History[edit | edit source]
Just prior to the Battle of Endor, a rift occurred in the ranks of the Secret Order of the Emperor, the collective body the members of which held the title Prophets of the Dark Side. Some of the Prophets sided with Supreme Prophet Kadann, who warned of potential catastrophe at the upcoming Battle; some joined Emperor Palpatine in rejecting Kadann's warnings. Kadann's followers withdrew to Bosthirda, whereas defectors such as Lord Cronal, Sariss, and Merili remained with the Empire.
After the Battle of Endor, Imperial Intelligence, under the direction of the Emperor's Hand "Blackhole" (alter ego of the former Prophet Cronal), formed a propaganda machine known as the Church of the Dark Side. The Church was sanctioned on Imperial Center as the official Imperial religion by acting-Emperor Sate Pestage and secretly patronized by the resurrected Emperor in hiding on Byss.
The Church established branches throughout the galaxy. Former Prophets such as Cronal, Sariss, and Merili claimed devotion to the quasi-religion, using it as a means to manipulate converted trade barons and military officers, such as Grand Admirals Ishin-Il-Raz and Peccati Syn. Ultimately, the purpose of the Church was to sow dissension amongst the various rival Imperial Remnant warlords, preventing any one individual from rising to power over the entire Empire, thus ensuring that, when the time came, the Imperial throne would remain empty and waiting for the return of Palpatine.
The Church even included a supposed "holy place", Scardia Station, where a number of Imperial Intelligence agents, none really Force-sensitive, publicly posed as the Prophets of the Dark Side. These false Prophets included impersonators of Kadann, Jedgar, and Gornash, individuals hiding on Bosthirda at this time. These Prophets were sponsored by Sate Pestage, himself ordered to be murdered at the instigation of Intelligence Director Ysanne Isard.
Although the Church was started by Imperial Intelligence, the false Prophets refused to support Isard as legitimate Empress. They declared the rightful heir of Palpatine would wield the Glove of Darth Vader, and the apparent fulfiller of this prophecy was the mutant Trioculus, a slavemaster backed by the Central Committee of Grand Moffs, which claimed he was the son of Palpatine. Isard's claim to the Imperial throne, despite her hold on Imperial Center, was rejected by many warlords, who instead were persuaded by the false Prophets to swear allegiance to Trioculus, whose capital was the city of Kessendra on Kessel.
The false Prophets continually labored to manipulate events so that their own prophecies would come true. The "prophecies" of the pseudo-Kadann, gathered by the pseudo-Jedgar in the holy book Secrets of the Dark Side, failed one after another, however, and they ended up at odds with both the Grand Moffs and the warlords. Their phony claims about Trioculus' heritage were exposed as lies when the existence of Palpatine's true son, Triclops, was revealed.
At last, the imitator of Supreme Prophet Kadann attempted to take over Imperial Center, but Ysanne Isard successfully defended the planet. His attempt largely failed because of lack of support from the warlords, many of whom held grudges against him--for the most part, actual grudges against the true Prophet the con man was imitating.
The success of pseudo-Kadann's imitation was his downfall. He deceived Grand Admiral Afsheen Makati into thinking he was the real Kadann, whom Makati hated. Using intelligence given him by Azrakel, who also sought to gain revenge on the real Kadann, Makati brought every ship at his disposal to destroy Scardia Station, killing the impostor.
As for other prominent members of the Church, Sariss met a violent end, while Merili faded into obscurity, and Cronal, the original Blackhole, was destroyed, with Sate Pestage taking over the role of Blackhole. In addition, the Church of the Dark Side had secretly been manipulated by Palpatine (who had been revived after his death at Endor), with one of their decrees, pertaining to the Glove, actually being leaked to them specifically so Palpatine could use Vader's glove to restore his Force abilities. Following the destruction of Byss, the Church of the Dark Side presumably ceased to exist.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
- Gambler's World (Retcon)
- Star Wars: TIE Fighter
- The Lost City of the Jedi
- Mission from Mount Yoda
- Prophets of the Dark Side
- Dark Forces: Rebel Agent
- Dark Forces: Jedi Knight
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II
Sources[edit | edit source]
- "Prophets of the Dark Side: Villains for the Star Wars: New Republic Campaign, Part One"—Polyhedron 103 (First identified as Church of the Dark Side)
- Rebellion Era Sourcebook
- Star Wars Gamemaster Screen
- "Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals"—Star Wars Insider 66
- The Dark Forces Saga
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The Emperor's Pawns"—Star Wars Gamer 5 "
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- The New Essential Guide to Characters
- The Stele Chronicles
- Galaxy of Intrigue