We are going to take a break from our regularly scheduled activities this week on TOR Lore and forgo the explanation of a facet of Star Wars lore. Instead we are going to looking at a single individual, one of the most influential people to exist at the time of The Old Republic, the Sith Emperor. This article will contain heavy spoilers for both TOR and some of the novels associated with the game, so if you wish to keep these things a secret I suggest you turn back now. Otherwise I welcome you to join me as we examine the life and exploits of one of the most influential figures of this time.
The man who would eventually become the ruler of the Sith was born Tenebrae, and was the illegitimate son of a Sith Lord named Dramath on the planet Medriaas. Even from birth it was clear that he was an unusual child and began showing signs that he was unusually strong in the Dark Side of the Force at the young age of six. Neither of his parents were Force Sensitive so his father questioned if the boy was truly his son. When he confronted his wife about the boy’s heritage she admitted to having an affair with the Sith Lord who ruled the planet. The father attacked his wife in a fit of rage and Tenebrae, feeding on his father’s anger and grief, used the Dark Side to snap his neck with nothing but his mind. He then spent months torturing his mother for her infidelity before ultimately killing her as well. He then began to enslave the members of the surrounding villages, forcing him to bow down before him, killing or torturing those who refused.
Over the next four years Tenebrae subjugated more and more villages, killing thousands in his rise to power. He had legions of followers that served him out of fear or fanatical devotion, and he fed his power on the agony and fear of those he killed. His true father, Lord Dramath, eventually became curious if Tenebrae would make a good servant for him, or if the boy should simply be killed outright. Tenebrae, on the other hand, had other plans. When the two finally met, Tenebrae, despite only being 10 years old, overwhelmed his father and stripped him of his power and his sanity. It is said that the last thing Dramath did was weep in terror as he stared into the overwhelming darkness of his son’s eyes. In three short years, Tenebrae was able to subjugate the rest of Medriaas, and was able to successfully crush any other Sith Lords who thought they could claim the planet from the boy.
Tenebrae eventually came before Marka Ragnos, the ruler of the Sith Empire at the time. Ragnos was impressed by the power and ambition of the boy and officially recognized him as the ruler of Medriaas, naming him Lord Vitiate. Vitiate returned to Medriaas, renamed it Nathema, and built a palace on the spot of his childhood home. He then began a hundred year rule of the planet, spending most of his time studying and discovering the secrets of the Dark Side. When Ragnos died Vitiate did not join the struggle for succession, choosing to remain out of the conflict and consolidate his power. When the Sith were eventually defeated by the Republic he sent out a call to all the Sith Lords and encouraged them to put aside their differences and come to Nathema so they may perform a ritual that would unlock the power of the Dark Side and give the Sith the power to drive the Republic back. At the same time he secretly had researchers on Nathema begin searching for the lost world of Dromund Kaas, an ancient Sith planet whose location had been lost long ago. They eventually discovered the hyperspace routes that would lead to the world, unknowingly helping Vitiate progress towards completing the first step in a grand plan. Using the fear of the Sith as a tool, Vitiate was eventually able to convince the Sith Lords to meet with him on Nathema. Over a hundred of Sith Lords would heed his call, unafraid that Vitiate would be able to do anything to harm them. It was the last mistake they would ever make.
When the Sith Lords arrived at Nathema Vitiate quickly used his power to subjugate them to his will. He crushed their minds and turned them into his slaves, preparing to use them in one of the most powerful and complicated Force rituals ever performed. Calling on the Dark Side, Vitiate used the Sith Lords to absorb all life on the planet into his body. All the people, animals, plants, the Sith Lords; the life of everything on the planet was absorbed into Vitiate. He literally consumed every aspect of the Force on Nathema, leaving the plant a lifeless husk and leaving Vitiate immortal. On that day Vitiate ceased to be, and the Sith Emperor was born. This was his goal all along, for the only thing that Vitiate feared was death itself. Vitate had a plan that, if successful, would eliminate any threat to his life in the known galaxy.
With his newfound power making him easily the strongest Sith, and with the secret location of Dromund Kass in hand, Vitiate gathered up the remaining Sith forces, named himself their Emperor, and lead them into unknown space. He did not head straight for Dromund Kaas, instead taking a long and difficult path that would cause the Sith many troubles along the way. Any time the Sith ran into trouble their Emperor would save them, causing his followers to come to view him as a god-like leader. After many years of travel he finally lead the Sith to Dromund Kaas, declaring that the planet would serve as their new homeworld. Upon landing, he promised to build an orderly, powerful Empire that would be able to take revenge on the Republic for driving the Sith out of their former home. His subjects rallied to his cause and began to settle Dromund Kaas. The first stage of the Emperor’s plan was complete.
The life of the Emperor is a long, complicated affair, so we’ll save the remainder of his life for next week’s article. If you want to learn more about this mysterious figure, be sure to tune in next week for the next installment of TOR Lore.
Joshrooms is the Lore columnist and news guy for swtor-life.com. You can follow him on twitter @MagicJoshrooms where he shares SWTOR and other gaming news and you can write to him directly at Magicjoshrooms(at)yahoo.com. If you have any ideas, questions, thoughts,stories, or just want to talk some Star Wars Lore feel free to contact him.