Note: this story tries to be as canon-compliant as possible (considering as Canon the Legends canon as well). Should any problem of conflicting sources arise in the forthcoming chapters, I will give priority to the new established canon. Please note that English is not my native language, so feel free to point out any error you should encounter. Comments and criticism are welcome!
This prologue is far shorter than the actual chapters.
Mandalore in unrest! After a civil war that has ravaged the system for a decade, jeopardizing the very survival of Mandalorian culture, the warrior clans of Mandalore still won't achieve peace.
After the death of her parents, young Satine Kryze from Kalevala asks the Jedi Council for help, overcoming the ancestral hatred harboured between Mandalorians and the Order.
Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, are sent to escort the Mandalorian lady back to her homeworld. But a more sinister menace awaits them behind battle lines…
38 BBY, Tracyn
"The glorious darkness of deep space is the only suitable stage for the momentous play about to unfold", the man thought as his ship pulled out of hyperspace.
A pity there would be no other spectator to enjoy the show other then himself, but the lack of a complacent audience was too small a price to pay for him to be bothered.
And at any rate, when the time was ripe, he would have the entire galaxy to applaud him. These were just rehearsals for the grand premiere.
The mere thought of that moment, still shrouded in the mists veiling the path of the future, yet nearer each passing day, was sufficient to elicit in him a lust which fiercely burned his soul from within, raging like the lava flows erupting from the crust of the planet below.
He looked down at the approaching globe: its tormented black surface dotted by spouts of crimson was just a pale representation of the raw force emitting from its core. The man could feel it resonating around him, amplified by his own inner fury, staining with blood-red rays of power the vast emptiness which surrounded him in the Force.
It was exhilarating.
But exhilaration had to wait. With a grim sense of purpose he withheld his perception, focusing on the task he had come to accomplish.
"OneOne-Fourdee, bring down the ship to these coordinates."
"At once, my Lord", came the answer from the mechanical voice of the droid.
As the ship drew near the surface, the man started to discern the natural features of the planet: a black crust of sharp spikes of stone over which towered the volcanic peaks that littered its surface, like tumid wounds pouring putrid streams of yellow and red. Third planet of the Mandalorian system, Tracyn was seat only to a few mining facilities, most abandoned in the aftermath of the civil war.
The ship landed smoothly on the landing platform of one of the oldest facilities. As the boarding ramp lowered the man adjusted his cloak to completely cover his features; the Force would enhance his camouflage, making it impossible for anyone to grasp and remember his appearance or his voice.
As the hatch slowly opened, he felt his target's presence. He had come alone, as he had been instructed.
He descended the ramp and found himself on the far end of a long catwalk linking the landing pad to the main compound of the mining facility. There, in front of the open blast door, stood the man he had come looking for. He was completely clad in Mandalorian armour, his figure lit only by the glow reverberating from the lava.
They stood in the starless night, confronting each other across the catwalk.
At last, the offworlder strode towards the Mandalorian. He had called for the meeting, after all. There was no need for a show of willpower.
When he was about ten meters across him, he stopped. Now it was his time to make his move.
"What is that all about, offworlder?"
"Why all this rudeness, Mandalorian? If you were offended by my request to meet, you could have refused my invitation."
"Don't play with me. I came because your request was a direct challenge, and no Mandalorian worthy of his name would shy away from one. Now tell me who you are and why you wanted to meet me."
"Who I am is of no consequence. All you need to know is that I profit from war, thus my interest in Mandalorian affairs. But this is all about you. You are young, yet I have heard many tales of your prowess. You are strong in body and in mind. You come from a glorious lineage of pure Mandalorian blood, and I know you crave power and glory. I know you nurture your hate towards the ancestral enemies of your people. I have come to help you reach your ends, since they meet mine."
Another man would possibly have snorted; the Mandalorian didn't make a sound.
"Do not insult me, offworlder. No Mandalorian asks for help to reach its ends."
Any onlooker would have deemed that dialogue unreal: both men were motionless, talking slowly, their voices deadpan. They could have been droids. Droids talking about honour and glory and war and death.
"I understand. Shall we call it a deal, then?"
"I'm listening. But be quick, I'm running out of patience."
"Very well. I will show you something. Please don't attack me, I don't want either of us to get hurt."
"This better not be a trap."
With a swift gesture, the man took something out of his cloak. It was a flat, long rectangular hilt with an angled cross-guard. It looked of ancient craftsmanship. It bore no blade.
Then the man triggered something, and with an ominous hum a long blade of darkness surrounded by a halo of light came to life.
The Mandalorian did not even try to hide his awe, and fell to his knees in reverence.
"The Darksaber. How did you…?"
"This is of no consequence. Suffice to say that in this galaxy everything is for sale for the affluent man… Almost everything. Even a Mandalorian. Even the Darksaber."
The Mandalorian rose again on his feet, a warrior stance to his every movement.
"A Mandalorian who sells our past tarnishes his name beyond redemption. The Darksaber belongs with Mandalore."
"We could not agree more. I want to return your past to you. I will give you the Darksaber, when you are ready. To make sure you are, I will send you an instructor who will teach you how to wield it properly, with Jedi combat techniques. Then I will fund your war. I will provide you with credits and war supplies. I will help you unify Mandalore under your rule."
"And what do you want in return?"
A thick silence fell between the two man. The offworlder could feel the raw power hoarding around them, generated by the magnitude of the event. He knew the other could perceive it too, even though he was not aware of the source of this foreboding. He sank deeper into himself, pulling in his fall the power gathered around him, pulling it inside him, shaping the Force to flow according to his will, using it as a tool.
"I want the right to mine Mandalorian iron and use it to forge new weapons of my design."
The silent grew thicker. Then he knew that his tool had not failed him.
"We have a deal."
The man smiled, a smile colder then the icy wastelands of Hoth. He knew that the Mandalorian was lying. He knew that, after he had accomplished his goals, the Mandalorian would turn on his benefactor to eliminate him. "Let him try.", he thought with amused cruelty.
The assassin had been right: the Mandalorian was unaware of being Force-Sensitive, and he was too old now to start a proper training. Too bad for him, but he would serve his purpose better this way.
His Master would be pleased.
Everything was going as planned.