Marek Okoń (cover artist)
March 22, 2011
Hot on the heels of the unveiling of the cover to Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance is this first look at another hardcover set in the time of the eagerly anticipated video game in development by LucasArts and BioWare.
In Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived, readers will learn more about Darth Malgus, the Sith Lord who brought down the Jedi Temple. Star Wars fans first experienced the devastating might of Darth Malgus in last year's epic cinematic trailer to Star Wars: The Old Republic which depicted the Sacking of Coruscant. Readers will learn more about the man behind the mask in this novel by author Paul S. Kemp.
Deceived tells the story of Darth Malgus and gives fascinating insight into his rise to fame and glory as the Sith Lord who destroyed the Jedi Temple. This stunning narrative finds the dark hero battling a veteran Jedi Master, setting the stage for the affairs and betrayals surrounding the last battle of the Great War before the signing of the Treaty of Coruscant.
Deceived is written by Paul S. Kemp with the BioWare and LucasArts teams' full cooperation and creative consultation to bring an accurate account of the explosive incident and the ruthless man behind it.
The novel begins with Darth Malgus leading the attack on the Jedi Temple as it precedes the Sacking of Coruscant. During the Jedi-Sith battle in the Temple, Malgus ends up in a fight against Jedi Master Ven Zallow, and it ends with Malgus killing Zallow by impaling him on his lightsaber. Soon, all of the Jedi are killed and the Sith Empire begins its attack on Coruscant. The Jedi Temple is then destroyed, burying all of the dead in it. Malgus expects a full-scale bombardment on Coruscant, but he learns from Darth Angral brings much contempt and disgust: the Empire was making a peace treaty with the Galactic Republic. Throughout the day, he secretly begins to suspect that his superiors, including the Sith Emperor, have brought doom upon the Empire by bringing about peace. Only through conflict can one's understanding of the Force be achieved and Malgus firmly believes this.
On Alderaan, where the Jedi and Sith are trying to work out the peace treaty, the Jedi delegation sense through the Force the horrors committed by the Sith on Coruscant. Despite this, or rather because of it, as the Sith are using the capture of Coruscant as leverage in the peace talks, the negotiations continue, much to the chagrin of Jedi Knight Aryn Leneer who had sensed her Master Zallow's death in the Force. Aryn then secretly turns her back on the Jedi Order to go to Coruscant, find out who killed Zallow, and kill the murderer. To get to the recently captured Coruscant, however, she enlists the help of former Republic soldier, now spice runner, Zeerid Korr. Zeerid, meanwhile, also needs to get to Coruscant in order to deliver a shipment of engspice on time for a criminal organization called The Exchange. Unfortunately for Zeerid, he is spied upon by the likes of former Imperial sniper Vrath Xizor, who is working for the Hutts, who are rivals of The Exchange. Knowing that Zeerid is supposed to deliver the engspice to Coruscant, Vrath arrives to Coruscant ahead of time from Aryn and Zeerid to tell Darth Malgus, now overseer of the Imperial blockade, of Aryn and Zeerid's arrival on Coruscant. Malgus heeds Vrath's provided information, and by the time Aryn and Zeerid arrive, Zeerid's ship, the Fatman, is attacked by the Sith fleet. It manages to get to Coruscant, but it is soon blown out of the sky. Aryn and Zeerid survive thanks to Aryn's use of the Force, and they land relatively safely to Coruscant's surface.
Though Zeerid failed to deliver his shipment of engspice, he still agrees to help Aryn in her investigation as to who killed Zallow. They travel underground through the Works and follow the late Zallow's astromech droid companion T7-O1 to get to the underground recordings of the Temple by the time of the attack. Aryn learns that it was Malgus who killed Zallow, and vows to avenge her Master. Zeerid, meanwhile, wishes to find a spacecraft that can get him back to his home planet of Vulta so he can get to his daughter, Arra Yooms, before The Exchange reach her. Since The Exchange can very well kill Arra and her aunt, Natala, because of Zeerid's debts to them, and because Varth Xizor learned of Zeerid's family by spying on him, Arra and Natala could very well be in danger.
Soon, as Aryn returns to the destroyed Jedi Temple, she confronts Darth Malgus, who had been waiting for her since he learned that she was looking for him in vengeance for Master Zallow's death. Their fight is cut short before a clear winner can be determined when Zeerid arrives to pick Aryn up, as killing Malgus in vengeance will lead Aryn down a dark path. Aryn only agrees so that she can get a greater vengeance on Malgus by targeting his Twi'lek lover, Eleena Daru, so that he will know the pain that Aryn suffered when Master Zallow died. Both Aryn and Zeerid find their respective goals at a spaceport, where Aryn prepares to kill Eleena, but finds that killing her would disgrace everything that Master Zallow taught her. She again confronts Malgus just as Zeerid leaves with a ship of his own, which just so happens to be the ship owned by Vrath Xizor. Zeerid and Vrath get into a fight in the ship's cargo hold, and Zeerid wins the fight by beating Vrath to a bloody pulp. After Zeerid takes over the ship, the Imperial blockade allows him to leave under Malgus's permission after Aryn threatened to kill Eleena if he didn't let Zeerid go. Afterward, Zeerid kills Vrath by shoving him out of the ship's air lock so that he wouldn't be able to tell The Exchange or anyone else about Arra and Natala's relation to Zeerid.
Malgus defeats Aryn in their second fight, but instead of killing her, he allows her to leave Coruscant after she spared Eleena's life. Malgus then kills Eleena after confessing his love to her, seeing her as a weakness to himself that he can no longer afford to worry himself over.
In the aftermath, a peace treaty is signed between the Republic and the Empire, and the latter disbands its occupation of Coruscant. In his disappointment over how peace will reign through the galaxy as a result, Malgus intends to take over the Empire himself, starting by killing his political rival Lord Adraas. Zeerid, meanwhile, is able to buy a farm and prosthetic legs for his daughter Arra, who lives with her now while Natala has a place of her own. Aryn eventually finds Zeerid, telling him that she quit the Jedi Order so that she can be with him.
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