"My people are the best there is at what we do. And what we do isn’t very nice.”
Dar Kyram was a shorter than average Mandalorian mercenary and bounty hunter active during the Second Galactic Civil War and beyond who lead a secret double life as the mysterious pirate lord, The Skull King. He was the grandson of a notorious bounty hunter, Draluk Kyram, who was well known during the Clone Wars as the ARC Hunter. Dar was well known for his unforgiving and brutally honest attitude and by his characteristic blue armor, ARC trooper pauldron and kama, and distinctive Republic Commando/Mandalorian helmet.
Born on a relatively peaceful Mandalorian settlement colony, it wasn't until he was nine years old that he would experience the extremes of the galaxy's negative inhabitants. In the middle of the Yuuzhan Vong War, a roving band of pirates attacked the colony and killed everyone. Only his grandfather's teachings had protected him and allowed him to survive until his grandfather could retrieve him.
During the course of the Yuuzhan Vong War, his grandfather pushed him through a rigorous and stressful "boot camp" style training, teaching him the finer points of sword work, weapons knowledge, tactical warfare, and human anatomy to make him into a resourceful mercenary.
On his own as an adult, Dar often worked alone but was known to pair up with life long friend Bek Mathayus, a fellow Mandalorian born on Concord Dawn and Ikeria Sov, a Kiffar and former agent for Galactic Bureau of Investigative Affairs. Dar and Ikeria would form an on-and-off again relationship eventually resulting in her giving birth to his son. He also worked with Mandalorian beskar'gam smith Ori Kadala in his later years.
Dar Kyram was born to former mercenary, Tra'Sara Kyram, shortly before the New Republic and Imperial Remnants signed the Bastion Accords ending the First Galactic Civil War. While on an bounty hunting job, Tra'Sara had a one night stand while in the middle of the mission with a competing Mandalorian; the two had a night in hopes to distract the other from the job at hand. The next morning, they woke up to find the job had been finished and the bounty had been claimed. In a fit of rage, the man beat and raped Tra'Sara for costing him the job.
Returning home to Mandalore, her father, Clone War veteran Draluk Kyram informed her they were offered a position with a Mandalorian settlement group on an uncharted moon in hopes to expand their colonies across the Outer Rim Territories. On the settlement moon of Rendar, she gave birth to Dar Kyram, and hoped to give him a life of safety and comfort away from the violence of the galaxy. Much of his youth was spent helping around the settlement when possible, but mostly he was found with the other children playing in the fields, streams, and forests around the village.
Young Dar was seven years old when the Galaxy came under attack from the invading Yuuzhan Vong and Rendar orbited one of the few, lucky planets to avoid detection due to its remote location on the far side of the galaxy from the Vong's invasion corridor. Because of the war, many of the grown adults from the settlement rallied to Boba Fett as his Mandalorian Protectors, including his grandfather. The remaining few stayed behind on Rendar, in hopes to prepare a settlement for Mandalorian survivors of the war. Many injured were sent to Rendar for safety and medical care. His mother worked as a nurse to assist many of the injured, and Dar was often by her side, learning what he could of crude, field medic work.
When he was nine years old a roving splinter band of pirates, former Peace Brigadiers, came past Rendar, found the settlement, and attacked. They viciously murdered and ransacked the colony. Those who were not brutally killed were taken away as slaves and prisoners; many of the Mandalorians who could fight did, but they found themselves out numbered and were swiftly slaughtered. Dar was hiding when his mother was murdered and the pirates' gang leader defiled her body in front of him. While the pirates stayed long enough to use up all remaining resources of the settlement, Dar kept himself hidden and was able to survive in the surrounding forests by stealing food and keeping out of sight.
Defying orders on the front lines of the Yuuzhan Vong War, Draluk returned to Rendar with a scouting party, only to find the pirates had already left and his grandson the solitary survivor from the horrendous assault. Dar and Draluk were now the only surviving members of the Kyram Clan.
“C’mon, boy. You get up now. Warriors don’t give in to the pain. They don’t give into their weakness.”
Having grown up in relative peace this far into his life, Dar was in for a culture shock. Rendar had been a peaceful farming settlement. Now training, battle, and war would take over his life. His grandfather took them from the ruins of Rendar and returned to Mandalore. There, the Mandalorians were still deep within their alliance with the Yuuzhan Vong, but that was an alliance growing thinner with every day.
Draluk returned them to the old Kyram Clan farm. When not away on missions for the Mandalorian's side of the war, Draluk began training Dar in an intense 'boot camp' style training of Mandalorian tactics and battle. Though he'd learn forms of self defense and personal reliance as a child, much of Dar's adolescence was now filled with grueling days tending the farm or physical training, and watching the war from Mandalore. In the evening, he would be crammed with as much battle field knowledge and tactics that Draluk could put into the boy. Dar also studied under another Clone Wars veteran, the Feeorin Granyn Uresadenn, and went on many trips with his grandfather meeting with famed beskar forger Hef Kadala and training instructor Yoeman Nardleo.
Dar was eleven years old when he experienced the war first hand. His grandfather brought him along on one of his missions, to test the boy's capabilities in the field. They infiltrated a Yuuzhan Vong prison camp with intentions to free slaves and help them across enemy lines back to the New Republic. The mission became a failure when New Republic troops showed up with the same intentions, and the Mandalorians were caught in a cross-fire between New Republic and Yuuzhan Vong forces, due to the Mandalorians being considered Yuuzhan Vong allies at the time.
It was also during this time that Dar met and befriended Bek Mathayus. Bek and Dar spent many days working on Bek's father's ship, working out and training together under each others' parents. Though he was six years older than Dar, Bek would be the closest thing Dar would ever know as a best friend for most of his life.
In 29 ABY the Mandalorians repelled the Yuuzhan Vong invaders from their planet in the Battle of Mandalore. Dar and his grandfather worked with their neighboring Mathayus Clan to free the planet. Their farms became the sight of a massive battle and staging ground for the Mandalorians, facing nearly impossible odds. Though they succeeded and were victorious, the Kyram and Mathayus Clan farms were nearly destroyed in the aftermath of the battle. After the war with the Yuuzhan Vong, Dar continued his training with his grandfather, but having proven his worth in the Battle of Mandalore, Draluk saw Dar's abilities and courage in battle, and began to treat him once more like a son and less like a recruit. He would be sixteen years old when he finally passed the trails for manhood, and Draluk would proudly hand down his iconic blue and gray armor to Dar.
In 35 ABY Dar met Cando Pax for the first time, the adoptive Twi'lek grandson of previous mentor Yoeman Nardleo. Sitting in a lounge on Mandalore, Dar had been going over the base plans for a bounty hunting job Draluk had set up for him. From a near by booth, Cando continuously corrected Dar over his tactics and pointed out the obvious flaws. Frustrated with the Twi'lek Mandalorian's interruptions, all of which proved to be tactically sound, Dar instigated a fight that broke out into a bar room brawl. By the end of the fight, the two left on peaceful terms and paired up to successfully complete Dar's mission.
The two partnered up for another two jobs before Dar lost contact with Cando. The Twi'lek had unluckily become a Joiner to the Killiks during the Dark Nest Crisis. Dar would not see him again until nearly ten years later.
Though he was older than when most Mandalorian boys are given their status of manhood, Dar finally decided he was ready to go into the galaxy at large when he finally turned nineteen. Much of his time was spent drifting from job to job, trying to apply his trade and manage himself as a mercenary for hire, taking what ever missions he could find. It was at this point in his life he became influenced and experimenting with drugs to deal with his emotional problems, which would lead into a life-long series of addictions.
“Yer mannerisms ain’t very becomin’ at all, mercenary. ‘Specially comin’ inta my pub that way, ‘specially if’n yer lookin’ fer work.”
After several months, he found himself working for a petty crime boss in the under levels of Zaffar, the main space port on Ramada Prime. Belnak the Feeorin was an old friend of Dar's uncle-like teacher, Granyn and offered to give the young man work. Dar spent several years in Belnak's employ, helping to keep the Feeorin's minor business alive against bigger crime syndicates looking to move into the area.
The following morning, Darml'acor arrived at Dar's flat with his swoop gang. Dar killed all of the members quickly and fought briefly with Darml'acor once more. After killing the Twi'lek, he found a tattoo marking him as former Peace Brigade, which lead Dar to track down more information about him. Going to Belnak, he found out that the now dead Twi'lek was a member of the Reapers, the same group of pirates that had destroyed his childhood home. Against Belnak's warnings, Dar vowed to track down the Reapers and finally avenge his mother's death, regardless of his own safety and survival.
“Is that how you really feel? That you’re worthless? That you have no purpose? You’re so broken, Dar. I see it. Marnaara sees it. But no matter how broken you are on the inside, there’s no reason to break yourself on the outside. We’ve seen the scars. I know which ones you inflict on yourself and which ones come from your jobs. I know so much more about you than you even know about yourself Dar.”
The following morning, while preparing to leave, Dar and Kaleen would share words about Dar's self destructive personality. The argument was brief, but Dar was solid on his decision to leave on a certain suicide mission. When leaving Ramada Prime, he was stopped by a blind old woman who called him the Kyr'bes'alor, or the Skull King in Mando'a and prophesied that he would would come to know death well, and it would not be his own. The seemingly crazy woman insistently gave him a small bronzium pendant, shaped like the Mandalorian mythosaur icon, which she said, “Take it! Wear it with pride, must you, Kyr’bes’alor! The Skull King must have his icon!” Along the way, Dar discovered that the Reapers had kidnapped Marnaara and Kaleen. While stopped at The Wheel, he reunited with childhood friend Bek who had been sent by Granyan to help him.
Together they stormed the pirate strong hold, an ancient and dilapitated Venator-class Star Destroyer that had crashed during the Clone Wars. When finally faced with the Reaper's leader, Kijjar Vicant, Dar issued a challenge and voiced his vows to kill him. The pirate lord merely issued one of his lieutenants, a Yuuzhan Vong warrior to battle the Mandalorian, but in an act of defiance, Bek stepped up for the challenge. Bek soundly defeated the warrior, but the fight infuriated Kijjar, prompting him to brand Dar a coward for not accepting the that had been meant for his. The Kijjar brought out the Twi'lek girls and cut Marnaara's throat in front of Dar and gave her body to the frenzied mob of pirates, a memory that would haunt him for the rest of his life.
Dar and Bek would be thrown into the bowels of the ship's remains and imprisoned. Dar would meet fellow captive, Ikeira Sov, who had been captured and was continuously being raped by the pirates. The two Mandalorians devised a plan, and with the help of Ikeira, escaped their prison and faced off with the pirates and instigated a frenzied riot. In the end, Dar killed the leader of the pirates and in doing so, unwillingly assumed control of the Reapers.
Living up to expectations and responsibilities (41 ABY - 45 ABY)
Although he succeeded in rescuing Kaleen, Dar chose to set her up financially for a safe, stable future and left her, fearing his Mandalorian ways and violent life style would constantly put her at risk, which he felt she did not deserve. Following this, he began reforming his new pirates into a more honor bound group. With Bek assisting him as his second in command, the Skull King Pirates became more of a merchant organization and a safe haven for bounty hunters and mercenaries, much how Booster Terrik had set up the Errant Venture for smugglers. Dar would begin assuming two identities: Dar Kyram, a simple Mandalorian mercenary and The Skull King, leader of the Skull King Pirates. He adamantly kept his two lives apart, to protect his assets in each.
“You’re too much of a city merc, you know that?”
Dar and Bek would begin working exclusively together. Dar found an appreciation for his friend's loyal backing, and was constantly thankful for his lack of prying into his personal business. Dar began to heavily use drugs at this point, but mostly within the locked confines of his own quarters aboard the Brahamah Bantha.
While working on the Outer Rim for a Toydarian informant named Hokka, Dar and Bek took many jobs that Dar hoped would achieve him some sort of notoriety amongst the gangs and criminal heads in the Core Worlds. He knew if he could gain a foot hold, he could gain easier access to alternative plans in assassinating the criminal heads for the personal vendetta against the men he felt were evil and deserved to die. As he struggled with setting up his reputation and his level of drug abuse increased, he also began to have disturbing nightmares that left him cutting and hurting himself more so than ever.
Eventually Dar was given a job by Hokka to assassinate Wahkin Geller, owner of Mazamon Mining guild, and once more reuniting with Ikeira Sov. Dar would find out she was actually an undercover agent for the Galactic Bureau of Investigative Affairs, and he was actually a pawn in a bigger game. The current job he was on was nothing more than a final set up of many to bring him down for criminal actions, due to her associating him with the Reaper pirates in her reports, when she had made it back to the Core after he rescued her. Dar proceeded with his job, and almost assassinated Wahkin when the man actually had known Dar was there to assassinate him. He revealed to Dar that the assassination was, in fact, set up by himself as a test to find a suitable employee to break his brother Insardea out of Hedriona, a triple max security penal colony.
“I do apologize for the rude entrance you had to endure, Mr. Kyram. But I’m sure you must understand that if I were to hire the best of the best, I had to be sure he was the best.”
Dar took the job, even though he didn't have much option to do so, and was forced to take Ikeira with him. After he infiltrated the prison and broke Wahkin's brother out, it was revealed to him that Wahkin was actually on the payroll of the government and in fact the entire mission Dar was on was a set up so he could kill his own for his arrest and capture. Ikeira, who had been under cover and spying on Wahkin, was unaware that he was being paid by her agency. Furious with her betrayal, regardless she was ignorant of actually betraying him, he decided to turn the odds. He used her and his information to lure the GBIA into capturing him once he'd returned to Mazamon. When Dar arrived, he hid Wahkin's brother and confronted Wahkin himself. He chased the man to his escape hanger and eventually killed him and took the money, ensuring his payment for the bogus assassination job.
On his way to leave, Ikeira stopped him. Although she had professed she didn't want to do this, she wanted to help him, she refused to allow him to leave. As she told him so, GBIA agents blocked off the hanger bay's exit. Shooting the GBIA captain, Dar turned to run out the open hanger and jumped out, only to be saved by Bek in the Brahamah Bantha. Dropping off Insardea on Bespin's Cloud City, Dar left with Bek to head for the Outer Rim once more. On their way, Dar tracked down Hokka, who was now living comfortably and killed him for his betrayals.
Now a wanted criminal, Dar would be hard pressed for work in the Core and had to avoid it now at all costs. He would once again come across Ikeira Sov. She had been tracking him, making it her personal duty and mission to find him before the GBIA. She felt guilty for what had happened Mazamon and wanted to help him. The two would eventually begin an on-and-off-again relationship, built on distrust and grudging respect. Shortly just after the end of the Second Galactic Civil War, she would secretly have his son, Dral'ven. Three years after Dral'ven's birth, Dar would eventually find out he was a father and violently argued with Ikeira over her secrecy, but the two would come to make amends and he would step up to raise young Dral'ven. Together they resettled in the old Kyram Clan farm in the northern hemisphere of Mandalore. As he took on the responsibilities of a father, he would begin rehabilitating himself of his addictions to the many drugs he had allowed take much of his adult life. Though he succeeded in dropping the unhealthy habits for the most part, he would continue to drink and use ryll and other minor drugs on occasion, but no longer as heavily as he once had.
Adventures in the Unknown Regions (45 ABY - ? ABY)
Section edit pending due to retcon.
Dar Kyram was shorter than average height, standing roughly 1.6 meters tall. As he grew older, his skinny frame filled out until he was stocky and muscular. He would tend to wear his hair grown out and shaggy with thick side burns down to his cheeks, but as he grew older he began to keep clean shaven and his hair cut to militaristic standard.
Dar was covered with several tattoos. Across his right arm, he was sleeved with the night sky of his home world of Rendar and fire swirling up from the elbow. In the middle of the stars on the back of his forearm was the Mandalorian Mythosaur skull inked in blue with a crown of fire rising from it. The left arm had a series of black tribal tattooing up and over his shoulder, collar and chest with a cross on his upper arm, a representation of his former clan and the people he’d lost long ago.
With his tattoos, he had many scars. His left arm was a patchwork of cutting scars he had inflicted on himself due to emotional issues he was unable to deal with. His body had scratches and scars from many battles growing up and from the life of a warrior. Across the bridge of his nose from above his right eye brow to his left cheek he had a large, white scar which he has yet to give up the origin to.
“Now I have to wipe the floor with every single one of you osik kovid Hutt spawning chakaar sha’buirla.”
Personality wise, Dar was a very closed off and secluded individual, though when dealing with others he tended to be brutally honest and not mince words. He disliked wasting his time and tended to be rather unforgiving to others for their personal choices. He was emotionally scarred from the events of his childhood, the waning days of the Yuuzhan Vong War and eventually fell into drugs to handle his emotional problems. Dar would find it hard to relate with people in the general populace outside the Mandalorian society, and many of his culture would find him distant and hard to tolerate due to his disgruntled attitude.
Although he was outwardly violent and rude, and prone to violence to deal with his problems, he was also very traditional, honor bound and respectful of his elders. While he tended to deal with his emotions by cutting himself or delving into his drug addiction, Dar was very professional when it came to his mercenary work. He was known to be vengeful when the cause was worthy to his personal opinion and was selective of those who he let into his personal life and very few would see him relaxed and with his guard lowered.
Dar's armor once belonged to his grandfather. The armor was comprised of a standard, heavy Mandalorian beskar'gam suit with standard vest armor, shin, thigh, knee pads and cod piece. Due to his dislike of advanced tech, aside from his helmet, he mostly wore a pair of heavily reinforced beskar gauntlets that he used quiet often in close-quarter combat.
Due to having earned his armor from his grandfather, so did he gain the trophies which adorned it. He was often seen sporting the now archaic Advance Recon Commando rank pauldron and kama from a long-dead ARC Lieutenant. Dar would wear these, and his modified helmet, in a stoic reverence in the way the clones had defiled Mandalorians by cloning their former Mandalore, Jango Fett. The kama he wore, out of the same reason, and because the Kyram Clan being traditional kama wearers.
“You know… Where’s the honor these days? Just because I’m a mercenary doesn’t mean I’m going to stab you in the back. Okay, I might if the pay is good enough… But that’s not the point.” ―Dar Kyram
His weapons consisted of a heavily modified Rakden 50-5H heavy blaster. It was upgraded to higher power discharge with lower battery draining by, allowing more shots at higher level settings. It was installed with a system-link to his helmet's HUD.
He also sported a double-barreled array blaster, which had once been a Rakden 50-5A pump shot array blaster. It was after-marketed with both barrels being cut off for expanded energy-spray shots and pump-action charged to the heavy battery pack. It tripled the range and firing power of the standard 50-5A, but it only allowed for ten shots before needing to be reloaded.
Dar also carried a number of assorted vibroblades across his armor, a pair of small hold out blasters on his outer calves, and a pair of sais on his back hips, gifts from Ori Kadala's home world of Shogun. Though he rarely used the archaic farming tool-based weapons, he was thoroughly proficient when he wielded them.
Dar's preferred to keep his equipment as simple as possible, so as to avoid it being damaged in the field and his lack of enthusiasm for technology. The only item he kept that was of any form of sophisticated equipment would be his highly custom, modified helmet.
Originally his grandfather's, it was created by combining a Republic Commando Katarn battle armor helmet and a standard Mandalorian helmet. Equipped with special scanning equipment, unit-linked system analyzer, a 360-Degree window, advanced tracking and computing programs as well as suit environmental controls, bio/toxin filter, and weapon systems link to provide an aiming reticule in the HUD. Life support and internal diagnostics, were also incorporated along with multi-visual scanners, including thermal and infrared. Later, when it was in Dar's possession, it was further advanced to allow hologram AI support, HoloNet access, longer commsystem range, upgraded range finder sensors, unit-to-unit life support information, and holo-cam recorder. Much of this extra technology was added personally by Vhe'dn Oyre and Kieran Kadala.
Aside from the helmet, most of Dar's equipment was fairly standard. A mini-med kit for field-attained injury, extra ammo packs, personal datapad and external comlink.
Behind the scenes