The Old Empire The first Sith Empire flourished during the waning years and aftermath of the Hundred-Year Darkness as the former Jedi Exiles adopted the religious rites and traditions of the red-skinned Sith species, which they conquered during their exodus into the Outer Rim Territories. Under the first Sith Empress, the Empire grew and eventually swallowed up most of the known galaxy, absorbing their Outer Rim neighbors in Hutt Space and even the Republic in the coveted Core Worlds. Soon after, the Imperial capital was moved from Korriban to the former Republic capital of Coruscant. But the Empire quickly learned that governing the entire galaxy was no simple task and, so, the galaxy was divided into three quadrants: Imperial Republica, Imperial Hutta, and the Old Empire, which was defined as the old worlds that made up Sith Space. This “Old Empire” was overseen by the Dark Lord of the Sith and was originally loyal to the throne on Coruscant. However, five centuries deepened the cultural divide between the Sith in the Core and the Sith in their original home-space—so steeped were they in the ways of the ancient Sith... Contents History Organization Government Military Ranks & Structure HISTORY The Way Things Were The red-skinned Sith evolved eons ago on the desert planet Korriban, secluded from the larger galaxy within an isolated region of the Outer Rim Territories called the Stygian Caldera, which was later known as “Sith Space.” These red humanoids were barbaric and warrior-like, but were unique due to their affinity to the dark side of the Force. With their dark sorcery, they carved out a kingdom that came to include Korriban’s twin, Moraband, and the nearby worlds of Ziost, Dromund Kaas, and Malachor. Throughout these wars of conquest, only one rule governed the warlike ways of the Sith species: the strongest ruled and the weak served. If a king lacked strength, his subordinates would challenge him for the throne, ensuring that this quality remained ingrained within their culture. This policy of the “Rule of the Strong” dominated the kingdom and ensured its strength. As a result of it, vast pyramids and monuments were raised across their subordinate worlds—a testament to the strength and power of the ancient Sith—culminating in the rise of a Sith King named Adas. Adas was rare among his kind. While the rest of his Sith brethren were red-skinned, his was charcoal black. He was also larger than the rest of his species and wore intimidating black armor paired with a legendary sword imbued with dark Sith magicks. His power was unquestioned and those who did dare to challenge him were met with a brutal and painful end. As a result, some among the Sith began to attribute the king to an old Sith legend: the Sith’ari—a word meaning “overlord” in the Sith tongue and attributed to the one who would lead the Sith to glory beyond their small region of space. But, elsewhere in the galaxy, the Hundred-Year Darkness had reached its conclusion, casting a cult of Dark Jedi known as the Jedi Exiles into the Outer Rim, searching for refuge from their enemies: the Jedi Order and the Republic. The Exiles discovered the Sith worlds of Malachor and Dromund Kaas, on the fringes of the Sith kingdom, where they learned of Korriban and Moraband and of the dark power both worlds held. When the Exiles arrived on Korriban, their leader, the Overlord Andraste, challenged the Sith King Adas to a duel for the rulership of the Sith kingdom. Adas died in the battle, and Andraste along with her fellow Exiles demonstrated their superior knowledge of the dark side of the Force, leading many Sith to proclaim them gods. Others saw Andraste as the new Sith’ari and pledged themselves to her. In order to unite the Sith with her people, Andraste proclaimed them all to be Sith and named her Warlords “Sith Lords” to denote their new stations as rulers of the Sith. She then took her new army and began a conquest that would eventually see the Sith topple the Jedi Order, absorb both the Republic and the Hutt Clan, and establish a Sith Empire that spanned the stars. Golden Age of the Sith The Sith Empire ruled unopposed for centuries. However, its bloated size made it virtually impossible to rule, even after the Empress Andraste moved her capital from Korriban to Coruscant, in the valued Core Worlds. As a result, the Empire was divided into three prefectures: the Imperial Republica, the Imperial Hutta, and the Old Empire, which contained Sith Space and the original worlds ruled by the ancient Sith. The cultural difference between the Coreward Imperial Republica and the Old Empire was almost immediately apparent. Andraste established a family dynasty that spat in the face of Sith culture and, in the minds of many red-skinned Sith, ensured that the Empire would eventually decay and collapse. Over the next five hundred years, the red Sith began to breed with humans, completing Andraste’s vision of merging her Dark Jedi with the Sith people; but the strongest concentration of those with Sith blood and culture remained in the Old Empire, which was overseen by a relative of the Empress who also held the title of “Dark Lord of the Sith.” For a time, the Dark Lord oversaw the Old Empire and there was peace. But the Old Empire could never forget its heritage. While the lords of Imperial Republica flaunted their wealth and political power, the Sith Lords of the Old Empire retained the ancient prefix of Darth and preferred to win their stations in the old ways—through death-enabled combat. These kaggaths pit power base against power base, Sith Lord against Sith Lord, with the winning lord absorbing his or her opponent’s minions and power for themselves. As a result, the Old Empire remained strongest in the ways of the dark side of the Force and in combat, eventually growing disdainful of their Coreward brethren. For the longest time, this bitterness did not infect the Dark Lord of the Sith, who was also chosen by birthright and by relation to the Drast dynasty; but that all began to change when, five hundred years after the defeat of the Jedi Order, a new, younger Dark Lord rose to claim the throne. The Sith Civil War This new Dark Lord believed his distant cousin in the Core to be weakened by the decadence of the innermost province. The Emperor was a master politician and ruled by blood-right, but the Dark Lord viewed him as weak in all the areas that mattered—martial strength and power with the dark side of the Force. He began to preach a return to the old ways—to the “Rule of the Strong,” where Sith were ruled only by those who proved themselves to be the most capable of holding the throne and leading the Sith to greatness. As a symbolic gesture, he forsook his Drast name, which had for five centuries been the names of the Dark Lords of the Sith, and took the ancient title of Darth and an accompanying Sith name for his own. Followers flocked to him; almost the entirety of his province stood behind him, and, soon, tensions began to rise as the Dark Lord became more vocal in opposition to the Emperor’s rule. In the midst of these tensions, the Dark Lord gathered his followers on a farm world known as Medriaas. It was a world he thought would be unsuspecting, allowing him to foment his coup d'etat against the Emperor. But the Emperor’s spies had already seen through the smoke and mirrors and so he sent the fleet to Medriaas in order to wipe out the Dark Lord’s followers and his rebellion in one fell swoop. The bombardment of the planet killed millions, but rather than quash rebellion, it sparked rebellion all over the galaxy. The Dark Lord proclaimed himself the true Emperor over the Old Empire and the Sith Civil War began alongside the larger Great Galactic War that consumed the galaxy. SOCIETY AND CULTURE The culture of the Old Empire was deeply rooted in the ancient past, drawn from millenia of traditions set in stone by the red-skinned Sith of Korriban. These traditions held conflict as a sacred rite that elevated the strong above the weak and ensured that the Sith people as a whole would remain strong as a result—that strength-through-combat, when combined with self-reliance and passion, was the only path towards the true power of the dark side. Because of this, the Sith in the Old Empire were deeply resentful of their familiars in the Core Worlds. They saw the Sith of the Imperial Republica as abominations who had forgotten what had given them power in the first place and, instead, sought a plush path of riches, decadence, and flimsy political power. And while the Sith Lords that ruled the Old Empire traditionally fought one another over territory and power, they were, perhaps for the first time in the Sith Empire’s five century reign, united in hatred of the Emperor on Coruscant, which allowed them a loose bond of loyalty to stand behind their Dark Lord and resist the Emperor’s rule. Rule of the Strong The “Rule of the Strong,” as it was termed by the Dark Lord of the Sith who ruled them, was an ancient axiom that was as simple as it sounded: only the strongest Sith was worthy of ruling over the rest. For thousands of years, this mantra governed the red-skinned Sith, leading to the rise of a powerful kingdom ruled by equally powerful kings, culminating in Andraste’s challenge of Adas, which spread the Sith across the stars. But while the Sith of the Imperial Republica have turned their backs on this axiom, the Sith of the Old Empire have embraced it and continued to live by it over the past five centuries. But the Rule was about more than just strength alone. How a Sith gained their strength was equally important. The Rule taught that Sith were to look inward for their power. Friends, family, and loved ones were tools to be used, but such connections were frowned upon otherwise as the most powerful Sith exalted the self above all others. For this reason, the Sith of the Old Empire grew disdainful of the Drast dynasty to the point that the Dark Lord of the Sith who ruled them—and who was himself a descendent of this ancient bloodline—forsook the name in favor of a Sith name prefixed by the Darth title. Furthermore, the Rule taught that passion was a direct line to the power of the dark side of the Force. Unlike the Jedi Order, the ancient Sith were taught to embrace their anger, fear, and hatred and use them as conduits for dark side power. To embrace passion also meant to embrace jealousy and to covet what other more powerful Sith had—leading to the conflicts that pit one Sith against another for ultimate supremacy: the kaggath. The kaggath was almost a religious ritual and its rules were strictly enforced by the Darths who both participated in and oversaw them. Cheaters were killed on sight. Unlike the Sith in the Core, the Rule allowed for those of alien descent to rise through the ranks and obtain status and power. Any alien who could prove themselves to be truly powerful was just as respected as a human with the same talent. Likewise, if an alien proved himself more powerful than a human, that alien was given the appropriate respect. As a result, unlike in the Imperial Republica, it was not unheard of for slaves to rise out of their status and become powerful Lords of the Sith. Lastly, the Rule dicated that Force-sensitives would always rule over those without the Force. As a result, Sith always held authority over non-Force-sensitives of equal or lesser rank. Even higher ranking officers of non-Force-sensitive status often had difficulty reigning in Sith of lower ranks. They were also permitted to punish their subordinates however they saw fit. This ensured that they were always respected and treated as superior. Master and Apprentice The Imperial Republica frowned upon betrayals and murder. Sith were encouraged to achieve power through cunning political means. But in the Old Empire, where strength alone mattered, the relationship between a Sith Master and their apprentice was both necessary and deadly. A Sith Master was to teach their apprentice everything they knew. The smartest Masters would drag this process out for years to prevent their apprentices from seeking the means to overthrow them. As they learned, the apprentice’s role was to serve their Master and obey their every command. Both knew the ultimate conclusion of the relationship. When a Sith apprentice had learned all they could from their Master, they would often betray and kill their Master so that they might assume the title for themselves. Sometimes, this would occur as a simple duel or an outright murder of the Sith Master. Other times, a full-blown kaggath would be waged between both parties. But, in the event that the Sith apprentice played their hand too early and was not strong enough, the Master would kill the apprentice and retain their rank and stature, searching out a new apprentice from which to instruct. This way ensured that only the strongest were Sith Masters, thus continuing the principles of the “Rule of the Strong.” The brutality of this method of Sith training led to its abandonment in the Core Worlds. But in the Old Empire, a Master without an apprentice was a master of nothing and was seen as being a fraud by their fellow Sith. To have an apprentice was as much of a mark of status as it was for an apprentice to have a Master—for having a Master was a sign of one’s promise and potential to carry on and become a true Sith. Only the finest of Acolytes were chosen by Sith Masters for further instruction. RANKS AND STRUCTURE The ranks and structure of the Old Empire are virtually the same as their Imperial Republica counterparts, due to having so recently been part of the same Empire. However, there are some noticeable differences. The Sith of the Old Empire have embraced their heritage and the old ways, and this is reflected in their power-structure—it also serves to contrast them with their former brethren in the Core Worlds. Sith Acolyte/Imperial Agent A Sith Acolyte was a Force-sensitive who had completed the basics of their training and had been chosen to continue their journey towards becoming a true Sith. Acolytes had more prestige than slaves or typical Imperial citizens, or even the Sith apprentices beneath them, and were permitted the walk the halls of the Korriban Academy. They had basic control over their Sith skills—the Force and their martial abilities—but still had potential that could be drawn out with further experience. An Imperial Agent was a non-Force sensitive member of the Old Empire’s power structure. Those were were deemed able of holding the rank of “Agent” had proven not only their skill but their undying loyalty to the Old Empire. The rank of Agent was also flexible and could represent a low-tier officer in the Imperial Military or Intelligence, a scientist, or a civilian working within a corporation with direct ties to the Imperial government. Only Agents could move up the ladder of the Imperial power structure. Sith Crusader/Imperial Overseer A Sith Crusader was a Force-sensitive who completed their training as an Acolyte and had gained the right to be recognized as a full-fledged Sith. They were the dark equivalent of the Jedi Knights of old, fully capable of using their martial and Force skills in combat to a highly effective degree. Crusaders possessed greater degrees of prestige within Sith society, particularly among the Imperial military, where they could command non-Force sensitives of their equivalent rank or under, as well as other Sith Acolytes and apprentices. An Imperial Overseer was a non-Force-sensitive agent of the Old Empire who had proven their talents and loyalty beyond those of an Agent and had become true assets to the Empire. They usually found themselves in small command roles within the Imperial Military and other roles within the government command structure. In the civilian sector, they were also leaders of companies whose assets and goals were directly related to the Imperial government’s own goals. They had the authority to command Agents, as well as Sith Acolytes and basic apprentices still in-training. Sith Lord/Imperial Governor A Sith Lord was a Force-sensitive who had become a master of the dark side of the Force. Lords of the Sith were by no means ordinary Force-sensitives. Those who were granted the rank had to forsake their birth names and take upon a new Sith name prefaced with the prefix Darth to symbolize their new status. Sith Lords had control over vast power-bases—through with non-Force-sensitive Imperials of equal or lower status, as well as Sith of lower ranks, were subservient to them—and usually ruled an entire world for themselves to serve as their seat-of-power. Their Force power and martial skills were unrivaled and they were feared and respected by all for this very reason. An Imperial Governor was a non-Force sensitive agent of the Old Empire who had proven their usefulness, loyalty, and leadership capabilities to such a degree that they were granted the governorship of a single world. They also occupied a high status within the Imperial Military, should they serve there, which afforded them command over the lower ranks within their sphere of influence. A governorship was a coveted position to hold within the Old Empire, as they were among the few non-Force-sensitives to have the ear of the Emperor. Dark Councilor/High Commander A Dark Council member (informally a Dark Councilor) was a Sith Lord who was given undisputed leadership over a Sphere of Influence within the Empire, including its Military, Ancient Knowledge, Mysteries, Sith Philosophy, Technology, and Biotic Sciences. The Council members were considered among the rulers of the Empire and had legions of Sith and Imperials who served them, including lesser Sith Lords, as well as Imperial Governors. As a result, they ruled entire sectors of the Old Empire and had vast political influence to match their superior talents with the dark side of the Force. They also had the ear of the Emperor. A member of High Command (informally a High Commander) was a non-Force sensitive agent of the Old Empire who had risen to the highest office, aside from the Dark Council itself, of leadership: Imperial High Command. Like their Sith counterparts, they often rule entire sectors of space and have the ear of the Emperor himself. They make decisions in regards to the Empire’s military, foreign, and domestic policy and work closely with the Dark Council to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Old Empire. The resources they can call upon to achieve their goals are virtually endless. Emperor/Empress The Emperor or Empress is the undisputed ruler of the Old Empire. Formally, this rank was held by the Dark Lord of the Sith. However, upon the schism with the rest of the Sith Empire, the Dark Lord refashioned himself as the true Emperor of the Sith. The ruler of the Old Empire is always Force-sensitive, per the ancient laws of the red-skinned Sith, and is, per the same laws, the strongest Sith Lord currently alive. The Emperor trusts the ruling of his Empire to his Councils, allowing him to focus on increasing his considerable knowledge and power over the dark side of the Force. However, ultimately, his word is final and he rules the Old Empire with an iron fist.