Continuing along on this re-introduction of characters ten years later routine, we run into Johun again. Johun is spending his time with Valorum still, despite the fact that Valorum hasn’t been Chancellor for a few years now. At the moment, he is acting as his bodyguard on his visit to, that’s right, Serenno. Valorum is hoping that he can persuade the wealthy of the planet to stop backing anti-republic separist groups so that the republic will thrive. And of course, Valorum is just the man Zannah has tricked her small group of rebels to strike out at.
Arriving on Serenno, Valorum and Johun see a small group of people waiting for them that they assume are servants of the merchant they are there to see. Whoops. Instead they get attacked and their ship gets blown up. No big deal. Johun is a jedi so he just kills all of them. This is an interesting moment. Johun, again a jedi remember, supposedly is spending most of his time upholding cultures and is generally considered to be one of the “good” guys. Except that with absolutely no mercy he kills every single person that attempts to attack him. There is even a moment where he disarms a person and then stabs them in the chest with his lightsaber. Why not capture them? Put them on trial? At least you might get some answers.
After Johun’s man slaughtering act we encounter Darth Bane and Zannah. Zannah goes into a tantrum about not understanding why they sent the insurgents on an obviously doomed mission and Bane points out the same routine about distracting the jedi and the republic and then orders Zannah to get him more supplies because he destroyed their camp in a holocron-rage. I still don’t understand what Bane’s plan for making the sith some glorious empire again is. So far all he does is waste his time making a memory machine and getting eaten by insects.
Zannah goes off to the city, lets herself get captured by the two remaining insurgents and is swept off to their leader, Hetton’s place. Things get momentarily interesting. Hetton has a family crest composed of a 8 pointed gold star and has guards that wear full red cloaks and helmets. I imagine they are like the guards we see briefly in …what Empire Strikes Back? Return of the Jedi? I have no idea. Anyway, I guess maybe this is a partial origin of them.
Turns out! Hetton has dark side abilities too and is approximately 50 years old. He and his mother decided to use his abilities to their advantage when he was around 20 and hired out a force wielding mercenary to teach him the dark ways. Eventually he grew stronger than the mercenary and killed him. Followed shortly thereafter with the murder of his mother because she wanted him to join the Brotherhood. He was not interested. However, Hetton isn’t very strong and when he discovers Zannah is a sith apprentice he drops to his knees and asks her to be his master. And while the book has the opportunity to move in a much steamier direction at this point, it does not take that opportunity. Perhaps to the disappointment to many a reader. Also Hetton has a ton of ancient sith artifacts, and conveniently knows the location of the old jedi homeworld, Tython, which contains the secrets to building a holocron. All Zannah has to do is agree to take him on as an apprentice and kill Darth Bane. No big deal.
Then we see Johun again, now in the company of Farfalla. Johun convinced Valorum to construct a memorial to his old master Hoth as a reward for saving his life on Serenno. Farfalla thinks this is a pretty bad move but ultimately just acquiesces to it since there’s nothing he can do anyway. One stipulation to this is that Johun has to actually go to Ruusan, which is where the memorial is being built. I guess he’ll probably run into one-handed Darovit there. Who knows what will happen!
Best Moment: In Farfalla’s (whose last name is Valenthyne, have we discussed that yet?) office, hanging on the wall, is a gigantic four-piece tapestry depicting his journey from Padawan to Jedi Master.
Worst Moment: Why would Zannah even want to overthrow Bane this early in the game? Does she really think she’s going to become the dark lord of the sith at age 20? Motivations be damned! Let’s do it!