- "We are prisoners no more. Free of the Republic. Free of the Empire. Both will fall before the Dread Masters."
- ―Dread Master Raptus
- "Once we desired an empire. Now, with the death of Lord Styrak, we are going mad."
- ―Dread Master Brontes
The Dread Masters were six powerful Sith Lords who answered directly to the Sith Emperor, earning their title after harnessing the power of the Phobis devices, artifacts that had driven even the most depraved Sith insane with fear. During the Great Galactic War, the Dread Masters used their powers of battle meditation to destroy entire Republic fleets, and kept in motion onboard an Imperial dreadnaught until they were captured by a strike team led by the Jedi Knight Jaric Kaedan in 3668 BBY. The Jedi Order announced that the Dread Masters had been slain, when in fact they were taken to the secret prison-world of Belsavis.
An Imperial strike team infiltrated "the Tomb", an area of the deep prisons of Belsavis dating back to the Rakata Infinite Empire, where the Dread Masters were held, and released them to return to Imperial service. However, following the defeat of the Emperor at the hands of the Hero of Tython on Dromund Kaas, the Dread Masters went rogue, deciding to take control of the galaxy for themselves. In Section X on Belsavis, the Dread Host attempted to take control of an ancient Rakata weapon known as the Aurora Cannon, which was destroyed by a strike team. On Denova, they recruited the Trandoshan warlord Kephess and his Warstalkers to assist them in their campaign to spread fear across the galaxy; on Asation, they activated a Gree hypergate to summon a creature known as the "Terror from Beyond". Both operations were eventually shut down by Republic and Imperial forces.
The Republic and the Empire became more focused on their war after Asation, including the campaign against the Hutt Cartel on Makeb and the investigation of the Czerka research facility on CZ-198. During the Makeb campaign, the Dread Masters resurfaced, with Lord Tagriss leading a raid on the Arcanum, the Emperor's hidden storehouse of Sith artifacts, and taking the Darkstaff and the Seeds of Rage. The Seeds were planted on multiple worlds, but recovered by agents working for either Darth Acina of the Dark Council or the Jedi Master Cedral Gend, and Tagriss himself hunted down and slain in a corrupted Jedi temple on Ilum.
Following the repeated failures of his fellows to achieve their plans in unison, the Dread Master Styrak went rogue and began corrupting the Hutt world of Darvannis, where he was eventually hunted down and slain - the first of the Dread Masters to die.
The discovery of OriconEdit
- Raptus: "Before our brother tasted oblivion, we had prepared to spread terror across the galaxy. We would build an endless dominion under our leadership."
- Calphayus: "Coruscant overgrown with our devices. Homes and families slick with blood. Billions overcome with fear and hatred."
- Brontes: "That day will still come. But it will not end there."
- Raptus: "We felt our brother's doom on Darvannis. We felt peace. When we have enslaved the galaxy, slaughter will follow."
- Calphayus: "Birth. Pain. Fear. Death. The cycle of existence."
- Bestia: "Oblivion will overtake all that is. At the end, we too will taste death's solace."
- ―The Dread Masters[src]
Following Styrak's death, the Republic located the Masters' new base of operations on the volcanic moon of Oricon, located on the edge of Imperial space. Six hours later, they dispatched a task force under the command of the Jedi Master Ogan-Dei to bombard the moon from orbit and end the threat cleanly, but the Dread Masters used their dark powers to project images into the minds of the Republic forces to spread fear, and resulted in the destruction of the task force. Supreme Chancellor Leontyne Saresh, upon learning of the loss of contact with the task force, called on heroes of the Republic to travel to Oricon and link up with the survivors.
Not long afterwards, the Empire also discovered the location of the Dread Masters and the fate of the Republic task force, while sending their own force under the direction of Lord Hargrev. However, much as the Republic had, the Empire lost contact with the task force - their ships destroyed by the powers of the Dread Masters. Darth Marr called on the elite of the Empire, who had been involved in the original mission to free the Dread Masters on Belsavis, to locate Hargrev and learn of the status of his forces.
The Republic and Empire's Heroes on OriconEdit
Acknowledging a common enemy that both factions had failed to defeat individually, Republic and Imperial forces secured a temporary truce to fight the Dread Masters. Both sides did what they could to cripple the Dread Host, which eventually led to the attack on the Dread Fortress, the base of operations for the Masters.
In the Fortress, the Republic/Imperial strike team faced Dread Master Brontes, and her creations. The strike team encountered many of Brontes' creations and servants, including Nefra, Draxus, Grob'thok, and Corruptor Zero. When the strike team successfully defeated all of these opponents Brontes faced them by herself. Like Styrak before her, she failed and was killed as a result.
After Brontes's death, the team found a portal leading to the Dread Palace, the true base of the Dread Masters, and the location of hiding for the last four. Each Master attempted to kill the strike team individually, and failed. Eventually the strike team reached the Dread Masters' throne room, where the Masters taunted the team and told them that they would die. However, they were surprised at the strength of the team, and chose to recuperate their strength. They summoned the spirits of deceased Dread Masters Styrak and Brontes to aid them in their fight. The strike team took them down easily. Realizing that they might actually die, the living Masters chose to sacrifice some of their life force in a last-ditch attempt to destroy the strike team. The strike team was taken a back, but proceeded to strike down each Dread Master one by one.
The rogue actions and horrifying plans of the Dread Masters finally ended. The galaxy's biggest threat to stability had been stopped.
The Republic strike camp received an unexpected visitor: Dread Master Calphayus. Calphayus had survived his death for unknown reasons, even to himself. He explained that he remembered what it was like to no longer be afraid and that upon his near-death, saw light. He explained that he was no longer bound to the other Masters, as he had been previously. The Republic strike team showed mercy and spared his life, and Calphayus was taken away to be treated by the Jedi.
- ↑ Using information from the novel The Old Republic: Annihilation and Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire, the events of Game Updates 2.0 through 3.3 for Star Wars: The Old Republic can be placed in the time period between 3640 BBY and 3637 BBY. According to The Old Republic lead designer Charles Boyd (screenshot), the game's events can be assumed to occur in a timeline matching that of their real-time release. Therefore, the events of Game Update 2.4: The Dread War can be placed in approximately 3639 BBY.
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "The Phobis Devices"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "The Dread Masters"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Imperial Mission: "[HEROIC 4] The Alchemy of Evil" on Ilum
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Republic Mission: "[HEROIC 4] Uprooting the Evil" on Ilum
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Republic Mission: "Days of Dread" on Oricon
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Imperial Mission: "A Master Revealed" on Oricon