|Duel at the Hapes Cluster|
Events Before: Salvation of Onderon Events Concurrent: None Events After: Chris marries Claudia and returns to Vornu & Algethiius Result: Crassus is destroyed, Mathes is wounded & rescued by Arek who also rescues a comatose Chris
|Participants||Christopher Algethii, Julius Crassus Algethii III, Mathes Colunga, Arek|
|Location||Crassus' Palace at the Hapes Cluster|
The Duel at the Hapes Cluster was the final event in the crisis of the Trimvirate of Vengeance that saw to the death of the rogue Darkside Crassus at the hands of his grandson Christopher. During the Salvation of Onderon and after the failure to capture Manaan, Crassus moved to the Hapes Cluster and conquered it in one near-perfect swoop. At the same time, Tenebrosi had returned to Serenno only to lose a duel with Caxkj when their master Cortenebrae intervened only to disappear along with the other individuals afterwards. However, because Crassus had desired Tenebrosi to be disposed of like Lord Antipas to begin with, he was pleased that this was so.
Not long after succeeding in his conquest of the Hapes Cluster a fleet under the command of Onderonian officer Cassis and fought his superior forces with intent to stall them. In the meantime, Christopher, along with Claudia, Mathes, and a reformed Arecio snuck on a transport provided by a corporation called the "Hand" right to Crassus' doorstep. While Claudia remained behind so as not to compromise the mission, it turned out that Crassus had been expecting them at any rate. Through the usage of his Force powers, he successfully broke Mathes' spirit and forced him and Arek to retreat before facing his grandson in single combat.
When he was defeated both in his usage of Jar'Kai and his usage of Juyo by Chris' expertise in both the former field and Niman, Crassus tried one last desperate act to insure immortality. He attempted to conduct Essence Transfer on his grandson and see to the failure of the prophecy to pass. However, Christopher defeated Crassus in the Cosmos of his Mind and sent his spirit into oblivion forever thus fulfiling the prophecy even so.
Onderon had been rescued from the mercenary forces under the command of Arecio Antipas who was persuaded to reform to the Light by Mathes during a lightsaber duel in the Planetary Defense Station. That then left Felony Serano to recuperate from a Stava-induced trance that Agent Claudia Elesion brought upon her out of fear Arecio had corrupted her and she could not be returned. However, upon arriving to the Palace, Felony had returned to normal after trancing before then reuniting with her long-lost mother Asya K'tani who had been separated from her years before. It was a warming reunion that motivated Mathes to aim the highest that he could during the showdown at the Hapes Cluster that was to come.
Arecio, now going by the name Arek, also wished to repent for his sins by aiding Christopher in the final battle though he felt guilty about having not attacked Lord Crassus as Arecio during the formation of the Triumvirate. Though he was forgiven by nearly everyone, it was still hard for him to imagine having been Crassus' pawn and played right into his hands so blindly. With a transport secured by Valek Rayden, after agreeing that Commander Cassis do what he could to stall and/or destroy Crassus' forces, Claudia piloted the three warriors to the final battle.
The Battle BeginsEdit
"So you've come, first it was my master Mitsunarius and now my most hated grandson. I see that a child of Algethiius has come with children of the Light to stop me once again, has he? Very well," -Crassus to his enemies upon their arrival to his Palace. [src]
Upon arriving to the Hapes Cluster's capital world, the first thing that all three warriors observed was how quiet the place was in consideration of the city's size. Chris immediately suspected a trap though Mathes and Arek had reminded him to be optimistic about the possibility that they had caught their enemy off guard. However, Christopher's suspicions were confirmed when a Shadow Wraith told them that Crassus was waiting for them in Throne Room. After a brief exchange where Crassus reflected on his Master's coup attempt at the throne to Algethiius, the duel began with Crassus using Force Step to knock Christopher out temporarily.
He then proceeded to conduct the Tear Knowledge spell which allowed him all knowledge to the past lives of both Mathes and Arek before then using telekinesis to throw them out the Throne Room and out of the Palace. Christopher returned into the fray just after Crassus did that and the two briefly exchanged lightsaber blows. However, Chris's fear of what Crassus might have had planned for his friends forced him to beat a hasty retreat in trying to save them. In the meantime, Crassus rested upon the Throne Room and created the illusions he would use to attempt breaking Arek and successfully break Mathes into a temporary puppet of the Dark Side.
Corrupting the Incorruptible Jedi KnightEdit
"They're such sweet things when they do not know the evils of the universe, are they not? Children I mean, I know: I once had several myself but all of them betrayed me in the end having created the desire out of some sense of knowing where they did not know as your daughter has. But there is a way for you to retrieve what you've lost, Master Jedi if you will but hear me out. Arek still lives and is still loose in the city, bring me his head and his saber. That is the only thing I demand of you in my offer but in return, I shall raise your daughter and your beloved women from the dead then levitate you all into a paradise that would make even the netherworld of the Force seem ugly. Imagine Mathes, you could live with Asya and Felony together as a family when everything now alive is dust. I give you all this in exchange for the blood of your former friend Arek, take your revenge and claim what is rightfully yours, take my hand and rise to the call or are you too weak to naught but sob in the dirt?" -Crassus to Mathes, he finished breaking them. [src]
After Crassus extracted knowledge of Mathes and Arek's past lives and threw them away from the Palace with telekinesis, Chris had been forced to beat a retreat to save his friends. What he didn't know, whilst he was running, was that Crassus had intent to use his newfound knowledge to corrupt at least one of the Jedi and turn them on the other. He then intended to have the one(s) corrupted turn on the rest of the party before then slaying them himself, a means by which to insure his immortality as well as destroy two pesky Jedi. While Arek avoided his trap even after seeing an illusion of his sister uniting her body with Mathes and being forced to kill them off, Mathes wasn't so lucky.
First, Crassus led him down a long winding corridor through the illusion of Mathes' first love, a Jedi named Bay. When it seemed as though Mathes was utterly entranced by the romance of the illusion, he had a phantom of Arek kill her and take off while Mathes followed. After having him chased for some distance, Crassus transformed the illusion of Arek into that of Mathes' most hated nemesis Sanguinar Serano and conjured an image of Asya in chains. He had Sanguinar advance on her while Mathes helplessly watched and when they united, he transformed them into the child born from their real-life union, Thorn Serano.
His corruption of Mathes was completed when he conjured an illusion of Felony, which he commanded to destroy her brother in front of Mathes. The Jedi intercepted her and turned her blade on her, killing her in the process and compelling him to lose all hope. However, Crassus offered that there was still a chance: he offered that in return for the death of Arek, he would raise the women he loved from the dead and levitate them all to an eternal paradise. A paradise, he said, that was so beautiful it would make the netherworld of the Force seem common and would last for all time even when everything presently alive was not even dust.
Mathes agreed and the illusion was undone, allowing him the ability to track down his former enemy-turned-best-friend. It was a process that Crassus had enjoyed practicing with Mathes as he had with several other Jedi Knights and fellow rogue Darksiders and wished to continue using a while after.
Saving Mathes & Arek's retreatEdit
Christopher had retreated to save his Jedi friends from the illusions of Crassus but by the time he reunited with them, it was too late for Mathes. He had been broken to Crassus' will and now had become hellbent on destroying Arek and thus receiving the reward that Crassus had promised. They fought briefly with Arek intent on stalling Mathes until Christopher arrived to help him stop Mathes and turn him back to the Light. Chris arrived just in time to prevent Mathes from killing Arek and to briefly exchange blows with him through his abilities in Jar'Kai.
Despite Mathes' usage of Juyo which was ferocious, Chris managed to slash Mathes across the chest. The blow traumatized Mathes and forced him on his back, the knowledge of his failure to obtain his paradise certain. However, the trauma brought him back to his senses and soon after, he fell unconscious from the effects of it. Arek thanked Christopher and agreed to take Mathes back to the ship almost in the nick of time for Crassus to arrive.
Despite that, Arek was far enough away to where all he heard was the clash of lightsabers as the final battle between Chris and Crassus began. When he returned, he was attacked by more Shadow Wraiths though two of these were dealt with by Claudia's blaster pistols before she demanded to know where Chris was. After Arek told her, he went back to the Palace to see if he could help Christopher in defeating Crassus but by the time he arrived, it was over.
Final Duel & Essence TransferEdit
When Crassus arrived to finish off his divided enemies, he found that only Mathes had been wounded and Arek had beat a retreat with him in tow. But it didn't matter, he had forced the Jedi on the retreat and isolated his grandson for one last duel to the death that would decide the fate of the Algethii clan and the galaxy at large. At first, Crassus held his own with his application of Jar'Kai against Christopher's and even managed to destroy his extra saber. Then he lost his own extra and turned back to his skills as a Master of the Juyo style whilst Christopher harnessed Niman.
For several long minutes, the two of them battled and even made their way back to the Throne Room. But it was here that Christopher realized he would not be able to beat Crassus through sheer strength alone and would need cunning. So during a crossing of their blades, Chris positioned Crassus' lightsaber until it was in his favor and rammed it into the old man's eyes. The result was Crassus' permanent blindness in his then-current body and Chris ended up impaling him on Crassus' own blade in addition to stabbing him with his own.
Crassus held out and even complimented Christopher for the cunning strategy before grabbing ahold of him and attempting Essence Transfer. In the Cosmos of Christopher's Mind, all they had were their bare hands and the martial arts that could be wielded with them with Crassus explaining that the Force amplified their strength. Additionally, all power-whether Force or otherwise- came from strength of will in this dimension between life and death. However, Christopher's will was slightly greater then Crassus' and the old man was defeated and his spirit cast into oblivion.
But before Crassus accepted his fate, he told Christopher to never skirt beyond the line between Light and Dark for it was not the way of a true child of Algethiius. Then, after he had stated that and had all his power and physical strength drained by the vortex that would send him to the land of the dead, he embraced his final destiny. Christopher's spirit was returned to normal but Christopher was rendered comatose for six days by the effects of the battle as well as saving his own spirit. When Arek finally arrived to find Chris lying on the floor of the Throne Room, he tried awakening him to no avail and settled for carrying him out as he had done with Mathes before Claudia took them away from the planet.
Armies Routed by Commander CassisEdit
During the events that transpired in the duel in the capital world of the Hapes Cluster, Commander Cassis had taken 5,000 ships to stall Crassus' fleet as a distraction. However, with the death of Crassus not too long into the engagement, the forces under his command were soon routed and divided. Mercenaries were reassigned to work for the Republic while the Hapes Cluster natives were spared and Crassus' own forces were wiped clean forever. This would especially come in handy when Christopher returned to Algethiius with a clean slate.
But not before he married Claudia on Onderon and set up Commander Cassis for his own marriage to Queen Tela. It was a day and night of magic that was enjoyed by all who participated in the event.