- "She was a student of Sith alchemy; it was said she learned the secrets of mechu-deru, the ability to transform the flesh of living beings into metal and machinery."
Belia Darzu was a Shi'ido female changeling who reigned as a Dark Lord of the Sith during the last quarter of the New Sith Wars. Living centuries before the end of the Draggulch Period, Darzu held the title of Sith Lord in a resurgent faction of the dark side-worshipping Sith Order. By 1250 BBY, she had taken the mantle of Dark Lord, ascending as the leader of the Sith in a conflict called the Sictis Wars. In her studies of Sith alchemy and the Force technique known as mechu-deru, Darzu created hybrids of metal and flesh called technobeasts. Using a hidden fortress to house these Sithspawn creatures, she unleashed an army of them against the Galactic Republic and its Jedi protectors. After a two-decade reign, the Dark Lord fell victim to betrayal at the hands of her fellow Sith. To this end, she was assassinated—poisoned to death—by the Mecrosa Order.
Rise of the Dark LordEdit
- "Do you know the name of Belia Darzu? She was a Dark Lord of the Sith who reigned over two centuries ago."
Belia Darzu was a Shi'ido female who lived hundreds of years before the end of the Draggulch Period. Possessing the ability to shape-shift like all members of her species, Darzu commonly assumed the physical appearance of a Human woman. During a conflict called the New Sith Wars, she operated as a Sith Lord in a revived faction of the Sith Order, a cult of dark side practitioners that opposed the Galactic Republic and the peacekeeping Jedi Order.
In 1250 BBY, Darzu held the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith, rising to power as a new leader of the Sith at the beginning of a period called the Sictis Wars. Around this time, she researched Sith alchemy along with the principles of mechu-deru, a Force technique granting absolute control over mechanical systems. To contain her alchemical research, Lord Darzu had built a secret stronghold on the Deep Core world of Tython, drawing on the dark side energy spread throughout the planet. Inside this fortress, she experimented on different species in an attempt to create machine-organic hybrids.
With her knowledge of Sith alchemy and mechu-deru, Darzu concocted the nanogene spore, a technovirus capable of growing metallic tumors on the bodies of its victims. By means of a new incantation known as mechu-deru vitae, she used the nanogene spore to transform living beings into Sithspawn hybrids called technobeasts. At some point, the Shi'ido also created her own Sith holocron, using it to record her alchemical knowledge and philosophical views on the Force, along with instructions detailing the process of creating a holocron. The device was stored inside the large underground inner sanctum of Darzu's fortress on Tython.
Using her stronghold to house the technobeasts, Darzu organized the creatures into an army known as the Metanecrons, forming the frontline of her force against the Republic and the Jedi during the Sictis Wars. Bound to Darzu's will, the technobeasts were capable of infecting other beings with the virus, assimilating the Dark Lord's conquered foes into her legion of Sithspawn cyborgs.
By 1230 BBY, an alliance that was once established between Lord Darzu and the Mecrosa Order—a secretive group of assassins with former ties to the Sith—had fallen apart. The Mecrosa sought revenge against Darzu for an unwanted incursion she had made in the Tapani sector, their territory. The Dark Lord herself was also betrayed by her own Sith followers, who somehow participated in her impending murder. In retaliation to Darzu's intrusions in Tapani space, assassins from the Mecrosa used poison to end her life on Tython.
- "I need a new Master—one with the power to penetrate the defenses of Belia's stronghold and lay claim to her secrets."
Despite being deemed a victory for the Sith, the end of the Sictis Wars—concurrent with the death of Belia Darzu—left no clear line of succession for another individual to seize the mantle of Dark Lord. The fall of Darzu also halted the production of new technobeasts, though future Sith Lords continued to use them, albeit in smaller numbers, until the New Sith Wars finally ended in 1000 BBY. Over two hundred years after the end of Darzu's reign, some of her technobeasts remained active, wandering throughout her stronghold on Tython without purpose or direction. The holocron of Lord Darzu—the last vestige of her power—radiated a dark side energy throughout the stronghold, drawing the remaining technobeasts to congregate around it. In 990 BBY, these technobeasts were destroyed by Darth Bane, a survivor of the New Sith Wars who ventured into Darzu's fortress, retrieved her holocron and ultimately uncovered the secrets to building such a device of his own. Centuries later, a number of scrolls containing Darzu's secrets came into the possession of Roganda Ismaren and Cronal, two Dark Side Adepts of the Galactic Empire. In the era of the galactic Yuuzhan Vong War, the feats of Belia Darzu were briefly mentioned in Droids, Technology and the Force, an essay written by Jedi Knight Tam Azur-Jamin.
Personality and traitsEdit
Possessing the inborn ability to shape-shift, Belia Darzu commonly assumed the guise of a tall Human woman with short brown hair. Appearing roughly thirty years old in this form, she possessed a sly, almost crafty look to her features. The avatar of Darzu's holocron—mimicking the Dark Lord's appearance—alternated through several different physical forms, even in the middle of providing information to another.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
- "Maggot of metal, rust, and rot. Sith life draws breath, old life does not."
- ―Incantation of mechu-deru vitae, a technique used by Belia Darzu to create technobeasts
Belia Darzu was a Force-sensitive individual who became a dark side marauder, a role that combined physical prowess and the ability to wield the power of the Force for violent purposes. As a member of the Shi'ido race, she was also capable of altering her physical form. This allowed her to mimic the appearance of the Human, Twi'lek, Iridonian, or Cerean species, as well as different genders. During her tenure as a Sith Lord, Darzu created a Sith holocron, instilling it with her own knowledge of the secrets to building such a device. This included the Rite of Commencement, a long and complex ritual that trapped the cognitive essence of the creator into the capstone of the holocron.
Skilled in the dark side arts of Sith alchemy and mechu-deru, Darzu used her knowledge of both to devise the nanogene spore, as well as the offshoot technique of mechu-deru vitae. Developed from her own research, Darzu's technovirus consisted of tiny nanogene droids. Upon skin contact with the victim, the virus grew metallic tumors over their bodies and ultimately lobotomized their frontal lobes, irreversibly transforming them into technobeasts. The technobeasts themselves were bound to the will of Darzu, whose influence over the creatures spurred them to ferociously guard the Dark Lord's holocron even centuries after her death.
As a Sith Lord, Darzu wore a self-crafted suit of dark armor for optimal protection when engaging multiple Jedi opponents. Imbued with the power of the dark side and worth 37,000 credits, this heavy plated battle armor bestowed enhanced physical strength upon its bearer, as well as stealth capabilities. In her typical Human appearance, Darzu garbed a dark, form fitting flight suit with a pale yellow vest that left her arms bare, save for a pair of short black sleeves covering her elbows. Complementing this outfit were a pair of dark boots and yellow gloves, along with a red flight cap and a belt.
Behind the scenesEdit
Belia Darzu was first mentioned in The Dark Side Sourcebook, a roleplaying game supplement published in 2001 by Wizards of the Coast. The book established Darzu's identity as a Sith Lord from the era of the New Sith Wars. New elements of Darzu's character, specifically her knowledge of mechu-deru and the technobeasts, were introduced by author Abel G. Peña in the 2005 Hyperspace article Droids, Technology and the Force. These elements were expanded upon in The New Essential Guide to Droids by Daniel Wallace, as well as another of Peña's Hyperspace articles, Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties, that also referred to her as a changeling.
In 2006, two images made by artist Doug Alexander Gregory—one from The Dark Side Sourcebook showing a dark side marauder, and another from the Ultimate Alien Anthology featuring a Shi'ido changeling—were retconned by Peña himself as depictions of Darzu's physical appearance, verifying her species. The likeness of Belia Darzu was later used for the "Dark Side Enforcer" figurine from Star Wars Miniatures: Champions of the Force, resembling the original dark side marauder. Darzu made her debut appearance in the 2007 sophomore novel of Drew Karpyshyn's Bane trilogy, Rule of Two, though only as a holocron gatekeeper.
The names of three different demonic figures—Belial, Moloch and Mammon—depicted in John Milton's Paradise Lost were used to identify the Shi'ido characters of "Belia Darzu", "Mammon Hoole" and "Moloch Hoole".
- Darth Bane: Rule of Two (First appearance) (Appears in holocron)
- Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil (Mentioned only)
- Darth Plagueis (Mentioned only)
- The Dark Side Sourcebook (First mentioned) (Picture retcon)
- Ultimate Alien Anthology (Picture only) (Retcon)
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Vader: The Ultimate Guide
- The New Essential Guide to Droids
- Star Wars Roleplaying Game Saga Edition Core Rulebook (Picture only)
- Star Wars Annual 2009
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- The Essential Atlas
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 The New Essential Guide to Droids, p. 195
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 172 ("Darzu, Belia")
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 Darth Bane: Rule of Two
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Dark Side Sourcebook, p. 61
- ↑ The Dark Side Sourcebook, p. 9
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 The Essential Atlas, p. 133—134
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 348 ("Mystic")
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. III, p. 273 ("Tython")
- ↑ The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. II, p. 359 ("nanogene spore")
- ↑ Logically, the alliance between Darzu and the Mecrosa must have fallen apart by 1230 BBY, the confirmed date of Darzu's death according to The New Essential Guide to Droids.
- ↑ Vader: The Ultimate Guide
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side, p. 68
- ↑ 15.0 15.1
- ↑ The Dark Side Sourcebook, p. 22
- ↑ The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology, p. 132
- ↑ Echoes of the Jedi