- "Maggot of metal, rust, and rot. Sith life draws breath, old life does not."
- ―Incantation of mechu-deru vitae, a technique used by Belia Darzu to create technobeasts
Belia Darzu was a female Shi'ido who reigned as a Dark Lord of the Sith during the last quarter of the New Sith Wars. A born shape-shifter, Darzu typically appeared as a tall Human woman with short brown hair. In 1250 BBY, she led the revived Sith Empire at the beginning of a period called the Sictis Wars. An accomplished Sith alchemist, Lord Darzu studied an obscure Force technique known as mechu-deru, leading her to concoct a virus capable of transforming its victims into mutated cyborgs—technobeasts. Using a hidden fortress on the planet Tython, she created an army of technobeasts in a campaign against the Galactic Republic and its Jedi protectors. By 1230 BBY, the Dark Lord had fallen victim to a conspiracy to end her life. Pursued by her traitorous Sith followers and the vengeful Mecrosa Order, Darzu's reign culminated in her assassination.
- "Do you know the name of Belia Darzu? She was a Dark Lord of the Sith who reigned over two centuries ago."
Belia Darzu was a female Shi'ido who lived during the New Sith Wars, a galactic conflict initiated in 2000 BBY by the Sith Order, a dark side cult that opposed the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order. A natural-born shape-shifter like all members of her species, Darzu commonly assumed the physical form of a Human woman. By 1250 BBY, she had seized the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith, rising to power over the resurgent Sith empire at the beginning of a period called the Sictis Wars. Around this time, she researched Sith alchemy along with the principles of mechu-deru, a Force technique granting absolute control over mechanical systems.
At some point before the end of 1230 BBY, Darzu built a secret stronghold on the Deep Core world of Tython. At another time prior to the end of this date, the Shi'ido also created a personal battle armor suit, as well as a Sith holocron; Darzu's holocron—of which remained inside the underground inner sanctum of her fortress—would eventually contain her accumulated knowledge of mechu-deru and Sith alchemy, along with her philosophical views on the Force and instructions detailing the creation of a holocron.
Harnessing the dark side energy spread throughout the planet Tython, Lord Darzu used her fortress to research the creation of machine-organic hybrids known as technobeasts. In this pursuit, she studied the anatomy of several different species, documenting her work through a range of notes and sketches. With her knowledge of Sith alchemy and mechu-deru, Darzu concocted the nanogene spore, a technovirus capable of growing metallic tumors on a victim's body. By means of a new incantation called mechu-deru vitae, she used the nanogene spore to transform living beings into Sithspawn mutants—technobeasts.
Using her stronghold to house the technobeasts, Darzu organized the creatures into an army known as the Metanecrons, forming the front line of her force against the Republic and the Jedi during the Sictis Wars. Bound to Darzu's will, the technobeasts were capable of infecting other beings with the virus, assimilating the Dark Lord's conquered foes into her legion of Sithspawn cyborgs. Under Darzu's reign, the technobeasts came to be regarded as the defining horror of the Sictis Wars.
By 1230 BBY, an alliance once established between Lord Darzu and the Mecrosa Order—a secretive group of assassins with former ties to the Sith—had fallen apart. The Mecrosa sought revenge against Darzu for an unwanted incursion in the Tapani sector, their territory. The Dark Lord also faced betrayal from her own Sith followers, who somehow conspired in a plot to end her life. The Mecrosa fulfilled this plot—along with their revenge—by poisoning Darzu to death on the planet Tython.
- "I need a new Master—one with the power to penetrate the defenses of Belia's stronghold and lay claim to her secrets."
Despite being deemed a Sith victory, the end of the Sictis Wars—concurrent with Darzu's death—left no clear line of succession for another individual to seize the mantle of Dark Lord. The fall of Darzu also halted the production of new technobeasts, though future Sith Lords continued to use them, albeit in smaller numbers, until the New Sith Wars finally ended in 1000 BBY. Over two hundred years after the end of Darzu's reign, some of her technobeasts remained active, wandering throughout her stronghold on Tython without purpose or direction. The holocron of Lord Darzu—the last vestige of her power—radiated a dark side energy throughout the stronghold, drawing the remaining technobeasts to congregate around it. In 990 BBY, these technobeasts were destroyed by Darth Bane, a survivor of the New Sith Wars who ventured into Darzu's fortress, retrieved her holocron and ultimately uncovered the secrets to building such a device of his own. Centuries later, a number of scrolls containing Darzu's secrets came into the possession of Roganda Ismaren and Cronal, two Dark Side Adepts of the Galactic Empire. In the era of the galactic Yuuzhan Vong War, the feats of Belia Darzu were briefly mentioned in Droids, Technology and the Force, an essay written by Jedi Knight Tam Azur-Jamin.
Personality and traits
As a shape-shifter, Darzu commonly assumed the guise of a tall Human woman with short brown hair. Appearing roughly thirty years old in this form, she possessed a sly, almost crafty look to her facial features. The avatar of Darzu's holocron—mimicking the Dark Lord's appearance and mannerisms—alternated through several different physical forms, even while in the middle of a conversation.
Powers and abilities
- "She was a student of Sith alchemy; it was said she learned the secrets of mechu-deru, the ability to transform the flesh of living beings into metal and machinery."
Belia Darzu was a Force-sensitive individual who became a dark side marauder, a role that combined physical prowess and the ability to wield the power of the Force for violent purposes. As a member of the Shi'ido race, Darzu was also capable of altering her physical form. This allowed her to mimic the appearance of the Human, Twi'lek, Iridonian, or Cerean species, as well as different genders. During her tenure as a Sith Lord, Darzu created a Sith holocron, instilling it with her own knowledge of the secrets to building such a device. This included the Rite of Commencement, a long and complex ritual that trapped the cognitive essence of the creator into the capstone of the holocron.
Skilled in the dark side arts of Sith alchemy and mechu-deru, Darzu used her knowledge of both to devise the nanogene spore, as well as the offshoot technique of mechu-deru vitae. Developed from her own research, Darzu's technovirus consisted of tiny nanogene droids. Upon skin contact with the victim, the virus grew metallic tumors over their bodies and ultimately lobotomized their frontal lobes, irreversibly transforming them into technobeasts. The technobeasts were bound to the will of Darzu, whose influence over the mutants compelled them to guard the Dark Lord's holocron even centuries after her death.
As a Sith Lord, Darzu wore a self-crafted suit of dark armor for optimal protection when engaging multiple Jedi opponents. Imbued with the power of the dark side and worth 37,000 credits, this heavy plated battle armor bestowed enhanced physical strength upon its bearer, as well as stealth capabilities. In her typical Human appearance, Darzu garbed a dark, form fitting flight suit with a pale yellow vest that left her arms bare, save for a pair of short black sleeves covering her elbows. Complementing this outfit were a pair of dark boots and yellow gloves, along with a red flight cap and a belt.
Behind the scenes
Belia Darzu was first mentioned in The Dark Side Sourcebook, a roleplaying sourcebook published in 2001 as a supplement for the first edition of Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game. In 2006, two images illustrated by Doug Alexander Gregory—one from The Dark Side Sourcebook showing a dark side marauder, and another from the Ultimate Alien Anthology featuring a Shi'ido changeling—were retconned by Abel G. Peña as depictions of Darzu's physical appearance, verifying the character's species. Darzu's likeness was later used for the "Dark Side Enforcer" figurine from Star Wars Miniatures: Champions of the Force, resembling the original dark side marauder. In 2007, Darzu made her debut appearance (though only as a holocron gatekeeper) in Darth Bane: Rule of Two, the sophomore novel of Drew Karpyshyn's Darth Bane Trilogy. The names of three demonic figures depicted in John Milton's Paradise Lost—Belial, Moloch and Mammon—were used to identify the Shi'ido characters of "Belia Darzu", "Moloch Hoole" and "Mammon Hoole".
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two (First appearance) (Appears in holocron)
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two audiobook (Appears in holocron)
- Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil (Mentioned only)
- Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Darth Plagueis (Mentioned only)
- Darth Plagueis audiobook (Mentioned only)
- The Dark Side Sourcebook (First mentioned) (Picture retcon)
- Ultimate Alien Anthology (Picture only) (Retcon)
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Vader: The Ultimate Guide
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition Core Rulebook (Picture only)
- Star Wars Annual 2009
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and references
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 172 ("Darzu, Belia")
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two
- The Essential Atlas
- The New Essential Guide to Droids confirms 1230 BBY as the date of Belia Darzu's death. Concurrently, Darth Bane: Rule of Two establishes Darzu as the creator of her holocron, while The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 348 ("Mystic") confirms Darzu as the creator of her fortress. Finally, The Dark Side Sourcebook cites Darzu as the creator her dark armor suit. It can be assumed that these possessions were created before the end of 1230 BBY at the very latest.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 348 ("Mystic")
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 273 ("Tython")
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 359 ("nanogene spore")
- Logically, the alliance between Darzu and the Mecrosa must have fallen apart by 1230 BBY, the confirmed date of Darzu's death according to The New Essential Guide to Droids.
- Vader: The Ultimate Guide
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side, p. 68
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology, p. 132
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- Echoes of the Jedi
- According to Echoes of the Jedi, Darth Rivan became a Dark Lord of the Sith sometime between 1,150 and 1,400 years before the events of the story. It can be deduced that Echoes of the Jedi takes place in 17 BBY; the story occurs two years after Order 66, which was declared in 19 BBY per The New Essential Chronology. As such, the earliest time of Rivan's reign can be dated at 1417 BBY. Furthermore, The Essential Atlas confirms 1250 BBY as the beginning date for the rule of Belia Darzu (established as Rivan's successor in Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties), thus providing the latest potential date for Rivan's reign.