- "Life...is tough, no matter the path you walk. You have to be tough as beskar to be a real optimist, to look at the bright side despite the garbage piled on you day after day - and you have to be scum to be completely apathetic, to have every redeeming trait of sentient life cleanly exorcised out of you. You have to find the middle ground. It's the best that men like you and I can really do.
We walk that ground every day. A dozen of us fight for a dozen different reasons, against men with drives and goals not entirely unlike our own. Fighting for the sake of fighting, because it's all we know. When we walk into politics or relationships, we mess it up; we're warriors, fighters, not talkers. Some of us try to do good, but more often than not, we have to settle for not making things worse than they already are. We do our best, and we hope it's enough.
Men see my armor, and they know that I am Mandalorian, and they pass me off as a thug, as a brute mercenary who doesn't care about anything but himself. It's us Mandalorians versus the galaxy. Together, we stand alone in a galaxy that despises us, and it lets us know it every chance it can get - and it really weighs down on you after a while. You grow tired. You grow cynical. You just stumble from one battle to another, hoping, waiting for something.
And then, one day, fighting in a war for a reason you don't understand or a cause you don't believe in, on a side you can't say for sure is better than any other, you stumble across a town. Somebody else beat you there. The men are dead. The children are crying. The women are taken.
And then you remember why you picked up a gun in the first place, and you run out to bring those kids' mothers back to them."
- — Dante Erinith ~ Year 16
Dante Erinith, otherwise commonly known by the alias of Aegyl Seraf, is one of the only Echani currently operating publicly in the galaxy, if not the only one at all. Ostensibly born and raised on the desolate planet of Rhen Var by an Echani mother and a supposedly Mandalorian father, he adopted both cultures as he grew up, and for a long time struggled to balance the two out as he made his way in the galaxy. Upon becoming of age, he turned his attentions to matters of conflict and battle, rapidly proving himself to be something of a prodigy in that arena.
Raised on stories of the Galactic Empire, however, he took the earliest opportunity he could find to join up with them. While initially facing great difficulty due to his race and a lack of social graces, he eventually joined the Imperial Army, serving in a variety of capacities in the First Imperial Legion for four years. Over this time, however, he came to see what he viewed as the 'true face' of the Empire and became greatly disillusioned, coming to the realisation that the Empire he had grown up believing in was nothing more than a well crafted lie.
Betrayed and finding himself fleeing from the Empire's agents after being dishonourably discharged and declared a traitor, Dante re-examined his loyalties, and over a course of years apparently came to the conclusion that he would never again blindly follow another. From then on, he explored the galaxy with only a few companions and assets to his name, becoming an assassin and mercenary for hire in the less civilised and known areas of space and making a point out of remaining 'just another face', staying away from the affairs of the social elite - an effort that has largely been successful, with there having been precious little confirmed information about him and his activities up to around Year 20.
Early in year 18, however, he was discovered by a previously unknown individual, since revealed to be the infamous Anzati Matriarch Kira Morbus, to be Force Sensitive. A short time later, he declared his abandonment of the Mandalorian culture and instead began to walk the Jedi Path. Sometime around the beginning of Year 19, he was confirmed as being a member of the Jedi Order, in training under Hal Gevant of the Jedi Council. Despite still merely a Padawan at the time and in training, by the time of Year 20 he became considered something of an icon of the Jedi Order among various galactic circles.
This was however not to last. Disagreement with the Council led to a stalling of his advancement in the Order, further catalysed by Dante's continued activity in the galaxy at large, many times overstepping what the Order felt was appropriate for a Jedi Padawan. Dante, in turn, became increasingly critical of what he saw as a passive Jedi Order that refused to make a stand and was content simply to exist. Frustrated with the Jedi Order, and ostracised by a number of its more judgemental or hardline members, Dante ultimately tendered his own exile late in Year 20 as things reached a boiling point, leaving on terms that while were not outright hostile were not entirely friendly either.
Initially finding partnership with Kara DuMonte and the Veilhal Nomads, treachery and betrayal saw both come to an abrupt end, ensuring that Dante's path remained a solitary one. While he has since found a place with the Stryker Military Services as of Year 21, it is understood that his relationship with them is more amicable as opposed to servile; while he performs favours for them, he largely attends to his own affairs, pursuing the life of a Jedi in the galaxy at large.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early Life
- 1.2 In His Footsteps
- 1.2.1 One Man of Two Worlds (Year 9)
- 1.2.2 Project Bastion (Year 9 to Year 10)
- 1.2.3 Facing the Force (Year 10)
- 1.2.4 Meeting the New Republic (Year 10)
- 1.2.5 Immortals Broken (Year 11)
- 1.2.6 The Coup (Year 11 to Year 12)
- 1.2.7 A New Empire (Year 12)
- 1.2.8 A Memory of Warmth (Year 13)
- 1.2.9 Dereliction of Duty (Year 13)
- 1.3 Out of His Shadow
- 1.4 Remembering how to Walk
- 1.5 To be a Jedi
- 1.6 The Road Continues
- 2 Personal Information
- 3 Career
The following documentation is the product of a series of research products by select scholars, journalists, tabloid writers and other individuals of varying levels of repute. Due to the individual whom this documentation concerns, hard facts and information are in limited supply, especially during the earlier periods of his life; the majority of information about the man commonly known as Dante Erinith takes the form of rumors, anecdotes, hearsay, and speculation. As such, the reader is advised to read with caution and come to his or her own conclusions regarding the contents of this article.
When asked for comment, one of the journalists jokingly commented that:
This documentary on the man who calls himself "Dante Erinith" was meticulously reconstructed by a crack research team with the aid of eyewitness accounts, government files and recordings, bathroom gossip, wild speculation, and a magic eightball.
Consequentially, the writers of this article accept no responsibility for impugned reputation, wounded feelings, disagreeable claims or treasonous statements that may be caused or derived from this article. The information has been compiled and reconstructed as best as the writers were able, without bias or ulterior motive. It is what it is, folks.
Childhood (Year -13 to Year 6)
|The Dead World, Rhen Var|
- "In death, I am born."
- — Mandalorian Proverb
The wake of the First Galactic Civil War brought with it much chaos and devastation. Most elements of this are well documented, and oft spoken of; the damage to galactic infrastructure, logistical crises striking the newly born Galactic Empire, military shortages in various corners of the galaxy, the spread of disease and famine as medical supplies were in short supply, and on it goes. However, one of the least discussed yet nevertheless pivotal elements of the war's immediate aftermath involves the loss of information.
Quite aside from the files, repositories and libraries that were destroyed during the chaos or lost during logistical failures, information and star charts were also lost. Hyperspace lanes disappeared, galactic co-ordinates were misplaced, and with the destruction of many vessels came the absence of planetary information. Entire star systems were lost to the void, and one of the continual tasks of scouts and adventurers the galaxy over remains the discovery of long last star systems, and the return of their populations to the galactic scene.
According to accounts, even during the heyday of the Galactic Republic Rhen Var was a planet of mixed interest. It was one of a host of so-called "dead planets"; worlds that, for one reason or another, had ceased to be viable for proper habitation, whether that be due to natural disaster or some other cause. In Rhen Var's case, it had once been a verdant, temperate world inhabited to at least some degree by the vaunted Jedi Order, as evidenced by the large number of ancient stone temples and ruins that dot its landscape.
However, a cataclysm of unknown cause led to the planet undergoing a flash freeze; mountains, oceans and plains alike were instantly frozen, as evidenced by the waves that can still be found. No vegetation or natural fauna can be found, and while the atmosphere is breathable to most species, inhospitable cold comparable to Hoth and the absence of valuable raw materials has long since led to no serious population growth on the planet. According to records, before its departure from the galactic scene the planet saw only rare treasure hunters and the occasional hermits as inhabitants.
It was in these desolate circumstances that the man who would later call himself Dante Erinith was born, at some point during Year -13.
|Impression of Elia Erinith, Arms Dealer|
Of Dante's father there is precious little information, with even those close to the man apparently knowing little. However, what is known is that the elusive figure was, or is, supposedly a Sith Lord of no small power, who would later become a significant figure in the Galactic Empire.
Information concerning his mother, however, is in decidedly greater supply. An Echani by name of Elia Erinith, she had originally been a Jedi Knight in good standing with the Jedi Order. However, with the onset of civil war between the Republic and the Confederacy of Independent Systems, she was among a select number of Jedi who spoke up against their involvement in what she saw as a political engagement, arguing that the Jedi were not soldiers and had a greater purpose, and that the Jedi were being pulled into the war by outside forces. While some such as Master Bodo Baas listened and ultimately investigated the potential of Sith involvement, Elia by this point had already parted ways from the Jedi Order in defiance.
While her reasons are unknown, she in time became an arms dealer, establishing a network of contacts and suppliers across the galaxy; while speculative, it is believed that this had been done in pursuit of her own investigation. This would further go on to explain how she encountered the man who would later become Dante's father. Whatever the how's and why's, at some point the two withdrew to the planet Rhen Var, and it was here that Dante in turn was born and raised.
To call Dante's childhood a difficult one would be the very definition of an understatement. By all accounts, Rhen Var is an unforgiving planet dependent on outside sources of food, where lingering outside for any length of time held a very real risk of permanent injury, be that in the form of frostbite or worse. However, his parents were apparently not content to simply let their child survive.
He had to thrive.
For reasons known only to himself, Dante's father elected to raise Dante in the manner of the Mandalorian peoples, for all intents and purposes making him one of them. As such, he learned early the ways of weaponry and armour, both how to wield them and how to maintain them, as well as the use of their various advanced gadgets and armour-mounted weapons. As his father came to and from the planet with needed supplies and information on the civil war as it raged, Elia Erinith taught her son what she knew of the criminal underworld, the ways of the galaxy, and most significantly the martial arts of the Echani peoples.
Dante's toys were blasters and swords. His constant childhood companion was his helmet. His young friends were not people, but the whistling birds and wrist rockets of the Mandalorians. And where most children could play in the woods or had playgrounds to run in, Dante's entertainments were obstacle courses and hand-to-hand drills, and he had not woods but the desolate, freezing wastelands of Rhen Var to exercise in.
However, despite their shared capability with the Force, accounts suggest that Dante learned little of such things from his parents; indeed, according to Dante himself, his father shielded him from the Force, rendering him for all purposes unsensitive to the Force. While he learned the lore of the Jedi, the form and function of a Lightsaber and the intricacies of the Force, he did not learn how to use such things himself. His parents' reasons for this are subject to interpretation, but the prevailing opinion is that this early exposure to and severance from the Force was intended to strengthen him, rather than render him dependent upon it at an early age.
Related to this, rumours persist that his father, for whatever reason, altered him on some level with Sith Alchemy. While this would certainly explain some of his capabilities and later events, proving or disproving this has proven nigh impossible.
Whatever the reality of it, Dante's education remained his constant, and he knew little else for the majority of his young life. As the civil war came to an end and the Galactic Empire was installed, and the Jedi Order and Galactic Republic alike came crashing down, Dante learned of these happenings and how the galaxy was changing, with his father in particular endorsing the Empire and its practices. As Dante aged, his father became increasingly distant, until at some point during Year -2 his father parted ways with Elia Erinith and left the two behind on Rhen Var. Just as suddenly, his mother began to take ill, with her condition rapidly worsening to the point of incapability. The eleven year-old Dante was thus left to fend for himself, with his mother increasingly unable to care for him and the supplies his father brought rapidly diminishing.
|Survival in the Wastes|
Necessity demanded that he engage with the treasure hunters, hermits, smugglers and other offworld travellers that rarely came to Rhen Var, as they were the sole source of food on the planet. Cautious of identification and disdainful of his father's name, it was at this point that he took up the alias of "Dante Erinith", choosing his mother's name over his father's. Depending on his combat skill and the criminal knowledge his mother had taught him, Dante's life became one of favours for favours, performing whatever tasks and rendering what assistance he had to in order to secure precious food and power supplies to ensure continued survival.
Often, these tasks required him to delve deep into Rhen Var's landscape, be that long days trekking across the wastes or delving into the Jedi ruins that dotted the planet. Dante's education became self taught as he learned how to survive in the inhospitable environment, making the most of limited supplies and identifying ways to increase his chances of success, however small they may be. It was during these days that Dante took his first life, the first time he wielded a weapon in combat being to gun down a pirate who attacked one of his smuggler contacts.
His reputation in the local community grew, such as it was; his services became demanded, as he proved himself able to endure where others could not. And despite his youth, he became known as somebody dangerous enough not to cross, securing his future as a pathfinder and scout on the otherwise impassable planet.
While difficult, Dante's life entered a period of some stability. And while the strive to survive was always a consideration, this newfound stability gave him time to consider, and to reflect. And as the months and years passed, the boy became a man.
In time, Elia Erinith's condition worsened to the point of her being rendered comatose. Desperate, Dante resorted to using a dilapidated medical room within one of the Jedi ruins he had previously explored, using the old technology within to place his mother into a state of hypersleep; for all intents and purposes, she had been lost to him. Completely alone for the first time in his life, Dante ultimately made the decision to leave his homeworld behind and pursue his father, in hope of answers. Leaning on his reputation and the good will he had built up over the years, Dante resorted to acquiring passage upon one of the smuggler vessels that rarely came to Rhen Var.
Shatter Zero (Year 8)
|The rocky infrastructure of Mygeeto, heavily damaged from years of war|
- "And here I am, stuck with a Mandalorian who's never flown so much as a barge before. Who'd I piss off in a past life?"
"You wanna activate the guns while you're wetting yourself back there?"
"Oh, sure, bully the jawa, everyone else does! We die now or in five minutes when you crash us into a mountain. What's the difference?"
- — Zuzz Ajim & Dante Erinith during lift off
Precisely where it was that Dante Erinith departed to after leaving Rhen Var is unknown. What is known, however, was that two years of adventure followed. Lacking a ship of his own, and untrained in their use, Dante's itineraries were dependent on those around him; payment for travel and public pathways were common. This did not matter overmuch, however, for his goal was information. About his father, yes, but about more than that as well.
Dante had lived his entire live dependent on what his parents designed to tell him, and the limited information and news brought in by smugglers and pirates. And no small part of him seized upon this opportunity to find out for himself what lay beyond his homeworld.
By this time, the Rebellion was in full swing, having given rise to the Second Galactic Civil War, the conflict which would go on to dominate a large portion of Dante's adult life. While old news to the galaxy at large, their existence was new to Dante himself, and the cause no small confusion; raised on the Galactic Empire's greatness, it was baffling to him that there was those who would seek a return to democratic process and the comparative anarchy that the rule of the Galactic Republic amounted to. However, he felt no great loyalty to this Empire for all that he had been told and felt no need to rush to its defense, and so his search for information continued.
The Rebellion's rise and continued conflict with the Empire provided no shortage of chaos in the galaxy. The backwater sectors were regularly sources of conflict, with petty states rising and falling, mercenaries forces flooding the galaxy, and war a regular part of many peoples' lives. In this, Dante saw a golden opportunity; he could build a reputation for himself as a warrior, further his skills in battle and learn new ones he had not learned in his youth, while also learning more about the galaxy and hopefully further his pursuit of his father. It seemed an obvious choice.
Dante, then, wasted little time in becoming a mercenary.
|Shatter Zero's first flight, above Mygeeto|
The armour he worked was of great benefit to him; the reputation of the Mandalorians was strong at this point in history, and it did not take long for his services to become a guaranteed sale. However, mindful of the lessons imparted by his upbringing, Dante often set certain conditions; namely, he was known for favouring the underdog, and taking on missions that saw the punishment of criminals and other low scum, as opposed to preying on the citizenry of the galaxy. His reputation became one not simply of competence, but honour and integrity as well. Embroiled in these conflicts, Dante spent his life in the outer rim and far from the core of the galaxy. He learned of the criminal underworld and realities of soldiering, of commerce and negotiation, of the mercenary way of life; and he saw some of the worst that men were capable of. While he did not know it at the time, this early experience of war and the criminal underbelly of the galaxy would go on to serve him well during the rest of his life.
Such was how he spent the next two years of his life, as a soldier of fortune.
One of these contracts brought him to Mygeeto, late in Year 8. A raging battlefield during the First Galactic Civil War, the onset of the Second had ensured the planet remained one embroiled in conflict. While the governments and warlords of the galaxy had not seen fit to take interest in the planet, it had become a largely lawless planet on which mercenaries, pirates and other criminals made their living, often at the expense of the indigenous populations of Muun.
On occasion, however, one would rise above the rest. For the majority of Year 8, an Ace pilot known by the alias of "Zero" had established a powerful reputation on the planet, to the point that his services came at great expense in exchange for near-guaranteed victory. Unbeknownst to himself at the time, Dante's contract led him to come into conflict with a group that had hired Zero.
Weeks of ground battle resulted in no meaningful gains; meanwhile, aerial forces led by Zero devastated Dante's allies. With friendly forces in a rout, Dante himself took him with a Jawa technician, by name of Zuzz Ajim. Seeing an opportunity to get off-planet in the chaos and secure a vessel of his own, with his contract fulfilled with the death of the mercenary leader he had made it with, Dante's plan had been to repair one of the damaged vessels on Mygeeto's surface. To this end he enlisted Ajim's help. Ajim, meanwhile, saw security in a Mandalorian's presence, and happily aided him.
Unfortunately for Ajim, Dante had made himself a target during the previous battles. Having by this point selected and largely repaired a damage YT-2000 model freighter from scavenged parts, the pair were located by opposing mercenary forces. Receiving the blunt offer to surrender himself to them or die, Dante took a gamble and activated the ship, with Ajim only now learning that the Mandalorian had never once flown a ship of his own. Fortunately, the deflector shields held up long enough for the pair to take to the sky, escaping the group that had found him. It seemed for all intents and purposes that Dante's plan had worked.
Unfortunately, they had already called for airborne assistance. And so Dante and Zero came head to head in the skies above Mygeeto, one in a YT-2000, the other his favoured stolen rebel A-Wing.
|Shatter Zero, in space above Mygeeto|
- "I knew it! I knew you'd crash us, longshanks!"
"Not into a mountain I didn't! Hells below, this is living!"
"That, that right there, that's why you bucketheads don't live long."
- — Zuzz Ajim & Dante Erinith's first exchange after awakening
Accounts vary wildly on the events that then followed, with the sheer number of witnesses often telling the story in different ways and with altered details. Some insist Zero flew rings around Dante; others, that Dante matched him move for move, a claim deemed by most to be unlikely given his prior inexperience at flight. However, one detail is agreed upon often enough to be considered factual: whether through cunning, poor choice on Zero's part or sheer luck on Dante's, the damaged YT-2000 crashed directly into the A-Wing mid-flight.
Zero was killed instantly, with Dante and Ajim wounded during the resulting crash. Intimidated by Zero's death, accounts claim that the opposing mercenary forces steered clear of pursuing the crashed freighter, instead preferring to assume the occupants had also been killed.
- "Heard ol' longshanks went to the Empire after that mess, and got into a whole new one. Jedi these days, I hear. Not surprised. That man had too much ruddy luck for someone, or something, not to be looking over his shoulder. Like the world kind of made way for 'em, you know?"
- — Zuzz Ajim, Year 21
Wounded but alive, Dante and Ajim set to patching their wounds while likewise getting their somehow still-intact ship operational, a task that took the better part of a week. By the time it was spaceworthy and they returned to civilisations, tales had long since spread of Zero's death, and of the vessel that had achieved it, the stories and popular appeal having birthed the vessel a name in Dante's absence. The two agreed it was a worthy one, and parted ways amicably as friends, with Dante now in possession of his very own vessel.
Such was how the Shatter Zero was born. And much like its owner, this seemingly insignificant ship would go on to survive battles and feats it had no business doing, and in so doing build a legend all of its own.
In His Footsteps
- "The Empire is built on Order. It is built on professionalism and precision. Fealty, Fidelity, and Service, as the Imperial Academy has taken for its maxim. It is beyond setting the standard, as no other group may compare to activity, organization, dedication, camaraderie, and opportunity. None can hope to call themselves our equals, and there are none who may usurp our dominance."
- — Emperor Charon
Now in possession of a swift and spaceworthy vessel, Dante found that his search could begin in earnest, no longer limited by the travel plans and schedules of others. It took little time for his attention, however, to turn to the Galactic Empire.
His father had always been a strong proponent of it, particularly in their later years together. He knew that the Empire was ruled over by the Sith, ancestral and ancient enemies of the Jedi who it turned out had indeed been behind the actions of Emperor Drayson, himself ranking among their number. One of the greatest of their number, Vodo Bonias, ruled over them at the time, this being his second rule and one of mixed popularity; it was the topic of much conversation among mercenaries and the citizenry both, and as Dante grew closer to the core, he discovered more and more about the state of this Empire he had only ever really heard about.
|Shatter Zero passing by the Coruscant defense fleet|
It seemed the obvious place to search. If his father had gone anywhere, Dante reasoned, it would have been to the Empire.
However, despite this he felt hesitation in approaching it overtly; his travels had led him to many places in the Galaxy, but not the galactic core. As such, he took it upon himself to approach with caution, as a scout would. Searching for gainful employment, late in Year 8 Dante ultimately found a place with the SYT Transport company, at the time a non-faction organisation and conglomeration of armed delivery pilots, who prided themselves upon the successful delivery of any cargo, regardless of danger. As this included the core, Dante found he had many opportunities to learn about the Empire; what it was, and what it stood for.
It took Dante little time to decide that its principles of brotherhood, order, discipline and peace in the face of a thankless Rebellion were things he approved of. Steeling himself, he left his position as a delivery pilot of SYT Transport and set out for galactic capital of Coruscant.
Here, in the space above and around Coruscant, Dante came face to face with the first time with the overwhelming military might of the Galactic Empire, in the form of its defensive fleets in orbit of the capital and patrolling surrounding space. While he had heard much and more about the fabled Star Destroyers, the reality of them in the flesh was by all accounts both awe-inspiring and terrifying to the young Mandalorian. More certain than ever of his choice, Dante was only emboldened by what he saw. Eager to take his place within it, and just as much to discover whether this was where his father had departed to, he quickly moved to apply to join the Empire.
He was categorically denied, citing the Empire's species policy. Dante was an Echani.
According to official records, Dante would go on to make no less than six further applications, two of them under false but transparent identities. The sixth of these was apparently enough to earn him the attention of the Imperial Security Bureau, who tracked him down on Coruscant with the intent of making inquiries. The details of what followed are unknown.
What took place within those walls was a matter of great debate among the research team, and no clear consensus was ever reached, with there being no recordings and precious few insights. What is known, however, is that Dante Erinith left the Imperial Palace alive and with an induction into the legendary Imperial Royal Guard, and in his own words, a "cessation" of his search for his father. Dante's time as a member of the Galactic Empire had begun.
One Man of Two Worlds (Year 9)
|An Imperial Academy advertisement poster|
- "Diablirus Balseraph?"
"The man who brought Emperor Bonias low the first time. His Majesty prefers that we not discuss it, but in truth, we venerate him still. His is the standard all Guardsmen strive to emulate."
"And for honour. Empire before Emperor. We are as much a guard against the Emperor as for him. Never forget it."
- — Dante Erinith and an unknown Guardsman during the former's training
While the opportunity he had been handed was undeniably a rare one, it nevertheless placed Dante in a difficult position.
At the time, there were two types of Royal Guardsman. The most popular and well-known are the public members, with membership often a matter of respect or reward, or a function of their role. The most famous example of this is Diablirus Balseraph, whose position was a matter of public record due to his position as Guard Captain. However, the vast majority of Guardsmen have their identities kept hidden, both as a matter of security and as a means of better performing their tasks.
Otherwise known as the "Immortals", at this point in time the First Imperial Legion were widely regarded as the foremost fighting force in the Galactic Empire, serving a role not entirely dissimilar to that of the various special forces of other governments. The Immortals were a rapid response legion, with a wide variety of skills and unmatched combat ability; this led to them serving a variety of roles, not all of them what one would call traditional army work. As such, it was deemed an excellent post for Dante Erinith.
Which meant, in accordance with his cover, he would need to enter the Imperial Academy and pass with flying colours.
While no small amount of his Imperial Basic Training (IBT) education here was superfluous in light of his childhood, much of it was new information to Dante as well. It was here that he undertook marksmanship courses, undertook logistical training, was trained in the management of personnel and the laws of the Empire he was expected to uphold. Simultaneous with this, he undertook gruelling training as a Royal Guardsman, meant to ensure he was capable of the role he had been given.
While he ultimately graduated from the Imperial Academy, it was with a comparatively low score of 90%. It remains unknown as to how intentional this may have been, or how much of it may have been due to the sheer amount of training he underwent in such a small span of time.
Thusly qualified and with documentation in hand, Dante was accepted as a Private within the First Imperial Legion, early into Year 9, where he would go on to perform the dual roles of shock trooper and sharpshooter. However, Dante was not simply an Imperial Stormtrooper or even just an Imperial Royal Guard.
He was a Mandalorian as well. And this detail served only to make Dante's life within Imperial ranks a more interesting one, as events would turn out.
At this point in Imperial history, the galactic alliance known as the Imperial Union included the paramilitary conglomerate known as Mandalore. Comprised of the Mandalorians who took the side of Tyr DeMeer in the raging Mandalorian Civil War, their alliance with the Galactic Empire meant that no small number of Mandalorians were also members of the Empire, especially its military services. Both due to his identity as an Echani and his claim of being a Mandalorian, Dante went on to attract no small amount of attention from these individuals, with the assumption being that he was a supporter of Tyr DeMeer.
Dante, however, lacked a clan, or Aliit. This was anathema to their people.
Many invitations came in; however, Dante accepted none of them. When challenged on the matter, he claimed disgust at the ongoing Civil War, singling out any that supported either side as being every bit as culpable for the ongoing destruction of their culture as the other side. This attitude served only to enrage his fellow Mandalorians, and Dante's opening weeks as a member of the Imperial Army involved no small number of brawls, with him rapidly establishing a reputation both for his combat skill and an attitude deemed both insubordinate and brash. While his skills were undeniable, his firebrand reputation earned him few initial friends among the officership of the military. However, he developed a swift friendship with Josef Delaurel, a young enlisted member of the Imperial Navy who possessed a similarly fiery attitude.
The Mandalorians, meanwhile, went on to refer to Dante disparagingly by two terms in Mando'a; "Solus'Jag", and "T'ad'Uvete". Or, in basic, "One Man" and "Two Worlds", with the two often being joined together as an insult to a man who stood without clan, and was both Echani and Mandalorian. Contrary to their intent Dante took these names on with pride, and maintained a distant attitude in regards to his fellow Mandalorians with whom he felt little kinship at all.
|Dante Erinith leading Stormtroopers in a more temperate sector of Crollia|
Dante Erinith's first official assignment was to join the rest of his Legion on the planet Crollia. One of several in the Corellia system, the planet stood out on account of several virtues. Firstly, it lacks any atmosphere whatsoever, requiring the use of special equipment for life to survive. Second, it is a deathly cold planet despite the relative lack of ice or snow, courtesy of large quantities of the heat-inhibiting material Anthata which prevents any heat from the planet core from reaching the surface. Third, severe electromagnetic storms which interfere with electronics and sensors regularly strike the planet due to the gases caused by rapid heating and cooling of material mixing with the local Anthata. This prevents the meaningful use of any advanced survival equipment.
For these reasons, the Galactic Empire had chosen Crollia as the site for the training of a new generation of Stormtroopers, the trainers for whom would be the First Imperial Legion. And to establish his place within the Immortals, Dante would join them.
- "You read my mind, Corporal."
"Your body, sir, but close enough."
- — Graeda L'Annan and Dante Erinith
By the time of Dante's arrival on planet their training was already well underway, and almost finished. However, his arrival represented a unique opportunity in that he possessed access to martial arts beyond that of his fellows. Eager to secure his place among his new comrades and make up for earlier failings, Dante went on to become the primary trainer of hand-to-hand combat for the remainder of their time on the planet, likewise joining them on their marches and other training. His eagerness and competency, as well as his ability to teach and willingness to train even among those he taught, were taken note of and Dante quickly became a fixture in the First Imperial Legion.
By the time the Immortals left Crollia, Dante himself had reached the rank of Sergeant for his service, beginning what would become a rapid progression up the ranks.
Friendships came swiftly to him, and before long Dante became a respected member of the Immortals in truth. During his time as one of them he would go on to establish a number of relationships within the Legion, serving under and alongside such individuals as Graeda L'Annan, Inara Imperium, Icarus Carinae, Dragomir Kies, Santiano Salazar and Elvira Falston.
With the operation entitled simply "Marching Stormtroopers" having begun on Day 88, the operation would continue for several months after Dante's arrival before coming to an end on Day 210 of Year 9, producing a fresh batch of elite soldiers to be filtered out through the Imperial Army. Seeing Dante's restless energy and drive to prove himself, his commanding officer Arbellason Saalar attempted to mitigate what he saw as inevitable arguments between him and other members of the Empire and cleared him to train at Imperial-sponsored dojos, in the hopes of the younger soldier burning off his excess energy while simultaneously improving his already formidable skills.
His superiors in the Imperial Royal Guard, apparently, saw no reason to contest this. Becoming a regular patron both of these Dojos as well as the Legionnaires Tavern, an Imperial owned and sponsored cantina exclusively for members of the Empire, Dante would go on to meet and in many cases spar with many different individuals within these places, ranging from the likes of Ninian Delayn, Athrun Zala and Ardath Lemeth, to galactic figures such as Kira Morbus and Banquo Knox. It was also in this capacity that he would go on to meet Jaster Gav, with whom he established a lifelong friendship, the two Mandalorians seeing eye to eye on many matters relating to their people.
Project Bastion (Year 9 to Year 10)
|One of many city blocks on Bastion|
- "To see the enemy while unseen, to learn what they know with them none the wiser until it's too late, that is power. Only a special kind of soldier has the honour of calling himself a Scout Trooper."
- — Kol Seraph
During the late stages of Year 9, the First Imperial Legion underwent something of a restructuring. Arbellason Saalar stepped down as CO to instead be replaced by Ralkata Tyrran. The talented Graeda L'Annan had by this point served as XO for some time, and established a friendly relationship with Dante, but she would in turn be replaced by one Elysia Dragonsky. Dante himself took up a position as LA, or Legion Adjutant; while not officially a leadership role or formal posting, it was nontheless a position of respect and additional responsibility relating to the management and organisation of the Legion's personnel, and one he would go on to hold for most of his time as an Immortal. By this time, Dante had been promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant, and de facto held a position of authority in the Immortals as one of its elite members.
At about the same time, the Immortals would receive their next assignment. The Planet Bastion in the Braxant sector, far to the north of the Imperial Core, was at this time under Imperial control. It was however underdeveloped, and seen as a vulnerability in the otherwise well defended Imperial space. The First Imperial Legion, in conjunction with the Fourth Imperial Fleet, was assigned to correct both of these problems; they were to provide security on the planet against any incursion, root out dangerous elements in the local area, and assist and protect the COMPNOR personnel who were sent to improve the infrastructure of the planet.
It is believed that Dante himself served during the eponymous "Project Bastion" not only in his capacity as a soldier of the First Imperial Legion, but also as a member of the Imperial Royal Guard, in which capacity he worked closely with Moff Tanez Kalrade. It was their shared task to ensure that the project went smoothly, and the planet became a vital wayfort outside of Imperial space.
In any such case, on Day 337 of Year 9, the First Imperial Legion arrived at Bastion.
|Elysia Dragonsky and Dante Erinith engaging in counter-crime|
- "Deploying a Guardsman is one step shy of deploying a battlefleet. Treat this task accordingly."
- — Daelis Stanov
XO Elysia Dragonsky took centre stage during Immortal operations on Bastion. Working extensively with COMPNOR personnel, she also worked regularly with Dante Erinith in his capacity as adjutant; she would manage the Immortals' activities in aiding the builders and logistics personnel, while he would lead hunting and anti-crime efforts. As it turned out, the massive resource investiture of the Empire combined with the previously lawless nature of the planet resulted in an active underworld, and Dante would have his hands full attending not only to this but also co-ordinating his efforts with Tanez Kalrade.
As a direct result of his activities, however, Elysia Dragonsky would be injured by collateral damage, and several COMPNOR personnel she was working with killed by falling debris. Covering up the incident as an unfortunate construction accident, Elysia Dragonsky was temporarily removed from her post due to her newfound unfitness for the role. She would ultimately be replaced by Inara Imperium, a highly capable up and coming member of the Immortals, whose easy nature, friendly attitude and professional approach to things won her many friends among the Immortals, Dante Erinith included.
Fortunately, an outside attack never came, something that Dante accredited to the presence of the Fourth Imperial Fleet in the system. As construction efforts continued, the criminal underworld began to take heavy blows as leadership figures and remote hideaways were dealt with one by one, and in time the planet Bastion's populace came to appreciate Imperial security and stability; however, it would later change hands several times, eventually coming into the possession, somewhat ironically, of SYT Transport.
On Year 10, Day 183, the join efforts of the First Imperial Legion and Fourth Imperial Fleet on the planet came to an end. For his part in the operation, Dante would see a further promotion to the rank of Sergeant Major, at the time the second highest rank a non-commissioned officer could attain in the Imperial Army.
They would not, however, have long to rest.
Facing the Force (Year 10)
|Dante Erinith delivering parting instructions to several Immortals|
- "She's a quick study, jumping straight up the ranks. She's an Imperium, so it's the family business. She loves her job, and she loves her men."
"I hear a 'but' somewhere in there."
"But, does she love the Empire?"
"You said yourself, she loves her men, and they love her. If I knew nothing else about her that'd be enough."
- — Cyrus Minx and Dante Erinith, discussing Inara Imperium
The hard work of Inara Imperium had been noticed, and her climb through the ranks was swift; her commission came quickly, and shortly after the end of Project Bastion she was promoted to the position of the Immortals' CO. Beloved by her men for her competency and the care and attention she paid to them, she was likewise respected by her fellow officers for her professional attitude and decorum. However, there were those in the higher echelons of the Empire who looked upon Inara with wariness and scepticism, especially in light of the recent reunification with the New Imperial Order; the sudden influx of personnel loyal to her gave her a great deal of influence, and her swift climb through the ranks was deemed a cause for concern.
Cyrus Minx, a ranking member of COMPNOR, was transferred not long after to the First Imperial Legion to serve directly as Inara's XO. Lacking a background in soldiering or much of the training the Immortals possessed, the easygoing and friendly man was nevertheless misliked greatly by them. Dante's friendship with Inara had brought him into contact with Grand Moff Orphaea Imperium, who, privy to Dante's identity as a Guardsman, privately asked that he watch over his younger sister. As such, Dante took it upon himself to watch Cyrus Minx closely and investigate his background.
The exact details of what he found are lost to time, as is the extent of Dante and Orphaea's involvement in the events that followed. Cyrus Minx was murdered not long after by Lane Rendell during the coming Operation Consolidation, with Lane Rendell being among the personnel transferred over from the New Imperial Order. Igneus Esh replaced him as XO, and the Legion moved on without concern.
The First Imperial Legion's next involvement was in Operation Consolidation. Details regarding this are largely classified, but according to reports, this involved the wholesale reorganisation of supplies and logistics meant for Magnaguard Manufacturing, a newly incorporated industrial and droid manufacturing company under Imperial control. By chance, the individual in charge of this company was none other than Inwe Ventidius, a ranking and highly ambitious woman who would one day become Emperor, and who had previously been romantically involved with Dante's friend Josef Delaurel.
The Immortals were to function both as security and a labour force for this reorganisation, presided over by Inwe Ventidius and Moff Tanez Kalrade. To perform this task, however, they would need to separate. As such, the Legion scattered under the threefold command of Inara Imperium, Igneus Esh and Dante Erinith, each in command of a separate detachment. While they would remain in contact, this was the first time the Legion would be split up in such a way, and they said their farewells, with the expectation being that they would not soon see one another again. Officially, the operation began on Year 10 Day 202, only one day after Inara Imperium became CO.
|Dante Erinith being launched by a Force Push|
- "Just because we fell out doesn't mean I stopped caring!"
"Yeah? You shouldn't. I've dealt with her plenty this month alone; not so much as a damn pulse in that woman."
"One more word, one mor-"
"Or you'll what? Hit me? Over that shrew?"
- — Josef Delaurel and Dante Erinith
By happenstance, Dante's deployment would bring him to work alongside Josef Delaurel, who had risen the ranks in the Imperial Navy. However, their relationship fractured due to disagreement over Inwe Ventidius, wherein Dante felt that Josef still harbouring feelings for her despite her having abandoned him was absurd. The two men came to blows, and ultimately never reconciled, going on to part ways.
Part of the Immortals' task as part of Operation Consolidation involved patrols, keeping the space in which valuable cargo travelled safe. Co-operation with local Naval forces was vital in this regard; they would bring ships in or keep them tractored, while Imperial Army forces would board and search as the need arose. It was on one of these otherwise routine searches that Dante would have his first direct contact with the Force ever since his childhood.
With the Second Galactic Civil War raging throughout most places in the galaxy outside of the Imperial core, refugees were inevitable, and it was statistically inevitable than the majority of them would be aliens. However, in accordance with the species rights laws in the Galactic Empire, most if not all aliens were afforded either Class B or Class C citizenship, which greatly limited their prospects in Imperial space. Among the various rights they lacked compared to their Class A superiors were those relating to privacy; in short, alien vessels were subject to boarding at any time, without a warrant or due process.
Taking full advantage of this, their vessels were boarded at will. Dante himself would often lead such boardings, unless delegating to subordinate non-commissioned officers. It was on one such boarding that he encountered a Twi'lek family, seemingly like any other. Keeping them under guard himself while the rest of his unit searched the vessel, the child became afraid. While it is unknown whether or not Dante attempted to comfort the child or otherwise order the family, the fact remains that he was in communication with mission control when the Twi'lek child struck him with a push of Telekinesis in an overt display of the Force. Dante was rendered unconscious, surprised as he struck a wall.
By the time he recovered, the child and his family had been secured and taken away, ostensibly to suffer punishment as per the Imperial Force act. It is suggested that the event weighed heavily on Dante's mind, with him having kept his distance from the Force and those that wielded it during his time in the Empire. To him, it seemed, it served as a reminder that it would always find a way to follow him, regardless of where he went. While his comrades in the Immortals did their best to reassure their compatriot, the reality remained that it served as an embarrassing moment for him as a Guardsman, to have been bested by a mere child.
He would not have long to reflect on this, however, as before the First Imperial Legion could complete its part of Operation Consolidation, an attack from the outside forced its attention elsewhere to the planet of Ithilivir deep in the Imperial core.
Meeting the New Republic (Year 10)
|Dante Erinith conferring with naval personnel en route to Ithilivir|
- "I don't get it. I really don't bloody get it! After everything the Empire has done for them, why rebel?"
"And this close to Coruscant. I guess some can't wait to die."
- — Dante Erinith and Elysia Dragonsky
Immortals Broken (Year 11)
The Coup (Year 11 to Year 12)
A New Empire (Year 12)
A Memory of Warmth (Year 13)
Dereliction of Duty (Year 13)
Out of His Shadow
To Be Better
Hunter without a Hunt
The Maw Expedition
Remembering how to Walk
The First Taste
To be a Jedi
Light in the Darkness
Fire and Ice
The Road Continues
Nomads and Wanderers
The Sharpest Knife
Abilities and Powers
Equipment and Possessions