- "A sword is a dangerous thing to bargain with. Death is the only price it exacts. How fortunate that most people I bargain with do not know how to use one..."
- - Lord Ammenkayn
Ammenkayn is a Pureblood Sith Lord following in the path of the Juggernaught, who has served for more than a decade as the chief enforcer for her Sith Master, Darth Metheius. She follows in the path of her father, Lord Velenkayn, who was killed by the Jedi Master Saxtus Fayhan on Reydovan Prime. Though she succeeded in vanquishing Fayhan and avenging her father's death, the experience left her to re-examine herself and her ambitions more closely.
- "Velenkayn shows a surprising amount of concern for his only offspring, who trains at the Academy. It is probably one of the few instances I have seen him where he is...open, as opposed to the cold and murderous beast he appears to others - including me, at times. I cannot help but feel that Ammenkayn may well surpass her father - she certainly has the bloodline for it."
- - From the personal journals of Darth Malagant
Born on Dromund Kaas late in the Great War, Ammenkayn descends from two divergent Sith bloodlines, both dating back to ancient times. Her father, Velenkayn, was the apprentice of Darth Defileris during the war and fought on the front lines; after Defileris was executed by his eventual successor, Darth Malagant, Velenkayn trained under the younger man and eventually rose to the rank of Sith Lord. Her mother, Zira'gaenus, also rose to the rank of Lord, but had left Velenkayn when Ammenkayn was around six years old and eventually defected to the Republic and the Jedi Order. Ammenkayn was smaller than most children of Sith blood, but Velenkayn believed that she would eventually "grow into herself in mind and body", as he put it.
Upon the awakening of the Force within her around age thirteen, some years after the end of the war, Ammenkayn was sent to the Sith Academy on Korriban, where she trained hard as an acolyte to do just that. Within three years, when now-Lord Velenkayn watched her training in the Academy courtyard, the overseers were considering her for Juggernaut training, much like her father. Pleased, Velenkayn left his daughter with the admonition to uphold the values of strength, courage, and conviction that were required to follow the path of the Sith. That was the last time Ammenkayn ever saw her father; three days later, he was killed in a duel with the Jedi Master Saxtus Fayhan on Reydovan Prime. Velenkayn's master, Malagant, was the one who delivered the news to her, along with her father's lightsaber.
Channelling her rage into her sword work, Ammenkayn continued her training at the Academy, knowing her father would want her to carry on the family line. She swore that she would one day earn the rank of Sith Lord herself, and avenge Velenkayn's death. Until then, she would serve in whatever capacity was required of her, a sense of duty that brought her to the attention of the scholarly Darth Metheius, who took Ammenkayn as his apprentice upon the completion of her trials.
The Taste of Ashes
- "He died with honor. I expected to feel triumph at vanquishing my father's killer. Instead...I feel like I have done something wrong. Perhaps Darth Malagant had the right of it - he could have been useful to us."
- - Ammenkayn admits her doubts about killing Fayhan to Commander Varan
For two years, Ammenkayn trained in the art of the lightsaber, and became equal parts learner and enforcer for her master. Metheius often travelled to planets where he conducted archaeological research, as he was a scholar first and foremost; Ammenkayn became his defender when dealing with hostile natives, beasts, or - as the conflict between Republic and Empire renewed - Republic agents. Then one day, Metheius received an intriguing communication from the Outer Rim world of Reydovan Prime...
Darth Cyanoculus, the Sith governor, had discovered that Fayhan - now renegade from his own Order - had been sighted on his world, and knew that Ammenkayn would desire to see his fate. He extended an invitation to Metheius and Ammenkayn to attend the "festivities", and they agreed, setting out for Prime. They arrived at the Palace of the Mountain Shadow, Cyanoculus' fortress in the planetary capital of Montagne Noire, just after Fayhan had been defeated by the cyborg Sith Lord's apprentice, Tethik Nadun, in single combat; the Republic's Sithbane Squad, under Captain Melena Linavil, had also been captured. Just as Cyanoculus prepared to deliver the final death-blow to his former Master, however, Ammenkayn spoke up, halting his blade. Unfazed by his apprentice interrupting a fellow Dark Lord, Metheius explained who he was, and his apprentice's purpose; Cyanoculus, after a moment, agreed to allow Ammenkayn the honor of finishing the Jedi who had slain her father. Linavil, however, grabbed an assault cannon and fired explosive rounds at Cyanoculus, severely injuring him enough to turn the focus to him and cover their escape with Fayhan in tow.
General Euphrati Velade, commanding the planetary militia, took Ammenkayn with her to chase down the Republic troopers as they headed into the Caymarnian Mountains on the northwestern continent. But once they landed after shooting down the shuttle, Ammenkayn lay in wait for Fayhan to make his move. Armed with a vibroblade taken from the shuttle's weapons locker, Fayhan attempted to kill Velade after she had been wounded by the same kind of explosive round used against Cyanoculus, only for Ammenkayn's blade to intervene. The young apprentice battled the wounded Jedi Master and found him a surprising foe. Unbeknownst to her, Malagant was attempting to empower him from afar, so that he could turn to the Empire and destroy Cyanoculus, who had turned on him. But Fayhan resisted the urge to fall as his former Padawan had, and instead gave no resistance as Ammenkayn ran him through.
Despite having the pleasure of killing her first Jedi, and the killer of her father to boot, Ammenkayn admitted to Commander Varan, Velade's chief of special operations who had followed to assist the general, that she felt as if she had done wrong by killing him, because at the end he had not offered any resistance - he had let her kill him, rather than let himself be corrupted.
Shadows of Death
Ammenkayn remained at Metheius' side during the war that followed, becoming an engine of death on battlefields like Corellia and Ilum. Facing powerful Jedi who fought back, rather than let themselves fall before her, largely washed away the taste of ashes after Fayhan's death. But she would not forget that first kill, especially as it made her reassess her perspective in regards to Sith like Malagant, whom she denigrated as a "fireside general". Her contempt for the older Sith Lord grew over the years that followed, especially when she learned that Malagant had claimed her father's corpse and reanimated it with cyborg technology, designating it as MSC-1. But despite her disgust, she and her Master would work with Malagant to fight the threat of the Revanites, especially after they had corrupted Cyanoculus to their cause, and both he and now-Moff Velade were executed by Malagant for treason.
It would not be until Ziost, however, that Ammenkayn would experience her first true crisis of faith in regards to the Empire, when the disembodied essence of the Sith Emperor himself laid waste to the planet, consuming every living thing. Ammenkayn questioned why the Emperor would create the Empire only to consume one of its crown jewels, and began to wonder if all she had grown up to serve was a lie. She would not have time to brood; not long after Ziost, a new threat arose in the form of the Eternal Empire, centered around the planet Zakuul. An individual known as the Outlander had assassinated their "Immortal Emperor", Valkorion, and the ripple in the Force caused by that death was the same essence of death that Ammenkayn had felt from the Emperor on Ziost, a fact that confused her even more in regards to the role of "her" Empire. During the year of conflict that followed, Ammenkayn fought bravely at her Master's side, even as the Empire was forced to surrender to Arcann, Valkorion's successor as Emperor of Zakuul. When the war was over, Metheius recognized her courage in battle, and anointed her a Sith Lord, while asking her to remain at his side as her chosen blade. She agreed without hesitation.
For the next four years, Ammenkayn accompanied Metheius on his archaeological surveys and assisted his historical research. Then events brought her back to Reydovan Prime for the first time in more than a decade: Malagant, who had been believed dead during the initial Zakuulan invasion, had returned to take down the Star Fortress placed in orbit of that planet. The incumbent Sith governor, Darth Insomnius - the former Jedi archivist Caradell, a former acquaintance of Fayhan - had called on Metheius' strike force, the closest to her world, for reinforcements, and Metheius had arrived shortly after the "fireworks". The Star Fortress had been destroyed, and its Exarch slain by Malagant in single combat.
Words in the Right Ears
Malagant's horrific wounds required extensive reconstructive surgery, and Insomnius took an added measure of revenge against her former tormentor by introducing a regimen of mind-control drugs to make him her slave. Even as she thought the idea just as abhorrent as what Malagant had done to her father's corpse, Ammenkayn appreciated the irony of the situation. Nevertheless, she approved of Varan's sacrificing action to break Malagant free, and had joined her Master, as well as Malagant's latest apprentice, Lord Lazhna Dai'lo, and Reydovan Prime's senior military commander, General Arik Daltyn, in returning to the Empire when Insomnius announced her intention to take Reydovan Prime and its surrounding sector into the Shadren Hegemony, ruled by Sith who declared their sector's independence from the Empire.
Ammenkayn would soon develop a working relationship with Lazhna after the fall of the Eternal Empire. The Togruta Sith Lord, who was trained along a similar vein as Ammenkayn, had expressed her doubts about Malagant's excessive spending on furnishing his personal stronghold in a Massassi temple on Yavin 4, which had previously been moved to Reydovan Prime during Malagant's governorship, and returned when Insomnius turned traitor. Ammenkayn brought Lazhna's concerns to Metheius, who immediately traveled to Yavin to disperse Malagant's power base and "reassign" both Malagant and his temple's garrison to the frontiers of Wild Space, where they would fall under the Imperial Wild Space Command. While Metheius, who loathed Malagant personally, had thought of possibly executing him, Ammenkayn believed that, with the conflict heating up on the machine-world of Iokath, that Malagant's growing martial talents (he had taken up advanced combat training after Insomnius' reconstruction) would be of better use to the Empire.
In the back of her mind, however, Ammenkayn pondered the possibility that she had empowered Malagant to possibly take down her Master - and whether or not she should help him do it...
- "You have a choice, Lord Ammenkayn - do you continue to serve Metheius' self-aggrandizing agenda of humiliation and petty politics...or do you really work for the good of the Empire, as you claim? Your answer will determine whether or not you walk out of this room."
- - Malagant forces Ammenkayn to decide what she believes in
That sense of doubt intensified when word reached her Master - who remained aboard an Imperial dreadnought over Iokath rather than go to the surface - that Malagant had established a "new palace" on a new Imperial colony set up by the IWSC, a water world tagged as IC-711. Metheius dispatched Ammenkayn to investigate, and found that the setup at Malagant's new fortress, dubbed the Palace of the Eternal Ocean, was very similar to that which Metheius had dispersed on Yavin 4. Ammenkayn was greeted immediately by Malagant's military attache, Colonel Menrim Tekan, who cared little for the intrusion but nonetheless directed her to Malagant in the palace's library.
Malagant, aware that Ammenkayn saw him as an "fireside general", mocked Metheius' decision to remain on Dromund Kaas during the war against Zakuul, and derisively referred to Ammenkayn herself as her master's personal akk dog who was only allowed to see battle when Metheius allowed her to. His tactic to anger her led to his revealing that his powers - diminished from his injuries and Insomnius' tortures - had largely returned, and that he was not as helpless as he had been against Metheius on Yavin. Disarming her, he noted that she still carried the lightsaber of her father, which Malagant had been unable to find when he crafted Velenkayn into the MSC-1. Ammenkayn referred to his experiment with her father's corpse as "violation" and said that Malagant had no right to use him as a "meat puppet". Malagant dismissed Velenkayn as a "brute, a bloodthirsty animal", and asked whether his belief in her potential, that she could be a warrior who could think rather than "follow the scent of blood", was wrong. That wrong-footed Ammenkayn, who could not answer him.
Escorting Ammenkayn into his sanctum sanctorum on the lower levels, Malagant brought her into his medical bay, where he kept Lazhna restrained and subjected to experimentation as punishment for betraying him on Yavin. He then closed and locked down the room, telling Ammenkayn to choose between truly serving the Empire, or continuing to act as Metheius' enforcer and helping him continue his petty crusade against anyone who rebels against his sense of "orthodoxy" - and that her answer would determine her future. While it is unclear what exactly was said after this, Malagant allowed her to depart, to return to her master...