|Grandmaster Tapar Craken
|Talya Craken (Deceased)
|Charles Patrick Craken (Deceased)
| Alexander Craken (MIA)
Michael Craken (Deceased)
Kalay Craken (Location unknown)
|Year -17 Day 117 (age 27)
| Blonde hair
| Krath Dynasty
|Lord Paramount of the Rift
| Hapes Consortium
Life on Corellia
Born on the Imperial-Held world of Corellia, Tapar's father, Charles Patrick Craken, was a famous scientist and ship designer who'd been responsible for vital breakthroughs in fighter design concepts as a young man during the Clone Wars. Tapar's mother, Talya Craken, was a well regarded flight and avionics systems programmer. Times had been tough on Corellia following the founding of the 'New Order', and the Crakens, like many Corellians, had no love for the Imperials, but at the same time, they did recognize the stability the New Order provided Corellia, even if it was at the cost of personal freedoms. Aside from that, imperial forces were always looking at developing better weapons of war, and were quite willing to pay large sums for them... A ship designer's dream. But even with the marked dislike the Craken's had for the imperials, their eldest son, Alexander, pursued his dreams of being a fighter pilot and entered service with the Empire, graduating from the academyin year -3. The Crakens had four children, the youngest being Michael and Kalay, who were two and four years younger then Tapar and eight and ten years younger than Allexander. With Alexander away doing his duty as a pilot, Tapar was faced with increased responsibilities in regards to his younger siblings, and assisting their father with his continued work, Tapar met these duties with grim determination and maturity.
It was often remarked at meetings and planning boards how much Tapar resembled his father, and was even beginning to follow in his footsteps. Tapar was an excellent student, partially due to his Father's tough but firm approach to parenting, and partially due to natural intelligence and a quick mind. At the age of fifteen, Tapar earned his pilot's license and was an above average pilot. Through hard work and an unrivaled memory, Tapar was able to get ahead of his age group in school, allowing him to graduate early and begin studying ship design and basic engineering at the prestigious Coronet University, graduating with honors at the age of seventeen. He immediately went to work with his father designing fighters, specializing in engines and airframes. This he did to great ability, having an eye for design and simplifying power and control surface layouts. Shortly after Tapar graduated from university, the family received a holonet message from Imperial Fleet Regional Headquarters in Elrood, informing them that that Alexander, Tapar's older brother, had been shot down in a skirmish in the Outer Rim. Although he had been listed as Missing in Action he was presumed dead, though the body would never be found.. The family grieved for their eldest, and Tapar found that he had gained yet more burden in regards to his younger siblings, his job as a technician and engineer, and his world as a whole. The Craken's mourned a son lost in a conflict they saw no merit in, serving a Government they had begun to resent. Tapar's father, blaming cheap, mass production imperial designs for the death of his eldest, threw himself into designing a new interceptor and for the next six months practically lived in his office.
Not a year later the Craken's suffered another tragedy, this time taking his father and mother in a freak research accident involving a the nearly production ready prototype of the interceptor design. The Prototype had seemed very promising, his father claimed it would change the face of fighter-space combat forever, and the imps had been very generous with the credits. Following the massive explosion which claimed more then thirty lives and half the starport that had been in use for the engine tests, an investigation was launched by imperial forces and CorSec, who suspected sabotage. The teams of imperial scientists and assorted experts went over everything related to the fighter, it's manufacture, and the spaceport. In the end, they kept all of the vital information regarding the design, and the official investigation into the accident determined that the weapons systems had been defective, but that they hadn't contributed to the explosion that morning. The official conclusion was sabotage, though no leads in regards to the identities of the saboteur were ever discovered. The Imperials officially wrote the design off as a failure and cut funding to it, effectively killing the XN-371 program, even while they retained everything that the program had done.
The funeral and other expenses ate up what was left of the family's money leaving Tapar and his younger siblings with next to nothing. The absence of his elder brother and any other immediate family left Tapar in charge of the estate, which he was forced to sell most of to cover debts. One of the harshest blows came when he was forced to sell the family R&D firm to his father's rival to keep it running. He continued to work there to provide a living and a chance at survival for his brother and sister, but after two years, after his younger sister had reached the age of majority, he decided for a change in pace, and quit.
Tapar found transport off of Corellia in a move he later saw as brash and came to regret, abandoning his siblings in a momnet of grief and pain. He took the position of Director of R&D for Colonial Shipworks, an up and coming ship producer based out of Naboo, a place much different from his home on Corellia. Tapar excelled in his new environment overseeing the development of theoretical designs that would further Colonial's market power, chiefly the theoretical design of the J-327b, a gunship adaptation of the older luxury design though it didn't reach design completion before things would change again. Tapar wasn't just a scientist, though, he also worked to further his piloting skills, especially his proficiency with Capital Warships. It was the duty of all personnel to be ready to defend Colonial's holdings and assets, a duty which saw Tapar take part in the Battle of Muntro Codro, where he commanded the Y-Wing squadron that disabled Malchevic's YT-1300, and flew patrol for the Colonial's flagship The Ephual Duath, often in situations where he was outnumbered seven to one. Later, during celebrations aboard the Ephel Duath, he was promoted to Vice President of Colonial Shipworks for his hard work in both the R&D department and his skilled use of tactics in the actions above Muntro Cudro. In a more private setting following the announcement Thraken Solo revealed that he had felt the Force in Tapar, and offered to train him. Tapar was not a fool, his boss was a Sith Master.. and Tapar had no true knowledge of the Jedi, nor faith in their teachings. Without a second thought, he accepted.
For a time, things went well, although there had been rumors of a change in ownership at Colonial. Tapar had known of this ever since the battle at Muntro Cudro. A short period after his promotion Thraken Solo, leader and Owner of Colonial Shipworks, had offered him a freelance position in a pirate unit which Tapar accepted knowing that he'd have to leave ship design and peaceful pursuits behind for the time being. For several months they skirted along the fringe of the galaxy, preying on merchant shipping and small colonies, but this was yet another short transitory period, and things changed again.
A stint in Hapes
Tapar and his comrades were offered commissions in Hapes after Thraken negotiated with the Hapan Military, this was an opportunity Tapar had not forseen decided not to pass up, it was a chance to increase his aptitude with military operations and would give him some familiarity with Hapan ship design. His service to Hapes began in the RHN, where he commanded the Dreadnaught class Cruiser/carrier HRS Conqueror and eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant, becoming the most junior ranked Fleet XO in Hapan history. Tapar served faithfully, nearly seeing service against the Horizon Corporation at the Battle of Ingo before the sudden withdrawal of Horizon forces. But not all things last forever, and Tapar soon found himself wanting something more. After several months in the fleet, Tapar requested, and received a transfer to HMI, Hapan Ministry of Intelligence, where he served in the shadows until his resignation from the Consortium for reasons undisclosed.
Refounding the Krath
After leaving Hapes, Tapar joined Thraken Solo and Kal Fisto in reforming the ancient Order of the Krath. Though the celebration was short lived, as almost immediately upon the formation of the Krath, the Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Vodo Bonias, declared the Krath to be the enemies of the empire and it's three dark jedi to be renegades, subject to immediate death. In the months after the re-formation of the Krath, Tapar rose steadily as a senior member, providing input on planning, and helping to develop tactics and strategy. At the same time, Tapar learned of dark things afoot at home, and found himself unable to reach close family members and old friends. Upon further investigation, Tapar found records detailing the execution of his younger brother, Michael, for 'Ties to subversive entities,' though he never discovered his sister's fate. This pushed Tapar even further into the embrace of the darkside, it's power beckoning him. If not for an unusual series of events which saw Thraken Solo leave the very group he had founded, Tapar may have lost himself to hatred and anger forever. After the Order changed hands from Thraken Solo to Mystiel Raleigh, Tapar was essentially in the position of second in command, a position he personallly enjoyed, the power feeding into his darkside tendencies. Not long after wards, Mystiel left Tapar in charge of the Order, his goals and alliances left him with little time to lead the Order personally. Tapar declared himself Grandmaster of the Order following a visitation from Krath himself, where Tapar was informed that he would lead the Order to glory. Shortly after this, Mystiel Raleigh announced his retirement from the the public realm (for a time), leaving Tapar with full control of the Order...
Unfortunately for the Krath, Mystiel Raleigh had also been visited by Krath, and although no one save Mystiel knows what was said, the aftermath will never be forgotten... Mystiel invoked ancient suicide rites and joined Krath in the realm beyond. For the next six months, Tapar found his voice steadily replaced and turned out by that of a younger member, Frezt Raleigh. Time went by, and the intensity of relations with the Kathol Republic slowly grew, eventually seeing the Krath join them as allies of a sort. Thoughts in the Krath High Council gradually took a more subversive tone, and eventually, the Krath had managed to subvert the most basic runnings of the Kathol Republic. Before Tapar could see anything come of it, he was visited again by a manifestation of Krath. Krath asked Tapar what purpose his hate and rage served, what good were they in service to his lord? Tapar could find no suitable answer, and when he admitted this, Krath charged him with a very simple task. He was to show his faith, and to find his faith. The first by relinquishing his position and the second by embarking on a journey, heading in the direction that Krath's pull was strongest. He was informed that for a time, he would lose his standing as the highest figure of the Krath, but that he would regain it, and stand higher than ever before. Tapar acknowledged Krath then as the only lord, the only god, and made his preparations for departure, giving his High council a mere moments notice.
The trip he had embarked on eventually pulled him first to the unknown regions, but from there he traveled into what many consider the galactic void, that which exists between galaxies. However, Tapar found amongst the bleak featureless darkness a small number of solar systems, of which he briefly traveled on several, armed only with a walking staff and the force. These worlds, though they seemed semi habitable, were completely devoid of life. So on he traveled, until he came to a small galaxy, much smaller then the one he had called home, and seemingly impossibly close, orbiting his home galaxy. There, he came across several worlds which blazed intensely in the force, stronger then any feeling he'd ever had from a planet before.
Landing on the first, he found not a sprawling modern civilization, but rather a medieval agrarian one. The most unsual part was the impossible mix of races, the planet being inhabited by everything from Humans to Zeltron and a fair many others he coudn't identify. Puzzled, Tapar investigated, and he came to several startling conclusions, including one which almost never saw him leave, for he had found a place where he could have peace. There he spent many weeks observing the locals and trying to decipher their ways, coming to the eventual conclusion that they were followers of Krath of a sort. Slowly, he began to reveal himself and eventually met with the head of the religious order on the planet. Tapar was startled to learn his presence had been expected not for days, or months, but rather centuries. He began to learn their way of balance, their way of viewing and serving Krath. This eventually led him to the construction of a new lightsaber using a gem that was rare anywhere else, was almost unusually common on this world. If not for the reason for his pilgrimage, Tapar would likely have remained, content to study and forget the conflicts of his home.
Krath however, still had work for Tapar, and pulled him thusly. So he re-embarked his ship and set out once more. For three months he had been gone when he came across what felt to him to be 'Chaos' in it's purest form, a world burning with the ugly feeling of it. This world Tapar avoided, for it felt of death. The next place Tapar came to felt sterile and dead, but completely ordered, nothing changing. This world Tapar also avoided, for fear of what had caused it to be so void of life. Eventually Tapar came to an empty world, but unlike the barren worlds he had encountered in the void, this one was covered in temples and monuments, and it pulled especially heavily on Tapar. Landing, he made his way to the highest point of the highest temple, and there he was once again visited by Krath. His isolation had changed him, and what he had seen had shaped him, Krath now had his champion. At great length, Krath told Tapar that the Krath had fallen from the true path, that their beliefs now sullied the idea of balance. Krath charged Tapar with correcting this, as well as the mountainous task of assembling and training Krath faithful in the ways of the force, and loyalty to none higher then Krath. Tapar bowed and acknowledged his task, and gave his word that he would carry it out, though he asked if he would be permitted to once again visit the world on which he had found his peace. Krath granted Tapar a mere week of solace, but minded him that time was of the essence.
Rebirth of a Religion
Tapar spent his week on the world who's name he still wasn't quite certain of, his mind at peace and his heart content. He learned the world's more simple ways, even going so far as to start learning how to shape metal using a simple hammer and fire, something his early training in engineering ensured he'd be a quick study of. Tapar meditated, blacksmithed, and discussed religious theory with the planet's monks, who were also devout followers of Krath. For the first time in many years, Tapar felt as if he were at home. However, a week is a very short period of time, and as it drew to a close, Tapar resolved himself to the task he'd been given. He said his farewells to the local monks, promising to send more disciples of Krath to learn his ways and prove themselves worth, and made his way back to where he'd hidden his ship. Embarking Tapar set out taking the same course back that he'd taken to get to the planet, eventually arriving once again in the galaxy proper.
Upon crossing back into the unknown Regions, Tapar felt a heavy pull upon him, compelling him to take a course apart from the one he had originally intended to travel. This course led him to the world of Dantooine, where he was once again compelled to land on the surface of a world by Krath. Landing in a deep forest, Tapar followed the pull of his ethereal master, until at last he found a cave literally covered in pure adegan crystals. Tapar wandered about the cave admiring the gems until it was dark out, and a return trip to his ship not advisable. Using his cloak as a makeshift bedroll, Tapar slept amongst the crystals, and found himself assaulted by visions that night. When he awoke the next day, Tapar felt both a compulsion to stay, and the feeling of a presence growing ever closer. It was not long before a young lady entered the cave, appearing cautious about entering the cavern system at first, she almost instantly lost all of the tension in her body when she came to the section where the crystals started to become common. The girl was gifted with the force, and felt to Tapar of both innocence and an internal harmony of balance that many lacked, force sensitive or not. Approaching her, Tapar learned that her name was Aseniel, and that she had felt an unusual tug, compelling her towards this very cave. Together they discussed the nature of the force, and Tapar began teaching her the ways of Krath, the ways of balance. Aseniel was the perfect choice to train in the lightside, and she quickly grasped what little he had time to teach her before they both had to leave the caves. Leaving her with ways to contact him, and with information on how reach her as well, helping her gain ascension into the Jedi Order, and continuing her instruction in the ways of Krath, the ways he'd learned and meditated on during his pilgrimage, the ways of balance.
Tapar departed from Dantooine determined and positive, ready to fix the problems Krath had sent him visions of, and his experiences had taught him were not the true path. Six months after departing for the space beyond the fringe, Tapar returned to the Krath. There he found to his own horror that his lord had told nothing but truth, and that he himself had helped things arrive at the way they were. Grimly setting to work, Tapar threw much of what had become acknowledged as Krath Religion out, and set to work notating what he'd learned and observed.
War and Alliances
Tapar's return threw Krath into chaos, for he brought back with him new teachings and new ideas. Some cast aspersions on him, or sought to otherwise undermine his efforts. But Tapar persevered, remembering that his task came from Krath directly and that he could not fail. With time and effort he was able to work the changes he sought, and once again found himself in the position of primacy not only within the Order, but now within the Krath government, a result of the work carried out before he had departed that had culminated in, essentially, a coup within the Kathol Republic that firmly handed power to the Krath. The new theocratic government faced it's share of challenges, however, including aggression on multiple fronts from the Anzati and Mandalorians. The first Tapar faced directly, engaged Anzat in a vicious, short campaign on Eldavorn. Anzat's King, Wilhelm von Ismay, reacted poorly to the dark tidings he received from the battlefront, and began to mutter equally dark things in response. Still, Tapar pressed the advantage, offering Anzat peace on terms that utterly favored the Krath, knowing that Wilhelm also faced a Mandalorian offensive and would buckle under the pressure. Tapar hadn't expected, however, that the strain would drive Wilhelm mad. The Mad King began to rant, to rave, and to undermine his own negotiator's peace efforts by trying to have Tapar assassinated. His madness an ugly, dangerous thing, and the strain and pressure of two wars hitting hard, Wilhelm was killed in an Anzati palace coup led by his own wife. In the aftermath, peace was quickly agreed, and Tapar added a victory to his honors.
The defeat of Anzat earned Krath some small recognition, but it also helped shape Tapar's goals. He realized Krath couldn't stand alone, that they didn't have the warships to truly defend what they had gained. He knew he could not look to the Imperials, they were still the hated foe. That left an option open that might otherwise have been closed... And Tapar approached the Galactic Alliance. In a showing of statesmanship and pure will, Tapar managed to win Krath's place within the Alliance and quickly went to work cementing it and increasing Krath's power. Over the next few years, Tapar would slowly work Krath more directly into the fiber of the Galactic Alliance, and the Alliance into Krath. It was not easy, as Krath was seen as outsiders, as essentially sith by another name... These issues Tapar tackled, and Krath threw it's self into the Alliance war effort, bringing recognition and glory to Tapar, Krath and the Aliance in turn. It was not by any means a one man job however, amongst other Krath working towards this goal was Hawwi Joshe, an indomitable Krath Warrior and Paladin whom Tapar greatly respected and enjoyed working with.
As with all things, life for Tapar ebbed and flowed. He devoted himself to his people to the very limit of his capabilities, and with time this effort began to tell on him. Mindful of the end oif the Mad King, Tapar opted to take a break, to retire for a time from direct leadership of Krath and devote himself again to study of the Force and Balance. He did this on the edge of the Galaxy, knowing he would not be able to find his way to the mysterious planetary grouping again withotu Krath's guidance. Still, the very edge was close enough, and it gave him a sense of peace to meditate there. In time, however, he knew he had to return, and set course once more for Shesharile and home.
Upon his arrival in system, he was greeted with a message from Lord Commander Grevendar Togl, eager to hear of his return and hopeful that Tapar would be resuming his post. There were changes in the wind, amongst them the fruition of a long term Krath plan.. The formation of the Rift Alliance...
|Leader of the Krath Dynasty
Year 13 Day 95 —