- "The term Sith actually refers to a species of red-skinned beings who were native to Korriban."
- ―Vestara Khai
The Sith, known alternatively as Red Sith or Sith Purebloods, were a species of red-skinned humanoids that originated on the world of Korriban, before eventually resettling on the ice-world of Ziost. Also distinct for their bone spurs, facial tentacles, and genetic predispositions toward both left-handedness and the dark side of the Force, the Sith species coalesced into an empire ruled first by kings and later by Dark Lords. After the arrival of the Human Exiles on Korriban in 6900 BBY, interbreeding and genetic manipulation altered the Sith species; over the course of several generations the original species became a hybrid race of Sith and Human heritage. Original Sith blood became a symbol of pride among the Sith, with the term "Sith Pureblood" referring to Sith who had a higher than average concentration of Sith blood.
Despite a society dominated by barbarism and infighting, Sith civilization culminated in a Golden Age, after which the species was scattered across the galaxy. An eponymous dark side tradition took the species' name, one that, despite numerous manifestations over time, maintained foundations borne of the customs, science and magic practiced by the ancient Sith species.
Biology and appearance
The Sith were a proud and violent species of humanoids who originated on Korriban, a planet within the Horuset system in an isolated Outer Rim region called the Stygian Caldera. Sith had a larger than average number of individuals with potential to use the Force in their species, so high in fact that the entire species was considered strongly Force-sensitive. The abundant Force-sensitivity resulted from a symbiotic relationship with the dark side of the Force, where they — like the other few creatures that inhabited the planet — derived sustenance directly from the dark side of the Force, and empowered it in turn.
Adult Sith characteristically had skin of a crimson hue, although infants of the species appeared a lighter shade of red. However, even though typically a dark red, some members of the species retained more pink shades of skin tone in adulthood. Sith had sharp, fierce predatory profiles and features all over their bodies, including bone spurs protruding from under their skin at various locations like the elbows. Their faces displayed a notable pair of cheek tendrils that hung down from their high cheekbones. Sith also had cranial horns, pointed teeth, simian mouths below their small noses, and glowing yellow eyes covered by cartilaginous eyebrow–stalks. In addition, some Sith had long bony chins, while others did not show this trait and instead possessed less prominent chins that receded from their mouth. Most Sith had three clawed digits on each hand, and three on each foot; two forward facing and one backward facing.However, some Sith had five digits on their hands and feet, such as Sek'nos Rath. The Sith were commonly left handed too, and as a result, their signature weapon, the lanvarok, was constructed only for their left-handed tendencies.
The cheek tendrils on the jowls of Sith that descended from their cheekbones displayed different expressions amongst their species through twitching and other movements. For example, slight curling of the tendrils showed that the particular Sith was of a rejuvenated attitude, while stroking of the right tendril was an expression of thoughtfulness. Also, quivering of the tendrils could show signs of anger, as well as a questioning expression when coupled with raising of the eyebrow–stalks. The Sith — specifically the Massassi subspecies — also had very keen senses relative to those of Humans, particularly their hearing, despite their small ears.
- "They figured out a way to mingle their DNA with that of the Sith natives, and gradually that species became extinct."
- ―Vestara Khai, speaking of the Dark Jedi and their Sith subjects
After their arrival in Sith space after the Hundred-Year Darkness (7000—6900 BBY), Human Dark Jedi began to interbreed with the Sith. For nearly two thousand years, superstition, loyalty and sympathy were bred out as the two groups interbred, and qualities such as cunning, ambition and affinity to the Force were favored, which shaped Sith society over the centuries. In the Sith Empire, as time progressed pure-blooded Sith were steadily bred out, resulting in only a few pure-blooded Sith left in the Sith Empire by the time of the Great Hyperspace War (5000 BBY). By 44 ABY, the true Sith species in the Empire were believed to have gone extinct due to the interbreeding process.
Characteristics shown would be determined depending on how much Dark Jedi or Sith blood an individual possessed due to interbreeding. By the time of the Great Hyperspace War, the majority of the Sith within the Empire displayed mainly Sith traits. It was common for the Sith of this age, especially half–breeds (like Ludo Kressh and Marka Ragnos) to have four digits on each of their hands. Although there was at least one who showed more than average Dark Jedi traits like Naga Sadow — who had among the purest Jedi lineage, with minimal Sith blood. Sadow showed many Human features, including five digits on his hands and feet, as well as the absence of bone spurs and eyebrow-stalks. However, he maintained qualities of the Sith species such as cheek tendrils (albeit shorter than those of purer Sith lineage), and red skin.
However, some such as the hybrid Sith Purebloods in the Great Galactic War showed even more dilute Sith characteristics than the likes of Sadow. One such example was Exal Kressh, who only expressed Sith traits such as red skin, glowing yellow eyes, and Force-sensitivity. All other features such as cheek tendrils or eyebrow-ridges were not present, though some other members did show other features shared with the original species. Some members even expressed more features than the actual Sith species showed; like the presence of extra pairs of cheek tendrils. In fact, the Sith Purebloods were thought to be very different from the original Sith species as a whole, and to be a Pureblood required that one had retained enough traits shared with the original species to be visually clear in their appearance. Elderly Purebloods showed signs of old–age through their skin developing deep wrinkles, paling and mottling with dark brown age spots. Aged Purebloods also tended to have withered tendrils. Unlike their ancestors, Sith Purebloods did not exist as an entirely Force-sensitive race, though it was extremely rare to find members unable to manipulate the Force.
The extremes of hybridization were shown in an individual named Ebya T'dell, who was part of the Lost Tribe of Sith around 4985 BBY. Though considered Human, she had unusually pink skin and high cheekbones, which were considered to be signs of apparent Sith species ancestry. Further still, many of the so-called Human crew of the Omen in the Lost Tribe had had some degree of interbreeding with the Sith species, though they showed no morphology to suggest it — their Force-sensitivity was the only known feature they retained from the interbreeding. After 2000 years, deformities seen in the Lost Tribe were associated as being related to the Red Sith originally in the Lost Tribe, and even in 44 ABY, it was deemed possible for Lost Tribe descendants to still have traces of Sith DNA.
The certain Dark Jedi traits inherited from the Dark Jedi–Sith interbreeding Post–Hundred-Year Darkness were selected for by some individuals, claiming that they were the strongest because of it. However, others were not supporters of this blood over Sith bloodlines; some being proud of their Sith traits and lineage, as well as despising any other species and their inclusion in the Sith Empire. From the view of the Red Sith, none other than themselves should be considered Sith.
Society and culture
- "The Sith had strictly defined castes […] There was no transitioning from one to the other."
- ―Vestara Khai
Though they were in an almost constant state of war, their civilization was quite sophisticated; they saw these acts not as cruel or barbaric, but simply basic aspects of existence. They were notable for engaging in supposedly primitive practices such as sentient sacrifices in the name of their gods. Their constant warring led to a dwindling of the population on their original homeworld of Korriban as well as cultivated an intensely xenophobic society.
Native Sith culture included the Sith, the consumption of bloodsoup, a rigid and stratified caste-based society, live sentient sacrifices to the Sith deities and use of ancient and arcane alchemy and magic. For the Sith, war and violence were just as much a part of the natural order of life as peace or serenity. Their social order was very rigid, and while many rose to the title of Sith Lord, only one, King Adas, attained the position of monarch. Another aspect of Sith culture, the creation of Sith holocrons to record knowledge, originates from their first contact with the Rakata of the Infinite Empire.
One aspect that originated from Korriban was the position of Shadow Hand; a title that was analogous to that of a Jedi Padawan. One of the oldest and greatest strengths of the Sith was their knowledge of sorcery. This great power allowed them to accomplish great feats such as causing stars to go supernova.
- "In times long past, the Sith race proved malleable…splitting into a meek and servile slave class…an intelligent and nimble engineer class…others interbred with the early exiled Jedi—like the ancestors of Ludo Kressh—watering down the powerful bloodlines…but most useful of all were members of the vicious Massassi Warrior class."
- ―Naga Sadow describes the Sith caste system
The Sith society was very hierarchical, utilizing both a rigid caste system and a stratified rank structure to put its subjects in their proper place. Due to how long Sith society has separated the Sith into castes (across approximately 100,000 years), each caste is sometimes referred to as a sub-species of Sith. All Sith castes were red-skinned humanoids with distinctly sharp, predatory features and tentacle beards. Among the Sith, the stroking of a right cheek tendril was a sign of thoughtfulness. After interbreeding with the Dark Jedi exiles, the original members of the species became known as Red Sith. Their caste system included the skilled and intelligent Zuguruk caste, the priestly Kissai caste, and the war-like Massassi caste.
The following were notable castes present amongst the Sith:
- Zuguruk Caste: The Zuguruk were notably loyal engineers who built and maintained Sith technology, including droids, starships, and tombs.
- Massassi Caste: Massassi were the warrior caste of the Sith. This was because Massassi tended to be taller and stronger than the other Sith castes, this combined with the natural Sith aggression made very efficient and vicious soldiers for the Sith military. Massassi were not very intelligent but they could be trained well enough to carry out complex battle plans and maintain their equipment, starships, and weaponry making them very useful to the Sith Empire. The Massassi's loyalty had to be earned but once it was they were unswervingly obedient to the Dark Lord of the Sith; they were also loyal to the individual Sith Lord they served, though this loyalty was secondary to their loyalty to the Dark Lord. The Massassi also had a complex language of their own, which may be related to the Sith.
- Kissai Caste: The Kissai were the priest class in the Sith caste system and were known to study the nature of the Dark side of the Force and practice ancient Sith magic and alchemy. The Kissai were just as ruthless as the Massassi, but they were more intelligent, cynical, observant and lacked the physical advantages that Massassi possessed.
- Slaves: While not a full caste like the others, slaves still occupied an important part of the Sith social order. Sith slaves could be any of a myriad of species ranging from Herglic, Human, Mrlssi, and their own kind. Slaves were typically referred to by the scornful epithet "Grotthu." The Sith slaves among them were a meek and servile sub-species, the lowliest in Sith hierarchy. Pure blooded among them had only three digits on each hand unlike the other sub-species, but after the fusion of bloodlines with the Dark Jedi Exiles, the Slaves seemed to have four digits. They worshiped the Sith Lords as gods, and were often used as sacrifices. The Sith Lords used them for slave labor. When a Sith Lord died, his slaves were buried alive with his body in his tomb on Korriban.
The Sith art of alchemy allowed them to imbue objects as well as living beings with the dark side. Due to their great skill in sorcery and magic, the Sith often created Talismans in order to focus their concentration as well as to further tap great amounts of dark side power. Such artifacts were often used during long elaborate rituals and allowed a sorcerer to temporarily enhance their abilities. These constructs often took many different forms ranging from crystals to amulets. After encountering Jedi attempting to use their talismans for the light side of the Force, the Sith developed ensnarement talismans which, when used, turned their users to the dark side. This in turn led to Sith artifacts being outlawed following the destruction of the Sith. In addition to these artifacts, the Sith long ago developed healing talismans after a revolt led by Naga Sadow which led to pure blooded Sith finding means to provide an advantage to their faction. Healing talismans worked by quickening natural healing processes but at the expense of the user's connection to the Force. Another talisman was the shield talisman that worked by absorbing any form of energy attack and using that as a power source for the relic. Following the destruction of the Sith Empire, the Jedi discovered that talismans were very difficult to destroy due to different means employed in obliterating them - some made use of the destruction of physical components while skilled Jedi Masters were sometimes needed to remove the reservoir of Dark side energy in the relics and some were even capable of being destroyed by the dark side only. This led to certain talismans being hidden while others were placed in hazardous locations such as nebulas or stars in order to prevent them from falling into anyone's hands.
Talismans were not the only Force empowered artifacts that the Sith were capable of creating. They had long ago learned that the usage of the Force created ripples that could be sensed by others which led to the creation of Force masks in order to hide this emanation from others. In addition, they were also capable of creating potent toxins such as Sith poisons that weakened their targets from the influence of the dark side. While there were many forms of common artifacts used by the Sith, there were certain relics that were unique and created by individual Sith Lords. This had led to several specially crafted items such as the Gauntlet of Kressh the Younger, Muur Talisman, Dreypa's Oubliette, Eye of Horak-mul, Helm of Dathka Graush, Scepter of Ragnos, Sword of Ieldis and the Heart of Graush as well as the Yoke of Seeming.
During ancient times, the Sith often made use of tomes and manuscripts to record their knowledge. These scrolls and tablets contained teachings on how to learn certain techniques ranging from alchemy to weapon crafting to magic. It was only later that the Sith began to adopt holocrons as teachings tools. One piece of technology that did not originate from the Sith was holocrons which had been originally adapted from the Rakata. Following this event, holocrons became a preferred method of storing Sith teachings, though they were considered rare. By transferring a portion of the user's personality into the device as well as imbuing it with the Force, they were capable of creating a Gatekeeper that was a sentient presence that interacted with future users. As the different creators of holocrons had different specialities, it meant that these data storage devices often contained aspects of a single field of Sith lore. This had led to the side effect of certain Sith teachings being lost because the knowledge was either never recorded or destroyed. Those holocrons that had survived over the years either fell into the hands of dark side acolytes or remained within the sanctuaries of the dead Sith Lords. Their usage also had a corrupting influence on those that accessed its forbidden knowledge. While holocrons were used, manuscripts and other means of containing Sith teachings were also used. Such relics included the Epistle of Marka Ragnos and the Codex of Karness Muur.
Sith alchemy was also regularly used in the creation of weapons such as Sith swords. These blades were one of the earliest weapons made by the Sith and were remarkably effective. Such blades were treated so that they were reinforced to withstand any blow, which allowed them to combat lightsabers. Their unique creation also meant that they were capable of surviving for thousands of years and in perfect condition. The ancient Sith Lords of Ziost were known to have made use of Cortosis-weave to create Sith Tremor Swords: a powerful vibroblade melee weapon. In addition, they made use of Sith alchemy to enhance the strength as well as destructive power of blade weapons such as Sith war swords. A primitive ranged weapon created by the Sith was the Lanvarok that was originally used as a hunting tool. In contrast to weapons, the Sith also crafted dark armor which provided additional protection for their wearers and were crafted to meet the individual requirements of their user.
This talent in Sith alchemy also extended to create biological weapons which allowed them to genetically engineer creatures to become tainted abominations. Such feats were used to engineer the Tuk'ata that served as guardians for various Sith tombs. In fact, the ancient Sith Empire made use of this art to create Chrysalis beasts that were used as guards as well as pets to various Sith Lords. They even engineered weapons to be employed for sieges such as mutating Silooth in order to break enemy defenses.
Sith were noted for considering the construction of structures and edifices to be a work of art. They felt that such buildings were an extension of their creators personality. This had the resulting effect of preventing enemies from being able to properly chart the internal structure of such sanctuaries and provided the Sith a tactical advantage. Such techniques were also used to create focusing chambers designed to amplify a Sith Lord's power. This allowed the Sith to create vessels such as the Sith Meditation Sphere that were imparted with a level of sentience as well as the capacity to magnify Force power to great levels. Grander scales of their technological abilities included the creation of Force-empowered superweapons such as the Dark Reaper that was constructed during the years of the Great Hyperspace War.
Sith civilization evolved on the planet Korriban, leading barbaric and hedonistic lifestyles while using the dark side of the Force. The Sith had a natural symbiotic relationship fused with the dark side. They fed on it and empowered it, developed and perfected techniques of the dark side through it, that were once thought impossible—such as sorcery. Though they had great power, the Sith were not united, and lived in tribal "circles", led by one or more Sith sorcerers who were responsible for the safety and protection of their people. The state of war between the Sith nations on Korriban was common in their society, but this existence was treated as one on par with peace and serenity by the Sith people. They did not, or could not differentiate one state from another, and this, including other barbaric practices, were accepted into Sith society not as being antagonistic or contrary, but integral to their lives. They could not see these barbaric practices they undertook as anything else but their only way to live; their ultimate existence. Sith civilization described as such was said to have began around the year 100,000 BBY; however, the Dark Holocron contained Sith lore and forgotten histories that dated back even further.
It was speculated among some historians that several of the ancient Sith practices, such as the consumption of bloodsoup, were due to an interaction been Sith and Anzati cultures at some point in pre-history. The Jedi Volfe Karkko was fond of remarking to the Jedi Knights that the Anzati—his own species—"remember the very first Sith" after studying a Sith holocron. However, beyond his claims, there is no further evidence to support this theory.
During this time Sith recorded information in scrolls, tomes and tablets. These contained dark knowledge, such as writings that described dark side powers, alchemy, the construction of Sith weapons and artifacts, and treatises on the domination and destruction of others. However many of these ancient writings were imbued with the madness of those Sith who wrote them, and consequently, the knowledge was capable of driving unprepared seekers of knowledge to insanity. It was known that the Sith already had a great knowledge of the depths of their powers by this era, specifically the rage and revenge that lead to the dark side of the Force. Demonstrating this, the Sith drove off an invasion by the Killiks around 30,000 BBY.
Around 36,453 BBY Tho Yor pyramid ships gathered the galaxy's best Force-sensitive philosophers, priests, scientists and warriors from around the galaxy to the Force-strong world of Tython. Some members of the Sith species were taken from their Korriban homeworld in this time, to eventually become some of the first Je'daii. After ten millennia of studying a balance between what would be called the light and dark sides of the Force, descendants of these founders still existed as Je'daii Masters, Journeyers and diplomats in the Tython system. Shortly before the outbreak of the Force Wars, an event caused the light and dark side of the Force to polarize within the minds of the Je'daii, eventually culminating with the formation of the Jedi Order.
Civil war between Sith nations on Korriban continued for many thousands of years, but eventually, Korriban was united under the rule of a single Sith—Adas. Adas was raised as a chosen being due to the unusual nature of his charcoal colored skin, and he grew into a powerful being, demonstrating great skill in fighting as well as great intelligence. Adas also had an extreme talent for Sith magic. Forging his own massive battle axe through the use of Sith alchemy, Adas led the unification of Korriban's warring nations.
Though with much bloodshed, Adas united the disparate nations of Korriban into a single kingdom, becoming an inflexible and undisputed leader of the Sith around 28,000 BBY. Adas became the King and God of the Sith as his reign continued and he earned the title of the Overlord known as the Sith'ari—the perfect being. Adas became the first Sith Lord. Eventually, his people came to believe that his reign would be eternal, and that Adas was immortal.
Adas had been ruling three hundred years when the dark sided invaders of the Rakatan Infinite Empire arrived on Korriban. The Rakatans hid their ultimate agenda from Adas, and tried to lull him into their confidence by teaching the Sith new technologies such as how to build and store knowledge inside a device known as a Holocron. Eventually however, the Rakatan's tried to conquer the Sith people, and the Sith'ari rose to repel the invaders with the indomitable will of his people behind him. During this time of war, it was known that the Rakata also took at least one prisoner—Raspir, who was once a court magician of King Adas, but was imprisoned inside a Rakatan mind trap. Adas took his battle axe to the invaders and managed to outsmart the immensely powerful Infinite Empire despite the advanced technology the Sith were up against, eventually defeating the conquerors. From there, he took control of the Rakatan hyperspace-capable craft and spread his rule and Sith civilization to neighboring worlds, including nearby Ziost. However, in order to secure freedom for his people, Adas was forced to sacrifice his life to guarantee total victory for the Sith.
With Adas's death, and the absence of his unifying influence, the Sith once again plunged into the previous state of war, where reigning combatants arrogantly proclaimed themselves as the new Sith'ari. Over time, the title of Sith Lord as it was translated became relatively common amongst the Sith. With Korriban devastated by the Rakata, and the constant war all over the planet, the Sith were forced to relocate the Sith capitol to Ziost using new Rakatan Force-based technology the Sith had obtained. There, the priestly Kissai caste oversaw the rebuilding efforts. The Sith prospered, continuing to expand their Empire to nearby planets like Jaguada, as well as to planets further out such as Malachor V and Arbra. But the Rakatans' did more than just give the Sith new technology: they gave the Sith the concept of the dark side of the Force, which conflicted with the Siths' spiritually serene lives of warring, sentient sacrifice to their gods and sortilege.
However, some Sith priests interpreted the death of their Sith'ari, the death of Adas as a sign to reject the Sith concept of life. Declared as heretics, they were banished, and found their way through the Force to the world of Tund using Rakatan hyperdrive technology, and formed a pure-blooded society of Sith sorcerers, based on their new beliefs. The sorcerers lived what they viewed as perfectly harmonious lives, and practiced magic, ontology and science, through the Force. They—like the Rakatans—believed that all sentients were Force-sensitive, as well as claimed that the omnipresence of the Force proved that the division of the Force (or what they called "the Unity") into true opposites was a falsity. It was at this time that recorded history began for the Sith.
Eventually, the Sith largely abandoned the planet Korriban and it became a ceremonial tombworld, however populations still remained in the form of religious cultists. Over the thousands of bloody years, the Sith Empire filled valleys across Korriban with the tombs of the Sith, making them even larger and more impressive as the years went by. These vast cemeteries contained hundreds of tombs belonging to Sith Lords or other powerful dark side users that were built both on and hidden underneath the surface of Korriban. One of these valleys was known as the Valley of Golg, an example of the many "Valleys of the Sith Lords" that covered the planet at this time.
The Sith continued to expand their Empire, encompassing worlds like Krayiss II; building a Sith library-temple there by 14,000 BBY, where Sith sorcerers would come to meditate and reflect on their experiments—evolving Sith techniques and manipulation of the dark side. As far back as 8000 years before the battle of Yavin, Humans and other Republic species fled during the Tapani Dynastic Era and found their way into Sith space where they interacted with the Sith, though due to the properties of the Stygian Caldera which made hyperspace navigation extremely difficult there, the Sith Empire was largely kept secluded from the rest of the galaxy.
Over 7000 years before the battle of Yavin, one Sith conqueror known as Dathka Graush and his forces initiated and won one of the cyclical wars on Korriban, leaving most the planet's cities devastated. Graush continued to rule on Korriban for 50 years, a rule characterized by his cruelty and the terror he brought to the Sith people on Korriban—even by Sith standards. Graush was eventually assassinated and entombed in the Valley of Golg. At the point of his death, the self-proclaimed Sith Overlord and King had been in control of two-thirds of Korriban.
In Republic space, around this same time some of the more ambitious Jedi in the Order opened themselves up to the dark side of the Force. They experimented with it, and found they could use it to literally bend life itself, able to transform and mutate creatures to their will. These "fallen" or "dark" Jedi, as they were known, had previously conducted their dark studies in secret, and were persecuted for their beliefs and defying the Jedi Council. But these Dark Jedi soon emerged in greater numbers, and declared themselves free of the will of the Jedi Council, starting the Second Great Schism. Three years later, they rebelled against the Jedi Order as a whole, and a war erupted between them. The Jedi constantly battled against these Dark Jedi, forbidding their experiments and practice of their dark side knowledge. While at the same time the Dark Jedi continued to convert Jedi to their cause.
The war between the Jedi and the Dark Jedi continued for one hundred years, and was finally ended at the Battle of Corbos, where the Jedi, who were more numerous, overwhelmed the Dark Jedi, and forced the survivors to surrender. Unwilling to execute their prisoners, the Jedi chose to purge their names and all evidence of their existence from galactic records, removing them symbolically. The Jedi then herded them onto a drone ship with no weapons or navigational devices, and banished them into a previously unexplored region of the Outer Rim, far beyond the boundaries of the Republic. Their defenseless ship drifted through hyperspace, guided by the dark side of the Force, and finally emerged upon the planet Korriban.
On Korriban, the Dark Jedi were astonished to find the native Sith as a Force-sensitive people. As had been the case since the beginning of Sith civilization, the Sith at this time preferred to remain in a societal structure made up of bands of Sith called tribal "circles", each lead by one or more ruling sorcerers. On arrival the primitive, religious, superstitious, and barely civilized Sith there greeted the outsiders with their Sith swords, and attempted to terrify the Dark Jedi with crude and imaginative, though impressive illusions using their Sith magics. However, the Dark Jedi were surprised by the relatively primitive species's dark knowledge—some of which themselves and the Jedi had never come across— and took particular interest in their various techniques of drawing power from the dark side, seeking to learn it from them. To do this the Dark Jedi went about trying to subjugate the Sith people under their rule, to take the knowledge from them. Protective of their secrets, the Sith felt they should prevent the outsiders from obtaining their dark side knowledge, and struck back at the Dark Jedi, trying to prove themselves, and drive the Dark Jedi away. But the Dark Jedi eventually proved to be more intelligent and stronger than even the greatest sorcerers of these primitive Sith, and with their Force abilities, lightsabers, and superior technology, they continued to persist. Ultimately, the Dark Jedi outmatched the natives through their Jedi training and technology, and stole the Sith people's knowledge of sorcery and then used it against them. Though, even when defeated the Sith demonstrated honor, the natives eventually became the unwilling subjects of the Dark Jedi. The Jen'jedai—as they were known in the Sith language—then used the help of the reigning overlord's Shadow Hand to lure the self-proclaimed Sith King into their confidence, and destroyed him. Astonished, the Sith never anticipated the sequence of events that lead to the downfall of their Sith'ari, and readily accepted the Dark Jedi exiles as their masters, bestowing upon them King Adas's Holocron. The Dark Jedi declared themselves living gods and kings over the Sith people, becoming overlords themselves, and Ajunta Pall—who had personally slew a dozen Jedi at the mining world of Corbos—was first to earn the title of Jen'ari, or Dark Lord of the Sith.
The Sith took to worshiping and devoting their lives to their new masters, who honed their battle arts with new Sith knowledge and expanded their reach from Korriban to neighboring worlds and star systems. Eventually, all of the Sith in previous Sith Empire space were brought under the rule of the Dark Lord of the Sith. Ziost was taken as the capital world, where the Dark Lord would reign from, and fortresses were built there with towering spires, from which the newly-proclaimed Sith Lords ruled. New starship and weapons were constructed, and with their new knowledge of Sith alchemy, new creatures were produced. The influence of the Dark Jedi on the Sith peoples even managed to benefit the already awe-inspiring Sith architecture. The new Sith Lords felt the Sith culture suited their philosophy well, and under the rule of the Dark Lord of the Sith, the crude, rigid and highly stratified Sith caste system remained in place, based off the Sith's many subspecies. Particular interest was given to the Massassi warrior caste, which the Sith Lords used as foot soldiers for their new developing Empire. Armed with their new Massassi warriors, weapons, and sorcery, a number of ambitious Sith Lords sought revenge against the Republic. Analyzing the navigational computer from the ship that had brought them to Sith space, these vengeful Sith reprogrammed it for a trip back to the Republic, against the Dark Lord's wishes. These Sith Lords and their new armies were not heard of again in Sith space, and failed in their attempt to conquer the Republic, only succeeding in revealing to the Jedi that the Dark Jedi exiles had survived in an unknown region called Sith space, and had took to calling themselves Sith after the people they ruled.
The Sith Lords that did not go back to the Republic found that other than being able produce new creatures through Sith alchemy, they were able to produce offspring with the Sith people via alchemical means—starting with the Massassi subspecies. So, these remaining Lords mingled their Jedi blood with the Sith people, and for almost two-thousand years this process continued, with characteristics such as superstition, loyalty, and sympathy being bred out. In contrast, qualities such as ambition, cunning, and raw power in the Force were encouraged throughout the generations. Soon the elite, ruling Kissai class in the Sith Empire was almost entirely made up of ruthless, ambitious, and powerful hybridized offspring of the high Kissai priests and the Dark Jedi.
As time progressed, the magocratic Sith Empire, led by a council of Sith Lords and a single ruling Dark Lord, rapidly expanded their territory, sprawling across entire sectors of the galaxy, though they largely remained in the Stygian Caldera. As they expanded, the Sith came into contact with many planets, and as a result, Myke, Arkanian, and Kruskan cultures all show hints of Sith influence. They even came across Tund, where Sith-Human hybrids settled alongside the pure-blooded Sith sorcerers that had found their way there millennia before. By the end of the Empire's expansion they encompassed hundreds of worlds, rivaling the Republic, from Dromund Kaas, to Ashas Ree, Korriz, Ch'hodos, and even the distant, early Sith world of Malachor V. Each of the ten Sith Council members were also personally in control of a dozen worlds each. But of all the planets under Sith control, there were only five sacred Sith planets: Ziost, Khar Delba, Rhelg, Krayiss II, and Korriban.
Sith society continued to evolve and advanced over this time, discovering new ways to manipulate the dark side of the living Force, in their new ordered Empire, ruled by militarism and reverence for the dead. The Sith existed in a state of continual conflict, with Sith Lords raising private armies against their rival Lords, and in their efforts to gain the position of Dark Lord from their reigning ruler. Most inhabitants lived in their ridged, caste determined lives, that still continued to exist after the union of Jedi and Sith blood. Grotthu spent their lives working hard to build tombs for their Lords, and many millions died over the many years in numberless, violent wars within the Empire. Sith Lords were pre-occupied with warring against each other and cowing other civilizations within their range. As a result, not much attention was given to expansion into the Republic, and travel between it and the Empire was extremely rare. Those few who did stumble into the Empire were unable to escape due to the Stygian Caldera's unique properties, and soon found themselves as slaves to Sith Lords of minor status. Over generations, the rulers of these immigrants would continually change, and eventually, they would forget where they came from, and called themselves Sith too. Being extremely xenophobic, the Sith Lords seldom let them rise to any position other than lowly Grotthu under their rule.
End of a Golden Age
Around 5100 BBY, the half-breed Sith Lord Marka Ragnos rose to the position of Dark Lord of the Sith after a series of short, brutal wars against his adversaries, and defeating rival Sith Lord Simus in combat. Ragnos was a very powerful warlord, both physically, and in raw power of the dark side, and as a result he was admired, feared and obeyed as the Sith leader. However, he did have those who contested him, and Ragnos maintained his rule by pitting his enemies against one another, manipulating them into challenging him, or simply assassinating them—crushing all resistance over the years. His century long reign of iron rule resulted in the Empire becoming great, powerful, wealthy, and stable. This was an era which would be known as the Golden Age of the Sith.
After almost two millennia of interbreeding, the Sith Empire was ruled by what foreign species called the Red Sith, who made up the nucleus, majority, and held power within the Empire. By this stage in the Empire's history, some, though little fully pure-blooded Sith had remained in the Empire, even those of Human ancestry that accidentally found their way into the Empire had at least some degree of mixing. During this time the powerful Sith Lords Ludo Kressh, and his arch-rival Naga Sadow rose from their seats on the Sith Council to fight to become the next in line for the position of Dark Lord. Like Ragnos, Kressh was a half-breed, and also like Ragnos, he sought to maintain the Empire in its current state of wealth. Kressh followed the old traditional ways of the Sith, and was conservative; he believed that the Sith Empire must grow strong within itself before looking to expand into new territories. In contrast, Sadow was more of a progressive Sith Lord who claimed to be largely of 'Jedi' blood. He believed that through the Golden Age of the Sith, the Sith Empire had become stagnant and that it was necessary for the Sith to expand and conquer new worlds to bring glory to the Empire, in opposition to Kressh's views. Sadow was extremely unusual compared to the other Sith Lords; because of his progressive attitude, those who were not Red Sith were allowed to rise to more prestigious positions under his command. This saw Human descended beings becoming miners and captains of ships under Sadow. If allowed, those non-Red Sith who excelled in areas such as science and medicine were also able to make breakthroughs in their field, under the very few Lords like Sadow over the millennia, while the Red Sith occupied themselves with the dark side's secrets. The other, vast majority of Sith Lords, notably Kressh, would never allow this to occur, and instead kept the non-Red Sith to lowly slave positions under their command, sticking to the rigid caste system, and feeling that only Red Sith should be allowed positions other than Grotthu.
When Ragnos died he left a power vacuum in his absence, which Kressh and Sadow immediately stepped up to fill. Kressh had the support from most other Sith to become the next Dark Lord, while Sadow controlled the majority of military forces. Potentially, they could have been very powerful together, but there could only be one Dark Lord of the Sith. The two fought for the right to rule during Ragnos's funeral. As the battle went on, there was no clear victor, both participants injuring and dominating the other at some point. They were finally interrupted by the spirit of Ragnos himself, who told them about their people's—the Empire's past, and of the Golden Age of the Sith. He finally disappeared cautioning them to choose their paths wisely. At that moment, a ship carrying the two hyperspace explorers Gav and Jori Daragon arrived in the Valley of the Dark Lords from the Republic. They were instantly seized by the Sith, and put in the prisons of Ziost. Kressh and the Sith Council eventually decided they were to be executed. Sadow however, saw the two Humans as the key to expanding the Sith Empire into the Republic, and secretly rescued the prisoners, killing old Simus in the process to make the event seem like a Republic attack. The Sith Council believed his trickery, and through that, the majority of the Council voted Sadow as the new Dark Lord of the Sith. Kressh was outraged, not accepting Sadow's new status, and declared that he would be the true Dark Lord before he and his followers stormed out. The Empire was split in two under Kressh and Sadow, igniting a civil war within the Empire.
Kressh soon discovered Sadow's trickery, and he and his factions launched an attack upon Sadow's private fortress on Khar Delba. Little did he know that it was only a decoy fortress, and once Kressh's forces thought they had destroyed Sadow and all his forces, Sadow's fleet emerged from the dark side of Khar Shian—Khar Delba's moon—where his real citadel was. In this surprise attack, he caught Kressh's forces off guard and forced Kressh and his remaining followers into a retreat. During this time, Sadow had Jori Daragon fly back to the Republic on the Starbreaker 12, with Sadow attaching a tracking device to it, giving him a route into the Republic's core.
Sadow then gathered his forces from all over the Empire to Khar Delba, preparing for the invasion of the Republic. However, Kressh's ship appeared above the meeting, and sent down a message to the Sith Lords there, warning them of Sadow's trickery and the doom he thought Sadow would bring to the Empire. In order to block the transmission, Sadow had Gav Daragon activate the automated systems, destroying Kressh's ship in the process, and supposedly killing Kressh along with it. With Kressh thought dead, Sadow now had no one to stop him from invading the Republic, and set about organizing the invasion forces.
The Great Hyperspace War
Sadow's invasion forces gathered together from the far reaches of the Empire, and converged on Khar Shian, from starships to the Massassi ground troops, and finally jumped into hyperspace along the Daragon Trail towards the Republic. The Sith forces homed in on the locator aboard Starbreaker 12, coming out of hyperspace around the unstable red-supergiant star Primus Goluud. There, Sadow assigned a mining flotilla and their crews to mine Lignan crystals from Phaegon III for the upcoming battle of Kirrek. A few months later, he deployed his forces simultaneously to consume the entire Republic, while he held back at Primus Goluud in his meditation sphere. Sadow knew that the Sith did not have the numbers to defeat the Republic navy, so he relied on surprise, and also cast Sith illusions through Sith magic to make the invasion forces seem larger than they really were. The Sith Empire took the Koros system by surprise, exhausted by the recent Unification Wars. With Koros major, Kirrek, and all the other planets under Empress Teta collapsing under the seemingly infinite forces of the Sith, the Sith moved along the Koros trunk line to overwhelm Foerost, then Coruscant, Kaikielius, Metellos, Basilisk, and eventually Shawken, where Republic shipyards were stationed.
The Republic defenders struggled against the unstoppable forces of the Sith, and their unique weapons. On Coruscant, the Jedi on the planet had been cautioned of an impending Sith invasion by Memit Nadill through Jori Daragon and Jedi Master Relin Druur, but they could not prepare in time for the attack. Lead by Sith Lord Shar Dakhan, the Sith landing forces there forced their way to the steps of Senate Hall, where a last band of Jedi continued to repel the waves of Sith onslaught. However, on Koros Major, Gav Daragon had been made Commander of the armies taking over the planet, but was now betraying the Sith after the death of his friend Aarrba the Hutt. He flew back to Primus Goluud, and fired on Sadow's meditation sphere, hoping to break the Dark Lord's concentration, and to stop the sorcery he was working over the armies of the Sith. Just as Coruscant was about to fall to the surging Sith forces, Sadow's concentration was broken, and the illusions disappeared, showing the true extent of the Sith armies. The Republic forces there launched a counterstrike with what they had left of their military on the confused Sith, pushing them back into a retreat. On Kirrek, the Sith swarmed and continued to break through the planet's defenses. Even attempts of Battle meditation by Jedi Odan-Urr failed to have an effect on the single minded Massassi in their rage. But like Coruscant, the Sith push was eventually slowed. The Celegian Jedi Master Ooroo released toxic cyanogen gas to poison the Sith in the area, sacrificing his life in the process, but still the Sith continued to push forward. At this stage, the chances of victory for the Sith seemed slim, and when reinforcements from Ronika arrived allied with the Kirrek defenders, their chances diminished even further. The Sith retreated and the Republic allied forces emerged victorious.
Republic forces and reinforcements from Anaxes gained confidence with the sudden disappearance of Sith forces, and pushed back the retreating Sith armada back to Koros Major. Also, Jori Daragon, who was at the death of Aarrba, followed Gav from Koros Major, and called on Empress Teta's fleet for assistance. The Tetan and other Republic forces emerged from hyperspace at Primus Goluud, to confront Sadow and the remnants of his recalled forces. Sadow had previously tricked Gav Daragon and was now on his Sith battleship, while he left Gav trapped on his damaged meditation sphere. The Republic and Sith forces clashed before Sadow caused the red-supergiant star to go supernova, killing Gav Daragon in the process, while he and his remnants jumped back to the Sith Empire.
In Sith space, Ludo Kressh had survived. He had since gathered his own forces, rallying those Sith Lords who chose to remain behind, as well as promising them wealth and power under him if they allied with him against Sadow. Consequently, with their support, he seized power to become the Dark Lord of the Sith of the Sith Empire, while Sadow was out trying to expand into the Republic. When Sadow arrived back over Korriban to try to drum up more Sith forces, Kressh revealed himself. Sadow was informed that the title of Dark Lord had been stripped of him, and how Kressh used a decoy ship to stage his own death above Khar Delba. Dark Lord Kressh then went on to exile Sadow from Sith space forever. The two Sith fleets clashed in a battle of pride, with Kressh devastating Sadow's damaged ships. However, the battle was ended when Sadow ordered one of his doomed ships to crash into Kressh's flagship, killing the Dark Lord. The remnants of Kressh's armada held back, choosing not to continue fighting Sadow's forces.
Immediately after, Republic forces who had followed the Daragon Trail to the Sith Empire came out of hyperspace near Sadow's battered fleet. The Republican fleet devastated Sadow's, taking victory against his fleet. After Sadow refused Empress Teta's offer to surrender, he made a barricade with his remaining ships and set course for the Denarii binary stars. He then used the Force and the remaining power he had aboard his ship to cause a supernova in each of the stars, escaping and eliminating his Republic pursuers in the process. With Sadow thought dead in the explosions of the stars, Empress Teta recalled the Republic fleet and left the fragmented Empire.
At this point the Empire posed no threat to the Republic, however Supreme Chancellor Pultimo was unsatisfied. He soon ordered an invasion of Sith space to annihilate Sith civilization entirely and ensure the Sith never returned. It was the Republic's and the Jedi's mission to ensure no remnants of the Sith Empire remained. In effect, hundreds of Republic warships invaded the Stygian Caldera to take on the disordered Empire—still in turmoil following the death of their Sith leader Ludo Kressh. The Jedi Order also invaded with their Jedi Shadows and sought to destroy all they found of the Sith teachings and ways, though some of their ranks denounced this need to destroy. The Jedi and the Republic destroyed the Sith Lords, their artifacts, talismans and strongholds, eventually driving the Sith to the point of surrender. During this period the Jedi Urr would use a unique way to combat the Sith: instead of inflicting harm, he chose to take the power of individual Sith away, stripping Sith of their use of the dark side. He would use this technique so frequently on the Sith that he would become an adept of the technique. Shar Dakhan—now the acting Dark Lord in the absence of Kressh and Sadow—had his Massassi warriors ram the invading fleets in suicide attacks as a last and only option. The heavy casualties inflicted by the Sith in this manner forced the Republic into a temporary retreat. Eventually though, the Sith were driven to defeat, and many lower-caste Sith killed themselves ritualistically. Within a few years, the Empire crumbled and the Republic had finally emerged victorious from the war, though at a great cost to their own.
The Sith worlds were absorbed into the Republic, but the Jedi chose not to destroy all the palaces, strongholds, libraries, and talismans of the Sith after the war, selecting a few to keep intact and study should the Sith threaten them again. At the end of the Great Hyperspace War it was widely thought that the Sith in both religion and species were extinct, and many compared the attitude the Jedi had against the existence of the Sith to that of Bothans in an Ar'krai. In reality, most of those Sith that were not killed in bloody war were chased far into deep space where none had returned from. However, despite the thoroughness of the onslaught by the Jedi and the Republic, the Sith species and their culture continued to persist.
Some Sith forces that survived the Great Hyperspace War fled Jedi Shadows and sentinels to the unknown regions of the galaxy to recover and plan revenge on the Jedi and the Republic in secret. Explorers in these regions were likely to come across Sith settlements during these times and throughout the Old Republic era. During other eras however, chances of this happening became less likely.
Some Sith of a predominantly Human stock crew aboard the ship Omen, under the command of Sadow also managed to survive the war. The ship had been knocked off course in hyperspace from a collision with their sister ship Harbinger, due to an attack by a Jedi starfighter while mining for Lignan ore before the battle of Kirrek. These Sith found their way to a previously unknown planet called Kesh by the natives. The survivors of Human and some Sith descent subjected the natives, coming to be worshiped as the god-like Skyborn of the native Keshiri legend.
Some other Sith also fled to Vjun after the war. A small number of Sith and Sith supporters fled to Thule—a planet that had previously been inhabited by Sith stealth forces—to regroup with Sith special forces. Believing their defeat at the hands of the Jedi and the Republic was only temporary, the Sith there on Thule strove to build up an advance force, lead in a military fashion to take revenge against their enemies. These were not the only Sith to escape however, Sadow had also managed to escape the annihilation he had caused at the Denarii nova. Exiled from Sith space by the previously reigning Dark Lord Kressh, and declared as a criminal by the Republic, he and his followers aboard his lone ship found their way to the Yavin system. There they settled on the jungle moon of Yavin 4, where Sadow planned to build a base, and expand from there.
Elsewhere, on Tund, the pure-blooded Sith magicians that had survived there over the millennia had escaped the devastation that had spread across many other worlds from the Great Hyperspace War, alongside Sith–Human Hybrids that had settled there after the Dark Jedi exiles conquered the Sith. Eventually the pure-blooded Sith society there evolved into what would be known as the Sorcerers of Tund. These dark side Force-users investigated heavily into the use of the Force, enough to drive some members mad. They were capable of producing powerful and extreme powers in thaumaturgy, transmogrification, and phantasm.
Another Sith refuge and focal point for escaping Sith included the world of Ambria. A Sith sorceress had enslaved the native population there, and forced them to construct a giant, black obelisk over a century. Once it was completed, she experimented by performing an ancient Sith ritual using Sith magic. However, the sorcery proved beyond her own abilities and resulted in a release of dark side energy that enveloped the planet, transforming it into a desolate desert-world, and destroying herself and the native species in the process. Centuries before 4,000 BBY, the spirits of the Sith that had fled there and died remained, embedded in the planet itself, before eventually being trapped in Lake Natth by the Jedi Thon.
Following their defeat of the Great Hyperspace War and the carnage on Korriban, a small armada carrying at least a few hundred Sith fled in the direction of the unknown regions, using random hyperspace co-ordinates in desperation to escape the Jedi and the Republic. In their retreat, the Sith also brought with them tens of thousands of prisoners from their early victories against the Republic, whose lives and descendants would be condemned to slavery. Deep in unknown space, this handful of Sith forces forged a new Sith Empire lead by the newly proclaimed Sith Emperor and his most trusted Sith Lords. For twenty years the Sith armada drifted through deep space after the Great Hyperspace War, utilizing random hyperspace jumps and blind scouting missions to lead their way. Late in this process, the wandering Sith came across the Chiss Ascendancy, and like all other instances where the Sith came across civilizations with resources and technology that the Sith deemed useful, the renewed Empire demanded that the Chiss surrender to the rule of the Emperor, or be conquered, enslaved, and/or destroyed entirely in the case of refusal. The Chiss surprised the Sith in their response, however, seeking non-forceful means to solve the conflict. The Chiss ruling class requested a meeting with the Sith, which the Sith military leadership agreed to in their confusion. In private, the best Chiss negotiators met with important Imperial diplomats, including the commander of the Imperial Guard, eventually concluding that the Chiss would become the first official allies of the Empire. Eventually however, twenty years after their escape, the Empire stumbled and settled upon the long-forgotten Sith world of Dromund Kaas. Here the Emperor would further manipulate his followers to his plans of conquest of the Republic, by re-christening this planet as the "true" homeworld of the original Sith species. Similarly, ancient artifacts, tomes and manuscripts were available, at least one claiming Dark Jedi exiles arrived on the claimed Sith homeworld around 14,000 BBY.
Meanwhile, fifteen years after landing on Kesh, the Red Sith portion of the Lost Tribe of Sith secretly used cyanogen silicate to kill off all the people in a Keshiri village. Trying to portray it as a plague that could potentially threaten the Human Sith there, it was a last attempt to try and convince the Lost Tribe to focus on getting off world. However, one of the Human Sith who had suffered under the care of Dark Lord Kressh had a grudge against all Red Sith as a result. She had secretly been killing all the Red Sith offspring born over their time on Kesh, and once she realized what the Red Sith were doing under the leadership of a Sith named Ravilan Wroth, she framed them. Eventually she converted her husband, the Grand Lord to her cause, and launched a specicide event against the Red Sith there, killing all the Red Sith on the isolated planet.
Sadow also never succeeded in expanding from his the fourth moon of Yavin as time passed. With the intentions of creating guardians to watch over his legacy, Sadow eventually used Sith alchemy to commit heinous experiments on the Massassi he had brought on his ship, transforming them into more powerful and violent, but less intelligent mutants. Eventually, the former Dark Lord Sadow entombed himself in suspended animation, never forgetting the Empire he had once ruled, before he died. Over the centuries, these primitive, hunched, monstrous Massassi savages would come to worship one of Sadow's alchemical creations as a god, and fulfilled their role as guardians of Sadow's legacy. This included defending long-dead Sadow's temples against Dark Jedi Freedon Nadd around 4400 BBY. Nadd awakened Sadow's spirit, and became Sadow's apprentice. After learning all he could from Sadow and his knowledge stores, Nadd defeated Sadow's spirit, and with the Holocrons of both King Adas and Darth Andeddu, he went on to found a Sith Order not directly associated with the Sith species.
One thousand years after the fall of the Sith Empire, dark side devotees had begun to discover these Sith caches on remote worlds, where those that did not perish in the Great Hyperspace War sought to preserve their knowledge for future generations. Housing ancient Sith lore, talismans and the like, these dark side retreats and library-temples were of great concern to the Jedi Order. However these sanctuaries continued to elude the sight of the Jedi.
The Great Sith War
Yavin IV and its mutant Massassi inhabitants would be visited again centuries later by a student of the spirit of Nadd—Exar Kun, in his ambitions to obtain Sith secrets. Initially, the primitive, tribal Massassi defended the temples their ancestors had built in Sadow's honor and attacked Kun. They stripped his ship and captured the intruder, bringing him to the Great Sith Temple of Fire to be devoured in a "Massassi blood sacrifice" ritual. During this ritual, the god of these Massassi was awoken. This dark god was one of the Sith wyrms that Sadow had produced through his experimental Sith alchemy years earlier, and attempted to devourer Kun. However, after fully embracing the dark side through a Sith amulet, Kun was able to destroy the creature; earning the honor of the Massassi. However, with his new power provided by his embrace of the dark side and the amulet, he destroyed the spirit of Nadd, like Nadd had done to his own master. Kun became the ruler of these Massassi, who thought that he was the foretold Dark Lord of the Sith of legend. With accordance to the ancient Sith designs, Kun had his Massassi build temples as dark side focal points. In addition, through studying ancient texts that Sadow and his followers had brought with them when they arrived at Yavin IV, Kun experimented on the Massassi, like Sadow had done years before: The texts spoke of using Sith alchemy to alter and transform creatures through metamorphosis. The Massassi legends told that this process was one that would transfer warriors into gods. Convinced that the transformation would be painless and transform him into the greatest of all Massassi, the Massassi priest Zythmnr was the first to be transformed in this ancient fashion by Kun. Kun, like Sadow, sought to create an army of servants out of his mutated Massassi through Sith alchemy. In search of fellow students of Nadd, Kun took two of his new Massassi servants with him, to Empress Teta (formerly Koros Major), to find and destroy these potential rivals. There he found Aleema Keto and Ulic Qel-Droma, and fought them, quickly defeating Keto, and entering a lightsaber duel with Qel-Droma. Neither of them could gain the upper hand however, and eventually, the spirit of Marka Ragnos intervened, drawn by the power of the Sith amulets both combatants were wearing. He then proclaimed Kun the new Dark Lord of the Sith, and Qel-Droma his apprentice.
Qel-Droma then went about making steps to conquer the galaxy under the Sith, as did Kun; by bringing Jedi to Yavin IV as students. After an argument broke out between Kun and the Jedi, the Massassi on the jungle moon misunderstood the situation, the Massassi tried to protect Kun and attacked the Jedi. Ceasing the attack, Kun the proceeded to convert the Jedi to his cause by unleashing spirits of Sith exiles that were trapped in a Sith holocron he had stolen, and allowing them to possess the Jedi. In a premature attack against the Republic capital of Coruscant, Qel-Droma was captured, so Kun and his Massassi went to Coruscant to retrieve him, while his new students set out to kill their previous Jedi masters. Kun and his minions infiltrated the Republic senate chamber, where Qel-Droma was on trial for his crimes. Kun took control of the senate and the guards through a Sith spell, and the Jedi tried to stop the rescue attempt, and a battle broke out between Massassi and the Jedi, while Kun battled his own master. Kun had some forces attack the Republic and had them use Sadow's ancient ship to rip the cores out of several stars at the Cron cluster, creating a chain reaction of supernovas which resulted in the destruction of both Republic and Sith fleets. After the Jedi learnt that Ossus was going to be wiped out by the force of these supernovas, they desperately tried to evacuate and save the stores of Jedi knowledge at the library there. In this confusion, Kun arrived with his Massassi to claim artifacts that may have been of use to him. The mission was not a complete success however; as ancient lightsabers were prevented from getting into Kun's hands by Ood Bnar, and the Jedi Crado attacked the Sith as they were about to leave, killing several Massassi in the process.
Kun and the Sith returned to Yavin IV with their haul, however, Qel-Droma had betrayed Kun, and revealed the location of the Sith forces on the Yavin moon to the Jedi. The Jedi forces converged on Yavin IV, and knowing that he would not be able to defeat all the Jedi alone, Kun turned to ancient Sith knowledge to preserve his life. Before carrying out the ritual however, Kun took some of his Massassi abominations offworld, and mutated one Massassi further still, sending him into the isolation pits beneath the Massassi temples to hibernate and survive should his plans fail. Kun then summoned all other Massassi, and began a ritual to free his spirit from his physical body, so he could live forever. The ritual drained the life of his Massassi armies and their elders on the moon to support Kun, and as the Jedi fleet closed in on Kun's temples, they formed a Wall of Light to extinguish the dark side energies. The clash of the dark and light sides of the Force resulted in a massive fire that raged across the surface of the planet, and also sealed Kun's spirit to his temple, unable to escape. The Jedi departed the moon, set on restoring and rebuilding the galaxy, while Yavin IV was left a barren wasteland.
Following the Great Sith War, those Massassi that were taken off Yavin IV prior to its decimation would come to live lives of their own choosing; some deciding to live in isolation from the greater galactic society. Some others sought revenge against the Sith for the acts committed against the Massassi people on Yavin IV, and others chose find their way to and join the new Sith Empire. On Yavin IV itself, the moon had recovered from the events of the war after a decade, and was once again a lush, jungle moon. There, some Massassi had also managed to survive, and continued to inhabit the planet, dwelling around the ancient temples and the tomb of their long dead master Sadow.
Through this period, the Sorcerers of Tund presented themselves to the galaxy as powerful wizards, interested in further understanding the galaxy and the powers that held it together. When the Jedi had first became aware of the Sorcerers of Tund, they had recognized their sorcerous ways and magical study as a practicing the use of the Force. The Jedi sent representatives to Tund, and tried to recruit them at first into their Jedi Order and turn them away from their views on the Force—which the Jedi viewed as a trapping for the Sorcerers. However, in response some of the Sorcerers demonstrated abilities at least as great as the Jedi recruiters' own, and repeatedly declined the offers of the Jedi. Subsequently, the Jedi Council allowed the Sorcerers to continue their practice of the Force in their own fashion. The Jedi would continue to send representatives to the Sorcerers periodically, over the thousands of years, but instead of recruiting them, they simply visited them to ensure they were not venturing into the use of the dark side and becoming corrupted. For most of the time, the two groups were able to co-exist without any tension. However, in the years following the war with Kun, and during the time of the Dark Wars, a powerful sorcerer and prophet named Karnak Tetsu rose to rule among the Sorcerers of Tund. His reign was marked by a period of terror, and after restoration that followed, the Jedi—who had merely viewed the pure-blooded Sith on Tund as another Force sect, such as the Jal Shey or Zeison Sha—saw the Sorcerers' beliefs as prohibited unorthodoxy.
Though the Sith were involved in activities around this time, it was largely thought that the species had died out centuries prior, with the Sith only remaining in the form of an ideal and a belief. On Korriban, the Sith—specifically the Kissai and Massassi subspecies—continued to occupy the planet, and built an academy there to help train their numbers and teach them the ways of the dark side, even though their civilization there was destroyed in the Great Hyperspace War. Descendants of those who chose not to abandon the planet in 27,700 BBY, these Kissai and Massassi would live in several isolated settlements, scattered across the planet. There the extremely xenophobic Sith species came to share their planet as many members of various species arrived on the planet, mostly in the form of bounty hunters, smugglers, and mercenaries. Though these and the Czerka Cooperation would limit themselves to the capital of Dreshdae, others such as Sith archaeologists, scientists and other academics would venture into the Valley of the Dark Lords to excavate and study tombs. However, these academics were only allowed to do so under heavy scrutiny and security, under the eyes of the native Sith people. Despite their xenophobia, at least one Sith had been in contact with the immigrant species once, with a several people in Dreshdae knowing a half-breed Massassi that knew the location of Terentateks, three years after the Great Sith War.
During this time it was rare to have Sith adventurers exploring Republic space. The species would tend to draw attention to themselves naturally if they did chose to explore the Republic, but even then not many beings would recognize a Kissai or a Massassi at first glance. The species also did not join the ranks of the Jedi at this time, and even in the new Sith Empire formal training of their species by Sith masters was prohibited—but that's not to say that it could not occur during this time.
Meanwhile, throughout the events of the Great Sith War, Jedi Civil War, and afterwards, the Sith Emperor who had escaped the carnage of the Great Hyperspace War continued to build his Empire on the distant planet of Dromund Kaas, patiently planning his vengeance against the Jedi. The power hungry Sith Emperor's role in the reconstruction was as visionary alone; he went into isolation, focusing on acquiring and perfecting arcane, dark rituals to lengthen his lifespan and his undisputed rule, wrecking the ionosphere of Dromund Kaas and transforming it into an electric storm as a result. While doing this, logistics of the Empire's re-establishment were left to his newly formed Dark Council, who debated the long-term power structure of the Empire. The task of establishing order was given to the Human Odile Vaiken, who brought all non-Force users together to form the Imperial military, and eventually the Imperial Navy. Throughout their first century on Dromund Kaas, the Sith focused their efforts on re-establishing the Imperial Sith society to its previous grandeur. Within the dense jungles of the world the capital of Kaas city was constructed, and a citadel was built as a symbol of the power of the Emperor, to serve as a palace, fortress, and meeting place for the Dark Council. In preparation for their return to the greater galaxy, they worked ceaselessly to produce both the massive Imperial armies and fleets of advanced warships for the Imperial Armada, generations devoting their lives over a thousand years to the Emperor's dreams of vengeance. Eventually the daily life of society—including mechanics, farmers, cooks, janitors, teachers—was completely controlled by the Imperial military with efficiency and discipline. During the early period of the newly formed Empire, the Empire attempted to conquer at least one alien system from their capital of Dromund Kaas in an Imperial Campaign. As time went on, the Sith continued to expand their influence to dozens of worlds throughout the unknown regions, almost rivalling the expansion of their ancestral Empire.
The centuries leading up to the invasion of the Republic were marked by a period of cooperation and sacrifice by the Sith, as they accelerated their preparations for their vengeance. Throughout this time, the Sith Emperor established networks in the Republic, infiltrating high areas of Republican society such as the Jedi Order and Political circles. The Ovair family was a particular case of such, appearing as Republican citizens while hiding their true allegiance to the Emperor. Their mission was to eliminate the spirits of other ancient Sith Lords, so the Emperor would be uncontested when he finally revealed himself and his Empire to the greater galaxy. Barel Ovair, revered false Jedi scholar, was a member of this particular family of infiltrators, and like his forefathers he went out of his way within the Order to visit the tombs of the Sith in various locations, disguising the travels as study of the mysteries of the Force. Eventually in 3756 BBY, Ovair and his apprentice traveled to the ancient temples on Yavin IV to investigate the tomb of long deceased Naga Sadow. There they would be confronted by descendants of Sadow's metamorphosed Massassi warriors. Defeated by the Massassi, the pair were driven deep into Sadow's tomb, coming across the lingering dark energies of Sadow himself. Ovair managed to escape back to Coruscant, but his apprentice was unable. Years later, it was revealed that Ovair had failed to seal Sadow's spirit in his tomb for good, as he encountered his apprentice—possessed by Sadow's spirit, and convinced to destroy Ovair. Despite Sadow's formidable powers, Ovair eventually defeated his possessed apprentice. His victory was celebrated by the Jedi, never suspecting Ovair's ulterior motives.
During this time, Sith Hybrids in this re-established Empire—descendants of the elite ruling class in society, offspring of Kissai high priests and Dark Jedi exiles hundreds of generations before, like Marka Ragnos and Naga Sadow—were referred to as Sith Purebloods, or true-bloods. By 4000 BBY, "Purebloods" were anything but pure Sith from a species point of view. The name itself was vanity. It had become clear that there is a direct correlation between those with enough of the old Sith blood in them to still be born with original Sith species traits and Force sensitivity. While not any stronger in the Force than the more human Sith, it was extremely rare to find a Pureblood who is completely without Force sensitivity. Thus those with the marks of the old Sith came to call themselves Purebloods with the obvious insinuation that they are superior to those without. All of this was purely the realm of fashion and societal politics, though no non-Pureblood would stand up and say the entire claim was foolish.
The Emperor was known to keep many Purebloods around him; many of his inner circle and his personal apprentice bared the characteristic red-skin of the Purebloods. As a Pureblood and apprentice to the Emperor, Exal Kressh loyally and gratefully served her master, scouring the galaxy in search of Holocrons, or following stories to satisfy the Emperor's hunger. The Emperor would continue to hollow her out to do his bidding, filling her with his power. Eventually, following stories and tribal legends of shamans who could escape death, she would come across Lenico IV and a tribe of Ortolans there. These people's myths told of patriarchs who lived through their descendants, and as it was a power the Emperor craved, he watched through his apprentice as she learnt the truth to their legends, and then had her destroy them. He used the knowledge he had obtained from this to turn his apprentice into his puppet—the first and only of the so-called "Emperor's Children".
In final preparation for invasion, the Emperor brought about disunion throughout the Outer Rim, making secret arrangements with warlords and criminals, and establishing puppet governments on the worlds of Sernpidal, Ruuria, and Belkadan. When he felt his forces were completely prepared to defeat the Jedi and the Republic, the Emperor initiated his offensive against them. He first devastated Outer Rim Republican worlds, and sent Sith battle cruisers to the fringes of the Tingel Arm, and waited for a diplomatic convoy from the Republic to arrive, so that the Emperor could reveal to the Republic the true nature of his forces. After he revealed to the Republic what they were up against, his forces destroyed the convoy, and the Emperor's forces moved on to the Aparo sector, conquering it before the Republic forces had a chance to arrive there. When the Republic did arrive in the Tingel Arm, they found themselves surrounded by enemies as their allies on Sernpidal, Ruuria, and Belkadan had turned on them. Forcing the Republic into desperate measures; every available ship was requested to assist the Republic fleet there, but eventually the Republic fleet was overwhelmed and forced to scatter. During this time, the way that the Republic had sent for all its ships left Korriban defended by only a few Jedi security ships, leaving the Sith to take the holy planet back as their first priority, without the Jedi Council even realizing it. Meanwhile the Sith continued to attack and seize targeted Outer rim worlds, destroying the Sluis sector's Republican shipyards, blockading the Rimma Trade Route, and forcing the Minos Cluster and their resources into submission. The Republic and the Jedi were unable to respond to the initial invasion, caught up in confusion, and politics over whether choices made would leave specific systems open to attack. As a result of the Republic's infighting, systems had to defend for themselves against the Sith, as was the Emperor's plan, giving him time to improve his plans on the sweep of the Core Worlds.
After 10 years of war, and dozens of victories for the Empire, the Empire had established true dominance in the Outer Rim, and turned their attention to pushing through the Mid Rim. Believing that the Republic was still recovering from its losses, the Empire attempted to take Bothawui, but instead were obliterated as they met the full force of the entire Republic fleet. As the first major victory for the Republic, the hopes of Republican citizens were re-vitalized. The Sith struck back at the Bothan space and the renewed strength of the Republic, and suffered heavy losses against their Republican and Jedi foes that had already accepted that their death was inevitable. The Republican soldiers and Jedi were eventually wiped out, but not before the Imperials were forced into a full retreat. The Emperor had expected to sweep through the galaxy destroying the Jedi and the Republic without the need for alliances, however he did not foresee the sacrifices his enemies were willing to make, such as the heroic stand on Bothawui that restored hope, and rallied the Republic's forces to fight with renewed courage. As a result, the Empire changed strategy by 3667 BBY, and used Imperial Intelligence officers to forge alliances with criminal networks, Hutt cartels and Bounty Hunters. Most would remain independent however, until Imperial Intelligence managed to produce a puppet Mandalore figure for Mandalorian mercenaries and Bounty Hunters to rally under. This was the second step in the Emperor's master—plan. Using their Mandalorian allies to their advantage, the Sith used them to blockade the Hydian Way, and block off the Republic's supplies and military support to the Outer rim. Even though the blockade was ultimately unsuccessful and eventually broken, the blockade had already set the stage for an attack of the Core worlds by the Sith.
Though the Emperor had control of half the galaxy, he grew impatient after 28 years of war, expecting his triumph over the opposition to come quickly. This forced the Emperor to undertake a risky maneuver, in light of all his other methods failing. He had his Dark Council approach the Republic with an offer of peace, an offer that the Jedi and Republic could not refuse; especially when the Republic was still in recovery from the recent Mandalorian blockade. The Republic and Sith diplomats converged on Alderaan to discuss the treaty of ceasefire, however, the Sith tricked the Republic and attacked Coruscant and captured the Jedi Temple and Senate tower. With the Sith Empire holding the Republic capital hostage, the Republic diplomats had no choice but to sign the unfair terms of the Treaty of Coruscant.
Since the Treaty, the Emperor's plans have left the galaxy in state of fear and uncertainty as to each side's boundaries, allowing the Emperor to defer control of the Empire to his Dark Council (the majority of which consisted of non-Purebloods at this time) while he pursues his own secret goals. The Emperor's absence left a massive power vacuum, and in its wake the most powerful and cunning Imperial leaders attempted to assume authority over the Empire. With the Dark Council consolidating the Empire's new dominion, altering the Empire's domain and structure, they tasked the Imperial military with more practical matters, while the Sith Lords' planned for the Empire's future.
In this sense, Lords focused on recruiting and training new acolytes, to increase the Empire's power and prepare for their final confrontation with the Jedi. Due to the dwindling of the Sith ranks after decades of war, the Sith academy's entry requirements were relaxed, in effect, those born Force-sensitive were allowed to train to become Sith. Those in the slave caste, not of proper Sith bloodlines were even admitted if born with Force-sensitivity. This resulted in the training of Sith Inquisitors during this now highly stratified Empire, observed by their Sith Pureblood overseers that forever loathed to work with alien species like Humans.
Sith Purebloods were born into positions of privilege within the Empire during this time, and were known to have been prepared from childhood to train at the Sith academy on Korriban. In this way, Purebloods became members of the class known as Sith Warriors during this era. The Pureblood Warriors used their rage of their fallen ancestors to their advantage, dominating and intimidating those on their battlefield with their presence.
Isolation and Withdrawal
Eventually the Sith race seemed to disappear, vanishing to become part of history. Largely the species was believed not to be seen or heard of since their Golden Age. However the Sith Lords' ancient teachings continued to plague the Republic as the term Sith branched to refer to an arcane cult of devotees who dedicated themselves to studying the dark side lore and ways of the original Sith; taking the species' name as their own, rather than being connected to the species itself. While the original Sith physically seemed to have vanished, their language especially lingered in those planets and species that had writing systems tracing back to Sith influences, such as Myke, Arkanian, and Kruskan languages. The language was also preserved through those that sought the knowledge of the original Sith. Consequently, the language and relics dominated and outlasted the Sith species as a legacy to their overall culture.
Roughly 1,000 years before the battle of Yavin the Jedi Order became preoccupied with their war with the Sith Lord Skere Kaan and the New Sith Wars. Following the Seventh Battle of Ruusan, the Jedi ranks, depleted as they were, stopped visiting Tund and all but forgot about the pure Sith Sorcerers there. Even Darth Bane, who was the Dark Lord of the Sith in the battle's aftermath, considered the Sith species long extinct. Years later, Jedi such as Mace Windu were also under the same impression.
In 45 BBY Toong refugees settled on Tund, adding to the small world population of pure Sith Sorcerers that inhabited the planet. Being as solitary as the Sorcerers of Tund were, they did not warm to the presence of the newcomers. As such, the Sorcerers began to persecute the Toong, which eventually made its way to the Republic Senate. With this, Palpatine convinced the public into viewing the Sorcerers as charlatans with a high regard for themselves. However, being a Sith Lord, Palpatine also took an interest to the Sorcerers, and had his agents scour their planet to discover more about the pure Sith.
At least one Sorcerer of Tund such as Adler Roty made his way off world to Coruscant. Roty started a show around 23 BBY and 22 BBY in the CoCo District Theatre as a professional magician. Eventually in 5 BBY, a Force sensitive Croke called Rokur Gepta, skilled in creating illusions to deceive others, came to Tund. Using his talents he infiltrated the Sorcerers of Tund, and learned all he could about their dark side lore. Gepta was interested in the pursuit of power—more so than the rest of the Sorcerers—and hence exploited what knowledge he learned from the Sorcerers to extend his reach across the galaxy. In this way, the self-proclaimed Sorcerer of Tund wiped out the Sorcerers and all life on Tund with "green fire" from an electromagnetic torpedo; after perceiving the Sorcerers as competition to his goals.
In 41 ABY a ship named the Harbinger was pulled out of hyperspace 5,000 years after they entered it, a freak time shift caused by the Jedi Master Relin Druur destroying half of the Harbinger's hyperdrive before the jump. The ship, commanded by Saes Rrogon was carrying many Massassi warriors, and other Sith, along with Lignan ore, that was going to be utilized by the now ancient Sith Lord Naga Sadow during the Great Hyperspace War. Druur, who was also sent forward in time met with the Jedi Knight Jaden Korr who was lead to the immediate conflict through a Force vision. The Harbinger opened fire upon the ship Korr arrived in, now housing Druur. Devising a plan to allow Korr to continue his own mission on a nearby moon, and so that Druur could destroy Harbinger's dangerous cargo, Druur found his way to the Sith ship's landing bay. There, Druur fought his way through Massassi warriors, to confront Rrogon. After eventually killing the Sith captain, Druur used the power of the Lignan ore to engulf the ship, destroying it and crashing it into the moon's surface, killing himself and everyone aboard the ancient vessel.
Behind the scenes
For the Thrawn Trilogy, Timothy Zahn initially intended the Noghri to be the Sith, but was told to change that by Lucasfilm. It is also rumored that originally the Yuuzhan Vong were intended to be exiled Sith, but that it was changed prior to the New Jedi Order series.[source?]