Familiar sounds echoed through the massive forge of
Vilcin Pagh, the Jedi Metalsmith. Metal
was being heated and beat into whatever shape Vilcin wished it to take.
This most recent project of his would involve more
than metalworker. The five rings
which he was making would be filled with Force.
If given to a non-force user, the rings would give them the powers of a
Master in time of greatest need. If
given to a Jedi, the rings would multiply the Jedi's powers a hundredfold.
Into the first ring, Vilcin set a diamond; into the
second, a ruby; into the third, and emerald; into the fourth, a saphire; into
the fifth, an amethyst. He then
charged each ring with the power of the Force.
In that moment Vilcin felt a dread unlike any other
dread he had ever felt before. He
saw his death. Saw what would
happen if the rings were used by a Jedi.....
The Jedi Council had been tasked with the decision
of the ring's future. They had to
decide whether or not to give the rings to non-Jedi, as Vilcin forcefully
advised, or to a group of trusted Jedi, as advised by Jedi Master N'kai Skion.
The debate was heated, with the old friends Jekarath Gannin and N'kai
Skion finding themselves on opposite sides of the debate.
"I think," Jekarath said carefully,
"That we should ask the opinion of our Republic Army liaison, Peter DeLong."
The plan was met with general agreement.
General DeLong, though not a Jedi, held the respect of every member of
the Council. More importantly, he
held the friendship of N'kai, Jekarath, and Vilcin, the three powerhouses of the
Council. Peter stood from his place
in the Council room.
"Gentlemen," he said, using a generic
term, "I agree with Vilcin. We
just recently saw the fall of the Sith Empire, and the consequences of a
corrupted Jedi are too terrible to contemplate.
With all due respect to N'kai, I believe that to give the rings to Jedi
would be extremely fool hardy."
As with all things fated, words of wisdom rarely
prevail. The council voted to give
the rings to a Jedi.
They picked N'kai Skion.
After the meeting was over, Peter, Jekarath, Vilcin,
and N'kai stayed behind to discuss N'kai's plans for the rings.
"Honestly, Peter," N'kai said, "If I
didn't know you any better, I would think that you were unhappy with the
decision. With these rings, think
how much more of a Jedi, how much more of a protector, I can be."
"Its just the thought of corruption that
"What, don't you think I can take care of
"Its not that, Nik.
I just don't want to see the Republic faced with another near dissaster
like what happened with the Sith. Dark
Jedi, with powers beyond anything ever seen, could cause that."
Peter explained. Inwardly, he was worried for his friend.
"Well, I'll just have to make sure that
doesn't happen. Which is why I'm
going to give the other four rings to my top ex-Padawans."
"Let me guess," Vilcin said, "Chanla,
Kenian, Arakia, and Maraken."
"Not Chanla," N'kai said, "He has
too much anger in him, and is perilously close to the Dark Side already.
I'm not saying that I believe these rings could corrupt him, I just don't
want to take that chance with a former Sith.
Saivin Chasi will get the last ring."
So it was decided.
N'kai would get the diamond ring. Saivin
would get the amethyst ring. Kenian
would get the ruby ring. Arakia
would get the emerald ring. Maraken
would get the saphire ring. No one
knew how much of a mistake this decision would be.
For a year, the Jedi performed as promised.
Each one became powerful guardians of peace and justice.
Then it happened. The Jedi
of the Rings became intoxicated with power.
This intoxication made their souls ripe for the implantation of the Dark
Side. In six months, all five Jedi
had not only become as evil as the Sith, but they had started corrupting other
Jedi. Their war against the
Republic contiuned for another year, until they were discovered on the planet
Harrakhor. Mount Kara'halel would
be the site of the final battle.
Vilcin, Jekarath, and Peter stood on the bridge of
the Varanthas Prime.
Peter's 5th Republic Army, along with most of the galaxy's Jedi, waited
in its barracks to assault the Dark Fortress on Harrakhor.
"I should never have made the rings,"
Vilcin said, "I should have known that they would be this dangerous."
"It wasn't your fault, my friend," said
Jekarath, "I should have kept the Council from awarding the rings to a
Jedi." Both Jedi Masters were
blaming themselves, though rationally they knew that it was not their fault.
Peter stepped in to stop it. They
needed to be ready for battle in about an hour, not wallowing in a guilt trip.
"I hate to interrupt this, ah, Blame Game committee
here, but are going into battle in less than an hour. I need you both. Don't
loose it on me, gentlemen."
The bridge was silent until the call came, at T-20
minutes, to board the landing craft. Their
landing zone: Mount Kara'halel.
Blaster met lightsaber on the slopes of Kara'halel
and on the surrounding Plains of Mon'thra-sha.
Soldiers fell by the scores as the Jedi used Dark powers against them.
The Jedi of the light slashed in, cutting down the Dark Jedi like paper.
It was an all out bloodbath, one that could have been avoided.
N'kai remained seated at the top of Kara'halel, using his Jedi powers to
coordinate the attack. The price
rose steadily higher as the Republic forces fought a grinding battle with the
Dark Jedi. Peter fought by the side
of Vilcin and Jekarath Gannin, the three of them holding the south slope of
One of the Dark Jedi challenged Vilcin.
The two circles like predators, waiting for the other to make the first
move. The Dark Jedi drew his
lightsaber, a regular silver one with a blood red blade.
Vilcin had his ready, a finely crafted bronze hilt with a blue blade
streaked with white, like the cloudy skies of his homeworld.
The two warriors, one Light, one Dark, began to duel.
Peter and Jekarath Gannin kept the other Dark Siders from interferring.
Vilcin parried the Dark Jedi's attacks, taking the offensive when he
could, but slowly wearing down from the shear ferocity of the attacks.
The Dark Jedi got in one good his, cut through Vilcin's chest.
The Jedi went down, mortally wounded.
"VILLLCCCIIIIINNNN!!!" shouted Peter.
He watched his friend fall. In
that instant, he lept from his position in the rocks, and broke the neck of the
Dark Jedi who had attacked his friend in one good blow.
He knelt beside the broken body of Vilcin Pagh, trying to find someway,
somehow, to save him. Vilcin
gathered his strenght for one last word with Peter.
"N'kai is the key, my friend. Stop him, and you will stop the rest. Take my lightsaber. You
must try to turn him back to the Light." With these words, Vilcin Pagh
faded away, becoming one with the Force.
Peter's eyes began to tear up. He dashed the tears away, knowing what he had to do.
Picking up Vilcin's distinct lightsaber, he began to climb Mount
Peter crept up behind N'kai. The Fallen Jedi turned and looked at him.
N'kai eyes were almost frightening.
Gone was the friendly warmth that had one characterized him.
Now his eyes glowed with unholy fire, with Dark light of a man who has
turned to the side of evil.
"Welcome, my friend."
"N'kai, I'm here to stop you."
N'kai just chuckled.
How exactly do you expect to accomplish that? No Jedi can stop me. Much
less an ordinary man." He
stood up and turned to face Peter DeLong. Peter
stood his ground, scared out of his wits, but refusing to give in to N'kai's
"I'm here to turn you back. If you won't renounce the Dark, then I will be forced to kill
you." N'kai's eyes glowed with
"Join me Peter!
Together we could rule the Republic, and bring order to this
galaxy." Peter shook his head.
"I serve the Republic.
I desire no position of power. Look
down below you! If this continues,
no matter what happens, there might not be any Republic left."
It wasn't working, Peter knew. He
would have to fight and kill N'kai in order to end this.
"Then we are enemies, Peter. Prepare to die, old friend."
Saddness eveloped Peter.
He did not wish to fight N'kai, but his beloved Republic, his friends,
his family, would be in severe danger if N'kai was allowed to continue.
He drew Vilcin's lightsaber and ignited it.
N'kai drew back in shock.
"How...How did you get Vilcin's lightsaber?"
Peter suddenly knew that he found N'kai's weak spot.
N'kai still had some good in him. That
would be the thing that would end the massacre.
"Vilcin is dead, N'kai. Struck down by one of your Dark Siders. End this, my friend, before more people get hurt."
Peter words finally penetrated and struck home.
N'kai saw what he had become. He
collapsed to his knees, weeping. He
removed his ring, and gave it to Peter. Hesitating
only a second, Peter slipped the ring on. Immediately,
the Dark powers that had been used by Saivin, Kenian, Arakia, Maraken, and their
Dark Apprentices were gone.
The battle was over.
In the aftermath, the Five Jedi who had been
corrupted were charged with a multitude of crimes.
Pleading guilty, they served out their punishment and, with a full
renouncement of the Dark Side, became five of the best Jedi in the Republic, at
least until the arrival of Master Thon and Nomi Sunrider.
Jekarath Gannin, at the the request of the Jedi
Council and the Senate, gave the rings to Peter DeLong, his wife, his daughter,
and his two sons. This family was
charged with guarding the rings and their powers, along with the safety of the
Republic and the History of the Jedi. Thus,
the DeLong family became Guardians.