Star Wars, Tales of the Ruby Queen
The Recitation of a Thousand Blades
The Recitation of a Thousand Blades (usually referred to simply as “the Recitation”) is an epic length poem written by Liek Paun, a Corellian freelancer who’d spent a great deal of time chronicling the exploits of the Jedi Order in verse. The bulk of her work consists of tales of Jedi battles with the Sith – from singular duels to enormous set-piece conflicts. The Recitation is one such recounting, concerning itself entirely with the Battled of Ossus during the Great Sith War.
When the Jedi on the planet Ossus in the Tion Cluster got word that a massive Sith task force was coming to assault their world, nobody was surprised. Ossus at the time was a sort of Library of Alexandria, both in terms of texts and data on all aspects of Jedi and the Force and a repository for artifacts considered of key importance to the Jedi and the Old Republic. It was a literal treasure trove by any measure, and a key strategic prize for the Sith.
The battle itself was absolutely vicious – the details of which are better recounted in the Wookiepedia: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Battle_of_Ossus_(Great_Sith_War) but suffice it to say that by the time the fight was over the Jedi forces on Ossus were routed or killed outright and hundreds of treasures would have been free for the taking. Unfortunately, in their zeal to defeat the Jedi decisively, the Sith detonated several stars in the Tion Cluster, causing a series of cascading supernovae to blast Ossus clean of nearly all life. In the face of this catastrophe, the SIth forces found they didn’t have time to capitalize upon their own victory and were driven offworld to save themselves.
The initial final draft of the Recitation is known as the Prime Copy. Once that was completed to Paun’s satisfaction, she handed it over to an order of monks dedicated to scribal archiving on an unknown planet past the Outer Rim territories. Scholars know of this order only through the signatures they leave on their work – a series of circular glyphs that share similarities with no known language in the galaxy. These Monks then went on to make and bind forty-six copies of the poem, which Paun then distributed among various patrons, collectors and friends.
Because of certain actions by Paun near the end of the Great Sith War, the Jedi began to believe that she had been influenced by the Dark Side of the Force and had “gone over” to the Sith. This caused certain influential members of the Jedi Order to assert that all of her work was tainted and could – if not read and studied under careful supervision – lead someone to begin down the dark path. As a result, almost all of her written work – including nearly 30 copies of the Recitation were confiscated by the Jedi and placed in their Temple on Coruscant under lock and key.
As of this writing, most of those copies have come into possession by the Empire, with some notable exceptions, including the copy belonging to Keffan Mairro. One notable difference between Mairro’s copy and (as far as anyone knows for sure) the rest of the copies made – including the numerous electronic transcriptions – is a number of strange, golden glyphs that appear to be illuminations. Nine of which appear in the tome. Recently these glyphs have been identified as co-ordinate markings in the Kava-Anh-Kyr navigation system, and the markings taken together point to the old hyperspace route to the planet Ossus. It is unknown how those markings came to be on the manuscript or why.