- "Nightbrothers. Pure warriors. Mother has chosen well."
The Nightbrothers were a small colony of Dathomirian Zabrak males who lived in a village on the far side of the planet Dathomir under the rule of the Nightsisters. After the destruction of their village, they moved to another village. They lived in subservience to the Nightsisters' matriarch Mother Talzin until the witches' near-extinction during the Clone Wars. The infamous Maul, former apprentice to the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious, was born a Nightbrother, as was his brother and later apprentice Savage Opress.
Formation and ensuing history
The Nightbrothers originated from a group of criminal Zabrak exiles whom immigrated to Dathomir and bonded with the Nightsisters, a clan of women whom they alleged were trained in the way of the Force by Allya, a former Jedi banished from the Jedi High Council, although the Jedi Order had no such records. Despite this apparent bond, the Nightsister took advantage of exiled Zabrak's ire against the Republic And subjugated them, disallowing male membership into their clans.
At some point prior to the Battle of Naboo, the Nightsister Talzin was the mother of Maul. At some shortly afterwards, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious took Maul from Talzin, his brothers, and his village to be his apprentice. The former Nightbrother Arzo Suun tried to steal from a Nightbrother warehouse but was found by the Nightsisters.
During the Clone Wars, Nightsister and Count Dooku's former assassin, Asajj Ventress, came to the village to choose one of the heads of the tribe to serve her. Ventress then arranged for three tests to see their potential. During the third and final test, Ventress fought Savage Opress and his brother Feral. After Feral was defeated, Savage continued to fight Ventress but lost to her becoming her servant. Following the Devaron massacre, the Nightbrothers fought Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, but yielded when Skywalker subdued Brother Viscus. Viscus then told them that Opress had been taken by one of Talzin's Nightsisters as a mate. As the Jedi left, Viscus ordered the Nightbrothers to let them go.
Unlike their female counterparts, the Nightbrothers were spared the wrath of the Separatists during the Battle of Dathomir. They were sent by Talzin to Maul's aid in her stead when he requested her help. Viscus and his fellow Zabraks engaged Dooku in combat on Ord Mantell, but were swiftly defeated by the Sith Lord. Dooku would then be captured by the Shadow Collective before he had the chance to kill Viscus. Later, after Dooku feigned allegiance to Maul, the latter brought him to the Nightbrother village on Dathomir where Viscus awaited, and Viscus escorted them to the heart of Mother Talzin's power where the Great Mother possessed Dooku's body to drain his energy. Viscus and the Nightbrothers then left to prepare Talzin's chambers. Soon thereafter the village was attacked by the Confederacy and Talzin was killed after sending Maul to safety. Despite the loss of the Mother and subsequent destruction of their village at the hands of the Separatists,
Following the end of the Clone Wars, Jedi Master Taron Malicos was stranded on Dathomir. Embracing the dark side, Malicos killed Brother Viscus and several Nightbrothers, taking their horns as trophies and becoming their new leader. The surviving Nightsister Merrin was then manipulated against the Jedi by Malicos and the two took control of Viscus' Nightbrothers by 14 BBY. By this point the Nightbrothers lived in a village in the Dathomir wilds. There, the Nightbrothers started domesticating bane back spiders..
Concurrently, the Nighbrother clan led by Freff were among another clan that had survived the assault on the Nightbrothers from the Separatists. For years, Freff's clan of Nightbrothers would serve the surviving Nardithi Nightsisters, most notably the Nightsister Jerserra.
When Cal Kestis came to the planet during his secret mission to rebuild the Jedi Order, Merrin threatened him and left her magically-enhanced brothers to face him. Kestis took down his attackers and survived. Kestis and Merrin would later team up to defeat Malicos in a duel and the pair departed from Dathomir, leaving the Nightbrothers behind.
Maul later returned to establish a powerbase on his homeworld, where he ruled the Crimson Dawn criminal organization from the shadows. Shortly before the Galactic Civil War, Maul stated he was the last survivor of the Nightsisters' civilization. He later met his end at the hands of Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi on Tatooine.
Society and culture
- "The strongest Nightbrothers faced a rite of passage by venturing into the lair of this creature."
- ―Cal Kestis talking about a Nightbrothers' rite of passage involving the species known as chirodactyl
Like many cultures and societies of Dathomir, much of the history and livelihood of the Nightbrothers remains unknown to most in the galaxy, surrounding by legends made by both Nightbrothers and Nightsisters like, and was notably difficult due to both sides intentionally keeping their ways unknown to others outside their clans. In turn, the Nightbrothers became territorial and hostile to outsiders.
A simple warrior society, the Nightbrothers of Dathomir lived in seperate warrior clans lead by a Nightbrother Leader and their second-in-command, the Nightbrother Lieutenant. In some cases like Viscus' clan, however, the Nightbrother's leadership resided in both a surviving Nightsister and even an outsider who earned their begrudging loyalty through force and strength. Nightbrothers respect power and strength above all else. Their respect for power and honor led to them fighting in a combat arena to demonstrate their strength with intent to win. Although hostile to outsiders, one that proved powerful could be given substantial influence over the group, be it through respect or fear, even allowing them to gain leadership over the society and worship.
Nightbrothers were accustomed to engaging in rites of passage; one such practice involved covering their faces with thin, dark tattoos. The best and boldest of the Nightbrothers faced another sort of rite of passage in which they battled beasts known as chirodactyls. Those that faced these behemoth creatures and survived were deemed worthy. They also practiced painting glyphs using acid from hydraatis on hard rock surfaces. Their usage of it was deliberately careful to preserve accuracy and damage to themselves. Those who were master calligraphers—rare positions within the society—were extremely valued for their talents.
Relations with the Nightsisters
The male warriors were subservient to the Nightsisters. Dominating the Nightbrothers both physically and politically, the Nightsisters' treatment of them were often cruel, regulated them to being their servants, muscle, bodyguards, and breeding stock. Although mostly obedient, the Nightbrothers often had great kinship between one another and constantly sought to protect one another from the whims and demands of the Nightsisters.
Brutal treatment from the Nightsisters was seen a necessity on their end to keep them compliant and obedient due to Zabrak Nightbrothers possessing a higher tolerance of pain. The Nightsisters also forbade practice of magick to the Nightbrothers and disallowed membership into their clans
Skills and training
As warriors, Nightbrothers ranged in having strength and fighting abilities comparable to other humanoids to being impressively power fighter and were best known for their agile and highly acrobatic mixture of fighting stlyles in which they used to gain an advantage over their enemies. Some examples of the finest fighters of this style included Maul and Savage Oppress. In addition to their combat skills, they were well taught in survival skills and were notable in possessing higher pain tolerance. Although Nightbrothers were not trained in magick, the promixity to the Nightsister's magical ichor granted them enhanced reflexes and perception.
Few Nightbrothers were powerfully Force-sensitive; those that were identified as such were trained as "Male adepts", warriors capable of using the force to enhance their physical abilities. They could also be magically-enhanced through the power of a Nightsister and access other force abilities such as Force push. Merrin demonstrated this power when she enhanced her Nightbrother servants to deter Jedi Padawan Cal Kestis. A more intensive ritual transformed selected Nightbrother warriors into monstrous, hate-filled warriors strong in the dark side of the Force.
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Monster"
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
- Collapse of the Republic
- Ghosts of Dathomir
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 2
- Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 3
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Witches of the Mist"
- Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 4
- Solo: A Star Wars Story
- Star Wars Rebels – "Visions and Voices"
- Star Wars Rebels – "Twin Suns"
- Star Wars Battlefront II