Darth Bane: Path of Destruction is a novel by Drew Karpyshyn about the life of Darth Bane, set from 1006 BBY to 1000 BBY. The hardcover was released on September 26, 2006 by Del Rey. The paperback contains an excerpt from Death Star. A new audiobook was released by Random House Audio on the 30th of October 2012, narrated by Jonathan Davis. The novel was republished on June 15, 2021 as part of The Essential Legends Collection.
Once the Sith Order teemed with followers. But their rivalries divided them in endless battles for supremacy. Until one dark lord at last united the Sith in the quest to enslave the galaxy—and exterminate the Jedi. Yet it would fall to another, far more powerful than the entire Brotherhood of Darkness, to ultimately realize the full potential of the Sith, and wield the awesome power of the dark side as never before.
Since childhood, Dessel has known only the abuse of his hateful father and the dangerous, soul-crushing labor of a cortosis miner. Deep in the tunnels of the desolate planet Apatros, endlessly excavating the rare mineral valued throughout the galaxy, Dessel dreams of the day he can escape — a day he fears may never come. But when a high-stakes card game ends in deadly violence, Dessel suddenly finds himself a wanted man.
On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army, and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel's brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, he is destined for a far greater role in the ultimate Sith plan for the galaxy – if he can prove himself truly worthy.
As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side at the feet of its greatest masters, Dessel embraces his new Sith identity: Bane. However the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness one must fully surrender to the dark side through a trial by fire that Bane, for all his unquenchable fury and lust for power, may not be strong enough to endure…especially since deception, treachery, and murder run rampant among the Sith disciples, and utter ruthlessness alone is the key to survival. Only by defying the most sacred traditions, rejecting all he has been taught, and drawing upon the long-forgotten wisdom of the very first Sith can Bane hope to triumph — and forge from the ashes of that which he must destroy a new era of absolute dark power.
'"Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody the power, the other to crave it." — Darth Bane, Dark Lord of the Sith.'
On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel, a cortosis miner, vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel's brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, a far greater destiny awaits him.
As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side, Dessel embraces his new identity: Bane. However the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness, he must defy the most sacred traditions and reject all he has been taught. It is a trial by fire in which he must surrender fully to the dark side — and forge from the ashes a new era of absolute power.
Star Wars Legends release
Now for the first time in trade paperback: A Star Wars Legends classic featuring the fearsome Sith lord Darth Bane, repackaged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm.
Once the Sith order teemed with followers. But their rivalries divided them in endless battles for supremacy. Until one dark lord at last united the Sith in the quest to enslave the galaxy-and exterminate the Jedi. Yet it would fall to another, far more powerful than the entire Brotherhood of Darkness, to ultimately realize the full potential of the Sith, and wield the awesome power of the dark side as never before.
Since childhood, Dessel has known only the abuse of his hateful father and the dangerous, soul-crushing labor of a cortosis miner. Deep in the tunnels of the desolate planet Apatros, endlessly excavating the rare mineral valued throughout the galaxy, Dessel dreams of the day he can escape-a day he fears may never come. But when a high-stakes card game ends in deadly violence, Dessel suddenly finds himself a wanted man.
On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army, and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions. There, Dessel's brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, he is destined for a far greater role in the ultimate Sith plan for the galaxy-if he can prove himself truly worthy.
The prologue begins with the capture of Korriban by the Brotherhood of Darkness.
The main story begins in the cortosis mines of Apatros, where a young Darth Bane goes by his birth name, Dessel. Dessel works in the mines with his abusive, alcoholic father Hurst. After a confrontation in the mines, Dessel kills Hurst by unknowingly using his Force abilities to induce a fatal heart attack. Shortly after, Dessel is forced to leave Apatros after killing a Republic naval officer in a fight over a sabacc game, which Dessel had won with the help of precognitive Force powers. Smuggled off-world by his Neimoidian friend Groshik, Dessel enlists in the Sith army to escape the Republic. Joining a unit called the Gloom Walkers, he distinguishes himself in the Assault on Kashyyyk and the subsequent Battle of Hsskhor on neighboring Trandosha.
During the Battle of Phaseera, Dessel mutinies against the commanding officer Ulabore to prevent the unit from deploying on a suicide mission. Dessel then leads the unit to victory over the Republic forces opposing them. Despite this success, he is arrested upon his return. Taken before the Sith Lord Kopecz, Dessel expects to be executed for insubordination. Instead, Kopecz senses Dessel's Force potential and enrolls him in the Sith academy on Korriban.
Upon his arrival, Des adopts the name "Bane", a name his father had often used to degrade him. Bane begins to learn the ancient ways of the Sith, studying under such masters as Qordis and Kas'im, as well as others like Orilltha, Shenayag, Hezzoran, and Borthis. He also studies the temple archives and quickly begins to surpass the other students, despite his late entry to the Academy.
After Bane killed a student named Fohargh in the dueling ring, his prestige at the Academy rises. However, he begins to doubt himself and his connection to the Force falters. In a desperate bid to maintain his reputation, Bane challenges Sirak, the foremost student at the Academy. In the ensuing duel, Bane is beaten to within an inch of his life. After this humiliation, Lord Qordis decrees that Bane is to receive no further training from any of the Masters.
Githany, a Jedi traitor, arrives at the Academy shortly after Skere Kaan's near victory over the Army of Light on Ruusan. Seeing Bane as someone she could use to remove Sirak, her only real rival at the Academy, she begins to secretly tutor him in the ways of the Force. At the same time Bane approaches Kas'im for secret instruction in lightsaber combat. Neither of Bane's illicit teachers is aware of the other, and Bane hopes to keep this secret for as long as possible.
Slowly, as Bane begins to regain much of his lost power and confidence, he once again visits the Temple archives and resumes his studies there. As his training progresses, he starts to believe that the Brotherhood of Darkness and the Sith as a whole have turned their backs on the ancient ways. Despite his new training, Bane realizes that the true potential of the dark side was beyond not only himself, but every other Sith Lord. When Bane defeats Sirak in another challenge, he once again enjoys the favor of the Masters, but departs angrily when Qordis ordered him to stop visiting the archives. Bane travels to the Valley of the Dark Lords, hoping to find some remnant of the Sith who had passed beyond.
Bane returns having found nothing and feigns acceptance of the Sith and their current teachings. Secretly however, he now believes there is only one place he can go to learn what he needed. Just prior to the departure of the Academy students for Ruusan, Githany lures Bane into an ambush with Sirak at the Academy library, but only so Bane could kill Sirak for her own ulterior purposes. At first Bane believes she has betrayed him but he quickly realizes the true reason when Githany tosses him his lightsaber to defend himself. Bane and Githany together kill Llokay and Yevra, two of Sirak's followers. Bane then kills Sirak, who pleads for his life before Bane brutally decapitates him.
Instead of leaving for Ruusan with the other Sith Lords Bane steals Qordis' starship, the Valcyn, and heads for a location he had read about in the Sith archives. He takes the ship to a world called Lehon, remembered in history as the Unknown World and home to the now-extinct Rakata. Through his perusal of the archives, Bane believes that the Rakata were the first dark side users present in the galaxy. Upon his arrival at the Temple of the Ancients, Bane finds Darth Revan's holocron.
Taking all he learned from Revan, Bane crafts the Rule of Two to ensure that only the strongest of the Sith order continue to exist. After he defeats Kas'im (whom Skere Kaan had sent to kill him after Githany told him of a force premonition about Bane coming to Ruusan to destroy the Brotherhood of Darkness) in a lightsaber duel, Bane leaves for Ruusan, but not before sending Lord Kaan a message in which he purposefully appears weak and regretful about killing Kas'im. He also sends the instructions for an ancient Sith battle technique, the thought bomb as a peace offering. In anticipation of his arrival, and fearing that Bane may actually destroy the Brotherhood, Kaan sends Githany to kill Bane. After locating him on Ambria, she kisses him with poisoned lips, after herself taking the antidote. Bane detects the poison straight away and is thrilled that Githany used such cunning and treachery as befited a true Sith Lord, rather than traditional methods like dueling. Confident that the methods from Darth Revan's holocron will allow him to counteract the poison, Bane kisses Githany three times. Eventually, however, he begins to feel the effects of synox on his body and realizes that she used two poisons against him synergistically, one to disguise the presence of the other. Bane then tracks down a local healer named Caleb who cared neither for the Jedi or the Sith. After Bane threatens to kill his daughter, Caleb cures Bane. Bane decides to spare their lives, figuring he might still use them and that killing without reason or gain was one of the petty pleasures that was ruining the Sith Order.
Heading for the Sith camp on Ruusan, Darth Bane finds a Jedi fleet in the system and Sith ships blocking their reinforcements to the Jedi below. On landing, Bane joins a meeting of the Sith Lords during which Kaan describes his battle plan to the Brotherhood. The Sith Lords, especially Githany, are surprised to see Bane still alive. Bane uses the opportunity to lecture Kaan for thinking like a dirty general and not a Sith Lord. Bane convinces the assembled Sith lords to help him create a massive Force Storm with another of Darth Revan's rituals to destroy the forest where the Jedi forces are located. Kaan, however, interrupts the ritual prematurely to engage the surviving Jedi hand to hand. Returning to the empty Sith camp, Bane meets Qordis, who recognizes Bane's power and asks to join Bane. Bane then Force-chokes him while telling Qordis that he intends, not to take over the Brotherhood, but to end it forever.
Bane enacts the next phase of his plan to destroy the Brotherhood by contacting the Sith fleet admiral and ordering him to break off the blockade. This move allows the Jedi to get through the blockade and gain the upper hand in the battle. Lord Kaan, who has slowly drifted into insanity during his time on Ruusan, now believes the thought bomb to be the only chance for victory. The Sith lure the Jedi deep into a network of caves where they prepare the thought bomb. Lord Kopecz however, sees Kaan's madness and abandons the Brotherhood, only to be killed by Master Farfalla. Kaan then detonates the thought bomb, killing himself and all the Sith and Jedi in the caves. Now the last Sith on Ruusan, Bane finds a Force-sensitive girl named Rain. Seeing her potential strength, Bane considers making Rain the first apprentice in his Order of the Sith Lords.
Part Three of this book is largely based on the 2001 comic book mini-series Jedi vs. Sith, showing more of what Bane was thinking and doing behind the scenes of the comics. However, there are many small contradictions between the story as told in Path of Destruction and Jedi vs. Sith, with the book modifying many of the exchanges of dialogue (sometimes meaningfully), and also changing the order of some events.
The account of the Seventh Battle of Ruusan in both this novel and the Jedi vs. Sith comics differs from the account in the 1998 novel Dark Forces: Jedi Knight. Notably, the earlier book describes the thought bomb being constructed in advance of the Army of Light's arrival, and its taking place in a valley rather than deep in a cave. The earlier book also implies that it was Lord Kaan's idea and that no attempt at escaping the bomb's effects was made by the Sith.
- ISBN 0345477367; September 26, 2006, Del Rey; 320-page hardcover
- ISBN 9780345477361; 2006; Del Rey, hardcover, Science Fiction Book Club edition (1216369)
- ISBN 0345477375; June 26, 2007; Del Rey, 395-page paperback
- ISBN 9780593358771; June 15, 2021; Del Rey; 400-page paperback, The Essential Legends Collection edition
- ISBN 8372456380; August 2007, Amber, 320-page Polish paperback.
- ISBN 0099491966; July 5, 2007, Arrow Books Ltd., 416-page U.K. paperback.
- ISBN 978-80-252-1159-5; March 25, 2009, EGMONT ČR, 271-page Czech paperback (Darth Bane: Cesta zkázy).
- ISBN 9634972006; 2010, Szukits Kiadó, 416-page Hungarian paperback.
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Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
Notes and references
- Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Science Fiction Book Club edition