- "To be united by hatred is a… fragile alliance at best."
The Sith Triumvirate was a loose alliance of what remained of Darth Revan's Sith Empire, which almost destroyed the Jedi Order during the era of strife that took place after the Jedi Civil War. It was solidified sometime after the Battle of Rakata Prime, which saw the death of Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Malak. This organization was made up of several, if not hundreds of Sith apprentices, Sith Masters, and, most importantly, Sith assassins. It was responsible for the near complete destruction of the Jedi during the First Jedi Purge and the attack on Katarr.
Leadership and origins
- "But above these legions there are three who must be stopped. As long as any one of them lives then we, and all life are doomed."
The Triumvirate was led by three joint Dark Lords of the Sith: Darth Traya, and her two apprentices, Darth Nihilus, and Darth Sion. These three were all under tutelage at the Trayus Academy on Malachor V. During their time studying the dark side, they learned of specific traits and skills that they had, styling themselves as unique titles for Lords of the Sith.
Darth Traya, Lord of Betrayal
- "…But there must always be a Darth Traya, one that holds the knowledge of betrayal. Who has been betrayed in their heart, and will betray in turn."
Darth Traya, before her fall to the dark side, was a Jedi Master named Kreia. Kreia was very contemplative and philosophical. She was one of the many teachers who trained Revan, who later became an infamous Sith Lord and important figure in galactic history. Revan, along with his friend, Malak, led the crusade against the Mandalorians. Many of her other students succumbed to Revan's beliefs and joined him. Kreia was (wrongfully) blamed for Revan's actions, and was cast out of the Jedi Order. She questioned her beliefs and began searching for answers, meeting those she had affected through her teachings. Eventually, she came to Malachor V, a dead world, powerful in the dark side. She was curious, the Sith ruins drawing her in. She became overpowered with the allure of the dark side, and became Darth Traya, Lord of Betrayal, having been betrayed by the Jedi, and ready to betray in turn. She attained the title of headmistress of the Trayus Academy, able to hold any students willing to fight for the cause of the Sith: to destroy the Jedi.
Darth Nihilus, Lord of Hunger
Little was known of Darth Nihilus's history. He was most likely a Jedi during the Mandalorian Wars, who had followed Revan to war. Nevertheless, he ended up fighting at Malachor V. One of the battle's few survivors, he was stranded in orbit around the planet. His high Force potential and power were demonstrated when he tore his new flagship, Ravager from the gravity well. The ship was barely space-worthy, severely damaged by Mandalorian artillery. It also contained a crew, drained of all life and emotion by its captain. Nihilus came upon the Trayus Academy at some time, seeking training from Traya. He received it, sharing equal prestige with another student, Darth Sion. During his time at the academy, he learned how to drain the Force, create wounds in it, and use Kreia's echoes to his advantage. Eventually, his training and abilities made him into a shell of his former self, a wound in the Force, corrupting those around him. Nihilus was different from other Sith in that he never sought to rule the galaxy or to create a new order; his purpose was to destroy all life everywhere in order to satisfy his hunger.
Darth Sion, Lord of Pain
- "Yes… of pain he has learned much. Of knowledge, of teaching, he knows nothing."
In the wake of the power vacuum that divided the Sith on Korriban, one notable Sith that emerged from the wreckage of Revan's Empire was Darth Sion. A twisted and broken shell of a man, Sion was a patchwork of thousands of fragments of his original body, which had been destroyed again and again over the years. His cracked and decaying body was held together by sheer force of will and the dark side of the Force; he used the constant intense pain and agony of his condition to fuel his power, his hatred, and his body. Sion fled Korriban, coming to Malachor V, where he found the Trayus Academy, and his new master, Darth Traya. His brutality, strength, and sheer will were things noted by Traya, but the two soon came to despise each other due to Sion's lack of understanding, or perhaps his uncaring attitude towards Traya's understanding of strength, which was in direct opposition to his almost slavish reliance upon the Force for his mere survival, which is something Traya saw as a glaring weakness.
Betrayal, Hunger, and Pain
- "Treachery is the way of the Sith."
- ―Darth Tyranus's final thought
At the completion of their training, these three were now co-rulers of a new Empire. Now that much of the remnants of Revan and Malak's forces had joined them, they began to subtly intervene in galactic affairs, using Traya's vision of creating echoes in the Force, and corrupting Jedi to the Dark Side. Sion quickly grew impatient with waiting to fight the Jedi and the Republic more directly, while Nihilus more and more found himself needing to feed on the Force energy of other beings, which was not being satisfied by Traya's strategies. The two conspired against Traya, and, believing their combined power to be more than a match to hers, they struck. She was surrounded from two sides in the Trayus Core while meditating, and violently subdued. Nihilus used the Force to slam her against a pillar, holding her in place while she, in vain, attempted to pull her lightsaber to her in order to defend herself. Sion then proceeded to savagely beat her and throw her to the floor, leaving her unconscious. During this time, the two Lords used Sever Force to cut off her connection to the Force, stripping her of her power, and in a stroke of irony, exiled her yet again. The Lord of Betrayal had herself been betrayed.
Cast out by both Jedi and Sith, Kreia, Darth Traya no more, came to believe that the will of the Force must be removed from influencing every being's actions, treating those dependent on this uncaring higher power with disdain. Seeking to make all sapients of the galaxy to see and strive for their own potential inner strength, she left the Sith Triumvirate she started, and began to direct her attention toward the Jedi Exile, a Jedi who severed her bond with the Force and was exiled by the Jedi Council for their fear of "the death of the Force" that they saw in her. Guiding the exiled Jedi on her path, the Jedi Exile eventually brought down Kreia's former students, the two Sith Lords, and caused the subsequent fall of the Triumvirate. But until then, Sion and Nihilus had gained complete control of the remaining Sith. However, due to their conflicting philosophies and despite their similar beliefs that the Jedi should be exterminated, they also went their separate ways, each going about the destruction of the Jedi Order in their own way.
Destroying the Jedi
- "There are many factions within the Sith, all seeking to take what little remains in the wake of the Jedi Civil War. Where one moves, it is not always known to the others. But their purpose is the same—the death of all Jedi, everywhere. They believe you are the last of the Jedi, and their hatred of the Jedi unites them. All their eyes are upon you, and it is a terrible, quiet darkness that pursues you."
- ―Visas Marr, to the Jedi Exile
Their former master seemingly permanently defeated, Nihilus and Sion began their own respective "shadow wars" apart from each other. While they were technically allied, the truce was a tenuous one at best. Nihilus carried out large-scale exterminations in his insatiable hunger for Force energy, like that of Katarr, while Sion worked silently and brutally, deploying Sith assassins to bait and kill stray Jedi. They came very close to their goal, in that only a few known Jedi survived. The Sith, specifically Nihilus, directed their attention towards Onderon and other struggling Republic worlds in an effort to destroy not just the remnants of the Jedi Order, but also the galactic government that had supported them for thousands of years: the Galactic Republic.
Devastation of Katarr
- "My people never saw his face when he struck—but they heard his voice. When my lord spoke, every living thing on Katarr died. The destruction of Katarr echoed through the Force, the screaming of countless lives."
- ―Visas Marr
With the new Sith tactics killing off the few remaining Jedi at an alarming rate, the Masters called a meeting on the Miraluka colony of Katarr. As the Miraluka were all Force-sensitive, the planet was a powerful nexus of the Force. The Jedi hoped to use this power to discern the nature of the threat they faced. Their plan worked, but the massive amount of Force energy also attracted the attention of Darth Nihilus. He devastated the entire planet with his hunger, killing all the Jedi, natives, and other life on the planet, feasting on the death he felt. Jedi Council member Atris, who was not actually present, fled to Telos IV, a world that would be important later. The sole survivor of the massacre was Visas Marr, whom Nihilus spared for an unknown reason, perhaps out of pity or need of an apprentice. Nonetheless, the blind female became his servant, somewhat devoid of the decay that plagued his ship. Her part in the Sith, if any, is unknown. The aftermath of the Katarr attack left the entire surrounding region blind to the Force which allowed the Sith to move undetected. The last few Jedi fled to different worlds that were either scarred by war or swarming with life in order to make sensing their presence there nearly impossible.
Darth Sion, however, had been killing the Jedi with subtler, more brutal methods. Torture, coercion, and traps were some of his favorite tools. Sith Assassins were sent all over the Galaxy, also slaying numerous Jedi, but one at a time. The killers eventually found their way to the Jedi Exile, now in the company of Kreia on the Peragus Mining Facility. Sion came to this area, after deceptively hijacking Harbinger from the Republic Navy. However, his prey escaped, but not without Kreia losing her left hand in a bout of words and swords with Sion as a diversion. After the initial purge of the Jedi, he had a more famous kill: Jedi Master Lonna Vash, a member of the Jedi Council, who had been in exile at the Sith Academy on Korriban. This attracted the Jedi Exile and some of her newfound companions, who had been searching for the remaining Jedi. Sion had not forgotten Darth Traya's exodus, and recognized the Exile's quest as her doing. After a brief conflict, the Exile had to flee, as beckoned by Kreia. Sion wanted to have more revenge, but could not for the time being.
Onderon Civil War
A conflict instigated by Nihilus on the behalf of the Triumvirate, the Onderon Civil War divided the planet, and further hindered the Exile. The battles pitted Loyalists, siding with Queen Talia, against General Vaklu, her cousin in charge of the majority of the military, and his Sith allies. The fighting raged all across the city of Iziz, incorporating beasts of Sithspawn and natural Onderon alike. The battle also was on a darker battlefield: Onderon's mutual atmosphere moon, Dxun, where the tomb of Freedon Nadd, an ancient Sith Lord, was located. A Sith Master and his hordes of Sith Lords, Assassins, warriors and basic Sith troops were guarding the tomb, as well as performing a ritual around a dark side nexus to turn the tide of the battle. Eventually however, with the help of the Exile, her companions, and Kavar, another sought member of the Jedi Council, the Loyalists won.
Nihilus also accumulated a new slave: Colonel Tobin, a veteran and Vaklu supporter. Kreia gave false information to Tobin after the battle, effectively trapping Nihilus with another insatiable target: Telos IV, the site where Atris had supposedly built a new Jedi Academy to consume.
Darth Sion's path led him to Malachor V, Nihilus' to Telos IV, with Kreia and the Exile visiting both. Kreia had set in motion plans to make the Jedi see her truths, the destroy Sith, and remove the Force's influence on sapients. She had already killed the remaining Jedi Masters for their failure to see what they had caused, and the potential in the Jedi Exile. Kreia went to Telos with intentions to convince Atris to finally accept that she herself had fallen to the dark side as a result of her own archived Sith holocrons' influence. Before leaving to Malachor V and the Exile's arrival at Atris' chambers, Kreia told Atris that she herself was the new Darth Traya, for the Jedi had been betrayed by herself. The Exile confronted Atris shortly after, and brought an end to her dark teachings. Meanwhile, Kreia found Sion, defeating all his Sith Assassins along the way to the Academy. Sion was brought under her heel once more to serve against the Exile, a somewhat mutual goal. Meanwhile the Republic, the Telos Security Force, the Exile's team and her various acquaintances were hard at work combating Darth Nihilus' fleet, which started to bombard the vital Citadel Station. The invasion of Sith commandos was briefly held off, while the Exile, Visas Marr, and Mandalore Canderous Ordo with his Dxun-trained Mandalorians flew a shuttle to the Ravager with the intention of destroying it, and its all-consuming master. Proton detonators were placed, and the Exile's companions helped her fight Nihilus, in a quick and decisive battle that drew on the Force bonds that Marr and Nihilus had. Nihilus, Lord of Hunger, had fallen. He disappeared in a manner befitting an evil perversion of a Force ghost, dark energies consuming his body. The Ravager was destroyed, and the battle won.
The Exile had personal business on Malachor V on two accounts, and so traveled there. She fought and slew the bulk of the Sith Triumvirate, Marauders, Assassins, Lords and regular troopers alike. She defeated Darth Sion in a battle of lightsabers, and then will in an emotional confrontation, where he let go of himself from the constant pain and met death. The Exile then proceeded to Kreia, meditating in the Trayus Core. Kreia dismissed the Exile's attempts to "save" her and bring her back to the light. Kreia forced her student into a fight she had hoped for, to complete her plan; the Jedi Exile would either be whole by letting go of her mentor through Kreia's death, or the resulting Force echoes subsequent to the student's death would, as Kreia told the Exile, remove the will of the Force's influence over sapience at the cost of countless lives.
Forced to keep herself alive against Kreia's full force, the Jedi Exile was led into a duel to the death. The Exile wounded Kreia by cutting off her remaining hand, but she struck back using telekinetic lightsaber combat, sending three hidden lightsabers at her. The Exile's final step to negate the echoes that stemmed from the events of Malachor V and be able to hear the sound of the Force again was complete; the death of Kreia was at hand. As one last gift to the Exile, Kreia gave her prophecies concerning the Force, the Mandalorians, and all her many acquaintances and friends. With Kreia's last breaths, the Jedi Exile's bond to her mentor was no more, and she went on to leave Malachor V to its self-destruction and fulfill her quest to find the lost Revan. Thus, what remained of the Sith Triumvirate was eventually destroyed, and together with the Exile, Revan again reached the True Sith, direct descendants from the first Dark Jedi who arrived on the Sith homeworld of Korriban millennia ago, and successfully brought down their hold on the galaxy.
The Sith Triumvirate utilized the same weapons and technology as Darth Revan's Sith Empire. Since it was a remnant of said Empire, its military was virtually the same, using Interdictor-class cruisers and Sith fighters in the navy, Sith troopers, war droids and Dark Jedi in the army. However, the structuring and classification systems of the Sith and Dark Jedi were different. The Triumvirate used Sith Marauders, Warriors, and Assassins almost exclusively, utilizing each for a unique purpose not found in Revan's technologically powered Empire.
And then, since it was smaller, the Sith Triumvirate tried to avoid outright battles, preferring deception. It also was directly commanded by the three Sith Lords; Sion would often send Assassins after a target while he was directly inside the building, and Nihilus would only go into space combat if the Ravager was present, to use his unique abilities. Kreia, who was already been stripped of her title and power as the Sith Lord Darth Traya, has been manipulating the events to her own ends. She re-assumed her title and authority over Trayus Academy to allow her student, the Jedi Exile, to confront her and be complete as an individual. The military lacked command structure like other larger systems of government, with no admirals or generals, but instead, Sith Lords or lesser Dark Jedi. The few times that the Triumvirate fought openly was during the Onderon Civil War and the Battle of Telos IV, the former supporting General Vaklu's soldiers with Dark Jedi and Sith beast handlers, while the latter apparently used all of their remaining space and ground forces.
Member worlds and key locations
- Malachor V, origin and capital
- Sith Academy, abandoned
- Onderon, support
Behind the scenes
The name "Sith Triumvirate" was first coined for the trio of Darth Traya, Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus by Wookieepedia until authors John Jackson Miller, Rodney Thompson, Sterling Hershey, and Abel G. Peña made the name for the group official in Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide.
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- "Unseen, Unheard" — Star Wars Tales 24
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (First appearance)
- The Old Republic: Revan (Indirect mention only)
- The Old Republic: Revan audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic (Mentioned in Codex entry)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Cartel Market
- Darth Plagueis (Indirect mention only)
- Darth Plagueis audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- The New Essential Chronology
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide (First identified as Sith Triumvirate)
- "Heritage of the Sith" – Star Wars Insider 88
- The Essential Atlas