Spoiler alert! Included below is a summary of events as they happened in the Blood of the Empire comic, as well as the appropriate speculation that can be derived. If you don't wish to have the story spoiled, then read no further. You have been warned.
The comic begins on the planet Begeren. It was once a part of the Old Sith Empire, with many monuments built to the past leaders of the Sith. However, Republic colonists took the planet after the fall of the Sith to mine the valuable crystals located there. Its significant historic value to the Sith is the primary reason for the conflict within this issue.
The Republic forces are well defended with turret emplacements, and are destroying several squads of Imperial troops. Battle droids are used heavily on both sides, suggesting that either few living troops are needed on the battlefield or that both sides can only spare a few. Republic controlled Aurek Tactical Strikefighters also continuously bomb the invaders.
Teneb Kel, a force user, is the battlefield leader of the Sith offensive. He was trained by Lord Calypho, the Sith who authorized the invasion. Kel is accompanied by his slave companion, an Abyssin named Maggot. Like all Abyssins, Maggot has incredible natural healing, allowing him to survive damage that kills several others near him. Maggot also seems to be a friend of Kel, even though he is Taneb's slave.
As the battle rages, Teneb Kel is able to sneak past the front lines to engage the Advozsec governor, as well as his bodyguards. The fight is one sided, as Kel quickly disarms the guards with the Force. One is trained in Teras Kasi, a form of unarmed combat, but dies quickly from a blow by from Kel's double bladed lightsaber.
Teneb Kel slays the governor for the desecration of the ruins of the planet, then proceeds to obtain control of the palace and its defenses. In the aftermath of the battle Teneb Kel and Maggot are arrested for the actions of Lord Calypho.
The first page of the comic notes that the Republic forces are using "cacophinzer rounds" that are stopping the Sith forces because they lack "sonic dampeners". These sonic rounds probably can not be deflected by lightsabers and could be used by weapons in The Old Republic to thwart Force users, much like grenades and flamethrowers.
One of the governor's bodyguards is trained in the nine edicts of Teras Kasi, an unarmed combat discipline. Originated on the planet Bunduki by the followers of Palawa, Teras Kasi was used by some lightsaber duelists in combat. The most notable of which are Jedi Master Anoon Bondara, Jedi Knight Joclad Danva, and Darth Maul. Although it is too early to speculate what this means for TOR, its placement stands out as a hint of some import.
Maggot's portrayal seems indicate how companion characters may function. Teneb Kel gave Maggot orders and Maggot followed those orders almost to death. Afterward, Teneb Kel reunited with his companion, possibly implying that companion characters won't always need to be directly with the player. Upon his arrest, Maggot was arrested as well, indicating that Teneb Kel's decisions affected his companion.
Teneb Kel mentions that Begeren was once controlled by the Sith a millenia before the time of the comic. The planet houses slave crafted monuments dedicated to great Sith warriors, philosophers, and alchemists. His mention of Sith alchemy is interesting considering the implications for gameplay involving the creation of Sithspawn and other dark experiments.
Although only relevant to Teneb Kel, the conclusion of the part one shows the main character being arrested for the crimes of Lord Calypho. This may indicate that who players accept missions from, how the player performs the quests, and the conclusion of the mission may all come back to haunt them. We repeatedly hear that decisions matter in The Old Republic and this could be another hint towards how that will effect players.
Blood of the Empire starts out with epic battle, drawing readers in. It offers new insights into the gameplay of Star Wars: The Old Republic and highlights some of the motivating factors behind some of the conflicts players may encounter. The Blood of the Empire will almost certainly continue to become more interesting and revealing as new issues are released.