- "With us, you are ruler of all the Sith, answerable only to the Emperor himself."
- ―Darth Marr to Darth Nox, upon the latter's elevation to the Council
The Dark Council was a twelve-member council that served as the ruling body of the reconstituted Sith Empire throughout much of the government's history. Each member of the Council held the title of Dark Lord of the Sith and controlled one of the twelve Spheres of Influence within the Empire, making the Council the most powerful individuals in the Empire below the Sith Emperor himself. Seats on the Council were hotly contested among the Sith, with the tenures of some Councilors lasting only months while others lasted decades, and every single individual within the entire Empire ultimately answered to one member of the Council through the Imperial hierarchy of power bases. Since its inception at the Empire's founding in 4980 BBY, the Dark Council tried and failed to overthrow the Emperor twice and its members were purged as a result. After the true plans of Vitiate coming to the light, the Dark Council declared Vitiate a traitor and renounced his status as Emperor and became the dominant power of the Empire. Shortly after the conquest of the Eternal Empire, Darth Marr died at the hands of Valkorion, Darth Nox and the Empire's Wrath had disappeared and with that majority of the Dark Council had either been killed or disappeared leaving only Darth Acina to declare herself Empress of the Sith.
Powers and successionEdit
- "The Dark Council are the galaxy's most powerful Sith. Thanaton will have access to all resources in his pyramid of the Sith hierarchy."
- ―Moff Valion Pyron, discussing the power a Dark Councilor wielded within the Empire
The ruling body of the Sith Empire, the Dark Council consisted of twelve Sith Lords who each held the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. As the Sith Emperor retreated into seclusion, the Dark Council took over the day-to-day managing of the Empire, and a seat on the Council meant that one was among the most powerful individuals in the Empire—second only to the Emperor himself. In the traditional order of succession on the Council, a fallen member's apprentice was the first choice to replace them, though there were other routes to gaining a seat. The Emperor himself could select new members, as he did after the two purges of traitorous Councils throughout the Empire's history, while the death of a Councilor at the hands of another Sith guaranteed that the victor would take the seat of the fallen Council member. When the traditional order of succession failed, the other members could select new Councilors during their meetings through a unanimous vote, though the Council was not always unanimous on which candidate to select.
The Twelve Spheres Edit
- "We all serve the Dark Council and through them, the Emperor."
- ―Watcher Two
Each Council member controlled one of the twelve Spheres of Influence within the Empire, and the various Sith who served each Councilor maintained power bases of their own. Through that system of power bases, every single Sith within the Empire ultimately answered to one of the Dark Council, and every non-Sith organization also fell under one or more of the Councilors' Spheres of Influence. The Spheres of Military Offense and Defense of the Empire were advised by the Sphere of Military Strategy, and together those three Councilors controlled the Imperial Ministry of War. The Dark Councilor at the head of the Sphere of Imperial Intelligence oversaw the Ministry of Intelligence, while the Sphere of Production and Logistics controlled the Ministry of Logistics. The Dark Councilor in charge of the Sphere of Ancient Knowledge commanded the Imperial Reclamation Service, while the Sphere of Mysteries worked in secrecy to guard the secrets of the Sith and the Sphere of Sith Philosophy ensured that the Code of the Sith was upheld and spread anti-Jedi sentiment throughout the Empire. The Sphere of Expansion and Diplomacy oversaw the Imperial Diplomatic Service and the expansion of Imperial borders, and the Sphere of Laws and Justice maintained order and justice within the Empire itself. The final two Spheres, Technology and Biotic Science, oversaw the Empire's technological advancements and medical science respectively.
- "It's a Sith's job to try and unseat us. That's why we have to keep a close eye on you."
- ―Darth Howl
When the Sith Emperor established his new Empire on Dromund Kaas in 4980 BBY, he also gathered the twelve wisest most powerful Sith Lords who had accompanied him during their long exodus and created the Dark Council. As he began to withdraw into seclusion, the Dark Council gradually took over the day-to-day running of the new Empire, and each Councilor assumed control over an aspect of the Empire. Darth Zavakon, the Councilor who chose to adopt the study of ancient knowledge as his domain, soon discovered that his underlings were refusing to share the knowledge they gathered from ancient ruins across the fledgling Empire, and he decided to pair a group of disciplined officers from the Imperial Military with civilian experts in archaeology and history for an expedition into an ancient Sith complex. The combined group's findings far surpassed that of the Sith who had searched the ruins previously, and Zavakon presented their results to the Council. Impressed, the eleven other Councilors agreed to Zavakon's proposal and allowed him to officially establish the Imperial Reclamation Service.
During the first centuries of the Empire's existence, Dark Councilor Darth Lokess summoned her fellow Dark Councilors to a meeting and convinced them to join her plot to destroy the Sith Emperor. The other eleven Sith Lords agreed to join Lokess' cause, but when they gathered on the steps of the Imperial Citadel in order to confront the Emperor, all eleven died instantly in a flash of light. Lokess was locked within the depths of the Citadel by the Emperor, who tortured her until her death. Around 4043 BBY, two members of the Dark Council—Darths Qalar and Victun—declared a Kaggath upon each other. The ancient Sith duel ripped apart the Citadel, and the two were summarily executed by the other ten Councilors when they called a draw. At the order of the Council, both Qalar and Victun's family lines were exterminated, and the two Councilors' resources were used in the construction of the new Citadel.
Conspiracy against the EmperorEdit
Several years before 3954 BBY, the Dark Councilors Darth Nyriss and Darth Xedrix joined with two other Council members to form a conspiracy with the purpose of unseating the Emperor and preventing him from attacking the Republic again. When the Emperor began to grow suspicious, Nyriss arranged for assassination attempts upon herself to draw away suspicion. Nyriss then led Lord Scourge, the Sith who the Emperor had selected to investigate, through a series of tests and manipulations to determine whether he could join the conspiracy, and she recruited him to their cause by showing Scourge the Emperor's ravaged homeworld of Nathema after the Sith Lord killed Xedrix. However, Scourge would betray the conspiracy to the Emperor four years later in order to free the captive Jedi Master Revan, as Scourge had joined forces with Revan's friend Meetra Surik in an attempt to destroy the Emperor, as well as being dissatisfied with the conspiracy's unwillingness to act due to power plays and doublecrossing that preventing them from making any progress. The Sith ruler summoned the nine innocent Council members to his chambers while he dispatched the Imperial Guard to destroy the three conspirators, and he promptly killed those nine as the Guard killed the three traitors and destroyed their power bases. Revan, Surik, and Scourge would fail in their attack, but the Emperor appointed twelve new members to the Council with the unspoken warning that traitors would receive the same fate as Nyriss and the others.
Great Galactic WarEdit
In 3678 BBY, Darth Marr, alongside two of his fellow councilors, sent Sith apprentice Teneb Kel to hunt down Exal Kressh, the Emperor's rogue apprentice. After Kel completed his task, he demanded from the Council that he should be elevated to the rank of Sith Lord and granted the title "Darth Thanaton." The Council acceded to his demands when he also agreed to reveal one of the Emperor's secret plots.
After the Treaty of Coruscant and the conclusion of the Great Galactic War in 3653 BBY,, the Emperor withdrew to pursue his own mysterious goals, deferring power over the Empire to the Dark Council. The Dark Council then oversaw the consolidation of the Empire's new domains from the citadel on Dromund Kaas. Only 7 members of the Dark Council survived the war.
At the outbreak of the Galactic War, Darth Baras attempted to claim the position of Emperor's Voice. A few on the Council believed his claim to be true, some of the councilors saw an advantage in supporting him and Baras plotted against those who opposed him. Ultimately, his claim was challenged and defeated by the new Emperor's Wrath. The Dark Council quickly disavowed their support of Baras and pledged their loyalty to their Emperor's Wrath.
After Baras' defeat, Darth Thanaton had to deal with a rising threat to his power, Lord Kallig, a former slave and descendant of an ancient Sith of the same name. He challenged Kallig to a Kaggath on Correllia, but lost to the young lord and fled to the other Dark Council members on Korriban. Like the duel between the Emperor's Wrath and Baras, Thanaton faced off against Kallig in the Dark Council chambers, with all of the council watching. Although he put up a good fight, he was ultimately defeated and Kallig earned his seat on the council under the new title, Darth Nox.
Following the Hero of Tython's attack against the Emperor, power in the Empire was left to the Dark Council. Darth Marr, considered the de facto leader of the Empire, worked hard against infighting amongst his fellow Council members while leading the Imperial forces against the Republic onslaught.
The Dark Council was later secretly infiltrated by Darth Arkous, a member of the Order of Revan, a heretical cult the Dark Council had been trying to expunge for years. Even after Arkous' death on Rakata Prime, the Dark Council remained oblivious to the Revanites' infiltration of both Empire and Republic until the Order's existence was exposed at the Battle of Rishi. Marr acknowledged that the Dark Council would not consent to an alliance with the Republic against the Order and thus did so independently. Following the Revanites' subsequent defeat during the battle of Yavin 4, though the battle resulted in the resurrection of the Sith Emperor.
Conquest by the Eternal EmpireEdit
Marr later led a joint Imperial-Republic fleet in pursuit of the former Emperor into Wild Space following Vitiate's consumption of all life on Ziost. Doing so intruded on the territory of the Eternal Empire, which Vitiate, under the identity of Valkorion, created in secret. Marr and the Outlander were captured, the former being executed by Valkorion when he refused to pledge allegiance while the Outlander was imprisoned. Arcann, Valkorion's son, usurped his father and launched a campaign against the Sith Empire and Republic. By the war's end, Darth Acina remained the only Dark Councilor – including Darth Nox and the Empire's Wrath – to not have disappeared or died and claimed the title Empress of the Sith. The only other confirmed survivor of the former Dark Council was Darth Vowrawn, who continued to serve the Empire under Empress Acina.
In 3632 BBY, The Outlander was freed and created the Alliance to break the Eternal Empire's hold on the galaxy. After Empress Vaylin succeeded her brother, Arcann, as the ruler of the Eternal Empire, Empress Acina took the opportunity to ally the Sith Empire with the Alliance, and to aid the Outlander in seizing the Eternal Throne. In forging this alliance, she acted unilaterally and relied on government ministers, which consisted non-Sith and Sith alike, such as Darth Vowrawn, leaving it unclear as to whether Empress Acina had reinstated the Dark Council.
- Sphere of Ancient Knowledge
- Sphere of Military Offense
- Sphere of Military Strategy
- Sphere of Technology
- Darth Ekkage †
- Darth Gorgos † 
- Darth Gorgos's apprentice
- Darth Howl
- Darth Igrol † (between 3,984 and 3974 BBY–3950 BBY)
- Darth Lokess †
- Darth Nyriss † (c. 3,974–3950 BBY)
- Darth Qalar † ( –c. 4043 BBY)
- Darth Sajar (Turned to the light side of the Force)
- Darth Soverus † (3638 BBY)
- Darth Vax
- Darth Victun † ( –c. 4043 BBY)
- Darth Xedrix † (c. 3984–3954 BBY)
Behind the scenesEdit
The Dark Council was first introduced in the 2011 novel The Old Republic: Revan, a tie-in novel to Star Wars: The Old Republic. The novel revealed a great deal of information about the Empire's origins. During the course of the novel, the entire Dark Council is killed by the Emperor as the result of a conspiracy, regardless of whether or not they participated in the conspiracy.
The Council later appears in The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game released by BioWare on December 20, 2011. Many of the Council members can die during the game, depending on the players' decisions. Currently only the light side options for Republic characters and the dark side options for Imperial characters are canon, and the fates of the individuals in the game will be reflected as such.
Upon ascension to the Dark Council Darth Nox can also be dubbed Darth Occlus or Darth Imperius, should they be neutral or light sided, respectively.
The character of Darth Acina was first introduced in Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel, the first Digital Expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, but her Codex entry stated that she was the successor to Darth Hadra, who had been killed on Corellia. However, this contradicted the 2012 novel The Old Republic: Annihilation, which stated that Darth Karrid was chosen as Hadra's successor. The Codex entry's error was rectified in Update 2.1.1 to correctly state that Acina succeeded Karrid.
- The Old Republic: Revan
- Star Wars: The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire
- The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Act 1: Treaty of Coruscant (First appearance)
- Timeline 1: Treaty of Coruscant (Mentioned only)
- Timeline 11: Rebirth of the Sith Empire (Appears in hologram)
- The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 1 (Appears in flashback(s))
- The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 2 (Appears in flashback(s))
- The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 3 (Mentioned only)
- The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 5
- The Old Republic: Annihilation
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Galactic Starfighter
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Shadow of Revan
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Eternal Throne (Codex entry)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Explorer's Guide
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 The Old Republic: Revan
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 1: Shades of the Sith
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Inquisitor Mission: "The Dark Council" on Korriban
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "The Dark Council"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "Darth Zhorrid (Agent)"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 The Old Republic: Annihilation
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "The Citadel"
- ↑ The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 3: Burn the Future
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "The Emperor's Wrath" on Quesh
- ↑ Timeline 1: Treaty of Coruscant
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 Star Wars: The Old Republic
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Warrior Mission: "Retribution" on Korriban
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Star Wars: The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 "The Last Battle of Colonel Jace Malcom"—Star Wars Insider 137
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Republic Mission: "Government Clearance" on Corellia
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—[TACTICAL] Flashpoint: "Assault on Tython: Empire"
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "Darth Decimus"
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Republic Mission: "Right to Arms" on Corellia
- ↑ The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 1
- ↑ The Old Republic—The Lost Suns 5
- ↑ 22.0 22.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "The Spires of Victory"
- ↑ The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—[TACTICAL] Flashpoint: "Korriban Incursion: Empire"
- ↑ Consensus Track