- "Onderon will be the prelude to my eventual victory. Prepare yourselves, for now is the time that the Cult of Shadow will reveal to the galaxy just how powerful the Dark Side can be!"
- — Sivter to the assembled members of the Cult of Shadow.
The Battle of Onderon was the first conflict in the Cult of Shadow's campaign to dominate the galaxy. Instead of the battle being a victory through the deaths of the Jedi Order's followers, it was intended to grant the Dark Lord Sivter access to the secret information kept within the bowels of the Jedi Praxeum's Archives on Onderon.
In order to be successful, the Cult relied heavily on disabling surface communications as well as destroying the temple's shield generator through advance agents. With no fleet present to defend the planet, the Jedi Order was forced to fight solely on the ground, with very few ships docked around the Praxeum. None of these ships, however, would ever hope to leave the planet's atmosphere without getting shot down.
- "What do you two feel?"
"Death, anger.... so much anger."
- — Gideon Duthuras, Jatin Moraye, and Emaale Li
The battle began with the Cult's blockade of the world, and the subsequent sending of hordes of ground forces, primarily Dark Knights and Disciples. The objective was to overwhelm and keep the Jedi busy, while Sivter extracted the information he needed.
At first, the Cult was easily seen as the victor, until the Jedi were reorganized by the few Masters and stronger Jedi Knights present, and began to hold off the forward advance.
- "We will meet them on the battlefield and we will drive them back to the abyss that spawned them!"
- — Araya
The most intense fighting was centered around the Jedi Temple. A massive force of cult members, under the command of the Dark Lord Crix, managed to take down the temple's main doors in the opening minutes of battle. Strong Dark Knights, like Jethro Varik, also helped to establish a foothold that would never truly be taken back by the Jedi during the battle. With Crix leading the way, the Jedi were hard-pressed to try and find a way to stop them until Araya stepped forth and challenged the Dark Lord.
Araya managed to keep Crix occupied long enough to give the Jedi a chance to rally back. The Jedi were soon joined by Daer'Gunn and Qidak Aaia, helping to turn the tide of the battle against the Darksiders. Additional support from Cadden Blackthorne and Gideon Duthuras also bolstered the Jedi against the superior numbers of the cult.
- "Yes, show me what you’re capable of. Show me your strength before you die."
- — Arksis Nan to Renato Farani
A small but significant portion of the attacking force was assigned to the outskirts of the temple, under the command of the Dark Lord Arksis Nan. Their task was to keep any Jedi from escaping into the jungle. Tragically, it also meant the cult was well prepared when the Jedi sent the young and the other non-combatants into the jungle in the belief they would be safe from the attack. Many sent to safety were thusly killed by the waiting cult members.
Renato Farani, staying with the White Flame to protect those sent there, fled to be alone after the battle managed to bring out his worst qualities. He was forced to come to terms with himself quickly though as he soon sensed those at the White Flame being killed by Arksis Nan. Renato sent out a call for help even as he rushed to face Arksis. The young Jedi challenged the Dark Lord, but was no match for Arksis' power and was permanently blinded by the cult member's Sith sword in battle. Renato was only spared from death by Sivter's withdraw order. Arksis left his sword behind for Renato with the clear challenge that the Jedi bring it back to him one day.
Caitlin Voss, already in the jungle with a group of students when the Cult of Shadow attacked, was forced to take on three of the Darksiders alone while trying to keep the children hidden. She was only partially successful and if not for the actions of a young Jedi named Bornth sacrificing himself, the entire class would likely have been killed.
Apart from the fighting, but taking advantage of it, the Dark Knight Srissk used the battle to acquire several of Onderon's most dangerous animals without Jedi interference. He managed to work throughout the entire battle without interruption.
- "You’ve already failed, Jedi! My attack was a success. Everything the cult does here from this point on is only a bonus!"
- — Sivter to Faarel Blackthorne
Only three Jedi - Faarel Blackthorne, Jonji Fawkes, and Darien Vos - were on to the Cult's ultimate objective, and would face off with Sivter and Raii Meriaz in the Archives in a desperate attempt to keep the Dark Lord from taking the information he required.
The two Jedi aiding Faarel took down, but were unable to kill, Raii, as Darien was gravely wounded trying to protect Jonji. The two were forced to leave to seek medical attention. This left Sivter and Faarel to square off alone against each other. In terms of lightsaber combat, Faarel was destined to be the winner, but Sivter snuck in an attack with a dagger drenched with Sith Poison. The jab was fatal, and one that not even the strongest of Jedi could hope to recover from.
Faarel died moments later, in his son's arms. With the battle over, Cadden swore vengeance on the Dark Lord. He left the planet shortly afterwards, with Zan Fyar in pursuit, in hopes to convince him to return to Onderon.
Despite being overwhelmed and outmaneuvered throughout the entire battle, the Jedi Order still managed to hold its own - if at a heavy price. They were never able to successfully drive the Cult of Shadow off of Onderon on their own though as Sivter gave the withdraw order because he had acquired what he was after, not because of the losses the cult incurred. It should be noted that Sivter never planned to wipe out the Jedi at Onderon and didn’t care how many of his own people died in the attack.
The success of the Cult of Shadow at Onderon would come to convince the leadership of the Jedi Order that allies would be needed to help combat the emerging Darksider threats that the cult represented. It would, in fact, help to eventually bolster the power of the Jedi to levels not seen since before the Jedi Purge.
Meanwhile, the death of Faarel Blackthorne would have a profound effect on the Blackthorne family. His murder would touch off a chain of events that would not only see Cadden fall to the Dark Side, but also one of Cadden’s sons, Jerik.
The information Sivter obtained during the attack would also prove to have far-reaching consequences, turning the battle into a prelude for his War of Darkness.
These are the primary characters whom participated in the battle. They appear in alphabetical order.
- Cadden Blackthorne
- Caitlin Voss
- Darien Vos
- Emaale Li
- Faarel Blackthorne
- Gideon Duthuras
- Jatin Moraye
- Jonji Fawkes
- Qidak Aaia
- Renato Farani
- Zan Fyar