The Galactic Alliance is Victorious!
Special Thanks to Dagon Kaze for the Second Great Hyperspace War comic template,
and thanks to all our sparring partners in the Jedha invasion!
Special Thanks to Dagon Kaze for the Second Great Hyperspace War comic template,
and thanks to all our sparring partners in the Jedha invasion!
In order to defeat the Galactic Alliance and lay waste to the Core Worlds, the Brotherhood of the Maw drew up a plan to systematically dismantle their foe, destroying each of their advantages one by one. Over the course of years, the New Sith Order secretly manipulated the Alliance Senate, sowing distrust between the government and the New Jedi Order. The Great Battle of Coruscant was the culmination of these manipulations, sowing terror among the people of the Core and dealing the Jedi a terrible blow at their primary temple. The strike also caused the New Imperial Order to lose confidence in the Alliance and withdraw from the Bastion Accords. It was only the beginning of the Brotherhood's open war against the Jedi, however. The next strike in that conflict would come at the holy world of Jedha.
The Brotherhood's goals at Jedha were simple: to kill as many Jedi as possible, luring them out by threatening both the innocent and the Order's heritage. By attacking both the rebuilt Holy City and the ancient shrines in the desert, they hoped to draw out the New Jedi Order and bring them to battle, weakening them in order to soften up the Galactic Alliance for future conquests. However, as they would soon discover, there were consequences to gathering so many of their most powerful foes in a single place.
The Wraith Squadron fleet of the Final Dawn began the sudden invasion, swiftly blockading Jedha and deploying ground troops to attack. The Mongrel and his Scar Hounds landed around the Holy City, forming a great ring that drove the population inwards like a tightening noose. At the same time, Marlon Sularen deployed his 439th Legion of Final Dawn stormtroopers to aid in securing the city - and its kyber crystals, key to his special weapons development. They were opposed by a variety of local militias organized by Bernard of Arca and Zark San Tekka, Jedi determined to save as many people as they could. Had that been all that stood against them, the Mawites would have surely triumphed without much difficulty... but they had overestimated the division between the GADF and the Jedi.
The Galactic Alliance Defense Force would not stand by while Alliance citizens were slaughtered.
As a result, the 53rd Armored Division of the 342nd Star Corps also engaged the onrushing marauders and stormtroopers. General command of the Alliance forces fell to General Harson Thaddeus, who made the grim but necessary decision to lay waste to New Jedha City itself in order to hold back the Maw. While Jedi like Bernard of Arca, Master San Tekka, and Gorthalon led local civilians in falling back to Tythoni Plaza, in the heart of the Holy Quarter, Thaddeus's artillery pounded the Mawite-occupied districts flat, causing horrific casualties to the attackers. Concerned by his dwindling forces, The Mongrel dispatched his trusted agent Ziare Dyarron (known to him as Mercy) to scout the enemy defenses and find a way to breach the Holy Quarter - a task she performed well.
The Mongrel relied heavily upon Mercy to lead groups of his forces throughout the rest of the battle.
As the initial Mawite charge stalled, champions of the Alliance and Maw clashed in the streets. The Pathfinder Gorthalon helped evacuate families to safety, only to find himself hunted by a vile queen of Darth Tennacus's "Whispering Swarm" of xenomorphs... a creature he only barely managed to vanquish by collapsing a burning building on it. The Dark Apostle Rannan Kol and his acolytes stalked the streets, seeking civilians to slaughter, until Corin Grayson arrived to engage him in a fierce duel. A clash of witches erupted when Elpsis Kerrigan-Alcori, aiding the Alliance as a mercenary, went hunting for Tegan Starfall, who was terrorizing the city and preparing a massive bomb; after an exchange of sorceries, exotic weapons, and big guns, both managed to limp away, injured but alive.
Marlon Sularen and his 439th Legion found themselves under heavy attack when Jedi Master Jax Thio led the Alliance's Hawkbat Battalion in an attack from above. Thio rallied the local militias as well, helping them to fight back against Sularen's tanks. Seeing this disruption, Sularen ordered his personal gunship to take Thio down, beginning a brutal exchange of Force power against firepower. Forced to land when Thio damaged the gunship with Force Lightning, Sularen and his commandos confronted the Jedi face to face. The two realized that they had once fought together against the Sith on Ziost, back when both had served the Alliance. Thio offered Sularen a chance to turn away from the Maw, but Sularen refused, setting the stage for a deadly duel between Thio and his commandos.
Thio survived only with the help of his faithful astromech, which aided him from above in his X-Wing.
Attempting to lead his forces in a push against the Holy Quarter's defenses, The Mongrel ran across Yula Perl, stumbling - in typical Yula fashion - out of a cantina where she had been cheating at cards. A duel of strength and brutal cunning against agility and vicious mockery ensued, culminating when The Mongrel - unable to pin down the quick and clever Jedi - collapsed the street where she was standing. She left him a parting gift, however, ravaging his systems with technomancy so badly he would struggle to function for the rest of the battle. Yula's companion, Romi Jade, soon ran across the wicked and powerful Darth Mori, who was butchering civilians near the Temple of Kyber. Using the Meditation of Emptiness, Jade gained the strength to resist Mori's sorcery, and managed to stand against her.
The Temple of Kyber itself, at the heart of New Jedha City, saw some of the fiercest duels - and darkest rituals - of all. This was where the Dark Voice of the Maw, the anointed Sith'ari himself, the wicked prophet Darth Solipsis chose to make his landing. His overwhelming evil drew Jedi to him like a beacon, determined to stop him. Zaka was the first to challenge him, soon followed by Dagon Kaze, a young Jedi he knew well; it was Kaze had had manipulated into "rescuing" him from the dungeons of Gehinnom, allowing him to infiltrate the senate under his old identity as ex-Jedi and Epochian senator Kaigann Fossk. Though he was outnumbered, Solipsis fought back brutally. Ever since his vile ritual on Korriban, he had become something more than an ordinary being, something suffused with darkness.
Solipsis intended to become a god... and his ability to replace his own severed arm with a limb of pure shadow showed his progress.
Deep inside the temple, Jedi librarian Aeris Lashiec worked frantically to preserve the archives while her friend Kai The Doppelganger stood guard... but they were soon challenged by Danika Leventis, who was seeking revenge after their encounter on Coruscant. Refusing to stand down despite Aeris's pleas, Leventis revealed her secret weapon: the librarian's childhood friend Alex Mortmer, whom she had believed dead at her own hand. Aeris was forced to confront Alex while Kai battled Leventis, each Jedi begging their opponents to turn away from the destructive path of rage. In the end, Mortmer was broken by his overwhelming sorrow, and plunged a dagger into his own heart. Leventis, for her part, showed mercy; perhaps Kai's words broke through to her, or perhaps it was in her all along.
Elsewhere in the temple, Joycelyn Zambrano - better known as Darth Vornskr - took advantage of the chaos caused by the Maw to conduct a dark ritual of her own. She began to sacrifice Jedi Padawans in a vile rite, the evil aura of which drew the Jedi Viers Connory to her position. Viers attacked from stealth, allowing her to land a brutal first blow with her staff. The duel then became a clash of sorceries, with Viers unafraid to tap into powers just as dark as those of her foe. Elsewhere, the darkness was even more pervasive. The wicked Kyrel Ren arrived with the intent of bringing down the temple, no matter who was crushed in the process, Jedi or Mawite. The undead monster unleashed his terrible power, tormenting the living kyber crystals in the walls and corrupting them with the dark side.
This would have terrible consequences for the very structure of the temple.
The Temple of Kyber was not the only Jedi landmark under threat. Out in Jedha's dessicated tablelands, Taskmaster Tu'teggacha commanded the Brotherhood's sinister World Devastators to erase all trace of the planet's sacred history, tearing down ancient monuments to feed their voracious molecular furnaces. With other Alliance forces occupied, only the Jedi Rhis Fisto stood against the Devastators. Leaping atop one, he soon found himself embroiled in a deadly duel with New Sith Order disciple Letifer, both struggling to keep their balance and destroy one another atop the rumbling machine. Meanwhile, at a nearby monastery, the dark warrior Laoth was unleashed into the Alliance archaeological site, intent on slaughtering everyone there to continue the desecration and cultural erasure.
The monastery, however, was not undefended. The Alliance's Strike Team Vos was on site, headed by Tren Chaar of Revenant Squadron and bolstered by the fearsome Jedi warrior Ishida Ashina. Chaar, normally a pilot, coordinated Alliance forces and called in airstrikes, in which he was aided by ace pilot Kaul "Joker" Emos. As Laoth butchered his way ever forward, Chaar spotted his swath of destruction, and tried to pull Ishida back; he was skeptical about defending Jedi holy sites while Alliance citizens were at risk. But fierce Ishida refused to retreat, instead offering to cover the withdrawal of Chaar and his forces. She charged out to meet Laoth, engaging him in a fierce duel. As Ishida clashed with the mutant marauder and Kaul fought off Mawite squadrons overhead, the Alliance troops fell back.
Elsewhere, the Alliance's Strike Team Windu and Task Force Xesh raced to prevent a Brotherhood attack from gaining access to the secrets of Jedha's secret SIA Black Site. Its location compromised after a deep cover mission by Letifer, it had to be protected or destroyed before crucial intelligence fell into Mawite hands. Maijan Paisea cloaked Task Force Xesh as they headed for the Black Site's lab facilities, buying Boluc Laar time to erase the facility's databases... and for agent Tao to place detonators around the facility. At the same time, the Jedi of Task Force Windu - Allyson Locke, Valery Noble, and Taiia Mataan - moved to preserve all the data they could in their section of the Black Site, unleashing spider slicer droids to efficiently recover (and then erase) information from the many terminals.
They were opposed by a nightmarish threat: the undead hordes of Darth Caelitus, known as the Perished. Sending the others ahead to complete their mission, Allyson stood alone against the Sith Lord, battling him with a bow conjured from pure lightside energy. Caelitus and his Perished fought back, the Sith seeking to cast her into his teeming mass of zombies to be consumed. Soon orange and blue sabers clashed in a duel to the death. Taiia Mataan poured her strength into Allyson through the Force, giving her the power she needed to stand up to the mighty Dark Lord. For her part, Valery Noble found herself holding off the dark-armored soldiers of the Final Dawn, locked in a life or death struggle as they gradually overran the Black Site.
The sinister Darth Kentarch also infiltrated the Black Site, seeking to steal its secrets. He was able to disarm several of the Alliance's sabotage charges, allowing him to steal a prototype chemical compound from the lab. At the same time, the Mawite warlord Darth Maestus began to sense the presence of Maijan Paisea, and sought to breach her Fallanassi cloak. Just as Task Force Xesh finished its downloads and prepared to blow their sabotage charges, Agent Tao ran smack dab into the warlord. Struck by her lightwhip, he went for a defiant final act, detonating the many charges placed throughout the Black Site - with both Jedi and Sith still inside. It was a decision that Boluc Laar assisted in, for he cared not if the Jedi survived... though Maijan did her best to prevent him from doing so.
Valery Noble, though she escaped with the data, was severely burned. The other combatants were forced apart.
Back in the city, the Mawite advance had stalled. The artillery-weakened Scar Hounds were unable to break the defenses of the Holy Quarter, forcing The Mongrel to request Final Dawn assistance. At Sularen's order, his flagship - the Purifier - opened fire on Tythoni Plaza in a powerful orbital bombardment. Everyone there might have been killed, if not for the power of a select few. Senator Seto Du Couteau of Empress Teta, who had arrived to assist in coordinating the evacuation of civilians, swiftly erected a powerful Force barrier over the square, saving many lives. The senator was aided by Bernard of Arca, the Jedi pouring so much of himself into the barrier that he collapsed from exhaustion. Surely neither could have withstood a second barrage... but this was the turning point in the battle.
For at that moment the Alliance 6th Sector Fleet, under Syndulla Command, arrived to reinforce Jedha. They immediately engaged Admiral Hamilton's Wraith Squadron, disrupting their blockade of Jedha. Jedi Ace Asmundr Varobalder led Saber Squadron in a strike down to New Jedha City, providing air cover to the evacuation shuttles and further disrupting the Mawite advance. Tren Chaar, taking to the skies with Revenant Squadron as Ishida held Laoth at bay, also raced for the city, abandoning the Jedi monuments in order to save Alliance citizens. All the pursuing Brotherhood craft could not catch them in time, and they soon arrived to help turn the tide. The Scar Hounds and Final Dawn troops mounted one last, desperate push to intercept the evacuation.
But they had already been too badly depleted by the artillery and airstrikes, not to mention the devastating rampage of Lynda (Westenra Mina), who would thereafter be called the Demon of Jedha for the mountains of Mawite corpses she left in her wake. By the time The Mongrel, his form badly damaged by his duel with Yula, arrived to hold her back, it was already too late to conserve enough strength to break the Alliance. Though Mercy boldly led the elite Scav Kings to push into Tythoni Plaza, nearly killing the exhausted Bernard of Arca with a grenade and ending the lives of many people he had tried to save, it soon became clear that the Alliance had held the Maw back long enough. Though their homes were in ruins, most of the people of New Jedha City had been successfully rescued.
In the Temple of Kyber, Kyrel Ren found his wicked ritual challenged by the bold Jedi Master Caltin Vanagor, who fought back in a fierce contest. He was able to draw upon the Force to throw Kyrel back, but by then it was too late to save the kyber crystals he had corrupted. The temple itself began to collapse, threatening to claim all those left inside. Caltin crushed the floor beneath Kyrel's feet, causing him to fall into the abyss, but Kyrel reached out with a hand of dark energy and dragged the Jedi Master with him. Both plummeted into the darkness below, locked in battle the whole way down. Meanwhile, the temple's collapse also interrupted the desperate duel between Zaka, Dagon Kaze, and Darth Solipsis. Solipsis held Dagon in a shadowy, draining grip as the building began to fall.
Zaka acted quickly, using his lightsaber to break through the chains of darkness and release Dagon. As the temple collapsed around Solipsis, the fearless Jedi leapt in to try to end the Dark Lord once and for all, knowing that even thousands of pounds of rubble would not finish him off. But Dagon returned the favor he'd been given, wielding the Force to drag Zaka back to safety just before he would have been buried in the debris. As they stood in the clear air once more, watching Alliance ships streak over the ruins of New Jedha City, they could see that the battle was over. With the New Jedi Order and Galactic Alliance Defense Force reunified, the defenders of Jedha had brought together land power, space power, and Force power to repel the invasion. The Brotherhood was forced to withdraw.
They left behind them a world in ruins. New Jedha City had been leveled by airstrikes and artillery, the rubble looted by Mawite marauders. The Temple of Kyber was gone, left as a pit in the ground. In the desert, the World Devastators had erased countless ancient shrines, Jedi history that would be lost forever. But the planet itself had stood, and thought many lay dead, the bulk of its people were safe. For the first time, one of the Brotherhood's targets had decisively thrown them back, finally blunting their relentless advance toward the Core Worlds and securing the Alliance's western border. The problems of rebuilding, and of managing the refugee crisis, would be challenging to tackle, but the heroes could feel a justified sense of triumph for the momentous feat they had achieved that day.
In the depths of the ruined Temple, Darth Solipsis emerged from the rubble. Someday soon, he would have his revenge.