[background=“This is Master Mara D’Lessio Merrill, Padawan of the Barsen’thor, Aleidis Ijet. I’m sending this to every Jedi enclave and Jedi council I can think of. The Mandalorians have massacred the Ilum Jedi enclave. Approximately thirty Jedi Knights and Padawans were killed, and a lot of them were helpless or killed without warning. The raid was led by a man named Arrbi Betna. [/size]
[background=“My crew and I were visiting the Ilum temple to experiment with crystals. The local Jedi were led by a senior Anx named Master Minh. They welcomed us…” Mara looked away from the holopickup, lost in thought, running her fingers through her blood-matted hair. “They were good to us. Two days after we arrived, several Mandalorian ships decloaked outside the enclave and landed a couple of hundred warriors. Five Jedi, three Knights and two Padawans, were outside at the time; the Mandalorians killed them without warning. The rest of us evacuated into the catacombs and tunnels under the temple. [/size]
[background=“I negotiated with a Mandalorian chief named Gray Raxis. We were hammering out a compromise that would let them only steal everything we had and leave us in peace, or let our younglings and Padawans evacuate. Then a man named Arrbi Betna, the raid leader, took over negotiations. He refused to let the children go. He told us we had two choices: unconditional surrender, or assault. Since they’d already killed five of us unprovoked, we decided that we couldn’t trust them to spare us if we surrendered, especially since we knew their names. [/size]
[background=“We evacuated deeper into the tunnels and left what Force crystals we had. I left my father’s ship and a fortune in crystals and gemstones that I’d been using for experiments. I was hoping that would be enough to appease them. It wasn’t. The deeper we went into the tunnels, the harder they followed us. They began killing indiscriminately. My crew and I set up a defensive position, along with Master Minh and his Knights. We were hoping to buy time so the younglings and Padawans could get out the back way and use an old evac ship. The Mandalorians outflanked us and began killing the Padawans, both in personal combat and with heavy weapons. [/size]
[background=“We realized we’d been outflanked. I left my crew to hold off the main Mandalorian force in the tunnels. Master Minh, his knights and I ran to help the Padawans, but we were too late. Master Minh and his knights died fighting the Mandalorians who’d killed their Padawans. The younglings and some of the Padawans got the evac ship working and took off like we’d ordered them to, leaving us behind. By then all that was left were me, some...of my crew, a couple of Jedi stragglers, and a Knight named Nefertari Sovint who’d bought a lot of time for the kids to get away. Or that’s the way it was supposed to happen.” [/size]
[background=Mara took a shaky breath. “The Mandalorians...destroyed the evacuation ship. The only people aboard were younglings and Padawans; it was just a Padawan flying. I think Sovint’s snubfighter got away, but she and her kid were the only Jedi I know of who survived the raid.[/size]
[background=“The rest of us escaped into a snowstorm. Eventually we got word offworld and got rescued. Nearly all the Jedi of the Ilum enclave are dead, and in hindsight, a good bit of the blame lies with me. Maybe if we’d surrendered, we’d all be alive. Maybe if we’d stayed together, we’d have done better in the tunnels, been able to fight our way to the old evac ship or make some kind of refuge that they couldn’t find in the deepest tunnels. But I thought my crew and I could hold them off, buy enough time for the Jedi to get away. At least the children.[/size]
[background=“So far as I’ve been able to find out, Arrbi Betna is or was a Field Marshal. I think he’s a clan chief. Um, Gray Raxis tried to take our things peacefully, but he was still part of the raid. I think he’s a clan chief too. One of the men who butchered the Padawans -- I recognized his armor. He’s called Nicair Claden. So far as I can tell, these are men from a bunch of different clans. This was six or eight cloaked ships, maybe more, with a small army -- a united Mandalorian attack on an unaffiliated but good-sized Jedi enclave. They killed every Jedi in sight, including children. They wouldn’t be this brave unless there was war on the horizon.[/size]
[background=“Mara Merrill, out.”[/size]