner he carried with him and followed its signal towards the power source he had detected from orbit. The signal led him into an immense, natural cavern that allowed only a trickle of sunlight in to illuminate the treacherous ground. When Shadow came to a rock bridge, he stopped. Before him stood a robed figure wielding a lightsaber—the assassin. Shadow ignited his own white blade and attacked, ignoring his lack of precognition and utilizing only his own skill.
They battled for over an hour in that dark place, neither warrior able to land a killing blow. Shadow was infuriated. He had never met an opponent he was so evenly matched with outside of Taldryan, as he trained with his Clan mates every day. And yet, the unknown assassin matched him move for move. Desperate to uncover the man's identity, Shadow released a telekinetic blast that knocked his opponent back and caused the hood to fall open. On the ground before him, recovering quickly from the attack, was one of the Taldryan members believed to have fallen during the escape from Eos—Rexal Qel, a former leader of House Archanis.
The Aedile had seemingly not perished at Eos, but had allied himself with the Hammer and its splinter Dark Jedi organization, one of less than a handful of Taldryan members to do so. Twisted by his hatred for the Clan he felt had betrayed him, Qel had spent his time training and preparing to take his revenge.. Shadow knew that no one had hired an assassin to kill those members of Taldryan. It was all part of a revenge scheme. Rexal Qel renewed his attack, but he could not best the Prelate who now knew what was required to defeat his adversary. By drawing in strength from the ambient Dark Energy, Shadow unleashed a massive electrical shock that Qel was unprepared for, having been trained differently since the Exodus. It ended soon after that and Shadow returned to his shuttle to fabricate a report for Consul Katarn, hoping to keep the stain upon Taldryan's honor hidden from the rest of the Clan.
Trials of Leadership (21 - 24 ABY)
- "Fighting is simple. I've been fighting my entire life. But leading? I don't know anything about leading."
- ―Shadow Taldrya
Although his superiors were satisfied with his account of what had transpired, Shadow harbored a deep sense of shame, blaming himself for the deaths of his murdered brethren and agonizing over how he had not been able to properly assist Taldryan during the Antares Invasion. Fortunately, the Brotherhood had prevailed against the Antarans, and both the Antei and Antares Systems were now under the Dark Council's control. Of course, victories are rarely won without cost. The battle, which was heralded as a great achievement by the Sith, was just the precursor for a much more costly war on the horizon. By stirring up the memories of the past, the Brotherhood had unknowingly left itself vulnerable to an ancient and terrible force. Shadow, already deeply conflicted about his role in the death of Taldryan members, succumbed quickly to the taint of corruption.
The Spread of Betrayal
- "The Consciousness spreads through the Dark Side, it feeds on emotions. It affects the Elders because of our ability to command emotions from without."
- ―Trevarus Caerick
Shadow was only the first wave of Jedi to fall to the Corruption. Under its influence, Shadow sought to spread the disease to his kin. His first target was his Aedile, Benevolent, who turned after being defeated in battle. Together, they swept the lower ranks, sparing no one and silencing all witnesses with deadly efficiency. With the help of his converted brothers, Shadow infiltrated the upper echelon of Taldryan's ranks, infecting everyone he could, until he managed to capture and turn Consul Kir Katarn. While he had been busy on Karufr, other Jedi the galaxy over had been accomplishing similar missions at the behest of the corruption. The Plague that spread among the Clans resulted in a full-fledged war between the Brotherhood and the Corrupted—the Sixth Great Jedi War. Once again Clan members were forced to fight their former allies, destroying all they had built since the Exodus... but the Corrupted were not to blame. The return to Antei had awoken the Sith Lord Okemi, a member of the first Sith Empire and founder of the Star Chamber, whose influence was now dominating the minds of the Brotherhood Jedi.
In the span of weeks, nearly half of the Brotherhood was under Okemi's spell. Those who were uninfected banded together, forming unlikely alliances to stave off the Corrupted. Shadow, a husk of his former self, followed his orders to track down and kill Sharad Hett, the de facto leader of Clan Taldryan. The two Jedi met alone on the field of battle—once friends, now bitter rivals—and fought together on the plains of Antei. Their fight raged while around them the Corrupted attempted an attack on the Dark Hall. In the end, Shadow was bested by Hett, but before he could meet his Fate, Okemi's influence weakened, then faltered altogether as Firefox attacked the former Dark Lord. In the aftermath of the Grand Master's mental battle, the Corruption withdrew and the infected "awoke" without recollection of their actions.
Shadow heard the whole story after a week in a medical facility, undergoing extensive tests. Dozens of Taldryan's senior Jedi had been corrupted, while the rest, led by Proconsul Hett, had played an important role in suppressing the spread of the corruption and subduing the infected before the Dark Hall could be destroyed. Shadow, when he was finally released, dedicated himself to the efforts to undo the damage and recoup the losses he had helped incur. For their efforts in both battling the infected and restoring Antei afterwards, Taldryan was greatly awarded by the Grand Master, though, to Shadow, this felt like an unjust conclusion to a horrible ordeal. After listening to all he had done, Shadow immediately attempted to submit his resignation to Consul Katarn, but he would not hear of it, as he too had been infected. Shadow returned to Kr'Tal, alive and forgiven, eager to put the last few months behind him.
The K'hamar'an Crisis
- "You are indeed worthy of that which I protect."
- ―The Guardian to Shadow Taldrya
In the relative calm that followed after the Brotherhood Civil War, Shadow spent his time recruiting new Dark Jedi to the Dinaari banner, at long last able to focus solely on his duties as Quaestor, without the constant threat of war looming over the Clan. Only the Krath Order was having problems—treasured artifacts were disappearing from the library on Lyspair, where the tomes of Dark Side knowledge were kept. Shadow paid the problem little mind, as books and trinkets were outside of his sphere of expertise. That was, until he received a message from the Krath High Priest Alanna, who had been a member of Taldryan before her appointment. She sent him a package she hoped he would decipher. Though Shadow had no love of the Council, Alanna was a rare exception, and so the Primarch laid his hands on the strange box.
That's when the dreams began. The visions haunted him, always the same, but more powerful and more visceral each time he closed his eyes. The nightmare was always the same. He stood in the midst of an ethereal realm of shades and phantoms, alone but for a shadowy presence in the distance. But no matter what he tried, Shadow was unable to contact the figure, or understand the dream. Unable to unravel the mystery, Shadow traveled to Lyspair to meet with the High Priestess in person.
When he met with Alanna, Shadow learned that the box he had was one of the Artifacts that were disappearing from the Krath Vaults. Each of the artifacts had been salvaged from the K'hamar'an people, an ancient race with phenomenal power over the Dark Side, which ultimately led to their own destruction. The artifacts had been recovered by a previous High Priestess and were believed to be extremely valuable and dangerous. After Shadow divulged the details of his recurring dream, Alanna channeled her power into the artifact. The black box began to glow with a faint, golden light. She claimed the key to his visions lay in defeating the being trapped within. Shadow took the artifact and immediately blacked out.
In the dark realm, Shadow again encountered the elusive presence, but this time the creature acknowledged him. It called itself the Guardian and attacked without hesitation. In the dream state, Shadow could not rely on his Force abilities, but he still carried his lightsaber and was able to fight the creature. The Guardian's power was immense, but it was borne of a realm of darkness. Fear and anger permeated the very air and Shadow was able to channel that darkness to increase his own strength. The Guardian faltered and was defeated. Before it disintegrated it told him that the seal was broken, then Shadow was ripped out of the nightmare and back into reality. Above him, Alanna was holding the artifact, which was now a deep purple color. She thanked him for his efforts and left him confused and annoyed, but grateful to be finished with the sorcery of the Krath.
A Warrior of Taldryan
- "Pirate scum. I can't believe the other Clans are actually struggling in this war."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, overseeing the capture of the Pirate's Headquarters
Under Shadow's leadership, Dinaari was returned to its former glory, surpassing all expectations to once again become a powerhouse in the Brotherhood. But, Shadow's time as Quaestor was not meant to last forever. In late 22 ABY, Kir Taldrya Katarn was seeking a Proconsul to help him lead Clan Taldryan. His search was short-lived, as he deemed Shadow experienced enough to take second-in-command. Shadow passed Dinaari into the capable hands of his Aedile, Benevolent, and headed to Karufr to take his place as Proconsul.
Shortly after his appointment, the Clans were contacted by newly elected Obelisk High Commander, Korras Aquillarum, who sent word that the Dark Council required assistance in clearing the nearby System of Coratua of a pirate operation. Each Clan was to provide a unit of Jedi commanded by a Summit member. Katarn, tied up with the affairs of the Clan, tasked Shadow with leading the Taldryan assault force. With the best warriors he could muster, Shadow joined the High Commander's armada and set forth for Coratua IV. The warriors of each Clan boarded the Victory-class Star Destroyer Vae Victus to be carried to their destination. Tension between the Clans was high, as they were still recovering from the devastating effects of the last Great War. Korras, knowing the warriors could turn at each other at the slightest provocation, decided that each unit would land separately and fight its way towards the pirate headquarters, conquering any outlying command posts en route.
When the dust settled, Taldryan was situated South-West sector of the planet, with Clan Scholae Palatinae located a few hundred clicks North and Clan Naga Sadow a few hundred to the East. Shadow wasted no time in pushing his troops towards the Pirate Command, hoping to bring glory to the Clan by capturing the Headquarters alone. The pirates put up a fierce resistance, their droid armies seemingly endless, but they could not hold back the might of the Obelisk warriors. With each status report sent to the High Commander, his unit had gained another milestone, capturing enemy depots and decimating enemy command posts as they journeyed North. Eight weeks into the invasion, the Taldryan forces encountered enemy Jedi. Seeing an opportunity to eliminate some opposition, Shadow ordered his soldiers to split into three groups—one to head North into the Scholae Palatinae-controlled zone, one to harass the Naga Sadow ranks to the East, and one to continue on with their primary objective.
Their tactics were impeccable, their abilities unmatched. Nine weeks after landing on Coratua IV, Taldryan had conquered over half the planet—including the pirate command post and much of the territory supposed to be controlled by the other Clans. Shadow himself had fought and defeated the pirate leader, impaling the man upon his lightsaber. Lauded as heroes, Clan Taldryan was generously rewarded for the part it played in completing the mission, with a substantial amount of the salvaged war machines being added to the Taldryan Military. For his stellar leadership, Shadow was promoted to the rank of Dark Adept and became an Elder of the Brotherhood.
The Road Not Traveled
- "For the past two years I have dedicated myself to being a leader of Taldryan, but I'm not ready for this. Maybe I never will be."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, resigning as Consul
Shadow and his team arrived back on Karufr to cheers and congratulations. They had undoubtedly accomplished the most out of any other Clan. After a lengthy celebration, Kir at last made an appearance. He stood on the central dais in the Great Hall of Taldryan’s headquarters and brought the celebrating Clan to silence. After two exemplary years of leading Taldryan as Consul, Kir was going to step down. He motioned for Shadow to step up on the dais and again brought the Clan for silence. For his years of service as Quaestor, and his term as Proconsul, Katarn named Shadow the new Consul of Clan Taldryan. Shadow accepted the offer, but knew he would not long hold the position. Though he had done an adequate job leading the Clan's forces into battle, Shadow was a warrior at heart, and was not meant to govern over an entire Clan. Less than two months after his appointment, Shadow stepped down from Consul and, unable to face his failures, left Taldryan to become a Rogue Jedi.Separated from the Brotherhood for the first time in eight years, Shadow returned to his Homeworld of Corellia in an attempt to uncover some connection to his past and the life he had once had. As part of this discovery, Shadow left his lightsabers behind him and withdrew from the Force altogether. He wanted to start anew and he saw his Jedi training as a hindrance to a real life with real accomplishments and passions, as far from the constant war and death as he could get. Belatedly, Shadow followed in his parents' footsteps and applied to become a CorSec officer using an old alias he had constructed while on mission for the Council.
But Dark Jedi didn't believe in happy endings. Early one morning, Shadow awoke to find himself surrounded by Jedi Knights and CorSec officers, who named him a Dark Jedi and placed him under arrest. Apparently, the alias he was using had been flagged by the New Jedi Order after his last mission had ended when he killed a Senator—with a lightsaber. The young Jedi informed him that he would taken to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and be forced to receive "enlightenment". If they discovered what he truly was, or where he had been trained, the Brotherhood would be besieged by the Order and te Republic. Fortunately, Shadow's abilities had been greatly underestimated. Months of fasting from the Force ended in a blinding instant of rage as the Adept shattered the restraints binding him and unleashed torrents of lightning at the unsuspecting Knights. In the confusion, Shadow managed to acquire a lightsaber and slashed through his would-be captors effortlessly. He kept the weapon with him and fled the apartment, knowing it would soon be swarming with New Republic soldiers.
With his cover blown and his image being transmitted all over Corellia, Shadow had to escape the planet before more Jedi could be called to investigate the sudden lack of communication from the dead Knights. With a fleeting sense of the past repeating itself, Shadow stowed away aboard a large Freighter that was delivery supplies to Systems on the Outer Rim. From there, it was a simple matter for Shadow to steal an unguarded shuttle and set course for Kr'Tal. He had attempted a normal life, tried to take the road not traveled, but it was not the life for him. Just a few months after he left, Shadow returned to Clan Taldryan and the Brotherhood... to home.
The Third Brotherhood Civil War (25 ABY)
A Prelude to War
- "Victory-class Star Destroyer Dark Prophet. This is Dark Adept Shadow Taldrya, reporting for duty."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, returning home
- "Can we try not taking on their entire army this time?"
- ―Shadow Taldrya, on reconnaissance mission with Shaithis Va'arek, Sharad Taldrya Hett, and Sithspawn Taldrya
En route to Kr'Tal, Shadow received an urgent communication from Taldryan Command, requesting his immediate assistance in the Dajorra System, home of Clan Arcona. Within hours of receiving the message, Shadow boarded the Taldryan Flagship, Dark Prophet and met with recently appointed Consul Duga Arkarso who revealed that two of Taldryan's Jedi had been captured by the Arconans on a routine intelligence mission. Since the capture, hostilities had rapidly increased between the Clans, and Taldryan was now poised through their enemy's System ready for war.
Shadow was asked to join a ground assault team along with Sharad Taldrya Hett and Sithspawn Taldrya, two of Dinaari's best warriors. Together they were to target minimally protected outposts and gather information on the whereabouts of the lost Jedi in an effort to prevent all out war with Arcona. Their first target was located on Arconae Primus, a small communications station buried deep within the dense jungles that blanketed most of the planet. The three Dark Jedi worked together to infiltrate the lightly defended outpost and defeated the small garrison. Unfortunately, a bit overzealous in their efforts, they had allowed the command staff to get caught in the crossfire and had no one living to question. A brief search through the station's records proved fruitless and they were forced to return to the Prophet empty-handed.
The conflict was escalating rapidly, as Arconan forces had finally been marshaled resulting in a stand-off between the fleets. With limited time left, Arkarso sent Shadow and the team to the moon of Boral, which orbited the planet of Selen. In a small training facility, Shadow, Sharad and Sithspawn uncovered the whereabouts of their missing comrades, who had been moved to Selen for interrogation. They returned to the Prophet with the news to find the Consul was not in command. Instead, Proconsul Benevolent held command and ordered the start of the assault when Shadow explained the situation. But, before the attack could commence, both Clans were ordered to stand down by their Consuls, who had met privately to negotiate an end to the conflict. The war had been narrowly avoided and, much to Shadow's surprise, Taldryan had agreed to an alliance with Arcona for the foreseeable future.
- "No I'm not trying to start a war, my orders were very clear on that. But believe you me, it's very tempting."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, removing Clan Ambassadors from Karufr
When a series of unexplained accidents occurred throughout Kr'Tal and other Brotherhood-controlled System, accusations of sabotage threw the Brotherhood into a downwards spiral, with each Clan once more preparing itself for war. Under Consul Arkarso's orders, Shadow and Dark Jedi Knight Matsuki traveled to the Clan embassies on Karufr to order the Ambassadors off world. The gathered representatives of the Six Clans saw the request as tantamount to a declaration of war and refused to leave. Fortunately, Shadow had been given free reign to accomplish the task. The Adept drew his lightsaber and gave the ambassadors an ultimatum—leave or die. Only the Tarentum delegate refused to yield and quickly fell to Shadow's blade. In a matter of hours the Embassies were emptied, but the situation across the Brotherhood was deteriorating rapidly.
When Shadow returned to the Clan Headquarters, it was to the shocking announcement that a man, believing himself to be Jac Cotelin, was claiming to be the true Dark Lord of the Sith. As the Clan Summit and Elders gathered to confer upon the matter, Consul Arkarso informed the Jedi that the true Grand Master was presently on Karufr. Scouts interrupted the meeting a dire warning—Clan Tarentum's fleet had entered the Kr'Tal System. Further intelligence showed that the Clans were equally divided in their support of the two Jacs, but as Shadow knew, only the true Jac would seek help from his former Clan.
Pledged to the true Grand Master, Consul Arkarso ordered an honor guard comprised of several Elders, including Shadow, to serve as the Grand Master's personal bodyguards on the journey to take back the Dark Hall. The Clan departed en masse for Antei. While the majority of Taldryan's force fended off the Tarentum task force, Shadow and the Grand Master's retinue took the remaining ships and slipped into Hyperspace. Scholae Palatinae and Arcona were already surrounding Antei, holding off the Naga Sadow and Plagueis starships, to allow Taldryan to land on the planet.
Reclaiming the Throne
- "It's time to take the fight to them."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, ordering a full-scale attack of Tarentum forces
On the steps of the Dark Hall, the Clans waged an all-out war for their chosen Grand Master. The Taldryan Jedi joined ranks with their allies and helped push the usurping Clans back from the entrance. Shadow, following behind the true Dark Lord, was ordered to proceed into the Hall along with a cadre of Taldryan warriors to commandeer the planetary defenses. Though resistance was heavy, Shadow led the group through a carefully mapped out route that circumvented most of the Clone's soldiers. When they neared their goal, they encountered a large group of enemy Jedi, comprised mainly of Sadow and Tarentae. Pinned down with their objective so close, Duga ordered Shadow to continue on with two Equites—a demolitions and security expert, who would ensure their success. With a last look at their allies, Shadow slipped around the battle and kept moving.
Now separated from the rest of the group, Shadow and his crew fought their way to the Council Chambers, on the highest level of the tower. When they reached the great doors, they discovered the blast doors had already been shut. With a command from the Elder, Benevolent set a series of Detpacks around the door to blow it open. Once breached, the trio raced through the room to a hidden door that led them to the Grand Master's personal study, where the emergency defense controls resided. Shadow ordered Vardar to activate the defenses, while Ben began downloading information from Cotelin's computer to a datapad. As the last line of defense, Shadow returned to the Council Chambers to guard against any would-be saboteurs. The actions of Shadow and his team allowed the Grand Master to confront his doppleganger and the two battled to the death. When one Jac, the true Jac, remained, he called a cease to all hostilities and ordered the Clans to stand down.
The Long Night (26 - 27 ABY)
- "Show them what it means to challenge the will of the gods."
- ―Kol Amnan, beginning the attack on the Brotherhood
After the Brotherhood's Civil War, Grand Master Cotelin pushed for an expansion of the Star Systems. Outlying scouts reported that an area of the Outer Rim was contested between rogue Rebel and Imperial factions. In order to set the Clans on a new target, Cotelin ordered them to assist in the Subterrel Conflict. Shadow took up the cause readily, glad to be using his powers in a battle where he would not be required to spill the blood of his own kin. While the Clans waged their war, the rest of the Galaxy was fighting a battle for its own existence against the Yuuzhan Vong, the extragalactic warriors seeking to purify the galaxy of all technology. For the most part, Shadow was unaware of the plight of the rest of the Galaxy, as his efforts were focused on defeating the Rebel and Imperial alliances. Mid-war, Cotelin, wishing to put an end to the Outer Rim War, abdicated his throne and rejoined Clan Taldryan to help in the conquest.
Though he wasn't there for the coronation, Shadow learned that Sarin, the Deputy Grand Master, succeeded Jac as Grand Master. While the war for the Subterrel Sector was going well, the sudden attack on the Yavin System by the Yuuzhan Vong worried the new Grand Master, who recalled the Clans to Antei before the conflict could be concluded. Shadow was angered to leave when they were so close to victory, the enemy forces nearly destroyed, but he was forced to obey. Yavin, it was believed, was too close to the Antei System, and Sarin wished to ensure the safety of his world. To this end, the Grand Master instituted a Brotherhood-wide training exercise to determine which Clan would lead the Brotherhood's vanguard against these would-be invaders.
The trials were a series of combat simulations. Shadow and a small team of Elders worked feverishly on intricate battle plans that defeated the toughest of simulations and Taldryan was deemed the victors. Elated, the entire fleet gathered on the outskirts of the Antei Nebula for an immense ceremony. It was during the awarding of the title of First Clan that the Yuuzhan Vong fleet struck against the unprepared Dark Jedi. The opening salvo was devastating and the Brotherhood Fleet quickly dispersed, each Clan trying to protect itself. The attack had been a complete surprise because, for reasons unknown, the invaders and their fleet could not be sensed with the Force.
A Prisoner of War
- "It was like nothing I've ever felt before. Unrelenting agony. No wonder they call it the Embrace of Pain."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, recounting his suffering at the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong
Desperate to return to his own Clan's fleet, Shadow borrowed an unattended starfighter and slipped free of the Council ship, to cross the suddenly contested space beyond the Shroud. But, just as he made contact with the Fleet, Shadow's ship was attacked by Yuuzhan Vong Coralskippers and destroyed. As not even the powers of Jac Cotelin could sense the Proconsul, the Summit of Clan Taldryan believed Shadow to be killed in action, and plotted an emergency course into the Shroud itself, hoping the invaders would not be able to follow. However, Shadow was not dead. The Adept, drawing on the Force to keep himself alive, was picked up an hour after the the attack began by a Slaveship, where he was placed, unconscious, into an organic torture device.
When Shadow regained consciousness it was to a pain he had never experienced before. As the days passed, the situation for both Shadow and Taldryan seemed hopeless. As he was presumed dead, Shadow was replaced as Proconsul by Prelate Chaosrain Taldrya, the former Ektrosis Quaestor. While the Taldryan fleet was being decimated inside the Shroud, Shadow and a group of captured Dark Jedi, were being tortured for information about what their kind were capable of. When he was given time to recuperate, Shadow studied his fellow captives—none of them were from Taldryan and he could only recognize two vaguely by sight. Still, he knew that if was going to escape, he would need their cooperation. The idea of trusting non-Taldryan members was repulsive, but he was in a no-win situation and needed any help he could get.
Negotiating a Release
- "These creatures are stronger than us and immune to the Force. I don't care how you feel about each other—fight as a team or we’re not getting out of here alive."
- ―Shadow Taldrya
Though it was difficult to convince them to work together, Shadow managed to convince the Dark Jedi that their survival depended on it. By joining together in a Force Meld, the Jedi were able to enhance each other's strength and overcome the effects of the Embrace of Pain. Before they could escape, guards found them and attacked with their odd, snake-like staffs. By drawing on the strength of the others, Shadow was able to fend off the two Vong, utilizing his Echani training to incapacitate the warriors. Together, with Shadow leading the way, the Jedi made their way through the ship as fast as they could towards the only technology they could sense around them—a captured shuttle they hoped was still intact.
Weaponless and without the guidance of the Force, the Jedi made use of their hand to hand training, which was heightened by the Meld, to fight their way through the Slaveship towards what they assumed to be a hangar bay. The deck that held the shuttle was not a hangar, but some sort of lab that was being used to conduct odd experiments on the ship's technology. Dismay filled the Jedi as much of the ship was destroyed and covered in a strange organic material. Their captives found them there and attacked en mass. The Jedi fought hard, but without their powers and weapons they had almost no chance against the Vong. After two of his comrades fell, their Meld weakened, and Shadow knew they wouldn't have much hope of winning the battle. As two Vong charged him, Shadow, in pure desperation, channeled the Force from the others through their bond, igniting a cacophony of power at his fingertips. Force Lightning burst forth from his hands and the two aliens fell to the ground in the throws of a violent death. Surprised that this application of the Force could effect the creatures, Shadow turned the power on more, drawing strength from the ever-weakening pool of power the other Jedi had to spare.
But Shadow didn't much care what happened to them, they weren't of his Clan, and if they had to die so that he survived he could live with that. The Yuuzhan Vong retreated, not understanding how they were being killed so easily. Shadow took that opportunity to jump into the shuttle's cockpit. Built into all Lambda-class shuttles was an emergency escape pod that detached the cockpit from the rest of the ship. While his temporarily allies were being overrun, Shadow activated the escape pod and punctured a hole through the side of the Slaveship and escaped into the treacherous pathways of the Shroud. The Life Support System, however, was damaged and Shadow had to place himself in a Hibernation Trance to stay alive long enough to be found.
In the Eye of the Storm
- "The only things for us here now are death and pride. Both are fatal."
- ―Aabsdu Dupar, accepting the loss of Antei
When Shadow's mind cleared of the trance, he was in the medical bay Venator-class Star Destroyer Katarn, one of Taldryan's older and more powerful vessels. He woke to the face of Keirdagh Cantor, who was dressed in pilot uniform, which was badly torn and burned and covered with splashes of blood. Keirdagh explained to Shadow that Fury Squadron had come across his escape pod on their return to the Katarn and towed him to safety. Shadow thanked the old Sith and asked him what was happening with the battle. In answer, Keirdagh simply told Shadow to follow him to a meeting of the Summit and elder Taldryan members. Shadow was greeted by the room with shouts of surprise and elation, but the reunion quickly grew somber as he was told the full extent of what had happened during the time he was held hostage. Though information was still limited on the invaders, Shadow managed to fill them in on the few things he had learned as a captive. Unfortunately, little of it would help in fighting a battle of space superiority.
The most crushing blow, of course, was the loss of the Clan's flagship, the Victory I-class Star Destroyer Dark Prophet, which had been lost in the opening attack. While several Clans had managed to retreat to their own Systems, a few were trapped in the Shroud, attempting to hide from the Vong battle fleet. Shadow argued along with the others in support of retreating to Kr'Tal and leaving Antei to the defensive power of the Dark Council. It was Jac Cotelin who convinced the Summit to continue towards Antei to help the Council save the Brotherhood's seat of power. Before they could change course, though, several enemy ships emerged from the Shroud and attacked. Cotelin, delving into his immense reserves of power, used Shadow's knowledge of the enemy's weakness and created a vast Force Storm to eliminate all but one of the attacking battle group. The remaining vessel clashed with the Dark Seraphim, an aging Invincible-class Dreadnaught Heavy Cruiser and sent a boarding party to capture more Dark Jedi.
Shadow, along with Keirdagh and Sharad Hett, took a transport full of soldiers to aid the Seraphim's crew and repel the Vong warriors. With a lightsaber in hand, Shadow was able to take some vengeance against his former captors, tearing into them with his favorite weapon, but their efforts were ultimately in vain. The Yuuzhan Vong warship, crippled from Cotelin's attack, plowed into the Dreadnaught, rupturing its durasteel plating. Shadow and his team managed to make it to the hangar bay and fire up a shuttle to fly them to safety. Moments after their escape, the venerable starship exploded taking with it countless more lives. Though they suffered heavy losses, Cotelin's Force Storm had bought the Taldryan fleet time to limp deeper into the Shroud and closer towards Antei. To Shadow, it seemed a fool's idea to aid the Council when they were already so diminished, but their course had been chosen. With the Yuuzhan Vong behind them, Taldryan had but only one choice—to run to Antei.
The Battle of Antei
- "As Grand Master of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood, I hereby order a full retreat from the Antei system."
- ―Darth Sarin, Battle of Antei
Shadow rejoined the Summit on the Katarn's bridge as the fleet emerged from the Shroud to hover above Antei. But the expected assistance was not there. Instead, Clan Tarentum, a bitter rival of Taldryan, targeted them and attacked the wounded Taldryan fleet. Enraged at the underhanded attack, Consul Arkarso ordered a full assault on the Tarentum fleet. Cotelin, disgusted by the incessant warring of the Clans, left the bridge, but Shadow followed him. Shadow attempted to persuade Jac to rejoin the fight, arguing against allying with lesser Clans, but the Grand Master, who believed cooperation was key to survival, became angry and lashed out, slamming Shadow into a bulkhead. It seemed that he would attack again, but Shadow was saved by a new warning alarm. Ships from Naga Sadow had entered the fray and were attacking both Taldryan and Tarentum. Deep down, Shadow knew the Grand Master was right, but he couldn't see any circumstance that would unite the Clans again.
In the midst of another attempt at civil war, the petty feud was interrupted by the reappearance of the Vong fleet. The Clans were forced to put their differences aside and began to work together to fend off the invaders. In his role as adviser, Shadow helped both Consul Arkarso and his Proconsul direct Taldryan's forces. Along side Jac Cotelin, he grudgingly managed to convince the young, hot-blooded leaders to have faith in the other Clans not to turn on them. Shadow didn't technically have faith in that, but he knew they would not risk their own lives just to get a cheap shot at Taldryan. The battle was intense and more Brotherhood vessels were destroyed with almost no reduction of the enemy's numbers, which seemed to spew endless from the anomaly. When all hoped seemed loss, a new fleet emerged from the Shroud, led by the Grand Master's flagship, Autarch. This new fleet broke the Vong offensive out of pure surprise, but it wasn't enough to turn the tide of battle. The Vong regrouped and attacked anew. In the end, Sarin ordered a full retreat while sending the Autarch on a sacrifice run to buy the Clans time to escape the System.
In the aftermath of the bloodbath, Taldryan's fleet had been reduced by three quarters, with just as many Jedi and personnel lost. As they limped back to Kr'Tal, defeated, Shadow vowed to avenge his fallen brothers and sisters. The entire Clan would prepare for revenge and each knew that Antei would not be lost forever. Shadow didn't mind the loss of Antei, or the destruction of the Dark Council's fleet, in fact it amused him, but a great many Jedi, people he had mentored and sparred with, had fallen in that battle. And he would see the Vong pay for what they did to him and his Clan.
From the Darkness (28 - 30 ABY)
Out of the Ashes
- "Someone needs to teach them how to fight. Might as well be me."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, accepting the position of Blademaster
While the Council wandered the stars in exile, the Clans began to rebuild after their worst defeat, avoiding each other as much as possible and concentrating solely on increasing their ranks. In an effort to increase the fighting strength of the Clans, the Grand Master awarded each with ships from his newly designed fleet. For their efforts to protect Antei, Taldryan received the newly created Cotelin-class Star Destroyer Justice to replace the fallen Dark Prophet. Shadow, for having managed to escape captivity and fend off the Vong in melee combat, was chosen by the Taldryan Summit to start training their new members, which he readily agreed. By passing on his skills, the Adept hoped to give Taldryan the strength to eradicate the Vong in their next encounter. His easygoing nature had been stripped away in the face of devastating loss and the entire Clan shared his desire for revenge.His new role as Clan trainer drew the attention of Grand Master Sarin, who was seeking a warrior to teach lightsaber and hand to hand combat on a larger, Brotherhood-wide scale. Shadow, though reluctant, agreed to get in contact with the Council to hear their offer. Sarin wished for Shadow to become the new Brotherhood Blademaster, similar to the Jedi Battlemaster, the position of the foremost lightsaber combat instructor. Shadow accepted the position, under the condition that he would be free to run training exercises as he saw fit, without Council interference. This conditition gave Sarin pause, Kaiburr, which was now uninhabited.
The Clans all sent their best combatants to Kaiburr for an accelerated training course in single and group combat, focusing on enhancing one's own prowess with the Force, rather than relying on it to overcome the enemy. Using a series of intense and varied competitions, Shadow advanced the warriors' fighting prowess tenfold over the span of eight months. Pleased with the progress being made on Kaiburr, Sarin awarded Shadow with a promotion to the rank of Dark Jedi Master. held by only by a few of the strongest, most talented Dark Jedi in the Brotherhood. It was after this advancement that Shadow began to work with Combat Master Sharad Taldrya Hett, in an effort to further enhance the combat effectiveness of the Brotherhood's warriors. Whereas Shadow taught physical combat, Hett delved into various aspects of the Force. Under their combined tutelage, the Dark Jedi they trained became a force of unimaginable skill. When he felt sure he had done all he could, Shadow resigned the position of Blademaster and returned to Taldryan, ready for his Clan to begin its assault on the Yuuzhan Vong.
- "You sure you're up to this?"
"Not at all, but it's not like I have much choice."
- ―Benevolent Taldrya Whiner and Shadow Taldrya, discussing his choice to return as Consul
Upon his return, Shadow had expected to find Taldryan in fighting form, but the last couple of years had been harder on the Clan than he had suspected. Shadow was dismayed to return to a Clan fractured with self-interest and a Summit splintered with petty differences. The Clan was in dire need of leadership, but Shadow was reluctant to offer. At last, he knew he could not forsake his duty and, using the favors he had earned as Blademaster, convinced the Grand Master to reinstate him as Consul, despite the misgivings of some of the Clan's older members. The moment he was appointed, Shadow began to bring order to the wayward Clan, forcing the Clan Summit to set aside its differences and to work together to regain their old glory.
With a new Summit under his command, Shadow felt as if he had been given a second chance to do what he was unable to before—return the Clan to its former power and lead it to victory. For a few months it seemed like Shadow would succeed. Activity amongst the Clan's members improved dramatically and the Summit was once again properly training new recruits. But the Dark Council quickly grew tired playing exile, and soon turned to the Clans to experiment with new tactics to counteract the Vong's superior technology. Only a few months after being given the reigns and the chance to start anew, Shadow was forced to bow to the Grand Master's wishes and begun a campaign of small military engagements against minor Vong threats.
Back Into the Fire
- "At this point the reasons don't matter. I may not like it, but we'd be heavily outmatched in a fight with the Council's new fleet. Personally, I'd rather we fight the Vong."
- ―Consul Shadow
As Consul, Shadow was in far greater contact with the Dark Council than he had been while on Kaiburr, and he was able to see just how obsessed the Grand Master had become with the idea of striking back at the Vong usurpers. The Dark Lord's orders sent the Clans across the galaxy battling any small pockets of surviving Yuuzhan Vong fleets to test new strategies in an attempt to divine their weaknesses. It was after a few months of small skirmishes, in early 30 ABY, that Sarin sent orders for Taldryan to attack a large, isolated Vong fleet without assistance or backup. Shadow, disgusted by the reckless disregard for his Clan's well-being, attempted to argue with the Grand Master's plan but, under threat of being stripped of his position, was forced to accept the Council's demands.
Using the coordinates provided by the Grand Master, Taldryan's scouts ventured out and returned after reconnoitering the sector, but could gain little information as the Vong fleet was receiving a constant influx of new ships. The enemy was massing near the Bakura System in a region of the Outer Rim Territories, but the scouts were unable to determine the true size or exact condition of the fleet. Forced into a blind approach, Shadow tasked Battle Group Vanguard, the Clan's most powerful Battle Group, with the mission. Unwilling to let their Clan fight without them, both Shadow and his Proconsul, Hel-Pa Taldrya Sklib, stationed themselves aboard the CSD Justice to oversee command. Requiring fluid tactics and multiple contingencies, Shadow allowed the best tactical minds in Taldryan to formulate their battleplan while en route to Bakura. When they entered Realspace, they discovered a large fleet, including two warships and a number of assault cruisers, along with a score of fighters. On the fringes of the fleet were a handful of Slaveships, brimming with lifeforms detected by the Force. Shadow ordered the attack to commence at once, hoping the information gained from the skirmishes would translate to a full-scale battle.
The Elder's of the Clan joined together in Battle Meditation to counteract the Yammosks—the Yuuzhan Vong war coordinators. Their starfighters deployed a number of tactics that had proven effective in the Yuuzhan Vong War and were able to hold their own in the fight. While his pilots were doing their job, Shadow added a secondary objective to the battle plan, allowing his warriors to board and release the prisoners on the Slaveships. Utilizing battle melds and their new training, the warriors were able to overcome the enraged Vong in physical combat, and liberate the sentients the Vong had captured. The battle was an incredible success, with Taldryan showing only a small amount of casualties. When Shadow contacted Sarin, their success emboldened the Grand Master into accelerating his plans to return to Antei and he summoned the Clans to a rally point in the remote Radama Void.
Unification (30 ABY)
- "Gentlemen, we are returning to Antei."
- ―Shadow Taldrya
Though Shadow wanted revenge against the Vong as much as most, perhaps more so, he believed the Grand Master was rushing their return to Antei to satisfy his own feelings of weakness—a folly that would be the downfall of the entire Brotherhood. Shadow knew, deep down, that any glory sought by the Sith would be paid for with the lives of the Obelisk, the true fighting force behind the Iron Throne, but given his volatile nature, the Elder dared not overtly question the Grand Master's motives. The plan devised by Admiral Joss Malin involved jumping the collected fleet through the Shroud into orbit around Antei, a highly fatalistic approach that could prove lethal to a large amount of their forces. Even without the ability to gauge the future, Shadow's instincts told him attacking Antei would be a mistake, and his instincts were rarely wrong. To further add insult to suicide, Sarin forbade the Clans from using their own military forces to help in taking Antei, instead requiring them to lead contingents of the Army of the Iron Throne, who had rarely worked with the Jedi before.
There were casualties in the jump, but Taldryan was unscathed. Attention was quickly diverty from the suicidal jump through lightspeed to the Yuuzhan Vong warships massing before the fleet. Except, the ships were not attacking, or moving at all. From his viewport on one of the ships of the Eighth Fleet, Shadow could see that the Vong cruisers were all dead in space. In a matter of minutes the ship was filled with the rumor that the Grand Master had been contacted by someone on Antei—a man claiming to be a Jedi Master. Shadow's shock was quickly replaced by anticipation. Though he loathed the Yuuzhan Vong and they were a worthy challenge, the Jedi were the truest test of skill—impeccably trained in combat and the Force, and with a religious indoctrination completely at odds with that of the Brotherhood's. Testing the strength of his Clan against the Jedi was, to Shadow, a much more appealing battle.
The Song Remains the Same
- "Their egos would not let them go any other way."
- ―Keirdagh Cantor, remarking on Clan Naga Sadow's betrayal of Taldryan
Clan Taldryan was one of the first to land on Antei, where they were soon joined by the men and women of the 2nd Battalion, who were assigned to serve the Taldryan Jedi to accomplish the Grand Master's goals. Of course, Shadow knew that the Battalion only truly served the Iron Throne, and from the word "go" he was infuriated by the lack of cooperation from Major Doorna, the Battalion's Commanding Officer. From the comm-chatter he heard, Shadow discovered the enemy was being led by a man named Omancor Crask, an ex-Jedi Master who had formed his own militant sect of Jedi warriors. Their mission was apparently to cleanse the Galaxy of anything Crask deemed an evil, including both the Vong and the Brotherhood. As part of Operation Carbonite, Shadow and his Jedi worked to secure a landing zone for the other Clans, a task beneath their ability, but a necessary one.
As soon as the Dropships were down, Shadow ordered his force to move to engage the droid infantry mobilizing Southeast of their position. The droid army fell easily to the experienced Taldryan Jedi, but the heavy artillery was cutting through their defenses. Shadow's force sustained heavy casualties drawing fire from the artillery to give air support a chance to rain destruction down on what remained. Weakened, Shadow was forced by the Grand Master to link-up with the forces of Naga Sadow to reinforce their position. The idea of working with another Clan was not to his liking, but Shadow had little choice with his dwindling resources. The Naga Sadow Consul dealt with Taldryan through a Journeyman messenger, relaying orders without discussion. To Shadow and the Clan's Elders, it was obvious that the Sadow were looking to claim the glory of destroying their objective—a droid factory in their sector.
After confirming a strategy with their allies, Shadow had ordered his troops forward to begin thinning the droid army, a feat that could easily be accomplished by combining forces. The droid lines reformed against Taldryan and the 2nd Battalion but, as expected, the Sadow betrayed them as the Clans of the Brotherhood were wont to do. Using Taldryan as a diversion, the Naga Sadow Jedi began to slip around the battlefield, effectively avoiding the entire droid army, to attack the facility directly. As Shadow's men waged a bloody battle, the Sadow took their time traveling towards the relatively undefended factory solo, knowing they would be able to claim credit for its destruction. Shadow ordered Keirdagh Taldrya Cantor to lead a section of their army to draw off the droid attack, while the rest made their way towards the objective at a quick march. The Taldryan Jedi managed to reach the target in time and proceeded to dismantle it with explosives before their treacherous allies could navigate their circuitous route. Their objective complete, Shadow called for his Summit to plan their next move, but only three of the five appeared when summoned.
- "What greater weapon is there than to turn an enemy to your cause? To use their own knowledge against them?"
- ―Jedi Knight Bastila Shan, height of the Jedi Civil War
With all of his efforts focused on seeking out signs of betrayal from their "allies", Shadow was unaware that several of his Jedi had gone missing during the battle, including the Summit of House Ektrosis. Unwilling to lose his members to the likes of an upstart Jedi Master, Shadow dispatched Dark Jedi Mistress Alanna Taldrya to mount an operation to rescue their lost personnel. He knew Alanna would succeed were most would fail, as she was both a powerful Krath, and had a personal stake in the matter because Vodo Biask was something of an Apprentice to her. But the Consul could not let the loss of members prevent him from completing Taldryan's assigned tasks, and Shadow ordered his Jedi to move on towards their next objective, and to leave the overzealous Naga Sadow behind.
Despite working alone, Shadow and his Jedi were able to successfully destroy an enemy artillery platform, allowing their troop transports to slip through the battleground relatively unhindered. As Taldryan marched, the droid army before them was crushed into scrap metal, giving them a clear path to the Triumvirate Library. It was then that Shadow sensed unfathomable distress in the Force, emanating from some of his own members. Instead of leading the charge on the Library, he ordered his warriors to take it by any means necessary, ignoring the Grand Master's plea to avoid collateral damage. As an Obelisk, he knew war was all about collateral damage. Though the mission was going well, perhaps better than expected, something terrible was happening within the Dark Hall itself. Unable to win a decisive victory, Shadow ordered the stronghold to be taken out with explosives. Though much of the Library survived the blast, the entrance was in complete ruins, trapping both allies and enemies inside, to be left for the Council to deal with at a later time.
In the aftermath of the war, Shadow was informed by Quaestor Biask, that Crask had managed to convert the young Ektrosis Aedile, Sidarace Rathden, to the Light Side of the Force and brainwash him into attacking his former master. Biask was forced to slay his own Aedile and barely managed to escape with his life and the lives of the rescue party Shadow had neglected to worry about. His preoccupation with winning the war had left him blind to the peril his people had been in. While he was being informed of his Summit's actions, word spread through the Clans that Sarin had been defeated in battle and that his Shadow Hand, Muz Ashen, had succeeded him as Grand Master. Shadow would have chosen to miss the coronation, if he had not been summoned by his new Lord. But, filled with shame and regret in the wake of how events had unfolded, Shadow refused to accept the award given for his efforts in the war. The Clan, however, could not ignore the cost of his actions. For nearly destroying the Triumvirate Library and because intelligence had been leaked by the turned Ektrosis Aedile, Taldryan was unseated as the most powerful Clan of the Brotherhood, the position usurped by the hated Arconans. As soon as the ceremony was ended, Shadow returned to Karufr alone to reflect on his failures.
A Wayward Son (31 - 34 ABY)
Abandon All Hope
- "I have thought hard on this and it's what's best for me. It's what's best for Taldryan."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, recording his resignation
With the death of so many Jedi, and the Clan's vaunted honor usurped, Shadow could not help but blame himself for the losses Taldryan had suffered under his rule. He was the first Consul to lose Taldryan its place as the dominant Clan since the time of the Great Clanning in 13 ABY, an indelible scar that would forever torment him. Fearing anger and accusations from the rest of the Clan, Shadow became withdrawn and isolated, only forcing himself into the company of others under the most dire of circumstances. Eventually, he fell into a deep depression and stopped performing his duties as Consul altogether. It wasn't much later, weeks at the most, that Shadow decided it was time to move on. Under the cover of darkness, he slipped out of his quarters and into the hangar bay, and left Taldryan behind with nothing but a holo-recording of his resignation.
For a time, Shadow wandered listlessly amongst the stars, avoiding highly populated Systems because he was still wanted for questioning by the New Republic, which had recently been reorganized into the Galactic Alliance. Wishing to avoid unwanted attention from the New Jedi Order and its myriad of Praxeums, Enclaves, and Temples throughout the Galaxy, Shadow kept to the fringes of the Outer Rim, always vigilant for Alliance patrols and scouts. Far as he was from the the galactic hub, Shadow expected no one to find him in the vast reaches of space. But he wasn't counting on another presence wishing to avoid Luke Skywalker's Jedi Knights. On the Force-saturated world of Felucia, Shadow was confronted by a beautiful Twi'lek female, emanating the strength and power of the Dark Side of the Force.
At first wary of this unknown Jedi, Shadow instinctively drew his weapon and attacked. The two battled, but Shadow could sense he was only being tested by the stranger. Immediately, he reigned in his skill, merely matching the ability of his opponent, feigning that it was difficult to keep up. The fight was brief, barely long enough to probe his feigned skills, and ended when the Twi'lek deactivated her weapon. Introducing herself as Venera, she told Shadow his presence had been sensed when he passed near the ancient Sith homeworld of Korriban. Her Master, a man searching for those with power to join his cause, had sent her to test him and, if possible, recruit him. Curiosity overcame caution. Unaware of any prevalent Dark Jedi sects beyond the Brotherhood, Shadow was intrigued by what he might discover and agreed to accompany his potential ally back to Korriban to learn more.
Darkness at the End of the Tunnel
- "My Sith will be many, but they will be one. The Order itself above all."
- ―Darth Krayt
Upon landing his ship on the barren desert world, Shadow was led towards the ancient ruins of the Sith Academy, but they did not venture into its decrepit halls. Instead, Venera led him to the entrance of a large cave, which branched off into an underground network of tunnels. These led to an immense chamber that had, at one time, been part of the old Academy, but had sunk underground over the millennia. Waiting to greet them when they entered was a small circle of heavily robed figures, each marked by intricate tattoos etched across their visible flesh. At the forefront stood a large man, who appeared human, but somehow twisted by what Shadow recognized as Vong experiments. He was introduced to the self-proclaimed Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Krayt.
After a brief explanation of where he had learned his skills, to which Shadow had already fabricated a tale involving a falling out with the New Jedi Order, Krayt explained his vision of a unified Sith Order, replacing Darth Bane's Rule of Two with his own Rule of One—an Order of many Sith ultimately answering to the Dark Lord. To Shadow, this seemed very similar to the foundations of the Dark Brotherhood. Krayt spoke of his vision for the future with such fervor that Shadow found himself drawn into the idea of a new power sweeping across the Galaxy to right all wrongs. He agreed to join Krayt's New Sith Order and was accepted as a Sith Acolyte.
What followed were several months not unlike his first in the Brotherhood. Shadow was trained in new techniques and was inundated with the philosophies and doctrines of the Sith, while spending a great deal of time broadening his personal knowledge of the Force, though he was still limited by his gross expenditure of power. As he became more attached to the Order, Shadow was given greater amounts of trust, and gained the rank of Sith Adept. Most of his free time was spent learning about the Order and its members from Venera, who was also an Adept, but was hoping to soon become a Sith Lady. At first, the One Sith seemed like the perfect haven for the Rogue Dark Jedi—his knowledge of the Force expanded rapidly and he always had a dueling partner thanks to Venera. Yet something held him back. He continued to hide the full extent of his skill, while gauging the strength of the others, wanting to keep his past and the existence of the Brotherhood hidden from Krayt and his fledgling army.
The Road to Nowhere
- "I had hoped to find a place among your new Order, but Two Sith or One, you're still cowards unwilling to act."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, denouncing Darth Krayt and his One Sith
For six months, Shadow trained as a member of the One Sith, hiding who he was, but deepening his relationship with Venera and the others. Despite how well things were going, Shadow began to grow less comfortable among his new allies. He found the Sith ideology did not mesh with his own personal preference for action and direct confrontation. Krayt's vision was similar to that of most of the Sith Shadow had encountered—grand designs that involved waiting indefinitely for a moment to act. As an Obelisk, Shadow knew that waiting to enact grand plans usually resulted in failure, and believed the Sith hid behind their visions and strategies to avoid truly testing their strength against their adversaries. Shadow's distaste for Krayt and the One Sith grew until he was openly questioning the tenets of the Order, arguing with the younger members and challenging the elder. Finally, Shadow decided he would leave, but knew he would not do so alone. After spending a night with Venera, Shadow told her of his plans to leave Korriban, promising her a life worthy of their strength and power. She agreed to go with him and, together, they planned their escape.
Not long after that twilight encounter, Shadow and Venera slipped unseen out the underground headquarters of the One Sith and headed to his shuttle, which was set to take them anywhere they wanted to go. But, before they could enter the ship, they were confronted by Krayt and his two Hands, who appeared standing on the opposite side of the makeshift landing pad. Shadow pushed himself in front of Venera and drew his lightsaber, telling the Sith Lord that they were leaving. Venera shoved her way past him and went to stand next to Krayt, who greeted her as Darth Venera. Shadow knew he should have expected betrayal from a Sith, but he had been fooled. Krayt ordered the Twi'lek to attack him, which she did without hesitation, expecting an easy fight, but Shadow reacted differently than he had in the past. Having trained with her for months, Shadow knew exactly how Venera would attack, and he ended the fight with ease, a true Obelisk warrior, by piercing her through the heart with his blade.
Mildly surprised, Krayt ordered his Hands to finish Shadow off. Dropping all pretenses, Shadow unleashed the full extent of his power, dueling both Sith Lords with his preferred Form of Shien, and dominated them both with his martial prowess. Shadow managed to incapacitate both Hands and left them wounded, but alive. Again, he told Krayt he was leaving, but the Dark Lord attacked. Shadow was quicker than the ailing Sith, and easily outmatched him in lightsaber combat. Angered, Krayt summoned his power and launched a massive blast of Force Lightning at Shadow, who reacted quickly and summoned the same power to his fingertips. The twin attacks slammed into one another, creating a concussive blast that threw them both across the landing pad. Shadow slammed into his ship, while Krayt tumbled out of sight. Before the Sith Lord could recover, Shadow jumped into his ship and blasted off into space.
With the Horuset System behind him, Shadow realized he was in trouble. Krayt's assassins would be sent to hunt him down and the Galactic Alliance would surely find him and turn him over to the Jedi if he were discovered. Neither death or imprisonment were options he liked. Reluctantly, Shadow realized his only true sanctuary could be found outside the reaches of civilized space. In desperation he turned to his last alternative—Wild Space. Resigned to his fate, Shadow first plotted a course for the Galactic Core, where it would be harder to track him when he made the final jump. He knew that rejoining the Brotherhood would not keep him safe but, perhaps, he would one day return.
Legacy (34 - 35 ABY)
- "Perhaps it is time to return and start anew."
- ―Shadow, after killing his old mentor
Staying under the radar was a little more difficult than Shadow originally anticipated, his personality very much opposed with the covert arts. Time and again his cover was blown, generally resulting in a quick skirmish with the Alliance, the Remnant, the Hutts, the bounty hunters, or the Sith. Too many people in the Galaxy wanted to skin the Elder alive, which seemed exceptionally unfair to him. After more than a year of running, Shadow eventually returned to his home planet of Corellia, seeking to hide himself amidst the locals who generally had a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.
Unfortunately, it seems you can't go home again. While sitting in a bar built to serve construction workers, Shadow was accosted by a group of Mandalorians, who interrupted his carefree relaxation. Before the trio of mercenaries could notice him, Shadow launched a telekinetic attack that crushed two of the beskar'gam-wearing mandos underneath a pile of tables and chairs. The third countered with concussion grenades and the Dark Jedi was forced to make a hasty retreat to a less enclosed location. In the open, he was better able to utilize his many gifts and managed to take out the mercenaries long enough to get some information—namely, who was stupid enough to try hunting him down.
The Mandalorians talked and Shadow was sent to the bowels of Nar Shadaa, a once-wonderful planet messed up by the Yuuzhan Vong's Vongforming. It was there that he ran into a ghost from his past—Kotus, the former Sovereign Protector that had apprenticed Shadow as a youngster. By all counts the man should have been dead... few survived a direct attack from a lightsaber, and yet here he was. Angered over what he saw as his apprentice's betrayal, Kotus attacked Shadow with all his long years of pent-up anger and rage. But, the old man was no match for a trained Dark Jedi Master and he succumbed to the deadly power of Shadow's Force Lightning.
- "A lot happened while you were gone."
- ―Shaz'air Rathden to Shadow
The revelation he had after his battle with Kotus caused Shadow to rethink his choice to abandon the Brotherhood. With renewed resolve, he decided to return to his home of Taldryan and work to assist the Clan in any way he could. Flying a circuitous route back to the Kr'Tal System (he wanted to avoid be followed), Shadow eventually made his way to his one true home.
But the homecoming was not what he had expected. Instead of the welcoming Dinaari celebration, Shadow returned to discover the Clans had been dissolved in 33 ABY, re-forming into the Independent Houses they once had been. Both Dinaari and Ektrosis had been rolled into the new House Taldryan, ruled over by a lone pair of Quaestor and Aedile—Shaz'air Taldrya Rathden and Anubis Annedu.Shocked and confused, it was explained to Shadow that, after so many staggering losses, the Brotherhood could no longer keep the Clans organized or staffed. Instead of pointing out the obvious—keeping the Clans and dropping the Houses—Shadow decided to make the best of the
- "We're too old for this shit."
- ―Old Folks' team motto
In the years since his departure, Shadow found that many of his old friends had banded together to create the Old Folks' Home, a unique battle team exclusively for the semi-retired members of Taldryan. Not feeling any great need for activity himself, Shadow joined his brothers in the Home and was at last able to get some true relaxation.
Of course, all that changed when Howlader, a recent transfer, decided things were a tad too boring. He suggested the Home start a mercenaries-for-hire business that would sell the services of the venerable Dark Jedi to the highest bidder. In this way, they could pick and choose their missions and earn fat paychecks doing what they were best at—fighting. The idea made a lot of sense to Shadow who helped spearhead the effort to get the operation underway. To ensure control was kept to the old folk, the entire enterprise was kept secret from the rest of the House and especially the Summit, who many of the elders felt were young and annoying anyways.
From that moment on, all was well for the Dark Jedi Master. He could rest in the Home, pampered by a lovely, all-female staff or, when he wished for some excitement, tag along on a daring mission to save the Galaxy from disaster (or, you know, whatever). Retirement had finally been perfected and Shadow was content to remain with the Old Folks' Home for the rest of his career.
A Subtle Approach
- "Seriously, how hard can it be?"
- ―Shadow at the mission briefing
Along with his fellow members of the Old Folks' Home, Shadow found himself involved in various special, and often secretive, missions for Taldryan. In retaliation for the destruction of a refinery near Altur, Quaestor Shaz'air ordered the team to infiltrate and destroy an Arconan refinery. As part of the half-assed planning, Shadow and Howlader allowed themselves to be captured by an Arconan Quaestor and were detained aboard the refinery.
Their mission was simple—keep the Arconans "entertained" to allow time for the rest of the team, led by Benevolent, to slip aboard unnoticed and place explosives around the main reactor. Shadow and Howlader played their part to perfection, finding it rather easy to play the hapless, annoying old-timers who waste everyone's time. As the attack was under way, Shadow managed to seduce a female officer into releasing them from the detention center and escape just as the explosives were detonated.
As part of the plan, Shadow and Howlader met up with Benevolent only to find him locked in a duel with the Arconan Quaestor. Unable to do anything but stand and watch, Shadow was forced to witness Ben steal a patented move—he disrobed and defeated his opponent with a surprise attack. In the end, the team managed a harrowing escape from the facility aboard Senility, escaping amidst vast explosions that claimed the refinery. It was another mission accomplished for the team of old folk.
Fate of the Jedi (36 - 37 ABY)
Following a biological attack on the members of the Brotherhood, the Dark Jedi fought and defeated the former Grand Master Archibald Zoraan, who had believed to have been killed in his attempt to destroy the Dark Hall on Eos two decades ago. Though Shadow did not succumb to the plague himself, many of the younger members of Taldryan were driven mad. Shadow and other elders of the House were forced to put the infected Jedi down like rabid dogs. Though the infection was eventually cleared, it was a harsh blow to the Brotherhood and left many to wonder how Zoraan had been resurrected, and where his acolytes had come from. Following his true death, Darth Ashen ordered teams to capture the enemy Super-class Star Destroyer, the Avenger II.
This set off a chaotic chain of events as the One Sith, a relatively minor force Shadow had dealt with some years earlier, emerged to strike against the Brotherhood. Each of the Clans and Houses felt the brunt of the One Sith's assault. Keirdagh Taldrya Cantor was nearly killed in a terrorist attack that destroyed parts of the Taldryan Great Hall on Karufr. His near miss, more than anything, roused the fighting spirit of the Old Folks' Home, who became embroiled in the conflict as a part of Taldryan.
Haunted by the Force
- "Those Sith friends of yours teach you some special technique? I actually have some 'special' techniques of my own."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, taunting Tor Siva during their fight on Krayiss II
On the Sith World of Krayiss II, the Brotherhood began its crusade against the One Sith. As part of Taldryan's effort in the war, Shadow was ordered to lead a mixed group of Taldryan and Arconan to capture the planet's library-temple before the One Sith force led by a Darth Sinagar. Unfortunately, Shadow's team arrived too late to prevent the Sith from accessing the library. With the enemy forces split, Shadow ordered his team to follow the Sith into the library, while he battled the remnants. Accompanied by Benevolent Taldrya Whiner, the pair defeated Sinagar's apprentice on the planet's surface. Despite her power, she was no match for the combined strength of the two Taldrya.
Having lagged behind their allies, Shadow and Benevolent ventured into the library. But, they quickly discovered that the library was a death trap. They encountered several members of their team who had turned on them and were forced to defend themselves. Benevolent discovered that the Jedi were being infected by the artifacts they had touched. Ancient Sith, who had bound themselves to the relics, were possessing members of both the One Sith and the Brotherhood. Trying to salvage their mission, Shadow and Benevolent managed to locate the surviving members of the team and gather them to track down and eliminate Sinagar.
After passing through an elaborately locked door, the team stumbled upon the sight of Sinagar fighting desperately against his own possessed Acolytes. The Sith Lord managed to defeat his opponents, but he was mortally wounded. When it seemed like he would succumb to his wounds, the Sith Lord was then possessed by a powerful force. The spirit identified itself as Lord Malignous, guardian of the library-temple. Drawing a Sith Sword to his hand, he battled with the Brotherhood team. Together with Benevolent and Skye Dulovic, Shadow managed to defeat the evil spirit and lay claim to the library-temple. The first battle against the One Sith ended with a Brotherhood victory.
Specters of the Past
- "This ends. Now."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, killing the false Prophet Elara Koressh
In the closing days of the assault on Krayiss II, rumors whispered of the Brotherhood's next target. Intelligence reports from the Dark Council indicated that the One Sith were preparing to launch a full-scale invasion on the nearby planet of Rhelg, a holy Sith world once ruled by Ludo Kressh. Shadow, fresh from his victories over Tor Siva and the library-temple, was tasked with leading the Brotherhood's ground forces. Along with Marick Arconae, Shadow was given the brevit rank of General and placed in command of the IX Legion of the Army of the Iron Throne.
The advanced team was set to weaken the One Sith forces and were ferried to the planet's surface in dropships. As they hit atmosphere, the dropship containing Shadow and dozens of soldiers was struck and sent spiraling down into the Rhelg wildnerness. Through sheer luck, Shadow survived the crash, only to find himself alone with a Sith Lady by the name of Maxyn Vonnisia. Though they fought each other instantly, neither was in any shape to finish the battle. Instead, at the request of the Sith, they formed a temporary alliance to increase their odds of survival.
For several days, Shadow and the Sith journeyed across the frozen terrain in search of shelter or allies. Vonnisia used her psychometric powers in an attempt to "play" Shadow and lead him into an ambush. In the end, her attempts at betrayal failed as Shadow revealed he had known of her gift all along. They arrive at Vonnisia's trap only to find the Sith garrison utterly decimated at the hands of the Brotherhood forces led by Marick.
After a couple days of recovery, Shadow was again sent out on a mission with the Taldryan Elders of the Old Folks' Home and a contingent of special soldiers to capture Ludo Kressh's fortress. Despite reports of strong opposition, the five Dark Jedi arrived at the fortress relatively unmolested. However, within the walls of the fortress something was not right. A malevolent force twisted the Dark Jedi and turned them again each other. They almost succumbed to the power of the madness that controlled the fortress, but were kept on task by the virtue of Keirdagh's cantankerous nature.
The team discovered their Sith adversaries in the thrall of a Prophetess named Elara Koressh, descendent of Ludo Kressh. She had performed the ritual for spirit invocation, unleashing a deadly spirit from the Netherworld of the Force. Having been too weak to control the spirit, it had twisted the minds of everyone who entered the fortress and turned them into thralls.
The members of Taldryan were split between the sane and the controlled. Shadow was forced to duel Benevolent to keep the Adept from butchering their own forces and stealing a dangerous artifact, while the others tried to defeat the possessed Prophetess. In the end, they were saved the the actions of the Nephilim, Coryn Vance, who disabled the Sith with a concussion grenade. Not wasting this opening, Shadow plunged his blade into the Sith's heart. Using their combined powers, the five Elders were able to bind the spirit to a relic and free the fortress from the One Sith's control.
- "At long last, your journey is nearing its end."
- ―Darth Silas
Victory on Rhelg was all but assured, but Shadow was given one more, covert mission by Darth Pravus. He was sent to intercept and destroy a powerful Sith who was devastating Dark Jedi on the front lines. That day, Shadow Taldrya disappeared. For nine long months he was kept imprisoned on the Sith homeworld of Korriban. There, he was mentally and physically tortured; twisted, broken, and eventually turned by the Sith Lord, Darth Silas. He ceased to be Shadow Taldrya and became a member of the One Sith known as Lord Vokun.
Vokun was trained to be his master's attack dog. Under his Silas' watchful eyes, he completed several missions for the One Sith to interrupt and disable the Brotherhood's network of intelligence agents. Having proved himself capable, he was given a trial to slay a fellow apprentice. The pair dueled in the dark catacombs under Korriban, until Shadow beheaded his rival in a gruesome display of power. Upon his success, he was named a Sith Lord and finally given orders to strike at the Brotherhood directly.
On the Sith throne world, Dromund Kaas, Vokun engaged the weary Brotherhood forces. His first task was to disrupt the excavations near the ruins of the Sith Academy. There, he slew an entire archeological team and two members of Taldryan. From there, he was instructed to repel the forces engaged in battle for the Dark Temple. The temple was a warzone, as Sith and Dark Jedi unleashed all they had upon each other. His orders having not been specific, Vokun attacked and destroyed friend and foe alike. After clearing the ruins both warring factions, he felt the presence of a powerful Dark Jedi traveling towards him.
Jac Cotelin, former Grand Master and leader of Taldryan, met Vokun in the ruins of the temple. No words were shared between the pair as they clashed in vicious battle. The former Dark Lord was nearly mad with his rage, the deaths of his fellow Taldryan coupled with the war's ravages on his psyche, drove him into a lethal rage. Despite all his skill, Vokun could not match the Grand Master's sheer strength. He was eventually disarmed and crushed brutally by Cotelin's immense Force strength.
- "Will he ever... be the same?"
"He won't be the same. He can't be. Shadow Taldrya was killed..."
- ―Maxyn Vonnisia and Jac Cotelin, discussing Shadow's fate
His life was saved, however, by the intervention of Maxyn Vonissia. She had accompanied Cotelin to the temple after having asked his assistance in locating the missing Shadow. Near the climax of the battle, her psychometric powers uncovered the truth of Vokun's identity and she managed to prevent Cotelin from landing the killing blow. But, nothing could be done for Shadow's mental state. Both Maxyn and Cotelin knew that Shadow Taldrya/Vokun could never be allowed to live with so much blood on his hands.
Unable to kill Vokun, now that he knew the truth, Cotelin makes the only choice available to him. He decided that the only way Shadow can remain alive is if his memories as Vokun were destroyed. But doing so would corrupt or possible destroy Shadow's psyche. Instead, Cotelin decided to delve deeply and wipe Shadow's mind clean, replacing what was lost with new, fabricated memories. The person known as Shadow disappeared that day. To ensure no one would ever uncover the identity of Vokun, Cotelin had one more task to complete.
Using the alchemical technique of Mask, Cotelin drastically altered Shadow's physical appearance to such an extent that no one—not his closest allies or worst enemies—would be able to identify him. After the "operations" were completed, Shadow's unconscious body was left in the care of Maxyn.
- Further information: Aidan Kincaid
- "Everyone loves Shadow."
- ―Shadow Taldrya
As an adult, Shadow stood 1.95 meters tall and weighed roughly 92 kilograms. His hair was black, either cropped short, or parted to the left and brushed back out of his face. His eyes were a piercing brown under a thick, expressive brow. He had angular features, with high, prominent cheekbones. Years spent undergoing strenuous, physical training gave Shadow a very muscular appearance. Despite having a large frame, Shadow's near-constant training with various lightsaber Forms and fighting styles kept him lithe and agile. Shadow had a rich, warm voice and an infectious laugh. Amongst his own Clan, he was usually at ease, playfully interacting with both the younger ranks and the old, with a self-sure swagger to his walk. In times of war, or when dealing with the Council or other Clans, Shadow was more reserved, masking his thoughts and his feelings. His eyes moved constantly, absorbing the most mundane of details in the event of a fight, or when a quick escape was necessary.Though a brawler in his youth and a front line soldier for most of his Brotherhood career, Shadow's features were relatively scar-free, thanks to the use of Bacta and various Force healing techniques. Shadow's body was a hundred percent human, without any Cybernetic enhancements or replacements for damaged or severed limbs;—a fact that served as a testament to his skill with a blade. During his younger years,
Not one for grandeur or elegance, Shadow's manner of dress eschewed the standard voluminous cloak and flowing robes worn by most Jedi, instead embracing efficiency and practicality over tradition. For his day-to-day affairs, Shadow wore a heavy black jacket over a black, long-sleeved shirt. His pants were black, marked by an Order stripe, and tucked into his high combat boots. He had a simple brown utility belt and a low-riding holster strapped to his left leg, which held his trusty Bryar pistol. To keep a lower profile, Shadow carried his two lightsabers within his jacket and kept any other required supplies in a small pack when necessary.
When in training or on combat missions, Shadow took a minimalist approach to his gear, preferring to be completely unhindered by heavy armors or expensive equipment. He would ditch his heavy jacket and don baggy, unadorned trousers to allow complete range of motion. Across his lower waist he would wear a series of black utility belts that would be used to store ammo and rations, as well as any mission-specific equipment deemed necessary. Unencumbered by the need for stealth, Shadow would openly wear both his custom-crafted lightsabers on his right hip and strap a pair of daggers to each of his boots.
Personality and traits
- "Did you wanna fight, or were you looking for some other kind of workout?"
- ―Shadow, seducing female Jedi
Charismatic and physically imposing, Shadow stood out amongst his brethren in the Brotherhood with a charming smile and the demeanor of a scoundrel, rather than the grim countenance held by most Dark Jedi. However, despite his roguish charm, Shadow was a fierce warrior and possessed great cunning when it came to combat strategies. Outside of his home of Taldryan, his conflicting personality traits were a matter of consternation, as he effortlessly blended a lighthearted attitude with the lethality of a trained killer. More than one unsuspecting Brotherhood member had dropped his guard, believing the joking Shadow to be a paltry threat, only to be intimately introduced to a pair of lightsaber blades. Fearless and strong-willed, Shadow possessed a vulgar and sarcastic wit and was known for his flippant attitude towards members of the Dark Council.
As a child, Shadow was orphaned and forced to grow up fast, fending for himself on the indifferent streets of Coronet. This gave him a strong independent streak and he would rarely accept the help of others—a flaw that would cause him many problems later in life. In his youth, Shadow was often brash and impulsive. Being young and gifted with abilities few possessed, Shadow was often arrogant as a teenager and his days were filled with gambling, brawling, and womanizing, all of which he learned at the side of his first mentor, Kotus. Much of his Force training at that stage of his life consisted in the manipulation of dice and reading the emotions of his opponents when playing Sabacc to determine the strength of their hands. After the solitude of his childhood, Shadow became enthralled with the teeming underbelly of galactic society.
During his first few years in the Brotherhood, Shadow would often make enemies with his boisterous attitude and superior swordsmanship. He had grown up boasting and, though his ego was small compared to most, his fellow students would often react angrily when unable to defeat him in training exercises and competitions. When he found himself with fewer and fewer willing partners to spar with, Shadow stopped showing off and found that if he gave his opponents opportunities to win against him, they were more eager to include him in training. Eventually, Shadow even allowed his opponents to score hits against him, figuring that their false sense of accomplishment would provide him with more partners and leave them defenseless in a real fight.
It took the responsibilities of leadership and the realities of war to calm Shadow's wild independence. His loyalty to Clan Taldryan was immense and such that, when he felt he had failed his Clan, he would force himself to spend time in exile. The Clan had given him a sense of purpose and people to depend upon and who depended on him. As a leader, Shadow expected as much from his subordinates as he did from himself and placed himself in the front lines of any fight they faced. This lead-by-example attitude served to bolster his standing in the eyes of the younger members and gained him the respect of the Clan's Elders.
Shadow's easygoing nature was altered drastically after his imprisonment aboard a Yuuzhan Vong Slaveship and the loss of so many of his brethren in the Battle of Antei. Though he forced himself to maintain the illusion of his former good cheer, he became more distant and contemplative, slipping into long silences and distancing himself from the company of others. Being captures and tortured by the Vong had served to show him he was not invincible—a crushing revelation, but one that served to strengthen his resolve. In the aftermath of the Liberation of Antei, and after his return to Taldryan, Shadow was somewhat more himself, but carried the weight of lives lost on his shoulders, which tempered his old demeanor and made him a more stoic Dark Jedi.
Powers and abilities
- "A true Jedi must master the Force above all else."
"No. A true Jedi is a master of himself—the Force is merely an extension of what you are."
- ―A Sith Knight debating training styles with Shadow Taldrya
A born warrior, Shadow excelled in nearly all forms of physical combat. He was an expert marksman, a ruthless hand-to-hand combatant, and a cunning swordsman. Renowned for his martial prowess and battlefield tactics, Shadow was the epitome of a Taldryan Jedi, fearless and aggressive, never backing down from a challenge. With his powers of precognition and heightened awareness, Shadow would often combine these skills with his knowledge of various fighting styles and forms to read his opponents, lay bare their intentions, and master the fight. Shadow was rarely bested in battle.
- "I wouldn't call what I do with a lightsaber, 'elegant', but it sure as hell gets the job done."
- ―Shadow Taldrya
As a youth, Shadow received most of his lightsaber training from his mentor Kotus, an ex-Sovereign Protector who had been well-trained in the fundamentals of the art. Though his lessons were mostly hands on, Shadow developed a deep understanding of Shii-Cho, one of the oldest and most powerful Forms of lightsaber combat to be devised. Shii-Cho was ideally suited for the adventurous life Shadow and his mentor led and its aggressive nature and ability to counter multiple opponents saved their lives more than once. In later years, Shadow would continue his study of the form, with the result that Shii-Cho was the first lightsaber Form he ever mastered. Under pressure from his Academy instructors to improve his defense, Shadow was forced to learn the rudiments of Soresu, a form he felt was far more suited to the ideals of the Jedi Knights ratjer than a Dark Jedi. Though he quickly grasped the basic concept of the Form and was able to adapt some of the defensive techniques to his own style, Shadow found he won far more fights with far less effort if he utilized Shii-Cho, rather than Soresu. He soon abandoned the Form for its lack of offensive ability. It was during his last few months in the Academy that Shadow was taught the duelist form of Makashi, which he enjoyed for its finesse and elegance. But, as the Brotherhood was rarely a battle of lone combatants, Shii-Cho remained his primary Form for many years.
With a firm understanding of the basic Forms and fresh from the Academy's halls, Shadow would branch out with his studies and seek training in Djem So, a combat Form that was defensive, like Soresu, but much more aggressive. After mastering the basics, Shadow found himself appreciating the skill and complexity involved in being able to turn an opponent's own attack against him. As the Jedi Academy was still in its infancy, and few of his adversaries were practiced in the Jedi Arts, Shadow spent a great deal of time learning the intricacies of Djem So, using it to great effect against soldiers of both the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant, as well as any Mercenary or Bounty Hunter that proved stupid enough to cross his path. There was a twisted sense of satisfaction in watching an enemy get taken down by his own blaster bolt and Shadow would often use the Form when engaging large groups of ranged fighters.
Eventually the time came when Shadow wished to test himself against the greatest duelists that both the Jedi Academy and the Dark Brotherhood had to offer. To this end, Shadow was given the opportunity to explore the recently rediscovered archaic lightsaber Form known as Shien—one of the deadliest Forms and most difficult to master. As an Elder, Shadow spent years studying the unique style and practiced it in mock combat against his brethren in Clan Taldryan. At first, he chose to focus on the basics, wielding only a single blade, but added a second when he felt capable enough to make full use of the archaic Form. Though it took him years, Shadow became one of the first members of the Brotherhood to master the ancient Form and use it as his primary combat style.
- "The student has tremendous power, but lacks the focus to properly use it."
- ―Academy trainer commenting on Shadow's Force capabilities
Despite his skill with a lightsaber, or perhaps because of it, Shadow never mastered the subtler, more nuanced applications of the Force. When compared with other Elders, Shadow's use of the Force was likened to that of a wrecking ball—powerful, but dangerous and difficult to control—whereas others of his Class could manipulate their power with the precision and dexterity of a Surgical Droid. However, because of his impressive strength and constitution, Shadow was able to maintain the use of certain powers, like Force Lightning, for longer durations before his body succumbed to the draining effects such powers produced.
In combat, Shadow had to throw a great deal of power behind his offensive attacks, which quickly drained his energy and strength, and often proved dangerous to both his allies and himself. This overcompensation also resulted in the Elder depleting his reserves of power far more quickly than other Jedi of his rank. However, from an early age, Shadow showed a natural affinity for the power of Battle Precognition—an ability which allowed him to sense the flow of combat through the Force and gave him an edge over most opponents. This power often manifested when Shadow was fighting a prolonged battle, as the longer he fought a specific opponent, the better he was able to predict their movements and counter their attacks.
As he was already well-endowed with his physical attributes, Shadow found it less difficult to augment his body's strength, endurance, and agility to near-superhuman levels with the Force. By manipulating his body slightly, Shadow was able to accomplish great physical feats, which often accounted for his survival in dangerous situations. Eventually, augmenting his strength and speed with the Force became as natural to the Elder as breathing, and it was often difficult to tell where his own physical limits ended and his Force-assisted abilities began.
- "Hey, I'm a man of many talents."
- ―Shadow Taldrya
Shadow had a variety of other skills in addition to his combat prowess and Force power. Though he was not much of a fighter pilot, Shadow proved to be adept at starship navigation and was able to negotiate the Shroud around Antei with ease, whether in his own vessel or guiding the Taldryan Fleet. This skill was a vital asset during the onset of the Vong invasion, as the Clans were forced to battle the enemy fleet from within the Shroud itself. Although Shadow is more comfortable with his feet firmly on the ground, he was known for using his ship as his private quarters when traveling outside of Brotherhood-controlled space.
As a leader, Shadow often found himself lacking the drive or motivation to successfully lead his House or Clan in times of growth or recovery. It was only when a vendetta or war loomed before the Brotherhood that Shadow managed to excel, particularly if he was commanding ground forces. Shadow proved himself to be an excellent battle field commander, often leading the military forces of the Taldryan Army or commanding the Jedi capable units of the Taldryan Special Forces. Some of his most notable commands were during his terms as Proconsul. Under Consul Kir Taldrya Katarn in 23 ABY, Shadow led Taldryan's forces under High Commander Korras' banner to defeat a pirate stronghold in the Coratua System in what came to be known as the Invasion of Coratua. The invasion was a huge success due mostly to the efforts of Clan Taldryan. In his second term as Proconsul, while serving Consul Duga Taldrya Arkarso, Shadow again led the Clan's forces. The Rite of Supremacy, Second Darkness, pitted the Clans against each other in a wargame simulation to earn the right to lead the Brotherhood's vanguard in a future war. Though the vendetta was interrupted, Clan Taldryan was determined to be the victor.
Shadow also had other, lesser known talents. He was also capable linguist, able to use the Force to understand languages both verbal and written, and could communicate with nearly any species. He was an accomplished tracker, often sent on scouting missions and assassinations due to his gift for Battle Precognition, which gave him unique glimpses into the thoughts of his prey. Another skill, though some would disparage, was his skill at cards and dice. A notorious gambler, Shadow developed a taste for high stakes gambling in his early exploration of the Galaxy.
- "See, this smaller one is just to loosen you up a bit. I'll finish you off with the big one."
- ―Shadow Taldrya, explaining his reasons for dual wielding a Shoto and Lightsaber
His second lightsaber was awarded to him by Jac Cotelin, after being prematurely promoted to the rank of Dark Jedi Knight. The hilt was made from a bright metallic alloy, with parts of the grip and neck painted over in black. Far more cumbersome than his first weapon, Shadow did however prefer the distinct bell emitter. The blade was the purest of whites and tapered out at just over 1.2 meters in length. The weapon served him well in his trials as Quaestor, helping him to overcome vast odds and maintain Dinaari's position as First House of the Obelisk. Not long after, though, he decided to expand on his lightsaber training.
This led to him requisitioning a pair of lightsabers from then Headmaster, Spears Tarentae. Fashioned to resemble the weapon wielded by fallen Sith Lord, Darth Vader, the hilts were identical in size and shape, though one was stained Sith red, the other Obelisk blue. The blades were also different in color, one remaining a pure white, while the other was a soft blue. With these twinned lightsabers, Shadow sought to master the art of Jar'Kai Niman, but found himself frustrated with its poor offensive capabilities. It wasn't until he learned of the recently re-discovered Form known as Shien, that he adjusted his training to better suit his needs. Not long after discovering this archaic Form, Shadow realized he could strike faster with a curved-hilt lightsaber. For this he approached the Herald, Muz Ashen Keibatsu, and requested the creation of two new hilts—one standard, the other a curved variant. Aside from the difference in shape, both lightsabers were aesthetically the same, brushed metal with black grips, emitting silver blades and etched with a symbol of unknown origin.
During the events of the Eighth Great Jedi War, Shadow lost his lightsabers when captured by the Yuuzhan Vong. After his escape, Shadow went about creating a new set to use, which would compliment his preferred Form of Shien. Opting for simplicity, he decided on a standard hilt and a shoto — a short lightsaber to wield in his off hand. He returned to the basic design of his first lightsaber, though crafted with more skill. His hilts were created from blued durasteel with onyx and graphite forming the grips. A small sapphire lay embedded near the emitters, which shone brightly when the blades were active. To better bond with the weapons, Shadow decided to manufacture his own silver-hued Focusing crystals as a tribute to the trials he faced during his capture. Both blades emitted a lustrous silver glow that tapered at just under a meter and a half in length. Once completed, Shadow handed the weapons to Herald Shikyo Keibatsu who used his alchemical skills to bind the weapons to him.
To mark his return to activity in 32 ABY, Shadow decided to acquire a new set of lightsabers, but kept the same hilt combination as the previous. However, rather than designing his own, he instead asked the Herald to customize a pair of Brotherhood-armory lightsabers designed specifically for Dark Jedi Masters. The hilt was simple and elegant in style, with a small, wickedly sharp blade protruding from the base of the emitter and four smaller blades projected around the bottom. These blades were designed to be used in close quarters combat, when the length of a lightsaber blade was too unwieldy to use effectively. For Shadow, the design was a perfect complement to his Shien style and could be used with devastating effect by first lashing outwards with a swing, then thrusting the spiked handle back into his opponent's face. But the standard kit only featured a single weapon and so the Elder specially requested a second hilt to be created in miniature—another shoto. The blades were white and viridian. Shikyo presented Shadow with his new weapons shortly after the Rite of Supremacy Spoils of War.
Though less flashy and flexible than most weapons members of the Brotherhood carried, House Dinaari recognized that the Bryar pistol was the perfect backup weapon to have in a fight. Lightweight, compact and durable, the pistol was easy to stow and conceal which made it ideal for missions requiring stealth, or when moving through the ever-expanding influence of the New Jedi Order. The Bryar pistol was deadly accurate at both long and short range and was backed by a great deal of raw power when a shot was charged up. Skill with a Bryar pistol became a matter of pride for members of Dinaari and they constantly trained with the weapon to become as proficient as possible. At first, the House held marksmanship competitions between members, but eventually that practice evolved into the Brotherhood-wide event known as The Bryar Bowl, in which members from all Clans were pitted against each other in a double bracket, single elimination tournament. For a time, this event was one of the most popular in the Brotherhood, amongst the warrior caste.
Years after the first Bryar Bowl, Shadow mastered the use of the Bryar and often wielded the pistol in his off-hand while holding a lightsaber in his main—the perfect melding of offensive and defensive capabilities when fighting opponents from a distance. By holding back a charge for the perfect opportunity, Shadow blew more than one nameless soldier's face away, to the satisfaction of anyone in the vicinity. He also used the weapon as a means of distracting weaker Jedi opponents by targeting them with pinpoint accurate shots that require quick, defensive blade work. Because of the Bryar's accuracy, Shadow was also able to use it as an effective method for clearing laser trip mines and detonation packs without the hassle of diffusing them.
Assassin LightsaberIn 34 ABY, Shadow and a team of Old Folks' Home members accepted a covert assignment from the Herald's Office. Tasked with tracking down and executing a known Brotherhood traitor, the old folks followed a trail of clues leading them from the very core of the Galactic Alliance to the heart of the Imperial Remnant. With their exceptional skills, roguish charms, and boundless wit, the team managed to complete their task via a series of Jeric Cyrin, Shadow was awarded a unique gift for his troubles—the much-coveted Assassin Lightsaber.
The bracer of the Assassin Lightsaber was constructed with the extremely versatile Durasteel, which could resist the blistering heat of the blade, ensuring minimal risk to the wielder from accidental burning during combat. The inherent strength of the alloy also gave it a measure of protection against physical attacks. However, because it was created as a reward, the weapon was plated in rare Electrum, giving it a gold and silver veneer and marking it as an especially ornate and beautiful tool for killing.
When equipping the blade, Shadow often hid the flashy gauntlet under the sleeve of his jacket, which had been specially modified to provide clearance for the unhindered projection of the dagger-like blade. The hidden blade was activated by quickly flexing the wrist backwards at a precise 90° angle, which prevented it from being accidentally released in the heat of combat or, worse, in the middle of a covert situation.
- First member of the Brotherhood awarded with the title Grand Whore of the Brotherhood
- Served as Dinaari Quaestor, Taldryan Proconsul, and Taldryan Consul twice each
- Four time winner of the "Tally's" People's Choice award
- Trademark IRC moves are thrusting and bending people over tables
- Created the first working draft of the Brotherhood's Rites of Combat
- Created the first draft of the Proconsul's Handbook
- One of the pioneers of the deadly art of Bryar ownage, but cooler than Kir
- Shadow once served as both Acting Obelisk High Commander and Acting Commander of the Guard at the same time
- First member to receive the Pendant of Blood
- Created the uber awesome CTF Primer for DB members to master the sexy art of CTF
- Shadow won the first SHAFT - CTF Edition competition
- On December 15, 2002 - Shadow starts thrusting
- On November 10, 2003 - Shadow starts bending people over chairs
- On March 1, 2004 - Benevolent destroys Shadow's chair in a jealous rage
- On March 3, 2004 - Benevolent replaces the chair with Shadow's stain-proof, indestructible table
- On October 31, 2007 Shadow regretfully became a Bryar Bitch
- Created the Old Folks' Home page
- Created the Howlader page with input from Howlader
- Awarded the title Honeybadger of Selonia by Yacks
|Sharad Hett|| Quaestor of House Dinaari
17 ABY - 18 ABY
|Ziguarath|| Commander of the Guard
|Shaithis Var'rek|| Quaestor of House Dinaari
20 ABY - 22 ABY
|Benevolent Taldrya Whiner|
|Sharad Taldrya Hett|| Proconsul of Clan Taldryan
22 ABY - 23 ABY
|Benevolent Taldrya Whiner|
|Kir Katarn|| Consul of Clan Taldryan
|Duga Taldrya Arkarso|
|Benevolent Taldrya Whiner|| Proconsul of Clan Taldryan
|Korras|| Gaming Tribune
27 ABY - 29 ABY
|Juda Kodiak Erinos|| Deputy Combat Master
28 ABY - 29 ABY
|Zandro Savric Erinos|
|Chaosrain Taldrya|| Consul of Clan Taldryan
29 ABY - 31 ABY
|Hel-Pa Taldrya Sklib|| Aedile of House Dinaari
|Aticus "Orian" Jade|
|Grand Whore of the Brotherhood|